The Painted Chairs – a Second Chance Makeover

a second chance - painted chairs

Painting chairs - a second chance makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

My search for some small chairs for the kitchen table area is finally over!  The chairs I had before blocked the view from my kitchen to the family room and vice-versa, their backs were too high and overall they were too big for that small space.

kitchen area before RLC

I’d seen some pretty, small and colorful chairs from the catalog magazines I receive, but their prices weren’t that pretty. Almost $150 per chair!  Craiglist was my searching place, it almost took me a year but I found them, $5 each!

Painting chairs - a second chance makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

Their condition was good, no squeaky sounds, loosened parts or missing screws. Their appearance was on the drab side, they looked better in these pictures than they did in real live.  At some point they had been re-stained but the job was poorly done because they felt bumpy.

Painting chairs - a second chance makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

I knew they deserved a second chance! And I knew just how to do that.

Painting chairs - a second chance makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials: [Read more...]

Kitchen Floors {How I Decided to Use Cork Tiles}

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One of the biggest decisions I had to make on our kitchen renovation was what flooring to install. We have always had linoleum flooring and I was happy with it. But, when I was shopping for new linoleum I couldn’t find a pattern or flooring that I really loved. One of the things I was looking for was a flooring that had a matte finish. And I wanted it to have enough pattern that it wouldn’t show dirt easily.

Because of our water issues, I completely nixed the idea of wood flooring. Especially because we have two different colored wood floors in adjoining rooms. So, picking one color would always make the “odd floor out” feel disjointed.

I also didn’t want porcelain or stone tile flooring because I don’t like how cold it gets (which is why I installed radiant heat under our mudroom tiles.) And I didn’t want our dishes to shatter every time the boys dropped one (which happens a lot in our house.)

At one point I was considering installing groutable vinyl tiles. I loved the look and thought it would have the warmth and comfort of vinyl but the look of tile. But, then I read this article by Mike Holmes, he explained why he didn’t recommend groutable vinyl tiles. Apparently, there is a tendency for the grout to crack over time. At this point, I was really feeling stressed about flooring and was considering just picking a linoleum that I liked (but didn’t love.) Then I saw this:

globus_cork_herringbone_floor

Those are cork tiles! They have the look of wood, and the comfort of linoleum. And as a bonus, they are eco-friendly! Cork is harvested from the trees every 9 years. The tree is not cut down or harmed. The bark is simply cut off. And the tree regenerates new bark. Within 9 years that tree will be ready to be harvested again. This process can continue for hundreds of years without killing the tree. Did you know that most of the cork trees are in Portugal? And the cork forests provide habitat for many endangered species? You can learn more by watching this video:

There are many manufacturers of cork flooring. But, I was drawn to Globus Cork (and ultimately partnered with them) because of the variety of tiles they sell. Not only do they have 38 colors to choose from

Globus_cork_tile_colors

…but they can produce custom colors as well! Oh the possibilities.

They also have three textures to select from:

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As if that wasn’t enough, they also offer a variety of tile shapes and sizes!

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I browsed through some of their installed flooring photos and was instantly in love with the idea of cork flooring. I found a few kitchen examples you might find inspiring:

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For the more modern and daring homeowner, how about these:

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If you prefer classic patterns, you’ll appreciate these:

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In the process of researching flooring for the kitchen, I read through several forums online about cork floors and pets. The consensus seemed to be that if you have an animal that likes to dig and scratch, you might want to steer clear of cork flooring. We never had any problems with Buddy, so I figured we were safe.

Another concern that several people asked about was if cork floors were water resistant and stain resistant. Cork is naturally water resistant which is why they are used as wine stoppers. And the Globus Cork tiles come pre-sealed, but they sell a sealer to add a final coating after the installation.

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I was sold! I’ll share with you my Globus Cork tile installation tutorial here. If you follow me on Instagram, you got the preview ahead of time.

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Disclosure: After lots of research, I selected Globus Cork because I liked their products and their customer service.  I approached them about working with me on my kitchen renovation. They agreed to partner with me. I received complimentary products, but I was not told what to write or share. Please know that I am very selective about which companies and products I chose to work with.

 

How to Install Radiant Floor Heat using WarmlyYours

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Are you ready to get toasty today? Today is the day that I’ll be showing you how to install the WarmlyYours TempZone radiant floor heat. Can I tell you a little secret? I was terrified! I was so fearful of breaking the heating wire, that I handled this roll with kid gloves. And I yelled at ANYONE who dared step on the mats in shoes. I realize now that I may have been paranoid and overreacted a little. I was just so anxious to have warm floors that I protected our radiant floor elements like a Mama bear of her cubs.

Remember on Wednesday how I told you how I had chosen WarmlyYours radiant heating systems because of their awesome warranty? Well, I also read feedback about their customer service and it ROCKS as well! That service starts with the ordering process.  I was in contact with a representative from WarmlyYours who helped answer ALL of my questions (of which I had many.) She reviewed my room layout and suggested the TempZone Cut & Turn Rolls which is one long mesh roll with the heating element woven and evenly spaced throughout the roll. I was doubtful and wasn’t sure how the roll would fit through the doorway and “roll” around our laundry room. But, she reassured me that they would send me detailed plans for installation. And that a DIYer like myself should have no problem with the installation.

Within a week, I received my custom TempZone roll with a layout just for MY space.

Not just a standard layout, but a custom plan for my exact room dimensions and usage. I was extremely impressed to say the least, because the plan was very detailed showing the exact location of the cuts I needed to make in the mesh mat (not the wire.) Having this map saved me hours of brain-twisting planning at the least.

Before installation, I read the instruction manual in its entirety (highly recommended.) Remember, I was a little nervous and didn’t want to do anything to damage the heating mat. I even made sure I was hopped up on caffeine so I could absorb every nugget of the lesson.

Are you ready for the tutorial? It wasn’t as difficult as I anticipated and this part went fairly quickly. Let’s roll! [Read more...]

Installing Cork Underlayment for a Radiant Floor

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After you read the title, I guess the cat’s out of the bag. It’s true, I installed radiant floor heating in our mudroom/laundry room and I couldn’t be more thrilled. One of the positives of having a plumbing leak and subsequent gutted room, is being able to make changes that you otherwise wouldn’t have considered. Tile floors with radiant heating underneath was one such change we never entertained until our flooring was ripped out.

Here’s the low down on those two rooms. Our long hallway mudroom that ends in the laundry room was an addition to our home back in the 80′s. It was built on a concrete pad and the owners must have decided not to tie those two rooms into the heating and air conditioning. Consequently, in the winter, these rooms are brrrrrrr…chilly willy! (It’s true, my blood has thinned over the years from living in the south. I think I’d turn into a useless popsicle if I had to spend more than an hour in Alaska like Ana White.) The linoleum flooring that was there didn’t do much to dampen the chill. And, I knew since we were installing tiles in these areas that it would only contribute to that polar ice effect (wimpy wimpy wimpy, I know).

I decided that I wanted to try to add radiant heat in the floors. After a few nights of research, I settled on a company that makes custom configured TempZone radiant heating mats  for your home.

[Read more...]

Make Me Beautiful – The Painting Step

Today I’ll show you the painting technique I used on the chair I stripped yesterday.

Here is a list of suggested materials:
Tarp or drop cloth
Brush
Primer
Rubber gloves
Sandpaper (Fine & Medium grits)
Spray paint (optional handle adapter to prevent hand cramps and spray on your fingers)
Dust mask
White paint
Brown acrylic paint or craft paint
Rag
Polyurethane
Floor protectors (chair glides)

Because I stripped and sanded the chair down to bare wood, I needed to prime the wood so it would accept the paint. If you don’t prime bare wood, then the paint will be absorbed into the wood and won’t leave a clean all over finished look. The primer is also a base that makes the paint stick to it easier. Primer is very good at adhering to lots of surfaces, including your skin. So, be sure to wear gloves or you may look like a reverse dalmatian for a few days.

I’ve used many different primers. Sometimes I use a spray primer and sometimes a liquid primer. Did you know that primer comes in different colors? And it can be tinted? Be sure to ask the paint department next time you are drastically changing the color of a room. They might be able to tint your primer close to the color you are painting so it cuts down on the number of coats you have to use.

For this project I used Bulls Eye water based primer that you paint on. You do not need much, we only had a big bucket left over from painting some rooms in our home.

Primer dries quickly, so work fast. It isn’t necessary to make it look perfect, just get a thin coating on all the wood surfaces and be careful to wipe off any drips.

After the primer dries (I used my box fan to speed the process,) you should lightly sand the chair to remove any burrs or drips. This also gives the primer a little scuffing so that the paint has something to grip to. Don’t sand so much that you go through the primer coat.

At this point you will need to “tent” off an area where you will be working. Spray paint will get everywhere if you let it. The good news is that usually the particles will dry in the air, but they will coat everything in the vicinity and will need to be wiped off. If you can spray outside, it will be better for your lungs, but be sure your drop cloth extends at least 4 feet out in all directions from the piece you are spraying.

Now comes the fun part! Grab your paint can in the color you have painstakingly chosen. I used Valspar Pistachio Satin finish in a spray can. I used to use Rustoleum, but it seems that my local Lowe’s has eliminated most of the Rustoleum brand spray paints and replaced them with Valspar. My suspicions tell me that it might still be the same paint but branded for Lowe’s.

I use light coats of spray paint about 8-10 inches away from the surface. The trick with spray paint is to use several light coats instead of trying to cover all at once. This will insure an even finish. You also don’t want to end or stop on the piece you are spraying. I use a smooth consistent sweep across the chair and then release the trigger after my spray has left the chair. If you stop on the chair, you will either get a shiny spot or drips where the extra paint has collected. Here is a graphic to show you how to spray your paint:

I used three light coats to cover this chair. I did sand VERY lightly between coats (using a fine grit 200 grit or higher) to make sure there were no rough spots and to add something for the next coat to adhere to. I also wipe off the chair after sanding with a damp rag. Just be sure to take your time to work up to your final color. This is the point where you may stop and say that you like the final results of your painting job. If you stop now, be sure to finish your painting job off with two coats of polyurethane.
I choose to add some more interest to my chair.
Milk Painting – Adding Depth and Interest
 
After the green spray paint layer has completely dried, I took the fine grit sandpaper (200 or higher) and gently roughed up the surface. Then I wiped off the whole chair with a damp rag and let the chair dry.
For this step I used some left over white latex trim paint we had lying around. I used a semi-gloss finish because that is what we had, but you can use any white paint you have left over. I dipped the edge of my brush into the paint and then wiped most of it off on the can. Then I lightly ran the brush over the chair in the direction that the wood grain would go. The green paint should show through your strokes. Only go over the area once, unless you really ran out of paint on your brush. If you put too much on the chair, or have areas with too much (see the left edge of the picture on the right below),  you can take a wet rag or baby wipe to clean it off and try it again.

Once the whole chair has the milk paint technique, I let her dry. Once again, this may be the point where you stop painting. But, I really had more distressing in mind for this girl.

I wanted to let some of her age show through, so I grabbed some medium grit sandpaper (100 – 150 grit) and sanded some edges down to the bare wood. Think about any place on the chair that sticks out and might be rubbed and worn on an antique.

Unfortunately for me, the bare wood on my chair was a little too peachy colored next to the pistachio color paint, and I really liked the look of this leg that was sanded and had a darker brown area showing through. So, I decided to fake the darker brown wood look.

I wiped off the chair again with a damp rag and then ran up to grab some acrylic paint out of my art supplies. I chose the Raw Umber brown and squeezed a quarter size dollop onto my palette. Then I grabbed a clean rag and wrapped it around my finger. I dabbed my rag into the paint and made sure I didn’t have any globs on the cloth. Then I lightly ran the edge of my clothed finger over the edges of the chair where I had sanded.

Uh oh, don’t peek at the fabric on my chair! That is the next step we will go over tomorrow. Plus, it wasn’t a good idea to paint with the fabric on my chair. Too many opportunities to drip or rub paint onto the seat.
Once I was done adding the brown paint, I let the chair dry. Next I took my fine grit sandpaper and sanded the whole chair lightly being careful not to sand off any paint. Wiped the chair down and let it dry.
I really liked the aged beautiful look that my chair had achieved, so I was ready to seal her with 2 coats of polyurethane. I used a water based poly and lightly sanded between coats. At this point you are probably sick of the sanding, but I am a sucker for smooth finishes. I love to caress finished wood and feel the baby softness under my fingers. Plus, this is the chair that I will spend many hours sitting in and working.
After the poly has dried, I do add floor protective legs to my chair. It protects our wood floors from damage. I’m really into protecting our wood (as you can probably guess.) Furniture glides or floor protectors are super easy to add. They go on just like nailing a nail. Be sure you have your glide centered on the leg and that you aren’t nailing it into any metal. Then gently tap it into the leg of your chair.