Thursday, January 30, 2014

Painted kitchen counter tops

Steve's home has been a bachelor pad for 13 years.  Right after he moved in he got into a car accident that required months of rehab. Not too many weeks after feeling better from the accident he started getting sick from a failing liver and kidney.  He was fortunate and received a liver and kidney transplant, but his recovery was slow.  Needless to say,  he didn't get a whole lot done to make his house his style.  His health has been his focus and his house has just sort of evolved around him.  It is an incredibly comfortable place, but I know he wants more of his personal style in it.

His kitchen still has flowered wallpaper,  the countertop is a green speckled laminate and there is so little counter and cabinet space that we have started using one of the bedrooms as a pantry.  We now call it The Food Room.

I think it is fairly common for a woman to come into a man's space and want to change it.  I know I've done it before!  I've been with Steve for over a year now, friends for nearly 7 years and I haven't bugged him at all about his decorating. However, after hearing him talk about the damaged spot on his kitchen counter again, I thought I would mention what my Mom did to her counter years ago.  She just got out a can of Rustoleum Enamel in black and painted out her bright blue laminate.  It made such a difference!   It also made it possible to put off a full renovation for a dozen years or more.

I suggested this to Steve and he said to go for it!

So go for it we did.

A leaky container of Lime-Away destroyed this section of the counter.

I took everything off the counter of course and took before shots, then I went through the process of prepping the surface for cleaning.   I first washed with hot soapy water, then went over every square inch with a super Magic Eraser and then washed/rinsed the counter with vinegar and water.  I let that all dry real well and then wiped the whole thing down with a cloth soaked with rubbing alcohol to get off anything that could possibly be leftover.  It may have been overkill, but I wanted it to be clean and grease free.

When that dried, I taped off the sink with blue tape.  We will be removing the wallpaper next so there was no need to tape that off.  Whew!  I blue taped some stove parts and a line or two on the fridge.  It took only a few minutes with so little counter top.

I purchased a quart of Rustoleum Enamel in black, a small foam roller that was prepackaged with its own tray, a refill foam roller for coat #2, and a small 1\4" nylon craft brush.  To save cleaning time, I covered the paint tray with aluminum foil.

I used the small brush to paint the tops of the backsplash and to cut in all of the corners where the backsplash meets the counter.  Then I rolled out the paint with the roller.  I made sure I got quite a bit of paint on the counter since it really seemed to level out and become nice and flat.  The final pass with the roller should all be in one direction, giving a seamless look.  I managed to ignore this step on one of our sections and it looks a little uneven.

This is what the damaged spot looks like now.  I didn't sand and try to get it smooth because I didn't think it would actually smooth out since it was the fiber board and not laminate.  It's just so much better now that it's painted. Water no longer is absorbed in that area.  

Did I mention you need ventilation?

This is oil based stuff and it smells to high heaven.  Try not to breathe it in any more than you have to.  If you can prop a window or door open and get a cross breeze going, you're going to much happier for the next couple days.

The second coat can be applied after 24 hours.  I wish I could put on a third coat on the counter area that looks uneven, but honestly, unless you know it's there, no one is going to notice.

I should mention that Steve helped with every step of this makeover.  He cleaned, put away and painted.  I didn't do it all myself, even though that's the way I wrote it!

We have let the counter cure for 3 days now.  Probably longer than most people would, but it's given us time to eat out!

So, all in all, this was an incredibly easy project.  The fume factor is the hardest part and lingers for several days.  However, I would do this again without hesitation!

We aren't done with Steve's kitchen.  The wallpaper is going next, painting the walls after that and who knows what else.  I'm hoping to use chalk paint and paint the cabinets.  All this is just pennies compared to the gut job it really needs! But I do think he is really going to love the new look for many years until he wins the lottery or something.

If you have any questions about painting your laminate,  just ask!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Palm Trees at Sunset

Target Shopping Plaza
around 4:50pm
Eastern Time
Jacksonville, FL
20 Jan 2014
Retro Camera App
© 2014 Kristin Corlett

I was out shopping for Valentines this afternoon and when I came out to the car, the sky looked gorgeous and the palm trees were perfectly silhouetted against the sky.  I wasn't sure how I was going to get a good shot, considering I was in the middle of a parking lot.  So I decided to tip the camera up so that the sky took up most of the frame.  The seagulls were flying around working on getting some dinner, it seemed and they made a perfect entrance into my shot.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Chocolate Covered Everything

It's all the fault of my local grocery store.  Steve purchased a couple bags of the melting chocolate just after Christmas and was waiting for some good looking strawberries to come in.

The other day the strawberries looked pretty good!  The tops were all white, but for the most part the strawberries looked delicious.

The strawberries have been washed and are hanging out on the counter, drying, while the chocolate is melting.   Steve is such a chocolate lover that he actually has a little electric chocolate melting pot.   I had never seen one before, but I have to say, it made the process of dipping the strawberries (and everything else) very easy.   Personally, I'd never used melting chocolate, so I wasn't sure what the difference was between that and chocolate chips.  Holy Smokes!  The melting chocolate was so much easier to use.  Probably using the little chocolate melting pot helped, too!, as the chocolate never got too hot or too cool.  It was perfect from beginning to end.

In order to dip the chocolates we had to grab the green tops, which revealed all the white on the strawberries.  It didn't make for a great photo since nearly all of the red was now covered in chocolate, but believe me when I tell you that the strawberries were real good.  I can't wait until the Florida strawberries are in season.

Who ever heard of leftover chocolate, right???  Well, we had half a pot of chocolate when the strawberries were done.  Looking around the kitchen we found an open bag of pretzel sticks and half a bag of potato chips.

At first we started dipping the pretzel sticks individually.  After about a dozen of them, I started dipping three at a time.  Oooooh, that was the ticket.  Three sticks welded together with chocolate.  So good.

The potato chips were up next.  I'm now a fan of chocolate covered potato chips.  The Ruffles were real salty, compared to the pretzels, but my oh my, I liked them a lot.  Rarely does something have too much salt for me.

We still had some chocolate left, but our arms were tired and we both were a little nervous we'd eat all of our goodies in one sitting.  Oh I jest!   I spooned out the chocolate into quarter size drops on parchment paper and when the chocolate cooled I put it into a ziploc bag for use on another chocolate dipping day.

When strawberries come in season in your area indulge yourself and dip some of them in chocolate for some extra fun!

Have a great day!

Monday, January 06, 2014

Fun in Anthropology

My Christmas of 2013 did not include any shopping in the cool shops this year.  My money was tight and I just wasn't in the mood to be in the crowds.  This meant though, that I didn't get a chance to go to some of my favorite places to wander and dream and look at all the Christmas decorations the stores put up.  The Anthropology store is one of my favorites, any time of year, actually.  On Saturday morning I had a couple of hours to myself so I took some time to go visit the store.

I couldn't live with EVERYTHING that Anthropology has for sale, but I find that I like all of the girly flowers on dishes, the fabric wrapped giant letters and strange fabrics on pillows.  The peacock above is from a wonderful pillow that I saw there.  I am so grateful that I have one of their super soft, patchwork comforters.  I have been adoring them for years and a few months ago my Mom gave me the Anthropology comforter that she has had, but recently updated with something else.  I was happy to accept the hand-me-down.  Not to mention, it fit right into my price range - Free!

I think one of the most interesting things about the Anthropology stores are the decorations.  They are so simple at times, but look incredible.  I've seen walls of books that were made into a magical mountain and straws that were strung so that they looked like a waterfall.  One of the Christmas themes this year was the use of birch.  There were a couple dozen of these birch pieces for one vignette, some wrapped with a little bit of white twine and covered with fake, glittery snow.  It was gorgeous!! and it looked so easy.  If I still had a birch tree (I had one in my yard a dozen houses ago) I would start gathering the trimmings and make one of these birch decorations.

As many of you know,  I collect bread bag tags.  I have tried to think out of the box as to what to do with them, Anthropology style, to make them an incredibly wild decorating element in my home.  So far the inspiration has not struck, but by the end of this year, 2014, I will have at least a small wall covered in them.  I've already picked the wall.

I hope you have a great day!

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Happy New Year 2014

Happy January 2014!!

It's been a long time since I've come around to The Goat, but with a new year comes new ideas.  I have missed my blogging, my photography and my blogging community.  I think my feet are finally on firm ground and I can once again share my love and life.  

Speaking of Love...

I am still head over heels in love with Steve and I don't expect that to change!   Our 1-1-14 photo is above.  We shared our first New Years Eve together as a couple and I expect great things from both of us this coming year.

I want to wish everyone a very happy New Year and I look forward to spending my upcoming year with all of you.

Have a great day!