Fashion is everywhere

Chez Larsson

Spring Cleaning the Deck

So, the Saturday after we got back from New York the sun was out and at the back of the house it was quite warm so I decided to clean the deck. Remember how we got the deck built last year around this time? We’ll it’s lived through a year of wear and tear and a very long and cold winter and although larch is supposed to weather and turn grey I figured this grey wasn’t all weather but rather a lot of dirt and pollution too.   As you can see the part that’s covered by the balcony and where the pots stood in the first photo are much lighter than the uncovered part and my mission was to try to get a less dramatic difference.   So I moved everything off the deck. The furniture went on the lawn but I placed the pots in the flower bed because the lawn is still so soggy and I didn’t want to make matters worse by placing heavy objects on it.   My initial thought was to bring out the power washer but then decided to Google first and see what the proper way is to care for a larch wood deck that you’re not going to treat. Turns out scrubbing the dirt away is the best. Let me tell you right away that my arms are now toned again after a winter of not seeing much activity. Hello biceps! I used a brush on a long handle and “såpa” which is a natural soap made from pine oil. It’s got great cleaning abilities, smells awesome and actually brings some oil back into the wood as you’re cleaning. Don’t know if it’s available in other countries, I’ve only ever come across it in Sweden. Look at the gunk going!   I’m not going to pretend it was a soft and easy job. It took several hours and A LOT of scrubbing but it did get clean (and I got red hot and sweaty). I also gave the furniture a once over with the same soap before putting it on the deck to dry.   And here it is in its clean state. It IS greying slightly already after a year but it IS larch and is supposed to do that and that’s why I chose it so that’s totally fine by me. But now it’s clean and see, there’s a difference between dirt grey and clean grey. Oh, and that’s Bonus’ buddy Diesel coming over for a little peck on the cheek. Those two, I’m telling you, it’s the sweetest thing to see Bonus, our scaredy cat, have a friend. Mini on the other hand isn’t as amused.

Spring Cleaning the Deck

Basement Stairs Part 3 – Revealed

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I bet you’re all pretty fed up with my basement stairs by now but I just want to finish this series off by showing you the final result. Here’s what I started out with. Orange pine that had seen it’s best day.   Here’s that same view today. All nice and white. From here you can’t see the “mystery product” I’ve been going on about these past few weeks. It is there though!   You saw a glimpse of it the other day and here is is!  Elisabeth who runs Chasing Paper got in touch to see if I wanted to try out her new company’s (they launched last week!) product. Chasing paper is removable wallpaper. It comes in 2×4 feet panels which are basically like giant stickers. You can put them on your wall or anywhere in your home. Because they’re removable it’s perfect if you’re renting because they come off as easily as they go up according to Elisabeth. When she got in touch I immediately knew where I wanted to try some out. Hello triangles, meet my basement stairs!   So what I did was measure each stair riser and cut a strip of the panel accordingly. The color of the triangles is more true in this photo than in the others by the way. It’s a charcoal grey and white and not black and white. I like it because I have a grey and white thing going on in the basement and this darker grey gives it all some definition. After cutting it was just a matter of peeling off the backing and sticking them in place.   So from the top of the stairs it’s all white but as you turn around downstairs you get a nice surprise. I can tell you that if these panels hadn’t been removable I probably wouldn’t have gone for such a bold pattern but because I know it’s not permanent it was such an easy decision. And I do like it. I like it a lot! And Wille loves it! So, thanks so much Elisabeth and Chasing Paper for letting me try these out!

Basement Stairs Part 3 – Revealed

Basement Stairs Part 2

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So this is where I left off last week.     I had sanded coarsely once, filled all the dings and dents with wood filler, sanded with a fine grade paper, wiped everything clean with a damp rag and now it was time to do some caulking. The reason for caulking before you paint is that you want to eliminate anything that will cast a dark shadow within your white paint. If you were to paint a dark color it wouldn’t be necessary in the same way. I caulked along the edges where the stairs meet the walls and also along each step. After adding caulk I used a finger to smooth and then the damp rag to wipe away any excess.   Since the stairs are basically a floor that you walk on I got some special floor paint. I was told that it would be more fluid than regular wood paint for trim and they recommended that I use regular paint on the sides and risers and the floor paint on the treads because the floor paint might need more coats to get good coverage.   So I started doing it by the book with the first coat and painted with two different paints. I didn’t find the texture of the paints to be that different though so I ended up painting the remaining coats with just the floor paint. Doing that also ensured I would get the same finish everywhere.   It took three coats and while I was paining the last coat I did think that I’d need a forth one, at least to touch up here and there but when it was dry it was evident that three coats was enough.   As for the handrail I’m keeping it wooden and it matches all the handles downstairs too. I stained the handrail back when I did the rest of the handrails and I do like the look of it against the white and grey.   This may look like the finished product, but it’s not actually, I still have the mystery product to add and hopefully I’ll be able to show you that next week. Stay tuned.

Basement Stairs Part 2