Painted Mosaic Cinderblock Wall!

mid century yard landscape exterior painted mosaic cinderblock cinder block brick retaining wall mural breeze blocksHighlight of my summer right here everybody! One super simple paint job and the backyard is now my kind of crazy. You can get a good idea of how blah this retaining wall used to look like in this post. And now, excusing the millions of fence spider webs, get a load of it!

*Update: See the whole backyard here and our patio here :)
mid century yard landscape exterior painted mosaic cinderblock cinder block brick retaining wall butterfly chairs firepit colorful backyardmid century yard landscape exterior painted mosaic cinderblock cinder block brick retaining wall motel chair orange colorful backyard yuccamid century yard landscape exterior painted mosaic cinderblock cinder block brick retaining wall butterfly chairs firepit colorful backyardmid century yard landscape exterior painted mosaic cinderblock cinder block brick retaining wall butterfly chairs firepit colorful backyardThe mish-mash fence situation back here leaves a lot to be desired. The tall fence belongs to our neighbors and sits a foot back on their property. The style isn’t what I would choose, but it beats having nothing by a long shot, as a driveway sits at eye level on the other side. Conveniently, it’s the same color as our fences and house so, in that sense, it fits right in. The actual property line is the retaining wall and wood lip. I would love to build our own fence one day on that line to match the other original fences on our property (or somehow extend the cinderblock up another 8 feet), but that day is not today. This is me trying to make the best of these unorthodox layers until then, in a kooky desert kind of way.
If you are wondering about painting raw cinderblock: I pressure washed first, then used a exterior primer, then one coat of exterior paint (as seen in the last post). Most exterior paints and primers are suitable for masonry these days, so no need to find anything special. For the colors, I used sample sizes of exterior paint and went to crazy town.

I know a cinderblock aesthetic isn’t for everybody, but let my wall be living proof that it could be a major missed opportunity to ignore it. Being the kind of girl who feels she deserves to be surrounded by vintage breezeblocks in insane patterns, this suits me so fine. If the unlikely day comes when I tire of this loudness, it’s a quick fix to tame it back down. You’ll hear ZERO regrets from me! -xoxo Jenny

 

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Spray Painting Ceiling Fans, Again

mid century modern ceiling fan brass diy spray paint harbor breeze avianWe finally got around to putting up the ceiling fan in my son’s room, just in time for that heat wave thing. I spray painted this one just like I did its twin. (And then I painted this black fan too…) I’ve gotten a few questions about that process so here’s a few answers:mid century modern ceiling fan brass diy spray paint harbor breeze avianWould I recommend doing this? If you are gutsy and don’t care if you ruin your cheap fan, YES! If you are a perfectionist who will stalk me if things go bad, NO! For the most amazingly precious fan ever made that I planned to keep forever but wanted in a different but high quality finish…I’d look into metal plating instead. But for dressing up a basic fan for your kid’s room, there’s not a lot to lose in my opinion.mid century modern ceiling fan brass diy spray paint harbor breeze avianPaint? I used Rustoleum Specialty Metallic spray paint in gold. I’m not sure if it’s the best brassy tone out there, but it’s decent. It needs a few days to cure before install to avoid fingerprints, and even then it’s impossible to avoid all marks if installation gets hairy, which always seems to happen. Multiple coats are good! For this second fan I tried to get away with one but I regret my lazy choices.rustoleum specialty metallic gold spray paint Disassemble the fan parts before painting? Yes. A couple of screws are usually all that is holding the thing together so a little disassembly is worth it.
diy ceiling fan spray paint
Prep much? Probably. I did basically none for this second fan and it shows. I cleaned everything well but that’s it. Turns out, it was a bad day to be a half-asser. The installation turned sour and my paint job got scratched up during the process. Some sanding and priming (and more coats of paint) probably would have helped. Fan #1 was lightly sanded and held up better, but it also had an easier install (and more coats). The lesson here is that same as it always is: just do it right.mid century modern ceiling fan brass diy spray paint harbor breeze avianIf this is ending too abruptly and you need more ceiling fan talk, you can check out this post for some of the better ceiling fans I’ve found out there. Looks like I have some fan light straightening out to get to, so I’ll catch you next time!

 

Tulip Table Refurbish

mid century tulip coffee table base burke vintage reproduction white paintedBackyard projects continue with some patio furniture fixing and it’s super fun/nauseating. Most mornings this week have been spent getting high off of spray paint fumes while my kids are at school. I live a pretty clean life otherwise so when my husband commented that I could have just started drinking with the amount of damage I’m doing, my (weakened) brain quickly decided that if I’m gonna poison myself slowly I want it to go towards fresh patio furniture over every other vice imaginable. Priorities.mid century tulip table coffee patio saarinen burke white ikea tullero

First up in my hack shop is this tulip table below. It’s a vintage knockoff of a Saarinen table. Possibly a Burke, though I’m having trouble identifying it. All I know is that it’s not a Knoll. And I just want to say that this project does not define who I am as a person because some shady stuff went down as it went from this to that:mid century vintage tulip table coffee black laminate burke saarinenmid century tulip coffee table base burke vintage reproduction white painted

mid century vintage tulip table coffee black laminate burke saarinenmid century tulip table coffee patio saarinen burke white

While mosaics crossed my mind, like they do every second of every day, a big white top seemed like the right move. I was thinking that we’d make one but craigslist turned up a newer reproduction Saarinen dining table top for cheaper than we could reproduce and with a stronger finish than I could pull off at home. This space is used for sloppy backyard dinners and kid art projects so a durable and easy to clean top was important. I think it’s resin covered in glassy lacquer/poly. Whatever it is, it can take a beating. (I also take comfort in preworn things because I feel less likely to yell at my kids for scratching up things if they came that way. Do you think I need to talk to someone about that?) mid century tulip table coffee patio saarinen burke white woodard spun fiberglass chairI was a little unsure about the size and during planning stages tried to figure the largest size that could safely balance on this 15″ base. Eero Saarinen supposedly wanted to rid the world of furniture leg slums (his words, not mine) with this pedestal design but the only downside is tippage capabilities. The best calculations I could come up with, based on existing coffee table’s dimensions and funny hand-drawn diagrams employing what little physics I remember, was that 46″-48″ was the max. This top is 47″ and it’s super sturdy on here and I feel emboldened to go even bigger one day. No tip overs expected.mid century tulip table coffee patio saarinen burke white ikea tullero woodard spun fiberglass chair

Now about the base. I’m not one to butcher or alter vintage, but in this case, I went ahead with some atrocities. The original table came from a painter’s studio and the base was covered in paint and pretty dinged up. I respect the vintageness of it and tinkered around with keeping it black, but in the end white looked so much better and was what the selfish owner of this table really wanted. So I spray painted it. With appliance paint. (Seriously durable stuff when white or black is what you need). Geez, just how much disrespect can one girl pile on one table? mid century vintage tulip table coffee black base burke saarinen

mid century tulip coffee table base burke vintage reproduction diy painting

mid century tulip coffee table base burke vintage reproduction white painted

So that’s the short of it and now I’ve got a dream table but still haven’t found dream chairs. I’m waiting it out with this old Ikea set that might one day get a makeover of its own and find its way to the front yard. Either way, this is such an upgrade from before.mid century tulip table coffee patio saarinen burke white ikea tulleroAnd now I need to get back to paint huffing. I was SO happy to be done with spray painting yesterday until one of my dear children knocked down/climbed all over the last piece while it was drying. I over-reacted but my brain cells are on the line. I don’t know how much more Charlie Work my body can take.