Front Door Makeover

Written by Brooke.  As you may know, I work for the federal government...and thanks to their awesome (*cough*) budget skills, I recently enjoyed 6 weeks of furlough (1 day a week off of work with no choice).  It was definitely not fun facing a 20% budget cut for my husband and I, but I decided to make the most of it with small projects around the house.  It made me feel productive instead of lazy, for what it's worth.

One of my furlough Mondays involved giving our front door a makeover.  I was really excited about this - not that we had an awful front door, but I wanted something more modern.  And I was a major rebel, because I didn't even check with our HOA first...ssssshhh, don't spill the beans!  Here's what our door looked like before:

Obviously, it was just your typical, builder-grade door, with brass hardware and in the same shade of red that about half of our neighbors had.  So, we decided it needed a facelift.  When it came to picking a color, we were between the following two shades of grey:


The color on the left is called Dark Cavern, and the color on the right is called Trail Print, both by Behr.  I may be biased since I worked at Home Depot for a of couple years in college, but I really love Behr paint.  I am not endorsed them, but I just find their brand to be of a very high quality, and it goes on very smooth.

After pondering the two colors, I settled on Trail Print.  It doesn't show on the computer very well, but Dark Cavern looked too black on the paint swatch, and I didn't want the door to look black.  In hindsight, I might have gone with the darker color, but I am still very happy with how it turned out!

As far as a tutorial, here is how we got the job done.  First, we removed all hardware (you can tape, but we were changing it out anyways) and laid down plastic to protect the floors.  Be sure to pick a nice day when you can have the door open most of the day, if you don't have a storm door.  We also taped a few areas, like the side panel, the hinges and the bottom black seal strip.  Other supplies were a brush (I used a 2.5" angle brush) and a small roller.  As you can see, we managed to make this small-scale project as messy as possible:

The steps to paint the door are as follows:
  1. Paint the inset creases around the panels first
  2. Paint the raised panels
  3. Paint left-to-right for those boards connecting the side panels
  4. Paint up-and-down on left, middle, and right panels
It is not necessary to follow these steps, but I did find that it reduced lines and streaking.  I used the brush for Step 1, and the roller for Steps 2-4.  Some prefer to use a brush for the whole door, so it is your preference - I am just more of a roller girl...especially on a steel door (as opposed to a wood door).

We painted one coat, let it dry about an hour, then painted a second coat, and let it dry for a couple of hours before installing the new hardware.  You don't want it tacky at all, or you'll have a mess when you install the hardware.  We used Behr Ultra Paint with Primer, so we only needed two coats, and it was perfect!  We also updated the hardware to brushed nickel.  The kick-plate was actually the original brass one that we spray-painted with brushed nickel spray paint (the replacement I bought was too big), so we saved money there.  Check out the results!

I am very happy with how it turned out!!  It looks lighter/darker depending on the sun, and I really think it makes our house look more modern.  And it goes great with our light blue siding.  We even had one compliment from a neighbor already - cha-ching! :)

Midland Arts & Antiques - A Diamond in the Rough

Written by Brooke.  Hello readers (if any of you are still out there)!  I thought I'd pop in for a quick post, as I'm trying to get back in the groove of things.  Carey and I have been SWAMPED all summer - so much for catching up on things :).  Carey is a teacher's assistant, so he was off all summer, but he stayed busy with projects, classes, and other odds/ins, while I worked away.  It's all good, but not much of the honey-do list was complete...

Anyways, I'm writing today about a recent trip the hubby and I took to a local antique store.
It's called Midland Arts and Antiques, and it's HUGE - an antiquer's (if that's a word) dream!  We love stopped by when we have free moments, and when we're in the downtown Indy area.  Since we are on a budget, we didn't really buy much, but we love dreaming of these awesome furniture pieces we are going to buy someday when we can afford it.

Here are some finds from our most recent visit.  This mirror was HUGE!  This picture doesn't do it justice - it was probably 8 feet tall...would be gorgeous in a huge great room!

I love anything and all things apothecary in nature, so I immediately loved this cabinet.  It was metal and very industrial, but had potential!  Sadly, we let it go though...


This old table (looked like a work bench) was FABULOUS!  It was out of our budget, but is definitely our style...we love rustic, modern.

These lockers were a great color too, but I didn't have a place to put them.  They'd be perfect for an entry-way, or kids room!

The only thing(s) we walked away with were these small filing cabinets.  They look like old library card filing drawers!  I like that they were metal and modern, yet traditional in form! I cleaned them up with a rag and vinear, then put them in our office. :)

Jewelry Storage - Phase II

written by Brooke.  A few months ago I posted a picture of the first phase of my jewelry storage project.  You can read up on that here.  This weekend, I finally completed Phase 2...about time, I know.

The next phase in my plan was to find a solution for my earrings.  I hinted at it in my first post, but here I am sharing the final product...and it rocks!  In fact, I'm jumping right to the final product because I loved it so much.

Cute, isn't it?!  It was SO quick and easy too...and best of all, CHEAP!  Of course I'll share the how-to, so here you go.  Obviously, the first step was to get the supplies - frame (goodwill), mesh, staple gun, and scissors or straight edge.

I got the frame for only a couple bucks at Goodwill, and simply sanded it a bit to get some dirt off the frame.  It was already the perfect color, so lucky me!  Be sure to get a frame with a large enough opening to hold your hoard of earrings.

I unrolled the mesh and measured how much I would need to cover the opening of the frame, then used a straight-edged knife to cut the mesh.

My husband and our dog, Capree supervised since there were sharp objects involved...hehe!

My husband helped me staple the mesh to the frame...I held it tight while he stapled.  It's important to keep it really tight so that the mesh doesn't sag once it's stapled.  Also, plan your staples.  We stapled along the inside edge, with the staples pointing towards the outside edge of the frame.  This was because I didn't want the frame flush with the back of the frame, otherwise my earrings would poke the wall everytime I tried to take them in/out of the mesh.  Make sense?!  Here's how it looked:
Then, arrange your earring and hang on the wall!  Here's how the jewelry corner looks...LOVE IT!

I still want to paint our bedroom (so the greens don't clash...that's not intentional), and add a couple bottles for bracelets.  I'll be sure to share more when that's complete.