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DIY Furniture Transformation with Homemade Chalk Paint

18 Nov

Here’s an after photo of one of my recently completed chalk paint tables:

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And some before photos:

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A few dings and scratches here and there.

We were gifted two over-sized nightstands last summer as part of a beautiful bedroom set.

They were made of mahogany wood and in great shape overall, except for a few small dings and scratches that had been acquired through the years.

Although I liked the overall shape, I thought that both the finish and the hardware made the nightstands look dated. I’m not a huge fan of the Chippendale style drawer pulls.

I wanted to try something different than spray paint this time, so I searched Pinterest for ideas on furniture refinishing.  It seems that nearly every piece I saw that I really, really liked had been refinished with chalk paint.

Not chalkboard paint, but chalk paint.

The appeal of chalk paint is that there is no sanding or priming needed to prepare your surface for painting – you just start painting!

After the amount of sanding and priming that went into this vintage hexagonal table,  this antique vanity bench, and my son’s vintage red chair, I was ready to try a different painting technique.

I was sold on the concept of chalk paint, so I went in search of where to buy it. I quickly discovered that brand-name chalk paint is super expensive!!! At $35-40 per quart, I did not want to “experiment” with it on my free furniture!

After researching homemade chalk paint, I found several on-line recipes and decided on one using calcium carbonate and latex paint. I chose calcium carbonate because it’s the safest to eat of all the ingredients used to make other chalk paint recipes. I mean, who wants to eat un-sanded grout for breakfast!

I tried several different formulas on sample wood and found that I like this recipe the best:

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Little Vintage Chair Gets a Big (Red) Makeover

7 Oct

My latest furniture re-do started out like this:

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And now looks like this:

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This darling chair was an estate sale find and cost me $10. I loved the sweet little frame, the wood structure was sturdy, and I couldn’t pass up the price. I have a thing for chairs.

I had originally planned on simply adding some foam and recovering the seat, but when my 3 year old got involved in the project, those plans quickly changed.

You see, his favorite color is red.

Enter Exhibit A: Mommy’s Favorite Chair in the living room that was next on the roster for re-upholstering, and happened to be….red.

Red Chair

When my son learned of my plans to recover the chair, he had a brainstorm. He asked me if I could find a chair for him, paint it red, and use the fabric from my red chair to re-cover it. Yes, this was an actual conversation that I had with my 3 year old about interior design.

Enter Exhibit B: Little antique chair in need of some TLC.

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Home Office Makeover: Gallery Wall Tutorial

23 Sep

Welcome to my new home office! I’ve made lots of changes to this space recently and I’m so excited to share all of it with you!

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Today’s focus is my just-completed gallery wall:

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I’m really happy with how it turned out, and I’ve included a full tutorial just for you!

THE PROCESS

First, I eyeballed how much space I wanted for the gallery, and quickly slapped some painter’s tape on the wall to mark it.

Painter's Tape Frame

I measured the space after the painter’s tape was up on the wall.

There were a few hiccups I had to sort out along the way. Like the fact that my wall does not exactly meet the ceiling at a straight line in my 1960’s bungalow.

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How This $30 Faux Gate Saved Us From Installing a New Fence

16 Sep

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See this lovely gate? It’s a fake. It doesn’t actually open. But this faux gate is much more than just a pretty face.

Last summer we woke up nearly every morning to large and numerous holes throughout our entire yard. Shrubs and flowers were dug up and cast aside. Dangerous dips in our yard became rampant.

We were unsettled every night at bedtime, and even more so each morning as we surveyed new damage. We had no idea what was causing it.

Until early one morning, around 6 am, I saw an armadillo enter into a large gap in the fence line at the back of our yard. Ah-ha!

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Hotel Armadillo entrance.

Our back fence line was comprised of two fences of our back neighbors.

Where the fences “meet” in the middle, there is a large corridor roughly 18 inches wide and 30 feet long, with openings on both ends: one to our property, and one to the property line of the two neighbors behind us.

We soon learned that this dark and damp sanctuary served as a literal breeding ground for armadillos! Continue reading

How To Dry And Preserve Hydrangeas (The Easy Way)

3 Sep

Dried hydrangeas are a long-lasting and beautiful alternative to silk flowers. In this post, I’ll give you the step-by-step process I use to enjoy them Around My Home.

Dried Hydrangeas on White Pot

THE PROCESS

–Start with fresh hydrangeas. I can’t believe how many people told me I couldn’t grow hydrangeas in Austin, yet I’ve been enjoying them in my garden for three seasons now.

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My favorite hydrangea pic I’ve snapped, this is my cover photo for Around My Home, Twitter, and YouTube.

–Cut the stems at an angle and place them in a vase filled with enough water to cover ~1/3 of the stems. Consider removing the leaves because they don’t look very pretty when dried.

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Love these pink beauties from my garden.

–Keep the flowers out of direct sunlight and heat.

–Allow the water in the vase to evaporate over the course of a few days.

–Do not refill or refresh the water.

–Once the water is evaporated, let the hydrangeas remain in the same vase until the flowers have dried completely. Do not hang them upside down, which does not work well for hydrangeas.

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Pottery Barn Lamp Makeover (and Chalk Paint Sneak Peek)

19 Aug

I recently scored these Pottery Barn lamps for $10 on Craigslist and gave them a major makeover.

Here’s my favorite after shot:

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Here’s the before photo from the original Craigslist ad:

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When I got the lamps home and began my post-purchase inspection, I definitely wondered what I’d been thinking when I bought them.

The peeling, rusting finish in this pic should give you an idea of their poor condition:

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I got busy scraping with my putty knife and then sanded with 150 grit sandpaper.

When I removed the lampshades, I was greeted by even more rust. So I sanded away.

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After sanding and cleaning the lamps thoroughly, I taped them off with painters tape and enclosed the cord in a plastic grocery bag.

Shhhhh….I smuggled in the plastic grocery bag from a different city due to a bag ban ordinance in Austin.

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DIY Pillows – Sew Easy!

5 Aug

I love throw pillows and the way they instantly change the look of a room. I just don’t love the price tag!

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Ahhhh…looks so inviting to me. Hubby just wants to know where people will sit now with all these pillows.

I had tried making some envelope pillows with fabric glue after reading this post on one of my favorite DIY blogs.

Mine fell apart.

My mom suggested sewing some instead and I laughed. I had never even held a needle and thread in my hand before – ever. She then offered to give me a sewing tutorial.

Following my mom’s patient instruction, I conquered my fears and completed my first sewing project – DIY Pillows!

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