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stillshimpy

Broke It, Bent It, Tried To Fix It: Home Improvements

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It's a holiday weekend here in the U.S.  This means that it is time to invade the home improvement stores of the world, in an attempt to gussy up various beat up things around the house.  Now seriously, I just used the phrase "gussy up"  ...that was stuck in my brain somewhere and now it is free at long, long last, because I don't think I've ever used it before.   Frightening.  

 

Anyway, so here's one of the projects I'm starting today.  It's very much based on this:  The project I am outright copying.   

 

Reason being?  I own this poor, unfortunate soul:  

 

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It was always sort of a cheesy looking thing anyway, but it managed to sustain scuffs aplenty during a thousand mile move (thanks a lot relocation company, argh) and I figure it can't possibly get any worse.  Of course, I've never put silver (actually aluminum ) leaf on anything before, so it might go spectacularly wrong, but since the tiny dresser has been banished to that workshop area for  a year and a half, it's not like I'm risking much.  

 

Anyway, I figured I can't be the only person who's ever seen a DIY project and thought, "Hey, I could do that...maybe, I think.  Crap, I wonder how good you have to be at this stuff to pull that off?"  I thought I'd share the progress and see if anyone has any helpful advice like "Oh my God, run for your life, you'll never get the wisps of metal leaf out of your home."  

 

Anybody else starting anything?  

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This is nowhere near what you are attempting (and best of luck!) but I want to make a sandbag - to be used for punching and possibly lifting/carrying. The challenge here is picking the mats. I don't have a duffel bag or anything strong enough to use as the actual outer bag, so I'm looking into what I can purchase cheaply - and locally, so that I can feel the texture. This is WIP. Also, while sand is tempting to use, something less of a drag to clean in case of an accident might be a better choice. But it could be too sharp and I could injure myself. Anyone have experience with this?

Edited by Crim

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Cool, Crim! I'd be a little bit hesitant to use a grain or food product, but that's because I live in a humid area and I can't even store grains for food unless it is in an airtight container. So that's something to consider, don't get a material that can absorb moisture and mold.   I think Walnut shells are what are often used to fill thingd like punching bags and those little "squeeze this ball in your hand, stress-reliever".  A quick glance at ebay seems to indicate that you shouldn't have any problems sourcing them, if that's what you decide to go with for the project.

 

 

 

If the leaf stuff doesn't work you can always try some chalk paint in silver tones.

 

That's actually my co-project for the weekend.  The leaf project is going to take a while to finish, because I need to do one surface at time while I'm getting the hang of it.  That means painting a surface with the tack, letting it cure for three hours and then doing that surface.  Hopefully I'll get good enough at it that I can do things like tackle two-sides at once, but we'll see.  

 

Then on a really old piece of furniture I own -- a dry-sink, that's just a reproduction and was the first piece of purely decorative furniture I ever bought, for something like the princely sum of $125 , I'm doing the metalic glaze finish on that,  reason being I have a third piece of furniture I intend to do one, or the other to depending on which method looks better.  The dry sink is drinking paint, as expected and it does take multiple flat coats first. Cost alone the metalic glaze over base-coat of the same color is much cheaper.  Anyway, here's that one and my progress on the little dresser.  Already I encountered a difference, man-that dresser really needs multiple coats vs. the "I put a coat on" that the decorator was talking about.  

 

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Edited by stillshimpy
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Our project for the weekend is painting our coming baby's bedroom. This is actually the end of the project cycle for us. It started when we decided to get the popcorn ceiling in that room tested and found out it had asbestos. So, we had to get a licensed asbestos abatement contractor out to remove the popcorn. Then we had to get a drywaller out to repair the damage to the ceiling and refinish it. Then we painted the ceilings in the affected rooms. Then we had a carpet cleaner out. Now we're finally getting around to painting the walls. Three months later than originally planned.

 

After this weekend, the project is just buying and if necessary, assembling furniture for the baby's room.

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stewedsquash, I bet you're actually right about the kind of give that would provide though, so I think you were absolutely on the right track.  I have a medicine ball I suspect is filled with sand, but when we went from a semi-arid state to a humid one, that thing turned into a frightening little brick of a ball, due to the humidity change.  So it was actually just life experience.  Or as I used to say whenever driving anywhere with my husband and then being able to miraculously tell him, "Oh, turn right here!"  "How do you know?" "I've been lost here before!" 

 

Gilmel, congratulations!  Will this be a first baby or joining the crew?  I'm sorry you had to have the asbestos abatement team out, they cost the Earth.  I had to have them out during a remodel years ago, the same remodel where I had to have our sewer line moved (the absolute least amount of fun you can have with six thousand dollars, I'm convinced of it).   

 

I hope it turns out beautifully, what color are you going with for the walls? 

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First baby. So we've had to reorganize the room for her. It was sort of a mix of guest room, dog's room, board game room. We had to totally reorg the office to move a lot of that stuff in there. And the bathroom, since we have no linen closet and had been using what's now the baby's closet for that purpose.

 

The walls will be a sunshiny yellow. Green and white accents, if necessary. We haven't really gotten into the decorating mindset yet, but the crib is white.

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That sounds like it will be super cheerful and fun, Glimel! I went with yellow and green for my son years ago too.  Good luck on the reorganization for space.  That always feels a little funky at first.  

 

Well, I had a setback with my project.  i'm not sure if you'll be able to see this or not, but the stuff for that dry-sink looks almost indescribably bad.  I knew I was sort of up a creek almost as soon as I opened the glaze paint.  It's Martha Stewart Textured Metallic and good lord, I can't say enough bad things about that stuff, so I will leave it at this: 

 

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I'm so glad it was apparent that it was going to look like crap.  I only did the back, trying three different ways of applying it over the basecoats.  I don't think this picture actually does how horrible it looks justice.  Sooooo....guess I'll be sanding that off.  Yay.  On the bright side at least it wasn't Stealth Suck.  It's a weird paste, looks like something for  a sixth-grade-art-project. Probably great if you want to paint a crown for a birthday party for a little kid, but really not good for the dry sink project. 

 

Back to the drawing board on that.   Also, my aluminium leaf didn't come in yet, so I'm stuck waiting on that.  

 

Well, at least I got my holiday weekend projects well underway and even suffered that required failure and restart :-)

Edited by stillshimpy

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We had a setback, too. We painted the whole room and then realized the yellow was just far too much, too overwhelming. So we've been back to the paint store to get a couple sample cans in different colors today to try to find one that works. We ended up settling on 50% lighter on the original color, since most of the other colors ended up looking cream or manilla.

 

So, here it is, almost dinner time on the last day of the weekend, and we're just starting to paint. And it will take at least two coats.

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When we did the baby's room (many years ago now), we picked a Winnie the Poo border and a couple of pieces of art first. We took those to the paint section and matched up the appropriate green for the bottom half of the room and cream/yellow for the top. It definitely worked out well, and was the result of lessons learned painting other rooms. I think my kitchen was five different colors in the first seven years I lived here.

 

And yellow with green and white is a great choice for a baby's room. No need to change the scheme a couple years down the road should that baby move into a different room to make space for another one. :)

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Errr, I don't have a baby coming, but I do have something, well a couple of somethings that I hope someone here can help me with, as I am at my wits' end. So to speak.

 

I recently moved and I LOVE my new apartment. Especially the kitchen, but, for some reason, I can't seem to get my gas range top burners, you know those doohickies, where the flames come out to heat food, whatevers? I don't know how it happened, but apparently the durned thing got burned, and it's black and yucky. I've tried a mixture of lemon juice and baking soda, and it sort of works, but damn it's hard and tedious. And I'm not about to try and take the thing apart to soak it or whatever those Google pages say to do. Then there are those grates that cover the burners? After trying to fry lentil crackers (pappadam), it burned the grate. I'm thinking it's the paint or glaze or whatever was used to protect the paint. Anyone here can help me to clean that off?  Short of scouring it to death?

 

And finally, I have one of those stainless steel sinks? I love it, but no matter how many times I clean it, with 409, the Lysol wipes, there is always a gritty feel to it. Can anyone suggest what I can use to get rid of that gritty, sandy feeling?

 

Thanks heaps!

 

I'd post pictures of the stove top burners/grates, but I can't manage to minimize the size and my one attempt at posting a picture took up the whole damn reply box!

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I think I should be able to help, GHScorpiosRule, but I need to figure out one thing first.  Series of the world's most boring photos to follow. Okay, here on the right, is the stovetop with everything in place, on the left I've removed the grill and both caps that goes over the the burners are in place: 

 

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Here on the left is the first cap removed: 

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Last boring picture, back burner, cap removed and you can actually see the mineral build-up on that one.   

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On your stove top, is the cap adhered to the burner?  

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Hey shimpy!

 

No, I don't have caps on my burners. They're like, 'exposed' for the lack of a better word, so all you see is the silver/aluminum part, with the holes from where the flames come out. And it's the top of the burner that gets all brown/black.

 

I'll try to take a picture and upload and apologize in advance for the humongous size it'll be, so's you can see what I mean.

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Cool thank you :-)  That helps, because it's the difference in trying to figure out if you need to get those things off.  For starters, it's usually a good idea to have the caps to protect your burners from something like that happening.  Someone probably threw yours away when they got grungy :-)  

 

Here's a link to the process for cleaning the caps if you do end up getting them.   Now here's the tougher news....you're almost certainly going to need ammonia (whee, yes, it smells icky, but it does the job) .  You can try white vinegar first if you like.  

 

Essentially, you need to figure out how to put an oven cleaning product on what amounts to baked on food.  Here's a link to another ammonia based approach. 

 

On your sink, it sounds like you need to use something midly abrasive, like Soft Scrub, or you can also use baking soda.  Rub in a circular pattern and rinse like mad.  Best thing about baking soda is if you don't get it all off, it will leave a white residue, so you will know if you need to rinse more.  Or you can also get a Magic Eraser and buff your sink with it.  

 

Not each time, but that's probably why you have a gritty feel to your sink,  you just need to scrub with an abrasive substance every now and then and rinse :-)  

 

I used to live in a house where apparently the teen boys of the previous owner amused themselves by essentially beating the living crap out of the entire house.  They had spilled something all over a pantry door that took me THREE YEARS to figure out how to get it off entirely.  The only thing that worked?  Ammonia.  Open every darned window in the house though and run your vent because...e-freaking-gads.  

 

Also, if you want to keep that from happening again you might want to run a product a search for the burner caps/covers :-) 

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Nope, no caps. And the weird thing is, they got burned just by me cooking rice on it, meaning, no food fell on them!

 

Okay, here are the pictures.

 

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The first is the grate, that got "burned" from my trying to cook lentil crackers over the flame!

 

And thanks about the Soft Scrub. Need to get my self to Target and get me some cleaning supplies.

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Aha, interesting!  So, can I ask, do you have an electric starter on that?  Do you hear a click-click-click then *flame* on your other burners?  

 

Because just from what I can see, your burner doesn't actually look blocked entirely.  You have other burners that are working? 

 

Try lighting one and just crouch down to burner level to see if there is a spark generated after the "click" click" "Click" that then catches the gas afire.  

 

If you aren't hearing a click-click-click (almost all modern stovetops have electric starters so I'm assuming) your starter might be blocked, or damaged, that's why identifying on the working burners where it is might help.  For instances mine are all to the right (just gives you a good idea of where to start).  For that, I'd suggest trying that first link featuring the "I scrubbed with vinegar and soft-scrub" (grab either a scrub brush, or buy a nail-brush at target, they are cheap and allow for stiff bristled, close-up scrubbing).  

 

If you've always been the owner on that stove-top then I'm flummoxed as to what became of your burner caps.  If you haven't been?  Trying taking the product name and model number (should be visible) and just run a general search.   You can usually score them on Ebay :-)  But you are missing your covers.  Restaurant stoves frequently don't have them, but home cooking stoves almost always do.  

 

That other food stuff ought to come off with the vinegar-soft-scrub approach.  Just put it on there, let it sit for a good ten minutes (long enough to loosen but not so long that it dries) and then scrubba-dub-dub.  

 

I hope that works.  I used to have a ceramic stove-top and that bastard thing made me nearly give up cooking, it was so hard to keep clean.  I had to get special "Polish" for it.  I basically shouted with glee the day it just turned up its toes and died.  

 

 

 

And thanks about the Soft Scrub.

 

You're welcome, it's my pleasure and I hope to heck we uncovered something that might help.  If not, let me know and I'll keep trying to find something.  

 

ETA:  One last thing on the whole, "Oh, I wonder if your starter switch might have gotten killed?"  I have a friend out here who keeps one of those fireplace, grill starting lighters by her stove-top because she kept killing the starter in one particular burner.  The first time a pot had boiled over and drowned it.  It was a $250 part, apparently but she just paid for it.  Then the darned thing died again, apparently of natural causes.  Rather than pay that rather obscene amount, she now just manually lights the burner with her lighter, but lighting the flame on the lighter, then turning on the burner and just touching the lighter to it.  

 

Saved her a couple of hundred dollars :-) 

Edited by stillshimpy

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Yes, my stove does make that 'click-click-click' noise.

 

No, I live in an apartment and it never had caps. Maybe I should call lease management and ask them about that?

 

Okay, add to my list...get vinegar and as for ammonia, just plain ammonia or should I get the hydrochloric thingamajig? peroxide?

 

Thanks for your help! Beats Angie's list, where one has to fucking pay to "find" things to fixer upper one's home!

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No, I live in an apartment and it never had caps. Maybe I should call lease management and ask them about that?

 

Yes, absolutely :-)  Those are actually necessary parts to keep the flame from being easily extinguished and it helps with heat disbursement too.  They may have tossed them when a previous tenant grunged them up.  Run a search for the product type first, but that's not a professional grade stove and it does appear to simply be missing the covers, vs. being designed not to have them :-)  I'm just saying "run the search" because if they give you crap about it, you can produce  a link with "Here, here's the missing part."  Your flame shouldn't be that tightly focused.   

 

Are you getting a spark with the click click click? Because when your starter has died or drowned you can get the click without the spark.  

 

Hold on and I will grab you a picture of the type of ammonia.  It's not an industrial grade or anything :-) 

 

Again, you're welcome.  I hope it works and jeez, do I ever agree about Angie's List.  Freaking racket.  


Here you go :-)  It's usually going to be in the laundry/cleaning supply area, as some people use it as an alternative to bleach (some brave people, cause wow): 

 

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I just called my lease manager and she told ne it depends on the kind of stove I have. some come with caps; others don't. They'll send maintenance over to take a looksee.

 

And no spark when it's clicking. It does the click-click and poof! the flames appear.


Again, you're welcome.  I hope it works and jeez, do I ever agree about Angie's List.  Freaking racket.  

 

 

For realz. I always want to throw something at my tv whenever I see those commercials, because they NEVER say it isn't FREE to see her list. Go away, Angie.

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Remember my dry sink project?  Okay, the first attempt before the silver-leafing stuff to test a different method were amusingly bad.  I used a Martha Stewart "Texture Metal" paint and to put it mildly?  It looked awful.  Eventually I was reduced to spray painting.  In progress: 

 

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I did not miss my calling as a graffiti artist, that's for sure!  Plus, oh my god, with the fumes!  

 

However, with plenty of fan action, I started to get the coats even :-) 

 

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Yes, it is shiny :-)  I'm in between coats on it, as I have to sand with fine steel wool to get a more even appearance.  That picture is dark as hell, but it's because I had to turn my flash off to keep from creating a retina burn and I'm still working on the sample board for the silver leaf....that was one thing that the people at the gilding planet site recommended highly,   to do a sample board first to get the technique down.  

 

I'm really glad they did, because ...holy hell and merciful Zeus, it's almost amusing how funky this stuff is on a large surface.  For one thing, I had to get a different "size" (which is the adhesive..."gilding size" ) my first batch was oil based and whereas that dries to a hard surface all on it's own, without requiring a topcoat, it was also going to a) kill me and pretty much anyone within a 100 foot radius from fumes b) the bastard stuff didn't dry to the right level of tack.  So I ended up with a million little metal sheet fragments on me, on my hair, on everything...and gaps on the board.  Also, I had to get a different gilding brush (long story). 

 

So now I'm experimenting with the water-based.  I promise I'll post pictures as I get them finished, it just turned out to be far more complicated than I thought it would be.  The spray paint, by the way, is shiny.  Not "oh, polished chrome!" shiny, but highly reflected, pretty much like stainless steel.  That's both good and bad in that it's taking a lot of coats to even out the look.  

 

Where I live ...so do roughly a zillion critters, bugs and birds, so doing most of this stuff outside isn't feasible. 

Edited by stillshimpy

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Okay, here's a progress picture.  There is kind of a steep learning curve on this,...first, here's a picture of that demonic "size"  

 

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Then the thing that I had to learn on the test board was to not freak-out over how raggedy and messy it will look as you go along and to not try and clean up each piece as it is applied.  So here's a terrifying "in progress" picture of the back..which I knew I could mess up on as much as need be: 

 

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Then here is the buffed out image.  I've still got some issues with being able to see the overlap, where you just have to buff like a crazy person...but very, very lightly.  I had one spot of sizing fail that I still can figure out and when I do the front feet, that sucker is going up closer to eye level.  

 

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But it's we will see,  It has to be sealed.  I had to learn to work from the bottom up, which seems counter-intuitive, and to make really liberal use of the applying tissues for trying to get a smooth effect.  Also, going forward and I'm going to make sure to do one side at a time, slowly and to quit long before being tired.  Also, to clean up the metal bits as soon as done, because wow...they float like mad.  But I think I've gotten the hang of it and I should have listened to a friend who told me to apply in a diagonal pattern for a piece that big.  

 

It's still a toss up as to which is the better approach, spray painting or gilding.  

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Okay, in today's installment of everything you never really wanted to know about how to silver-leaf furniture, I started the drawers and did use a less regimented application process.  You will see some lines (basically only someone examining it from four inches away would, but ...you know, when it's your project? You'd it examine it that closely)...so to keep with the sort of faux-mirror gig, I went a bit nuts with the "cracked" application.  Also, I now have a clear winner in the spray-painting vs. leaf.  Unsurprisingly, the leaf looks MUCH better....and it turns out the friggin' spray paint is going to need to be sealed too (if anyone needs me I'll likely be sealing something for the foreseeable future).  

 

Size picture...got the application down on that, no sizing fails today: 

 

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In progress, crazy pattern application, not yet buffed out: 

 

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Contrast picture with drawer yet to be done (and yes, I did put everything up on the bench today....sorry my workshop looks like something from a horror movie, but I think everyone's does) 

 

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Closeup after first buffing, no flash , still has to be lightly buffed with artist's brush one more time: 

 

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This is a picture to give you an idea of how light reflective it is, so no light, no flash: 

 

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I would have silver, cream, shades of lavender and purple and a tiny bit of black.

That sounds really pretty. I love reading this stuff y'all. I suck at home projects but love the idea of them. @stillshimpy I admire your dedication. I think it's going to turn out lovely & look forward to the final reveal!

Two of my favorite color combos I've done in rooms are robin's egg blue & chocolate brown. I had a bedroom in those shades a few years ago. Many years ago I had a half bath painted a shade of green apple & everything else was stark white with silver accents. I loved that small room.

Edited by ramble
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Two of my favorite color combos I've done in rooms are robin's egg blue & chocolate brown.

 

I love that color combination.  I used it to decorate a room in my best friend's house where the walls were painted a deep coral-ish-/orangish color.  She definitely looked frightened as I tossed things in the cart, but knew the reason she'd asked me to do it is I have an eye for color (and decorating in general) and she doesn't, so she went with it and absolutely loved it once I got everything in place.

 

Every room of my house is a different color scheme, and it's a great source of pride how many people marvel at the fact that all adjoining rooms' color schemes coordinate with each other despite being quite different in some cases.  Another coup was painting a bathroom in white, lilac and light green without having it remotely resemble an Easter egg (the purple and the green never directly touch each other).

Edited by Bastet
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I should borrow all of your talents, because alas, decorating elegance has never been my forte. I realized I could just ramble on about that, or I could show you guys a couple of pictures. Basically my house looks like it was decorated by a person...who really, really doesn't know what they're doing when it comes to decorating:-)

But hey, I refinish furniture in a passable fashion :-) Honestly, it was figure out what to do with that dresser, or get rid of it, it was badly scuffed in that move. Bad enough that it would have been rude to give it to a charity in that condition "Oh look, you donated your trash. Thanks."

So I don't know what to do it, but it's not for use in a particular room. It's an experiment that might go wrong, or might work out. Don't know yet!

Anyway, here are the promised pictures. So...the pumpkin-head girl is a Halloween decoration that we both liked and never bothered to put away. But yeah, this is part of my living room and yes, I do currently have a painting propped in front of my fireplace. Why? Well...I...put it there, basically until I figure out where else I want to put it.

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Then this is another part of the living room...and yes, that's a glass block wall...and yeah, I should probably figure out what to do about that. I have a friend who is a decorator and designer. She cracks up A LOT in my house.

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Edited by stillshimpy

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I have an eye for color (and decorating in general) and she doesn't, so she went with it and absolutely loved it once I got everything in place.

Man, I need to have you over my house because i just cannot figure out what to do color-wise with my living room.  Decorating is not a skill of mine.  Sort of like how putting together a coordinated outfit is something I seem to be pretty incapable of.  (These must be related skills, right?)

 

 

 

Basically my house looks like it was decorated by a person...who really, really doesn't know what they're doing when it comes to decorating:-)

I don't think my house even qualifies as having been "decorated" in any way.  Basically I put in the furniture that I have and eventually, after living with bare walls for a couple of years, I bought some cheap-ass crap "art" to put on walls basically as place holders.  It's ridiculous.  And I've lived in my house for...four years? (Lord, I don't even know when I bought my house)...and have wanted to paint the walls since I moved in because they're all practically white and I just finally painted the office and the rest is still untouched.  And what color did I paint the office?  Beige.  Yep!  I'm a decorating genius!  

Edited by smrou
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I am finally coming into the home stretch on that silver-leaf project.  Today the front gets done...which I saved the front and the top for last, for obvious "If I'm not good at it by then, I simply never will be, but I'll better at it than when I first started.  I hope.  In theory." 

 

So other than partially silver-leafing my forearm one day and having a near nervous breakdown when my dog wandered into the workshop, took a big sniff around and then, with a tiny fragment on the end of her nose, proceeded to do that dog thing:  she licked the end of her nose and the fragment disappeared. If you were ever wondering: Will ingested faux-silver leaf kill a dog?  No.  No it will not.  Not that you should run around feeding it to dogs, and thanks to the vet and the people at the art store that helped me determine what the hell is in silver-leaf.   Other than that, it's gone fairly well. 

 

Any kind of nook, cranny or carving is, without a doubt, the stuff of either nightmares are truly hysterical laughter.  At one point my husband heard me laughing my ass off, like Tom Hanks in the Money Pit, just because ....oh...my...god, the feet nearly drove me fully insane.  

 

Next comes the clear top coat, that says, in big ass letters "for professional use only"  ....so....no way for that to go wrong, I'm sure.  (merde) 

 

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Also, hooray, it's combustible.  

Edited by stillshimpy
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Oh you thought it would never happen, right?  Yeah...me too!  And I am surprisingly not dead and didn't burn down anything (yet, but here's hoping that trend continues).   

 

The finished front! 

 

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and the back side view :-) 

 

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I repeat.  I am not dead!  As far as I know, that is.  I'm sure someone would tell me.  I think.  I hope.  

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How am I only now finding this topic?

 

Crim, how did the sandbag turn out? I'm waaaaaay late to the party, but my recommendation would be to use rice, but toast it in the oven first, to thoroughly dry it, before using it as stuffing. My mom made some of those microwavable heat wraps, and that's what she did. She also sprinkled a little cinnamon in the bag before stitching it shut, so when you heat it, it smells yummy. I think that helps with the healing properties. Aromatherapy for the win!

 

Stillshimpy, that dresser is so cool -- great job! I've only used metal leaf on paper, and only on small pieces, but I know how frustrating it can be to have the A/C come on and blow the stuff all over.

 

I've done quite a few DIY projects in our house, as we're in the midst of a years-long remodel, doing a room at a time. I don't do plumbing or electrical work, 'cause I don't want to flood the house or burn it down, but if anyone wants to hear war stories about ripping out decades-old carpet and baseboards, installing vinyl flooring over asbestos tile, or putting up Elfa shelving from the Container Store, I'm your gal.

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I replaced the kitchen faucet this weekend. This is only notable because for the first time in a long time, possibly ever, a plumbing job was accomplished with neither a trip to Lowes or a loud expletive being uttered from the guy with his head under the sink.  (Although there was a moment at the end there where I could have dropped a wrench on my head, which certainly would have continued the streak.)

 

The fun thing about successfully completing a home repair or upgrade is that it makes me want to get started right away on the next one, despite the fact that I had been avoiding it for a good six months. Now I'm drunk with power.

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Hey i realized the other day when someone else posted in this thread that I never showed you guys the result on that dry sink.   

 

More later when I'm on my other computer, but here it is, after several disasters that led to the "Fuck thi! BLUE, it will be BLUE!" decision.  ETA:  So what happened was that the silver spray paint wouldn't adhere, at all.  If you touched it you'd end up looking like the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz.  Worse still, that meant I couldn't hold the bloody thing still to sand it off.  So I had this piece of furniture that was essentially going to be garbage and I figured, "Well, how much worse can you get than 'destined for the garbage??" and I bought some Ralph Lauren metallic blue paint ...which they had kindly re-released since I went through my spray saint saga (insert plethora of inventive swear words here, because I swore in languages yet to be discovered).  

However, it worked.  Go figure.  It's actually got kind of neat, silver mottled appearance now and bonus: it can be touched without the painting attempting to go home with you.  Go team. 

 

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Edited by stillshimpy
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oh my! That is pretty stillshimpy!

We are about to embark on a renovation of epic proportions here in the Mountain household. My husband can do the work but will we have enough money to finish the project? Will we finish the project? This is exciting but scary at the same time. My husband is an excellent craftsman, he does it for a living however, the shoe makers kids and all that fits my family to a tee. So many unfinished projects in my house and it drives me batty! I'm actually taking the kids to my parents for a week so he can get some of the main demolition done without us being in the way. 

 

Currently we live in a 1940's farmhouse with lots of walls and doors. I want it to be more open. So, we are going to tear down the wall in the living room that separates our master bedroom and living room and turn the master into the kitchen and the kitchen into the master. We are going to add a master bath and walk in closet at that time as well. The living room will then be a more open floor plan into the new kitchen and the side yard will now become the back yard and the back yard will be the side yard with the master bedroom having its own back patio area with a hot tub, one day. Of course, there is a lot more to it but the main gist of it is that the Master Bedroom will be in the old kitchen and the kitchen will be in the old master bedroom. 

 

I hope we can survive through this. At least the weather will be warming up so the boys (2 and 5) can play outside and not be in the way and I hope to be pregnant in a few months as well. It's now or never!

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It is the story of my life that I will spend twice as long fixing my tools than I will using them on what I set out to do.  Today has been no exception.  I'm getting ready to put in air conditioning, and I'm boring the holes through my exterior wall where the line sets will go from the compressor to the crawl space under the house.  The bottom-most hole necessitates notching out some of the soleplate.  No problem. 

 

Except, first, I had to go to the hardware store for a longer blade for my reciprocating saw.  Then, about 30 seconds into cutting away at that wood, a hot spark hits me in the leg and my saw dies.  The ancient cord finally gave out on me -- the neutral wire broke.  And, of course, it broke right where the cord meets the handle, so the only way to get to enough of the existing wires to attach them to a new cord is to take the handle off. 

 

So, yeah, half an hour in the garage getting the saw working again so I could come back out and spend about three minutes sawing.  Now it's time for a lunch break.  The cord I used is the last one I had - and one I had earmarked for another project (lengthening the cord to my warming tray set) - so now I'll have to go raid my parents' garage. 

Edited by Bastet

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Wow, Bastet, "a hot spark hits me in the leg and my saw dies" -- not "a hot spark hits me in the leg and I had to go to the ER" -- I am impressed with your toughness!

 

So, does this topic include gardening, or should we start one? Or is there one that I've overlooked? Just wondering, 'cause tomorrow is the only day in the coming week that is supposed to be dry (thank the Lord, we really need the rain!) and I plan to rake the lingering leaves in the front yard and then dig up the thistles in the back yard.

 

Oh, and the "grape Kool-Aid" trees are blooming! Yay! (Texas Mountain Laurel)

https://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/texas-mountain-laurel-fully-flowering/

Edited by forumfish
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Oh, it was just a spark -- like what would happen around a campfire.  Hot as hell for the moment before it fizzles out, but doesn't even leave a mark.

 

There's a thread in the Food topic about growing one's own food, but I don't believe there's a general gardening topic here.  I think that would be great, so start one up and tell us what you're working on.

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Not a home improvement question or comment, but this is the closest theme I could find...

 

I have some sherpa lined throws that were given to me as presents.  It's coming up on time to wash and store them, but I am afraid of losing the softness and fluffiness.  Anyone know a trick for this?  Will dry cleaning keep them soft and fluffy?  And I am going to be clutching my chest and saying "It's the big one" (was that Sanford & Son?) at the cost?

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Not a home improvement question or comment, but this is the closest theme I could find...

I have some sherpa lined throws that were given to me as presents. It's coming up on time to wash and store them, but I am afraid of losing the softness and fluffiness. Anyone know a trick for this? Will dry cleaning keep them soft and fluffy? And I am going to be clutching my chest and saying "It's the big one" (was that Sanford & Son?) at the cost?

I know nothing about cleaning sherpa lined throws (although that sounds disturbing to me because the first thing I think of are the climbing guides), but I do know Sanford and Son. That is the right show. You might want to throw in an "I'm coming, Elizabeth!" Edited by auntlada

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I washed & dried my Sherpa lined throws & they matted slightly. I didn't really care since mine were inexpensive TJMaxx ones & I wash them pretty frequently. However, I've heard that you can "re-fluff" them by brushing them with a stiff type of brush & that air drying can help retain the fluffiness.

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I wonder if the manufacturer can tell you how to care for them. If they don't have tags, that might be hard to figure out, though.

 

Nevermind-- ramble posted an answer while I was typing mine.

Edited by possibilities

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This isn't a home improvement project, but it's a DIY one, so I figured I'd put it here. My 85-year-old father needed a platform for doing balance therapy at home. You know, like the step aerobics ones -- only he needed one 2 to 2.5 inches tall and the ones I found for sale start at 4 inches tall.

 

I thought about making him one out of some shelves I picked up in the neighborhood, wrapping them with nonskid shelf liner. Then I figured by the time I stacked 3 of them to get the height right, they would have been a little heavy for him to pick up. So …

 

I bought 5 foam gym floor tiles for $3 each at Five Below -- you know, the kind that fit together like a puzzle. I measured the space between the legs of his walker (he has to hold on to it while doing his exercises) and trimmed the 24x24 tiles to 19x19, cutting off all the puzzle "knobs" to make straight edges. I used duct tape to bind them together, making sure the textured side was facing out on both sides, so it won't slide when he steps on it. I then made a carrying strap by wrapping a piece of velcro (only the soft side) with duct tape and then taping it to one edge.

 

It turned out better than I expected, and since I had the velcro and tape already, I only spent $15 + tax. When he doesn't need it any longer (or just quits using it), I'll use it either for working out or as a gardening cushion.

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Not to alarm anyone, but if you live in a home built before 1990, please check to see if your breaker box was manufactured by Federal Pacific Electric and has the stab-loc circuit breakers. I first heard about these when we were selling my mom's house in 2010 and the inspector advised the buyers to make us replace it, which we did. Then when my sister recently had her kitchen renovated (and of course new appliances and recessed lighting installed), her contractor pointed out that her breaker box was FPE and he replaced it. Then, 2 weeks ago, a house on her street suffered a great deal of fire damage which started---you guessed it---when the FPE circuit didn't trip during a surge and a fire started in the garage. Thank God a neighbor alerted the firemen that they had 2 dogs and they were saved. Apparently there was a class action lawsuit in 2005 in NJ regarding these boxes and I just read an article as recent as 2012 on an NBC site in the Bay City area about these presenting a real fire hazard and profiled related incidents. These were installed all over the country. So please, whether you own or rent a home built before 1990, look at the box door and all over the circuits and any labels to see if it is this type of device. And search the Internet for pics and more info!!

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I wonder if that's why our landlord replaced our breaker box this year? He just said it was old, although it didn't look all that old to me.

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Just starting in on a project I've been needing to get to for some time now.  I have a solid cabinet that I bought years ago that fit just under a countertop/bar area in the townhouse I was renting.  When I moved to this house, first it was in the garage, then I decided to put it in this god awful utility closet.  Builder put it under the stairs off of the kitchen.   It's narrow and the ceiling goes down to nothing in the back.  The worst part is that the main plumbing for the house is in the closet (which they conveniently did not show in the model).  This house's floor plan was the one that I liked the most out of all 7 or 8 they had at the time, so I basically liked the room flow and didn't pay as much attention to the kitchen layout.  In the finished model, the kitchen was flipped because the model had a detached garage.  This subdivision has all attached garages which meant they had to redo the layouts for the kitchen.  No pantry and only 2 lower cabinets (other than under the sink).  One is a blind corner cabinet - from hell.  The other one is a regular two door cabinet.

 

I am moving stuff out of the utility closet and going to put a shelving unit in there - with just stuff like cartons of pop, juice bottles, paper goods - maybe one or two kitchen appliances (like crock pot type stuff) that I don't use that much.  I was almost ready to call a furniture donation store and tell them to come and get the wooden cabinet, when I hit upon DIY kitchen islands online.  I am in the process of stripping the sealant - I think I put a light satin poly on it.  I got some liquid sander that the guy at Lowe's said would work.  I'm painting it black (it was a natural stain - but went too orangey for me) and the black will go with my kitchen decor in red and black.  The black will also hide some flaws in the wood.  My plan is to put a butcher block top on the top; I found a prefab one - 1.5 inches thick, and there will be overhang of a few inches front to back, and about 5 to 6 inches side to side.  I am debating if I'll need to put braces on the sides, but I'll see once I get the top in place.  Planning on doing some sort of silicone epoxy to glue the top on the cabinet.  It's heavy, as is the cabinet, so it should be enough (hopefully).

 

I've also put together a stand alone pantry (looks like a real piece of furniture).  I have also taken out the small shelves in the lower cabinets (glued in place!).  I had to get a small electric saw and once the shelves were sawed down, I was able to pound them out.  Why they'd do that for fiberboard shelves I have no idea.  I measured the hellish blind cabinet and got plastic drawers from the Container Store.  Four are situated horizontally to the door, which will be hidden when the two that are vertical to the door are in place.  The plan is to put stuff I use once in a great while but still need in the horizontal hidden drawers (hand mixer, immersion mixer, cookie cutters - stuff like that).  At least with drawers I don't have to climb in the cabinet to get stuff out.  Every day plastic containers will go in the facing drawers so they're hot heavy to lift out.  In the regular cabinet, I purchased two rev-a-shelf rolling shelves - double shelves.  I have a bad back and I rarely got into lower cabinets because bending over is not a good idea.  When I get this all done - I'll try to post finished pictures if anyone is interested.  

 

I've gotten rid of a lot of stuff so far, and it feels like such a weight lifted off of my shoulders.  Why I have kept so much stuff, I have no idea.  It'll be great to finally have an organized kitchen.  (Then onto the remainder of the house).

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OK. We have two of those, except the builder angled the front so there's a panel with two 45-degree angles (one on each side) instead of one 90-degree angle, and there's a two-shelf lazy susan inside. It makes the space really usable.

Edited by auntlada

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