Thursday, September 13, 2012


What are the chances? Two days after posting about my next project, that is, to finish our library, I found this mirror at Goodwill for $25.00. Made of oak, it is just wide enough and tall enough to mount on the wall in the style of a French Trumeau mirror.  I will paint it the same color as the shelving. I am hoping it will look like it was meant to be that way and not as an afterthought. I think I can pull this off!  There is enough detailing in the mirror for the dark wax finish to make it pop.

Considering some of the wood appliques I've been looking at online to dress up this area has been priced  upwards of several hundred dollars a piece, I think this was a lucky find! Now I need to persuade my sons to help me mount it because it is very, very heavy. I can't wait to get it mounted and painted!

P.S. Still having problems with the photo when uploaded from my phone. . . I don't always have time to post from my computer. . .

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A New DIY Project

As I mentioned elsewhere, my husband and I were crazy enough to purchase a foreclosed house 4 years ago. We did a down-to-the-studs remodel, mostly to blow in foam insulation into the outer walls (which we do NOT regret because we feel we made up the difference already in our home cooling costs (which is a biggie for us as we live in Houston, TX). But after we moved in, the pace of working on projects has slowed to a crawl, mainly due to the economy and the price of everything going through the roof.  That said, we are still working on the house, albeit at a snail pace. My next project: our library. 
A large fireplace to the left, the bookcase wraps around a window to the right.
The library shelving was already in place when we purchased the house. Obviously installed by the previous homeowners as a DIY project, and it showed. The stain color was dated, and it was not trimmed out properly, and had butt ugly doors to cover up a section where they housed their audio equipment and LP records.  That would be the section painted white in the photo above, when I was playing around with paint to see if I liked it painted an off-white color that I had used in my kitchen. I didn't. I also didn't like the trim around the shelf, which looked too bulky to me. So after this photo was taken, I knocked it right out using a rubber mallet.

The large section without shelving is an air intake for the AC, and it was a sore spot for me. It is so big and ugly. I've been toying with the idea of making it look like a large Trumeau mirror by mounting a large piece of mirror trimmed out with some molding. Still not sure yet, because I'm not sure how sturdy that section is, as far as whether there are studs behind it. We shall see. I may have to come out with a plan B, whatever that may be.

As you can see, the shelving goes up, up, and up. Really most of the shelves are too high up to be of any use, and I'm going to have to get creative when finding things to fill them up.  I plan on leaving some empty space, but I want to fill most of them up with some funky, large stuff. Don't know what though. . .  You can see that I need to finish this project before we can get onto our next one, which will obviously be installing the flooring here. Right now, we have the ugly sub-floor after we ripped out some very old, tired looking carpet that had a funky smell.  Installing new floors is a project I've been dreaming of for a long, long time. When it does happen, we will be installing hardwood floors, as the whole family has allergy issues. The going is slow. It will happen.

My game plan is to use paint to transform these shelves to look very special. I've been trolling the blogs out there, and I think I will go with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint that is all the rage out there in blogland. What really attracts me to this particular paint is that it requires NO PREP other than to clean the surface to be painted. It is supposed to stick to just about any surface without priming. Undecided on the color still, because I have not actually seen the paint in person yet. But I will go with the dark wax finish to antique the painted surface to make it look as if the shelves always looked that way. I'm going for a French Country Estate look. . . One can dream, right? And this redo IS frugal because I'm doing the work myself. Well, that and using free labor by my sons for some of the work.  Shhhhhhh, They don't know that yet. Although I did not take photos, I am in the process of installing some 2 and 3 inch trim on the front of all the vertical edges. I may bang that up a bit to distress them before I get on with the painting. The dark wax finish is supposed to sink into the imperfections on the surface and make the paint finish look old.

When I can afford it, I also plan on adding some doors to the lower portion of the shelves to cover up some of the mess that is inevitable when you have open shelving . The doors will be as high as the portion I painted white as seen above. I think it will make this area look more serene. Stuff in shelves have a tendency to make a room chaotic, so this is something I plan on doing no matter WHAT. I figure I can make doors myself if I do some research, but I just may save the funds to order it online. Regardless, I plan on doing my homework and paying rock bottom prices, you can bet on that!

Another future project is to reupholster the chair in the photo. I have two of those and the fabric to do it that I purchased for another project years ago. One thing at a time though. So there you are. What are the chances that I can get it done before December??

Last, but not least, this being the anniversary of 9-11, I want to say that WE WILL NEVER FORGET! I am thankful that I live in a country, regardless of all the political and economic turmoil, I can still post an entry such as this, which does not mean much in the scheme of things. We owe the fragile peace to all the brave servicemen and women out there. Thank you!