Coastal Kitchen Cupboard DIY Makeover

Blogger’s note: NO REAL WOOD WAS HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS CUPBOARD**

This past weekend, I completed a few more projects while awaiting the granite guy’s countertop installation at mom’s house. I have been working on this piece in my kitchen for quite awhile, and am happy to finally have it done! This is the before:

Coastal Kitchen Cabinet Beforea red cupboard (made of MDF) we purchased a few years back at Jordan’s Furniture Colossal Clearance Center in Avon, Mass (if you haven’t been there, it is so definitely worth the trip! Lots of great furniture at significantly discounted prices!) This piece fits nicely in the narrow passageway between our kitchen and dining room and holds a ton of stuff like paper towels, napkins and several pieces of kitchen equipment that just won’t fit anywhere else. The problem is, since it’s in the highest traffic point of our home, it had been scratched and worn-the finish was like a plastic veneer and scratched off quite easily (and I was tired of the dark red anyway…). Time for a fix, so this is the after: a pretty, light coastal cabinet with a top created from reclaimed window shutters!

Coastal Kitchen CupboardHere is the how-I-did-it: Sanded everything down to rough up the shiny veneer plasticy surface, and sanded the edges to round them off a bit.

Sanding the edges Nothing says “mass-produced” more than sharp, clean edges on furniture. Primed with my go-to primer: Glidden Gripper (you can find this at Home Depot in the paint dept)

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard Glidden Gripper Primer

The Americana Chalky paint I planned on using says it doesn’t need a primer, but the before color was so dark, and the new color was so light, I figured I had better just to be safe.

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard Chalky Paint Palette DecoArt

Before I painted the entire piece, I accented the frames around the door panel inserts with the Americana Chalky Paint Called Vintage. It is a soft blue/green color that ties in beautifully with the shutter slats on the top.

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard Framed Cabinet Doors with Chalky Paint

Then I applied some wallpaper wainscoting (LOVE this stuff too!) to the inside of the panels to give a more country feel to the piece. (For the DIY  how-to on using the wallpaper, click here.

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard with Wainscoting Wallpaper Panel Inserts

I then painted the entire cupboard, including the inside panels, with two coats of Americana Chalky paint in the color Everlasting-so soft and pretty white.

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard Chalky Paint for Knob Americana

The more I used this paint, the more I love it. No brush strokes, so easy to apply and clean up. I then sanded the edges to give it a bit of character and contrast.

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard Wainscoting Wallpaper Doors

The final coat was the Americana Ultra Matte Varnish from DecoArt. No shine, protects the white paint from fingerprints.

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard Ultra Matte Varnish Americana

For the star of this show, the top, I used some old shutter slats that Coach and I had picked up off the side of the road on a drive to Cape Cod. That was one of my very first blog posts, and also one of the first times we trash picked on the side of the road. What a score! The colors are all the original ones-so coastal pretty!!

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard Arranging Shutter Slats

I have been using parts of them for several projects, including some little hanging chalkboards which I decided to reclaim for this project. As I was arranging the slats on the top, my original plan was to flip the chalkboard ones over and use the reverse side. But then I thought, why not just leave them so I could write cute little sayings on the surface? Fun!

Coastal Cupboard Makeover Chalkboard

Once I had placed all of the slats, there were a few that hung over the edges, which I quickly remedied with a few jigsaw cuts.

Cutting Shutter slats with jigsawThen sanded the edge smooth with my Black & Decker Mouse sander, which I also picked up at my local Home Depot.  Honestly, I spend more time at Home Depot and Home Goods than I do at home!!

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard Cut Shutter Slat Edges

While I was sanding, I made sure that I sanded the top edge just a bit so that the cut pieces had the same worn edge as the rest. (this is the area that fits into the frame of the shutters when they are whole).

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard Mouse Sander Edges

Once they were cut and sanded, I glued them into place with this strong sticky stuff-didn’t even require any nailing!!

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard Wood Glue

The original knobs were a nice heavy iron, but I wanted something lighter so there wasn’t as much of a contrast. These mercury glass knobs I found at (where else) HomeGoods, but I couldn’t find handles for the doors that I really liked.

Home Goods Mercury KnobsSo, I grabbed a pair of stainless ones I kept from my old kitchen and painted them with the chalk paint. What, you say?! Painted knobs? But, of course! This week’s Tuesday DIY Tip: you can paint any hardware quickly and easily, especially with this chalk paint! You just paint it on, Painting knobs with chalk paintmaking sure you get in all the tiny holes and crevices, then wipe it off,

Wiping off Chalk Paintallow to dry and done. Wipe away as much or as little depending on the look you are going for.

Painted knobs with chalky paintThe finished cupboard now stands in the space under my incredible driftwood mirror I purchased at (where else) HomeGoods a few months back, along with some other coastal-inspired decor.

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard After Shutter Slat Top PM

Which will all go so nicely in my coastal dream home (if I ever get a coast dream home…) In the meantime, have a dreamy Tuesday, everyone!! Susan

**PS: That disclaimer at the top of this article is for all the wood enthusiasts who think that no wood furniture should ever be painted…

 

Thrifty Kitchen Transformation-DIY Series-Wax On!

The final step of the kitchen cabinet transformation was the finish coat on the doors, drawers and boxes. To this point, we have painted 2 coats of primer, 2 coats of paint + I coat of tinted glaze to give the cabinets a slightly aged look.

Glazed Tinted White CabinetsBut they still required one last coat of protection-this is a kitchen, and kitchens get messy right? Don’t want some splashing spaghetti sauce messing up my hard work! First, I tried a satin polyurethane, but it was too shiny. I also have a can of absolute matte finish, but I knew that would be too flat. So I decided on a wax finish that would provide protection while adding just a touch of shine. In the past I have used paste waxes that you wipe or stipple brush on, then buff off. They do give a nice finish, but I don’t like the odor and the elbow grease necessary to get the job done. Having recently discovered a new Crème Wax from Americana, I knew this was the perfect solution!

http://decoart.com/chalkyfinish/finishesYou literally brush this odorless opaque, white creamy liquid on with a foam brush,

Foam brushing wax onto cabinets allow to dry (about 1/2 hour), then buff it. The more you buff, the brighter the shine. I purchased this product at Michaels Crafts (with a coupon, of course : ), but it is available online at HomeDepot.com as well. Now, this is Tuesday’s DIY Tip: I use my little mouse sander to buff my finishes (if auto detailers can do it, why can’t I??)

Using mouse sander to buff waxSimply remove the velcroed sandpaper, stick on a soft cloth or rag in its place and buff away!

Buffing Waxed Cabinets with Mouse SanderUse a soft flannel or fleece, not terrycloth, as the loops in the cloth will make it a rougher finish. Unless, of course, that is the look you are trying to achieve. The buffed finish is perfect-smooth and with a low satiny shine-the look we had imagined when we first decided to make over mom’s kitchen. The wax finish is essentially colorless, so it doesn’t tint the finish, but it did enhance the glazing color I had already applied. So, this part of the transformation is complete and we’ve gone from this:

Kitchen Cabinets with Vinyl Panelsto this:

Waxed and glazed white kitchen cabinetsIf you are just joining us now, you can check out my Pinterest page with all of the links starting at the beginning here. But we still have a long way to go! Up next, the hardware. Have and buffed and shiny Tuesday everyone! Susan

Cottage Fresh Country Cupboard

A few days ago I shared a project that I had been working on: transforming a country cupboard from this ugly, broken, junky piece to a cottage fresh country cupboard. This was the before:

Country Cupboard Unpainted

this was the during

Country Cupboard Painted

this is now.

White Country Cupboard Signed

A simple fresh white country cupboard that is filled with some of my cherished blue and white pieces, including this vintage set of Block China that I have kept stored away for over 30 years!

Block China Blue Strawberries

I have treasured this dinner set with the luscious blue strawberries for so long, but have never had an open cupboard to display them…and now I do! In this close-up pic you can also see the wainscoting wallpaper that I had installed and painted. It just gives a little extra depth to the otherwise plain back of the piece.

Blue & White Country Cupboard

You can read about the initial transformation process, including the prepping and installation of the wainscoting wallpaper here:

https://countrydesignhome.com/2014/04/10/wow-wainscoting-wallpaper/

Once I had finished painting the cupboard, I wanted to add just a bit of glazing to the detailed trim to enhance it. BUT, I did not want to change the overall look of the piece. It needed to remain bright white to contrast with the red walls of my dining room. This concoction of DecoArt Metallic Pearl White Paint + Behr Custom Color Sample (kind of a soft tan-but I’m not sure of the color because it was in the OOPs bin at HomeDepot for 50 cents!) + Martha Stewart Tintable Glaze Effects.

Martha Stewart Glaze, Americana Metallic Paint, Behr

I mixed it all together- lets say 6 parts glaze to two parts metallic paint to one part tan paint. Very scientific.

Martha Stewart Glazing Mixture

Then I painted it only on the areas where I wanted the trim to be defined- then wiped it off with a damp rag.

brushing on glazing mixture

Just a hint of color was left behind to enhance the deep trim work.

Country Cupboard Trim Glazed

Once it dried, I then mixed the Metallic Pearl White paint and the Tintable Glaze (about 50/50) and painted over all of the raised detail and trim areas. So what I have now is an elegant piece with a pearlescent glaze finish that captures the light and makes the detail pop.

Country Design Home White Glazed Trim

Perfect. It just goes to show you what a little TLC and elbow grease can do to transform any ugly duckling into a beautiful swan. And just in time-now I can clean up the dining room and get ready for Easter, whew!! Have a terrific Tuesday, everyone! Susan

 

 

Vintage Butcher Block Table

Yet another DIY project to share. This butcher block table was actually in two pieces-the bottom had been kicking around the barn loft for the past 15-20 years, and the top was a throw-away Coach picked up over the summer at a yard sale.

The bottom looked like this:

Butcher Block Base Before

The top looked like this:

Butcher Block Top Before

And now the whole piece looks like this!

Finished Butcher Block Table CDH LOGO

I started with the base, painting it in my favorite dark charcoal gray home-made chalk-like paint.

CDH Parisiian Gray Paint

You can find that recipe here. Then I sanded down the edges, added a glaze finish with Martha Stewart Antique Glaze  mixed with Madagascar Mocha Couture Paint.

Paint Couture Madagascar Mocha

The glazing technique is so simple: Mix the glaze and paint together, paint it on your piece,

Martha Stewart Glaze painting on

then wipe it off where you don’t want it.

Martha Stewart Glaze wiping off

Allowed the entire base to dry. Finished with a coat of Fidde’s Soft Wax, which gives it a nice glowing finish.

Sanded and Glazed Leg

The top required a bit more elbow grease and some heavy implements.

Butcher Block Top Distressed

I wanted to rough it up just a bit to give it a more “antiqued” appearance, but since there will be food prep on it, I didn’t want it to be so rustic as to have holes in it where food could get caught!

Butcher Block Distressing ToolsUsed a chain, a hammer and a screwdriver and just banged it around a bit. (I wonder why my hands are so cracked and bleeding…) Since I wanted this to be a food safe butcher block top, but also wanted a shade or two darker, I attempted a technique I had found online: staining with brewed coffee grounds.

Staining with Coffee Grounds

Really didn’t work out too well, but it smelled great! The butcher block top is finished with Howard Butcher Block Conditioner. This is a product that I picked up at Home Depot -its FDA food safe-perfect!

Howard Butcher Block Conditioner

To secure the top to the base, I used some old black iron decorative brackets Coach got from somewhere…(seems to be a recurrent theme, right? I tell him what I need, he finds it.)

Ornamental Brackets

The brackets were a little too black and “new-looking”, even though they are pretty old, so I sprayed them with Rustoleum Gray gloss paint,

Rustoleum Gray Painters Touch

but that was a bit too shiny, so I resprayed them with Rustoelum soft flat iron black spray paint.

Rustoleum Metallic Paint for Brackets

to complement the antiqued gray base color. I found that the simplest way to attach the top to the base was to place it on top, measured the four corners to ensure they were evenly spaced,

Measuring corners

marked the holes with a sharpie, (apologies for the blurry pic-too much leftover coffee, perhaps?)

Marking holes for drillingthen drilled starter holes for the screws,

Predrilling holes for bracketsflipped the top upside down and secured the brackets to the underside of the top.

Brackets affixed to bottom of butcher block top

Slipped the top back onto the base and secured it with screws. For the embellishments, I added this cool, rustic, vintage, winged front piece to be used as a towel or utensil hanger.

Bracket on front of Butcher Block

I am told it was the handle to an old wood planer. These side pieces

Butcher Block Hooks

are old window lock parts.

Butcher Block Side Ring Hangers

Perfect for hanging a pot or pan with an “s” hook. Old wooden rulers are kind of a thing right now, so I added one from “A.J. Wilkinson, The Oldest Hardware Company in Boston” across the front (perfect for measuring out dough!) and secured it with some rustic corner brackets to give it industrial “old general store” kind of vibe. Then I rubbed that with the Howard Butcher Block Conditioning to finish it.

Butcher Block Ruler and Corner BracketsDone and ready for some butchering, or pie-making, or whatever. But it won’t be in my kitchen, or my daughter’s (sorry, Kate-I promise I will make you another one), because it was sold this past weekend at the Vintage Thymes Monthly Market-yay! And, if you are in the market for an old wooden ruler, drop me a line. Since I mentioned to Coach that I needed a few, he’s been on the lookout, and now I have an immeasurable amount to choose from!

Rulers

Have a “block-buster” Tuesday everyone! Susan

Paint A La Cart

Coach and I did a LOT of picking this weekend and scored many great items for some upcoming markets. Mirrors, and oak bookcases, furniture, rugs, and more mirrors-all amazing!

Rug and MirrorSaturday morning, I was busy doing house sort of stuff, so Coach went off himself, only to call me within a few minutes to tell me that someone was selling cases of paint for $1 per can! So he grabbed the first boxful of colors he thought I might use.

General Finishes Case of Paint

I went back with him later and struck up a convo with the homeowner. Turns out he had owned an unfinished furniture store for years, and had recently closed it down. These were the leftover paints, stains and finishes.

General Finishes Paint Supply

So I grabbed some stains (now, I know Hunter Green is not in style right now, but you never know when it might return to its former backwoods glory)

General Finishes Green Stain

some Milk Paints-can’t wait to try these

General Finishes Milk Paint

and Glazes- so many colors to choose from.

General Finishes Black Glaze

This ought to be fun! But my best yard sale buy of the weekend? This awesome heavy-duty stainless steel rolling kitchen cart!

Paint Cart Cleaned

The guy was asking $10 and Coach asked if he would take $5. He said “sure, quick, just take it before my wife comes back outside-she has an emotional attachment to everything!” LOL!! We all know how that goes! So, I brought it home with the intent of finally organizing all of my paints, stains and finishes into one spot instead of scattered all over my work shop.

Workbench Paints

Before I could use it, though, I spent about 2 hours with many household products including Awesome Orange cleaner, vinegar, baking soda, bleach spray, scrubbing brushes and many kettles of boiling water to clean off layer upon layer of grease-yuck! I am not sure where this thing had been, but I sure as heck didn’t want it in my basement attracting critters! Finally, the finished cart was sparkly and ready to go. I made quick work of filling it with so many cans and bottles and pots of paints and finishes.

Finish Cans

So now its filled with my newest additions

Filled Paint Cart

to go along with my ever-growing collection of Behr paint sample pots I get at Home Depot,

Behr Sample Pots From Home Depot

plus a new paint with some amazing colors

Paint Couture Color Samples

from a company called Paint Couture

Belize Blue Paint Couture

and my first ever Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint (in a very special color, more on that later..).

/Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint

Boy, do I have a lot of work to do in the next couple of weeks! As I try each new product, I will give my unbiased opinion on the overall painting experience. But tonight is game one of the World Series, so paintbrushes away! And Go SOX! Susan

Cabbage Roses to Country Charm

The 80’s called and they wanted their dusty rose cabbage roses back. So I obliged. And our downstairs 1/2 bath, that used to look like this

Before Mirror
now looks like this! (I need to apologize for the not-so-great-pics. Do you know how difficult it was to squeeze into a 5 x 8 bathroom to take these?!)

Bathroom Completed 2

Many of the DIY projects in this tiny bath have been featured on my blog, including the vanity transformation, from boring beige

Vanity Before White Coffee

to rustic navy

After Tile and Vanity

the American flag art piece

Map and Sign on Wall Signed

and of course, my Oh Deer Buck Towel Rack.

Oh Deer Towel Rack
So what was once pink and beige with roses and LLadro dolls and shiny brass fixtures

Before Dolls and Statues

is now all dolled up with the new color palette of navy and green and polished nickel fixtures. The inspiration came from the fabulous wallpaper.

Bathroom Color Palette

This paper, that I scooped out of a clearance bin over a year ago for $10, has the appearance of old barn walls with textured crackled vertical striping. The woodwork, once Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee, is now Benjamin Moore Snowfall White.

After Toilet Side Vintage Vignette
The floor, previously smoky pale blue tiles (many of which were broken or cracked)

Old Bathroom Tile Removal

is now a stunning slate subway tile I picked up in a clearance bin at Lowes for $1.12 per s/f!

Slate Subway Tiles

Love our new faucet from Home Depot, which resembles an old well pump.

Faucet

The sconces used to be shiny brass and hung next to an ornate, floral gold mirror.

Before Cabbage Roses and Brass Sconces

but when I (my daughter found these, actually, but as soon as I saw them I had to have them! She and I installed them together, so thanks Kate!)

Sconce Closeup

found these at Home Depot I knew they would be the perfect complement to the rustic old mirror Coach had picked up at a yard sale. I just cleaned it and added some Annie Sloan Soft Wax for a glowing finish.

Mirror Wall Complete

This cute little tin shelf came from a downtown shop, and its the perfect size for holding tissues, soaps and some reading material.

Tin Shelf Complete

Love this feature wall. Well, this was the feature wall until I was blow-drying my hair the other morning and the needlepoint picture ($1 at a flea market, oak frame from AC Moore with a coupon) that was resting on the shelf got blown off the shelf, taking the brown wood vase with it, smashing them onto the new slate floor. Luckily, the floor was spared any damage.

After Toilet Side Vintage Vignette

So now this is the feature wall.

Toilet Wall After 2

This was a budget makeover, with the only major changes being a new toilet, new faucet and the sconces, all from Home Depot. The towels, candle holders, soap dispenser, toilet paper holder and scatter rug were from Home Goods, of course. Everything else is reclaimed, refashioned and repurposed, like these beautiful Mason Jars, once filled with preserves, now preserving the past while serving as functional containers.

Mason Jars Edited

The only thing I am still on the fence about is the sink. It is old, and has lost most of its shine, but it is granite. And blue.

Sink Wall Edited

My original intent was to paint it white using epoxy paint. But, after reading the scary warning label (my nervous system has taken enough hits lately…)

Warning Label

and knowing that there is virtually no ventilation in the tiny space, I decided to pass for now. So blue it stays, but it does look like a sink you might find in an old farm bathroom, so I’m OK with it. This, by far, has been one of my all-time favorite transformation projects in our home. It captures the essence and stays true to our country design home style, don’t you think? Stay true to your Tuesday style! Susan

Drawer Pull Puppets

Did you ever decide that you wanted to paint some drawer pulls, but the pulling part that is hinged to the face plate keeps swinging back and forth while you are trying to hold it still to apply the paint? So frustrating! Simple solution: drawer pull puppets!

Pull Puppets

All you need is a place to hang the pulls while you paint, some thread, (you can use string, but the thinner the better so you don’t see the lines),

Thread and Scissorsscissors, painters tape and some newspaper, and of course, the paint. In this case I used Rustoleum Hammered Silver paint purchased at The Home Depot.

Hammered Rustoleumto give the old pitted brass a new old distressed look. Cut the thread and loop it over the wire. I used our cable wires in the basement that are attached to the beams in the ceiling over my work space.

Thread and wire

Now, obviously, if you have a nice, decorated basement, you would not be spray-painting in there anyway. I, on the other hand, have become a basement dweller surrounded by old pipes and cobwebs, concrete floors, hanging exposed wires and gray stone walls. No worries about ruining anything. So, I hung the hinges to just above the work table top, then taped them underneath to the table to stop them from swinging-uggh!

Pitted Brass Pulls

(if I ever tell you I want to add a puppeteer to my bucket list, remind me of this post, please).

Puppets in Window

Spray painted them, one coat needed. This paint adds a cool textured finish to the metal.

Hammered Silver Paint

Now, I wanted to add a little more interest to them, so I dry-brushed some of the Behr Stealth Jet Gray on top, the same color as the desk I had painted.

Antiquing pulls

Then I wiped most of it away, leaving just a hint of the darker gray to match the desk. Allowed to dry, then cut them down.

Hanging Pulls

This is the point where I typically show you the finished piece. Sadly, I forgot to take that pic! (sigh, I really need a camera crew to follow me around to take pics. Too many things to remember!!) Happily, I sold the desk at the Vintage Thymes Market this past weekend : ) But it did look pretty awesome, and that’s my unbiased opinion.

Desk Drawer Pulls

Have a non-distressing Tuesday everyone- stop hanging around and go do something today!! Susan

Pretty Painted Bottles

Hey, it’s High Five for Friday time! But this week I am calling it Freakin’ Fun Friday, because I want to share with you this super fun craft project – any one can do this, it’s quick, easy (a little messy) but soooo country pretty!

The Painted Bottle Project

Browsing Pinterest the other night, I came across this project from Work In Progress Kits and literally jumped off the couch and said “I can do this!”. Coach and I have collected quite a number of old bottles, some dug up right in our own backyard,

Antique Bottles

some in more recent estate sales and auctions. Many are old, rusted, scratched and lidless, essentially worthless (don’t worry Coach, I didn’t paint the Old Log Cabin Bourbon bottle in the back-turns out that one is worth something!) so I figured this would be just the trick to spice them up! Here’s the how-to: First, you need some clear glass bottles and jars. Anything will do, doesn’t matter if they’re old or new, but the ones with the embossed labels on the outside look especially cool once they are done.

Bottles Clear

Wash thoroughly- I put mine through the dishwasher to make sure I got all of the grease and dirt off. Choose your paint colors. Home Depot has these awesome Behr paint sample pots- for $2.94 each if you want custom colors-but these were in the Oops! Bin for 50 cents apiece!

Bottles Behr Pots

I also have a number of the little craft paints, and those actually work better for the smaller-necked bottles.

Bottles Paint Jars

So I grabbed a pile of paints, assembled my bottles and got to work. You simply take the paint and bottle of choice, pour the paint inside,

Bottles Navy Pour

turn the bottle until it is completely coated on the inside

Bottles Navy Drip

turn the bottle upside down and allow all of the excess paint to drip back out into its original container

Bottles Navy Pour Out

wipe the edge to give it a nice clean finish (loving this little blue bottle with the mint green inside edge : )

Bottles Mint Green and Blue

allow to dry overnight…add flowers, battery tea lights, whatever you would like to decorate. But remember- this is acrylic paint- you can’t use real candles or put water in them! The paint makes the embossing stand out on the bottle- before the paint I didn’t even know there was a ship on this bottle. Bottles Embossed Detail

You can mix and match the paint colors- like the blue and green one above. Or you can stick to all one color- whatever works for your decor. A couple of simple tips: more is better– pour in enough so you are not standing there trying to swirl around a little bit- takes forever! Remember, you will be pouring most of it back out anyway.

Bottles Navy Bottom

Propping for time’s sake. Watching paint drip is almost as bad as watching paint dry. So set up a propping/dripping area where you can set it and forget it until all of the big globs are gone.

Bottles Blue Drip

Keep a container of wet wipes handy. This project does get messy, as you can see by the pics.

Clorox Wipes

These are essential for getting a clean edge on the top of the bottle, and for cleaning off your hands as you go. You don’t want to transfer fingerprints from one jar to the next. So there you have it- super fun project for a rainy day. Simple enough for kids, pretty cool results. Have a great weekend everyone! We’re off to Brimfield on Saturday- can’t wait to share what we find. Susan

Wrapping It Up!

Last year Coach and I converted our deck into a screened-in porch, which was simply awesome. No more buggy nights, or rainy afternoons when we couldn’t use the deck for anything other than furniture storage!

Since we had decorated it with quite a few pieces of antique wicker, I decided to “shrink-wrap” it to prevent any winter weather from ruining our newest addition. We used thin plastic sheeting and some lathing strips and tacked it up all the way around. Functional, not very pretty and it wasn’t very transparent, it flapped in the wind (which drove me crazy!) and the plastic kept ripping away from the lathing. Uggh. So this year I decided to get a more permanent wrap, something we could re-use each season. I went online to purchase a custom porch weather-proofing system, only to find the prices @ $1500.00 and up, to be a bit exhorbitant. Sooo, this past weekend’s project was weather-proofing the porch, country design home style! With this how-to video on You Tube as my guide, we began the laborious task of wrapping it up!

The supplies: 20 gauge clear vinyl (heavy enough to withstand the winds and rain, clear to let in the light) and 2″ white Duck Tape

Dritz 7/16″ steel grommets

5/16″ screw-eye hooks. 

I measured each section, determining the placement for the grommets. Cut the vinyl, then wrapped the edges with the tape on both sides for extra stability, overlapping in the corners where the grommets will be installed.

Some sections had to be taped together, since the width of the vinyl is only 54″. That proved to be the most difficult part of this project, as the unrolled edges were a bit curled. You just have to smooth it as you go.

Mark the center holes for the grommets, cut out the circles and then hammer the grommet into place (this pounding away with a hammer activity is fun for anyone wanting to vent some anger or angst : ).

Hanging the large panels requires 2 people to make it level and install the screw-eyes.

The finished project : )

Hard, painstaking work, this easily took 20+ hours. The cost? All of the materials, with the exception of the screw-eyes ($5.19/50 @ Home Depot), were purchased at Joann’s using 60% coupons, of course! So the vinyl that normally would have been $7.99/yard became $3.20/yard and in total we will probably use 25 yards-so $80 + tax. The grommets, screws and tape totalled approximately $70, so the grand total (aside from the band-aids, the Motrin and a trip to the nail salon to repair that damage) comes to $150+ tax- one tenth of what the online estimate was! It wasn’t easy, but it looks great, the sun shines through year round AND we don’t have to pack away all of our deck/patio furniture-it just stays in place! And now we will have another functional space for the holidays- as long as you wear your winter coat and mittens : ) And remember, always measure 3Xcut once!! Susan

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

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