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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIY floating shelf/desk

I haven’t posted a DIY for a while. We’ve been toying with the idea of moving so I’ve been in this hold of projects. Do I take on anymore big projects if we move? I feel like it wouldn’t be worth it. We repainted the exterior of the house, completely renovated the kitchen, replaced the flooring in half the house, painted the cabinets, framed the mirror and replaced the shower fixtures in the guest bath. I painted every wall in the house as well, so all in all, a lot has been done. I think we are to the point, where the only things I’d want to do before we listed the house would be replace a couple older fans, fix up the fence and get the fireplace working again (it was capped when it was a rental). Continue reading “DIY floating shelf/desk”

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.

Improvements here and there

I’m STILL working on the house painting. We have a tiny, but difficult section left to go on the main body (plus touch-ups) and I’ve started on trim, but we have a road trip coming up soon so the finishing up of the house will be delayed, but it’s inevitable and I’m okay with it. It will get done, just later than sooner. In between painting, we’re also working on cleaning and organizing the garage. We have a new roommate, so it’s the perfect time to declutter and make some room for his stuff. Unfortunately I don’t think I have any before pics of the shelving unit that was here before. It was some 2×4’s haphazardly thrown up with some screws and two plywood shelves, but not anchored to the wall, so it wiggled dangerously every time you took anything off the thing. It was inefficient and downright nerve-wracking, so we tore it down and will be keeping the plywood and 2×4’s to make a workbench later (you can kind of see the plywood shelves in the picture). For now, we started with one of these handy shelves to see how much stuff we could fit on it. We’ll be going back for one more, but it’s coming along well. We got almost everything that was on that entire wall unit (it went from the left wall to the fridge), into one small shelf. Plus, adding the clear containers helps to preserve all of our gear but still makes it easy to find.

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I wanted to get trim done in the front of the house, since that’s what’s seen the most, and will slowly but surly complete the rest of the trim. I was a little worried about the yellow tint in the trim paint, but I think it’s going to look nice against the limestone wall and the golden door.

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Our potential door color below. Please ignore my painted fingers. I’m no clean painter.

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Garage door painting over the weekend

For my US WP friends, I hope everyone had a fabulous 4th and got to see some fireworks.We went out to a friend’s house in the country. They’d bought a wide assortment and set them off throughout the evening. There were snacks, beers, and a lot of people I’d never met before. It was great, but the weekend was exhausting.

You’d think the long 4th of July weekend would be prime time for painting, but it wasn’t. Between having friends over, an emergency dental visit, and going out to a friend’s house, there wasn’t a whole lot of time in between. And honestly, I’ve lost count of how many hours of painting I’ve put in (something in the 30′-hour range most likely), so I’m not always motivated to paint if I only have a couple hours of free time since it takes 15-20 minutes for setup and cleanup each time.

I did get the garage done though, which was great. It was currently a faded baby blue beacon in contrast with the front entry that I had completed previously. I was initially nervous about painting the garage door because all the info I’d read on painting a garage was geared toward spraying it and I only had a brush and a roller. I did find one tutorial that advised to paint the crevices with a brush, then coming back with a roller which is what I ended up doing. I made sure to put two coats on the crevices, then rolled the whole thing twice. It took only a couple of hours and I was very pleased with the results.

I’d been playing around with either painting the door the body color or the trim color and ended up painting it the body color because there wasn’t a lot of the body color in the front of the house since we have a lot of stone. I wanted to accentuate and showcase the body color and I’m glad I did. The stone pops a lot more with the contrasting rich brown/gray of the Mined Charcoal and I really like it.

I just have a small portion of both the south and north side, then I’m done with the body. The hubs has graciously said he would be the second coat guy. I am planning on having him go back and finding all the mottled areas, or spots I missed, instead of doing a full on second coat everywhere. While he’s working on that, I’ll be working on trim. I plan on heading to Home Depot today to pick out a few color swatches. Hopefully making a trim choice won’t be nearly as difficult as the body choice. IMG_4898 FullSizeRenderIMG_4900 IMG_4907

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!

Planters on the road, spiders in my garage

You never truly know how your day is going to turn out, even if the majority of it is like any other. I went to work just like I do every day. I went for a walk before lunch, like I do almost every day. But today was slightly different, and maybe a precursor to the rest of the day. As I walked by one of the homes, I came across a big wooden box. It was tilted, half of it on the road and half on the boulevard, with it’s castors left in the box, one broken. It was lying in a gesture that said, “Free to anyone that wants it”, and it felt like it was speaking directly to me. It wanted a new home. I was pretty excited. My next outdoor project includes creating some raised bed gardens for veggies and herbs. I walked back to the office at a quicker pace than I normally would, and asked a co-worker if he would help me load it into my car. He said he would so we drove over to the house and grabbed it. I felt that someone would snatch it up soon if I didn’t so I had to act quickly. The rest of the day was the same as usual, but I was in a pretty good mood, just for the fact I had a new planter in my car. I ran some errands after work and headed home to work on some more painting before I lost any day light. The forecast for rain had actually decreased so I wanted to get out and work on the entry some more.

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Today though, was going to be a bit different…again. I went out to the garage to get my supplies when I saw something I didn’t recognize. I crouched a little closer and then backed up immediately once I realized what it was. I had a tarantula in my garage. I knew they lived here in Texas but had never seen one in person. At first it was scrunched up tight, looking almost like a big, wilted leaf. I took the broom and swept some dog hair out of the way (don’t judge) and he all of a sudden came to life and expanded himself (or herself, I didn’t bother to ask). Please don’t judge the fur. My garage isn’t that terrible but he happened to be in the corner where the dog and cat fur congregates.IMG_4859 IMG_4862 IMG_4866And in case you’re all curious (and if I have any members of PETA on my site), the bugger was not harmed. I got him swept into a bucket and the hubs brought him across the street to a boulevard. I even let a mom and her son know about it when they were taking a walk, and they brought dad back to look at it and take pictures, so it turned into an entertaining, learning experience for the evening for a number of us. 

You just never know how your day will turn out. I definitely did not plan for a tarantula in the garage.

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!”