Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Basement Stairway Progress

Our stairway to the basement has seen some progress recently. We painted, added new door hardware, stained the railing and added hooks for coats.


For the coat hooks I used a leftover piece of oak, stained it Early American and added black iron hooks that we already had. I should have picked pine because the small black screws that came with the iron coat hooks kept snapping off in the hard oak. I recruited hubby for some muscle power and he managed to get the broken screws out. We ended up buying different stronger screws and I will cover the heads with black paint. These coat hooks are a great spot for our guys to hang their numerous lumber jackets and work coats. We have a closet in the front entry right beside the front door but the newel post is where their coats end up without these hooks. 



Over a year ago our oldest son Kyle removed the popcorn texture from the ceiling. This was a small and contained area that he was trying for the first time. He has since removed the ceiling texture from the main floor hallway, family and dining rooms. 


He also removed the worn carpeting from the stairs. The upper basement stair treads are a basic pine board and the lower basement stairs are painted pine boards and plywood. We are still deciding how to tackle them.


I painted the walls Cotton Balls White, painted the ceiling and the door to the basement. White works for us because there is no light fixture in this upper basement section and only a single bulb in the lower stair section beyond the door.


I changed the hinges and door handles on the main floor to black. 


I was considering oil rubbed bronze, brushed nickle or pewter but black seems to suit the Shingle-like style of our home. These door levers are from Schlage. Unfortunately black is harder to find and a lot more expensive so I will get to the second floor at a later date.


Kyle spray painted the railing supports and sanded the lower railing. I stained it Early American. We plan to re-stain and paint the railing going upstairs later this year. When we decide on our plans for the stair treads we will pick a matching wood for the landing.


So that is our progress on the upper section so far. I patched the walls on the lower section (from all the hockey bags and furniture going up and down) and will be painting it later. Our home is only 16 years old but it is amazing the wear and tear it gets. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Ten Minutes, Spray Paint and a Barn Star For Our Half Bath

We enjoyed a beautiful Easter weekend with family. We are so close to seeing signs of spring but Saturday night brought a fresh 8 cm of snow. Thankfully it has melted again. 

We won't be able to start any outdoor sprucing for another month but we have been organizing indoors, purging and selling home decor pieces. After doing a three way switch on our guest bedroom and both our boys' bedroom I have rooms to paint and lots to organize! 


Our main floor half bath is close to being finished. I decided I could re-use a metal barn star for wall decor by giving it a new colour. Ten minutes, black spray paint and it looks like new! 


I use quite a few barn stars in our decor and I especially like the raised pattern on this one. The solid black makes the raised scroll a bit more subtle. I hung it on the wall opposite the door and it can be seen from the front hall entry.


This was the star in a mantel shelf vignette from 2009. 


Our half bath is coming along nicely. When I painted this bathroom last year (Benjamin Moore Grey Owl) I also painted the ceiling, door and trim. Last month I switched out the circa 1998 shiny brass door knob (and hinges painted over by the builder) for this black Schlage door lever and hinges. 


At $38 (Cdn$) for each door lever and $5 for hinges it wasn't inexpensive but I think it really adds to the style of our home. So far we have the main floor doors completed. We also switched out the door stop to black and re-hung the black iron towel holder and paper holder. We bought a new faucet that needs installed and then we just need to frame the mirror. I will share a final look when the last few items are completed.

I hope you had a pleasant Easter. Is your area enjoying Spring weather or beginning to show signs of Spring?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter and Happy Passover

Wishing you and your loved ones, wherever you may be, a Happy Easter and a Happy Passover.



"The risen Christ is celebrated in every opened flower, in every beam of nourishing sunlight,
in every humble patch of green beneath our feet. Easter blessings."


"May you be blessed with happiness, prosperity, peace and good health on Pesach and always! 
Happy Passover."

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

MMSMP Ironstone Table A Year in The Making

Have you ever had one of those projects that you gave up on because it just wasn't working out? I gave up on this little table for a year before taking it back out and trying one last time to finish it. I am kind of impatient sometimes.



I have painted a variety of furniture pieces using many different paint brands and even homemade chalky like paints using latex and plaster of paris. This was my first time using Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint. I bought a package of Ironstone powder, MMS bonding agent, and a little battery operated mixer. 


I started by cleaning and lightly sanding this little pine table. It was a kijiji find with dated stenciling and a worn finish.


After watching several videos and reading up on the do's and don'ts I mixed up my first small batch. I tried it on a small area but I made it too watery and lumpy so I ended up dumping it out and starting again. For the next batch I used the little electric whisk. Too bubbly and watery. In my frustration I ended up breaking the safety lid off the bonding agent container. My third attempt was better and I painted two coats on the table. I had to work out some small lumps but at least I didn't make it too watery this time. The lessons here: don't throw out a batch, keep working on it, let any bubbles settle a bit, you can always add a little more paint powder or a little more water, and most importantly don't be impatient like me! Due to my impatience and inexperience with the product, I put the table away for awhile. Okay, just over a year. 


We have been organizing and selling/purging items in our home recently and I decided to give this little table one last chance. There was only a bit of the Ironstone MMSMP left in the package but it mixed up nicely this time and there was just enough to add the last two coats. I skipped the bonding agent this time (remember I had broken the safety lid off and couldn't open it.)  There were only a few tiny spots of chipping and cracked paint so I helped with some distressing. I also very lightly hand sanded any small bumps. Finally I waxed it.


The waxing gave it a super nice feel and finish. I plan to buy a glass knob on my next visit to the hardware store.


For my Spring Dining Room tour I added a black knob from my stash. I may end up selling this piece but for now it displays a simple Easter vignette.


My intent in sharing my mishaps with the product is not to complain, but to explain that a bit of practice and patience certainly helps. I wish I had not gotten frustrated because I could easily have finished this little table a year ago. I could probably have painted more than one piece with a whole package too. Ironstone truly is a lovely colour. 

Happy April friends! Thanks so much for taking the time to visit. Have you ever had a furniture painting project not work out? Were you able to rescue it?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Spring Dining Room

The snow is still melting and it is cold here but some sunny days have inspired me to lighten our home for Spring. Today I am sharing our dining room and an Easter tablescape.


Our dining room is simple and is starting to reflect the rustic farmhouse/lakeside feel that I am working towards. Our dining room table and chairs are not as orange as they appear in this light. One day I would love to add some white slipcovered chairs and a rug. We recently centered the light over the table and that makes it look much better but we still need to shorten the chain.


Our cabinet is filled with white dishes, some mercury glass and few favourite pieces. I plan to paint my black buffet and hutch for a less distressed look and to cover the more orange tone of the stain. It will be a more solid black. The little boxwood wreath adds a pop of green and inspired the Spring tablescape.


The dining room walls are painted Benjamin Moore Simply White and the far wall that acts as the hall to other rooms is BM Revere Pewter. I like white and grey as backdrops to all the white, wood and black that I use.


I love that the ceilings are smooth since our oldest son stripped the popcorn texture. Blue and turquoise are my normal accent colours but I like the fresh green that I added using items we already own. The only newly purchased items in this room are the boxwood wreath and a bunch of white tulips from the grocery store for $5.99.


The green chargers were on clearance at Michaels for 75 cents each. The simple white plates are caterer's plates that I use for buffets, parties and bbq's. They were very inexpensive, are sturdier than paper or foam and we can put them in the dishwasher after a big crowd, 


I only had four green napkins so I used two white ones on the end settings. The curtains are several years old and I sewed them from simple tone on tone striped cotton. I also sewed the table runner using moire cotton left over from the wedding dress my sister sewed for me.


I bought the tulips yesterday and they are just starting to open. Maybe it's because I was an April baby, but I do love Spring and tulips.


The crown mason jar filled with speckled eggs inspired me to fill some little numbered galvanized pots with faux coloured Easter eggs. I didn't want to go to the store to buy basket filler so I made some from cardstock and burlap.


I sold the white and turquoise jelly cupboard that was in this corner. We would like to make a long buffet-like table for the wall opposite the china cabinet. For now I am using a little pine table that I recently painted.


I still need to add some art or decor to the walls but I haven't figured out what.



The opening in the wall adds light to the basement stairs but the partly open concept with limited wall space in this room makes it a challenge to arrange things on the walls.


Pussy willows, bunnies and a nest add some Spring and Easter touches to the little table.


White tulips are my favourite. In fact white flowers in general are my favourites. Does that make me boring lol ?


Thanks for stopping by! I will be sharing some basement stair way progress and a before and after on the little pine table later in the week. 

Linking up to the following parties...
Show and Share at Coastal Charm
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Boxwood Wreath

I love the pop of green that boxwood adds to both an interior space and a porch or garden.


Target stores are closing here in Canada after only two years. The prices are quite a bit higher than US stores but with 40% off all remaining merchandise I was able to get this small Smith and Hawken preserved boxwood wreath that I had been admiring. Regular price was $29.99 (they were sold out of the $49.99 larger ones.)


I am enjoying it in on the black hutch in our dining room right now. 


The pop of green inspired me to find things we already own to create a simple Spring tablescape that I will share next week. This is my first post using the Blogger app and cell phone photos.

Hoping you are enjoying this last weekend of March. Our oldest son celebrates his 18th birthday today. Where does the time go!?

Friday, March 20, 2015

Three Drawer Dresser Painted General Finishes Lamp Black

Today I am sharing the second dresser that I painted with General Finishes Lamp Black Milk Paint.


GF Lamp Black is such a pretty black and a really easy product to use. It only took two coats for complete coverage and the paint goes on smooth and levels really well. Later I will share the three large pieces that I painted with one can. I tried to get the GF Top Coat but after a 45 minute drive each way, the supplier I normally buy from was out of Top Coat and Lamp Black. Lesson to self: call ahead! I was disappointed but ended up using Varathane poly in satin.


This three drawer pine dresser was part of my original bedroom set that I bought when I was 19. It is a well built solid wood piece with dovetail drawers. 


Eventually the dresser ended up in our oldest son's room (keeping it real with the cattle brochures and junk on top before he changed bedrooms.) The finish was well worn with lots of knicks and scratches so I didn't feel bad painting the wood finish.


Our previous night stands in our bedroom were too short for our high bed so I am using this small dresser as a night table. I am really enjoying it's new look and all the extra storage space. I chose not to distress it at this time but I will probably change out the porcelain knobs.

I still have the double cannonball bed and a night table that are part of this set and they will be going in our guest room after I paint. If I end up finding a matched set with the right dimensions, this dresser will return to the guest room. We had a 3 way room switch recently (oldest son to basement bedroom, youngest son to oldest son's room, and guest bedroom from basement to youngest son's room. Confused lol?) 


I shared the other dresser I painted GF Lamp Black for our room. Yesterday I patched the walls and I will be painting soon. I was going to make a white denim slipcover for the headboard but now I am considering making a wood headboard. Baby steps, and we really need new flooring, but it is coming along.

Linking up to the following parties...