WHY I PAINTED OUR WOOD TRIM

May 23, 2019

Controversial post alert! Wood is beautiful. I like wood grain. I have painted over a lot of wood in my house (and kept some). It is a hard decision! We chose to paint the wood trim in our family room, IN SUMMARY, because we like the beauty of wood grains and other natural textures. The heaviness and intense contrast of the beams absorbed all the availability for warm or wood tones or leather in the space.

I FOUND MYSELF DESIGNING EVERYTHING IN THE ROOM AROUND ACCOMMODATING THEM.

The beams were very prominent and high contrast. And added a huge warm tone presence, along with the already warm wood floors and antique brass elements. To compensate I would have to make everything light, white, and cool.

I have wanted to replace our slipper chairs with leather arm chairs and that is what cracked this conversation open. Previously I had ruled leather out because they would be too warm and even more brown. With these painted, I feel I can add leather easily. Also before the beams were painted I definitely could not bring any more wood in via furniture, but now I can get a nice wood sofa table or side table if I like.

I NEVER FOUND MYSELF THINKING, “I REALLY LIKE HOW THESE LOOK.”

And certainly not, “I love how these look.” At best, “these are okay/good enough/workable/I probably should keep these wood.” My long term goal is to really like all the elements of our house and these weren’t going to achieve that.

I THOUGHT MY HUSBAND WANTED TO KEEP THE WOOD, BUT ACTUALLY HE DIDN’T.

I felt like I remembered David once saying he wanted to keep the wood beams, but I think I maybe just assumed? GUYS LIKE WOOD GRAIN generally. When I was torn, but getting more serious about painting, I brought it up for advice and he helped me see painting was best and what both of us would like better.

IT IS NOT PERMANENT.

I am not in the camp of opposition to or fear mongering about painting wood. I think it doesn’t have a bearing on resale. And I don’t know what people in general mean when they say it’s “permanent” to paint. Like, there’s wood trim for sale at home depot if it’s an actual ruined your house catastrophe. (Probably won’t be.) Always keeping the wood because someone’s afraid to paint is effectively permanent too. Still, I have gone gradually in places I wasn’t sure.

THE WOOD WASN’T HIGH QUALITY.

A final phase of decision making was talking it over with my ever design savvy friend Elysia. She helped me see that they are a weird in between of rustic and traditional. Like the shape of the moulding is more traditional, but the quality of the wood is very knotty. Are they rustic? Are they polished? As David put it, they just don’t go with the direction of everything else in our house.

The stain color was not great as well. It was similar to the floors, but not a perfect match. And our floors aren’t so amazing that I am like I want to draw out and feature that stain more and more.

To paint, we first did two coats of kilz high hide primer with a brush and four inch roller combo. Then we did three coats of ralph lauren “chalk white” in eggshell.

Even once we just primed, we instantly loved it. They were holding the room back so badly. Our whole first floor really. We feel so many more OPTIONS now.

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MEXI BURGERS

May 13, 2019

I am extremely devoted to both mexican and burgers. Those are two feel good dinners we can all agree on, and America, tonight I am boldly putting them together. And serving them with chips and salsa, of course. There’s perfect mexican seasoning. There’s some quick pickled red onion.

THERE’S A LOT OF GUAC PILED IN THE BURGER! And a staple for all good mexican and all good burgers – a really good cheese. I used this extra sharp white cheddar because I find white cheddar is loved by palates of any age.   

For this recipe I used cabot cheese – a co-op owned by farmers in new england and new york where 100% of profits go back to the farmers.

Mexi Burgers
Serves four burgers

1 red onion, sliced thinly
1/4 cup white vinegar (any vinegar works!)
2 tablespoons sugar
A dash of salt
1 pound ground chuck
2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning
8 slices white cheddar (I use cabot’s vermont extra sharp)
2 avocados
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
4 burger buns
4 sweet mini peppers, sliced
4 lettuce leaves (I like boston, bibb, or butter lettuce)
Cilantro
Tortilla chips
Tomato salsa

Place red onion in a bowl with 1 and 1/2 cups boiling water, white vinegar, sugar, and salt. Allow to sit for 30 minutes.

Season ground chuck with taco seasoning. Grill over medium heat for 5-6 minutes on each side. Melt slices of cheddar cheese on top of burgers before removing from grill.

Mash avocado with lime juice, honey, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Assemble burgers on buns with pickled red onion, guacamole, sweet peppers, lettuce, and cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips and tomato salsa.

MEXI BURGERS
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 red onion, sliced thinly
  • ¼ cup white vinegar (any vinegar works!)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • A dash of salt
  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning
  • 8 slices white cheddar (I use cabot's vermont extra sharp)
  • 2 avocados
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 burger buns
  • 4 sweet mini peppers, sliced
  • 4 lettuce leaves (I like boston, bibb, or butter lettuce)
  • Cilantro
  • Tortilla chips
  • Tomato salsa
Instructions
  1. Place red onion in a bowl with 1 and ½ cups boiling water, white vinegar, sugar, and salt. Allow to sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Season ground chuck with taco seasoning. Grill over medium heat for 5-6 minutes on each side. Melt slices of cheddar cheese on top of burgers before removing from grill.
  3. Mash avocado with lime juice, honey, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  4. Assemble burgers on buns with pickled red onion, guacamole, sweet peppers, lettuce, and cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips and tomato salsa.

 

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SPRAY PAINTING THE IKEA ANTILOP HIGHCHAIR

May 9, 2019

The ikea antilop highchair is a faithful friend of our family. I am a pretty big fan. It is TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS. It has a clean, minimal design. It is very stable and I use it for my babies from after when they can sit up until they are ready to sit in a chair on their own. I love highchairs; I use them for a while for my children.

If I were to give one critique it is that is takes up kind of a bigger amount of space. The tripp trapp I sometimes eye is much less footprint. And also much more money. BUT I think the antilop’s nice wide legs are what makes it so stable and work for so long with toddlers, as I listed above. Also, TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS. I have multiple and use them indoor and outdoor.

Well, okay and if I were to give one more critique it would be the ugly silver legs. Highchairs aren’t usually a work of art, unless you pay kind of a lot. (I do love this one from erin francois.) I decided to do something I have meant to do for some time and paint those highchair legs. Just white, nothing to draw attention to it. Because it’s only a functional piece, I want it to just fade into the wall.

MATERIALS

  1. Two cans glossy spray paint
  2. Sand paper (I used 220 grit)
  3. Painter’s tape

PROCESS

  1. Clean the legs with a soapy rag and dry with a towel.
  2. Lightly sand the metal with fine grit sandpaper.
  3. Wipe the legs with a damp cloth to remove dust.
  4. Cover the feet of the legs with painter’s tape.
  5. Set up a station where the legs can sit while they dry. (David used two pieces of scrap wood spread apart so only the foot and the very top of the leg would come into contact with anything.)
  6. Over a drop cloth, spray a light coat of spray paint on the leg and place the wet leg on the drying station. Repeat for all the legs.
  7. Coat again within one hour.
  8. Apply any touch up spray within an hour of the second coat.
  9. After 24 hours, re-install on the high chair and remove painter’s tape from the feet. (The paint will be dry to handle after one hour and completely dry after 24 hours.)

I love how much less visually present it is. It’s a really quick job and we did all of our antilops at once.

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