Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Finally Making Headway on the Wall

I have been talking (writing) about the empty wall in the dining area of our kitchen for a few months now and so far it has been a whole lot of me yapping, and not enough of me doing anything. Honestly all the craziness with Baby Boo's birthday party and our family portraits these last few weeks had me rather distracted and I didn't get a whole lot done.

It has been a couple of weeks since all that though, and now I am happy to report that I have made some major progress on "the wall".

To recap, this was what I had planned originally for the wall of the dining area of our kitchen back in May:
Check out that post here.

It all started with a project making a photo collage with an old type case:
This is going to be the centerpiece for the wall display.

In early August, I decided to upgrade the project pretty majorly by doing some painting and stenciling on the wall:
Check out that other post here.

I did manage to process all the photos for the type case project and get prints ordered through MPix.com. After a lot of cutting and fitting I finally had that part all done a couple of weeks ago:
The type case looked pretty cool, but there was a lot of work to be done before it could be hung. There was also the rest of the wall display to think of, but I had no other frames to assemble it all. All through the summer, I had been on the lookout for some simple white frames for the rest of the wall display. I regularly checked discount stores like Home Goods, and the clearance section of Target to no avail. I figured I would have to go with Ikea frames, but then I came across this little local shop:
Touch of Home - Burnsville, MN

I was out with my mom buying some fabric for a different project, when we noticed this new store in the strip mall. I figured we might as well go see what it was since we had some time to kill. I was expecting something like a Pierre 1 Imports, but it was actually a mix between a suped up estate sale/garage sale, and an antique store. It was dense with used items for the home:
It seemed small at first, but it just kept going and going. There were all sorts of cute items that I wanted to buy, or use as DIY inspiration.
I might try to DIY this cute heart shelf system some time.

More pretty heart cutout shelves:
Sorry about the poorly lit photos,
they were from my flashless phone.

This giant, solid wood cabinet would be fun to refinish:
 It was in perfect condition and this was the price tag:
If my house had room for it, I so would have scooped it up!

Anyway, the point was that I totally fell in love with the store. Best of all, the place was littered with wooden picture frames. I sorted through a couple dozen (at least), and picked 8 to buy. All 8 cost me a grand total of $15, woohoo! I bought more than I needed for the wall display, but I figured nice frames will get used somewhere or another so better to have too many than not enough:
I figured I could spray paint all the wooden ones white so I didn't pay much attention to their original color. I just made sure they were all real solid wood frames and not plastic or laminate junk. I had fun staging potential wall layouts on the grass once I got home: 

The funny thing is that I had purchased a frame from Home Goods a week earlier that I was planning on spray painting white:

 As you can see from the price tag, the 1 frame cost me as much as all the other frames put together:
I ended up returning the $15 frame.

 Now that I had frames, I needed to make them match. I started by taking the backs and glass off of each one:

Then I spray painted each one white:
After the paint dried, I distressed them lightly with some sand paper so that some of the natural wood showed through and brought some more cohesiveness to the group. I still haven't decided on the photos or prints that I want to put in them, so for now I threw in some coordinating scrapbooking paper:
I decided to only use 5 of the 8 frames to keep the wall from looking too busy.
The other 3 will likely be used in Hailey's room for a wall collage.

At this point, I had the display pieces all set, but the wall was very much not set at all. It had skid marks from the chairs as well as several dents. I went ahead and filled them in with some all purpose spackle:

 Dents from an old baby gate that we no longer use:
After some drying time, and sanding, it was finally time to paint. I put on my sexiest painting shirt and got to work:
Jealous? I thought so.

The kitchen was painted back in early 2009, and I knew that I had almost a whole gallon left of the pale orange color. I had even taken the initiative to label the different paints back then, since we had painted the whole house and I wanted to avoid confusion if I needed to ever do a touch up. Well that day had come so I grabbed the bucket from the basement labelled "kitchen" and started painting.

I noticed right away that the color was rather yellow, but I figured that it was just because of the lighting and the fact that many paints change color a little once they dry. As I continued on, I slowly realized that the color was indeed the wrong one:
Close, but no cigar. Wah wah wah. . .

Confused, I actually looked at the original paint can label and saw that it wasn't the kitchen color at all, rather a bedroom color. I had clearly mislabelled it back when we first painted. . . In my defense, I was 8-9 months prego at the time so I had a very good excuse. I decided to finish off the coat of the yellower color, then I went down to the basement and found the real kitchen color tucked way in the back. I let the first layer dry for a couple of hours and then threw a coat of the right stuff on over it. It looked fantastic. The spackle and black streaks were finally gone.

This is our side door entryway that comes in on the other side of the kitchen:
This area was painted very poorly 2.5 years ago. . . It was all me too. Once again, my prego brain made me completely forget to put on the final coat of paint that it clearly needed. It is really hard to photograph, but there were yellow streaks all over:
15 minutes of paint a couple of years too late and . . .
It was vastly improved!
Later that day, once the paint was dry, I taped off a boundary line at a height of 36":
I had previously purchased a quart of Dutch Boy no VOC paint interior satin paint color matched from Pittsburgh Paints, Georgian leather. Here it is right after the second coat:

 The next day I peeled off the tape and admired the paint job:
Not too shabby: 

Finally I was ready to set up the wall display. I measured out the frames and made size replicas using newspaper and painter's tape. I played with the layout and landed on this:

The first part to be installed was the vinyl wall quote. I had ordered this months ago from Wall Quotes and I love how it turned out:
"The secret to having it all. . . is knowing you already do." 

Next up came hanging the actual frames. I had once heard of the "toothpaste trick" for hanging pictures. I don't know if this is how it is supposed to work, but it is how I did it and it worked out great. Basically I put a large glob of toothpaste on the hanging part of each frame:
Then I pressed it against the wall in the location that I wanted the frame to hang. This left behind a marker of toothpaste so I knew where to put my nail:

I used this technique for hanging all of the frames and ended up with this: 
View from the hallway: 
Closer up from the side:

Phase 1 of the kitchen/dining area project is done. The wall is no longer naked!

Phase 2 is the painting which is half done. Next I need to do the stenciling. The stencil actually just arrived this morning via priority mail so I am anxious to get working on it - that is. . . when the kids - and our crazy schedule - will allow it. My goal is to have it done by the weekend so that *maybe* we can put the trim up on Sunday. Wish me luck!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear from you!