Wednesday, July 9, 2014

One of my latest projects

I've been absent a lot lately because I've been doing too much as usual.  It would have been nice to tackle one thing at a time, but timing is everything.  So the painters finished painting the house, but other than the outside framing, they didn't paint the porch.  They also didn't put up new screens.  So M and I put up new screens.  I will trim them out at the end of summer, it's just too hot and humid to be on a ladder doing manual labor.  That said, I did have a few days of decent weather, during which I sanded and painted the porch.  It didn't make sense to put all the furniture and do-dads back on, only to pull them back off to paint it.  

One of the issues I've had with the porch is keeping it clean of dust, pollen, and food (we eat out there quite a bit).  In particular, the rug we had under the table would catch everything in it's weave.  It was also impossible to slide chairs in and away from the table without snagging the rug.  It would be so much easier if there was just one surface and I could hose it down when needed.  So I decided to paint a rug on the porch.  Here are the steps:  

1.  Scrap and sand the floor to prep it for primer.

2.  Then I painted the whole floor white.  White is not a good color for a porch, you will see all the dirt, but any others color would be hot underfoot because we cut down the trees along the side of the house so now our porch gets lots of sun in morning and evening.  Also if you paint the floor, besides dirt, chairs will scrape the paint off.  I decided to polyurethane the floor when I was done to give it a hard finish that could be hosed off.  

3.  Next I had to measure and tape off the size rug that I wanted.  I had to decide whether the rug would be centered on the floor or centered with the screened wall.  I centered it on the floor.  

4.  I had to think about what would be painted white and what would be the yellowish green once I removed the tape.  

5.  Now for the paint.  I put on three coats.  The paint looks yellow in the sunlight and lime green at night.  

6.  Next I removed the tape and thought about what sort of pattern I wanted.  After much thought and research, I decided on the quickest route to completion, stencils.  

7.  I chose a simple border at each end and a larger center medallion.  The quickest way to find the center of a rectangle is string.

8.  I had to create the center medallion by combining three different stencils.

9.  I also painted a runner rug from the screen door to the front door with a smaller center medallion.

10.  Everything was going so well, just as planned . . . Yeah, that couldn't last.  I chose a clear polyurethane that was supposed to dry clear.

It didn't.  It looks like I dumped weak coffee water all over the floor.  The only way to fix that would be to sand the whole floor and start all over.  I don't have time for that.  M says it looks like I antiqued the floor and that it won't be so noticeable once all the furniture is on the porch.  Oh well, no time for regrets, have to move on to the next project.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Slow process

Work continues on the house.  We've put new screens back up on the front porch.  We're waiting for estimates on the trim moulding for the porch.  We're also waiting on an estimate to take down another tree and grind a half dozen stumps.  Once we know how much we're in for with the tree guy, then we will know when we can afford to have another guy install new windows in the basement.  

In the mean time I've been looking at metal artwork to go on the front of the house on the second floor between the two windows.  We really like it when we have the wreath up there during the Christmas holiday season and decided we wanted something there the rest of the year as well.  After looking at hundreds of pieces and trying to agree on the same thing, we decided to put a compass rose up there.  Here's the one we plan to use.  It will be black and almost as large as the wreath.

I've also been looking at black window flower boxes for the side of the house because it's all blue with white trim and there are no shutters on that side.  While at a yard sale last Saturday I stumbled upon 3 tiny flower boxes that will fit perfectly on the tiny window on the side of the chimney, and it's twin on the other side of the house.  Here are the boxes I have so far.

Because I can't have any down time (I'm incapable of sitting still) I'm also cleaning out my son's room to make it habitable for family visiting next week.  I've picked 15 pounds of blueberries and frozen them, and now I'm in the process of painting rugs on the front porch.  I will do a separate post on that, here are pictures to give you an idea of what painted rugs look like.  

Last full day in Europe

Ahh, all good things must come to an end.  Our European vacation is drawing to a close.  We leave Nice this morning to drive back to Barcelo...