How To Spray Paint Brass Hardware

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This tutorial is way overdue, but recently, my Craigslist Hutch Makeover went crazy over at Hometalk and on Pinterest, and I realized I never posted how to spray paint the brass hardware with oil-rubbed bronze spray paint!  So several years (yes years!) later, here is how to spray paint brass hardware.

Below are the Before and After photos of our Craigslist Hutch Makeover, and you can clearly see what a difference a little spray paint can make for brass hardware!
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Supplies Needed:

Dropcloth or large piece cardboard
Steel Wool, Grade 000
Toothpicks (for swing pulls like these)
Spray Paint Gun
Metal Primer (Rustoleum)
Oil-Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint (Rustoleum)

*The oil-rubbed bronze that I used is a paint/primer combo. You can skip the primer step if you use this product, but I wanted the assurance of good coverage after my first attempt failed.  (See below).
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An inexpensive spray paint gun like this one below will ensure even coverage.
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First, sand your hardware with Grade 000 steel wool. You do not have to remove every tiny bit of brass.  The goal here is to remove the top coat and to scratch it up a bit so the paint will stick better. After sanding the hardware, wash with warm soap and water and allow the hardware to dry completely.
Spray Painting Brass Hardware 4
To show you exactly what will happen without sanding first, see the photo below of the oil-rubbed bronze paint sprayed directly onto unsanded hardware! Fail! I did some research and started over.
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If you have “swing pulls” like these, you will need to secure the handle in mid-air so the spray paint will cover the entire piece! Pull the handle out and insert a toothpick to keep the handle upright. You are now ready to paint!

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Attach the spray paint gun to the primer can. Spray the first side of the hardware with primer according to the directions.  Be SURE to follow the directions, allowing the specified amount of time for drying.  Repeat process for the opposite side.
Spray Painting Brass Hardware 5
After the primer has dried for the specified time, spray the hardware with a first coat of oil-rubbed bronze.  It has been a while, but I know I painted at least two coats, allowing the paint to dry for the specified amount of time listed on the paint can.
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To be on the safe side, I allowed the hardware to “cure” for 2-3 days before re-installing onto the hutch.

Be sure to check out the full Hutch Makeover with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint!  Happy painting!

Easter Cross for the Front Door

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It’s finally spring here in Mississippi, and we’ve gone straight from snow and ice to tulips and perfect temps. With Easter around the corner, our naked front doors desperately need a fresh look for spring. Oxford has zero craft stores (or a Target! I know, how do we survive?) to browse for ideas, so I’m constantly on the lookout for inexpensive online decor and supplies. In my recent search, I found that Trendy Tree sells these fabulous moss-covered grapevine crosses in addition to many other wreath bases for nearly every occasion! The prices can’t be beat.

These crosses would be beautiful dressed up with spring florals and ribbon, but I decided to create a simple Easter front door this year. I’m even tempted to hang one over my dining room mirror for Easter lunch.

All you need is the grapevine cross, florist’s wire, wire cutters, ribbon and fishing line for hanging.

The cross comes in two pieces.
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Easily secure the two pieces with florist’s wire. I wrapped it a few times diagonally, going both directions, as shown below. Snip the excess wire once the cross is secure.
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Using this bow tutorial from On Sutton Place, I tied a pretty bow with spring ribbon and hot glued it to the very top of the cross.
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Simple and exactly what I was looking for to welcome our guests over the next several weeks leading up to Easter.
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Taglierini Alla Chitarra-Easy Weeknight Dinner

Taglierini Alla Chitarra
Simple spaghetti tends to be a go-to, weeknight dinner for most families, and if you are like me, spaghetti in the regular meal rotation starts to get intolerable boring. Spaghetti remains on our rotation because my all people will actually eat it, and any mother knows that is a feat in itself. Years ago, an Arkansas neighbor shared Taglierini Alla Chitarra with us, and this heavenly version of spaghetti has remained a weeknight and a “good-enough-for-company” favorite.

The star of Taglierini Alla Chitarra is thinly sliced pancetta, aka Italian bacon. Pancetta is paper-thin meat in the deli section of your grocery store, sold prepackaged (vacuum-packed) or sliced fresh at the counter. If purchasing at the counter, ask the attendant to slice it as thinly as possible. Prosciutto can be substituted if Pancetta is not available. I do not recommend the prepackaged cubed version of either meat, as the taste/consistency is lacking.

Another note: Pecorino Romano from the deli may only come in portions larger than 3 oz, but you’re actually buying enough for a few meals if you freeze the unused cheese for later.

Taglierini Alla Chitarra

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
7 oz Pancetta, cut into julienne strips (can substitute Prosciutto)
28 oz. can peeled, crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped (can substitute 1/8 cup dried)
Ground black pepper
3 oz. Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated (can substitute regular Romano)
Fresh Parmesan cheese wedge (topping)
Pasta-Barilla Spaghetti alla Chitarra or Angel Hair
Large saucepan with top

Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and Pancetta and brown for 10 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, basil, pepper and Pecorino. Simmer, covered, over very low heat for one hour.

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Serve red sauce mixture over cooked pasta and sprinkle with *grated Parmesan cheese. Garnish with fresh basil, if desired.

Freeze any leftovers you do not use.

*The Microplane Zester is the perfect kitchen tool for finely grated hard cheeses. Place on table for individual use.
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Printable Recipe
Taglierini Alla Chitarra
Linking to: Weekend Bloggy Reading

Chocolate Chip Pistachio Cake

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With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, Chocolate Chip Pistachio Cake is the perfect green treat!  This cake is much like a traditional chocolate chip pound cake but with a hint of pistachio and almond. The pistachio pudding mix gives the cake a green color, and the flavor is subtle and delicious! This recipe came from an Arkansas friend during our newlywed days, and the cake is always a hit wherever I take it!

Chocolate Chip Pistachio Cake is super simple to throw together. Basically dump the ingredients, mix, and bake!

Chocolate Chip Pistachio Cake

1 box Pillsbury white cake mix with “pudding in the mix”
1 box Pistachio pudding mix
1 t. almond extract
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup water
2 eggs
12 oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
Baker’s Joy baking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Mix all ingredients except chocolate chips with a mixer.  Stir in chocolate chips. Spray a bundt pan with Baker’s Joy and evenly pour in batter.

Bake 40 minutes.  Check to see if knife comes out clean and add a couple of minutes to bake time if needed.

Turn out onto a cake plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.
Printable Recipe
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Linking to:
Tidy Mom, Weekend Bloggy Reading, The Freshman Cook, Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons, Diana Rambles