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Archive for the ‘Tukee Talks’ Category

Plastic Paint

A couple of weeks ago my neighbor was out painting her plastic lounge chairs.  Of course I buzzed over to find out exactly what she was up to; it looked far too interesting and I had to inquire further.

She has a set of lounge chairs that she’s had forever but were in perfect condition.  However, the white color was yellowed from the intense sun.  While perusing the paint selection at Home Depot (I’m sure you can get it at Lowe’s, too) she came across plastic spray paint, meant for exactly that type of purpose. She was spraying the entire chair as the piping of the chairs are also a heavy plastic (as opposed to metal).

The chairs were originally white so she stuck with the same color but the paint comes in a large variety of colors.  It was so easy, she just wiped them down thoroughly to get off the dust and spread out a big piece of cardboard, placed a chair on it and sprayed away.  It probably took her about 15-20 minutes to do each chair, making sure to get all the nooks and crannies.

They came out looking great!  I only took an after photo (she was on chair two before I got there) and it’s not the best angle but you’ll get the idea.  Once they dried she placed new lounge cushions in a deep rust color over them, but they looked great even without the cushions.  They remind me of the lounge chairs you see poolside at many of our local resorts.

This is just one idea for the use of plastic paint. I’m sure you can come up with plenty of uses around your home to brighten up some household item that’s in great condition but in need of a new finish.  Now if only our (faded red) wooden Adirondack chairs were as easy a fix.  Too bad we can’t buy sanding in a spray can.

They looked much better in person!

They looked much better in person!

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About two months ago I purchased two simple chandeliers at Lowe’s for about $60 each.  (We received 20% off that day so saved a little on each one which are regularly priced at $79 apiece).    I had a vision of hanging them in the entry to add some interest when you first enter our home but wasn’t sure how it would all come together.  After painting the wall with the metallic paint it really ended up working well and the paint glistens at night when the lights reflect off of it.

Our home is decorated simply and I was a little concerned these might be too dressy.  But the basic wrought iron look and minimal crystals ended up adding just the right flair I was hoping to achieve.  So here’s proof that even in a home that doesn’t have a lot of drama in its bone structure (like soaring ceilings or expansive rooms), you can add well-placed fixtures to give you that little decorating edge!

(Now I need to relocate the Shell lamp to a new space…..)

Simple chandeliers add interest to this entry

Simple chandeliers add interest to this entry

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The 2009 Ahwatukee Home Tour and Remodel Expo is almost here!  Mark your calendar for Saturday, April 4, 2009 9 am – 5 pm.

Nyla Simone Home, along with the Emerald Design Center, are hosting the second annual ‘Tukee Home Tour and Remodel Expo.  You can grab something to eat, participate in the 50/50 raffle and then board the trolley to visit the selected homes!

Ollie the Trolley will take attendees on a six home tour in the Ahwatukee area and return them to the Emerald Design Center parking lot which is adjacent to Ikea.

Proceeds benefit Gabriel’s Angels, http://www.gabrielsangels.org/ , an Ahwatukee based, non-profit organization dedicated to delivering healing pet therapy to abused, neglected and at-risk children.  Check out their website for amazing stories and photos of the children who are helped by this exemplary organization.

Tickets are available in the Nyla Simone showroom or through the Chamber of Commerce at http://www.ahwatukeechamber.com/

My cozy home will be on the tour featuring BC Coatings who did the stained concrete floors, Arizona Accents who were a part of last summer’s landscape remodel & Copeland Development for the master bath remodel of a couple years ago.  If you browse through my archived posts you’ll find a write up about each of these projects.  I’ll also be on-hand to talk about plenty of do-it-yourself ideas that we’ve tried around our home.  The purpose of having a smaller home like mine in the tour is to include a variety of price points and show a home that’s focused on using all your space to create a family-centric home.

We hope you’ll join us for this year’s Tukee Home Tour!  Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 the day of the event.

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OK, so  it took me a week to paint one (very small!) wall but I finally finished!  See the last post to get the full story if you didn’t yet; I was experimenting with a line of paint called “Brilliant Metals” from Valspar on the entry wall in my home. 

The goal was to add an effect of strong color as you enter our home without overdoing it.  A standard paint didn’t seem like the way to go, it all just looked so flat.  Since I needed to do it on my own (cost savings) and I’m not good with applying the cool faux effects that are out there I was hopeful when I came across the “Brilliant Metals” line.  All said and done, I’m really pleased with the results!

The color I chose is called “Copper Gleam”.  The line requires a basecoat of a regular paint with a topcoat of the metal paint.  The basecoat for getting the Copper Gleam color is called “Tawny Bluff” and went on like any standard paint. The metal paint, however, is a little trickier to work with and I had to go over it three times to get the  right consistency and eliminate the lines between roller strokes.

When applying the metal paint you first use a brush to work around all the trim and edges.  Don’t skimp on the brush, your edges are very important.  Even when you tape off with painter’s paint, you need to be careful not to load too much paint on because the texture of most walls doesn’t allow the tape to lie perfectly flat and you can get drips behind the tape, especially on your baseboards.  The brush I use is a 2.5″ 100% dyed nylon by Purdy.  They are more expensive, I think about $12 a pop if I recall correctly, but worth the investment.  I’ve had the same two brushes for five years.  If you take good care of them and rinse them properly they’ll last that long.  And I’ve done a TON of painting with those brushes! 

After working around your trim and edges let it dry. Then use a roller to apply the rest.  I went ahead and bought the roller sold by Valspar supposedly just for metallic paint.  You may be able to use a standard texture roller but I didn’t want to chance it.  When applying the paint you need to make long strokes and never roll side-to-side, only up and down.  Try to apply with an even hand.  When I pushed harder in one area than another I ended up with big streaks between strokes and had to go back to even it out. 

Here are the after photos of the wall.  I thought there was a before shot but the only one I can find is with the original tile (before we ripped them out and went to acid stained concrete) so it’s not a fair comparison photo.    I really like the depth of the color due to the metallic effect.  Again, I would limit the places you use a finish like this but in the right spot it can really dress up a room!

Entry wall in "Copper Gleam"

Entry wall in "Copper Gleam"

Close up of brilliant metal paint in "Copper Gleam"

Close up of brilliant metal paint in "Copper Gleam"

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Shimmering paints

Today I’m trying out a new paint from the Earth Elements collection by Valspar.  They have a collection of colors they categorize under Earth, Fire, Wind and Water.

There are two applications you can choose from that add a shimmering quality to  your walls; Brilliant Metals & Granite.  The best applications for both are in an area that receives a lot of natural light so you can actually see the shimmer effect.  I’ve selected the Brilliant metals which adds what they call a ‘vibrant metallic sheen’ to wall.

I’ve selected an accent wall in the entry of our home that has a skylight above it and a color that will tie in a unique painting on the dining room wall that you can see at the same time as the accent wall when you walk in to our home.  We’re guaranteed lots of natural light due to the skylight and because the metal will add a dressy effect I figured the entry would be a good place for it; I plan to hang a couple of simple chandeliers, too. 

The color I chose is “Copper Gleam”.  First you apply a basecoat of a color in the same family then apply the Brilliant Metal color over the top of it once it’s dried thoroughly.   There is a specific application process so I’ll let you know how it goes and will be sure to include before and after photos once it’s complete!

For more on the Earth Elements collection, go to www.valspar.com The granite application looks very interesting, too but I got attached to the Copper Gleam color so opted for Brilliant Metals instead.

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The first few days they did demo work, ripping out carpet, wood floors and tile.  The tile was a bear.  There were two guys running jackhammers simultaneously and it still took an extra day.  The mastic was so thick in some areas it was a real challenge to get it out.  They also found various cracks to fill and other uneven areas.  Here are a few before and mid-demo photos:

 

 

 

Entry, before

Entry, before

View of kitchen to family room

View of kitchen to family room

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Living room, before

Living room, before

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tile dust - this is why you use a Predator!

Tile dust - this is why you use a Predator!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tile demo

Tile demo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the demo they filled in the cracks and bigger problem areas then allowed it to cure.  The next day they brought in a separate contractor to grind the floors.  That took a full day with a diamond grinder to make it as smooth and even as possible.  That completed the first five days, or week one.

The following week they applied what was called a ‘scratch’ coat, to achieve an even surface for the stain to grab and to hide any markings (paint, carpet glue, etc.).  It is actual concrete but in a very thin film.  That had to cure and then be sanded before they put down a skim coat the following day which finishes the process of filling in all the imperfections.   Again, that had to also be sanded.  This whole skim coat thing is something I might do differently if I ever do it again.  Personally I like to see some of the imperfections in the surface but most residential consumers don’t.  If you check out the floor at the Fry’s supermarket on Ray Rd. and N. Ranch Circle, it appears they did not apply a skim coat so you can almost see through the floor to the original character of the concrete.  Plus, if you drop something really sharp you can gouge the stain and see the skim coat beneath.  The skim coat process ended week two.  (I didn’t take any photos of that stage).

After the last skim coat and sanding came the fun part – staining!  All the while the demo and prep work was going on we were still trying to decide on color, locked in debate because I liked one, my hubby another.  So we went with a brown tone that Gary (of BC Coatings) suggested and while it’s a bit darker than I wanted, the depth and richness of color is beautiful.  Gary has done many floors and after spending two weeks with me he knew what we were looking for so I trusted him. 

You can use either acid or water based stain and we went with acid.  It absorbs a little deeper but other than that, they are very similar as far as how they adhere and appear.  The stain is applied using a sprayer (they tape off the bottom three feet of your cabinets and walls).  This is a good time to note that when you do a project like this you should definitely plan on replacing your baseboards at the same time.  They look like crud after you take out the tile and carpet and while the standard 2 ½ inch crummy baseboards we see all over Ahwatukee are OK with tile and carpet, they look weenie once you go down to the concrete.  We made that call late in the game, after they had already taped off the walls to spray so that added a little more time to take all the tape down, demo the baseboards and then re-tape everything.  But I’m so glad we did it, it was worth the extra $1,200 and time to put in new, 3 ½ inch baseboards, all freshly painted and crisp looking.  We also added new, equally wide but more decorative trim around a couple of doorways to make them stand out in our entry way area. 

Close up of stained concrete

Close up of stained concrete

Close-up of floors & baseboards

Close-up of floors & baseboards

 

After the stain dries (which was the end of week 2) they apply a sealant which is the really toxic stuff.  I can’t believe they can see much less think after spending time around this stuff.  They did two days of sealant and I didn’t want to be anywhere near our home – it was awful.  Finally, after that dried they applied the final touch, two coats of wax.  They were done after 13 working days but we didn’t move back in for another two because of the smell of the sealant.  We had to open all of the windows and even now, after a month has gone by you still get whiffs of sealant when you open cupboard doors and other tight spaces.

 

The end result really is beautiful but not necessarily for everyone.  It’s a very loud home now and we’ve put down many of our wool oriental rugs that I’ve had in hiding for years until we find exactly what we want.  Slowly, as our furniture and décor went back in, more of the sound was absorbed and it softened the feel of the floors.  Ours are what I could describe as rustic (as opposed to industrial or contemporary) because of the floors tonality and how it looks paired with our eclectic furnishings.  The floors are cool under the feet but I imagine I’ll welcome that a little more once summer hits.

It took a while to get used to them but I really love the floors now.  They are very pretty, albeit darker than I wanted, but have really tied the house together.  When looking back to the before pictures I can’t believe we waited so long to get rid of that ugly tile and carpet!

Another shot of the living room (with Trixie & DeeJay)

Another shot of the living room (with Trixie & DeeJay)

 

 

 

Contrast of floors to cabinets (not a great photo)

Contrast of floors to cabinets (not a great photo)

Dining room.  I really need to take better pics.

Dining room. I really need to take better pics.

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If you are considering going the stained concrete route in your home, here are a few things to consider before you make your final decision.  Again, these are considerations before doing interior jobs, not exterior.  As you will see from all the photos on the BC Coatings website at http://azconcretecoatings.com/ , they do driveways, patios, garages & pool decks, too.  Obviously those don’t require the same amount of ‘remodeling commitment’ as when you do an inside project.

Before you schedule the contractor, here are a few things to think about:

  1. Unless you replace all interior doors, there will be a larger gap between the bottom of them and the floor.  We haven’t found it to be a big deal; unless you’re looking for it, it’s not noticeable.
  2. Plan to re-install door guides for all sliding doors like closets, pantry, etc.  You’ll have to drill in to the floor to secure them.  I had to leave when Leonhard did that work.  It pained me too much to see anything drilled in to those beautiful, new floors!  And I have a trick for raising the guides to fit the larger gap between the floor and the bottom of the door.  If you run in to this issue email me, I’ll share what we did to make it look right.  And if you need a great carpenter or handyman, I’d love to share Leonhard’s number with you, too.  He’s very skilled and great to work with!
  3. Plan to replace your baseboards from the start.  We made the mistake of trying to keep our originals and right before the staining step had them ripped out – thank goodness.  This cost us time and a little extra money but it would have looked terrible to keep them.  The old baseboards were dingy and marked up from grout and years of abuse.  After the floors were done, Leonhard came in and replaced all the baseboards with new 3 1/2″  boards.  We feared we’d have to do the trim around all the doors, too but we didn’t, it actually looks fine.  We did re-framed the doors to our office and front door using a more decorative 3 1/2″ baseboard because they both open to the main entry area.  But the rest of the rooms all blended in to the new baseboards well.  Go with a cottage white or Navajo white on the paint color, those are standard baseboard colors used by most builders and odds are, you won’t have to re-paint all the existing trim left around your door ways.  We didn’t have to paint ours and it’s fine.  But plan ahead and schedule the baseboards to be done as soon as possible once the floors have cured.  You want to do this before you start moving furniture back in.
  4. Same goes for transition strips between surface changes, like carpet to concrete.  I’ve never met a flooring guy that will do this unless their speciality is carpet.  All the hard surface contractors will direct you to a carpet layer to do that work so again, plan ahead. Ours still isn’t done because we plan to replace the carpet in the bedrooms next, so we’re waiting.
  5. Plan to move everything out of the house yourself, including appliances.  Don’t expect BC Coatings to do it, they will come ready to work on your floors, not move furniture so be prepared.
  6. Look at what currently sits on your existing floor that may be affected by the change in height when you remove it.  We have two large island legs in the kitchen that sat on the tile. They support a very large piece of granite and needed to be raised in order to accommodate the 3/4″ difference that would be left once the tile came out.  Again, Leonhard handled this issue by coordinating with the flooring team and temporarily elevating the legs so the demo team could remove and grind the floor beneath so he could permanently shim them and secure them back down to the concrete. 
  7. Make arrangements for someone (or plan to do it yourself) to put your water heater and toilets back in once the project is finished.  BC Coatings is great at doing floors but you’re better off having a handyman do this work for you.  And be sure to replace the wax ring on toilets or they will invariably leak once reinstalled.  
  8. Budget to hire someone to help you clean before moving back in.  You’ll need a deep cleaning, including wiping down all the walls, cleaning windows & blinds, wiping out cupboards and cleaning the carpets.  I borrowed my neighbors steam cleaner to clean the carpets but had our regular house cleaner do the rest of the house. 
  9. You may want to paint your walls, especially if your new flooring color is a different tone than the original floors.  I thought we’d have to paint but once the baseboards went in they married the floors and walls together well so we opted to skip painting.  If you do need to paint, budget time/money and do it before the baseboards go in – it’s much easier.
  10. You will need area rugs now, which can be pricey.  Good places to pick up inexpensive, woven rugs for smaller spaces are Tuesday Morning, Ross, TJ Maxx and TurnStyle consignment.  Thankfully we had several from our days of living with hardwood floors back east so we resurrected them for the time being.  For larger spaces you might want a custom area rug in which case you should give Traci a call at Ahwatukee Carpets http://www.ahwatukeecarpets.net/.  You can pick the carpet and they will make a custom area rug to fit your space.
  11. If you do a large area of your home in stained concrete, it will be LOUD.  Area rugs, furniture and other soft materials are essential to absorb some of the sound.  It’s taken some getting used to for us.

Our cost to do the concrete was a little over $5 a square foot which included the demo but not all of the other items described above.  It’s a very affordable flooring solution based on the other options I’ve researched over the years and if you like the look, I would say it’s a great way to go.  You just want to go in to it budgeting all the related expenses beyond just the flooring itself.

So now that you’ve had a chance to consider all of the ins and outs of a project like this, the next post will walk you through the actual process and finished product, including before and after photos.

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