Bathroom Redo | Part Four - Power of Paint

Or, I could have titled this post, "Power and Paint" since that's what we have in the bathroom right now.  Paint and power!  I'll get to the details later, but first we left off with framing and electrical work, so I owe you some drywall pictures.

After Mike hung the drywall, (I helped carry the drywall pieces upstairs, but Mike is definitely the drywaller in the family),  I forgot to take photos before he taped, mudded, and did the texture of the ceiling.  I love how drywall finally makes the room start looking like an actual room.

Last Monday, Mike and I decided to make a goal to finish the walls for paint to be able to move all the cabinets upstairs, (and finally out of the dining room), by the end of the weekend.  Every night Mike would do a coat of mud on the walls and by Thursday he had done his third and final coat and was able to sand everything on Friday.  He was on a shorter time frame than I was because he went out of town over the weekend to a beer festival/competition where he was judging.

So, the plan for me was to clean everything up and paint all weekend.  Well, I got a call Friday night around midnight telling me that he made it down there safely, but his motorcycle broke down and I would have to come down to get him, (three hours away!), and he wanted me there on Saturday night so that we could leave early Sunday and still have time to get things accomplished before Monday.  That meant I had to buy everything and paint Saturday and then drive three hours if we wanted to make our goal.  And you know what?  I kicked ass and got it done!  One coat of primer on everything, two coats of white on the ceilings, and two coats of color on the walls.  Finishing all so this damsel could go save her prince in distress.   

Okay, now that you know what a crazy weekend we had, let's get back to the actual paint.  Like the color I chose on my mood board from April of last year, we went with Glidden's Gentle Tide.

I usually stick with Sherwin Williams colors, just because that's the paint I always use but, I have been seeing this color on the internet for years.  It's discontinued so I couldn't grab any paint swatches but I had my Home Depot make me a small tester size with the intention of going home and painting a small piece of drywall and making sure I liked it with all the lights throughout the day.  I also grabbed some other testers of Martha Stewart's Rainwater (a greenish gray) and Glidden Dusty Miller (darker gray with some blue undertones), and some other swatches for good measure.

Of course that didn't happen, and even if it had, we had no lights in the bathroom yet and blue and green drywall which cast some weird hues on all the swatches I brought in there.  So I did something I've never done before and bought the paint without being able to see it in the room.  I'm sure if I hadn't had to make the drive down to Southern Ohio I wouldn't have done this, but I wanted to get this reno moving!

I bought one gallon of primer, one gallon of extra white semi-gloss latex for the ceiling, and one gallon of egg-shell latex color matched to the Gentle Tide.  I took the little tester container to the store hoping they could use the color codes on the label to match, but the guy ended up having to color match to the dried test spot on the lid, (not something that I would usually allow since the computer can pick up the wrong color very easily), but again I was rushed.  It came out looking a tad bit lighter on the little spot he dried for me, but I figured it was different material, one was completely dried, I had t-minus 8 hours to paint this bia, and it was good enough for me.

Other than it was freakin' hot on Saturday, the painting went fine.  Until I got to the color coat.  I painted the half-wall behind the door first and had a mini freakout moment when the color was a little too mint ice cream.  I might have gone crazy and stopped to grab all the testers I had and quickly threw the paint onto a couple sections with my hands so see if I liked them better, including the original Gentle Tide.  Turns out the Sherwin Williams color-matched GT was darker than the original, (and looked better in my opinion), the Rainwater was way too green, and the Dusty Miller was way too dark gray.  So I felt marginally better and continued on painting like I didn't just lose my mind and have paint covered fingers like a little kindergartner.

After I was done with my second coat I was still leery of the color and had yet to figure out what the real color looked like.  As I moved throughout the room, the color changed.  Like not just a little "now it's a little darker" like one minute it's green, then next blue, then gray.  I finished up around 8:00 pm and decided I didn't want to die driving down to meet Mike so I walked away from the room.

When we came back on Sunday I was pleasantly surprised to find that I loved the color!

During the day it looks light greenish blue and changes to a gray in the shadows.   Every time I go to check out the room (which is quite often now that it actually looks like a room and I've swept it within an inch of it's life to get all the dust out) it looks different, which I have to saw it pretty cool.

Later in the evening I convinced Mike to install the outlets and covers as well as the lights and fan.  We bought the vanity lights online and I forget which site we ended up getting them from, but they have them at Home Depot as well as Amazon. 


We chose to flip them upside down and have them pointed down towards the mirror and sink.  I got so excited that I took some crappy photos at night to show you:

Mike then installed the recessed light/fan in the ceiling, the outlets for the vanity, and the outlet behind the door.

(I'm deciding whether I want to paint the access panel or not.  I think I'll wait until we add a laundry basket and towels to see if it's necessary.)

The ceiling light was added in our design because we never got enough light in the shower.  We found this recessed design that also has a fan in it, but when the lights on, you would never know.

And the coolest part of this hook-up task was installing the light and fan switch.  We have a switch for the vanity lights, the ceiling light and the fan.  Mike actually found the fan switch which has preset timers for the fan.  We have 30, 15, 10, and 5 minute switches.  I've never used one before, but we never got to use the fan before, (it vented into the attic, damn you previous owners!), so I'm looking forward to having clean mirrors when I get out of the shower.

We're really moving at this point, and hopefully in a good week or two we'll be finally done.  Next step is installing the cabinets, (which we already hauled into the room), and then tile!  I'm looking forward to learning how to tile, but I'm sure Mike is less excited to slow his production rate down to teach me!

Bedroomy Art

As I mentioned in my previous post, I made all the artwork in our bedroom.  Not because I particularly wanted a bespoke room, mostly just because I'm cheap.

On the right hand wall I started with my paper heart project and decided on a little grouping of frames.

I actually bought the other two frames before deciding on how I wanted to fill it, and let me tell you, this is the worst way to do it!  They must have sat empty for weeks. 

To explain the black and white woman's outline I have to explain a somewhat ridiculous and inappropriate request Mike made a long time ago.  He said he'd like to have a picture of a naked lady in our house.  Okay, I admit, he has a background in art, so he wasn't really asking for a framed centerfold or anything, but something artsy and modern.  I told him the only place for a naked lady was the bedroom.  So, when I saw the Olunda picture with the Henri Matisse motif I found something that would count as a naked lady and some appropriate bedroom art.  The only problem was, as I mentioned earlier, I already had the frame, and it was a lot smaller than the Olunda picture.  So I made my own.  It's embarrassingly simple and involved black cardstock and a white paint pen.  I used the original picture to free hand in pencil and then went over it in the white pen.  

For the smaller picture I printed out the word LOVE spelled in sign language.  My sister was taking a course that semester and I thought it would be a neat idea.  I printed it on a transparency sheet because after leaving the frame empty for so long I liked the brown backing.  I actually had the transparency sheet lying around for some reason, but I could have printed it on a paper bag or craft paper to get the same result.

On the opposite wall are more Ikea Ribba frames (pretty much the same frame I buy for all the artwork in the house). 

These filled with my favorite poem, [i carry your heart with me(i carry it in] by E. E. Cummings.  I was inspired by this pin from Pinterest:

Pinned here

I saw my favorite poem in a new and graphic way and I wanted something similar in the bedroom.  I decided to just find a "hand painted" font instead of painting it myself and chose VNI-HLThuphap (I didn't actually download it from this site because I forgot where I got it from - so download at your own discretion) which has the paint strokes I was looking for.  I used some artist licensing to format the poem into the two frames so it would look even and printed it them out on a large format printer (we have one at work to print of construction drawings, but any Kinko's can make the same size).

And a closeup:

I love the artwork we chose and although they're pretty simple and not a lot of color, they feel right for our master bedroom.

I also think you could infer a lot about our personalities by our choices of artwork: Mike - naked ladies, and me - sentimental poems about love.  Or, I guess it could just be a reflection of the male and female minds!

Master Bedroom Reveal

After switching out the sunburst mirror, I promised to share a whole room reveal.  And, I'm ready to deliver. 

I've finally gotten the artwork that I like hung and little tweaks here and there made to get it to a point that I can stop thinking about it now.  Well enough to the point that I could take pictures and not spend an entire post talking about the changes that I want to make.  Since the room was just a beige box (hiding some very scary neon splatter) anything in there would be an improvement.

Mike and I aren't feng shui masters or anything, but we both have always agreed that the bedroom is a sanctuary and isn't the place for computers or tv's and pictures of a bunch of people.  We like to have a comfy bed, a bunch of pillows, and maybe a few good books to get our read on sometimes.  That's it. 

With that school of thought, the bedroom was really easy to decorate, made even more simple by the fact that when Mike and I started dating, he came with a bedroom set.  While I'm not a fan of light wood usually, I set out to make it work and painted the walls a calm blue (Sherwin Williams Uncertain Gray) which worked with the light tones of his bed frame.

The room itself isn't that big so once the bed and a couple end tables went in it seemed like enough and we decided to put his dresser in the guest room, which is also our dressing room, so it worked out well.  I don't really like cookie cutter sets, so this was a good compromise to divide the pieces around.  Both the exterior walls have offset windows, which are good for natural light, but not so great for room planning.  I've always had my beds opposite of the door, so I chose to put it against the window and work around it.  Since the room is small and the windows on each side balance each other, it works. 

I added some curtains (JC Penney), a rug (Home Depot), some artwork (DIY), and some accessories and have since called it a day.  So, here it is, our pretty basic, super comfortable, nap-inducing, (in a good way of course), calming master bedroom:

The artwork:

His and Hers:

The view from the guest room:

And, since I tried to take some photos from relatively the same angles that I did during our initial walk-thru with the relator (long before I decided to start the blog), I thought I share back to backs.  We still haven't installed the doors, so excuse the open closet, but we've made some purchases that will hopefully make that a reality sooner than later.

Since all of the artwork I've DIY'd, I'll be back with a post about how I did each one.

Whew, another  room down, only the rest of the house to go!

Sunburst Switch

I realized I haven't posted pictures of our master bedroom on here.  I've shown bits and pieces of it in a couple different posts like the sunburst mirror I made here, and some paper heart artwork that I made a couple years ago, but not a whole room shot.

I promise to change that, but not today.  Gotcha, didn't I?  First I have to share a little switch-up I did yesterday to the sunburst mirror.  I was so proud of my little mirror I made awhile back, but every time I looked at it in the room, it felt a little washed out.  I think it was because it wasn't very substantial and the white against the blue made it fade away a little.

It's been bothering me for a couple months now, but Mike's been trying to curb my constant decor changing, so I've refrained from doing anything to it.  But anyone who knows me, (including Mike), knows that if it bothers me, it's eventually got to go.  So, my sister and I were shopping at Hobby Lobby the other day and I came across another sunburst mirror in the clearance section.

It was love at first sight, well until I picked it up and got a huge splinter from a piece of sharp plastic that must have been hanging on somewhere.  Even though I immediately started bleeding, I threw it in the cart and told my sister it was mine.  Then I got nervous that Mike would make me take it back, you know "since we already had a perfectly good one at home" (I know Mike well enough to know that this is what he would think).  That's why I convinced my sister to take my white one and then I could switch them out without leaving one laying around.

Long story short, I got the mirror that was originally $79.99 for only $27.  I assumed I would paint it white, (since that's what we had and I thought the dark tones would clash with the light wood bed frame and tables), but when I hung it on the wall with the same screw from the old mirror I was pleasantly surprised at how nice the blue looked with the dark wood.       

Although stepping back I realized I had another problem.

It was a little low.  Like 6 inches too low.

This is probably one of the reasons Mike hates when I change things up, because it usually requires more holes in the wall.  And, with 85 year old plaster walls, that's not something we like to do.  So, I had to come up with a plan B.

Thank you Joann's for having all of your Command 3M hooks and hangers on sale and giving me the inspiration!  I grabbed one of these sticky back nail hangers for a couple bucks and decided to give it a try.  Hoping it would change my decorating life forever!  Okay, maybe not that dramatic, but I was hoping that this could be a nice alternative to drilling holes, adding anchors and screws for the lightweight things I like to add around the house.

I read the directions really carefully, (I'm more of a open-package-and-just-do-it sort of girl usually), mostly because of the hole from the random plastic splinter I got from first handling the mirror I was a little scared of it.  And, the last thing I wanted to happen was it to attack me fall on my head while I'm sleeping.

The hanger said it can hold up to 8 lbs, which is more than the mirror weighs and like all the 3M hooks, just required removing the backing and placing on a cleaned surface.  The only minor hiccup was the hook on the mirror was pretty high and the metal from the hanger would stick out on top.

So, it took me all of 0.3 seconds to decide to flip the hanger over and place it on the wall upside down.  Luckily for me, I was lazy the last time we hung the mirror and didn't erase the level line we drew on the wall.  I just measured six inches up and pressed the hanger on the wall, leaving the old screw hole untouched. 

The package said to wait 1 hr before hanging, but we went out to dinner so it was more like 5 hours before I got the mirror back up.  After hanging the mirror at the new height, it looks a lot better.  I'm also digging the dark and light wood tones together.  Now everything isn't so matchy matchy. 

In the end I got to switch out the mirrors like I wanted, my sister got a free sunburst mirror, and Mike didn't have to put another hole in the plaster.  All in all, a good day!

I took these before I left for work so they're not the greatest, but I'll have a whole room reveal ready for next week so you can see everything together.  And, not sure if you noticed or not, but next time I'll even make the bed for you too instead of pulling down the comforter, (oh the magic of cropping)!

Deck Build | Part Staining

I guess we were a little premature calling the deck complete back in September when we had one of the most tedious tasks still ahead of us.  Before we could really call it done we had to stain it.

There's many schools of thought on how long you should wait to stain your deck, and we've found research from everything from 6-8 weeks, to 3-6 months to allow the pressure treated wood to dryout.  Since we completed it so late in the year, we knew we would be waiting until early spring to think about staining.  This isn't always ideal to go through a Northeast Ohio winter with an unfinished deck, but we got really lucky, (or unlucky for snowboarders like Mike), and had a very mild winter.  So, after the rain settled down around May, we started the plan of attack.  Well life got in the way, vacations were taken, (we're still tan from sneaking off to Florida last week), and we were running out of days to stain this bad boy.

We finally decided that we would clean the deck before we flew to Florida, and stain it when we returned since the cleaning instructions said to wait 3-4 days before staining it.

Before I get into the details I have to warn you there are no action shots here.  Cleaning and brightening and staining are messy and we were always up against the clock during each task, so there was no time for pictures.

We started with the cleaner Mike bought online called Restore-a-Deck (We weren't paid or perked, Mike did his usual research and heard this was a really good product.) The cleaner was 1/2 of a 2-part system that included a brightener.  It comes in a powder form that makes 5 gallons when mixed with water.  Mike used a gardening sprayer to apply it and I was in charge of watching the clock and spraying it with the hose after the 15 minute wait time.

The hardest part was doing this on a very sunny and hot day.  The deck is supposed to remain wet while you are applying it, so Mike and I worked in sections to prevent drying out.  Once we were done there was a film left on the wood that the hose wasn't removing, so we borrowed our neighbors power washer to remove it.

I think this is where I might have gotten a little overzealous because while I removed all of the slimy film, I was left with a hairy deck from too much pressure.

We did a little research online and found this isn't the end of the world.  Since we were doing this before vacation, we left it alone and a lot of the hairs were washed away from the couple of rain showers we had.  The wear and tear from regular use and rain will eventually rub all the hairy parts off.

Even though the last thing someone wants to do right after returning from a week of relaxing in the sun is stain a deck, we had prepared ourselves for the task and were kind of excited to complete it and be done with it.  All we had to do was wait for nice weather.  Which we had hoped was going to be during the weekend, but of course we weren't that lucky.  That's why last Wednesday night Mike and I ran around getting our brushes and pan liners and started staining around 5:30 in the evening.  Yes, this was crazy.  No, this is not normal.  Yes, we usually do things like this.

What was even crazier was our neighbors had their annual end of school bonfire party for their kids and a couple of their friends where they burn their school notebooks, (a really cool tradition for the kids!) and kept trying to entice us to drop the rollers and brushes to come over for some beers.  Not sure how we held out, but we did, and finished staining everything around 10:30 that night.  Five hours to stain 625 square feet, with no breaks.  We didn't even care that we hadn't eaten dinner or had mosquito bits the size of quarters, we were done!

As for the actual stain, we used TheSealerStore TimberOil in Warm Honey Gold.  The stain was really easy to use and needed only one coat, (probably due to the fact that it was raw wood and we pretreated it with the cleaner and brightener).  For the whole deck we used about 6 gallons.  We had bought 7.

Since it was so dark when we finished I wasn't able to get pictures until this weekend.  Here's what it looked like after the cleaning and brightening:

And the Warm Honey Gold goodness afters:

And back to back:

It's pretty orange looking to me, but even in the last couple of days since we've finished, it's dulled down a little.  It's a little strange looking out and seeing the giant orange deck that is where the light colored one used to be, but it's a lot more rich looking now and the added protection is good for my peace of mind.

Now we just have to add some lattice, furniture, and landscaping.  Oh gosh, when will it ever end?!