Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Welcome Friends and Neighbors

I recently promised readers of my weekly column in The Leaf Chronicle that I would show a few more photos and give some tips for painting a paneled door.  In this case, it was my front door:

The photo above is the “before.”  It is worth noting that the door was painted the same color as the shutters you also see in the photo.  I mention that in order to give you an idea how cave-like the entrance felt to me.

It makes total sense to have such a well-protected entrance—especially here in Florida, aka: the land of pop-up showers.  But the dark door and consequently dark entrance was not very welcoming.  Since I am new to the neighborhood and in desperate need of friends (lest I wear out my welcome with the one friend I have here), I decided my first home improvement project would be to paint the front door and sidelights.

I take a moment to note that those sidelights are indeed amber. 

I jumped into this project fully intending to replace them as soon as I finished the paint job.  I, however, have since been provided a quote for new clear glass and, once I picked myself up off the floor, decided that part of the project will wait until after the new year.

So, back to the project at hand. 

First, I spent several weeks studying paint chips in order to choose a color which would coordinate well with all of the existing colors already “on” the house: the painted brick, the shutters, the “naked” brick AND the siding on the second level.  That is a lot to consider.

I worked paint samples in the closest match I could find for each of the existing colors.  (I didn’t bother with trying to match the naked brick because it is my intention to paint it to match the painted brick.) 

I used Behr Marquee, which incorporates a primer and one-coat “advanced stain-blocking” paint.  (When I went to check the can, I realized I was operating under the mistaken assumption that it was a “one coat” paint—wishful thinking.)  Anyhoo, it was a custom mix.  In other words, I had them color match a sample from another brand—the color very closely matches Benjamin Moore Wythe Blue.  (I just happen to like Behr products.)

On a day that the weather seemed like it was going to allow me to keep my dogs out back in order to allow me to leave my front door open most of the day, I decided to get started.

First, I lightly sanded all of  the surfaces I intended to paint, then I cleaned the same area.  (Generally speaking I loathe the prep work, but since this was our front door, I decided I should make every effort to make  sure I did my best.)   I taped around the door knob and plate, as well as around the knocker; they both have a great patina—I love them!

Okay, ready to get down to business, I opened the paint can and dipped-in my brush.  Here is a brief outline of my approach:

First, I painted the sidelights.  I used pretty much the same approach doing them as I did on the door, but took more photos of the door.  So onto the door . . .

I started on the door by filling in the flat face of each panel, then went around the beveled perimeter of each panel.

Next I painted the vertical section in the middle of the door—those pieces are called the “stiles.”  (In case you want to impress your friends and neighbors when that ask about your process.)

After you load your brush, be sure to start in the center of the stile, that way you can feather the paint out as you approach the edge where it meets the horizontal sections.  That will really help with the finished appearance.

(You can see by the photo below that I failed to take a photo before I had moved to step three.)

When you start painting the the horizontal sections (or “rails”), start at the top and work your way down to the bottom rail.

Finally, you paint the vertical stiles on each side.

I then removed the tape and used a small detail brush to carefully paint around the knocker and door knob plate.

I wish I could tell you that was it, but unfortunately the “advanced stain-blocking” paint required a second coat.  No worries, however, because I loved the results:

Now that I am looking at it again, I’m thinking those new sidelights will be installed sooner rather than later. 

Oh, and I think I should defend myself by offering up the following alibis:  I have been on the hunt for a new doormat—if you have any leads, please leave them in the comments section, but I am fairly particular. Also, I have decorated for Christmas—well, the entry way, that is.  I think I will include that photo in my new banner collage . . . still need to do a quick tutorial to remind myself about how I use to make those!

All I know is, it’s good to be back on my blog.

PS--now that I just spent one hour trying to publish this dang thing and trying to deal with the squirrely blogger system, I think I am remembering why I walked away before . . . I will attempt to figure out why I am having so much trouble.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

New Beginnings (. . . as trite a it sounds)

So, it’s been a while—like nine months—but who’s counting? 

Me, I am counting. 

I am terrible with remembering dates.  l know the year I was born, the year I got married and the birth year for each of my three children—for any other date, my eyes roll back in my head as I either add or subtract from hear of those significant years.   But my shortcomings or perceived failures—they’re locked in.  Nope—never forget those.

Anyhoo, while there are many things I will never (did I just type that—adding the italicized emphasis, too???) go back a “do over” (a curly perm, my middle school years and being a shop owner come to mind), I am pretty sure I will keep trying to revive this blog.

To start with, it has served as a sort of journal for me over the years.  (Reference the first paragraph where I expose my short term memory challenges.)  I have come back to this blog time and time again to refresh my memory about rather remarkable events in my life; it has also served as a handy recipe receptacle, too.  Just the other day, I used the handy-dandy search option to find the recipe for our family favorite Pumpkin Cookies.

I also find that I am actually motivated to do things—to tackle projects, to try recipes and to, basically, explore and delve into other shenanigans as opportunities arise—just so I can share them here.  Basically, it’s a public journal.

So, here I am, blogging again.

A quick update . . . we have had made some serious changes in our lives since March—not the least of which was to sell our beautiful, historic home and move to the panhandle of Florida, but more on that later.

One thing that hasn’t changed is that I still write two weekly columns for Clarksville, Tennessee newspaper, The Leaf Chronicle.   One of those columns is a lot like a blog entry—I just write about things going on with my family, home improvement  and decorating projects. I find that, occasionally, I want to include more information and photos than the printed paper can allow or subscribers care to read/see.  So, I’ve decided to stat using my blog to (1) supplement my column and (2) share some of my experiences as I, once again, attempt make a house into our home.

And, since I just hit “send” for my most recent column submission; and, since in that column I direct readers to my blog for more details on my most recent project, I thought I better get to it.

And there you have it.  If you are new to my blog, I welcome you.  If you’re a tried and true friend or fan, welcome back!  I hope to hear from you often.  Thanks for joining me here.



PS—I’ll update my photo banner later—first, I have to remember how to do it!

PSS—if you’re here to read about my newly painted front door, stand by—it’ll magically appear here this evening!

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