Saturday, April 30, 2011

So Much for the Yard Sale

Whenever I have a yard sale I try to update things without spending a bunch of time on things.  I've had this little table thingy FOREVER, well at least a good ten years, and it has served me well.  In my first apartment it was my phone stand, then it eventually migrated to the girls' room and was used as a nightstand, but in the new house there was just nowhere for my little friend.  So for a quick update I decided to give the wood top a quick spray of black paint.  Like I said, I don't like spending too much time on updating yard sale items so I didn't bother sanding the top or filling in any scratches, I just taped off the top and went to work. 

And YES, that is my backyard!!  Not so great huh?!  The house was a foreclosure, you know, one of those great priced homes with lots of potential.....yep, that kind.  In the backyard our only project has been keeping the weeds below our knees so that we can focus all of our time and money into the front.....for the whole curb appeal thingy.  Ok, so back to the star of this post....after it's little update I realized that our friendship isn't quite over yet.  This is what my laundry room looked like before when the door is open....

Yes....dirty laundry in all it's glory...not too cute huh?  So if I just shift the basket right behind that door then that will be tucked away and my little table thingy could live on that wall like this:

The dish/tray works perfect for when my husband comes in from work he now has something to empty his pockets in and it looks contained.  I had bought it at a thrift store for $.50 a long time ago and then spray painted it's little legs white for some contrast. 
In the top two drawers I have some miscellaneous DIY treasures, the next drawer holds my lonely socks, the ones that are missing their mates, and the third is for our grocery bags that we re-use.  Looking at it in the photos I think the picture is too high but for now it's ok, that picture and I are soon going to have a DIY date.  As a reminder,here is another look at the laundry-room-with-the-door-open picture:
And my NEW laundry-room-with-the-door-open picture:

 I'm feeling the change, maybe it's just because that me and that table have been together since the beginning or maybe because walking by that door and looking at a big basket of dirty laundry isn't that appealing.  Either way, this is how my laundry room is going to look for the minute.  Cost of this update....$0.00.  I love when that happens!  Do you have a piece of furniture that you just can't seem to part with or am I just weird like that?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It's A Shocker....

....I bought a contractors pack of white outlets a few months ago because I wanted to start switching out all of my off-white plugs.  They have sat in a drawer for a few months now because it wasn't top priority and because it seemed REALLY intimidating.  However, since I am in the middle of a room redo I wasn't about to put the same off white plates up on my new crisp paint!!  All of the plates were already off because of all the painting that was going on so I decided to unscrew the actual outlets to see what they looked like behind there, and we had a problem!....They didn't look like the outlets that I had bought, the wires were going straight into the back of the outlet and not on the little side screws like my new outlets had >> it will all make sense in the pictures (hopefully!).
 I decided to go to Lowe's and ask somebody why they were different.  They told me that a lot of times builders will install the outlets this way (in the back rather than wrapping them around the screws) because it is faster, but the other way is better. Back home I went now determined that I could win this battle.  I started poking at the old outlet to try and release the wires and -ZAP-, I was the proud owner of a nice little shock.   >>NOTE FOR NEXT TIME:  REMEMBER TO TURN OFF THE ELECTRICITY TO THAT ROOM!!<<  It really didn't hurt, cooking can cause more damage in my opinion, but I don't imagine having electricity going through your body is a good thing.  With the electricity now off, the only way I could get those wires out of the back was to break the outlet and then release them. 
Then I just curled the wire slightly with some pliers and tightened the screws down around them.  Screw them back to the wall, add plate, and Tada!! I timed myself on this outlet and from start to finish, including all the pauses to take the pictures for this post, it took 7 min 44 sec.  Not bad, and definitely worth the pay off.  I bought a 10 pack of outlets for around $14 and a 10 pack of plates for about $2.  Once you get through the first outlet it is no longer scary at all!  Just turn the electricity back on after the first one and try it out to make sure you are doing it right before you tackle too many. 

Hope this eases any fears you may have, if I can do it, you can do it.  Have you done any use-to-be-scared-of projects lately?

Monday, April 25, 2011

From Brass to Oil Rubbed Bronze on the Cheap

One of the first things we bought when we moved into our house was all new door handles.  The house had the original builders shiny brass knobs and we were in the market for paddle knobs (My oldest daughter lacks a lot of strength in her hands so paddles are a lot easier for her, plus they look great, win-win).  Of course we chose nice new oil rubbed bronze paddles.  They look great.  However, I have recently been stepping up my projects (more on why it took so long later) and painted the casings around all of my doors (seen in this post) which made my brass hinges stick out like a sore thumb.  So I went to Lowe's to purchase the matching oil rubbed bronze hinges.  Holy Moly Cow....those things were like $8/package.  Seriously??!  $8 x 11 interior doors = $88+tax just for hinges....  Pass.  I went home and decided to try my ORB spray paint that I had and see what happened.  This is what they looked like in their early stages:
So I took them off with my husbands drill... using a screwdriver to do all of the screws would have been way too much for this DIYer... then took them outside and just lightly sanded the hinges, mainly to get any dirt off and slightly rough up any shininess.  Then I stuck each of the screws in a piece of sheetrock that my husband didn't throw away (typical!)....cardboard or foam would have worked just the same.  And then I gave them a spray:

With the hinges make sure you paint both sides.  I learned this the hard way.  I only painted one side...the only side I thought would show....and hung them back up, but when I closed the door the round part where the pin went was still bright down it all came to do again.  So eventually you will end up with this:

So much better, and since I already had the ORB paint this project cost me $0.00!!!  Total score!  Do you have any free updates that you've done lately?

Like to party?  I sure do!!  This week I partied with Centsational Girl and Between Naps on the Porch check out all the details here or here.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Room Renovation (part1)

Since we moved in we have only actually completed one room....the laundry room.  But room number two is well on it's way to fabulous.  So here is a little photo diary of what has been taking place.  First, we had to strip the sheet rock and replace it as well as the window due to mold and water issues.  Here is what that looked like:

And since we had to do all that work we scraped the acoustic ceilings as well.  Now, we are getting somewhere!  Scraping the popcorn (my son calls them the bumpy things) makes a world of difference.  Our Pastor came and mudded the walls and then sprayed the texture.  L.O.V.E.!!  I painted the ceilings a light grey color, 1. because I already had the paint and 2. because I figured it would look good with the hot pink that my daughter wanted on her walls rather than a stark white.  Can't forget about our fifth wall people. 

I had originally bought this color to go on my living room walls but once I got it up it wasn't the vision that I had seen in my head so it was a no go.  It looks like a substantial grey in the photos but in real life it shows very light.  And not wanting to reveal too much in this post here is the next step, notice how the grey doesn't look so dark anymore:

So what do you think of the paint color?  It's pretty wild, but my daughter is in love.  Do you have any in-your-face rooms in your house?

Do you like to party?  I do!!  I linked my post up to this party:  ....go check it out!!  Parties are a great place for inspiration!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Painting Interior Casings

So we are in the middle of 1,968,446,354,796,131 remodel projects which means no laying around and sipping iced tea (good thing I don't even like tea).  So to start off this blog nice and slow here is an example of project  #105.....We are the second owners of our 15yr old house, but I don't think that the first owners did anything.....and I mean ANYTHING.  So a quick and cost cuddly project was sanding and painting my door casings.  Not all of the doors were able to go through this process because of damage, but most were ok.  So what I did was sand the wood trim >>side note:  I started this process by hand and then decided to break out the electric sander.  If you are not in the dusting mood then I don't recommend this, but if you want quick results then go for it.<<  Here is the before:

There was no need to sand them down to the bare wood, just rough them up some.  Then I used Kilz oil based primer and OMG that stuff stinks soooo bad!  Then as soon as it dried I applied a super duper white glossy paint over the top and that locked in all the stink.  Much better.

 It took four thin coats of the white paint to make me happy, but I am in love with the results.  Getting rid of the wood trim + replacing them with glossy white = LOVE.  What do you think?  Anyone else out there with an oil based paint headache?

Like to party?  I sure do!  You can find this post along with tons of other great ideas here: