[CHALK] it up to [PAINT]

I have never used furniture chalk paint before. The expense to purchase a can is beyond ridiculous and I’m not insane enough to purchase any (so sorry if you are).

I have a few gallons of interior “oops” paint that I picked up really cheap from various hardware stores in rad colors like turquoise and sea foam green. When I purchased them I didn’t have any ideas for them but they were super cool colors that I figured I’d someday find use for. I used the green shade in my kids bathroom and it looks great! 

Here, you have to see it…


Moving on…

Turquoise has been hanging out on the shelf for months. When I scored a $20 desk at Goodwill, the first thing I thought of was that turquoise gallon at home on the shelf. The desk was either going to look super cool when I was finished slapping turquoise all over it, or, it’d look like shit. But, what the hell, the paint was $9 and the desk was $20. If it all went south, I wasn’t out much.


I searched Pinterest for a recipe for diy chalk paint. This is the recipe I settled on (and also the recipe I will be using for future projects). It worked beautifully.

I started by lightly sanding the desk. I know most chalk paint doesn’t usually require you to sand your project first but I wanted to be sure all of the gunk was removed before applying paint. That, and I didn’t want to do this project a second time because the first job didn’t hold up.


I removed the dust with a dry cloth then went over the desk with a damp cloth and let it dry, then I started to apply the paint. I used a brush, the Wooster Shortcut that I use on all of my paint projects. It is truly the best on the market (non compensated opinion).


I brushed on a thin first coat and let it dry. It dries very quickly. I then went back through and spot painted, only covering the places I wanted to stay completely painted, and left the spots with wood showing through so I could sand the paint off and create a distressed effect.


After I had the application I wanted, I took very fine sand paper and went over the entire desk (by hand). Very lightly on the turquoise color just to remove some of the grit on the surface from the baking soda in the paint mixture and harder on the parts I want to distress.


I did not do a top coat. I reinstalled all of the hardware, and reassembled the desk and called her done. It was a bit difficult to sand the paint down to the wood so I am pretty sure this will be durable as is. 

I have heard of Vaseline being applied to your project before painting on the spots you want to distress, but I haven’t quite wrapped my head around that technique. I hate the feel of Vaseline and I don’t want it hanging out on my furniture. Does it clean off of the project completely? If so, how? If you have used Vaseline to distress, I would love to hear from you. I would also love to hear what method you use to distress projects easily without the use of (nasty) Vaseline.

I refinished an ugly dining chair I already had to match to use with this desk. I used a canvas tote to cover a chair cushion and attached it to hide the few little holes in the black fabric of the chairs seat (I didn’t want to go through a reupholstering project too). I like the dimension the black and the decorated cushion add to the overall look. 

*Tutorial to cover a cushion or pillow with a canvas tote here: Canvas Tote Covered Pillow

Without further ado, here is the finished project:


I love this so much, I am shopping my house for other items to paint turquoise! Remember the sofa table mentioned in the Halloween Home Tour??? 

Yes?

Stay tuned, folks… 

😉

|When In Doubt, Paint It – Part 2|

When deciding what items in my stash to keep, throw or donate, depend on one thing: shape. 

When deciding what ugly items to purchase from a thrift shop, depend on one thing: shape. 

If I like the shape/design/architecture of any item, it’s a keeper. Anything, and I really mean anything, can be painted. Whether made of wood, glass, plastic, metal, foam, clay, porcelain, leather, etc., etc., (just like Apple has an “app for that”) the hardware store has a “paint for that”.

When setting out to create my Gallery Wall a few months ago, I lacked one necessary thing: frames. I had a few, but not enough to create any type of gallery. I needed to go shopping. Since I’m a thrifter, the local second hand stores were my go to destination. 

NOTE: I will not buy most anything brand new (unless it’s underwear) or well priced decor items from stores like Gordmans or TJ Maxx. Prices on new items are nothing short of ridiculous. If I don’t find what I’m looking for on my first trip to a second hand store, I keep looking. The project will wait until I find pre owned items that will fulfill my vision. Or, it better be a damn good priced clearance item. 

This trip I got lucky and found these beauties:


A set of two, for $3.99. Yes, they are ugly as sin but look at that detail in that frame! And, they had wire loops on the frame for hanging, rather than a hanger on the rear of the photo mat! Double score. ✔️✔️

I took them apart to toss the picture and paint the frame. In this case, I guess many years ago, the picture was glued directly to the glass. I thought about throwing the glass and all away, but in the future, I may want to use it to display an actual photo so I saved the glass for safe keeping if I need it later.

To remove the picture from the glass, I placed the glass in hot water so I could soak off as much of the photo possible, then scraped the excess with the flat back of a tablespoon. I used Glue-be-Gone to clean the paste residue and did a final cleaning with windex to make it look brand new again. Now both glass pieces and mats are wrapped and stored for possible future use.

I took the frames to the garage after I wiped them down with a washcloth and sprayed it with a few coats of (flat) off white paint and let it dry. That was it. No prep, no long processes, nothing. Just cheapy paint from Walmart – it’s magical stuff. Magical stuff at only $2 a can and in multiple fantastic colors!

Behold:

 

My spray paint technique: 

My first coat is very thin – almost like I “splatter painted” the item. I do not do full coverage with my first coat. I find the faint painting on the first coat gives the remaining coats something to “hold” onto. After the first coat dries, I spray an almost full second coat. I apply a third coat only as needed. Because of the iron material these frames were made from, I did a third coat.

The two frames and their architectural beauty really round out my gallery wall. 


Probably the best $3.99 I’ve ever spent. 😉

See the lovely 6 panel “window” frame back there? It was once a (putrid) green colored framed mirror. Thrift shop find. I paid $5. I removed the mirror and revamped the wood frame with, you guessed it, paint. I watered down a little bit of black furniture paint I had on hand and “washed” (wiped) it onto the frame with some paper towel. I went in afterward with a sponge brush to get the crooks and crannies that the towel couldn’t access. Any excess paint was simply wiped away. Some of the green shows through and it looks fantastic. (As you can see in the photo below, I beat the frame up a little bit with nails to create “worm holes” to add some character before applying the thin black paint to the frame.)


I bought this (once ugly) wooden sign at a craft fair that someone hand painted with a slogan and weird checker border. In my defense, it was cute 15 years ago. Fast forward, now, not so much anymore, so I painted it with black chalkboard paint. Now I can change the look whenever I want in just a matter of minutes with chalk!

Paint can be your best friend (it is one of mine)! It is the easiest, cheapest way to make a change; to anything (except humans and animals). Plus, if you don’t like the end result, it easy to do again. So, take a chance and go paint something. Then, share it with me so I can see! 😍

Thanks for reading (and following)!

|House Colors|

I have had a few questions regarding the paint colors that I currently have in my home. 

Believe it or not, we have lived in this house for almost three years, and I have repainted the entire pallet three times. Yes, that is more times than most people paint their homes interior in a lifetime. I was never quite satisfied with the outcome. I really love the current colors and am finally more than satisfied with the new palette. 

Main color: Arid Plains (Valspar)



Accent color: New Avocado (Valspar)


Green and gray are my favorite colors, especially the chartreuse (green) and charcoal or silver (gray) shades. 

The Arid Plains color is classified as a greige (gray+beige) that works well with my love of chartreuse. My furniture is charcoal in color and my accents are gray shades, both light and dark, cream and of course, chartreuse.  These colors look fantastic together. I will definitely be using the same combination in our next home.

(P.S. A little trick of the trade: I buy contractor paint. It’s less than $20 a gallon and works just as good as all that fancy $40+ a gallon paint – a waste of money.) 

Here’s what I use, specifically:

I always use Eggshell finish. This paint is nice and thick so the coverage is great. I use two coats. In very high traffic areas, I roll three coats for durability. At such a cheap price per gallon, it’s more coverage for the money.

And, don’t forget to use the best brush on the market for those cut in jobs; Wooster shortcut (my opinion, no compensation):


I get mine at Home Depot. 

My paint comes from Lowes, where they have a similar brush by Blue Hawk, but I won’t buy them anymore as they lose bristles constantly during paint jobs. I’d rather make an extra stop and have the job done right.

What colors did you fall in love with for your home?

*Trash to Treasure*

This fantastic piece of furniture was being thrown out. I saved it. (My husband thinks I should have left it where I found it. The man has no vision.) 😏  

Sure, there is a crack on the left leg but it is strictly cosmetic. Such an easy fix! A small amount of wood filler and a bit of flat black paint and it’s like brand new! It took less than 5 minutes of work that anyone can do. Seriously, fix your investment, don’t pitch it! But, their loss is my gain, I suppose.

I have always wanted a grandfather clock. I really didn’t have any use for this end table so I set out to transform it. Rustic grandfather clock is what I was thinking. So, I has some 1×12 boards on hand so I cut two side pieces and some shelves to add to the top of this end table/night stand deal. The boards were not blemish free, nor were they straight so that made them “perfect” for this project. Rustic is all about the beauty of imperfection and overuse.

I made the shelving unit stand 4 feet and cut the shelves an inch and a half shorter than the width of the cabinet (with the exception of the top shelf. I made that cut 2″ longer than the shelves to allow for overhang). I tacked the shelves together with wood glue and nails. Then, painted it black.  I attached this built unit on top of the stand with wood glue and a few screws. I had some black cardboard backing left over from an old shelving unit, so I cut it down to size and tacked it to the back of the new unit with small tack nails. I then covered the front side of the backing with decorative wrapping paper that I just cut to size and taped with double sided tape to the cardboard to make the unit more appealing, add some extra dimension and to highlight the items on the shelves. Because of the ease of removal of wrapping paper and double sided tape, I can change the background out at any time.

Here’s the finished piece:   

    
 I am really happy with how this turned out (and, it made my “honey hush”). The piece looks like I bought it this way. Though it is not a grandfather clock like I originally intended, it one day could/will be when I find a clock that fits the bill for my vision. When I find the perfect addition, I will build a box for it and install it on the top. So really, this is still a work in progress. 😉

I would love to see any furniture repurposes you have done, or would like to do!

Thanks for reading! 

Have a great day!

 

Storage Wars!

Our 4 bedroom home offered this coat closet:  

Now, to me, a 4 bedroom home means that at LEAST 4 people are going to live in the home, so we will need to fit an average of 15 pairs of shoes and 12 jackets/coats (not counting the room needed to stash the belongings of visiting guests). In other words, this builder failed. This size coat closet belongs in an efficiency apartment. Obviously, we need more storage. So, though I was not thrilled, using the space on the adjoining exterior wall was my only option.

   
The idea was to build something to hold coats, shoes and other necessary accessories; scarves, hat, gloves.

I decided on a simple design with minimal materials.

1×6 board

1×4 board

Precut wood slats from Home Depot

Wood filler

Paint

Brad nailer 

1.5 inch screws

Coat hooks

Wire baskets

I cut a 1×6 board according to my wall measurement and attached the board to the wall studs. This board will hold my coat hooks. There was no rhyme nor reason at what height I placed this, it was more of a “what height would work best for the kids” and up it went. 52″ from the floor to the bottom of the 1×6 is what the measurement ended up being. 
My wire baskets measure 14″ high so I left a 16″ gap between the 1×6 and top 1×4 board that the baskets will hang from. The 1×4, once cut to size, was also attached to studs.

The precut slats I hung starting at the end opposite of the existing closet where the walls come together. Once installed the full length of the rack, I measure the area between, divided it in half and that is where I racked up another length of slats. I repeated this method on each side of the middle slats to place two more lined sets of slats.

  
I used wood filler to cover the screws, and the seams between the precut slats. I then painted the wood and the wall between with the same color of paint that was used on the trim. Luckily, there was plenty left in the can that was left in the basement when we moved it.

Next, I installed the coat hooks using a measuring method similar to the slat install method. I install both end hooks, then the middle and work my way out. It’s easier to me doing it that way.

The basket hooks were hung by simply dividing the top board into 3 and tacking a hook on each mark.

  
The 4 compartment unit that I am using for shoes is from the Better Homes and Garden collection at Walmart. I inserted black fabric bins for the kids to hold their shoes in. Each kid has two coat hooks; one for coat, 1 for book bag; and each kid has their own basket and shoe box (my teenage daughter has 2 shoe boxes).

I have since painted the wall, so here is what the result looks like currently:

  We love it. It certainly makes more sense than what we were given!

What builder “boo boo” was your home designed with?

Thanks for reading! 

Happy FRIDAY!!! Woohoo!!

When In Doubt – Paint It! PART 1

PART 1: BATHTUB/SHOWER SURROUND

NOTE: (I am posting in parts because I have a homeschooled high schooler and infant aged daycare kids so my time to blog is limited (due to Geometry tutoring and bottle feedings). I do not want to rush through each project because of time constraints so I chose to present this topic in a series of parts. Hopefully you get something out of this – even if it is just inspiration or the courage to try something new. Remember, it is JUST paint. GO FOR IT.)

_______________

You found the perfect piece (shape wise) but hate they way it looks? PAINT IT.

You once loved it as is, but your taste changed and you hunger for a refresh? PAINT IT.

Simply hate it, but can’t afford to replace it? PAINT IT.

Manufactures make paint for anything and everything – and I mean EVERYTHING. Paint is much cheaper than buying a whole new piece so it is a go to makeover method, especially in my house. I love making things pretty but HATE spending tons of money to do so. Before I go ripping things apart, I see if there is a way I can refresh and salvage what I already have to fit my vision before buying new (or other pre-loved items).

In this “series” I will share a few things I have given new life to through the application of paint. Some are large project, others are a quick 30 second jobs.

BATHTUB/SHOWER

Our 70’s master bath in our house (from 4 years ago) needed a makeover but we were short on funds and knew we would be putting it on the market within the next 6 months to relocate. Selling the home with a gold tub would be a tough sale and replacing the whole unit would cost at least $500! So, we used Rustoleum Tub/Tile epoxy kit (about $40 each) and one afternoon to transform the pathetic looking monstrosity.

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I cannot comment on the long term durability, due to the fact that I only had 6 months to test the results, but after 6 months, the tub still looked brand new and we didn’t have any issues with the product. My husband was the work horse for this project and he is very meticulous and followed the instructions step by step with great care. It did take him the whole day to complete the project (and it REALLy stunk), BUT, it would have taken much longer to rip out and replace the unit so keep that in mind!

Here are the before and after photos:

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Besides epoxy painting the tub, we bought a new toilet, repainted the walls to a beige with a yellow base (rather than the red based beige which made the room look pinkish – barf), and ripped out the carpeting.  (Seriously, who puts carpeting in a bathroom?? Come on builders! That is about as practical as carpet in the dining room!! Carpet does NOT belong in bathrooms and dining rooms!!) We replaced the carpeting with a role of vinyl we bought at Menards in their markdown leftover section (yes, they exist! Check them out!) We used the carpet we tore out (keeping it in tact during removal) as a template to trace and cut our new piece of vinyl flooring then simply glued it to the subfloor. SUPER EASY install.

NOTE: Before buying new, always check clearance sections in a stores home improvement departments AND don’t forget to find your nearest Habitat for Humanity Restore where you can score tile and fixtures, cabinets, flooring, drywall, etc. that were surplus build supplies or pulled out of rehab homes and donated to the store to be reused. I have even seen furniture at Habitat Restores. SHOP AROUND BEFORE YOU BUY. Even one afternoon of shopping around can save a TON of money.

All said and done, we spent about $200 on this entire face lift. I hope the current owners are enjoying their updated on a “dime” master bath.

Have you painted any appliances or fixtures? How did they hold up?

HAPPY NEW YEAR, READERS!! Wishing you all good health and the many blessings of our Lord in the new year.

 

Can I “Cut In”?

Why, yes. Yes I can.

I have never met a single person that actually “likes” to paint. Just because I do it, does not mean that I enjoy it. I don’t. I hate painting. Not really the painting itself, but all the work that revolves around all the painting. First you have to tear apart the entire room and move stuff all over the house – besides children, it is the fastest way to mess up the entire house to improve one room.

Then, you have the mess of the painting process and the clean up and redecorating, etc. I’m tired/stressed just thinking about it. But, the hard work of a couple days of work and chaos, really does make it all worth it to enjoy the beauty for months afterward.

I have been painting interiors of homes for over 10 years. I didn’t start off doing a professional job, obviously, my technique has improved over the years just by practice. However, I remember the day when my technique improved DRASTICALLY because of one element; the MOST important detail that turns a paint job into a GREAT paint job…

THE BRUSH.

Yes, the brush you use makes all the difference!

I use to buy the cheapest brushes possible so I could just throw them away and not have to bother cleaning them…

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…I do not know what provoked me to buy the $5 brush rather than the $.99 brush but I am guessing it was because I was brush shopping at Home Depot and not Walmart. And, because I had never seen a brush with a rubber nub handle, so I had to try it out! Well worth the $5 price tag – this thrifter says so.

(insert GREAT brush reveal)!!

**NOTE** I receive no compensation from any companies or retailers mentioned. I am just passing along my opinions/findings/research to save you time and money.

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Now, I used to laugh at other bloggers who said the brush really matters, but like the other million, I agree. THE BRUSH MATTERS. I will never paint with any other brush and the cut in is AMAZING! (What is a “cut in”? To cut in is to paint in the edges where a roller will not fit, i.e, by the ceiling, two adjoining walls, along trim and baseboards, etc.) In fact, I have gotten such great results with this brush, I do not tape. Anything. At all. All of my painting is done by hand, tape free. Why? Because the BRUSH made all the difference. The short handle makes the brush easy to maneuver without a large handle sticking up in the way. I often times find that my hand is cupped over the nub when painting as that is a more comfortable hold for me. The rubber makes the brush easy to grip and allows the handle to flex with the movement of your hand while painting strokes. The bristles are high quality and tightly bound. The entire brush and design, is very well made.

NOTE: Lowe’s sells a similar brush made by Blue Hawk (shown below) that I buy if I am not near Home Depot, but the quality is not as good as the Wooster brand brush. The brush strands are not as tight and they come out with the paint while cutting in so I have to keep picking brush strands out of my paint. It is a pain in the a$$, but it is still better than using the cheapy brushes that lose their strands and still provide a cheap looking paint job.

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So yes, yes I can “cut in.” Almost perfectly (since January 19, 2012 – the first job I used the Wooster brush on – see pic below). Thanks to a little help from my friends, Wooster and Blue Hawk.

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What painting tips have you found helpful? Or, any painting issues you need help with?

(TIP: Put a rubber band across the top of your paint can to wipe excess paint off of your brush before application. On small cans, the band wraps all the way around. On gallons, I wrap my band over the top and around the side to be held in place by the handle rivets.)

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