Magic of paint

I love paint! The smell, the action, & how it looks when done. Like magic.

Our entry way railing was on my list to update ever since we moved into this house. The old railing (while nice) is not really my style and I wanted a more modern and updated look. It would have been crazy expensive & silly to replace (it's functionally perfect). Enter paint.

I love how it turned out! And it gave me a chance/reason to pull down all the frames on the wall and clean them. Double win.

We also painted the mantle... More on that later.

Here is a before and after and some alternate views.

BTW - For me phone blogging/phone photos (crappy as they may be) are the way to go... I actually blog real time! This happen now.







Dining room wall stencil





I've tackled another home decor project.  I borrowed a stencil that a friend had made and set to work on our dining room wall.  The overall design is a french poem.  I wasn't so concerned about what it says and was more interested in the typeface as a design.  I told Chris it's says "housewives are totally awesome and rule the world" in French.






The stencil set was not repeating and had 16 stencils to assemble. Alignment was a little bit tricky.  I had to repeat the 16 stencils four times which required me to pull out my paint brush and hand finish and begin letters.  A level, pencil, painters tape, stipple brush and baby wipes were my most important tools.

Each stencil took 15 minutes to hang, align, paint and remove.  The entire project was about 14 hours over a few days.  I do like how it turned out and that it's somewhat subtle.

Nicholas helped as you can see.  The old cup of water trick worked wonders again...




Finally finishing... random projects





Over Spring break we started the deck project. I painted the first coat of the floor at that time. Not really realizing how much time this project would take. Generally I like to paint.  I find it therapeutic and painting outdoors is nice for many reasons, mess worry being primary. Who knew it would take me all summer to work on this project. You make recall older posts about this.

Painting the deck floor was super easy and the first coat went fast. Chris had to reinstall the railing before I could start the rails and the second coat. Due to schedules and such it took us a couple of weeks to get the railing back on. If we had all the money in the world we would of replaced the railing with something a bit more contemporary and perhaps metal. I decided to try and make the railing look a little different from the deck by painting it a slightly different shade. It looks nice but in certain light you can't even tell it's a different color. In hindsight not really worth the extra time and care. It took me a couple of weeks (one to two hours at a time) to finish up the railing.

Kid note: Nicholas helped "paint". My friend Paula had this great tip to give him a paint brush and a cup of water.  He water painted ahead of me most days and enjoyed helping me.

I finished the second coat on the deck floor and the stairs over labor day. It turned out great and should last for a couple of years (longer hopefully).

Dog note: Lucy's claws are annoyingly long and mark up the floor a bit.  I knew this would happen but it's still annoying.  If you can't tell I am a bit dog frustrated lately - guess I'd better get her claws trimmed or learn how to do it.  Good thing we love her.







Since we had to move all of the deck furniture in order to paint the deck I decided to sand and spray paint the furniture too. This was a quick and easy project that only took a couple of hours from start to finish. The grass worked great as a drop cloth. Steel wool and elbow grease removed all the rust and old paint. Three cans of Rustolem black paint and the furniture looks knew again. Love it.

Gallery Wall - downstairs


The first year we moved into this house I created a gallery wall of family photos heading to our third floor. This wall looks great and makes me smile every time I walk up the stairs.  I wanted to create a similar look heading downstairs into our basement but needed to complete this for little or no money.

Over the last fifteen years we have gathered quite a collection of random picture frames.  Many of which did not get unpacked or put to use when we moved into this house. I decided to hunt down all of these frames to see if I could make something work.  Once gathered I realized we had quite a mish-mash of sizes, textures, finishes and colors and I wanted a clean and somewhat uniform look.  Color seemed the best way to tie all of these together.



As a test I took a few of the crappiest frames and spray painted them black.  The paint covered well and they looked great so I thought I tackle painting all of them.  Running after a toddler only provides me with short intervals of time to work on projects. I have learned I cannot rush or complete projects quickly. It took me a few days to paint all of the frames.  I used a box as my spray booth and finished one to two frames at a time.  When each frame was complete I printed a new photo and reassembled the frame. Each completed frame felt like a little mini project.




Arranging them on the wall was trickier than the upstairs gallery due to all the varying sizes and backings. To get a decent idea of where I wanted each photo hung I cut paper to size and taped it to the wall until I was pleased with the arrangement.  Then I started at the top of the stairs and with a level and clear ruler worked my way down the stairs hanging frame by frame.




I really liked how it turned out and am even more pleased that I was able to reuse and keep it on the cheap. Two cans of black spray paint and some photo paper - wall-a!



Here is just one of the photos I included in the gallery.  This photo of Nicholas makes me laugh.

Shoe & coat corner - house stuff

I have been tackling small projects here and there around the house.  It's funny how I thought I'd accomplished a ton of projects being home full time but that hasn't been the case. Mostly because of pleasant interuptions.  The newest interuption is "Mommy, commm here... I show you" as Nicholas grabs my finger and pulls me away from whatever I happen to be doing. Such a sweet boy.

One project I was able to completely tackle was finishing up our shoe/coat corner (basically the command station of the house). We haven't had much luck with coat racks - they kept pulling out of the wall with all of the weight of book bags and stuff.  This will be our third (and hopefully final) attempt.  I had my dad create the wall mount in his wood shop.  Then I painted and installed the hooks.  Chris mounted to as many studs as we could find in the wall.  After it was hung I applied letters above each hook so each person has a designated hook.  One of our previous problems was never finding what we were looking for. We were always sorting through all of this hanging mess and I am hoping a designated spot solves this issue.  I am not sure I love the letters above each hook - what do you think?  They are kind of obnoxious in contrast.  The letters/wall would have been better with a color tone on tone - but I made due with what we had on hand.  If they still bother me in a month or two I'll just pull them off. Easy.

A year ago we hacked and assembled these two Hemnes ikea shoe racks to run against an entire wall. I love how these turned out as they look build in. They have been perfect to house all of our shoes and other random bits and I love how narrow they are.  I wasn't very diligent about keeping the top of these rack clear in the past and so I've added a basket for the smaller items that seem to cluster there. Above the shoe racks I mounted two whiteboard calendars and a small white board to document the boys chore money.  Most of our appointments are managed in outlook or icalendar but it's nice to have a calendar visual to mark the big upcoming events.

Knick knacks... I added two. One vintage finger pointed to the restroom and a hanging vase from pottery barn. Currently it is holding some cute paper daisies.




Hopefully I'll have more to share as projects get tackled.  I have been organizing a ton.  I should take a card from Joellyn's Fung Shei Friday and start posting those feats as well...we will see. If you want to be inspired check out her mad organization skills. She's impressive.