Friday, October 20, 2017

Stripping Hardware (the right and the COMPLETELY wrong way)

You guys! You're welcome. I did something completely wrong to show you WHY it's wrong. Isn't that SO nice of me? Like, a project that should have taken a week, is now on week 4 just because I love you. What is that project? Stripping hardware!

Let's dive into this telling tale of 4 doors. These doors are the closet doors in our bedrooms. Beautiful, original doors that I love so. The doors have seen better days, riddled with scratches and questionable coloring splotches. In a perfect world, I would strip them and seal in the beautiful dark wood that is under the 3+ coats of poorly painted latex. However, 2 issues here. 1. I don't want to go insane stripping and refinishing doors, at least not at this point in my life. 2. My husband has a thing with mis matched wood coloring (light floors, dark doors is not OK in his book...still not sure how i'm getting away with the light floors and dark trim on the main floor but I'LL TAKE IT!).

SO, we wanted to paint them the same white that all the trim is getting (some day) upstairs. The doors have been off the hinges since we sanded the floors. Since they weigh a million pounds, it made sense to paint them now before re-hanging. As you can see in the image below, the previous painting crew decided to throw caution to the wind and just paint RIGHT over all of the hardware. Slackers.

 My vision was Oil Rubbed Bronze hardware against a beautiful white door. And come hell or high water IT WILL HAPPEN.

So I spent a week painting the doors. One coat of primer 2 coats of paint (my go to combination). As I rounded the corner on the final coat I picked up some Citri-Strip for the hardware. After trying (for all of 10 minutes) to get any of the screws out of the hardware I threw in the towel and had a GENIUS plan to meticulously paint the stripper on the hardware and scrape it off with a brush.


It KINDA worked. Day 1, I picked up a metal brush to help and some paint came off. I felt hopeful. I added another layer of paint stripper on. I did this for three days, it was moving at a snails pace and wasn't looking like my VISION. I started to notice the metal of the hardware wasn't Oil Rubbed Bronze, and one door was even a brassy color (THE HORROR). Also, they were pretty scratched up.

After snail steps with that idea, I bit the bullet and decided to take off the hardware. It took 4 different flat head sizes and the strength of an ox to get some of those stripped screws out (pro tip: put a rubber band around the tip of a screwdriver for stripped heads). But really, it's what I should have done in the first place.

Here's what I was working with. This was one of the handles that hadn't gone through the 3 day Citri-Strip failed method. SO! I tossed them into a crock pot with soapy water and OMG SO EASY WOWWWW.

 I put one of those crock pot bags over, since I still plan on using this bad boy for human food and don't really want chipped paint residue lingering.

THE PAINT PEELED RIGHT OFF. So easy, wish I would have saved myself the time and just powered through in the first round. SO NOW YOU KNOW! Then, I picked up some ORB (oil rubbed bronze) Spray paint and made them look SO AMAZING.

BUT! THE STORY DOESN'T END THERE! So that Citri Strip? That I delicately painted on the hardware? Started to leak onto the paint around the hardware! So everything I wanted white was actually pink! SO GREAT! I sanded these areas down to the BARE WOOD twice. Didn't work. Scrapped it away with paint thinner THEN sanded again. Didn't work. Had a meltdown in the garage. Didn't work.

So, I painted LAYERS of primer. It took about 6 coats before I could no longer see the pink coloring. OMG so fun guys, just hanging out in my spider infested garage watching paint dry.

ANYWAYS. All's well that ends well?


 Better? Yes? Yes!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

An Office Update

THE OFFICE! Have I mentioned that I work from home? I DO! This little nook was a HUGE selling point for us. Most of the other houses we looked at didn't have a den/office, so we would have had to transfer a bedroom into an office. This is MUCH better. Also, the windows! It's right off the front door too so I can creep on passer-bys - BONUS!.

Here is what the room looked like immediately after we signed the papers, and before Dan ripped the blinds off (not much time in between mind you.). 

Since then, we (my mom!) painted the walls, and we refinished the floors. THEN, we loaded it up with the nearest furniture in site so I could have a functioning office ASAP and VOILA: 

So pretty right?! Go ahead, pin it, i'll wait. The table was from the previous owners, it has since found it's way up to the cabin (we were going to use it in the dining room, but found a different option and IT'S ON IT'S WAY!). We were noodling over a desk for foreverrrr (stand up, sit down, 2 desks?, vintage, white, ikea, omg the choices), and finally when we found this one from Crate and Barrel it was ALL the heart eyes. It has THREE little drawers too which was an added bonus.

Cable management needs to be a college course...HOW IS IT DONE. I am destined to find a way to huge the quadrillion cords it takes to set up an office. So far my ideas involve twist ties and command we will see how far that takes me. 

I picked up a little storage unit from IKEA for the corner. This holds all those 'officy' things that you rarely need but then do one day and OMG WHERE IS IT. Between that and the desk drawers, that's the only storage in this area. 

We got some planters for the corner of the room, I put 2 cute little plants in there that i'm bound to kill in a few weeks, please send your thoughts and prayers to them that they make it longer. #nogreenthumbhere

We are still on a mission to find the BEST paint for our little radiators (we have 8 to paint!). They all got serviced this week and are (finally!) full of water once again and ready to take on the winter. We are leaning towards a metal paint so we can color match them to the walls. 

I also need to hang some art still, isn't that the hardest thing to do when you move into a new place? Stick a nail in a wall. Yes we will tear down two entire walls and rip up flooring but NO NOT A SINGLE NAIL! We also need blinds BAD, there is about 2 hours in the morning when the sun pierces my eyes at my desk. Thankfully there is a strategically placed oak tree out front that I can dodge the sun with. But I feel like blinds would be a better long-term solution?!

So, what's left for this room? We are noodling a new rug and light fixture. I like the navy rug we have, we just want something a little bigger (maybe 5x7), and perhaps a little lighter to tie into the couch and walls. For the light fixture, since this room is across from the dining, we will likely find something complementary for the two spaces. OH, ALSO.

The opening to the office has little hinges on it AND THE FRENCH DOORS WERE IN THE BASEMENT. They are in....ROUGH shape, but I am destined to at least TRY and revive them. We are thinking a nice color pop (I am just assuming I can't salvage the original wood, but here's hoping!). TBD if we will actually want doors here, but it might be in the cards...

WOo! Finger snaps for functioning rooms!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Travel Videos!


This summer has been one for the books. The past monthish we have been to Park city (wedding!), Laguna Nigel (wedding!), and NAPA (mom's birthday!!). Each location was amazing and beautiful and so fun. #blessed. In addition to that, I've been traveling a bit more for aside from hiring out the drywall (post coming soon...looks SO much better!), nothing has gotten done on the home front. Thankfully, this fall things will quiet down a bit more so I can duct tape a paint brush to my hand and finally knock a few things off the to do list.

BUT! I brought our go pro to Napa and made a little video of the trip I thought i'd share with ya! The trip was so fun, and something we've wanted to do as a family for a while. What better time than to go celebrate my mom's 60th birthday! We spent a long weekend drinking wine, playing pickelball, and drinking more wine. Take a look!

THEN, after I made that and saw how fun/easy it was, I dug out our gopro footage from our honeymoon and put ANOTHER one together. I was on a roll. Check it out!

I hope you all had a wonderful summer and are enjoying the fall weather that finally decided to roll in!

Monday, August 21, 2017

That open concept life

EVERYONE wants that open concept in their house. Just watch Property Brothers "ok so we will knock this wall down all simple and such..." WELL, we took the open concept to ANOTHER level these past few months. OPEN STUD CAVITIES!

YUP! That's the kitchen we've been living with since demo hath commenced. Ya know, we like to keep things open and airy, it's real nice... However, a definite improvement from what was there: 

BUT! Turns out the common folk prefer to NOT see wires dangling from their ceiling and the inner workings of a lath and plaster wall. So we decided to pull the trigger on installing drywall! Once we made that decision, I realized the amount of work I had been putting off to prep for said drywall. YOU SEE, once those sheets of white beauty get hung, I can no longer run electrical without creating a WHOLE other mess. Most of the work was done, but we needed to move a few things around to get them juuuuuuuust right. 

When we tore down the top of the wall into the dining room, there were a few outlets that were in that wall, and have since been dangling in the abyss behind the oven/cabinet. Re attached those bad boyz to some studs. The other electrical item lingering was a little sconce that was in the closet. It's a hard space to photograph, but the area inside this door to the left used to open up into the living room many moons ago.

At that time, there was a makeshift sconce light that was rigged up precariously. It came up through where a wall was, so once we ripped that out we needed to move the conduit. I drilled a few holes here, a few holes there, and ran the line up the new stud wall (where the door used to be) and secured it in place. We will put a little pull string sconce there once drywall is up and we pick out a fixture.


For pretty much ever, the new bathroom/laundry room was a dumping ground for material and tools. We FINALLY cleaned it all out and brought it to the garage, which got us REALLY excited to finish this space. We forgot what it actually looked like under all the paint buckets and tarps.


OK so let's take a quick tour here. As you walk into the room, on the right is a shower (where the step ladder is...) and beyond that is a little nook for a vanity. Which of course I can't just BUY a vanity and make things simple for me. No, I found a DOPE farmhouse sink that i'll build a custom vanity for and OMG it's going to (hopefully) be super cool.

Then I got around to building out the blocking and adding the shower niche, because we all know i'll never wait until the hardiboard is already up to do that again...#lessonslearned

Here's another shot of the sink area, we will have a sconce above the mirror (which is that blue box) and OMG LOOK AT THAT YELLOW STUFF! INSULATION! What a concept! This house has ZERO so we are adding it where we can!

 If you turn around you are greeted with our washer and dryer and the hook up to the toilet! Once we get the flooring in we will install that puppy, and put a little counter above the washer/dryer for folding etcetcetc.

These windows are so adorable and charming I LOVE IT.

SO, once drywall is up then we will be working hard to paint the walls, tile the shower, hang the bathroom door, install light fixtures etcetcetc. THEN, once everything is good and ready, we will get that flooring in. I mean, plywood and carpet remnants IS a nice flooring option...but again those damn common folk...

Monday, August 7, 2017

Bathroom Wainscoting (finally!)

Care to take a stroll down memory lane?! When the bathroom was in it's blue glory days. There was clearly a renovation at the peak of the monotone colored bathroom days. After looking at so many houses there was clearly a pamphlet with "would you like an all blue, pink, or yellow bathroom we have JUST the tile for ya (and matching tub/toilet/vanity)!"

The bathroom was riddled with mold and water damage, and the shower head was fit for the 5' and under we knew walls would be coming down in here. It was pretty cool to see, once we had everything ripped out, that at one point there had to have been a tub (probably claw foot...WHYYY did they remove it!) in it's place with a radiator at the foot of it. The dangling cut pipes in the walls were a dead give away.

The tub was leaking into the kitchen, which wasn't ideal, and the window was one shower away from crumbling out the side of the house. SO! we ripped it apart.


 OK, so we tiled the floor and the shower, installed the vanity and toilet and......stalled. Mainly because I hate trim, especially in an old house where nothing is straight and I have to Macgyver solutions.

We wanted to put wainscoting over the old tile glue. It wasn't the prettiest wall treatment, and bead board is clean, water resistant, and doesn't involve us having to tear down MORE plaster walls. Because, we are SO over that.

Something i've learned in a house that is not level, caulk is your BFFL.

SO, first I cut a piece of trim for the door and floor molding. We got a new miter saw as a wedding gift and I LOVE IT. Using it was further encouragement to finish this project...

The panels had a tongue and groove system on each end, so they locked into each other. I added some construction adhesive to the back of them, then after stacking a few  I put in a few nails with a nail gun to keep it in place.  

Then, I added ALL the caulk, to the edges, joints, and nail holes. Sidenote: although the packaging said to use caulk for the nail holes, i'd use woodglue next time. It shrunk too much and showed the holes still after a few applications.


I used a Dremel to cut small holes in the panels for the electrical (we will be installing electric heat in the bathroom), and the sink pipes...still pretty amazed that I measured the location of those holes right the first time *pats self on back*.

Then I added a piece of trim around the edge, using my nail gun (love that thing), and caulk. 

Finally! Time for paint! The panels come in a prepainted white, however it was a little creamier than the white that would be the trim, which would have bothered me. So I painted it the same color, 1 coat of primer and 2 coats of paint.

During that time, I also started working on the walls, which were in rough shape, I took off the remaining pieces of wall paper, washed and sanded them down.  I also replaced the light fixture, mainly because it was so huge and the bulbs were SO hot that whenever I worked close to it I couldn't stop's what it looked like, light is turned off because when it's on it has the light capacity of a million suns. Or so it feels...

Photographing light fixtures is impossible, just trust me it's better than before :)

Wall color is Revere Pewter (love the color, used it in the master bedroom as well), Trim is Polar Bear.

OMG, much better.

SO, what's left for this room? Still working on some patching on the ceiling, then that'll need a coat of paint. Then it's just hanging some pictures & towel hooks, and installing the heater before winter! We have noodled the idea of a glass shower door as well, so that may be in the cards...down the road.

All in a weekends work!