Painting Exterior Lights the Lazy Way Thursday, Jul 16 2009 

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Delightful Dwelling

I had to participate in A Soft Place to Land’s DIY day. Check out my DIY project and then head on over to ASPTL and join in on the fun.

 DIY Day @ ASPTL

 

When I posted about our outside house makeover here and here, I left out much info. on how I revamped our outside lights on each side of the garage. They were probably gold originally and then had been painted white somewhere along the way. So here’s what I started with.(And yes it’s a bad photo, sorry!)

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I decided when we painted the shutters and garage trim black that the lights needed a makeover too. So it was time to break out the spray paint again. However, hubby did not want to take the lights down and have to worry about getting them back on right and making sure they didn’t leak. Therefore, I decided to spray paint them the lazy way and leave the lights still mounted to the house while I painted them.  Here’s how I did it.

1. Remove top of light and glass inserts. This was pretty easy, just a few screws holding the top in place and hubby carefully lifted out the glass panels.

2. Remove lightbulb and tape of inside of light where the light goes. Spray paint and electricity don’t mix so well so keep paint out of there.

3. Use newspaper, plastic bags, whatever you have on hand to cover the side of the house around the light. Spray paint on light good, spray paint all over the house, bad. I used a thin plastic drop cloth on the first light, but I found newspaper worked much better. Use painters tape, masking tape, packing tape, again whatever you have on hand to tape the paper/plastic to the house around the light. Carefully tear paper and use tape to mark off around the base of the light. This can be tricky because of all the curves.

(Imagine picture of light surrounded by newspaper and tape here. I should have taken more photos of the process, sorry, I’m trying to be better about that!)

4. Stand carefully on ladder if lights are up high and get going with the spraying. I used black satin Rustoleum paint. Put top cover of light(that was removed) on cardboard or dropcloth and paint that also using light even coats.

5. After a couple coats of paint let everything dry and remove plastic and newspaper from house so neighbors will stop staring at you. Reinsert lightbulb and top of light. Stand back and admire your work.

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I know this won’t work for all types of lights and if you to remove the light that’s fine too. But if you have these blah builder grade lights, you can change the color and do it the lazy way like me.

Weekend Projects Part 3 Thursday, Jul 9 2009 

Ok this one isn’t really a project, just a small change. I had bought a table runner at Old Time Pottery and while I liked the fabric and design, the color was a little dark.

Then I was at Target on Friday and I found another runner that pulled in the lighter tans and creams as well as the darker browns so I bought it. I think it was $14.99. Luckily I still have thr receipt for the first runner, so it’s being returned to Old Time Pottery. I also visited World Market and snagged the two white and green candle holders on clearance for $2. I still need to add some candles, but you get the idea. I still have some fussing to do with the centerpiece, I may be putting a lantern in its place, or a different vase. Well just have to see. But here it is how it looks  right now:

I’m not sure what happened the night after I added this new runner, but I guess the cats were chasing each other or fighting on the table, because this is how it looked Monday morning:

As long as nothing breaks, we’re still good. I guess it’s good practice for any future kiddos that might come along. So that’s what I did over the weekend. I already have plans for this coming weekend that involve doorknobs and spray paint, so we’ll see what happens next.

Weekend Projects Part 2 Thursday, Jul 9 2009 

I’m back with the next change I made over the weekend. The first part of this mini project was free, it just required some superhuman effort and some hubby help. All we did was some minor furniture rearrangement. Previously, the TV cabinet was in the corner. I never liked it there because it blocked the window and I like as much natural light into a room as possible. Unfortunately, the thing weighs a ton. And it has a heavy TV in it. And a DVD player and stereo equipment. And stacks of movies and CDs in the bottom. Well, taking all that out and unhooking all the wires is a great big pain. So we huffed and puffed and shoved that big boy over along the wall.  The couches were much easier, just a little tweaking there.

Here’s how everything was before:

And the new arrangement that’s more straight on:

But there’s something else different there. What else has changed between the before and after picture? One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn’t belong…..Anyone else remember that from Sesame Street? There are actually five  things different that I see, can anyone find all the differences between the first and second photo?

I’ll give you a hint on the first and biggest which is my  new area rug! I found it at Old Time Pottery for $32. I wasn’t planning on buying a rug for there yet, but I happened to find this one on sale and it was the only green one left.

It’s amazing how simply a new furniture arrangemet can change a room and it’s a great free way to have a mini room makeover. So give it a try. Pull your furniture out from the walls, switch your couches and chairs around, and give a new look a try. So that’s part 2 of my weekend updates. Go here for part 3 with some changes to my dining room table.

Weekend Projects Part 1 Wednesday, Jul 8 2009 

Right after I posted this on Wednesday, I read about the DIY party on A Soft Place to Land. So I’m ready to join in with this post and a couple others of various weekend projects I had going on.

I had several projects over the long weekend to spruce up and decorate the house. The biggest project was painting our headboard. Our headboard is a hand me down we’ve had since we got married. Here’s the blah wood before shot:

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Then after applying a coat of good old Kilz oil based primer and two coats of Behr touch of cream laytex paint I moved the new headboard back inside to show off it’s transformation. I also added our new Shabby Chic bedding from Target, a bit of a splurge (anything over $20 is usually a splurge to me though), but our old bedspread was falling apart and had so many rips in it from kitty claws.  So with all that here’s the cottage look after:

Even the dresser got a little facelift. I added some new handles from Target ($9.99 for a pack of six.) I’m still contemplating painting it as well. Maybe a soft tan color to pick up the color from the comforter.  What do you think?

So that’s part one of the projects I had going on around the house. Go here for part two of my weekend project about furniture arranging and check out my side bar for links to more projects. Thanks for visiting and be sure to check out the DIY party from ASPTL.

 DIY Day @ ASPTL

Weekend Finds Tuesday, Jun 30 2009 

For Christmas gifts, I received a couple giftcards to Michael’s. I don’t shop there too often since I usually go to Archiver’s for my scrapbooking needs and I don’t really do many other crafts. I decided to go by there Sunday to see if I could find anything fun.

First I found this cute little basket with a handle. It matches the color of my bedroom so I am using it to store the TV remotes. However, I plan to ditch the TV at some point so then I may put the basket in the bathroom to hold soaps and other goodies. (You can see a picture of my hubby in the background holding one of our cats. Aren’t they too cute?)

I also decided to purchase this fun vase and plant arrangement to decorate the fireplace. I love the vase, but I think the fake plant inside might be a bit too wild for what I was after. I’ll let it sit there awhile before I decide whether to keep it or take it back. I wanted something a little more straight and structured without all the leaves and stalks flowing everywhere.

Finally, I came across a few scrapbook goodies to buy. The paper was on clearance for 49 cents, the prima flowers were also clearanced for $1.99. I don’t remember how much the Making Memories stickers were, but they had all these fun vintage embellishments in this line. The stickers have little words and phrases on them.

Did anyone else have any great finds this weekend? I also lucked out at Old Navy and got 3 shirts and a pair of shorts for $27. I had a giftcard for there too (I have sooo many giftcards!) so I only paid $1.30. Can’t beat that.

Show Us Where You Live Friday-Master Bedroom Friday, Jun 26 2009 

Kelly’s Korner has a weekly “show us where you live” party to show photos of your home. Today’s room is the master bedroom. I really wish mine was finished before I posted this pictures for all to see, but here’s the work in progress:

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(The room looks really green here, but the color is more like the first two photos show. This is before I added the swag on the wall.)

On the to do list:

1. Paint furniture. Either white or dark brown. Or tan. I don’t know, I can’t decide. I’m thinking white with dark bronze colored hardware.

2. Paint or ditch headboard. I could paint the one we have or make my own fabric one. I’m leaning towards the fabric one.

3. New bedspread. I like the colors of the one I have, but it’s falling apart and I want something without all the blocks like this one has.

4. New curtains. Ditch the scarf and add some real curtains.

5. Banish the TV from the room. We have this monster old TV in the room that needs to go. We also don’t have cable or sattelite(we’re too cheap) so we have these lovely rabbit ears that are a bit of an eyesore. More than a bit.

6. Rearrange the furniture? This is a maybe. I’ve considered putting the head of the bed under the window, but I don’t want to block too much of the window. There isn’t really any other way to arrange things other than that and how it is now.

All ideas and tips are much appreciated. Hopefully, I’ll have some “after” photos to post soon.

***Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for an area rug from CSN rugs***

Contest goes until Wednesday at noon.

Pillows, and Curtains, and Cats, Oh My! Monday, Jun 22 2009 

I’ve been searching for curtains for awhile and not having much luck finding the color I want and the price I can afford. I visited Old Time Pottery on Thursday and came across some tan colored curtains for $12.99 so I grabbed those along with some silk hydrangeas (only 88 cents!) and a nice table runner for $5.99. So Saturday’s goal became hanging curtains. The goal became a little put off after I went to Wal-Mart in the morning and found some flowers on clearance. So I ended up buying some and by the time I got home it was getting very hot outside.After planting the flowers in ninety degree weather with what felt like 200% humidity and losing about 2 pounds of sweat, it was time to hang curtains.

Here’s a reminder of what my living room looked like before with the burgundy curtains which were full of dust because I hung them up there 4 years ago and haven’t touched them since. Eww!

I pulled open the first package of curtains. I turned around to take down the curtain rod and when I turned back around, I found that my new curtains had received Emma’s seal of approval.

The real fun began when the old curtains came down. They were instantly transformed into a cat playground. There were cats sliding, pouncing, and burrowing underneath the sheer curtains. I think they were a little sad when I took them away.

I know I broke all the designer rules, but I didn’t know about the designer rules on hanging curtains when we first put up these curtain rods 4 years ago. Now I know that you should hang them high and wide so the windows and room look bigger. We already have massively tall ceilings, so I’m not too worried about the height. I would like to move them up at some point, but then I will have to add a strip of fabric or something to the bottom or the curtains will be too short. Right now they are the perfect length. I also would like to spray paint the curtain rods black, but that will wait until another day.

So here they are in their rebel state so all the designers can go tsk,tsk. (Just kidding.)

And my wonderful mother-in-law was nice enough to sew some pillow covers for my old couch pillows using a fun paisley print fabric from Joann’s. It was on sale and I had an extra 10% off coupon so the fabric ending up costing around $14 w/ tax for one yard.

The other pillow, the cream one with the brown leaves/ivy pattern I found at Garden Ridge. I love the lighter colors, I think they help brighten up the room.

The final part of my weekend mini-home makeover was adding this table runner. I’m still a little unsure on the color. I love the design and the length, but I wanted something lighter in a cream or green color. So the runner might be going back. The flowers I switched out with the red flowers I had in thier previously.

Here’s the before of my dining room:

 

And the after:

So now I just need hubby to help me rearrange the furniture in the living room. I’ve never been crazy about the placement of the entertainment center where it is. It blocks too much of the window. I also am still on the hunt for a cheap rug for either the living room or dining room. It’s time for the one in the dining room to go. So stay tuned for more updates.

Mission Accomplished Tuesday, Jun 16 2009 

Over the weekend we finished up “Project Curb Appeal.”  After another long weekend of scraping, painting,  caulking, and more painting along with trips back and forth to Home Depot (thank goodness it’s close by) we are done with our goal to spruce up the outside of our house. There were some issues along the way like having to repaint the trim because I painted it black and hated it and had to repaint it white.  But now it is all done and I can drive up to our house and think how pretty it looks.

Thanks to everyone for their ideas and opinions on what colors to use. We are very pleased with the result. Or at least I am, I don’t know if hubby cares too much one way or the other as long as I’m happy.  =)

Here’s a reminder of the before with the faded shutters, dated neon green house numbers, overgrown bushes(there are windows back there!) and peeling door and garage paint.

And the spruced up after (pictures are a little off in color, I took them at 8:00 last night after I finished painting and I was losing daylight.):

The bushes got a nice trim although hubby is banned from trimming the burning bushes anymore. I trimmed the one of the left and he did the one on the right(poor bush.) They grow very fast though so hopefully next year it will look alright.

The trim around the garage was replaced and painted black. We took off the tops of the lights on each side of the garage door and removed the glass panels and lightbulb. I spray painted the tops of the lights and painted the rest of the lights without removing them from the house! It was tricky, but I taped plastic around the lights to cover the garage while I was spraying them with black Rustoleum. I only got a little bit of black paint on the brick.

I posted earlier about how I spray painted the shutters. Here’s the post on that.

One of the biggest changes and easiest was putting up different house numbers. I bought the plaque at Home Depot for $25 and the numbers were $5.99 each I believe. The plaque looks so much more elegant the the cheapo green reflective plastic numbers we had before. I wish I had replaced them 4 years ago!

And finally the front door. I used Behr semi-gloss Sly Fox to paint the door and the sidelights. I first painted the trim around the door and windows black, but it looked awful. So I painted them one more time for the last time! (I had already primed them with one coat primer, then added two coats black, and now three coats of white paint.)

We bought a new storm door because ours was about to fall apart and didn’t close right. This one has a screen that rolls up inside of the top of the door. So you can have it all glass like it is now or roll the screen down and have a door with the screen any size you want. We are hoping this well help keep the door from getting too hot since that may have cause our previous front door to warp in just two years. We’re not really sure since steel doors aren’t supposed to warp at all. A nice black antique iron style doormat(it’s really rubber) adds the final touch. It was $9.99 from Garden Rige.

We added several more flowers to try and brighten up the front. Hubby was nice enough to plant those for me along with 6 other bushes along the sides and back of the house. I don’t remember what the yellow flowers are, but the purplish bush is called “wine and roses.” It has bright pink flowers. Everything looks a little scraggly right now, but they will fill in eventually.

So that’s our first before and after and we will have many more to share as we continue on down the road of home improvement. A road that never ends.

Be sure to check out more outdoor and garden projects by visiting or joining the Garden Party on A Soft Place to Land.

 

 
 

 

Project Curb Appeal is Underway Tuesday, Jun 9 2009 

We spent most of the past weekend working on “Project Curb Appeal.”   After some major bush trimming we set to work on changing the color of those horribly faded green shutters.  After researching it online, I found most people said not to paint vinyl shutters or if you did to use some kind of special expensive paint I’ve never heard of. Well I figured spray paint can be used on about anything and worse case, the shutters are only $40 a pair if I had to replace them. So I decided to go for it. Here’s how it all worked out.

1. First have hubby or other significant male other with muscles rip shutters off house. Or summon your woman power and do it yourself. Ours were attached with plastic screws and pulled off fairly easily. Don’t worry if you break any of the screws, Home Depot and Lowe’s sell replacements next to the vinyl shutters they sell.

2. Watch for wasps and other critters living behind shutters Run and scream after hubby tells you to move “Now!” while wasps fly out after you disturbed their nest. Spray wasps with bug killer and watch them flop to the ground.

3. Clean off shutters. I used a bucket of water with a little Dawn mixed in to get all the dirt and gunk off. Wait for shutters to dry completely.

4. Break out the spray paint. I used some  black rustoleum spray paint that said it would stick to vinyl for the shutters. The can didn’t list vinyl as an acceptable surface, but a little pamplet next to the spay paint did say it could be used on vinyl. The can has a nice trigger too so no sore fingers from painting.   That paint is some nasty stuff though. I probably should have worn a mask or something, because it really hangs in the air and travels. I had it all over my feet and my throat hurt and I was coughing afterward. It’s incredibly sticky too, my flip flops were sticking to the floor.

5. Apply even thin coats and allow a few minutes to dry between coats. I used 3 cans on paint on 4 shutters so if you have a lot of shutters, this could start to get a little expensive since I think the paint was $6 a can. But I was very happy with the end result.

 

Then it was time to work on the trim around the garage that was rotted on either side of the door opening.

After another trip to Home Depot, we left with 3 cans of paint and 2-2×8 boards for the garage. Hubby ripped off the trim on the side of the garage, I scraped silicone  caulk off the sides while he cut the boards down to fit.  When he held them up to check that they fit, we discovered that they weren’t as wide as the old boards had been. A 2×8 measures 7-1/4″ in width, but the old boards were 7-1/2″ wide. So I’m not sure what kind of lumber they were using before, but we will have a little bit of green paint and caulk that shows because the boards are not as wide.

I primed the boards and then hubby put them up. He got a little carried away with the screws and I had to remind him that you don’t needs as many screws as compared to nails. He added fresh caulk all around the edges. The caulk says to let it dry for 7-14 days before painting, or until it dries clear. We are hoping that is sooner than 7-14 days so I can get that trim painted all the way. Now it is the old green color on top and white primer on the sides.

The final project of the weekend was painting the front door.  We had to replace the front door last week because our old one was warped. Steel doors aren’t supposed to do that and it was only 2 years old, but luckily they refunded us our money when we brought back the old, warped door.

I found a nice red color called Sly Fox at Home Depot. It’s not too bright and not too orangey either. It’s an exterior semi-gloss by Behr. I knew red often takes many, many coats of paint, so I was pleasantly surprised when it only needed three coats. The last coat was  more of touch-up, the first two coats covered it pretty thoroughly.

I just need to touch up a little around the knob and deadbolt.

So later this week we have to scrape paint on the outside sidelights on each side of the door, add more caulk, then paint away the outside. I’m still trying to decide if I want to do white or red on either side of the door. I guess I’ll prime and see if I like it white, if not then it also becomes red.

 

Shutter Shenanigans Friday, Jun 5 2009 

Ok everyone, I need your help again. Our front door was warped so we replaced it. The orignal door was green like everything else. We are going to replace the shutters because they are so faded and the trim around the garage is rotting so that has to go also. So I have the opportunity to change the colors of everything if I want. I just need help figuring out which colors. My hubby likes it all with the green, but I kinda like the red or the red/black combo.

The door can be pretty much any color but black because it bakes in the afternoon sun and I don’t want anything too dark. Shutters are limited to stock colors or black, white, blue, dark red, burgundy, or dark green.

Here’s our house now: (Please ignore the overgrown bushes, that’s on hubby’s honey-do list to trim them back. I sooo wish the previous owners hadn’t planted these huge bushes that block the windows and overtake the walkway.)

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Here it is how it would look with newer, brighter green shutters and door:(The green rectangle to the left of the garage is where our ugly green house numbers are, they are also on the list to be replaced.)

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Or red shutters, door, and garage trim(trim is black is this picture, but would match the shutters)

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Or black shutters and red door:

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In the last two pictures, I also changed the color of the lights on either side of the garage from white to black. I may try to paint them or else they are getting changed out as well.

Here’s a few other close up pictures if that helps:

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