That one time I got a table saw and built my own furniture.

Oh, heyyyyyyyyy.

Are you sick of me yet?

Too bad. I wrote another post.

The post is a story about me. I’m very self involved.

So, a long time ago, I picked up a credenza from craigslist and modified it to make it a media console. Then, during the one room challenge when I did my living room, I made a different media console. I put some longer legs on the craigslist credenza and moved it into my dining room.

And that was fine, but that’s all. It was too deep and not long enough.

Then, one day, it wasn’t fine any longer.

I wrote down some scribbles for measurements, and went to Home Depot.

Continue reading “That one time I got a table saw and built my own furniture.”

Lemonade. And muriatic acid.

Hey. So I pretty much fell off the internet for a few months there.

I mean, like ALL the internets.

Sometimes it’s like everything is fine and normal and then an event happens and suddenly it becomes a time to for deep self reflection and big kid decisions, and it sucks and it’s really hard, but also really important.

I wasn’t capable of focusing on external relationships, and I’m really sorry that I wasn’t available to support my blog friends for a while. I have a lot of blog posts to read.

I wasn’t really capable of doing much at all – especially projects around the house.

So when I received my modernica planter in the mail and the ceramic was severely broken, I kind of shrugged. I did send an email to the shop that I purchased it from, and they were super helpful and sent me out a new one (it took 2 months for that) and told me I could keep the broken one. I didn’t have much energy for it more than that though. It sat broken in the box that whole 2 months.

Anyways, I want to feel better and more like myself, so I fixed that motherfuckin’ broken planter.


Mind. Explodes.

I bought some gorilla glue and did not read the instructions where it states to wet the surfaces and that it expands. I blame my internet provider for that one – I was on the phone with customer service trying to troubleshoot my broken internet while I glued it back together.

Whoops. It spread everywhere.dsc_1621-2dsc_1623-2

I used a putty knife and razor blades to scrape off the excess and then used sandpaper to rough up the rest of the surface and then wiped it down with some TSP.

The next part can be done for any basic terracotta planter for a quick change. I was inspired by this planter from CB2 – but not the price.

I picked up some Henry’s feather finish from Home Depot and mixed up a small amount and spread it on the planter with a joint knife, and it looked like a disaster initially.'DIY concrete planter' 'feather finish' 'DIY concrete planter' 'feather finish'


It took 3 coats to smooth it all out – I just used my hands around the lip of the planter.'DIY concrete planter' 'feather finish' 'DIY concrete planter' 'feather finish'

After giving it time to dry, I used 80 grit and then 220 grit sandpaper on my orbital sander to smooth any bumps. After sanding, I cleaned the dust off with TSP and then hosed it off. 'DIY concrete planter' 'feather finish'

I had read on the internet about using muriatic acid to etch concrete. Since I had a bottle available (what? doesn’t everyone?) I figured that I would try it. I mixed it up 3:1 water to acid and sprayed it on with a little hand sprayer. It bubbled and then I washed it off with some baking soda/water mixture and then hosed it all down. It didn’t really do anything as far as the variation in the color? I guess it’s mostly to prep the surface for sealers. Which, I chose not to bother doing and left it raw.'DIY concrete planter' 'feather finish'

And fixed planter! That snake plant is so much happier in a bigger planter. It was giving me major stank face for a while there.'DIY concrete planter' 'feather finish' 'DIY concrete planter' 'feather finish' 'DIY concrete planter' 'feather finish'

I finally got my dining room fixture up. It took 6 months, and that’s a long story for another post.'triple seven home'

This week has been pits of despair after the election, but I hope to continue to come back. I’ve missed you.



When a project seems too easy, and that stresses you out, and then you tell yourself to shut up and just enjoy it

Now that the dining room moulding is up and painted, it is finally time to add some art! The walls have been blank for years now.

Most of my projects come with a slew of unforeseen problems that require a lot more time, trips to the hardware store and problem solving. Seriously. I just spent 4 hours re-doing the curtain rods in my dining room. I (wrongfully) assumed that the screw holes in the brackets were linear and that caused a slight tilt that made the acrylic bow. Some of the screw holes are off centered. And one cannot simply drill a hole in plaster. Oh, no. There’s an 85% chance that it will crumble and make a massive hole. Which then requires ginormous toggle bolts. And bigger holes. And patching. And painting.

ANYWAYS. Those bitches are secure now. I could probably do pull ups on them. You know, if I ever did pull ups. Or, could do more than one.

After looking at some art online, I decided to order this print from Minted: 'The Good, The Bad & The Ugly' 'minted'In the 24″ x 18″size. Somehow the day that I clicked on the site to purchase, it had an option for no white border and the print covering the whole space? Where’d that option go? Witchcraft.

The colors are beautiful. I was surprised by how much my husband liked it, too. In super healthy relationship fashion, I didn’t consult with him before purchasing.

Since I worked hard on those wall panels, I didn’t want to completely cover them with a large frame.

Then I remembered that I had favorited this etsy shop, some unknown amount of time ago.

Now, this listing is for the acrylic sheets and the hardware. Add in $45 for shipping and $184 is no small amount. Which is not to say that it’s not worth it, but when the shop suggested an option to DIY, I was all over that. I purchased the small brass standoffs for $34 and 2 30″ x 28″ acrylic sheets from Lowes for, like, $30ish?

Since purchasing the sheets from Lowes would not give me the custom measurements purchasing from the etsy shop would give me, I also purchased this Olfa plastic cutter.IMG_1548

Let’s revisit my previous statement about my projects usually taking a left turn. I figured that me trying to cut down acrylic would somehow affect the time/space continuum and a vortex would open and swallow the state of Minnesota. Not accurate? Idk. I’m not a scientist.

I was super pleased when cutting down acrylic sheets was a breeze. Like. So easy.

I added 2″ to each side of my art for the acrylic frame – so I kept the 28″ as is and cut down the 30″ to 22″.

First, I marked off my 22″ with sharpie (keep the protective plastic on).

Since I didn’t have a long enough straight edge, and I just accidentally snapped my 4 foot level, I used a spare piece of lumber. I clamped it all down nice and tight to a table and scored along the lumber multiple times, alternating direction. IMG_1542 IMG_1547

I scored along the lumber multiple times, alternating direction.

IMG_1551 IMG_1552

When I had a deep groove (like 10 passes or so), I unclamped it and moved it so that the excess was hanging over the edge of the table. From that point, it took a very small amount of pressure for it to snap right off. IMG_1554

When my pieces were cut to size, I lined them up together and clamped them down with some spare lumber underneath. I marked off my holes (1″ from the edges) with a sharpie, on top of the plastic.IMG_1560 IMG_1563

Drilling the holes was easy! I used a 3/8 bit and a little water with soap (to minimize friction and chipping) and used medium speed/pressure.

The whole process probably took 30 minutes – and saved a lot of money to boot.IMG_1604 IMG_1606 IMG_1609

I am way over my tentative 6 week dining room ‘challenge’ but I’m feeling really ok about that. I have been working on things at a steady and relaxed pace, without breaking my back (or checking account) and I’ve still had lots of time outside and chilling.

I am having such an excellent summer with my daughter out of school (I’m still working full time, boo hiss) and it seems like maybe they really do get better with age. Years 3 and 4 were particular lows for pleasant interactions. It’s a wonder that any parents keep them past that age.

In other important-to-no-one-else news: the light fixture is still not shipped out. Any inquires are answered with a vague ‘we will ship it out soon’. I’m kind of a lot bummed. I ordered from the company a couple of years ago, and since then, they have gotten a great reputation in the blogosphere. I feel conflicted because I don’t want to make a big deal about it, but the communication is seriously lacking. I feel like if the company is going to be 5+ weeks past the original ship date – they should reach out to the customer and let them know. And probably set new shipping expectations.

It’s the light fixture that I want, so I guess I’ll have to find some inner zen and be patient.'TripleSevenHome Ursula'

I swear, put something shiny in front of me and it takes over my brain and I forget all else.

Still want to read about relatively non-important things?

Cool. I got you.

I finally pulled the trigger and ordered a Modernica Case Study planter to put under the aforementioned artwork.

I was thinking that I would put my snake plant in there, but I quite like it on the credenza. So then I thought maybe a cactus?


There are a lot of cacti varieties.

I’m sure you’re all like: ‘well, duh, Madeline. Everyone knows that.’

and I’m all: NO, guys. A LOT OF CACTI.

If you can believe it, there aren’t a ton of cactus nurseries local to Minnesota. So I’ll have to do any ordering online.

Any thoughts on your favorite cactus? Be sure to include its full and proper name. JK. No, really, please do that.

Then a few days after I ordered the modernica planter. I was like: NO.

That actually belongs with the new fiddle fig in my front room.

Now I need a planter for the dining room. Before the 1st one has even shipped.

I’m the WORST.

I think the retro bullet planter will be just the match for some cacti.


I had a little birdie, her name was Enza…

"farrow ball down pipe" "panel moulding" "panel molding"

I opened up the window,



I had that nursery rhyme stuck in my head when I was in a feverish state. Which, FYI, is a sub-par way to spend a week long staycation.

None the less, I was surprisingly productive.

In the month of July, I take a week off of work in observance of my birthday. That probably makes it seem like I make a huge deal of my birthday, but, I actually don’t even expect presents, or endless admiration of my existence or anything of the such. My twin sister and I usually high five and call it good.

It’s just a good reason for me to chill and enjoy some good weather in MN. I usually work on some projects around the house, too – last year I worked on building a pantry.

I clearly don’t know how to vacation or birthday. Next year, someone save me from myself.

Side note: Since we turned 30 this year (I’ve been told numerous times that this is a big deal), we went out clubbing on a whim (after I had spent 6 hours painting moulding.) It was a lot of fun. The recovery was less fun.

The only photographic evidence that this event occurred.

What moulding, you may ask? Ok. So you’re probably not asking. But I’m going to tell you regardless. I’m pretty self-centric like that.

As I was putting up the casing and header in the dining room, I was feeling pretty pleased with myself and ability to cut 45 degree angles and decided to add a little something to the walls.

I went to my local lumberyard to look at what was available. I originally wanted 3/4″ half round – but they didn’t have any available. So I went with 3/4″ x 1/4″ screen, since it was narrow and had an eased edge.

It ended up taking time, but was one of my easiest projects I’ve done, and pretty inexpensive. Way, way less time consuming and physically exhausting than mudding and sanding plaster walls. That shit is just brutal. Oh, wait. I already did that in the dining room. These walls had better appreciate my efforts.

I almost forgot the room used to look like this:043

And that was after a lot of work.

In case anyone cares:

Here are the things that I had to work with when planning the placement of the moulding:

  • 4 walls – 3 windows and 2 large openings to other rooms
  • None of the windows/headers are the same height (besides the two matching windows)
  • None of the spaces are the same width for equal spacing of the panels

Simple rectangles seemed the easiest. I decided to use the spacing of 3″ from walls/baseboards/casing and 6″ (5 1/4″ actual) between the screen moulding. With this, the areas that were largest would get 3 rectangles and the smaller areas would get 1 or 2, dependent on the width of the area. The height was just eyeballing it and shrugging, marked it off and then used the level around the room. It made the maths fairly easy. Space -6″= outer rectangle width (-12″= middle rectangle width, – 12″= inner rectangle width.)

The greatest gift I gave myself with starting this project, was renting this lazer level from Home Depot for 4 hours. I used it to make the painting line in Ry’s room for the One Room Challenge.IMG_1492

It’s super frustrating to get it absolutely level, but once you do, it’s quick to mark out all the lines. It took me about 3 hours in total – but I got 5 absolutely level lines all around the room. I just went around with a marker and short level and traced them.

From there, it was mathing out the width and then cuts, cuts and more cuts. Then even more.

I purchased 53 8′ pine screen moulding pieces and it was 152 cuts that made it up on the walls. That’s not including the maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaany miss-cuts that I made.IMG_1493

I got a ton of splinters, to boot.

Like, I know that an inanimate object like a thermostat just hanging there shouldn’t illicit feelings of contempt and rage in a person, but I am perhaps mentally unhappy, and it did. I am SO happy that I finally moved it to the stairwell in the basement, hidden, where things of shame should go.

Once all the screen was all nailed up with my brad nailer, the holes got spackled, sanded and primed. Then 3 (!) coats of Farrow and Ball Down Pipe in the Estate Emulsion. I had claw hands and had to go over the whole walls with the last coat, because this gallon is a slightly different color than the last one, and it’s still a little splotchy. Thanks for nothing, super expensive paint.

It took FOR.EV.ER to paint.

The radiator still needs to be painted, too, it got a coat of gray spay paint primer (thus the newspaper on the floor.) But I’m giving that remaining paint the major side eye. And that whole radiator sitch, in general. IMG_1502

It’s very subtle, but I like it.IMG_1521 IMG_1513 IMG_1505 IMG_1533 IMG_1536 IMG_1541

Still on the list is building a new credenza, scrubbing the floor, art etc. I am thinking about putting crown moulding up, too, but haven’t decided on a profile yet.

I like the idea of a rug in here, but it would be ruint in nanoseconds.

Also, maybe my light fixture will arrive someday? I ordered it 8 weeks ago, and I’m starting to be concerned that I only ordered it in a very realistic delusional state not based in reality. The lead time was 5-6 weeks, and last I heard, it was supposed to have shipped out over a week ago (did not happen.) It’s been kind of frustrating and disappointing with the lack of communication.

I ain’t mad at those walls tho.



I’m not a complete liar, after all

It was over two years ago when I got the bright idea to widen the doorway between the kitchen and dining room. I had just ordered (some) custom cabinets, jacked up the house and had several supports put in the basement, new appliances, electrical upgrades and installation of walnut flooring in the kitchen.

No concern was given to the vent pipe (the sink was on the other side of that dining room wall) or the fact that it was a load bearing wall. Or… matching the existing moulding in the house.

When the carpenter who was installing the cabinets offered to open up the wall – for a reasonable price – I jumped all over it.

Turns out that I should not have done that, it ended up being a super stressful experience with lots of lasting issues that give me night terrors and a severe case of avoidance to the point that I don’t even want to finish the kitchen (like… dry walling the ceiling.)

That project started after I had ordered the cabinets, there was a 3+ month turnaround time, so I figured I would install a temporary ikea sink cabinet until I ordered the matching custom cabinet.

Major LOLZ.

I ran out of large chunks of money to order the rest of the cabinets.

I guess I should rephrase – I decided to scrape together money and use it to make other areas of my house prettier. Because I don’t actually want to deal with the problems in the kitchen, just pretty stuff. Priorities.

Plus, I’ll never actually have large chunks of money.


That’s not the point right at this moment.

The point is: after the drywall went up – the moulding did not.

It became quickly apparent that I was not going to be able to locate stock pieces that matched the crown and decorative egg and dart. The crown is no longer beefy and solid, and the egg and dart profile is no longer manufactured – anywhere.

I gave up on it.

It looked like this: IMG_1473Sad little misplaced thermostat.

Until I proclaimed my intention to work on the dining room and put the trim back, and by the grace of god, I have wonderful and supportive readers that I don’t want to be a liar to.

One thing I did find readily available at the lumber yard was the casing. Hooray! I purchased, brought it home, and realized that it was 1/4″ less wide than the existing. Fuckkkkk. Oh, well. I used it.

Ok. So.

This likely won’t make any sense to anyone outside of my own brain.

The existing crown is solid, and rests on the top of the 1×6 – projecting 3/4″ underneath for the egg and dart, and a total height of 7″.IMG_1486

Current crown matching the profile projects 3/4″ less, which if placed on top of a 1×6 would not allow the space for any decorative egg and dart.IMG_1489IMG_1491





My solution was to use a 1×8″ board (7 1/2″ actual), and have the crown flush with the top of the board – which would then project 3/4″ underneath.

The whole height is now 1/2″ taller, but, shit. We do what we can. I didn’t feel like ripping it down 1/2″. What.

I hope it doesn’t haunt me in the afterworld.

It was around the time that I had made all my cuts and had it all put together, but not on the wall, that my stupid pneumatic nailer quit on me. What the hell, driver?! Why aren’t you retracting and loading a new nail?!

I ran to my local ace for a metric allen wrench to try to open it up, but 3 of the 6 screws would. not. budge. And, tbh, I have no idea what I would have done with if, even if I did get it open.

A curse filled trip to Home Depot and I have a new one, and the (door? opening?) header is up! And casing!IMG_1478 IMG_1487

That sad little thermostat got moved!

I am still on the search for a comparable egg and dart moulding. I have been to two lumber yards, ordered some from home depot (only to be returned), and have two on order from online to see if they will work.

Since I’m having such a blast cutting those 45 degree angles, I’ve decided to try my hand at some wall moulding? ALL THE MOULDING!

Now, to spackle a thousand nail holes and purchase another $99 gallon of paint – because of course I just barely ran out.

In other news. I am taking a ridiculously long time making simple decisions and stalling on ordering anything else. Do I want an all black modernica planter? A black and wood one? White and black? Do I want to have a ceiling medallion, or no ceiling medallion with the new light fixture? Like, seriously. Not real problems.

I have a week off coming up, it’s become my annual staycation the week of my birthday, and I’m hoping to get some decisions made and some progress. Hopefully the new light fixture will be part of that! It’s been almost 6 weeks since I’ve ordered, but unsure when it will ship.

One last thing, I used to have an Instagram widget and then it broke or something and I have not been able to find another one to put in my sidebar. I am not code savvy. What have other people used to help? Please, save me.







Keeping the momentum going. It’s way harder than it should be.

It seems to be feast or famine around here (both on the blog and at my house) with projects.

Maybe if I posted more, you all wouldn’t be subjected to 1500 word posts. Sorry ’bout that.

I had so much fun with the last One Room Challenge! Thank you so much for all your kind comments.

I didn’t know that I was blogging for all those sweet words, but it turns out that I TOTALLY am. And fame and cash money. Obvs.

I am thrilled to have given my daughter her own space and even more thrilled that it’s having the intended outcome of her spending time in there and out of my face all the time.

I love having a goal, a blogging schedule and being held accountable with the One Room Challenge. But – it is backbreaking work and fucking expensive.

I’ve already sold many organs to bankroll my wants and needs for this house, and some of them were probably vital. Idk. I’m not a doctor.

I like having a project though! It keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. I have to keep my scope smaller, than say, a whole room remodel and furnishing for a while.

Time to turn my attention back to the dining room!

It is open to the living room and kitchen (still majorly unfinished – shame) and can be seen when entering the house.

I started on it almost two years ago?

It sat with it’s first coat of Farrow & Ball Down Pipe on the walls and trim since then.

This would bother absolutely no one other than me, but the egg and dart and crown moulding on one of the windows was not original to the house and didn’t match the other windows. I could not let this stand – apparently.

So I cannibalized the old doorway trim (from widening the opening from the kitchen) and cut it down for the window. Unfortunately, I forgot the angles are different when you cut on the fence vs. on the flat. It’s definitely not perfect, but wood filler, paint and curtains obscure that fact.

And I don’t seem to have any pictures of that process anywhere? Trust. It happened.

I did put the missing baseboards down in one corner, too. It was only like 7 cuts and shaving an inch off the bottom, yet somehow took me several hours? I’m slow AF. IMG_1125 IMG_1127I used a piece of paper to make a template of the outlet, transferred it the wood and cut it out with a jigsaw. IMG_1135It totally worked! Which was a huge relief since it was the original wood to the house. IMG_1136Last month, I finalllllllllly got the finial coat of paint on the walls and trim, and decided to paint the ceiling too (I loved the dark ceiling in my daughter’s bedroom!) The walls and ceiling are in the Estate Emulsion and the trim is in the eggshell. The gloss really brings out the depth of the color – beautiful.

After painting the dining room and working on the bedroom upstairs – it looked like this.IMG_1425 IMG_1427

Cringe. My house blows up with tools and miscellaneous shit when I work on a project. Spanning two levels even. Ya’ll impressed?

I hope I am not the only one in universe who lives in this state more often than not.


Prepare yourself for some legit real life pictures. No deep cleaning, no sweeping, no styling or moving clutter into another room. #liveauthentic or something.

I spent a little time tidying and organizing and now we are here.IMG_1435 IMG_1438 IMG_1442


I mean, there’s still a shop vac chillin’ in the corner.

Once the room was painted with it’s second coat, I hung my drapes. I love, love, love them.

We will get back to that eyesore of a radiator in a minute.

The fabric is the Altpink linen from Tonic Living. I feel like it’s one of the most perfect pale pinks evahhhh.

I shipped my fabric to Divine Panels on Etsy to be sewn. I went with a French pleat header and chose blackout lining. They did a superb job. The quality is top notch and their customer service was excellent.

The blackout lining is perfect at blocking the light when we want to watch tv during the day, or video gaming for my husband. For this reason, I was given carte blanche with the fabric selection and I get to tell my husband that I spent hundreds of dollars to make him happy. And that I deserve thanks. And endless admiration.

The curtain rods are Lucite and brushed brass from Lux Hold ups on Etsy. I think they let the dark paint and drapes do their thang.

I purchased a new light! Which finalizes my plan to get rid of basic bitch light fixtures on the main level.

I knowwww that I had intended to purchase the Millo chandelier, which I still really super love, but I don’t think it will fit the space right. You know when you want something to work so badly, and you try to force it and then it ends in disappointment/purchasing another/money out the pocket for the first one/reflection on your whole past about where you went so wrong in life? I just avoided that last part.

I went with the Ursula from TripleSevenHome. 'TripleSevenHome Ursula'

I saw it when I was looking for alternative sconce options for Ry’s room, and my heart went all pitter patter. I sent a message over a month ago asking if I could have this made with smoked glass, and it took 2 more messages to get a ‘no’ in response. Once I got that – I finally ordered it.

I think it will compliment the Serge Mouille style light in the living room, and the large globe pendant in the kitchen. I shall call it ‘serge-mouille-large-globe-pendant-love-child’ light. Ursula for short.

It’s going to take about 6 weeks before it arrives – which prompts the Unofficial tentative One room challenge dining room. In which there is no official end date, or blogging schedule and it is totally unstructured. But almost exactly like the official challenge.


Check on possibility and price to swap that behemoth of a radiator with a smaller one. Plumbers are expensive, so we will see. The measurements might not even work. If that’s not an option, then finish painting it. Or, whatever.

MOULDING for the enlarged opening between the kitchen and dining room.

God. How many times have I said I’m going to procure it and put it up? I am a straight up liar face. Give me another chance to redeem myself?

Build storage. The craigslist credenza was moved in here, and it works ok but is deeper than I would like and a little shorter. Something longer, less deep and more room will take its place. And I’m thinking burgundy?IMG_4059

I am getting so good with CAD, don’t you think?

What do you mean that’s just a scribble on paper!? Offended. Get off my internets.

Stock the bar cart for the hypothetical cocktail party that I’m having.

Note to self: stop consuming all the alcohol that enters the house.

I bought the copper Plum and Bow cart from urban outfitters when it was on sale. It’s a good size for the room. I’m glad that I bought it on sale though, it’s not the best craftsmanship known to man.

Paint the piece of chipboard and attach it to the makeshift ikea sink/dishwasher cabinet.

Does anyone want to trade me thousands of dollars for a piece of paper that says ‘MY SOUL’ on it so that I can order the last cabinets and finish my kitchen?

No? Cool.

Joke would have been on that sucker, I got rid of that thing long ago.

Painting it is.

I’m going to miss the hot pink chandelier. I removed the shades and painted the metal on the one that came with the house. My husband on the other hand, will not miss it at all.

TBH. If I didn’t already have the pink drapes, I probably would powder coat the new fixture hot pink.

I’ll have to find another way to test the boundaries of my husband’s love tho.

Give those $10 craigslist chairs a face lift. Maybe some faux black ostrich leather?

Finally. The most important part of the plan.

BLOG about it.






Can something be too fancy?

I am considering these chairs for my dining room, maybe upholstered in white faux ostrich (for wipe-ability purposes).

I am hesitant and worried that they will look garish with the modest wooden table. But those backs sure would look pretty from the kitchen!

Comfort is also a heavy consideration. I guess I will see when I go look at them this weekend!


Painting glossy wood trim – Dark and White

First of all: Hardcore stained wood fanatics – Be cool, don’t jump my ass.  kthnxbye.

I have been painting the wood trim in my house. Someone put this poopy colored (no exaggeration, I’ve had a baby, I know) opaque varnish all over the wood. You can hardly see any wood grain anymore, but is very glossy and the dark color drags down the whole house.

Gross poopy colored opaque varnish
Gross poopy colored opaque varnish

See? Yuck.

I start by patching all the holes and/or cracks with spackle. I have found the light weight kind the easiest.caulk and spackled

Then paintable caulk in any seams.

Don’t forget to caulk along the sides of the moulding where it meets the wall!

oil based primer on glossy wood
Pre-caulked seam between trim and wall
oil based primer on glossy wood
After caulk between trim and wall

I use my trusty oil based primer. I know that there are latex primers that say the stick to glossy surfaces, but besides the BIN kind, I just don’t trust them. I have been using Zinsser, although I am not loyal to the brand. Make sure that you have mineral spirits on hand, very helpful for any drops and cleaning the brush. I like swishing the brush in mineral spirits, dawn soap, and then swishing in new mineral spirits for brush cleaning. For mini foam rollers, I would dispose of them after each use.

I use my brush to get the primer into all the little nooks and crannies, and then go over it and the flat areas with a roller. The first coat will NOT look good. Or opaque. Or white. In fact, it’s going to look pretty awful. That’s cool.oil based primer on glossy wood oil based primer on glossy wood oil based primer on glossy wood

I am a double primer sort of girl. I feel like the second coat gets any tiny missed spots. I use the same method of the brush and mini foam roller.

If the final top coat will be dark, use a gray tinted latex primer. I used Glidden Gripper Primer underneath the F&B Down Pipe top coat.Glidden Gripper primer on oil based primer on glossy wood 011 Glidden Gipper Primer on oil based primer on glossy wood

Two coats of Farrow & Ball Down Pipe (the last one being Estate Eggshell), and done!Farrow & Ball Estate Eggshell Farrow & Ball Estate Eggshell

If painting white, after the oil based primer, do a second coat with white latex primer. I use Zinsser Bulls Eye 123 primer. I thought that I had a picture of this coat, but I guess I don’t! Sorry! It will look brighter white, but still patchy.

If going from dark wood, like my trim, to white, expect to do at least 4 coats (more likely 5.) Two of primer and 3 of top coat color. I personally like Floor and Porch paint for trim, it’s satin and durable. I used Sherwin Williams in Snowbound 7004. This is the 5th coat:Sherwin Williams SnowboundSherwin Williams Snowbound Sherwin Williams Snowbound

It’s just so much brighter already!  

The haps in the dining room

I started working on the crown in the dining room. Unfortunately, a malfunction with the rented saw resulted in a lot of waste, frustration and swearing.

Also, turns out that, no, coping is not a skill I posses. Ha. I mean that both literally with a coping saw and figuratively.

I now have to order more crown moulding, and start again, a new day.

Progress is progress, even when you have to take it all down and start over again. Yeah?

Looking directly up at the ceiling , against the wall

At least I like the way it looks when it’s up.030

Painting up in here

I’m always incredibly jealous when I read other blogs and they move in to a “fixer upper”, and that means painting the walls. They put in their awesome furniture, style it, and then it looks all glorious.

Petty? You bet.

Especially because I did move into this house and paint all the walls, and it looked glorious. Then, I went all crazy face on it. And now I have to put in 2425721 hours of patching and sanding, to get the walls in a semi decent shape for painting.

But. I did. I did put all those hours of wall prep in.


This is also the first room that my husband has helped me paint. Yeah, in 6+ years together, he hasn’t ever helped me paint. I’m sure that’s some sort of blogging crime. I told him that OUR MARRIAGE NEEDED this. J/K. No, I didn’t. Yes, I actually did.

I guess he didn’t want to test the limits of my insanity. He rolled, I did cut in, we had a paint fight, it was adorbsies. Ok, so he did one coat on the walls, but, for reals though, it went so much faster than if I did that last coat by myself!

I chose Farrow & Ball Down Pipe – color matched to Behr. I’m planning on ordering a gallon from Farrow & Ball for the top coat, but why not save $70 for the first coat?

After 3 coats on the ceiling (1 primer, 2 paint), and 3 coats on the trim/baseboards (2 primer, 1 paint) and 2 coats on the walls (1 primer, 1 paint), we are here!

Farrow & Ball Down Pipe color matched to Behr Farrow & Ball Down Pipe color matched to Behr

Perhaps a reminder of how the dining room project started?

damaged plaster
damaged plaster


Is that a non-water damaged and non-green ceiling?!Farrow & Ball Down Pipe color matched to Behr

I still have to paint the radiator (I spray primed the hard to reach areas).

Panel/picture molding, crown moulding, and the opening casing will have to happen, then one last coat of paint.

It may seem a little underwhelming to most, but it was a huge triumph for me.