Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

November 19, 2014

Salamander? Check. Also: How to Stop Gutters from Leaking

Hubby and I tend to drag our heels a bit when it comes to projects around the house that lack a certain panache.  But we are motivated by saving money, so when our municipality offered a free landfill day, well, that lit a fire under our bums to get some things done (normally a truckload is $25).  It started with cleaning out the garage and tidying up around the property so we could take the opportunity to throw out/recycle all of the debris, but once we were in the zone there was no stopping us.  We replaced/added about half a dozen motion lights (now a squirrel can't even cross our property without being lit up like an opera singer), and put up driveway markers in the hopes that this winter I won't ditch the truck (again).  We gleefully stashed the lawnmower, but sadly serviced the snowblower, plus I got a refresher course in operating it (I do 50% of the snow removal, yay).  We were busy bees!  Shortly before free dump day we realized that we had a bit of room left in the truck, so we decided to remove the busted stairs leading up to the garage.  Hubby had acccidentally put his foot through a rotten step in the summer - it was in terrible shape and totally pointless. 

He tackled Project Stair Removal while I was giving our headboard a refresh.  We allotted ourselves a half hour to complete our respective tasks.  While it took me closer to an hour to spray paint the headboard and nightstands, Hubby realized he could just flip up and remove the entire set of stairs in minutes, instead of taking it apart piece by piece as he had planned.

He spent the rest of his half hour examining the salamander he found:

Once the salamander was thoroughly examined, we tackled a few more projects - propelled by the victorious feeling that accompanies a problem-free project.  Our gutters had been leaking all summer, so I asked my friends at Rustoleum if I could try some Leak Seal:

I tried to demonstrate the leaking in a manner that didn't involve me standing outside in the pouring rain (I think Hubby longs for the pre-blog DIY days when we didn't have to document everything):  

Happily, the Leak Seal - a flexible rubber sealant - seemed to work perfectly and it took barely any time at all to seal up the cracks.  Eagle-eyed Hubby had been keeping tabs on the gutters during rainy days and already knew exactly which spots needed sealing.  Next spring we want to add gutter guards because they get filled with leaves and cleaning the gutters is a weekly job, but at least they're no longer holey.

We were on fire, right?  I even started doubling up on jobs.

While we were splitting and stacking firewood at my father-in-law's, I absconded into his awesome spray painting booth and knocked out a few fun projects (photos soon!).  I also tackled one boring one: our doorbell cover was beige and stood out against our white walls.  A blast of Rust-Oleum's Universal Paint + Primer solved that problem!  I obviously love that this paint is formulated for plastic

I really wish I had painted to doorbell cover in the townhouse.  It always bothered me but I just never got around to it, not because I didn't have the time, but because it seemed like a totally boring project and so I avoided it.  It truly was a boring project, and I doubt you even spotted the difference in my most recent hallway post compared to the original reveal, but every day I notice the difference.  I'm so happy I took the five minutes to paint it.

Our to-list is far from complete, and now that we've discovered that all 202 episodes of The X Files are on Netflix I suspect our productivity will decline, but I'm thrilled that we tackled so many projects this fall that normally get eclipsed by more fun and rewarding projects, like making frames for paintings and rub 'n buffing hardware

A huge thanks to Rust-Oleum for providing the Leak Seal and Universal Paint + Primer (and thereby also providing that extra dose of motivation to get stuff done!)


  1. Wow, now that you showed the before and the after of the doorbell cover, I wonder why you didn't break down before and paint it, because it looks SO much better now! Don't you just love those super easy, super impactful jobs? :D

    1. I have no idea why it took me so long to do the doorbell and why I never did it in the townhouse. I just always had a "better" project on the go - something more fun, maybe something aqua, lol. But I'm really working at tackling the less exciting items on my to-do list! I swear!

  2. hmmmmm never knew we had salamanders here in Canada.....not that I really spent much time wondering about it though lol.


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