Friday, July 25, 2014

10 Lesser-Known tips for painting.

Given all the painting around here of late, I thought I'd compile a list of my favourite painting tips to share.

Add to these the obvious of course; use a drop cloth, clean your supplies right after use etc, etc - but some of these might be lesser-known helpers.  (all tips are based on using latex paints)

1.  ALWAYS paint in bare feet.

This is super-important because it lets you feel when you've dropped paint.  Even if you are using a drop cloth, drips happen and shoes won't allow you to feel the paint before walking it through your house.

2.  Before painting - lube-up!  Cover any areas that might get paint on them with skin cream.  Any skin cream is fine, just make sure that you cover hands, face, arms etc.  What this does is make the paint really easy to wash off afterwards. 

3.  When pouring your paint into trays, make sure you are pouring from the side of the can that is not your language.

It seems inevitable that you will either run out of paint just short of your project completion, or have extra (it's never just right).  By having all the paint spills on the side of the can that you can't read, you leave the name, base, colour etc as well as the directions on application and drying times clear.  Trust me, there will be times when you'll need to refer to this and having it covered with paint will frustrate the heck out of you.

4.  Buy the rollers that the paint store recommends.  Believe it or not, they are not trying to up-sell you.
Certain paints need to be applied with a certain nap - for instance, Aura paint is supposed to cover in one to two coats, so the roller used with it is very dense and can hold and apply a lot of paint in one swipe.  Using a roller with a thinner nap won't allow as thick a coat and will leave you having to do three or more coats.

5.  Between coats, wrap your roller in a plastic bag (without rinsing).  You can remove it from the handle with the bag itself;

6.  If you are going to keep the rollers for more than a few days, wrap the plastic bag in a wet cloth.  It will dry over time, but it will ensure that no air gets into the bag to dry the paint on the rollers.

You can even store them in the fridge or freezer if it's going to be a prolonged time between coats.

I usually keep them until the entire project is complete - it seems there's always one or two little spots that need a touch up just when you think you're done.

7.  When putting the lid back on the paint can, always cover it with a cloth before hammering back into place.  This will capture the little spurts that sneak out as the lid wedges itself back in.

8.  Save your money on edgers.  I've tried a few different models and I never have any luck.  You have to have EXACTLY the right pressure to get the perfect edge they advertise.  I have much better luck with a 2" angled brush held at a 45 degree angle to the corner.  I won't profess to have steady hands - no one would allow me to do open-heart surgery - but a smooth and steady wipe will leave you with better results than any edgers I've come across.

9.  Wash your brushes and roller handles as thoroughly as you do the bristles.
This may seem silly, but leaving one layer of paint on the handle today, then another a week or so down the road will eventually lead to a gunky build-up on the handle itself.  If you're like me, you tend to reach for the nice clean handled tools first, so not keeping it clean just means you might as well throw it out now for how often it will get used in the future.

10.  The best cloth to wipe up spills and drips with is a polyester or polyester-nylon blend - not cotton.  Cotton will soak up the paint and wipe it away, but the very next spill you go to wipe up will have the initial spill spreading everywhere.  Even if you thoroughly rinse the cloth - you won't be able to get all of the paint out and it will cause a mess.  A polyester cloth - like polar fleece will wipe up beautifully and also doesn't hold the paint so you can rinse it and use it over and over again.

These may be redundant, or seem silly - but they work for me.
Trust me - all of these I've learned the hard way.

Don't forget to enter - share again today for another two entries!

 Have a great one!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Earbud Keychain

This is a small sewing project that takes no time at all, and can be done with any scrap material you have laying around.

I found a pin on Pinterest that has a photo tutorial, but it doesn't give measurements and there is no link back to a blog for me to give credit to the author.

Instead, I had to 'wing it' to make my own;

You will need 5 circles of fabric.
I had a roll of fishing twine nearby, it measures approximately 3" in diameter (7.6cm).
This finished project holds my iPod shuffle and my earbuds, but in hindsight I think I would have made this about 3.5" or 4" in diameter.  (9-10cm)

  • Take two of the circles and cut them in half.
  • Keep three whole.
  • Cut a 2" square from the same, or a coordinating, fabric and
  • you will need a small zipper - this one is far too long, but I was using up stuff that I had laying around.

(Why on earth would I ever buy a lemon yellow zipper?)

You can use interfacing instead of one layer of fabric, but again, I was using what I had on hand.

Take two half-circles and sew them to the zipper as shown.
Repeat with the other two half-circles on the other half of the zipper.  The flat edges will both be on the outside and the round sides will overlap.

Fold back and press into place.

Fold your 2" square in half (right sides together) and sew along one side.
Turn the tube inside-out so that the right side is out and reinforce with an additional couple of rows of stitching.
Fold in half and with the fold in to the centre, pin along the bottom of your circle as below.

Take the remaining three full circles and with right sides out (the centre piece doesn't matter), put over top of the zippered circle above.

Open the zipper slightly and then sew around the entire edge of the circle.

Turn right-side out through the zippered opening and press.

Okay, mine turned out slightly less than round, but that's the fault of the sewer and not the tutorial.

Thread a keyring through the loop created by the 2" square and stuff with your earbuds, or gym pass or even spare change!

This is the link to the photo tutorial so you can see an extra step that I didn't include and so you can see what an actual round one looks like. 

Have a great one!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cleaning paint-stained sinks

Something (one of the many I'm sure) that I do that makes Hubby crazy is that I clean my brushes, pans and rollers in the kitchen sink.

It's stainless steel, and it's close to the garage where I'm usually working, so why not?

This is why not:

The paint leaves a soap-scummy-type film all over the sink.
Plus the drips and droplets that splash up onto the edges and the counter.  
Just a bit of a mess.

Since I threw out all of my chemical cleaners when I switched over to ENJO, I had no choice but to give my kitchen glove a shot at it.

Just warm water and the glove and look at the difference!

Some of those paint spills were dried on!

I'll do you one better - this is clean, but it isn't as polished as I'd like.
I mean, if I'm going to show off to Hubby that I was right and he was wrong - I need to make it glaringly obvious. lol

Throw a skinch of marble paste into the mix and wipe out the sink again:

Look at how the water beads up off of the sparkling finish!

Dry it up and not only is is unbelievably paint-free and sparkling, but it's also bacteria-free as well.

I did mention that all of this was done in less than 3 minutes right?
With nothing but a magic cloth and water (and marble paste for that extra shine).

What can I say - love my ENJO!

Lynn's ENJO Facebook page

Contact Lynn for delivery anywhere in North America.

Enter and share for more chances at the prize!

 Have a great one!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Face of Pink Ink and a GIVEAWAY!

I've mentioned the Face of Pink Ink contest a few times on the blog.

It's basically a day of beauty provided by the hair stylists at Wright Hair & Co, make-up artists at Pink Ink, wardrobe styling by Jockey P2P Stylists and then a professional photo shoot by Lindsay of Angelic Images Photography.

There is a contest component to it if you want, but really it's about just looking and feeling great yourself.

That's why I entered it.

Yup, even though I'm a FOPI Team Member and supporter, I decided to register for the program myself - and let me tell you it was FUN!

F - U - N!

Lovely Lisa and I spent the morning being pampered and styled into Glamazons.

(Please forgive the photo quality on some of these - the shots were taken with a cell phone.)

Sam and Rita of Pink Ink worked their magic on our faces, then we were handed off to the styling team:

Tammy from Park Lane Jewellery, Carolyn and Mary-Ann from Jockey P2P.

Just look at some of the bling that Tammy brought for us to wear:

Then photo shoot time:

And all of the ladies left with a bag full of swag!

I'm a little excited here, can you tell?  I think my cheeks are going to swallow my eyes!
LOVE me some swag! lol

Okay, so what has all of this got to do with YOU?

Well, if you are in Southwestern Ontario there is still time to participate in the Face of Pink Ink!  There are two more sessions being held: one on August 17th in London and the other on August 24th in Paris (ON).
You can register here - but do it quickly before the spots are filled.

If you are not in Southwestern Ontario and can't join in the fun live, I have a little surprise that I put together for you to enjoy wherever you are!

Did you notice the top I was wearing?  Did you also notice it on Carolyn in an earlier photo?
Well, it's not a top at all!
It's actually a skirt that can be converted 20 different ways!

I bought two extra of the Jockey P2P "Geo Stripe convertible skirts" to give away to two lucky winners!

And you can't hit the town with your new skirt/dress/shirt/poncho with paint-covered nails!  

(or maybe that's just me)

Another sponsor of the Face of Pink Ink is Cheryl from Jamberry Nails and I'm going to include a set (2 manicures & 2 pedicures) of Jamberry nails in the prize as well!!

Jamberry styles will be different than those pictured.

I am going to make it SO EASY for you to get a million chances to win...

All you have to do is like the pages below.

Like some for a few entries,
Like them all for more!

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Draw runs from July 22nd to July 29th at which time winners will be notified.  You will have 48 hours to get back to me to claim your prize.

(Open to Canada, US, England and Sweden (for you Ida!))

Have a great one and good luck!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Family Room Makeover

Now, it's not complete complete - but the majority is complete and I couldn't wait to show it off…


Step 4 is the walls!

This wall is looking a little bare, but what a nice, fresh, clean feeling!
I'll be replacing my faux-photo canvas pieces once everything is try and cured.

Went from light built-ins and dark walls, to dark built-ins and light walls.

I've got the sofa table to match now, and just a little bit more work needs to be done in the media cabinet (aka wire hell).

I think the best part of the entire makeover is that the room is clean.
No cobwebs, no dust, no wood chips or staining, no scuffs and scratches on the walls and most importantly (and noticeably) NO TOYS!

Which lasted just long enough for me to take these photos.


Some before and afters:

Totals and names:

Built-ins - 1 gallon Benjamin Moore Advance formula - Metropolis   $68.99

Baseboards and trim - 1 quart Behr interior latex enamel - Decorator White   $20.97
Wall (behind TV) - 1 quart Benjamin Moore Aura formula - Metropolis  $26.99
Other walls - 1 gallon (although I only used 1/2) Benjamin Moore Aura formula - Stone Hearth   $68.99
Rollers (2) - $13.97

Total = $199.91

Okay, a little pricey.  I did use expensive paint - but if you break it down over 9 years (which is how long the last family room lasted) it comes to $22.21 per year.

That's much easier to sell to Hubby. 

Sofa jar is calling my name… just a few more months of saving and Step 5 of the makeover will be underway!

Have a great one!