Sunday, January 26, 2014

Goodbye brass!

The 1990's brass fixtures in our house have been the bane of my existence since we moved in. The previous owner had randomly upgraded some fixtures to stainless steel, but there was really no rhyme or reason to what was changed. The majority of the fixtures (doorknobs, lights, faucets, etc) were still brass.
I'm not a fan of stainless fixtures, so we have been slowly replacing everything with oil rubbed bronze. We had made a huge dent in the brass removal project, but our fireplace was an issue. It was a big, ugly, brass eyesore right in the middle of our house.
We discussed replacing it, or putting a screen in front of it, but I knew there had to be a way to spraypaint it. Spraypaint has become my BFF in terms of brass elimination. When I want a cheap, quick fix, I'll spray the old fixture. We changed out all of the brass in our guest bathroom this way (minus the faucet). So I knew, regardless of the heat issue, that there had to be a way to spray the brass fireplace surround.
I scoured Pinterest and came across this pin. Until then, I never knew that high heat spraypaint even existed. Of course, your color selection is limited, but black was exactly what I was looking for. After a trip to Lowe's I was ready to get rid of our eyesore.
I did exactly what the woman in that pin did... I taped, and taped, and taped some more. Then I built a little plastic spray booth around the fireplace. The only thing I did differently was not climbing inside. I left enough slack in the plastic to stick my arm inside, and then taped the plastic tightly around my bicep. In order to see inside I made another hole and secured a pair of safety glasses. I'm sure I looked incredibly ridiculous, but it worked! The house wasn't covered in paint, the surround was completely transformed, and I wasn't coated in a fine layer of black dust.
We took the doors off and sprayed those separately out in the garage. The paint dries extremely quickly, so we were reassembling and done with the project in no time. From start to finish it was maybe two or three hours. The most time consuming part was building my spray booth (well worth it though, trust me). One thing to note, the paint stinks. I mean, really stinks. Even with the plastic sheeting the house stunk. Luckily it was warm today so we had all of the windows open, and it aired out pretty quickly.
So, without further ado, the final result of my efforts:

Monday, January 13, 2014

House of Gates

Gate by the stairs. Gate by our bedroom. Move that gate over there. No wait, I need one over here. ...and we don't even have kids! I'm tired of gates. They're ugly, they're expensive, and they're leaving marks on our walls. Don't get me wrong, Ranger is a good dog, but I like to keep him out of certain areas.
I saw this idea on Pinterest, and knew J could tackle it. When we started all of our renovations he invested in several new tools and saws, so he's been itching for reasons to use them. Of course, we still have plenty of renovations left to finish, but sometimes you need to just step away and do something else.
So, I present to you, our bedroom dog gate:
I still have to stain it, but I had to share. It turned out great and it's so much better than those annoying baby gates (and a fraction of the price!).

Saturday, January 4, 2014

2014: [Hopefully] New Beginnings

Is it safe to come out now? Is 2013 over? What a year... I'm not one to dwell on the negatives, but sheesh. This one was rough.
Let's recap the more trying parts of last year:
  • My father passed away suddenly in February
  • I was in a car accident after getting hit by a woman too busy texting to pay attention
  • Our A/C drain pipe overflowed in the attic damaging four rooms
  • Our new dishwasher was improperly installed by Home Depot and ruined our kitchen
  • Scout, our corgi, passed away shortly after his 14th birthday
Written out in a list, I'm sure it doesn't seem like that much, but it's been hard... Incredibly hard. Of course, we also had positive and fun experiences last year as well. To name a few:
  • Our trip to San Antonio
  • Getting our new patio and majorly renovating our yard
  • Going on the field before the only game the Texans won this year (thanks BMW!), and then watching the game from awesome club level seats
  • J got to go to the BMW Performance Driving School in SC
  • We watched a Rockets game from court side seats, and got spoiled by club level amenities again
Granted, (to me) the negatives overshadowed a lot of the positives this year, so I've definitely been looking forward to 2014. I'm praying, and hoping, and wishing that we shake off 2013 and have a great year. Of course I know that nothing can be perfect, but a little less emotional trauma and a little more good luck would really be fantastic.