Currently looking for a four legged furball to add to the family

We bought a little furball (more like a rocket!) last July and he has just wormed his little 11 pound self into our lives.  So, here we are, almost a year later, looking for another little doggy to give a home.  Some pictures of our rambunctious puppy.

What to do with snow?

I want to go for a walk!

PLEASE MOMMY!!!!!!!!!

All right...little mama will take you

VICTORY!!!!!!!

Andrea

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Paper tags

Yesterday was a very LOUD day at school.  I work in the library at a local elementary school.  You would think that being in the library, I would be exempt from the hooplah….wrong.  So, when I arrived home yesterday, I needed about an hour of de-stressing and calming down so I headed to my craft room.  As I was the surfing the internet for ideas, I landed on my blog friend’s site, Tart Paperie, and decided to make some tags in orange and blue.  Thanks Amanda!

Snow in Louisiana, an Oxymoron?

Most Alexandrians woke up this morning to a winter wonderland.  Who would’ve thought?  Steven’s work told him to come in…brrrr….I am glad Rapides Parish schools are out this weekend, I am off!

As we were preparing for bed Wednesday night, Vivian came in our bedroom with her crown on her head and in her best British voice explained that she was the “Queen of England”.

She started explaining how hard palace life is.  She has two sons that are not behaving!

I don’t know what I am going to do with those boys!

I mean, look at this face, wouldn’t you listen to me?

Well, its time to go.  Goodbye loyal subjects!

Oh, and let me not forget the Queenly parade wave!

Happy Friday!

Andrea (and Vivian)  Hey get your own blog!

My favorite thing I did for my rent house

So, we closed on our construction loan on our second rent house today.  I am very glad to have that project completed and the house rented out!!  It took us 10 months to gut and renovate the house.  Such projects creep along at such a slow pace when you devote only Saturdays to them. 

Anyway, my favorite thing in our rent house next door is this hanging rack for the small 1/2 bath in the master bedroom.  I used a scrap piece of baseboard and several knobs I had lying around from other projects. 

Here are a few pics of our rent house through Vivian’s eyes.  She took all of these pictures.  It was funny to find them on my camera.

Steven

Steven would stand behind Vivian in the picture and smile and then leave the room.  She would look at the camera and see Steven and then look behind her but he was not there.  It took her a little while to figure out he was playing with her.

Happy Wednesday!

Andrea

Paint Comparative Narrative: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

I get several hits a month on my blog from people who used search terms regarding paint colors/pallettes and paint brands.  Apparently there are a lot of folks out there interested in researching a consumer’s use and opinion of a particular paint brand (versus what the paint brand tells you) and the actual outcome in a consumer’s home.  Since I have painted over 30 rooms in the past 6 years, I have used a small variety of paint brands in different sheens and have decided to write a consumer’s report and post pictures of the performance of each paint brand used. 

Since Alexandria, Louisiana is not the largest city in America.  According to www.citytowninfo.com, our population is 46,432 — a decent size, but still not New York or Miami.  Why is that important?  I am reviewing the resources that are available to me.  For instance, I am not able to walk into my local home store or small business and buy Yolo Colorhouse paint or any of the other highly recommended paint brands recommended by most house related magazines.  So, I will review what I have available and what I know works.  I have used Lowe’s Valspar Signature Colors and Ultra Premium interior paints.  I have used Behr paint in many sheens, Wal-Mart Colorplace, Glidden Evermore, Benjamin Moore Regal and Benjamin Moore Contractor Grade paints.  I have decided to group them according to brand.  So, here goes and I hope this information is helpful.

 
Brand: Wal-Mart Colorplace
Use(s): Nursery
Star Rating: *
Sheen: Satin

Unfortunately, I have to start on a negative note.  In 2004, I was new to Alexandria.  I was very pregnant and did not have much knowledge regarding paint brands.  So, while I was in my local big box store, Wal-Mart, I decided to pick up one gallon of paint for the nursery.  I opted for Spring Green.  My mother-in-law and I painted the baby nursery, a room about 8×8 (yes, it was very small) and the ceilings about 7 feet tall, and used the entire gallon and still had one wall left to paint.  The paint did not cover well and was chalky and did not have a satin sheen at all.  So, I went back to Wal-Mart and had a quart mixed of the same Spring Green.  When I got home and started painting the last wall, I immediately noticed a big difference in color — the new paint was darker in color.  I was thoroughly frustrated and did not finish painting the green.  I eventually painted the room a different color altogether. 

The Good: There is none.  The Bad: does not cover well, sheen is ugly not elegant. The Ugly: not being able to accurately match the paint color if you need more paint later.

 
Brand: Behr
 Star Rating: * * * *
Sheen: Satin
 Use(s): Living Room 2004, Bedroom 2004, Bathroom 2004, Living Room 2008, Study 2007, Bathroom 2007, Rent House #1 2007, White Trim

Behr paint seems to be of good quality paint for the price.  I paid around $23.97 for one gallon.  It rolls on smooth and covers well.  If you have to paint over bright or deep colors, I would recommend using a latex primer.  This paint does not cover THAT well.  It paints well over primed sheetrock and light colors, but I noticed that the color is not true when painted over darker or saturated colors.  Behr paint stinks to the high heaven.  I know most paints have obnoxious odors, but for some reason, it is hard for me to tolerate the odor of Behr paint.  Interestingly, I note that the better quality of paint — the lower the odor.  Another thing about the Satin paint sheen is that when you have to go back and do touch ups, they show a little bit.  I have used a roller, a brush, my finger and have thoroughly mixed the paint up, but I still can see where I went back and did a touch up. This may not be the case for their other sheens, I only have experience with Satin.  I would recommend this paint to anyone.

 The Good: Good paint for the price.  The Bad: the odor, it stinks!  The Ugly:  nothing.  

I have also bought 3-4 gallons of Behr Ultra Pure White in Semi-gloss on the recommendation of the salesperson at Home Depot to paint baseboards and trim in Rent House #1.  I note that, even though I primed the baseboards and trim pieces before I painted, the paint did not cover well.  It looked like it had light grey streaks in it.  I had to go back and put on 2-3 coats before it was completely white and nothing showed through.  I went back to Home Depot and asked the salesperson if that was the norm.  She told me that the Ultra Pure White is popular and she has not known of anyone to complain about it.  I bought it again and tried using the Ultra Pure White in my own house (thinking maybe I was going crazy or had a dud batch) but I still had the same coverage results.  In a nutshell, I would not recommend this paint for trim pieces or baseboards.  See my review on Benjamin Moore semi-gloss and oil base paint for something suitable for trim.

Living Room-in natural light
Living Room 2008-Behr-Fossil Butte

 

Oops Paint, Behr, Eggshell

Oops Paint, Behr, Eggshell

Behr, Cool Dusk Satin

Behr, Cool Dusk Satin

Brand: Valspar
 Star Rating: * * * *
Sheen: Satin, Eggshell
 Use(s): Vivian’s Room, 94 rent house bedrooms

In 2007, my brother owed me a favor so he painted my daughter’s room.  I am very pleased with the outcome.  He said it required two coats of Valspar Ultra Premium.  I bought 3 gallons of paint and he used two and a half.  This room has 13 a foot ceiling and measures approximately 15×18.   Here is Vivian’s room.  Yes, it is bright!

This weekend, I painted two rooms in Rent House #2.  Both rooms required two coats of paint in order to  fully banish the previous paint color.  Both rooms measured approximately 10×10 with 11 foot ceilings and required two full gallons of paint.  The color is good, the eggshell sheen is nice and very elegant.  The rooms look finish and very nice.  The only reason this gets 3 stars is because it does not seem to cover well.  It takes a lot of work to paint on both coats.  The paint texture is thinner than higher quality paints, so it soaks into the roller quicker and it takes more effort to roll on both coats of paint.  If your paint is thin and soaks down into the roller, there is not much paint on the surface of the roller which makes you roll harder to get it out of the roller and onto the wall.  This may not make sense to you until you have tried a good brand of paint vs. a middle of the road paint.  A good brand of paint is like pudding.  It is very thick and you don’t have to refill your roller as much.  This may not be a problem for some people because you may like to put on two coats anyway.  Some people look for a paint that they can roll on once and be done and if that is the case, this is definitely not the paint brand for you.  I paid about $24 a gallon for the Ultra Premium and about $27 for the Valspar Signature Colors (it was a Martha Stewart paint card)

The Good: Good paint for the price.  The Bad:  A lot of work to get the paint off the roller and onto the walls and it definitely requires two coats of paint.  The Ugly: nothing.

 

Valspar, Lunar Glow, Eggshell

Valspar, Lunar Glow, Eggshell

Brand: Glidden Evermore
 Star Rating: * * * *
Sheen: Eggshell and Semi Gloss
Uses: Kitchen 2007, Dining Room 2006
 
Glidden, Fennel, Eggshell

Glidden, Fennel, Eggshell

Bonjour Beige, Eggshell

Bonjour Beige, Eggshell

Brand: Benjamin Moore Paints/Regal/Super Spec
Use(s): Hall 2007, Master Bedroom 2008, Spare Room 2008. Rent House 2
Star Rating: ****
Sheen: Satin, Eggshell, Oil Base
I cannot say enough good things about Benjamin Moore paint.  Not only can our local Benjamin Moore dealer,  Joseph Wallpaper and Paints, accurately match ANY other competitors paint color, their customer service is A+++ and I have not been disappointed with any product bought there.  Their paint does not have much of an odor and it has a pudding like quality that makes it easy to roll on.  I am super impressed with the oil base paint too.  Earlier, I talked about painting trim with a white semi gloss paint, after using Benjamin Moore’s oil base paint for baseboards, trim, doors, etc., I will never use anything else.  For a 12×12 room with 11 foot ceilings (rent house 2), I used approximately a gallon and a half to 2 gallons.  I did not have to prime.  I painted a light green color right on top of a bright LSU purple and the purple did not show through.  Same goes for the orange in the dining room and the Irish green in the living room. For before and after pictures of that, click here.  (Paint colors are: Timothy Straw in the living, dining and first room; Cream Tan in the hall, Cozy Light in the kitchen and Green Tea in the Master Bedroom).  Pictures of many of the rooms (and things) I painted with Benjamin Moore were posted on my blog.  Click on the links to view photos.
Master bedroom Hemlock
Front Porch Swing
Vivian’s Night Stand
The Great Hall Desert Sand

The Good: Great, great, great paint!  Outstanding coverage, easy to use, does not smell as bad as other paints.  The Bad: Slightly more expensive than other paints.  The Ugly: Nothing, so far!