Monday, May 26, 2014

Projects Galore

We're back! And, no, this post won't be about our travels abroad (that one's coming once I go through all of the pictures and cull the best ones). This post is about a few projects that we've tackled immediately upon our return -- I guess it was just the (extra) long weekend that inspired us. Or maybe it was being away from our home for two weeks that gave us fresh eyes and a sudden determination to knock out 14 projects at once. 

We got back late Thursday evening and spent most of Friday just relaxing and resettling -- lots of unpacking, laundry, and general house things to get us back to normal. Oh, and Chick-fil-a. Twice. 

On Saturday, I decided to finally repaint the horrible, bright green bookshelf backs in our living room. We painted the bookshelves ages ago, not long after we first moved in. I had this brilliant idea that a bright, kelly green back against a dark gray for the rest of the shelves would just be so... striking. Well, it was horrendous. Truly awful. Halfway through painting the dark gray portion, I saw the error of my ways -- at least halfway anyway. I decided to repaint the dark gray back to white and spent many tedious hours doing so. 

For some reason, we left the bright green to see if we "could live with it" or if "it might grow on us." Nope. Just terrible. At first, I wanted to take some time and pick the exact right color or pattern or whatever to replace the heinous green. Then, on Saturday, I said, "I don't actually care. That green just has to go." 

So I took one of the test pots from the billiard room (Martha Stewart Plumage) and just started painting. Well, first I took everything off of the shelves and wiped them down with warm, soapy water to make sure they were clean (they weren't) before painting. 

A study in contrasts
Instantly better. Like a breath of navy blue fresh air. 

Seriously -- SO much better!
Another project that we (well, Richard, really) tackled this weekend was adding flower boxes to the brick entryway (fancy, huh?) of our driveway. I didn't know this was a project that we had in mind, but Richard informed me of it on Saturday. 

Also, for chronology's sake: on Sunday we enjoyed the Memorial Day weekend and spent the day at the Rappahannock River with my aunt and family friends. And, via Skype since he's serving in Japan, we thanked a current member of the US Navy for his service. 

And now it's Monday. We had no real plans for today since I didn't know that I was off of work until yesterday evening. Over breakfast we talked about maybe knocking out a few projects. And have we. 

Painted and cut to size -- the boards for the hallway!

Richard purchased all of the materials needed for the flower boxes and decided to also get the material for the board and batten hallway that we've been planning. While he was gone, I painted the hallway and all of the door areas in the nook close to the garage. We had been planning to extend the use of Stonington Gray (Benjamin Moore) all the way through since we used it in the living room and the kitchen, so I used the paint that we already had. 

I had some trouble cutting in close to the ceiling and was frustrated, and then I looked outside to see Lola chewing on the seat of Richard's kayak. She had shredded a good part of it. That dog. I had some harsh words for her and dragged her cowering butt inside where she promptly stepped on the paint can lid and tracked paint ALL over the downstairs as she ran from me while I got progressively angrier. 

I cleaned all of that up, and we do still own a dog. 

When Richard got back, he took over the cutting in and I tackled the roller. Much quicker. We got the first coat done and both went on to other projects -- Richard to the flower boxes and me to some memory boxes for our trip. 

While he was finishing the flower boxes, I painted the second coat of gray on most of the walls of the hallway and nook as well as the lower 3/4 of the hallway wall white for the board and batten. And Richard has just now finished the second coat of white and the actual placement and nailing of the boards. 

Isn't he the most, to say the least?

The finished product! 

And here are the photos of Richard's outside handy work on the flower boxes. 

The sloped flower boxes that Richard built to fit the top of the brick entryway pieces. 

The wood texture of the plastic
During the spray painting process -- we have a very sophisticated way of elevating the piece to be painted.