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?

January 25, 2012

Some Project Updates + A House Tour

by Melissa {The Dominion Project}

There have been some odds and ends happening around here for the last few months, none of which seemed worthy enough for a full blog post. So here’s a rather random assortment of progress pics…

The half bath is about 95% done. And I’ve yet to find a good angle to shoot it from. Sitting on top of the tank was the best I could do…

We still need to address the above-sink lighting situation, dress the window, and accessorize. But I’m LOVING the current space. It’s come a long way – can you believe it used to look like this?!?

We’ve also been painting the laundry room. It’s not completely done (don’t you love those yellow cabinets?), but I’m really excited about finishing the trim and back door. It’s amazing the difference a few coats of paint can make!

And the living room is beginning to feel a little more home-y since we bought our leather club chairs. One of these days I’ll get around to sharing all the space planning ideas and how we eventually ended up with this furniture layout.

PLUS I’m really excited to announce that our house tour page is up! Stop on by to check out “before” and “progress” photos of every room of our home! About time, right? :)

January 23, 2012


by Melissa {The Dominion Project}

I hate when the house “breaks.” I know we’re fixing it up, and sometimes we demo or “break” things intentionally so we can put them back together in a better way. But the unexpected “breaks” (like when the ceiling caved in or our pipes froze) are just not my cup of tea.

Yesterday our neighbor knocked on our door, saying we needed to check out our main water line – the meter box at the street. Water was pouring out of it. It’s on the front of our house, and we come and go on the side (where our garage is), so we hadn’t even noticed. I’m so thankful for good neighbors.

Long story short – there’s a break in the main water line, but thankfully it’s in the meter box. But to make matters worse, our on/off valve isn’t working properly. So we couldn’t even turn off the water to keep it from running into the street (literally, money down the drain). We called our MUD last night, and the on-call system pretty much failed. So we didn’t get anyone to look at it until first thing this morning.

Supposedly, someone from the MUD is coming to fix it today. We’ll see how that follow-through works out for us. I’m doing plumber research on Angie’s List…just in case. Oh, the joys of homeownership!

UPDATE: We have water again! Just needed a new shutoff valve (which was done by the MUD free of charge) and had a plumber repair the main waterline into the house. Thankfully, the break was inside the meter box and easy to access.

January 14, 2012

Countdown to Carpet

by Melissa {The Dominion Project}

Over our little break at Christmas, Ethan and I discussed the things we wanted to get done around the house in 2012. There’s nothing like a new year to get me in a goal-setting mood! After throwing around lots of projects and ideas, we realized the one thing that is way overdue in this house is new carpet.

There’s only one thing stopping us from pulling the trigger on that big (and expensive) improvement – a whole lot of painting projects. We want every surface that touches carpet to be painted before the new stuff goes in. Because the last thing either of us wants on brand new carpet is a bunch of paint splatters. Makes sense, right?

Well, since I’m a list-making kinda gal…I made a list (big surprise there!) And since we have the tendency to dive head-first into projects and leave that room a complete mess for months on end, we broke the list up into tiny bite-sized pieces. Projects that we can complete in an evening or Saturday afternoon, and feel a since of accomplishment. So here’s the master list.

DIY painting project list

Just in case you can’t read it, here are the super exciting projects you can look forward to over the next few months. We’re aiming to have new carpet by June, which seems completely manageable.


  • Paint hall closet
  • Paint closet trim
  • Finish (painting) closet door

Dining Room

  • Remove wallpaper
  • Texture walls
  • Paint walls
  • Paint ceiling
  • Paint trim (including wainscot)
  • Paint French doors

Master Bedroom

  • Touch up trim and window sill
  • Paint doors
  • Reconfigure Melissa’s closet (there’s a ton of wasted space in there)
  • Paint closet walls
  • Paint closet trim


  • Paint trim


  • Paint doors
  • Touch up trim
  • Paint closet shelves/trim
  • Paint attic door
  • Paint bookcase?? (we’re still deciding on this one)

Guest Bedroom

  • Touch up doors and trim
  • Paint closet walls
  • Paint closet trim

Middle Bedroom

  • Touch up walls
  • Touch up trim/sill
  • Paint doors


  • Paint trim
  • Paint doors
  • Paint closet walls
  • Paint closet trim
  • Touch up walls at ceiling (we were messier painters back then)

Oh, and funny story…I made this list and put it on the refrigerator on Monday. It took until Friday evening for Ethan to notice it. :) Anyway, guess what we did today? Not one, but TWO of our projects! I just love to cross things off my lists.

Project #1 – Paint hall closet

All of our closets are just dingy – 25+ years of scrapes and scuffs that need to be freshened up. We just used Benjamin Moore’s Decorator White (our ceiling color) because we already had it on hand.

I know it looks like I did all the work, but Ethan was in there the longest, cutting in the edges and tight spots with a paint brush. I just jumped in at the end to rolls the walls.

Project #2 – Paint dining room ceiling

Since we already had the ceiling paint out, we tackled the dining room ceiling too. This one is real exciting, let me tell you.



I know – not a huge difference. But stand in the entry with me for a sec and look up.

Do you see it now? The old ceiling is a dingy beige color. And our new trim is Super White (that’s actually the name), which makes the dingy beige look even worse. So all our ceilings need a fresh coat of bright white paint. It’s one big domino effect.

So, there’s our Saturday. Not exactly glamorous, but who said DIY was? Is anyone else painting this weekend, or is it just us?

January 3, 2012

Functional Art for 2012

by Melissa {The Dominion Project}

Well, I knew this day was coming – my first day back at work after a long break. I had the luxury of two full weeks of vacation and it was nice…really nice. Lots of relaxing, time with family, and plenty of work around the house, which I’m super excited to share with you guys in the coming weeks!

Although I’m dreading the massive amounts of email I’ll be catching up on today, I’m looking forward to getting back into a routine. And I have a fun new piece of art to brighten up my home office – my 2012 wall calendar!

Have you ever been to Paper Source? I’ve always loved the stuff on their website, but they just opened a store in my part of town and now I’m obsessed. This wall calendar caught my eye when I was doing my Christmas shopping, and Santa was nice enough to bring it to me. :)

I’m seriously considering framing it because the illustrations are just so beautiful. Each month really is a piece of art.

And bonus – they give you templates to reuse the pages as file folders, gift tags, notecards, boxes. Pretty much anything you can imagine. So each illustration has a second life after the month is over.

Looking forward to a fun-filled 2012!

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