The longest DIY

I’m not even talking about the CISSP exam prep, but that is taking a seriously long time too. Either way, whether I finish the book or not, I’m taking the exam by the end of next month. While trying to schedule the exam, I spent over 30 minutes on the phone waiting for a human to answer, who told me I called the wrong number, but was nice enough to send me on the way to the right person. After that wait, I was told to email a generic email and wait/hold my breath/pray that someone will answer the email. You would think this company would have a better plan in place for people to take an exam (especially when they collect $600 when they do!).

But I digress…

I’ve been painfully slow on this DIY. Most of it is not my fault though. We are working on possibly selling the house (barring I can find a job – hire me please!). In the mean time, I’m working on some quick updates to make the house extra marketable. So far, I’ve painted a ceiling, cleaned up and repainted the fireplace, and have started the wonderful job of de-cluttering.

I’ve been wanting to paint the cabinets in the master bath white for some time, because I like white cabinets and then it would match our other bathroom renovation.IMG_3130

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I think it turned out pretty well so we wanted to go ahead and do the same to the Master: paint the cabinets, add hardware, change out the shower faucet, and frame the mirror.

We also decided to change out the medicine cabinet in the Master bath. It was too small and was too 80’s oak for me. This part of the project has definitely been the easiest so far. Thanks IKEA!

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The longest DIY part has been the main cabinets…and it’s mostly been because of weather. First it was too hot to paint. Temperatures during the day surpassed 100 and with the dew points, the heat index stretched into the 120 degree mark. I was able to sneak in a day or two in the morning or evening to spray a side or two, but it was going to take an excruciatingly long time. Then, although we got a much needed break from the heat, we got rain. And a lot of it. And it hasn’t stopped yet.

Next problem: I painted the main cabinet and towel storage cabinet with a wonderful high gloss cabinet paint in Ultra White by Behr. I spray painted the doors in a gloss by Rustoleum. I didn’t realize how much more white the Ultra White was  until I was ready to put the cabinet doors up. They almost looked gray. I felt like Clark W. Griswold when he found out instead of a bonus check, he got a one -year subscription to the Jelly of the Month Club.

So I went to the store and bought three more spray cans of paint in hopes that one would be more white than the other. I did find one, another Rustoleum actually, that was more white and will do as a redo for the small cabinet doors. The tall doors for the towel storage cabinet will have to be hand painted unfortunately as they’re directly in light and noticeable any other way. So once I can get a dry day, I’ll be able to finish this project.

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You gotta love Contact paper

 

 

I’ll post some finished pictures once that happens.

Until then, it’s washing trim, packing boxes, and studying for this damn exam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little touches and weekend fun

Now that we are done with painting the outside of the house, I’ve felt a little more free to do some of the littler things around the house. Little projects that I didn’t want to start because I felt that painting was the number one priority and I didn’t want to get sidetracked. I was able to get some sheer curtains up in the bedroom, get a framed photo in the bathroom, purchase a couple more for the living room, (I haven’t put up yet but they are bought and waiting for hanging), and even organize my spice cabinet a bit.

Finally got something on the wall
Finally got something on the wall
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Aren’t these guys amazing?

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We like to buy spices in bulk because it saves you TONS of money and you can buy only what you need, but then I end up with a bunch of little bags in my cabinet which is not conducive to efficient cooking. I went to Hobby Lobby when they were having a sale and grabbed some great glass jars. I think I’m going to have to go back for more!

We also made a cake for our roommate who just turned the big 3-0. I think he was pretty surprised and appreciative of the gesture. He’d worked that day so I think it was a welcome surprise to come back with cake and ice cream. FullSizeRender

The weather here is starting to cool down, which is making me want to be outside even more than usual. I think my next medium-sized project will be raised bed gardens. The challenge is going to be placement and size. Time to start doing some research….

Finally! *collapses face first onto floor*

We finally finally finally (barring little touch-ups) finished painting our house at 8pm Tuesday night. I had so little left and I was losing light but we did it! When I gave the hubs a high-five, we both had smiles on our faces. The relief rushed in and the pride in our work came soon after.

Even though it took waaaay longer than I figured (I originally estimated two weeks tops – try two months!), it looks great. We are proud of our work and I feel like we did just as good, if not better than most professionals. We went over the house with a fine toothed comb, finding any spots, re-caulking areas that had either been missed, never touch, or already needed more touching-up. It took a lot of our strength and sweat and a ton of our time, but everyday now, when we come home from work, our hard work shines through. I love it.

We still have the doors to replace and paint, but there’s no rush on that. They work for now. Next up is some fun stuff – new house numbers and finding a spot for our raised bed garden. But again, in due time. For now, we rest. These other projects take little time and can be done whenever we feel so inclined. I’m not worried about them, and I usually forget about them completely until something triggers my memory.

For now, we relax and have some fun.DSC04072 IMG_5101 DSC04098 IMG_5097 IMG_4750 IMG_5105

Last night we went to Austin’s last Sound and Cinema for the summer. It’s a great free deal Austin does at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. They have a band that plays music from the movie they are showing, and when the sun sets, they play a different movie each time. This time was The Sandlot, a classic coming of age story. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend it. It’s a favorite of ours.

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We stayed for a short while, but since it was so busy, it was hard to hear the movie so we ended up leaving to find a quieter place. We stopped at Radio Coffee & Beer, a great newer place that has great cold brew coffee and local drafts, so everyone can get something they want. The place has a great outdoor setting. One area has an open field with chairs for chatting, and the other side has picnic tables (and a couple food trailers of course), and they happened to be playing a bunch of short films. During the short films, one of the trailers came out with samples of their rosemary honey popcorn. If I hadn’t just eaten earlier, I would have grabbed a bag because it was amazing.

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I stayed out much later than planned but it was well worth it. We hadn’t “gone out” and done something like this for weeks, heck, months, because of the house projects. When I have a big project going on, I feel guilty leaving it undone, so we committed ourselves to one last push, finished up the painting, then went out, partly as a celebration, and partly to renew our love of the city. You can start to forget why you like a city if you don’t take advantage of the things that made you love it in the first place.

Finish

I’ve been working on a few projects and assignments for a while. For me, if I don’t get them done within a relative time frame of when I thought I’d finish them, I start to get anxious. My mind keeps these projects in the back of my head at all times. And the only way to get rid of all of this heaviness? Finishing them.

I plan on going full force this week, even though I have very little energy, and complete this house painting project. We were gone for a week, were out of town this past weekend, and have been just plain old busy. I plan on dedicating my time to finishing this painting project, because although I have other things I want to do, I have a hard time concentrating on them with these other open projects constantly looming over me.

Tonight, we focus and finish what we’ve started!!

FINISH WHAT YOU STARTED

24 hours of painting in and making baby steps

I’m still working on painting my house. I’ve had some road blocks here and there, mostly rain. One minute it’s sunny and perfect for painting. The next minute I have this over my head…

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Luckily, since I’ve been working on the entry, I’ve still been able to paint a little while the rain comes down since it’s luckily been raining strait down, or from the west, keeping me dry.

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Before pillars. The bottoms were replaced with cedar as they had molded and rotted out.
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After pillars!
These have been quite helpful with the heat and humidity
These have been quite helpful with the heat and humidity

This week I plan on finishing the front during my spare time, then finishing up the north and south sides. I also need to figure out if I should paint the garage door the house color or the trim color. I still have to pick out the trim color too. Anyone have any tips on garage door colors? Should I make it blend into the house with the body color, or brighten it with the trim color?

Either way, stay tuned – more to come!

Painting a house….14 hours in

I’ve collectively put in around 14 hours of painting so far into my house. I thought I’d be a bit farther along, but alas, I should be used to this. It always takes longer than you think to finish a project. Especially when that project involves painting an entire house, even if it’s just little ole ours. So far, I’ve gotten the far west side painted, parts of the south side (ran into sun so I had to quit), and some of the north side done. My house isn’t a square since it comes in at one point where the deck is. It’s more like a polygon, so in reality I have six sides to paint. And although I only have around two sides painted, and progress is going slower than I thought it would, I’m still happy with it. I also keep reminding myself that I still have a boat load of trim to do as well. The trim is going to be a creamy off-white (no I haven’t picked it out – took me a flippin’ month to pick out a body color). The body color is called Mined Coal, and I’m using Behr Marquee exterior in Satin.

So here she is in all here partially painted glory. More to come once I finish.

IMG_4497 IMG_4824IMG_4750 IMG_4823I just noticed that you can tell we got quite a bit of rain (hence my paint delay), just by the grass from the before and after pics. Ha!

Monday it is….or maybe Tuesday

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More rain today, but Monday is looking good. If we dry out over the weekend (30-40% chance over the weekend), then we paint Monday! If we need more dry time, we paint Tuesday!!

In the meantime, I decided to re-measure the exterior, just to be sure that I was getting the correct square footage, therefore the correct amount of paint. I’d used the blue print we’d been given when we bought the house, but only used it as a rough map. I realized that I had to be cautious of using the measurements as fact, because in certain parts of the house, there’s a limestone facade, so I needed to make sure not to take that into paint consideration. Once I re-measured, I felt much more confident that I had the correct square footage. I did over-estimate in three areas, where our house peaked. I measured the square footage to the peak, just to play it safe.

One question I’m still mulling over in my head, is that if I do two coats, do I double the amount of paint needed? I feel like I use less on a second coat than a first in an interior wall, but I’ve heard differing opinions when it comes to exterior paint. Anyone have any sound advice on this?

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Another call to patience

Patience has a way of testing me. I just wrote a previous post about patience and once again, I’m thinking about it today. After getting the house all prepped and ready (and in a pretty ugly state) for paint, we are now waiting out storms for most of the week as a tropical storm comes closer and closer to Texas. We are in a flood watch until Thursday, so it’s looking like Friday may be our lucky paint day, as long as the sun comes out to dry off the house. Either way, thanks for sticking with me. The paint will come! Meanwhile, after the rain passes through, and I’m waiting for the house to dry, I’ll have to spend some time plucking all the snails off the side of the house before I pull out a brush.

This just screams "paint me!"
This just screams “paint me!”

It’s the little accents that make the difference

I did a little planting today. Potting some plants can add some extra oomph to your deck, patio, or living space, and it doesn’t take much to add that oomph. I was able to grab some Agave shoots, called pups, from a big one at a local grocery store – it was planted in the parking lot – you could ask anyone who owns a plant like this if you could take their offshoots. They may not care since you’d be doing the large plant a favor.

I decided some simple clay pots would be best for these guys. I didn’t want too many different colors and shapes going on, which could end up being distracting. To me, simple is best when it comes to pots.

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After I planted them in their pots, I gave them a little water and added some leftover pebbles I had to give them a finished look.

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Then I planted the Bougainvillea. I got the Bougainvillea at a whopping 75% off and I got the pots at half off from Home Depot. I love a good deal.

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There’s something calming about planting and re-potting plants. These little changes can make a difference to a quiet or drab deck. I encourage you to check out the clearance racks of plants at places like Lowe’s. They’ll have shabby looking plants anywhere from $1-5 and I’ve never had any of them die on me. They just need a nice pot or a place in the ground to spread out. It’s a great way to experiment with plants you maybe wouldn’t buy otherwise.

Either way, have a wonderful weekend. Get out and about and maybe try to do something different this weekend. Summer time is all about exploration and enjoying the weather, the food, the music, or whatever it is that makes you happy.

And so it begins

Our house is on its way to a new coat of paint. The painting part feels more like the finale to this whole process than the main process. So much prep is involved with painting a house. Today we have carpenters coming out to replace all rotted boards. Tomorrow they will pressure wash the entire house and Thursday they’ll fill in all holes and caulk all the seams. THEN, after all this, it’s paint time. I look forward to painting the house but I like to see this part too; taking down old boards and putting up new ones, replacing trim, it’s all part of the transformation.

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Left board replaced
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Replacing a couple of panels.
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Another rotted board replaced
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Bottom pieces of the columns replaced with cedar.
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Panels and trim needing replacing. This is going to look so different once complete!