Seasonal maintenance + ACE card giveaway.

I am part of the ACE Hardware blogging panel which sponsored this post and product. 

A few weeks ago I announced my joining the ACE blogger team. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with them.  I’ve always felt that ACE has the mom-and-pop shop feel which has gone by the way side.  Every time I walk in I’m always greeted by someone eager to help and walk me to where I need to be.  No wandering through a store trying to figure out where things are and what they’re used for.  Quality products + helpful employees.  Fist bump ACE!

Today I get to kick off my first ACE sponsored project.  Our task this month was to complete a project centered around weatherizing your home.  I decided it was high time to give some attention to all the wood trim on the exterior of our home.  As the temperatures fluctuate from season to season the wood on your home expands and contracts.  Unfortunately it can leave your once perfect seams and joints separated.  Three years ago we updated the front exterior of our home by adding a column and siding to the bay window.

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Everything was perfectly built, caulked, sealed and painted at that time.
Fast forward to 2015 you can see just how much damage changing temperatures and a little bit of seasonal weather has caused…

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The wood trim has come apart everywhere on the house.  Our house has started to venture in to the frumpy zone.

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The cracks around our new windows has also allowed air to come in making it not very energy efficient.

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Another problem we’ve encountered is nesting insects.

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While inspecting all the cracked and separated trim we found that bees had begun to make a hive under a section of hollow trim.
Suffice it to say there was an “Oh he$@ no!” uttered.

Fortunately, repairing separating trim is really not that difficult with a few simple steps.

Repair and recaulk wood trim

1. Cut as much existing caulk away as possible.  This can be done with a utility knife.
2. Remove any other debris and dirt from the area.
3. Sand all flaking paint and uneven surfaces.  Wipe and clean well.
(Use caution when sanding paint that may have been applied prior to 1978 as it may be lead based and can cause very serious health problems).
4. Using some exteirior caulk apply a bead down the cracked surface.
5. I picked up some Dap Clear Caulk at my local ACE Hardware.  You can also use white or paintable caulk depending on your surface.
6.  I use my wet finger to smooth down the caulk in to the crack which makes a tight seal.  After it has dried, reapply if necessary so there are no other cracks.
7.  Once the caulk as dried you can paint.
“Caulk and paint make a carpenter what he ain’t”.

Re-caulking around windows is especially important.

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Brand new windows don’t make that big of a difference if they aren’t sealed properly around the frame.

After seeing just how much the wood trim has separated we’ve now officially added this task to our spring and fall yearly maintenance list.

ACE Hardware wants help you weatherize your home by giving one lucky reader a $100.00 gift card to their store.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Painting the stair banister.

Post Christmas I typically go in to hibernation mode and try and survive the rest of the cold, dark winter.  However, winter in the west has felt more like spring.  Today I went out and watered the tulips that have started to grow.  I know, right!? Our dry state desperately needs to the snow but it’s hard to curse the sun.  As a result I’ve come out of hibernation a bit early and am feeling an extra pang to get started on some spring cleaning and creative projects.

My first “out-of-hibernation” project involved myself.  If you follow us on Instagram you saw that we went down to Vegas for the Rugby 7’s Tournament.  I also revealed that I cut off almost all my hair when I was having a particularly daring moment at the salon…it’s liberating to rid my neck of all that hair but I can’t lie…still trying to adjust.

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While in Vegas my dad made himself right at home and surprised us with a little “DID” project (Do-It-Dad), not be confused with “DIY”.
Forever I’ve been talking about making changes to this stair wall and banister.

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It’s old, it’s wobbly and it really dates the house.  For the past 3 years I’ve had it on my to-do list to replace it with something much more up-to-date.  My dad suggested I paint it but it just seemed like one of those massively tedious projects that I love to procrastinate.  Well, sweet guy that he is did it for me as a Valentine’s Day gift.

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He taped and tarped the entire space then spray painted those old spindles.  The top hand rail got a coat of black paint.  Amazing what a little paint can do.  I’m even more motivated to now to get on to the planking project that will go behind the banister.

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We all took a vote and decided that the first larger spindle needs to be black, not white.  That will be next weekend (where I will also be de-cluttering that magnet board).

Even though I didn’t do the project myself I do have a few tips…
1. Air the house out when using spray paint. While spray paint is a great choice for all the nooks and crannied on the spindles it stinks. Bad. Think spring or summer when you can keep the doors and windows open for a long time.
2. Tape really well. You can see in the next picture there was quite of bit of overspray that we’ll have to go back and touch up.

It’s been a few days and the smell has finally dissipated.  I still plan to eventually change the entire banister out but until that time this nifty paint job will hold us over.

What out-of-hibernation projects do you have planned for the spring?

Vintage framed arrows.

I’m pleased to announce that I have joined a fabulously creative group of bloggers to be a part of ACE Hardware Blogger Panel!

Blogger pannel

As a part of this panel we will be bringing you monthly home improvement and decorating projects.

I’m really excited about my first project which involves our little men’s bunk room.
It’s been layered with white on top of white on top of white.  Now it has touches of yellow, yellow and more yellow…the perfect color for their personalities.

I wanted to share a sneak peek of one of the projects I completed to spice things up in there.

Last March, during a sleepless night I found myself perusing Etsy.  I came across the coolest vintage arrows.  At the time I didn’t know what I was going to do with them but a week later they were shipped to my doorstep.

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They sat in my closet all this time but finally I knew they would be perfect for my little men’s room re-fresh.  The question was how to display them?  After some brainstorming I decided to frame them.  Luckily Ikea sells a white frame called the Norrlida for $9.99 that was (almost) long enough to fit the arrows (I had to cut the arrows down a few inches and re-attach the tips).

The question was…how was I going to incorporate some yellow to tie it together with the rest of the decor I had planned?  My first thought was to have a custom yellow photo mat cut but custom-anything is expensive.  Instead I used some Delicate Frog Tape I picked up from ACE to simply tape off a yellow border.

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First, I arranged my arrows on the mat that came with the frame and added a bead of hot glue to secure them.

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Next, I took my Frog Tape and taped off a border directly on the mat.

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I cut the edges of the tape at a 45 degree angle with a razor blade to make it look similar to the frame corners.

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I would have liked to find a frame / shadow box deep enough to accommodate the arrows and have the glass over the top but I felt lucky enough to find an affordable frame long enough to fit the arrows.  After all said and done they looked great as-is.

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Who said picture frames were just for pictures?

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Vintage framed arrows.
Stay tuned for the rest of the reveal coming soon!

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