Save Money: Make Your Vents New Again

There’s always something to do “At Koko’s Place”. I have a project list that seems to never end. One of those projects was addressing the vents; floor vents, wall vents, ceiling vents. I’d stare at the chipped-rusted vents daily…not out of being neurotic, but because I’d see them at least twice a day vacuuming. I knew I’d eventually get to it. What I didn’t know was that it’d take me ten years to do so!

Here’s what I did to make my vents new again. Oh, before I continue on the how, I wanted to mention that I looked into buying new vents. There were white ones, and metallic ones, and the same brown colored ones that mine were. The prices ranged from $8 to $15 dollars each. I have 24 of them and well that’s a lot of money. Also, my vents weren’t damaged, they were just chipped and rusty. My conscience wouldn’t allow me to toss them. What else could I do? The obvious answer was to paint them, so I did.

Now…here’s what I did…

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Sparing you a ton of pictures…this is an example of what they all look like.

If you are a DIY’er, I’m sure you’ve researched how to remove rust. There are many ways to do so. One of them is soda pop method. I thought I’d give it a try. I mean, if it saved me from having to sand each one by hand, I’m in!

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I don’t drink soda, but I happen to have been given a gift basket with this in it.

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Supposedly you let the object sit in the cola and it eats away the rust.

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This is what it looked like days later. It did eat off some of the rust, but not all, and the metal seemed to have bubbled, so sanding was still a must. I decided I wouldn’t be continuing this cola method.

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I lightly sanded all over the vent and took more time to sand the rust places clean.

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For the slots…I wrapped sand paper around a tongue depressor/wooden stick…anything flat to get between the slots will work…butter knife…ruler…piece of cardboard…

After I sanded, I washed the vents with soap, and rinsed, and dried them well. I set them in front of a fan to make sure they dried thoroughly.

Oh, I forgot to mention that before I did all of that, I went to my local Home Depot to get the paint. I didn’t know what color I wanted to spray them, I just knew I didn’t care for the color they were.

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My paint guy suggested this type of paint. He said this had great coverage and would be durable. I needed durable since most of the vents are on the floor. He said this paint would be a great choice. I was stoked that it was a paint and primer in one! I like the metallic bits in the paint. Helps to hide imperfections in the metal too! Win-win.

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I let my paint guy choose the color. I’ve been getting his advice on paint for a decade and he hasn’t let me down! It glitters! Shiny! Swoon!

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This pic was taken during the day. I love the color!

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Before…(Vent from downstairs bathroom).

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After! (Vent from living room).

What do you think of the before and after?

What I took away from this project: 1. You can’t skip good old fashion sanding. I don’t enjoy doing it, it’s just one of those things you can’t get away from. So, unless you know of an easier way of getting rid of rust… 2. A good paint is essential for a good outcome.

Pros on this Rust-Oleum Universal Advance Metallic Spray paint:

1. As I mentioned above, the metallic hides flaws and if there were no flaws, I’d still use it because the metallic feature is just so pretty and just so cool, don’t you think?!

2. I like the spray nozzle. It’s comfortable and simple to use. Just shake well, point and go at it! I was concerned about getting to the many slots and angles of the vents, but I found that the type of nozzle on this particular spray can, really handled the job well. No sore finger (if you’ve done a lot of spray painting, you know what I mean). I found doing short bursts the best way to get it covered. I did three coats and made sure that I allowed it to dry to the touch in between coats. It was a nice warm day and it was dry to the touch in about 15 minutes, but I waited an hour. After the last coat was on and dried to the touch, I stored the vents in the garage for a week to make sure they were fully cured before installing them.

3. The finish of the paint is really smooth.

4. I like how fast the paint dried (to the touch).

5. As for durability, it’s holding up super well. I vacuum right over them at least twice a day.

Cons on this Rust-Oleum Universal Advance Metallic Spray paint…

1. This isn’t a really a con, but it’s the only thing I can think of…having to take off paint with mineral spirits. I know, it’s not really a con. This paint is oil based and as you know, oil based needs mineral spirits to take off.

I’m thrilled with the outcome. This project was easy… time-consuming (because I waited several days for a good hard cure), but easy. This saved me money too (Insert cheer here*).

Look out rusted shower curtain rod…you’re next! Rust-Oleum Universal Metallic Advanced Paint and Primer in One is a paint I will use again.

I don’t regret the color, but as the project continued, I was thinking about other colors and it could be a fun way to add a “pop” of color; like orange, or turquoise, or rose gold… If you do this project, a “pop” of color could be super awesome! 🙂

If you have vents that need a face-lift, this could be a fab solution for you. Thank you for reading!

✿ Peace, Koko ✿

 

 

 

 

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Repurposing An Old Cat Tree

 

IMG_2516Breathing new life into something old…My first instinct is how can I fix it. Tossing stuff out and buying new is always easier, but not always easier on the wallet, and besides that, I don’t always find the “new” better than what I already have. They just don’t make things like they used to. All too often I find that statement is so true. Though in this case, my cat tree is nothing special and yes, you can find this style and probably better, but my cats like it and that’s most important. So I’m going to spiffy this one up.

Before I show you what I did, remember when I made a cat tree/bed out of a wooden spool? You can see it here… That was when I found out how much they really liked to scratch on sisal. Which is why I chose to use sisal to freshen up this tree instead of wrap more carpet around it. I may do carpet again another time, but I have a few rolls of sisal, so sisal it is! Here’s what I did…

Supplies:

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one old cat tree

sisal rope

hot glue gun

glue sticks

scissors

vacuum

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Vacuum the tree really well. I usually get to it about once a week to help keep the hair down in the house. If I didn’t vacuum the house a few times a day, it would look like I live in a “hair” house! Ack!!!!

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Cut/trim off any strings or carpet strands. See the hair? That’s because I had helpers while trimming, hence the need to vacuum a lot! Good thing I can vacuum the cats too. I put on the brush attachment and go at them. They actually like it! 🙂

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I really let this tree go! You know, “Oh I will get to it later?”…

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After trimming loose parts, I hot glued down carpet parts that have loosened. (That’s Evan the dog. He is one of the sweetest pups I’ve had the privilege to have in my life. He’s got the most unique fur. I will feature him in a post one day. He’s so cool, he has his own instagram!)

Depending on how your tree was originally made… I found the carpet was stapled along the seam. That’s fine, but if the cats scratched it loose around the stapled part, then the whole carpet piece was loose. I cut parts of the carpet off. Later on, I realized I could have left it. Either way I found it worked whether I left the carpet loose or cut it off.

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Choose a good place to start. I hot glued at the beginning of the sisal rope and then as I wound the rope around I added more hot glue. I wanted this good and tight as I know my cats and they really, really love to scratch on sisal. 

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Here you can see I decided to cut off the carpet. I didn’t see the sense in leaving a little piece here and there, though I doubt it would have made a difference under the sisal. BTW, that’s Chaz. My helper for the moment. 

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Chaz didn’t move at all. I guess he found what I did interesting.

Find another section that needs sisal and keep on hot glueing around and around and around…

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and around…

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That’s Spencer at the top this time and Eva peeking through! One more leg to go…

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The last leg! Finally.

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Done!

Easy project. This did take longer than I expected. I think having “helpers” added to the time, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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This time, at the top, is Sherlock. Aptly named as he is our most curious cat! And Chaz who is always good for relaxing “down at the club”. 

Tree looks much better! The best part is, the cats are happy to use it!

Tips:

Hot glue is HOT so be careful. You can use a chop stick or a screw driver to hold the sisal in place for a few seconds as it dries.

Sisal can poke into your skin. I had to tweeze out a couple “splinters”. You can wear leather gloves. I just sucked it up! Hahaha. I don’t do well with gloves. Which is why I have to deal with poison ivy on my hands when I’m out doing yard work.

You can hot glue a section and just wrap the sisal around a few times and then glue another small section. You don’t really need to glue every inch as you go along.

If your cat prefers carpet, home improvement stores carry carpet remnants. Rugs are also great and you can buy them at places like Target. They are smaller and easier to handle. I’ve used a good razor blade knife (be super careful) and cut the sizes I need.

The sisal I used for this project I bought at HomeDepot a couple of years ago. I did a check and they still carry sisal. Make sure it’s all natural, free from chemicals. This one states:  Safe for use with pet toys like cat scratching posts. Natural fiber-twisted rope is biodegradable and economical. Home Depot also ships! Since this project used up the last of my stock, I will be getting more. Sisal is really handy and I use it for many projects.

We know how finicky cats can be, so I hope this gives you an option to redo a cat tree your kitty already loves!

You are FABULOUS for reading this far! And I thank you so much for doing so! I hope you have a purrfectly happy day!

Koko

DIY Shelves Ikea Style

 

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I’m super excited about the new shelves in my home! There were some minor hiccups along the way, (isn’t that how it usually is with DIY… you experiment, try new things?) even with the “ack” moments, I’m really happy with the way it all turned out. This is how it went down…or up?…

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I tried to make my own stain using the steel wool method. Notice the word tried? I want to give this DIY stain another go. I believe my mistake was letting this mixture sit too long. Thus the strong rust color rather than the weathered gray I was going for.

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1. Fine steel wool in a glass jar  2. Pour white vinegar to cover steel wool (about 2 cups)  3. Let sit for a few days  4. Stain is made (again, I think I let mine sit too long)

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These brackets are from Ikea. I bought them about 10 years ago. They were light pine, lovely as is, but I wanted a weathered look. The second bracket from the left was after one coat and the third bracket was after a second coat. Neither color was anywhere near the weathered gray I was going for.

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I found the stain didn’t go on evenly even though I applied it evenly. Perhaps it was because I didn’t use a wood conditioner.

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I had hoped with a third coat the color would even out somewhat (and hoping the color would gray out as they dried…), but that was not the case. As I mentioned above, the color came out a “rust” color instead of the weathered gray I was hoping to achieve. At this point I was not in a full-blown panic, but more like “ack”! I’d been waiting for the right time and place to use these and now I’ve ruined them! What do I do now?

So… I got out my trusty DeWALT palm sander and went at the brackets. I didn’t sand them down to bare wood as I still wanted the weathered look and decided a whitewashed technique could be just what these brackets needed. You can see the whitewashed technique here.

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I wanted to mention how I hang stuff on my walls. TAPE. I use tape to “see” what the finished look will look like. You will see in future posts that the artwork is hung different from what is taped here (hence the beauty of using tape. See it before the nails go in.) I also changed the color of the walls in this room. The clock stayed in the same spot and so did the shelves. 🙂 I moved the cat house you see in the corner of the picture to the hall upstairs. I’ve noticed the cats scratch at it way more up there and it seems to be a great spot for them to go to when they need some quiet time. (see the cat post here) The lamp was moved to another room. You can see the lamp shade project here. Following At Koko’s Place you will see that things rarely stay in the same place for long!

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The boards I used for the shelves used to be one of two huge bookcases. My awesome husband took them apart for me and the boards sat in the garage where they awaited what their new life would be. Picture them stained the darkest brown color you see here. I sanded them, leaving both the natural wood color and some of the brown stain, knowing I would whitewash the boards using the technique I did on the dresser turned desk here.

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In making the bookcases, I countersunk screws… In making shelves, I didn’t want them to show. I then cut four boards down to 40 1/2 inches long using my DeWALT jig saw and then sanded the edges. 

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Patch away I did. There was a lot of patching to do! After patching, I sanded it all flat.

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Dark gray walls now! The rack of plants I move around to follow the sun. And spoiled pets…the reason we bought sofas. 😉

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Taped the walls again after the new color went on. Frog tape was used this time instead of Scotch Blue. The headlamp was because I decided to hang the shelves around midnight and I didn’t have adequate lighting in the room at the time. What? I know I’m not the only one that does projects at odd hours 😉

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I used the level as I taped the lines. It made the job easier for me. I didn’t have studs where I needed them to be, so I used wall anchors. Best invention. See them in this project here.

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Four down, four to go!

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Even though I pre-leveled, I still would check the level as I went along. I also made sure the brackets were in a straight line.

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All done! Now to add the boards.

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*Insert happy squeal here!

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Plants bought from Trader Joe’s, Home Depot, and Costco. Owl from TJMaxx. Buddha, can’t remember, I’ve had him for a long time.

I lived with the blue, then the green tapes for a bit. Over the course of a few weeks, I moved the tapes from three shelves to four and played with the spacing. I tried to picture what I would have on the shelves and how tall I envisioned the plants to grow. Since I love greenery, I knew I wanted more space to put them so that was why I added the fourth shelf. And I am happy I did!

Thank you so much for reading. As always, I appreciate YOU! Have a beautiful day!

❀Be well and just love! Peace, Koko❀

 

Surfboard Storage

At the moment, we are in a landlocked state. That means, no ocean touching our state on any side. Sadly, not even within driving distance. One day we will be near ocean again. It’s not a dream, it’s a reality! Until then, I wanted to store our boards in a way to still remind us that we surf, we love the ocean, we still are in the game!

There are many ways to store/showcase surfboards. Here’s what I did…

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I got these cute dragonfly hooks. I used a stud finder to secure the screws into studs. The dragonfly hooks slips easily onto the screw. I bought these at Target.

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I then used ribbon to hang the surfboard on and then slip the ribbon onto the hooks. Simple!

 

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Here, I wanted this type of look. The wood adds a nice element and really ties the wood tones in this room. You can see the shelving unit I built here… You can see I kept the wood natural in the shelving. I knotted this rope because “Spencer The Cat” loves to play with the hanging piece! Picture of him can be found on my instagram! Though I do have a few felines, he’s one of the orange ones. Future post on all the abandoned critters that have found safe refuge with us coming… 🙂

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And speaking of wood tones… I think it goes well not only with the shelving, but it goes nicely with the “drum” nightstand you can find that post here…  🙂 See that bottom surfboard? That was made by Rusty himself!

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These simple hooks can be found most anywhere…Home Depot, Lowes, Target. They are around 3 bucks for two! Not bad.

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I used cotton rope to hang these boards.

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Oh hi! This is “Spencer The Cat”! He loves to sleep, take baths, and purr.

Surfer Magazine wrote in 2020 surfing will be an olympic sport! If you love surfing, whether you like to surf or just watch, this is exciting news! My family is super excited about this!

If you have surfboards, paddle boards, even light kayaks, this hanging system could be a fun way for you to store your equipment.

Happy Friday to all you AWESOME followers. Go find, be, do something that excites you!

Peace, Koko 🙂