Tag Archives: iron column

This Old House

My husband and I live in an old house in an old neighborhood. No, not the “good” old, you know – like the cute little houses in my favorite ‘hoods in Austin – I’m talking 1959 old. Not old enough to be cool, but old enough to be fugly. We rent it, and have (somehow) lived here for 8 years. I’m pretty sure this started out as very temporary housing, but a combination of job layoffs and me being lazy = staying put for now.

Luckily, since we rent from a family member, we can pretty much do what we want to the house – because if we’re being honest, anything would be an improvement! The other day, when I was spray painting the media console shelves, I sprayed part of the old iron column on the front porch. Black. Why? I don’t know – lack of impulse control? Anyway, it got me thinking that I could easily make that column look better, so that’s exactly what I did today. The whole process took me about an hour, not including drying time for all the paint.

before iron columsTold you it was ugly.

See all that rust? Yuck! I was going to use sandpaper, but then Sars (or was it Christie?) suggested using a wire brush instead. So smart! I scraped off all of the nasty rust and a lot of the old, cracked paint. I couldn’t get it all because my wire brush wasn’t small enough, but I got most of it. I’m glad it was outside, because it was nice and dusty when I was doing that!

supplies needed

These are the supplies I bought at Home Depot (while we were at the Do-It-Herself Clinic with Shanty2Chic) – $27 or so. I decided to go with plain white instead of some crazy color (which is totally my style, but it would look really strange to have a hot pink or lime green old-school iron column in this house).

Once all the rust and chipped paint was gone, I used Kilz spray primer on the entire thing – and it definitely took the entire can. I think I may be a little heavy handed with primer, because I always run out!

I took a break and caught up on Grey’s Anatomy while the primer dried. There may or may not have been a nap as well, but I digress.


That picture was taken after one coat of spray paint. Don’t mind the plastic bags at the bottom, that was my makeshift solution for not spraying the porch. Yeah – don’t do that, it doesn’t work. Now I have to figure out how to get spray paint off of the concrete at the bottom of the column!

side column

This picture really shows me that I need to spray down the house/windows. Oops. While the paint was drying, I decided to make a house number sign. Important people can never find our house because there have never been any house numbers on it (you know, pizza guys, UPS, Publisher’s Clearinghouse, etc.)! I whipped out my trusty Silhouette, spent an hour picking out the font, and finally printed out the numbers.

address sign before

I’ve got approximately 35 pieces of scrap wood just hanging around (leftover from the O Holy Night signs – I figured I might as well cut it all and use it eventually, right?) so I grabbed one and spray painted it white. This took 3 coats because the plywood just sucks the paint right up, much like the MDF from the media console.

address sign during

I barely had room for the numbers! (By the way, I may be tricking you with the house number – you don’t know me! Don’t be a stalker!) Again, I would have made it more my style, but I wanted simple and easy to see, so I went with boring black and white. I ran the numbers through the Xyron, stuck them on, and sprayed it with clear coat. After that dried, I drilled a hole in each corner and (for now) we put it on the column with clear zip ties. I may switch that out sometime soon, but it was an easy solution and it will hold up to the weather. I’d be happy to hear any other ideas you have!

finished signcloseup

This simple, quick, inexpensive project made a huge difference! It also made me realize how dirty the siding and windows are – so that may be my next project. Anyone have any tips on powerwashing?

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