Black painted front door (and it wasn’t an epic fail!)

Thank you so much for all your kind words about my biggest DIY disaster of all time.

I love sharing my DIY adventures, the good and the bad, with you guys. If my epic fails can help at least one person to not make the same mistakes that I’ve made, then my misadventure wasn’t a waste after all. I am so grateful for all your support and comments. In just one week the post already has more than 90 comments and over 2k+ pins on pinterest. Crazy town. I’m glad my stupidity has gone viral. All press is good press though, right? Even if it’s a post about me looking like an idiot. Haha.

Well, along the same black-door lines, I painted another door black. Except this time it ends with good news, not epically horrendous news.

I’ve been threatening to paint my front door black for 2 years now. You guys have been supportive and encouraging along the way. Every time I flash I picture of my front door I get at least one person kindly suggesting painting the door black.

Well, I finally did it. I finally painted the darn door black.

I painted the door the same day I painted all 10 doors in my house. I didn’t do anything different. I used the same paint. I didn’t prime first. But I got lucky. The door is not peeling. I think it’s because it’s wood and was stained instead of a oil-based painted MDF door like all the interior doors.

I am seriously so digging this black door. I should have stopped being lazy and just got ‘er done two years ago. What an improvement, and it only took me like 20 minutes to paint it. I can’t believe how much better the glass detailing looks in the middle of the door. I have hated this ornate door since we moved in, but now that it’s black the whole shebang looks so fresh and classy. The door has really grown on me.

On a side note, here’s where I talk about the sticks and glass vase. And here’s a step-by-step tutorial for creating the skeleton key shadow box art.

I made the skeleton key art over two years ago and I still totally love it.

Oh, when I said the post ended on a good note? I totally almost forgot to mention this. There is a little bit of bad news with the door. We had a driveway BBQ over here last month with a bunch of friends (and loads of kids) and at some point during the evening someone {ahem, a kid, ahem} broke one of the glass panels in the door.

Here’s a better close-up of the broken glass.

When I hear the phrase “broken glass” I start singing that Victorious song in my head. Every.Single.Time. Dang you, Robbie! (Side note: Victorious is the best kids show to ever grace television.)

I’m thinking someone ran a scooter into the door, or threw a bocce ball into the door. Or it may have been the boomerang. Who the heck knows. My kids’ lips are sealed. No one will fess up to the broken door caper.

It’s all cool though. I try not to let stuff like that upset me. What’s done is done. The party was fun and was worth getting the door broken, if that was the cost of hosting a party with our favorite friends. Doors can be fixed.

So, back to the point; my front door finally got a coat of black paint. I only painted the inside of the door though. I will paint the outside of the door too but I want to buy paint that is better suited for outdoors.

Do you prefer the wood-color stained door or the black door? Have you painted your front door?

*The black I used is called Francesca by Martha Stewart. I got it in the Glidden primer-and-paint-in-one in a semi-gloss finish.

3 projects; 1 post. Tackling the foyer.

Would you believe me if I said I checked off THREE more projects from my to-do list?!

Well, guess what? I did. For realz. I have now checked Projects 17, 18, and 22 off my list.

What? Oh, you want to know what those projects are?! Okay, sure I’ll elaborate. I have finished:

Project 17: Replace light fixture in foyer.

Project 18: Finish painting foyer.

Project 22: Replace light bulb on front porch.

Project 22 is a no-brainer so I don’t have any “after” pictures for you. But Projects 17 & 18 were quite the ordeal, so I’ve got loads of photos of the process to share with ya!


One of my favorite friends has a two-story living room. She and I have been talking for months about renting scaffolding, sharing it, and splitting the cost. She called me a few weekends ago and was all, “we rented the scaffolding and are done with it! Wanna come get it?!”


The difference between Wendy and me is that she actually puts her money where her mouth is, while I’m generally all talk. I was shocked that she had actually gone out and rented the scaffolding! I talked about renting it, but had never actually put another second of thought into it. Thank goodness for people like Wendy in my life who give me the kick in the rear that I need.


So of course we dropped everything and raced over to her house to pick up the scaffolding. Then they came back to our house with us and helped us put it all together. (They live less than a mile from us.)


I had approximately 2.5 days to finish everything that needed to be completed in the foyer. It was a lot of hard work and I had to kick it into serious over-drive to get the projects completed. Good thing God created Energy Drinks.

That’s me up there getting ready to paint.

First order of business? Finish the paint that I started waaaaay too long ago.

I had to put a ladder on top of the scaffolding to reach the edge so I could cut out. My legs were trembling. I’m totally terrified of heights. But the painting got done. :)


Next on my super-speed-DIY tour was the light fixture. This piddly little thang is what came with the house. It’s just too small for the space and the three puny bulbs don’t give off much light.


I wanted to swap it out with the chandy I recently pulled out of the dining room.

Here’s a waaaaay-before of the chandelier when we first moved in; purple and gold faux walls and all:


The fixture wasn’t bad at all, it has a nice shape and I like the glass bulb covers. I just am not a fan of that copper-ish color. At. All. No biggie though, I just strung it up in a tree, removed the bulb covers, covered the bulb area with painters tape, and gave it a few coats of spray paint.


I started with two coats of Rustoleum Flat Black.



Then I came back and gave it a really good coating of my favorite spray paint ever, Oil Rubbed Bronze, or “ORB” for short.


This color is the perfect color, in my very humble opinion. It’s black-ish but has a sparkle sheen on it. It’s like an orgasm in a can it’s so awesome.


Just look at that color! It makes my heart race and my palms sweat just looking at it. 😉

Okay, so why did I do Flat Black first? This is my personal opinion, BUT! ORB is expensive. Like, almost-$8-a-can expensive. I paint with basic black first so that I don’t have to use as much ORB on my final coat. It saves me money and ORB.

Here’s where things get a little tricky, so stay with me, mmmm-kay?! The chain and wiring on the big chandelier (the one I just painted) was too short for the foyer. The small fixture I was removing was the perfect length (because it was already installed in the foyer).

I had to re-wire both fixtures.

I unwired the small fixture and the large chandelier, and swapped wiring and chains.

Here’s the small fixture about to get de-wired…


And the big chandelier mid re-wiring.


I was going to give a play-by-play tutorial on how to do this, but once I started I quickly realized that unless you know what you are doing, this is really a job for a pro. There were lots of little steps and it was going to be very confusing to explain the process. Plus, I don’t want to be responsible for any of you burning your home down due to improper wire swapping.


If you want to re-wire fixtures, here’s my simple advice. Put the wires back the same exact way you take them apart. If you are not totally confident that you can re-wire fixtures, I suggest you call someone who knows how.


After I removed the long chain and wiring from the small fixture, I took it out back and gave it a few good coats of flat black and ORB as well. When it was all dry, I re-wired the large fixture and hung it all back up. Afterward I grabbed a bulb, screwed it in, and had Ben flip the switch as I cringed and leaned back praying that it didn’t blow up. And it worked perfectly. Whew.


While we had the scaffolding, I knew I better do every project I could think of because this was pretty much my one shot. So even though I was dying and was T-I-R-E-D, I sucked it up to take care of that boring window.


I gave that sucker some moulding! Woot!!


I pretty much “fake” my windows in my house. I put trim around them, and then I paint the inside of the window area and the new moulding both with the high-gloss door and trim paint (Sherwin Williams Trim & Door paint in Alabaster). This gives the allusion that the inside of the window is also trimmed out with wood and moulding.


And now, here are all the “after” pictures of the painted foyer (project #18), the new light fixture (Project #17), and my bonus project, moulding around the window.


Before and After chandelier:
dining_chandy_before_1  new_entry_HoH_21

Foyer Before & After:
entry_before_1  new_entry_HoH_23


Look! All the walls are painted! (after)



I’m so glad I swapped out the chandelier. This one puts out so much light! During the day you couldn’t even tell when the small one was turned on, but this new one lights up everything. It’s awesome.


I think I like this fixture so much because a) it’s now ORB, b) it’s so bright, and c) it makes my favorite shape: a star!


There you have it. Four completed projects, three of which can now be checked off the list.

I’m now down to 19 more projects to go. Slow and steady. These slacker-projects are getting de-slacker-ified.

Have you tackled any big projects lately? Do tell!

** edited to add: the scaffolding was rented from Home Depot. A week-long rental was about $100, so since Wendy and I split it, I paid only $50.

24 projects I should have finished by now


I’m really good at starting projects. It’s the “finishing” them that I have a hard time with. Are you like that?!

It’s fun to start a project. You’ve got momentum and are excited to transform something from the basic blah that it currently is.

The problem is, once the project is *almost* done, I have had my fill of it and just don’t want to finish the last 10%. And so I move on to the next exciting project, ready to transform something else.


Well, after a year in this house, my *almost* finished projects are taking over! I actually sat down and wrote out all my incomplete projects and compiled a list far longer than I was anticipating. The list was so long, in fact, that I’ve officially declared…

I’m not starting any new projects until this list is finished!

So, bear with me as I go over my overwhelming to-do list. This is me declaring to you that I’m going to finish these projects!


And now, in no particular order, here are the current partially finished projects I’ve got going on in the house, and what I need to do to finish them.

I’ve tried to organize them room-by-room, so I’ll start with the dining room.

Project 1:

Finish all 10 dining chairs.

(photo via)

It’s a big project, so maybe I should divide them into sub-projects. To finish these chairs I need to:
a) sand them down a bit
b) hook up my paint sprayer and spray them all with a few good coats of primer and paint
c) and finally, upholster them.

Project 2:

Make and hang curtains.

DONE! You can see the awesome curtains here.

This involves:
a) sewing the curtains (Aviary fabric in Tangerine by Thomas Paul)
b) hanging a curtain rod (that I need to purchase still)
c) hang curtains on rod

Project 3:

Finish the table centerpiece.

I was originally going to copy Thrifty Decor Chick‘s centerpiece, but I’ve decided to go a different direction. Now I just need to finish it.

Project 4:

Hang two long shelves.

* Finished! You can see the shelves here! *

(They are leaning against the wall on the right)

They’ve already been purchased. Now I just need to actually hang these long floating shelves along the long wall in the dining room.

Project 5:

Frame my Chair Artwork.

* Finished! You can see the art here! *


The Chair artwork is going to be framed and set on top of the top floating shelf. I’m thinking of doing 4 extra-large IKEA frames, but am not 100% married to that idea. (If you check out the Chair Artwork post, all the photos were accidentally deleted and haven’t been recovered yet. Sorry.)

The next room on my long list of projects is the Piano Room. Here’s what needs to happen in there:

Project 6:

Finish and hang curtains.

Mostly DONE! You can see the updated post here!!

To complete the curtain project, I need to:
a) Attach additional fabric to the bottom of each curtain panel
b) purchase and install curtain rods
c) hang curtains on new rods

Project 7:

Paint music shelf.

(To the left of the piano. photo via)

I’ve had this shelf for years. I painted it white for my son’s bedroom when he was a baby, but when he was about 3 he took a sharpie to the entire shelf. Now I need to give it a new coat of paint to fit into the Piano Room space better.

Project 8:

Paint lamps.

(The ones on top of the piano. photo via)

The lamps were a score at Goodwill months ago, but have a little rust damage on them. I need to pick a color then paint them.

Project 9:

Hang Plate Rack.

(on far left leaning against the wall. photo via)

When we purchased our very first home, the only thing I wanted was a plate rack; and I bought one. I’m not so obsessed with it anymore, but I still like it so I plan to hang it on an obscure wall to show off my Astrology plates I picked up at Pottery Barn years ago.

Project 10:

Make and frame large family portraits for long neked wall.

DONE! You can see the updated post here!!

(photo via)

Lucky for me I’ve already started this project, otherwise I’d have to put it off. I can’t wait to fill that big blank wall with large portraits of my family.

I’ve got other ideas for the room as well, but for now, I must finish these projects first.

Next up, the Family Room:

Project 11:

Finish hanging the chair rail around the entire room.

(photo via)

I had some leftover chair rail from the Dining Room project, so I added what I could to the family room. Now I have large gaps where more chair rail is needed. It looks pretty ridiculous and I’ve lived with it half finished for long enough.

Project 12:

Paint window moulding.

DONE! Check it out here!!

(photo via)

When I hung the random chair rail pieces, I also added moulding around all the windows. Well, here they sit, months later, just begging to be painted.

Project 13:

Paint side table.

(Photo via)

I picked up this ugly side table on Craigslist when we first moved here. I’m hoping that a coat of paint will make it a little easier on the eyes.

Project 14:

Finish tall fireplace candlesticks.


I started these candlesticks when I lived in Beverly Hills. That was a year and a half ago! All they need is a top plate and a coat of spray paint. Why have I never finished them?

Project 15:

Mount TV on wall.

DONE! Check it out here!!

(photo via)

It should only take an hour at most, so why have we been here a year and still haven’t done it? Well, I’m making it a priority to get ‘er done once and for all.

And finally, here are the ample other projects I’ve got going on around here.

Project 16:

Finish sheetrock in master closet.

(Photo via)

Remember a long time ago when we had that flood? I know it’s hard to remember, considering we haven’t even had rain in months. Well, that flood came through the ceiling in our closet. I’ve got the sheetrock hung, now I just need to tape and float it, then add texture. Grumble.

Project 17:

Replace light fixture in foyer.

DONE! Check it out here!!


Just the other day I pulled down a perfectly decent chandelier in my Dining Room and replaced it with my new Capiz one. Well, that old chandelier is still pretty dang nice, so I’m going to give it a new life and hang it in our foyer. Don’t be surprised if you see the current little one pop up somewhere else in the house eventually.

Project 18:

Finish painting foyer.

DONE! Check it out here!!


Yes, it’s embarrassing. I still haven’t painted the 2nd story of our foyer. I can’t reach that high and I’m waiting on something (or someone) that can help me out.

Project 19:

Finish painting stairwell.

DONE! Check it out here!!


Same deal as the foyer. I can’t reach the top part of the wall, so I just painted as high as I could go. The stair step look is the new black, you know.

Project 20:

Finish updating the stairwell gallery wall.

DONE! Check it out here!!

(before picture. photo via)

I’ve taken down all the frames and am painting them white. Plus, I want to add a few new frames to the mix. Hopefully when I’m done it will look more cohesive.

Project 21:

Spackle and paint corner wall in Game Room.


This was a total disaster. I had some issues with letting the paint dry to much on the tape edge, but not enough to be fully cured, so when I pulled the tape off, it took most of the sheetrock with it. Now I’ve got to spackle the edge and repaint.

Project 22:

Replace light bulb on front porch.

DONE! Check it out here!!

(light on left is burnt out. photo via)

How dumb that I have to actually put this on my to-do list! I can’t reach the bulb with the step-stool, so replacing the burnt out bulb is going to require busting out the big daddy ladder. I need to just DO IT. It’s been burned out for a few months now.

Project 23:

Finish the King Size Headboard project.

DONE. You can see the finished headboard HERE.


I have this headboard that’s getting a royal makeover. I can’t wait to show you and tell you all about it… once I actually finish it. It’s only been half finished for a couple months now.

Project 24:

Hang subway art.

** DONE! See the finished project HERE! **


Jessica from Craftily Ever After made me a printable about a year (yes, that said YEAR) ago of all our previous addresses we’ve had since we tied the knot. It’s finally printed and framed, now it’s just waiting to get hung. Maybe tomorrow?

So there you have it. My list of 24 things I wish I’d completed sooner.

Should I walk on the wild side and give myself a deadline of December 31, 2011? Is it even possible to finish all these things in just a little more than 3 months?!

How many items do you have on your half-finished to-do list? Please tell me there are others out there who procrastinate as much as I do.

I’m not going to beat myself up for letting these projects get so out of hand. I’m just going to start today and finish them.


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