Welcome DIYers!

This is my online "scrapbook" to remember what we've achieved in our home...we purchased this home in November 2009 in Springfield, MO.

Click the tabs along the top to check out the house room by room.

Honestly, this is not my dream home by any means...but I intend to make it dreamy!

Kitchen Update - not all the way there, but had to post!

Recessed lights installed and ceiling painted. New chandelier still to be installed. Plus trim around fridge. Doug is building a cool European style custom hood.

 Since this photo we have since installed recessed lights and painted ceiling and above tile.

 Doug will build the hood for me...I am getting ideas from Fixer Upper and around the web.

Painted the cabinets Porpoise Gray. Doug did a great job sanding them down. I would still like to add a layer of poly or wax.

 I'm loving how it's coming together! Woot!

 Adding the granite...what a mess but worth it.

The extra deep sink is from Amazon and it's strapped in...yay!

Moving things around is oh so much fun. Not. Upper cabs came out after this shot was taken.

How To Paint Brick Walls

We moved to a new house a few years ago, from California to Missouri. It was a culture shock of course. But the worst part was the dark and gloomy house, full of paneling and bricks from 1970. Some people say you should never paint brick...but when two walls in two rooms of your main living space are real bricks, you kind of have NO CHOICE.

I honestly thought I was going to lose my mind brush the paint on or roll it on...but then a friend suggested something else. Spray it on?
Luckily I had purchased several gallons of a beautiful cream colored paint (BEHR - Cottage Stone in Latex), and when my friend was visiting, she said "Let's paint that brick!" I was a bit nervous what my husband would say, since men don't like painted wood or bricks very much. He is learning quickly that I paint it ALL!

Some awesome things about this method include: no priming, no rolling, quick dry time, easy clean up (if you cover everything), affordable and uses very little paint.

Here's what you have to do to paint your brick walls:

In an empty gallon milk jug, pour 1/4 paint to 3/4 water. Shake well till mixed thoroughly. Will look like milk!

Then, using a funnel (or not) pour carefully into a spray bottle. I got the spray bottles from Lowes in the cleaning section for about $3, sort of the industrial kind. Some of them work great and some stop working right away, so you may want to buy more than one.

If your brick is clean you can start. If not, make sure it's dust and cobweb free.

Cover your floors with waterproof tarps. Have lots of paper towels on hand. You can either cover your windows with plastic or just be ready to clean up the paint drips immediately after spraying.

Now you're ready to start spraying your bricks! There's a technique to it...swoosh your wrist across the area you are painting at the same time as pulling the trigger on the sprayer. You are trying to get an even coat of thin paint. With this method you will still have some color variations showing through and it won't be completely "white". It brightens the brick. You can even do more coats if you want it to be brighter and whiter.
But really, you can do the spraying in any way that is easy for you!

While you've sprayed till your hand aches, you will need to dab at the drippy areas with a wad of paper towels. You don't want drips drying and looking ugly all over. You can also use a paint brush to squish more of the drips into the crevices and grout lines. You might even start feeling artsy and creative!
You will notice with spraying the paint on that you are saving tons of time not having to paint into the "grout" areas...they get covered nicely with the spray.

We were able to complete one wall in the breakfast room in about 1/2 an hour. Clean up took about another 1/2 an hour (including drips, the floor and the windows) since I had not covered things well enough. We got done right as my husband walked in the door. He was speechless...but liked it! Yay for painted brick and clever friends!

I totally suggest painting boring red brick if it's on the interior of your home. It's quick and easy and you'll love how bright it is. After I finished the fireplace and painting the paneling I almost feel like it's light in there! The friend who helped me with this has also painted the exterior of her home's chimney which is made of stone...her neighbors were jealous!

Make sure to wash out all your brushes and you can keep the unused watered down paint for about a month. After that is starts going funky and chunky and the chemicals can eat through the plastic of the bottle.

Check out the Before shots:

After painting started:
2 years ago
Last year - this looks finished, but it's not
Last Month - in transition
Final (except we finished the trim better)

NOTE: I used latex semi-gloss indoor paint for this project (Behr), but exterior works too. You may also use this for outdoor brick or stone re-facing. It really works! The paint effect has not faded or chipped in the past three years since I did it. Seriously!
Feel free to email me with any questions about this project.

Blog Update

Hey! If you're just finding my remodeling blog, I have recently added navigational tabs just under the banner. You can click on each individual room for before and after shots of each space.
Of course, I'm always re-arranging and adding new pieces, so check back for the latest and greatest photos of my ongoing home projects!


P.S. I just recently started a flea market booth and have been getting really inspired by all the neat stuff to be had in the "used" industry!

If You Love It Flaunt It

I love aqua and I have for years...it's the Pisces in me I suppose...and I love the calm feeling it brings me...

Now I have found a kitchen cabinet color that I can sink my teeth into...and it may solve my countertop dilemma. Our counters are cream Corian...not my choice...but it's a solid surface that works. So I can't have white cabinets which are my first choice...so I am going to go with my heart's color - AQUA!

Here's a picture of another aqua kitchen which I will use for inspiration. Click on the photo to go to the story and see more pics. I am also quite jealous of the windows in this kitchen, of which we have NONE, and I love the glassed cutouts in the upper cabinets. Very cool and breezy!

beautiful aqua kitchen

Thinking about a future move...

Hello happy readers! I finally have some AFTER shots for you! I've decided to create links across the top of the blog (under the header) that will take you to each room in the house...hopefully it works! I will post some in the regular body of the blog too, just in case you get lost. Thanks for stopping by and checking out everything I've been working on!

Upcoming: I really want to move the kitchen around a bit...such as moving the refrigerator to where the wall oven is and purchasing a new double oven stove...this will give us a nice span of countertop to use as a baking section. Really looking forward to that.

But, I'm also thinking about the future and if this house will really work for us...and that is most likely a "no". So I've been looking at homes in the countryside, about 20 minutes from here. Since we homeschool it doesn't really make much of a difference where we live...just don't want to be in the middle of nowhere.

Here is a picture of the house I've found that I'm loving...not sure if it will happen but it's fun to dream. Listed for $179,000.

Update: this home is a short sale and the bank wants $215K. It was under contract but will probably fall through at $179K. We will just abide and wait to see which house will be our forever home...

Love my beat up old gas station light...now hanging in the entry.
It swings too!

Here's a quick shot of the table painted black.
It looks pretty cool.

A little peek at Leola's fall open house

Did I ever show you Holland's 5th birthday cake?
A small cake surrounded by cupcakes. She loved it!

New little $10 shelf...painted and installed

The breakfast room is coming along...just got new chairs...these are the old ones.
I will be painting these chairs black and reupholstering in a updated fabric.

Totally Refocusing

I am behind on my home improvements....just went to Lowes and spent $100 on paint and supplies. I WILL finish these walls and cabinets...no really, I will.
I just posted a few photos to keep it interesting...enjoy!

More updates soon, I promise.

One room...(almost) down

The breakfast room getting closer to completion.
Still to do: baseboards, paint or replace outlet covers, paint touchups.

1877 Must've been a good year...

This beautiful house is for sale in Ozark, MO for $179,000

It is registered as an historic home.

It has two bedroom suites on the first floor, and two bedrooms and a bathroom on the top level.

The floors are beautiful hardwoods.
12 foot ceilings.

A lovely screened in back porch.

The home is over 2000 square feet.

And sits on 1.24 acres near downtown historic Ozark.

It would make a lovely bed and breakfast, a tea room, and/or gift shop.

If you're interested I can put you in touch with the owners.

For sale by owner.

Peeks here and there

Beautiful forsythia in my backyard, and many other surprise plants!

I found these cute herb jars at the flea market last week...$2 each!

Here's the dining room. Yes, it is the actual dining room, but I put my corner sofa in there to have somewhere to sit that looks out the front of the house. (Sorry the light is bad, will try for another soon).
I am planning on painting the walls to cover up the (well applied) wall paper and spraying the chandelier black. It looks like it will be black and white toile themed so far.
Found an amazing rug at TJ Maxx that will compliment the room spiffingly!

Don't ask me

I designed my new banner and I think I love it! Don't ask me how I did it, because it was all trial and error. It looks super cool! If you would like one for yourself I can probably make one for you too...just ask! Also check out Beautify My Blog...where I work.

Two cool kitchens I don't have...and tidbits

This kitchen, below, is an Ikea dream kitchen.  I won't be getting Ikea cabinets this time, but I love the color combination, with the spa blue, the stainless and the warmth of the butcher block.  Of course, it's huge and square, unlike my goofy galley kitchen.  I could totally go for this if I can bump out a few walls...(just kidding honey!)

Did I ever show you these?  I purchased these chairs at an estate sale right before I moved.  You know...that fabulous place of unending cool stuff?  Hughes Estate Sales in Altadena.  If you haven't gone there, you must.
Anyway, I love these chairs, but hate the wood.  I'm not sure if I'll end up keeping them or doing something drastic to them.

Photo from HGTV
 I really like the layout of this kitchen.  It's everything you need.  I love that sink too.
I'm in a very woodsy kitchen right now and I'm longing for white.  Will get it one day soon!

White paint is way cool!

Spring is definitely here, or should I say finally?  I spent most of the morning spraying white paint over the brick, then cleaning up the mess it left.  It's an easy fix, until we have the funds to reface the fireplace and mount the flatscreen.  
We still have to install baseboards...as you can see in the breakfast room photo.  The white curtains look rather short and dorky, but I have plan for a bamboo shade there...just have to go pick it up...
I also bought some new spring plants last week and found the little yellow chicks at a flea market.  They are so cute.
I picked the daffodils from my back yard...I'm looking forward to seeing what grows there.

Upcoming Spring Projects

Let's see...

Finish painting the entry.

Refinish entry floors.

Prime dining room table.

Prime and paint the trim in master bdrm.

Finish painting laundry room.

Rearrange furniture in the sunroom.

Figure out which French doors to install first (sunroom, master, or new ones in dining area)

Finish painting family room wall.  (Figure out colors too).

Buy plants for back vegetable garden and plant them all.
I did call the new gardener so he's going to till for me and take away all the weeds I pulled.

I can't wait to show you the cute little Easter decor items I bought at a cute store called Home Inspirations.

Latest Projects...March 2010

This is the kitchen...I don't like it.  I took some of the upper doors off until I can get these changed.  I also put just my white pottery items (rarely used, but pretty) on the open shelves.
Makes it look more elegant I think.

BEFORE - Front door project.  I plan on replacing it with something more stylish...so this is a temporary fix.  Ha ha.  (Can you see the stone/marble floor?  I'm going to be refinishing this also...it's got many layers of poly that has turned yellow and ugly)

AFTER - painted Veranda Blue by Behr.
We also have new hardware in brushed nickel that we plan on installing.
It's going to be sweet!
I'll have to replace the mail box door and we took off the brass kick plate.
It was ugly.

And this is the hideous pendant light in the entry.  I'm thinking it's a goner!
It puts out this horrible yellow light that reminds me of a horror movie.
I just am at a loss of what to replace it with...any suggestions?