Monday, July 30, 2012

Ten Painting Tips for the Painting Novice.

As promised, I asked my mother (who has her degree in HGTV) for pieces of advice that she thought that every beginning painter should know.  She thought that all her advice sounded like common sense, but I recently found out that painting isn't as easy as I thought.

Ten Tips for the Painting Beginner:

1. Don't rush the job.
Take your time and do it right.  When we moved into our house it was obvious that the previous owners had been in a huge hurry when they painted.  They hadn't bothered to tape of the trim or even the floors and there was white paint all over the hardwood floors.  It made for a messy amateur looking job.

2. Cover things/move things out of the room that you don't want ruined.
Huge plastic tarps are pretty cheap and can cover up a lot of furniture.  If you are able it is sometimes easier to move the furniture completely out of the room so it isn't in your way.  Don't cover furniture with sheets because the paint can soak through the material.

3. Don't buy cheap tape.
Although painting can be expensive, and you may find yourself tempted to buy the cheapest supplies possible, it is important not to skimp on some of the necessities.  Buying the good tape will ensure that it sticks to the wall and prevents paint from getting behind the tape and onto the part of the wall you don't want painted.  

4. Buy good paint.
Just like you can't skimp on the tape, more importantly you can't buy the cheapest paint.  Well, I guess you could, but the better quality stuff will take less coats and will go on the wall more evenly.  I also like to buy a paint with a primer already in it.  This is especially crucial if you are painting a lighter color onto a darker wall.

5. Buy a comfortable brush to use.
You are going to have the brush in your hands for a good amount of time and it is important that it feels comfortable.  Buy a brush that is good quality and is angled.  A brush that it 1 1/2 to 2 inches is generally a good size.  The brush is used for the trim work (I roll the biggest part of the wall).

6. Remove lint from nap (the fluffy part) on roller by using paint tape.
This prevents lint from the nap from getting onto the wall when you first begin painting.

7. Let paint dry completely before trim work or application of second coat of paint.
Paint will not completely coat, will wipe off the paint you just put on the wall, or may become too thick and drippy if repainted before dry.

8. Buy paint tray liners for easier painting.
You can get a paint tray liner for about $1.00.  Investing in a couple plastic paint trays is easier than trying to clean out the metal tray each time you want to change colors.

9. Put tray and roller in trash bag to go back to later.
If you need to take a break (a short one or overnight) put the whole paint tray along with the roller into a trash bag and twist closed tightly.  This will keep paint already in the tray from being wasted or from drying out.

10. Don't paint too thick to save time.  It will cause the paint to drip down the wall.
By the end of your painting project you will probably find yourself tired of the task and ready for the end result.  Don't try to put on paint too thickly in order to save time.  The paint will drip down the wall and does not look pretty when you have dried drip marks down the wall.

There yuh go!  Hopefully there is at least one tip in here that you didn't know before that will help you out with your next painting project.

Look!  No more yellow and no more chalk board wall!

I'm hoping to make a trip to IKEA this weekend to pick up a few things to complete some of the rooms in my house and I will reveal my newly and freshly painted home!

Sometimes the simple things are the best things!

Friday, July 27, 2012



Sometimes the simple things are (definitely) the best things.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Aretha Frankenstein's: A Break from Painting.

I've taken a couple of well deserved breaks throughout the process of cleaning/painting my home.  Most of them to eat out at new restaurants... well, new to us.

There are many many places to eat in Chattanooga.  Caleb and I tend to lean toward places that aren't chains.  The one place that we have made a point to repeat visit is Aretha Frankenstein's.  I love it.  It literally is this itty bitty place with probably four tables on the patio, six tables inside, and stools where you can sit at the porch railing.

Its located in the middle of a hipster neighborhood in a kind of residential area.  Pretty neat.

The menu has both breakfast and lunch items, but breakfast is where this place really shines.  Both times I got the breakfast burrito.  You get to pick your own fillings.  My choice was egg, cheese, bacon, potato, salsa, and sour cream.  Perfection.

They also have amazing pancakes unlike any others I have ever had.

WARNING:  Don't come here if you want a fast meal.  They cook all of the food in a small kitchen that you would find in a regular old house so it can easily take an hour if they are busy.  They are almost always busy.  

Just be ready to drink some coffee and enjoy the day while you wait.

And then when your food finally comes... Mmmmmm!

Sometimes the simple things are the best things.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Relaxification of My Home.

At my new house the old owners loved them some yellow...

Yellow bedroom.

Yellow dining room.

Yellowish beigeish living room.

Yellow spare room.

Yellow entry.

And they loved chalk board paint.  I now hate chalkboard paint.  

Oh... I forgot to mention that above the chalkboard paint was yellow wall.  In this picture I had already started to paint over the chalkboard which was no easy feat.

More yellow.  Guess what color the sunroom and bathroom were?

I am by no means a hater of the color yellow, but I have never found it very relaxing.  I want my house to be a calming place that I can come home to after work and read a book... or watch Teen Mom.  You know, whichever...

So the process of relaxifying (yes, I know thats not a word) has begun!

Luckily, I grew up with a mom who has her degree in HGTV (thats what Caleb always says!) :)  So painting came fairly easily to me.  Caleb on the other hand had no idea what to buy, how much to get, or what the general process was for painting a room.  I realize that this is probably a pretty common issue with young homeowners.  So stay tuned with interview with my mother the "almost painting professional"!

Have any tips for creating a relaxing living space?  Please share!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Our Brand New Home and I Am Thankful.

I want to start this post by expressing my condolences regarding the events that took place this morning at the movie theatre in Colorado.  Horrific events like that make it easy to be thankful.  That could have easily been me or my family just on an outing at the theatre to see a regular old movie.  I just can't imagine...

And I have many many things to be thankful for...

It has been a hectic past couple of weeks to say the least.  Although I have been busy, stressed out, and even bored on occasion, its easy to remember how fortunate I really am.  One of my biggest dreams has finally come true!  I AM A HOMEOWNER!  Yes, we have our own little slice of the American dream!

It is exactly what I have always wanted.  I have hardwood floors.  A back deck.  A big living room window with flowing sheer curtains.

I'm thankful for a husband who insisted on mowing the yard at risk of having an allergy attack.  A husband who sucked it up for me and bought a lawnmower and weed eater and assembled them in our garage to tame the jungle that is our yard.


This week when I have found myself growing tired of cleaning and painting I have found myself saying... "But its my very own house!"  And that makes it feel oh so amazing.

Sometimes the simple things are the best things... and we should never take them for granted.

More pictures and home improvement projects to come!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A New City: Exploring Chattanooga.

It's official!  I am now a resident of Chattanooga, Tennessee!  It has been so much fun exploring a new city and learning about all it has to offer.  Most of all I am so happy to be reunited with Caleb. The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind.  Between packing, looking for a new job, and moving down here I have managed to find some time for fun which has included:

Trying out new restaurants.

Tony's in the art district:

and lunch at Urban Spoon on the North Shore (with a good book).

I've spent ample time exploring the local shops including local bookstores.

Cup Cakeries.

Art Exhibits.

And Caleb and I even visited the local aquarium!

I think that this city is going to be really amazing for us!

I saved the best news for last!  Caleb and I are officially homeowners!!!  Stay tuned for pictures and lots of home improvement projects!!!!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Lets Go Racing Boys!

In my wedding vows I actually made the promise to Caleb that I would watch NASCAR with him on Sundays.  What. Was. I. Thinking?

Promising to watch it on T.V. was one thing, but I never thought that I would actually go to a race in person.  In 105 degree heat.  But there I was... tailgating in the blazing sun, eating turkey sandwiches and guzzling water like it was going out of style.  It was so hot that the jar of peanut butter we brought was completely liquid within 15 minutes of our arrival.

We were completely unprepared which was evident by our lack of a shade tent that was practically mandatory and separated the seasoned race attenders from...  We made due by using umbrellas.  It was like a game to see who could get every millimeter of their skin completely covered by the umbrella's precious shade. 

It was so hot that periodically we would go in the car and blast the air conditioning for a solid 20 minutes only to talk ourselves into once again submitting to humidity and braving the brazen conditions that we assured ourselves would make laughable memories later.

I talk a lot of smack, but it was really a ton of fun.  We laughed, drank some beers, and sweated until there was no more liquid left in our system.  Then we ate a giant turkey leg.

The roar of the engines were so intense.  If you have never been to a race I don't even think that it can be described!  It only added to the excitement.  There was just something really neat about seeing a race in person (but don't tell Caleb!).

And soon after the race started the sun set and the temperature dropped.  The intense heat of the afternoon only added to the experience, making it most memorable and one of those times that could never be forgotten.

I would definitely do it again!

But did I mention that it was hot?!