Archive for July, 2011
That was my attitude when it came to using up the rest of the oil-rubbed bronze spray paint from this project that I had leftover. So I turned my attention to the mismatched patio furniture that we inherited from the previous owners (seen here in an old photo with my dearly departed ceramic dog, sniffle).
Sure, I like painting things white (and white ceramic animals, and white chocolate among other snow-colored objects) but sometimes white things outside = grungy. As this shot demonstrates, any time it rained little dirt and leaves splashed into the crevices of the table and looked all grubby.
Parts of it were peeling too:
And you should have seen this guy in March/April in the height of allergy season. Yeah, it was fuzzy and yellow. So I figured a coat of ORB spray paint could cure his everything-shows issue. And unify those chipping black chairs.
So I just dragged everything out to the yard, set them down on items from our recycle bin (namely magazines & cardboard boxes)…
… and sprayed away.
Especially satisfying? Taking the nasty parts like this…
… to this (gotta love that ORB glistening-in-the-sun phenomenon):
The whole shebang took about an hour and a half. Maybe two if you count brushing everything with a stiff brush (from our dust pan) to shake all the junk off, and carrying stuff out to the grass and back after they were dry. Oh and it took another can of ORB to get all three pieces done, but we figure spending $7 for that second can and using the rest of our leftover one (from this project) sure beats investing in new patio furniture just yet.
You might not see it yet, but adding some pillows (or chair pads), some swagged bulb lights, and a few other festive patio accessories might just take this old set from drab to fab. Yes I just said drab to fab (she types as she buries her head in her hands).
What have you guys been spray painting lately? Any outdoor chillaxing going on? Anyone shocked that I didn’t paint everything white instead of ORB? Anyone turn this post into a drinking game (and sip every time I mention that three letter abbreviation)? Just went back and counted, but I only said it three times. Not enough: ORB, ORB, ORB. There, done.
You know we love to save a buck wherever we can. Sometimes to a fault. And as any scrimper knows, sometimes it can bite you in the a-dollar-sign-dollar-sign (a$$). Though I’m not sure we ever expected that we’d wish we had splurged on “the fancy sand”…but that was the case after living with our finished patio for a few weeks.
If you recall, we used some leftover paver sand to fill the cracks between the stones instead of spending the $95 that the stoneyard would’ve charged for a delivery of the polymeric stuff (which has some cement-like qualities to help keep it in place and block weeds a little better).
At first the paver sand looked great in those cracks…
… but after a few weeks and (more importantly) a few rains, I grew increasingly unsatisfied with my crack sanding job (yes, I just very maturely resisted the urge to write “the sand in my crack”). It had washed out in a bunch of places, leaving lots of empty gaps and an inconsistent look that I wasn’t happy with.
So, we bit the bullet, swallowed our pride, and bought a bucket of polymeric sand at Lowe’s for about $30. It technically should have only been enough to cover about 1/3rd of the patio, but since the cracks still had some regular sand packed into the bottom of ‘em, I knew it’d go further (not only did one bucket do the trick, we still have lots leftover in case we ever need to redo it). So at least we didn’t end up spending the full $95 that we were originally quoted.
Applying the sand was tedious to say the least. Just as the directions suggested, I used a ziploc bag with the tip snipped off to pour the sand directly into the cracks… of which there were lots. Did I mention it was tedious? And yes I channeled Duff from Ace of Cakes the whole time (minus the weird facial hair).
My initial application was way too heavy – which isn’t ideal because once this stuff gets wet it truly is cement-like. So you want to be sure you put the sand only where you want it to stay for the long haul (as in, not on the face of the pavers).
So section-by-section I swept my heavy-handed sand “icing” until it thinned out into something more subtle (the top half of this pic is done, and I hadn’t started on those bottom cracks).
Then in an extra credit bout of nerdiness, after all of the sand was poured and swept, I went over the whole patio with my electric leaf blower on its lowest setting to be sure I got rid of any excess on the surface of the stones. After that I broke out my hose and misted the entire area per the directions (being sure to get everything wet without going overboard and washing things out).
In retrospect I wish I had blown or swept out a smidge more sand before wetting things down so that the “seams” of sand between the pavers were a tiny bit thinner. Guess I’ll add that to my Lessons Learned list. Right under “Use polymeric sand in the first place.” But it’s really not too bad. Kind of charming in that it-looks-like-it’s-been-here-a-while-way (when the seams are free of sand it looks really dorky-new to us, like too-white sneakers on the first day of school).
Even though we did save about $60 in the long run, I do wish we’d “splurged” for it during the initial patio laying process. It would’ve saved me lots of time (it took about three passes to get the paver sand looking good during my first attempt, whereas the polymeric stuff took only one) and in the long run I’m confident that the “fancy stuff” will do a much better job when it comes to blocking weeds, ant hills, and all that other unwanted stuff over the next few years.
Here’s a shot of the pavers that I snapped yesterday, about a month after putting all the new sand down. We figured we should wait to post about it to see how it stood the test of time (and a few crazy thunderstorms). So far it’s holding up as well as the day I did it. And yes, I’m quite relieved about that. I don’t know that I had another sand application in me if this one didn’t pan out.
Has anyone else learned their lesson the hard way? Or can you think of a time where you wish you had just bucked up and done things right the first time? Basically I’m looking for you guys to make me feel less like I’m the only one who makes these kind of mistakes.
Psst- Want to look back on the entire patio process from beginning to end? Here’s the first post (about planning), the second post (about prepping the area), the third post (about unexpected budget breakage), the fourth post (about further prepping the area), the fifth post (about adding the gravel & sand along with the majority of the pavers), and the big we’re finally done post (complete with a bucketload o’ pics).
Our freshly painted laundry room makes me want to sing (and dance and dress) like this:
Yup, it’s bright and happy in there. First I repainted all the trim (with Olympic No-VOC semi-gloss off-the-shelf white) and painted the annoying brown quarter round near the baseboards, so it blended in with the white trim. I applied three thin coats of the same Olympic No-VOC paint (no primer because I used the same method with success in the living room five months back and I’m lazy). Then when it came to the wall color, we decided to use the leftover paint that we used in the adjoining kitchen (remember when we painted that beastly paneling here?). Why that color? To brighten things up and connect the two spaces since you pretty much see the kitchen as soon as you step in the side door in the laundry room.
Since the laundry room is such a small space we knew a different color might interrupt the flow and make it feel a lot smaller than something that would connect slash elongate it. We might add a subtle stencil or some other paint treatment down the line if we want more mojo in there – but once we hang window treatments and a new dangly light fixture and add lots of other stuff (art, storage, etc) we’re not sure if it’ll be too much for the tiny room. So we’re waiting on the whole stencil/stripe possibility.
Bee tee dubs (yes I just spelled out btw, and turned the w into a dubs) the color is called Sesame 381 by Benjamin Moore (color matched to Olympic’s No-VOC paint in a semi-gloss finish). Our small semi-light-filled laundry room has a door and window that let in light from the carport, which isn’t super bright but it’s a lot brighter than our windowless kitchen. So the artichoke-ish grellow (green + yellow) tone:
- is a smidge brighter
- reads a little more yellow than it does in the kitchen
- is so insanely cheerful
We’re psyched. Who doesn’t love a happy little laundry nook? As soon as I started cutting in I knew it would wake up the whole space.
Here’s what it looked like when we moved in:
And here she is now with a slap of how-you-doin’-on-this-fine-morning color (along with some other changes covered here):
Oh and if you’re wondering what that white board is in the pic above and below, we heard setting stacked appliances on a nice thick piece of plywood that goes against all three walls can stabilize the machine for a longer life. So we did it. And I painted it white because when we add shelving to that side of the nook it’ll blend in like chin hair on a mountain goat. Made that up. Think it’s catchy? Nah, me neither.
Some of these photos look a little more neon and booger-ish than it does in real life. In real life there’s zero booger resemblance and it’s definitely not neon. Which is a relief. It’s light and sweet – like liquid sunshine. And here’s why we knew this room could handle some happy color:
- We’ll add a ton of white shelving to temper the color (along with the white washer/dryer).
- It has a window & a glass door as well as a doorway into the kitchen to break things up.
- Eventually when we have wood floors in there it’ll be even more subdued.
Oh and as for that crazy metal fuse box cover that we had going on – remember this?
We just rolled/brushed a few thin and even coats of paint right over it. Didn’t even prime. We did that in our last house to hide a just-as-obvious one in the corner of the den – and four years later it still looked awesome. See if you can find it here. Metal actually takes thin coats of paint really well (like spray paint) so by being sure not to glob it on and opting to do more thin coats (as opposed to fewer thick and globby ones) I got some nice coverage. And it still opens and closes easily (tip: do that a few times between coats to ensure that things still work smoothly and nothing gets gummed up with paint). In short: thin and even applications = the painting holy grail.
Total spent for this phase of the makeover: $0 (thanks to trim and wall paint that we already had leftover from the kitchen). Wait, we did buy a pack of rollers so it was actually $8. Of course we still have plans for adding a ton of function (and a good dose of looks-nice stuff, like art) to the room – and that blank wall in particular. So that painted fuse box won’t just sit there looking, well, painted. We’ll share those details as we go.
As for the to do list, here it is as it stands today:
Paint the odd brown quarter round near the baseboards glossy white
Redo all the dinged up trim (also in semi-gloss white) Paint the walls
- Replace our dryer hose with a safer all-metal one
- Add adjustable built-in shelving in that nook next to the stacked washer & dryer <– we can’t unstack them and put them on the long wall since the room is only 3.5′ wide so the doors wouldn’t even open
- Replace the hinges and knobs on the upper cabinetry
- Get a new light fixture <- DIY something? maybe a small chandelier?
- Add a window treatment (maybe a homemade one?)
- Add other functional storage near the door for shoes, Burger’s leash, etc
- Hang some art to keep it cheerful and obscure the giant metal fuse box
Mmm, crisp white trim might also be the painting holy grail. Doesn’t it look so great with warm greeny gold? This photo is probably the most true to life when it comes to the actual paint color and how it looks in there. It’s a little lighter in person, but this is the yellow with a hint of green tone to a T. It’s just like an artichoke heart.
Suddenly I actually feel like doing laundry. Weird.
Psst- You guys were all so sweet about my haircut yesterday. Seriously, I almost got a cavity. And I definitely got all awkward and clammy and blushy. Basically the opposite of cute. Anyway, rest assured that my hair will never look that good again (you know stylists possess some other-worldly powers to create a hairstyle that no one can replicate at home). So stop being so dang nice. It’s making me rashy.