Tag Archives: hooks

Spring = Spraypainting

One of my favorite things about Spring is that I can finally bust out the spray paint again!  Since it is not highly recommended to spray paint indoors (unless you happen to have a special vent hood, then I want to be your best friend), most spray painting projects are set aside until it is warm enough to paint outdoors.

Spray paint is typically used on items where a super smooth finish is desired.  I like to use it on metal folding chairs, lamp bases, hardware and picture frames, for example.

This week, I sprayed picture frames, hooks for hanging our jackets on (finally!), and some clear glass vases.  Completely finished projects will come in future posts, but here’s what we have right now:

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If you haven’t done a lot of spray painting, the application method is pretty simple, but here are a few tips to keep in mind for the best finish:

  1. Use a high-quality spray paint and make sure it is approved for the type of material you are spraying.  Some are specially formulated for plastics, while others work on metal, wood or glass.  Stay far away from the cheap generic brands of spray paint.  You will likely end up spending more to fix peeling paint or random drips from a leaking nozzle.  My favorite is Rustoleum brand, but sometimes the color does the choosing for me!
  2. Prepare your surface.  Using a primer is especially important if you are spraying laminate or unpainted wood, but I have recently started to prime almost everything.  Every brand typically carries a primer that will help paint adhere better.  If you have stains, I recommend priming with Kilz primer-sealer-stainblocker for the best looking finished results.  After priming, sand your item lightly with 220 grit (very fine) sandpaper.  This will get rid of any rough or gritty spots caused by the primer.  Wipe clean with a soft cloth after sanding.
  3. Spray several light, quick coats of paint rather than one or two heavy coats.  Your paint will dry with a harder finish and you will have less risk of drips and uneven coats.  Keep the spray and your arm moving back and forth the whole time.  Follow the directions on the can for drying times between coats.
  4. If you do happen to drip or notice a grainy build up on your project, stop and let it dry completely.  Then, sand smooth with 220 grit sandpaper and wipe with a tacky cloth before adding a few more coats of spray paint.
  5. After your piece has dried, you can leave it clean and pristine (my favorite), or you can distress it by sanding the edges where you would normally see wear and tear.  An antiquing glaze can be used over spray paint to ‘age’ the piece and tone down the brightness of the paint.
  6. Let your piece dry completely (usually 24 hours) in a well ventilated space before subjecting it to heavy use.  If it is going to be used outdoors or handled extensively, spray or brush on a polycrylic protective finish.  A water-based no-VOC finish will also help ‘seal in’ any fumes and toxins, making it safer to bring indoors.

It’s time to get out there and freshen up your flower pots or patio furniture with a bit of spray paint.  The hardest part for me is choosing a color, or five.  I don’t know about you, but I am loving the metallic copper on those vases a whole lot!

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Mission: Closet Organization

Well, as hard as I tried, I couldn’t transform our shared reach-in closet into a dreamy walk-in dressing room.  Maybe I need some new magic words?

This closet makeover has been in progress for quite awhile now, but it is finally nearing completion!  Since I recently turned our guest room closets into a sewing space and kid art/learning storage, we really needed our closet to function to its fullest potential.

 The first thing I recommend when cleaning and organizing any closet is to take everything out and get rid of anything that doesn’t fit and doesn’t make you feel good.  I did this when my sister was visiting, so I had a trustworthy critic to help me be ruthless.  I donated two garbage bags full to the thrift store!  And that was after I had already gone through things on my own.  While I was at it, I switched from plastic to slim and sturdy velvet covered hangers to gain more space.  (fyi, our Costco has them on sale right now, and they are not flimsy like some others I have bought).

For our closet, we decided to go vertical and raised the existing shelf and hanging bar to make room for a partial second hanging bar.  Jer built a box of sorts out of plywood and we attached a hanging bar to it and the wall.  About one-third of the closet is reserved for longer items (my dresses and skirts) and the other two-thirds is divided with two bars.  The high upper shelf is now the perfect size for labeled baskets containing infrequently used or off-season items.   Jer didn’t really want baskets for his things, so I will likely add a few shelf dividers to keep stacks neat.  We each have a row of hooks on ‘our’ sides of the closet to hold belts and scarves or ties.  There is currently room for some shelves for sweaters, jeans, etc. but we are going to live with the closet as-is for awhile to see what would work best for our needs.

Shoes are always a challenge in a closet.  Since our closet is small, I opted to use a hanging shoe rack over the door.  I bought a metal one, but it kept falling apart, so I twisted wire around each of the joints.  It works m.u.c.h. better now.  I might spray paint it a fun color one of these days, but right now I am okay with the white.  Boots and other shoes that don’t fit on the rack have their own spots on the floor of the closet.  We might build custom cubbies for these (I will share the details if we do).  If you do have the space, clear shoe drawers and boot boxes with a photo of the shoe on the front are a fun option.  Jer has fewer shoes, so his are on three shoe shelves that fit sideways on the bottom of the closet.  Another option for everyday shoes is a sturdy basket on the floor of the closet to toss the shoes into.  We do that in our entry with our summer shoes.

When all of your stuff is out of the closet, it is a great time to paint and freshen up the space.  I painted the closet the same color as the rest of our room, but if you are feeling adventurous, closets are a fun place to add bold color, a stencil or some wallpaper.  Since our room is small and the door opens right in front of the closet, we removed the closet doors right away.  I made curtains that I will hang eventually, but I really love not having to wrestle with doors coming off their hinges.

I always color-coordinate my clothes when I put them back into the closet.  This looks fun and enables you to find a particular item more quickly.  It also tells you a lot about your color preferences!  I labeled my baskets with scrapbook paper, ribbon scraps, and a few feathers from my kid’s craft closet.

I am looking for a fun divided tray to set on top of the shelf created by the second tier.  My husband likes to toss random objects on any flat surface, so this would be a way to corral some of the clutter. We also hope to add a light to the closet at some point.

Ahh, I really love a freshly organized space!