Menu Banner
  1. Thursday, January 30

    How to Paint Old Wood Paneling

    Today I have a great tip for easily painting old wood paneling. Yes, it’s easy! Well, as easy as painting a wall can be, which isn’t always necessarily easy, but you get the drift. It’s easier than you think to transform those ugly brown 1960s wood panels!

    how to paint old wood paneling from @janemaynard

    Every day I thank my lucky stars we found the house that we did. It was older, like we wanted, but updated, like we also wanted. And it’s almost impossible to find a normal-priced house in San Diego these days, so we really are lucky we snagged this home! Also, there is very little work that needs to be done on the house, which has alleviated a lot of stress. Honestly, I’m just not made for doing lots of renovations. I know some people love it, but I’m not one of those people!

    The very first thing we did when we got keys to the house and before we moved in was take out the popcorn ceilings and pull out the kitchen cabinet that separated the dining area from the kitchen. I am SO glad we did both of those things! 

    kitchen before shot from @janemaynardKitchen before cabinet removal and the new dishwasher

    kitchen after cabinet removed from @janemaynardKitchen after – removing the cabinet opened up the whole room and made the counter feel so much bigger.

    There were two other things we also thought we would do before moving in – painting or removing the 1960s wood paneling in the living room and putting in hardwood floors in the dining room and hallway. Well, time and money arrived at the meeting and changed all our plans, as they so often do. The battle with my white carpet continues. Right now I’ve got it enough under control that we can go on a little longer before doing the floor thing. But over the holiday break I got the painting bug and decided to attack the living room wall.

    living room before shot, completely with 1960s wood paneling from @janemaynard

    Here is what the living room looked like when we moved in, complete with wood paneling, dated brown shelves and pleated drapes. To be clear, this is the kind of wood paneling that is a thin layer tacked to the wall, not actual solid wood walls. You know what I’m talking about. Anyway, we took the drapes down upon moving in, but left the shelves and wall alone. Honestly, I kind of got used to it. The wall and shelves were neutral in color so it wasn’t a big deal. But the fact of the matter is that it dated the room and made it feel darker. 

    living room before shot, completely with 1960s wood paneling from @janemaynard

    A friend of ours is a professional painter and I asked him about painting the paneling. For some reason I thought it would be hard to do and wondered if it was even possible. Don said, “No, it’s easy. And, no, you don’t have to prep the surface at all.” He then told me what to do, which I will share with you in a moment.

    Picking the Colors
    After much hemming and hawing, we decided to leave the brick unpainted and I put together a color scheme that would work with the red-orange of the brick as well as our furniture. I decided to go with a green wall. Red and green are complimentary colors and I figured if I got the right shade of green it wouldn’t at all feel Christmasy but instead warm and inviting. I went with a darker, muted green and it worked beautifully. For the shelves I decided to go with white so that it would tie in with the baseboards. I found as close a match to the white of the baseboards as I could and it worked out well.

    So, did Don’s trick for painting the paneling work? YES!

    how to paint old wood paneling from @janemaynard

     

    How to paint old wood paneling:

    • Buy good-quality paint. Don recommends Behr.
    • Use interior paint and primer in one. I chose flat enamel for my finish to contrast with the semi-gloss paint I was using on the white shelves. I really like how the flat enamel looks on the wood paneling and it “clings” well to the wall. Depending on your needs, I’m sure something more glossy would look good as well, although I haven’t tried it. (I would definitely not use flat or hi-gloss finishes. The flat would feel awful, whereas the flat enamel has a good feel to it. And I hi-gloss would be too glossy for a wall.)
    • Tape off the edges and paint the wall! For the darker paint I had to do 2 coats. If you use a lighter color you may need to do more. 
    • Don swore to me I didn’t need to sand or anything, so we didn’t. Margaret in comment #1 below did share a good tip, as she’s been through the process before. She recommends doing a light sanding and then wiping down with tack cloth before painting, just to really ensure the integrity of the paint job. In all honesty, a light sanding is not too time consuming, so if you feel up for it, I would maybe do that, too. My paneling was NOT super shiny, so that may be why Don said I didn’t need to do it, so if your wood paneling has more of a sheen, give it a quick sanding and wipe down with that yucky tack cloth. 

    That’s it! The old 1960s wood paneled surface took to the paint perfectly. It has a nice feel and the paint is on there good. 

    Don told me to use the same paint and technique for the shelves, which I did. The shelves had a different finish than the wood paneling and, I think if you took a knife or a key or something to the surface you might be able to scrape the paint off. It would take a little elbow grease, but the paint isn’t as “secure” as it is on the wood paneling. That said, it still worked great and I would do it the same way again.

    how to paint old wood paneling from @janemaynard

    Side note: If I had painted the shelves and wall the same color my life would have been a LOT easier. If you ever decide to do a two-tone paint job like this, just know it will cause you great aggravation! But I think in the end the hard work paid off. I’m really glad the shelves are white and I like the contrast. Just make sure to use the orange painter’s tape that is made for newly painted surfaces.

    how to paint old wood paneling from @janemaynard

    The living room is coming along! Here is what we’ve done so far and what is still to come!

    • The curtain panels and curtain rod are from Cost Plus World Market
    • The painting is also from Cost Plus. I love it because it ties in all of the colors together perfectly.
    • I ordered a new corner media cabinet yesterday from Crate and Barrel and am so excited for it to arrive in a week or so! (You can barely see it, but our current media cabinet is from almost 15 years ago and isn’t made for a corner, so I can’t wait to get it out of there! It’s in the bottom right of the picture above.)
    • We found a great local furniture store called Nativa last weekend and I’m going to be getting two arm chairs from there, to go on either side of the window, opposite of the couch. One chair will be a dark, muted blue and the other is a really fun print that also incorporates the green-blue-reddishorange thing we’ve got going on.
    • I almost forgot! I finally color coordinated the books on our shelves (most of them, at least) and LOVE IT. My OCD side had a hard time mixing up different genres of books, but the artistic side of me is really glad I ignored the OCD side.

    I need to give a shout out to my interior design friend Emily, who gets constant texts and phone calls from me making sure that the decisions we’re making aren’t crazytown. So far she’s been on board with everything! Except that she wants me to paint the whole room green. I’m still suffering from PTSD from this paint job, so we’ve gotta give that suggestion some time to percolate.


  2. Monday, December 9

    Why I Am Head-Over-Heels In Love with My Carpet Cleaning Machines {Giveaway!}

    This giveaway is now closed, but keep reading to learn about some really great carpet cleaning tools and to find out the winner!

    holiday gifts & giveaways on thisweekfordinner.com

    Happy Monday! Time for more Gifts & Giveaways!

    Let’s talk carpet Remember my non-camo carpets? This is the them if you would like a refresher:

    white carpet | thisweekfordinner.com

    This lovely almost white carpet is in our ENTIRE HOUSE. The bathrooms are tile as well as the kitchen part of the kitchen (you know, where you cook), but the rest of the house is blanketed in snow, including the dining area where our everyday kitchen table resides.

    If I had no kids and lived alone, I think I might actually love this carpet. But, alas, this is not the case. I was pretty terrified of this carpet when we bought the house and told Nate that the very first thing we had to do before moving in was put hardwood floors in the dining area. But, then, uh, yeah. We spent all of our money on the house, so here we are. White carpet in the dining room! Woo-hoo!

    BISSELL DeepClean Premiere Carpet Cleaner Review & Giveaway | thisweekfordinner.com

    When we moved into our house, I had a BISSELL SpotBot that I received at one of my SocialLuxe Lounge parties. When I first received the SpotBot, we lived in a house with tile, so I never used it. But I can’t tell you how glad I am that I hung onto it anyway. When we moved into this house, I was really happy I had that little machine, but little did I know just how handy it would become. I use it all the time. For example, one of my kids splattered chocolate all over the floor under the kitchen table. I grabbed the SpotBot and it was NO BIG DEAL. I’m telling you, it’s a dream.

    But as much as I love my SpotBot for quick clean-ups, we have large areas of carpet that need to be cleaned fairly regularly, especially the hallway and dining room. I got in touch with BISSELL to see if they had a machine they would recommend and they kindly sent me the DeepClean Premier upright carpet cleaner.

    I don’t think I can express how delighted I was when my new carpet cleaner arrived. And it has worked GREAT. I personally love owning  my own carpet cleaner rather than needing to call and schedule cleaning with a professional carpet cleaning service. Like I mentioned, some areas of the carpet need cleaning very regularly, but other parts of the carpet do not. I love that I can do the hallway and dining room several times a year as needed. The flexibility is great and I don’t have to constantly pay for carpet cleanings.

    And that is why I am head-over-heels in love with my carpet cleaning machines.

    If you’re looking for a big ticket gift item for a clean freak, someone with white carpet and kids, someone with pets and carpet, or someone who just really likes clean carpet, I can recommend both the DeepClean Premier and the SpotBot, depending on your needs. I love them both!

    UPDATE 3/16/16: I LOVE my upright Bissell carpet cleaner and use it regularly. It does a great job cleaning the floors and I seriously love having it, especially with my light carpets. I’ve been seeing these at Costco lately. In fact, our piano teacher bought one and is equally as in love as I am. I highly recommend it! Side note: I ended up getting rid of the small spot bot because I found it to be a bit redundant. I also did a poor job cleaning out the hose the first time I used it and it got SUPER gross, so make sure you rinse the hoses with clean water after every use! If you don’t want a huge carpet cleaner, though, that Spot Bot is super handy and works great.

    Giveaway time! One of you lucky people will win a BISSELL DeepClean Premier upright carpet cleaner (retail value $199.99)!

    BISSELL DeepClean Premiere Upright Carpet Cleaner Review & Giveaway | thisweekfordinner.com

    Here is how to enter the giveaway (comments must be posted by Midnight PT on Sunday, 12/15/13. Prize must be shipped to a U.S. address):

    In addition to my giveaway, starting today BISSELL is doing 12 Days of Messes on their Facebook page, where they are highlighting 12 “classic” holiday messes, solutions for cleaning those messes, and, of course, more giveaways! Just visit their Facebook page to find out more.

    Good luck! Happy Cleaning!

    The winner of this giveaway was comment #254 Vic Herreria, who said, “My dog Diego would love this!” More power to Vic if he can get Diego to learn how to use the machine! 😉 Congrats, Vic!

     BISSELL provided me with product to review for this post. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.


  3. Thursday, September 5

    Shopping for a Gas Grill: Share Your Tips!

    One of the very best features of our new house is the back patio. The landscaping in the yard is beautiful, complete with lighting at night, and the patio is large with a beautiful pergola, from which I will be hanging twinkle lights.

    shopping for a grill | back patio view | thisweekfordinner.com

    Ever day I count my lucky stars that we ended up getting this home. The previous owner lived here forever and took such good care of the home, looking out for every detail. Once such detail that we discovered a week or two after moving in was the gas line wired out to the patio. How cool is that?

    shopping for a grill | back patio view | thisweekfordinner.comThe gas line comes up on the left side of the patio, near the post you see on the left in this photo.

    I never thought a gas line could look so beautiful, but it does!

    shopping for a grill | built in gas line | thisweekfordinner.com

    Over the next few months we are going to be working with Lowe’s to put in a grill and an outdoor shower in our fabulous new yard. We have started the planning process and I am really itching to get the grill installed!

    I started browsing the Lowe’s website yesterday to see what’s available before we hit the store, and I honestly felt a bit overwhelmed. I figure if I feel overwhelmed, other people must, too! And I know that some of you have knowledge and opinions about gas grills that would be very beneficial for the clueless ones among us.

    So, we’re doing a Call for Recipes, except there are no recipes involved! Today we are calling for your tips and advice when shopping for a gas grill! Which features are “must-have” and which are not so important? What do you love most about your grill? What do you hate most about your grill? Any and all tips at all different budget levels are welcome!


  4. Friday, July 12

    House Stuff: Meet My Camo Counters and My Non-Camo Carpets

    We bought our house from an elderly woman who lived here for years and years. We are really lucky because she loved her home and spared no expense when making updates. There are a few things we could do if we really cared, but, honestly, the house is completely move-in ready and comfortable the way it is.

    The first thing we did, though, was take out the acoustic (a.k.a. popcorn) ceilings. Our new house is actually 45 years old, so, you know, it’s got some 45-year-old features. We had the ceilings done before we moved in since it’s pretty messy. For the most part it was an easy process and not too expensive, although we have to keep calling the ceiling guy back to fix bubbling spots he missed. I pray I never have to do any real construction because, holy smokes, there is always something with those guys! We hardly did any work and still…I can’t even imagine doing a big project!

    Anyway, back to the woman who owned our house. She remodeled the kitchen about 10 years ago and, while I may have picked different colors, she did a really nice job and everything is very neutral and high quality. The kitchen is great and I have been reeeeeeallllly happy using it! We have some appliance updating to do (more on that in future blog posts!), but other than that, I am loving the kitchen.

    I do need to take a moment, however, to introduce you to my granite countertops.

    camouflage granite countertops | thisweekfordinner.com

    My new counters have a very special talent: camouflage. I’m not exaggerating when I say you absolutely cannot see ANYTHING on the counter surface. No matter what color the debris or crumbs, light or dark, it all just blends in. Even when you look closely. It’s almost magical.

    The jury is still out on whether or not camo counters are a good thing. On the plus-side, they always look clean no matter what is going on. Big bonus! On the minus-side, they always look clean no matter what is going on. I mean, I could live in absolute squalor and never know it. (Well, unless I touched them!) Does anyone else have camo counters? Should I be grateful for them or curse their existence? I can’t decide!

    Regardless of the camouflage abilities, I am just so happy the counters are not tile. Tile counters NEVER look clean and the last 6 months with tile was just one constant battle with crumbs. I will never voluntarily get tile counters. EVER.

    My mother-in-law is getting Wilsonart HD counters installed at her home very soon. I’ll definitely report back on how those turn out and how we all like them! They are definitely more affordable than something like granite, and they have a lot of great features.

    white carpet | thisweekfordinner.com

    Now I need to introduce you to my carpets. While my counters may camouflage everything on their surface, our carpets most decidedly do not have this ability. The previous owner obviously spent a lot of money on the carpet because it’s really high quality. But it is also white. SO EXCITED. White carpets are going to be AWESOME with three kids! Especially in the area where the kitchen table goes. WOOHOO! {Insert sarcastic emoticon.}

    Eventually we want to put some hardwood floors in the living room, dining area and hallway. If anyone has advice or products they liked for putting in hard floors, please share!

    Last year for SocialLuxe Lounge, Bissell was one of our platinum sponsors, sharing the Spot Bot deep cleaner with the bloggers at the party. I received a Spot Bot for free, which I was super excited about. But then we didn’t really live in places where I could use it. Until now! Hello, white carpets! Meet the Spot Bot!

    For real, I love this thing. It’s super easy to use and it does a great job getting the spots and stains out of the carpet. Once I got started, I became a stain-fighting fanatic. I had to stop myself from doing the whole house so I could get other tasks done!

    I need to go get cooking in my new kitchen! We are doing a small housewarming-and-happy-birthday-Nate party tonight – our first party in the new house! Wish me luck!


  5. Sunday, June 23

    Week 335 Menu

    Hey everybody! Okay, so my menu this week is gonna kinda be lame. The house is a disaster, with boxes and piles everywhere you turn. And we are doing the actually moving on Saturday, so we’ll definitely be eating out for a few days!

    removing kitchen cabinets | thisweekfordinner.com

    cabinets before

    We spent a little time at the new house this weekend and took out some overhead cabinets in the kitchen that divided the dining and kitchen areas. I can’t believe the difference taking those cabinets out made! The room feels bigger, the countertop feels bigger, there’s more light…it’s just BETTER. We lost some shelving but it was worth it. Along the wall to the right of the window above the sink, we’ll either put a cabinet on the wall, hang pots and pans from the ceiling or do a spice rack of some kind. Suggestions welcome!

    Here’s my semi lame-o menu.

    MONDAY:
    Grammy’s Orange Chicken

    TUESDAY:
    Waffles

    WEDNESDAY:
    Turkey Boursin Baguettes

    THURSDAY – SUNDAY:
    – Eat out, sandwiches, cereal, whatever!

    I am not providing a lot of inspiration this week, so please post your menus to inspire one another! Can’t wait to see your plans!


  6. Friday, June 21

    A New Home

    Well, it is finally official and I can tell you what has been occupying half my time for the last month. We bought a house! After years of hard work and saving, we finally bit the bullet and took the plunge. (Can I come up with any more cliched phrases to use in a row? Probably…)

    So, here it is! Isn’t she cute?

    new house web

    We even have a peek of the ocean from the front yard. CRAZY.

    And here’s my new kitchen!

    new kitchen 2 web

    This weekend I will spend time scrubbing down the kitchen and bathrooms, and Nate will be removing the cabinets you see there above the peninsula. There is a bonus room built off the kitchen, which makes it a little dark. Removing that cabinet is going to really open things up and add a bit of light. I’m also looking into some lighting options (perhaps something like Solatube) to add some natural light to the space without needing to make any significant changes (or spend a lot of money!).

    new kitchen 1 web

    I also can’t wait to get my brand new Bosch dishwasher installed in this kitchen. This dishwasher is quiet, beautiful and smarter than me and it can’t wait to get settled into its new home. Neither can I!

    So, now begins the task of moving…again…within 6 months. But we can do it, and I promise not to disappear. Menu planning and eating will still be happening!