Craft Room Re-do Re-Do

I loved the stripes in my old craft room.  But I needed more sewing space, especially with my new machine.  And the carpet was a minefield of hidden dropped pins. Also very difficult to keep clean of thread and craft crap.  At least that is what my excuse was. And since there was so much going on in the space, I was wanting some clean and bright walls while we were at it. 

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

So here is my new craft/sewing space.  Quite possibly my favorite room in the house. Because I love to be in there.  Because it super functional for my sewing/crafting wishes.  And because it is pretty to look at.

It is this clean and organized all of the time.  Insert sarcasm font.

Here is what we originally started with when we moved in.  Pink and wallpaper.

the before

And then here was the stripes and small table of the original craft room makeover.

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craft room

So let’s start with the big stuff.  The walls are painted with the leftovers from the basement- Sherwin William's Eider White.  And the floors are a bamboo hardwood. 

I had a minor freakout the night before the were installed that they were going to be too orange.  As in Honey Oak orange. I may have been seen laying out a whole section of the wood out of the box on top of the ugly honey oak ones in the kitchen. At midnight. To judge if the oranges were different.  But after they went in I love them and they are so much nicer than carpet in the space.  Just a quick sweep and they are clean.  At least the floor part.

Derek made the amazing massive sewing table modifying this plan from Ana White as well as the smaller table that pulls out to give me an L shaped workspace and so that I don’t have to constantly move up and down.  Life-changing.  Both the space on the table and the ability to swing my chair to the side for a quick cut or press.  He knows the way to my heart is building furniture and he does it so well.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

I painted the bottom of the table solid black and glazed the top with a gray paint using my tried and true method with gray acrylic paint.  It is difficult to get a good picture of the finish next to the window, but most people who come into the space think that it is stone before they run their hands over it to see it is wood.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

That was not my intention with the glaze, but I love that it turned out that way. 

I love that my machine is directly in front of the window so that during the day I can look out into the backyard.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

Let’s also pretend that I just snapped that photo and the midwest is looking that green this time of year.

Now let’s take a spin around the rest of the room.

The cutting table is the same, just spun around.  It still gives me a lot of floor space (and enough room for an air mattress when we need an additional guest bed).  I got rid of the ironing board, but added a an ironing space modifying this tutorial, making it instead with just a piece of plywood rather than an entire table. The cover is removable like a fitted sheet for washing purposes.  And when I need a really big cutting surface, I just take off the ironing board.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

My fabric scraps and works in progress are housed in the cubbies underneath.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

My bulletin board is simple…a cork board with fabric stapled around it.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

My grandmother’s sewing accessories are in shadow boxes on the wall and I recovered her sewing chair for an extra space when friends come to sew.  It is tucked into the corner.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

My design wall remained the same.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

And the Kona color card moved next to my bookshelves.

Derek made some simple forward facing bookshelves like these to hold a sampling of my craft/sewing books.  I have found seeing the covers instead of just having them stacked on a shelf reminds me to use them more-either for specific projects or just for the general inspiration of pretty pictures.  Not all of them fit, but I rotate them around with ones stored the typical way to keep things fresh.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

The roman shade is also DIY with selvedge fabric from Spoonflower.  I loosely used this tutorial and backed it with blackout lining so it can be dark in there for people to sleep if the space is needed for another guest space.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

And that print is just perfect for a sewing room.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

Also above my sewing table is my friend Lauren’s print.  I love the colors and the sentiment. 

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

Notice the seam ripper is well accessible next to my machine

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

And some more organization pics if you are into that.  I keep my fabric organized using the mini bolts method as explained here.  It has helped so much with finding what I need.  The top shelf is fabrics other than cotton.  Then my prints organized by color, with some subsections (i.e. Christmas).  And then my solids organized by color.  Don’t worry, my stash has increased a lot since I snapped these pictures.  Especially the solids.  My serger is below that.  My sewing table is so big, I also can keep it out if I am going to be using it frequently.  My precuts and patterns are on the bottom shelf.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

Non-sewing craft supplies and batting are on the opposite bookshelf.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

And rulers, ironing supplies and large amounts of fabric are on the shelves over the chair.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

Whew! Sorry for the picture overload, but I always love looking at where people create and how they organize.  I have learned a lot about how I want a space to work for me when I am sewing and crafting and I think this space fits the bill perfectly.   I think I named most of my sources, but let me know if you are curious about something I missed. Hope you enjoyed the tour!

I am linking up with-

TDC Before and After

A Navy Gallery Wall

So we bought a gallon of paint and did a little mini-redo on the upstairs gallery wall.  I was a little bit worried that navy would make the space look a little too dark.  And that if we hated it we could not paint it back to the original color because we did not have it.

But I loved it from when the first coat went on.

Navy Gallery Wall- Anything Pretty

And now looking at the before pictures I love it even more.

The boring Before (reminding just how much I want to paint the entire entryway.  And get a new light fixture.)-

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Navy Gallery Wall- Anything Pretty

And the After (a navy wall distraction from those thoughts)-

Navy Gallery Wall- Anything Pretty
Navy Gallery Wall- Anything Pretty

Painting a hallway wall was an easy and quick project that achieved in a couple naptimes.  We added some more pictures and frames as well-using the old paper on the wall method.

At night as you can see by the crappy phone pic.

Navy Gallery Wall- Anything Pretty
Navy Gallery Wall- Anything Pretty
Navy Gallery Wall- Anything Pretty
Navy Gallery Wall- Anything Pretty

And I love all the new pictures that now got updated and added to the walls.  You can never have too many black frames with white mats.  And a cute kid and dogs help too.  Although one could make an argument a maximum number of those per house could exist.

(Paint color is Rainstorm by Sherwin-Williams).

Anyone else wanting to paint something navy?

Nursery Reveal

We made it!  The nursery is officially complete even before he has decided to make his arrival.  It has taken a lot longer to put together than I envisioned back in January when we started this project, but considering the construction, all the DIY, our insanely busy spring and that I am the ultimate procrastinator, it is really not that surprising.

But before you scroll down to see what we put together, let’s walk down memory lane with the befores to see what we we were working with. 

What the space looked like when we moved in-

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And then what it really looked like for 2 and half years…..affectionately referred to the junk room.  Don’t know where to store something?  Throw it in there.  Need to paint some cabinets?  Scoot some crap around and have at it.

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And now here it is waiting patiently (unlike Derek and I) for it’s new occupant-

completed nursery

completed nursery

completed nurserycompleted nursery

completed nursery

Back in the beginning when we were planning the space, my first idea was an orange and aqua color scheme but no real theme.  I figured once we knew if we were having a boy or a girl we could add blues or pinks to make it a more gender specific space.  Of course, I figured a lot of DIY and sewing was also going to be in the cards.

One of the biggest projects in the room (and our first) was the window seatcompleted nurserycompleted nursery

Because of the window configuration, limited furniture was going fit on that wall anyway and I thought that an architectural feature that was also functional from a storage and seating standpoint would make the room.

After the construction and painting was going, we started to pick up random items we found that we thought we be good fits in the space.  Hmmmmm…somehow we had a lot of animal things so that is the loose theme we decided to run with.  However, I am a big believer in adding things that you love and not just because of a theme. 

completed nursery

completed nursery

Items with personal significance were also something I wanted to incorporate in the space.  We have not shared baby boy’s name with anyone (but my mother-in-law has a pool going if anyone is interested).  However, the first initial is common knowledge.  So of course I had to incorporate that.  On the gallery wall are also photos we took at the San Diego zoo during our last vacation (technically baby’s first).  After he is born, the clip art hand and footprints will we replaced with his (and yes I realize my stand-in has a disproportionate hand to the size of the foot…I was just using those to make sure I liked the idea).

But personal items don’t end with the gallery wall as I wanted things that meant something to us, but not scream “look at my name" all over the place (although I know some curious family members that were voting for that tactic).

For example, I needed some bookends and I love that this has his birth month stamped on it.

completed nursery

Or that all of those blankets were handmade for him by generous friends and family.  And that the silver scooter reminds us of Italy.

completed nursery

And that cross from the Vatican in Rome was the very first thing we ever bought for, at the time, our future baby.  completed nursery

I won’t bore everyone with the personal significance of everything in the space, but overall I tried to have at least one item with meaning on every shelf.  However, don’t get me wrong, some things are in the room because they are fun and I like how they look.  Like this…

completed nursery

I guess you could also say that DIY was a major theme in the space.  The only pieces of furniture that were store bought were the crib and the chair.  We either made or “revised” everything else.  I have already talked about most of those projects as we embarked on them but in case you missed them check out the abacus, dresser, changing table, bookshelves, stump table, pinwheel mobile, quilt and bedding

The space also had to be functional besides nice to look at.  We have never done this whole baby thing before, but from what I have heard, they can be messy.  So every single cloth surface (minus the chair that is stain protected) can be thrown in the washing machine.  Every pillow and cushion cover is removable and the although it took forever to find curtain fabric that I loved and could be thrown in the wash, I was ultimately successful.

The curtains are also not just for looks.  I made four panels that stretch all the way across for light control.

completed nursery

I am still planning on adding black out lining to the back of them for even more light control, but I decided not to sew them together as I read varying reports about the washability of black out lining.  So it is getting hemmed separately and then just clipped behind the panels.

The cushions also remove from the window seat easily to access all the storage underneath.  In addition, the neighbor kids have shown me that they make great hiding places.  Maybe we need to drill some more air holes.

completed nursery

Also every item that is hanging on the wall in baby’s reach is securely fastened to studs with screws.

completed nursery

And the ultimate storage area also went through a little makeover.

completed nursery

Lots of clothes and other baby paraphernalia waiting for him, but we still have tons of room that I know we will fill in the future.

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And finally just some more pictures of details of the space that I love…

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completed nurserypinwheel mobilecompleted nurserycompleted nursery

completed nurserycompleted nursery

completed nursery

abacus makingcompleted nursery

pinwheel mobile

So what do you think?   You can see from some of the pictures that a furry friend already likes to spend time in the space.  Although this is normal position…

completed nursery

…trying to will the stuffed animals that make noise when you squeeze them from the crib into his mouth.

Want to know where I got something?  Here is the source list for everything in the space.  Just got a little too long for a single post.

Missed the other nursery posts and want to see the DIY how-to?  Catch up with the window seat construction, abacus, dresser, changing table, bookshelves, stump table, pinwheel mobile, quilt and bedding

Ode to Overstock

The UPS/FedEx/mail men were among my favorite people this week.  They just kept bringing boxes of goodies.  Not all the boxes are ready to be revealed, but a couple are unpacked and up and running.

When we last left the dining room ceiling saga, I was stumped with what to do.  And out of my list of options, most of you picked Derek’s option of adding the white edging so that the colors looked more similar.

dining room ceiling fun

Derek would like to thank everyone for voting for him.  He reads the blog, but usually does not mention much about it except “do you want me to take pictures of this while I am doing it?”  But on the day on the dining room post I got a call at work making sure that I was not missing the comments that people were agreeing with him.

So I did it.

And it took awhile.

And again it looked great during the day, but at night it looked even worse.  The white of the crown molding and the white of the ceiling looked like completely different colors even though they were the exact.same.paint. 

Very very frustrating.

So at this point, I knew I had to do something about the light fixture since the yellow globes were the main problem.

I bought some other non-yellow globe options and honestly some of them were OK.  But to replace all the globes was going to cost over $70 and for that amount of money I decided I would rather move that light fixture to another location and get a new one for the dining room.

(I apologize for the lack of pictures of the globes….Derek had the new light fixture installed while I was out with friends and did not realize I had not done it yet.  I couldn’t be upset with him because he was installing a light fixture while I was getting a pedicure,  Guess he made up for the whole everyone liking his idea thing.)

Anyway enter overstock and this beauty.

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Love the bling.

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And while the space is not a total after yet, the ceiling and light is finally finished.

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Even at night…..

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My other overstock love landed right outside the dining room in the entryway. 

We have had this rug from our prior house in the entryway since we moved in.  It was not bought for the space and no longer fits the style of our house.  Even Derek agreed we needed something new.

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I wanted to keep this size rug however for a couple of reasons.  The floors are orange of course and are really beat up in the entryway.  Also when the dogs are running down the stairs at full speed and hit a bare hard wood floor they go flying and further damage the floor.  Hence the need for a big rug.

We tried the IKEA rug in the space and it was too busy and did not flow from the style of the dining room.

IKEA!

Again Overstock to the rescue with this baby….

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Love it.  I think the colors and style are perfect.

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Now off to open up the other boxes. 

And never paint another dining room ceiling again.

What I Brought Back From My First Time

I know most people do not detail their IKEA purchases.  Because they go all the time and it could get really boring really fast.

But unluckily luckily for you, I am not one of those people.

Being that it was my first IKEA trip, and I am still 8 hours away from one, I just have to share.

The fabric was the first thing that went into the bag soon to be cart. 

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I had heard about the great fabrics at IKEA from my modern quilting guild friends and was really excited to see what they had.

And I even I had purpose in mind….those shrunken office drapes.  I wanted something more modern and washable and cheap because I needed a lot.  And before IKEA I was coming up with nothing.  A whole lot of nothing that was not over $20 a yard.

IKEA!

Of course as soon as I got the bolt home I had to hang it to make sure I loved it as much as I thought I would.  Not sure what I would have done with it if I hated it, but it turned out OK because I think they will look perfect. When I finally get around to sewing them of course. 

The next purchase I really  had no plan for.  I knew I wanted rugs for  the entryway, kitchen and possibly office.  And that black and white would look good in all those places.  So I bought it thinking that we could make it work.

So it was unrolled and tried in the entryway…

IKEA!

 

IKEA!

Ehhh not my favorite there.

Office?  Nope does not fit under furniture without covering up vents.

Kitchen?

IKEA!

(Imagine flowing white panels on all the windows)

IKEA!

(At least we have the rods up)

Even without the curtains I think we have a winner.  Which is good  because I was out of options besides Craigslist.

My final purchases were a pretty (and cheap) silver bowl that I am thinking about using in the dining room.

IKEA!

And the classic white pots which I am thinking will house herbs in the kitchen in the winter.  And an aloe plant which came highly recommended by Kim.   It had a couple battle scars from the car ride.

IKEA!

I could have bought a lot more….especially in the fabric if I had unlimited time to browse.  But I think for my first time I got a nice collection of things that ended up working out great.  And crazily enough not one of those items required any assembly.

Now if I can just become a curtain making machine……

Dishwasher Naïveté

Hope everyone had a wonderful long holiday weekend.  We finally had some cooler weather and it was so nice to be able to be outside.  And of course worked on home projects.  Most of which are not ready to unveiled yet…except for one.

Since moving in, this appliance has been a major source of frustration.

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Not only was it ugly  with it’s cream bisque color, it did a terrible job of getting dishes cleaned.  No matter what detergent we used (believe me we tried them all) and using the heavy wash all the time, things still came out dirty. 

Since we remodeled the kitchen, the appliances have been on the to-do list and we had the last straw with it this weekend.  So we decided to upgrade.

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We thought we would install it ourselves…..and by ourselves I mean Derek would install it and I would watch.  And in case you were wondering we went with a Kitchenaid.

Naively we thought that it would be no big deal.  Just slide the old one out, rehook up the new one and slide it back in.  Cake.

It did not exactly work out that way.

First issue, one of the bolts on the little feet was stripped and would not move.  After trying multiple solutions, googling extensively and calling people more knowledgeable than us….we were brought to this.

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Nothing like taking a sawzall to a brand new appliance that just cost over $1000.  That was not anxiety provoking.

After we he solved the foot problem.  We encountered more problems.  Most of them centered around the new dishwasher being slightly bigger than the old one and the way the wood floor was installed underneath.  Enter a chisel and prybar.  Neither of those tools were on the install directions either. 

Sorry I don’t have pictures of those…by that point we were past the “this is fun and let’s document for the blog” mentality.   It was more the “this is the stupidest idea ever and our new dishwasher is not going to fit and hopefully they won’t notice we had to use a sawzall when we have to return it mentality”

We did learn that the hardwoods in the kitchen were not original to the house.  There is ugly baby blue linoleum under there.  So even though I am not fan of the honey oak color of the wood, I now have a new found appreciation for them.

We finally got it done a little after midnight.  But it we did not turn it on.  Because if it happened to spew water everywhere I think Derek may have taken the sawzall to the front if it.

The good news was when we woke up with clearer heads and turned it on it worked beautifully.  Whew. And I happen to like how it looks too.

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It blends in so much better with the cabinets and really completes the kitchen.  Just don’t look at the cream fridge or stove.

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So we ended the holiday weekend with doing lots of dishes and marveling how clean they are coming out no matter how dirty they are going in.  And it is super quiet too.  And the pain of the install makes me appreciate it even more.  Well me at least, I am not sure if Derek is that stage yet.  It might some more clean dishes to accomplish that.
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Finally

I have been promising this for awhile, but the outdoor space it finally ready.  But next time I want to finally get an outdoor space together, I need to actually make progress before August when it is too hot to be outside even at night….. and when all the flowers and herbs are looking a little wilty….well because they are hot too.

Anyway it would not be an After without an Before. So he is the unofficial before (stolen from the raised beds how-to).  Basically when we moved in we plopped a table in the middle of the deck with cheap plastic chairs and hung lights very very straight on the pergola.  Oh and Derek  installed outdoors speakers as soon as the wire was discovered.  Priorities.

Here we are now:

Outdoor space 8/10

I swear I did not have Winter pose…that is where she was laying when I walked out with the camera.

The other side-

Outdoor space 8/10

My reading corner-Outdoor space 8/10

The umbrella gets moved frequently to shade the plant and the sectional.  I can’t decide if I like it better with or without….hmmmm.

Outdoor space 8/10

The long view.  Yes I am aware that it leans.  I swear this is the only angle you can tell.  A couple of people have given us ideas about how to fix it but frankly none of them sound that fun and we have not cared enough to pursue it yet.  10 points if you can spy the shell pink mini blinds in the ugly master bath in this picture.

Outdoor space 8/10

On a daily basis I use our rolling cart for gardening stuff, but it multi tasks for entertaining or BBQing-

Outdoor space 8/10

Some herbs and the grape trellis.  Hopefully the grapes will be higher than the first level and able to be seen next year.  Outdoor space 8/10

And at night (without a tripod obviously).  I like how the sectional area is less lit but still bright enough.

Outdoor space 8/10

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And to prove they were not nearly so cooperative the entire time….

Outdoor space 8/10

In case you are wondering, here is where I got stuff (on a budget of course):

Tile-Top table and umbrella- Lowe’s or Home Depot years ago on clearance

Sectional: Wal-Mart (blogged here)

Rocking Chair- Jo-ann’s (blogged here)

Outdoor Rug: Home Fabrics and Rugs (blogged here)

Garden Stool: Homegoods (here)

Blue side table- hand me down transformed with the power of spray paint

Outdoor Pilliows-made by me

Rolling Cart- made my Derek (tutorial here)

Painted Pots -another DIY project (tutorial here).  The non-painted pots are from Homegoods.

And the final DIY project- the canvas panels on the pergola (here)

So what do you think?  Now I am starting to get the itch for fall and cooler weather so we can start spending time out there again.

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The TV Question

So since the bed is done, I have been working on accessorizing the master bedroom so that it complete.   Not just 90% but completely finished.  Which you all know is a big step for me.

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But in trying to complete this process I have come across an obstacle that I have not been able to wrap my brain around how to successfully hide it’s ugliness. 

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You see it?  Yep the cable box (the speakers aren’t my favorite either but they don’t bother me as much for some reason).  I don’t think the reed diffuser is masking it. 

So how did the cable box find its home on the dresser?  Isn’t there a better place for it? Let’s back up a bit.

It all started when I declared that I did not want a TV in the bedroom.  Growing up we did not have cable and TV was not a big part of our lives.  We were not allowed to have TV’s in our rooms and we all had to figure out how to share one.  Sounds like fun huh? Derek on the other hand really enjoyed having a TV in the bedroom and assumed when we got married that we would have one.  Because that is what people do.

I lost the battle 5 years ago.

But until recently this is where our TV was located in our room as I did not want to crowd a dresser with it and a new flat screen was planted firmly on the “want” list and nowhere near the “need” column.  It was classy as well as dusty.

 

However when we went to the furniture store to buy a mattress, somehow this magically followed us home.

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Amazing how that happened.

So you can see that there is no place for the cable box where the TV is located.  The box currently is near the location of the original cable outlet.  So Derek ran the longest wire ever through the attic and down the wall to the TV.  In order to change the channel, you have to point the remote to the box on the dresser and not the TV. This took some getting used to and still is a little strange.

But that leads me to the problem….I can’t cover the cable box with a basket or something else because of the remote issue.  And that is the same reason it has to be in a prominent location and not stuck on some shelf somewhere.

So do you creative people have any ideas about how to fix this?  I will admit that the TV is really growing on me and maybe I was even……wrong.    Or are there more “no TV in the bedroom” people out there?

While you are thinking here are some other sneak peek pics of the other things I am putting together in the space-

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Painting Addiction

For the last couple of days I have gotten this brilliant crazy idea in my head that just maybe we should repaint the entrance foyer.

Since I have missed painting so much.

And even though that poses many challenges.

First of all…the current color is OK.  It is actually the single room in this house that has not been repainted from the previous owners.  And really the color is fine.  When we first looked at the house with our realtor, I actually commented that it was good thing they picked an OK color and no wallpaper for that room because it would be awful to paint.

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Issue #2 is that this room is 2 stories.  And I am really not a big fan of heights. So it will involve a lot of paint and a lot of time on a very tall ladder.  Yikes.

(Ignore the Christmas garland….it was the best “two story” pic I have)DSC01647

Issue #3 is this monstrosity.  Yuck.IMG_0654

I refuse to clean it or change any of the light bulbs in it because it is so ugly.  And even with a very tall ladder we cannot replace it because it is in the middle of the ceiling requiring scaffolding.

When the furniture delivery guys were bringing in our new mattress they whacked it pretty hard and I really hoped it would come crashing down so that the replacement would be on their dime.  Unfortunately it did not fall and shatter.

So even if I go through the pain of painting I will not be any more satisfied with this room until that thing is gone.

Why am I even thinking about doing this since I have all these good reasons not to?  Other than than the fact that I am strangely addicted to an activity that I largely cannot stand to actually do?

Well, first of all the front of the house faces north and does not get a lot of light so  lighter color would really help open it up I think.  I am thinking of an elegant light gray.  Like this….

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Ahhhh.

Then there is this little detail-

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Classy. I guess they got tired of painting?

And then finally.

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The last.oak.window.

If I get enough courage to be that high on the ladder (it on the second story over the door), I will also have to be brave enough to climb there and de-oakify.

So I guess the questions are…how much do I love gray? …..and…..how afraid am I of heights?

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At Last

The laundry room is done.
 
Finally.
 
This might just have been the 2nd longest timeline for a room reno (the kitchen still puts it to shame), but I am so happy it it finally done.  I won’t bore you with the process (in case you missed it click here) and get straight to the before and afters.
 
Ready?
 
Ahhhh honey oak, how I love that you are in every room.
 
 
And the afters (which I might add are very difficult to take in a small room)
 
laundry room
What did we do?  Well first we got new machines by default of the old ones breaking.   This allowed us to rework the entire space and add a counter and other shelving.  And hanging space.
 
After much discussion and my bright pink getting the husband veto, the walls went from 20 year old dingy stained cream to Foggy Day by Sherwin Williams.
 
laundry room
 
On the other side of the room we also added another cabinet and a pegboard.  And hanging space for brooms and such.
 
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And a random shelf for random crap that belongs in a laundry room.
 
laundry room after
 
Some people might think that it strange to have a picture gallery in a laundry room.  Originally we were going to tile the backsplash with left over tile that we bought for the kitchen, never used and forgot to return.  But since we did not want the counter to be permanent fixture in the laundry room in case our washer and dryer bite the dust and we have to buy different size machines.  That would suck, but it would suck even more if we had to rip out tile and drywall as well.  And let’s face it…laundry is not one of my favorite activities.  Looking at fun personal pictures makes it just a little more bearable.
 
And then there were also the water valves I wanted to hide.
 
laundry room afterlaundry room after
 
Much better.
 
The counter followed a similar theme….cheap, cute and non permanent.  The counter also had the extra special issue of having to be higher than the actual washer and dryer because of outlets, making anchoring something heavy like granite more problematic.  Not to mention expensive. So we went with MDF.  For the whole how-to, click here.  Let’s just say that pattern involved some beer drinking.
 
laundry room

laundry room

My new drying rack inspired by Centsational Girl and with materials left over from the bed.  I love it for how it functions in the space but becomes invisible when it is folded up.  For the complete how-to click here.

laundry room

I think the chandelier gets the most comments.  As in “You put a chandelier in your laundry room!?”  Well yes I did.  And I like it.laundry room after

And we can’t forget the laundry basket storage/sorting area (which also conveniently serves as a dog storm shelter when it is thundering…who would have thought?)laundry room after

And here it is in use…because you know that I can only wash white clothes in this room now since it matches the color scheme-laundry room after

And now for the nitty gritty-

Wall Paint Color-$40-Foggy Day-Sherwin Williams

Counter Color-Free (used leftover from master bedroom)-Dovetail-Sherwin Williams

Wall Cabinet and Floor Cabinet- $175- Lowe’s

Wood Supplies for Shelving and Counter- $100

Picture Frames- $25- Wal-Mart (and some I had laying around)

Phone Enlargements-$50

Chandelier-$50- Lowe’s

Pegboard-$5-Lowe’s

Grand Total- $445

Maybe laundry might even be fun now?  No I didn’t think so.  Oh Well.

Getting in the Spirit

This post has been a long time coming. I actually had all the Christmas decorations up the Monday after Thanksgiving. I was so proud of myself that the boxes were put away and I was going to be getting to the "house tour" post right away.....

But then something happened.....I caught "just one more thing" virus. I wanted to DIY a wreath, get some live greenery, hang tons of ornaments in the kitchen etc. etc. etc. Hence why this post is three weeks behind.

So what prompted me to finally get it up? I decided I was focusing way too much on the "details" and missing out on the "spirit" of the holidays. Every night after work I was running around frantically working on details and not getting any sleep. Not a good way to get in the spirit. I love having the blog because it is motivation to finish projects. But in this case the thought of showcasing my holiday decorations when there are so many awesomely decorated homes in the blog world was anxiety provoking and causing me to sweat the details.

Last night I made a decision to let things go. No one is going to care if the Christmas cards do not have silver embossed snowflake stamps this year. No one is going to care if the gift tags do not coordinate perfectly with the wrapping paper. If I don't get all the Christmas quilts done there is always next year. No one is going to notice if every inch of the house is not impeccably decorated. We aren't hosting any holiday celebrations anyway so the decorations are for our enjoyment and should not be a source of stress. The holidays are about the spirit and not about perfection.

So with my new philospohy in mind I am ready to post our Christmas house tour. There are still things I wish I would have had time for, but I keep telling myself to just save those for next year (it will give me something to blog about then:)).

Now that I am off my soapbox, here is the Anything Pretty house decked out in the holiday spirit-

Dining Room

Detail of the bead garland on the china cabinet-




Detail of the table runner-

Family Room
Entryway










(here for DIY tree skirt post)



Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Photobucket

Before/After- The Guest Bath

Ready to see the After pics of our guest bath? Just to make sure you remember where we came from (like we posted here) behold what we started with-



When we moved in we fondly named it the "Wizard of Oz" bathroom. You know- Dorothy gingham paired with the yellow brick road. Mix that with the fact that we live in Kansas and it becomes such an "awesome" theme.

Add more honey oak, a huge builders mirror, brass, and blue peel and stick tile and this bathroom landed with every other room in the house on our makeover list. To complicate matters the floor also sloped...a lot. Not the kind of sloping that you need a level to see, but the type of slope that makes you say "holy crap is the house falling down" when you walk on it. The home inspector reassured us that nothing structural was wrong with the house, but we still needed to fix it as we remodeled this room.

Oh yeah I almost forgot that it glowed-


During

We started by taking out the vanity, the glued on mirror, the vinyl floor and the toilet-

We fixed the subfloor and then laid a vapor barrier and metal bracing for the cement to level the floor-
Then to level the floor we poured cement. The low side was about 2 inches below the other side....hence the slope-
Then the beadboard went up-
We fixed all the walls, painted and then put down the tile on our newly leveled floor-
I glazed the vanity in other room during this process as detailed here-

And now drumroll......The After.....






So what do you think? This bathroom will eventually will be our future kids so we wanted it to be easily converted to a kids bathroom. But at the same time be elegant and functional for our current guests. So we decided on a light blue (the paint color is Sherwin William's Sleepy Blue). Of course we used my favorite paint (detailed here) on all the new beadboard.

The shower curtain was one of the most difficult design decisions. We started with solid white and it blended too much with the wainscoting. But I did not want solid brown because it would match the cabinet. But all the patterns with blue did not match the blue on the walls at all. After going to numerous stores (it is actually is embarrassing how much time we spent on this decision) we found this one which I like because it is a little more modern.

Anyway let's get to the nitty gritty of the budget. Our goal was to spend less than $700.

Things that were free:
Shower hooks/liner- from previous house
Toilet Paper Holder and Hand Towel Ring-free with faucet
Faucet-Bought for old house and not used
Vanity hardware-left over from kitchen remodel
Vanity Glaze-supplies left over from kitchen remodel
Towels-used at old house
Accessories on shelf and toilet-from previous house
Sticks in vase-harvested from yard
White Paint-left over from other trim

Things that were not-so-free:

Light Fixture-$69.99 (Home Depot)
Mirror- $49.99 (Homegoods)
Paint- $35 (Sherwin Williams)
Beadboard/Cement/Thinset/Grout/other hardware- $200
Tile - $200 (closeout at tile and stone warehouse)
Silver Tray- $19.99 (Homegoods)
Silver Tray Accessories- $8 (Homegoods)
Shower Curtain- $26.99 (Target)
Towel Bar- $7.99 (Homegoods)
Brown Shelf-$6.99 (Homegoods)
Vase- $14.99 (Homegoods)
Orchid- $14.99 (Home Depot-yes it's real which is possible because of the skylight)

Grand Total: $654.92 Not bad for a complete bathroom overhaul including a sloping floor if I do say so myself. I hope our guests love it as much as we do!

Craft Room Reveal

I love craft rooms. They can be painted in fun colors and contain DIY projects on the more "funky" side and can get away with it because it is a "creative" room. They also have to be heavy on organization if they are not going to be a mess. Not to mention that they are a room that you can start projects in and then leave them out without worrying about stuff being all over the house. I am so lucky that we have space so that I can have an entire room to myself right now. Once we have two kids I will have to fight them for it.

This craft room reveal has been a long time coming. And honestly there are some things that I can see changing in the future.  But before we see what it looks like now, let's take a stroll down memory lane and see where we came from.

All my favorite design features in one room-wallpaper, honey oak and a poorly anchored brass ceiling fan.

When we moved in I thought a good solution would be just ripping down the wallpaper and enjoying the pink paint until I got around to painting. Unfortunately after ripping down the wallpaper I learned that the previous owners had not painted all the way to the ceiling. So I lived with this for about a year.

It was nice to have a room dedicated to creativity, but I was majorly lacking organization and did not have enough workspace.

That brings us to what it looks like today-

IMG_2984
The cutting table/craft desk was DIY and you can make one too following the tutorial here.  I knew that this was the one space I could get away with some fun stripes and while it took awhile for all the taping, I loved how it turned out (tutorial here).

And I love my sewing corner….

craft room

Across the back wall I had Derek install a curtain rod for me to hang “in progress” projects.  I love how it works, except for the fact that a lot times projects don’t move from “in progress” to “complete”.  Oh well.

IMG_4012

Above the rod are pictures I cut from an old Anne Taintor calendar.  Would they look better in frames…yes.  But this is a low budget craft room redo.

craft room
Above the cutting table is my inspiration board/bulletin board to hang random stuff.  To make it look non-bulletin board like, I wrapped it in fabric and stapled it to the back.  Super quick and easy.

In the other corner we have more storage space.

craft room
Oh and the chandelier.  I really wanted something cool (and expensive) of course.  But the ole budget brought us back to DIY as I detailed here.

I still have one blank wall which my ironing board sits below.  My plans for this area include adding a quilt design wall so that the floor can be retired for this purpose.  Oh and getting a new matching (and unstained) ironing board cover.

craft room

At one point I wrote a post about how I was organizing everything (here).  Well that has all changed as my fabric stash has grown and I am making different things.  And it will most likely change again.  But for now here is the newly organized closet.
 
craft room
Yes that is what I call organized….you should have seen it a couple of days before this.
 
I am also utilizing the storage on the cutting table for in progress projects.  each cubby is a different project.
 
craft room
 
Like I mentioned before, this room was done a low budget. Here is the breakdown in case you are curious:

Craft Desk: $125 (how-to here)
Sewing Desk: $100 (JCPenney outlet store)
Paint: $70 (painting stripes how-to here)
I used one gallon of Tupelo Tree and one gallon of Sassy Green from Sherwin Williams in this room. We had all the other painting supplies.
Chandelier: $40 (how-to here)
Drapery: $20
For the curtains I used some of the fabric I had originally bought for the kitchen (you know the ones that turned out to be two different colors like I mentioned here). Well, I recycled two panels of that fabric and I had lining fabric left over from the family room panels. So all I needed to buy was the rod and the rings.
Shelving: $125 (from Home depot)
I decided to go with adjustable shelving because at that time I was not sure how I was going to organize everything and it would give me flexibility in the future if I ever changed my mind. Not that that ever happens....
Miscellaneous Organization supplies- $75
Most of the organizational things I had previously and either repainted or recovered them. But I did buy some things to organize all the drawers as well as other things for the shelves.
Sewing Chair- Free
I swiped this chair from Derek's poker table in the basement. Eventually I would like something cuter....but this one matched as was the right price so it got moved to my room.

Grand Total: $555

Not bad for an entire room make-over.  But of course that does not include my fabric stash.

Before/After- Powder Room

I have been a slacking in the posting department lately because of projects at work and the laundry room (posts coming soon I promise). But in the meantime I have another before/after to add to the list-The Powder Room.

THE BEFORE
Don't you love the wallpaper? Fake green wood paneling and angels and birdhouses to top it off? Of all the wallpaper in the house, this was the worst to remove. No matter what you did it came off in pieces about the size of a half a penny. When my parents came in to help us with the reno the weekend after we closed, my mom spent hours and hours in that room and only managed to get a part of one wall off. Good thing it was not a large room (and that my mom has a lot of patience).

Of course there is also honey oak, brass, a shell sink and a ugly light fixture (which missed the picture) to add to the charm. Ignore the sexy picture of me in my home reno outfit......

THE AFTER (Disclaimer- this room is very small with no natural light and so is very difficult to photograph)

Probably the best representation of how the paint color really looks



This picture is now hanging on the big empty wall. Click here to see how I got rid of the brass frame for less than $5.

This project still needs some finishing touches but overall we are happy how it came out. But this room took a lot longer than we imagined it would.

Our original plan involved pulling the honey oak vanity and putting in a pedestal sink or another more modern vanity. But the hardwood floor did not run under the oak vanity and the builder ran the water lines from the floor and not the wall. So those options were removed and we decided that painting it was the best idea. Then my bright idea was to paint the cabinet creme to lighten up the space. After painting the entire thing I decided I hated it because the color was too white. So I got a "creamier" color. Still hated it. So I switched to dark brown and was finally happy.

Then the crown molding saga....

We thought that since we had successfully done crown molding in the office that we could handle the little powder room and do it in a hour or two. Yeah we were really overestimating our abilities. Slight problem....the corners are really not square and even with multiple cuts, a lot of cursing and many trips back to Home Depot over multiple days, we were still not lining up. Our little project suddenly turned into a nightmare. So we cheated and bought the corners (you know the ones that we made fun of on previous visits). They were pricey but worth it (and we learned not to be so confident with our skills in the crown department).

The details-

Paint Color: Sherwin Williams Latte
Counter top: Stock granite with undermount sink from Home Depot or Lowes
Faucet- Home Depot
Mirror- Homegoods- $50
Light Fixture- clearance at Lowes-$30 (originally $80)
Vanity- Painted with Ace Cabinet and Trim color matched to SW Black Bean
Accessories- Bed Bath and Beyond

Landscaping Slow Progress

This Saturday we made some progress on the new landscaping in the backyard. My goal was to get all the edging in for the back bed, remove sod, place raised vegetable beds, and add compost to other beds. We would have made more progress but Mother Nature was/is not cooperating. Yesterday it was cool with intermittent rain. While we were loading our cart with landscape edging in the outdoor section of Home Depot, it started to downpour. It continued to do that on and off all day. We had orginally hoped to get dirt and rock delivered Sunday, but with temperatures in the 30's and snow flurries, we decided against it. So unfortunately we are on hold for at least a couple of weeks since next weekend is Easter and we will not have time to get anything done.

The first thing we had to do was decide on what type of edging. We wanted something cheap, nice-looking, easy to install, bendable and dog proof. This was a tall order. After much discussion/arguing at Home Depot (in the rain of course) we finally decided on the green metal edging. We had previously used this type at our old house and it is relatively easy to install.

We brought it home and marked off the beds with a tape measure, string, spray paint and my lovely plans. We did switch around the placement of the vegetable beds because our property line is not square and the way I had drawn it on paper did not look the best when we placed them there.

The plan




I bet you are wondering why we have a line running parallel to the fence. Wouldn't it make more sense to have the bed run all the way to the fence since we are trying to hide it to make it less of a focal point?

Yes but.....

Or should I say....
We are creating the landscaping with the pups (and our sanity) in mind. They have worn a path around the perimeter of the yard and repeatedly have killed the grass. Along that back section you can also see all the holes they have dug to try to see the dog that lives behind us. (If you look closely you can also see the various materials we have unsuccessfully stuck in the holes to get them to stop). Winter is also a digger and I do not want to give her a reason or permission to be in the landscaping beds. So we are making a 2 foot rock dog path behind the landscaping and in between the vegetable beds. Will it work....I have no idea. But I am hopeful that with practice and training it will be successful. If not, it will be a very expensive and labor intensive flop.

But back to the edging....after we marked the lines we then laid down the edging and dug holes for the vegetable beds. Derek hammered down the edging with a rubber mallet. After his arm was numb, I tried a couple whacks and learned it was more difficult than it looks.
We extended the bed slightly so we did not have to cut the metal edging



We also built a support system for the raspberry bushes in the back bed. Hopefully they will form a dense thicket to hide the pretty cable box. I am trying to be optimistic that we can get the compost, garden soil and rock delivered soon so it will really start to come together. Here's hoping for rain-free warm weekends!

Before/After-House Tour

Want to see the before pictures that had our parents saying “You know you can still get out of this house and buy something not ugly” as it was being inspected?   Thought so…because who doesn’t love seeing an after?  Be prepared to enter a time machine to 1990. 
houseexterior

Before/After- The Family Room

I wish I had taken the time to take more before pics of this pretty room. It would even be better if I had pics with the seller's furniture so we all can take in the view with hunter green and mauve couches as well as fake sunflowers.

Just picture that for a minute....

OK try to stop shuddering at another room with terrible colors paired with red.

Some of the trim in this room was painted white....but looks can be deceiving. They put on one coat of primer, dripped it all over the place and then called it good. The ceiling fan was not properly anchored and the fireplace was living in the 90's in all it's brass and honey oak. The one thing that this room had going for it was it did not have pink blinds like all the others. Small Victories.

Before:


During:
 


After:

family room
So what did we do?  Well first everything was painted obviously.  The trim got the the proper sanding and priming and painting.  And the walls were painted Sherwin Williams Svelte Sage.  Because of all the doors, furniture placement in the space….well was interesting.  But after many many attempts and me saying “it is just not all going to fit” numerous times (and some cursing), we made it all work.

family room
New ceiling fan was properly installed and anchored.

The fireplace was probably our biggest DIY in this space.

family room

Ahhh the fireplace.  The project that was supposed to be lower on the priority list because the tile was not great, we were going to live with it for awhile.

Until I went to Home Depot to grab some things two days after closing and found my husband and friend beating it with a sledge hammer.  Nice.

Only to find it was set in cement.  Which needed to be re-leveled before anything could be retiled. 

Officially in over our head.

Luckily my father-in-law came to the rescue to level it all out so Derek could embark on his first solo tile job. In the end it turned out great.

Also we did not not replace the brass accented fireplace doors.  Just a little high heat spray paint made them good as new. 

family room

IMG_3993

The gallery wall was added after our Italy trip (blogged here).

family room

All the pillows and drapes were sewing DIY.  And since the pillows can all be changed easily, hopefully this will fulfill my need to make changes in the space when the urge hits.

family room

Maybe….

Before/After- The Dining Room

Get ready to get into a time machine back to 1990. Warning, you might need some sunglasses....

Before:

Red is my favorite color but this shade is so wrong on walls.  Paired with a pink and blue border, stylish brass, and a glimpse into the hip oak kitchen made it cringe-worthy.  It poses the question-pink, blue and .....red?.  Interesting.


Aren't those sexy curtains? And the almond outlets look nice on the white. You can also see how bad of shape the wainscoting was in.
 
In Progress:Trying out some colors.....left is Sherwin-Williams Uncertain Grey and right is Foggy Day.  I was going for a bluish-grey in this room with the emphasis on the grey.  And once the room was complete, it was more blue.  But I still love it.  And saved the true grey for another room....

The First “After”:



That is correct….this is round 1.  We went with Uncertain Gray on the walls and Foggy Day on the ceiling. The windows and trim all got new paint and the outlets got switched out to a nice matching white.  Oh yeah, the old brass chandelier also got replaced. 
 
The taller hutch is more traditional and I am somewhat second-guessing that decision, but since we registered for china at our wedding I wanted a place to keep it all on display.  And enclosed because dusting and I are not friends.
 
And after living with this after for awhile, I was ready to switch things up.  Like the ceiling and the chandelier.  Red wine may have had a hand in this decision.
 
The “Real” After (for now at least):
So I changed up the painting scheme on the ceiling as detailed here.  And then I switched out the chandelier (again) because the new paint was looking funky .  And here we are now:
 
dining room

dining room
dining room
IMG_3067
dining room
dining room
Where we got stuff:
Curtains- Bed Bath and Beyond- silk on clearance- $20 a panel- score!
Sconces- Home decorators collection- X-mas gift from mom
Chandelier- Overstock
Dining Set- Local furniture store
Centerpiece Bowl; IKEA
Wine hutch: so old I am not sure, it just happened to match the dining set and fit perfectly in the space.  i am thinking maybe that it was another Bed Bath and Beyond purchase?
 
But is a room ever really done?  I am thinking it may need some more tweaks in the future.  We will see….

Before/After- The Workout Room

The workout room was put together for function and not design. I made sure I repeated that phrase to myself many times through the project because it would have been so easy to spend some money in the name of design. 

It is in the basement so it does not get a lot of light. We did things as cheaply as possible since it is just a space that Derek and I use to sweat in. Here is the before:

The carpet was badly stained and smelled and the walls were all beat up.

This project was completed in a weekend. The floor was our first priority. We chose laminate because we could install it in a basement by ourselves and it was a hard surface. Have you ever tried to run on an elliptical that it sitting on shag carpet?  Let's just say the sensation is something like trying to exercise slightly intoxicated.  In case you have never tried it, it rocks....a lot.

We first ripped out the carpet and painted. Since we really did not care about the color but wanted something fun, we found $5 oops paint at Home Depot. I termed the color "Kermit".

During:
Derek scraping up carpet glue. When we took up the carpet we found "JM LL?". We have no idea what that means.

So I added our own initials.

Putting down the vapor barrier. Yet another use for duct tape.

Floor going in


This was the first time we installed laminate floors. I will admit the first row was ummmm...difficult. It is possible that a lot of cursing involved because by the time we got down to the end of the row, the beginning was coming apart. But after we got past that row and got the hang of it, it was very easy and went down quickly. We love this type of floor for the room because it is super easy to clean and maintain.  And did we mention it was cheap?

After:




One of the minor details we did was switching the outlets and switches from almond to bright white. Just a little thing updated the room ten years.

How we saved:
  • $5 oops paint
  • .99 sq ft laminate from Lumber Liquidators
  • Weights and weight bench from Craigslist
  • Indoor trainer for bikes instead of new stationary bike
  • Curtains from Wal-mart
  • Mirror taken out of downstairs bath(planning on replacing it anyway)
The only thing I am still thinking of adding is "inspiration posters". Derek said he would not mind if a life size bikini clad women stared at him while he worked out. So I think I am going to add a male equivalent for his "inspiration."  It's only fair right?

How-To: Transform a Staircase on the Cheap

The goal: ridding our house of honey oak one room at a time. In light of that mission the staircase needed some help. Ultimately I would have loved to do iron spindles. But they were pricey and because the way the current spindles were attached to floor, we would have had to also replace carpet which suddenly made it really pricey. So instead I spent just $40 dollars in supplies and a weekend (plus an extra evening) of my time. It is not my dream staircase but it will do until we replace carpet and I can explore iron spindles.

Staircase before:


So Pretty................

Staircase During:
Staircase After:

Here is how I did it-- (my love affair with this paint is described here)


Materials:
High-Quality paintbrush
Painter's tape
Paint tarps
Medium Grit Sandpaper
Fine Grit Sandpaper
Tack cloth
Ladder (depending on position of railing)
TSP Substitute
Rags
Vacuum
ACE Cabinet and Trim Paint in Black Bean (colormatched to Sherwin Williams)
(I used a quart for the amount of railing and risers we had)
1-2-3 BIN Primer tinted to gray
Water-Based Polyurethane (I used MinWax Polycrylic semi-gloss)

1. Cover all flooring in the painting area. This includes anywhere paint could possibly fall/drip or where you will be walking with possible paint on your shoes). Tape with painter's tape the edge of carpeting that will be touching painted areas and as well as the edges of the trim.

I tarped the entire staircase as well as the floor below the balcony and the carpet along the balcony. Taping/tarping was by far the most time consuming part of the project.

2. Wipe down railings and trim you are going to paint with TSP Substitute to get all the greasy fingerprints and other grime off. Be careful not to get cleaner on carpets or spill too much on tarps.

3. Let dry and then sand all the railings and trim with a medium grit sandpaper to take off the top layer of finish which will allow the new paint to stick.

I have an orbital and palm sander but did not use either because of the small spaces I was sanding. I used a sanding block or just my hand and sand paper. Again this was time consuming but I had high gloss lacquer on the honey oak and I needed to dull it thoroughly.

4. After you are done sanding everything, vacuum/sweep up all the dust....you do not want the dust in your paint. Then wipe down everything you sanded with a tack cloth to make sure you did not miss any dust.

5. Break out your 1-2-3 primer and apply a coat to all the railing, trim and risers.

6. Let dry and reexamine everything you painted to check for drips and/or rough patches that need to be sanded and then resand.

7. Open up the ACE cabinet/trim paint and apply as I described here (it takes a specific technique and practice).

Tips for applying to staircase: I started to tape every spindle top and bottom which took FOREVER. So I decided to just take my time and be careful around the spindles instead. Overall the plan worked well. I painted the posts first, top to bottom, making sure not to get paint on the railings as much as possible. Then I painted the underside of the railing, one section at a time. If I got any paint on the upper section I wiped it with a damp paper towel just to smear it so it does not form a ridge as it sets. After one section underside was done I then did the top of the railing, making sure not to hit the already setting posts. I then completed the rest of the trim just planning where I could start and stop without forming a line. This paint looks awful as it dries so don't let yourself look at it until it is totally dry. If you do, you will want to go back and fix it which will just make it worse. I still do this after going through 5 gallons of this paint...so do yourself a favor and don't look!

8. Let the paint dry (no touching) for at least 24 hours, then examine for drips to sand off. Then apply a second coat in the same manner.

9. Let dry again for 24 hours and then apply a thin layer of polyurethane. Sand with fine sandpaper in between coats. Apply three coats of poly.

I only had to wait a couple of hours to reapply the poly which sped up the process. Be careful sanding as you can easily sand off your color and into the primer. Also I confess that at this point in the project I was getting tired of painting. So the railings and posts that will get a lot of wear got the full three coats of poly while the other trim just got one....it looks the same to me.

10. After final coat is dry, remove tape and tarps and enjoy your masterpiece!

I did not repaint the spindles because they were already white and in pretty good shape. If you do need/want to repaint yours, use untinted 1-2-3 primer and 2 coats of the ACE paint in white (I used high-hiding white for the other trim in the house)