Home Improvement, Paint

Closet Doors

My hubby and my neighbor are amazing and surprised me by installing new closet doors in our office while my best friend and I were visiting my sister last weekend. Our house is all sorts of crooked, so they only installed one of the two doors while I was away because they wanted my opinion on how to solve the issue. I was so surprised by the one door — it was like Christmas.

Yes, a closet door was like Christmas! You see, we took down the bifold doors in our office months ago. Gosh, it might have even been close to a year ago. Then a few months ago we bought new closet doors to replace them. Except instead of bifolds, which I hate hate hate, they are now french doors. Saweeeet. BUT, we didn’t have the appropriate tools to hang them.

Here’s what the doors looked like when we moved in:

Office Before


They were crooked on the tracks and were such a pain to open. We eventually got rid of them because on of the doors broke at the bottom and we couldn’t use it anymore.

Anywho, after asking me how I wanted to even out the doors to accommodate the crooked opening, the boys got back to it and quickly (or at least I thought so) finished hanging the doors. I would give you details on how they did it, but I was putting away massive loads of laundry and for once was happy to stay out of the way. Let’s just say there seemed to be lots of cuts made with a circular saw.

Closet Doors unfinished

Can I just say that my neighbor is awesome!?! He brought his tools over and helped Brian with the install — twice! And once was at 8 a.m. And it wasn’t even his closet. That is a good friend!

And can I also just say that I love my man to pieces. He knew the unfinished closet was slowly (OK, maybe not that slowly) driving me mad. And he finished it to surprise me. AND my man decided that he doesn’t like knobs on his closet doors (who knew) so he opted for some large handles and it looks bangin’ good! I am doubly impressed.

Once the doors were up it was my turn to do some work on the closet, so I got to painting. We used Cascade White paint by Behr, which is the same white we used to paint the lower half of the office.

Closet Doors Painted

I love the french doors on the closet and eventually want to do this to all of our sliding closet doors as well. We’ll see if I get my way on that one.

They really do look so much better than the bifolds (and my Harry Potter collection looks nice, too!) and I am so thankful to have so many wonderful men in my life to help me out with projects like this.

Chad, you’re awesome. Brian, I love you. (And Benfer, thanks for supervising!)

Happy Monday! May your day be as great as mine was when I saw the first closet door hung up 🙂

Home Improvement, Paint

The itch to paint

Right before the Christmas holiday we had a radon mitigation system installed in our basement. Turns out Columbia has a lot of this cancer-causing gas just hanging around. Lame-o. Basically how it works is the radon guys come and drill into your foundation (we have two) and create a well for the gas to collect. Since gas takes the path of least resistance, the gas will pretty much all pool here instead of seeping into our house in other ways. Then they install a pipe that connects the hole in the foundation(s) to a hole they cut to the outside of your house. They seal it up nice and tight so no gas can eek out, then put in a fan that runs 24/7 to keep the gas flowing outside of the house. And with that, we are radon free! Woot!

The whole thing took about two hours. Not too bad!


Gee, I sound so knowledgeable about radon.


I was really happy to have this completed because our radon levels were a little bit higher than normal and I’d like to avoid cancer if at all possible. Crazy, I know. I was also happy to have it done because it inspired me to paint our laundry room/basement area! I bet you thought there was nothing left to paint… that’s what the hubby thought, too.


There was nothing wrong with the color of our laundry room as it was.


A boring neutral was just fine for the space. But I spend a fair amount of time down there, especially at those cabinets in the back. The cabinets in my craft room are a great sitting height, but the cabinets in the laundry room are great for projects you want to do standing. I wanted to brighten up the space a bit.

I set out to paint the whole space white. Yes, white. I never want to paint anything even close to white, but I didn’t want another blue room and I didn’t want to paint the space anything crazy. So white it is.

I went with Behr’s Waterfall Mist. It was a nice contrast between the white of our door frames, so that was a win.

Screen Shot 2013-01-08 at 11.27.44 AM

Well, it turns out Waterfall Mist is blue. Even though I tried to paint my laundry room white, I ended up painting it blue! I think there is something wrong with me.

Look…. even in the Behr virtual paint chip wall, Waterfall Mist is categorized as white.

Screen Shot 2013-01-08 at 11.24.54 AM

But it’s not. *Sigh*

So I painted the whole room and stood back to admire my work… then realized I had inadvertently painted another room in the house blue. Oops.

At least it’s brighter!! And I love blue…



The other mistake I made, aside from painting it a completely wrong color, was I painted our stairs (which were orange before) the same color as the walls. That just looked weird. Really weird.


So the day after Christmas I ran to the store to pick out some dark brown paint to match the floor you can see peeking in from under the door.

IMG_2520Ahhhh…. much better.


All in all, the basement looks nice. It’s not some crazy huge improvement to what it was before, and let’s keep it real, I’ll probably want to paint it again in the future. At least for now it satisfied my itch to paint something. Now I just need to make some cutesy decorations for the laundry room and I can let it be for a while.


Craft Projects

Pallet Bar Sign

Remember this sweet pallet I scored from work? I got a lot of use out of this bad boy, making two different jewelry holders, one with knobs and one with spoon hooks.

But, what I’m about to show you is the pièce de résistance from my first-ever pallet — a BAR sign for, yes, our bar!

To make my sign, I had to demolish the pallet. I got out my handy-dandy jigsaw and cut out the middle planks to use. I decided to make my sign with four planks, and an additional plank as support along the back.

Once my pieces were cut (I cut one of the planks in half for the back), I lined them up outside and nailed them together using my nail gun. I didn’t want the edges to be perfectly even, so instead I lined up the four planks by the nail holes down the middle. This gave it a nice look.

First, I nailed the wood into the back supports from the front of the sign. Then, for added support and more nail gun fun, I flipped it over and added nails down the supports in the back.

Then, I got out my sander and sanded the edges down and the front and back down. I picked pieces with holes and knots on purpose, so I made sure to leave those spots alone.

With the sign all smoothed out, I brought it inside to begin taping out my letters. Using painters tape, I blocked out the letters “B,” “A,” and “R” at varying heights along the sign. I did this all by eye (no tracing, no stencils), which took a long time (about an hour) and a ton of patience, but was worth it in the end.

Then, I got out some of my remaining paint samples and started to fill in my letters. For the “B” I used Behr Smoky Slate, for the “A” I used Behr Contemplation, and for the “R” I used Behr Lime Light. I’ve gotten so much use out of these samples, it’s crazy! Anyway, I chose these colors so the letters would have a subtle ombre effect to them.

Once the letters were painted, I removed the tape — the paint was still wet, so the tape came off perfectly! Then, I set the sign aside to dry.

Afterward, I got out some leftover gray stain from my coffee table project and stained the entire sign. Yes, I did go over the paint. I let the stain sit for about five minutes, then wiped it off and let it dry. I came back a few hours later and gave the sign two coats of poly. I also attached heavy-duty picture hangers to the back before letting the sign dry overnight.

We hung up the sign last night right behind our bar and it fits perfectly! I’d pretend that I did that on purpose, but it was just dumb luck! Still, I’ll take it 🙂

{A Smith of All Trades} Pallet Bar Sign

Um yeah, I ❤ my sign. So does the hubby. Total win!

And, best part, it was totally free to make!