Tag Archives: paint

Fireplace project progress

Hey ya’ll! I have been keeping busy with projects. We are in the middle of redo-ing our fireplace and I’m already trying to plan our next project. 

Mr. Middlesister wishes I would just sit still, but I told him I ALWAYS have to have a project. It’s how I work. 🙂

So here is an update on our fireplace so far. We re-tiled it ourselves with a small marble subway tile from Lowe’s. It was a total b-word to work with. It kept crumbling when we would go to cut it. 

   Yes, we had to piece the hardibacker together because the insert or the mantle (or both) isn’t straight.  Pre-grout.

We have also started painting it.

  Post-grout, but not siliconed (just made that word up) yet. Here we are with one coat of paint. The color is Kendall Charcoal by Benjamin Moore. 

Next we are planking the wall above the fireplace and siliconing (there I go making up words again) and painting a second coat on the fireplace.

More to come…


Checklist Progress

Hey ya’ll!  So just to update you, Mr. Middle Sister is finally home and I did get our bedroom and bathroom painted before he got here. Yay!

Photo on the left with Maverick on the bed is before. Photo on the right is new paint color. I’m thinking I still need something above the bed.


The tray in the bedroom looks a lot bluer than it should, something about the lighting…our house turns everything blue. I have a sneaking suspicion it is the tan ceilings. (Not a fan-but there’s no way I’m painting 12 ft ceilings either…)

Here is a photo of the blue tray (unfinished). I really drug that project out way too long…


Bathroom with new paint. Again this is Gray paint but the ceiling in here is tan for some ridiculous reason and I wonder if that’s why the walls look blue-ish. There’s my cutie pie in the bedroom trying to photo bomb.

IMG_0340 IMG_0339

If you remember from my Productivity Slump Post, the bathroom was tan before I painted it. Next weekend, a friend of mine is going to come over and help me change the tile around the tub. I’m thinking subway tile because we are changing the granite on the vanity when the shop isn’t too busy to do it. That, and I’m a bit obsessed with subway tile. 🙂

I also got wild and decided to paint the tan ceiling in the separate potty area in the master bath. I went with the same blue that I painted the tray with in the master bedroom. I am ok with painting ceilings in small spaces, I may go ahead and paint the ceiling in the laundry room too. I’m thinking planked walls in there. Yum!

Here is that potty room’s pretty new ceiling, I mentioned to Mr. Middle Sister about putting a prettier light in there and he laughed. Men, they have no vision. 😉


I am so excited to get the tub surround done and new counters in. I’m thinking of putting subway tile up the wall behind the vanity too. Thoughts? Yay or nay? Anyone have that in their home?

Thanks for stopping by ya’ll!

Productivity Slump? Plan ahead instead!

Hey ya’ll.

So, I’m feeling a little bummed lately. So far I have not made 2015 as productive as I should have. I’m struggling with a couple of things. Last night, I was looking at my goals for this year and so far, I have accomplished NOTHING. Granted, most of our/my goals are more of the long term variety, but I’m worried. Why have I hit this slump?

The only thing I can think of is that I have put life on hold. Mr. Middlesisterproject will be home next month. If you are a milspouse who has gone through a deployment you know what this is like. The ability to deal with this should have been passed down genetically (even though I have no clue if my mammo had to endure a deployment.)

Here is my granddad in his WWII pilot gear. So handsome!

granddad in AF WWII pilot gear

The excitement of having your spouse back home after a year away, mixed with the anxiety of learning to be a “couple” again is an unsettling combo. I have spent the last year being a single mom; I’ve been independent and self sufficient, but now I’m thinking I have to just switch into doting wife mode. In theory, this shouldn’t be difficult, I love my husband and am so proud of him for serving our country for the 18 years that he already has. We milspouses are forced to be tough and resilient, but I fear it has made me disconnected and cold. I digress…

A lot of the goals I/we have for 2015 require a joint effort. There is one wall in our bathroom with a splotch of gray paint on it, and I have started cutting in in our bedroom too with a pretty cream color. But, now things are at a stand still. I know I won’t be able to go any further on either of those projects until my man gets home. I can’t exactly paint with a wild toddler running around (Lord knows everything in the house, including Puppy Brother, will end up covered in paint). I feel stuck; at least I only have a month left of the “I can’t do that till he gets home” mentality.

I’ve also been thinking of adding a goal to my list: Entering a Figure Contest! It is something I have wanted to do ever since I really got into working out several years ago. My body is nowhere near ready to stuff into a tiny booty bearing bikini and strutting around on stage (and I doubt if it ever will be). But, I would love to take a year to train like I’m going to enter a contest. The only thing stopping me is that doing this would require a coach, which would set us back around $200/month. Considering that we are trying to get rid of debt, I just don’t think I can commit to paying $200/month for a coach. Maybe, I can add this goal to 2016  instead?

I think the best way to get out of this funk is to focus on the projects I need to tackle before we can put our house up for sale.

I also have big plans for the laundry room. I plan on DIY’ing a light fixture for in there to replace the current boob light. I was liking schoolhouse pendant DIY from http://www.bitsofblissblog.com

schoolhouse light

I want to add some color, storage, organization to the laundry room as well. And since I have connections, I was thinking of having the guys cut me a granite piece to sit on top the washer and dryer like a counter.

Like this:



I will probably just spend the next month planning all my projects and start tackling them the day after husband gets home. That would be semi-productive. It will give me the opportunity to make lists, and I do love lists!

I’ll keep ya’ll updated on the DIY projects I will be conquering soon. Do ya’ll have any suggestions for the laundry room that will help our house sell? It is currently plain, blah-tan contractor’s choice paint on the walls, pretty small, and has a cabinet above the washer and dryer.

TTFN ya’ll!

Problem solved, kinda.

Hey Ya’ll,

So over the weekend I painted the island in the kitchen. I ended up going with a totally different color than what I originally was gonna do.

Note the samples below and Maverick photo bombing.


Here are the steps I followed:

1. Remove all doors and hardware

2. Sand lightly: The hubs and baby and I went to Lowe’s and bought a small sander that looks like a clothes iron. It had a lovely little filter contraption on the back that caught the stuff I sanded off. Like this one. It did the trick quite nicely; I used 220 grit sandpaper…or was it 180 grit? You just want to get the glossy look and feel off. Our cabinets are painted with oil based paint so sanding was necessary.

3. Wipe the surfaces down after sanding to get all the gunk off.

4. Primer: I slapped on one coat of primer using a small trim brush and small foam roller brush. Also from Lowe’s; we get a military discount when we remember to show our IDs, which helps out from time to time. The foam roller really gave a nice finish. I bought some all purpose primer the paint guy really talked up. It didn’t work miracles or anything but it did the trick.

Here is the island with one coat of primer


5. After the primer is good and dry, start rolling on your paint. Now for my paint I chose a Benjamin Moore Color: Cape May Cobblestone and had them mix it up in a gallon of that new Valspar Reserve paint. I love that stuff, it really is worth the extra money. I used the trim brush for the corners and crevices and the foam roller for the rest. Let that first coat dry for a good while, then slap on your second coat. Now it probably wouldn’t have hurt to sand lightly between coats, but at this point I had lost my patience and my 9 month old was in his walker pulling what he could reach out of the doorless cabinets. Of course destruction and terror ensued.

Here are the island cabinet doors with one coat of paint, or was that primer…?


Here is the island with one coat of paint. I taped off the floor because I am a mess with edging in small spaces. It was all over the tape. Make sure to run a razor blade along the tape before you rip it up, or you’ll rip your pretty paint up too.IMG_0189

Finished product


I know, the lighting (a to-do and post for another time) isn’t the best, and the dark floor does nothing for that color. But I do love how it turned out! I love that color, I think I want to use it in our 5-year-plan-Farmhouse down the line.


I was surprised at how well it turned out; I almost decided to paint all the cabinets in the house, but then I flew back in from La-La Land and reality slapped me silly. The kid would be all up in those doorless cabinets wreaking havoc.

I am sweet talking my dad into installing a Statuary Marble top on my freshly painted island. He has a granite and marble fabrication company and does amazing work. I’m also dreaming of white subway tiles replacing the current backsplash.

Sometimes I think I’m crazy for changing up things like this in our less-than-a-year-old house; but if I wasn’t a little cray cray, I wouldn’t be me. 🙂

Till next time ya’ll!

In hindsight, extra tips if you are painting your cabinets (these are for you Micah :-))

1. Make sure you sand at least a bit to smooth your surfaces; you can use a sheet of sandpaper or a power sander (small one-see link above)

2. Choose your color carefully!! I suggest getting ideas from Pinterest; I did a search for “gray cabinets” to get the paint names for a couple I liked and see the paint on actual kitchen cabinets. The problem is, their lighting is probably different than the lighting in your kitchen, or the texture of your cabinets may be different, or that color looks really good on their modern style doors but looks plain awful on your super traditional style doors, etc. Sorry for rambling; my point is: you want to make sure you LOVE LOVE LOVE the color you pick for YOUR cabinets in YOUR kitchen. So, save name of the company that makes it and the name of the color and go to Lowe’s and have them mix you up a sample container for around $3. That way if you are trying to decide between 7 colors, you don’t spend a fortune. Tell them who makes the color and the name and they can make it, yes even if it is a Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams Color.

3. Use an all purpose primer, this will mean you have to use less actual coats of paint.

4. Apply paint and primer with foam rollers to get a smooth finish, you can use a trim brush for crevices and edges etc.

5. Get painter’s pyramids to put your cabinet doors on to paint them, it will save you a lot of headache (available at Lowe’s or here is the link on Amazon)

6. Label the doors with a piece of painters tape and a number or letter, do the same on the inside of the cabinet it corresponds to.

7. Take your time; let it dry before you put your doors back on, you will cry when you knock paint off when you hang your doors too early, trust me on this.

8. I used Valspar Reserve paint; I’ve heard good things about Sherwin Williams Acrylic Latex paint but haven’t tried it yet.

9. Sand lightly between coats

10. Reuse your paint trays and brushes by putting them in ziplock baggies and putting them in the fridge or wrapping them in foil and putting in fridge. (If you don’t have room in your fridge, they may still be reusable).

That’s all I can think of for now; I’ll add more if anything pops in my head. Good luck and please share your experiences!

The Kitchen Island Problem

In the words of Peg from Peg + Cat: We’ve got a BIG Problem.  We moved into our new construction house last November a week before we had our baby boy. I like the house just fine, but the colors aren’t really me.

So, last month I painted the walls, changing the drab contractor grade taupe that is on the walls of what seems like every house these days. I went with a cream color for most of the house but chose a light gray for my office/extra bedroom and dining room. I will probably choose the same light gray for our baby’s room and maybe even our bedroom. I haven’t gotten around to those rooms yet.

Anyway, I detest the color of the granite the contractor chose for the entire house. This gives you an idea.

Counter Material. With all due respect to anyone who likes it, I kind of hate it. I’m more of a carrerra or statuary marble kind of gall; I adore white and light gray marble and granite.

counter material

This is what the island looks like currently that beige-cream color is on all the cabinets and trim. It looks ok here, but I promise it has an almost beige element to it. Why can’t contractors use lighter colors. What happened to classic white cabinets?!

current color

Here is one side of the island with 3 coats of Annie Sloan chalk paint on it; I thought this was going to be the way to go, but it was a major fail.

chalkpaint fail

This brings us to this picture of the two samples I’m considering. The color on the left is Benjamin Moore’s Kendall Charcoal and the color on the right is Iron Ore by Sherwin Williams. I like the Iron Ore better but I’m afraid it will be too dark with our dark stained concrete floors.

These are the colors I am considering for the island. The color on the left is Kendall Charcoal by Benjamin Moore and the Color on the right is Iron Ore by Sherwin Williams.

This should be pretty simple, I’ve painted cabinets before. The problem is that they used oil based paint on all our trim and cabinetry. I’ve never worked with oil based paint before. I’m not sure which process to use to get this island painted. Do I sand it and prime it with oil based primer and then paint with latex paint? I read a blog on Pinterest that suggested doing that and their cabinets looked great.

More to come with the Island Problem!

Cheers ya’ll!