Rusty Handrails

We’ve painted or refinished just about everything we can in this house so far, and we’re not stopping anytime soon. OK, that’s an exaggeration. We’ve painted a lot of stuff in our house, and we’ve got some more stuff we’d like to paint or refinish.

This weekend we tackled a project we’ve been putting off forever. We gave ourselves a deadline on this one so that we would finish before the end of September. It turned out to be a simple project that we got done in a day.

Old White Iron Handrail

Those were our handrails on the steps leading to our front door. Nice and rusty, right? And why were they painted white?

Rusty White Handrail

 

I’m not sure if you can tell in the picture, but there’s a coat of black paint under the white. These are nice solid iron handrails that deserve better than a chipped and rusted finish.

Iron Rail Refinishing Tools

Stripping Metal Handrail

I used a 3M Drill Mounted Rust and Paint Stripper to remove all of the crumbling finish, and it worked really well. It was pretty loud, but I didn’t hear anyone complaining.

Stripped Metal Railing

After about an hour or two of stripping the finish off, and that’s what I was left with.

Iron Railing Refinished

For our new look, we chose a matte black spray paint and primer in one from Rustoleum. This is the same stuff we used on our shutters. Everything matches! Woo hoo!

Handrail Matching Shutters

This was a pretty simple DIY, and I don’t know why we waited so long. Neither of us are too sure about the matte finish, but we’ll see how it holds up in the coming winter months.  Overall I think refinishing the handrails brings the whole look of the front of the house together pretty pleasingly.

Countertops!

Happy 2nd House Anniversary to us! What did we get ourselves for this special occasion? Granite counter tops.

We bought our house in August of 2012, and we’ve probably spent the most amount of our time working on the kitchen. That’s not to say that we’re done with the kitchen, its just that there has been so much to do. To get you back up to speed, we refinished our cabinets, installed new floors, installed an island, built a coffee bar, and added a dishwasher. Now we can add granite countertops to that list.

We went to a granite company and picked out a slab from their warehouse a few weeks ago. We chose something called “Steel Gray”.

Steel Gray Countertop

We’ve already got white cabinets and light wood floors, so we figured this would be a nice compliment, without being totally black or too dark. Here’s a before and after shot.

Laminate to Granite

We’ve been living for 2 years with awful, stained and burned laminate counters. They had an ugly metal trim around them that did nothing but catch crumbs. We’re both big fans of clean lines and under mount sinks, so this upgrade was a no-brainer. The guys dropped the granite in and were done within an hour. I waited 24 hours and hooked up the plumbing. We needed a new, shorter drain so that no cuts needed to be made to our relatively new PVC plumbing under the sink.

Steel Gray Granite CounterWe love that little lamp, and it really looks a lot better with the granite than it did with the old laminate.

It took us 2 years, but here’s a pretty wild before and after shot. The before is from the day we moved in. And, yes, we did live in the house with the kitchen like that for a little while.

Kitchen Before and AfterNot only have we cleaned up our act with this kitchen, but we’ve really created a functional and comfortable place to cook, eat and hang out. Whenever we have people over, they tend to gravitate towards the kitchen, so why not provide a cool space to gravitate towards?! We’ve got more to do, to really finish this kitchen up, so keep reading and be sure to follow us on Facebook.


I See a Purple Door and I Want it Painted Blue

If you’ve been keeping up with us, you already know we recently gave our house a major facelift. We refinished and replaced shutters on every window for a bold, sophisticated, modern, clean look that we just love. This entire project had us wondering why we didn’t tackle the shutters and doors much sooner, because that dingy, faded purple-ish, lilac-y color was – let’s be honest – awful!

We always knew we wanted to paint our front and back doors, but for whatever reason this project was just not that high on the to-do list. We are so happy we made this a priority because it was super easy the results are fantastic.

Old shutters and front door

Updated shutters and front door

With the new shutters in place and the newly painted doors, we just can’t get over how much better the house looks! Enough about how excited we are for this update, now for the story behind the color.

As I always say, we are Lowe’s people and Lowe’s carries Valspar paints so our entire house is pretty much covered in it. You may or may not know this, but Valspar does this really cool thing where they are partnered with the National Trust for Historic Preservation (you can read more about that here). So with this partnership, Valspar sells 250+ different colors “from historic places across the country and representing American colors from a variety of periods and styles.”

We’ve always wanted to pick one of these Historic Preservation colors for a paint job, but we’ve somehow never managed to do so…until now!

Valspar La Fonda Mirage front door

The pretty Robin’s egg blue type of color we chose for our front and back doors is called “La Fonda Mirage.”

Valspar La Fonda MirageThis color came from the Southwestern palette of the National Trust for Historic Preservation collection. La Fonda on the Plaza is a Historic Hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Fonda is synonymous with “Inn” and the history of this location dates back to the early 1600s when the Spaniards founded Santa Fe. According to the hotel’s website, historical records suggest the building sits on the oldest hotel corner in America.

Pretty cool, huh? And now our doors are representing a color from this awesome piece of history. It’s definitely fun to paint with these colors and look up the meaning behind them. Kinda makes me want to paint something else very soon! Maybe the living room??

How do you like the new look of our house? Visit us on Facebook and let us know!