Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Painted front door.

Over the long weekend, I finally had a chance to paint the front door!

We had the color picked out quite a while ago. I already had the number plaque painted and installed. We used Behr Ultra paint from Home Depot. It's the kind with the paint and primer in one, which is my favorite. We did a satin finish in the outdoor paint. The final color is called Teal Zeal, which was not easy to pick out...

Since that photo, we've also had the screen door installed, which has been great with the nicer weather. I don't love the look of the screen door, but it is what it is. They help a lot here in Minnesota with the hugely varying temperature range we have from winter to summer for both protection and alleviation.

Anyways, I did some basic prep work for the door. Made sure it was cleaned up after it was exposed to the element for about 5 months. I taped off the windows so I didn't have a lot of clean up and I also taped off the weather stripping on the bottom to make sure I got a clean line.

I used a brush on the window framing and around the lock and handle, but used a foam roller as much as possible to keep the finish smooth.

Essentially it all got two coats of paint, maybe three in a couple spots. I excitedly pulled off the tape only to find out that there was a fair amount of bleed through to under. I also wasn't the most perfect painter, so there were a few thing white edges in a few spots by the glass. I just took the paint brush and touched up those spots not worrying too much about getting it on the glass since I already had to clean that up from the bleed through. I used a razor blade to carefully scrape away any paint from the glass.

Now we have a fantastically bright front door!

I found the pots at Target this spring. Somehow, they were a perfect match for the color I picked months before. Win! I may have also snagged the same pots, a hanging one and maybe a few pillows to match for the back.

We have some landscaping to address... as well as painting the foundation and addressing our cement issues that are currently happening. I'm not sure how much we'll get done in our few months of summer this year, but I'm hoping to tackle a good deal of it!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Doors, doors, doors.

You would never think that doors would be an issue when finishing a space... well, ours kind of ended up being one.

When we got our initial quote from the contractor we used, he said that he would be putting in doors that matched our doors on the main floor, which are original to the house. At that time, we weren't 100% on what the layout would be, it depended on what could be done about things like the furnace. As the walls were just being finished and the carpet was about to go in, I got a "We'll probably have to put in solid slab doors because of the size we need. Cutting down doors like the ones you have wouldn't work because they would look weird and we can't just order them in these sizes." I responded with a very disappointed "Really?" I just kind of left it alone... I was irritated, but I just wanted to keep things moving and solid, plain doors that look right would be better than matching ones that were wonky.

A week or so later, the contractor arrived with someone I had never seen before. Surprise, surprise! He had contacted a cabinet maker that he has worked with for many, many years about making doors to match our current ones. Sweet!

In the photo above you can sort of see some of the detail of our original doors. They have two panels. In more of a shaker style they would be "straight," but ours have "ridges"... I know no door/wood terms...

I can't remember how long it took to get the doors, but the contractor brought them over, painted them, and got them installed. They look fantastic! They look like they belong here.

Above is the office door. It is a normal width, maybe a little small on the width, but it is definitely shorter than a normal door.

In this photo you can see the utility room door on the left of the stairs and part of the laundry room door on the the right. The utility room door is super wide and lower than normal. The laundry door, also shown below is a normal width, but probably a little shorter than normal. Those door sit under the main support beam for the house.

Because those doors turned out so well, our contractor had mentioned that the cabinet maker would be willing to make another door to replace our not original bathroom door. While it was pricey, we decided it was worth it.

You can sort of see the old door in the photo below. I strategically took photos that mostly kept it out of the shot, but I also was trying to get everything else...

The cabinet maker came and measured everything to make sure proportions were correct for that door, especially since it would be next to the originals. He said it should only take him two days, unless he was extremely productive that day.

He was back a few days later and installed it. I'm glad we didn't have to install it because I would have been worried about making holes that can't be fixed, etc.

I was a little... shocked... when I saw what it looked like. I kind of assumed that it was just all wood underneath the paint for the doors downstairs. It was more of a Frankenstein door...

Totally not a big deal since it was just going to be painted anyways. And I'm guessing real, solid wood would have cost more...

After a good coat of primer and a coat of paint that we had labeled "interior trim paint" from the previous owners, it fits in like it has always been there.

I think it's one of those things that makes a big, almost unnoticeable difference. It's weird.

So, I'm thankful that our contractor took the time to follow through on matching the doors because not only do those ones look fantastic, the new bathroom door makes the upstairs feel a little more complete and "right."

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Patched up Doorway and Picking the Wrong Paint Color...

So... remember that door jam/frame I ripped out awhile back by the back door? Well, when the mud/tape guy was doing the basement, I had him fix up that door way.

There were some imperfections (and there still are) in the work that was done, as well as a bunch of nail holes to fill in around that area and in the kitchen in general. It took me awhile to fix those small things up, sand everything down good, and do it all over again. I primed it all up and let it sit...

Isn't that so much better already? All of the light. Nice, smooth surfaces.

I had thought that I had enough left over paint to just paint over that area. I was way wrong. I/we decided that it was best to just go ahead and paint the whole kitchen. I didn't really love the color, but I was fine with it.

Since it was basically already started, we decided that it would be best to do new baseboard in the kitchen. Started means that a few pieces had already been ripped out. The kitchen was the only room that didn't have a normal white baseboard. I'm going to guess it was purchased and installed with the floor to match it. But it was done so horribly... or just poorly treated since it was installed. Covered in paint... Bad cuts that chipped of the fake wood 'veneer'... Yuck.

I love the color of my bedroom (Behr's Anonymous) and decided to just bring it down a level in the darkness, bring us to Behr's Sparrow. I eagerly ran to Home Depot and grabbed a bucket of paint and primer in one (because it makes painting sooo much easier). I didn't get a chance to paint right away. But two nights earlier this week I went for it.

It. Is. Purple. Not the wonderful gray I was looking for.

I basically decided I didn't like it while it was going on, but thought it was best to give it a chance. I let it sit completed (with some touch ups needed) for a couple days and decided I just could not stand it any longer. It's just not a color for this house and not a color for our kitchen. The color itself is actually really nice, but it just doesn't work here.

And actually, in the photos, it doesn't look so bad. If it looked that way in real life, I probably could have lived with it for awhile.

Last night, while out running errands, we grabbed a can of Behr's Dolphin Fin. I really, really hope this one works... I'm dreading painting the kitchen for the second time in one week and I really hope I never have to do it again...On the bonus side of it, underneath/behind the oven and kitchen are already clean!

We're having a party here in a week or so, I'm really hoping we can have it all together by then. While it really isn't all that much, this is the time of the year that is crazy for us and we don't exactly have all the tools for doing the trim...  Wish me luck!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Basement: Carpet Install

As I mentioned before, we went through Home Depot for carpet. We had a little bit of an issue but it all worked out. Bill took the day off to be at home for the install, as we were required to have an adult present.

Install went off without a hitch and we love it!

We are so, so, so glad we went with the thickest pad that they offer. Totally worth it. The carpet is wonderfully soft. The carpet that we went with is Ryedale II in French Creek. Those together make it nearly impossible to tell they're on top of cement.

Behr loves it too...! He thinks its great to be able to chase all his toys and not slide across the floor. Plus all of the room to just run and not run into things...

The basement is so close to done. We just have doors to go in, paint to be touched up, and the plumbing in the laundry room to wrap up.