Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Free Paint Project

***Disclaimer-This post was originally started in June of 2012. I only recently finished getting all of the after pictures and putting all of the finishing touches on this post. Last summer when I had my third child and started working on my master's degree I had no idea what I was getting myself into! I have had to learn to say no to additional commitments, loosen some of my expectations on myself regarding housekeeping and manage extra hours away from home to take classes and finish school work while working full time and being the primary caretaker for my family. While the past year has been very challenging, it has also been amazing! I am so proud of all that I have accomplished and feel so empowered that I can do anything I put my mind to. With three years left until I finish my degree, I still have a long road ahead of me, but know that all the struggles will be worth it when I finally become a school counselor.***

When I saw the commercials advertising a free quart of Clark and Kensington paint from True Value, I knew immediately what I wanted to do. The paint giveaway occured on a day that I was in Dubuque visiting my family, so I begged my mom to go with me. When we arrived the gentleman at the paint counter told me that the free paint was an interior flat paint and that they only had dark base left. Though I wanted a gloss or semi-gloss, the flat would work. And I wanted black, so the dark base was perfect. They mixed me up a quart of their color "Ace of Spades" and I was on my way. Since moving into our home almost three years ago, I have wanted to paint the buffet and hutch in our dining room. I bought the buffet at Goodwill several years ago for around $40 and loved it. Unfortunately when we moved the buffet did not fare very well and wound up scratched and a little worse for the wear. Being as the buffet is made of particle board and not solid wood, it looked more shabby than chic.
I took the buffet apart and gave it a light sanding so that the paint would have something to stick to. Then gave it two light coats of paint and finished it off with a coat of poly. We also added a new back to give the buffet a little more stability. After putting it back together I could not stop starring at what looked like a brand new piece of furniture. Even my husband, who was a bit skeptical, could not believe how good it looked!

After the buffet turned out so well, I could not wait to get started on the hutch. I purchased the hutch off of Craigslist for around $100 after moving into our house.
The hardware was a bit dated and it was also a little worse for the wear, but two coats of paint and a coat of poly made her look brand new again! I also removed the decorative brass, choosing only to keep the hardware necessary to open the doors.
Though I love the look of both pieces, I decided during the process that refinishing furniture is not for me! While painting the furniture I had the contents of both cabinets scattered all over my dining room and kitchen, making cooking and cleaning very difficult. The amount of time required to refinish the cabinets was also difficult for me as I have very little patience. I had difficulty waiting the appropriate amount of time to let the paint set well before doing another coat. Though the cabinets look great, I can notice some imperfections in the paint job, such as places that did not get even coverage or places where the paint had not fully dried before I tried adding another coat. I used a foam brush to add the poly to the hutch and wish that I would have waited to purchase another brush. I feel that the foam brush left more visible marks and lines in the poly. Finally, there was a lot of hardware with the cabinet and I wish that I would have separated the hardware to lessen the headaches I had with putting it back together! I learned a lot for the next time that I attempt to refinish something, but I think that it will be a long time before I decide to do something like this again!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Welcoming Entrance

The front door to our home, while nice, was definitely not our taste. It also was not very effective at keeping things out. The entire door frame could be rocked, water leaked in the bottom and it was difficult to close and lock. We called in our favorite home improvement company and looked through the overwhelming options. The first style we picked out was not available in our door size, but we persevered and found a second option that was perfect. We picked out the interior and exterior door colors, door handles, trim and finishing options and then began the wait. Five weeks later, they finally called to say that the door was in and they were ready to install. When I got home the first day I could not believe the progress they had made. Both our new front door and new patio door were in! They secured everything and came back the next day to finish adding the interior and exterior trims. The new front door is absolutely beautiful and I love how the red pops off of the yellow siding and pulls in the colors of our roof. The patio door gives us so much more light and air flow, as well as giving us easier access to our deck.

Here is a shot of both doors:

 And a close up of the patio door:

The front door:

Much different than the before before (pre-siding):
And the before (post-siding):
I absolutely love both of our new doors not only for the changes to the exterior of our house, but also because of the changes to the interior. We plan to install all new white moulding and white paneled interior doors eventually, and these doors gave us the start to this project.
Now that the doors are installed, I really need to finish caulking and painting the mouldings that I installed this winter in the entryway! I can't wait for summer to start to have a little more time to finish this and other projects around the house.