Recent Reno – Post 6 of 6

Who’s ready for some before and after pictures? I know, I know, I’m super mean for making you read five whole blog posts and wait three weeks before showing you the before and afters (or well progress pics). Max and I had to work for it, so I thought it was only fair that you did too!

Remember when the LR and DR looked like this:

and this:

Well not anymore! Shazam! Now it looks like this:

and this:

Next up – the nook/landing. Remember back to this picture?

You should see it now!

We know the condition of the hardwoods could be better, but we love it!

Oh, and I can hardly remember when Elsie’s room looked like this:

and this:

Not anymore!

The other spare room has shown major improvements over its previous condition too! Shown here:

Buh-bye paneling and wallpaper – hello awesome paint and new molding!

Then there’s our room, which I hated when it looked like this:

and this:

and this:

Now I LOVE IT!!!!

My favorite part is that all of the colors go so nicely together. You can see how well they coordinate where the master and Elsie’s room meet at the end of our hallway.

We love the progress our big little renovation made to our house. All of the space feels so different, and it is actually looking like us and our style. We’re super happy with the way everything turned out. There are still many items on the “to-do” list which I’d consider as is par for the course for most DIY projects. Here are a few things that were left undone:

1- Filling in the holes in the molding from brad nails

2- Caulking the molding

3- Painting the molding

4- Actually hanging things on the walls (curtains, pictures, etc…)

5- Painting Elsie’s Room’s Ceiling

6 – Desperately need to pull out the SLR to take better pictures (Whoa!)


The first three items  encompass easily another whole weekend of work, and since we needed rest before getting back to the grind we just let it slide until later. Number four is already in work. I have purchased a lot of items that just need hanging and ordered some photo prints before Christmas.  So again, all these remaining items will just have to be sidelined to wait for some free time. I just have to remember that  life is about the journey and not the destination.

Recent Reno – Post 3 of 6

On the third day, “monkey paw” as well as many other aches and pains started setting in. I’m sure the first thing that’s coming to your mind is… what is “monkey paw”? Well, monkey paw is the term we use for the hand cramping that occurs for those of us who are more or less desk jockey’s at work and then spend 24 of the previous 48 hours doing home improvements. I’m no doctor but logic would suggest it comes from using muscles that are not regularly used to grip items such as hammers, crow bars, sanders, and paint brushes  to an extreme. Unfortunately until you work to the point of numbness, it can be quite painful (oh yes, this is how we roll). This was our physical condition when we started off day three.  Not to mention this was the day that the mess started really getting to me. There was debris all over the floor despite constant cleaning and everything was everywhere and there was nowhere to put anything (I’m an everything in its place kind of gal so, this really bugs me). Here you can see in this picture of Elsie all of the little wall pieces and random things placed all over the floor. Please keep in mind this was only a snap shot of a 5 ft by 5 ft area, and the whole house was in this condition.

When considering all the aches, pains, anxiety, and an analysis of progress made in comparison to time remaining to work/recoup, we decided it was best to nix the bathroom remodel. The good news is that we did some major shopping and learned a lot about what’s available and in style for bathrooms these days, so we did make some progress just not anything physical. Oh well, we’ll just wait until after the spring semester (guess I’m stuck with Christmas trees a little longer than I planned).

Day three began with a trip to the “Gucci Dump”, which is an awesome landfill because you drive up to a cement barrier and throw things over the side. There are no seagulls, no stepping in garbage, and there is minimal mud.  This was followed by stops at Home Depot and Lowes to get all of the paint (did I mention that we live 10 minutes away from everything? – Awesome!). We bought 5 gallons of Valspar Signature Paint Foggy Mirror, 2 Gallons of Behr Premium Plus Basketry, and lastly one gallon of Olympic Premium Paint Sand-dollar. Also,  re-enforcements (my Mom and Dad) arrived to help for the day shortly after we got home from shopping – WOOO!

We decided not to remove the carpet until after painting, and it served wonderfully as a drop cloth. The rooms really started to transform on this day.  Applying the color to the walls made a huge difference. My Dad and I took on trimming the foggy mirror gray.

My mom was assigned to the basketry tan color for the two bedrooms.

And last but not least, Max spent the first 8 hours of the day replacing electrical sockets and light switches because they were either a) painted over and unusable or b) a hodge podge of various colors. He also installed a ceiling fan in the previously yellow spare bedroom.

During this day of painting, I managed to paint every color and all three brands (Olympic, Valspar, and Behr) of premium paints on the wall. The first lesson I learned is that when your walls are in as crappy a condition as ours were, it is WAY worth it to spring the extra dough for the premium paint as it shows better coverage than non-premium (which was the ceiling paint from the previous day). Also in my unprofessional opinion, the Valspar Signature color had better coverage .  The Behr and Olympic were comparable, but not as good as the Valspar (sorry Behr and Olympic!). Next, we all discovered the accuracy of trim lines when using Frogs Painting tape over the standard blue paint tape or hand painting.  In most cases, I went back and touched up after removal of the Frog’s tape, but it helped expedite the process tremendously. Lastly, my Dad taught me a little trick to keep my trimming brush fresh. I learned that if I rinse out the brush periodically and dry it off with a towel after rinsing that it made little to no effect on the paint and it was easier to clean the paint brush when I finished.

Here was the progress at the end of day three:

Spare Bedroom – Behr Basketry (don’t mind the bed and check out the new ceiling fan!)

LR/DR – Valspar Foggy Mirror

Tricky Part of the Hallway shown only with the trim painted here (this was where I displayed my amazing balancing act!) – Valspar Foggy Mirror

Family Room – Valspar Foggy Mirror

Family Room (painted paneling) – Olympic Sand dollar

Oh, and did I mention I spent a lot of time in the sink last week? Yikes, here I am again!

We painted ALL day, and we finished all of the color painting – BOOM! I’m still learning to remember to get pictures of every room, so only the rooms I remembered to photograph were shown here (Oops!). It was awesome and celebrated by some serious sleep to prepare for the day’s next carpet removal and molding efforts.

Black and White and Red All Over


What’s black and white and red all over?

A SUN BURNED ZEBRA!!!

In case you can’t tell, I have stripes on the brain. There has been some serious contemplation about painting the first spare room and somewhere along the way stripes jumped on the train of thought. I’m not the biggest fan of the standard uniform sized and spaced stripage some folks have going on – no offense to anyone with these type stripes- it’s just not so much me. While spending all this time in contemplation, I’ve been searching on line and I came across these top contenders.

Holding the top spot, we have mish-mosh fun stripes. For our application, I think this one would require the same color in a different finish rather than a whole different color stripe. Please look through fun colored chairs to stripes on the walls.

Holding spot numero dos, we have thick and very skinny horizontal stripes. This obviously looks much simpler than the previous inspiration photo.

Taking spot number three, I like again the simplicity of this style. I think that without the chair rail in the room, it might not be the best option for our little project.

At this point, anything goes – we have a color picked out and we’ll just have to see how it turns out!

Persistently Primered!

I was very fortunate today to be let off of work a little bit early for what my company like’s to call, “quality of life time”. SCORE! I’m sure you’re all wondering what that means in regards to my primer project planned for this weekend? Well, it means I’m finished!

In addition to the walls, I also painted the inside of the closet which added several hour of work to the project. I worked from 3:30 PM until about 10:00 PM with an hour break to get more primer and eat dinner. The house smells a bit like the people who used to live here, and it is driving me nuts. I’m hoping painting all wall surfaces and removing the carpet will contribute to lessening the smell. As of now, everything else I have tried so far (and it’s been a lot of things) hasn’t worked. Anyway, to paint the inside of the closet meant I had to remove everything from it, which contributed to the mess you are seeing on top of the desk. At this point, it’s about progress not perfection, so please don’t mind the distraction.


The walls are white now giving us a fresh perspective on the room and we’re feeling motivated to pick a paint color. We mulled over the idea of still selecting a paint primer mix to further improve the coverage. The choice was made to primer the walls due to the amount of Spackle that was applied to repair the holes from the paneling.  For not even being half finished, the room has certainly come a long way from the before state!