Friday, March 20, 2015

Charcoal black plaster backsplash

Hi everyone, I was in desperate need of a backsplash in my kitchen, I've had half painted sheetrock as my backsplash since we moved back in over a year ago.  One of my dilemmas is that my kitchen is open to my dining room and living room and the kitchen is very traditional.  The colors in the kitchen are warm whereas the dining room and living room are grays and white.  One of the downfalls of having an open space, it all has to flow.  Until I find a suitable tile for my backsplash, I decided to paint it with a some texture.  

This is what it looked like... 

Yuh! I can't believe we kept it this way for so long!

So, I went a bit drastic with the color, a charcoal black.  I really like it for now, till there is a more permanent solution.  

Here is what I did...

Since the sheetrock had to be plastered anyway, I decided to mix the paint into the plaster and create a textured finish with the plaster. 

First, I mixed the plaster with water and paint to a cake like batter consistency. Then, I simply trowelled it on haphazardly and creating the amount of texture I wanted.  

Plaster took about half hour to dry.

After the plaster dried, I sealed it with a few coats of polyurethane so that the wall can be wiped down.  

 I really like the way it turned out!  It looks more like a completed kitchen now.

What do you think, is it too dark?  I'd love to hear your opinion.

Thank you for visiting!  Come back soon!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Reviews of my Alta Vista flooring by Hallmark

Hi all!  Hope you had a wondeful weekend! I was recently contacted by one of my readers asking about the Alta Vista flooring from Hallmark we had installed in our house.  When we were rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy, one of major purchases were flooring for our first floor living space.  We needed wood flooring that can withstand radiant heat because we had eliminated radiators on the first floor.  I had also wanted wire brushed hand scraped wide wood planks.  After much research between hardwood flooring and engineered flooring, we were convinced by the dealer that we needed engineered flooring.  We have an open floor plan on our first floor so the floors really had to make an impact.  I fell in love with Alta Vista flooring Hallmark, they were 7 1/2" wide plank, wire brushed, hand scraped gorgeous floors that met my every criteria.

 I am not one to give a bad review of a product, but I had to tell her the truth about my experience.  These floor cost thousands of dollars and a month after installed we started seeing wear under the chairs, floors started chipping and I had to fill in the chips with wood filler.  It is so frustrating, the floors continue to chip and the color is almost completely worn off under the chairs.  

Just a few days ago, my daughter got a big splinter embedded into her foot and we had to take her to the doctor, he had to cut her skin to get out the large splinter.  It was not a very good experience! My reader suggest I write a review to let people know of my situation.   However, this is only my experience and I am not claiming that this happens to all of their products and all of their Alta Vista flooring.  I am truly disappointed because I loved the look of these floors.  Now, what to do?  Any suggestions? 

Thanks for stopping by!


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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Staircase Reveal

Finally, my staircase is finished!  Well, almost!  We still have to install a bannister system and if it was up to me I like it without the bannisters, that is why we haven't had one for more than a year.  Hey, no one has fallen over yet! He He!  I really like the look of the floating stairs without the obstruction of a railing system.  We'll see how long I can ride this one for...

While we were renovating our house, we had ripped out our old rickety staircase and replaced it with a new one.  We had a local woodworking company come and take measurements and they built us a new staircase in their shop and installed it.  

Here is after the new staircase is installed.

The stairs needed to be thoroughly sanded and then my husband painted the risers with white paint.

Looking good already!

Hubby used an espresso finish from Minwax to match our existing floors.  He used a brush to put on the stain and wiped it off to get the desired color.  We didn't want a thick coat of stain, we wanted a slight variation of the color to match the rest of our floors and he was able to get that look by wiping off most of the stain.

To finish it, he used four coats of water-base polyurethane from Rust-oleum.  I did not want any shine on the steps so we used the clear matte finish.

 Loving it!
What do you think, bannister or no bannister?  Would love to hear your opinion.

Thanks for stopping by!  


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