October 28, 2013

Door Knob Makeover

 Little inexpensive finishes can make a big difference.  Take,  for instance, our doors. Some of them badly chipped and worn, all adorned with gold handles, some with silver on one side. We made a trip to the hardware store to compare prices and explore our options. The least expensive handles in the style we liked were about eleven dollars each. We needed nine, so for about one hundred dollars, we could have all new handles. Or, we could lightly sand our existing handles with a fine grit sandpaper, spray with this:

  ...and have the style we liked for less than ten dollars total. Not bad. So my husband is patiently taking down all the doors in need of sanding and a fresh coat of paint, removing the handles, and turning this:

Into this!

And they are holding up great. All for 1/10 the cost. Love it.

October 23, 2013

Restoration Hardware

 Our kitchen is in the process of getting a much needed makeover. We have been experimenting and budgeting to see what we can and should do. One of the items on the priority list is changing the hardware. Our existing hinges were covered in thick coats of paint, which we needed to remove. Here's how to do it. First, cover the bottom of an old pan with baking soda (preferably a pan you don't plan on using again.)

 Put your hardware in the pot and cover with water. Boil for thirty minutes. 

 When the timer goes off, remove the metal object with a pair of tongs and place on wax paper or foil. 

 Most of the paint should peel off with your hands. You might need a metal tool to get into the crevices. If the paint is stubborn or in multiple layers, you might need to repeat the process until all the paint is gone. 

If you have cool, interesting or original hardware, this is a natural way to restore metal pieces without resorting to harsh paint stripping chemicals. Once you've removed the paint, you can polish with a 2-in-1 oil or other metal oil to revive the metal. 

October 8, 2013

Pumpkin Patch

 A gorgeous sunny day. A list of chores on the one hand, a warm October afternoon on the other.
Option 1: Stay and clean. Option 2: Clean later and go enjoy the outdoors. We went with option #2. That sun was just calling me outdoors. Leave the chores for a rainy day. Today we are going to meet friends at the pumpkin patch. We need us some pumpkins. Bumpy, round, adorable pumpkins. And now we are warming up to the idea of fall.

Driving across these bridges on our way to Sauvie Island Pumpkin Patch, I was reminded of the many reasons I love the Pacific Northwest. My jaw dropped crossing this first bridge; I had a view of Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, and, I think, Mt. Adams (or Rainier)? Wow, incredible. 

Happy Fall,