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!


The Last Of The Details (A Bedroom for a Princess)

Hello Everyone!  This is my last post about my daughter’s bedroom.  Thank you for all the sweet comments!  It really means so much to me.  I’ve had a few questions about the tree so I wanted to share how that came to be.   I had seen a few murals of trees and came up with my own version.  I really liked the idea of having the frames hanging from the tree, and I wanted the tree to be in the corner and branch out to both of the adjacent walls.  I wasn’t completely certain how it would look before I started, so I just got started and it fell into place from there.

 I knew I was going to need to draw it out before painting it, and since I didn’t know exactly how it was going to come together I didn’t want to use pencil or anything else that might be difficult to get off the wall.  As I was pondering the situation I ran to the garage to grab a beer  soda, and stumbled across my kids sidewalk chalk and presto! Chalk would work perfectly!

I know it is hard to see in this picture, but that is our chalk outline.  Once again I utilized the drawing skills of my Brother-In-Law, Kash, to sketch the tree onto the wall.  He sketched and I critiqued, we wiped it off and started over, and then the look that I was wanting started to emerge.  He started to fill in the branches with a small fine brush while I started on the trunk of the tree with a roller.

I knew I wanted the picture frames to look like they were hanging from a branch on the tree, so the hardest part of the whole process was just measuring out where the frames needed to hang, then making sure that the largest branch fell through that line.  Lucky for me my fabulous hubs got me a laser level for Christmas and it worked beautifully!  When the paint dried we just wiped the chalk off the wall with a soft dry cloth.  Now onto those frames….

Those are $4  8×10 frames from Wal-mart.  Nothing fancy.  I knew I wanted my daughter’s initials, I just wasn’t sure exactly how it would come together.  I honestly walked around Michaels for like an hour trying to pick out the perfect scrapbook paper.  Just when I thought I’d found the perfect thing I’d second guess myself and put it back.  I ended up leaving empty-handed.  I remembered that I had some leftover fabric from one of the pillows I recovered so I cut out pieces of fabric and put that into the frames.  Next I cut pieces of black ribbon and hot glued it to the back of each frame to get the hanging effect.  Now how was I gonna get those initials?  I don’t have a Cricut or Silhouette or any of those fancy machines that cut vinyl and paper, so I had to get creative.  I found the font I wanted and enlarged it to the approximate size, then just printed it out on cardstock through my regular ol’ computer printer.  Then I just carefully cut each one out with scissors and attached them to the fabric with a bit of elmers glue and Walla!  There you have it, three frames with initials for about $14.    Now onto that chair…

Recovering a chair is a really simple and inexpensive way to get a whole new look without a lot of work.  This chair was a rescue from an abandoned shed at a house we rented a jillion years ago when we were first married.  I wish I had a “true” before photo.  I know my husband thought I was off my rocker when I dragged that filthy thing into the house.  I gave it a quick makeover with random fabric I had and used it at our computer desk.  Here is what it looked like with its first makeover:

That is a terrible picture, but the legs were black and very chippy looking, and the seat had a floral fabric while the back was covered in leopard velvet.  (My tastes have changed over the years)  Anyway, I started by spray painting the legs with this:

If you have never seen one of those spray paint dealy-bobs on the top of the can, let me tell you, they will save your finger in a big project!  Next I just covered the seat in some of the fur that I had left over from this project.  The top of the chair got a silvery,black floral velvet.

I think about the only other thing I haven’t covered in the room is the chandelier.  If you love chandeliers as much as I do, I really encourage you to look for them at yard sales, flea markets, etc.  So many people have taken down what they think are outdated chandeliers and replaced them with more modern ones, but with a little paint and a few crystals, you can completely transform an ugly chandelier.  This beauty was a beigy, yellowy, cream number that someone had attempted to redo already.  They had painted all the little flowers pink and the leaves green.  It was a nice attempt, but it really was hideous.  I have collected crystals over the years that I have found at antique stores and flea markets, so I just adorned it with a few of those after I sprayed it black.  I did it several years ago, so I don’t have any before pictures.  It really adds elegance to her room.  I just love it!  Total cost?  About $15.

That really wraps of the details of the room.  If I could give some advice on how to do a room like this, I would have to say to not over think it.  Don’t be scared to draw and paint on your walls, and just remember that it is YOUR creation and it will turn out fabulous.  There are no rules and no way to mess up!  Have confidence and just get started.  Once you start you have to finish, right?  Let the momentum carry you through.  Ok, enough motivational speaking…One more look at the finished product:

Thanks so much for coming by and reading about my daughters bedroom!  Have a great day, and stay tuned, I’ve got another fun project up my sleeve!

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:


A Bedroom For a Princess…

Hello everyone!  I’m super excited to show you what I have been working on!  My daughter’s bedroom has been a priority for me since we moved into our house this last June.  I am thrilled to finally be done with it.  It was a lot of hard work, but I enlisted the help of my Bro-In-Law, Kash, to help with the painting.  It turns out that he is quite an artist!  I changed my design plan several times before I got started and it ended up very different than what I planned, but I LOVE it!  I’m am just going to post some before and after pictures for now, but tomorrow I’ll break down all the deets.

I really wanted to give her a room that was a little more grown up, but still fit for a little girl.  She will be six this summer and her room was still very reminiscent of her nursery minus the crib.  I bought her new bedding and curtains a little while back and decided to use that for my inspiration.  The wall color was a blue/green/grey color that I didn’t hate, it just wasn’t right for a little girls bedroom.  The room was really just a hodge podge of a little of everything and was totally lacking direction.   Here are a few before photos:

You can see the bedding and the curtains that I decided to keep in this one.  My paint supplies aren’t usually there, but I always forget to take before pictures because I’m so anxious to start.

I used to hang her artwork up with clothes pins.  I liked the idea, but it really looked pretty busy.  Oh, and yes, that is a 4ft Barbie house, and yes, it has to stay.

That is just a cheap laminate armoire that houses her TV, movies, and a ton of books.  It’s not terrible, just in need of a makeover.


I think that is enough before pictures to show that the room definitely needed a makeover.

So, here is what I came up with:

I kept the origional furniture placement but added the tree and painted the armoire.  The little chair got a makeover too.

My Brother-In-Law painted the damask design on the armoire freehand.  I am so happy with how it turned out!  I have a trick for painting on laminate furniture, but more on that later.  I bought the pink fabric for the curtain and recovered some pillows for her bed.


The picture frames are supposed to look like they are hanging from the tree and the letters are her initials.

Those pictures were so easy to make!  All three cost less than $10.00.

That cute little chair was a roadside rescue and I just sprayed the legs silver and recovered it.

The bottom got some of the leftover fur from my last chair makeover.  You can read about that here.  And the top got a velvety silver and black floral pattern.  The pillow came from Hobby Lobby. 

I left her bookcase about the same, just angled it.  I was going to add some scrapbook paper to the back of it, but I pretty much just wanted to be finished at this point.  I may still do that later.

That chandelier was a $10 garage sale find that I sprayed black and added crystals to.  It looked pretty hideous when I got it, but I love how it turned out.  After all, every girl needs at least one chandelier!!

That pretty much sums it up.  Here’s one last after picture:

Thanks for stopping by!  I’ll break down the room more in my next post.  Have a great day!

I’m linking up to:

Design Dazzle 

A Powder Room Redo!

Hello!  So I’m starting to get this blog thing figured out (a little bit).  I still can’t figure out how to make my blog all pretty and have links to all sorts of things, etc. but one step at a time, right?  I am loving writing about the projects I have done and the things I lay in bed at night dreaming of doing.  I’m an odd sort, I tell ya.  I’m the one that uses the bathroom at Cabellas just to check out the decor.  Ya, really.  I have decorating on the brain 24/7, and it has been this way for years!  I think it is safe to say at this point that it’s not a phase, and it will not pass!  That is OK though!  It makes me happy.  So on to my next featured project….

We moved into our current house this past June and even before we bought it, I knew this had to go:

Yes, that is avocado green with burgundy, and a lovely rose border.  The ceiling was even painted with this fabulous shade of disgustingness.  OK, it may not have been that bad, but I HATED it!  It is a tiny room too, with no windows, and it felt so dark.  Thank goodness this was one of the only rooms in the house that the previous owner attempted to decorate, because we have VERY different styles.  Here are a few more photos of before and during:

I couldn’t get my hands on a paint roller fast enough!  There were a few things working for me, however.  I really didn’t mind the mirror, and since I was working on a budget I had to find a way to incorporate it.  Hmmmm…..My lovely mother in law suggested a dark charcoal grey color for the walls with granite sparkles.  The granite sparkles are made by Valspar and come in the form of glitter that can actually be poured into the paint.  I first removed that lovely border and got to work painting the ceiling white again.  Do you ever feel that someone could have saved you a TON of work just by leaving it the way it was in the beginning?  Ya, I was cussing the entire time I was painting that ceiling white AGAIN.  Painting a ceiling is really not a good time.  But what an impact!  It brightened up the space immediately!  I painted the walls charcoal and added some accessories and Walla!  (I know the proper spelling is voila, but walla is just more fun).   Here’s an after pic:

Once again, these pics were taken before my blogging days, and I really didn’t document the process very well.  I added a wooden frame that I  found at a flea market and spray painted white, right on top of the gold mirror.   I discovered that gold accents really complemented the grey color.  Since the space is really small, I fashioned a small table out of candlesticks, a marble plate and a gold charger.  I added a glass vase with some pebbles and peacock feathers and switched out the hand towel to plain white.  I didn’t want to over accessorize the space, so I finished it off with a soap dispenser and a potted orchid and called it good.

I played off the gold that was already in the existing fixtures and it all came together.  I basically used what I already had, so the only cost was the paint.  Here’s a couple more pics:

I found two nice sized frames from goodwill and spray painted the cardboard inside and added two spray painted fern leaves.  They hang above the toilet.  I store extra rolls of toilet paper in an old pot on the floor that I had in my garage.

I wish the pictures were better.  Once again, there is zero lighting in this space, and my photography skills could use some improvement also!  I plan to do another post to break down the details of the accessories in the future.  Here’s one more look at the finished powder room:



Thank you so much for reading!