Our (now) charcoal front door

Hey guys! I hope everyone had a great Christmas! Ours turned out a bit differently than planned… My mother, Lucas, and I were all sick, so Christmas plans were cancelled. Total bummer. Seriously, if there’s one thing I can say about this time of year, it’s this…. if you’re under the weather, or know that your kiddos are, just stay home. Don’t spread your germies. Trust me, everyone will thank you.

In other news, I’ve been a total DIY FIEND these past few days. Seriously. It’s crazy. For the past few months we’ve had a TON of company in town, then with the holidays and Lucas’s birthday, I haven’t had much time to really get my hands dirty with projects. Fortunately, I wasn’t nearly as sick as Lucas and something about being homebound for days set the ball rolling. I.just.can’t.stop.DIYing. This is how I know that DIY is my passion. If I’m unable to do it for a few months, I sort of reach my limit and binge as soon as I have the opportunity. Unhealthy? Perhaps.  But this is me.

To elaborate on my recent insanity, allow me explain…. Since Thursday, I’ve painted our front doorway, painted our hang-out room, cleaned up the spare room (new, neater pics of the room are now in our House Tour), hung curtains and art work in 3 of the bedrooms, hemmed the aforementioned curtains (in the easiest possible way… Can’t wait to share!!), and painted our half bath… Twice. And it’s about to be painted again because the color isn’t exactly what I was looking for. And I’m painting our tv stand white today. Oh, and I finally took pictures of everything listed above plus pictures of the updates in Lucas’s room that I made months ago. Yes, and this was all in three days (whatiswrongwithme?).  So, it’s fair to say that I have a ton to share with you.

Anyways, today, because I absolutely despised the gloomy pictures of our house that I took when we had the exterior painted, I’m starting there. With our front door. And much prettier pics of our home’s exterior. As I’d described in this post, I’d planned to paint the doorway a nice charcoal grey. And I was going between just painting the door….


Or painting the entire doorway,…


Well, let me tell you… I started by painting the front/storm door only and it was so painfully obvious that the entire thing needed to be painted, I didn’t even take a picture. I just kept painting. The color I settled on is called Black Bean by Behr. To decide, I basically just taped paint swatches to the door and stepped back. It was obvious right off the bat that Black Bean was “the one”.

Painting was pretty straight forward. Since I knew that the door surround had been painted with water-based paint, I just simply painted that straight off. Our actual door and storm door, though, had been painted in oil-based paint. I knew this because our painters told me, but if you ever need to determine the type of paint you’re dealing with, here’s a tip….

Rub a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol on the paint in question. If it’s oil-based nothing will happen. If it’s water based, the paint will become mildly sticky and start coming off on the cotton ball.

Since my door was oil-based, I basically had two options:

1. Paint it with oil-based paint (Nope. I already had water-based paint and didn’t want to expose my family to the fumes or crazy long dry-time of oil-based paint. I mean, we need to close our front door at some point, right?)

2. Use a primer designed to go under or over any type of paint.

So, number two it was (“…who does #2 work for?” Heehee! Moving on…). I used my favorite go-to shellac primer….


It sticks to everything and can be recoated in as little as 45 minutes. Sold!

So, I gave my door and storm door a thin and even coat of primer with a foam roller, then followed up with two coats of Black Bean.  Here’s after the first coat…

I have to say, I was very impressed with Behr’s exterior paint. It covered like a dream. Two coats left a nice even finish.  And here is how it turned out…..

SUCH an improvement from this pic from the day we closed…..


Next, I’ll be (*coughcough*weeding*coughcough*) sealing/enhancing the terracotta tile to bring out those gorgeous, rich colors (like I did on the back patio), painting the rusty green gate and post lighting fixtures a sharp, clean black, and eventually changing those teeny lighting fixtures for something more modern.

Here’s a shot of the entire house….

And a before from when we closed….


I love how the charcoal adds some much needed contrast and interest to the house.  It really compliments the new paint job well.   Plus, Joey’s landscaping job really warms up the front, especially the added beds/bushes in front of the courtyard.    Can’t wait to paint that gate and really work on that courtyard!!  Mother Nature, we need your assistance on this one… Niceweatherniceweatherniceweather….

So, how was your Christmas?  Any post holiday projects you’ve been working on?   Have you ever been so-so about a project (much like I was on our exterior paint job) and then you add one more element and it totally clicks??   Spill!  🙂

TDC Before and After

A Little Christmas Project Nostalgia

Hey Ya’ll!  We’re decorating the new pad for Christmas today and I’m totally stoked about it, too.   It’ll be a day full of decorating in our pajamas while watching Elf and eating cookies.  Living the dream, people.  Plus, the fact that we’re in our new house just MAKES IT for me.   I’ve always thought that this house would be great for the holidays and this was unexpectedly confirmed when my Aunt Terry walked into our living room for the first time and stated (with zero prompting) “This is a great Christmas house.”  BAM!  That’s right.  It’s not just me!!!

Anyways, being the nostalgic sap that I am, I decided to cruise through some of my Christmas posts from last year for inspiration.   Since this is a new house with different decor needs, looking back at old projects helps me visually inventory what I already own in one fell swoop (and provides me with ideas for new ways use these items in our new home).  So, in case these may benefit ya’ll as well, here are a few snippets…

Our Christmas trees.

For our larger tree, I stuck to a silver, burgundy and green theme last year.  Lots of glittery snowflakes, garland and wire ribbon.   In lieu of a tree skirt, I just used faux sheepskin rugs.  I love that look.  It’s like a little snow mound beneath the tree.

Our “Charlie Brown Tree” is a simple silver tree that I purchased on clearance from Walmart years ago (Humph… that cord makes me twitchy.  Just try to ignore it.  Or tell me you don’t see it to make me feel better.) …




I stuck him in this painted basket for a bit of style, then added some stockings and wood ornaments with burlap bows for style.   These guys adorned our hallway nook in our last house, but need a new locale and look for this house.   Hmmm…. Wheels are turning…

Adding pizzaz with free Christmas Printables


This was one of my favorites.  It was free, easy and added a touch of whimsy to our Christmas decor.   I ended up using four different printables throughout the house.  I still have them and will likely reuse them again.   See the other printables that I utilized here.

Christmas centerpiece ideas, PLUS, creating inexpensive snowflake window hangings...



A few simple, cheapo purchases lead to a sophisticated “winter wonderland” feel.   The window hangings tied in perfectly to the trees and centerpiece and really were the icing on the cake!  At least I think so.  😉

Some quick, low-maintenance outdoor decor...




I reused my DIY frame wreath and jazzed it up with a few simple tweaks.  Plus, I used a gorgeous live wreath in a non-traditional way to add a little Christmas spirit to the seating area on our covered porch.

And lastly, this isn’t Christmas decor necessarily, but since gift ideas are always a good thing, here’s how I created simple busts of Lucas on burlap for gifts.  We gave one to each of the grandparents last year…


So, now that I’m officially in the Christmas spirit, I’m gonna go get my decorating on.   Ya’ll have a great weekend!!  Let’s start this holiday season off right!  🙂

TDC Before and After