Sunday, July 31

hanging it all on the line


My sister and I
Letting nature dry your clothing has many benefits.  Cutting back on dryer use saves energy and it's also great for the environment.  In many parts of North America the decline in clothesline use has soared since the popular electric dryer was introduced and a more unfortunate decline is due to communities of new developments restricting clothlines.  People have convinced themselves that they are unsightly and can decrease property values.  Yes shocking but true.

The fresh aroma of clothes hung out on the line beats the perfumed anti-static sheets tossed in the dryer any day. Did you know many of anti-staic sheets contain chemicals?  That can't be healthy for our skin.  I've also been told that hanging your clothes will increase their life span as the dryer wears them down quicker.

When I moved into my house years ago I installed a clothesline in my backyard quite easily.  I purchased the clothesline kit for less then $15 at Rona.  Following the instructions it might have taken 15 minutes start to finish.  As you can see below I attached one end to my deck and the other to my maple tree. I hung it quite high so it didn't interfere with the BBQ or raised garden.




I pre-drilled a small hole to screw this hook into a post on the deck:


I did the same for the other end on the maple tree.  I had to use a ladder to achieve the proper height.


With concerns of global warming increasing and the need to be more green clotheslines are making a comeback!

There are some parts of Halifax and many other places that have by-laws around clotheslines.  I think this is completely ridiculous - what has this world come to if you have taken the effort to prevent someone from letting the sun dry their clothes?  If you live in one of these areas I encourage you to challenge this law by contacting your local MP, getting neighbors involved, reaching out to locals, etc.  Ontario has already announced the end to current restrictions on permitting use of outdoor clotheslines. 

Lucky for me my neighbors all have them, some hang their clothes out year round!  If you live in an apartment or condo and are lacking the backyard space,  you can rig up a line on your deck to dry your clothes.

Clothes racks are another great option.  I have one in my basement and use it year round. Hanging clothes out either on the line or on the clothes rack in front of the wood stove brings me back to my childhood.  We rarely used the dryer.  However if your like me and share your house with furry friends the laundry might benefit from a few mintues in the dryer after the clothesline has done its job.  This way you remove the unwanted hair and have still lowered your carbon emissions!

Hanging it all out on the line gives you an excuse to be more active and take in some fresh air too.

Monday, July 4

DIY Door Makeover

Since purchasing my home 3 years ago my interior doors have been on my 'To-Do' list.  My original plans were to replace the doors with old solid wood panel doors.  I picked up 2 old doors from a home in Lunenburg to be refinished and planned on finding 2 more to match.  The doorways in my 163 year old home vary, all 80" heights but some 32" openings, others 29 3/4", etc.  With limited spare time on my hands for DIY projects and not knowing how to plane and re-fit new doors I decided that having to strip, sand, paint, apply new hardware, new hinges and plane the doors was a project that could get too costly and time consuming. 

Another option was to purchase new solid wood doors from Home Depot - I love the look of the horizontal 5 panel doors but they are $150 each and would still need to be painted, fitted and new hardware purchased.

My other concern is that the doors I have now work perfectly fine and too often I find people are buying new opposed to refurbishing what they currently have or re-using, so brand new doors are not an option.  I decided to make use of what I have.

Here is what I've been living with.  Plain hollow white slab doors.


I've always loved the look of glossy black doors, especially the traditional European decor trend where the doors and trim are painted the same color, and in most cases darker then the wall color.  I had left over trim from my recent archway project that I knew would give my plain slab doors character.  The key with DIY projects is being able to envision the end result.  I decided what size my square panels would be, measured and penciled them in. 

In my basement I cut my moldings at 45 degree angles using a mitre box.  I needed 16 pieces of trim so that meant 32 cuts. Next I attached the mouldings using PL construction adhesive and set heavy objects on the molding to keep it flush against the door while drying.


 I think I will use "No More Nails" for the next door - it is a construction adhesive that cures completely in 10 minutes where PL can take up to 24 hours. 


After the panels were attached and adhesive cured, I filled in the corners and sides with caulking to give a smooth finish.  Next I lightly sanded the door (with a sanding block) to ensure the glossy paint had a perfect surface to adhere too. This step is very important when finishing - in between the layers of paint on furniture, stairs, etc always give a light sanding - it helps remove brush marks and the paint will better adhere - I got this tip from a professional painter years ago :)


OK, here is it, without the hardware...painted with black acrylic high gloss latex based paint:


The doors look fantastic!  My partner is a huge supporter of my DIY projects however with this one he wasn't convinced at first and now he is uber impressed!  The hardware I've chosen is the Madison Door Knob by Emtek.  I am still shopping around for the best price:


So I've got one door down and 3 to go. 

What I needed:

-Measuring tape, ruler, pencil, mitre box and saw, PL adhesive and caulking (I already had all this)
-Panel moulding, about 24 feet, cost $20.70
-Paint cost $15 - will be enough for all 4 doors if I paint them all black.

But I have still have questions around this project, if you have any suggestions I'd love to hear them:

-Should I leave the trim white or paint it? 

-There are 2 doors that are in a small hallway upstairs that is a bit dark, should I paint these doors glossy white opposed to black (with the same paneling applied)? 

Cheers to re-using friends!

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