Showing posts with label Fix It. Show all posts

About a Door

About a door that only took us a whole entire week to hang.  Lemme explain.

Outside on our back patio we have a small closet of sorts that houses our water heater.  Right?  A closet outside for the water heater?  I thought it was weird too when we saw it but it turns out it's actually pretty common down here in the deep south.  The door on that closet was in major need of repair or replacing though - the bottom part of it was all rotted from the elements and since we moved in, a couple of the slats had fallen out.

Not the prettiest sight.

Not even with our outdoor furniture and a quick power wash helping to disguise its falling-apart state.

It's never been a priority to replace it but when we were painting this part of the exterior trim a couple of weeks ago, we decided to just remove and replace the door with a new one.  Neither of us felt like painting a crumbling old door was a good use of paint.  We had braced ourselves to spend at least $150 on a new door to match the old but then, guess what happened?

Depending on how well you know us, you might have guessed it.

Green With En-…Paint

I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled the past several months for some chunky new/old lamps at our local thrift stores to replace the tall, thin ones we have in our master bedroom. 
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So many times I’ve found only one really cool lamp without a matching partner but a few weeks ago I lucked out and found these heavy, vintage glass lamps:
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They were nice and dirty and in need of some tlc…just like I like ‘em.

Here’s what they look like today:
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After taking apart and refurbing these lamps in the girls’ nursery, I knew a little of the how-to’s of wiring and taking apart/putting together lamps.  It’s really not hard at all and so worth it if you find a sweet pair for cheap and in need of some paint or just new wiring.

Here’s how to do it.  One lamp at a time; slow and steady does it.  Turn the lamp over so you can see the base.  You should see the end of the threaded rod and a nut holding everything in place.
glasslamps 002 

Unscrew the nut from the rod, which allows you to pull apart the lamp piece by piece.  Be extra careful if you’re working with a glass lamp with lots of pieces like me.  You’ll want to make sure the lamp is on it’s side and slowly start sliding each part down the rod just enough to loosen the whole thing up and get enough extra wiring at the top to remove the wiring from the light bulb base.
  glasslamps 003

See what I mean by loosening everything up?
  glasslamps 006

You won’t be able to remove all the pieces individually until you remove the wiring at the top of the lamp, which looks like this after you simply pull off the little top cover (sorry, no technical terms from the non-electrician over here).glasslamps 004
Depending on how old or new your lamp is, this top part might look a little different.  Some you simply unscrew and some you might have to remove a screw to separate.  Mine simply pulled off.

Next you’ll want to remove your wiring.  There should be two wires to remove (at least in the lamps I’ve messed with there were two) and those wires will be wrapped around two screws.  Unscrew the screws which then loosens the wire and pull off the wire.
glasslamps 005glasslamps 007

The light bulb casing will now be on it’s own and your wiring might be tied underneath it like this:glasslamps 008
Untie it and now you can completely disassemble your lamp, piece by piece.

VERY IMPORTANT:  Make sure that when you’re taking all the pieces off that you either take lots of pictures showing how they go back on to use as a reference later or take them off and line them up as you’re going and snap a shot.  Unless you’re a master lamp maker, it’ll be hard to remember where each little piece goes!  I lined all the pieces up and took a couple of pictures:

Now we get to the fun part.  Painting.  :)

The metal pieces of my lamps were peeling and discolored so at first I decided I’d spray paint them gold.  So I did:glasslamps44

And then I changed my mind and spray painted them silver instead…fickle me.glasslamps2 (2) 

And then after I put the lamps back together I regretted the silver and wished I’d have kept them gold…fickle fickle me.

Whatever.  Moving on.

I’ve had plans to inject some more color into our bedroom for some time now and thought the lamps would be a good place to start.  So, the girls and I made a little trip to Michael’s to grab some acrylic paint and came home with this color: glasslamps2 (3)
A minty green called Spearmint.  (Side note:  Is it just me or do you go into a craft/home improvement store on a mission to get paint knowing exactly what color you want, only when you get to the paint aisle you stand there dumbfounded because you thought you knew what you wanted but then you see the other shades of the color you thought you wanted and all the other colors and the other shades of every other color and all of a sudden you just don’t know what you want so you stand there looking like you got hit by a truck until you finally just grab a color hoping you won’t regret your decision (or you just leave thinking you’ll sleep on it another four nights)????  Whew, take a breather Sheena.  Well, that’s me every. single. time.  Fabric decisions and paint decisions.  My life be like rough.)

So anyway, I got my paint and a little craft paintbrush and painted the inside of each glass piece (after washing them out nice and good-like).
glasslamps2 (1)I gave each piece one coat and I know it looks a little streaky but the streakiness doesn’t show once the lamp is put together because no light illuminates through the glass, only from the top down…comprehendo?

After the paint was dry I referenced the picture I took of all the lamp pieces lined up in a row and put the lamps back together, starting with the bottom-most piece and working my way to the top.  If you’re working with painted glass pieces like me, be extra careful about scratching the paint.  It will scratch off if scratched (one reason I wouldn’t recommend using acrylic paint on glass if you’re painting parts that will be touched once you’re finished).  On the plus side though, if you change your mind about the color 10 months down the road, all you have to do is scrub and repaint.  :)

Here’s an “unofficial” after picture showing the fabric for the pillows…
and the Tums I rely so heavily on every night set on a cluttered night stand.  Plans include painting those nightstands (white?), adding some legs to raise them to bed level, and adding mirrors.  :)  I can’t wait.  Other plans include building an upholstered headboard, hanging some much needed art around the place, and convincing Anthony we need some matching faux sheepskin rugs on each side of the bed.  Then there’s always other ideas like hanging some faux roman shades under the curtains, maybe building a bench for the foot of the bed, yadda yadda yadda.  All of this with three kids in tow.  Should be done circa 2020. Am I asking too much if I say “stay tuned”?  :)

Back to the project at hand though, here’s a budget break down:
Lamps:  $12 ($6 each)
Shades:  free (stolen from the guest bedroom whose lamps now sport some clearanced shades I found months ago)
Paint:  37 cents (from Michael’s and purchased with a 50% off coupon…because $.37 saved is $.37 earned people)
Spray Paint:  already had (but purchased at Walmart for around $4 a can)
Total Cost:  $12.37

What do you think?  Isn’t the pattern on the glass the coolest?  That’s what had me at hello…and cha-ching.
    glasslamps 013

Funny, not-related story:  As I was eyeing these lamps in the thrift store, an older gentleman eyeing some other second-hand item next to me looked over and with a serious face and twinkle in his eye said “You’d better pay for that basketball before you leave Miss.”  (He was talking about the baby bump in case that one flew you by.)  Usually I’m not one for comments on the belly (“Any day now, huh?”, “Looks like someone had too much to eat!”…), but that was cute, I had to admit.  :)

Anywho, let me know if you have any questions or if I can explain anything better.  I know the thought of taking apart a lamp can be intimidating but trust me, you can do it too! 

Have a good Tuesday all you people!

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P.S.  If you already have your Christmas decor out and lit, you’re ages ahead of me…which I assume since Christmas is umpteen days away, you do.  I was all excited to get ours out but the past few days have left me wondering if, on January 13th (the day Christmas officially ends, fyi) my future self will hate my past self for putting it all up so that I can take it all down while recovering from labor, nursing/caring for/changing/being attached to a newborn AND painfully chasing the twins.  Is it worth it?  Is singing Happy Birthday to Jesus enough for this year?  I’m leaning toward yes…

Drilling & Filling

I’m sorry if the title of this story has you hearkening back (or forward) to the treacherous scenes of a dentist’s office but I assure you, I’m not going there.  I (with a knock on the table at which I’m perched) have never had a cavity so I’ve avoided that which I’ve heard such bad tales of thus far.  To go the rest of my life without saying so is I’m sure arrogant…Lord help me on the day my teeth meet that sort of metal.

Anyway, I digress.  The desk.  It belonged to Anthony in college.  He purchased it at a local thrift store for 10 beans and now it’s traveled the country with us.  It’s an antique and was missing one handle, sporting a rope strung in it’s place.  Well, way back when I primed the thing, I scored some super cool knobs and handles for it on super clearance at Target.  The only problem was that the new handles were shorter than the original handles which meant I had to drill new holes.  After feeling gutsy one afternoon and too impatient to wait on Anthony, I decided to break out the drill and do it myself.

I’m sure there’s a much better and smarter way to do this butttt…first I measured and made marks where the holes needed to be drilled.  Then I grabbed a drill bit that fit through the existing holes since the new screws fit in them just peachily.  Next, holding the drill as vertically straight as I could, I drilled myself four new holes.

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(Old holes on the outside, new on the inside…in case you’re a curious feline.)

Next step was to fill the holes.  First I placed a piece of tape on the backs of the holes, inside the drawer, to hold in my filler.  Then, using some paintable wood filler, I simply pressed it into each hole until they were over-filled.  After waiting a few hours for them to dry, I took a fine-grit sanding block and sanded over them until they were smooth.  If for some reason you need to fill more, you’d have to repeat this process  - over-fill and sand.  

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Here’s the wood filler I used:
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I got it at Wal-Mart awhile ago and my only complaint is that the filler in the nozzle dried so that I couldn’t squeeze anymore out.  So, I had to cut off the end of the tube and now tape it shut when I’m done.  It’s seemed to keep well so far.

This next step is optional but since wood filler tends to dry a little less smooth (however it’s not very noticeable except to these perfectionist eyes) due to the fibers in it, I sanded a little more and filled in the very tippity top of my holes with some spackle.  I also used the spackle to fill in a few dents in the face of the drawer.
 holes 001

The last thing I did was swipe some primer over the areas I filled before I got to painting.   holesf

A couple of things: 1) if you’re planning on staining something you’ve filled in holes on, you wouldn’t be able to get things ultra-smooth with spackle…I don’t thing it takes stain well (not sure on that though) and 2) also if you’re planning on staining vs. painting, make sure you use stainable wood filler.  Your holes/dents/cracks should blend right in.

And that’s that.  I’ll have the finished desk up next week (with just maybe a sneak peak on Instagram…check the sidebar over there ---->
or follow @beaninlove). 

Have a great weekend all you folks out there!

(Very) Amateur Electrician

Among the many hats I’ve topped off with has been a little title called “Electrician”, only recently though as I’ve taken to fixing/restoring a couple of lamps:1

I found these two at a local Goodwill about a year ago for $6 each, just waiting for someone to come fix their sad state of paint peelage:2

The only problem was that the paint was inside the glass bases and never have I ever messed with electrical stuff but where there’s a will there’s a way and I wanted two sleek, glass lamps so two sleek, glass lamps I was going to try to get.

So first I googled “How to fix a lamp” and came up with some helpful websites (of which I can’t remember to clue you in on in case you’re as crazy as me) and I came out with the basic gist of how a lamp was put together.  So, with my limited, newly found knowledge, I got to work.

My initial strategy was to take a picture of every single piece as it came off showing where it went so that I’d have a detailed reference to look back when putting the lamp back together.  The first lamp was a little bit of a learning experience and much more of a complicated process (due to my lack of know-how) than the second.   Long story short, I mistakenly removed the electrical wire from the long, metal tube and it involved much frustration and eventually Anthony, lots of olive oil, a wire hanger, and a mess to get it back inside. 


Once I got the glass base free, I scrubbed the paint out of the inside and referred back to my pictures to put the lamp back together (after the whole wire-in-the-tube-with-olive-oil-and-Anthony thing).5

One lamp down, one to go. 

I’m not sure if it was the frustration with the first lamp, pregnancy, or just getting plain side-tracked, but several months and a set of twins later, I finally got to the second lamp.  This time Smarty put on her pants and kept the wire and tubing intact.  Also to make things easier I nixed the camera idea and laid out each piece in consecutive order as I removed it: 4

Glass base off and scrubbed out, lamp put back together and now we’ve got two of these chillin’ in the still-unfinished-but-getting-there nursery:  7

The shades are another story for another day this week!  Hope to see you then!

Have a great weekend!

Battle of the Rust

I did it!  I conquered the rust spot on our side, exterior door!  Well, as it goes with rust, time will tell if I really got rid of the problem permanently but for the past week we've seen no signs of intruding rust. 
This is what I started with:
(Sorry for the bad pictures...the door really is white, but I forgot to white balance the camera before I took them.) 
It was a just a little bitty spot but every time we walked in that door it drove us nuts as it was right at eye level.  Plus, we want to sell a 'perfect' house so it's away with any and all, bye, bye rusty. 

This was my plan of attack:
First I did some online research on how to remove rust on metal doors.  The best remedy I found ( said to sand down the spot, clean it with rust cleaner, and paint over it with oil-based paint or primer (as water-based may just irritate it more - hence why it's probably bad in the first place because that's what we used to paint over it last year.) 

So off to Lowe's I went to pick up these:

Then I went to work.
First, I sanded and let me tell you, it was an arm work-out.  The spot had some bubbling so I sanded down until it was smooth and then sanded more until all of the rust was gone.  This is after sanding:
Next I cleaned the spot with full strength CLR...but forgot to take an 'after cleaned' picture.  But, since I had sanded all the rust off, it really didn't look that different cleaned.

Out came the oil-based primer and on went four coats of it over the course of the next three days.  Spacing it over three days was to ensure each coat was completely dry.  I painted four coats because I wanted to make sure that baby was completely covered and protected.
After each coat I lightly sanded the area with a less coarse sanding block to make sure I wouldn't have any paint lines since I was putting on so many coats.  Then I waited...and waited...and waited.  A week went by and no rust had reared it's head from under my oil-based shield so I went ahead and painted over the entire area for the flawless look I/we had been waiting for.

And there you have it!  No more rust!

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Now that that's taken care of, spring cleaning in our laundry room has come to a close and I'm moving on to the kitchen...even though at the rate I'm going it'll soon be summer cleaning.  :)