Category Archives: Paint

Dumb Bunnies and Ugly Ducks

When I took our Easter decorations out of storage this year I found some old ceramic ducklings and bunnies that had been lovingly hand painted.

5 little ducklings and 3 pearlized bunnies

5 little ducklings and 3 pearlized bunnies

I tried to sell the whole lot on Craigslist but no takers.

Get a load of the dramatic eyes.

Get a load of the dramatic eyes.

Since I really didn’t care for these oddly painted creatures I decided to .  .  .

Everyone is a different color combination.

Everyone is a different color combination.

Wait for it .  .  .

I think the inside of the ears was pinked with nail polish. Hmmm.

I think the inside of the ears was pinked with nail polish. Hmmm.

Paint them. Surprise, huh?

These shells were decorated with a Sharpie. I love them.

These shells were decorated with a Sharpie. I love them.

I don’t want to take a lot of time with this project so I let the photo above be an inspiration.

White Spray Paints

I’ll have to spray everything down with white paint first.

This weekend might have an hour or so that’s warm enough to get the spray painting finished.  Then I can Sharpie whilst I watch television. I hope I can get this finished before Easter which is at the end of March this year.

What are you doing with your wacky stuff?

Give Thanks and Git-‘er-Done To-Do List — The Results

At the beginning of November I predicted a few things that would get accomplished on the ever evolving to-do list.

The dining room table looks fairly bare until we loaded it up with bowls and plates of food.

The dining room table looks fairly bare until we loaded it up with bowls and plates of food.

We spent Thanksgiving Day with just our son and his wife.  Although we invited quite a few other people everyone ended up celebrating with their own kinfolk which is always a blessing.

I arranged white roses with yard clippings of pine, boxwood, and holly.

I arranged white roses with yard clippings of pine, boxwood, and holly.

The menu:

  • Chesapeake Roasted Turkey

    The turkey was rubbed with a spice mix including "Old Bay".

    The turkey was rubbed with a spice mix including “Old Bay”.

  • Gravy

    The turkey pan drippings made rich gravy.

    The turkey pan drippings made rich gravy.

  • Herbed bread dressing
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Candied sweet potatoes
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Cauliflower with cheese sauce
  • Roasted Brussels sprouts

    After roasting the Brussels sprouts were tossed with balsamic vinegar.

    After roasting the Brussels sprouts were tossed with balsamic vinegar.

  • Pumpkin pie with whipped cream

Enough frivolity, now for the project list:

The siding for the entire exterior of the house is painted "Sandy Hook Gray".

The siding for the entire exterior of the house is painted “Sandy Hook Gray”.

1. We finished painting the exterior of the house.

The tiler

The tile installation is scheduled for November December — let’s get started!

2. The bathrooms were scheduled to be tiled in November. We had to start over finding a new tile setter. So the bathrooms are still untiled.

I've signed and returned the estimate omitting the Cottage water heater for now.

I signed a contract with the plumber who will install shower fixtures if the tile ever gets laid.

3. As soon as the tile is laid and grouted, we’ve signed with the plumber to install the shower fixtures in both new bathrooms. This should have happened in November but alas, it did not.

The left-hand side of the bedroom bookshelves has been built and set in place.

The left-hand side of the bedroom bookshelves has been built and set in place.

4. The bookshelves in the master bedroom are in the same state of undone as they were at the beginning of the month.

5. I finished writing all the narration for two Christmas programs which hangs over my head until it is printed on paper.

I'm working my way around the dining room with blue wallpaper. Planning on finishing before Christmas.

I’m working my way around the dining room with blue wallpaper. Planning on finishing before Christmas.

6. After Thanksgiving I started working on the dining room wallpaper again.

Charlie added cement board to the bathroom knee walls.

Charlie added cement board to the bathroom knee walls.

7. And Charlie finished a few details in the bathrooms to get them totally ready for the tile setter.  I’m making book on whether he will actually show up in December.

Charlie planted 3 oak leaf hydrangeas near the front of the house.

Charlie planted 3 oak leaf hydrangeas near the front of the house.

8. Charlie planted four hydrangea cuttings that had been recently rooted — 3 in front of the house and one near the back steps.

My plan to take the month off from renovation projects is not very realistic at this point. If I can finish wallpapering in the next 2 weekends, I’m hoping to have a small party some time between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

What’s your favorite party dish?

The Dining Room is Coming Along — For Real

This is a view of the dining room in June of 2014.

A reminder of dining room wallpaper pattern.

A reminder of dining room wallpaper pattern.

I’m finally back on the project and made some headway yesterday on the dining room wallpaper.

The dining room on Saturday afternoon with only the wallpapering supplies.

The dining room on Saturday afternoon with only the wallpapering supplies.

Clearing the dining room for Thanksgiving dinner gave me the opportunity to set up my wallpapering tools on the table while it was still cleared off.

I've begun to hang the wallpaper.

I had begun hanging wallpaper back in July. The ceiling and adjacent wall are painted Revere Pewter.

Having started in the corner near the kitchen I’m working my way around the room clockwise.

I papered the header above the kitchen counter and trimmed the pieces after hanging them all.

I papered the header above the kitchen counter and trimmed the pieces after hanging them all.

I bought a pack of 100 utility knife blades so I can make clean cuts without tearing the wallpaper.

One wall complete.

One wall complete.

The contrasting wallpaper above the newly-painted vintage tongue-and-groove paneling outlines the kitchen opening.

I like the drama of this dark blue and black striated paper.

I like the drama of this dark blue and black striated paper.

I worked around another corner until it was too dark to see the details. Two down, two to go.

The whole dining room list looks like this:

Do you like dramatic color schemes or soft transitions?

Our Chore Before the Tile

Charlie needed to finish the details of cement board on the kneewall and subfloor in the conservatory bathroom before the tile setter starts working.

The space around the vent and back to the wall needs subfloor to support tile.

The space around the vent and back to the wall needs subfloor to support tile.

He needs to fill in the areas around the plumbing and air vent.

The cutting plan for the puzzle piece.

The cutting plan for the puzzle piece.

Charlie cut some lovely detailed pieces.

Charlie cut some lovely detailed pieces.

We found an old piece of half-inch plywood (because we never throw anything away) from which Charlie cut an intricate piece of subfloor.

These pieces fit snugly.

These pieces fit snugly.

Then he screwed the pieces in place.

Happily he found the piece f cement board that had been cut out of the floor in the first place.

Happily he found the piece f cement board that had been cut out of the floor in the first place.

Charlie pays great attention to details; I, on the other hand, see the forest.

Do you focus on the “big picture” or minutia?

Around the Painted House

For three months I’ve been giving the blow by blow on painting the exterior of the house. The color: Sandy Hook Gray by Benjamin Moore.

Front façade - before painting.

Front façade – before painting.

Finally it’s time for a walk-around.

Soon the olive trees flanking the ramp will go inside and the ramp will be put away.

Soon the olive trees flanking the ramp will go inside and the ramp will be put away.

We’ll be considering foundation planting in spring.  Part of the issue will be to mask the electric meter.

Before -- front and west side

Before painting — front and west side

We've laid plastic and cardboard on the ground until we grade and plant to keep the red clay from splashing up onto the newly painted siding.

We’ve laid plastic and cardboard on the ground until we grade and plant to keep the red clay from splashing up onto the newly painted siding.

Walking left toward the side porch, this is the driveway side of the house and the side that is seen by anyone approaching from the street.

The windows in the new addition are more haphazardly placed that the original windows.

The windows in the new addition are more haphazardly placed that the original windows.

Farther down the driveway the old house (on the right) and new addition (on the left)  blend together.  The door on the porch used to be our kitchen window before the renovation.

We love the extra windows in the kitchen bump -out.

We love the extra windows in the kitchen bump -out.

As we look around the back corner the kitchen bump-out is conspicuous.

On the back of the house the siding is finished but the oil tank will also need a coat of house color.

On the back of the house the siding is finished but the oil tank will also need a coat of house color.

The back of the house has new additions flanking the original dining room (double windows), the two-story kitchen/master bathroom addition on the right and the conservatory on the left.

I like how complex the house looks now with the additions.

I like how complex the house looks now with the additions.

Continuing east the conservatory replaces our old porch and adds a full bath on the ground floor.

We'll be putting the shutters away for winter and start working on them in spring.

We’ll be putting the shutters away for winter and start working on them in spring.

The living room and conservatory have east facing walls.

The American boxwood is the only shrub from before the renovation that wasn't destroyed by excavation.

The American boxwood is the only shrub from before the renovation that wasn’t destroyed by excavation.

And finally the southeast corner takes us back around to the front.

After looking at all the photos of the painted house Charlie and I have discussed a few more painting projects that we’ll mock-up and work on when the weather is nice. You might be surprised.

What favorite or versatile shrub can you recommend?

So Gloomy

It’s not quite raining but the weather is so gloomy.

No progress on the master bedroom except now I have a chair in the room.

No progress on the master bedroom except now I have a chair in the room.

While I haven’t made much progress on my projects (waiting for Thanksgiving’s long weekend) I have started moving things around a bit.

The back of the house at the end of October.

The back of the house at the end of October.

Just a small patch remains to be painted. In the mean time the front is finished.

Just a small patch remains to be painted. In the mean time the front is finished.

And Charlie has continued to paint the exterior of the house.

The tile setter's quote we have accepted.

The tile setter’s quote we have accepted.

I’ve also signed the tile setter’s contract and sent him a deposit.  He promises to start just after Thanksgiving.

The front edge of the kneewall needs to be covered in Hardiebacker board and the floor joint waterproofed.

The front edge of the kneewall (on the right) needs to be covered in Hardiebacker board and the floor joint waterproofed.

Charlie has a bit more cement board to put in the bathrooms before the tiling starts.

After the kneewall is covered with Hardiebacker board it will be covered with the red-orange waterproofing called RedGard.

After the kneewall is covered with Hardiebacker board it will be covered with the red-orange waterproofing called RedGard.

And the tiler would like a bit more waterproofing brushed onto spots where water might pool.

Are you trying to gather the bits and pieces before the holidays get into full swing?

Little Detail Decisions

All of the electric fixtures on the outside of the house are installed on a white mounting plate.

The dark fixtures and electric outlet (behind the bench) on the side porch were mounted on white plates.

The dark fixtures and electric outlet (behind the bench) on the side porch were mounted on white plates.

When we started painting the house I had left the plates white.

Once the house was painted grey the white area behind the front porch light looked wrong.

Once the house was painted grey the white area behind the front porch light looked wrong.

When almost everything was  painted I decided the white margin around the fixtures, especially because it was not even on all sides, didn’t look right.

Close-up the improvement is not as apparent as at a distance.

Close-up the improvement is not as apparent as at a distance.

Using the detail brush I carefully painted the brackets the same color as the house.

Even a few steps back the lights look better.

Even a few steps back the lights look better.

We’re also planning to paint the 4 white air ducts on the outside of the house but I’ll be waiting for a windless day when I can use the spray painter.

One of the offending air ducts is on the conservatory wall which faces the street.

One of the offending air ducts is on the conservatory wall which faces the street.

The finishing stroke is near at hand.

Have you been oscillating over a small decision?