Behind My Red Door

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A little paint makes all the difference!

Instead of moaning about how hot and humid it has been here FOREVER (or so it seems to me), and whining about how desperately we need rain because those storms danced all around us yesterday but gave us less than 10 minutes of actual raindrops, and instead of telling you how much I am sooooo ready for FALL, I thought I would show you some of the things I have been working on lately. Inside. With the A/C’s running as cool as I can set them. With the shades drawn tight. To block out the heat from the sun. And I make no apologies if I don’t make sense. Blame the heat. Or lack of sleep. But don’t blame Lili. She slept ALL night and woke refreshed and smiling and full of energy and as cute as can be. Unlike me – the one who looked at the baby monitor at couple hundred times. What?? What’s wrong with that?? You know there is nothing sweeter than a sleeping baby!!

Okay so on to the prim stuff that has been MIA for awhile. For ages now, I have played with my dining room chairs. They are sturdy comfortable maple chairs made in the 1960’s and were given to us free by my in-laws some years ago. FREE! The style is not that bad actually. They are a 60’s version reproduction of Massachusett Fanback Side Windsor Chair. This pic below is from last winter. See 2 black chairs? I painted them last year and every time I took pictures I moved them around to get in the picture. The rest remained a stained maple finish.


Now this is what my dream chairs would look like. Just a wee bit taller and more scrolled at the top. The rest is nearly identical to mine. Trust me. I know.

18th century antique reproduction 
				Windsor Chairs
			 Fanbacks and Comb-Backs Mass. Fanback Side Windsor Chair

But at a couple of hundred $$$ a piece, I can’t see spending the money just because of that nicer detail. Even if Mr. Red Door would agree to them. Which he never would. EVER. Just because of that detail. So I did the next best thing and painted the rest of them this weekend. Some before Lili’s sleepover and some after. Don’t look closely and you will never know which are which!


I like the change – how about you??008

I hope that by the next time I have a chance to post, the lower walls in the dining room will be painted in Tyler Taupe instead of the Caramel it is are now. I am sure the change will be subtle but worth the effort.


And that is not all I have been up to. Inside. Where it is cooler than the equator. I mean outside My Red Door. In my last post I mentioned redoing my office. Here are pictures of the old office. Back when I was the Director of a preschool, and I needed a space for my own computer and all the work I brought home each night, Jen had just moved out of this room so it became my own room! WOOHO! We bought this huge Sauder assemble yourself desk and I painted the walls in two colors and used rulers (yardsticks) as the picture rail. I hung all my school related samplers and used my teacher related gifts for decor. It was much more country/prim than colonial but I really enjoyed the room.



But I have been ‘retired’ for 5 years now. Okay, truth be known, I didn’t set out to retire. I was only 50 and had no pension or benefits. I quit. But it turns out I am retired and so it was time to change this space to reflect me now. A retired Grammee. I wanted a softer look and a more colonial look and I decided to move most of my teacher/school related items to the family room downstairs. Now with that monstrosity of a desk, it will never be colonial but I still wanted to change it up a bit. So down came the picture rail and I painted the walls Benjamin Moore Powell Buff – like I did the living room and top of the hall this winter. Then I got out my stencils from way back in the late 80’s and early 90’s and decided on this one from Liberty Design. Click ~here~ to go the website. This is the Hopkinton Inn Border.

image You can see in theses picture from the 90’s that I had used it in the living room back then.



This time I wanted softer colors and went with a dark red, mustard and nutmeg and I used a softer touch when applying the paint. With age comes wisdom.


I got new curtains in a nutmeg color and swapped out the TV stand from Mr. Red Door’s office with my old file drawers. I like this smaller cabinet much better. 024


And I am layering my linens in mustards, black, cream and tan with a little red. I got a new cotton metalasse spread to use on the daybed since I do sit there to stitch and watch TV and read. My Family Heirlooms blanket is just not soft enough for that but I love the look. 019

Like they did in colonial times, I am using an old quilt at the foot of the bed for when I need extra warmth. Maybe in 6 months or so. Did I tell you how HOT it has been?


But even with those changes, this thing was bugging me. I have seen colonial desks that I would love instead of this, but once again, we don’t replace things just because like that. Besides, I am waiting for a new toy – more about that in a minute. 2

So I decided to paint the desk! I knew that it would not be an easy task. Because of it’s size and weight, it can’t leave this room unless we dismantle it. And it has all those cubby holes – big and small. And it is not ‘real’ wood. It is a composite laminated with a paper like substance. I was pretty sure regular paint would chip and even peel off.


I had heard a lot about Caromal Colours paint in the APP forum and at Homestead Primitives from Roger and Charleen. I knew it is supposed to stick to just about anything. In fact my friend Karen use it to take her kitchen counters from THIS:

image To this:


Yes, she painted her kitchen counters!!


To find out how Karen did it and to see more pictures of her gorgeous home, click ~HERE~. The instructions of how she painted the counters is on her kitchen album.

So I bought the Peppercorn Textured paint at Homestead Primitives in Fitchburg, MA. The beauty of it is there is no pre-sanding needed. I painted most of the surfaces of the desk. I used two coats then I lightly sanded a few edges – because it is not real wood I was cautious. I used the Caromal Colors wood toner (like stain) on the raw edges and I then sealed it with Minwax water based poly. I didn’t paint the writing surface because the paint is textured. Now it is a better fit for the office. Not perfect – but MUCH better!!



I am not an expert but there are so many more things you can do with this remarkable paint like layering colors and chipping the top color away to reveal the under color. So to find out all about the Caromal Colours paint, where to buy it in your area, and how to use it, you can go to the website ~here~. If you are a member of the APP forum, there is a whole section on the paint and different colors – click ~here~.

I hope to paint something in the mustard over black using their special chipping cream soon. I’ll be sure to share that with you when I do!

Every once in awhile, even a prim gal needs to step outside her box a little and try something new. Something not so old and primitive. Something a bit shinier. No, I am not painting anything turquoise or going vintage or beachy or anything like that. However, something came on the market recently that really caught my eye. My friend Carol got one for her hubby Jerry. About that time I had been reading about them online. Then Kathy told me Stephen got one. And I researched more. I watched a number of videos too.Then Angela and Jay got one and I got to try it in person. I was hooked. I asked more questions and Stephen answered all of them and more and then I tried Angela’s once more and I knew one would be coming to live with me. From the website:


So what is it? Well one of these little guys.


Yup, an iPad. I have wanted online portability for some time now but I HATE the laptop keyboards. Not as much as I HATE the heat we have been experiencing for what seems like years now, but I hate them none the less. Besides, Mr. Red Door’s laptop is huge and heavy and loaded with all kinds of project management and financial software programs. And it isn’t MINE. So I saved my mad money and my birthday money and grocery money and the kids inheritance and ordered me one. I can use it when Lili is sleeping in her porta crib in the family room or when I am sitting on my day bed, and I can take it with me when we travel and when we go on photo shoots. OH! and I almost forgot!! It is an electronic book reader as well! Now that was the other non prim item I have been thinking about getting for awhile because I LOVE to read. This serves double duty when we travel too. No more books in my overnight bag. Actually, I can stop carrying my hand held solitaire games on overnight trips too. (gotta keep the mind sharp you know!) See, it gets better by the moment! And it won’t weigh me down. I just wish there wasn’t such a demand for them right now because I can’t hardly wait until it arrives! To see all the cool videos demonstration the different applications and to learn more about these, just click ~here~.


I am way overdue in sharing this with you! Did you read about the fun trip Bonnie, Audrey and I took a few weekends ago? In the heat. You can read about it ~here~. When we got in my car to start out, Audrey presented me with my very own A Primitive Place tote bag that she made for me!! Isn’t it awesome?? Thanks so much Audrey! I love it!!


And this week I received something I ordered from fellow blogger Shari from Homespun and Primitives. Every time Jill came here before she moved to SC, she told me how much she loved this bonnet hanging on the early coat rack in my foyer. So on her last trip here, I took it off and gave it to her.


Since then I have been looking for one in a colonial calico print and I found just what I was looking for on Shari’s website. It looks perfect there, don’t you think?? Click ~here~ to see what else she is offering.


Well Mr. Red Door is now home from another marathon on the golf course and he is ready to grill me some dinner, so I will click publish and wish you all a wonderful week. Stay cool if you can!

Warm prim hugs, Grammee Linda