adrian is rad


house hold tip: don’t use latex paint for furniture

Filed under: — adrian @ 1:58 pm

latex paint on a table

Another household tip for you. Don’t use latex paint for furniture.

I was planning on painting my coffee table recently. I described the plan to the guys at my local Ace and they recommended latex paint. I sanded it down, primed it and painted it with two coats. After it had tried sufficiently, I found that it was still tacky.

As it turns out, latex paint is a horrible choice for furniture because it stays tacky for a long time, especially with things resting on it. A month after I’d painted my table, everything from paper to cloth to dust paint was still sticking to the paint.

In the end I covered it with a coat of shellac which got rid of the tackiness, but it may speed degradation in the long term.

A better solution would be oil-based paints or an enamel.


dyeing an ikea ektorp loveseat cover

Filed under: — adrian @ 2:36 pm

Update: I’d recommend reading this entire post and the comments before dying your covers. I list the directions I used but you may wish to make some changes. (I would if I did it again.)

ektorp loveseat before

ektorp loveseat after

When I bought my Ektorp loveseat, I found that the white cover ($11 at my local store) was reasonably priced whereas the cover I really wanted, gray ($239) was not. So I decided to see if I could dye it close the color I wanted. I found that similar things had been done before.

Here’s what I did. Time required: about 3.5 hours (though you don’t need to be there the whole time). You may also want to reference Rit’s washing machine dyeing instructions and their tips for success.


  • 1 Blekinge white Ektorp loveseat cover—I bought an extra because they were only $11 and I didn’t want to be without a cover if I messed up the dyeing
  • 2 bottles black liquid Rit Dye
  • 1 bottle navy blue liquid Rit Dye
  • 2 cups salt
  • 2 tablespoons laundry detergent + 4 normal loads-worth
  • A washing machine or four
  • 2 cups bleach


  1. Split covers into two lots: the main slip cover and the 4 cushion covers. These weigh the same amount (5.2lb by my measure). Do all steps in parallel for both sets. The instructions below assume you are using two washing machines at the same time. You can also do one set of covers and then the other.
  2. Wash love seat and cushion covers normally.


  1. With the washing machine empty, start the cycle with the hottest water (usually a ‘white cottons’ setting). Wait until it’s about half full.
  2. Add 1 bottle of black dye (8 oz.) to each machine. Add 1/4 cup* navy blue dye (1/4 bottle, 2oz.) to each machine. Make sure to shake well, as instructed on the bottles.
  3. Add 1 cup salt to each machine. This apparently helps the color stay.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon laundry detergent to each machine. This apparently helps the color evenly distribute.
  5. Wait till the machines are mostly full and then add the covers to the machines. (Again: the slipcover to one machine and the 4 cushion covers to the other.) Check that the covers are full submerged in the water. Push them down if necessary.
  6. Let the machine run its cycle. Check about half way through the agitation cycle that the covers are fully submerged.
  7. The machines are probably stained by this point. Remove the covers from the machines. Run a full cycle with the hottest water and 1 cup of bleach to each.
  8. Once the machines are clean, put the covers back in the machines (or if you have access to more machines, you can do this step in two new machines) and wash them normally. Use a cold water setting for this wash.
  9. Dry the covers in the dryer in a normal cycle. One idea is to take them out when they are a little damp so they dry in place on the sofa without wrinkles.
  10. Put the covers back on the sofa.

*If I had to do it over I would put less navy dye in to give it a primarily grey look, with a slight navy tint to it. I think 1/8 cup (half of what I put in) would be sufficient for this.

So there you go.



Filed under: — adrian @ 9:26 am

baldhawk illustration
dramatized for effect

On Saturday I went to the second strangest party I think I’ve ever been to. It involved fire dancers and women dressed as lingerie angels and demons. But these things I’ve seen before. One thing I’ve never seen before was the baldhawk.

There was a man with a balding head, not as bald in the above picture, but not far from it. His hair, overall, was very short.

But here’s what made it unusual. In an arc to one side of the bald spot (illustrated in black above) was a section of long hair, probably 3-4″ long. But it was only in this thin arc. I imagine sometimes he spiked it up in a baldhawk, but at the time it just flopped down to the side.

So strange.


it’s pittsburgh, with an ‘h’

Filed under: — adrian @ 8:42 am

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the restoration of Pittsburgh’s original spelling (with the h) after a contentious 20 year period without it.


raise the jolly roger

Filed under: — adrian @ 6:51 pm

The Pirates are 47-43 (0.522) at the All Star Break, their best start since 1992, their last winning season.

They also have three All Stars (Hanrahan, McCutchen, Correia), the most since 1990 (Bonds*, Bonilla, Heaton). AND they’re one game out of the lead in their division.

As an irrational sports fan I say this just about every year, but I’m pretty excited about this year and I think it could be different. (The big difference is that I’m saying it relatively late into the season this year.) There’s a lot of games to be played, though, so we’ll see. I can guarantee that I’ll be following along.



Dats all dat stuff dats goahin round in dem EEmails were instead of callin Picksburgh Picksburgh, they’ll write it aht Picksburgh

Filed under: — adrian @ 10:13 am

Colin introduced me to this hilarious series Greg and Donny over the weekend. It’s about two guys in Johnstown who live down the street from each other but have taken to video conferencing. It’s really funny. Above is my favorite of them.

Also check out “Videoconferencin'”, “Gina Gets a Snuggie” and “Hummus”. Good good stuff.

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