Archive | May, 2012

Chair super score

31 May

Got these chairs for 9.99 each at the Sal Army Memorial Day weekend (between stoop painting and a trip to NYC, you know how it goes).

And am now thinking a dusty lavender for the living room walls. The chairs are tufted, light blue velvet (low pile) with dense but sink-in-to-able down cushions. So luxurious. So well made! A little dingy, but that will soon be fixed. Oo la la — I love these chairs!


28 May

Here’s my new true blue stoop!

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It took one weekend to fill the cracks and put on two coats of Drylok oil-based masonry paint with portland cement. This stuff was heaaaavy on the brush (due to the cement, natch) and stunk to high heaven, but it’s promised to keep things dry over there. Fingers crossed.

It took another weekend (this one, Memorial Day weekend) to paint the doors and the stoop. It might have gone faster if I hadn’t stopped to chat with everybody and their brother (and their dogs) that stopped by. As one friend said, “you’re never alone when you’re painting your stoop.” True dat. I love chatting so I had a great time shooting the breeze with everyone.

Total cost: $215 (plus 16 32 [math is hard!] hours of my labor)  

  • 2 gallons Drylok oil-based with cement: $60 (have a smidgen left over)
  • miscellaneous foam, caulk, patch stuff: $15 (have a lot left over)
  • one brush: $10 (will last a few more years at least)
  • 2 gallons Behr exterior paint/primer combo: $60
  • 4 quarts Behr exterior paint/primer combo: $70

Paint colors: Martha Stewart’s Azurite (main darker blue), Darkening Sky (lighter blue on trim) and Tailor’s Chalk (to be seen on canopy)

I LOVE the way it came out. It REALLY stands out from the others (now I can just say, come to the blue door to my guests). Nearly everyone who passed by said how great they thought it looked. Not everyone, but nearly everyone. 🙂

The danger of fixing one thing up…

22 May

… is that all the other stuff around it looks shabby.

I’m finding my living room sort of dark and gloomy now that the adjoining dining room is bright and carpeted. So I’m thinking of re-arranging some existing furniture (heavy lifting anyone?) and painting the walls a light blush color. I’m eyeballing Martha Stewart’s “Nasturtium Pink” which looks (from the 1 cm square sample in her color book) to be a dusky pink with just a bit of orange. I wonder what painting over the dark red walls will do to it? Undoubtedly it will require a gazillion coats.

Here are some images of the color: (the office, not the dining room)


Stoop prep

20 May

I’ve finally started on the stoop. Here’s some stoop-n-me history: One day back in 2004, I was sitting on my stoop. I noticed a piece of paint flaking off, so I picked at it. I saw that the stoop seemed to be a nice solid stone underneath. I thought I’d scrape all the paint off and leave it bare stone. This was the first of many poor decisions.

I became obsessed with removing the paint from the stoop. I used scrapers, razor blades, and a power washer. I spent MONTHS trying to get it bare. NB: This was in the era when I had all my photos on my now-dead laptop, so no extant pictures of this long and pointless process.

Anyway, I finally got it all off and realized the “stone” was sandstone (fancy concrete, but made of sand) and was in really bad shape, plus my baring it had made it more exposed and more damaged. Sigh.

So I hired a guy to paint it over. I asked him to use some special masonry paint or something. “Yeah, yeah” he said, “absolutely.” It started peeling in two years. So it has looked like crap for quite some time, and I’m finally doing something about it. You can’t rush into these things.

So yesterday, I did my best to seal the large gaping cavernous cracks — I got some foam stuff for just that purpose, and then covered it with masonry silicone caulk. Then (after waiting 3 hours for caulk to set) I gave it all a coat of Drylok Masonry Waterproofing Paint (oil-based) in grey. This stuff SMELLS HORRIBLE, but is supposed to really waterproof. It has Portland cement mixed in, and so far, it looks pretty solid. I have to wait 12 hours to re-coat with it, and then (next weekend) I’m going to go over it with masonry paint. So let’s see what happens.

Window Boxes

20 May

The winter of 2010-2011 was the worst one we’d had around here in a looooong time. When the snow finally melted, I was seized by the need for flowers and went nuts looking for flower boxes that would work in my front windows. I finally settled on some open metal basket types with that coconut husk thing that goes inside (thinking they’d be light weight and would match the overall black metal situation). I had no way to install them properly and jerry-rigged something crazy with wires and brackets hanging out of the storm windows. I thought they were lovely and definitely gudenov, but the neighbors across the street had other ideas. “Crooked.” “Do you want me to straighten those out for you?” “Those are going to fall.” “And they’re crooked.” Whatevs.

So this year I decided to reinstall them more securely (last year’s method was in danger of popping out the storm windows). I got some big eyes (from hook and eyes) and carefully (ha ha ha) installed them in the wooden frame. put some black metal link chain on s-hooks and roped it around. The screens don’t close all the way, but they’re much safer and I don’t have all that wire everywhere. I left them a little crooked anyway. 🙂

Thinking of a living room change….

17 May

So now that the dining room looks so great…. I’m thinking of changing the wall color in the living room. A light teal? WHITE even — eek! with white arm chairs and a golden rug. Or blush pink…. It’s the old one improvement begets another syndrome.

Dining room carpet installed — love it!

13 May

The dining room carpet was installed yesterday. I LOOOOOOOVE it!

It’s really soft and feels great under my bare feet, and it looks great. Ahhh…..what a relief to have a nice floor in there!

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