Painting Techniques – Wall to Ceiling

The truth about me is, I hate taping before painting (aka “masking off”). I find it tedious and my paint always always always bleeds under the tape – therefore – tedious and useless! However, I love a good straight paint line, so what’s a girl to do? I cannot pull off the free-handing that the pros show so beautifully online. I’ve tried the funky tools for cutting in the walls to ceiling joint (messy, ineffectual), painting up against a straight edge (bleeds), tiny paint brushes (the worst!) and patience (sigh).  I’ve given this a lot of thought, probably way too much if I’m honest – but I think I’ve found something that works for me, and just might work for you too. It’s my favorite strategy of drawing on the walls…

Here’s my latest painting technique for the (nearly) perfect straight line, plus a few tips at the end:

  • No coffee until I’m finished painting ( I know! Sorry!)

I gathered these tools:

  • Lots of good light – I used shop lights, flashlights and a headlamp. The headlamp plus shop lights was the most useful.
  • Water-based paint and stir sticks
  • Good ladders, because a trip to the ER is no fun!
  • Drop cloths (old sheets are great, double up if you need to)
  • A good Purdy nylon angled 2 1/2″ brush (or so)
  • The lovable “Handy Paint Pail”
  • Wet, lint free rags for wiping off errant paint
  • A small putty knife, for wiping off errant paint in tight corners (wrap your wet rag over it)
  • A tiny paint brush from the kid’s art supplies, for impossible spots
  • My reading glasses for magnification
  • A good headlamp (bears repeating!)
  • A pencil to draw on the walls with. Either a colored pencil that closely matches your paint or a hard lead pencil, maybe 5H or so. Never use a pen, it will bleed through.
  • A pencil sharpener
Painting tools

The basic painting tools

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Street Signs and My Attic Access

I’m on a kick to make my home more energy efficient. Yeah! First project – a better attic access door. Boring! Thank goodness I have 2 willing girlfriends to help me… and I must say it’s turning out to be anything but boring!

So we sketched out our plan, knocked a bigger hole in the wall (after verifying it was not structural), built a plywood door panel, applied insulation to the back of it and then…

ONE YEAR LATER! Back to work… We had plenty of time to think about it, ahem, and decided to experiment with our Seattle street signs. Continue reading

Mosaics Tile

I’m looking for backsplash ideas. After 7 years of living with an a-l-l-l-most finished kitchen, I think it’s time to finish it up…

I have an area in the kitchen that can stand alone and be different from the rest of the design, so my thoughts turned to mosaics – specifically those that re-use broken pottery or dishes (keeping up my Seattle eco cred). It’s a design idea that can easily turn tacky so I wanted to do a bit of research – see if I could find a few good examples. We found a great project at Bradner Gardens Park, Seattle, located inside the public restrooms!  Here are a few photos of these super creative mosaics in the women’s side – I think the boy’s side has spiders…

Kudos to the artists Joyce Moty, Liz Cross and Gyda Fossland!

tile for mosaics - bee tile for mosaics - butterfly tile for mosaics - cricket tile for mosaics - beetles

tile for mosaics - dragonfly

Homemade Root Beer

My son needed a science project using yeast, so he decided to brew up some root beer. After some trial and error, we are also brewing up a big batch of it to give to friends for the holidays. We designed a label which reflects the style of teenage boys.  :) Continue reading

Embellish your IKEA chandelier

Here is an easy way to embellish a standard IKEA candelabra – suspend colorful, fused-glass pieces with wire from the frame.

This was a very simple project that was done by our school kids for the annual auction – isn’t it great?! (I can say that because I didn’t actually do it)  :) Continue reading

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

I have a small living room, “charming and cozy” in real estate lingo. My smart architect friend, Kevin Richards of Richartz Studios, suggested I hang a mirror opposite a window to reflect views from our garden into the space – making the room appear larger. This appealed to me, as I like big mirrors, so off to IKEA I went with Heidi and Mary Jean (and our styrofoam for recycling!). Here’s what we came home with, the Songe mirror, 3′ X 4′ – unfortunately the wrong color….

But that’s OK because I have my favorite little jar of paint and some cheerful helpers –

– and we got it done in no time flat! No prep, not even a quick sanding…because sometimes we girls are impatient…

Done – one of our easiest projects yet, and it really does open up the space with reflected light and green, thanks Kevin!

I’m wondering if this magical paint trick will work on my paint encrusted door hinges – or if it will chip off with use – maybe we’ll give it a try next week…

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