Horizontal Stripes = Huge Impact!!

Hello everyone!  I hope you all had a great weekend.  It was a good one for us, just busy.  I started the weekend helping out a friend with a bedroom makeover for  her daughter, and ended the weekend with a little project of my own.  The bedroom project still needs the finishing touches and some touch up, so I’m not ready for that reveal yet, but I’ll show you what I did at my house:

I painted stripes!!

This is the hallway that you see when you come in through the garage door.  This is where we keep coats, backpacks, etc.   At the end of the hall is our laundry room.   That room could use a makeover, but the inspiration hasn’t hit me yet.  Here are a couple more pics:

 In this picture I am standing in the laundry room, and that is the powder room off to the left.

Now for the details…There is definitely a “right” and a “wrong” way to do stripes.  Especially if you have a textured wall, which most people I know do.  The texture is the bumpy stuff that looks like an orange peel on the wall.  I think that textured walls are more popular on the western side of the US as compared to the midwest and east coast.  My in-laws live in Ohio, and their walls have very little texture.  They are almost completely flat.  It’s interesting that there would be differences like that throughout the US, but oddly enough there are many differences in home styles and architecture.  Maybe someday I’ll do some research on that.  Hmmm….Anyway, what was I saying?  So here is what we started with:

The wall was plain with some hooks that I found at Hobby Lobby a while back.    Here is the wall on the other side of the entrance to the kitchen:

My awesome hubs almost always does the taping for me when I paint.  He makes it look so easy!  I also recommend using Frog Tape too.

The blue painters tape works, but I have had much better results with this stuff.  It is a little more expensive, but in my experience it has been worth it.

The first step is to take the height of your wall and divide by how many stripes you want.  I have found that fewer, wider stripes look less busy.  My wall is 9ft, so I decided that it would be easy to just do nine stripes, 12inches each.  I took in to account the baseboard, which is about 5.5 inches, which left me at about 11.4 inches each.  You ALWAYS want to do an odd number of stripes!  The reason is because your baseboard is white, and your ceiling is white (usually) and that way the colored stripes aren’t touching the baseboard or ceiling.  It is hard to explain why, but take my word for it, it just looks better that way, and it is easier.  So start by painting your wall your base color.  In my case, I already really liked my base color, so that was a major step that I could skip.  It is a creamy beige color, so I chose white for my stripes.  I actually used the last of the “oops” paint that I bought to do my armoire.  If you missed that post, you can read about it here.  You just want to make sure that if your base paint is a semigloss, than your stripes should be a semi gloss also.   So here are my taped off stripes:

You might notice that some stripes appear larger than others.  That is because  your tape is on the inside of the stripe that is staying your base color.  Does that make sense?  Also, my hubs used my handy dandy laser level to get these stripes perfectly level.  It is a life saver I tell ya!  I need to contact Black and Decker and let them know how much I advertise that darn laser level.  Anyway, now onto the crucial part.  Mark the stripes that are going white (or whatever color you’re using) with a W.  It can get a bit confusing.  Next, take the base color (in my case beige) and paint along the inside of the stripes labeled with the W.

The reason you do this is because no matter how good you tape, some of your paint will bleed.  By painting with the base color just along the tape line, the color that will bleed will be the base color, and you’ll never notice it.   It will create a seal, and once it dries you can paint your white over the top and none of the white will bleed.   I learned this after much research and blog reading etc.  My first stripe project was at my last house and it was a stripe FAIL.  The colors bled and the more we tried to fix them the worse it got…..I plan to do a post all about my last house and you’ll see what I mean.

I rolled the white on with a roller and used a small angled brush to get really good in the corners and along the tape.  I used about three coats of white.  When the paint was almost but not quite dry, I peeled off the tape.  I’ve heard horror stories about peeling the tape the next day and taking some of the paint with it, so remove it before the paint is completely dried.  And here are my perfect stripes!

I couldn’t seem to take a decent picture close up, but trust me, they didn’t bleed AT ALL!! I just love them. They really dress up the area. I switched out the mirror for a more ornate one that I got at the Mona Lisa auction, and hung my hooks back up.  Here is another look at the before and after:


Are you bold enough to try stripes?  Let me know if you have any questions! Thanks for coming by!


This Just May Be My Favorite Project Yet!

Hello everyone!  I am just over the moon about this last project.  Partly because it was purely experimental and it worked, and also because it involved a photo of my kids.  I don’t know about you, but I just can’t get enough photos of my kids.  It’s like capturing them in time and there are so many moments that I don’t ever want to forget.  As I sat and looked at this project last night I kept thinking about how I will be looking at this picture ten years from now reminiscing about when they were that age.  Sniff… Anyway, it is one of my favorite pictures of the two of them together, so I just knew that it was right for this project.

It all started when I was scouring thrift stores looking for the perfect desk.  I didn’t find a desk, but I found this:

I love that frame!  There are a couple of things I never pass up at thrift stores, and ornate frames are definitely one of them.  This beauty was higher in price than what I usually go for, but I couldn’t resist.  It was $8 and I seriously contemplated it.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it.  I knew it needed a really special picture so I started brainstorming.  A photo of my Dad? My husbands late grandparents?  Hmmm…so many good choices.  Then it hit me.  My favorite picture of the kids that was taken this past fall.  I love that picture so much that I knew I always wanted it framed, so it was a no brainer.  I remember hearing somewhere in blogland (I don’t remember where or I would site the source, sorry) that you can get really large prints done for super cheap at Office Max.  They are done on paper, not photo paper, just paper.  So I loaded my favorite pic onto one of those zip drive stick thingys and headed to Office Max.  I got an 11×17 print made for $.22.  Score!  22 cents is definitely in my price range.  This is what it looked like:

I headed out to my paint booth yard, and spray painted both the frame and the cardboard (painting?) white.  I just used $2 gloss white spray paint from Wal-Mart.  I sprayed the cardboard part white also because I didn’t want the dark colors to show through when I transferred my picture to it.

By the way, spray paint and snow don’t mix and it started dumping snow when I was one coat into this, so I rescued it from the yard and had to use my hair dryer to dry up the little drops of water.  Good times…  I finished it up in the garage, which I don’t like to do because the floor in there is still pretty unblemished, unlike the garage at my last house that looked like some sort of bad paint experiment…Anyway a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do and there’s no patience in crafting.  I went to work on my photo.  I covered the back of it with a pretty good coat of modge podge using a foam brush.

You can find this just about anywhere, even Wal-Mart.  I swear I’m not a spokesperson for Wal-Mart, but I could be, right?  Anyway, after coating the back of the picture I stuck it to the cardboard and smoothed out the wrinkles using a wrinkle smoother thingy that I think is meant for smoothing wallpaper.

I got the majority of the bubbles out, but a few wrinkles did emerge.  I liked that though.  I wanted something that looked like a canvas, not just a glossy photo.  If I wanted a glossy photo I would have just used one.  I wanted the look of one of those expensive canvas pictures.  After smoothing it out I started coating the top of the photo with the modge podge.

Modge Podge is basically glue.  It goes on white, but dries clear.  I coated the whole thing, let it dry for about 5 minutes, then coated it again.  All in all I coated it 4 times.

When it was all dry I put it into my newly painted frame and Walla!  Here it is:

I love it! It has a finish that is imperfect and it looks really good like that.  This entire project cost me less than $10 dollars. I already had the modge podge, so I bought the frame, spray paint and the print.  Here’s one more pic:

This was seriously so simple, anyone can do it.  I just love it when an experiment works out. Winning!  

Thanks for coming by!

How To Jazz Up A Bulletin Board…

Hello everyone!  I hope you all had a great weekend.  I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to complete a project that I’ve been working on. Boo…. I am turning a small coat closet off of my kitchen area into a small office/organization/craft area.   I bought the paint and the rest of the supplies and found a small desk on Craigslist.  As I went to pick it up though, I discovered that it wasn’t the right size for the space.  It is a tricky little area and I may have to disassemble the desk and rebuild it once it is inside the closet.  I am really hoping to find a cheap perfect little desk to salvage and redo for the space.  Something with a little character.  On a brighter note, as I was scouring thrift stores in the search of the perfect desk, I did find some really great things to repurpose into something AWESOME!  Stay tuned for that….Anyway, I did start on one portion of my office/closet makeover.  I started with this:

I found this at Wal-Mart for about $9.    I wanted a bulletin board to hang up my calendar, kids school schedules, etc.  I had hoped to find a bulletin board at a thrift store, but by this point I was losing my patience and this one was the perfect size for the space.  I wandered over to the fabric area and bought about 3/4 of a yard of a fun little fabric.  The fabric was about $4 a yard, so it cost me around $3.  I took it home and began stapling the fabric to the board like so:

Once it was all covered I decided that it needed a little flair.  Something like nailhead trim.  I just love nailhead trim.  I really didn’t want to have to go to Home Depot or anywhere else though, so instead I found these

They were on clearance at Wal-Mart for about $.60 a box, so I bought three.  I just started lining them up.

It was a little difficult to keep them in a straight line, but in the end it really wasn’t that noticeable.  When I was finished I had this:

And against my black door…..

 I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.  It will be perfect for my closet/office makeover.  The entire project cost less than $15.  Thanks for coming by!

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Home Stories A2Z


Who Says You Can’t Paint Tile?

Hello Everyone!  I just have a quick post today to show a little tweak I did.  In case you missed my post about my stencilled wall you can read about it here.  After looking at it in different lighting, I decided to make a small change.  Here it was before:

And here it is now:

Do you see the difference?  It’s subtle….I painted the tile surround in the fireplace black.


And after:

I never have liked the color of that tile.  I had rubbed some silver rub-in-buff on it awhile back because the tile almost has a pink hue.  I wanted a contrast and didn’t feel brave enough to paint the entire mantle black.  What do you think?  Do you like it better.  I’m pretty sure I do.  And yes, you can paint right onto tile.  That is just regular ol’ latex paint.  One thing to keep in mind though, this is not tile we walk on, and it isn’t exposed to any water like in a bathroom.

I have one other trick to share with you.  My Mother-In-Love shared this with me shortly after we bought the house.  If you have a gas fireplace similar to mine, this may work for you too.  Here’s what I’m talking about:

See the two brass strips?  Ya, they’re removable.  Who’d a thunk?!  They are stuck to the fireplace with magnets.  They pull right off like this

I’m just not a fan of brass, so I ripped those suckers off right away.  Pretty crazy huh?  One last picture:

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great day!

A Stenciled Wall…

Hello everyone!  I’m excited to share my latest project with you!  Yesterday my wall went from this:

To this:

Isn’t that fun?!  (Please ignore the cute kiddos on the couch with bed head and the dog who is giving herself a thorough cleaning).  So let me tell you how I did it.  First I drew myself a stencil.  There was a bit of trial and error in this, I just found a shape I liked and drew it onto a piece of cardstock using a ruler and the edge of a bowl.   Next I folded the paper in half so that both sides were even and cut it out.  This is what the stencil looked like:

Next, starting in the very center of the wall at the top, I traced around my stencil using a pencil.  At this point my daughter began projectile vomiting on the couch, so I turned it over to my lovely assistant, Kash.

We had a few concerns with making sure that everything was level.  Each stencil builds on the last one, so if you were to start going crooked you’d have an entire crooked wall, so we whipped out my handy dandy laser lever  (LOVE that thing) and started lining up the stencils that way, working vertically down the wall.

I would love to be able to say that this went really quick, but the truth is, it was time-consuming and tedious.  After about four hours of this we had the whole wall covered.

You can see from the pictures that this was not exact.  No matter how perfect we tried to make it, there were some that overlapped, and some that didn’t touch at all.  In the end, it really didn’t matter.  We stopped at this point and the next day I went to TruValue and picked up this:

It cost about $6.75.  I started tracing over the shapes we had pencilled on the wall.

This part actually went really fast.  I think I had the entire wall done in about an hour.

When the entire wall was covered I took a damp cloth and wiped it all down to remove any pencil smudges.  Here is the before one more time:

 And After:

 I love how the silver looks different from different angles and lighting.  Sometimes it is very noticeable, and sometimes it is really subtle.  I love how it glimmers in the sunlight.

The entire project cost me $6.75 for the paint pen.  I LOVE it!  Thanks for coming by!

Oh ya, my lovely assistant, Kash, is still single.  And….he works out.

 Love that kid!

About That Armoire…

Hello everyone!  I wanted to break down some of the details of the armoire from my daughter’s bedroom.  In case you missed that post, you can read about it here.

The armoire was a Craigslist find from several years back.  My kids have a ton of movies and like to watch them in my daughter’s bedroom, so I needed a space for the TV and movies that wasn’t a total eye sore.  I wanted an armoire so that I could just close the doors when they weren’t watching.  The armoire is a very heavy piece, but nothing special.  It is just a pressboard concoction covered with a “wood look” laminate.  I had seen some furniture creations on pinterest and other places and had a few ideas about what I wanted.  I was a little worried about painting on laminate though.  This is how it started :

And here is what it looks like now:

I’ll just be honest though, this is how I really feel:

So here is how it all came together…Many of you have heard of chalk paint (not to be confused with chalkboard paint).  In a nutshell, it is this fabulous new invention that allows you to paint the surface of just about anything with little to no prep work.  You know all that sanding you hear about that has you completely turned off to refinishing a piece of furniture?  Ya, not with chalk paint.  I did no sanding what-so-ever, and this is laminate peeps!  The original inventor of chalk paint is Annie Sloan.  Although her paint is fabulous, it is extremely expensive and hard to find.  So what’s a girl to do?  Google it of course!  I googled how to make my own chalk paint, and there it was.  One cup latex paint with one tablespoon of unsanded grout.  So I went to Wal-Mart and found a can of “oops” paint that was marked 50% off.  Score!!  It was a basic white, so I couldn’t go wrong.  They didn’t sell grout, so I went to Ace hardware and found a box for about $8.00.  It is huge and will last me forever.  Here are my supplies:

It really cracks me up how this whole project came to be.  My husband, brother-in-law and I took the kids to seriously the worst restaurant ever for breakfast and over much heartburn and indigestion I completely convinced my brother-in-law to start this project with me.  He’s no stranger to my crazy, spontaneous decorating adventures.  He is a single college student who just landed an awesome intern position in the same town that we live.  Pretty awesome.  He has always lived several hours away until now, so it has been a blast having him around.  I know that he is seriously scared inside every time I start talking about a new project!!  Anyway, he has dabbled with drawing over the years and so I knew he’d be the perfect person to help me carry out this vision of mine.  Here is a pic of it right after we got started:

All we did was mix our paint (one cup latex to one tablespoon grout)and stirred really well.  We took off the doors and handles and taped off the rest of the hardware.  We just painted it right where it stood with a big sheet under it.  There was no way we were moving it downstairs!  I used a small foam roller while he used a brush.  The grout gives it an almost textured finish, so we decided that the brush strokes of the brush looked better than the roller.  This proved to be a MUCH bigger project than I initially thought!  Not hard, just time consuming!  It took several coats.  Sometimes the paint/grout combo would get a little thick, so I watered it down with a splash of water and just stirred it right in.

I made Kash pose in this terrible shirt (he had to borrow it from me because I wouldn’t let him run home and get paint clothes) that was way too small.  Here it is with only one coat on it.

After about three coats we let it sit and started on the walls.  The paint color I chose for the wall was Granite Grey by Gliddon

I gave the armoire one final coat of white without adding grout to finish it off.  It turned out awesome.  We actually didn’t start the design on the front until the rest of the room was finished and the paint had dried on the armoire entirely.  This is where Kash had to use his skills.  I printed out the picture I wanted him to draw and showed him exactly where on the armoire that I wanted it to be.  I wanted it off centered and to seem like it was falling off the edge.  He was able to take a small picture and draw it on the front of the armoire to scale.  And he made it look pretty easy.  At this point we used a little finishing brush to fill in his drawing with the same grey Gliddon paint that we used on the walls.  I considered using a lacquer to seal the entire piece, but decided against it when I noticed that it was yellowing the paint.  So it has a very thin coat of lacquer underneath the TV, but nowhere else.  So far it is holding up great!  It was quite a bit of work, but I think it was worth it, don’t you?

So back to that Brother-In-Law of mine…Did I mention that he’s single, and in a frat?  Oh ya, and here is a better picture of him:

Alright, now he’s gonna kill me.  Thanks for stopping by!  Let me know if I can answer any questions for you about painting with chalk paint!

Linking up to:


I Love a Black Door….

Hello everyone!  I am in the process of finishing up a pretty big project right now so stay tuned for the big reveal (hopefully tomorrow!)  Today I wanted to talk about a project I did a little while back.  I, like many of you, have fallen in love with images that I’ve seen on Pinterest, magazines and home decor blogs.  One of my latest obsessions is black doors.  I notice them EVERYWHERE now!  I love the look of black interior doors with white trim.  It just makes the door look so rich.  Everybody has white doors.  It seems to be the only accepted color, but why??  How boring is white?  Besides, if you hate it, it’s only paint, and the best reason for painting them black?  You guessed it, it is so much easier to disguise little grubby fingerprints!

One of the first places that I fell in love with black doors was from one of my favorite bloggers Thrifty Decor Chick.  She redid a couple of doors in her kitchen eating area and they turned out fabulous!  I knew I wanted to add some drama to my kitchen eating area, so here are my new black doors:

(That trampoline won’t always be sitting right outside the door)

The color that I used was Onyx by Gliddon in a semi gloss.  At this point I got a little over zealous and decided to paint my pantry door:

Then I thought, well why stop there?  I moved on to the backside of my front door.  The front is already black so it made sense anyway, right?  Here’s how it looks now:

With all the light coming through the windows I couldn’t seem to get the picture that I wanted, so this is as good as it gets.  I do love how it looks!  Of course I wasn’t about to stop there.  I moved on to the door leading to the garage.  This door really makes sense in black.  We keep our big garbage cans and our recycling out in the garage, and it seems like there are always dirty prints on that door.   Not anymore! Here it is:

And I finished it up with one last door, the backside of the door to the garage.  It is the hardest to keep clean by far!  In the future I decided that I’m gonna do something fun with that door, like vinyl that says, Honey you’re home!!  Or something fun that my hubs will see every time he gets home from work.  I’m sure he would rather have one of those big fathead things to greet him.  Something like this:

 Ya, that’s probably not gonna happen.  It would be kind of funny though.   Here is that door from the garage:

And yes, that is a bottle opener with a custom-made cap catcher, hand crafted by my husband there to the right.   So what do you think of black doors?  I’m pretty happy with them!  Thanks for stopping by!