Monday, March 28, 2011

The hall table of all hall tables

I love a good blog. Food, baking, DIY, renovation blogs, you name it. On one of my daily blog trawls, I came across The Little Brown House and this headboard to hall table post. Fabulous! I thought, as I had just recently pulled this interesting little feature down from our entry way. 

It was kinda cute, and it did kinda work in the space, but once the red wall was gone, it too, was destined to be obliterated (well, stored under the house). So off I went, scouring local Op. shops and demo yards in search for the perfect, soon-to-be hall table.
Now here's the bit where I tell you I found the perfect piece, hidden away in the back of the junk yard, so perfect it practically jumped out at me as I walked past and what's more it was marked down to 75c or something ridiculous like that.
Sorry to disappoint you people. This ain't Hollywood.
I admit, I gave in. Instead, I went in search for buying a ready made hall table. No cutting / sanding / DIY'ing at all.

And wouldn't you know it, I couldn’t find anything. Nadda. Zip. Nothin' at all.
I decided to have one last try at my local lifeline megastore and came across this little beauty.

It's an off-white/cream colour, with some dents and nicks and some weird shaped stains that had soaked through the paint. You may also spot some little funky orange spots all over too..Although it comes up remarkably well in the photos, let me assure you, it was pretty gross.
Yeah, it's certainly not the bargain basement price I was after, but heck, I was not going to be defeated with this!
My only real issue was size. My entry is only teeny Being without a tape measure and not wanting to look like a dork for asking, I decided to measure it with my wallet. Figuring my wallet was about 8 inches long, I measured 1.5 wallets deep and about 6 wallets long.
Let's break for a little insight about yours truly. I'm a virgo by birth and I certainly live up to the stereotype. Love to plan. Hate surprises. Borderline crazy attention to detail. Colourcode & coordinate everything. Birthday party coming up? Let me take care of it. Need to organise a hen's night / baby shower / your own wedding? Step aside sister, that's my territory. Yet to totally contradict all that, I can be incredibly lazy. Hence the measurement by wallet.
I got it home and then the inevitable. It didn’t fit.
Damn you wallet measurements!
We were off by about half an inch. Dammmnnn.
So I lugged the thing down the stairs decided on my plan of attack.

I decided to cut off not only a bit of width, but also length as well. For this, I recruited my trusty old handsaw. Plus, this time, I measured. With a ruler.  

I then sanded up all the cuts, and gave the whole thing a thorough sanding and a cleanup.

I used White Knights Squirts undercoat to prime it all over, followed by a few coats of White Knights White Satin. (Does anyone else get that desire just to drown the whole thing in one go? Spray paint dribbles are not nice, but damn it tests my patience doing lots of lighter coats!) I managed to finish both cans on this little ditty. It was the first time I used White Knights and I must admit I was kinda disappointed. The coverage just wasn’t there for my liking.  

I then applied some quatrefoil wallpaper printed paper to the back of the shelf. I had planned on stenciling it on, but I was soo not in the mood. I found a quatrefoil image online, recoloured it in Publisher and then printed it out on regular old A4 paper. Don't judge me - I'll get around to stencilling that baby on one day soon...

Et Voila! Look at that baby now! Perfect.

A few hints for first timers -
1. Wack a tape measure or even a measuring tape from your sewing draw into your bag if you're furniture shopping. You could even snitch* a paper one from Ikea next time you're there! (*I don’t condone stealing- they give those babies away for free anyways).
2. Be persistent at your local thrift shops and demo yards. They might not always have what you're looking for, so go in with an open mind and you might come away with something even better than what you first planned.

woo hoo! Check me out on The DIY Show Off, DebbieDoo's Newbie Party and TDC's Before & After Party. Thanks for showing me some newbie love, blog land!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

The death of a feature wall

The Boy was away this past weekend which allowed me to get a few things done around the house without any interruptions! I decided to tackle the one thing that has bugged me since day dot. The red wall.
Lemmie explain. Our house is an older house. Like pushin' 50 years old.

As such it has some endearing (and not so endearing) features. Some of the former include the lovely rosewood timber floors, a dark timber decorative plate rail around the walls and ornate moulding around the ceiling.

For some crazy reason, the previous owners decided there was only one thing to do to tie all of these old school touches together. So they painted a red feature wall.

'So what?' I can hear you say. 'I've got a red feature wall and it's THE BOMB!'

I don't doubt that. And good for you. Buuuttt let me try and get across what kinda red I'm talking about. Think a bright, yet burnt orangey-red. Think fire engine red, on a fire engine that’s been sat in a field to rust for oh, 20 years or so. It's dark and oppressive, yet bright and blinding at the same time. Ok, enough of the descriptors - check it out for yourself.

Exhibit A: the red wall

Actually I think my camera has towned down the un-awesomeness of that red. Please don't tell me you think it looks ok. I've already had this argument discussion with The Boy, ten times over ("c'mon, it's not that bad…. I kinda like it… can't you leave it be?") So, being home alone, I seized the opportunity to paint out the red wall.
I popped down to bunnings and picked up 2L of Dulux one coat primer. I used the online calculator at the bunnings website to see how much I would need for two coats. Dulux advised that one litre would be enough to cover 16m2.
I also picked up some painters tape and a decent sized drop sheet whilst I was there. My very sweet Dad (Daddyo, I he is referred to in our house!) very kindly dropped over his painting box, which saved me having to buy brushes, rollers, trays etc, which certainly helped the back pocket.

 I was a bit concerned about making a mess and getting paint on the skirting boards or the plate rail as they are such a dark timber, but the painters tape worked a treat and there was barely any seepage (fortunately the Dulux one coat is acrylic, so any spills I was able to clean up with water. Gotta love that!) Now, what you're all waiting for - the  after shot!!

Exhibit B: red wall be gone !
Nice huh! Anywhoo, it seemed that once I got started, I couldn’t stop, so I got to working on the entry wall and one of the other loungeroom walls that was in need of a makeover. I'm still undecided as to what to go with as a top colour - I like the contrast of the white against the timber, but was afraid there's now too much white in the room. I'm thinking about a 'mocha' colour, like Dulux Natural Beige, or Tuft, but don't the room to be too dark, know what I mean? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

For the most part, Miss Bridget slept through the painting process.

Life's tough for her obviously.

A little hint or two for first timers -
a) Unless youre some kind of painting freak, you'll get paint on your hands / arms / face / hair / feet at some stage. Wash it off while it's still wet.  Painted fingernails are all well and good, but paint UNDER your fingernails sucks.
b) Take the time to prep the walls. I know, you just wanna get in and get a-paintin'! Seriously. Don’t. Fill any holes with a filler (I like Nordsjo Fine Filler - shrinkage factor is low, dries quickly and one tube goes a long way). Fill the holes with putty, scrape off the excess and gently sand when dry. Taping off all the edges will help if you don’t have a super steady hand or if you're cutting-in abilities aren't up to scratch. I also taped newspaper to the skirting boards after I taped them off which nicely caught any drops off the roller.
c) If you have a puppy who likes to chew things, keep her away or otherwise occupied. A whole roll of sandpaper and a paint roller were causalities as a result of this. (Seriously - can you imagine chewing sandpaper? Urgh!)

Happy painting! 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Coorparoo Demolition Yard

My hoarder receptors went crazy when I heard about this place. If you live in Brisbane, or come through here at all, you must check out the Demolition Yard at Coorparoo.

Located on Cavendish Road, just before Coorparoo train station, this place is a renovator's delight.  If you're after recycled timber, old panes of glass, windows, light fittings, old fireplaces, doors or just about anything you could pull out of an old Queenslander, you'll find it here.
What's better, this place is open 7 days and is open early (7.30am) on the weekends. Do check it out!
Here is a sneak peak of just some of the things that are in stock. There's always new things coming in, so put it on your weekend warrior to do list! (Please forgive the quality of these photos - they were taken on my iPhone)

porthole window with stained glass insert
recycled VJ's, decking, floorboards and more
lattice doors, archways, windows and frames

internal & external doors, windows and mirrors

So if you are looking for something unique for your home rennovation, or if you just feel like having a bit of a scavenger hunt, make sure you check out the Coorparoo Demolition Yard.

Miss PP

Monday, March 7, 2011

It all started with an imaginary dog.

'Future puppy', as we used to call it, was the dog we were going to get when we moved out of our rented apartment. Despite our building being very unfriendly towards pets (and ‘spies’ in the building on the lookout for signs of unwelcome residents being snuck in), we toyed with the idea of getting one anyway, keeping it secretly in the spare bedroom, taking it for walks under the cover of darkness and hoping to hell that it didn’t bark during the day.
Fortunately we discarded that idea as being completely ridiculous unable to be sustained in the long run.
So we did what we thought was the most logical step in order to make Future Puppy a reality.
We bought a house.
A house. Now I’m sure you might be thinking, ‘um… couldn’t you have found a pet friendly rental? Just hung out at the dog park? Bought a goldfish to tie you over?’
Yes, we could have. Your point......?
ANYWHOO, not 3 weeks after moving in, our future puppy just became puppy. Little Miss Bridget became the newest member of the household.
Seriously. How cute is she?! And that smooshy little face? MELT!!

Fast-forward a few months and we're finally settled - Bridget is house trained, sleeping past 4.30am and we're a happy family of three.  Um and then it kind of dawned on us that our sweet little house needed probably at the very least a FRACTION of the attention that we lavished on Bridget.

Which gets me finally to the point of this blog; to document the process of our first home going from oh… to woah!!, one DIY project at a time. So if you're wanting to kill a bit of time, procrastinating at work, or just legitimately doing some research on the what not to do with DIY, sit back, relax and enjoy!

Linking up to Debbiedoos Pet Party!