Game Show Title: How many days in a row can you paint before you go insane

SO, the basementprojectof2015 moves on! I left you here, when I started to spray the bejeebus out of the walls. The walls had some pretty gross staining that dug deep into the panels and came through the primer, so 2 coats were fasho necessary. Even though I TSPed them, wood can hold oils and grossness like no other. I sprayed two coats on the walls and two coats on the ceiling.

It's amazing how well paint can work to make a room feel less cabin-cavey in a matter of a week.

OH, and while I was at it, I sprayed 80% of the doors in the house at the same time. So that was FUN.

Once the primer was done, I worked at painting the trim, which is one of those paint projects that you can't tell even happened, which is awesome. So all of the trim got 2 coats of Simply White (the same at the upstairs trim, in case you care).

I tested a few colors from my ever growing supply of paint test cans and liked how Vintage Linen was turning out. If you are a ninja blog reader you may recall it's the color I used in the upstairs bedroom.

It took me 3 hours per coat, and two coats to paint this bad boy. The time consuming part is hand painting all of the dips in the panel, as well as the top/bottom trim. Shoutout to Netflix for keeping me company.

Next up - removing that orange carpet!

Kitchen {the AFTERS!}

The other day someone asked to see how my kitchen turned out. I naturally went to this little piece of internet to find an after shot and GASP, I never took ACTUAL after shots? I left you high and dry after the grout when in. MY B! So, what better time to show you the TRUE afters now that the APPLIANCES came! Woo! Hurrah! There are a few shots of my kitchen that I just never show because, I'm pretty such you are ALL jealous of my oven and I just don't want you to feel bad about yourself...

(that scalloped vent hood though!) MOVING ON... here's what we started with!

Orange, dark, dated.

And then the heavens parted and light...all the LIGHT!

First, we demoed the existing countertops and took off the cabinet doors. Then we made all the things white, and had butcher block countertops installed. I painted and installed new cabinet doors and hardware which made a HUGE difference. Then the granite bar top was put in, and tile was installed and grouted and WE ARE DONE!

HUGE shout outs go to my Dad ((and Roger!) who helped de-mantle the sink, install a dishwasher (which, omg how did I live before that!), and remove the old appliances without blowing up my house), my Mom (who is a rockstar painter and didn't complain once about having to paint the walls a million times), the boy (who is my demo king and overall stress level supporter) and my sisters (for coming over and painting for HOURS with me). You guys are pretty awesome.

Off-spray: The struggle is real

When I thought about painting the basement walls, I couldn't help but think back to the fond memories of painting the 2nd floor walls, or even the dining room walls. 2-3 hours per coat, 4 coats per walls (damn wood walls how you soak up paint!). My hands began to cramp at the mere thought of doing it again. So, when I embarked on this basement journey I was itching at the thought of SPRAYING the paint on. You see, the basement living room is semi-closed off to the rest of the basement making it a PRIME suspect for a spray gun.

NOW, these things run $150+ to buy, or are about $30 a day to rent. I would need it for about 4-5 days, assuming I could knock it out consecutively (nope!). SO, when my co-worker mentioned he was buying one I JUMPED at the opportunity to make him borrow it to me. #winning

First things first, empty the room, demo the weird built-ins and tape ALL THE THINGS. THEN, TSP the walls and wash down with soapy water. The last 2 sentences took me SIX HOURS, or roughly 12 episodes of Parks & Rec re-runs. But, when spraying, prep is the biggest part - because OFF SPRAY. Basically the 'spray' gets everywhere within a mile of the wall. So I had to tape and tarp everyyythingggg.

What you're not seeing is the OTHER side of the wall, tarpnation.

Once that was done I had to figure out how to USE the spray gun. WORD TO THE WISER: when it hasn't been run in awhile, let it prime for like 5-10 minutes, or until the noise starts to sound...different (not the recommended 10 SECONDS). Took us about 2 hours, 5 Youtube videos, 1 instruction manual, and 1 run to HD to figure that one out! (In the end it was someone at HD that gave us the hint!). Also, be sure to clean out the hose/tip for any dried paint.

Jealous of my painting clothes? I BET.

BUT! It only took ~45 minutes to paint this ENTIRE ROOM. That is a game-changer my friends. The major time suck is re-filling the paint every few minutes, and cleaning the spray gun which omgggg is a task. BUT WORTH IT.

It took about 3.5 gallons to prime this baby, sprayers use a liiiiiiiiittle more paint than the 'ol brush and roller dance but STILL WORTH IT.

Now onto painting the ceiling (off-spray in overdrive) and to pick a wall color!


omg, LOOK!

There's light! If you recall, there was two old school "can" lights in the basement (with a nice orange filter on it to make the base feel extra cave-y). Instead of ONE on either end of the room, I wanted TWO to up the wattage in the space.

3 lamps in one room to help mask to cave-ness of the space...

It was super quick and easy to install and I did it in like 5 minutes. JK LOL - that's how long it took to write the check. YOU SEE - yeah I COULD have learned how to disconnect the old fixture, magically split the wires to code and install two perfectly spaced cans where there once was one. I COULD have. But I didn't. Instead, I called my go-to electrician who snuck over whilst I was out of town to TCOB.

What a NOVEL idea, things getting done while i'm out of town. BUT, that's the ONLY thing I will be hiring out (aside from installing the carpet, because LOL NO.). The rest of it is up to me and my bad self. So first things first - THAT HOLE.

That's where the old fixture was, thankfully the hole was built out already on either side so I had something to screw the drywall into. If that wasn't there, i'd just have to build out the joist space with some scrap wood, NBD.

Then I went to HD and grabbed a small piece of drywall. Cutting drywall is SUPER simple. Measure the hole, use a straight edge and score with a utility knife a few times. Then donkey kick the backside of the score line.

Then scour the backside and it'll rip right apart! Remember to use drywall screws when attaching it, and sink them into the drywall so they don't sneak above the top.

NEXT, it's time to tape the edges. and SPACKLE.

The tape gives the spackling paste some structure. Simply cut strips of the tape and align them on top of any gaps or screw heads. Then put a THIN coat of spackling paste on. I like to use a big (8"+) drywall knife, it allows for fewer lines showing after. Light, thin coats are best here. Some people glib it on, then it's IMPOSSIBLE to sand it and make it perfect. I put a thin coat on, waited for it to dry, and then added another. Sanding in between to ensure the patch blends in well with the surrounding area.

NOW, it doesn't look perfect, the entire ceiling needs to be painted still - duh. BUT! Lights! Woo!

Next up - prepping the walls for PAINT!

Storage room >> Craft Room

A few weeks ago I finally got around to cleaning/painting the 'ol storage room. During that time of purging, my storage needs dwindled and my crafting supplies increased. SO, I wanted to make this space a functional little area to get my craft on. Obviously this isn't the most GLAMOROUS space in the house, but it's perfect for storing ALL THE THINGS, so I don't have little crafting piles around my house :)

We left off here, where I cleaned/painted/prepped this space, getting about 60+ years of GUNK out.

SO now that I had a blank slate it was time to load er up with ALL THE THINGS. My workroom has turned into a workroom/craft storage, as has an entire bedroom upstairs. Girl likes to craft, I guess. SO I gathered everything and felt SO organized. Now it doesn't take me 30 minutes to find tape, or walnut stain :)

FIRST my paints. I have SO many paint samples they were coming out of my ears. I HATE re-buying things because they are lost in the abyss, so this was the perfect space to collect them and take inventory. #somanycabinets. And look, room for more :)

As you can see, this place is still a semi-storage area. I have so many picture frames/books that will EVENTUALLY get hung, but just haven't. ALSO, I was clearing my OTHER storage space at the same time for another little project i'm working on.

I LOVE it when everything has a spot. Wrapping paper isn't in 3 drawers in 2 rooms, and easy to grab items were hung on the peg boards. Oh peg board, how you are growing on me.

I found this Singer base in a trash can (typical) and just set a piece of wood on it for now, I kinda love it :)

WOO! One room done, now it's time to focus ALL of my attention onto that living room. Because, up next, LIGHTS!

p.s Have a WONDERFUL thanksgiving everyone :)

Basement Renovation {the plan}

We're on the home stretch people! And i've got a to-do list burning a hole in my pocket and an ounce of determination to finish it before the end of the YEAR! We'll see how that goes (spoiler, ain't gunna happen).  BUT let's talk about what we're going to DO.

SO, the living room. A dark retro OASIS:

This hot piece of meat butts up to the craft room, and as you walk down the basement stairs it's on your LEFT....OK? Also, don't be fooled by the camera flash here, there are only TWO light bulbs illuminating the space. So unless you are directly under them, you are walking through a cave.

So first things first (because renovating a cave is DIFFICULT), add lights! 

I know what you're thinking... "You're keeping the carpet, RIGHT?"

UNFORTUNATELY, the previous owner installed it himself (man after my own heart) but didn't put in any tracks or a pad (Also it's orange, has 60+ years of dust, and, did I mention it was ORANGE?) So yeah, carpet is FASHO getting replaced. 

THAT PANELING THOUGH. My mom put up a valiant fight to save these BUT, no. Sorry! Nail holes need to be filled, walls need to be SCRUBBED, and trim needs fixing...THEN! Paiting ALL THE THINGS! Every photo I take of this room has a distinct orange tone to it, basically the plan is to get rid of THAT.

SO, add light fixtures, new carpet, lighten up the ceilings/walls...sounds like fun!

Landscaping Diaries

Yard work is not at the top of my favorite projects. I like instant gratification. That's not to say that when the fiancĂ© edged the yard there WASN'T instant gratification (because, there was!), but filling in and growing grass? yawn. Also, double yawn when you're me and horrible at watering regularly. I go in spurts, and apparently vegetation doesn't respond well to that. Just ask the plethora of dead plants sprawled about my house. BUT! We've come a LONG way out there so let's take a look back at the last two years of work, because you care about the state of my landscape? Right? OK GOOD.

When I moved in there was a nice clothes line (with gas powered lamp!) that just HAD to go ASAPies because modern technology invented a mechanical DRYER. Also, remnants of a past tree circle loomed and took FOREVER to be successfully filled in.

Now it's a beautiful fall oasis - we added brick siding, a planter wall, and some HOSTAAAS (which are currently dying because FALL, not me.).

If you turn around towards the house, a few years ago you'd see THIS:

I think my favorite project out here was removing the 'brow' because SO MUCH light came into the dining room. See that green shrubbery above? ALL LIES.

Dead. I gave them a chance (pruned them) to grow into their full potential. But when no signs of life existed I started pulling them out, and planted ALL THE HOSTAS.

Speaking of dead shrubs...

Behind the garage there were some MORE, but these were HORRIBLE to get out. It took me an entire weekend to trim them back, and then a few hours for my father and I to break our backs cutting, pulling and cursing them out. BUT ALAS. They gone.

(post planting)

We planted a row of, you guessed it, HOSTAS, and called it a day.

The FRONT of the house hasn't seen as much change over the past 2 years.

We added a flag, because AMERICA. And some planters. Edged the walkway and...that's IT! I actually really like the profile of the front yard so, we good.

BUT, my landscaping crew did NOT like this front yard tree. You see, the pine tree was being over run by about 10 million smaller trees. It was like a mini-forest. He started pulling everything out before the blogger in me could take a photo. Here it is complementary of Google maps:

It's super hard to see, but basically the bottom portion is a lie, and is just another tree going rouge. Also, the neighbor kids kept throwing their cigs/beer cans in there, so THAT had to stop...

 See that little stump? Still need to get rid of that, but, took 2 weekends and about 8 lawn care bags to get everything under there (ONE entire bag was full of pine needles ALONE). Still a ways to go to get this looking OCD perfect, but a good start.