Friday, February 27, 2015

Master Closets - Shelving

Let's take a step back in time. 

This was our Master bedroom a few months after we bought the house. There was still a walk through to the kitchen, and no bump out. 

After we completed the major layout change in the kitchen renovation and the walls in the Master, we were left with two alcoves (one of which was basically the old doorway). We knew what we wanted to do with them from the get go, but it's taken us awhile to actually finish them off.

As in our normal fashion, we finished them enough to make them functional. So, the left closet got rods and the right got shelves and that is how they've stayed... until now. 

About a week ago, I popped out all the shelves and brought them outside. I laid them all out with the rest of the trim for this room and used my paint sprayer to spray everything white (I love that thing). It took two coats but after I let them dry I could pop them back on the braces. This left them looking better but still a little flimsy.

Luckily, I already knew that was going to happen so I used the classic trick of just popping on some flat trim to the front of the shelves to beef them up. We cut a board down to be true 3" width to cover the boards and the support pieces. Everything got touched up with caulk and paint and now we have finished looking shelving (and now all our clothes are away again... you should have seen our room while I was working on the shelves... clothes everywhere!!)

Next up... the hanging clothes closet. Fingers crossed the door install goes smoothly!

Friday, February 20, 2015

DIY Planked Ceiling

Hey there.

I'm only posting once this week but I have a nice long one for you. Some of the photos are pretty off color-wise since I did most of this project after 9 pm and I was using my new phone which I clearly do not have a handle on yet. But, this is a complete project from start to finish, which basically never happens around here.

Our master is architecturally a little funky. We don't really know what the room was originally but it's clearly been modified a lot including our modification as part of the kitchen expansion. It has a support beam running the length of the room creating a hallway feel in front of our bed area. We completed the bed area awhile ago (like 2 years!!) including the canopy on the ceiling. We patched the ceiling in the hall area but have left it untouched since.


The patch was not our best work and that combined with the textured ceiling was going to make it basically impossible to have a nice looking ceiling in this area. So, we decided to try something a little different. I came across this picture of an awesome planked ceiling in a hallway with the double lights and fell in love with the idea, but in keeping with the rest of the house, wanted a more rustic version.

We picked up a bunch of inexpensive 1x4's from Lowe's and Olympics semi-transparent stain in "beige-grey" (great name huh?). I didn't make any cuts before we stained the boards. We just laid out the boards on a plastic sheet and used our paint sprayer to spray on the stain and then back brushed each board to make sure there was even coverage. 

Our little helper enjoyed watching from his wagon...

It took a full 24 hours to let the boards dry. Then it was time to put them up. The width of the hall is just over 4 feet so I cut each board in half. This left gaps at the ends but since we were going to trim out the ceiling, the gaps would be hidden. It took me two nights to get about a third way through. This was mostly because the nails coming out of the nail gun were not wanting to go into the ceiling. It turns out that a new battery finally fixed this problem but it still was a little slow going.

Night Photo

Day Photo

See what I mean about the color issue?? 

I tried really hard to only nail on the ends so that I wouldn't have nail holes showing in the middle but not all the boards lay flat since the ceiling wasn't completely flat and we bought cheap boards. I finally got smart and hid the nails in knots in the middle of the boards. Can't see them at all! 

I was able to bust out the rest of the ceiling in another night. I alternated which side had a gap on the boards so that I averaged the angle (the walls aren't perfectly parallel to one another)

Since I was doing all this ceiling work I decided to finally get new lights too because seriously, the only thing worse than one boob light is two boob lights right next to one another.

I did a lot of searching for lights and finally landed on these from Lowe's. They were $74 a piece which is a lot for me but I couldn't find any that I liked for less.

Next up was crown. I'm not going to even pretend that I'm an expert in this area. It is by far the most frustrating DIY ever and it always requires multiple cuts for us to get it right. 

My only tips: 
  • Mark the top of each piece of crown and check compulsively before cutting. 
  • Get a Kreg guide for crown. 
  • Mark the right and left side of the crown after you cut it. 
  • Have patience. 

We don't really have any pics of installing the crown since it requires all hands but Will did decide to help (scratch that... insisted) so Nate was able to grab on pic....

Once the crown was up we just needed to caulk everything and we were done!

Lights on

 Lights off

I love the semi-transparent stain so much. I cannot even describe to you how giddy I was when I was finished. After staring at that unfinished ceiling for so many years it is so nice to see this completed and looking exactly how I wanted it!

We have some more trim work in this room to do and the closet door to deal with but we are busting through the to-do list in this room!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

When it Rains....

it pours rots wood...

News flash... it rains in Florida... a lot. Earth shattering news right? Well, one side of our house gets slammed with rain. We have five windows on that side of the house and all of them have a good chunk of the paint stripped off them and on two of them it was clear from the inside that things were rotting.. never a good thing. The worst part of spongy wood is you are never sure how bad it is until you open things up at which point you can't go back. In our first house, that turned into replacing the whole exterior back wall of our house so we are well aware of how these things can spiral. 

So what do you do? You cross your fingers and toes and open things up. The longer you wait the worse things gets so all you can do is hope for the best.

This first problem window was in Will's room and we got pretty lucky. We popped off the quarter round (which was rotten through) and while the wood directly under the window was pretty much rotten through, the sills were solid.

Nate scrapped out all the rotten wood. It extended through about 80% of the wood under the window so there was clearly a water leak that had been an issue for quite some time. We needed to find out where the water was coming in so I shoved some paper towels in the gap under the window and Nate grabbed the hose.

Not too long after he started spraying, the paper towel in the left corner got nice and wet.

Once we narrowed it down, we used our watering can to pour water on specific points. It turns out that the caulk had cracked in the corner on the outside and that little crack was enough to cause all that damage.

To fix things, we scrapped out the busted caulk on the outside and replaced it with silicone caulk so it wouldn't crack again. (you can also see in the bottom pic how chipped the paint is and how we get nasty algae growing on our siding)

On the inside, Nate shimmed up the window and then spray foamed the gap where the rotten wood had been. The foam expands to fill the space so it seals from the inside out and provides a little extra support to the window.

New trim and some caulk and we were looking good.

Now the other window (in our back entrance) was a bit worse. All the wood under the window to the wall frame had to come out.

The wall even had quite a bit of rotten wood in the center but nothing so bad that we needed to replace the wall.

Nate replaced the sills and once again shimmed up the window.

 Once again, we sealed everything on the outside with caulk and spray foamed on the inside. On this window the inside trim was in good shape so we just put it back.

Then I went through and sealed everything with caulk. It still needs some paint but the whole back entrance needs to get repainted so I'm waiting until I'm ready for the rest of the room.

A bunch of work and visually we haven't changed anything... BUT... we now know these windows are solid which is awesome.

Do you have any house maintenance projects you're working on?

Friday, February 6, 2015

Twenty Two Months

Right now I'm:
  • Saying no (like I can't believe you just asked me that "NooOoo")
  • Saying "cheese" whenever my picture is taken (or video)
  • Preferring to eat with utensils unless I have somewhere to go
  • Basically a vegetarian 
  • Giving big hugs, especially to my huge stuffies
  • Not enjoying mommy leaving all the time
  • Almost always walking around in mommy or daddy's shoes
  • Jumping and actually getting air!
  • Saying "where are you?" any time I'm trying to find something

Friday, January 30, 2015

Twenty One Months

Well this is only one month late... December was super busy and we did so much that I got a little overwhelmed with the picture editing and organization. I finally had a few minutes to pull some of my favorites of Will from his 20th month so here's a snapshot.

Right now I'm:
  • Giving big nods yes
  • Saying yeah!
  • Loving the carousel 
  • Really loving my Christmas presents (and the whole gift opening process)
  • Building large lego towers
  • Knocking on doors and windows when I want attention
  • Enjoying all the trips to the zoo
  • Giving big hugs and kisses especially when asked
  • Really into the large Christmas blow up displays
  • Really talented at throwing things away... sometimes when asked and sometimes when I just feel like it



Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Some Husbands Give Flowers....

Mine gives me the gift of room makeovers.

I've basically redefined the definition of stretched too thin for the last month and one thing adding to the stress is the list of projects we are quickly trying to finish at the house. Since I usually am the painter, when I'm busy, rooms tend to stall and then very slowly finish up. The living room was a good example. We had finished the dining room just under a year ago and since then we knew what we wanted to do in the living room but didn't know when we would have the time to get it done. 

So you can imagine my major surprise when I walked in the door after my trip (I was in Iowa City if you couldn't tell from my awesome pic on Facebook)  this past week and saw this:

To bring you back, this is what things looked like at Christmas (and basically what it looked like when I left last Thursday minus some decorations)

And this is the last picture I took of the whole room.

In just three and a half days, Nate and our awesome friend Desiree completely transformed the room. This literally would have taken me months to do by myself.

This included:

- Priming and painting all the trim
- Installing board and batten
- Hiding all the TV cords in the wall
- Installing all the ceiling trim
- Painting the walls
- Reinstalling TV bracket, basket hooks and curtain rods

I can't get over how different the room looks and how much I love it. Nate didn't give on at all that he was working on this when we talked so it was a complete surprise, which is really hard to do with me. We still have a few small things that we want to do in this room (bookshelf between the two windows?) but all the big, time consuming things are now done!

Included in that list is something we have wanted to do since we moved in....

I'll give you all the info on our new gas fireplace in another post (including why it took so long to put in) but right now we are thoroughly enjoying this new addition.

So this is what happens when I leave Nate home alone. Can you believe how much the fireplace pops now??

Do you love it as much as I do?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

DIY Photo Magnets

For Christmas presents this year we decided to get a little crafty and try our hand at some homemade photo magnets.

I started by picking out a bunch of photos from the past year for various family members as well as a picture of Will and one of our family Christmas photos. I used PicMonkey to make a 8 x 10 collage of square photos and then just printed that at Walgreens. Then I picked up the following at Micheals:

- Flexible Magnet Sheet with adhesive (I got a roll)
- Mod Podge Dimensional Magic
- X-acto knife
- Cutting Mat

Then there was a lot of cutting... both the photos and the magnetic sheet. I cut the magnet to the approximate size of the pictures, attached the picture and then trimmed the edges. As I type this I'm now realizing it probably would have been faster/easier to cut the magnet the size of the 8 x 10 and then just cut the pictures out from there... live and learn. You can see that the magnets are pretty thin so to give them a little more oomph and to protect the photo I used the dimensional magic to cover the top of each magnet.

This turned out to be a little tricker than I originally thought so I thought I'd share how I got a pretty good layer on top without it spilling over the edge. Surface tension is the force keeping the mod podge on top of the picture so you can't break that. If you start with too much mod podge near the edge of the photo then as you add more to the center the surface tension is overcome and it just flows off. 

Instead, I put a ring of mod podge about a 1/4" in all away around the picture and then used the tip to pull it out toward the edge, being careful not to go over the edge. Then I could fill in the center without too much concern. Usually there were a few bubbles so I would pop them with a tooth pic. 

The last key is that you need to keep the picture completely level and DO NOT TOUCH for at least 12 hrs preferably 24. Some people advise to put a cup over the top (upside down) to keep dust off but I found it took a ridiculous amount of time to dry that way and I didn't really have a problem with dust. The mod podge became crystal clear once it dried. 

The magnets are still very flexible and still on the thin side once they are done and light enough were the stick to the fridge really well. We kept a few for ourselves and gave the rest away as gifts. I love having a few of our favorite photos hanging out on our command center.

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