Monday, September 26, 2011

The Green Chandelier

For months now, my husband and I had been keeping our eyes out for a new chandelier for our dining room. Its a fairly large and elegant Victorian style room which we had recently painted, and is highest on my priority to spruce up. The chintzy brass chandelier that was hanging didn't really match the style of the room or our taste, so  after failing to find a replacement within our budget, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

You guessed it. Spray Paint.

Worst case scenario, we are out four bucks for the can of spray paint and still in the market for a new chandelier. Best case, I would be responsible for creating the most awesome light fixture ever.

So I did a little research on how to remove the chandelier. My husband was working but I managed pretty well on my own. A bit of warning to the faint of heart: this is a dirty job. I have never seen so many dried up bugs in my entire life. If your house is anywhere near as old as mine, expect a shower of plaster and dust when removing the fixture. Next time I will definitely be wearing glasses.

I am not going to lie. I wasted a lot of time on this project. Initially I wanted to use paint that would create a crackle effect. I picked up a jar of Martha Stewart crackle paint at Home Depot and after applying a layer of primer, I found that this stuff is not at all meant for ornate surfaces. So...After an hour of removing the primer and re-cleaning the surface I was ready to start again. This time with the obvious choice...spray paint.

I used painters tape and newsprint to cover the sockets and non-removable globe. I sprayed it outside, hanging from the roof of the porch. The dogs were pretty excited and confused about what I was doing. It only took about five minutes to paint and and another fifteen to dry to the touch.

Then the worst part: re-installing. It wouldn't have been bad. Had I only waited until my husband got home. Had there been an actual mounting bracket. Had I used my brain at all. Lets just say my husband came home to find me balancing on two chairs, a step stool, arms raised above my head holding the chandelier while frantically trying to twist the screws into two of the tiniest holes I have ever seen in my life. Not fun. But we got it up in the end.

When we finished I asked my husband if he liked it. His response? "Meh. Its okay...". Well, I guess he probably shouldn't have granted me total authority over decorating the house. I like it though. Its gaudy in a good way.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I Suppose I Should Start Somewhere.

You know those sounds that old houses make? Groans that emanate from the walls, rusty hinges that screech on every door, mysterious clanging sounds that rise from the vents. And of course those creaky floorboards. I remember hating those noises when I was little. Especially at night. I was sure our home was filled with ghosts.

I still get spooked sometimes when I'm home alone, but mostly I've made peace with the creepy noises. I can appreciate them because its almost as if the house is speaking. Its a mark of distinction that only older homes have. My house speaks volumes and I love it.

My husband and I have been living in our house for almost four years now, and although it has a lot of character, our home also needs a lot of work. If I can remember correctly, it was built in 1912, so next year it will be 100 years old. This is awesome because not too much has been done as far as remodeling, so its still very historic. However, its rather unfortunate for me because I am not a handyman-type of all. Despite my own short comings, I still want to put in every effort into making this house a home, both functionally and aesthetically. Read on so you will know what NOT to do. Wish me luck...