First spring project – Repainting light fixtures

Winter. The time when we regroup, rest, and reevaluate. Our lives, our choices, and our projects.

This winter was especially transitional. I managed to murder my vehicle after it got me home in a blizzard (4.5 hour drive from hell). I got talked into a beautiful new lease car. I then got a new job that is absolutely wonderful. And as our first winter in our new home we were full of excitement for all the things we wanted to do. We even started a running list on the fridge of things we needed to tackle.

Top on my list was something that drove me crazy everyday. In the front and back of our new house we have these light fixtures. Little lamps that were rusted and weather worn. I’m probably the only person that noticed but whew they are ugly. I had been dying for months to refinish them.

I mean just look at them:

20140413-195635.jpg

20140413-195642.jpg

Not a pretty sight. But with some help from my beloved we took down all the glass portions and removed the pieces. Unfortunately the fixtures were wired in and since neither of us is an electrician we had to leave them on the wall. Our solution? Unscrewing them just enough to slide cardboard under it.

20140413-200100.jpg

Then the spraying commenced! We used another piece of cardboard off to the side to catch any overspray. After all I don’t think gold spray would have enhanced the siding. We sprayed all the fixtures and the covers before replacing the glass.

20140413-200258.jpg

20140413-200305.jpg

Once they dried enough to handle everything got tightened back into place. These fixtures which once looked ready for a junkyard now looked brand new. With a little help from this little can:

20140413-200430.jpg

Not to shabby for spring project #1. Six fantastic lights! Well, I also planted some flowers today…..

After:

20140413-200539.jpg

20140413-200547.jpg

Desk Re-do #2

What happens when you make a really cool desk for yourself? The future hubby wants one too! After seeing how I redid the desk for myself my fiancé, Geoff (yup, Jeff with a G), decided it was time for an upgrade too. Since he moved into my apartment he had been using a leftover desk that I had kicking around in my attic. It was in rough shape to say the least. We elected to leave it behind when we moved to the new place. So off to the thrift stores I went and for once they failed me. I couldn’t find a workable piece anywhere. Luckily for me I was introduced to a local Facebook group that is pretty much Craigslist but safer. Everyone in the group must be invited in by a friend. Within the first hour of getting into the group I spotted the perfect desk for a great price. $30 to come get it tonight. Using the buddy system (just in case) Geoff and I went to scoop it up. Then the process started all over again. desk1 STEP ONE: Wash it off and sand it down. It was during this sand job that I decided I wanted a power sander for Christmas. A slightly odd request from a twenty something about to get married, but there it is. It was really dusty and the top coating was quite tough. Eventually I got it stripped down enough that I felt comfortable painting it. Cleaned it off again to get it ready for the next step. STEP TWO: Prime. Sprayed it down with my handy dandy Rust-oleum primer. He wanted the top of the desk silver and the rest white. I coated everything in white primer including the top portion which was removable (and you will soon see below). I removed the built in pen holder from the bottom to be painted later. The desk, much to my relief, held the primer well. STEP THREE: Paint! For the white base I was using my can of White Rust-oleum Painter’s Touch paint (semi-gloss white that I used on my other desk) with my handy dandy mini foam roller. Knowing this I decided to spray the top silver first. Since the room is grey/white/blue this seemed like a cool combo. I picked up a can of Rust-oleum metallic silver and went to town. Even with the primer and putting on even coats after three passes and nearly the whole can the top looked TERRIBLE! It looked mottled like I wasn’t spraying evenly, or like some of it was sinking in. Needless to say it was pretty awful as you can see: desk2 STEP FOUR: PAINT AGAIN! After a brief talk about the color not working out we agreed to just do the desk white and I would put a coating on the top to protect it. I let the silver dry completely overnight just to be safe before covering it. I re-sanded the top to make sure the new layer of paint would stick. Using almost the whole can of white I applied two even coats. Then I used my cheating trick of filling in the tough spots with the leftover white spray paint. Overall it looks very white. While it was drying I took the remaining silver paint and painted his papers inbox and the pen tray. Both of those held the paint well without primer or sanding. But they were also both plastic. STEP FIVE: Top coat. Made a mistake here too. This project was a real learning experience for me. I bought a can of spray Lacquer to put as the top coat. Well, following the directions made for a nice shiny finish but not very protective. It was scratched during moving just by gently bumping it. No good. We got it into place in the new room and I touched up the white paint. I then did some research and picked up a can of Rust-oleum Polyurethane to help seal it better.  Two gentle coats left a nice shiny finish (but not too shiny, I used satin) that is amazingly more durable. I even did I little scratch test by moving the keyboard around. SAFE! The final result? Not too shabby for a couple of mistakes. photo 12  photo 1 photo 2

The Office Accessories!

If you have been following along with the office makeover then we are on the same page. If not scroll back a bit to read about the filing cabinet and desk first.

So we moved the desk into the office and it looks great but all of my other things looked out of place. I found an awesome stapler and tape dispenser that matched my office on poppin.com. But something about paying $14 for a stapler/tape dispenser stopped me. Especially since I had a perfectly good set of them already. Of course I took this time to remember that I had leftover spray paint. Logically the only solution was: PAINT THE ACCESSORIES!!!!!

Yeah…..got really spray happy with my office accessories….

Basically I held them down, primed them, and sprayed them with the leftover spray paint. The result was a tad bit sticky. For some reason the odd coating on my stapler took the paint but wouldn’t let it dry all the way. The first time I put it down on the desk it stuck. The other ones came out just fine. Black dividers, black stapler, puke green tape dispenser, and grey speckled pen holder turned into this:

photo 2 photo 3

 

I was happy the way they turned out but wish I could figure out why the stapler took so much longer to dry then everything else….curious.

Anyway, it definitely completes the new office space right?

 

 

photo 1

(P.S. caught that cute storage ottoman from a sale at JoAnn Fabrics – the back to school collection. $9 for a storage ottoman? You bet!)