Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Answers & Tile Grout Project


I had NO idea how many questions I would get, what was I thinking? LOL I had fun reading through all of them. I hope you all don't think that I think I'm a total expert on everything decorating, because I assure you, I am not. These are just my observations and opinions from doing this for a long time, so please keep that in mind.

Anyway, I'll go ahead and answer a few of them in this post (to the best of my ability) and the other decorating questions, we'll get to later. I may pop over to some of your blogs to answer the easy ones of those and share some later too and let everyone chime in on them. I'd love to do a few posts with pics and share ideas so that we all can chime in on some of these too. So, if I don't get to your question now, I will try to get to all of them later on in the next couple of weeks, even if I do several on one post. OK?! Stay tuned for more later....

Stacey in Oklahoma said...
Here's one that I think you've been considering also...My home is decorated mostly in reds, golds & greens. I want to incorporate some of the beautiful robin's egg blue that has become so popular now. I've noticed spots of it in my rugs, couch, etc...Want to include more through the accessories but it seems so different. Any ideas? I'm actually redoing my living room right now. Thought about painting the ceiling a very light version of that color.

Dear Stacey: Those are mainly the colors in my house too and I do think you can add a bit of the robin's egg blue in some rooms quite easily. In my den (see above pics), I have some of that color in my large rug and also some fabric in one of my chairs, so I decided to add accents of the aqua blue in my entertainment center shelves. I started a collection of that color & it's amazing what all is out there once you start looking for it. Many of my pieces came from yardsales and thriftstores. I think a light blue ceiling would be great too. I've got a couple of areas I want to paint my ceiling blue. I do have that deep blue in 2 rooms for my hubby, so adding the lighter blue isn't such a stretch. But, since you have touches of it around too, I do think you can bring it in in accessories. Think about throw pillows, artwork, and pottery pieces incorporating that color.

paintergal said...
Rhoda, you are going to get bombarded! Here's mine.Since we took down the wall length mural and painted that wall, I have no idea what to put in its space. Plus I don't want to spend too much $$.
http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e144/fringe_elephant/frwall.jpg

Dear Carol: You can put any kind of artwork on this wall. If I were you, I'd wait until something special comes along that strikes you and then add it to this wall. One large pretty piece of artwork would look great on that wall or a grouping of 3 smaller ones would work too. Go thrifting or yardsaling, you never know what you'll run across. I know you don't miss the mural!

Jen said...
My son has done some art work for me that I would like to have framed and display....where do you put things like that in a home? Also my hall walls are bare and would like to hang family photos here...is this appropriate?

Dear Jen: I don't love to have a lot of family pics all over the main areas of a house, like HUGE framed pictures of family all over the livingroom wall or over the fireplace. I know many people do this, but it's just not such a good look and is frowned upon by most decorators. But, I have a few family pics and our wedding pics in smaller frames on tables in the livingroom. That's about the extent of my family pics, except on the shelves in my office nook. I think hanging your family pics in the hallway is a good idea, it's away from the main areas of the house. When you do it, keep all the frames unified by painting or buying them all one color...like all black frames with cream mats or all white frames with cream mats. Unifying all the frames to one color really makes a grouping like that work. On your son's artwork, do you have some wall space in your laundryroom or somewhere off the beaten path that you could frame and display them? That might be a solution.

Anonymous said...
Is it time to start putting away my seashells and decorating with pumpkins?

Dear Anon: I'm seeing lots of girls getting out their pumpkins, although for me it's a bit too early. My seashells are still out! I think that's a matter of personal choice, but I'd wait until October to really get going on the fall decor. That's me though! I'm not huge on fall decorating anyway. I save it all up for Christmas.


Frantic Home Cook
said...
Oooh! Free decorating advice from the master? Goody!We have a beautiful cherry 4-poster that we splurged on years ago. The rest of the furniture in that room is hand-me-down 60's modern dressers covered with scratches. Given our current financial situation, I don't see us buying new new dressers soon. I'd paint them black but that doesn't seem to go with the cherry bed. Any ideas on how to cheaply make this room cohesive?

Dear Francie: Well, congrats on the cherry 4-poster! That's a good classic piece. As far as the other pieces, you know they aren't working already. Here's what I would suggest...get out to the thrift stores and consignment stores and see what you can find on the cheap. There are tons of older cherry pieces out there for probably not a lot of money. If you have any extra money that you could put towards a dresser or chest, that's what I'd suggest. Even if you find some beat up pieces that you can paint for cheap, that would be a good start. If you absolutely can't get anything right now (or in the near future), then I would suggest painting those pieces you have (even though they are contemporary) in a satin black finish. I like black mixed with cherry just fine, it's a good look and putting some black painted pieces in with stained pieces works too. That's my 2 cents, for what it's worth!

The Tomball Three
said...
Yes- here's one. What is the square footage of your house? I wonder that you can keep adding on and never fill up!

Dear Tomball Three: I think our house was advertised when we bought it at 3,000 s.f. It's large, but not overly large and lives well for us. If you're talking about adding more of my yardsale finds to it...YES, it is filled up now and I don't have much room for more. I do edit and get rid of things periodically (I'm probaly going to have my own yardsale next month). I just took out some of my old flower arrangements that were looking a little tired to me and am putting other things in their place. So, I do edit and delete things as needed to make room for my new finds.

Prissy said...
Love your blog!I have a 4 poster bed that sits up high off of the floor...what are some ideas on bedspreads or comforters to use. The bedskirts I find are too short to come to the floor....plus, I think I'd like to show off the pretty maple wood (oh, and I've finally cleaned out from under the bed)

Dear Prissy: Karin said what I would have said on this already, so I'll post her comment here too. Karin said "but I saw Prissy's question about a skirt for a tall four poster bed and I wanted to throw out what we did for a while. Get out your staple gun! I stapled fabric to the back of the side rails. Once time, I took apart a bedkirt and stapled that and one time I bought fabric and stapled that to the rail. You don't ever see the staples so nobody will ever know." That's a perfect solution, fabric and the staple gun. I've even heard of girls taping up fabric underneath the side rail too, as well as using a tension rod under there.

Anonymous said...
Love your blog! Just wondering if you do your own house cleaning? If you do, I am sure you must have this down to a science on how you get it all accomplished (with so many items to clean. Care to share your organizational skills on this?Also, would love to know what church you attend??Keep up the great work! You are a doll and such a joy! XOXO Gena

Dear Gena: YES! I do my own housecleaning. And probably not enough of it. Like many of you, I waste a lot of time blogging (although it's such a fun outlet & I love it). I clean once a week and don't spend a lot of time the other days on the house. I vacuum upstairs and down and do the bathrooms. Some weeks I break it into 2 days & clean downstairs, then upstairs. I have to admit, I'm not a fanatic about dusting every single thing in my house all the time. Most things on the tables and shelves get a light dusting every couple of weeks and then I'll take everything off the shelves when I can't stand it any longer and dust it all. That's my weak area! Since it's just me and my hubby at home, the worst rooms to keep clean are the kitchen and our master bedroom/bath area. I do concentrate most on those areas every week and mop the kitchen floor and keep those areas tidy and clean. I do deeper cleaning, like baseboards and windowsills every few months as needed. I think our house is clean, but not fanatically clean. I'm more fanatical about clutter and dirt. Can't stand either of those. I have to constantly work on getting rid of mail, newspapers, and magazines. We attend the Church at Brook Hills here in B'ham. Great church and large church!

The Berry's Patch
said...
Rhoda,You have such a popular blog. How do you manage your time blogging? Do you have set hours during the week to blog? Do you stick to those hours? I'm trying to schedule my blogging so that I can get everything else done as well. I would love to hear how you do it.Seems like I'm the only one going for the personal question.lolBrandee :-)

Dear Brandee: Oh, that's a hard one! I don't do all that well at managing my time blogging. When I'm home, I tend to let the computer suck up my free time. Since it's hot out, I haven't been getting outside as much as I used to, but I want that to stop when the weather cools off. I do get out of the house all the time, but when I'm home, I do spend WAY too much time blogging, as I'm sure everyone else seems to also. I don't have a great answer for how to handle blogging time better. I do use Bloglines for reading all the blogs I enjoy on a regular basis. I do all my posts ahead of time and keep them in draft and I have just started to use the Scheduled Post feature on a regular basis. I love that! If only there was a way to keep up with all you other bloggers better, I would love to find that out. It's just hard to keep up with it all, no doubt about that! What I need to do is limit myself to a certain amount of time every day for blogging, but I haven't been able to get that down to a science. My hubby thinks I blog way too much & I probably do!

Pamela Terry and Edward
said...
Where do you put your Christmas tree?

Dear Pamela: Our Christmas tree goes directly in front of the front door, upstairs in our split foyer house where our livingroom railing is. I have a console table there that I move and that seems to be the best spot that I have found for it.

Laura @ the shorehouse.
said...
Here's one...How do you find such great yard sales? LOL. ;-)Do you have any advice for covering up scratches in wood floors (other than the area rugs that are consuming our home? ;-)? We have soft wood floors that scratch super easily (thanks in part to the dog -- no matter how many times we trim her claws). I'd love a scratch cover-up solution since we just refinished the floors when we moved in in January!

Dear Laura: Well, the yardsales seem to find me! Really, when I lived in Atlanta, there were great sales over there too and I have not been disappointed in the almost 3 years we've lived here. We live in a large community with lots of neighborhoods, so there is never a shortage of yardsales within a 5 mile radius of our house. I just get the paper out when I want to scout them out & see what's out there for the weekend.
For those wood scratches, I use a product called Howard's Restor-A-Finish. I think I got it an an antiques place. It comes in different colors & is great for covering small scratches. If yours are deeper, it might be harder to cover, but sometimes those scratch covers work great on minimizing the scratches.

OK, that's all the questions and answers for this post! I promise, I'll get to more of them later on. I may ask some of you who asked decorating questions for some pics or posts to share when we do get to those. Thanks SO much for all the participation! This was a lot of fun.
********************************************* Have you ever had tile grout SO dirty that you were willing to tear up the tile and start over? Well, I had some dirty tile grout in my old kitchen in Georgia that I was tired of trying to keep clean, so I resorted to painting it with Patio Paint. I chose a color called Natural Tan Grout, got a small paintbrush and painted away. You can see that old tile above in my old kitchen. It held up well for the 4 years or so it was painted before I moved. I even left the bottle of Patio Paint for the new owners to use if they needed it. It barely got scuffed at all and took care of that nasty grout once and for all. I know there are grout paints out there in the big box stores, but this Patio Paint worked for me (I hear they've changed the name of it).

My friend, Judy from Montgomery, and I got together a couple of weeks ago and she was lamenting her dirty grout in the kitchen and had just about decided to rip it up and put in hardwoods. I talked her into trying out this outdoor paint on her dirty grout and here are the results. Check it out here! Just thought I'd pass this info along, just in case there are anymore out there with dirty grout syndrome. I know there are some pretty excellent grout cleaners on the market (Finazzle comes to mind), but if you have light grout, it seems to be an ongoing problem to keep it clean.

I'm going to do a post soon on that old kitchen of mine in Georgia. It went through a really great overhaul 6 years ago when painted and glazed cabinets were just coming into vogue. New doors for the cabinets, which were painted and glazed by me, new granite tile countertops, tumbled marble backsplash, AND some really nifty wood moldings and corbels were added for a LOT of pop. I'll share that with you soon! I know many out there are always looking for kitchen inspirations and how to update on a budget. This one was done for less than $3K. Stay tuned....

No more dirty grout!

Me and the hubby went over to Grandma Eleanor's little house yesterday to check it out. Oh my! Talk about a before and after opportunity. It's a cute little house & needs some major TLC right now. Peeling paint everywhere. Two bedrooms, with a cute fireplace in the livingroom, hardwoods all over. Tiny little place, but it will be adorable when it's all painted and ready to show. We are going to have to hire a paint crew to come in and do all the prep and painting, it's obviously been years since this house has had any upkeep done to it. I'll share some before pics soon. This might be my toughtest challenge yet!


On Thursday, we are headed up to the mountains of NC for a few days to visit my parents. Home grown veggies are awaiting us, as well as fresh blueberries right off the trees. My mom said she'd make blueberry pancakes one morning. Yum...can't wait! I'll have something scheduled while I'm gone. See you in a few...

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Stacey in Oklahoma said...

I feel famous for being included today. :) Thanks for your ideas and keep them coming.

Stacey

Kathryn said...

Thanks for the grout encouragement. I've been wondering about painting mine; now, I think I'll give it a try! (Have already scraped and regrouted the tile in my daughter's bathroom. I do NOT want to do that again!)

Looking forward to your kitchen post. We've been working on our kitchen. I now have granite countertops but am working towards the tumbled marble backsplash. I REALLY want to paint/glaze my oak cabinets (actually, I'd like new cabinets, but not now that they're covered with granite!). And, I'd like to replace a few of the wood fronts with glass or fabric to break up all the wood.

Love your ideas and inspirations! :-)

Self Confessed Lamp Tramp said...

Super answers, Rhoda!
I've used a product called GROUT COLORANT. It seals the grout, changes or renews the color. You buy it at Home Depot. One 8 fl oz bottle goes a long way. Great product!

Darlene said...

I am so excited to see you answering questions already. Everyone else also asked questions that I would like answered, so thank you for your wealth of information on decorating.

I love the blue accent pieces in with your whites and shells. I think that I am going to start looking at yard sales & thrift shops for certain color schemes to blend in (for that pop of color)at different times of the year.

Tara said...

Rhoda

I am so happy to hear about this grout paint and I am going to do it...just makes the room seem yucky even when clean as the grout looks dirty!

I have found a great way for keeping up with my blogs...the new BLOGGER feature under Add a gadget in Layout. Click on the newest feature called Bloglist...click on "add to list" and you can add your fave blog URL or just upload all your blogs from Google reader (as I did) with the push of a button! Then on your blog, it will feature who updated their blogs and when. Come see my blog and you'll see my fave blogs updated on the sidebar (scroll down a bit towards the bottom to see it). It has saved me HOURS of surfing, now I just click on the blog when it pops up as updated. I am thinking Blogger did this to keep up with Google Reader. Good luck, you'll love it!
:0)
Tara

Brown-Eyes said...

Hi Ms. Rhoda...Thanks for an interesting read today. I did learn some things, too. Have a great and safe trip to visit your parents. ;-) Bo

Nikki said...

Rhoda, I enjoyed all of your answers to these questions.

Nikki said...

Oh, and I'm with you on not being ready for fall yet. I live in Alabama too and it is just too hot to think about it.

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

Well, it was fun to hear the questions that everyone came up with, and I admit I am glad to hear that you seem to have a hard time knowing how to manage the blogging, too. I am still new to this but it does seem to take up a lot of time!
-Carrie

Inspired Kara said...

The mountains of North Carolina. Ahhhhhhhhh. I LOVE it there. My whole family is from Waynesville, 30 minutes outside Ashville, NC in the smokies. It is one of my absolute favorite places on earth.

And don't for a second think I'm not already planning to move there someday :)

Enjoy your time in my favorite part of the country :)

Ms. Tee said...

What fun! I loved seeing all of your answers, and I am so excited about the paint for the tile grout. What a genius idea!! :)

Kristy said...

I just started my blog and think yours is amazing !! Thanks for answering each question asked, it gave alot of good info. Maybe one day I'll start getting regular comments :) Have a great Wednesday!

Sue said...

I enjoyed reading all your answers...you did get a lot of questions but I knew you would!! Have a great time visiting your parents.

Sandi McBride said...

What a wonderfully informative post! But then, I've come to expect it from you, lol!
hugs
Sandi

Debbie said...

Wow Rhoda, I can't believe you are off and running with some amazing answers already! I loved your grout idea and I'll have to remember that in the future.

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

Eek, you are brave to ask for questions! At least you'll have topics for a long time to come!

Just peeking back in to some blogs after the week and a half away, I've missed so much!

Happy day,
Melissa

Strawberry Blonde said...

Love all of the answers. And I really think I'll have to look into the grout paint for my bathrooms. They all have tile, but it has dingy gray grout. We'll have to change that.

I'm in Alabaster, by the way. You pass us on the interstate as you go to Jemison. There are a few neat shops here. There is Southern Consignment and in Pelham is Consigning Interiors, but I bet you've been to both. As for me, I hit the thrift store about once or twice a week. Love a good bargain. Let me know when you have your yard sale. I may have to venture your way.

:) Brandi

Reynie said...

Rhoda, you're the best for answering all those questions! I didn't get a chance to add mine... When are you going to publish a book or sign up for HGTV's next design star!!!

Celly B said...

What an interesting post; it's great to hear your answers for everyone.

After living for nine months without most of my furniture while waiting for our other house to sell, I got it back this weekend. I've had fun arranging it in this house and seeing its potential. I posted some pics and would love for you to stop by my blog if you get a chance.

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Hi Rhoda,
I think it's great of you to do this. I'm not surprised that you got bombarded with questions. Thanks for being such a good sport! I look forward to your posts to see which other questions you answer.

I have a problem with my grout too...and looked at Judy's pictures a while back..but couldn't find the paint. Now I see one of your commenters gave another name brand...so even the comments are helpful. LOL
Have a safe trip!
Diane

Happy @ Home said...

Rhoda,
I now have a signature thanks to you.

I really appreciate you answering my question. Blog friends are the best.

Have a great time with your parents.

Kim

Jen said...

What great answers....I was thinking you were going to say artwork in the laundry room...i agree thanks so much for info on the frames and matting though...good advice...you should do this again soon.

Deb said...

Great Q & A post Rhoda. I like your idea on painting the ceiling a light blue shade :-)

Marie said...

I love the advice about the bedskirt! Now why did it never occur to me to STAPLE it on?? Ugh, the time I have wasted on bedskirts... you don't even want to know. lol Thank you! And thanks to the girls who asked!

Melissa Wertz said...

Rhoda, I paint my kitchen grout all the time. Well, not all the time. Maybe once a year or so with a few more frequent touch ups. There was a place that I could order a color grout sealant online. You match it up with your grout. Silly me, ordered it, used it. Pricey. Lasted a long time though. Then I had new counter tops installed. Granite tile. I needed to seal the grout and decided I did not like the grout selection. But the color sealant I had for the floor was not food safe.... Guess what! I discovered regular grout sealer and enamel paint that are both food safe can be purchased. You match it up with swatches to match your grout and mix it 1-1. (Just a little at a time b/c it is a life time supply) and it is a small fraction of the cost of the color sealant!!! Like 1/6-1/4 the cost. Lasts for ever. And you can use it everytime you repaint the grout on your floor.

Sorry this post is so long.

Also, don't let an enthusiastic child help paint the grout.

Kristy said...

Thanks for the comment and welcomed advice.

The Berry's Patch said...

Hi Rhoda,

Thanks for answering my question from yesterday. I'm trying to be more organized with the blogging. For instance, I'm visiting the first half of my blog roll in the morning, second half in afternoon and then when the kids are finally in bed I'm checking out new blogs. That way I can get my other stuff done in between blogging time.

I'm going to look into the grout paint. My grout is nasty.

Brandee :-)

Joy said...

That is so wonderful of you to answer all those questions with your wealth of knowledge. You're doing a great job helping a lot of people.

A Hint of Home said...

Thanks for all the helpful tips.
Have a great time in NC. We are in SC but less than a hour from Asheville.

Liz said...

Wow... thanks for all these fabulous ideas, and I adore your pics of beach decor. Have fun up in the mountains... it sounds lovely!

Elaine said...

Hello Rhoda, Sweet Chic-a-rella!
I love the 'advice column' - you are an expert if we say so! LOL
I know that I missed your call out for questions the other day, but heck, I have a huge dilemma that I really need help with! It's a window problem. We have a slight cathedral ceiling (it's not super high - just trying to set the picture though). See the photo of the wall/windows at www.kunnenconstruction.com (they were our contractors). As you can see, one of the walls is almost entirely windows. At the top, there is that 'shaped' window with a curved/semi-round top. Because there are also windows on the side flanking this wall, it is nearly impossible for me to come up with a window treatment! We had thought it would be fine to leave 'as is' because it isn't a privacy issue, however this wall faces EAST and in the summer, this room gets HOT even with AC on....
The width of the wall is long enough that we cannot find a rod to cover the length. The windows are made wood, and hubby wants to keep them unpainted since we are in a very natural environment and it's fitting to have wood/not paint on them. What can you suggest?

Screaming Meme said...

Great tips!!! I'm having a "faux" class that is starting come join in the fun! Screaming Meme

sandra/tx said...

Have fun in NC. Sounds like you won't be far from where we were just a few weeks ago when we visited my husband's uncle in Waynesville, NC.

kari and kijsa said...

Great tip on the grout! Love all the questions.

Have a blessed day!

smiles, kari & kijsa

sarah @ a beach cottage said...

hey Rhoda, i read all the answers with interest

phew that must have taken you ages...

I am definitely interested in the grout paint for my bathroom makeover next weekend, I'm just off to the link, thanks

Sarah

At Home Redesigns said...

Hi Rhoda:

I've featured your grout idea in my I Love These Ideas! Sunday column.
Hop over and grab a badge if you'd like:
http://athomeredesigns.blogspot.com/2008/08/i-love-these-ideas-sunday_24.html
Thanks!
Mary

Lallee said...

I am definitely going to try the grout painting in my kitchen. It has been a thorn in my side for a long time. We put darker grout over the light grout years ago and that worked for a while. I am hating the dark lines against the tile now. If I do this I'll be sure to post about it and link back to your suggestion.

I've enjoyed reading all your tips. You were a brave girl to put that question out!