Tag Archives: DIY

Pink No More… Well Almost

28 May

I’ve been holding out on you. Why? Well mostly because of the major pain in the you know what getting paint on this house has been. We hired a painter and he was a dud. I won’t go into great detail. Those of you who know us personally know the drama and I’m not rehashing it here. Needless to say, 8 weeks into the project there wasn’t a drip of paint on the house. So we fired him. AND we got to work. We’ve almost finished up all the prep-work. B & I are working hard to get that all done every night when he gets off work. That way we can spray on Friday, Saturday, & Sunday this weekend. We’ve got a little help from my Dad, sweet Cousin Tristan, and the Milwaukee Airless/Fine Finish Paint Sprayer  from Home Depot. Here’s how the house looks now all scraped, primed, and with a little paint on the front right side:

DSC_0118All of the big portions of primer you see on the siding had to be scraped to the bare wood. Basically the previous paint job was not done correctly and this paint was peeling off in sheets… with my hands. We used a few Harbor Freight $12 heat guns and putty knives to make the scraping go faster.  DSC_0119 DSC_0120There was quite a few pieces of the soffit and fascia that the painter replaced. We primed most of that bare wood and will be finishing up that before we paint. DSC_0121Most of the windows and doors are already taped off. We did that for the painter but he never got around to the painting part. We’ll have to tape up a few pieces that fell off and the few windows and doors that we left un-tapped.  DSC_0122 DSC_0123Notice something missing? That’s right the Hot Tub is GONE. Gave it away on Craigslist. I was so tired of it taking up our entertaining space and being an eyesore. I hope the new owners have it installed and are enjoying it!  DSC_0124 DSC_0125 DSC_0126 DSC_0127What what?! Is that paint!!!!??? Yes but this is paint that I tried to roll on… That brick was a no go! No rolling it. No way. Painting it with a brush was the only way… until we bought our little sprayer friend. Now, I know there will be some brushing paint in the brick. The sprayer is not the thing that saves that but it will make it easier and faster. Ignore that tiki torch. I was trying to keep the bugs away while painting last week. DSC_0128I love how the green of the plants works with the navy paint color. The color is Martha Stewart’s Wrought Iron. That color sounds like it would be black or dark charcoal but it’s not. It’s a dark navy.  DSC_0130Had to share this photo of our neighbors. I adore the houses on our street and their green green yards! DSC_0132Speaking of green yards… check out that rock free yard!  DSC_0140This is how happy B feels about our current painting project. Me too my love, mee too!


Easy Art DIY

22 Feb

In the last post I mentioned how that fresh coat of paint really had me reeling for some art for the spare bedroom. I wanted something fast, easy, and free. So I rememberd that I had some natural coffee filters laying around that didn’t work out on another project and we always have some spare wood in the tool room. All I needed to dig out was some glue. Since I was out of hot glue sticks and just grabbed up some Aleene’s® Original Tacky Glue. I knew it would take longer to set up but it would do just fine.

I simply put some glue on the MDF, spread thin so it would set up fast. I put my finger in the center of the filter and used the other hand to get the filter to fold up around my hand. I then pushed my finger into the glue on the MDF. I repeated this several times for each flower. Since I was using a glue that didn’t dry instantly, I only added about 5 filters at a time to each flower then moved on to another while I waited for the glue to set up. I think I used about 75-100 filters on the whole project and it only took me a total of maybe 2 hours.

DSC_0319 copy

DSC_0316Battenburg Love
Wondering how I hung it?


First I ventured into the messiest tool room in the world…

DSC_0292I found these cool little brackets in this picture hanging kit we got from Harbor Freight ages ago…


Then I realized they didn’t work the way I thought they did so I went back to the box… and pulled out my trusty picture wire.

DSC_0297I made a mark down the back of where I wanted the picture wire to run and pre-drilled two little holes for the screws.

DSC_0300I wrapped the wire around and around the loose screw, screwed it in trapping the wire, then wrapped the wire around itself several times, gave it several staples wrapping the wire through those as well, then banged the staples down with a hammer. I may have also added a few more staples just so I could hit it a few more times…. This is very scientific and I would only use this crazy rigging method on something that you hadn’t paid a lot for… You know, just in case it falls in the middle of the night…

DSC_0308We have crazy plaster on top of sheetrock walls in the original part of the house and if you don’t pre-drill holes in, you end up with a huge and cracked hole. So now, I pre-drill. My favorite way to hang things in our walls are these Hercules hooks or Monkey Hooks from Lowes. They hold a ton of weight and only add a small pin hole to the wall! They’ve got two different sized hooks. I like the small ones the best but this big guy was all I had on hand. I’ve used all the rest!

DSC_0313You just push it right into the hole and as long as you haven’t hit a stud, it’ll go right in and be ready to hang your frame/art/mirror or whatever. Just so you know how amazing these thing are, I’ve got three yes only three holding up our HEAVY pallet spice rack in the kitchen.

DSC_0323 DSC_0325

A while back we hung a chandelier that my Mom had in her Master Bedroom and was going to yard sale last Spring. I gave it a coat of red spray paint and Brian hung it up for me. I didn’t like the globes so I’ve got to find something to go over the bulbs. I have an idea but haven’t got the stuff on hand to try it out.

That’s all for now!

Random Updates and Zero Excusess

20 Sep

So… july, July, JULY! That’s when I posted last.  So sorry for leaving you hanging people. Life got in the way. I’m sure you know how that goes. So what’s been going on you ask? Big changes. Big changes because I started a full time job August 20th. My previous job was great but I needed more hours. So rather than launching the business idea I had and waiting for it to grow, I decided to take an opportunity that came my way. I’m still learning the ropes so we’ll see where it goes.

On the house front, we’re slowly but surly getting things done. We’ve got a drywall finishing guy in this week to get the ceiling all smoothed out. We’re looking forward to getting the trim up this weekend and getting the Living Room DONE. We’ve already finished up the fireplace stucco and got the tile laid for the hearth. All that’s left is adding the mantle and grouting the tile.

This past few weekends have been spent with paint stripper and a sander. I finally have the front door almost ready for install. We’ve got the glass and just a bit more sanding and a coat of primer and it’ll be ready to install glass. Once that’s in we’ll be ready to install it in the front! I can’t wait. I also found a great product I want to share with you all. If you’re looking for a way to keep your neighbors from looking in this product may be what you need. It really REALLY mimics the look of textured glass. No, I’m serious! You can’t tell the difference. So much better than the stuff you buy in the home improvement stores.

Image via Anna White by way of  Shanty 2 Chic

I also built a desk last weekend using one of Anna White’s plans. I can’t wait to get a coat of paint on it so I can share how well it turned out!

Chalk Paint: A Comparison of Annie Sloan’s VS DIY

30 Jun

We’re gearing up to FINALLY replace the Living Room ceiling and by gearing up I mean I’m just waiting for Brian to return with the lift and for the Lowe’s truck to deliver the drywall. It’s a matter of an hour or so before we get to it. This hot weather has been the kick in the pants we needed so yay for some real progress in the Living Room!

As I promised in my last post, this post is dedicated to my new found love, Chalk Paint. Let’s start of with Annie Sloan’s description of the paint:

Annie Sloan developed her now famous Chalk Paint to answer the need she had for a paint which would have many uses from acting like limewash to looking like old painted furniture and that had a good range of colour that could be extended by the user. This paint is very easy to work with and allows people to be creative as one doesn’t get involved with the technicalities of preparation and it also allows you to change your mind without hassle.

Chalk Paint is a very special paint for very many reasons

1. It’s the BEST paint for painting furniture by a long way
2. No need to prime or prepare
3.Extremely low VOCs so it is good for the environment
4. You can use it on any surface, indoors and out ( the outside of our shop was painted in it- perfect!)
5. You can use the paint by diluting it with water to make a wash to show the wood grain
6. The colours are mixed intelligently and the web site shows how you can adapt your colours for your use
7. It’s a girls’ paint, but boys can use it too.
8. It’s flexible so you can be creative and change your mind
9. It allows your walls to breathe so it is perfect for cottage walls
10. You can use it as an impasto ( thickly) – leave the lid off to thicken
11. We’ve been making it since 1990 so it’s tried and tested

Here’s how I’d describe it:

A thick but creamy paint that goes on like a dream. It covers most items completely with just one coat and you don’t need a primer. It works beautifully when sealed with a wax and lends itself to distressing and antique type finishes very well. The consistency when rubbed between two fingers is very similar to clay mud if you’ve ever played with making pottery. It dries super fast meaning you can have a project complete start to finish in just a few hours.

As I said in my last post, I’d been seeing so many posts on Chalk Paint on blogs and Pinterest so when I snatched up those end tables at the thrift store, I knew they’d be the perfect experiment. I stopped by the local shop here who carries Annie Sloan’s paint on my way home with the tables and once they were cleaned up had them painted in less than an hour.

My local shop had a paint chart as well as trim pieces that were painted so that I could see the true color with a clear wax and with the dark wax. I felt like Country Grey was a great neutral so that’s what I got and I’m still in love with it.

Image via Homeroad

After using the paint on the end tables, I was itching to use it again so when it came time to paint the bed frame for the Guest Room I thought it’d be a great experiment for the DIY version of the paint I’d found on Pinterest.  I grabbed up some Plaster of Paris from JoAnn’s, used a 40% coupon of course, and the big box ended up costing me about $5. There’s enough in that box to make all the Chalk Paint I’ll need for the next few years…

So here’s the full on review:

Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint DIY Chalk Paint
Pros: The consistency is a dream. The colors are all beautiful. The formula has been tried and tested for 22 years. A little bit goes a long way. (I painted the end tables, the base of our new dining table, and the base of our new dining table benches and still have a half a qt left). The finish is so smooth. I felt like Annie’s had a smoother finish and went on creamier. It accepted the wax finish without needing sanding. Pros: It’s inexpensive. The bag of plaster will last forever and you can mix up a qt for under $10, less if you don’t use a premium paint. It covers well. You know what color your getting rather than mixing your own color and hoping for the best.
Cons: It’s expensive. I paid $36 + tax for my qt. There’s only 24 paint colors and although you can mix them, I’d think it’d be hard to get an exact color match mixing yourself. Cons: It didn’t go on as smooth as Annie’s. The coverage was a little less smooth but that could be because I needed to add more water. It needed sanding before the wax because the wax got caught in some plaster “bumps” which I was able to remove with sandpaper…

So here’s my take away:

I’ll continue to make my own DIY paint for small projects that I don’t mind spending the extra few minutes sanding and for ones that I want an exact color match for. For big or detailed projects I will use Annie’s because there’s less prep work and my results will be predictable. When you consider how far that little $36 qt of paint goes, I think it’s actually quite cost effective plus I’d rather have a few qt’s of paint than a bunch of gallons laying around like we do now. I won’t go back to priming then painting furniture with plain ole’ latex, that’s for sure. Chalk Paint is my new go to whether it’s DIY or Annie’s. I leave it to you to make up your own mind and I suggest you give both a try as well. I promise, you’ll be looking for things to Chalk Paint once you’ve tried it!

I used Minwax Wood Wax to seal both projects and I’m looking forward to trying Annie’s Clear and Dark wax because they appear to be easier to apply because you apply them with a brush. Should you choose to use Mimwax’s Wood Wax here’s how I found it to work best:

  1. Open the can and use a plastic knife or putty knife to cut a chunk of wax out of the can.
  2. Place the chunk between four layers of cheese cloth, two on top & two underneath.
  3. Rub the covered chunk over your Chalk Paint surface. It will temporarily look darker but will dry clear and look the same color.
  4. Once dry, 15 or 20 minutes, polish the waxed surface with dry cheese cloth.

The finish will be a matte surface that protects your project!

Here’s the recipe I used for my DIY Chalk Paint.

Happy Chalk Painting and I’m off to install a ceiling!

3 Projects Complete!

20 Jun

Whoa! 3, three, THREE projects complete in just a few short days? First let me apologize for the quality of each of these photos. My camera, yeah the one I bought last year, is done. The lens grinds when it tries to open and I’m a little more than upset at the quality. Anyway… The chair has been a work in progress since December. You know the ugly one I found for $35 at the thrift store? Let me remind you:

With a lot of staple removing and re-stapeling it now looks like this:

re-upholstered thrift chair

See I told you these photos weren’t going to be good. Well I think you get the point. I decided not to do a DIY on upholstery because there are already so many good ones out there. Here are my tips:

  • Find a simple shape for your first project. This was my first go at it and although it turned out well, some parts were a little tricky.
  • Choose an all over pattern rather than a big bold one or stripes. Matching these up was a nightmare and I wasn’t successful at doing so in some places.
  • TAKE TONS of photos. As you take the chair apart, take photos. lots of them. This will help you remember how it goes back together. Also make notes.
  • Serge the inside of your pillow. We have dogs and everything in this house has to be washable. Serging the edges of the inside of your cushion means it won’t unravel when you go to wash it later.
  • Another pair of hands is helpful. When stapling the new fabric back on, it’s handy to have another set of hands to pull the fabric tight while you staple. Brian was awesome at this!
  • Make it yours. I hated the feet on the original chair so I swapped them out for some I found at Lowes for under $3. I still have to stain them…

That’s it! I think it always helps to try this on a piece you are okay with ruining. One you didn’t spend a lot of money on or one that doesn’t have a fond memory attached to it. That way if you mess it up, no big deal.

Next up are these FAB end tables I found at my favorite KARM thrift shop. I walked by and saw the $23 tag on each of them and swiped those tags off faster than lightning. They were MINE!

I had been hearing about Anne Sloan’s Chalk Paint for a while and these were the perfect guinea pigs.

The paint was a dream to use. I liked it so much I made my own for the bed. I’ll be doing a direct one vs the other in my next post. The color is Country Grey and I LOVE it. It’s sort of a grey/green/creamy color and it goes with everything.

And here they are all done. Well one of them anyway. I dry brushed them with a little Minwax Early American to age them a bit and sealed everything in with Minwax Wood Wax. I love the way they turned out!

Last up is the bed I built. I was bragging all over Facebook that I built it myself. Well that was the case until Brian, being so smart, had me weight test it. Um, yeah… he helped me attach the legs so normal sized people wouldn’t break the bed and then I painted it with my own DIY chalk paint. I don’t have an exact color for ya because I mixed my own with the 2 of the 20 house paint samples we have laying around.

I also used some sandpaper and Minwax Early American, dry brushed on, to age the bed frame as well. I gave it a top coat of Minwax Wood Wax and also love how it turned out. The bedding above is just what I have that fits the bed right now. It’ll have crisp white bedding and a pretty quilt my mom is finishing up as the final bedding. The other furniture pieces in there are just temporary pieces too. I’ve not really got a plan for this room yet we just knew it needed to be painted bright and it needed a bed frame.

So there you have it, three projects complete here at the Pink Monster. I can’t tell you how good it feels to finally have the mattresses off the floor and to not be staring at a unfinished chair in the living room! Let’s hope this weekend is just as productive!