painting stair spindles

In my mind, it was gonna be a piece of cake to paint the stair railings, well, until I started. Prior starting, I researched what to do and other DIY blogs regarding it, but once I started, I panicked. I was brushing the first few spindles, and oh man, it was tough to get all the nooks and crannies smoothly. I considered just wiping of all the paint off and hire a professional, but then I turned to Pinterest. That’s when Pinterest came in to save the day. Whew!

First, I did all the traditional stuff when it comes to painting stair railings… I cleaned all the railings and lightly sanded them down. I used Benjamin Moore’s Aura paint, which is paint and primer, so I went straight to that when it came time to paint. The miracle worker that Pinterest gave me was to paint the spindles with a sock! I wore a plastic glove, put the sock over that, then dipped my sock covered hand in the paint, and rubbed all along the spindle to get paint in all the nooks and crannies. It worked a million times better than a paint brush and went so much faster too! This post taught me all about it, and if you get adventurous and want to paint your stair spindles too, I definitely suggest the sock route.

Supplies used: Fine sand paper, rag, plastic glove, sock, mini roller, frog tape, and paint (of course!).

For the base of the spindles, I used a small roller to get the paint spread out nice and smooth. It takes about a full day to get all of the spindles and base painted (I did two coats), and it looks so much better than before. I let it dry completely, and painted the second coat the next day. It was a white before, but it had more yellow in it, and this time we went with a much crisper white. The white on the stair railing is Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace; it is what we will use for our trim too. I’m still debating if I want to put a polyurethane coat on it or just leave it as is. It didn’t have a polyurethane coat before, so I’m leaning towards doing without it. It’s quality paint in semi-gloss, so it should be pretty easy to keep clean. If you have any tips regarding this (I’m a total newbie), do share.

I will have another post to share of what I learned painting the upstairs and the white I chose for those walls.

You can see a bit of our stained carpet, but I’m happy that in about a week, the stains will be gone and we will have pretty wood floors in its place. I can’t wait to share all the after pictures!


rattan mirrors

Since we are doing some home renovating, I’ve got lots of decorating on my mind. I’ve always adored vintage French rattan mirrors and was considering one for one of the girls’ rooms. A few months ago, I saw Target carried one that looks just like the vintage ones, and it recently went on clearance. I texted Ben to see if he liked it or if he would rather have a vintage one. Unfortunately though, he was “eh” about them. Then, he said if a Target one looks just like a vintage one, then it’s probably not unique enough. I chuckled at his response, and while he’s not wild about the mirrors, I still like them.

First one below is this vintage one and the second one is this one from Target. Would you do vintage (and pay more) or just pick up the Target one?

image above via the jungalow.


hunting for a wardrobe

We have this long hallway upstairs with some built in cabinets (and desk area) on one side. The builders intended the space to be computer area, but we don’t use it as such. We use the cabinets to store towels, blankets, and pillows, but they are kind of shallow and don’t store those things well. It has always been my intention that once we get wood floors in, to remove all the cabinets and put a wardrobe in its place, so now I’m on a hunt.

I love the DIY-ed one above (details on the Jungalow), but not sure I could do it. I’ve completed painting all 5 rooms (woot! woot!), but the idea of painting furniture intimidates me, especially if it’s dark wood. When it comes to vintage things, I love them as is, and every time I buy a piece with an intention to paint it, I never get to it. I was debating the two options below (top from west elm, bottom from shop found), but we kind of wish the West Elm piece had head to toe cabinets (we like the idea of a wardrobe the girls can hide in because we are reading through the Narnia series). That old one looks cool, but Ben isn’t wild about it. I started looking through Craigslist and saw a couple options, but nothing that made me dance. I am resolved to be patient until I find just the perfect piece.

top photo source: fiona galbraith for the jungalow


redecorating their shared room

We’re in the midst of renovating things upstairs, and I’m going to redecorate True and Brave’s shared room while they are gone in Texas, but I’m so stuck on bed placement. I moved the beds back to be side to side, but not sure if I really like it like that. Their drawers are starting to fall apart and need some fixing, but I’m thinking of doing away with a dresser completely and just have all the items in the closet (I’m going back and forth on that too). I wouldn’t mind less stuff around. Also, while I love walking into the room and seeing our large French Favor poster, but I’m thinking of switching it to another wall in that room.

With all these changes, upstairs feels like a jumbled mess, which makes my brain feel like a jumbled mess too. I definitely have a bad case of mess stress right now, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. I’ll soon have clean white walls (upstairs) and pretty wood floors. I’m so excited!


photo booth pictures into a photo booth poster

We love photo booths over here. Once upon a time, Ben and I seriously considered purchasing a vintage one just to have in our home, but the maintenance stopped us. Thankfully, we go to Palm Springs and the county fair each year, so that’s where we get our photo booth fix in.

I scanned 4 photo booth strips, and used Photoshop to adjust the image to fit the size of the frame I had (I think it’s the largest one of this IKEA frame). Then, I took that file to get made into an engineering print at the local copy shop.

We have a long hallway upstairs that I want turn into a gallery wall of memories, but there was only one framed family picture on display downstairs. Ben had been asking me to put more family pictures up (he appreciates seeing family pictures on the walls displayed in people’s homes), so I thought a little collage of photo booth strips is just what this little wall needed.

We’ve blown up one square of a photo booth strip before, and we have that taped on a wall in our homeschooling room (see that one here). The girls have some things they want to enlarge and make into posters for their room (they are Star Wars and super heroes related), so we aren’t sick of making engineering prints just yet.


homeschooling and spring cleaning

While I homeschool 3 of them officially, Glow’s been expressing an interest in being part of homeschooling lately, so I’ve started doing more intentional learning lessons with her too. I’m thankful True and Brave are pretty much at the same level (makes my life a little bit easier), but it definitely takes juggling to cater to the 3 different stages the girls are at. We started off the year trying to include Glow, but she would zone out quickly, so I didn’t want to pressure her if she wasn’t ready. I would send her off to play (I believe a lot of learning is done in play too) and she would be nearby while the rest of us did school. Now though, I see she is paying more attention to what we are doing and wants to be part of it. It’s made my mornings a bit more full, but it’s exciting to see her interested.

The day I have Soul and Glow completely reading on their own, I’m definitely going to do a happy dance and treat myself to ice cream (or shoes). I thought reading was going to be the most difficult thing for me to teach, but math is where we have had the most obstacles. It’s been better lately and we all have grown to like math a little bit more (thanks to Life of Fred). With the end of the school year not too far from now, I’m starting to think about curriculum for next year. I was thinking about trying out a math curriculum with a video component. If any of you have any suggestions of math programs you have had success with, I would love to hear.

The girls’ rooms drive me a little batty because it isn’t the “clean” that I would like, but it is really cute to see their personalities come out in their spaces. Obviously, you know my girls love Star Wars, and Brave is really into super heroes, Rey and Spider-Man are her favorites (I love all the things she has taped up next to her bed). I’m in the mood to do some reorganizing and slight redecorating in their rooms. I’ve definitely been bitten by that spring cleaning bug. Anyone else get bit too?


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