I have a horrible little secret. We hoard paint cans over here as if they were going out of style. Every size, shape, color – even long after that little label from the paint store begins to wear off from old age and we can no longer read the brand, sheen or color composite – still we hoard. Our paint cabinet overfloweth.
When Color-Glide Pro reached out to me regarding their new brushless paint sample tubes (that you fill and label yourself to keep on hand for little touch up projects) a little light in my head went off and I began dreaming of a certain over flowing cabinet suddenly becoming empty and clean. I screen product reviews here pretty thoroughly and I often don’t take on a project that I don’t think will fit in line with how we work on home projects or ones that won’t jive well with the blog. BUT this particular sample landed in my inbox with perfect timing. I’ve been imagining a product just like this and if they hadn’t invented this genius of a little squirt tube, I would have been on it like a fly to honey. It’s that smart.
Here is just a wee selection of paint that a friend and I drug out of our garage a little while back to sort.
Then we opened up all of those cans, made notes on which paint belonged to which rooms (with lots of swatch testing going back and forth since the labels were all practically gone) and used the 10 or so pump + tubes that come with each Color-Glide Pro applicator to reorganize.
I loved that each tube had its own pump. You set the pump into the open can of paint and fill, fill, fill.
The tube is easily recycled afterwards (there would be no way for multiple colors to share the same tube, I thought about it but cleaning would be a mess).
The outside of the tube allows you to label the color name, brand or store, which room the paint is for, the sheen and any other details you’d like to add with a sharpie.
The best part? When it comes time to actually put the now nicely organized paint samples to use. We recently repaired two big plaster spots in our kitchen just a day or so before an appraiser was set to conduct a house tour (for a refinance that we’re in the middle of) and just hours before his arrival I quickly repainted the large blemishes using the brushless applicators in the Color-Glide Pro tubes.
Here’s an in-progress shot (though the paint is still wet in each photo and the texture of the walls makes it appear a little crazy). The end of the tube has a little felt applicator that you gently squeeze paint out onto (kind of like the automatic dish soap dispenser scrubber – do you use that too? – in your kitchen sink). No need for brushes or tape or cleaning of any kind, just shape the tube (there’s a little ball inside to mix everything up) squeeze a bit of paint out onto the felt applicator and rub onto your patch area. When finished, wipe off the felt and pop the plastic lid back on. The plastic lip on the applicator acts as a little barrier between raised surfaces and the paint so I didn’t actually tape off the light switches below, even though I was able to get a perfectly smooth line right along the edge.
Finished! The three different types of trim in the below picture are driving me crazy, but for now the paint looks awesome. Except maybe for where the wall meets ceiling, looks like I have a couple of spots to patch up now that the ceiling has been replastered as well…
I must confess that my paint cabinet in the garage still overfloweth – I had a hard time parting with near full gallons or quarts of paint that I *hope* to use on a future project. But now at the very front of my cabinet sit my paint tubes, ready and waiting for repairs in the house!
It’s nice to know that if we’re patching a hole where a picture frame used to hang in the dining room or replacing trim in the office, I can run out to the garage and grab the correct tube and quickly finish the project – sans all of the paint supplies and clean up that it used to involve (and therefore was always relegated to last on the to-do list).
Thank you to the folks over at Color-Glide Pro for suppling the brushless paint tube applicators for me to try out. Here’s a link to their website for more information and a plethora of application videos. You can also find a pack of four sample tubes available on Amazon with Prime shipping.
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Home, Product Review, Tips & Ideas | 3 Comments »
About a year ago I wrote a post on tips for traveling with babies and I thought I’d take a moment today to share a few thoughts on how that has transitioned into toddlerhood.
Here we are on the go back when traveling solo was as easy as an ergo! Okay… maybe with a few additional caveats . I travel plenty for work (back and forth from San Diego to a corporate office near San Francisco) and Liv gets to come with every time! It’s wonderful having family in that area.
But now Liv is two and our traveling needs have expanded. As have the tricks up my sleeve.
Traveling with toddlers. It’s one of those things that you can plan for, prepare for, agonize over, but you really don’t know how it will all play out until you’re there sitting on the plane, train or well on your way for a family roadtrip. I’ve been pretty fortunate with Liv, for the most part she’s an all-star traveller with few hiccups over the past two years, 50+ flights and I don’t even know how many miles we’ve logged for work, visiting Grandpas and Grandmas (each set at least a day’s drive away), and for vacation.
I think it’s safe to say that much of travelling is all in the mindset of the parent and what approach you take to packing your kids up to hit the road. If you don’t stress about a journey then it won’t be stressful, if you pretend it’s a necessary part of life your kids will feel that sense of calm and respond appropriately. But if you get overly anxious about an upcoming trip (or even, heaven forbid, avoid planning one because of kids) there’s almost a guaranteed level of wreckless nerves that will get in the way. In these situations, prior proper planning prevents… well, you know how it goes.
Here are also some sneaky tricks that I’ve learned to help make traveling easy, peasy!
1. Preparing for your trip. For kids that don’t travel often, the idea of a big airplane, train or long car trip might be daunting. We have the below Olivia book and Liv loves it. We also frequently point out airplanes and trains and talk about what its like to go on a journey.
2. Time to spare. Give yourself extra time for extra trips to the bathroom or extra long walks to gates, etc. Time is always my best friend. Liv and I have security lines at the airport down pat (take off shoes, pull carseat out of stroller, out comes the laptop from my carryon, snap stroller shut and slide through x-ray, unbuckle Liv, carseat facedown through x-ray…) but sometimes you can’t anticipate the unnecessary gaps and waits and it’s far better to enjoy a Starbucks treat on the other side rather than race (oh we have ran, we have ran. I have played the baby card.).
Now that we have to purchase a seat for Liv I bring our Combi carseat on board (which fits perfectly in our BOB and is the only compact toddler carseat I know that can travel so darn easily. Plus it’s super light. Light carseat is key!) There are so many great carseats brands out there that are very heavy and very difficult to haul around (let along down an airplane aisle solo) but if you have one of those guys, give something like this a try so that you can still pull toddler around the airport and move carseat easily. I’ve also heard great reviews for this product. Be sure to double check that your carseat will fit on the airplane and is one that is FAA certified. I did much research before purchasing the Combi carseat and I am pretty sure it’s the only toddler sized carseat that fits comfortably into a stroller.
If you travel sans a large stroller like we did when we went abroad (we brought this smaller Maclaren with us instead – great travel stroller!) and choose to bag check your carseat, here’s a solution you might try if your child is still under one.
7. When flying internationally, go bulkhead. Call ahead and reserve that sweet little section at the front of each compartment of the plane. You’ll appreciate the extra floor room when they get ancy and want to spread out.
8. Plan around sleeptime. This is awesome for car rides if you have toddler/baby that sleeps easily in the car. We try to time our lengthier car trips for right around 2pm (Liv’s nap) or late at night when I know that the sway of the car will put her fast to sleep. When she wakes up, we’ve made significant progress! Sometimes this works like a charm for plane flights and sometimes it backfires (picture the suuuper tired toddler who just can’t fall asleep – Liv’s only a super plane sleeper if she’s in her carseat or attached to me via an ergo, if she’s flying without either chances are she’ll be awake for the duration).
9. Take advantage of take off. In my experience, the only chance of little one falling asleep while flying is during the assent to 10,000 feet. Use the trip down the runway as a chance to softly sing songs, stroke eyebrows or do whatever else it might take to send baby off to dreamland. As soon as those wheels leave the ground the change in cabin pressure will magically cause eyelids to flutter.
10. Toys are overrated. Sure, a favorite toy or a new novelty game can keep a toddler entertained for a bit, but if you were to pack enough toys to entertain for an entire journey (airport, airplane, car, train, you name it), you’d be lugging around a bag the size of your suitcase. I love the idea of giving little wrapped gifts throughout a long plane flight as a way to distract – but the thought of carrying all of those gifts around on vacation for the flight home sounds like a waste of precious suitcase space.
Instead, I like to let Liv pack her small backpack with her choice of a doll, crayons (triangular crayons can help to keep you from retrieving rolled drawing utensils from under your neighbor’s seat), sticker book (Liv LOVES sticker books, keeps toddlers occupied for a long time), a little ball of playdough in a ziplock bag or an eye-spy game (like Where’s Waldo) for slightly older kids. We pack one or two books as last-ditch resources because they can be read over and over with different made up games to play (searching for animals or squares or the color pink). But the rule is that it all must fit in her backpack.
Very favorite game to pack? Sticker books!! Seriously, airplane/car/train gold.
11. Technology. Let’s face it, regardless of how great we are at keeping our kids from soaking in hours of television on a regular basis at home, travel is the one opportunity to cash in on all of that missed opportunity. I have three short videos on my iPad that Liv gets to look forward to when we travel and she can amazingly watch the same one 5 times without getting bored! As a special treat, sometimes I’ll download a new episode and her eyes light up when she finds it inflight. My favorites: Backyardigans and Blues Clues for toddlers. When she’s a little older with a longer attention span we might move on to Disney or Pixar movies, and maybe even iPad apps. We’ve experimented with headphones and my favorites are anything inexpensive, small, and that fits like a headband over the ears (rather than earbuds).
When we traveled over to Europe, Liv had a five minute attention span for videos. This is when learning how to take pictures with the iPad or playing silly interactive apps can help pass time. We once survived an entire flight just by rereading the safety manual (you know, the plastic one in the back of everyone’s seat) while looking at different pictures, colors and that sort of thing.
12. Last but not least, be kind to other travelers. As much as I love traveling with a toddler, it can be tough to sit next one on a long flight. I usually aim to sit in the middle or the back of the plane (that’s where the rest of the families congregate), watch Liv’s feet vigilantly for accidental kicks to the seat in front of us (you’d be surprised at how few parents catch this, Liv and I have a special ‘legs up!’ rule where she has to keep her legs folded up into her carseat for the trip, otherwise she can’t help but throw an excited kick out when she sees something fun), and quiet voices are a must. There’s nothing like traveling next to a four year old who constantly yells ‘clouds!’ or ‘mom, more juice!’. On crowded flights we often look for nice looking grandmas to share our aisle with, too .
We’ve since kicked the binkie habit, but here’s the little traveler sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the ride.
There you have it! A few thoughts on traveling with a toddlers. I love, LOVE to travel with Liv and her joining our family has not stopped or deterred roadtrips, airplane rides, you name it. We are hoping that travel becomes a natural part of her life.
Posted in Family & Friends, Olivia, Tips & Ideas, Travel, Travel Adventures | 5 Comments »
Do you ever puzzle over which type of paint should go where? Flat or gloss for the kitchen? What type of roller for the cabinets? Should I invest in a synthetic or natural brush for latex paint? To prime or not to prime (that is the question). I am always quizzing the paint desk folks at my local home improvement store with questions like these.
This in mind, here’s a cheat sheet that I’ve put together with the help of paint specialists Nicole Jones and Kimberle Greene of Olympic Paint. Olympic teamed up with us to paint the exterior of our home and I have been blown away by their helpfulness and expertise with the project!
This post includes super helpful tips on topics such as how to choose your brush type, when and where to prime, and even stain application suggestions for wood makeovers.
But because I’m all about a visual cheat sheet, if I could wrap all of the paint sheen tips into one graphic that would be easy to pin, print out for a trip to the store or post on my bulletin board, here it is:
Now I need to process all of that through my long term memory asap. But first, let’s jump into the full Q&A with Nicole and Kim!
Let’s start off with a frequently asked question… what are your tips for high traffic areas and living spaces?
Flat to satin for most rooms depending on how busy your home is and satin/semi-gloss for bathrooms, kitchens and kids rooms or even laundry rooms. When choosing the right paint for a project, it is important to consider the durability attributes of the paint and sheen. Typically, the higher the sheen, the higher the durability; therefore, satin and semi-gloss sheens are usually recommended for high-traffic areas where the paint finish needs to withstand multiple scrubbings and resist staining. Super-premium paints like Olympic ONE, however, have advanced durability benefits like superior scrub and stain resistance in all sheens.
What about bathrooms and kitchens?
In high-moisture environments, like kitchens and baths, rooms require paint with mildew-resistance. Some paint lines have kitchen & bath specialty products and some paint lines offer mildew-resistance in all sheens. In the Olympic line, our ONE paint has mildew-resistance in all sheens and is appropriate for high-moisture areas, and we also offer Premium Kitchen & Bath Semi-Gloss.
Lets talk about ceilings and trim work for a moment.
Flat works best for ceilings, however if you’re painting a bathroom, kitchen or kid’s room a semi-gloss may be more appropriate considering the high levels of moisture and or accidents that can occur in these areas. The higher you go in sheen, the easier it will be to clean. Though, if there are problem areas, flat will be best in all cases (glossy paint tends to accentuate flaws such as uneven walls or textures).
Satin and semi-gloss sheens are great for trim. Though if using Olympic ONE interior paint, any sheen could work including flat for those that prefers no sheen.
What type of paint do you recommend for furniture?
A satin to high gloss sheen of paint will work great here. First however, if there is an existing coating of varnish or lacquered paint finish that already exists on the piece, sanding and priming may be required to dull/remove the sealer or glossiness and prepare the surface prior to painting. NOTE: The paint finish should be allowed to cure (dry) fully prior to everyday use.
When and where must we prime, and when can we skip it?
When in doubt of whether or not to use a primer the first test that can be performed is the water test. In an inconspicuous area spray some water on the wall. If the water absorbs quickly, a primer will be needed. If the water beads and rolls down the wall without much penetration a primer may not be needed. However, if not sure whether latex or alkyd paint is currently on the wall, another test can be performed using nail polish remover (acetone). Apply a small amount of the nail polish remover to a cloth and wipe the wall in a circular motion. If the paint comes off onto the cloth, then the current coating is latex. If the paint does not come off on the cloth, then the current coating is alkyd. When applying a latex coating over an alkyd coating, a primer is recommended.
A primer is also recommended when dealing with the following:
-Difficult stains such as water marks or smoke
-Visible debris, oils etc.
-Shifting from an extremely dark color to a n an extremely light color
I’ve recently been experimenting with staining wood to bring it back to its natural brilliance, any suggestions for this process?
Make sure that the surface is clean. If any sanding or puttying is needed, be sure to take care of it before applying the first coat. Always keep a wet edge, in other words once you start be sure to complete the entire area before stopping to take a break (i.e. if you’re staining a chair and you start on the back, complete the back before moving to another section). After applying the stain use a varnish or polyurethane to seal it and provide a protective finish.
If I’m attempting to hide wall stains (not mold or water damage but more of the kid’s marker/previous home owner variety), what do you suggest?
If you’re referring to stains such as dirt, oil, marker etc. spot priming would be fine so that the stains are sealed in and don’t bleed through the paint finish.
We recently tackled the exterior of our home and learned quite a bit from Heather, our Olympic paint rep. What are your thoughts for choosing exterior sheens?
For exteriors, flat and satin are typically recommended for siding. Flat is less likely to show imperfections. Semi-gloss and gloss are recommended for accents (such as shutters) and trim – the higher sheen allows these architectural details to pop. It is also important to consider a paint that will resist dirt, mildew, cracking and peeling to provide a longer lasting finish. Additionally, super-premium exterior paints can “bridge” hairline cracks, helping provide a smoother finish when painting over old paint. In the Olympic line, our Premium Exterior paint features a proprietary technology called Dirtguard™ that helps rain naturally wash away dirt and grime, keeping siding cleaner longer, in addition to offering the other properties that help provide a longer lasting finish.
Lets talk about tools. When should I use an angled brush, foam brush, roller, etc? Natural, synthetic, nylon, foam – there are so many choices?
Use a brush (2 ½” angle brush to cut-in the walls (paint the edges and corners)) or for painting trim. Be sure to use the appropriate brush with the product i.e. if your painting using a latex based paint, then you would not want to use a natural bristle hair brush because the filaments will swell and make it difficult to paint. A synthetic blend or nylon will be best.
Quick brush guide:
-Use a foam brush or roller when painting super smooth surfaces (cabinets)
-Use a roller to paint in the remaining unpainted area once cutting in is complete. The roller will allow you to cover more area and at a faster pace than brushing alone.
-The type of roller will vary by the smoothness or roughness of the substrate. Smoother walls/substrates will require a shorter nap (3/16”, 3/8”) whereas a semi-rough to plaster wall may require a 1/2” nap or more.
-Rags are appropriate for staining. There are also brushes that are specific to staining.
Thank you so much, Kimberle and Nicole!
Images can be found at Olympic.com and BHG.com
Tags: Construction, Decorating, DIY, Home, Paint, Tutorial
Posted in Construction, Crafty Solutions, DIY, Favorites, Guest Blog, Guest Post, Home, Project Lowe's, Renovating Adventures, Tips & Ideas | 5 Comments »