Painted the Powder already!!


I’m a painter.  Its what I do.   Literally, I’ve been painting for 30 years, and 20 of that has been decorative and home painting plus my own artwork.  So, when it comes to choosing color, I like ALL of them.  It is super hard for me to choose just one and stick with it for any length of time.  I already want to repaint the living room and dining room, and they’ve only been painted for 6-8 years the way they are.  So, I can get my kicks by repainting smaller spaces and testing color palettes in confined quarters.

I repainted our downstairs bath last summer, and just now am finally telling you about it.  It was a soft robin’s egg blue. . . I thought it would be bright and clean looking.  But, we have so much glorious woodwork in the house, that I needed to make it warm and rich to match the rest of the atmosphere.  So, I chose a deep eggplant.  The thing is, this isn’t just paint, its a metallic plaster.  It feels like velvet to the touch and is super easy to apply using a Venetian Plaster trowel.  The downside is that small people can easily scratch it if they find it compulsive and interesting to touch.  But, it isn’t hard to repair and it is easy to paint over, too.

With the new wall color, I painted the ceiling to match the woodwork and put in a new mirror, also painted with copper undertones and charcoal gray.  And lastly, new-ish towels and a side table for necessities.



Back Porch!!

Much delayed sharing on this one. . due to life, work, etc., albeit. . .  I bring you our back porch project.  

Basically, the floor and rails, siding, ceiling were all painted when we purchased the house in 2009, but the floors haven’t worn well.

My back porch

In order to get going on this project, I started by painting the ceiling a pale blue.  Recently, I learned that ceilings are or were painted blue as a deterrent to prevent birds from nesting in the rafters.  I just thought it was a beautiful old tradition, so I chose a soft robin’s egg color and transformed our ceiling from a dead white.

Next, I sanded off the old paint layers. It took me 3 years to refinish the floor on this small area and now the stairs are peeling after just one season.  (I blame the harsh harsh weather and the fact that the stairs have absolutely no shelter.)

The wood on the stairs is new, but so is the primer and a high quality porch paint.  We had thought a stain would work, but the system we used on the front of the house was no good after one year, so I was hoping the paint would do better.  Since Bill and I both know paint pretty well, and have refinished loads of things, we really thought we nailed it.  I’m going to hunt around for something better to topcoat and I’ll be sanding the rough spots this late summer to repaint those stairs.

After sanding the floor, both Bill and I chipped away at the railings.  We finished that in only a day and began priming.  We have been partial to the XIM primers for exterior.  They look like an adhesive, but are thick and go on clear.  They bond to everything and hold on to the exterior house paint we are using.

Once the rails were primed, two coats of fresh exterior white applied, I primed and coated the floor.  I chose a slightly darker taupe color to hide the dirt more.  I will likely put on a fresh coat this season just to help the wear.  Our winter weather is quite harsh on exterior wood, and we want to do all we can to preserve these porches.

In the meantime, I have been enjoying the freshly painted floor, ceiling and rails of the back porch.  And, we moved my adorable, albeit rusty glider back here last fall.  I put up a few lights and a fan, and its my current favorite outdoor spot.  Makes it easy to watch Will in the pool and our backyard is lushly green and quite private for being such a small space with close neighbors.

This summer, we are facing into the front porch.  It has some rough damage due to lack of gutters, but it will be a doozy to redo on our own.  Plus, we have interior projects to finish and show you soon. 😉




More Laundry

Getting to wash one’s clothes is a true luxury.  After having many apartments without my own washer and dryer, this is something I treasure in my home, every single time I get to use them.  I don’t care how old or nice my machines are. . . as long as they work.

I’ve been really wanting a utility sink and some sweet cabinets to hide my cleaning stuff.  And now, my summer present is coming together.  A little unexpected work, but well worth it.

These two pictures are the exact same spot. . . taken from the same place just outside the back door looking in.  Weird, right?  You can see how that fridge just came on in and took up all the space in front of the window.  Removing it gave way to natural light and room for a sink!!

Originally, we were going to go with a steel sink, regular faucet and plywood cabinet from Lowes.  But, when we had to wait more than a week for these goodies and the cabinet arrived damaged — well, we decided not to do modern.  We started shopping our local antique stores for components we could use instead.  I started thinking vessel sink on top of some sort of cabinet and old cupboards made from the doors from our home.  We found a gorgeous cedar grain feed bin and a beautiful copper pedicure sink online.  Score!!  Only a few dollars more than the original plan, but we’re saving those dollars in building our own top cabinets instead of a $300 purchase of cheaply made plywood from Lowes.  Nothing against Lowes, they often come through. . . but furniture isn’t their strong suit

We are still waiting on the faucet to arrive and a little touch up painting I need to complete.  Also, Bill is going to build a handy cabinet for me.

I couldn’t be more grateful to have a husband who can do this kind of woodwork, electrical and plumbing.  I started learning some of this stuff when I owned my first home back in 1998, but I am so glad I don’t have to do it or do it alone.   I can be the painter and rock out some primer in a heartbeat, while hubby works away putting up lights and getting in a new sink.  Working together as a couple is the other luxury we have; I couldn’t ask for a better partner.


The Patio

Bill worked outside on this huge project most of last summer.  It was late in the season when he finished the project and it isn’t quite complete yet, as we still would like cover with topsoil and plant thyme.

We gathered about 4 pallets of stones a few years back from across the street for a mere 60 bucks.  Yeah, we scored.  A pallet of stone can be a few hundred dollars, depending on the type, so we really were grateful for our purchase.  With those, we planned all of these glorious ideas on whether to make stone walls, walks or a patio.  I think we have enough to do our whole yard.

To start a project like this, Bill had to dig out the sod, lay crushed stone or pea stone and tamp it down.  Then he fitted the larger stone and set it all in with sand.  It really took him most of the summer, but I think he enjoyed the process and we have a beautiful patio.

This spring, we planted red thyme and a few other goodies around the border for erosion.  Bill also added a few steps to the yard, so that Will would not be tempted to step through my new plants.  We still need to place topsoil between the stones and plant a creeping thyme or sage for erosion and appearance.  There will certainly be a followup post with better pictures to come once that is all complete.

And now. . . laundry

We didn’t expect to be doing the laundry room this summer.  In fact, it was long down the line on projects due to the fact that it is so utilitarian, and we really needed to finish the deep cosmetic projects we’ve started. . . like the hallway, dining room, front porch and upstairs bath, maybe the patio too.  But, when our washing machine passed away this early June, we knew it was time to do a quickie and put in a sink, along with painting, lighting and moving out the fridge.

The fridge was housed in part of the laundry room, as you can see from this side shot.  It blocked the window and had lighting attached to the back.  The hole in the bottom is due to a bored hound who was stuck in here one day.  The fridge was sort of wedged into the corner, but really in the kitchen, with an odd sheetrock job around it.  We tore it all out, much to the delight of our son and re-established that wall, along with electrical.  Bill is putting in ceiling lights and freshening up the plumbing so we can add a small sink and counter.  I could really use some cabinets and the whole room needed painting.

We had originally thought that putting in insulation would be ideal to keep the space warm because of pipes, but with little, time, we just went for it.  I primed everything with two coats and then painted all walls, woodwork and floor in 2 days.  Bill is going to put in a few shelves, rewire for ceiling lights and get the window in working order.

Boys tearing out the fridge wall and beginning the woodwork of putting in new sheetrock

Washer should arrive today!

Guest Room II

It has been a while.  Life has been full and rich this past year.  As Bill has started his new business, B2 Professional Coaching Services, I’ve taken on more painting work for Golden Paintworks, doing custom work, research and development in the commercial applications.  Will finished Kindergarten in the spring and is starting first grade this week.  We’ve been busy, and yet, we have still been working on the house.  So there have been a few too many neglected posts.  First, I wanted to catch you up on the Guest Room.

Finalized the guest room in the fall last year and had guests round the clock from September to December of 2016.  We put up a sheetrock ceiling, because fixing a cracked ceiling every 2 years is too much work, even for us.  Next, we smoothed out the walls with plaster, and taught Will how to do some of that work.  I feel blessed that Bill can do the work and teach our son in the process.

In process of putting up the ceiling
French Armoire

After painting everything, wood work, ceiling, walls and even the floor, we put in a new ceiling fan, crown molding and furnished it.  This furniture is from France; family friends brought it back to Missouri from Paris some years back for their daughter.  When she couldn’t use it, they offered it to us and we swept it up quickly.  I can’t imagine finding more perfect furniture for our house.  I’m not sure of the year of these pieces, but the side table has a pee pot chamber, and the mirror has some fingerprints imbedded, which I love.

French double bed

The room has been used quite a bit since we’ve finished, and we have plans for many more guests this fall.  It really is the best time of year to come visit us.  October here is stunning, perfect for pumpkin and apple picking and the leaves are more glorious than anywhere I’ve ever seen.  Let us know when you want to visit. 😉

Guest Room Part One

So, after a long writing hiatus, I’ll post briefly to let you know that we’ve started on our guest room.  It was my studio since we moved in, which I have adored.  The light in this room is stellar, although it is the smallest bedroom.  We’ve decided to make it the guest room, because it will be used the least and I could use more space for setting up long term painting projects.  We have the perfect furniture for it that we purchased from family friends in Missouri a few summers ago — turn- of- the -century Parisan bed and armoire with a mirrored front.

Since it took us a few weeks to know where to start on the house, we did several things all at once.  Removing the border and painting the closet in the small room was part of that.  So, the room looked quite distressed for several years, before we finally took the whole thing apart this July.

Removing border back in 2009

We’ll have several guests this coming fall, so we want to have the room in order in the next few weeks.  As of now, we’ve been able to finish the walls and they are waiting for paint.  Bill will put in crown moulding this coming weekend along with a new ceiling fan and electrical outlets.  We’ll debate on whether to refinish the floor right now or hold off till spring.  Since we want to do it like our room, the oil finish takes about 6 weeks to cure well and we don’t have that kind of time or weather.

Hopefully, I’ll post again before another year goes by. 😉

Studio setup in 2014