A little more on the sunroom

** FYI: I’m bringing my A game for 2013, and that included owning this domain name. So this site is officially now SandpaperAndGlue.com **

Monday’s post, the sun room reveal, was long enough with the striped wall how-to that I left out a few specifics and a few tips so I wanted to follow up with you all today with a little more detail…

First of all, the breakdown for how the room was repainted from green to grey/white is as follows:

  • Day 1: remove furniture and curtains from room, tape off molding, sweep floors
  • Day 2: 2 coats of Zinsser primer
  • Day 3: 2 coats of Behr White Truffle
  • Day 4: tape off the stripes
  • Day 5: 2 coats of Partridge Gray by Better Homes & Garden, color matched to Behr
  • Day 6: clean room, play around with furniture arrangement, touch up walls where needed

When you watch tv and there’s only 5 seconds between putrid and glorious it’s a load of crap, especially for people who work and only have time for projects in between the million other obligations they have. I think it’s important to share that with you.

Next up, I wanted to share the view of the room from another angle:

From halfway back in the kitchen straight into the sunroom.

From halfway back in the kitchen straight into the sunroom.

I know, I know- gray and yellow combos are so 2012. But they’re also Batman’s combos. So deal with it. From this angle you can see the open layout of the house- one of the living room walls (Wheat Bread by Behr) stretches right across the kitchen. For this reason it was super overwhelming to have a gray living room, a yellow kitchen, and a green sunroom. Things needed to be more cohesive. Note that all the curtains in the sunroom and kitchen are custom made by my Nonna to be the same, so they look great together.

Besides these rooms all being open to one another, I had a few other things to consider:

  • This is not our forever home, and therefore it is not worth the investment to redo the floors. So we’re just going to go ahead and pretend the sun room floor is not green.
  • I already had brown furniture in that room, and I was not about to repaint or replace it, so both stripe colors have a brown tinge to them.
  • My budget on this was makeover was limited to the $50 gift card I had to Home Depot… and I was pleased to only end up spending $40.

And now to break up all this text, here’s the art in the room:

PicMonkey Collage

The picture right by the side door is one a friend took of Matt & I at the 4th of July fireworks in Boston a few years ago. The pictures on either side of the bay window are picture my brother and sister in law took in Italy of the two towns my family is from- Montemiletto and Montefalcione. They’re very meaningful to me. All three frames are from TJ Maxx.

Finally, let me close with a few painting/redecorating tips:

  • Do as much prep work the night before as possible so you’re not wasting daylight moving out furniture and taping off molding.
  • Once you’re done painting, but before you move your furniture back in, wash the floors and the windows and wipe down your molding. I know you super don’t want to, but this really is the best time to do it.
  • In between paint coats, put your brush and roller in a plastic bag in the fridge so they won’t dry out. You can even leave them this way overnight and they’ll still be fine the next day.
  • Decide for yourself whether or not it’s worth your time to wash and reuse your brushes and rollers. For me, it’s worth it on the brushes and not for the rollers. Don’t go nuts.

And for your viewing pleasure, here is was happens when I try to take a picture at floor level:

'sup Luigi?

‘sup Luigi?

So tell me…. is it grEy or grAy in your book?

Stripey New Sunroom!

Happy last day of 2012! I thought I’d end the year with a super awesome room reveal. WOO HOO!

Our sunroom has been in a constant state of flux for the past year and a half, it is an addition to the house and it is the room we use the most. We enter and leave through the side door, we let the dog in and out through the sliders, and we use it for seating (as opposed to the living room) more often then not. So my goals for this room have always been clear:

  • It must be durable (every animal sits in this room all day long while we’re at work- claws and fur and all)
  • It must be realistic for our lifestyle (we broke, yo, and cats = painful rug death)
  • It must work with what we already have (ie, the bar and curtain rods are brown/bronze and I wasn’t going to repaint or replace them).
  • It must be sexy (because I said so)

I think I have finally achieved that goal, and I’ve been sharing sneak peeks and progress on Facebook and Twitter for the past week. But what’s a room reveal without a reminder of the nonsense we started with when we first moved in:

Here's the view from the kitchen looking into the room, at the end of the couch is the side door (cut off in the picture). This is the first room I saw when I toured the house.

Here’s the view from the kitchen looking into the room, at the end of the couch is the side door (cut off in the picture). This is the first room I saw when I toured the house.

And here's the other side of the "sunroom." It wasn't very sunny... yet.

And here’s the other side of the “sunroom.” It wasn’t very sunny… yet.


August of 2012 I ran a little one year later series catching up with each of the rooms, so you can check out the in between state here. That wallpaper lasted less then 24 hours and the room has spent most of its life with us a mossy green:


An improvement, but still not quite right.

An improvement, but still not quite right.

BUT NOW LET’S GET TO THE GOOD STUFF. The mossy green wasn’t working and the room wasn’t special enough. So, I put two coats of primer on the wall, then two coats of Behr White Truffle Paint. Then I grabbed my handy dandy laser level and went to town:

Black Friday weekend this Black & Decker laser level was seriously discounted, I got it for $12. Basically it inspired this entire room.

Black Friday weekend this Black & Decker laser level was seriously discounted, I got it for $12. Basically it inspired this entire room. And basically I want to marry it.

Seriously, without a laser level I wouldn’t have had the patience to stripe this whole room, it curved around the corners and made life so so easy.

I used the laser level to mark off foot thick stripes throughout the entire room, then Frog Tape to tape off the stripes, then I pressed each strip of tape down with a plastic card to make sure it was on extra good.

I used the laser level to mark off foot thick stripes throughout the entire room, then Frog Tape to tape off the stripes, then I pressed each strip of tape down with a plastic card to make sure it was stuck extra good. DO NOT skip this step. You’ll want to, but don’t. I’m not going to tell you this was a breeze, it took about five hours to tape off the whole room. So be ready to hang in there because it is SO worth it.

You’ll see two types of tape in the pictures- I used Scotch Blue tape for around the molding simply because I had it on hand. I used Frog Tape for my stripes- and I suggest if you want a very clean very clear line you do the same. Honestly, I never want to use Scotch tape again after this project. There really is a difference in the products (and I promise, I don’t know anyone at Frog Tape, it’s just my honest to goodness from experience opinion)- besides the crispness sof the line, the Frog Tape was way easier to pull off too.

But back on track… many hours later the room looked as so:

Bam! Tape stripes! I gave the white truffle color a day to dry and set before taping just because I was super afraid it was going to peel up (it didn't).

Bam! Tape stripes! I gave the white truffle color a day to dry and set before taping just because I was super afraid it was going to peel up (it didn’t).

It’s hard to tell in this picture, but to save paint I measured up a foot from the floor and down a foot from the ceiling and just painted the white truffle in those boundaries, since the top and bottom stripes would be gray.

The most difficult part of the taping was remember to tape inside the white truffle stripes, because the gray was the secondary color(Partridge Gray by Better Homes & Garden, color matched to Behr). I kept forgetting about that, and had to retape a few sections a few times.

Ohhhh! Ahh!!!

Ohhhh! Ahh!!!

I’m not going to lie, I was so nervous the paint was going to bleed through the tape and I’d have a million zillion touch ups to do. But here it is, no touch ups needed at all:

Oh what crisp lines you have, grandma! (anyone? anyone?)

Oh what crisp lines you have, Grandma! (anyone? anyone?)

Have I kept the suspense going long enough? Are you ready? I SAID ARE YOU READY?!!



My Nonna calls them “HGTV stripes.”

And once more, so your finger doesn’t have to scroll all the way up, here’s the before:



And the glorious after:



In case you’re interested, a quick source list:

  • The lighter color paint is Behr White Truffle, darker color is Partridge Gray by Better Homes & Gardner color matched to Behr. They both have brown undertones in them that are hard to see in this picture, but definitely help in real life to tie in the brown furniture.
  • The bar is from Bob’s Furniture
  • The chairs were from the side of the road, and redone.
  • The bench is from Christmas Tree Shops, but reupholstered.
  • The yellow curtains were made by my Nonna, the slider curtains are thermal lined and from JC Penney
  • The picture frames are from TJ Maxx


UPDATE: More tips, tricks, and info on painting & this room here



A preview of things to come

I’ve been seriously under the weather this week so I don’t have any new projects to share, but I thought I’d share a little inspiration with you.

As you may know I’m slowly working to link my sun room in with the rest of our house. Currently it’s green, and actually it’s a really nice shade of green that I like a lot. However, there is literally nothing else green in our entire house. So it’s gotta goooo. Luckily, I just won a $50 gift certificate to Home Depot from Better After so I can get painting sooner then expected!

As you may also know if you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, I recently bought myself a little something something. And it’s going to make it a heck of a lot easier to complete what I’ve got in mind.

Here’s what I found via Pinterest and Google (click on each picture to go to the source):





DIY Action Squad LINK PART-AY!

What comes before part b? PART-A!

We are not affiliated with Young House Love, but we did get their seal of approval for our little idea.

Halfway through November Kenz, Tracie, Emma, and I challenged ourselves and you to grab the Young House Love book and create something awesome. Below is the step by step for the project I chose- don’t forget to link up your own at the bottom. Then, hop on over to each of the other DIY Action Squad’s blogs and link up there too!

I went with idea #214- Paint Almost Any Piece of Furniture. If you’re a regular around here you know furniture painting is my thing (my accent table, bureau, and chair are just a few of my favs).  So when I saw these two beauties for *free* on the side of the road I knew I had to make them mine:

A nearby high school was getting rid of a lot of old furniture, including these two captain’s chairs. They had pen and marker stains, chips, dents, and bruises… swoon.

I hand painted 2 coats of primer on each chair (and they probably could have used a 3rd too) with leftover primer from when we first moved in.

Once the primer was dry I sprayed them with Rustoleum spray paint in pure white with a satin finish- I had it leftover from when I redid another chair.

I gave the spray paint two-three days to cure up before taping off the rungs because I was nervous it would peel. Taping off the rungs was by far the most time consuming part of this project- about 45 minutes per chair. Once it was taped I added two coats of Behr Wheat Bread paint (which is the same color as my living room, so that was leftover as well). I added it with a regular paint brush, then once I removed the tape I went in with an art brush for touch ups.

After painting the rungs I gave it another 2 days to cure up before adding two coats of polycrylic to each chair (which was the only things I purchased for this project). Then I let THAT cure up for another few days before using the chairs. I was super nervous about knicks and scratches and peels which is why I overdid it on the drying time for each step.

What a difference a few coats of paint and some patience makes!

Ta da!

And just one more snap of the chairs in the room:

So there you go- an under $20 makeover that makes a huge impact! I encourage you when you’re painting to not just go with the obvious, add a little tweak to it (in my case, different colored rungs). I also encourage you to embrace the funk of DIY work- the chairs still have dents and bruises but that’s what gives them character and personality. I didn’t sand them perfectly smooth or stress that one has a front bar and the other doesn’t…I let them be in fit in with everything else in my home that’s been upcycled.

AND NOW THE PART YOU’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR- add your links below (and add them to KenzTracie, and Emma‘s pages too)! I can’t wait to see what you’ve done (don’t forget- if you’re viewing this post in a reader you’ll have to click over).


I’ve linked this post up with the THRIFT IT party & Young House Love!

The Most Frustrating Project I’ve Ever Worked On.

It’s hard for me to even write about this project, and honestly when you look at the pictures you’re going to be all “oh, it’s not that bad” and “it looks fine if you don’t know what to look for.” But seriously, I have never sworn as much in my life as I have when working on this project. Eff. This. Project.

Here’s where we last left off in the sunroom:

The room isn’t bad at all, but the problem with it is that it sort of stands alone from the gray and the yellow happening in the two rooms it opens up into. The kitchen is yellow and white and the living room is black, gray, and white so green isn’t really working in here. Unfortunately, the floor is green and that’s staying so I kind of have to work with that. Also, the picture frames, curtain rod, and bar are all bronze/brown toned and they’re staying so I kind of have to work with that too. But still somehow make this room gray.

Originally, when I bought and redid this chair it was meant to be in the sunroom. Then I found the two chairs you see above on the side of the road so I switched up my plan. However, the fabric I bought for the chair redo was black, gray, and copper to purposely start tying in this room with the others- and after redoing the chair I had enough left over (or so I thought) to redo the bench you see above.

That bench needed a makeover. Faux suede is not an awesome idea for a room that is used every single day by a dog that may or may not have wet paws and may or may not hold still long enough for you to dry them off. Here’s what the top looked like:

Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink….

I decided to reupholster the bench with my left over accent chair fabric. All I did was staple gun quilting batting right over the fabric that was already on the bench, then staple gun my new fabric on top of that. Unfortunately, I didn’t exactly have enough and I had to fake it to make it. And then this happened:

I know what you’re thinking, Stephanie why the heck didn’t you line up the pattern so it wouldn’t be so obvious. To which I respond: stuff it. I spent a solid 45 minutes trying to get things lined up and I have no idea what the heck wasn’t working, but it wasn’t. So now the side looks like this. Please refrain from pointing it out the next time you come over.

BUT WAIT- THERE’S MORE. I thought I’d try adding nailhead trim to the bench too. It seemed so easy to just measure out the space and tap the little nail heads in. It was not easy.

It’s so crooked. So, so crooked. About 50% of my nail heads were bent and ruined in this process, and I tried about 500 different ways to make this go smoothly. I tried a rubber hammer and a regular hammer. I tried making pilot holes with nails. I tried making pilot holes with thumbtacks. I tried standing directly above and hammering straight down. I tried standing to the side and hammering from a level height. At the end of the day, I don’t think whatever wood was used to make this bench is conducive to nail head trim, it really shouldn’t have been this difficult.

I really just wanted to get nail head strip, like Kenzie did with her Ikea hack ottoman, but Jo-Ann fabric didn’t have any when I went and I didn’t think this would be so bad. Currently, I only have the front and 3 deep in on each side done because I legit ruined over 25 nail heads trying to make this happen. Eventually I think I will pull them all out and add the strip, when it’s in stock and I have a coupon, but for now, from a distance, maybe it’s not so bad?

And yes, I’m purposely not showing you the rest of this room. Patience, grasshopper.

Liz Marie Blog

Curtain Clips

Ok, I’ll admit this isn’t the most flashy of posts, but I just wanted to share a tiny update and some (near) future plans: I added curtain clips to my sunroom curtains. Oooooh! Ahhhhh!

My Nonna handmade me curtains for the sunroom and living room because I had windows of so many shapes and sizes that I never would have been able to find (and afford) matching curtains for all of them. I love the pattern I chose for them, and she did an awesome job making them, but the more I decorated the rest of the house the more the curtains weren’t quite fitting.

I have a thing for grommets. I loooove grommets- all the other curtains in this house are grommet style (grommets are the metal rings built into the curtains). These guys were not..so I’m tricking it with curtain clips now and it’s so much better.

Here’s what I was rocking before:

The curtains were a little too country-kitchen style for me- tufted and fluffed up at the top… and unfortunately also emphasizing how very low my ceilings are.

Now, they’re the same curtains with a bit more modern vibe:

Much better! (Also, keep reading to see my to-do list for this room.)

And a close up:

Note: For some stupid reason I could only find clips in packs of 7, and I have an issue with odd numbers so I bought two packs and used 8 on the bay window curtains and 6 on the regular sized window.

This upgrade cost me about $14 and it was totally worth it, especially since thanks to Nonna the curtains themselves were free. :)

But this room is clearly still not perfect. The main thing is that when we moved in the house we were so excited to paint all the things! I made a color palette for each room instead of one for the entire house. No bueno. SO now in my open floor style house I have a yellow kitchen, a gray living room, and a green sunroom. The yellow and gray go together like Monica & Chandler but the green is totally the Janice of the bunch. Oh. My. God. 

So here’s my plans to tie this room in with its’ adjacent room buddies:

  • Paint the chairs (obviously, they’re disgusting and free from the side of the road)
  • Reupholster the bench (it’s been ruined by the dogs and I have such amazing plans for it)
  • Paint the walls Behr White Truffle (hopefully I have enough left over from the entrance way and landing)
  • Paint the side door, which is the door we use every day, and also attached the curtain and blinds I’ve had sitting around for a year.

If this was our forever house, I would also redo the floors, but it isn’t so I probably won’t. :)

One Year Later: The Sunroom

All this week I’m going to be posting before and after photos of the house, so keep tuning in to see what a completely different place we live in now!

We use the side door to enter the house, which leads right into what we call the sunroom. This room was an addition to the house and was added when the previous owners redid the kitchen (maybe 5-7 years ago). It has three walls and then completely opens into the kitchen on the fourth side.

The previous owners used it as their living room because they ran a day care out of the actual living room, but we just use it as extra seating for dinners and parties.

This is what the room looked like on the day I first toured it.


And this is what it looks like now!


And here’s just one more angle:



What we did:

  • Took down all the wallpaper, primed, and painted (including the ceiling)
  • Took down bay window shade
  • Added homemade by Nonna yellow curtains to windows and thermal curtains to sliding door
  • Added bench, chair, garden stand, bar, and accessories


Still to do:

  • Possibly repaint so it matches the rest of the house better (it’s the only room with green)
  • Possibly redo the floor so it matches the rest of the house better (again with the green)
  • Paint the door and hang a matching yellow curtain (which we already have)
  • Repair holes in sliding door screen


Whew! What a huge difference a coat of paint makes. This is the first room we worked on when we moved in and I’m so glad it came out so well. It’s nice to walk into a nice, bright, open room every time I come home :)


Want to know where something came from? Or how something was done? Got any suggestions? Leave it in the comments!


Slow and steady wins the race

To get from the “before” sunroom to the “after” sunroom was no easy task- it was slow, slow, slow over the past 7 months and it is now officially room #2 in our house to be complete.

So if you’re up for it, here’s the 11 stages of the sunroom:

This is the sunroom on the day I viewed the house..which was maybe June or July. Note how not at all sunny it is in there with the heavy curtains, oversized couch, and dark wallpaper.

Here's another angle of the sunroom, more oversized furniture and there definitely used to be a tv in there before the house went on the market. We're pretty sure the family that lived here used this as their living room because they ran a daycare out of the actual living room.

The day we moved in we washed this floor, and all the rest of the floors, at least 3 times. It was absolutely filthy. However, without the furniture and drapes it was already looking much better.

Ahh...so long wallpaper! Matt's brother came to stay with us our first week in the house and the two of us took down the wallpaper in both the sunroom and the kitchen.

Primed! My family came up the second weekend we were here and we primed the whole downstairs of the house- sunroom, kitchen, and living room. We're very lucky both families pitched in so much.

The morning Matt's parents came to pick up his brother (after he had been here the week) we got up super early and painted the room- we wanted them to see at least one room with color on it. This was my first experience with paint colors looking nothing like I thought they would, but at least with this one it worked out better. I had pictured something darker and richer and the lightness in this room really works.

Here's setup 1 of 800 for this room... we put the two camp chairs together because we were originally thinking of getting a love seat for the room and were trying to test the space. The bench had come from Christmas Tree Shop and man, it just looked so tiny under that window. Nothing up this imaginary set up worked for us.

We went to Bob's Furniture to get a couch for the living room and ended up coming home with this bar, which called for a complete redesign of what we had pictured for the room. I love having the bar in here, and the bench next to he door (which is cut off the picture) made a lot more sense. Lots of shoes and jackets have been thrown on and under that bench.

We swapped out the camp chair for a rocking chair (from my grandparents) and added the stained glass to the window (also from my grandparents). At this point I started to have a new idea for how this room would end up.

Again, my grandparents came through big time- I picked out fabric and my Nonna sewed up matching curtains for the kitchen and sunroom. There were so many windows in so many sizes I never would have found something I loved that actually came in enough shapes and lengths for both rooms.

Then finally, we got the slipper chair and the owl stand and the room was complete. Ta-da:


And don’t worry about over-stretching that pointer finger of yours, here’s a side by side before and after:


This is by far the room with the largest payoff. I’m so glad we got a house with a “bonus” room because we’ve used this space a dozen times already to entertain and spread out. I learned a lot in this room- how to take down wallpaper, how open space can work in our favor, how to let what I pictured for a room evolve, and how to buy furniture at four different stores and make it look like it goes together.

So what do you think?!


When I posted pictures of the sunroom, I noted that I wanted to find a small pedestal table to put next to our lovely new chair- something just big enough to put a cup or plate on and something that wouldn’t overcrowd the room.

After I sat on it for a bit, I decided it wasn’t a table I wanted at all! I have no idea what these things are actually called, but I went looking for a ceramic garden pedestal. You see them everywhere when you’re not even looking- they’re usually oval shaped with a flat top to put a plant on, they’ve got carvings all around the outside, and they’re hollow. If you know the actual name for this please tell me!

I started my search at K-Mart because it’s on the way home from work and I found absolutely nothing remotely close to what I was picturing in my head. However, the trip was not made in vain because I explored a lot of lawn/grass seed options while there- I think the time to plant grass seeds is soon and there are an overwhelming amount of products out there.

Anyway, after K-Mart was a huge no I headed to TJ Maxx. Many-a-moons ago I used to work at a TJ Maxx and they had stuff like this all the time… and they did this time too!

Meet Owly, our new sunroom butler! He's so dapper and pudgy, and he really looks quite nice in the space. I was afraid to even take him out of the car when I got home because I thought Matt was going to kill me for bringing home a two foot tall ceramic owl, but he loved it too!

In the grand scheme of the room, he isn’t as obvious as you’d think and he’s the perfect thing to finish off the room with. Here’s the view from the kitchen:

See how he just sort of peeks out? Totally looks like he's been squatting in there forever.

I am now up to 3 roosters and 2 owls in this room, and I’m thinking the tall rooster in the bay window may need to be relocated but I’m not sure yet. Also as an aside, where the floors switch colors is actually a step down from the kitchen into the sunroom, so it’s not such a strange transition in person.

This weekend I’m going to try to post a before and after gallery for this room, I think it’s actually more dramatic then the kitchen change. Stay tuned!

Sunny little sunroom

Our 2 Target slipper chairs have arrived, and with minimal assembly and very crumby instructions they are out and about our house! They’re pretty cute, and look true to the picture. The colors are a little off from what I expected, the yellow is more bronze-y gold and the base color is more beige then white, but the differences actually make them look better in their respected rooms.

Today, I’ve got pictures of the sunroom to share….

Here is a view of the room from our kitchen, which is wide open to it- no doorway or wall. For this reason, I am keeping the furniture up against the wall and leaving the center space empty. That door peeking out on the left side is also the main door we use to enter the house, so it's another reason to keep the space somewhat bare.


I plan on getting a very small pedestal side table to put to the right of the chair, just so there's a spot to put down a drink or a plate. Other then that, the room is pretty much done. That's TWO rooms done now!


And here's the view from the living room-the third room in our open concept downstairs. I have to say, I'm thinking it looks pretty rocking.


So what do you think? Love it or hate it? Needs more oomph or has just enough oomph?