Friday, December 6, 2013

Callie and Taylor's Farmhouse Beds

When we moved, we decided that Callie and Taylor's set of bunk beds would be Max's, and I would build them new beds.  It took about 5 months... but I finished them back in June.  Here is what their room looked like before:

And after:

I was VERY proud of these two beds.  I hadn't built anything in probably 2 years... the last major project being the toddler bed.

Rather than a wordy play-by-play... here are just a few "in progress" pics:

(I had to bring an old box spring out to the garage to help visualize how the whole bed would look put together since I was building my own mattress support system rather than using a metal bed frame.)

You can see in the above pic the bed brackets that I used from Rockler.  I actually put them on backwards... they are supposed to be on the inside of the side bed rails.  Oh well.  It is still functional.

After approximately 6 months of use... they are still holding up!  Although... I do wish I would have used a semi gloss white instead of a matte.  It'd be easier to scrub clean.  And... I do kinda wish that the headboard wasn't so tall.  But other than that... I wouldn't change a thing to the original plans.

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Starting on the Stairs

I FINALLY got to get a jump on this staircase of mine.

With most of the house having white trim... this orangey woodwork and red/brown painted stair treads and risers was a bit of an eyesore.  I'm certain that the bottom post is original to the house, but that the balusters and railing are not.  They actually look brand new.  Well... not for long.  When I'm done with this stair makeover, the railing will be stained a dark espresso, and the balusters will be white.  I haven't totally decided what I want to do with the bottom post yet.  I'd love for it to be white, since that would make the details of it just stand out... but a darker stain might make more sense for my household with lots of dirty little fingers.  I have seen on Pinterest where the bottom part of the post was white, while the top part was dark like this or this.  I just fear that it will end up looking like a snowman with a top hat.

So anyway... I got a start on my stairs... I painted the risers and the side trim white.  I used a liquid deglosser on the side trim and put on 2 coats of primer.

Then, I added 3 coats of Valspar Ultra White in Semi Gloss (the same color and sheen that I did the doors).  I also put 3 coats on the risers (no primer because they had been painted by the past owners).  They looked fine at night when I finished the project, but during the daytime, it does look like it could use at least another coat.  So... I should have primed the risers too.  Duh... painting white over a really dark red/brown?  You need to prime.  Rookie mistake.

While I was painting the risers... I did notice that there are lots and lots of nail holes in them from their past life as a carpeted stair.

The above pic was taken after only one or two coats of paint.  I may fill them... I may not.  I haven't decided yet.  They do add some character to the stairs... but I don't want them to end up looking dirty or unfinished.  The stair treads themselves have some nicks and damage because of their age that I will likely leave alone.  Again.. character.  When I was in college, there was an old stone staircase in one of the original buildings that had treads that were so worn down by the thousands of students that had walked on them.  I loved that.  Also... I kind of like some things to look distressed... since my kids will end up distressing things on their own anyway.  Then... I don't have to worry about it.  As long as it doesn't end up looking destroyed and uncared for... kind of a fine line to walk along though.

Here's what the stairs look like now... after an evening of work.

Can't wait to start tackling those balusters!!!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Painting My Tiny Bedroom

This is another long awaited post.  I have always hated the paint color in bedroom.  It was this yellowy off white color.  Unfortunately, it is also in the entryway, kitchen, and in Callie and Taylor's room.  They only room that it looks halfway decent in is Cal and Tay's room... and that's because they have two large windows.  The extra light makes the yellow look bright and cheerful... instead of dingy and bleh....

My bedroom only has one tiny east facing window that has an amazing view... of the neighbor's house.  With the room-darkening shades it is like a cave in there, which is perfect for Karl after working a night shift.

It took awhile to decide on a paint color.  I had first thought I should go suuuuuper dark.  Like Glidden's Black Tulip.  It's a dark dark moody purple.  Everything else in the room would be white.  After living in the room for awhile... I decided that dark was NOT the way to go (a good reason why you should always live in the space for awhile before deciding on things like paint colors).  I then got on this kick that the kitchen and the bedroom should be the same color.  For whole-house cohesiveness I suppose.  So... just like my kitchen had green samples painted up... so did my bedroom.  I had even painted one wall in the Valspar Gloaming Green color I had thought was wonderful in the kitchen (this same green turned a bright lime green once the artificial lights came on and got nixed).

I'm not really sure why or how I decided on a light blue... but I did.  When I went to go and grab a sample of the one I originally picked (Valspar's Sea Spray), I grabbed a few more and while I was waiting for the paint dude decided I would also get a sample of Olympic's Sea Sprite.

That ended up being the winner!!

So... I ended up having several little squares of paint color up on my walls:

(Glidden's Black Tulip)

(Olympic's Sea Sprite - the winner)

(Valspar's Gloaming Green)

(Valspar Jungle Chameleon - has more of an olive tone than is showing here)

(Valspar's Sea Spray)

All of the color samples pictured above DO look different in real life than they do on my monitor.

Here's a before pic of the room in all it's yellow glory.  You can see where I primed over the many paint samples.

Here is a brighter, more "daytime" photo.  The sun must have come out after I was done doing the edges.  I don't use tape anymore... I find I do a better job without it.  If I use tape... I have this false sense of security with the roller and end up brushing the roller up on the ceiling and ugh... I'm more careful tapeless.  When doing the edges, I've found that my ambidexterity (is that a word..? if not I just made it up haha) comes in "handy" (haha you like that pun?)

Here I was trying to get a combination before/after color pic.  It's hard with an iphone camera, and learning to use my DSLR is on my to do list.  The primed over color swatch on the left was the one I originally went to Lowe's to get a sample of (Sea Spray).  You can see, though, that the Sea Spray has a lot more blue tone and the Sea Sprite on the right has a bit more green.

Et voila!

It looks more blue in some light and more green in others.  It's perfect!

Monday, November 25, 2013

DIY Painted Chevron Wall!

I realized I never wrote up a post about my chevron wall project.  I did post it on Facebook.. so some people got to see it already!

I ended up doing this right around October 1.  I'm not going to get into details on how I did it since I used someone else's tutorial. This one to be exact.

Here are the pics of the project in progress:

(First chalk line snapped!)

After all of the chalk lines were up I used the level and a shorter ruler to draw the chevrons on with a pencil, as described in the tutorial I followed. And then because I couldn't wait to tape until all of the lines were drawn, I also taped as I went.

(It went a lot faster after I started cutting the tape with scissors.  I had been trying to simply tear it.  I can't be the only one in the world that never thought to use scissors!!!)

(The kids thought it would be a great time to destroy the living room...)

(nearly done taping!)

(Painted a coat of white first to "seal" the edges of the tape.  Not convinced this worked...)

(Two coats of Valspar's Sharkfin)

(Et voila!)

Pulling the tape off was definitely the best part.  There were a dozen or so spots that I had to go back and touch up with a tiny paint brush (like 1/2" wide craft brush).  I also had to take a wet rag and wash off the visible pencil marks that didn't get painted over (they were under the tape).  There was also some of that blue chalk line stuff I had to wipe off.  Easy peasy.  

Since taking that pic I have angled the couch in front of the chevron wall and plan to put a large piece of art up that is a mostly solid color to break up the illusion of movement that the chevrons create.  At least a little bit. :)

You'll notice that the adjacent wall is missing some paint.  When I first painted the living room back in February or March, there were bookshelves along the wall that is now covered in chevrons.  I was too lazy to move them back then (haha) so that is the "Final Paint and Touch Up in the Living Room" item that was on my House Project List.  That color is Benjamin Moore's Thundercloud Gray.  I got three gallons of it at my local paint shop for $5 a pop because they were mistints and the cans had gotten wet and were starting to rust.  So... I had gotten over $90 worth of paint for $15!!!!!!  It was really close to the gray I was thinking about getting at the time so of course I had to take it.  I "boxed" the paint right away. Boxing your paint is essentially dumping all of the gallons into a 5 gallon bucket to ensure uniformity of color when you are painting areas that are going to require more than one gallon.  I wasn't sure if the rust on the outside was also on the inside of the cans (they weren't) so I didn't want any surprises halfway through painting. Worked fantastic!

Friday, November 22, 2013

One Big Project Update

Rather than wait around for me to find the "perfect" time to write up beautiful posts about the projects I've completed in the last couple of weeks... I'm just going to have quick little blurbs in one post... right now. I've had a really bad sinus infection/cold/upper respiratory infection for the last 3.5 weeks and it kind of wiped me out.  HOPEFULLY... I'm on the upswing now.  I have thought this twice already, however, only to wake up the next day feeling like I was back at day 1.  Grr....

First off... I refinished a pub table and 2 bar stools that I got from my mom when she moved.  Here is a before pic of the table and a midway pic of the stools when I decided that completely sanding the veneer off was a great idea.  (It was fine... just created a lot of dust)

(I apologize for the blurriness... I thought I had gotten a good one... but aparently my hand was still vibrating from the detail sander I was using!)

And... the after:

Yes... that table is magenta... (Valspar's Ibis Rose from their Pantone line... I had a coupon for a free sample size jar and used maybe 2/3 of it) and those bar stools are turquoise (not sure on exact color shade but further down in the post I describe how I chose the color back in 2011).  I had intended for the table to just be a pop of color in my living room, but it ended up being too big for the space that I had intended to put it while our Christmas tree was up so it will likely go upstairs into Callie and Taylor's room.  It might come back down after Christmas and find itself along that wall that is pictured above.  The teal stools in the kitchen really do brighten up the space.  I love them. Oh... and I have since primed over those green paint spots on the wall.  That color looks really good in the day time... but at night with the artificial lighting... it looks lime green.  And that's not what I wanted at. all.

Next up:  I FINALLY FINISHED MY BED!!!!! I think I started this back in June or July.  I painted it (Valspar Dark Kettle Black) in August.  All I needed to do was build the mattress support and I was done.  I even ordered the bed brackets in early September after deciding to use the same ones I had used on Callie and Taylor's bed (which... I now realize I never wrote a post about... I DID start one... maybe I'll finish the draft).  What the brackets do is give the bed the ability to be disassembled at a later date and put back together without compromising strength.  If it had just been screwed in, taking the screws out and then replacing them in the same hole would weaken the joint the screw created.  

Anyway... I had originally planned on ditching the box spring and just making a platform style bed since it had gotten a little damaged on one corner during the move.  However, when I took the mattress off in order to complete the bed I realized that it was a true box spring (with springs instead of essentially being a platform for the mattress like I thought it was for some reason), I decided to keep it.

I wanted at least six inches clearance underneath the box spring in order to fit storage bins, used 2x4s for the side cleats (what the box spring and mattress sit upon) and added 2 more 2x4s to go across the middle for a little bit extra support.  I would have had three... but I accidentally cut the last 2x4 a wee bit short. The side cleat 2x4s are attached to a 1x10 cut to the length of the mattress.  It is the 1x10 that the bed brackets are attached to... and the bed bracket connects the mattress support to the headboard and footboard.  Does that make sense?  Probably not.  I'm terrible at describing things...

Here are some pics:

(The mattress/boxspring support system consisting of 2x4s and 1x10s)

And there it is finished.  I luuuurrrrrrrrrrve it!  It ended up being raised up a total of 10" off of the floor with 6" of clearance for those under-the-bed plastic totes.  (The 2x4s holding up the mattress add about 3.5")

The only problem is that it's just a smidge too high for little Ozzy to jump up easily.  Actually... the first few times he jumped up no problem but then he must have forgotten it was higher and knocked his legs because now he just whines on the floor until he's picked up and tossed on the bed.

Happy puppy.

Back to the kitchen... I painted the doors going into the basement and the bathroom.  Apparently... I didn't take a before picture... but they looked like this:

That's actually my bedroom door... and I talked about painting it in this post.  I don't remember if I primed them first or not like I did on the bedroom door.  It wasn't like it was that long ago either... jeez... sign of old age.  But instead of the eggshell white I had painted on the bedroom door, I used semi gloss in the same color: Valspar Ultra White.  Additionally... I added a couple of coats of the semi gloss to the bedroom door.  I found that it was getting scuffed and a little dirty and I couldn't just easily wipe it down like I could with a semi-gloss finish.  Here is the after:

Brightens up the kitchen sooooo much! (again... I have since primed over the green paint samples)

Lastly... I repainted Cede's bed.  It was originally painted a creamy white color.

That's actually her in the top pic.  I built this bed for Max in 2011.  It was my first build.  It had since been scribbled on and stained up by my dirty, artistic rugrats.  In February, I started to sand it to repaint it back then... but got busy with other things... so her little bed was looking a little rough.  She's only  going to be in her toddler bed until next spring/summer.  A new bed for Cede is already at the top of the list of summer projects. :)

Anyway... I have nearly a whole gallon left over of Tiffany Blue from when I painted the bathroom in our old house.  So... Cede's bed got 3 coats of it!  (It's the same color that I painted the stools mentioned above.  Unfortunately, the color name is not listed on the gallon.  It is Valspar though, and I ripped a Tiffany ad out of a magazine and got a gallon of the blue that was closest).  

I bought some antiquing glaze at Lowe's and was going to try it out on her bed but, as with lots of other projects, I just haven't gotten around to it yet!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

House Project Goals (Winter 2013-2014)

Right around Halloween/ November 1st I made a list of projects I hope to accomplish over the "winter season."  Essentially... November through about April.  I tucked the list into my planner intending to get it posted here but forgot about it... of course.  So... some of these things I already get to cross off!  Yay!!!

House Project Goals (Winter 2013-2014)

  • Add Attic Insulation 
  • Finish Island (add trim to sides, possibly replace silver legs with wooden ones)
  • Finish my bed
  • Refinish bar stools
  • Refinish pub table
  • Entryway lockers
  • Paint Entryway
  • Put cable TV upstairs
  • Paint kitchen
  • Paint kitchen cabinets (? still deciding if I REALLY want to do this...)
  • Fix garage door opener
  • Add more smoke detectors
  • Final paint and touch ups in living room
  • DIY roman shades in main floor bathroom
  • DIY roman shades in kitchen 
  • Under cabinet lighting install
  • Recaulk bathtub
  • Paint oval baroque mirrors and hang up
  • Add large clock in living room by stairs
  • Paint kitchen side of bathroom door
  • Paint kitchen side of basement door
  • Add 1x3s or trim to bedroom door
  • Repaint Cede's bed
  • Add handlebars to scooter
  • Paint scooter
I'll update this list halfway through winter.  Hopefully there's more to cross off!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Minnesota Winter Prep

And.... I'm almost ready for winter. Today we added over 15" of cellulose insulation to our attic. We had about 3-4" of vermiculite insulation that has probably been there for 60 years. It definitely wasn't enough. We had nasty nasty icicles hanging from our eaves that were dern close to hitting the ground in some spots. Not to mention the fact that it cost us over $1600 in fuel oil to heat the place from mid January to about the end of April. And I am a heat nazi that keeps the house a little on the chilly side. How did previous owners of this house live with it for that long??? 

In June we replaced the old furnace with a more efficient one for natural gas, so that along with the added insulation should hopefully keep our heating costs down to a more manageable level. 

Additionally, most windows will be getting the plastic treatment (not in the kitchen or the downstairs bathroom).

I only managed to get two pics from the day. Callie and I were in charge of loading the bags of cellulose into the blower, my dad was up in the attic (Karl was at work), and Taylor was in charge of keeping an eye on Max and Mercedes and also for being the communicator between us girls outside and my dad in the attic. It only took us a little over an hour to blow in 40 bags.

We could have a blizzard overnight and I would be ok with that. Mercedes still needs a new winter coat though... And both Max and she need snow pants and boots... That will be my task this week. 

Still though.... It should only snow on Christmas. Otherwise I pretty much despise the white stuff.