Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Painting the House Part 1 : Stucco Tutorial

Last September, we started painting the exterior of the house.  Yep, I said started...we never got past the first 25%.  At the time, it made perfect sense.  We were having pavers installed for the pool deck and wanted to go ahead and get the back painted before installation.  Chris was in school, and I was in my first trimester of pregnancy.

For the past year, almost every day when we'd go for a walk or run, we'd laugh at how the back of our house was a different color than the rest of it.  We were busy working on the nursery, and then the whole having a baby thing left us with very little free time to paint this big 'ol house.

And then I found this :

Do you see all the cracking on the side?  And the rust coming through?  It was worse on the other side of the trim, but I couldn't wait to take a picture, we just started poking to see how bad the damage really was.

Taken  after we poked around some - it wasn't quite this bad to start off with!
It was bad.

And then Chris got out his side grinder and went to town.

Most sane people probably wouldn't have gotten that far, especially not with a 4 month old, but we're not sane sometimes.  We've done a little bit of stucco patch work, and neither one of us have been happy with the outcome.  This, obviously, needed more than just a patch job.

I gave Chris the green light to go ahead and see how bad the damage was, which meant he just keep breaking it apart until we got to good boards, by convincing him that we've needed to paint the house for some time now, so we'll just do the stucco work, and then repaint the entire house.

Logical, right?

Chris bought into it.  A few weeks later he questioned why he ever let me talk him into painting the entire house because of a little stucco trim work, but that's another post for another day.

Back to the stucco...

We decided we were going to google and utube "how to stucco", and then go to the big orange box store and have the guys there help us with getting supplies.  Then Kalia needed a nap, and to be fed, and a diaper change, and to be played with, and we realized that we might have bitten off a little more than we could chew.

So, we caved in and decided to get a few quotes.  If the quotes were reasonable, we'd pay someone to do it.  If they were absurd, we'd go back to plan 1, and just accept the fact that it was probably going to take us 10 times longer than normal to get it done.

First quote came in at $225.  We had a few other places we were going to have them repair too, so we thought that was pretty reasonable.  The second quote came in at $1500.  Wha???  We asked a buzillion questions and they both were using the same exact methodology.  Um, we'll take the $225 guy please.

We took pictures and asked lots of questions during the process, so that we'd know how to do stucco work if we ever needed to again.

Here's what the stucco guy was starting with.

And here's the how-to for any of you over-ambitious diy'ers out there!

First he cut back the rest of the old stucco work to make it nice and even.

Then he added the new trim boards (pressure treated wood) to fit.

Next, he took this piece of mesh and wire with paper backing :

And put it over top of the wood boards, securing it in with nails.

After that, he nailed in the protective vinyl edges.  The vinyl edges are an upgrade from what was previously there.  Most old houses used metal galvanized edging, which was why we had the rusting in the first place.  Well, that combined with the fact that the previous owners had the sprinklers spraying on the house.  We moved them out shortly after we moved in, but the damage was already done.  Water plus metal is no good!

Just an fyi, all of this stuff can be found at your local home improvement store.

To keep the edges secured, he added staples along with the nails.

We had another area that was starting to show some wear, so we decided to go with a quick patch approach on fixing it.  To do this, he needed to chip out some of the old stucco to give the new stucco something to stick to.  It's basically roughing up the surface like you would for most paint projects, but instead of sanding, he used a metal scraper.

This is what it looked like after he was done chipping it off.

To bond old stucco with new stucco, some type of liquid bonding agent is needed.  It kind of looks like Elmer's glue.  He applied this using a sponge to all of the areas where the new stucco would go on top of the old stucco.

That's just the prep work!

Next up, the mixing.  To create the sand finish to match the existing stucco work on the house, he mixed sand in with the stucco mix. He recommended not going too heavy on the sand to keep the final product strong.  The mix was approximately 50/50.  He mixed this dry in a large wheel barrow.

After dry mixing, he put the mix in buckets and added water.  To mix the stucco, sand, and water he used a drill with a stirring tool to make a very smooth final mix.

The actual stucco work itself is a lot like working with grout.

Just put the stucco on your trowel and spread.  He used a tray to hold the stucco, which seemed a lot easier than dipping the trowel into the bucket.  I'll have to remember that for future projects!

Then smooth it over the surface,

until your area is completely covered.

Finish by taking your soft sponge and gently wiping until you have a smooth surface.

And that's it!  It's definitely a lot of work, but at least we know it's do-able for the next go round.  The stucco guy even took off $25 for stepping on a plant (it'll come back), and for us giving him water.  What a guy!

Anyone out there willing to tackle stucco work on their own?    Make sure to stay tuned for more house painting projects.  It's quite a bit of work, but it's looking a-mazing!

Hope everyone's having a great week.  Happy Tuesday!

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Monday, October 10, 2011

You Are Beautiful

Hey guys!

At some point I'll be back to publishing more regularly than once every month or two, but for now, this is the best I can do.  I started back at work six weeks ago, so things just keep getting more and more hectic.  Don't assume that means we're not still house projecting, we most definitely are!  We're just a little bit slower, and it takes quite some time to get it up here on the blog.

Onto the project ...

I've been mentioning that we're redoing the master bedroom.  Part of that was the vanity / closet area, which we painted a little while back.  The closet has the two big sliding doors that are mirrors, which I walk by every time I go to take a shower or get dressed.  That didn't really used to bother me...

And then I had Kalia.  I'll be completely honest here, I've never really struggled with body image or my weight or anything in that regards.  I've always been really active, and my body, for the most part, has reflected that.  The doctor released me to exercise when Kalia was 6 weeks old.  I thought it'd take a month or two, but that I'd be back to my old shape in no time.  Well, two and a half months have come and gone since being released, and I'm still not where I'd like to be.  I do exercise every day, I do a minimum of a 2 mile walk with Kalia and Kodi, and a few days a week I do a 5k with Kalia in the jogging stroller, but I'm still not there yet.  I continually have to tell myself that it took 10 months to put all that weight on, it's not just going to disappear in four long months.

I walk by that stupid mirror (its become stupid now) every.single.day and am constantly reminded of how my clothes don't fit yet, how my body seems to have a mind of its own, and how I'm not where I want to be with my weight loss.  I'm not far off, I'm just still not there.  I'm at the awkward stage of my old clothes fitting, but looking like someone glued them on me.  I'm going to be 30 in 5 months, and I'm a Mom...pasted on pants isn't exactly the look I'm going for. 

Well, enough is enough.  No more pity parties, no more feeling bad about myself, and no more feeling sorry for myself.  Motherhood is such a beautiful thing.  The fact that we're willing to put our bodies through what we do to get this incredible little person here that we get to shape and mold and love more than we ever thought possible is a beautiful thing.  The fact that we sacrifice our bodies for 10 months to carry this little person and then bring them into this world is a beautiful thing.  That's what I need to focus on ... that's what I need to be reminded of.  My new found extra poundage is well worth the extreme joy and love that my little girl brings to me every.single.day.

Sorry about the rant...I'll try to avoid being too Mommy hormonal and move on.  There's a project in here too, I promise!

I bought two of these canvases on clearance from Jo-Ann's forever ago.  They were 8$ total, and I knew I'd find a use for them at some point.

Chris thought I was crazy.  Well, Chris always thinks I'm crazy, that's not really anything new.  Those canvases have been sitting in a closet for quite some time.  When I came to my "enough is enough" epiphany, I busted these bad boys out and got to painting.

I took step by step pictures of this, but they're lost somewhere in the 1925 pictures that are currently on my camera of mainly Kalia.  I'm a little obsessed, I know.  So, you get a few pictures of my cutie instead :

Amen to that!!!  Hehe!
Really, I took those canvases and put a coat of white paint over top of them, then took my brush and dipped it in a little bit of the dark aqua paint that we painted the vanity area with and faded that down halfway through the first canvas, and then took the light aqua color that we painted the master bathroom and faded that down all the way through the bottom of the second canvas.

After that dried, I just took my paintbrush and painted on the words using the metallic white paint I had left over from doing the faux granite effect in Kalia's bathroom.  It's not perfect, but that's kind of the point of the project.  It's not really supposed to be.  It's still beautiful because I made it, and it means something to me.  For-warning though, it's semi impossible to photograph.  There's no lighting in that area, and the flash bounces off of my metallic white, so just use your imagination to picture it a little bit more subtle :-).

With the flash on.  Kodi thinks the addition of Kalia is exhausting!!
 The rest of these are without the flash on, so the color is a bit more true.

I used the colors I did because of where I hung it.  I like how it blends both the vanity area and the master bathroom colors together.

So, what do you guys think of it?  I debated about doing it for awhile because I didn't want to come off as conceited, but it's my bathroom vanity area.  I know why I painted it!  If you have any questions on how I did this, please feel free to ask.  I'll respond to them in the comments section.

Hope everyone is doing well.  I've actually made quite a bit of progress in the Master Bedroom, redid the office, and am now planning away at making our awful formal living room Kalia's playroom.  Oh yeah, and we're repainting the house. Life is never dull around these parts!!  I hope to get the posts up soon.  My goal is to really start back blogging more regularly after Christmas time.  Kalia's starting to finally sleep through the night most nights, and I'm finding my balance in life, so I hope you guys will stick around to see what's next!

Happy Monday, hope you guys have a great week!

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Still Alive

Hey guys!

It's been over a month without a peep from me, so I thought I'd let you guys know that I'm still here.  We've actually got a few house projects that we're working on, but things go quite a bit slower these days with Kalia around.

I got quite a few emails and comments from you guys when I was pregnant about not knowing how I was doing everything and something or another about being a super woman.  Well, I'm here to tell you I am most definitely not a super woman.  I'm a new mommy, and I spend my days figuring out my baby.  Initially, I felt the need to still get a lot of house projects done.  I felt that I wasn't being 'me' without it.  It kind of put me in a sad place, so we did the vanity to give me a little bit of sanity.

But somewhere along the way I realized something.  I'm a go-getter, I'm a do-er...I don't rest that much, and my idea of relaxing is playing volleyball or running.  I don't stop.  I'm committed to doing things the best I can, I love to learn, and I love to be hands on with things.  I love to be active, I love to create, I love to inspire, and I love to finish every day proud of what I've done.  That's 'me'.

And these days, I get all of that, and so much more with this little girl :

She's 'me'.  Her and her Daddy fill my days with so much joy and happiness...I can't even begin to describe it.

I had motherhood all wrong before she arrived.  I thought I'd teach her the ways of the world, I'd teach her how to be a good person, how to do the basics initially, and how to succeed in life later on.  What I didn't realize was how much she'd teach me.  In 10 short weeks, she's taught me to see the world differently.  She's taught me that I have a whole lot more patience than I ever thought I could...she's taught me to be empathetic to other Mommies...she's taught me that the best things in life lie in those little eyes and those little dimples.  She's taught me how to love more openly and completely.  She's taught me how to be a better me, and she's teaching me new things every day.

So please forgive the lack of diy posts.  Right now, Kalia's not at the age where she can participate in diying too much (although it's hard not to write posts on every little thing that she does do...but I spare you guys and have a family blog just for that :-)), and until she gets there, my diying is limited to naptimes and after bedtime.  House projects can wait until then...I've got more important things to learn and grow from in the meantime...

I hope all of you guys have enjoyed your summer and are doing well!  Thanks for sticking around Kara's Korner, I really appreciate your support.

I'll end on one last one of my little cutie.  Enjoy!

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Vanity Area Update

Well, we finally got around to our first home improvement project since having Kalia.  She doesn't really sleep as much as normal babies do, so getting things done, besides feeding her every hour or so, is quite challenging!  Unfortunately, she came down with a cold last weekend.  While she was sleeping her cold away (she's better now!), Chris and I took advantage of the down time and repainted our vanity area.

We had repainted our bathroom back in January (post here), which left our vanity / closet area looking pretty bad.  The two colors clashed pretty badly, and we knew we wanted something a bit darker to make the area a little bit more cohesive, but went to work on the nursery instead.

Here's what the area looked like prior to our paint job on Sunday :

And here's what the area looks like now :

If you look carefully in the next few photos, you can see how this area ties in with our Master Bathroom paint color scheme.

The paint color is Mermaid Net by Behr.  We took the Tide Pools paint swatch that we used to paint the bathroom and went two shades darker so that the colors would flow well from one room to the next.

We both were a little iffy at first about the dark color, but it feels warm and soothing all at the same time, and definitely makes the bathroom a cohesive area instead of being so disjointed.

This is just one of a multitude of projects I've got planned to get our Master Bathroom up to par.  Every time I walk into Kalia's nursery, I'm jealous that she's got a nicer room than us!

So what do you guys think about our new vanity area?  Do you like the dark color, and how it compliments the light color of the master bathroom, or is it too dark for you?

Stay tuned to see what else I've got up my sleeve.  I'm ready for a nice, relaxing Master Bedroom instead of the hodge podge of a room we've got going on right now!

Hope everyone's doing well.  Thanks so much for all of the sweet compliments about Kalia's nursery...I so appreciate every one of them!!!

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Nursery Room Tour

I can't believe we started on the nursery room back in January, and just finished it up a few days prior to Kalia's due date (May 30th)!  We've come so far and done so much in there though...it's a room we both truly love and can't wait to watch Kalia grow up in now that she's finally here.

In designing the nursery, I wanted to create something that would grow with Kalia.  We put a lot of time, energy, and love into creating what exists right now, which I knew we would, so the thought of trying to change it up in a few years because it was too 'baby' wasn't something I was willing to do.  The second huge consideration was that Chris and I had to love the room too.  Not like it, but love it.  Let's be honest here...while Kalia's in the nursery phase, the two people that are going to spend the most time enjoying or hating the nursery room design are Chris and I.  Kalia will enjoy all of the patterns and shapes in the nursery, but the functionality and feel of the room is more for Chris and I right now than Kalia.

I came up with the general color scheme for Kalia's room when I came across this image on Benjamin Moore's website :

I loved everything about this color scheme, but decided because it was a baby's room, that I wanted the gray color to be a little bit lighter.  This color scheme uses these colors :
paper mache

 Accent Colors
royal flush

I used BM's Moonshine as my gray color for the walls, and used my existing white paint I had for the trim and pieces we built.  When I picked up the paint from Benjamin Moore, I also grabbed their paint cards so that I could continually go back and compare the color blue and pink that I wanted for accent colors.  I had the paint swatch card in my wallet and pulled it out and compared it for anything and everything that I bought to go into the nursery.  It was such a great way to stay within my color palette 

I scoured and scoured the internet, and went into baby shop after baby shop looking for ideas.  The first go round, as much as I'm embarrassed to say it, I came home from Pottery Barn Kids crying.  I'm not a pastel pink kind of gal, and store after store, that's all I could find.  The internet was a much better source for me personally.  The one item that I completely 'borrowed' the idea of was Kalia's bookshelves.  All of the rest of the ideas I came up with pretty much on my own...I tried to design the nursery to be appropriate for a baby / toddler, but not scream "BABY!!!".

Lets go back to where we started with this room.  This room was a mess when we moved into it, so we kept it as our junk room while we worked on fixing up other rooms in our home.  Previously, I used it to do all of my building and painting projects.

We had to redo everything in this room to even get to a blank slate.  We cleaned out the junk room (see here), primed the walls, removed the old carpet, painted the ceiling, and installed a new window (see here), painted the walls and closet, and installed a new ceiling fan (see here), painted the trim (see here), installed bamboo floors (see here and here), all to wind up with a clean slate room to start putting stuff in.

And here's where the nursery stands today (and all of the details on cost, where I purchased an item, and links to each initial post) :

This is the entry way to Kalia's Room.  Both items on the hallway walls were gifts from Kalia's baby showers.

Next up, here's the crib wall.  Details from this picture are below.

Curtains : Ikea (post here).  Cost : Hava Curtain Rod : 39.99, white curtains, 19.99, pink curtains 24.99 on clearance.

Blinds : Home Depot (post here) Cost : $50.

Crib : (initial post here).  From Bratt Decor.  Cost: Crib and mattress (and a mobile not shown), bought off of someone for $400, white sheet from Target : gift, bedskirt from Pottery Barn Kids $53 (I wanted to make this, but ran out of time / energy!).  Next to the crib is an old planter bench that I threw fabric on top of ($3), and am using as a stand for our diaper champ (gift), and we actually have since put Kalia's clothes hamper up there too.

Monogram : Made by me, post here.  Cost : $5 for spray paint and pictures (already owned everything else).

Rug : (initial post here).  From Land of Nod, Cost : $289

Chair : Pottery Barn Comfort Swivel Glider and Pottery Barn white twill with stone piping slipcover.  Cost:  free - gift for my birthday.  (It's amazingly comfortable).  Pillow : Marshall's $15.

Side table / ottoman - Calypso by Target.  Cost : $50 (used completion discount plus 5% credit card discount).

Here's a close-up of the closet (details below) :

Closet System : Made by us (initial design post here, toy box post here, no sew bench cushion tutorial post here, entire closet system reveal post here, closet filled with clothes organization shown here).  Cost : Wood : $50, adjustable hanging racks : Home Depot $20 , Mirror : Home Depot $30 , letters for name : Jo-Anns $10, hinges for toybox : Home Depot $17 (for all 4 hinges).  Baskets : Lowes (already owned).

Next up, the bookshelves :

And from another angle (that's a little bit brighter) :

Here's what it looks like with the rest of the room (as much as was possible to capture) :

Bookshelves : Made by us (initial post here, follow up post here).  Idea from Elizabeth Sullivan Designs (see here) seen initially at House of Turquoise (see here).  Cost : $40 for wood.  Already had paint and screws.

From there, we'll move onto the daybed wall :

Pillows on Daybed : Made by me (post here).  Elephant pillow - made from a tea towel from Anthropologie.  Cost : $18.  All other pillows I had the materials for.  I've had the big green pillows for quite some time now, but they're from Stein Mart.

Daybed : Made by me last year. (making the daybed post here, moving to the nursery post here).  Cost:  Already owned, free.

Alphabet Wall : (initial post here) Flashcards from Etsy (here).  Frames : Dollar Store.  Cost : Flashcards $64 (with shipping).  Frames : $26.

If you keep turning, you'll see Kalia's dresser :

Another shot of the dresser with the crib :

Dresser : Made by us (build post here, finishing post here).  Cost : Wood plus drawer glides: $150, already had everything else for building and painting,  handles : Pottery Barn $6 (used discount code and $25 off $50 coupon),  lamp : Kirkland $25, changing pad : Target $20, changing pad cover : Pottery Barn $19.

Gallery Wall above Dresser : Full post here,  Consists of hand-me-down Mirror refinished (post here) and diy wall art (post here).  Cost : Mirror, free, wall art : $10 (diy frames, fabric, and clothes pins).

And, of course, the best part of the nursery is this little girl right here :

She made all of the hard work worth while.  I took that picture a week ago for her 3 week birthday.  I love her so much!!

Whew...that post has been awhile in the making (and took awhile to type up).  If you have any additional questions that I didn't cover, please check the initial posts out, and then if I still haven't answered them there, feel free to leave a comment and I'll try to get to answering it in a somewhat timely manner!

Hope you guys enjoyed the full nursery post!  That room really has turned out to be our favorite in the house thus far.  It took a lot of hard work, but it's something we both truly love and are proud of.  What do you think of it?  Anything you would've done differently?

Hope everyone's having a great week!

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