Thursday, June 22, 2017

Easy painter's tape trick for hanging art

Well hello! I shared this quick tip on my Instagram stories this week but it was such a good one I thought it deserved it's own post. :) I've seen this tip a few times over the years but haven't tried it -- I just wasn't sure how well it would work. 

But it worked like a charm and I'll be using it again! I bought two of these IKEA mirrors at least a year ago for the bathroom renovation: 
Stockholm mirror
They are the Stockholm mirrors and are so pretty! I wasn't sure how long it would be before I started the room, but it's a long trip to our closest IKEA (at least for the next few months, ours opens in the fall!) so I grabbed them up. 

This week I was finally to the point where it was time to hang them and it was very exciting. :) They are quite large so the holes on the back were far apart. You can use a level (I have a couple long ones), but I found this trick to be much more precise than measuring and trying to transfer that measurement onto the wall. 

Because I was drilling into tile I wanted this to be as exact as possible. This little hack is pretty easy. You'll need to grab some painter's tape and put it across the holes on the back of your art or mirror:
Hanging trick with painter's tape

Make sure the tape is placed at the same spot on each side. (Meaning the same distance from the top of the tape.) Then I poked a hole through the tape. You can also mark it with a pen for a really precise measurement: 
Easy hack for hanging art

Then you take your tape and place it where you want on the wall. You'll still need a level for this part -- I forgot to take a photo of using it, but you need to hold it against the tape to check: 
Hanging mirror using painter's tape

Then you just drill, using your marks as a guide! 

When you drill into tile you need to use a tile bit -- this is the set I have and I like that they include four different sizes:
How to drill into tile

It takes awhile to get through the tile -- you'll need some patience and a fully charged drill. ;)
How to drill into tile

Then you can insert your anchors or screws and hang your item! Again, I've always measured with tape or a level but I found this to be much more precise. I wasn't going to mess around with this tile!:
Easy trick for hanging mirror with painter's tape

Sorry for the messy mirror -- the major cleaning will happen after the room is done. 😆

Now this part of the room is fully functional again and it only took maybe two months? Ha! I'm pretty sure I remember saying something about it only taking two weeks. I should know better. 

So much left to do -- today I plan to get that door trim up! Slow but sure, this room is coming together and is turning into one of my favorites in our house! 

Have you used this hanging trick? I'm a fan for sure!

Affiliate link included for your convenience! 


Monday, June 19, 2017

The three DIY projects that make me want to cry

Hey there! I'm still recovering from a late night at the NKOTB concert last night. YES, I'm still going to their concerts in my 40's and will as long as they keep coming! SO. much. fun. And by the way, seeing Paula Abdul perform was pretty dang cool. 

So I was reminded this weekend of the DIY projects I loathe. I don't use that term lightly -- I actually quite enjoy most do-it-yourself projects, obviously. But there are a few that I try to hire out now because I despise them so. Problem is, I get impatient and want it DONE so I end up doing these myself most of the time. And then I remember why I just need to be patient. ;) 

I finished tiling the back wall behind the bathroom vanity last week, and I just had to get it grouted to call that job done. It's only 30 square feet people -- not a big deal, right? Ha! So silly of me. I thought I'd get it done in about 45 minutes. NO. 

Here's a reminder of the tile I'm using that I shared it with you last week:

As I mentioned in that post, I'm so stinking happy with it! It is SO beautiful. It went up pretty easily -- actually very easily. I just had some cuts to make around the light fixtures and otherwise it was smooth going. 

But the grout...gah. Grouting blows. It took nearly three hours (!!) to get a six by five foot area done. HELLO. I was sweating. The actual grouting is not that hard -- you just smoosh the grout into the lines between the tiles. No biggie. 

But then you can only let that grout sit on the tile for so long or it dries and gets really hard to remove. They recommended waiting five to ten minutes before wiping, so you can only grout so much and then you have to stop and wipe off the section. And rinse your sponge nearly 500 times in the process. I think it would be much easier on a floor, but a vertical surface was killer. 

I was cussing out loud and may have almost wept at one point because it sucked so bad and was taking so long. 😆 I hated it. With every bit of my soul. 

But. It was worth it. I'm going to wait to share the whole wall when I reveal the room, but here's a peek. It is delicious

If you are interested, this is the Merola Twenties Vintage tile from Home Depot. (Only available online.) I love this stuff because it's actually ceramic and not cement like most tile with this design. This makes it much easier to work with. (You have to seal the cement tile before installing and it is more delicate.)

I used a sanded grout in the same warm gray color I used on the shower and floor. Did I mention it sucked? Yeah. But I have to admit, worth the pain! 

It's no accident that the stacked stone tile I used on our basement fireplace didn't need to be grouted. I would have just stood there and cried if I had to do that large of a space: 

Again, grouting isn't quite as bad on floor tile, but it still stinks. Royally.  

Another DIY job I dislike greatly? Hanging light fixtures: 

The thing is, the electrical part is easy! People think hanging lights is hard because of electrical work, but that's easy peasy! Connect black to black, white to white and copper to copper and you're golden. The hard part comes in when you try to hang a light by yourself but need three arms to hold the light and connect everything. (I'm usually too impatient to wait for my husband so I don't wait for his help and then get annoyed. The smart way to do things, obviously.) 

Then for me it's a pain when you're installing any light that has screws that come through that you connect to the fixture -- those have to be at just the right length to get everything connected perfectly. And then there are lights like those flush mounts in the photo above -- you have to match the two screws just right to insert them into the fixture. If I remember right I had to tape toothpicks to the screws on that light so I could find them when I installed the actual fixture. Fun times. 

And finally. The one that's sure to make me sweat, cuss and cry a little every. single. time -- crown molding. I've done it. It's doable. It just sucks: 

If you can cope (cut the wood with a hand saw), cutting crown is much easier. But I'm not good at that, so I have to use this crown molding installation method I showed you years ago. I find it SO helpful to make guides before I start the room. I mark them (see that post to see an example) with a marker to give myself a reminder of how to cut. Otherwise I run back and forth to the saw at least 20 times per section. 

It's worth it in the end, but it's still a job that I really dislike doing. I do have a bit of a cheater way to install crown though -- this way is much easier but costs more. 

Those are my top three -- grouting (ugh), installing light fixtures (some anyway) and crown molding. Are there any DIY jobs you've done that you don't enjoy? Perhaps all of them? Ha! These are the few that I would gladly pay to have done -- but I usually end up doing them on my own just in the interest of time (and cost). 

I'm off to drill into my pretty tile 😬 to hang the mirrors in the bathroom! It's coming along and I'm so happy with it, I can't even tell you!