Thursday, March 28, 2013

Mudroom part 2:

I hate, detest, abhor and loathe "popcorn" ceilings.
DH doesn't see the big deal.

They collect dust, cobwebs, and unwanted attention. Since the texture draws your eye up, it seems to make the room shorter. They are outdated and impossible to clean or "repair" if you ding it or change a light fixture. Ick all around!
Unfortunately, every single house we looked at (besides one) had the dreaded "popcorn" ceilings. So I had resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have to live with it, pay to remove it, or figure out how to do it myself... you can guess which route I took.

Of course I wanted to start small in an inconspicuous area in case I really screwed it up. The mudroom closet is the perfect place to start! Yes, they even popcorned inside the closets. (Insert eye-roll here.) One thing going for me is that in our house they didn't paint over the popcorn, which makes it easier to remove.

After a lot of on-line research I procrastinated, bought supplies, procrastinated some more, and finally decided to just go for it. (I am a coward and did it while DH was on a business trip so he didn't see the mess... or the fall-out if it ended up going awry.)

So I forgot to take a "before" picture... hindsight, 20/20 and all that. So instead, here is a picture of the popcorn ceiling right outside of the closet.

On to the removal! is a great reference site.

Here is what I did:
1. Wash the walls with TSP to remove dust, dirt, and grime. (Only because I will be painting them after)
2. Tape up plastic tarp to walls at the top edge next to the ceiling.
3. Lay down plastic on the floor. (I did this half-heartedly and ended up with extra cleanup)
4. Spray ceiling with warm water. (I bought a hand-pump weed sprayer)
5. Wait for it to soak in. (One of the hard parts, I know)
6. Scrape in smooth long motions (I used a cookie sheet covered with cling-wrap to "catch" a lot of the popcorn)

Well, let's just say it is a good thing I practiced inside the closet...
I was expecting it to be more difficult to remove, so on my first pass I scraped with all my might. Evidently I also sprayed too much water because I started to scrape off the paper layer of the drywall. Crud.

<--- See that darker spot in the middle? Yeah, that is where the drywall paper is peeling off. Oops

After that, I started to get the hang of it, and it was really pretty easy. But now I have to sand down the paper I scraped up, then plaster, then sand, then plaster, then sand... you get the idea. All this to get the ceiling as smooth as... well, as smooth as a ceiling should be.

Finally! The first popcorn-free ceiling in my house!
Now just to prime and paint...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mudroom Part 1: One step at a time...

Ok, so I always seem to have a few projects going on at any one time. But then again, doesn't everyone?

Even Eva had a "project" yesterday which was to bring in (what seemed like) an entire tree through her doggie door and  chew it to shreds... here she is looking guilty with all the wood chips in the background.
Please notice that she has plenty of stuffed and chew toys.

Right now one of my projects is overhauling the closet by the garage into a mini mudroom. I just took the big leap and bought the paint! Keep in mind I am rather color-phobic. Don't get me wrong, I love color... I am just scared to death of it. However, the color I just bought for the mini mudroom is my favorite: green. No, it's not a gray with just a hint of green, it is real green. Green is even in the name of the color, but for now I will keep you all in suspense.
(Stay tuned for the full reveal in a future episode!)

Anyway, one little DIY project that is going inside of the mudroom is the organization system for "traveling odds and ends." You know... keys, sunglasses, mail, notebook, etc. All those things you just have to grab on your way out the door. I had been looking for a while, and I finally found something which had all the attributes I was looking for. There was just one problem; they were scratched. (See the right one, at the bottom? Big ugly scratch)

I frantically searched but alas, they were the last of their kind. Do I let this opportunity slip through my fingers and chance not finding another? Nay! So I snapped them up, determined to find a solution.
I thought of painting over the scratch or just covering it up with a permanent marker. But I wasn't looking to make it just passable, I wanted to improve it.
I could tell you that I struggled, thought of a million things, took months deciding what to do... but in reality I thought of the solution 30 seconds after seeing the scarred surface in the store. What can I say, sometimes things just come to you.

I have a collection of old cards and neat paper to use for various crafts and projects. In this stash is a folder of old maps I have wanted to use for a long time. You have seen it all over Pinterest: maps decoupaged to everything from coasters, to table tops, to walls. So I went in search of my Modge Podge... and failed. (I'm not really good at those "kitschy crafts" so I don't have the glorified glue on hand.) So what do I do? Improvise. Yes, from the picture below you can see that I used good ole' rubber cement. (Don't judge.) It worked for now, and we will see if it ends up peeling off.

Anyway, here is the finished product:
All I did was cut the paper to size, unscrew the hardware, coat both surfaces in glue, stick it, and screw the hardware back on. Voila!

Now just to get the mudroom painted so I can put them up...

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Welcome Home!

Welcome to my first blog! 

(Disclaimer for poor grammar and scattered thoughts)

About me:
I am your average late-20-something working for Corporate America and living in stereotypical suburbia. With a type "A" personality and crazy-unruly (vermillion colored) hair, I love to spend the little free time I have puttering around projects at home and relaxing with my little family.

Speaking of family:
Just over a year ago I married my Dear Husband (DH) who is also a cubicle-dweller 8-5 M-F. In his free time, he enjoys computer/video games, grilling, and rolling his eyes at me as I curse through my latest project.
About a month ago DH and I added a new member to our family, our darling little Eva (ee-va). She is now a 16 lb, 4 month old sweetie pie puppy. Her mom was a Malti-Poo and we think her dad may have been a Schnauzer?

Last November DH and I bought our first home! A two-story 1990 house in stereotypical suburbia: cul-de-sack and fenced in yards and all!
I consider myself an amateur handy-woman, but smart enough not to take on the dangerous jobs! So far after four months in our house, I have fixed 3 different toilets, the refrigerator 3 different times, the furnace fan, an electric socket... but, also failed to fix a buzzing breaker, installing a gas dryer, the furnace, and an outdoor flood light. My current project is turning the closet by the garage into a "mud room" and I'm still struggling over paint colors.

Prior to this house, we had always rented and didn't have room for a garden, so all my gardening experience has been container gardening. (See the picture with my giant trellised tomato and cucumber plants from last year.)
Most of this year is just trying to figure out what is already in the garden and cleaning it up. As far as veggies go, I am going to try raised beds if I have the time to build them! 

The idea of this blog is to give an entertaining log of our adventures with family, pets, homemaking, and gardening.
Hopefully you will have a fun time reading, and maybe even learn something along with me!

~ Vermillion Curls