How to Make Your Patio Look New Again for Less Than $100

how to make your old patio like new again

Last year, I made an Olympic-sized (pun-intended) effort to make over my back yard. I took down ivy (which dumped bugs and dirt in my bra), sawed down branches, pulled out weeds longer than my arm, built a fence, found an entire toy store's worth of balls and frisbees, and even dressed up my tiny patio with some new outdoor chairs and a couple planters. There was just one problem: My concrete slab patio is complete garbage. It's not really the slab's fault; it's mine. I often … [Read more...]

Going #BehindtheSeal with Good Housekeeping

good housekeeping research institute

As I've mentioned a number of times (uh, every post?) on this blog, I tend to stay a little busy these days.  But earlier last month, I was asked to drop what I was doing and head up to New York for a quick tour of the Good Housekeeping Research Institute.*  As in the New York - which I've never visited before (and in my heart, I knew I'd possibly love so much I'd never want to come home).  So as you can imagine, I immediately put the paint brush down and packed a bag.  Because New … [Read more...]

Priming Kitchen Cabinets: Days 2 and 3

priming_2

Prime.  Let dry.  Repeat. Because of the humidity of Wetlanta, priming the kitchen cabinets took a little longer than I wanted it to. But after two coats of white on the front and back of each door, carefully painting the sides, and getting every little nook and cranny I could reach, the cabinets are ready for paint. Some of you requested closeups of what they look like with primer.  As you can see, the primer doesn't really cover every last bit, and the wood grain still shows through a … [Read more...]

Progress, Progress Everywhere

hallway progress

As I mentioned yesterday, there were a number of to-do items tackled this weekend thanks in large part to my mom and grandmother coming over for a visit last Saturday (a big thanks to them both!).  Priming the cabinets (and my ultra-perfectionist streak) has mostly been a one-man job, so I chose a different game plan for how to put them both to work:  Granny folded laundry (which was both desperately needed and a chore I find akin to being pecked to death by a duck) while Mom tackled two more of … [Read more...]

Rain Delay

primer

This weekend was one of those where a LOT of stuff got done.  I was on a roll (no pun intended) with the primer (and also successfully getting. it. everywhere.).  Mom and Granny came over again to help me tackle some of the other projects (like Mt. Washmore and painting another wall in the living room).  And we even took Granny to Hooters for lunch (we expected it to be a laugh riot; it wasn't). But there were also a few speedbumps, like the rain.  In my pursuit of a perfect paint finish on … [Read more...]

Moving me down the hallway

brushes

These photos are somewhat terrible.  But when you're accidentally up late (I swear, I looked at the clock and it blinked from 10 PM to 1 AM), you take a couple of quick photos of your progress and call it a night.  And then you deliriously name your post after a Jim Croce song. I will say though, I LOVE the way that the hallway is now much brighter - even at night.  And I have BIG plans for the two empty wall spaces on either side of the guest bathroom door (when heading up the stairs, … [Read more...]

Missed

missed

Full disclosure: I still haven't finished the first coat of paint in the upstairs hallway. A lot of you have been asking for me to give you some tips on how I fit everything into my schedule (between work, grad school, the blog, and DIY projects).  Most of the time, I can manage it just fine - as long as I stay a little flexible.  (P.S. I am currently working on a series of posts to give you guys some more insight and tips on how things work around here.  Stay tuned for the beginning of that … [Read more...]

What to do with unexpected setbacks

DSC_2655

Last Saturday evening, a huge rainstorm swept through Atlanta.  I tell you this because Sunday morning, there was a very large POP sound (like a shotgun, so I assume it was a transformer) and the power had gone out.  Considering that I had been planning on spending my morning using a shop vac in the dining room, I was a little bummed at the unexpected setback.  But, since I also have about 200 unfinished projects around the house on any given day, I wasn't deterred for long. I swept out all … [Read more...]

Fifteen Wall Surfaces

entryway bench

I briefly mentioned it yesterday, but it bears repeating: there are fifteen different wall surfaces in this house that are turning from a medium tan to a light greige. Among these surfaces include: the hallway to the kitchen (done) the entryway nook (done) the bow window in the living room (halfway complete) the wall along the fireplace (not yet started) the support wall separating the living room and staircase (not yet started) the (obnoxiously tall) staircase walls (meh - maybe … [Read more...]

Dueling DIY: So, I Creep

charlie on stairs side shot

Yeaaaaah... (TLC, anyone? No? Ok, me, myself, and I will have our own little dance party over in the corner.) I'm creeping along with my staircase project. Since the entryway, living room, and staircase walls (and upstairs hallway) are all getting painted the same color, I'm skipping around a bit from wall to wall. Basically, whichever one that is the driest gets my attention for a couple hours, and then I take a break. Then I come back to paint a little more. When you have a total of 15 … [Read more...]

The Other Bright Side

Guess what next week is?  Finals.It's actually just one final.  And I know what you're thinking: wasn't I just complaining about starting the semester a month ago?  And wasn't I complaining about an exam last week?Yes - yes, I was.  Because I wasn't paying attention when I signed up for my Tuesday graduate school classes and unwittingly took on a "mini mester" course in addition to my normal two-classes-every-other-Saturday schedule.  Before I knew it, I was staring down the barrel of an eight … [Read more...]

Quick Ikea Hack: Barometer Work Lamp

ikea hack - gold desk lamp

I like this lamp.  Reminds me of some really expensive ones.  Except it's only $30.  So I snatched it up. But I'm on a goldy-bronze kick lately, and it's the metal finish of choice for my study-o.  So thanks to a little paint, my metallic dreams came true: I originally tried rub-n-buff (starting at the bottom of the lamp) after seeing several tutorials, but I didn't find it the easiest to use, and I wasn't crazy about the finish, so I switched to gold leaf paint.  I kind of like the … [Read more...]