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Dos and Don’ts for Painting Your Bathtub

paint bathtub

Bathtubs and shower areas are supposed to be places where you get squeaky clean. When they’re streaked with water stains, corrosion, and weird brown filth that only seem to get darker the more you scrub, it’s high time to do something about it.

Unless you have the cash to pay for a new whirlpool tub its hefty installation, that something involves painting the bathtub and shower area. I did it myself with pretty amazing results, so I’m sharing some dandy dos and don’ts.

Don’t pick the same bland color (aka white). Repainting your bathtub and shower area gives you a chance to pick a groovy color that makes your tub a showpiece. I went with battleship grey and black.

Do get the right kind of coating. Crayola markers won’t cut it. The same holds true for indoor spray paint, outdoor spray paint or basically anything not specifically designed for a constant flow of water, shampoo, soap scum and dirty feet.

Research led me to KlassKote, which is some incredibly heavy duty stuff. It’s a waterproof epoxy paint that can stick to basically any surface as long as you prepare the surface properly.

Don’t skimp on properly preparing the surface. If the stuff doesn’t stick, you’ll just have to do it over. Nobody wants that. Proper preparation involves filling in missing or rotting caulk, scrub-a-dubbing off existing soap scum, sanding all surfaces, wiping off the sanding dust, and applying a coat of epoxy thinner that smells like the bowels of hell.

Do wear a chemical mask. I skipped this step, a very big error. My fault, not the company’s, as it does have a clear warning (I read after I nearly passed out twice from the fumes and bowels-of-hell smell from both the thinner and the epoxy paint).

Don’t expect a good shower, or any shower, for at least four days. It takes the stuff at least four days to fully cure in temperatures between 75 and 80 degrees. If your house is cooler, expect to wait at least a week.

Do make good friends with the YMCA front desk people down the street in the hopes they’ll let you take a free shower.

Don’t arrive at the YMCA without the $10 for the daily guest pass they’ll make you buy to take a shower.

Do replace the hardware. No use in perking up your bathtub and shower with new paint if you’re just going to put the same old corroded faucet, handle and shower head.

Don’t expect all faucet systems to be created equal. Unless you purchase the same brand as your existing hardware, it’s likely the installation will require ripping open part of the wall to install new valves and pipe fittings.

Do keep your receipts. That way you can return the new brand when it doesn’t fit and use the money to buy the same brand as your existing hardware.

Don’t try to put on the new faucet when you’re tired, cranky and fed up with life. It will result in a tantrum when the faucet shoots off and creates a fat ding in your brand-new, epoxied tub.

Do keep extra epoxy so you can fix up dings when needed. Store it in a temperature-controlled environment, like the hall closet instead of the garage or outdoor shed. Otherwise it may blow up and create bowels-of-hell stench and fumes throughout the entire neighborhood. (I DID heed the warning on that one.)

bathtub before painting
Bathtub before painting. Yuck.
bathtub after painting
Bathtub after painting. Yum.
bathtub before painting
Bathtub before painting, putrid bottom and drain.
bathtub after painting
Bathtub after painting, sensational bottom and drain (especially when I put the drain cover on after the photo).

You can complete the whole project in a few hours if you’re properly prepared. If you give it a whirl, let me know how it goes!

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What to do with Old Greeting Cards

art therapy

Greeting cards are glorious, but they end up presenting a dilemma. Once you’ve enjoyed their sentiments and displayed them long enough to gather dust, what the heck do you do with them?

  • Throwing them in the recycle bin feels rude.
  • Throwing them in a little box in the closet works for a while, until the little box becomes a big box and the closet becomes the garage.
  • Keeping them up for display too long transforms the dust they gathered into corrosion. It also confuses house guests when they see a birthday card sent to you in May that’s still on display come October.

There must be another option. There is.

Make a Greeting Card Collage

The greeting card collage idea came to me when our art therapy group was assigned the topic of
SPIRIT – and mom had just so happened to have sent me a box of my baby and childhood greeting cards she found while cleaning out her basement.

The two worlds merged beautifully.

Childhood cards worked for the SPIRIT topic for several reasons (as you have to explain to the doc who heads the art group):

  • They were given in the SPIRIT of love.
  • They portray the SPIRIT of family.
  • Baby cards are especially a propos, as babies are new SPIRITS fresh out of heaven.
  • Most of the folks who had given the cards were now dead, and thus SPIRITS themselves.

Pretty good, eh?

greeting card collage

Tips for Making a Greeting Card Collage

Gather your supplies:

  • Canvas or some type of foundation
  • Mod Podge or other quality collage glue
  • Paint brush to apply the glue
  • Scissors to cut out portions of cards that catch your eye (like the freakish 1970s illustrations of baby faces)
  • Gaggle of greeting cards

Set the Theme

You can certainly make a hodgepodge Mod Podge collage with snippets of cards pasted randomly all over the canvas. Or you can pick a theme, as I did.

My overall theme was an angel (more SPIRIT). I cut the card snippets to look like feathers in the wings and picked particularly striking sentiments to serve as the angel’s face and body.

The face contains childhood writing from my brother in a smeary green marker. I cut it into a skull shape to add an edgy feel to the angel. The body features a funny card sentiment, again from my bro. It’s a pithy phrase about how having a sister is fabulous, especially if you can’t have a hamster.

Start Cutting and Pasting

The rest of the process is pretty straightforward. Set aside time to go through each card, snipping out sentiments that are near and dear, make you laugh, contain freakish 1970s illustrations or otherwise catch your eye.

WARNING: Do NOT attempt to go through old childhood memories on a weekday before work in case you’re overcome with emotions as I was.

Paste your greeting card snippets on the canvas, give the final product a finishing coat of Mod Podge, and then prop the whole thing on your séance table or couch back so it can sit around for months and gather dust.

Yep. My project backfired for a spell. Instead of having greeting cards on display gathering dust, I now had a whole greeting card collage on display gathering dust. Don’t fret. I found a permanent home where it’s now nestled nicely. A place where I aim to dust frequently.

Enjoy!

Like the collage idea? Get inspired by other rynski art.

greeting card collage
Greeting card collage detail from right wing.
greeting card collage
Greeting card collage detail from left wing.
greeting card collage
Greeting card collage freaky 1970s face.

 

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Cranky Today? This May be Why

jiminy crankball cause of crankiness

You know those days. You wake up annoyed and cranky, ready to drop-kick anything that gets in your way. What the heck is going on? There’s a good chance you’ve been invaded by the Jiminy Crankball.

What’s the Jiminy Crankball?

The Jiminy Crankball is a small, fuzzy invasive species that makes people cranky. He usually crawls in through the left ear, first infiltrating the brain and then moving throughout the rest of the body.

How You Get It

The Crankball species is especially adept at pinpointing weaknesses and certain circumstances that are basically begging for members to invade. These include lack of sleep, being hungry, or getting a $290 parking ticket in Phoenix.

Any annoyance that disrupts your normal routine can invite the Crankballl, as can stepping in cat puke and listening to bad house music.

Oh yeah, you may as well set up lawn chairs for the Crankballs during the monthly womanly thing. That’s when they come around in swarms.

How You Get Rid of It

The only way to eradicate the Crankball is to address and resolve the weakness that let him enter in the first place. Get some sleep. Eat some treats. Deal with the parking ticket. Get back into your normal routine. Clean up the cat puke. Shut down that godawful music. Take a hot bath and a nap.

What Else You Need to Know

Crankballs are highly tenacious, breed quickly, and are extremely contagious. Let them fester in your body for days on end, and you’ll end up surrounded by people who are equally as cranky as you are. It’s like going to work when you have the flu only to infect the whole office.

If you’re not sure of the exact weak point that let the Crankball in, try extra sleep or a healthy meal anyway. You can also talk to others about your crankiness. Crankballs prefer to live just under the skin in the dark. When they’re subjected to attention, laughter or light, they tend to rapidly flee.

Need more helpful hints for dealing with difficult things? Check out the rynski guide for dealing with jerks.

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How to Pick and Paint a Boat Name

paint boat name

You name your kids. You name your cat. You may even name your houseplants. It thus only makes sense that you name your boat. Tradition says you not only have to pick a name for your boat, but you have to paint that name on the boat before you head out on the wild blue waves.

Skip these important steps, and bad things can happen. Your boat may sink, crash, smash, capsize or fall off that flat edge of the earth that sits just below the horizon.

Basics for Picking a Boat Name

Boats have long been given women’s names, so you might get strange looks if you name your boat “Gus” or “George.” Two theories are behind the female names used to adorn boats, and one is pretty boring. So I’ll mention the cool one. The cool theory stretches back to ancient times when watercraft were named for female goddesses and other mythical beings.

The tradition kept going, with female names expanding to include important historical figures, popular female names, or names of the women near and dear to the captain’s heart.

When naming your boat, you want to avoid:

  • The most popular names, such as Serenity or Serendipity, which make it look like all you did was review the most popular boat names instead of using your imagination
  • Names that indicate sinking, crashing, smashing or falling off the earth, like Disaster Dame or Sinking Sally
  • Names based on someone or something you may not like in a year or two, although boat names are easier to cover than a tattoo
  • Names you’d be embarrassed to paint on the back no matter how endearing they may be, like Cuddle Bear, Honey Boo Boo or Pumpkin Butt 

Basics for Painting the Boat Name

A few quick dos and don’ts I picked up from painting the name on my beau Bob’s boat take care of this one.

Do:

  • Pick the proper paint for the job, such as a hearty marine paint or no-nonsense sign paint
  • Practice a bit so you know what you’re doing
  • Sketch out the name in colored pencil first so you don’t run out of room
  • Adjust the letters as needed as the paint drips when you lay it on too thick
  • Cover the deck below your paint job, unless you’re a fan of paint-splattered decks

Don’t:

  • Pick a color that easily fades or is not immediately visible
  • Make your letters so little you need a microscope to see them
  • Try to fit too many letters into too small a space; shorten the painted name if the official name is too long
  • Try to paint the boat while you’re cruising down the lake

The Final Results

When the picking and painting of your boat name is done right, you can end up with glorious results for years to come. As you can see, the wonderful Captain Bob picked a name based on a woman near and dear to his heart – and then threw in his sweet sense of humor giving sirens a nod so they wouldn’t sink his boat. Betcha this vivacious vessel named SyRyn won’t be falling off the edge of the earth anytime soon. Love it!

boat name painting tips
One last tip: Only go in the water once the paint is dry.

Got a house, boat, houseboat or other large item you wanted groovily painted? Contact Rynski.

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The Joy of a Rusty Rustic DIY Fireplace Screen

DIY creative fireplace screen

It’s happened to the best of us. We toss, turn, kick and moan, unable to sleep at night because so many fireplace screens tend to be:

  • Chintzy
  • Cheesy
  • Boring

This anguish over fireplace screens is so strong and unrelenting, it can hit even if you don’t have a fireplace.

What to Do about It

The roaring fire is so gorgeous. You need something just as gorgeous to compliment its beauty. That’s where my pal Mary came in. Actually two pals, both named Mary, came in.

Mary 1 had a delightful idea some time back. She asked me to create a fireplace screen out of upcycled metal stuff. Since she only needed the screen for aesthetics, any type of fastenings and material would do. I don’t have a photo on hand, but it came out fabulously.

Mary 2 wanted to expand on the idea. But she needed a cool fireplace screen that was functional. That meant it must:

  • Stand firm against the roaring flame
  • Have a back screen to stop shooting embers
  • Withstand the high heat of a fireplace fire

That was a whole ’nother ballgame. And Ryndustries scored a home run!

The Fireplace Screen Foundation

DIY fireplace screen
Foundation was an old gate. Had to remove hinges and add feet.

It all starts with some sort of foundation, in this case a metal gate. Mary’s instructions included making sure the gate scroll stuff at the top was covered. She also hates symmetry. One more move was to amend the blechy black color by providing a ravishing rust coating.

Mary and I had headed to Gersons, a used building material shop here in Tucson, where she had picked out the foundation and other parts for the project.

The Parts and Supplies

DIY fireplace screen feet
Metal brackets, nuts, washers, bolts for fireplace screen feet
  • Thick sheet of metal cutouts from pile of metal cutouts sold at Gersons
  • The back screen, also from Gersons
  • Metal brackets for feet; nuts, washers and bolts to secure feet, hardware store stuff
  • Metal screws for attaching screen and metal cutouts
  • Paint kit that includes specialized primer, paint, oxidization solution, coating to create rust effect on non-rusty pieces, Modern Masters Metal Effects is where it’s at
  • Fire proofing for final top coat
  • Dremel metal cutting wheels to cut metal

The Tools

  • Flat-headed hammer for pounding
  • Drill for making holes and inserting screws
  • Snips for cutting metal screen
  • Various pliers for bending metal
  • The almighty Dremel

The Final Result

creative fireplace screen
Final result of creative fireplace screen.

Wow. I loved it. My beau Bob loved it. Dog Elmo loved it so much he even tried to pee on it (Note to Mary: I stopped him!). Most importantly of all, Mary loved it.

With all the research, supply gathering, sanding, drilling, attaching, bolting, priming, painting, screwing in screws, bending, pounding and flameproof coating, total time spent was a shade under 9 hours.

One look at the rusty rustic metal fireplace screen in action makes all the effort worth it. It’s amazing what creative minds can do when you put them together. Thanks, Mary, for one of the most amazing projects I’ve ever had to pleasure of creating.

Back of creative fireplace screen.
Top view of creative fireplace screen. All attachments were made with screws and bent metal. No welding involved.
DIY creative fireplace screen
Close up of creative fireplace screen.
DIY creative fireplace screen
Night shot of creative fireplace screen in action in front of tiki chimenea in rynski magic garden.

Got a groovy project idea you want me to help you create? Go for it. Shoot me an email. Let’s make something coooool.

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