Friday, September 21, 2012

Weekend #15 - Truth Be Told

We. Totally. Slacked. Off.

I've been MIA here for the past week or so because we haven't done much.  However, since I've been posting weekly updates, I decided I better keep that up.

In regards to the slacking off - In our defense, we were feeling completely burnt out.  We've been at this for nearly three months straight and we need to take a breather.

And if any of you forgot, it was over 100 degrees this weekend!  At least in SoCal.

And KT also had a living social (groupon?) deal that is expiring that we had to use at a fancy schmancy movie theater.

Okay enough excuses.

On Saturday, KT took me out on a date.  =)  We had a very low key lunch at an Anaheim french restaurant, Bleu Bistro in reminiscent of our honeymoon.  Since I'm not much of a Yelper, here's my short review for this restaurant: server was attentive, lobster bisque and chocolate souffle was delicious, restaurant is nicely decorated, in a very ugly plaza, AC was on (big PLUS), we'll definitely come back.

Keeping in mind that it was 100 degrees out, KT took me to cool off at a movie.  We watched Premium Rush.  We totally loved loved loved it.  (Anyone thinking of the song I'm Yours by Jason Mraz?) As KT puts it - it was an hour and a half of adrenaline rush.  When we got out of the movie, I felt like we should be pedaling a bike at full speed instead of walking.  Then we had to fight off the residual effects of the speed rush as our feet felt like lead on the gas pedal.  At least I tried to fight it off, I don't know about KT... he sure got home a lot faster than I did.

And yes, we went home in two cars.  And no, we didn't go on our date in two cars.  That's just silly.  Even though we took a break from DIY, we did managed to drop off one of our cars for service before going to pick up a coffee table KT spotted on Craigslist, before our date, before picking up the car from service, before going home.

You're all probably more interested in our Coffee Table and wondering why I didn't just start off with that.  I actually don't have a picture of that so... next post.

Sunday was our annual trip to lobsterfest.  =)  YUMYUMYUMYUM.  After this year, we decided we'll be going every other year.  The temperature was in the 80s at the Port of LA compare to the 100 degrees away from the coast.  It was a fantastic weekend.  =)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Weekend #14 - Installing French Doors

KT and I picked up a prehung french door unit on Friday after work.  We saw 5' and a 6' wide doors.  To save some wall space, we decided to get the 5' wide doors.  We rented a Lowes truck to transport it home and our very kind neighbor dashed out to give us a hand bringing it in the house.

My dad worked really fast and I had to snap pictures whenever I saw an opportunity.

We're putting in the french door at the center of this gray wall.  To prep, we sectioned off this room with drop clothes to try to keep the dust in a smaller area.  We put down a heavy duty drop cloth on the floor and covered it with cardboard to protect our new painted floors.  

I missed some steps when I had to run to the store to pick up some needed materials but this is what I was able to learn from observing.

First, we (meaning my dad) put some holes in the wall to locate the studs.  The frame of the doors will need to be nailed between two studs to hold the door up.  We ended up shifting the door a little to the left due to the placements of the studs.  Once its marked out where the door will go, the bead boards were pulled out.  Blurry picture alert - I didn't have time to check my pictures.

Then the drywall was knocked out and the studs in the middle were cut out.  

In went the 2x4s to the left and right of the doorway for added support and a 4x6 at the top.  Then the drywall on the other side of the studs were knocked out.  Look, its our office!  =)   

We were real eager to get the door in but we're not quite there yet.  The bottom of the doorway is not flushed with the floor in the living room so some bead boards were cut and reused to raised the doorway to the right height.  Hooray to reusing materials!

The doors went in next.  Here's actually the hard part - trying to get the doors leveled from all sides with  wood shims.  This is so so important because we get sticky doors when they're not leveled.  Oh, can't forget - the door frame also needs to be flushed with the adjacent walls so that when we patch up the wall, it will be seamless.  This process of adjusting the doors took the longest.  About two and a half hours.  Once everything was leveled, the door frame was nailed to the 2x4s and the 4x6.

I was hoping we can just put door trims around the door and not have to patch up the wall.  Hehe.  Yea I know, we can't do that.  My parents came back on Sunday with some drywall.  It was fitted to the gaps between the door frame and the walls.  

Joint tape was used to seal the seam between the drywall and the existing wall around the door. Then the joint compound was used to cover up the tape and any blemishes.  Now we just have to wait for the first coat to dry so we can add another layer of the joint compound.  Hopefully with two coats, all blemishes will be covered up and then we can sand and paint.  Hopefully by next weekend we can post the finished product.  

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Look What We Found - Animals In the House!

And it's not Sugar or Monster.  It's more of the ceramic variety.  

We found this ceramic fish pitcher at TJ Maxx.  It reminds me of the ceramic fish vase I made in my ceramic class eons ago.  I had to have it.  It was on clearance for $7.50.  Scored!

Two weeks ago, I started noticing owls popping up everywhere.  Owl statues, owl paintings, owl snow globes, owl prints on everything, etc.  Right away we knew this was the new trend of the season but we weren't going to be roped in.  Then I saw these owl mugs at TJ Maxx.  They are so cool. We got the whole set.  So much for not being a follower right? 

We found these owl book ends at HomeGoods.  Before we know it, we were twenty dollars poorer and fully on the owl bandwagon.  Ten dollars each is a little expensive but these are really heavy weight book ends.  Right now, they're holding our hats until we put them to real use.  =)

We stopped by World Market to return our curtains from the previous haul. I quickly browsed through the clearance shelf.  I saw this teapot for $3.50.  It totally matches the purple wall in the living room.  KT is thinking of how he's going to use this teapot as decor in the living room.  haha.  

This is a very pretty and COMFORTABLE chair at Ross.  We actually have an excess of chairs so we had to pass on this.  Otherwise, we would totally love to have it.  KT especially likes the half length arm rest.  

Whenever we see something awesome that we would love to have at home but can't, we find it easier to not buy it when we take a picture of it to share with y'all online.  Maybe someone will like these items as much as us and give them a home.  If you do, please share!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What Not To Do On Your Paint Floor

Not long after we finished our beautiful kitchen floor, we had a couple unfortunate accidents.  

#1 - Do Not Put Cleaning Products On Your Floor

Now that the kitchen floor was done, I was gung-ho about putting everything away in the cabinets.  I took out all the cleaning products and had them sitting on the kitchen floor in front of the stove so I can organize them.  One day I came home after work to find that a heavy duty oven degreaser was knocked over and a small puddle of the degreaser had leaked onto my precious floor.  I quickly wiped it up but it was too late.

Here's an up-close shot

After some chest pounding, hair pulling, wailing "WHY???" -okay I didn't really do that, but I sure felt like that inside, I sucked it in and pulled out my supplies to do some damage control.  The degreaser have basically ate through the varnish (poly) and my desperate wiping of the mess got the exposed paint a little dirty.  I used my stencil brush to apply three layers of the same paint I originally used on the floor, then four coats of poly.  In hind sight, I should have used the primer as well to better cover up the dirty white paint.  

How does it look?  A little better?

After this incident, I realized duh! I used a deglosser/degreaser to get the varnish off the kitchen cabinets to prep it for painting.  Of course a heavy duty degreaser will eat through the poly on the floor.  So I pulled out the can of poly to find instructions on how to care for the floor.  No instructions. O_o.  Seriously?

A couple nights later, one of the furry babies had an accident (#2).  At least they went by the back door, which also means, on the kitchen floor.  I discovered it at five in the morning.  In my sleepy haze, I told myself no heavy duty cleaner but a gentle organic all purpose cleaner should be fine.  I sprayed on the organic cleaner, wiped it up and went back to sleep.  

The next morning, I discovered an orange stain.    It was either from the accident or from the cleaning product.  Both is very probable. At least it didn't eat through the poly this time.  

This time I went online to search the web for instructions on how to care for this poly finish we used to protect our floor.  We went to the manufacturer's website.  Not so easy to navigate.  It took some googling to get me to the Q&A and this is what it said:

How do I care for or maintain my floor after I've finished it?
Wait until your floor has dried and "cured," before you use any cleaning 
products on it. This usually takes a week. Then the best way to care for your 
floor is to damp mop, as needed, with warm water and mild dish soap, or use a 
solution of vinegar and warm water. Both VARATHANE Professional Floor Finish® 
and VARATHANE Diamond Floor Finish® provide excellent resistance to water and 
household chemicals. However, you should avoid ammonia-based cleaners, and try 
to prevent water from pooling or standing on the floor for a very long time

I think I'm just going to stick to water and vinegar.  This is actually a good thing since I've been telling KT for the better part of the year that I'm moving us towards a more organic home.  We actually stocked up a huge bottle of vinegar and baking soda back in June when we first started our renovations.  

Although this finish have been great for being scratch resistant (I have trouble trimming Monster and Sugar's nails), I am constantly paranoid that any liquid that may drip or spill on our floor will destroy the finish.  

#2 - Do Not Put Any Metal Material On the Poly Finished Floor

I put a clean can of paint on the kitchen floor and this is what happened...  By clean, I mean the can was clean, there was nothing dripping down the side of it, etc.  

We put the babies water bowl on the kitchen floor and this is what happen...

So scratch resistant but not metal resistant, rust resistant?  Not sure, but I'm not putting any more metal material on our floor.  

For those of you considering using the Finish I posted about here, keep in mind that you might have a series of unfortunate events until you figure out what you can and can't put on these floors.  I'll update this if anything else happens.  I hope nothing else will happen - keeping my fingers crossed.  

Weekend #13 - Things Always Get Worse Before They Get Better

For the three day weekend, we unpacked and unpacked and unpacked.

Side note, I had the TV on most of the holiday weekend as we're working around the house.  And the people on TV were seriously bumming me out as they kept pointing out that summer is coming to an end.  But this morning, I realized that it means we're about to enter the holiday season.  And I LOVE LOVE LOVE THE HOLIDAYS!!  Seriously, LOVE.  I am no longer bummed about the end of summer because I am totally psyched about Fall, KT's Birthday, our One Year Anniversary, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas!!

Okay, getting back to the house.  Looking at our latest kitchen and living room make-overs, you might wonder how messy can these two rooms possibly get when we ended with essentially bare rooms.

The answer is Very Messy.  

Everything we owned was shoved into the spare room and garage/office as we're updating the main rooms of the house.  Now that we're done with the major tedious changes, we really need to do some real unpacking.  For some crazy reason beyond our comprehension, there's no place to put anything.  We kept reasoning with ourselves that if we moved from a same sized place, then everything should fit... right?  Wrrrooonnng.  

Instead of opening one box and putting the content away in their permanent home, we find ourselves not having space for our things.  So we put the open box in its next temporary holding place - the living room, and we open another box from the spare room.  Before we know it, the living room and kitchen looks like the Tasmanian Devil took a spin through our house.  

Even though our house looks worse at the end of the three day weekend than at the beginning of it, I'm sure we made some progress.  It's just hard to see.  Really hard.  

Looking ahead, next weekend, my dad is going to help us put in a french door between the living room and the garage turned office.  "Help us".... that's a little deceiving.  It sounds like we're punching out the wall and framing the door, and he's handing us the hammer and nails.  Haha.   No, the pro (Dad) is putting in the door and we'll help him.  And maybe learn a thing or two to share with ya'll.  That is if we don't get in the way and he ends up telling us to go do something else. =P