painting things

white paint, tape, and beer

is almost all you need for this project.

i mentioned last week that i’d been painting stuff. mike and i both have been painting a l o t of stuff. mostly mike.. like the w h o l e ceiling he’s trying to brush and roll before the carpet goes in (no sprayer in our arsenal unfortunately). but i have been painting very different sorts of stuff in effort to actually decorate the huge blank canvas that will soon be our *finished* basement.

so here’s a project from a few weeks ago. i made it with the new bedroom in mind.,,

 mike helped. he’s the best. here is the print i found on pinterest that i basically copied:


and here is how this really quick, cheap, easy project went down:

i got this big random board at home depot. it was cheap and i liked the partical-ly texture.

i’m not sure what its called, but maybe this will help(?)

i started to stain it with this dark minwax that i had sitting around. the same can that i used for this nightstand makeover. but the wood was just drinking it up.. it wouldn’t spread or wipe.. it wasn’t right.

so i scrapped the stain and went over the whole thing with the antiquing glaze concoction that i mentioned a couple posts ago. i made the antiquing glaze for the bedroom’s wooden ledge. i wanted it to look a bit reclaimed/rustic. i followed these directions more or less to make it.

you brush it on, then rub off the excess with a rag. easy.

 it gave it almost an ombre effect (that ended up looking awesome on the finished product). dumb luck.

the next night we started taping it up, following the look of the inspiration print above. we crunched some numbers and broke out a ruler, but in the end we eye-balled it. as i have mentioned many times, i am the queen of eye-balling. an imperfect result was more than ok with me.

to get nice, even lines on each long-side, we ran another piece of tape perpendicular and cut off all the ends with a mat cutting blade.
the arrows were a little tedious, but i used a few strong beers and the same blade technique to even them out after i slapped them down.

 once the taping phase was complete, it looked like this:

now the hard part is done and this sucker was covered with.. you guessed it.. white dove.

the peeling was the fun part. i was so worried about bleeding, but it came out awesome and me & mike jumped up and down together hugging!… no that’s not true, i jumped up and down alone.


here it is on the ledge where i was experimenting layering it with this print (still in it’s packaging, homegoods price tag and all). 

you may notice i painted one of the arrows green on a whim which i totally regret. leaving well enough alone is not my strong suit. but i’m so proud of my creation & i can’t wait to have photos of it when its actually living in the finished bedroom!

built in-spiration

slowly, the built-ins are looking a little more built and a little more in. the most notable update is the chunky wood frame around the fireplace.

here it is a few days ago pre-frame:

and now after our neighbor framed it with some pine floor boards he had left over from a previous project. it will really highlight the fireplace once everything (especially doors on either side) is/are painted.

what to do with the back of the shelves is keeping me up at night… stephanie 6 months ago would be painting it all a bold, contrasting color for sure. but stephanie today is way more into white, neutral, natural.. and speaking in the third person.

here are a couple of my favorite built-in pins. are they telling me to paint that back wall blue/grey?


let’s flash back to when we first bought the house. can you believe it?  this red wall makes no sense. the built-in white tv window-thing is oddly off-center and.. my gosh these colors.. also please note the closet door to the left that was just chopped off at the bottom. this is something..

so, even under construction, it is so rewarding to see the difference.

i have plans for these doors. they will be white like the rest of the unit, but i’ll be attempting to add texture and interest with a little scheme i dreamed up.

and new hardware. stat.

i’ve been painting stuff

when our basement is really finished, we will have a beautifully finished, *empty basement. i mean all the money we have invested in the walls, ceiling, carpet… i don’t know how we’ll afford to furnish it. so i’m trying to be creative and thrifty. we picked up a craigslist couch over the weekend and i’ve started to diy some art and accent furniture… like the k-mart stool below.  i thought with a little paint and prayer, it could make a cool little side table.
*aside from toys
i needed sponges one day last weekend and i left k-mart with sponges and this stool. i think i got it on sale for 14.99. i just remember it being so cheap, i didn’t think i could go wrong. (last i checked online it was on sale for 17.99…. just sort by price low-to-high and once you get past the stool softener, you’ll see it..) either way.. here’s how it went…

i’m totally hung up on the paint-dipped trend. i want to one-third paint everything.

first, i quickly sanded down the legs and slapped on a coat of “antiquing glaze” that i already had mixed up from other stuff we have going on down in the basement (more on that later. much more.)

i just wanted to get rid of the shiny-kmart-oak finish. this roughed it up and made it look a smidge more rustic.

next, i taped up the middle of the legs which will remain otherwise unpainted.

..broke out the kilz primer and primed the bottom and top.

i sprayed the bottom of the legs gold which made me want to spray everything else in my house gold. lucky for shakespeare, i refrained.

then i gave the top a quick spray.

i know arrows are trendy but i’m totally unoriginal so i’m into them. and they are somewhat easy to conjure using quarter-inch painters tape.

on deck was a sample of valspar paint. i’m going to have to get back to you with the name of this color. #bloggerfail

as for the result….. first lets focus on the positives.
the gold “feet” came out awesome.

i love the colors and general look of the 3-toned (stool) table.

but my arrows were a bit of a bust. i had such high hopes, but the green peeled as i was removing the tape and they just look like complete crap. the green wouldn’t stick to the slick gold spray paint.. i’m not sure how to avoid this next time. if you have any thoughts, please share.

but all’s not lost. its still a pretty fun little $20 table and it really didn’t take much time or effort to create.

a visual update

ok, i’m just going to show you pictures. i started to try to write words, but its not happening. work has been so busy and my brain is too mushy to string together large groups of words.

star light is in.

i sort of want to marry it.

built-ins are built.

they need a few finishing touches and a lot of paint, but getting there.

one of aforementioned finishing touches is figuring out how to make these lights work..

ceiling also needs a lot of paint. but is basically done and is awesome.

last monday we spent the holiday painting. the walls are benjamin moore revere pewter. its a warm grey. i worried it was too dark, but i think it will be ok once the ceiling and trim all have fresh coats of white.

here’s a little diy project mike is not looking forward to. we are tiling around the door to save the future carpet from entry traffic and, god forbid, leakage from this door.

we’ve enlisted dane to help with the painting. we are desperate. he has mastered pretend rolling the floor, so that’s helpful (teaser on a little wall art project here. don’t worry, we will not be hanging spoons anywhere).

peace out red.

what a difference some paint can make!

we need to paint the railing. what do you think, white? black? dark stain?

you can find more literary masterpieces right here as the drama unfolds later this week.

dreaming up a basement bedroom

my vision for this guest bedroom evolved as the construction slowly came together.
here is where i stand (little inspiration board below). i’m going for a calm, organic, industrial look (if that makes any sense).  natural textures and metals with green accents and white bedding.
here is the drywalled room with the new window location. we left the old window hollows as they were for the heck of it (interest? character?). 
mike half-joked about painting the insides with chalk paint and i said, YES. do that.
you can see where the lines are drawn for the mdf boards. it will be a board and batten look around the bottom, then up the whole wall with the window (which will be the head of the bed).
here are mike and rowdy probably questioning my pendant lighting choice. they will soon find the choice is FLAWless. (ha. i hope).
this wall color was not a calculated choice. we grabbed it from the mess-up bin at our local benjamin moore vendor. they have a paint can full of sticks dipped with colors they have mess-up gallons of in the back and sell for $10. this was really high quality regal select bm paint (normally $50/gallon at least) and i thought i could make the greeny work. i know you might be thinking this is similar to the gypsy teal in brewster… not what i am going for. i think if i mix in enough earthy green accents, i can stay away from the punchy teal feeling.

the best part. hopefully. eventually. will be a sliding barn door across this opening between the bedroom and the main area.
..until next time!

entry project II

so here it is. we broke up the large expanse of dirty, yellowy walls into a section of decorative molding below and rich color up top. the result is a high impact, major transformation. i am totally in love. the molding was done with MDF. we were back and forth between the MDF and poplar, and ultimately left it up to our neighbor, a very experienced contractor, who decided MDF was the better value. whatever it is, its pretty. 

and look, storage! we have a pathetic little coat closet that is strangely shallow and fits about 3 coats, so the hooks are very necessary.
i’m not thrilled with the floating shelf. it juts out awkwardly far and is a weird width. i would love to have something custom that fits perfectly in the space… but for $30, this expedit unit from ikea will do for now. 
and now i have a before and after shots from just about every angle. the christmas decorations are a bit distracting, but we’ll have to deal.
we’ll start upstairs on the landing..
b e f o r e —
a f t e r —
now facing dane’s room..
b e f o r e —
a f t e r —

facing our room…
b e f o r e —

a f t e r —
going down..
b e f o r e —
a f t e r —
now back downstairs. (so these aren’t really before, before.. you can see the bottom is already primed and the molding is penciled in, but you can definitely still get a sense of the drastic improvement!)
b e f o r e – i s h —
a f t e r —
b e f o r e —
a f t e r —
 b e f o r e —
a f t e r —

as for the “million decisions and details” i referenced in my last post.. here is a perfect example. we had to figure out how to handle this bump-out above the door. it wasn’t a straight-forward wrap-around scenario with the molding. but i think the way we handled it flows, and looks nice.

finally, here is the view looking up the stairs before —

and after — 

… you may notice the “art work” up there… stay tuned to see what becomes of that!

entry project

almost two years in this house. two full years. this blows my mind. i know it’s just walls and a roof and not even technically our first house.. but its the house that we brought our baby home to and really became a family.. the kid, the dog, we are totally grown-ups.
so the house.. its a big deal to me. it definitely feels like home, but it somehow still feels new and still feels like we haven’t completely settled in quite yet. over the past few weeks, we tackled one major project that was another huge step toward making the house feel like ours. because once this was complete, we had officially painted every. single. wall. in this house. every bathroom, every hallway, and come to think of it, the majority of the baseboards and ceilings too.

these are the walls that remained untouched. its a w h o l e lotta wall. this picture is from zillow two years ago. the photos of our house that were on zillow and all the other real estate listings are not representative of what the house looked like when it was actually for sale. we are pretty sure they used photos from years ago when the previous owners first tried to sell the house. this picture looks nice, but these walls were dirty. crayon marks, holes, dirty, dirty walls. but you can see why it took us so long to paint it all.

the money. the height. the decision. 

its a big commitment choosing a color to cover this massive area – the first thing you see when you walk in and the whole upstairs hallway. i couldn’t bring myself to paint it all a white or neutral. i couldn’t do anymore grey. i couldn’t commit to going bold on all this wall either. so these photos below are where i landed. the white with molding below and a different color up top. it would break up all the wall and i could have some fun with the color.


so this (below) is us for a couple weeks. painters tape everywhere. we moved these lines around a million times. at first we thought we’d copy the picture above with the two horizontal boards along the top. this is also when we were still entertaining the idea of diy-ing. less molding felt more doable. but the more we played around with it, the more we were convinced we liked the squares best. especially on the big wall going down the stairs.
the tape method was so helpful and gave us the confidence to move forward with this. i am happy to report that, in the end, we decided this was a ddiy project (don’t do it yourself). especially with the holidays and everything else on our plates. but thanks to our neighbor and his friend, we got a very quality job, at a very good price, and more importantly, 2 guys we could trust would do good work and that we enjoyed working with (because even after the work started, there were still so many decisions to make and so manny details to sort out).

so they got started. on the top: wolf grey (benjamin moore). more bluey than grey.

white dove (benjamin moore) on the bottom.

below is a “before” looking up the stairs (you can see the molding lines penciled in). a world of improvement.

next post i’ll have the finished product along with more detail on the process and all of the before and afters.

final hutch all dressed up

we may or may not be able to get the door back on… i wanted to use the old hinges but they are giving us a run for our money. in my pretend world i would have time to deal with the door and take some nice photos, but in my reality, these iphone pics emailed to myself on the train are what is happening…

lets see a yucky picture first:

and now the after:

* update: we got the door on finally. all is well in the world.

hutch makeover

if you have been monitoring my pinterest boards closely, you will notice the addition of assorted hutches painted various colors. i have been shopping around for hutch inspiration.


thank you don and kathy (yet again) for this beauty below. she has been sitting in our basement for over a year, but i promise we are going to make her purdy and treat her reeeeal nice from now on (<=read w/ southern accent).

first things first.. we pulled the wavys off the bottom. we literally just gave them a wiggle and they came right off with a tug.

 i don’t want to get all technical on you, but these are called wavys.

 the clean lines are much more modern. easiest step 1 ever.

next, mike spent a few minutes running the electric sander over it to rough up the finish, and then went over it with a quick coat of primer graciously supplied by our neighbors (ie. the best neighbors ever who have every tool in the world. and feed us. and have a pool). it was a really thin, quick drying primer meant to go over stain. i can’t remember the name of it.

we then painted everything white dove by benjamin moore (from a gallon of left-overs).

i made us go to lowes to get one of these wall panels ($16ish) to add texture to the back (as seen in many of my pins) we painted it the same coventry grey (benajamin moore) that is in our tv room.

this is a close-up of the panel before it was painted.

so we nailed the painted board to the back, put it back together and here’s how its looking now:

we need a little more time with caulk and touch-ups but, i think we can move ‘er to the dining room tomorrow and finally put our pretty china on display just in time for the holidays! happy stephanie.

love it. mike worked hard on this.. thanks bug!

i hope this post is in english. i’m very tired. goodnight!

my version of the ikea rast side table hack

this dresser makeover is all over the interwebs (like this, here, this one, here, and here). a $35 dresser from ikea (the “rast”) that people make beautiful with paint and new hardware.


i had been hoarding these two little side tables that were $35 less (i.e. free) than the above. thank you, per usual, to my in-laws, kathy & don.

and i’m glad i hoarded because there have been a number of different ways i considered putting these guys to use over the past year. at first i thought i’d paint them white and put them in our bedroom to store my [extremely unorganized] craft supplies. i later considered using them as side tables in the new bedroom we are adding to our basement. but now that we have upgraded the 2nd bedroom in brewster with a new queen bed and are trying to make it a more appointed space, the final call is that these tables are going 80 60 miles to brewster.

but first, they needed a makeover. i decided to channel this version of the rast hack which is extremely unoriginal, but extremely awesome.


 so i sanded them down, stained the shell (leftover expresso by minwax) and painted the drawer faces white (left-over dove white by benjamin moore).

just one coat of stain on the outside plus a quick spray of polyurethane (rust-oleum spray can)
and for the drawers, one coat of primer and two coats of dove white.

because the wood already had a varnish, the result of my staining was.. “interesting”. the more heavily sanded parts absorbed more stain than the less sanded parts.. but i like it. i call it character.

you need to order these rad pull rings from this place called lee valley. they come from canada , but i ordered on a saturday and got them the following thursday. not bad. and you can’t get anything like this from lowes or the depot. i tried.

the only issue i encountered was that the screws that came with the hardware were too short for my drawers. this always happens when i replace hardware! so once again i found myself in lowes asking the kind man in the apron to find a longer version of the ring pull screws.

here are my side tables in their new home.

we have another furniture makeover in the works that i’m really excited about. it feels like its taking forever but hopefully i can share by sunday at the latest!!