Tag Archives: paint


I just wanted to share that Maryann has featured my son’s Big Boy Dresser over at Power of Paint.

Head over and check it out, and gather up some inspiration to paint 🙂

For a complete list of where my projects are featured, see the “Where I’m Featured” tab at the top of my blog!


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Filed under Before/After, Blog Love

Cupboard Wall Art

I have a knack for transforming other peoples junk into something creative.  One of my recent projects was transforming some cupboard doors and drawer fronts into wall art.

Like this “Blesssed” sign behind my 30 week belly

Or this Cupboard door “Simplify” sign atop my kitchen cupboards at Christmas time.

My newest is this cupboard door, painted robin egg blue (free paint from Habitat ReStore) but I’m struggling with what to put on it?!

Any suggestions?!?! By the way, if you are looking for cupboard doors or drawers, Habitat ReStore is an excellent first stop!

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Filed under DIY Projects, Gift of Thrift

Spice rack book shelves {DIY}

There’s been quite a few posts about front facing book shelves.  Little Man’s big boy bedroom makeover (click these links to see phase 1 and phase 2) needed a little less clutter, and yet his books needed to be accessible by him (he’s 2). If you’ve ever read this blog before you know that cheap, trendy and figuring out how to “do-it-myself” is how I roll.

I was intrigued by the $3.99 IKEA spice racks made bookshelves…

…but being that the nearest IKEA is 4 hours away and these are not available for order, I needed to come up with a plan B.

So I showed the husband a picture, gave him some dimensions and about 4 hours later we were painting them red. He made 3 total, one for above the bed and 2 for the corner nook.

The husband has learned that I don’t throw scraps away.  (Yes, I just admitted to dumpster diving).  It proved to be handy as much of this was “scrap” wood that was left over from a previous project, the paint was left over from our “red room.”  So our total budget $0.00. On to some wall art and curtains and you might see a full bedroom reveal before the end of the year 😉

Linking to:
Home Stories A to Z
Sugar Bee Crafts
Not Just a Housewife


Filed under DIY Projects, Gift of Thrift, Handyman

Big Boy Bedroom {Furniture} – Phase 2

Our little man hit the 2-year-old mark this week, and the countdown towards little miss Bea’s arrival, demanding a timeline on the household projects.  Hence the progression of  little man’s Big Boy Bedroom transformation.  You might remember around Christmas time, we began the process by painting 3 walls and adding barn board to the window wall (See this post for the first phase).  It’s time to transition the changing table/dresser out of little man’s room and into the nursery.  Hence the need for a  $30 Craigslist dresser makeover

The budget was $40 and I was getting anxious… structurally this one would do.  The last owner made a drawer to fit in the bottom slot, I had the husband remove it and turn it into an open cubby area instead.  I have read  a lot about chalk paint.  The less intense prep work (no sanding, priming, sanding, etc) was kind of a selling point for this project.  We don’t have an Annie Sloan dealer near by, so I decided to test some DIY chalk paint recipes instead.  I found this recipe worked quite well…

1 Cup of flat paint
+   1 Tbls. Non Sanded Grout
Chalk Paint for a fun project

(I’ll address the wax later)

Step 1 – create a cubby shelf to replace the bottom drawer.
This was an assignment for the husband.

While he was doing that, I pulled all the drawers and started painting the fronts with a first coat of chalk paint.

As you can see the coverage was pretty thin, but everything adhered really nicely.  It appears the major elbow grease could be avoided for this project (at least so far).

Step 2-3 Paint the body of the dresser
Overall, the paint provided pretty good coverage.  It was really important to keep a stir stick handy as I realized a few times the grout started to settle toward the bottom of the container.  You can see streaks in this picture of where I got a “glob of grout” in the paint.

Just a helpful hint, putting boards under the dresser props it up enough to get the bottom good, and underneath any parts that might be too close to manuever a brush! Step 3 and 4 are repeating the paint job to provide optimal coverage.  I used a pretty heavy 2nd coat and almost a dry brush touch up on coat three.

Step 4 – Sand for distressed look
Using a 600 grit sand paper (Super-fine) I gave it a little character around the edges and helped smooth the overall texture of the paint.  I found that the little bit of sanding really was enough to take the sharpness off.  I actually ended up paint a few places to “fix” the over sanding I did.

Step 5 – Touch up and dry brush
Back to the paint brush, I simply touched up paint spot that I was a bit over zealous in sanding, or wanted to create even more character with a dry brush stroke around the edges.

Step 6 – Wait patiently while everything dries properly

Step 7 – Add Stencil to drawer fronts
I wanted to add some color and character to this dresser so I created number stencils the old-fashioned way (because this was an after thought and my silhouette was resting nicely at home, not the husband’s shop).  I also forgot the camera on day 2 so here’s an after-after picture to show you just how imperfect these numbers were (and a close up of the sanded distress job).

Step 8 – Wax finish
Here’s where the elbow grease comes in a little more.  Wax-on everything painted.  Five minutes later Wax-off.  Again we did 2 coats to get a little thicker finish.  It added just  a finish needed to talk the chalkiness out of the feel of the paint.  I felt it also help protect it a little more from dings and scratch.  A sure future for a piece of furniture in a toddler’s room.

Step 9 – Replace the Hardware
Much like the rest of the hardware in our house, we went with a brushed nickel look.  I was able to buy the handles in bulk ($18 for 10) and the matching knobs at Menard’s.

Step 10 – Fill the drawers and enjoy

All in all it took about 12 hours start to finish.  A few minor details that I’ll mention right away.  The paint colors are both Behr from Home Depot.  Mood Indigo is the blue and Vatican Red.  Super fine sand paper is a must! DIY Chalk paint was worth the trial for this project.  I wouldn’t be opposed to other ideas, but under the timeline and my lack of resources, it worked for this 🙂

Stay tuned. Eventually, you might even see phases 3, 4 and 5 (imagine a big boy room with wall art, book shelves and entire room reveal).  Never know, I might add some girly love and throw in a  glimpse of the nursery 😉

Linking to these parties:
Home Stories A to Z


Filed under Before/After, DIY Projects, Gift of Thrift, Tutorials

Armoir Amore’ {A Reveal}

Surprise – a finished project!  Turns out this one was finished several months ago (as you’ll notice by me painting outside) and I’m just getting around to posting it now!

Let me start by saying that the word organization makes my palms sweat.  I’m not good at it, and it sometimes makes me feel really uncomfortable.  When I picture organized homes, I think of stuffy and cold.  However, I also have organization envy.  So this next project was one I was excited about but also dreaded at the same time.  The office (once referred to as the pretty room) is a sore spot in our house, it’s the place we put “stuff.”

I’ve been looking (for years) to get an armoire for the computer to hide “the stuff”.  Finally I found what was looking for on Craigslist for $40 (within my price range).  While she wasn’t bad I had an idea in mind.

I took the hardware and doors off, removed the shelves from inside, and lugged everything out to the driveway to get working on it.  With the husbands help, I used a paint sprayer and sprayed a few coats of KILZ primer on (the only primer we ever use).  This began the beginning of several challenges.  Some were out of my control (mother nature and the Wisconsin weather) and others were well-deserved (I tried to JUST get it done and paid for it in the long run).  You see I started to strip the varnish, but then thought I’d just sand it, and then thought the primer should work just fine.  To make a long and painful story short and sweet- between my husband and I we sanded, primed, painted, and stripped it all back down and started over 3 times.  A true testament to our marriage!

Lesson Learned #1: Take the time to prepare your furniture, it’s worth it in the long run, and while I’m at it lesson 2 is when spraying paint/primer it’s better to apply more thin coats than to try to cover with a thick coat.  Reason being- you end up with a bunch of runs that are impossible to hide.

Once the armoire was primed we used Rustoleum Heirloom White spray paint (5 cans to be exact).  I am an addict of this stuff.  Menard’s happened to have a sale plus a rebate  (each can was only .99 cents) so I stocked up and now I am looking for more things to paint.  At one point I ran out and my husband thought he’s just run to town and pick up the next best thing (which he thought was ivory Krylon) it wasn’t.  It looked pale yellow.  I ended up leaving the inside of the armoire less than perfect with some of the ivory paint still on because it wasn’t worth it to me since the inside won’t be visible unless I’m working on the computer- and as stated above I’m not neurotic about stuff like that.

After the painting I took some dark brown Oops paint from Home Depot (I actually added some black acrylic to make it even darker) and mixed with Ralph Lauren Glaze.  You literally need less than a cup to cover the entire armoire.  Thanks to All Things Thrifty and her glazing tutorials I was much more satisfied with this project over the last glazing project.  Glazing is much easier than it seems.  The one thing to keep in mind is to really get the glaze into all the little cracks. I even made a special effort to get the dents and scratches glazed up.  Also mix up your techniques a little.  I wiped most of the glaze off with a wet rag, but I’d also use a dry rag or a dry foam brush to go over it to give it a more weathered look.  It’s not supposed to look perfect.  Here she is up close.

I went to a local warehouse (M Schettel Freight) where they literally have everything you could possibly need in life (including the kitchen sink) to pick up a few unique handles (.99 cents each) . Since hinges can sometimes be a pain to match up I opted to keep the old ones.  I added a gob of glaze to all of the hardware and let it semi dry before I wiped it off.

Now, in order for this reveal to be as amazing as it really is you need to how it impacts the room overall.  So here are a few shameful pictures of the office before we reorganized and added the beloved armoire…

And now….

A huge task off the list!  This one brings a smile and big sigh every time I walk past. And yet the space is functional.  I cut some cork board (double thickness) to fit inside the right panel door to hang the little stuff that typically cluttered stuff up (adhered with E6000 because we’re close friends!)

And there you have it.  An armoire to fall in love with 🙂  Now the trick is keeping the piles of “stuff” off the table!

Linking to:
Miss Mustard Seed
Lovely Crafty Home
Funky Junk Interiors
Sister’s of the Wild West
Not Just a Housewife


Filed under DIY Projects, Gift of Thrift, Tutorials

Sneak Peak {Stenciled Dropcloth}

Ever have 27 projects going at once?  Ha, that’s a daily occurrence in this house.

Despite starting Little Man’s room makeover, prepping for a little girl nursery, an empty gallery wall of frames in the basement, and another 13 project in transitional phases….  I decided to start on yet another project.

Here’s a little sneak peek.

I’ll give you a hint.  As the title and picture imply it involves a stencil, some acrylic paints, and a drop cloth.  Oh yeah, and it’s HUGE (about 8′ x 15′ ).

Sorry to keep doing this to you, but stay tuned for a full reveal 🙂

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Filed under Before/After, DIY Projects, Gift of Thrift, Inspiration

25 Block

This next project is the perfect one to fill a little space, and add a little holiday cheer.

All you need is a scrap of wood, foam brush, acrylic paint, modge podge, festive paper scrap, and some chipboard (stickers or die-cut letters) to your liking.

Start by painting the edges of your wood (anything that the festive scrap paper won’t cover).  Let Dry. I actually use 2 foam brushes- 1 for paint and 1 for modge podge so the paint doesn’t smear into the modge podge while I’m applying it.  I also used a dry brush stroke at the end to soften the edges.

Apply a thin layer of modge podge and lay paper on top.  Using modge podge apply another thin layer over the paper to smooth out.  Let dry.

Using the paint foam brush (if it’s clean just put a dab of paint down and then brush it onto some scrap paper to “dry” it out) go back and forth in a quick horizontal motion along the border of the scrap paper. You should get a bit of an antiqued, softer look.

Optional: Add a smudge of paint on to of the paper large enough for your letters/numbers to pop out.

Lastly adhere your chipboard, stickers or other form of letter to the block.  I sometimes need to convince my letters to stick with a little e-6000.  Another variation is to use multiple blocks to spell out a word or phrase.

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Filed under DIY Projects, Inspiration