Monthly Archives: July 2009

Hey Lady, Your Door Is Ugly!

Today was a bizarre day.  The weather was nice enough to toss the ‘to do’ list, strap on a bathing suit, and be lazy on a pool float…. but for some reason that wasn’t the path I traveled today.  Instead I chose the path that read ‘ Go in 100 directions today’….

The bushes have been crying out for attention lately.  All shaggy and overgrown looking.  We ignore them, because NOBODY likes to trim bushes….  last year hubster got a sucking lawn vacuum blower – intent to vacuum up the remains from the bushes haircuts…   Hubster likes the vacuum,  I hate it.  The process goes sooooooooo slow…..  Today?  I just said ‘screw it’  and let the trimmer rip – figuring I could get slave labor from the kids during clean up –


I did get the kids to help.  Bribed them with a slurpee run at 7-11 after.

Then I decided to tackle our mailbox.  It needs some TLC –


I should have taken the picture from the other side because the numbers and street name has lost all its color.   The post needs some repair,  parts need sanding, and the whole thing needs a coat of paint.

I was all ready to sand away, and pull out my yummy copper metallics and other paint colors when ……    SCREECH!    I remembered that our front door needs major TLC as well…  AND  didn’t I have intentions of wood graining our front door?    Huh?

DSC_7068I will be honest, and admit that I walked away twice.   Both times I approached the front door,  looked at what was involved, and walked away….. Heavy sigh…. I WANT the look of a wood door… but I know it’s not going to be a 15 minute job…. and i LIKE 15 minute jobs!

I couldn’t continue with the mailbox because  the mailbox front door needs to MATCH the house…   Common sense said I needed to start with the front door.     Out came the ladder and tape.  Down came the wreath. A soapy rag washed out all the funky spider cocoons (yuk)…   I sanded the areas that were chipping, and then headed down to my workroom to find a base paint color.

I knew I’d choose a Setcoat (Aquabond) basecoat, by Faux Effects.   Can’t go wrong with this base coat for durability, and I need that for this exterior door. I mixed Leather Red with Camel -figuring it will be a good base color for my planned wood grain (think mahogany color), kindof like I did here –


First I taped off the glass,   then got busy applying 2 coats of my ‘custom’ Setcoat color –


I was entertaining myself as I applied layer one to our front door.   Talking to myself, out loud.   (Do you ever do that?)

“Hey Lady!  Your door is ugly!”    “Your door looks like a big fat chili pepper!”    Folks taking evening strolls,  walking their dog passed by  …. I wondered if, once out of reach, they whispered to their partner   “Oh my Lord, that is an awful color!”

Am I sure what comes next?  Not really, but that’s one benefit of being a decorative finisher – I can make it up as I go along!  I had a wonderful week of instruction, last year,  from none other than Cait Whitson,  Carte Blanche in Scotland, a master of her art,  whereby I learned how to make a plain surface look like fabulous wood –

DSC_2076 [Desktop Resolution]

Cait, making it look so easy!

Cait, making it look so easy!

DSC_2115 [Desktop Resolution]I WILL keep you posted!



A Closet Change to a Great Storage Cubby

I’ve just wasted an hour searching for a before photo of my back closet… and do you think I found one?   (mental note: organize how photos are stored)

Heres the best I could find, too bad it doesn’t show the EXACT closet in question –


See the first doorway to the left?  The original closet looked JUST like that, except it opened outward, not inward… and,  it is (was) around the corner…   So,  walk straight, in my photo.  Pass the stairs on the right,  then when you enter that back hallway look DIRECTLY to our right –  that is where this closet is (was).

In fact, that whole back hallway was redone – I had posted about it before, here ,   but this closet?  It wasn’t BIG enough to be useful.  so, when we redid the hallway, and added a NEW bigger walk in closet,  I had the opportunity to get creative with this old space.     Some might have just retired it to a ‘broom closet’ …  not me!  My yearning for organization goes beyond dedicated holes to dump stuff….   I wanted ‘planned’ space.

Here is why I am posting about this ‘space’ again.   We have a pool.   When you have a pool,  and don’t have a pool house,  then there will be a needed space for towel storage,  sunscreen storage,  kids bathing suits storage (and if you have girls then you know this could mean ALOT of bathing suits….)

So – here was my plan for our space.  Change the average, unneeded coat closet, into a cool seasonal storage cubby.   Wha???

Check this out –

DSC_7054I had Jon, our contractor that owns Renovation by Design, cut the door down.  He then framed in the bottom portion because I wanted a place for a corner bench.  Jon removed the door handle, and then changed the hardware to a magnetic latch – now when you pull that handle it just pops open.  When you open the cubby you get this –

DSC_7055Aarrrgghh,  kids – those pool towels were folded nice and neat before they got there hands on them!    Had Jon add 2 nice shelves.   On the top shelf I placed canvas bins that house  Tools,  First Aid and Shoe Care.  On the second shelf there are bins for each kids swim suits and a carry bin for sunscreen stuff  (we take that out to the pool with us).  The bottom shelf houses all the pool towels, usually folded and stacked nicely.   Whats better is what is UNDER those towels.

See this?  (ah,  I moved ALL those pool towels just so you could see this!)

DSC_7056It’s a trap door.  If you stick your finger in that hole, and pull open you get this –

DSC_7057A  2x3x3 storage space!   Whoo hoo – I love storage.  So here’s how I work it.  Those are bigger canvas bins stored right now.  Come fall time those will come back out and will be stuffed with gloves, hats, scarves –  all the colder weather gear that the four of us use –  we each have a bin.  Those bins will take up shelves 2 and 3, and ALL the pool and summer stuff will get stashed below in the hidden storage space.  Isn’t that brilliant?

If you noticed, I also painted everything dark brown.  It’s so much cozier, and hides grime kid marks.

I Love This Wedding Entrance!

Have you seen this yet?  I was just watching Fox news and Bill O’Reilly showed a short clip of this Wedding Entrance , at a church in Minnesota.

It prompted me to go onto Youtube and check out the whole video.   The kids and I just watched it,  and go figure?  It made me cry,  not out of sadness, but because I felt their joy.    Good for them!    Julia (my daughter) said “That’s how I want MY wedding to be!”  (heh heh)…….

check it out –

JK Wedding Entrance Dance

Metro Detroit Fun Toddler Cakes….

I know this has nothing to do with faux painting,  but sometimes paths cross you know?

This was a client of mine – nice lady.  Makes cakes.  We chatted it up,  she was passionate about her creativity as I was in mine.  She makes FIRST year birthday cakes.

I am a sucker for passionate artists!

So I told her to send me some photos –

1st Birthday 004

1st Birthday 005 (3)

If you like what you see and want more info?  Email Mary Jane at