A chronicle of my attempts to live a classy life as a single girl in the Nation's Capital

Friday, March 23, 2012

Two weeks of house guests....

And as a result, I've accomplished absolutely nothing. Not to mention, I promptly got a cold probably brought on by stress.

I loved seeing my family and friends and will have them stay over many more times.  But from an introvert's point of view... two weeks in a row is just too much.  I am really looking forward to this weekend of going to Lowes (which is fast becoming my new favorite store), doing house things and hanging out with my friends Beth and Luke.

I'm also glad to have my office back--which is where I blog--since it is also the "guest room."  I am happy to report that the set up works really well considering the space constraints.

But on to the actual topic of this post--before all the guests and sickness I was really productive one weekend.  Here's what I did:

1. Turned a vintage window into a faux mercury glass window.

The problem was our bathroom window.  The previous owners left behind some lovely curtains for us: 
In addition to the generic Pottery Barn floral embroidery, they really gave you a sense of privacy. 

I had an idea after reading a post on another blog about creating faux mercury glass.  I thought: what if I did it to a window and then hung it in front of this window?  Not only would we still get light, but it would look really cool and give us more privacy. 

The project was really easy and I love the way it came out.  I don't have a finished picture yet as I need to go to Lowes to buy cup hooks, but it is currently leaning in the windowsill and I will add a picture soon of the completed project.  

It was actually really easy to do, here are the steps: 

1. Assemble the supplies
You'll need a vintage window, a soft cloth or paper towels, painters tape, a spray bottle filled with 1/2 water and 1/2 white vinegar and Looking Glass paint. 
This stuff is AMAZING!  It turns glass into a mirror.  You spray it on the reverse side and voila!  Mirror.  It is really thin so you have to do many coats.  Also a tip: this can be bought in the craft store but is it in the spray paint aisle?  No... It's a few aisles down with hobby paint and such.  Probably on the bottom shelf.  They don't want you to have it. 

2. Make sure you are working on the reverse side, tape off the edges (or not. I realized that no one is going to see it.) Clean and dry the mirror and then start applying several thin coats, waiting a minute or two between each. 
This is about 2 coats, half dry.  It does this cool cloudy thing as it dries.  When the cloudy parts are gone, you're ready for another coat.  I think I ended up doing about 6-8
3. Ruin everything you just did. And love it. 
I didn't take pictures of this part.  But here's what you do: 
  1. Wait about 10 minutes for everything to dry well 
  2. spray the diluted vinegar mixture onto the paint gently so it forms beads
  3. Wait again for about 30 seconds to a minute 
  4. wet your cloth with more vinegar solution and gently rub. This will take the paint off.  The harder you rub, the bigger the area of no paint will be.  Vary the amount of paint you take off.
  5. Spray one more time with a very fine mist.  Then (after waiting) rub very gently so you have tiny little holes too (it adds dimension) 
  6. Finally, gently dry the glass and add 1-2 more coats of mirror spray
Pictures of final coming soon! 

2. Replace the ugly light

I'm getting very proud of my electrical skills.  Just don't call me over to do anything for you--I'm not that proud.  I also used this weekend to replace the very old, builder basic light we have outside.  Here I tell you the story of replacing the light with pictures. 
See your $4 light while at Lowes.  You always hated it, but now even more.
Pour some wine.  Because it's the weekend and you want to.  

While up on the ladder, I saw the neighbor's light.  A bare bulb.  Condo fees at work here. 

Take old light off and roll your eyes at the horribly rusted screws and incredibly old wiring you now have to deal with.  Remove this and attempt to put in the new bracket.  It won't fit.  Nothing "standard" fits in this house.

While doing this, drop the screws you need down the basement window well about 5 times.  Assess whether you can crawl down and back out on your own.  Then debate how long it would be until someone found you.... retrieve one screw but lose the other.  Now you must use one of those old rusty screws. Insist that the wine has nothing to do with this mishap.

About an hour into your 30 minute install you have a light!  Doesn't this look so much better?  In addition this light puts off brighter light and has a motion detector.  Because, clearly, safety was my #1 concern while installing this light... 

And that's what I accomplished in one day before all the (very fun) busy-ness of house guests. I love how big a difference all these small changes make.  Next project: revamping the patio! 


Deborah said...

Hey, glad to see you are back! Still laughing at light installation. It looks great! Might be a good idea to suggest turning off power first...then pour wine!

Deborah said...
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