Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Staircase Progress & Picking a Stain Color

I am pleased to say that I am finally getting around to the finish work on the staircase.  It's amazing how with just a coat of primer, everything can start to come together!  I opted to install faux board and batten on two of the stair walls.


I was surprised at just how snazzy it is looking, especially for how cheap (less than $50!) and easy (less  than 2 hours of work!) it was.  I am working on a tutorial which I hope to post this week because I think I found some shortcuts that really simplify the installation process.  Also, since I was working with brand new drywall, I had the idea that if I brush the drywall like I would if it was actually board and batten, it might trick the eye into thinking that it was actually wood behind the battens, rather than rolling the drywall, leaving texture to the wall.  I gave it a shot, and I have to say that I think it worked!

This is just the primer coat and it only has a sheen because it was still wet.   However, I plan on painting the faux board and batten with the same paint as the rises, newels, balusters, etc.  so I am hoping that it will have a very convincing look to it when it's all done.  It took a few hours of painting on various contorted positions, but most of the staircase has been primed.  It's finally starting to look like what I had envisioned!

I am sure that I have at least 20+ hours of priming, sanding, filling, caulking and painting ahead of me, but I am already starting to think about the stain color for the treads, landing and handrail.  It's a big decision because this will also be the color that we use on the floors throughout the house when we refinish them.  Right now, I am torn between three very different directions:


Rich Chocolate

Weathered Oak
While I think that all three options could look great in this house, it's still a tough choice.  I love the espresso color, but I am worried that it might be too dark and also that it is an out-going trend that might look dated in 5 years.  The weathered oak look is definitely an emerging trend, but I think that it might lean too beachy and certainly would not be everyone's taste (which is an important consideration for resale).  A medium toned, rich chocolate color is certainly classic and universal, but I think it might be kind of boring?  Any thoughts or feedback would be appreciated!  Of course there is no stain color that will work for any of these wood tones straight out of the can.  So I bought about 7 different 4oz stain cans to mix and play around with.  I am going to see if I can come up with just the right stain color.  Wish me luck!


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Dollar Sink & World Market Finds

I try to make a point to hit up my local salvage yards at least every other month.  I am currently on the hunt for a few radiator covers because I am too cheap to have new ones custom made.  Of course, you rarely exactly what you are looking for when you go - and predictably I struck out on the radiator covers.  The key to salvaging, and I suppose this could be applied to thrifting as well, is to keep an open mind, but also a running list of items to scan for.  On my list (aside from the radiator covers) are cast iron bath tubs, vintage pedestal sinks, a vintage built ins, and any cool knick-knacks that could be repurposed as home decor.  My bad luck in the radiator cover department was more than made up for by my score of the century - this lovely pedestal sink for only $1!

This sink was sitting in a pile near the entrance of the salvage yard and all of the items were mark as $1.  I assumed it was a mistake, so I asked an employee and they confirmed.  It turns out, this sink was sitting in their inventory for quite a while and they just wanted to get rid of it.  There is nothing wrong with the sink - it's actually in great shape with the porcelain finish totally intact.  There are a few hairline cracks that are to be expected with a piece of this age (looks like it's from the '30s or 40's).  I could easily reglaze it for a few hundred bucks and it would take care of the hairline cracks, but I think that it adds character, so I doubt I will refinish it, especially since the porcelain is nearly pristine.

I also snagged some cute things from World Market during my shopping spree, including this nubby bleached jute rug that I am in love with!  The dogs may actually love it more than I do - it's their permanent nap spot.

I also picked up this egg crate, table runner and little milk bottle vase set.  Silly items, but I thought they were cute.

If you haven't been to World Market lately, I highly recommend checking them out - they've got some great stuff right now!


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Hallway Reveal

It's done, it's finally done!  And I absolutely love it.  Not sure why this project took so long as it's one of the smallest "rooms" in the house, but it did.  It probably had something to do with the fact that I skim coated all of the walls, and then had to paint and clean/strip the hardware on FIVE doors...  Small space, but it sure had a lot of details.  With out further ado, shall we dive in?

Pretty nice, huh? :-)  Wall color is Benjamin Moore Gray Lake in eggshell finish and trim is my standard Behr Premium in Ultra Pure White, satin finish.  I also installed a planked ceiling and crown moulding, which I think looks natural to the space.

Now for the details, I painstakingly cleaned and shined up every piece of brass hardware on the doors, and it came out beautifully.  Before, they looked like they were oil rubbed bronze, but no - that was just dirt!

This lovely light is the Crystorama Solaris 3-Light Chandelier which you can find here. It's a little bit more modern than I would typically go for in this house, but I just really, really liked it.  I think it adds some "drama" to what is otherwise a pretty generic space.

Lest we forget where we started, here is a reminder....

Much better, yes? 


*UPDATE* I shared this post on the DIY Show Off's Link Part.  To see more great DIY projects, check out the link below!

That DIY Party summer link party button