House projects

Wine Fridge

One of the very first projects the hubby did in the house was installing the wine fridge. You’ve got to have priorities right?? My parents had given us the wine fridge because they weren’t using it anywhere and we thought we could put it to good use. As we were moving it into the house, we contemplated putting it in a few different locations, and eventually found the perfect spot. The ‘island area’ in our kitchen is full of great storage, but there was one cupboard that was particularly dysfunctional.

The door opened with room to store things as normal, but then included a 90 degree angle that went back to the other side of the counter.

Referencing my mom’s kitchen I immediately thought to myself, oh you just store things back there that you never or just rarely use–which is so dumb cause why have it at all or you forget about it and then you never find a reason to use it.  So plan B was to put a door on the opposite side so it was easier to access. Then along came the genius hubby and suggested putting the wine fridge there. It made total sense to use that ‘dead’ space in a practical way.

So in the first week when we still had boxes everywhere, the hubby as the eager homeowner handyman installed the wine fridge. He measured out the space he would need, cut a whole into the cabinets and ran electrical into it (cause who wants cords all over their kitchen if they don’t need to). He even installed a switch within so we could easily turn it on and off without having to take the whole thing out to unplug or plug it in. Smart little guy he is! Finally, in went the fridge and up went the molding around it to finish it off. It was complete within a couple of hours. (I should also note: we were sure to include area on the sides top and back of the little nook for the fridge to vent. They get mighty hot when they’re running.)

House projects

25 Foot What?

After living in our house for a good year or so the hubby and I decided it was time to paint the living room/entry way of our house. At the time, the walls just had the construction paint on them which was a pretty boring color and they would get black smudge marks every time you touched them. Typically, I am the painter between the two of us, (I have a bit more patience for the tedious trim work) but we had this one little issue with the ceilings being 25 feet high, and having a staircase to go around! And me climbing up on a ladder extended to it’s full height was just not going to work so it was a joint effort project!

The ever important color selection

With other rooms in the house, we’ve been a bit more daring with color (we have more than 15 different colors!) but considering the 25 foot ceilings I knew I was only going to paint this room once and it needed to be a neutral color for resale, and anything else may be a bit too loud for such a large room. With that said, picking a neutral color is still not an easy task, I swear there are more than 200 different browns, creams, tans etc… and I probably had at least 50 of them at one point. The room was currently a creamy beige color and it was just a little to blah for me so that helped eliminate a lot of the colors. I also knew I wanted a really warm feeling in the room, so anything that had any hints of blue or green were out. Naturally I’m drawn to deeper and darker colors, and knew that I would be safe going a little bit darker because the room was so large it wouldn’t feel closed in. Eventually we landed on what I describe as a coco brown (exact color is Sherwin Williams Tiki Hut)

Painting Process

So if you’re wondering how the heck did you paint 25 foot ceilings, you’re not the only one. Almost everyone who comes over asks us. Thankfully, the hubby and I work well together and we developed a little process that worked and didn’t require us renting scaffolding. I painted all of the floor and doorway trim work and the ceilings that were accessible by a step ladder. Then, I began rolling as much wall as I could reach from standing on the floor. Somewhere in the process, the hubby brought in the extension ladder and began doing the trim work around the ceilings in the areas that I couldn’t reach. When he was ready to begin rolling the top parts of the walls, we screwed our broom handling into the bottom of the paint roller (which already had 2 extension handles on it–classy, I know!)I stayed on the floor and would roll the paint on and carefully extend the roller up to the hubby and he would roll away. We continued to repeat this process 100+ times. Slowly we moved ourselves across the room until we were left with two squares on the wall that the ladder was leaning against. They were up about 15 in the air so we brought in a traditional ladder and rolled the two final spots. And then we repeated the WHOLE process all over again for coat number two! Enjoy a few pics of the process:

Last wall to paint

Oh and it was blizzarding outside 🙂

House projects

Table Time

A couple of years ago Bill and I were living in the housing space on the other side of the photography studio he worked at and were living without any kind of table and chairs. We were living college style eating our meals on the coach in front of the TV. Then one day Bill’s grandparent found an old table they had laying around their garage. It was in pretty tough condition considering his grandma grew up with it and a couple of people had attempted to refinish it. Attempt was they key word. Some of the chairs had a red hue to them, some parts of the table were sealed, others weren’t, there was crayon in the wood ad a couple of glass rings. It really was quiet the piece of work. So we bought a plastic tablecloth to cover it (to ensure cold or hot items wouldn’t run the wood more than it already was) for a bit.

When we bought our house and moved in, we took the table apart to make the transportation easier. Once we got the table to the house, I decided it was the perfect time to actually refinish it, or I knew we never would. So down to the basement it went…where is sat for a couple of weeks. Eventually, I picked up the supplies to begin stripping it. Of course I picked one of the coldest days to begin this product as the window had to be opened when dealing with the fumes. But I began scrubbing the pieces and the the progress was really really slow. It was taking forever and I was going through steel wool fast. So in addition to stripping the wood, I began bleaching it to help remove some of the color and previous layers of sealer. I wish I would have remembered to take pictures throughout the entire process, but only did for the the last couple of steps. Sorry!

FINALLY, after like 3 months (i kid you not it really took me this long, my friends kept teasing me that it better be one heck of a table to spend this much time on it) it was ready to be sanded. Thankfully, my mom helped me with this step a little bit. We went through three different stages of sanding: rough paper, medium and soft to get the stain out the stripper and bleach couldn’t get out and getting it to a nice smooth surface. Next we wipped all the pieces down to remove all the extra dust preparing for the stain. Fortunately, at this point I remembered to take a couple of photos of the progress.

Next I began staining. The grain in the wood was really beautiful and very unique so I didn’t want to cover it up with a color that was too dark. I also wanted it fit in with the color of our other kitchen cabinets and wood floors, and ended up with a honey type color. Side note: I was very nervous to actually begin the staining process. I had put so much time into stripping everything down I didn’t want to mess it up. But really it was so easy, it was almost impossible to screw up. Just dab a little stain onto an old cotton t-shirt and begin rubbing it on the wood in the same direction as the grain. (I do recommend wearing rubber gloves while doing this. If you get any color on your fingers it will stain them (hence the name) and take awhile to get come off. Here’s an in-progress photo showing the difference between the stained section and un-stained

If you’re still following this lengthy post, I’m almost done! The next step was applying the poly or the protector coating, which was also somewhat time consuming. You have to be very careful when putting the poly on vertical items to ensure there isn’t any dripping. If you put it on to thick and it begins to drip down the legs or edge of the table, you’ll end up with a bumpy surface with a bunch of lines in it. Once the poly dried, I took a really soft sandpaper and sanded the table down to remove any drips or bubbles that appeared. I repeated this process two more times before I was finally done and moved it into the kitchen