Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How to Paint your Front Door, Easy and Fast

My Sister-in-law recently bought a really cute new home.  (Funny story: The listing for her house was almost the reason we didn't buy OUR house.  It was hard seeing a house so close in price tag to ours but the condition and finishings of the house were LIGHT YEARS better.)  Their last home had a cute yellow door so I asked if they were interested in painting their front door a fun accent color again.
Here's her original front door/house.

The time of day was some strong direct sunlight so the before images aren't the "best"...but when are they supposed to be.  But you get the drift, it was a pretty standard wood door, one panel window with white trim against a beige neutral home.  You see what's missing?  A little pizazz... a little oomph.... perhaps a wow accent. You get where I'm going with this.

Do you remember the last time I really did something with a little pizazz? It's not too often, but when I do I'm QUITE pleased with the result.  Last time was Baby Girl's nursery ceiling when I used Modern Master's metallic paint.  So when they came knockin' at my door to try out their new line of paint it seemed like the perfect opportunity.  Now this isn't actually MY front door.  This is my Sister-in-Law's front door and since we've torn our house apart enough for now I asked if she's be interested in a cute little front door makeover for the Fall season, and she was all over it.

So beginning the Front Door makeover project....
To be sure I did the prep right we removed it from the door frame and removed the original hardware.  I used a medium grit sanding block and gave it an once-all-over to remove any build up, and the smooth varnish finish of the original door.  Next gave it a wipe down and thorough cleaning.

There are a LOT of tutorials the proper way to prep a front exterior door for painting so I was a little nervous what is the BEST way to prep it for their front door paint.  But Modern Masters was awesome enough to just come out and say right on their packaging that Zinsser 1-2-3 Primer was the best to use for their paint.  Thank you easy decision.

To painting we go:

The paint went on easily but I could tell right away that using a white primer and dark top coat that it was going to take a few coats of paint.  I just took my time and did long even paint strokes across the flat surface.

One paint coat.

Two Paint Coats. (Had to reattach the door at this point so they could lock up their house during the night time hours.  The paint drying time per coat is 3 hours).

Three Paint Coats.

I love the bold punch of color that the blue gives the space.
In the DIY and makeover spirit my sister-in-law took down all her house lights and fixtures and spray painted those with ORB spray paint.  They were white so the dark oil rubbed bronze pairs really well with the black, gives it a classy look. 

I love that you can subtly still see the color when the storm door is closed.  Big downside of living in the Mid-West, storm doors cover your pretty front door.

It's crazy the impact a little paint can make.

A little low down on Modern Master's Front Door Paint that I used.  They have 24 colors to choose from, the color I used is called "Calm" and is a Satin Finish.  Gloss finish on exterior doors is usually nice because it's a little more durable and resists fading, however their line of Front Door Paint never fades so I love that it's a Satin Finish. 

Front Door Paint is available on Amazon (affiliate link) Modern Master's Online Shop and select Lowe's locations.
Modern Master's provided me with the Front Door Paint to review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Dipped Succulent Planters | A weekend afternoon DIY project

 Almost every night and weekend we spend at our home renovating the kitchen. You know, you know.  It's all I talk about.  Well, I'm excited to see I finally took the time to do a fun - NOT #PBJreno project that I'll be able to use as decoration once our space is finally done.
How cute are these planters?  They're super easy too: Step by Step below. 

Supplies List:
  • ScotchBlue Painter's Tape for Multi-Surface with Advanced Edge-Lock Paint Line Protector
  • Potting Soil (for Cactus, Palm and Citrus is a great option)
  • Small Glass Containers
  • Spray Paint - your choice of color
  • Succulents/Flowers of choice
  • River Rocks
Step 1: I picked up my glass containers from my local GoodWill for about $1 each. You can use any small containers you have on hand even. I gave them a quick wash before being ready to tape them. 
Step 2: Using ScotchBlue Painter's Tape for Multi-Surface with Advanced Edge-Lock Paint Line Protector I taped off the tops of the containers that I wanted to protect from the paint. I did different amounts of tape coverage and application styles on each container to give the collection some variety. For the “dipped” effect, simply tape the top section of the glass, leaving the bottom section paintable.

Step 3: In a well ventilated area, or outside, simply spray paint the containers. It’s best to do light even sprays across the glass so you don’t get any drips. Allow proper drying time in between the coats (check the can as it can vary on the brand).

Even though the spray paint I choose was able to be used on almost any surface including glass, I took the time for a little extra preparation and did primer too. After an hour of drying time I then did my color of choice spray paint. I did a variety of copper, gold, black and white colors for the containers.

Step 4: Once the paint has dried remove the tape. You can use an x-acto knife to gently score the tape line if necessary.

Step 5: Now it’s time to get messy and fill up your containers with your cute plants! I selected a potting soil that was made specifically for succulents and cactus type plants. I also picked up a bag of River Rock for the toping of some of the containers. Simply put a small amount of potting soil in each container, insert your succulent/plant and then top with river rocks.
Step 6: Display and enjoy your new collection of adorable and one of a kind planters!

We all love Pinterest and blogs right? Why? Because they give you inspiration to be aspirational.  They push you to achieve the DIY projects you SEE everywhere and help you fill in the blanks of the how-to's.  It's why I blog, so once I complete a project I can share it with all of YOU so you can all do it.
Well ScotchBlue™Painter’s Tape has a contest going on right now for a chance to win big, but not just to win big but to submit your project and become one of those part of a gallery of DIY projects that are inspirational.  Check out more details of the contest on their websiteScotchBlue™ Facebook page .  In addition check the Mecca of all DIY inspiration, their ScotchBlue™ Pinterest page .

Enter the Home of ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape Contest at www.scotchblue.com/homecontest
October 1, 2014 through November 15, 2014  and you could win $5,000 to put towards a home makeover! The first 500 to submit an eligible entry will receive one (1) roll of the new ScotchBlue™Painter’s Tape with Advanced Edge-Lock™Paint Line Protector!


Check out this project as a featured project example in the contest!

Contest open to legal residents of the U.S. and D.C. (excluding AZ, MD, NJ, ND, TN and VT),
who are 18+ (19+ in AL & NE and 21+ in MS) at the time of entry. Void where prohibited. Enter
from October 15, 2014 at 12:00:01 a.m. CT through 11:59:59 p.m. CT on November 15, 2014.
All contest communications, entry/judging criteria and details subject to the full Official Rules. To
enter and for Official Rules, visit  www.scotchblue.com/homecontest. Sponsor: 3M
Construction and Home Improvement Markets Division, St. Paul, MN.

I am proud to be a 3M sponsored blogger, and, as part of my responsibilities, I get the opportunity to evaluate ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape. Opinions are my own and additional products used in the project were selected by me.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Installing Upper Kitchen Cabinets | #PBJstories


If you remember I talked about my kitchen inspiration earlier and I have wanted white upper cabinets from the second I walked into this space.  I knew I wanted a shaker style too... they has clean simple lines and was exactly the style I wanted.  I did a LOT, and I mean A LOT, of research for companies that I wanted to choose for our cabinets.  I started looking at custom cabinetry companies and once I received a few quotes knew that was an impossible route, they offer a lot of customizing and high-quality materials but have a high price tag which we did not have a budget for.  I did a few price quotes at Home Depot and Lowe's for a variety of their brands and it was more reasonable, but still slightly higher than I was comfortable with. 
I was almost certain we were going to go with Ikea cabinets, but because I wanted a two-tone kitchen and wanted dark grey base cabinets and again was hitting a dead end as they didn't have their Shaker-style cabinets in that color.
After more research I found RTA Store and they offered both pre-assembled and ready-to-assemble cabinets which is a great cost savings option.  But most importantly (to me at this point) they had a dark grey Shaker style cabinet - WAHOOO!  Working with them was really great, I was teamed up with a designer that helped me do a virtual layout of my kitchen so I knew exactly what I needed.  I thought I educated myself enough throughout the research process what exactly I would need, but there were a few items here and there that the designer was really able to help me with and point out more beneficial options. 

So after we worked through the details of my kitchen they sent me a blueprint layout which was really nice being able to bring that back to my kitchen space and really be sure all the exact measurements would work in the space. 

The other really cool part during the design phase is they sent me a 3D rendering of my kitchen -- this felt like GOLD at that point.  I was staring at studs and joists at this point and it was the first time I truly saw what I "envisioned" in my new kitchen. 

The upper cabinets we ordered are the Aspen White Shaker Style cabinets and are ready-to-assemble cabinets so they are less expensive than the pre-assembled cabinets.  When we received the upper cabinets they had to sit in our garage for a few weeks while we were building the bones of our kitchen back --- adding sub-floor, sheet rocking, taping/sanding etc... so one we finally had the backbone of our kitchen back it was time to start installing the upper cabinets!

Once I assembled the cabinets I went back through and labeled all the doors so I was easily able to know which doors reattached to which cabinets.

Then to make the installation process I labeled each cabinet in order of how I would be installing them on the wall.

Jumping right into the installation...on one wall I was doing cabinets on each end of the wall with floating shelves in the middle.  On the left side, instead of doing a full 36" cabinet I wanted the two cabinets to be separated so it was easier to store different items in the cabinets - but I wanted it to still look like a full cabinet so I decided to have the right 18" cabinet open with a left swing just as a full 36" cabinet would be. 

We wanted the cabinets to be seamless so we attached the two together before attaching to the wall too.

Then before attaching to the wall, we needed to add a backer piece to support the attachment of the crown molding.  I figured out how to do this just by searching online and finding that adding a piece of backer to the cabinet and then stapling the crown molding to that is the easiest/best way to add it.
We just used a 1x2 and measured the full length and sides of the cabinet depending on where we were adding the molding. 

Next we located our studs in the space our first cabinets would be attached to the wall and marked those.  We measured from the ground up for the placement of our cabinets too. Since we only had the sub-floor installed at this point we measured up:
1" - cement board/tile
34" - base cabinet height
1" - counter top
18" - traditional height difference from counter top to bottom of upper cabinets
54" total. 
We drew that line with a laser level across the entire span of the wall and used that as a guide for our ledger.  The ledger acts as a support piece to set your cabinet on while installing the cabinet.  So instead of me trying to keep the cabinet level and supported while my Father in Law screwed the cabinet to the wall, we were able to lift it up to the ledger and I simple had to hold it against the wall - MUCH easier.

Then we just screwed through the cabinet into the studs.

This is the part that gets a little tedious.  There is a LOT of small maneuvering once your cabinet is up to be sure it's level both horizontally and vertically.  If you need to make small tweaks use shims to get the cabinet as flush, and level, as possible.  Then when you move onto the next cabinet - you'll have to do the same plus be sure it's square with the cabinet directly next to it. Once it's completely level, attach to the surrounding cabinet too, not just the wall.  This will help keep the seams of the cabinets flush and look seamless.

It's been weeks since we installed these cabinets... and I cannot wait until we can fill them up with our goodies.  What do you think of the style?!! Are you a fan of white cabinets?

I still have to pick out our handles/knobs for them.  It's like picking out the final jewelry piece for your favorite outfit... it was to be just perfect!


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

How to Paint an Interior Brick Wall | #PBJreno

I am so excited to finally see this room completed...but it's not there yet.  This will be our dining room, and when we moved in this was a very dark, unattractive room that felt small...and useless.  It was originally just a "walkway" for the patio door and was included in the kitchen square footage even though it wasn't utilized in any way as useful space in the kitchen. 

When I walked in the kitchen for the first time and saw this space I know two things.
1. It needed to become a functional space. 
2. That brick needed to be white.

Everyone questioned my sanity I think at some point of why we were removing EVERYTHING in this space...the entire kitchen, the walls, the ceiling, the floors, the sub-floor, and knocked out the exterior wall.  Why would I keep this ugly wall of Z-Brick instead of starting fresh with a new clean wall? And I knew...deep down... that I could make it gorgeous and then..THEN we'd have an amazing feature wall in this space.

Painting Z-Brick is very similar to painting regular brick - in fact I don't think I took any steps that I'd do differently if this had been real brick.  But it's a very time-consuming and patience-testing process...but as with most things that take time, the pay-off is BIG!  I could have made the painting process a few less steps had I just white-washed the brick, but I wanted a complete bright white brick look so it took a few extra coats of paint.

The big in-depth Tutorial:

Step 1. Wash your wall with a degreaser to remove any build-up, especially if it's in the kitchen space (I used Zep Heavy Duty Citrus Degreaser). My mama was over that day to help out so she did the spraying and scrubbing.

Step 2. After your brick has dried, you'll do a second washing with TSP (Trisodium Phosphate).

I just mixed according to the TSP instructions with water, used a scrub brush to rub on and scrubbed in a circular motion. Then did another scrub/wash down with clean water. TSP is a very concentrated cleaning agent that is great to be used on specific surfaces prior to painting. 

I let the wall dry for 24 hours after this to be SURE it was completely dry.

Step 3. Another prepping step: Adding the first primer level - Concrete & Masonry Bonding Primer.

I decided to do this step pretty last minute when I was picking up the primer for the brick... I did a little reading up about the bonding primer for masonry and decided if I wanted to be EXTRA sure this wall was going to hold-up I should take this extra step too.  It rolls on very easy, and a little goes a long way.  What does it do exactly? Straight from the word's of Behr, "For a long-lasting durable finish, use BEHR PREMIUM Concrete & Masonry Bonding Primer. This high-performance water-based primer will promote a uniform topcoat finish and create a stronger adhesion between the coating and surface. It is easy to apply and dries clear."  So once I read that I figured it essentially prepares the very porous surface of concrete/masonry for the ACTUAL paint primer that would be next so that primer could do its actual job which is to adhere paint better.  Does that make sense? I know, I'm nuts.

 A quick coat and let dry for 4 hours.

Step 4. Painting Begins! After the bonding primer, I was ready to tackle the paint priming layer with HomeRight Power-Flo Pro 2800 and Glidden Gripper Primer.
One of the biggest questions when painting brick is if you should use a roller or paint sprayer.  From what I've read relating to painting exterior brick - a roller finish will last longer, a paint sprayer will cover better overall. I don't have a lot of experience with using a paint sprayer so I was a little nervous about tackling this big of a project with a paint sprayer for my first time...but I knew it'd give the overall finish I was trying to achieve better than a roller would.

Since it was my first time using a paint sprayer I talked with my contacts at HomeRight, explained the type of project I was doing and the type of primer.  She helped me choose the HomeRight Power-Flo Pro 2800 (amazon affiliate link) paint sprayer and initially I was a bit nervous just because it LOOKED pretty intense.  Once I opened it up and did a few test sprays I was able to become comfortable with it pretty quickly.  And QUICKLY is how it painted my wall!  I seriously was so happy I decided to go the paint sprayer route because each coat was able to be done so easily, and had such a nice even finish. 

This was after 1 coat of primer.  Not bad huh!! Almost already looks like I was just going for a white-wash look.

After I did a second coat the face of the bricks looked great, however the mortar..or cracks... still had a lot of the original black coming through the paint.  This was because it's a VERY uneven surface and had I tried paint spraying directly into all the cracks it would have pooled and caused drips so while I was using the HR paint sprayer I concentrated on the face of the bricks to make sure they were getting good even coverage.  But like I said, then I was left with the mortar (the "grout" lines) black peek-through look and as I said I wanted a solid finished all white look to the wall so, I wasn't that happy I was left with this. 

It took a moment to sit back and really look at the wall at this point and decide how dedicated we were.  We did a small "test area" and took the time to take a paint brush and smoosh (technical term here) the Glidden Gripper primer into all the mortar cracks.  After we did a small test area we sat back and looked at the difference..can you see it?  We did too...and it was a clear answer.  We weren't happy but we knew we were going to have to sit and SMOOSH the brush into every single spot on the wall in the mortar to get a really solid finish look. So, if you want a really solid painted look to the wall then...

Step 6.  Hand paint the mortar cracks with primer to fill in any missed cracks with the paint sprayer.

... Four hours later and two very tired people later....

After filling in the mortar with our hand brushing it was time for....

Step 7.  Use paint sprayer to apply the top coat. 

I decided to choose Sherwin Williams "Snowbound" as our top coat.  Because our wall is in a room that has a lot of white reflective (white ceiling and light wood floor) plus a 9 foot window directly next to it I was nervous about the shine level I choose with the paint finish - however, being a textured wall next to the dining room where there would be a lot of walking/traffic/chair bumps I wanted a paint sheen that would be durable.  That led me to select Sherwin Williams Duration line in Satin.  It's not too reflective, but also has a durable level to the paint. 
I was originally planning on applying at least two coats of top coat to the wall, but after I applied a single coat I was SUPER pleased with the coverage between the HR Power-Flo Pro and the paint coverage. 

I CANNOT get over the difference this single wall makes on our ENTIRE dining room and kitchen space... It's beautiful and adds so much texture and style to the room - I absolutely love it!

What do you think? Do you have bricks you'd be willing to take the drastic process of painting white? Would you go for a more simple process and just whitewash?

If you're interested on more information about the HomeRight Power-Flo Pro 2800 that I used you can find it here...
You can also follow along with HomeRight on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

HomeRight provided me with the airless paint sprayer to get this job done.  All opinions, ideas, and rants are my own.
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