Simple Solution: Brokeback…

Couch.  Betcha thought I was going to say mountain.  Well, I didn’t.  Oh wait, I did.  Gah.  Back to the point.  Probably a year or so ago, the supports of our sectional broke.  Only because we moved it to get the rug under did we decide to fix it.  It only took two pieces of scrap 2 by 4 and screws, too.  I don’t make it a habit to deconstruct furniture, so I was surprised to find this is all that held our butts up each night.

Seriously, that’s a few scraps of wood, some string, foam, and fabric.  But the real problem were the pieces of 1/2 inch plywood, which should be attached, thus keeping the springs against the seat.  Instead, these pieces that should be flush come apart.  Every time someone sat on the couch, these pieces sagged, making an uncomfortable Lost watching perch.

For a quick, durable fix, Ben measured the depth of the couch and cut a scrap of 2 by 4 (left over from the garage wall he had just torn out).  Then he screwed into the plywood and the 2 by 4 on the other side.  Now we shouldn’t have problems, and if we do, I think a new couch is in order.

What took us so long to, in the words of my favorite redneck, git ‘er done?  What have you done that’s been a problem for a while?  Fixed any couches?  Maybe you’re shocked at how little furniture is actually made of?

Simple Solution: Crown Moulding

Do you love the look of crown moulding but can’t afford it?  Maybe it’s just a little too difficult for you to install on your own?  Well, we have a solution for you.

Rather than using actual crown moulding, use decorative casement trim.  Choose a trim with one 90 degree angle and a flat back, similar to these:

Place the square edge along the ceiling and secure with nails. 

This trim is very easy to install and is more affordable than actual crown moulding.  Of course, the ‘crown’ moulding won’t have a 45 degree angle from the wall to the ceiling.

Paint the ‘crown’ the same color as the rest of the trim and it will make the room look polished.

Just Like Tom Sawyer

Our Montana summer seemed more like a Seattle summer thanks to the unusually frequent rainfall.  What does this mean?  We didn’t get many outdoor projects done this year.  Fortunately, we didn’t have many on our list.  We did, however, get our fence painted, finally!  Last summer, we primed it, but it didn’t hold up to the elements very well.  So, over the weekend, Ben used a pressure washer to remove any loose, chipping or peeling paint.

Isn’t this lovely?

After some reasearch, Ben decided to use an opaque white stain by Behr, specifically formulated for outdoor wood and siding.

Using a sprayer, Ben applied an even coat, then used a brush to smooth it all out.

We also closed the open area where we had planned to install a gate.

When we built the fence, we had large, communal garbage cans in the dead end alley.  I guess our garbage man ran into a few too many things while backing up, so the city gave us individual garbages.  Why am I telling you this?  Because we no longer needed access to the alley as our garbage is now up front.

Long story short, one more item has been checked off our to do list!

I See a Red Bed and I Want it Painted Yellow

Yep, that was my DIY version of The Rolling Stones ‘Paint it Black.’

Two years ago, we got a hand me down twin mattress and frame for Vincent.  It’s a simple, 100-year-old steel bed, reminiscent of an old hospital bed.  The frame was green, but we painted it red to work better in Vincent’s newly designed room.

I loved it, until recently.  Now, I want to add a light aqua, lemon grass green and sun yellow to freshen up our boys’ room without repainting.  Initially, I wanted to make an upholstered headboard, but that would require buying a new mattress, box spring, and frame because the current bed is about 5 inches wider than standard twin beds.  We don’t want to buy a new bed yet, so we opted to repaint the bed frame.

I sent Ben to the hardware store and he picked up Rustoleum’s Sun Yellow spray paint.  Rustoleum claims to have 2 times the coverage, so maybe we won’t have to prime.  After disassembling the bed and setting it up outside on wood blocks, Ben started painting.

Sure enough, Rustoleum does have two times the coverage.

While Ben was painting, the boy’s room was a mess.  Fortunately, it didn’t last too long, but here is what it looked like.

Better yet, Rustoleum dries to the touch in 20 minutes and to handle in 1 hour.  That’s great for impatient people, such as myself.  We left the bed outside for 5 hours or so, just to let it air out.  We brought it inside and added bedding.  Vincent did not sleep in the bed, as it was a little smelly, but I love the new look.

I really love the yellow bed with the chevron painted rug.

Next step, bedding!  I have debated between a sun yellow/charcoal grey color palette and sun yellow, light aqua, and lemon grass-green.  I think the yellow/grey is a little too sophisticated for a kids room, so we decided on yellow, aqua and green.  What is your favorite color combination?

How To: Update Brass

A few years ago, I saw a tutorial in which an ugly brass plated lamp was polished to look silver.  The transformation was dramatic.

Well, I remembered this post when I bought my brass leaf bowl and actually had some Blue Magic at home.  This is actually pretty simple.  All you need is Blue Magic cream, fine steel wool,  rubber gloves (optional), paper towels or rags and a well-ventilated area.  This stuff reeks!

Simply dip the steel wool in the polish cream and use a little elbow grease to rub your brass item.  Wipe off the residue to check the progress and continue buffing until you have the desired look.  You can turn this:

into this:

The leaf still has a gold tint to it, so I’m thinking its solid brass, not just brass plated.  Either way, I think it looks better now.

My bird keeps the leaf company on my nightstand.  You’ll notice he got a few coats of gloss white spray paint.  Better, right?

It’s a simple solution.  Have you given any small items a facelift recently?