Unless you've had your head in the sand the last few years you should know what ORB is. But just in case you've recently come up for air, ORB stands for "oil rubbed bronze", a metallic paint finish. If you google it you could spend months on the internet reading about all the fantastic makeovers that have been done with this spray paint finish. It would seem that ORB is the go to choice for what seems like 99% of the spray paint fanatics aficionados out there in blog land. Just writing that makes me a bit worried that this is a fad that will soon pass, if it hasn't already. Nevertheless, I had a can or two in my basement paint cupboard just waiting for an appropriate project to come along.

And eventually it did, or they did, because I have two to tell you about. Neither one is anything to write home about - which means it's blog worthy ; ) - but even a little bit of ORB can make a difference in taking a project from nice to oooh nice.

A few weeks ago, when I was finishing my porch painting project, I mentioned that I wanted to do something about the brass hardware on my back door. There's no other brass in sight so it stuck out like a sore thumb. Below is the before photo of it again. Black chair, dark shades, black screens. The shiny yellow brass just didn't go with the black and gray.

The outside of our house has black window frames and a black metal railing so originally I was going to go with plain black. But since I already had the ORB I figured I'd save some dollars and make a little room in my paint cupboard at the same time. The color reads as mostly black anyway, with just a tinge of brownish tones and a bit of subtle metallic fleck. 

I started by taking all the hardware off the door and made sure to document how it all went back together (with my camera) so I wouldn't forget or omit anything. Since the project was stretched out over a couple of days it doesn't hurt to have that back-up to the sometimes unreliable memory bank. The parts included the door handles, backplates, the lock mechanism, strike plate and bottom kick plate on the door.

In prep I gave everything a light rub down with some fine steel wool. I opted not to use sandpaper because it might leave scratches in the metal that could be visible after painting. I followed up with a good cleaning using TSP substitute and finally I applied Zinsser deglosser to ensure proper adhesion of my primer.

I started with one coat of gray spray primer specifically made for metal. I'm partial to Rustoleum products because I've always had good luck with them, but you can find good metal primers in almost any of the major brands. I let the primer dry for the recommended time. I think it said to recoat within an hour or wait at least 24 hours. Being impatient I put the first coat of ORB on as soon as the priner was dry to the touch, which was maybe a half hour or so. It dries pretty fast. It'll depend on weather conditions and temperature of course. For the second coat I waited 24 hours, mainly because rain was threatening and I was working outside. And, because there were still a few little spots that looked uneven, I did a final light third coat. I don't know if it was necessary, or even recommended, but I decided to put a clear coat on top of everything. I'm sorry I don't remember exactly what I used. It was something I had in my stash that I have used before on metal. It cures to a nice hard finish and I thought that wouldn't hurt for something that's exposed to lots of daily use and the weather.

Here is the outside before. It's not the greatest photo but you can see that the windows, roof, screens, and handrail are all black and then...hello brass! Ugly. It looked a lot more yellow and shiny up close.

Afterwards, much better! I still need to paint the risers on the steps. It's on the list. By the way, that handrail is made out of old pipes painted black. It was there when we moved into this house and we've never changed it. It serves its purpose and now it's almost kind of trendy. I like that it is simple and minimalistic yet still very sturdy despite it looking rather flimsy.

I opted not to paint the actual lock on the outer door plate because I was afraid it might get scratched when fumbling around with our keys. However I have seen where others have painted the lock. If you want to do that you can fold a small piece of tape or paper to insert into the keyhole or alternatively put your key in part way and mask off the part of the key that sticks out. The main thing is to not get any spray paint in the keyhole so that it gums up the lock mechanism. 


So far, so good. It's held up fine with daily use for a month now. It's a definite improvement over the brass and I'm happy with it.

My second project involved a little cabinet I refinished last spring. We found it at a thrift shop and intended to fix it up as a media cabinet for my mother-in-law. In the end she didn't want it and I didn't have a place for it. So I decided to rehab it with some left over paint from another project and sell it. Unfortunately the weather was still too cold for spray painting so I couldn't redo the antique brass hardware.


I put it up on craigslist anyway and didn't get a single bite. I already knew the ORB would look great with the turquoise because I'd used it on my daughter's dresser. So I made room for the cabinet on the porch and there it sat until I needed to move it to do my porch painting. Since I was doing the door hardware anyway I decided to go ahead and take care of the cabinet hardware at the same time. Doesn't it look better?

I finally listed it again and this time it sold quickly. Whether that had anything to do with the ORB hardware or not will never be know, but maybe? It does seem to have magical properties. Now that the cabinet is gone I kind of miss it. I liked the pop of color it lent to the porch but alas there really wasn't enough room for both the cabinet and two chairs. I do have a pine bench on the other side of the room, with a brown stain finish that's seen better days, and I'm thinking it would look nice painted in a bright color. Future project.

So, are you an oil rubbed bronze fan? Or should I say a fan of ORB? I suppose a person could ORB a fan too. That might look pretty nice. If you've used it to do some fun makeovers I'd love to see. Feel free to show and tell in the comment section below. Happy spray painting! And have a safe and fun holiday weekend. I have a big project I'll be working on. More about that next week, if I make enough progress.



Does anyone have any great advice for how to keep birds from pecking on the wood siding of a house? There is a small bird that looks like a chickadee that lately is obsessed with ruining our siding! The neighbors must think I'm crazy when they see me running outside numerous times a day flailing my arms and screaming SHOO SHOO!! It would be great if there were some kind of additive that could be put in paint that tasted awful and didn't wear off.

I've been busy the last few days restocking my Red Telly Etsy shop. Here's a peek at a few of the vintage items you'll find there and a few to watch for soon. Hop on over and take a look at the rest of my listings while you're at it.
Danish Nissen style dowel wine rack.

Danish modern stainless steel cream and sugar set.

Vintage enamel stock pot. 

Set of four Bodum mugs for you Trekkies out there.
"Tea, Earl Gray, Hot"  SOLD

This fabulous crystal pear shaped terrarium! 

Midcentury melamine cream and sugar set.

Cute and colorful raffia letter and bill holder.

Colony glass 12-cup carafe.

Mint green pottery vase.

Lovely vintage paint-by-number.  SOLD



Passion Decor, a beautiful tumblr site I can't seem to get enough of! I think the pictures will speak for themselves in that respect. Here are a few that have caught my eye in particular.

Two beautiful floral painted pieces. 

Glass tile is on my radar for a new sink backsplash. This soft dove gray would be lovely.

I like this clever board and nail idea for hanging drapery. Easy too.

The palest of blue for my bathroom maybe?

Black window sashes. I've been debating this idea for awhile. I might try it on my back porch. 

Someday I'll have a table on my porch too. It would be perfect for breakfasts.

Butcher block and pipe legs would make a great work table in my laundry area.

A couple ideas I would love to incorporate in my front entry hall. I will probably never get up the nerve to paint over our beautiful oak woodwork, but if I did it could look similar to the stairway above. And a painted door would be so fun! A narrow bench next to the door would be so handy too. 

I just ordered a new wide angle lens for my camera that I'm hoping will allow me to get better shots of interiors. Can't wait to get it and start having fun.

Do you have any favorite sites that are especially easy on the eyes and where you go to get inspired? 



Time for another peek at some of "Craig's" recent offerings. Here are ten of my favorite current listings, in no particular order of weirdness. As usual, no identifying info will be revealed to protect the identity or location of the sellers. The seller's listing title is in bold.

1. Bedroom Set for sale - Great Condition! - $2000
    I think someone was on their death bed and trying to make a quick sell here. They managed to post this just before "going to the light". I guess they didn't have time to make the bed.

2.  Anybody looking for Bunk beds? - $100
     Yes, I'm looking. Where are they? Are they behind that bookcase? Come out, come out wherever you are.

     That's one angry looking "chestsa". I think I'll pass. 

4.  Recliner - $150   
     Is this the Michelen Man's chair? Darn right! What a deal!

5.  Blue Side Tables - $70 
    Have a slight tendency to leap frog when you're not looking. Might come in handy for small space apartment dwellers.

6.  Table Lamp with Glass Globe - $5  
     Here's a hot item. Literally! Hot off the stove.

7.  This and that!!! 
     This and that and WHAT? What is that thing?

8. Brown Storage Ottoman - $80  
    Or, you know, just throw stuff on the floor like they did. 

9.   Mr. Coffee Coffee Maker - $5  
      Really? A Mr. Coffee Coffee Maker? OMG! You mean it makes coffee?! Neat! BYOP - Bring your own pot.

10. Love seat - $20  
      I think "Love" may be overstating it a bit. I think Ugly Seat instead? Perhaps "Creepy, Witchy, Goth" or "Furry, Feline, Hairball"? 

Okay, that's all I have for this time. Have you found anything interesting or unusual on Mr. Craig's list? Sharing is required. Leave in the comment section below. 



This will be one of those mash-up posts with a little of this and a little of that. Some small projects I've completed, a few thrift finds, and the like.


Here is a little dip painting project. No before pictures. It's just your basic box store cheap stool. It had been sitting in my husband's basement workshop for years. He used it as a makeshift sawhorse or work stand. Before that it was a curbside pick-up. Yeah, it was pretty awful looking. My daughter wanted a stool for her kitchen so I basically stole this from the workshop and did a little rehab. I wanted some of the wood grain to show through so after brushing on the white I then wiped some of it off. The turquoise legs are done in the same paint I used on her dresser. Afterwards I scuffed the edges up a bit and gave it all a coat of poly. She's happy with it. I'm kind of "meh". I don't like the white. If I were to redo it I'd change the white to a dark charcoal gray.


Apparently I have a thing about big Tiki forks and spoons. I have a set that I painted turquoise hanging in my dining room. I did another pair in lime green that I sold in the shop. Then over a couple week's time span I came upon three more sets! One set is huge...45" tall! I painted those in olive green at the request of my daughter, also destined for her apartment. The other two are in the shop. One set is a tomato red and the other neon orange. In the pictures they look pretty similar but there is a difference. I really like the neon. Head on over to my shop if you're interested.

I've had this nautical looking weather station lying around for awhile. It was an ugly beat-up stained wood so I painted it white.  It has three gauges, one each for temperature, barometric pressure and humidity. I'm obsessed with looking at it every day, happy when the humidity levels are nice and low! I have it hanging on the back porch for now. 

Picture my 87 year old mother retrieving this ladder back chair out of her neighbor's dumpster. Way to go Mom! She thought it was too good to throw out, which it is, and asked if she could have it. The neighbor couldn't imagine why anyone would possibly want such a piece of junk. One man's junk, as the saying goes. I sort of like its rustic weathered look. It is old so I might just see if I can sell it and leave it up to the next person to decide if they want to paint it or keep it as is.

On our recent trip up north we stopped at a favorite little beach area on the shore of Lake Superior. It's right next to the University of Minnesota - Duluth Limnology Lab. Limnology is "the study of the biological, chemical, and physical features of lakes and other bodies of fresh water". It was built in 1888 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. I never noticed anything much about the building before except that it was old. Apparently it's gone through a nice renovation since I was there last time! Look at all that architectural detail, including the fish weather vane. There's a nice write-up on the link about the building's history and renovation. 

Aside from all my tiki sets, a few other treasures have found their way into my hands. I picked up a rather amateurish tropical bird painting at Goodwill one day, was about to pass on it, and then I turned it over and was immediately smitten. (Click to enlarge for easier reading). A nice little bit of 50's decor documentation. Of course I had to buy it.

The copper clad Paul Revere skillet wasn't even identifiable as copper at first. It was so grungy with baked on grease that it was almost black. But it had a nice heft to the pan and I was sure I'd be able to clean it up. It took hours of elbow grease but it finally got there. It has a riveted brass handle too. It's so pretty now while still showing some age. I tested it one morning and my eggs came out perfect. 

This little black wire magazine rack with it's cute ball feet had me at hello. So very mid-century. It's all metal, none of that plastic coated stuff. Keep or sell? I haven't decided yet.

The yellow tea kettle was a great find too. I'm always on the lookout for vintage enamelware. It was looking very gross and it's no surprise that it had been passed over in the thrift shop. The wrappings on the handle were black with grime and the enamel  looked chipped. But on closer inspection I was able to ascertain that it was just very dirty. There is a Japanese marking on the bottom of the kettle. After cleaning it up with Barkeepers Friend (my go to cleaner for anything metal) it came out looking pristine. There isn't a chip or scratch on it and the inside looks like it was never used. Even the handle came clean with a gentle scrub. I have it on my stove and the cheery yellow is a nice little boost of color to my kitchen. It makes a nice companion piece to a collection of other enamelware I own. 

Finally, I was smitten by this little bird. It's hand painted and has a Japanese stamp on the bottom too. It's a cute little dash of color sitting on my desk and makes me smile every day. 

If you have any fun finds or projects you've been working on lately feel free to show and tell in the comment section below. I'll be back next week with more. Have a great weekend.