Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What have I done in a year?

Well, I know. Plenty. But there are certain projects I have been meaning to tackle for at least a year now, and I haven't yet. Some are because they cost more than I want to spend, most I blame on my complete and utter inability to focus on one project at a time.

First, to get what I'm saying here, you need to go read this post if you haven't already -- I don't heart you. Go ahead. I'll wait.
Taps fingers.

Looks at watch.

Umkay, done? So I have a serious aversion to the brass in our house. I really, really do not like it, not at all. Even so, I have gotten rid of very little brass around here.

These are still around:
And a couple of these:
They are high, so nobody sees them. That's what I keep telling myself.

I have spray painted these though:
I figured out a while ago you can just pop them off, but we do like having them there:
YES I know they look just like the vents, and you can barely see them. I know that now, I didn't realize when I was spray painting them. Gah. And I didn't use high heat spray paint, (it's oil-rubbed bronze) so we may have take them off when we light the fireplaces anyway. I was just so anxious to get rid of some of the BRASS.

I spray painted some of these too:
And now they look like this:

I'm a freakedy freak and hated the light in our master closet. It was boring and didn't put out much light.
So I did replace that and love it!It was less than $30, not a bad price to pay to actually see our clothing.

Not ONE of these has been changed out:

This is my final frontier -- I hear it's fairly easy to change out faucets but I haven't attempted it myself. But I will. Oh yes. I will.

I showed you this cutie little desk almost a year ago:
I got it at a barn sale and it was only $15! It only took ten months (TEN MONTHS) but I finally redid it. I sanded it down and spray painted the whole thing with the extra paint I used on our deck planters:
I hope to use this color in his big boy room, so eventually the desk will be in there. I added his name to the back of the chair with stickers (that blur is his name) and I am just thrilled with how it all turned out:
LOVE it!! I don't think it's antique but it is nice and used (maybe from the sixties?) I love all the dents and marks in it:Best part is our son really uses it! :)

You may remember how excited I was about this...uhhhh...thing last fall:
I can't even tell you how excited I was to get it! I had such high hopes. Uhhhh...let's just say it was a big, huge, massive FAIL. Yikes. I mean, it was bad. I ended up tossing the whole thing. Even the lights didn't work.

They can't all go right, you know?


  1. If I could accomplish what you have in a year, then I would deem myself Superwoman and fly myself to Hawaii for a much needed vacation!!

  2. I appear to be a tad slothful compared to you! Living vicariously through you though! Love it all :o)

  3. Quite an accomplishment too! So yeah, it took ten months. But the end result is a chic red table that looks amazing.


  4. I just started following you but I can already tell you have accomplished tons in a year! I with ya with the brass...I don't care for it either. Love the school desk...how cute! To quote a very crafty lady...I lurve it!!

  5. Love the little desk in red!!
    How clever to put his name on it.

    You have gotten a lot done. Focus on that. The other things will get done, when they get done. =0))


    barbara jean

  6. i too want to replace my single handle kitchen sink. i have hated it since we moved (over 2 yrs ago). i'm trying to decide if i want a farm sink before i make any decisions.
    sarah, i just know you will get everthing done. you just roll that way!

  7. Love the desk! Red is my favorite color and the desk looks great in it. And will you think I'm totally awful if I smiled a little that the "thing" didn't work out? Everything else you touch seems to be magic! Nice to know you are one of the rest of us!

  8. Okay, so now I'm feeling REALLY lazy. Really, really lazy. thanks a lot! :)

  9. curious, what did you spray paint the vent with? i can't tell if it is black or bronze. and the type would help me out alot as i have alot of these ugly floor vents all over and their color needs to go!

  10. The vents were the oil-rubbed spray paint that is really hard to find now! Love it!

  11. HI THERE! I want to start by saying that I LURVE your blog! I've been reading for sometime now. You have given me SO many ideas!

    Anywho...I TOO can't stand BRASS! Eww!! And I TOO have those same glass light fixtures...well I was roaming around Low.es the other day (as I often do) and I see TWO nice ones for $20! Two for $20! Can't beat that!...Just thought I would give a heads up!

    Keep on Blogging! LURVE it!

  12. I painted about half the brass doorknobs in my house about a year ago and a few more a couple of weeks ago. Still not finished- so I feel your pain. It really does make quite a difference, but boy it's a pain unscrewing all those screws then putting them back.

  13. Thanks for this post - making me look back to the past year accomplishments. When I do, I'm amazed. I'm so much better at looking at everything that has yet to be done too.



  14. Me too, out with the brass! We just moved into our first house with all of those icky, cheap "mushroom" lights, as we like to call them. Luckily, I married an electrician, so he's already replaced them all with recessed lighting! (I know, I'm one lucky girl, but he hates it just as much as me) Oh, and the faucet? I'm still convincing him of that one... I will win :)

  15. oooh I love that little red desk, how sweet, and it looks so nice in that room.
    I have so many things I want to do around here too but I seem to always be too busy (reading blogs about how to do these things) to actually get on and do them!!!

  16. It's amazing what a big difference some small changes make! I'm with you on the brass!

    You should link up this post (or any of yours) to my furniture makeover party today!. Your desk is really cute! I'd love to have you participate!

  17. Touring your home made me smile because it looks exactly like mine...same era, same swirly ceilings and same brass. Now, I just got through spray painting my ceiling lights. I must say, it was deeply safisfying!!! LOL!! I also sprayed my brass outdoor door handle. I live in Canada (read harsh winters) and it has held up for two years. What has not held up is the inside where we scrape the door knob with our keys.

    Anyhoo. I feel your pain. One brass fixture at a time girl. On brass fixture at at time.

  18. Ugh. Shiny brass. Not one of my favorites. Luckily, all the brass hinges in my 60+ year old house are perfectly aged.

  19. It comforts me to know that you have some of those gold handles around too...that's my next project. To get those all out of my house!

  20. I Love, love, love what you've done! I know, I'm all about ridding the house of brass. Didn't think of what you did to the heating vent! What a difference! Oh! and I love the little desk. We got a little table and some chairs...either free or for $1 for each and painted all mostly red...a little black here and there. When our out of state grands come to visit, we bring them up from the play room and have them in the livingroom during their visit.

  21. I love the little red desk, AND I love how the spray painted vent covers turned out!

  22. Girl, changing doorknobs is SOOOOO easy! You're going to kick yourself for not doing it sooner. The first time you do it, if you're like me, you'll spend half an hour squinting at the directions and trying to make sense of the stupid thing. But once you do that first one you'll see how super easy it is and you'll never need directions again.

    As for lights, I wish I could change those out myself! I want to! My husband won't let me and he's too busy with law school to do it. =( Boo. Is it really that hard?

  23. One thing at a time. And you will be glad you didn't upgrade those knobs into a 30 year mortgage. Imagine what they would have ended up costing you!

  24. The little red desk & chair are adorable!

  25. With you on the brass 100%!!! Done to a few door knobs, hinges (upstairs mainly) and one family room ceiling fan (20 feet + up!!!). Like you, I find the projects never ending!!! But, I so enjoy it when one gets accomplished and I can stand back and admire the work we've done.

  26. What a cute little desk. I love the color you used. It is so cute! You get so much done it is amazing!


  27. Great accomplishments! I am so tempted to start on the brass in my house too...argh, so many doors though! I would need a huge discount to get 9-10 door knobs replaced!
    Okay, so I have to say I am totally jazzed about your spray painted vents, I would love to do that at least!
    Any suggestions for a house covered in oak trim? It seemed okay when we built it 6 years ago, now I wish I WOULD have done white...pout!
    Thanks for all your tips and ideas!

  28. I think faucets is about the only thing we have changed! All the bathrooms have been changed, and now I'm ready to tackle the kitchen fixture... though I'm worried the new fixture will need a new sink!

  29. OMG... I have the same exact desk and chair, I got it for my son on craiglist. I haven't done anything to it yet but was going to attack it this weekend as he is starting kindergarden next week. I love the red color but I don't think he'll go for that.

  30. I have the identical builder basic bathtub faucets, and the brass trim on the same fireplace. I do have the high-heat spray though, I guess I should get to that before it is too cold outside. We have the same problem with a builer basic kitchen faucet, ugly and too low. I saved up $300 to buy a new one, but then we decided to put in a new stone patio and spent thousands, so I used the money to pay my nephew for labour. I guess I can start saving all over again.

  31. You can replace the faucets easily! My hubby and I did both the ones in our master bathroom in one day. We're still working on our tub faucet since the hot/cold stems are different sizes... but it will be done :)

    And thank you for the idea to spray paint the air registers and fireplace thing. I hate ours!

  32. Oh man, that little desk. LOOOOVe that! Love it.

    I'm laughing that you replaced your closet lighting but left the brass one still up on the ceiling in the room... ;-)

  33. If I had done even HALF of the stuff you have, I'd consider it a veerrry productive year :)

    And I'm with ya on the brass. We just moved into our house in March and all of our light fixtures look like yours. I've been itching to replace them!

    And by the way, the store I was talking about with all the TDC stuff is a teeny little local place called The Corner Cottage (http://www.thecornercottage.net/index.html). The gal who owns it makes a lot of it herself. If you're ever in the Des Moines area, let me know and I'll show ya around ;)

  34. Haha! Great post! If I even have half of the oomph you have to change some things around in our rental (landlord permitting) I think I'll be ok. :-) Great work!

  35. Love the floor vents.

    I must say now I don't feel bad- I went all summer without doing one thing to our new house since we moved in.

    Now that I painted my front door black the brass handle is KILLINg me- maybe I'll just spray paint it. And the kick plate on the screen door will have to get painted to match. Hubby did change out the faucet in our upstairs bath and I love it now- and want all the rest of the sinks done yesterday. The landscaping makes me crazy but John is swearing we'll do it all in the spring. >sigh<

    Love the desk BTW!

  36. How is it that you read my mind and know this is the exact dilemma I've been mulling over in my head?

    "Do I spray paint the chrome and brass light fixtures and brass doorknobs or go buy new ones?"

    You've given me courage to go ahead and spray paint the suckers.

    We also have a glass shower door lined in that lovely yellow brass. That one has me skeered.

    Love the little red chair and table!

  37. You are going to kick yourself for not doing it earlier once you see how easy it is to change faucets. Seriously, like 15 minutes for the first one.
    Turn off the water, undo the screws, remove faucet, clean sink, replace with new faucet, redo the screws, turn water on. Done.
    Are there really two of you? Cuz all that stuff done, wow. Love the blog.

  38. I'm lovin the changes on your brass. Spray on with yer bad self!

    Have you spray painted a door knob yet? I'm too chicken to. I just did our shower curtain rod, (thanks to you) and looking for more to transform. I would love to buy all new brushed nickel door knobs, but a can of paint is soooo much cheaper. Any thoughts on brass knobs and paint?

    Thanks for all the rockin' projects and motivation. I heart TDC!!

  39. Love the cute little desk! We too suffer from the ugly brass everywhere! We also have very similar floor air vents. Except ours are ugly and disgusting! I'm definitely going to spray paint them now, thanks so much for the idea!

  40. Wow, you've done a lot of great projects! How were you able to pop off that brass fireplace vent thingee? I have the same awful brass on my fireplace and would love to spray it over. Have you ever tried spray painting your door knobs? I've always wanted to try, but was afraid it would rub off.

  41. Honey, you are waaaaaaaaaaaaaay ahead of all of us :)

  42. So I think that I am gathering that you can just spray paint your door knobs???? Please do a tutorial. I mean if it's just spraying them with a can of paint great but how does it not get scratched and wear off, do you have to prime?? Please do tell I am looking at same knobs at my house and I cringe. Thanks for the great blog you are such a good read and you have helped me with several projects. Thank you!

  43. so glad to know that you have failures too, that alone gives me motivation. I love all your projects!!!

  44. Wow...those are all such great projects! I need to get busy on our house! ;-)

  45. Spray paint the floor registers! Well....I never would have thought of that one.....so glad we have a long weekend coming up, I know what I am doing:)
    Love your blog, Keep up the wonderful inspiring posts! I just need more hours in the day!

  46. I hate gold or brass too, so I can't blame ya a bit on the fireplace or the registers.

    Now I don't feel so bad that the desk I picked up is taking me so long to finish. It is going on two weeks and I am so tired of sanding the darn thing!

  47. I am right with you on brass! I absolutely love your sprayed air vents...what a difference. Don't worry, we all have undone projects in our homes, so I appreciate you showing the undone as well as the done. :)

  48. I love checking your blog and thought I would let ya in on an "Ideas Needed Decorators Challenge!" that I am having!It's just for fun and will give you a deco-high! It is great fun already!
    Everyone who loves decorating is invited!Hope to see ya there!

  49. What a great year, I love what you did to those vents too :D

  50. Love the little red desk! We have one that is an unusual blue-I think from the 50s, but my son loves it. :)

  51. I have, or had, those same glass and brass light fixtures. We used a metal glaze to make them bronze.

    I love what you did with the floor registers, it's a much warmer look.

  52. Sarah the desk is adorable and oh so charming! LOVE the vibrant and warm color you chose.

    I don't blame you on the brass "thang". I would change it too. Hmmm...I don't remember the little tree. Sorry it didn't work out.

    Have a wonderful Holiday weekend.
    ~Blessings, ~Melissa :)

  53. If you could bottle up about one third of you engery and send it to me, I would be greatful. Your ideal are wonderful. Although I still haven't mustarded up the courage to use the powerer tools.
    I have tons of molding and things I want to do, so I have to get over my fear.

  54. WHERE is your button?! I would SO put it on my blog. I {heart} your blog!

  55. Oh. My. Goodness. I never thought about painting the floor vents! I am SO gonna do that!
    We finally got rid of all of the brass in our house (well, we do still have brass light fixtures in 3 closets--NO one is gonna see those!). We went with oil-rubbed bronze. I never thought that it would make such a difference, but boy it sure does! My husband was like a mad man, ripping out all the brass doorknobs and putting in the ORB ones!
    By the way, I say go for it on the faucets (we changed out all 3 of ours, too)!

  56. Awwww... of course I remember your post about the brass door handles. That's when I knew your blog needed to be at the top of my list everyday, for I too have strong feelings about my door knobs. I havn't switched a single one out, but have dreams of coming across a mad lot of beautiful door handles at a garage sale and switching them all out.

  57. i am in LOVE... i mean true L.O.V.E. with this post! you give me so much hope with my brass/gold ugly door knobs/light fixtures/ vents!! {we even have seashell shaped sinks... in both bathrooms... i know i know} i told my husband i was replacing everything gold in the house, he laughed {door knobs are very expensive} but NOW i have a cheaper option!

    brandi@tales of a domestic goddess

  58. I absolutely heart your blog! I just discovered it. And after seeing how you spray painted some metal fixtures, you have inspired me! I want to spray paint my outside light fixture and my curtain rods, and the return vents in our dining room! I'll be a spray paint freak! Any tips since I am new at this?

  59. Thanks for the inspiration on the grates. I uploaded my photos and added a link back to yours (i think). I also did my fireplace screens a few years ago. I used my leftover spray paint that I used on my grill (heat resistant) to get rid of that awful gold/brass look.


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