Wednesday, July 28, 2010

sunroom progress: a sort of tutorial

Remember my sunroom?  I posted a couple of weeks ago that it was my next project.  While we were working on other rooms in the house, the sunroom became sort of storage room mess.  So, we cleared it out and started with an empty room.  The first thing we did was pull up the carpet.  I hate carpet and just didn't think it would be a good choice in a fresh sunroom that is going to be my new project room.

After we pulled up the carpet, we were left with those annoying tack strips. Under our carpet is the concrete subfloor which is our concrete foundation for our house.   That's how they build 'em around these parts.

Those strips are nailed into the concrete and have a gazillion little nails sticking up.
So, I pulled all the tack strips up.  If you use a flathead screwdriver and hammer, you can gently but firmly hit the end of the screwdriver and often pop up the strip and concrete nail.  If you just try to pull up the strip only, it will come up but break and leave the nail in the concrete which is then harder to get out.

After all of the strips and nails are removed, you are left with this new eyesore.

It's a bunch of holes, some itty bitty and some are ginormous gouges.

oh, and you may have some cracks in the concrete running around.  These tiny hairline cracks just freak my husband out.  He thinks the foundation is falling apart.  Some tiny cracks are just fine and expected.  If you have a huge one, especially running from end of the room to the other and cracks in the wall, then you have a right to freak out because you probably do have foundation problems.
So, next step is to get some concrete patch and a putty knife and fill all the holes and cracks.  Now, I must admit, I enjoy this part.  I love patching concrete or spackling walls.  I like the sound of the knife  whisking along the surface.  It's just fun and I'm a little weird that way.

All of the holes and cracks are filled and smooth and ready to go.
I should be ready to paint my floors here but then I got a wild idea.

See the tile in front of the fireplace?...on the floor?  There are two little rows of tiles (10 total) in front of the fireplace.  I hate them.  I love an old hearth but we don't have that. We have tiles that look to me like bathroom tiles.  One of the tiles had a little crack so on a whim I decided to take them all out.

You are not having a stroke, it is a blurry picture because I'm not a photographer.  Back to the tile: I actually liked using a chisel and hammer and "" the tile.  But I have to be honest here, the junk left under the tile that also had to be removed nearly ruined my marriage.  That was painstaking work and I HATED it.  I begged my husband to help and it took him all day but he got the rest up.

You can rent a big motorized tool (I call it an electric chisel) that would make this much easier and faster.  We only had 10 little tiles to pull up so I thought we didn't need that tool.  We did.

So, tile and residue are up, tack strips and nails are up and all holes, cracks and whatever else are filled.  The concrete floor is clean but it is not perfect.

It has issues.  So there is a decision to be made here.  Do I stain or do I paint?  Paint covers these imperfections well and requires less prep but it doesn't hold up as well with heavy traffic.  Since we have painted our concrete floor in other rooms, I decided to continue the same paint in this room since it connects to the other painted rooms.

Now, if you are looking for a perfect tutorial on painting concrete floors, then this blog is not for you.  I never do anything the way I should. I like instant gratification yesterday.  My way has worked for me just fine so this is how I do it.

Epoxy-Seal concrete and garage floor paint in a dark brown.

I also use one of those paint edger thingys to apply it.  I use this because I like to apply the paint in freeflowing circular motions to create an interesting finish; more like a loft feel.  You can use a roller if you want a more uniform look.

Using this approach, I just "wipe" on the paint.  The whole room took less than 45 minutes.

All done!  It's still wet.  I'll have to give it a few days before we can walk on it.  It is dry within about an hour but it needs a few days to set.  Since it is an epoxy paint, it doesn't need a sealer.  However, if you like a shiny look, then you can roll over a coat of poly after it has dried.
Next step: add the small quarter round trim moulding to the baseboards since there is now a gap between the baseboard and floor.  Then, I get to start on the fun stuff!  Hopefully over the next few weeks, you can see my plans for this room.

I may share this at some of my favorite link parties listed in my page above or below on the right.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Follow Me to Grace's Blog

Today I am guest posting over at Grace's blog, Sense and Simplicity.  Grace asked me a while back if I would write a guest post for a series of summer Monday guest posts she is spotlighting on her blog.  Of course I said I would love to!  I hope you jump over and visit her blog and see some of the questions she asked me and my answers to them.  I really enjoyed it.  If you haven't visited Grace's blog before, be sure and stay a bit and check out her posts, especially her beautiful photography.

Monday, July 19, 2010

beautiful things you may not know about

It's funny how things happen.  Having a blog has introduced me to people that I would otherwise never have the chance to meet.  I've met other Texans, fellow Speech Pathologists, people from other countries, hilarious people, awesome writers, amazing photographers and people who like chippy and rusted as much as I do.  I just recently met a new blog "friend" that truly was a surprise. 

I have been planning a post for a while now to spotlight some beautiful things I have that I wish more people would seek out for their home too.  My paternal grandmother was a china painter.  She painted so many things, so many different kinds of things that we were given as gifts as children or inherited when she passed away in the early 1970's.  Inspired by her talent, my mother took lessons and painted china for a few years as well so I have many of her things.  Sadly, it seems to me that china painting may be a dying art.  I don't understand that.  So many blogs I've seen love soft pastel colors (pink, blue, green) blended with cream, shabby chic style decorating or cottage style complete with soft roses.  Pieces of beautifully painted china fit so well in those decorating styles yet I don't see many, if any, feature those kinds of pieces. 

One of my newest followers is Amy at Vintage Porcelain Art.  I always check out the blogs of any new followers or commenters so I clicked on hers to visit.  Oh my.  As I read her blog, I saw some beautiful pieces that reminded me of my family treasures.  She, too, felt like it was a dying art that people needed to rediscover.  She's quite the talent and has even been featured on tv!  Please go check her out.  Looking at her blog inspired me to finish this and get it posted.

So, here are some pictures of some of the china painting in my house done by my mother or my grandmother. I couldn't show you everything or this post would be soooo long so I decided to show pieces that show the variety...roses, scenes, soft colors, bold colors, big things, little things, plates and things that are not plates.  Take a look and see if some of you could picture these in your home, hanging on a wall, sitting on a dresser, holding pretty flowers....
winter and spring scenes by my grandmother; these are painted tiles that were framed
this huge piece was done by my mother; it currently hangs above the fireplace in the sunroom
this piece from my grandmother originally was in a huge frame; I like it hung simply,
with out the distracting frame
small dish by my grandmother
tiny little plate by my mother; I love this little thing.  It's only about 2 or 3 inches square
my grandmother painted this for me when I was a little girl
my mom painted this pitcher/glass set.  I've never used it because I'm scared to wash it.  I know I can hand wash it but it just really makes me nervous. It has 6 glasses to go with the pitcher.
Love the bold red and green colors in this bowl painted by my grandmother.
This is one of my favorite things ever by my grandmother.

I hope this inspires you to find a pretty piece of painted porcelain for your house.  If you already have some, I would love to see it.  Maybe I could do a follow-up post to showcase what others have.

I'm going to link this to some of my favorite link parties in the list at the top of the page or below on the right.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Got rust?

Have I?!  I've got rust all over....rust indoors, rust outdoors, specks of rust, rust-covered, new rust, old rust, even fake rust.  Donna over at Funky Junk is featuring rust as her themed link party this week.  I have a lot of pictures to show of some of my rust so I'm not going to comment on all the pictures.  Let's just see if you can guess which picture shows the fake rust.  Do you know?  I provided a clue ;)

garden sign
old camping tables for the porch
rusty birdhouse
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