painting things

this rocks

i already hate myself for this post title. but this is a rocking chair and it does in fact rock.
i got it for free two long years ago in brewster the day after a local thrift store had a yard sale and put a big free sign out for everything left behind. i attempted to make it over the following spring, but somehow it totally fell off my radar and has been sitting in the garage collecting dust ever since.
here it is way back when i initially sanded it.

and here it is after a coat or two of yucky grey spray paint. this is how it looked last week when i dug it out of the garage. i am hopeless with spray paint.  i find it impossible to work with. its drippy and bubbly and never covers well. i’m clearly doing something fundamentally wrong.

so i grabbed the leftover grey (wickham grey by benjamin moore) that we painted the tv room with and  started over. on the bottom i used plain old white that we use for trim. it took two coats. i chipped away over the course of 3 or 4 nights after dane went to bed. i had to sand the top a bit after the first coat because the spray paint underneath had bubbled and it was noticeably bumpy. other than that, it was a really easy job.

dane test drove it. it went well.

and speaking of that kid, he officially hit the 18 month mark last week. he’s huge.

he’s so fun & happy. he is just killing us lately. he gets everything. when he does something funny that makes us laugh, he’ll keep doing it. he is picking up new words every day.. though he still favors “ball” and “more”. those two words get him pretty far! sometimes he’ll just randomly say a bunch of words together like “mumma dadda up down”. so funny. he is also doing this hilarious thing where he runs around in circles and makes himself dizzy. i don’t know where he learned that but its unbearably cute.

he wants to play outside even after it gets dark. its been a perfect fall with him, we are so lucky. i dread the day the sun sets before we get home from work.. sadly, i don’t think its far!

feeling ready

i’m totally ready/desperate to start doing some stuff around the house. the summer, like every summer, was go go go but finally the back-to school-season is sinking in and i want to be productive and make lists and buy stuff and fix stuff… we’re still so busy, but i’ve been game-planning and poking around pinterest and becoming obsessed with certain “concepts” for both houses but mostly our home house. we stuck around this weekend (meaning, we did not go to brewster) and it felt good to get some things around the house somewhat organized.

i’m thinking that we really need to start getting after some of the furniture that we (i) have been hoarding and planning to makeover, because once its too cold to hangout in the garage and let things air-dry outside, all bets are off.

i’m going to try my hand at this “paint-dipped” fad.




just seems like such a simple way to make old furniture look interesting. there is this rocking chair that has been sitting in my garage forever.. i started spray painting it just after dane was born… so, well over a year. i’d like to finally wrap that project up this week!

in other news, dane hit the 18 month mark last week! unbelievable. more pics to come.

hello yellow

in a few words…
new garden. needs some time to grow. dying shrub. needs to go (rhyming => delightfully unintentional).
old black door.

painted it.

old pot.

also painted.
a can of primer.

new yellow door.

playing in the ‘hood.

 love our ‘hood.

so does he.

in review:

you like?

also, dane ate dirt. he literally ate the soil.

front door painting plans

we have been spending a little time working on the curb-appeal of our house. we inherited, for the most part, a beautiful landscape. the brushy greens along the side of our front yard are so pretty and low maintenance.. but the front was a different story. mike went nuts one day and ripped out almost every overgrown, vegetative item along the front window.
so we hired a landscape company to put in some new stuff. its still looking a little sparse, but we are hoping when it fills in, it will be nice (i’ll have pics of the new gardening up next post).
in addition to the gardening, we thought we could give the old front-door-paint-job a try. i fell in love with this peacock/teal color. mike pointed out that its the same color as the brewster walls and i realized how predictable i am. i also realized this might look clashy with all the green out front…
so next i thought maybe yellow would brighten things up.
maybe not quite this bright… more of a mustard ish (?)
perhaps some Benjamin Moore’s Raincoat Yellow #2020-40 is in order? we will be hitting the paint store tomorrow, so i will keep you posted.
*disclaimer.. i typed this up over the weekend. the deed is done & i’ll get the pics up soon. i think i like it.
also – both door pics up there i got off of houzz which is pretty much the second best invention ever. right after pinterest.

open-fronting the corner cabinet

we just arrived back to ole cape cod for the long weekend (wooohoo). a quick one for you before we dive into another weekend of finishing touches to cape kitchen 2.0!

this corner was my little pet project.

aside from ripping out the row of cabinets to replace with the banquet seating, there weren’t any structural changes to our cabinets during this kitchen makeover, aside from this corner. we removed the breadbox thing from below the corner cabinet and left the door off the top. sure, i would love to have a custom glass door, but this is a much simpler, (free) way of achieving the same open effect..

we didn’t paint the inside of any of the other cabinets. so i spent the better part of a full weekend sanding, priming, and painting the inside and the 2 shelves of this corner. the running joke was that i didn’t leave the corner for days. it was sorta true. 

i painted the inside wall the same gypsy teal that’s in the living room and other side of the kitchen. it took two solid coats to cover sufficiently (think a couple hours of awkward kneeling on the counter to get into all of these deep corners).
and here it is all back together with the shelves and some of our prettier glassware…

there will definitely be updates to the “styling” of these shelves, but i think the open corner is a nice touch.

in related news – the corner below.. the lazy susan.. NOT supposed to be open. we broke the door and have been having trouble replacing it. its killing me. mike bought something at lowes that he thinks might be a fix, so fingers crossed we can remedy this tomorrow.

and there are definitely a few other finishes touches that are begging for our attention, but we are just going see what we have time for without killing ourselves this weekend. a little off-white clash never killed anyone…

happy memorial day weekend!

brewster kitchen – the putting back together begins

mike was the star of the weekend.

he worked non-stop hanging these cabinet doors and installing the new knobs… barely sitting down to enjoy any of the masters (tho it was constantly on the tv). you can see the progress in the background. this basically took all day. it was frustrating work lining up all the hinges and knobs so everything hung perfectly level. if you are off just a quarter of an inch, it looks totally sloppy and wrong. there was a lot of swearing throughout the day. a lot.

he used one of these combination square contraptions to mark where to drill the knob hole. definitely easier than dealing with two holes for a pull (for which you probably want to get one of these template things) but still required a lot of patience and precision. mike can deal with this sort of thing.. i can not. i like to “eye ball”. which is why i stick to the “creative” and he handles the “execution”.  
(together we are a dream team (?))
and if that wasn’t enough work – he had to saw off each end of the super long knob screws. *tip: bring these to a hardware store & have them cut them down for you. our local little true value didn’t have a tool for this, so we resorted to the trusty hand saw.

after dane went down for the night, i began my little experimental project which was “scalloping” the newly painted, formerly laminate, backsplash.

i used martha stewart metallic paint in ‘hard frost’, one of these brushes (pictured below) from home depot, and a half circle – traced using a cocktail plate – cut out from some sandpaper packaging, then a cheerios box, then some regular paper (for some of the corners and places where the stencil needed to bend)… this was a very unglamorous process… but i made it work!

true to form, my method was very imperfect. i didnt measure or plan much – i just went for it. its a very hand-painted look.

i did this for maybe 2 hours saturday night. oh and this picture captures pretty much everything i ate/drank the whole day:
this is where i left off after day (night) 1:
and this is me in a crazy, diy stupor before collapsing into bed:

sunday morning (after reheating our very large coffees a couple times) mike removed the microwave.

which was secured by many large, hidden bolts..

see how awful the laminate is where the microwave used to be? fingers c r o s s e d the new microwave covers this entire area!

after another hour of scalloping, i was done. and i think it looks pretty cool. the metallic silver really picks up the silver specks in the granite, the mercury glass knobs, and should look great with our new stainless steal appliances.

so here is the evolution with the latest progress:

that’s a wrap! off to st. maarten tomorrow morning & peacing out of blogville for a week or so! don’t miss us too much…

brewster kitchen day 3 & 4

what an amazing transformation! is this the same house? check out the before and afters!.. are all things i will say about this kitchen project one day. today is not that day.

in fact, we won’t be back down to brewster to finish-up until april. 
while there was a lot of hard work put in on days 3 and 4, there is not much to show for it.  a couple coats of paint and a lot of disarray.
by the end of day 2, most everything was primed. i wanted to do 2 coats of primer, but was talked into 1 coat of primer & 2 coats of paint. i’m all for cutting corners as long as things turn out ok, so i figured at least i’d have someone to blame if they didn’t. 
day 3 was sanding and painting. and sanding and sanding. i sanded about 20 cabinet doors outside with 220 grit paper to ensure the primed doors were smooth and clean for the first coat of paint. it got really old and my standards got increasing lower as i worked my way through the stack. just a girl, her thoughts and hands as rough as the sandpaper. i could have committed a major felony later that day and no one would have ever found me because i had sanded off all my fingerprints.
the men did the painting inside. the paint is on the thin side, so they put less on the brush than normal and applied thin coats.
here is mike photo-bombing a cabinet shot. yes, this happened. 

today (day 4) mike & his dad went back to finish the 2nd coat and meet the granite people who finally got the address right and templated the new counter.

unfortunately, we now have to put everything on hold. this coming weekend mike is traveling for his annual fantasy baseball draft (yes, you read that right) and the following weekend is dane’s birthday party and easter.

things are looking very white. i am dying to put this kitchen back together.
sit tight brewster, we’ll be back as soon as we can!

brewster kitchen overhaul day 2

today we were up bright and early and on our way to home depot to meet our carpenter at 8am. mike was going to buy the supplies for the bench with him while dane & i head for the paint department to get cabinet painting supplies. i had a list and notes from half a day of internet research (along with 2 toy ducks, a singing monkey, and a pair of baby mum mums) and felt like i knew what we needed to get started. its really annoying that home depot doesn’t carry benjamin moore. i knew this, but sort of forgot, so only came home with primer and then ran to a hardware store in harwich later in the day for the benjamin moore..

where i scored this awesome hat:

but as i was saying..
on my list:

*primer (zinsser)
*2.5 in. brush (purdy)
*1.5 in. brush
*6 in. roller
*100 grit sandpaper (for pre-primer)
*220 grit sandpaper (for post-primer)
*benjamin moore advance (satin // simply white)

i didn’t get a degreaser or tack cloth because i read somewhere that lysol wipes could do both jobs. however, we think they might be responsible for a yellowey tint that is showing through the primer, so i do not recommend using these.

so here is how the day went (put the children to bed because some of these scenes are downright disturbing).

we sanded. the carpenter framed out the bench for the banquet seating project.

mike and his dad ripped out the bread box thing in the corner. good riddance.

mike sorta liked the bread box thing…

i sanded more. with a power tool.

we decided that we would replace these ancient vent covers, so had to remove the baseboard that was attached to the very bottom of the cabinets.

once everything was sanded (i sanded most of the frame by hand while mike had all the drawers and cabinet doors out on the deck with the electric sander) we wiped everything down with a damp sponge, then lysol wipes.

then we got to priming.

so. much. priming.

then 1981 called and asked for its oven back.

and that’s pretty much where we left things today with the cabinets. mike and his dad worked so hard. during all this messy business, dane and nonnie played downstairs. we would be nowhere near where we are now without nonnie & poppy’s help. thank you!!

finally – this is what the bench is looking like so far. i can tell its going to be awesome, but we are a little disappointed that its not done since the carpenter initially told us it would be a one day job..

oh and here is the new ikea ingatorp table patiently waiting in the tv room to join the new banquet arrangement.

more tomorrow! so tired. must sleep. too much wine.

tubbie time

they’re heeeeere!

we are having so. much. fun. with auntie liz and cousin riley who are visiting from marthas vineyard. riley is 4 months older than dane so he is marching around and dominating all of dane’s toys. he has the funniest little vocabulary. he says “whoa” all the time and can even say “dane”. so cute. my sister and i look nothing alike, but we see major similarities in dane and riley. its so cool that they will grow up together and be little partners in crime.
just before they arrived saturday morning, dane and i ran out to homegoods and then finally put the finishing touches on his bathroom. so happy to check another room off the to-do list.
before the rest of the after shots, lets remember just how bad it was looking before the paint job:

so after the new color and a little cleaning and accessorizing, we have a much happier bathroom for dane’s nightly tub time.
we bought everything at kohls and homegoods.

still a few missing pieces in here like some sort of window treatment and, oh yeah, maybe a little something for this frame…

but its safe to say the bathroom was baby-approved!

we will really miss playing with baby riley, but so glad we live on the south shore now and its an easy drive from woods hole.
we will see these two again in just a couple short weeks for danes b i r t h d a y  p a r t y ! ! ! ! 

the doors

we spent the weekend in the cape again. a very snowy weekend.
(not the beach house view that i prefer:)

so we picked up where we left off with the doors. the project was simple. 5 ugly doors (2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and the door to the lower level) to brighten up.


it would have been nice to replace them with pretty new ones with nice molded panels, but that would have been at least a $250 – $300 dent that we didn’t feel like allocating to replace perfectly functional doors. so instead we got after it with a can of paint and a dream.

mike thoroughly sanded both sides of each door with and electric sander in the garage. next, we brought them into the kitchen, propped them up (one at a time) on two chairs and wiped them down real good to remove any residual debris from the sand job before painting (swiffer dry sweeping cloths were really helpful for this step).
for the “faux molding” i just traced the two rectangles with a yard stick and pencil, then taped over my lines before painting (we used a white semi-glass, no voc paint and 2″ thick painters tape).

i measured 6″ from the top and bottom and 4″ from the sides for the outer perimeter – then 27″ from the bottom of the door for the top of the lower rectangle, and 34″ from the bottom of the door for the bottom of the upper rectangle. i tried to line the center of the tape strips up with lines i drew. for clean corners, i had to make careful cuts where the tape met.

if i had to do this over, i would have measured 5 or 6″ in from the sides (instead of 4) to leave more room for the door knob – you will see that the knob hardware overlaps the line a bit.
i was the taper, so this synchronized nap was crucial for me to finish up!
once my job was done, i snuggled dane while mike rolled on the paint.

for clean lines, we peeled the tape off before the paint was completely dry to avoid chipping…
we also bought some new, middle-of-the-line door knobs in brushed nickel. these suckers are tricky to install (assessment based solely on the number of expletives overheard from mike).
it was so rewarding putting these puppies back on the hinges (which we did not replace and perhaps should have since they no longer match the knobs).
now settle in for a whole bunch of shots of the finished product:

we added the faux molding to 3 of the 5 doors… the two bathroom doors we just painted white (didn’t want to over do it). very happy with the result. sigh.
so much more going on in brewster this offseason. will have more updates later in the week!