Curb Appeal Chronicles – Numbers

Again….and I feel pretty dumb for having to repeat myself….please do not leave comments, text me or email me (or my friends) to tell me about the house number thing.  If some crazy wants to find me…they can schedule an appointment and wait their turn like the rest of you fine folks.  And yes – I thought it through…I went over it a million times…I scoured the message boards of Katie-haters that post step-by-step directions to our house…the conclusion was this….

I am not anonymous.  We live in a world where I can get minute by minute location details on Lindsey Lohan.  And I believe without a shadow of a doubt that I am kept safe only by the hand of God.  and having an alarm system, nosy neighbors and weaponry can’t hurt (well, actually that last one can…but you know what I mean).  So that being said…thanks for your concern…I hear you…now let’s move on.

Our curb appeal project is what’s up.  Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine challenged us and we were all “It’s on like DonkeyKong”.  We have been tackling the 20 or so feet of untouched goodness that is visible from our curb and so far we are doing a whole lotta taping and spraypainting.  We vamped up the light fixtures

And then we painted our hideous mailbox and attached a fallen stone

Dontcha just love the action shots?  We left it like this overnight….we are definitely getting the classy award this month from the neighborhood…I’d put money on it.

So I mentioned before that we removed the old sticker house numbers from the front of the mailbox.  And seeing as how I really like Margaret our mail lady, I thought it would be only kind to correctly label our house with a proper plaque.  So I ran to Lowe’s and got a cheap natural pine plaque (it cost about $6) and some 4″ Gatehouse house numbers in black (they were about $4 each).  I went with the most plain basic numbers…none of those curly q’s or scripty fonts for us…they also aren’t modern…which is good because I think a super-modern look would clash with our traditional lights and the overall aesthetic of the house.   I also pulled out my favorite stain – it’s dark Walnut by Minwax.

I decided to do a medium tone.  I wanted the numbers to pop…but I didn’t want to risk going too light and lose that rich warm stain either.  So bascially my method was to wipe on three stripes of stain with the sponge and then wipe the excess off with the paper towel.  It gave it just enough time to soak in without becoming too dark.

I also did the sides and back just in case :)

Then I took it outside.  I wanted the wood to acclimate to the heat…I have no idea why I thought this would help but I figured that if wood was like the pores on my face, it would need to adjust to the Georgia climate.

After three days of becoming one with the south, this bad boy was ready to be sealed.  I could have used a varnish…but honestly, that sounded a little too much work for me and my very alien looking feet.  Is it just me or does that look like a extra-terrestrial mated with a sasquatch?  I swear I shave my legs.

Anyhoo…I decided in the name of EASE to just spray the plaque.  NOTE: this product says to not spray stained wood.  I am not responsible for your jacked up stained plaque.  Peace out.

I strapped on my mask and aimed my Thompson’s Waterseal – giving the entire front side a very thin coat.  Then I let it dry a few hours.  Then I repeated it four times.

After it dried, it looked entirely the same.  Nothing exciting to see here.

Then came time for the numbers.   These were pretty much the most simple to attach…just a little tap with the hammer and a tighten with the screw driver and we had bonafide mailbox signage.

Now comes the attaching part….

Jeremy got some assistance (assistance = back hugs?!) from the sprinkler kid…

So here’s how we did it…

we marked our spots for drilling on the upper corners of the plaque….then using a 1/8 inch drill bit for masonry we went through the sign into the stone.  (Jeremy was it 1/8 inch?)

Then we redrilled the stone holes just to make sure they were as deep as the screws.

Using 2.5 inch masonry screws, we screwed the sign directly into the stone.  Since our stones were definitely not flush with one another, it took some patience to find where the sign hung flat and looked best from the road.  It was kinda a balancing act.

We then took some furniture nailhead accent tacks and clipped off the tack part with pliers.  I used some Liquid Nails to put the little brassy heads over the screw heads for a more finished look.

So there we have it – one finished mailbox and one finished number plaque.  Let’s use lots of exclamation points to celebrate!!!!!!!!

The last task we had on our curb appeal list was actually the easiest…I wanted a tall plant next to the mailbox to hide the transition between our pavers and the neighbors.   Jeremy liked the green – so we went with the cheapest plastic planter that was in stock at Lowe’s that was big and came in green.  One $17 plant and two bags of potting soil later, we have a nice distraction from that weirdo corner.

Ready for before and afters?  Watch out now – the subtely might stun you :)


I love the new bush.  Isn’t it weird how just the littlest things can make you smile?!  That bush (err tree?) makes me smile every single time I pull in the driveway.

It has the same affect on our our little Geisha…

And this photo is precisely why you never tell your kid to “smile”….he’s a looker, that one…

Seriously Katie…enough with the Will-as-a-Southern-Belle photos…

And this is just for kicks – but I thought it would be fun to look back at the front from last September and compare it to now….

Check out the roses!

They got much much bigger.  Everything else is kinda okay.  The hollies are better than the Lorapetalum.  Not enough water I betcha.


But overall – not too shabby for 8 months of growing…


So that’s it folks – our curb appeal chronicles are coming to an end.   Thanks for tagging along on the adventure with us…now back to our regularly scheduled program of cheese, randomness and awkward situations with the Bowers :)



  1. says

    Seriously love the “after”. I know it’s not the biggest change, but it looks lovely.
    Aaaand, I had to read your opener, like, 9 times before I figured out what you were talking about. And man, nobody’s anonymous anymore, so… whatev.
    Happy Friday!

  2. Mylina says

    The mailbox looks GREAT! I just wanted to comment and say how ADORABLE that “smiling” pic of Will is! I love it!

  3. says

    I may has missed this somewhere along the line but I’ll ask anyways. How did Will get the nickname Tinkler? Or in this post I see you said Sprinkler?

  4. Cheryl Fortunato says

    Love your blog! You have tremendous energy, and as someone who could be your “Mom” I find your writing style fun and refreshing :). You’ve got it all: good sense of humor, love of family, and a way of doing things on a shoe string budget that looks au contraire. My suggestion: paint the pot that the “tree” sits in black! It’s the little things. You hit so many homeruns, and the curb appeal blog is another example of simple re-dos that go a LONG way!!

    • says

      I kinda felt that way too – but Jeremy loves the green…he picked it out, ya know? So I figure that I’d rather have a green pot and a happy Jeremy than undermine his contribution to the design process….it really is the little things, right?! :)
      xo – kb

  5. Kara says

    Very, very nice and super classy – just like everything else you do! Good job! …. and the pics of your son are DARLING!

  6. Lizzie says

    Wow, I love this transformation!

    The first picture of Will as a geisha would be so cute as a background, it has everything you love in it (home, family/Will and life)!

  7. Sara says

    WOW I never knew there were actual YHL/BP hate pages
    I read them becuase someone mentioned googling them here and I was like.. “WTF” but indeed, they exists. They think you ramble and are racist? But fret not, they hate YHL too! (haha?)

    • Michelle says

      I do not see a need to tell this to Katie. I would be very insulted by this comment. Katie is a pregnant woman and I know that pregnant women are very sensitive (being a pregnant woman myself). Katie-I am impressed by your response and your lack of defensiveness. I think you are witty, lovely,caring, and very talented!

      • Ella says

        Michele, I’m sure Katie is already well aware of these blogs. Besides, pregnant women aren’t delicate flowers who must be shielded from any unpleasantness. One of the things we live about her is her honesty and unflinching look at life.

  8. Jules says

    If the mail lady telling you your mail box looks good is your stamp of approval then take it from a former pizza deliverer that those big numbers are perfect! Nice big numbers are the best and yours look very polished and pretty. Good job Katie!

  9. says

    Don’t know if you are a Friends fan, but Q sent me an email with Will’s “smile” photo and said, “Mom! He’s Chandler!” (She’d just watched The One with the Engagement Picture.)

    I cracked up. :-D

  10. VV says

    Mind boggling at how high your house numbers can go… we live in a very very small place far far away and so the highest house number I’ve heard of is 400-something and I was all like, “Woaaah you must live on a long street!”

    Do you pronounce it, ‘five thousand and fifty X street’ or ‘fifty-fifty X street?’ :) Just more weird curiosity.

    Love what you’ve done with your mailbox!!! It looks so brand spanking new!

  11. Sylvia says

    Hey Katie! I found your blog from YHL awhile ago and never commented, but after googling to see these “hate pages,” I felt like I had to! What the heck? Haven’t these people ever seen “Mean Girls?” Don’t they know that this stuff usually ends with someone getting hit by a bus? Haha, but seriously…ignore these envious hate mongers! You rock!

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