Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Quick Powder Room Redo

When I first found the Caromal Colours paint I wanted to do a test project to see how the paint held up. I had been wanting to paint my small hallway half bath cabinet for some time. It was the same 80's oak cabinet as my kitchen with very shiny brass hardware and a brass and brown mirror above the sink with brass outlets and wall fixtures. The bathroom is wallpapered in a tone on tone American landmarks wallpaper that I actually like, seeing as we are outside DC, so I kept that and the cream sink top.

I chose peppercorn as the paint color, which is just like it's name - black/charcoal in color. I applied the same process as the kitchen, applied two coats and distressed the cabinet edges. I did not do the toner for this because I didn't see the point with the paint already being dark. I really like the outcome, it updated the bathroom immensely and I did this in one evening. For the mirror I took some liquid metallic pewter paint I already had from Michael's and painted over the gold. It was a bit to 'pewtery' so i added an antiquing black over it to tone it down a bit. My neighbor thought I had a new mirror, so guess that is good!

I added grass green accents to really pop against the cream on cream wallpaper and black cabinet and some antique bronze hardware. At some point I plan on switching out the brass faucet with a bronze one.

Old Bathroom:
From A Virginia Home Post

Updated Bathroom:
From A Virginia Home Post

From A Virginia Home Post

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Favorite Look of the Day

The captain and I love boats and the water. We've been slowly working on a nautical look for our family room. I would love to find some authentic components like these to complete the look.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Favorite Look of the Day

This is courtesy of Habitually Chic. I so wish I had an entryway for this.

I painted my upstairs hall very similarly to this, I need to inject some yellow and cool prints!

Exhausted, but Happy

It all started innocently enough. The big dude was humoring my need to shop through all the little quaint stores in Occoquan, Virginia - land of the little country store. I was in a really cute place called Personally Yours with all manner of americana decor and in the very back of the third floor we happened to spy a display of Caromal Colours paint. I was curious and when I read the description was impressed to see that no sanding is needed and it will paint over anything - really anything?? Hmmm.

A few weeks later I picked up a jar of paint and refinished my half bath cabinet in one night - I'm saving that one for another post. But I liked the paint so much I decided it might just be possible to tackle my kitchen cabinets after all.

You see, years ago when we lived in Barrington, NH and M was just a baby, I did the whole kitchen painting remodel thing where you take off all the doors, sand the hell out of everything, and paint it, and sand it again, and paint it, etc.. only to get it all back together and have it start chipping in the first week. It was most definitely a "never again" exhausting. So I was not exactly jumping at the chance to take on another kitchen paint job but I was also told by the ogre "no new kitchen", so was starting to feel a tad desperate. The paint I used is for rustic finishes, in fact I think that is what gives it it's durability. Caromal Colours does not feel like latex, nor does it smell like it. The finish is drier and almost powdery to the touch. It dries really fast so you have to work pretty quickly, but it is the most durable finish I've worked with.

With the need to go rustic I decided a French Country look would work well with my house and was something I liked myself. Normally I would go for something a bit more modern, I tend to like traditional mixed with modern and antique elements, but the paint was the driving force here so I was going full out French Country - roosters, toile and all.

We started the project by washing the cabinets down with a solution of TSP and letting it dry. We did not remove the doors and we did not sand anything!! My skilled laborer created trim boxes for the cabinet ends to give them a more finished look. We were lucky enough to find small moldings that mimicked the cabinet door detail. After that we taped off everything with painters tape and we were good to go.

Caromal Colours does not go on like a smooth coat paint, it is more of a mishing and mashing of the brush. You can make it more or less refined depending on how you like it, I tried for more refined. After two coats of paint I then antiqued the cabinets with a combination of hand sanding and electric with my mouse sander - for me this is the fun part. I find I start off pretty conservative and get more aggressive as I go, necessitating some backtracking to even things up. After the sanding I applied a toner which is essentially a wood stain that goes over the paint and sanded bits to give depth and tea stain everything. This was my most challenging part as it dries quickly and you have to brush it on, then wipe it off to the color and look you want. I stumbled a bit during this part but all in all it turned out well.

Here is the finished look. We really love it, so much prettier than what it was before. At some point we plan on switching out the appliances to all stainless steel and get new dining chairs because the ones we are using are borrowed from the dining room.
From Kitchen Remodel

From Kitchen Remodel

If you want more pictures, click on the slide show below:

Friday, July 10, 2009

I Love the 80's

Have you noticed all the remakes of 1980's songs right now? There are some really cool renditions of songs I never thought would be heard from again. I also find myself enjoying the original music of my teen years again, I'll confess I've even had the 80's station playing simply for enjoyment, gasp!

What I have not found a renewed love for is 80's decor. My house in Virginia was built in 1984 - my freshman year of High School. The prior owners certainly did updates to bring much of the home into the 90's, but it stopped there. My kitchen has the original 80's medium oak cabinetry, appliances from the 90's and most thankfully a new granite countertop. It was the countertop that helped sell the house because it was one less thing we would have to replace.

I have been told that under no circumstances am I allowed to buy a new kitchen by the large ogre I live with. He can be a real beast sometimes. So, with my existing budget restrictions (due in large part to the many other projects I'll cover in this blog), I was forced to take a hard look at what we have to work with and either live with it or get creative. I am really not very good at living with things as they are. Sure I can for a time, but the kitchen is something I love to use and cook in, it is indeed the heart of the home and when it doesn't feel like my heart I get crabby.

So here is our kichen in all it's 80's, 90's and modern glory. Is it bad? Nope, but it also isn't me. So stay tuned as the project begins!

From New Hampshire to Virginia

Well it is the inaugural post for this blog. I must confess I love reading blogs and always want to have my own but have had lots of starts and stops along the way. My biggest barrier is remembering to take pictures when I should. Perhaps this will force me to be better.

We moved into our Virginia Home in June of 2008 after a whirlwind house shopping expedition. My husband Steve bore the brunt of the house shopping while he was down here starting his new job near DC. I bore the less fun brunt of packing and selling our home in New Hampshire. It was a close call buying our Virginia home because we loved the exterior but were not fond of the interior - at all. Well, as I said when we bought our last 5 houses, I can fix that! So, come along for the adventure in home remodeling on a budget, with a husband, two kids, an elderly dog, a cat, a kitten and two gerbils. Some are more helpful than others, the kitten is the least helpful of all.