Tag Archives: Paint

Project Overload

14 Jul

The new place has been unending project overload!

Starting with the yard … it is not really finished as I thought it was. Yes, I have been outside talking to grass seed, trying to will it to grow … and I have a huge patch of weeds growing in rock hard soil where I want there to be grass along the garage … and in the “new flower bed” which appears to have been made of cut-up sod chunks I have grass growing … hmmm. Makes me want to pull a “Fun With Dick & Jane” move …

But I won’t …
And the other problem is the existing flower beds, which are almost entirely filled with purple flowers … and not spaced well so things aren’t growing properly ie. two shrubs are starting to grow branches around large perennial plants. Uh oh. So I need to do some moving … and add some new plants that are not purple LOL. Please someone with a 6 ft diameter Daylily contact me to remove it from your garden LOL. Please. I need instant impact here!
The deck also needed to be stained … the HUGE two tiered deck … which I have completed – finally! But that ate up HUGE amounts of my time.
To make it worse, I have a deadline … a BBQ on the 23rd of July. Yes, next weekend. So this next week I will be a gardening maniac and of course will neglect posting anything LOL.
And we haven’t even begun discussing the interior projects!
Like painting basically the whole house LOL …
Doing a sky mural on Via’s bedroom ceiling …
Finding a new couch and area rug for the living room (this may also include convincing Mr. Somewhat that we DO need a coffee table, and then finding said, perfect coffee table)
Finding two wing chairs for the dining room and making slip covers for them …
Designing and furnishing a playroom in the basement
Finishing the upholstered bed we started building this weekend!
Building storage in Via’s room for clothes, books and toys …
As though that list is not big enough … and I am sure that is not all of it either (and some are multistep, like the play room …)
I just added one this morning while blog-hopping …
I want Chevron stair risers!
Inspired by this dresser from A Step in the Journey (and thank you for the tutorial) — I really want to do my stairs the same way.
In case you don’t know what a riser is … it’s the white part … that, well, “rises” up to the wood tread part you step on …
I have wanted to paint stairs for a long time. The problem is, well, it is a big project. I haven’t bothered to actually count my stairs yet LOL, but there has to be 15 I would guess … Originally years ago I was planning an elaborate geometric stencil but the more I imagined it, the more I realised it was going to be too folky, kind of like a pysanky easter egg … And I never had open to the public stairs to paint, only hidden basement stairs which would not be worth the effort. The new house has a very open staircase to the second floor which is wood and begging for some TLC, so this is my time! Then when I saw the dresser today it hit me – Chevron stripes in a nice neutral would be perfect. And will make me smile every time I come in from the backyard or come out of the bathroom and see them. So it is final. I am going to do it. And I will not consult Mr. Somewhat first. I see him shooting this down immediately. Especially since we have four big patches on the livingroom walls that need to be sanded and painted first … oh, there is so much painting to do!!!
Off to work … on the garden that is …
PS – I have no idea what is going on with the spacing in this post ARGH! It is driving me crazy. I apparently need to upgrade my browser, but who has time! Hopefully I can fix it!

Get on with it …

15 Mar

I often pick the hard road and I don’t know why — especially when it comes to refinishing furniture. I never choose to strip a piece of furniture that is only varnished … No, I always choose to paint over those things for some reason. But when a truly neglected and over-painted piece of furniture comes into my life I always seem to choose to strip it … and often regret it …

Enter Olivia’s dresser … my Mom picked up this 1930’s/40’s maple waterfall dresser for $10 at her local Fall Rumage Sale. Yes, I said $10.

However, it had seen some hard times … I thought that I could revive it by stripping off the horrible paint jobs that it had endured over the years … The top two coats were a patchy navy blue spray paint job and then a sparse attempt at rolling white over it … Ugly. Unfortunately the bad paint job hid many things from me … Like extensive veneer damage. So as I stripped off the gross old paint with my favourite paint stripper, Citristrip, it became evident that while the wood was very beautiful, it was also very damaged. So after all that work, I ended up having to paint it. I LOVE the end result though, it took to some light distressing well and made the veneer damage seem purposeful. I actually plan to distress it even more! I haven’t sealed it still, even though she has been using it for two years … The best part of it all, is the inside of the drawers … I painted them Wilton Blue and they are such a nice pop of colour everytime I open them up! I know there are lots of people who frown upon painting inside drawers, but now it is so easy to find good low VOC or No VOC paint, go for it! Make those drawers sing! Your clothes won’t smell like paint! I promise. Just make sure the drawers are completely dry before putting them back in!

I recently rescued a deadly heavy nightstand from the garbage garage in our townhouse complex and of course, it is thick with paint and I started to think about refinishing it.

I was a little worried about it’s composition. Since it is SOOOOO heavy I was thinking it might be made of MDF. So I started my detective work by taking off the ugly drawer pull to reveal that the wood underneath is nice, solid hardwood … I think it might be Walnut … I was inspired once again to pull out the paint stripper … So off I went to Home Depot … looking for this …

Only to find it wasn’t there! I have used every paint stripper on the shelf at one time or another and Citristrip is IT. Nothing else comes close to being as easy and effective … Plus it is safer for you and the environment. So I had to take the plunge with a new product. I sat there staring and Mr. Somewhat was getting impatient. Do I try an new stripper or do I buy a Heat Gun? He pushed me into trying the “new” environmentally friendly stripper on the shelf – Safe Coat.

The hardest part of paint stripping is the dwell time, how long to leave it on before scrapping it off, hopefully with all your paint. Citristrip made it easy, the paint bubbled up and that meant you were in business! Safe Coat has been less effective … after three hours (the minimum dwell time) there was no bubbling and after 24 hours (the recommended maximum dwell time) there was only a handful of areas bubbling. I started scraping anyway, worried that letting it dry might make things worse for me in the end … And it became very evident this was not ready to go …

It was turning into some gross paste, as you can see. I think I counted 6 layers of paint to come off the outside shell – the ochre, white, royal blue, light lavender, and then probably two more coats of white. Inside the shelves is just one rock hard coat of paint that is STUBORN. It sits the same in my basement right now. I know that I want the paint off, I am just not sure going for try number two with the Safe Coat is worth it … I think that a Heat Gun might be the way to go. I just really want to get this over with!


1 Mar

What little girl doesn’t love glitter? We have been glittering up a storm here the last three days.

Years ago, while in the height of my obsession with wooden toys for Olivia I bought a stack of wooden animal plaques at Michaels. Originally, I was going to paint them all pretty and she would play with them. Unfortunately, I only painted one … well half of it and the rest were shoved in a bag at the back of a cupboard. Lately, Olivia has been resistant to doing any drawing and painting on paper so I have been looking for alternatives … like the giant chalkboard (which is still capturing wonderful drawings from young and old around here and has inspired a blackboard making date with my sister for Sunday).

This past Sunday, faced with bored kids I had the eureka moment to drag out the wooden animals and have them paint and glitter their little hearts out. Most of the animals were around 80 cents a piece, so with the older crowd I am sure this is a cost effective craft, with Olivia, well, she painted 8 of them. But, with painting the front and back and adding glitter on both sides and with extended drying time due to thick paint, we have stretched the project over three days! So in the end, I think it was cost effective and also gave me some down time while she was totally engrossed in glittering. The secret to non-supervised glittering? Glitter glue. Kids can squeeze a little out onto their painting and brush it on with a paint brush. Way cleaner than having them dusting loose glitter all over your house and only sometimes on the painting! They were given instructions on washing their paint brush often, since otherwise the glue would ruin the brush and they did listen, even an almost 4 year old!

Meanwhile, while Mr. Somewhat shopped for dressier shoes for his new job last week I was distracted by glitter myself. Skechers has some ADORABLE little girls sneakers decked out with tatoo inspired images and plenty of glitter and even gems (think be-dazzler!). Too cute NOT to talk about. Aptly called “Twinkle Toes” this line is hard to resistant and I HAD to make Via put a pair on even though we are no way near sneaker wearing weather (it was -35 yesterday with the wind chill!). Of course, she is a size 10 and they don’t come in anything smaller than an 11, but I made her put them on anyway – not that it was a struggle … It went something like “Look at these pretty princess shoes Via!” and she begged to have them. Who wouldn’t? Look at them!

images from Yahoo Shopping

Glitter, hearts and unicorns? Skechers has hit a home-run! They were too big for her but she made her best effort to convince me they weren’t … like running in them … which almost convinced me and then she tripped and fell on her face. So we left without them even though I wish we hadn’t!