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How to Paint a Mailbox

Posted by on May 27th, 2013

Hope everyone had a happy and safe Memorial Day!  Thanks always to those who gave their lives in defense of the freedoms we hold dear.

This past weekend we had a small family get together for our daughter’s Christening.  Good times.  We also managed to squeeze in some gardening and DIYing, of course.  As much as I am a fan of outdoor projects, they beat me up.  Outdoor work is HARD!  If it’s not the heat, it’s the 400 lb wheelbarrow or the shoveling or the lifting.  Killer.  We decided to tackler a project that’s we’ve been dying to get to for some time now.  Here’s the inspiration pin we’ve been staring at…

mailbox flowers

(via Greengardenista)

We’re going to break this project up into a couple posts, although you’ll get a sneak peak of both in this one.  We’ll start with the painting the mailbox.  Although the pin doesn’t have a painted mailbox, we wanted to gloss ours up a bit.

Here’s how to paint a mailbox..

We’ll start with what our mailbox looked like before we started.

mailbox before 2

mailbox before

Nothing special here.  The mailbox and post are PVC and were installed by the builder.  We haven’t touched it since we moved in.  Recently it’s been covered in bird crap and has started to develop some cracking in it.  Now, we checked some new ones out at Lowes and there is a black version of this exact same mailbox for around $11.  Great deal, right?  Well, the low priced black mailbox isn’t as glossy as we were looking for, it was more of a matte finish and the glossy ones were metal and started at around $30 (a couple were $60).  We already had a can of gloss black spray paint, so we only had to spend around $3 for a can of primer.  Good deal.

After thoroughly cleaning the mailbox with some dish soap and water while it was still attached to the post, we removed it to paint it.   It was attached to the mounting bracket with four screws.

plastic mailbox

We also snapped off the front cover and the red flag.  It was much easier to paint them without them attached.

We primed the pieces in the garage over some cheap plastic tarp.  Here’s a tip: to avoid the mailbox (or whatever else you’re spraying) from sticking to the tarp, move the part in between sprays that way the paint won’t build up in one spot on the tarp.

painting mailbox

After two coats of grey primer and two coats of gloss black, we re-installed it onto the post.  The grey primer was perfect since we were going from a white to a dark color like black.

Here’s how it looks now.. you can see the flower bed as well, although we’re still working on that.

painted mailbox flower bed

black mailbox

If I knew it was going to be that easy, I would’ve done this much sooner.  It also helped that we worked on it during a holiday, so there was no mail delivery to deal with.  We still have to add a couple more plants, put in some weed screen and then mulch it.

What did you do this weekend?

Posted in DIY Projects,Outdoors and Landscaping,Staining and Painting. Tagged in ,, ,

Toddler Bedroom Decor Ideas

Posted by on January 14th, 2013

Hey guys!  Slacked off the last couple days.  Busier than average weekend with little project progress to show for it.  Saturday we pretty much just hung out and did some necessary, yet un-blog-worthy cleaning.  Anyone want to see a post on cleaning out a fridge?  No?  I didn’t think so.  Sunday we headed up to NEPA to have a memorial mass and lunch in honor of my father’s passing.  He’s been gone for five years now, which is completely crazy.  Eventually I’d like to throw in some more personal posts, especially one about him.  Funniest guy I ever met and missed very much.  It’s tough making time for that kind of a tribute though.  I’d want to do it properly and not just throw something together.  Maybe later this year.

So now for something less depressing or still somewhat depressing depending upon how you look at it.  Our daughter is nearly two.  She’s growing up quick.  Over the past several weeks it’s becoming more clear that maybe she could do with a bedroom change.  We’ve transitioned her crib to a toddler bed and it’s nice, but it’s not ideal.  When we painted and decorated the room, we didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl, so we kept the nursery neutral.  We’d really like to get her into a room more suited to a little girl.  Plus, if we get her a twin bed, we can keep her company until she falls asleep if she wakes us up crying or is reluctant to goto bed.  It’s tough to do that with a toddler bed.  Thus, some of the urgency.

We’re still working on the sitting room… in that we’re waiting for the electrical permit to be approved and we’ve been batting ideas back and forth.  As far as the new bedroom for our daughter goes, there are a few things we’ve already decided.  We’re going with a white Hemnes twin bed from Ikea… and that’s about it.  We already have a small dresser from our guest room that we bought when we got married and we also just picked up a small round Hemnes nightstand.  I don’t have any room pictures for you yet, it’s actually her playroom at the moment, but I do have some pics from our Pinterest account we can show you that illustrate some ideas we’re considering.

greige and hemnes bed

(via Pinterest)

The paint:  The whole room decor is Lisa’s call.  As far as room color is concerned, she still wants to keep it neutral, but introduce a lot more girly features that really wouldn’t work in the nursery without a whole reboot.  We’ve talked about a soft pink paint, but we both really like a greyish beige (greige?) like the photo above.

(via Houzz.com)
board and batten
(via Design, Dining + Diapers)

The walls:  Who wants wainscoting in this room?  This guy.  Right now, this is the big decision for this room.  Do we or don’t we.  I’m not interested in spending 3 months on this room like we did the dining room, but I think I can pull something off in here relatively quick and much simpler.  Lisa is not in favor of a bead board, but maybe a board and batten look.  Board and batten tends to be very tall, 48″ or higher generally.  I’m thinking something shorter since the room is for a little girl.  Another option is the board and batten with the bead board as the panel.  None of them should take very long, fingers crossed.

built-ins

(via ArtisticDesignforLiving)

pink toddler bedroom

(via bhg)

Built-ins:  Ideally, we’d love to give this room some custom built-in shelves for all her books and displayable toys.  The room has a nice double window that would look great with a cushioned seat under it.  We’re a bit hesitant to add that feature until she’s old enough to truly understand gravity.  Still, shelves on either side of the window would look awesome!

What do you think?  What would you do?  Do you go with the pink paint tones?  Do you like a simple wainscoting idea?  What are you up to?

Posted in Home Decor. Tagged in ,, , ,

Our Hall Bathroom Painted

Posted by on November 25th, 2012

Hey everybody! Hope all of our American friends safely and joyfully slept off their turkey induced comas. Lisa and I had a great holiday with our family. Thursday we drove up to Northeast PA and had dinner at my mom’s house. Driving for two hours back home after eating turkey can be dangerous, but luckily we made it back safe and sound. Friday was shopping and turkey round two with Lisa’s family.

A couple weeks ago, we finally got around to painting our upstairs hall bathroom. It’s been plain builder grade white since we moved in over two years ago. Since its our hall bath upstairs, it’s reserved for our daughter and the occasional overnight guests.

Here’s a shot of the bathroom before we moved in.

hall bath

Actually, a while ago, we showed the bathroom as a sneak peak in our 5 Tips for New Home Builders. When we built, we opted to skip the large builder grade mirror and instead asked the builder not to install anything at all. They were totally fine with that idea. After all, it was less work for them. We installed a couple Ikea Kolja mirrors instead for a more personalized look.

hall bathroom before

You can see that greenish shower curtain we added after we moved in. In keeping with that scheme, we picked Sherwin Williams Tidewater for the wall color. Lisa originally wanted a neutral bathroom, but once she found that shower curtain a few years ago she changed her mind.

hall bathroom being painted 2

hall bathroom being painted

The light bulbs in these shots distort the look of the room a little bit. We had CFLs in the vanity light, but switched to a clear filament bulbs for most of the after pictures. It’s a much whiter light.

hall bathroom after

painted bathroom tidewater sherwin williams

painted bathroom tidewater

We’re very happy with the color! Even though the room is still builder grade, the paint plays well with the white vanity and tile. If we never do another upgrade in this room, I’ll be fine with it. I’ve been asking Lisa to think of some crafts or artwork to dress the room up (100% her department). We do need to add a little more character me thinks.

How was your Thanksgiving break? Get any projects done?

Posted in Home Decor,House Tour,Staining and Painting. Tagged in ,, , ,

Garage Shoe Organizer Finished

Posted by on November 12th, 2012

***UPDATE:  The woodworking plans for this Shoe Organizer have just been uploaded to our Plans page.  To get access, just subscribe to our free newsletter using the sign-up form in the sidebar or following this post.  Immediately after you subscribe, you’ll get an email with a link to the Plans page.***

Hope you all enjoyed your Veteran’s Day, especially if you were home from work like I was!  Big thanks to all those who served and those that continue to serve today.  With the extra free time this weekend, I was finally able to get the garage shoe organizer finished!  Jackpot.

After finishing up the build portion of the project, I brought the piece up to the garage for painting.  The plan was to spray on a couple coats of white primer and then follow that up with a couple coats of black gloss.  Those plans changed once I started spraying the primer.

garage shoe organizer

shoe organizer primed

I had a hard time getting good coverage in between those shelf areas.  It took some contorting.  It also took a lot of primer.  I went through 3 cans!  I couldn’t believe it needed that much.  So instead of repeating this process with the black gloss, I just opted for a small roller and a brush.  I’m kinda picky when it comes to painting.  Spray paint is almost always my first choice.  You get a nice even coat that looks professional.  Using a roller and a brush is nice, but it can leave brush marks and it never goes on as smooth.

But, you know what?  This piece is plywood and it’s going to be holding our shoes in the garage.  It’s not going to be in the Guggenheim.  I can roll the darn thing.

DIY shoe rack

You know what?  It didn’t come out too bad.  The roller and brush method worked just fine.  To install the shelves to the wall, I used toggle bolts for the top two holes and regular screws for the bottom set.  The bottom brace on the shelf coincided with some lumber in the wall.

The toggle bolts are great for holding heavier objects to drywall.  I trust them over molly bolts any day.  To use them, I just drilled two holes in the top plate with a drill bit just a touch bigger than the diameter of the bolts.

To recess the bolt a touch, I then used a bigger drill bit and only drilled the hole halfway through the wood.  Unfortunately, the plywood tore out some.  You can eliminate this tear out by either using tape over the hole or starting the drill before you engage the bit with the wood.  No big deal though.  I can touch up the paint or just cover the holes.  If I were using regular hardwood and not plywood, I wouldn’t expect this type of damage from drilling.  But, with plywood, those laminate layers can tear occasionally.  Oh well.  Lesson learned.

The toggle bolts are a two piece system.  You actually need to setup the bolt onto the piece you’re fastening before you insert anything into the wall.

The other catch with toggle bolts is they need a large hole drilled into the drywall.  These required a 5/8″ size hole.  That’s pretty sizable.  The biggest bit I have in that range is 1/2″.  To get to 5/8″, I just worked the hole a bit.  It’s easy to expand drywall.

Once the bolts are inserted into the wall though, they grab pretty good.  As long as no one really puts any major weight on this shelf, they should hold nicely.

close up of shoe rack

I like it.  More importantly, Lisa likes it.  It works pretty well too.  We put enough shelves in there just in case they start piling up out there.

shoe organizer done

So now more piles of shoes all over these steps.  Makes going in and out a little less of a hassle.

If you can’t tell from some of those photos, the garage overall still needs a good amount of cleaning up.  Trying to make some time to get to that, but it’s not easy.  It tends to be somewhat weather dependent too.

shoe-rack

Planning on any projects in your garage?  How do you keep your shoes organized?

Posted in Carpentry,Garage and Tools,Staining and Painting. Tagged in ,, , , , ,

Our Simple Fall Decor

Posted by on September 25th, 2012

Hey everybody!  Hope you’re enjoying the cool Fall weather we’ve been having recently.  It really puts me in the mood to decorate for Fall and buy more pumpkins!… and apple cider donuts!!  This year we’re keeping our home’s fall themed decor simple by reusing some of the decorations we had up last year and adding a couple small yet festive new ones.

Our front door is finally finished.  John just painted the sidelights to match the front door.  If you recall, they were still somewhat blue-er than the gray door.  The door was originally this gray color, but we attempted to paint the sidelights and the door a year ago and didn’t get the color right.  Here’s the before, with the door painted the right gray color but the wrong sidelight color…

Here’s the door now, complete with a very cool blue pumpkin…  If you don’t notice the color difference in the sidelights from the before and after, it’s okay, it’s pretty subtle.

We also picked up some burnt orangey mums.

On the inside of the house, we added a burlap wreath.  We made the wreath ourselves from some basic craft supplies.

Our mantel looks nearly identical from last year, with the pumpkin banner and all my little pumpkins I’ve been picking up.

I also like to add some fall theme ribbon to my normal home decor to dress it up a little.  See those orange ribbons around the candles?  There are more than a few of those around here.

Like on my fleur de lis candles…

and our dining room lights…

We also have a couple simple items for our kitchen table.

That’s what’s in our home at the moment.  I’ll admit it, I had these decorations ready to go the day after Labor Day!    I’m sure I’ll be adding a few more pumpkins here and there!  Fall is the best!  We’re looking forward to visiting a pumpkin patch with the baby soon!

Enjoy your decorating!!  Looking forward to seeing everyone’s decor.

Posted in Fall,Home Decor,Staining and Painting. Tagged in ,, , , , , , , ,