Sandstone Cove

Do you remember my itch to paint?  I’ve finally scratched it.  Monday included priming and painting our newly installed crown.  Tuesday I edged the ceiling – Ben will roll it after we finish patching a few hairline cracks.  Yesterday I put two coats of Behr’s Sandstone Cove (color matched to Glidden) on the family room and hall walls.  Good news!  We love the color.


Rember the peach-y walls of yore?  Here’s a refresher.


It changes from beige to gray depending on the lighting.  And makes the white trim stand out.  With nail holes patched, we’re assessing our art.  Ben says I hang cluttered groups and would like to see simpler, larger pieces.  I’m thinking the 2 foot by 3 foot frame could look nice hanging on this wall.  Perhaps I’ll change out the art, but the boys like to find places on the map, so it might stay for them.


The hall gallery is gone, at least until I can figure out a way to simplify it.  For now, the Montana and Minnesota watercolors will hang just above the thermostat.

Painted-HallYesterday wasn’t all smiles at the new paint though.  After three days of painting, I had a problem and a frustration meltdown happened.  I completely blame this:


(Yes, I realize this is a first world problem and I’m a major brat)  Unfortunately, in at least 20 spots, my Frog tape peeled off the trim paint.  Wop wop.  Worst of all, I don’t know why that happened.  The tape wasn’t stuck on forever, the paint was dry, I peeled it off when the paint was still wet at an angle.  It doesn’t make sense.  I’ll have to sand the areas, touch up the semi gloss trim paint, then the satin wall paint.  Inevitably the touch up will be obvious thanks to a sheen difference.  Unless you have suggestions.  After my meltdown, Ben cheered me up by installing our new sconces from Lamps Plus.


Ahh, so pretty and simple.


Love a touch of satin nickel.


Even better, the low profile means fewer bumps and bruises for the adults in this house.


Overall, I’m thrilled with the brighter, sleek look.  And a warm, diffused light.  I give these sconces two enthusiastic thumbs up.  Check back tomorrow for a light-ning giveaway!

P.S.  Lamps Plus kindly sent us two sconces after we featured them.  We’re psyched to Lamps Plus wanted to team up with us. 

Mini Dresser Pretties

I admit, I totally teased you yesterday about the mini dresser.  But, I hadn’t gotten pictures of it until later yesterday afternoon.  So, here it is, finished and ready to use.  Boom, in yo’ face.


Maybe finished.  See those pale legs?  Even after two coats of stain like everything else.  The different woods took the stain their own way. Thin veneer sides are slightly less red toned than the fronts.  Luckily it’s not noticeable in the small guest room.  But I might get a different, darker stain to try on the legs, just to see how it goes.  I haven’t coated those in poly for that reason.


Notice the blue between the drawers?  I did that to match the laminate top I painted.  And the top of the drawers to cover the plywood edges.  We’ve had a Carrara marble remnant in the garage that I considered using as the top.  Not sure the skinny legs could handle that much weight.  And I didn’t want to ask Ben to cut it.  I’m still hoping we can use it for a coffee table someday.


Taping the wood edges gave me a crisp straight line so only the top got paint.


For a little more fun, I painted the outer sides of the drawers blue, too.  (Mysterious from Benjamin Moore, color matched to a sample can of Glidden Duo)


I’m calling this make over a success.  What is better than simple lines, dark wood, and navy blue?


That ends the mini dresser love fest.  What do you think of the changes?

Mini Dresser Make Over

I’ve been searching for a simple, affordable, MCM style wooden dresser for several months.  Various thrift stores and very few options.  Until last week, when I spotted a five foot dresser for $50 and a matching mini dresser for 25 bucks.  This dresser is for the tiny library/guest room which makes the nightstand size perfect.


Clean lines, MCM style, in good condition (a few scratches and a laminate top).  Perfection.  I could have left it as is, but I knew it could be better.  Refinishing to the rescue.  The dresser is plywood with a thin wood veneer.  For solid wood I prefer to sand the surface to prepare for stain.  But, I worried I’d sand through the veneer.  Despite my last paint stripper experience, I decided to use Citristrip on the drawer fronts, sides, and legs.


While it did its magic, we hit up the hardware store for a plastic scraper, a sample of Ben Moore paint, and came back to get started.  It seemed ready.


Scraping most of it off was quick, leaving me with a pile of spaghetti like stuff.  The round legs took a little more time, but the finish came off cleanly.


With the scraping done, I used an old rag and odorless mineral spirits to clean off the residue.  Which didn’t work.  Instead it just made a gummy, tacky mess.  I let it dry, then used 220 grit sand paper on the laminate top and flat sides.


The darker patches are from the stripper.


Lesson learned, skip the paint stripper, Amanda.  It might work, but the clean up is more than I’m willing to deal with.  But, I was able to start staining.  Dark wood floats my boat.  Wait, that didn’t come out right.  I had a can of Dark Walnut stain (left over from a bookshelf I refinished a few years ago).  Two coats on the fronts, sides, and legs.  But I had to paint the drawer edges and sides to hide the layered plywood that before were painted dark brown.


To protect my freshly stained sides, I taped off everything so I could prime and paint the laminate top and drawer dividers.


A few coats of paint on the primed spots followed by two coats of satin polyurethane gave a nice shine, protecting and enhancing.  Come back tomorrow to see how it turned out.  Yes, I’m a total tease, but I’ve got to take pictures still.

Gah, Mother Lover

Life is funny and ironic sometimes.  Do you remember on Thursday I declared our main bathroom finished?  After waiting months to finish the vanity.  Well, this happened.  At 9 last night.


Consider that proclamation squashed.  Friggin’ mother lover –  that’s what I say in place of a four letter word.  Try it, it’s fun.

Somehow the wax seal failed and water started seeping under the tile.  Yeah, no obvious puddle as a sign of a leak.  We noticed the grout around the toilet looked darker than the rest of the floor, but assumed it was related to a certain little boy.  A good clean and we thought it was okay.  Until it reappeared a few days later, this time larger.  Last night, Ben noticed small bubbles coming up through the grout.  Umm, that’s not normal.  An inspection in the garage confirmed the toilet was in fact slowly leaking.  Ben pulled the toilet.  And the four tiles around it.  I wanted to cry, but didn’t.  We’ve cleaned up the water and now it’s drying.


Another wax ring will go in to double up our coverage.  Apparently something shifted, causing the ring to loosen.  What, we’re not sure.  This is the first toilet Ben has installed that has leaked.  Usually the wax ring squishes out, coming up through the bolt holes, but this one didn’t.  Lesson learned, a waxy mess is better than a leaky toilet.  At least the damage is fixable and minimal.  Tonight we’ll scrape off the mastic and re-install the tile.  Then grout before putting the toilet back.  With another wax ring.

Before this, we had a fun and productive weekend.  Way to end on a high note.  Ha!  How was your weekend?

February Giveaway Winners

I hope you’re all having a fabulous Friday!  Yay, it’s Friday.  Erin and Jen N., I think you’ll be happy to know you’re the winners of one Lily & Val chalkboard print and two Our Humble Abode prints.  Congrats, new art is so fun.

Now I need your opinions.  I’m trying to decide which drawer handles I like better.  The first is a super simple brushed stainless handle for $2.97.


I like the straight lines and the simple profile.


The second one is slightly larger brushed nickel for $3.97.


I like the size, but I’m not a fan of the slightly rounded shape.



Ben wants to use the same style we used in our old kitchen.



The problem is, Lowe’s has increased the price by $20 for ten pulls.  But, we can order some off Ebay for $1.50 to $2 each.  So the question is, do we use something we can get right now for twice the price?  Or place an order and patiently wait to get the cheaper handles?  Which also means we can’t install the finished drawer fronts because we’ll have no way of opening them until we have handles.

If you’ll excuse me, I’m headed down to finish refinishing the mini dresser.  Hopefully I’ll have it done to share on Monday.