Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Trim update: upstairs hallway

Over the past few weeks, I have been re-vamping the trim upstairs. Like most of the trim in this house, it was a peachy-beige color when we moved in. I have slowly been transforming it to white, but it is a tedious process. I have outlined in previous posts how I use a piece of metal along the carpet to protect it from damage. I continued using this technique to get the trim right. I don't use tape because I think it takes too long, but that's a personal preference type of thing.


The stairs were already painted.


Then, I decided to tackle the hallway of doors (this is as you turn right up the stairs).


After (view from guest bedroom)

You can kind of tell in the photos above that I missed one of the doors. This is true, but I just didn't have the time this week and I needed to clean up the house for stuff we have going on this weekend, so it just didn't happen. So, that will be a project for a later post. Probably when I tackle the remaining peach trim upstairs. At this point, the last holdout is the office and the bathroom door, so we are definitely getting there. It's looking so much brighter and cleaner upstairs now. It really made a big difference. At some point, we will get around to repainting the walls in the hallway. I really dislike the color of beige they are right now. I feel like they weigh down the hallway. All in good time, I suppose.

Monday, May 27, 2013

A fresh look for the front door

So, if you read my blog post from yesterday, you are probably wondering what I was working on while J was working on the shed. I had already painted and re-painted the front door, but the trim around it wasn't looking too hot.

There were also some places in need of patching up (caulk and wood filler).

I think the previous owners had tried (unsuccessfully) to paint over some of the trim spots, but they didn't get the color match quite right.

So, in terms of steps of what I did:
1. Caulk and patch the cracks in the door trim.
2. Use liquid deglosser to clean and rough up the paint surface.
3. Prime with Kilz white primer.
4. Paint with exterior paint.

After the priming step:

I had exterior paint color matched to the original manufacturer's paint (which I got from the HOA). For the record, the color looks less peachy in real life than it seems to look like in these photos.

As you can see, it is a much cleaner look and there is no longer any discolorations, or peeling paint, or cracks.

I am super happy as I have been meaning to do this forever and it looks so much better than it did before.

I hope everyone had a fantastic Memorial Day weekend!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Shut the shed door

Happy Memorial Day weekend! I hope all my readers are having a restful and fun holiday. J and I decided to stay in town and get some stuff done around the house and mentally prepare for a busy summer ahead. We also had a fun dinner with J's parents. J offered to help me yesterday and asked if he could do something, so I offered installing a latch on the shed. We had picked up the latch last weekend at Home Depot, but I just never had the time with everything else going on.

Just to give you a picture of what shed I am talking about, this picture was taken last year after my parents helped us clear out the downstairs area. It looks largely the same, except a few more leaves. The shed is on the left. It locks but there is no handle and we don't store anything of value in it (mostly a few yard tools and junk from the previous owners), so we don't keep it locked.

As such, the door kept getting unhinged, which bothered me. I would much rather it shut completely. And for about $3, that goal was achieved.

J installed the black latch such that the door now successfully stays shut!

So, a big thank you to J. It definitely saved me time. I'll get to what I was doing in the meantime in the next post. :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Final balluster post!

Okay guys, second half of "things that were accomplished this weekend." I am finally done the ballusters! I definitely did not imagine that it would take me until May to finish this project when I started it back in December.

Related posts:
Dining room ballusters
Stair ballusters

Anyway, this is the final installment. Since this set was on carpet, I decided to skip the sanding step and use de-glosser and primer on the dowels, which worked very well.


After (1-2 coats of primer, 2-3 coats of semi-gloss - Sherwin Williams):

After the ballusters were completed, I also decided to tackle the door to our bedroom. I had picked up a new oil rubbed bronze door handle from Home Depot recently. So, before painting the door, I removed the old bronze door handle, which made painting easier.

I think the key with painting doors is using a foam roller and then using a small brush to touch up and get into crevices. Since the door was a peach color, I didn't need to prime it first. The Sherwin Williams cabinet and trim paint seems to cling really well without it.

An hour and a half later (I watched Pitch Perfect), the door was done!

I love the way it looks without the peach trim. Now to tackle the other 4 upstairs doors...

It's actually amazing how fresh paint can really brighten up the house. :) So sick of the peach trim.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Spring Cleaning

I actually got quite a few things accomplished this weekend, so I will have a follow up post at some point soon.

One of the things that I tackled was cleaning our deck. I had actually swept and rinsed the deck yesterday before using a deck cleaner on it today. This green algae had attacked the deck this Spring. Actually, I had been seeing this stuff on everything recently.


I got this spray on deck wash from Home Depot that you connect to the garden hose and spray on. You are supposed to leave it for 10 minutes. I also used a scrub brush to put some elbow grease into it (sorry for looking like a hot mess in these photos). Just as an FYI, using elbow grease is much better on decks than power washing, which can damage the wood and make it harder for stains and sealants to work.

You could actually see the algae coming off the wood and being pushed by the brush.

I then rinsed off the deck and let it dry. Admittedly, I didn't get it looking perfect, but it looks a lot better.

See, no green (well, except the parsley). I have thought about staining and sealing it, but that just feels like more work than I would really like to put into it. We'll see.

I also decided to give the shower a deep clean. The grout lines weren't looking too hot.

I first took care of cleaning the grate and pipe, which can get kind of nasty over time.

I then saw this trick on youtube of using duct tape over the grate and then filling up the shower with a bleach solution.

There's water and bleach in the shower (hard to see).

I let it sit for about 2 hours and then let it drain. After it drained, I noticed we had a shower monster lurking in the pipes, so I fished it out. What is a shower monster you ask? Well, it's what happens when you have a female in the household. It's basically a soap-scummed ball of hair, and it's really gross. The best way to fish them out is with a bent hangar. And if you let it go, you will eventually have water draining problems.

After everything had been cleaned and dried out, I sealed the grout and tile again. It's a simple wipe on solution you can pick up in the tile section of home improvement stores and will protect against future mold and mildew.

I have to say, I am pretty tired at this point. Cleaning can be tiring!

We also did some fun things this weekend as well - we saw Star Trek 2 (awesome) and saw some friends on Saturday. And this morning, we made it to church again, which was good (since it's been a few weeks). I hope you all had great weekends!