There's nothing like an impromptu project while trying to get a bunch of other projects finished. But sometimes, it just has to happen.

Back in 2003 when we bought our fixer upper in Old Town red was my favorite color. It was the color I selected for my bridesmaids’ dresses when we married in October 2002, comprised about a third of the clothes in my closet, and naturally, I wanted to feature it as a main color in our new home’s decorating scheme. 

Back in the early 2000s bold red dining rooms were all the rage and we thought it would look great in our Victorian home. To fulfill our dream when we renovated our dining room in 2004, after some deliberation, we landed on Behr's Red Red Wine as the hue of choice. We excitedly dove into the project, having no inclination of what lie ahead. One coat of headache-inducing bright pink tinted primer later, we were committed. We had no clue how hard would it be to paint a saturated red on our newly plastered walls.

Oh boy, were we DIY noobs. An excruciating one coat of primer and four coats of red paint later, we finally reached the desired color and our dark and dramatic dining room look was achieved. 


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Comments 10

Protecting your finished surfaces, especially flooring, when working on a project is as old as house projects themselves.

From drop clothes to old carpet, pretty much every option has been tried and each has their pros and cons when it comes to keeping paint, dust, scratches, liquid, tools, boots, and just about anything else from ruining your finished floor.

The naysayers will proudly state “this is why you should finish your floors after your major work is complete!” But we all know this is a pipe dream and not based in reality. Even if you are doing it all in the “right order” you’re probably painting the room after the floor is done. And if you’re a DIYer, there’s a good chance you’re working around beautifully finished floors in just about every project. Finishing floors is often one of those things people do right when they buy their home, then they work on all of their projects over the years (it’s how we’ve done it twice).

Notice the beautiful floors and ignore all of the work the walls and trim need


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Comments 1

A few weeks ago I built a thing...and Wendy sort of hates it.

You see, when it comes to aesthetics, Wendy has an innate ability to determine what is appealing, and it's an ability that greatly exceeds my own in the same arena. I like a nicely finished project and will go to great lengths to ensure I’m doing the absolute best job I can. But at times I tend to focus more on function over form, sometimes leaving something to be desired when viewing the finished product. Some would call me practical, but Wendy begs to differ. After all, there’s often a better way that’s also pleasing to the eye.

Need an example? Just look back on the weather station debacle where I mounted it initially in an “unapproved” location. It had to be remedied lest we risk the wrath of the weather station police.

Well, we recently had a somewhat similar situation, but I think the outcome of this form over function aesthetic debate might just end up swinging my way.

We have two plastic kayaks (yes, the same ones used to change the weather station to a more acceptable location) at our Foursquare house. We can launch them right into the water next to our dock, they’re a ton of fun for us, visitors, and Lulu, and we very well may be adding to them by getting a tandem kayak next year.


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Comments 8

What's the best way to remove 130 year old glazing and paint from wavy glass antique window sash?

While it may not be something you ask every day, it's a good question if you've ever wanted to restore an old window or salvage old glass. And quite possibly the right answer to that question is...STEAM! More on that in just a minute.

When I was 18 years old I worked in a shop in The Flats of Cleveland, right along the banks of the mighty Cuyahoga River. It was the mid 90s, the Cleveland Indians were an MLB juggernaut, and I spent a long a summer of hard labor stripping glazing from 800 windows that were in what is now The Tudor Arms Hotel, which was built in 1933.


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Comments 9

Wendy's love of trash to treasure makeovers is well documented throughout the years.

On several occasions throughout our history together my lovely wife has been known to spy a sad, lonely, and abandoned piece of furniture sitting curbside. When the situation is right, she's also well known to pull the car over or stop us in the midst of our evening walk to "rescue" the piece before the trash truck is able to seal its fate.

After all, this is exactly how we obtained several pieces of wood furniture, including our favorite little red stool that began life in our home with a much different look.

Finished Product

Earlier this summer Wendy's eagle eye for picking struck again, and she gleefully came home with a distressed little end table, left curbside in the rain in front of a home in Del Ray (a nearby neighborhood in Alexandria) and she had a grand vision for it.


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Comments 6

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