Doing it yourself

I’m the original cheapskate jack-of-all-trades; I might not be a professional, but I can give it a darn good try. So can you.

DIY Oil Rubbed Bronze Door handle

Not Just Spray Paint: a DIY Oil-Rubbed Bronze Finish

The look of oil-rubbed bronze finish on metal is sleek and rustic at the same time; it isn’t black, it isn’t brown. It’s comfortable. All the hardware in the cottage kitchen is a variation of it except the Expensive Kitchen Faucet. (You can read about that here.) We bought the faucet in brushed stainless, mostly because the counter top and sink are going to be soapstone, and we didn’t think a dark faucet would look good on dark soapstone…

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Skip the Cleaning Aisle: DIY easy green clean recipes

Earlier this summer several of us were cleaning a commercial kitchen at a children’s camp before camp started for the summer. There was a lot of grease… everywhere. My friend Joey introduced me to her recipe for an all-purpose cleaner that cuts grease better than the expensive…
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DIY Organic Hand Cleaner for Oil Stains and Paints

I had an amazing brainstorm discovery yesterday — and really?

These things don’t happen to me that often, folks! I got so excited, I have to share this with you. Since we have been redoing the cottage, my hands have not been lovely. They never were, but now they are worse. Stains under fingernails, oil paint that won’t come off, dry skin from various kinds of dirt and toxins. And now it’s winter!…

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Chalk Paint Chairs 101: cheapskate style

We are chalk painting chairs here at Apple Hill today. But, first, a few disclaimers:

1. I have never used chalk paint before.

2. I am not even a reliable furniture painter — I have had successes and failures — about an equal number of both.

3. I am not known for patience….

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a light for your path, part 1: never buy a new lamp again…

True confession time: in the forty plus years since I have been furnishing my own dwellings I have only purchased two new lamps.

(My sister, the decorator, would say, “Yes, I can tell.”) 😄

But I get much joy from making something shabby look good again. And you can too, here at Lamp Repair 101…

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a light for your path, part 2: rewiring old lamps

This post is the second part of a series on old lamps. The first was painting; this one will show you how to rewire an old lamp.

Disclaimer: Some people don’t want to tackle lamps and that’s okay. Truthfully, if I didn’t have my handy Mr.H.C. handy, I might not have tried it either. Safety first! If you are hesitant, don’t….

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painter's tools

Imperfectly Sanded, Imperfectly Primed

We bought the imperfectly sanded, imperfectly primed kitchen cabinets in two different places at two different times. The first (and main) batch was purchased at Construction Junction for $225. They include 3 base cabinets and 4 wall cabinets in almost exactly the sizes we needed…

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Random Thoughts on Painting Wood (from a carpenter’s wife…)

I’ve been painting lots of wood lately. Doors, cabinets, woodwork… I love paint. I love color. But I also love wood. Paint and color and wood can co-exist, but finding that perfect balance is difficult. Rooms with too much wood need color for drama; rooms with too much color scream out for wood to give rest to the eyes. It’s that perfect…

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Color Snap

Living Color

Here at Apple Hill we are obsessing over color. Again. It seems to happen every time I think about painting a room.

I have just found the best tool AND I’m going to share with YOU. Now, I admit to not being the first one on the block to hear about and adopt the new. I’ve never been (and never will be) trendy. BUT this is one cool tool. And if you already knew about it, WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME? …

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If It’s Worth Doing: or A Treatise on Fixing Other People’s Mistakes

The DIY era is generally considered a good thing, right? In this age of instant how-to information, anyone can do anything. And lately I’ve been wondering if that is a good thing….I’ve had lots of time to think on this. In fixing up two old houses, Mr. H. C. and I have also been fixing other peoples mistakes. And all the time I’m thinking, ‘If you couldn’t do it right, you should have called …

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Random thoughts about cleaning carpets and getting a house ready to sell

I know this blog is supposed to be about the cottage…but we haven’t been spending much time there of late. We’ve been trying to plant the sign in the yard of the city house. And until you sell a house, I don’t think anyone has a clue how much Time, Intensity, Money, and Energy is expended on a house that you are leaving…

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City House For Sale SOLD: or, more than ten reasons to never sell a house…

So you’re thinking of selling your house? Heed this warning:
Don’t ever sell a house.

The exhortation again: Find a house you love, in a place you love, and never sell it.
Or just rent.

In No Particular Order (This is not a top ten list)…

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