New (Old) Brass Kick Plate

 For a while now I have wanted to add an antique brass kick plate to our front door.  I don’t have a historical or period reference for it–I just thought it would look pretty!  Here’s a reminder of what our entryway looks like–this was taken over the summer I think:

Screen shot 2012-12-20 at 9.01.14 PM

My mom is visiting and while we were out shopping the other day we visited a salvage yard and found this old brass kick plate–the perfect size for our door.  My generous mom scooped it up for me along with some brass ager and home we went to work on it.  Here’s what it looked like when we brought it home

kickplate before

Yes, it did already have a lot of patina–perhaps too much!  It was dark and stained and uneven so I brought it home and cleaned it up with some SOS and 000 steel wool:

brass kick plate polishing

This was a little too cleaned up–a little shiny with some really brassy uneven spots.  So in comes the ager.  The bottle says to completely submerge the piece you are aging in the solution but I don’t have any containers big enough to submerge this thing in so I just dribbled it all over the surface and then spread it around with a paint brush.  I don’t have any pictures of this part because it was totally uneven and I panicked and ran to the sink to wipe it off.  The ager works fast and it turned really dark even after I rinsed it off.  I then took a dry piece of steel wool and lightly rubbed it over the plate until it was about how I wanted it:

brass kick plate aged

I also went to the hardware store and bought brass screws to install it and set them in the ager for a few minutes:

brass screws kick plate aged

After installing it my front door now looks like this:

brass kick plate after 2 wtrmrk

It definitely warms up the room–now I just have to use the ager on the super shiny door handle!

And BTW, I just noticed the blue rubber band on the bottom left corner of the rug in the picture!  I thought about retaking the pictures before I did this post, we are supposed to have several days of rain now so I won’t get good enough light to retake these photos for a while.  And really, that’s how it is around here–there are often rubber bands, markers, pencils, Legos, and other detritus strewn about that I don’t even notice anymore!  I’m just going to pretend it’s an umlaut over the U in “Urban.”

Thanks for stopping by!

Kitchen Sink/Plant Hospital

You wouldn’t know it from this picture but I don’t have a green thumb.  I have a bad habit of bringing plants to within an inch of their lives and then nursing them back to health every few months or so.  These plants are all in my plant hospital and are doing better after some constant water and sunshine.  For many it was touch and go there for a while.

You’ll notice that most of them are succulents (except the rose and the little orchid) which are supposed to be hard to kill, right?  Not for me…

I have to admit, I like having a garden feel in the kitchen even if it isn’t all that conducive to cooking six nights a week.

Here’s how our sink area is holding up since the renovation.  Since all of the kinks have been worked out, I have been really happy with it so far:  The sink is nice and deep and hides all the dirty dishes I might not get to right away;  The faucet is slowly getting some patina, functions well and no longer leaks;  And the marble (which I was the most concerned about) has held up great. I’m sure I’ll have to be more concerned as the sealer wears off in a few months.   You can also see from the above picture that we had the correct cabinet doors installed.





You may remember from my previous post about the kitchen reno that the neck of the unlacquered brass faucet (that I actually had the lacquer stripped off of) is really copper with brass plate–shhh, don’t tell anybody!  We have been careful to make sure no one accidentally scours the neck or polishes it and I don’t think you can really see a difference.  I may someday replace the neck with a solid brass one but for the foreseeable future, it’s staying put.


I also wanted to thank everyone for all the fantastic suggestions regarding my last post about needing inspiration for the old door we found.  I knew I was asking the right group!   Now the hard part is going to be deciding which idea to choose.  Check out the comments section if you are looking for ideas for repurposing old doors.  Also, thanks to Camille who sent me this incredible link with more door ideas than I could implement in a lifetime.  It does make me want to head out to the salvage store though and come home with a bunch of old doors…