The Humble Pokeberry

The garden has been very productive this summer and so have the weeds. We have a giant weed growing between the potager and the Cottage.

We have lots of berry weeds on the property but this one is a monster.

We have lots of berry weeds on the property but this one is a monster.

It is a pokeberry bush.

The original copy of the Declaration of Independence is written in fermented pokeberry ink which has faded.

The original copy of the Declaration of Independence is written in fermented pokeberry ink which has faded.

Once upon a time historic documents were written with pokeberry ink made from the poisonous berries.  Pokeberry ink is fades over time so some documents have actually been lost.

The berries look good but are not edible.

The berries look good but are not edible.

The entire plant is poison to eat. Since it is not poison to touch Charlie hacked it down.

The bush is twice as tall and Charlie.

The bush is twice as tall and Charlie.

With this bush cut down the area under the trees is becoming a neater spot.

The now-wizened pokeberry bush is in the foreground.

The now-wizened pokeberry bush is in the foreground.

I hope it’s the start of a trend.

Are your weeds under control?

Yesterday’s Yeas!

So finally we accomplished something on a Saturday.

We must lay a floor before the linen closet gets permanently set in place.

We must lay a floor before the linen closet gets permanently set in place.

First we set the bottom of the linen closet in place.

The hinges and hardware were aged brass.

The hinges and hardware were aged brass.

In order to reattach the doors I needed to paint the old brass hinges and screws.

When the new knobs and pulls are installed I'll recheck the color of the hinges.

When the new knobs and pulls are installed I’ll recheck the color of the hinges.

The new color for the hardware is Charcoal Metallic.

The newly grey cabinet fits nicely in the space.

The newly grey cabinet fits nicely in the space.

Charlie helped by carrying the cabinet from the backyard to the master suite and by attaching the hinges.

Nine 16-foot, 10-inch wide boards -- painted grey for bedroom shelves.

Nine 16-foot, 10-inch wide boards — painted grey for bedroom shelves.

While I waited for the spray painted hardware to dry, I loaded up the paint sprayer again with home-mixed “Secret” and gave the bookshelf boards for the master bedroom another coat. (I’m getting the hang of the paint sprayer.)

Clark's Hardware Store in Ellicott City, Maryland

Clark’s Hardware Store in Ellicott City, Maryland (from their Facebook page)

We let them dry while we attended Customer Appreciation Day at our local hardware store which was celebrating its 170th anniversary. We got a 20% discount on 5 gallons of exterior paint and a free lunch.

I separated the newly-painted boards with spacers.

I separated the newly-painted boards with spacers.

Upon our return home Charlie carried the painted boards back into the living room.

I'm waiting to see the master bathroom vanity hardware before choosing drawer pulls and door knobs.

I’m waiting to see the master bathroom vanity hardware before choosing drawer pulls and door knobs.

Since the temperature was 93 degrees we both decided to take a break in the air conditioning. When I reread this post it sounded like most of our day was spent waiting for paint to dry, but we didn’t just twiddle ours thumbs.

Halfway through August are you getting things done?

We Got a Head Start

My plan for today was to paint the linen closet a custom blend medium grey much like Benjamin Moore’s “Secret”.

It's easier to paint shelving before it's built.

It’s easier to paint shelving before it’s built.

While I had paint in the sprayer I also planned to paint the 1 by 10s we bought to create a wall of shelves in the master bedroom. With a burst of unusual energy (possibly produced by a Frappuccino with 4 extra shots of espresso) Charlie and I started the 2-birds-with-1-stone project last night.

The polyurethaned finish on the linen closet needed to be roughed up.

The polyurethaned finish on the linen closet needed to be roughed up.

Charlie roughed up the finish on the linen closet cabinet with our hand sander.

My technique got better as I went along.

My technique got better as I went along.

While he was sanding I gave one side of the boards a sprayed-on coat of paint.

The sprayed finish is smooth.

The sprayed finish is smooth.

While the boards were drying I painted the cabinet with about 3 good coats with drying time between the coats.

Painted grey boards in front; unpainted pre-primed boards behind.

Painted grey boards in front; unpainted pre-primed boards behind.

In the mean time Charlie flipped all the boards and I started painting the other sides.

The white area still remains to be finished.

The white area still remains to be finished.

I was determined to get a coat of paint on everything before cleaning out the paint sprayer so I enlisted Charlie’s help to finish up.

The old color

The old color

The new color

The new color

Unfortunately the sprayer’s output began to diminish and it started to drip.  So we both decided to start again this morning.

Our overnight paint project looks like we're waiting for a caterer.

Our overnight paint project looks like we’re waiting for a caterer.

We brought the cabinet inside and covered up the boards with drop cloths.  When I took the sprayer apart to clean it, the tiny filter inside was totally blocked up with little bits of paint.

Do you stay on schedule or utilize bursts of energy?

I Must Get Something Finished

I have a lot of open projects. Tomorrow is the day to finish something — some one thing.

Sanding then painting are next on the list.

Sanding then painting are next on the list.

The bottom cabinet of the linen closet needs to be painted.

The master suite hall and closet still have sub-floor.

The master suite hall and closet still have sub-floor.

Even when it’s all painted the bottom cannot be permanently installed because we still need flooring in the master suite.

I want some crown molding above this cabinet.

I want some crown molding above this cabinet.

Then the trim needs to be applied to the top cabinet.

I am really tired of the living room being full of lumber.

I am really tired of the living room being full of lumber.

That’s one project which, if I get into it, will also involve painting some long boards since I’ll have the paint sprayer filled with the right color.

You can see how far I got with the wallpaper before everything stopped.

I didn’t get very far with the wallpaper before everything stopped.

My other started project — the dining room wallpaper — has been held up by the fact that the foosball table is still in the dining room.

The foosball table is right where I want to be and not easily moved.

The foosball table is right where I want to be and not easily moved.

I made arrangements to donate it and now there has been some opposition on the receiving end.

I've had the dining room table covered in black plastic and ready to go for weeks now.

I’ve had the dining room table covered in black plastic and ready to go for weeks now.

In order to work on the wallpaper and finish painting the paneling, the foosball table must disappear.

All the windows in the conservatory need sills and casing.

All the windows in the conservatory need sills and casing.

The third option all depends on whether or not our carpenter friend is coming to work on the casings.  He is supposed to pick up window sills.

Nobody nails trim anymore, I'm told, it's pneumatic tackers all the way.

Nobody nails trim anymore, I’m told, it’s pneumatic tackers all the way.

If he’s using the compressor I’m not going to get involved in spray painting (for which I need the compressor)  or wallpapering because I’ll be right in the middle of everything.

And I want to sell my saddle which I've been carrying around in the trunk of my car.

And I want to sell my saddle which I’ve been carrying around in the trunk of my car.

I hope to get something finished. I feel a little desperate.

Plans for the weekend?

Exterior Paint for the Shingles

About 10 years ago Charlie painted the exterior of the house.

"Siding in a Can" by Duron has been a good product for us but is no longer available.

“Siding in a Can” by Duron has been a good product for us but is no longer available.

At that time Duron was my go-to paint source so we used Duron’s “Siding in a Can”.  It has held up beautifully.

Here is the exterior paint rating chart from ConsumerReports.org.

Here is the exterior paint rating chart from ConsumerReports.org.

Duron has since been swallowed up by Sherwin-Williams so I went to my old stand by, Consumer Reports*, to see what they are recommending for exterior paints.

Clark and Kensington is sold at Ace Hardware.

Clark and Kensington is sold at Ace Hardware.

Their top 2 exterior paints are Behr Plus Ultra Exterior and Clark and Kensington exterior.

Sandy Hook Gray by Benjamin Moore

Sandy Hook Gray by Benjamin Moore

I have chosen the Benjamin Moore color “Sandy Hook Gray” which I’m hoping I can have mixed in  the Clark and Kensington formula otherwise I’ll have to choose something close from their color swatches.

The Glade before painting.

The Glade before painting.

The Glade colorized at the Benjamin Moore site.

The Glade colorized at the Benjamin Moore site.

By the way Benjamin Moore has a paint tool  which I found easier to use than others I had tried.

The west side of the house is most visible from the street.

The west side of the house is most visible from the street.

Paint first then landscaping.

Paint first then landscaping.

I can’t wait until we paint we’ve painted.

* I have free online access to Consumer Reports through my local public library card.

Do you have a favorite exterior paint to try? Or to stay away from?

Transforming in Progress

On my to-do list for the past few months has been to paint the bottom section of the DIY linen closet.

Just a smidge had to come off each side to fit the cabinet into the 36-inch opening.

Just a smidge had to come off each side to fit the cabinet into the 36-inch opening.

Charlie cut it down to size.

While the linen cabinet looks grey it is actually dark green.

While the linen cabinet looks grey it is actually dark green.

Now it’s my turn to change the color of it.

The inside used to be turquoise.

The inside used to be turquoise. (I know it looks green in the photo.)

I started with the inside which I wanted white to give the maximum light reflection quality.  It was turquoise.

Some of the outside was inadvertently hit with the white paint but will be covered with grey.

Some of the outside was inadvertently hit with the white paint but will be covered with grey.

I got out our paint sprayer* and gave the inside of the cabinet as many thin coats as I thought necessary to cover the bright aqua blue.

The interior of the linen closet is white.

The interior of the linen closet is white.

To make the job easier I removed the doors. The final color might be pale grey as opposed to bright white but it will do.

The old hardware looked dated so I'm planning to use something similar to the kitchen hardware.

The old hardware looked dated so I’m planning to use something similar to the kitchen hardware.

I removed the hinges from the doors because I want to paint them some metallic shade — Metallic Charcoal wouldn’t surprise me.

The new pulls will have holes at a different width.

The new pulls will have holes at a different width.

I also removed the drawer pulls from the drawers and filled the holes with wood filler.

I like the knobs and drawer pulls in the kitchen but I want to see exactly what comes with my new vanilty before making a final chpoice.
I like the knobs and drawer pulls in the kitchen but I want to see exactly what comes with my new vanity before making a final choice.

 I expect to get new drawer pulls and matching knobs for both the lower and upper sections of the linen closet.

Secret by Benjamin Moore for the built-ins.

Secret by Benjamin Moore for the built-ins.

The next step is to lightly sand the top, front, and drawers before I paint them “Secret”.

I'll get around to this sooner or later.
I’ll get around to this sooner or later.

While I’m painting them would be the perfect time to also paint the boards that are destined to be our bedroom bookshelves.

I simple hand-held paint sprayer is not difficult to use and maintain.

I simple hand-held paint sprayer is not difficult to use and maintain.

*One day I’m going to give a tutorial on how this spray painter from Horror Harbor Freight works and how to clean it.

Favorite method of painting : brush, roller, spray?

I Saw It on Craigslist

My conservatory is full of windows.

The conservatory has 2 walls of windows.

The conservatory has 2 walls of windows.

The walls are green; the ceiling and sofas are blue.

Why do I search for things that I don't need?

Why do I search for things that I don’t need?

For no apparent reason and out of the blue I searched “stained glass” on Craigslist.

The photos aren't great but these would be perfect in the conservatory.

The photos aren’t great but these would be perfect in the conservatory.

I shouldn’t have because now I want this pair of windows to hang in the windows of the conservatory.

The kitchen is Waterbury Cream which is an amber tone.

The kitchen is Waterbury Cream which is an amber tone.

All the colors are perfect even the pale amber ground color that echoes our kitchen (which can be seen from the conservatory).

I had to splice together 2 photos to get this one of an entire window.

I had to splice together 2 photos to get this one of an entire window.

The owner of said windows is an hour’s drive which I would undertake.

I think the window would look wonderful.

I think the window would look wonderful.

However the price is $350. What kind of offer should I make?

The dining room is a mess of paint cans, wallpaper supplies, ladders, foosball table !!!

The dining room is a mess of paint cans, wallpaper supplies, ladders, foosball table !!!

I can’t really justify a $350 decorative purchase when I have so much to purging to do not to mention expenses to finish the unfinished bits of the house.

I still have 2 large bathrooms to tile -- $$$$$

I still have 2 large bathrooms to tile — $$$$$

What would you do?