Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Temporary Insanity

If you read my post from the other day, you saw that the boys got a lot done in the yard. While they worked and toiled in the sun, though, Beth and I decided to tackle the pink bathroom. Realizing that we are not yet ready to make any major changes (such as tearing out walls and replacing the tile altogether), we decided to take a Pinterest Challenge and attempt a temporary fix. This Pin sent us to the blog So Much Jane and Eugene, where they had a similarly outdated tile situation.

We followed the instructions and grabbed a quart of Zinsser Oil Based Primer and some paint thinner (for the brushes) and headed into the cramped quarters.

First, Beth edged and I used a mini roller to paint the primer directly to the tile. Because they are walls and they're in a bathroom that the shower isn't frequently used in, we felt pretty safe. The primer went on really well and dried pretty quickly. While we worked (though they didn't make it in the pictures) were two fans and the vent fan for the bathroom going on full speed. Oil based paints are full of fumes and in such a small area, they can be really strong, so if you decide to try this, be careful!

Beth and I waited the hour that the can suggested for drying time, then headed back in with paint. We used the same can of Behr Falling Snow Semi Gloss that I used on the kitchen cabinets. It went on smooth and covered really well. One good coat around the room left it feeling like a breath of fresh air.

Unfortunately, the tile looked so nice that my scraped and patched walls couldn't put up the fight for fanciness, so I headed back to Home Depot and grabbed a quart of Classic Silver. It seemed like a nice go-to color with the white in a room this size. It really classed up the place.

See how clean it looks? A large part of that is reflected light. If you have yellow-y walls, your light is going to make the space look really dingy. The last thing you want in a guest bathroom is for it to look gross and unkempt. I also replaced the toilet seat because the old one had seen better days. It makes the toilet look brand new and only cost $6!

Once the walls had been painted, though, something still seemed off. There was still some pink that hadn't been slain, but where was it? We are waiting to do the bathtub and bath surround until we can replace the tile (due to all the direct water contact), but they were being hidden behind a nice white shower curtain. Oh wait, there it is. There's the pink.

These couple little hex tiles were hanging out on the ground, ruining my thang, so I figured what the heck? I'll paint them too. The worst that happens is that the paint comes off, and the best thing would be for it to stay till they get taken out. Either way, it didn't hurt anything, so I grabbed a small craft brush, but on a coat of primer, then of the same gray paint as I used on the walls. Bam!

Nice, eh? So yeah, it's a temporary fix, but at least it doesn't feel like you're literally walking into the belly of the beast anymore. With a couple of accessories, it almost looks like it was on purpose!

Kinda swanky, if I do say so myself. It even had Scott saying it didn't look too shabby, which is an awesome thing as well. One more time, just for reference.

(Hi Mary!)
Not bad for two days, $25 worth of paint, a $6 toilet seat and a little elbow grease (which should clean off that semi-gloss pretty well, lol)!

Would you use this bathroom? I know I would!

TEASER: We are putting on the door handles in the kitchen! Keep checking out the blog to see them soon!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Clear the Path

When we moved in, the back porch was a little overgrown, but the path out to the yard looked like this (after it had been cleared).

It wasn't too bad, but it was a little narrow and felt secluded from the rest of the yard. We decided to get our hands dirty and use some of the wood that we salvaged from the flower beds (which we are in the process of taking out) and make the path a little wider and more welcoming.

First, we cleared as much plant life and wood chips from the path as we could. We transplanted anything we thought was cool or pretty to other parts of the flowerbed, and are going to compost  everything else.

As you can see, Sam wasn't much help in the process. I suppose she protected the 6ft boards that we cut for the path?

Scott then put down leveling sand in the path. It took about 10 bags for a 6ft by 13ft area.

The boards were placed on top and snugged into the ground to set them. David then swept more sand between the boards to help hold them in place.

When it was all said and done, the path looked awesome! To make it even better, while the boys were working on the path itself, Beth and I were spray painting our old plastic table with some plastic-safe spray paint to brighten up the porch.

So when we put it all together, it really felt like an outdoor entertaining space. (The green lanterns that are lining the path are actually the lanterns we used as center pieces for our wedding!)

As a bonus, Scott was able to use the old pavers from the path as a nice base for his grill. It went from this.

To this.

I even found some of my old planters I had gotten at Target two years ago and added even more color.

We really enjoy sitting outside now! The pups seem to like it, too, which makes us happy. Nothing like enjoying what's left of Summer!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Color of the Sun! IT BURNS!

The front room before had been, well, a little overpowering.

Picking a color to cover it, though, was not an easy task. Though the front room is well lit due to the nice big window, the hallway that is attached is not.

So I needed to find something that was going to look good in both direct light and shadow, but was calming and bright at the same time. First, I tried, Behr's Silver Setting ,a nice grey-blue, on all the walls, but unfortunately, it looked a little more purple than we had initially hoped.

It was quickly vetoed and swapped for something more green, Behr's Dynasty Celadon (who thinks up these names?!). This seemed to fit better, also, due to the fact that the window overlooks so much natural growth.

In the end, it turned out fantastic! The whole room is great to spend time in and really has a nice bright open feel. The hallway is also super swanky now, too (and oddly looks blue in the corridor and green in the main room!).

Am I right? Have you ever had issues picking a wall color? What did you end up with. My method is to try a sample in the darkest, lightest, and most neutral parts of the room first. What's yours? Let me know in the comments!

Friday, July 26, 2013

He Was Such a Fungi!

In case you were wondering, no, I haven't been able to keep my paws off the awfulness that is the pink bathroom. It sits in wait down the hallway and STABS your eyes with it's pinkness when you walk by it. It's a bit of an eye sore.

So I got a hankerin' for some reno-action and decided to paint the exposed walls of the bathroom white to help get rid of that eerie feeling that's given off by the reflected brown paint. First, though, I had to take down the giant cabinet above the toilet. It was way too big for the space and looked old and outdated, so it needed to go. We are planning on eventually replacing it with some floating shelves, so I knew it needed to happen anyway.

So I opened the doors and saw that there were eight screws holding it to the wall. With one shoulder under one of the shelves and the other hand working the drill, I started what I believed would be an easy removal. This was not the case. Seven of the eight screws were only attached to the drywall, not a stud, which meant many of them sat spinning for a while before I realized that no progress was being made.

Finally I decided to use a little more muscle and got out the hammer. I hooked the hammer head behind that little strip at the very top of the cabinet and yanked out. The cabinet swung off the wall! The only thing holding it up was one screw in a stud! I unscrewed the one screw and bam! Job completed!

This is the top of the cabinet once it came down. It explains a lot of things

Without the cabinet up, I was able to start painting! Right? Wrong.

Because behind the terrible cabinet lay a terrible secret: wallpaper. They had wallpapered up to the back of it, but not behind it. They had also done such a good job on the rest of the bathroom that this is the first I'd seen of it. This was suddenly becoming more involved.

So I started the wallpaper removal process, which I have done many times before, but was thwarted again.

That stuff right on top of the tile? That's mold. Fortunately, after researching, I found that it wasn't black mold, but a common mold that forms in dark, moist areas (like bathrooms) on the surface areas when there is organic matter present. The wallpaper had been put on top of a wall that had been painted with acrylic paint, so the paper itself was moldy, but not the wall. This meant that once it had been dealt with properly, we could continue to work on the bathroom (cautiously) without tearing out all the drywall.

Covered in safety, I headed in with my bleach and Box of Rags.

And scrubbed the ba-Jesus out of that wall. I used straight bleach and continued to scrub until the wall looked like this.

Since that was taken care of, I then started to take down the paper on the other side of the bathroom. At this point, the top layer of the paper had already come down, so I was just left with getting the backing off and exposing the painted wall behind it.

For this, my weapons of choice are a bottle from the dollar store filled with water, and a kitchen scraper. The water will get the paper soggy with no fumes while the scraper is sharp enough to get under the paper, but not damage the wall. Just wet the wall (Not damp, wet. Soak that SOB!).

Then scrape away at the areas that appear to be really saturated.

Eventually, your bathtub will look like this.

But your wall will look like this.

Which is an improvement over this.

Have you had any issues with mold in your home? Or wallpaper? Sometimes one is just as bad as the other! Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What's Gray and White and Better All Over?

We realize it's been a while since there has been an update, but we had a good reason. WE MOVED INTO THE HOUSE. It has taken some time, a couple days, and some really good friends, but a majority of our (what feels like) enormous amount of stuff is now in our new home. Though it's mostly just boxes sitting on the floor for the time being, it makes the place feel more like home with our couch in the living room and our bed in the bedroom.

The projects that we've been working on have also been keeping us busy. This post is going to be a bit long. The first thing we tackled was the kitchen.

(Sorry about the picture quality. My nice camera is still packed up!)

The night after we signed (which was Thursday at 5pm in case you were wondering), we high-tailed it over to our new abode and I immediately asked Scott to start taking down the cabinet doors. Two of our friends were nice enough to come over and help us clean and wipe down the cabinets. A days worth of work for one person turned into a couple hours for three people (Scott may have fallen asleep, lol).

Between the three of us, we pulled up so many sunflowers, too!

So in the end, we were left with this.

The next day, three friends helped me run some steel wool over the cabinets and their doors before we were able to start painting. We were a little worried that the paint wouldn't stick to the doors since they had previously been stained, but the steel wool really helped with adhesion. I used one door as a guinea pig for some liquid de-glosser, but was not impressed. By the end of day two, we were lookin' pretty good.

The first coat of paint went on pretty smoothly. The white looked fantastic on the top, but the gray bottoms looked....white. Really white. If anything, it looked like they were in shadow. The color sample looked correct in any other room of the house, just not in the kitchen. The direct light was washing it out and making it look waaaay too light.

 Womp Womp. So sad. So I went to Home Depot (for probably the 5th time that day) and had it retinted. Thinking that tinting had done the trick, I returned home and made a second attempt.

And failed.

The third trip to Home Depot involved a hardcore session of, "USE ALL THE TINT" that finished the job. I came home and applied yet another coat. Success!

The corrected gray is on the right. This is a terrible picture, but I swear, it's got more UMPH. So, a couple more coats later, and we're looking pretty good on the color.

The handles that we found are actually pretty awesome, too. Scott and I wandered into Target where we found that they sell cabinet hardware (who knew?!). Not only do they sell them, but their prices are some of the best we've seen.

We were really drawn to these guys so we picked up two packs and headed home. We still need a couple more, but that's all they had, so we're ordering online. Scott isn't a fan of knobs because, "They always end up loose", and I tend to agree. The handles were a great alternative. These will be a nice statement, especially since the kitchen is large enough to not feel crowded by this type of hardware.

Because we are doing this all on a small budget, we're trying to reuse as much as we can. Obviously, the cabinets that we are using are the wooden ones that came with the house. They didn't come with any handles, so those had to be purchased, but they did come with hinges.

They were in good working order, so I decided to just reuse them for the makeover. Unfortunately, they weren't the right color to match the handles we had picked out. This is pretty easily fixed.

First, I gave them a good scrub down. A lot of them had grime and spider webs on them that were too gross to paint over. Once they were web-free and dried, I laid them out on cardboard in the garage and cracked the door open. I would have done this step outside or with the door completely open, but it's been raining in Kentucky in hour intervals for weeks, so I didn't like my chances.

I am also reusing the screws, so I just punched them through the cardboard enough to get a coat of paint on the heads of the screws (since that's the only part that will show). That's them with the first coat!

Here are the hinges.

Lookin' sexy after three coats. If you do paint hinges, make sure that you paint both sides and the portion of the axis itself that is hidden when the hinge is opened or closed. Cover all your bases!

So that is where we are at right now. We aren't quite done, and there are going to be a lot of posts this week due to all the process, but we are certainly making headway. Scott and I love the way that everything is turning out, and we were even more excited to enjoy all this on our one year wedding anniversary (Which was Sunday, the 21st).

Have you ever done a low budget makeover? How did it go? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wrap it Up

As we all know, the worst part of moving is packing all of our things. Not only is it time consuming, but it also brings to light just how much STUFF you have! I've been working for a couple hours a week for the past couple weeks (since our offer was accepted on the house) wrapping, taping, donating, and generally trying to organize our things into a transportable pile for the new house.

Scott and I met, grew to know each other, and got engaged over craft beer. It's kind of our thing. One of our rituals for a couple of years involved going to Pazzo's Pint Night, a place right next to the University of Kentucky (where we both graduated). This event took place every Wednesday and involved one pitcher and two unique glasses for a specific craft beer that they would have on tap. The glasses were yours to bring home with you when you finished the pitcher. As you can imagine, we have....a couple....glasses.

That's not true. We have a fully stocked barware set with everything from tulip pint glasses to a two liter boot from Spaten. You name the beer, we have the glass. We even have some we don't use often because they are a little too breakable and some we don't have out at all because they are specific to a holiday. To be honest, we've never counter the amount of glasses we have. If you can imagine once a week for 3 years, though, the 156 number is pretty close. Especially since I moved in with Scott and our collections were combined.

I know, I forgot to get a lot of these shots before I started. Trust me, though, this is progress!

So besides packing massive amounts of glass, I've also been finding new cool ways to transport softer goods. Space Bags seem a bit too good to be true for people who are moving, but they aren't. They totally hold up to the hype and are 100% awesome! I was able to fit the bed linens for the guest and master bedrooms into this guy.

This is Leels' surprised face.

And they're super fun, too. I can imagine that this would be a step that kids would enjoy in the moving process if you have any. There is also one full of all the pillows and blankets from the livingroom!

The part of the process that nobody enjoys, though, is spackling (As fun a word as it is to say!). Filling all those little holes really makes you realize just how much you had hanging on the walls! I ended up with the spackle that is pink, but turns white when it's dry. To be honest, it was the cheapest one I could find. I don't really need the color change notification of dryness to get the job done, but I suppose it's just an extra perk.

Indicated in orange is all dried spackle on our frame wall!

During all of this, I always had a bag or box waiting at around for things that were in good shape, but just needed to be donated. After two pretty full carloads, Goodwill now officially is one fish tank and a full collection of t-shirts more stocked than it was before we started!
We also heard back from our loan officer and he says....WE'RE DONE! No more paperwork to turn into him, no more signing, scanning, and e-mailing documents! Huzzah! It's nice to know that the only thing we're waiting on is a closing date. Having all the information in and settled does make us feel like this, though.

(Speaking of anxious, the girls are beginning to get suspicious. Sam and Leels have been following me from room to room as I spackle, giving me sad puppy faces the entire time. They know something is up, but they haven't figured out what yet. Thankfully, they seem to adjust well to new surroundings, so we have a plan to acquaint them to the new house when we move in. Till then, We just have to be a guilty pup parents.)

"Hey momma, need help?"

What was the worst part of your last move? Did you lose any boxes or get your moving truck stuck in a ditch (That may have happened once in my past....in the snow....oops!). Let us know in the comments!

P.S.- Want to see what I'm pinning for the new house? Look to the right side of the screen under the blog menus and you can hover over my latest pins to get ideas, tips, and your own PINspiration!