Exterior Paint – Design Ideas

Every time the sun comes out on these short Seattle days I start dreaming up exterior projects – Paint! Garden! Fence! Paint Again! – If you find yourself brainstorming in circles like I am, here’s a bit of exterior paint inspiration from four of my favorites:

A few random thoughts on exterior paint design:

  • A flat sheen is usually preferred
  • Three colors is a nice balance. Be thoughtful if you add a fourth color, you don’t want to get too fussy.
  • If you choose to paint the door a contrasting color, consider carrying that color into the garden with pots, outdoor furniture/cushions or plants. It’s a nice, subtle effect.
  • Breaking up/dividing large areas of siding with horizontal trim or different siding materials can allow for a more interesting finished look.
  • Think about how your plants will look with the new color.
  • Take a close look before you tear off old siding and trim! Some of that material is beautiful – tight grain, large dimensions/profiles, much of it is unavailable these days. If you do decide to demo, your local reclaimed building materials store may LOVE to have it, lead paint and all.
  • Spend the money and time for samples of your paint! Mock up your ideas on a wall that receives good light – You’ll be glad you did.

Are you ready to get started?? Here’s a nice overview of the process from one of my favorite local paint stores, Daly’s and a few tips from DIY projects – a list of handy tools, two favorite painting hacks, and stripping and painting old trim.

Paint on!

~Monica

New Year’s Resolution – preserve my kid’s art!

Paper Mache Animals 1

Before my kids graduate from high school I should probably get a start on preserving some of the adorable, one-of-a-kind art projects they’ve brought home over the years. Things are getting a little (very) dusty plus starting to fade and become brittle. I decided to experiment with a Mod Podge protective coating thinking that it might preserve my favorite pieces and maybe even restore them a bit. I wasn’t sure what to expect and I had a couple of questions: Continue reading

The Big Albert Lee Appliance Sale is Coming!

Need new appliances for your home or rental? The Albert Lee Appliance Sale is coming this Nov 1 & 2nd.  We’ve seen everything from your standard kitchen appliances to Viking ranges, Miele vacuums, to outdoor BBQ’s and more. Check out this link as it also contains important hints for shopping. You may also want to bring a smartphone for research on the spot. Be sure to get there early – 3:55 am if you’re serious (and crazy like Monica) – they will have coffee…

Two of Our Favorite & Quick Painting Hacks!

Exterior WindowsWe make a lot of mistakes when painting, so we have a couple quick ways to fix them.

The first is to simply wipe them off with a wet rag we carry in our canvas work apron. You may end up wiping off paint from the surface where you actually wanted it, but that’s OK, just paint again – and sometimes you will need to wipe fairly hard to remove it ( depending on how long you waited to address it. Our advice – do it right away.)

The second is a tip from the handy husband. He used to paint houses in the summer to save money for college. You simply wrap your wet rag around a small putty knife. This allows you to clean up tight corners and other hard to navigate areas.

How easy is that! Happy painting :)

PS – Daly’s Paint, has a gift for signing up for their e-newsletter; a free pint of C2 paint each month. We just picked up Tangerine! Sign up for the Color Club here.

Share your hot painting tip with us – if we receive enough we can write a post with them and will be sure to give you credit!

Our List of Tools for Painting Projects

We paint a lot over here at Hammer Like A Girl – cabinets, kid’s rooms, tile, floors. We thought we would share a few good tools that make our lives a little easier, the job a tiny bit better – plus might eliminate a few trips to the basement for just one more thing ;)

So.

First.  No injuries.

Please Direct Your Attention to the Safety Talk:

  • Be sure the ladder is stable and don’t reach beyond a comfortable distance ( this means you, Heidi! )
  • If working outside –grab the sunscreen and a water bottle
  • Wear shoes that won’t slip or catch on things
  • Protect areas with drop cloths or newspaper
  • We love our 3rd Hand Paint Pail. Holds the paintbrush and is far easier to use than a paint can. ( And made in the USA )
  • Buy a good pair of groovy protection goggles if you need them (when scraping and sanding)

Safety Glasses

Now onto –

Our Favorite Tools For Painting:

Painting Tools Unpacked

Here’s a List of Miscellaneous Things we Find Useful:

  • Reading glasses
  • Headlamp
  • Sandpaper of 180 and 220 grit ( usually smallish pieces )
  • Sanding block for larger flat areas
  • Gloves
  • A 1″/25mm and a 2″/50mm paint brush, nylon/polyester blend, angled
  • 2-3 small art brushes for hard to reach areas ( not fancy )
  • Pencils for drawing on the walls ( so you can see where to paint )
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Blue tape
  • Paint can opener
  • Stir sticks
  • Smallish paint containers: yogurt tubs or a 3rd Hand Paint Pail
  • A canvas work apron or small tool belt (so helpful!)
  • Putty knife for scraping
  • Needle nose pliers for pulling out cracked/worn caulk
  • A narrow screwdriver for loose screws and digging out yuck
  • A nail punch for popped nails
  • A small hammer for the same and sealing paint lids closed
  • Toothbrush for brushing debris from corners
  • A razor blade for cleaning up past mistakes etc
  • Wet cloths for cleaning dirt off paint
  • Wet cloths for wiping off spills and mistakes
  • More drop cloths & rags
  • This list, so we can double-check that nothing has been pilfered or lost –

That’s a lot of stuff! We finally decided to start storing them together in a caddy. When we are painting we carry them in our small tool belts.

Painting Tools in Caddy

Oh – and one more thing. Because Chocolate.

Theo Chocolate

Do you have any favorite painting tools? We would love to hear your tips!

Dryer Maintenance Fun!

Here’s a quick tutorial on caring for your dryer from my favorite appliance repairman (jot down this number) Mark Wiseman Appliance Service, 206-948-1060.

We needed a dryer repair the other day (at a rental), so while he was there I quizzed him with “If you could pass along tips to your customers, what would they be?” and, ta da!, here is what Mark wants you to know:

  1. Clean your lint filter every load!
  2. Once a year go outside and make sure the exterior vent flap moves freely. Remove any built up lint. If you have a “grate/guard” over your exterior vent and it is full of lint, remove it and don’t put it back! These are notorious for collecting lint and blocking airflow which leads to repair calls to Mark…
  3. Dryer repairs and fires are primarily caused by poor venting. A good vent solution is a metal vent, flexible or straight, a short run to the exterior, and an exterior vent with a flap but no grate. A poor vent example might be a plastic vent, with low spots or kinks, or a long run to the exterior, and an exterior vent with a soon-to-be-clogged bird/animal guard.

Seems straightforward, right? So with these tips in mind I came home and examined my dryer. We’re pretty type A when it comes to cleaning our lint filter every load, but I happened to reach a little further into the dryer I discovered this – Continue reading

Visualize Your Ideas, Part 2

It’s that time of year again, when we take inventory of unfinished projects and brainstorm additions/remodeling. Sometimes it helps to mock things up full scale, or see your ideas in multiple ways. We’ve written about this before here – to help you along here are a few more strategies that have worked for us:

Backsplash Mock Up

Draw on Your Walls:

You have our permission. Take a piece of chalk and a damp rag and draw your ideas full scale onto your walls. Erase them with the rag. *You may want to test this first so you can guarantee the chalk is coming off completely. Be sure to include any trim, knobs, switches, outlets, curtains, door swings, etc. This really helps to reveal any potential difficulties with your design, for example: in the above photo I have to decide how high to make the back-splash in relation to the window sill and the window division; should the tile end just short of the orange wall or go to the corner and how will the top trim piece terminate? And this is just one corner of the kitchen… Continue reading