Barbary's Profile

Display Name: Barbary
Member Since: 8/5/11

Latest Comments...

Ditto the folks who have said beef up the columns by adding an extra layer of cladding. Then add a porch rail to enclose the porch. You could go an extra step and add some craftsman style elements to trim out the columns and roofline as well. I'd paint it a creamy warm yellow, paint the shutters and all the trim white, including the brown. You could then think about a bright red or leaf green on the door.

Add Character to Home Exterior with Red Door and What Else? Good Questions
6/3/14 12:52 PM

I think this piece is pretty awesome, actually. give it a very good cleaning with something like TSP and them use an oil-based spray primer like Zinsser or Kilz. Then use a great color spray paint of your choice on top. This would look gorgeous in a leaf green, teal blue, yellow or clean, bright white. With a satin finish. I think that will look a lot more contemporary than an antique glazed finish, unless you want a more shabby-chic, country feel. Plus, if you do this in a solid light or bright color, it will fit nicely in a place that has lots of clean-lined modern or mid mod pieces.

Advice on Refinishing Ornate 1970s Bureau? Good Questions
5/14/14 04:54 PM

Echoing what a poster above said: WRT Popcorn ceilings (and even textured walls), You will likely find asbestos in most applied textures on ceilings and many walls up to the 80s. So unless your house was built after about 1986, you should assume the worst and have a professional come in and test for asbestos. If you have it, you should hire a professional abatement company to come in and remove it. It may be expensive (I redid a 1976 mid-mod in Denver with asbestos popcorn ceilings in 2011 and it was just under $15K for 2500 square feet), but you do not want to screw around with this stuff and then dispose of it (it is hazardous waste) yourself.

How Do I Knock Off the Knockdown Texture? Good Questions
2/10/14 08:05 PM

I have two cats in a smallish townhouse and they share one litterbox since there really is no space to put a second one that wouldn't sit in the middle of the living room. I have the CleverCat top entry box, which is a little miracle by itself, and scoop twice a day. I used to use SweetScoop because of the flushability, but it only did an adequate job with odor control and was awful with tracking, even with the top entry box. I switched to Integrity Muti-cat clumping litter made from bentonite and zeolite and no added fragrance or other stuff. Best litter I have ever used--with the scooping twice a day the odor control is amazing and I find that I only have to add fresh litter to the box rather than throwing it away. I am super odor-sensitive as is my next door neighbor who swears she can always smell when somebody has a cat and tells me the only reason she knows I have them is because she sometimes sees them in the window.

Ideal Kitty Litter for Apartment Dwellers? Good Questions
2/5/14 05:15 PM

I've used lacquer remover and then brasso to polish on large vintage solid brass items to spectacular effect. You can use fine steel wool or super fine grit sandpaper to dull the finish of both brass and polished nickel--I don't know that I'd chance it with a plated finish.

Certain types of stainless are timeless, plus, the vast majority of buyers out there still want stainless and granite, and probably will for some time to come in everything except for a certain part of higher-end and more cutting-edge kitchens. A certain type of brass (solid, not super-shiny plated, simple shapes) has always felt classic as well, even if it wasn't in vogue.

The Look of Unlacquered Brass for Less: Tips to De-Lacquer It Yourself!
1/29/14 07:45 PM

~$2700 for flooring, trim and underlayment plus chop saw and floor leveler for 670 square feet of floating engineering hardwood flooring (Home Depot's Home Legend brand, Elm Desert handscraped). Did the installation myself--first time ever laying flooring. Time consuming to cut all the angles and edge pieces, but totally worth it. I'd do it again in a minute, and tackle more complicated than floating. After two years the floor is holding up well and looks great. Also did the tile demo work and subfloor repair before myself.

How Much Did It Cost To Buy & Install Your Hardwood Floors? Reader Intelligence Request
1/18/14 11:55 PM

The bones are fabulous--the lines of the chairs are great and the stainless bottom on the table is very modern and cool. If you painted the table top white with a satin finish (gloss would be too much with the chrome--have a pro do it--auto painting shops are great for this sort of thing--if you are not comfortable with the painting yourself, otherwise use a great spray primer for plastics and a foam roller or spray finish). This might be enough, but the chairs could be recovered in a great print canvas and the whole set would be really chic

Is This Set Good Retro - or No Go? Good Questions
10/23/13 01:32 PM

I hear all the "keep the granite" comments, but understand how it is when you just can't stand something. In that case, you might want to look at ways you can cover it up. Paint won't work well--you could rough up the countertop and use an epoxy paint, but you'll hate the results. What about using a cementious microtopping skim coat? I did this with a rental apartment countertop that was 4x4 80s white tile with wide flesh-colored grout lines and it came out looking like a gorgeous concrete countertop. it's a multi-step process that includes dulling the countertop and then using 2-3 layers of epoxy bonder and primer before skim coating with the special concrete topping, but it looks great and is super-durable (which paint would never be). I know there are at least a few companies that make something like this--I expect they all take a relatively similar level of crafty DIY manual dexterity. I used a company called E-Crete and was really happy with the results.

Can I Paint My Black Granite Countertop? Good Questions
6/26/13 09:27 PM

I've purchased three custom sofas from (the sofa company). They are LA based with several show rooms in the LA area as well as a great online build your own option. they have lots of styles, can be modified to fit your space and a huge selection of fabrics from cheap and attractive to expensive. My first sofa from them was pretty basic with a plush microfiber, the second was modern with a better velvet--sort of a better fabric version of Ikea's Kivek, and my third was a super Italian modern design with down-filled cushions and an expensive nubby seafoam fabric. All three sofas were made in LA, kiln-dried hardwood, great fabrics, very reasonable prices (the Italian modern was about 1/3 of what I'd pay for it at one of the expensive furniture stores), delivered within 3-4 weeks of ordering (US made makes for quick delivery), all were custom sizes, very comfy, and the two I still have are very durable and look virtually new after several years of use. Also, they have really great customer service. I can't recommend these guys enough

Apartment Therapy's Sofa Shopping Guide
6/19/13 11:45 PM

A suggestion, since you aren't married to the knock-off table for all eternity. The base looks like it is an acrylic or plastic. Both Rustoleum and Krylon make Matte and Satin finish clear coat sprays and matte white sprays specifically for plastic. Why not just spray the base, which will at least take care of the cheap look of the high gloss until you can afford your dream table.

Coming to Terms with a Knockoff: Original vs. Reproduction Furniture Design
5/23/13 04:27 PM