Archive for ‘Tips & Tricks’

February 16, 2012

This Little Light of Mine

by Melissa {The Dominion Project}

Ok – confession time. I’m not perfect. I may be a professional, but that doesn’t mean I always make the right decision the first time around. Especially on my own house! My mind gets clouded by the same obstacles that everyone faces when renovating – money, time, amount of work, etc. But I guess that’s the point of blogging – to share all the ups and downs. And let me tell you, renovating the half bath has been chock-full of them!

See that round hole & painter’s tape on the wall above the mirror? That’s where a wall-mounted light should go. Around Thanksgiving, Ethan and I were desperately trying to finish this room before our holiday visitors arrived and finding a light was on the short list. So I did a quick internet search and bought this guy. It seemed to work with the faucet and it was cheap. Sold.

{pocelona chrome two light bath fixture via bellacor}

Then it arrived and I wasn’t so sure. It looked cheap and cheesy (go figure). But we installed it anyway. And guess what? I absolutely hated it. Ethan described it as “medicine-cabinet-y.” And that wasn’t doing it for me. This is the only photo I snapped of it, as I was running out the door in search of a better solution.

I headed straight for Circa Lighting (my absolute favorite lighting store!) and found a great fixture – the large cabinet maker’s picture light in a bronze finish. It costs twice (maybe 3 times?) as much as the ugly one, but I got a great deal on some other pieces in the room, so I figured I would just splurge!

{circa lighting cabinet makers picture lights}

The Houston store didn’t have the finish I wanted in stock, so I headed home to take some measurements and “make sure” before I ordered it online. It wouldn’t arrive before the Thanksgiving visitors, so my sense of urgency kind of disappeared.

During my “make sure” measurements, I realized the backplate on this light was rectangular, and the mounting plate we had on the wall was round (and much larger than the light backplate). If I wanted to install this cabinet maker’s light, I needed to find a new mounting bracket. Ethan and I were more than capable of pulling it off, but I just didn’t want to deal with it! I did a little searching for another light, but was never really happy with anything I found. So I decided to be indecisive and sit on my hands until the perfect solution magically appeared.

Yesterday was my lucky day! The Rejuvenation catalog showed up in my mailbox, and while I’d never heard of the company (you’d be amazed by the number of mailing lists I’m on), I thumbed through their catalog and found this beauty.

{turner light via rejuvenation}

You know the best part? The backplate is round and the perfect measurements for my already-installed  mounting bracket. I’m not sure if that’s lazy, resourceful, or purely a stroke of luck. Whatever it is, I’m crossing my fingers and hoping this fixture solves my bathroom lighting dilemma.

Want a quick piece of advice about bathroom lighting? Stay away from the ones designated “bathroom lights.” You can get a much more sophisticated look by using a decorative wall sconce or even a picture light (like the Circa lighting one). I knew this, but for some reason, defaulted to the chintzy bathroom light anyway. Why can’t I listen to my own advice??

Oh well. The Rejuvenation light is on its way, along with this gorgeous mirror that I’m beyond excited about! Stay tuned for install photos!

January 28, 2012

Quick Tip: Storing Leftover Paint

by Melissa {The Dominion Project}

While working on my recent painting projects, I’ve noticed that our older paint cans are beginning to look pretty nasty. Did you know those cheap-o cans from the paint store aren’t air-tight and definitely aren’t intended for long-term storage?

Since you’ll need to do some serious mixing if paint has been sitting for this long (the pigment will separate from the base), it’s a good idea to get it out of that corroding metal can (you don’t want chunky paint). And it’s even better if you can do it before the rust shows up!

Obviously, it’s waaay too late for me, but I’m too cheap to throw paint away. :) Here’s my solution: On a recent Lowe’s trip, I picked up a handful of plastic containers with air-tight lids. They come in all sizes – 1 quart, 2 1/2 quart, 1 gallon, and even 5 gallon for those big paint purchases.

Once I transferred the paint to its new home, I made sure to label my containers with both the product information and room I used it in. And in some cases, I even managed to transfer the store label with all it’s valuable information. Now our paint stash is neatly stored in the laundry room cabinets, where I no longer fear it will spill everywhere. And bonus: Now I don’t need a screwdriver and hammer to open and close the cans! I just love organization, don’t you?

July 12, 2011

This Weekend’s Craigslist Find

by Melissa {The Dominion Project}

Our master bedroom has been in desperate need of a dresser, and I’ve been performing daily craigslist searches for months. Sure, I could have bought a new one and moved our stuff out of plastic tubs a long time ago, but where’s the fun in that? Long story short, my search efforts were finally rewarded this weekend with a $285 find! I just love a good deal.

The dresser had been sitting in this lady’s garage for quite a while (she said it was “like a hundred years old”), so it had just hint of that musty old furniture smell. Since clothes are going inside, I decided to be proactive and air it out immediately. Ethan and I pulled out all the drawers and sunned them in the side yard. Sunlight = mother nature’s disinfectant.

Once the drawers were sufficiently aired and sunned, I brought them in and gave everything a good cleaning. I just love Old English – it can clean and repair just about any wood surface (furniture, wood paneling, your front door…nothing is safe in this house). And bonus – the lemon oil scent makes everything smell lemony fresh. That’s a huge improvement on “musty old garage” scent.

After about 20 minutes of “wax on, wax off” with a couple of soft cloths, I popped the drawers back in and it was as good as new!

So what do you think – was it worth the wait? This is my first craigslist find and I’m just crazy about it. Bargain-hunting can be draining, but it’s absolutely addicting!

February 19, 2011

Quick Tip: Oil or Latex?

by Melissa {The Dominion Project}

While we’re on the subject of paint, here’s a quick tip for determining if your existing trim is covered in oil or latex paint.

Most interior woodwork (trim, doors, cabinetry) is coated with oil-based paint. Although it’s rather messy to clean up, oil-based has a better look when you’re painting semi-gloss or high-gloss trim. Oil-based takes a little longer to dry, but it won’t show as many brush strokes as latex. So if given the option, I’d always choose oil-based paint for trim.

Our existing trim was covered in oil-based paint. But before we purchased 5 gallons of the new color, I wanted to be absolutely sure. Oil-based paint will adhere to latex, but latex won’t adhere to oil. So if it was originally painted with oil, you better repaint with oil.

Here’s the 5 second way to find out: rubbing alcohol + cotton balls.

Put a little alcohol on a cotton ball (or an old rag) & rub it on the paint in question. It’s a good idea to do this in an inconspicuous area. If paint comes off on your cotton ball, it’s latex. If not, it’s oil based.

So there you have it. Give it a try & let me know how it goes – Happy Painting!

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