Monday, February 27, 2012

Clean & Organize Your Basement

Winter is a great time to tackle all of those tough indoor chores that have been on your "To Do List" for a while! Organizing and cleaning out your basement is for sure one of them. Unfinished basements tend to hold years of memories, gifts that were given but never used, photo albums from the past 20 or so years, plastic bins of photographs waiting to be placed onto a cd or into an album, holiday decorations that could use an overhaul along with bins of clothing that you will fit into someday or simply can't part with those expensive shoes that are clearly no longer in style. A solid way to start organizing is by categorizing sections in your basement:

*Items to Donate
*Items to Throw Away/Trash
*Items to Sell
*Items to Keep

One website that I found to be useful is - basically you sign up, post what you are giving away for free -someone responds and they schedule a pick up date at your home (I recommend that you leave all items on your front porch) and they come get it. Simple, easy and free.

Other organizing tips for your basement are use large clear, plastic totes to store items in so that you can identify them without having to haul around the tote. If you have light sensitive items such as pictures or videos I recommend a dark, plastic tub which will keep the UV lighting out. If you have to switch winter/summer clothing as I do, I keep clear plastic tubs for sandals and flip flops which turn into boots and winter shoes - along with a few heavy duty rolling racks for your clothes.

You can also cover them with a plastic sheet and hang a cedar closet chip which also will soak up any moisture/mildew in the air. Finish off that organized basement with heavy duty plastic adjustable shelves - as you keep organizing, you can keep tossing all year long.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Varathane Stained Maple Table

My fantastic garage sale find for a crazy $10. I did do a ton of sanding on this table. I literally took my own advice from my blog "Sanding Tips 101". I spent about a total of 4 hours sanding - not all in one day but gave my hand a break in between. I'm going to stain this table with Varathane's Wood Stain which is available in over 20 colors and also has trial sizes available. This works well for me because I can test the colors of stains on the underside of the table and make a final decision from there. I also appreciate Varathane's stain line because I will not have to invest in a quart of stain, a pint will work perfect on this smaller round table. Varathane offers a full in line of stains, soya based, latex based, wood putty and wood fillers as well as a variety of Varathane Polyurethanes.

Now that I have the table fully prepped and ready to me pick a stain color - Espresso, Natural, Cabernet? I will be staining and sharing each picture of the step by step process on Februay 22nd. Log on and help me pick!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sanding Tips 101

Sanding to stain is like primer is to paint. If you do a great job at sanding no one notices, BUT if your sanding jobn is minimal and weak - they will notice! No finish will hide a bad sanding job - same applies for prep and primer work prior to applying paint on the wall.

*Always do your sanding in a well lit area - it is easier to see scratches, nicks, dents or glue marks.

*Don't press too hard while sanding, keep even pressure if using a sanding tool. You do not want to dent into the wood from too much pressure.

*Sanding is not only a one step process. Sand out all blemishes which is any deep scratches, nicks or dents. Use a course grit such as 120-150 for the first layer of sanding.

*Sand in layers and sand with the grain of the wood. Change your paper often-be it on your tool or hand. The sanding does wear out and you will have uneven areas if you do not change papers often. Work your way up in sandpaper - ending with 320 grit.

*Your final sanding should be with the 320 - be sure to sand all of the parts with each sandpaper - including back ledges, legs and corners. You can wrap the sandpaper around the edge of a putty knife to fit into the back of a ledge on a table or dresser.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lamp Revamp - Universal Gloss Cardinal Red

I searched for a new lamp for my bedroom and just struggled with shapes, lampshades & colors. I found this gem at the Goodwill for a fabulous $2.99. I did plug it in at the Goodwill to make sure it worked, the employees were happy to loan me a bulb! I had a certain color in mind and found it - Rust-Oleum Universal Gloss Cardinal Red! It's the exact burst of color needed for my bedroom. I took it to the next level with the lampshade - leopard fringe with warm hues of brown and black! The entire project was under $22, which included the lamp shade I found at 50% off!

Project Materials
*Drop cloth
*Recycled lamp
*Painter's tape

Project Steps
*Cover nearby items with drop cloths to protect them from spray mist
*Cover cord with painter's tape
*Cover bulb socket with painter's tape
*Spray lamp with primer
*Allow to fully cure 30 minutes
*Apply first coat of Universal Gloss Cardinal Red
*Allow to dry 30 minutes
*Apply second coat of Universal Gloss Cardinal Red within an hour or after 48 hours
*Allow to fully cure 24 hours
*Attach lamp shade and insert bulb

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day Chalk Board Charger Plates

Here is a fabulous way to start off Valentine's Day...heart-shaped pancakes served along with this charger plate with your very own special message - Rust-Oleum's Chalk Board Specialty Paint in black has been a hit in our house for many different occasions including birthdays, St. Patty's Day and even if the kids bring home a great report card! Be sure to leave a cup full of chalk for your return message.

Project Materials
*Paint brush or foam roller
*Rust-Oleum Specialty Chalk Board Paint
*Charger plates
*Paint stick
*Clean rag
*Roller tray if you are using a foam roller

Project Steps
*Cover area where you will be painting with newspapers
*Mix paint well
*Apply first coat with either foam roller or paint brush
*Allow to fully dry 30 minutes
*Apply second coating
*Allow to dry 24 hours
*Season plate with the long, round end of the chalk and then wipe off with a clean rag

Friday, February 10, 2012

Canvas Valentine Heart Art

Nothing says Love like a Heart! This is a DIYer's dream craft - all done within a day and you can customize the heart by adding a message to your Valentine. The total project is also just under $12 and can be stored away for next year as well!

Project Materials
*3 - 5 x 7 canvas boards
*Painter's Tape
*White Craft Paint
*Small Paint Brush
*Black marker
*Drop Cloth

Project Steps
*Cover Nearby items to protect them from over spray
*With a pencil - sketch out your heart on the 3 canvas pieces
*Tape off inside with painter's tape
*Spray paint the exposed canvas with Gloss Apple Red
*Allow to dry 30 minutes
*Spray paint another light coat of Gloss Apple Red
*Allow to fully dry 24 hours
*Remove tape
*Paint the inside of the heart - if necessary, the white may look sharp enough
with the white craft paint
*Allow to dry one hour
*Line the outer area of the heart with the black marker
*You can now also write your secret message to your Valentine inside the heart!