Thursday, March 17, 2011

caulking DONE!

You need to use your imagination when you view these pictures, because they are sideways and I"m too lazy to rotate them...

The first picture shows a portion of an uncaulked section of kitchen wall. You can see the wall part is yellow with white crown molding to it's right and the ceiling is white. The black hole is a cut-out in the wall. You can kinda see the gap in the bottom of the molding where it doesn't meet the wall and gappy areas above the molding where it doesn't meet the ceiling and paint tried to bridge the gap. Very bad looking. Painting the trim white emphasized all the flaws! So, painter beware! I finally got around to caulking the gaps. I had to do ALL the molding. Lucky it's a small kitchen. this is the before shot...

This is the after... Can you see the difference? It makes a HUGE difference. It looks like it should. Before, it screamed at you when you entered the room.

My current project is the kitchen sink. The garbage disposal finally went kaput, and the sink was a rusty nasty black pit, so I'm trying to take advantage to put in a little bling. But there's always something... We went to Lowe's and bought a sink, faucet set and disposal plus their installation. There was a great sale so we got bucks knocked off, plus a military discount (applies to retirees), plus the installation means no sales tax! Still expensive, but a bargain is a bargain. The plumber came yesterday to install. The disposal was not new because it was missing parts and had a hair in it!! Yuck! The exchange was easy in theory, but all the discounts made for tricky maneuvering by the cashier/manager. Got back home in time for the plumber to inform us of problem #2. The sink doesn't fit. We HAD a self-rimming sink and bought a drop-in. Apparantly even though these are both top mount, they are not different names for the same thing. Drop-ins use clips, therefore they need a bigger hole. (even though the basins are smaller!) Ugh. So, I'm trying to get a countertop company to call me back and get this done. All we need is a half inch off in width and 1/2 in. off in length of our granite. WHICH we found out the back piece was cracked. which may or may not cause a minor headache. Here is the hole.

Here is my sink and faucet waiting to be installed, laying on my dining room floor.

I'm learining to expect the unexpected.
On the plus side, my parents are visiting and helping to fill in the slack and dad is working like crazy. He's dug out some vine roots and has worked hard to eradicate the squeaks in our steps. He's done well! It's like having our own personal handyman. Except he's leaving tomorrow. :-( I'm trying to be his shadow and learn. I'm sure he's tired of my questions!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

lots of painting done in kitchen, picture heavy...

The kitchen walls and cabinets are finished! Hooray! Well, finished is a temporary word. I'm thinking about adding a glaze to the cabinets, I dunno, something seems - off - and it doesn't seem to be jelling yet.

I painted the kitchen walls the Sherwin Williams Friendly Yellow (made using Pittsburgh Paints) that I got from mom and dad. This is the color they have over most of their house. I don't think this photo fairly shows the brightness of the yellow. It's not a creamy or golden yellow, it's a true yellow and very clear and bright. But not a bad bright. I chose to post this picture because you can see how close the family room is and how it's important that the colors at least don't clash with each other. I'm still not totally sold, but the paint was free and each color, in it's own room, is nice. At least it's not beige or tan! LOL!

I reallly need to take some good pictures after we get moved in. I had chosen this picture because it shows all the peeling paint on the windows, but it doesn't seem to be showing up so well. It peeled off when I removed the blue painters tape. Which peeled because the dodo head who caulked used silicone caulk and not paintable caulk. I think they must have gotten a boatload free because it's EVERYWHERE. I have got loads of windows to scrape paint, remove caulk, recaulk and repaint. *SIGH*

I had spent a lot of time, in the house hunting phase, looking at painted kitchen cabinets and had fallen in love with kitchens with multiple colored cabinets. When we bought this house and I hated the two toned dark wood cabinets, I knew I'd paint. I saw this large pantry cabinet and thought this would be the best place to do the alternate color, since our fridge is huge and white and I thought it'd be white overload on one wall. I think the color is great for a cabinet and would look great with some antiquing glaze, but the crown is too starkly white and I'm not so sure about the yellow next to it. The yellow is the least of my concerns at the moment, because the fridge will break most of that yellow/green connect. I'm wondering if I should go up further with the green, at least to the bottom portion of the crown molding. Or maybe it'll be better if I hang some tiles or plates up there?

This is a picture of the painted kitchen cabinets. We changed the shiney brass hinges, knobs and pulls to a matte black. (gotta get the shiney brass infestation out of here!) Excuse the mess. It's painting supplies, hardware packages, shelf liner backing, etc. etc. Eventually we want to change out the ceiling fan. The fan pull was pulled out, so it's not functional as a fan, and really, do you want such a huge fan right over the cooking space? A small personal fan would cool the cook without cooling the food. Also on my to-do list is to pretty up the interior of the glass doors. I'll get one of my artists paintbrushes and paint a nice thick line of white paint on the interior of the door glass. The paint didn't go on smoothly inside due to the caulking used to hold the glass in place. An easy fix, but it's something that I have to make time for and remember. I wish I could do something pretty and colorful with the backsplash, but that's beyond our diy skills and I think would go beyond the worth of the house and neighborhood. I might look into what I can do to those beige diamond tiles. I think you can paint them, but I've also read that it's not a good idea to do since they need to be wipe-able. (how often do you clean a backsplash?)

This is the rest of our small kitchen. Remember, the big white fridge (which I LOVE) will be blocking most of that green cabinet. We'll be replacing the microwave with a convection/microwave to give me added oven space. Eventually we'll take out the oven and put in one of those cool double oven ranges. We will need to hire someone to work on the cabinets, and probably the granite and electrical. Plus we are investigating running the propane to the oven and making the cooktop propane. I think it can be as good as gas, but I'm not quite sure on that yet. But that's well into the future.

This is just a view of the kitchen from down in the family room. BTW, the hole on the left of the stove area is a little hallway that leads to a small pantry closet and the laundry room. Beyond that is another doorway that leads to our master bedroom. I'm going to have to remember to keep that door closed!!

This is a picture of the family room, in it's painted and carpeted glory! We really need to do something with the skimpy mantel. That's on the to-do list. It seems to be very common to have bookshelves flanking a fireplace. We'll have to see how the furniture pans out. I don't know if we want to just beef up the mantel or do a whole surround? Do we keep it white or go natural wood? I like brick but hate the shiney brass (curse the shiney brass!) I think a layered stone would be pretty, but again, I think that would be an expense better used elsewhere. Brick is not bad. At least it's not an ugly pink or beige brick. It's a good normal brick.

I thought I had taken a picture of the laundry room in the it's Dill Pickle glory, but I didn't. I'll do that. It looks good.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

big reveal of the *final* paint choice

First, I have a short story to share. If anyone is reading this blog, you might have noticed that I got an actual comment!! From someone from Benjamin Moore. I was a little skeptical, because there are all kinds of kooks on the internet, but I shot an email out to her. She sent me 4 paint color suggestions. They were: 2147-50 pale sea mist , 2145-40 fernwood green, 431 central park and 430 landscape. (plus promised to send a gift card, bonus!)

I had originally tried pale sea mist at the same time I had tested the dill pickle. I thought it was very pastel-y (and also did not see yellow, I thought it looked like a mint, or old lady color - JMO!! I'm sure it's lovely) I already had a strip with the fernwood green but rejected it because it was an even paler, murkier and more yellow than the dill pickle. Note that I did not buy a paint sample, so I don't know what it would actually look like. The paint chips for the other two were not available at my store, but he did have the fan book thingy and I looked at them and selected the central park to sample. While there, I also got a sample of Sherwood Green HC-118. I have a friend on Facebook who showed me a picture of her dining room where she had Kittery Point Green HC-119 which is one lighter and I thought my room needed a darker shade.

So that puts the sample count at two, if you got lost in this long winded short story... Central Park and Sherwood Green. This time I got smart and painted my portable samples on foam core poster board - so they stood up nice and flat, better than regular poster board. I also did the usual big splotches on various walls. I loved them both. The Central Park was exciting and fresh but scared me to death. The Sherwood was nice and "safe" but not the fresh feeling I wanted.

On the second coat, I had poured much too much of the Central Park in the little bucket, so I decided to paint some in the laundry room. Yee-ikes! Can you say Kermit the Frog?! It was sooo bright! But it looked so good in the family room. I must say that test sample swayed our decision. Plus Gary preferred the Sherwood. So we chose the Sherwood Green.

Here are pictures of the results. It just got painted on today, and required only 1 coat.

It looks much greener in this last picture that what I see in real life. I would say it's got a lot of blue going on in the color. It is somewhat like a doctor's scrub - not the blue, but the blue/green. Maybe scrubs are not the right thing, but definitely reminds me of a hospital or medical related color. But we are not medical people, so it doesn't bother us. And it sometimes looks a bit pastel-y - but not minty. It's got a nice calming vibe. Not really old lady - or so I hope not. When you first paint it on and it's still wet, it's shockingly old lady pastel! Both of them were! I thought I was being punked! But it dries darker and very nice.

while my painter was doing his magic in this room (which, BTW, is done! he finished the white too, so we can get the carpet laid) I was painting the laundry room. I decided to use up the rest of the dill pickle in there. I had a tad more than a half gallon left over. It's a small room and the lighting is very different in there. I want cheery when I do drudgery work. And the dill pickle delivers! It glows! It glows green! A bright vibrant green. I love it. This simply isn't a color for my living room, but great in the laundry room. It had a yukky tan on it before, so I need a second coat to ensure that grossness doesn't seep through. I tried to take pictures, but it just doesn't justify the feel you get.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Today's progress - pictures! carpet and tile

Jake enjoying the new smartstrand carpet. It is so soft!!

(I forgot these post in reverse order, and since I'm lazy, this will be "backwards day!")

This is a shot of the final product, you can see the worker is buffing off the haze, and the green patchwork walls in the family room where the carpet has been ripped out. The stripes is really just the sun shining through the balcony spindles from our west facing room.

Close up of the tile and grout after the grout has dried. There is still a haze, and these photos were taken from my phone camera. 18X18" tiles.

A shot with the kitchen cabinets. They chipped up my new paint job in several places. this is before they replaced the quarter rounds. My painter is paid by the hour, so he won't mind fixing it. The cabinets are white, not yellow or cream like it looks here.

Tile with grout still wet. I kinda like the darker grout, but the lighter is fine with me too!

This is the dry rot they found underneath a second layer of vinyl. I knew there had been a dishwasher leak, but who knew it would be so rotten?? They took out a large rectangle of floor down to the joists and found several cracked joists. The floor had sunk and so they put in a support beam and jacks to level it out. Thankfully, the granite had seams so it did not crack when they jacked it up.

See what I meant about drama? Drama comes with a hefty price tag too!

Monday, November 29, 2010

the promised pictures...

Let's start off with photos of the offending green. The first is my favorite. I'm standing in the foyer and the chartreuse on the left and green to the right of it are the same wall, same number of coats of paint, same paint color, same room. Weird. The green is lovely, the chartreuse is not.

This is the same green looking up to the balcony. Looks more olive green. But this is in a darker region of a room. I think the olive is fine. At least it's green! Don't mind the paneling. It's just primed. It'll be beautiful when it's done.

This is looking toward the kitchen and it's yet another green, but still green. Again, it's in a darker portion of the room. But I can't keep the room dark! I need light! And light means chartreuse. *sigh* It makes me so sad.

I'm so exhausted and the green is making it worse. But I must get the paint color pinned down this week. This week the kitchen flooring is going in (which has already started out with drama and added money) and my painter is off doing another job. So I supposedly have time to pick out a new paint. But let me talk about the BM dill pickle. It's the magical morphing color!

I made my paint sample on poster board, painted blocks on all 4 of the walls and looked at it in all kinds of light situations. When the painter first put it on, I was so excited, because it was covering blah white walls, and it was the evening (which is when it looks best). I also knew that it took me 3 coats of paint on my samples to bring it up to full color. So I was forgiving.

I walked in the next morning and it was glowing! and not in a good way. You saw the picture. 2nd coat didn't make it glow any less. I asked for a 3rd coat, due to my testing experience. Now remember, this is benjamin moore paint. It's not cheap. and it takes 1+ gallons to do 1 coat. yeah, you can add that up.

So fast forward to current day. I've got three test coats of new greens on. One is one suggested by the BM guy and two are what I picked from Sherwin Williams. I do not love or even like them. The BM guy suggested a sage. But it looks brownish gold. The SW sage I chose is bluish gray, and the other SW color is bluish green and kinda childish looking. *sigh* The BM guy felt bad for me, so that sample didn't cost, but the 2 SW samples set me back $12. Oh, and these colors did look green on the sample boards.

I went home for Thanksgiving and my parents gave me 3 gallons of the paint they use in their home. (They went all yellow, one is a yellowish cream) So I'm used to looking at an all yellow house. Yellow goes with everything. Tonight I got the big rollers out and rolled on some honkin big swatches of the two yellows. I vetoed the cream when I saw the posterboard sample I painted. Too bland. yellow is a safe choice. But is it enough color? I've had all the 70's wood paneling painted white, is there enough contrast? It is cheerful, that is for sure and that is what I want. Sage is too stately, formal and somber. But in the back of my mind I really believe that green is the color for that room. I came close with the dill pickle, when the color/lighting cooperates. *sigh*

Why does this have to be so hard??

Back to the dill pickle and all the details, and I'll never talk about it again (the story is getting so old). The painter swiped a small stroke of the paint he was using on my poster sample and when it dried, I swear you can see yellow that is not on the sample. Yes, you have to hold it in the sunlight, but it's there. The guy at the store said it's probably the difference in mixing a pint and a gallon. *sigh* How are we supposed to trust the sample if it's not the same as the gallon? This is a huge deal! I'd like answers from the powers-that-be at Benjamin Moore. And not the corporate "it's a close approximation" disclaimer. Really. How are we supposed to make a decision on false premises? Seems like a reasonable question to me.
I'm not sure if I'm ready to post about the kitchen flooring - especially since it's still in the demo mode. Maybe after it's all laid and I'm smiling again...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

sneak peek on a paint problem

It's late and this thing is driving me crazy!

Anyway, I'll just give you a teaser as to my problems with green. The photo will be the tell-all. Does this look green to you? Not to me!

It's Benjamin Moore Dill Pickle. let this be a warning... I'll post more tomorrow. It's simply too late to write any more, but it involves lighting and a color challenged room...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fast Forward...

to two days before Thanksgiving. We have bought a house, but have not moved in. I'm so stressed. This house should have come with a user's manual - we are always discovering something new. Guess what? Our sprinkler system is working off a well. That's what that odd 3 spigot thing is. Guess what? The little dog run has a disabled eletric fence. Guess what? There's a sprinkler system, but where did they plug it in and how do you make it work?? These are all things that should have been disclosed. The eletrical in the house is weird - and I'm no expert.

This house also will not let you rest. Not for a moment. There is ivy all over the back yard, and there was a vine growing all over a wall in the front. (we eradicated that, almost, need to get the roots out) I'll post pictures later. There is the pool, which naturally needs attention. The trees and bushes are wild. The man who did the landscaping put in some nice plants, but he left his wife and she just could not take care of it all on her own. He also did a lot of DIY (and it shows) and did the addition all by himself. I kinda wish I knew that little tidbit. The exterior of the house is covered in mildew, so it needs a good scrubdown. The deck was slick with mildew, which Gary powerwash. So it needs to be sanded and sealed now. Plus there are a few rotten planks that need replacing.

Well, I don't want to make this an all downer post. I think the house has potential, but it'll take a LOT of sweat equity. I also think I hugely underestimated the amount of work and money required. But the work is made more difficult because we are not living there. The driving back and forth is tough, plus not being able to work on supper throughout the day means I have to prepare quickie meals when I'm the most exhausted and hungry and cRANKY! Cleaning two places is hard, and laundry is hard too. And don't let me start on the lack of exercise.

The house is large, on a large lot with a pool (albeit ugly-ish, it could use a prettier liner and some more creative decking), the wood deck is amazing and there are some beautiful trees. There is an amazing large master on the main floor, a master upstairs (which we will use as a rec room because it has a pool table which we negotiated into the deal), two other bedrooms, a FROG and an office upstairs. The kitchen is disappointingly small - (why did I choose this house?) The house is in a sweet neighborhood, not the ritzy-est, and is probably one of the bigger houses in this 'hood (so probably not a smart buy). It's near the school the boys are attending, so it's good they don't have to transition again. A boy in their class lives 2 houses down, so this is a huge plus. He seems to be a good kid.

right now we are going to change the kitchen floors from vinyl to tile and the cabinets are being painted white. All the carpet is being changed to fresh carpet. So painting is happening. Painting, don't get me started on that. The living room is giving me fits. I'll make my next post about it.

I'll post pictures.