Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Yard

Our yard is in as bad of shape as the house was. It hasn't been high on the priority list of things to get done around here so it's just this huge eye sore for us and for the whole neighborhood. We've been having some amazingly beautiful days and I can feel spring coming. I really want my kids to be able to run and play and explore our property. We also really want to plant a garden this year. Thanks to Alan's wonderful brother Scott it looks like we'll be able to do all of that this year! He dropped of a CAT dozer to our house today and Alan spent 6 straight hours in that thing. I don't have the done pictures yet because he didn't finish until it was dark. I'll post those later. Really it just looks like a giant pit of mud but I can see the vision! I'm so excited!!!

This is Scott giving Alan driving lessons. There in the garden on the side of the house here.

Alan's all ready to rock and roll.

First he pulled up these nasty boards left over from the nasty dog run that held 8 dogs.

As soon as Scott left Alan found the ONLY mud pit in the entire yard and proceeded to get himself stuck for 2 hours. It took the winch on the Jeep, a snatch block and our very helpful neighbor to get him out. There was absolutely no hardpack under the 10,000 pound dozer. This picture doesn't do it justice he had the dozer sunk more than halfway under. This picture was after he got out and the hole filled up.

Me in the Jeep working the winch. These are seriously my favorite pair of shoes. I Lurve them!

Here's a before picture.

Hard at work knocking down the weeds and leveling the yard.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Painting 101

I sometimes get asked for advise on repainting furniture or cabinets. I thought I would write it all down in a blog post so it's handy for anyone who might need it. By posting this I am not saying I am an expert by any stretch of the imagination. I have however refinished 4 kitchens 4 bathrooms and countless pieces of furniture so I'll share the knowledge I do have.


This will probably be the most time consuming part of your project.

- CLEAN. You want to thoroughly clean the item with soap and hot water. Be extra diligent if it's kitchen cabinets, they tend to have a grease build up you want to really get out.
- SAND. If the item has any rough spots, chipping paint, etc. you will want to sand them out. I hate sanding so I try to avoid it at all cost. Sometimes you just have to though.
-DEGLOSSER. I believe this is the greatest invention of my joke. This stuff is amazing. You just take an old rag and wipe it on your item. Don't wipe it off, just let it dry. If you want you can do it again and again. This will prep the piece for primer, no sanding necessary. I almost never sand anymore thanks to this stuff. Yay for DeGlosser!!!


All I'm going to say is...YES!!! Primer is your friend. It doesn't matter if you paint it on or spray it on, just do it.


There are a few options as far as paint goes.

- PAINT AND PAINTBRUSH. Chose a favorite satin or semi-gloss paint and a REALLY good paintbrush. I can not stress the importance of a REALLY good paintbrush enough. My favorite is Purdy. It can be a bit of an investment but it is worth it. You will get nice even coverage with no brush strokes if you use a good brush. This is how I paint 90% of my projects.
- SPRAY PAINT. This is a great option because you get really good even coverage...if you do it right. Don't get ahead of yourself and lay it on thick. You want to do multiple light coats to get the best finished product. The downside to spay paint is that it can get very expensive. I spray paint my small projects or anything metal or plastic. I don't have a favorite brand but you'll want to use a good name brand not the $.99 Wal-mart can. That stuff is junk!!!! Buy the good stuff and you'll be fine.
- PAINT SPRAYER. This is probably the best option although it's the one I use the least. My husband is the master paint sprayer and I don't go there! He has spayed 2 out of the four kitchens we have re-done and the coverage is wonderful. We don't like to break it out for small projects because clean up is kind of a pain but sometimes it's just worth it. You can rent a paint sprayer for pretty cheap if you don't own one.


I do a few things to my finished projects.

DISTRESSING - You can do this a few different ways. You can rub wax on your project in the areas that you want to sand later so that the paint comes off easy and controlled. Or you can do like I do and just bust out the sander and go to work. I think it's a bit of an art that you learn the more you do. I've had my share of bad distress jobs. You can take it to next level and bang your piece up with chain or a screw driver. Distressing is a GREAT way to cover up you mistakes as well!

ANTIQUE GLAZE - I love this stuff. I've glazed cabinets and furniture alike. I've found a method that works after lots of trial and error. I like to brush the glaze on, then I wipe it right back off with an rag. That's it. Pretty simple but I used to try to rag it on, then rag it off and it always looked yucky.

POLY - I use a poly acrylic because it's specifically states that it is works on paint. The poly urethane didn't mention paint. You can probably use it but I didn't want to take a chance. Someone else who knows, feel free to chime in. Choose the finish that suits your needs: matte, satin or gloss. Again I just brush the poly on with a GOOD brush and let it dry. You can do additional coats for extra protection.

Now your done! Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Is it to late?

Hope you had a Happy Valentines Day...

I know it's late but Alan has had 5 days off of work and that always turns my schedule upside down. The kids have had the last 5 days off of school as well and it's been a great long weekend! I had a wonderful birthday on Sunday with Alan, the kids, my parents and my sisters family. Tomorrow it's back to reality.