Thursday, December 26, 2013

simple changes that make a big difference

WARNING: you're in for a long post today!

Sunday was a day filled with projects for Rob and I. We tackled some of the shorter, simpler projects that we had been delaying on because we never wanted to open the can of worms on these projects (which was silly because the proverbial cans were all so tiny). Well, now they are finished very nearly finished and what a difference some simple changes can make! Let me just tell you - things are feeling fresh at the Rebhan house - woot!

We completed three tasks:

1. filling nail holes from previous owners curtains, etc and our decor changes
2. taking the inner molding out of the old bedroom doorway (that is now the secondary entrance to the dining room)
3. repainting the inside of the front door and all of the door's trim

We started the day with projects one and two, three was added on as we started patching and painting and oh my, what a difference that painted door makes!

Project 1: 

There were lots and lots of holes around the house from temporary decor solutions and "mis-hung" pictures/frames, as well as from all the old curtain rods the previous owner had installed.

Now when I say "curtain rods", I use the term loosely because they were more the bracket and telescoping rod variety that end up being covered in six layers of paint before they are ever taken down or replaced. Needless to say, it was not easy to get the 10 brackets (whose screws were completely stripped) down off the wall.

Once we managed to get everything removed, we used putty to fill all the holes. I prefer the kind that goes on pink, that way I can and make sure that I filled everything properly. I also use my hands to apply it to the wall for nail holes, but a putty knife does come in handy when you are really trying to smooth out a divot!
After we spackled everything, we waited for all the pink to turn white and then we sanded away. It doesn't take much power to sand these little areas so we just used a couple scraps of sandpaper and hand-sanded. I always like to hold a damp paper towel under my spot sanding so I don't have to clean up after! After the sanding, I just painted over the holes and "waaaalaa!" clear white walls again. It really is the simple things.

Project 2:

When we took down the wall to create the walkway (you can see that project here) between the dining room and the living room, we also took down the old bedroom door. We figured that eventually we would refinish the doorway so it no longer looked like a doorframe, but a walk-through; no one would ever know what we had done (hee hee). Well we have been done with the walkway for about two months now and well, we just got around to refinishing the trim. Thankfully the way door frames are put together, it's not hard to take them apart!

Rob only needed a hammer, a crow bar and some sand paper to get this job done! Now that we have done some projects around the house, we always appreciate those that don't require many tools and tricks!

As you can see from the "action shot" above, a few swift hits with the hammer and that molding was popping right off. Sometimes it amazes me how easy it is to take apart a house, ha! It took Rob about five minutes to get the molding off the sides and top of the door frame. Once the big pieces were off he had to go back and get the little splinter leftovers that were being held on by the layers and layers of paint that doorway had seen over the years. As you can see in the picture below, there was a lot of paint scrap left behind!

Once Rob took all the scraps off, all that was left to do was sand! Again, it wasn't a job for the power sander; he was able to take the remaining paint bumps and smooth them out to be level with the frame just by hand sanding.

After that, all there was left to do was paint the frame white! For now, we have sanded down the hardware "holes" and have painted them white. We are eventually going to fill them with wood, putty and paint over them again but we didn't have time this go round. Honestly though, even though we have one more step in this project, we are happy that we got what we did out of the way - it already makes a big difference! We will take a picture of the finished project when all the paint has dried and the holes have been filled!

Project 3: 

Project three snuck up on me while I was doing project #1. I was painting over a hole next to the front door and it hit me how ugly and tan/brown/yellow the front door was - yuck! So without thinking twice I just ran my paint brush over the door and now, the rest is history as they say.

The lighting in these pictures isn't great but it doesn't take great lighting to see how ugly and dirty our front door looked from the inside... not only was the door an ugly tan color, the molding around the windows (which is plastic, ew) was completely yellowed from years of sun and wear. I had never painted a door before so I wasn't about to try and paint around all the knobs and locks. After removing the lock and door handle, I also removed the plastic frame from the inside.

Here is an up close view of the window molding... can we all say it together now? EW! So yellow and so dated looking because of it. To be completely honest, I hadn't really looked twice at the front door before because there were other things to be done - but boy am I glad I looked a little closer on Sunday. After removing all the molding, I painted the door with a paintbrush for two coats and then rollered on the third coat to make it nice and smooth! I used an eggshell white that I had laying around the house - same as the walls - so it just blends right in!

I didn't want to hand paint the molding, figuring the plastic would get all streaky and that would frustrate me to no end. So I chose to spray paint... I love spray paint! Let me re-phrase, I LOVE spray paint, but I hate the spray paint that I chose for this project. It had a terrible sprayer and my table in the basement as well as my arm got covered in paint. boo!

Even though it was messy, it was worth it because the frames look 100x better than before! So crisp and clean, with a little sheen to boot!

After letting the spray paint and the door dry for about two hours while we went out and celebrated with some friends on their engagement (shout out to Jordan and Danielle, congrats you guys!!), we were ready to put the door back together
The window glass is actually just held between the two plastic panes (one on the outside and one on the inside) with a bunch of screws, so the process to take it apart and put it back together is not a hard one! 

After everything was put back together, it was an amazing difference! What was once blah and brown is now crisp and clean! Thank goodness for a little white paint :)

We hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas with your family and loved ones and we wish you a prosperous new year! As always, thank you for following along with us! 

Until next time, Lindsey and Rob

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