Search Results for: Home Improvement Command Center

Coming Unhinged

Recently I have been working on quite a few pieces of “junk-tiques”, so Coach and I have been frequenting the auction, estate sale and flea market circuit, and have come home with quite a few great country finds.

CDH Junk-Tiques

Of course, most of them need a little, nea, a LOT of TLC, so over the weekend we opened up the HICC (seriously, you don’t know what that is?!?)

HICC

fired up the sander and got to work on the transformation process. When I came across an old commode at an indoor flea market, my intention was to sand it all down and then restain/antique it. But I just couldn’t bring myself to strip away all those years of paint and the beautiful layers of colors, ending with the final soft pink it is today. However, the same did not hold true for the drawer pulls and hinges-years of caked-on paint had obliterated the design and the finishes- who does that?!? Paint Removal with Vinegar I get painting the chest, heck, we all do that. And I understand that painted hardware is “in” right now, but people, if the hardware has beautiful inlaid flowers and a gorgeous pewter patina, leave it alone!!! Paint Removal from Hardware That being said, I needed to find a way to strip all of the old paint off without harming the hardware, my granite countertops and my sinuses. Pinterest to the rescue!! I found several DIY pins with all kinds of methods that did not include harsh chemicals, so I kind of combined a few and came up with my own quick and easy method. Simply: fill an old saucepan with water (enough to cover the hardware completely), add a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar and a few drops of dish soap. Any kind of white vinegar will do, but I especially like this one because it says “Nice!”, and nice matters, as a friend of mine recently reminded me : )

Paint Removal with Vinegar

Drop in the hardware.

Removing Paint in Water and Vinegar

Bring the whole concoction to a boil. Paint Removal with Boiling Water Allow to slow boil for 20-30 minutes (keep making sure you have enough water in the pan- don’t want to singe the hinges!). Keep checking the pieces- after 10 minutes or so you will begin to notice stuff floating in the water, and if you pick up a piece, you can see the paint starting to peel away. Paint Removal Boiling Water After 30 minutes, start taking the pieces out one at a time-you need to keep the others submerged until you are ready to clean them, otherwise the paint will reharden and stick. I used a toothpick and a small toothbrush (preferably not one you are using again!) to get into the crevices. Paint Removal with Toothbrush Buff the piece with a terry cloth towel to remove any clinging bits, then rinse in water and wipe dry. Can you believe the beautiful detail I uncovered under those layers of paint!?!? Paint Removal Paint Peel At this point, you can use a little metal polisher-like this awesome stuff use because: 1. It’s from Cape Cod- which we love and 2. It really works!! Cape Cod Metal Polishing Cloths

Individual little cloths already soaked with not-too-smelly cleaner-easy and neat. Polish, buff dry and you are done. Once completed, the drawer pulls were re-attached to the pretty little pink commode, which I finished with a crystal door pull and a touch of Annie Sloan French Linen Chalk Paint and Soft Wax. Annie Sloan French Linen

So now the once simple pink commode with the layers of painted hardware has a new look, not exactly what I had envisioned when I first spotted it at an antiques market, but I think the improvised version is even better…do you agree?

Pink Commode Finished

And it also has a new heart– which I uncovered as I was sanding the layers on the bottom of the chest-so sweet!! Paint Removal Heart Detail Have a terrific Tuesday, everyone!  Just remember to do what you love, follow your instincts and don’t come unhinged if it all doesn’t quite go according to plan. Susan

PS: I have joined a new weekend blogging link party sponsored by Serenity Now: Creative Solutions for Staying Sane. It’s a fun read and has loads of great ideas for everything from cooking to awesome DIY projects! Check them out!

Brushing It All Aside

This weekend, in preparation for the upcoming holidays, I have been working on the Hall of Shame (yes, we are on the home stretch now!). Basically I am finishing up the painting begun back in April, on that fateful day when I dropped the entire can onto the floor. Yesterday I completed all the trim, then tackled the remaining wall with the 3rd quart of Benjamin Moore Smoke paint- pretty, huh?

All was going well until I reached the very top of our hall stairway, which is very narrow and steep with a high ceiling. (Please don’t judge me because of my burgundy carpet. That was from the 80’s, and I knew not what I was doing!)

With no way to reach the very top far corner, I had two options…

 1. Suspend myself from the top stair to the wall and essentially dangle over the stairwell.

With Coach not being around, and my poor track record with disasters and mishaps in this hall to date, that did not seem like the best alternative. OR 2. Find a way to reach that corner without endangering life and limb. So I give you: Extend-A-Brush! 

With necessity being the mother of invention, I figured out a way to make my arm 6 feet long and reach that top corner!

Supplies required: 1 short handled 3″ angled brush + 1 long-handled mini-roller (minus the roller) +  masking tape (duct tape would do as well, but that was the first one I grabbed from my stick drawer in the HICC- Home Improvement Command Center)

My Extend-A-Brush made short work of that dangerous corner, and now, for the first time since I began this mecca back in the spring, all the walls are smoke blue- yay! And have this awesome invention to use in a tall or tight space! Do you think maybe I should patent this?!?

I could use some really cute zebra striped duct tape and jazz it up.

This may be it…time to hit up the guys at the Shark Tank!

Have a great Sunday everyone! Stay inspired, and enjoy the beautiful fall weather! Susan

“Dude, Where’s My Hammer?!?”

Since my last blog, I have had a bit of wrist re-furbishing, and typing left-handed is proving to be quite slow and tedious. So in the interest of my patience and sanity, the next few blogs (until the cast comes off) will be short, sweet and photo heavy. A picture is worth a thousand words, right?

Since my D.I.M. capabilities are severely limited at the moment, I am going to share a few recent projects that you might like to try. Since Coach and I are forever working on some home-and-barn improvement project, tools and supplies are constantly being moved around. It seems like whenever it’s time to hang a picture or sand a piece of furniture, the necessary tools are nowhere to be found. SO FRUSTRATING!!! How many of you out there in cyberspace have a junk drawer? Well, we do, and its so stuffed with junk I usually can’t find anything!

So, rather than going out and purchasing a fancy tool chest, I found some old plastic bins kicking around in the basement, and decided to use them to create my Home Improvement Command Center HICC for short.

In each labeled drawer there are the tools specific for that task. Stick: glue, duct tape, masking tape- anything that sticks-get it?

Cut and Scrape: razor cutters, blades, paint scrapers, chisels.

Screw and Drill: drivers, electric and manual, phillips head and flat head, along with the many drill bits we have purchased over the years because we couldn’t find the right one when we needed it. 

Hang: for pictures, curtains, rods (well, the rods don’t actually fit in these bins, but are you getting the hang of this?!?)

There are many more, including POUND, WRENCH&PLY and BRUSH- all pretty self-explanatory. Right after I completed this project, Coach came to me and said “Hey, I was looking for a hammer and found it right away- in the pound drawer!” HICC complete. Mission accomplished. Now if we can just remember to put them back! Have an inspiringly organized day! Susan

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