Oh hey there blog…nice to see you again. Finding time to jot down a few thoughts or, perhaps, completing a project, are few and far between these days. This life as a mom, a new mom, is the best thing that has ever happened to me (other than the day I married my amazing husband of coarse), but, leaves just scraps of time for myself. If there is anything I have learned these last 10 months as a new mom, it is the importance of making time for yourself. A warm bath with a glass of your favorite cabernet, an ice cold beer and a large slice of pizza (or a whole large pizza for that matter) or simply a quiet 30 minute drive ALONE with no baby. Whatever that looks like for you girl, DO IT. It is important to have a “mommy-vacation,” away from your husband and child…time that is all about YOU. For me? It’s finding time to do my projects. I call it my “wine down and de-stress” time. This usually happens at night, after the baby goes to bed, in the garage with loud inappropriate music (Miley…don’t judge), a nice glass of red or an ice cold beer in hand, something ugly and a paint brush.
This is the best time of the year to stop into the Goodwill. Rich people are doing their yearly “Spring Cleaning” and giving amazing things to the Goodwill. Or, ugly things that have serious potential. Take this china cabinet for example. It’s not horribly ugly, just…well…it’s pretty ugly. I loved the detail on the doors. “Hunny Dearest…I’m ganna need your assistance with driving 30 miles (one way) with the trailer…load the china cabinet I just bought for $99…on your day off…OH, and I am going to need the garage for about a month…THANKS!” This guy must love me in spite of some of the silly things I ask him to do.
First things first…this china cabinet is pressed wood. No problemo! Nothing a little primer wont fix. I removed all the hardware, glass and the back of the top piece and lightly sanded. The orbital hand sanders work the best for projects like these. It is important to lightly sand furniture you are restoring so that the paint has a grip to stick to. Next, the priming. Super easy, I used the spray paint kind.
Once you are all primed, it’s time to paint. I found that the small paint rollers worked best for this project. Of course, you use a paint brush as well for the fine details in the cabinet. Annie Sloan’s chalk paint…one word for ya…DON’T! Its like $50 for a small can. No offense to those that love this stuff, but its is so much cheaper and WAY easier to make your own AND you can use any color paint you want. Annie Sloan only offers a few colors to choose from. Here is the recipe I used:
Brittany’s Redneck Chalk Paint Recipe
- 1/2 cup of warm water
- 1/2 cup of Plaster of Paris (can be found at any hardware store)
- 1 cup of any color and finish of paint you want
mix well…and paint. Yes folks, it’s that easy. A monkey could make this stuff…heck, my 10 month old could make this stuff!
Two coats of paint is all I did. Let dry over night. Now the fun part…the sanding. Turn that handy dandy orbital sander on and start lightly sanding all edges and details. Anyone can do this step as well. It really does’t matter if you go hog wild or stay conservative with the sanding. It looks good either way. The end goal is to make this project look ridiculously old.
For my china cabinet, I removed the back of the top piece and added a piece of waynes coating that I stained a darker walnut color. I liked the idea of contrast. Also, instead of adding the original glass back to the top piece, I added chicken wire that I spay painted oil rubbed bronze. BOOM – a china cabinet makeover that is much more contemporary.
My matching china pattern also came from the Goodwill in under $20.
One more item to check off the list before Miss Brooke’s arrival; the Jack and Jill bathroom…aka the kid bathroom. This bathroom hangs off of Brooke’s nursery and our current workout room (future nursery #2). Similar to other bathrooms in the house, I am ashamed to say that we do not have “before” pictures of this bathroom…totally my fault!
Decorating this bathroom was not a requirement before the baby arrives, however, it is really REALLY hard not to get totally carried away when getting ready for a little girl. Once you get started, it is pretty difficult to stop. Good thing the bathroom took way less time than the actual nursery.
A Few Bathroom Renovations to Share:
I wish I had totally cool before pictures for this post…but, I don’t and I am seriously kicking myself for that. I can be an “in the moment” thinker which has it’s pro’s but also has it’s con’s. My husband calls it the “you thought about it but didn’t want to deal with it” syndrome. I am working on it!
The painters came today to finish up a few touch-up’s which makes me SO happy because I can FINALLY share a few more rooms. Although there are still a few finishing touches that need to happen, such as changing out silver hardware to oil-rubbed bronze, I wanted to go ahead and share.
It was super important to me to make the bathrooms “flow,” meaning, incorporating the same tile colors but in a slightly different way. As you can imagine, since my dumb self didn’t take before pictures, our guest bathroom was also a thousand shades of white. If you are interested in a mental picture, check out my recent blog post about the master bathroom here. Imagine the same concept but on a much smaller scale. Hideous! This bathroom is considered our “guest bathroom” because it is attached to our guest bedroom (imagine that lol). Guest bedroom photos can be found here. A quick run down of the changes we made:
- Added slate tile to floor
- Added new cabinet doors to existing cabinets (money saver)
- Added new light fixtures
- Extended Shower by about 1 ft for extra space (previously, if you bent over in this shower, your hiney would be out the door)
- Tiled Shower
- Added new shower hardware
- Added new glass to shower
- Added granite countertops
- Installed new mirror
After Pictures of Guest Bathroom
Fun fact about this picture hanging above the toilet in the guest bathroom…I made this for my hubby for our 2 year dating anniversary. We were in college and I took a poetry class. The incorporated poem in the picture was written by yours truly! It is about falling in love!
When two souls harmonize
They meet at the heart
No perfect way to say it
I loved you from the start
The depths of the inexplicable
It called me by name
The ceaseless pit I looked down
It won’t ever be the same
Descending through a hollows’s shadows
I fell without a stop
The whispers of your wings
We ascended to the top
The calmness of your lips
Your pure innocuous smile
Patterns in my heart show
I’ll stay around for awhile
The days are growing older
Weeks become the past
Yearning that this moment
Will always forever last
When two souls harmonize
They meet at the heart
No perfect way to say it
I loved you from the start
I love the look of distressed furniture but have always shied away because of the massive amount of time and work that goes into this. I have never been that patient of a person and was not sure I had the patience for striping, then sanding, then painting, then sanding again and then painting…blah blah blah… Plus I was not all that comfortable using stripping chemicals while preggers so an alternative was desperately needed. So, I googled “distressing furniture” and found a SIMPLE and FAST tutorial that involves Vaseline and a little bit of interior paint. Hmmmm…seems easy enough!
So I was given this old desk that worked great in my guest room back in our old house. Only problem was, my guest room didn’t have enough room for another piece of furniture so this desk sat in our spare room (aka future baby room) for 6 months collecting dust. I thought about giving it away or donating it but never got around to it. One day I was sitting in this spare room with my mom discussing inspiration for a little boy or girl nursery and BAM…it hit me! I swear I am like a cat…can’t pay attention to anything for more than 5 minutes before my mind wanders into a totally different direction. “MOM I know what I can do with that desk!” My mom has dealt with Brittany ADD for 27 years now so I am sure she is just used to it.
Here is a terrible picture of the desk before…sorry for the blurriness! I can’t believe I found this picture from an old iPhone back-up…some things are just meant to be!
This desk is essentially two pieces; the top part and the bottom part. Both parts will be transformed into something totally different, but for today, we will discuss the Distressed Hall Table. I thought it would be really cool to incorporate an old shutter as the top part of the table…so off to Habitat I went. Believe it or not, wooden shutters can be difficult to find as many are actually plastic. Obviously wooden shutters makes more sense for a table if you consider the stability of the piece. Two wooden shutters for $12…SCORE! This project only requires one shutter.
How to Distress Using Vaseline:
- Choose the piece of furniture/wood/project that you would like to distress. Lightly sand the piece by hand. Seriously, don’t spend more than a few minutes on this step because it is a waste of time. Your piece more than likely already has existing paint or stain or whatever that you can use to your advantage…be creative!
- Blow off your piece with compressed air or a lawn blower (Red Neck but works great). Paint a super thin coat on the corners and edges of your piece a dark color (or whatever color scheme you would like). Remember this step will eventually be the color that will show through to give a distressed look. Let the paint dry (1 hour at the most). Since my desk was black, I didn’t need to do step 1 or 2.
- Now for the fun and moisturizing part of this project! Smear a thin amount of Vaseline along the edges and corners of your piece, covering the dark paint you just finished in step 2. You don’t need to let the Vaseline dry because it won’t…LOL!
- NOTE: The thicker the Vasleine coat you use, the more that the paint will come off in later steps…totally your call. Thicker Vaseline layer is more difficult to work with in the end and will be much messier.
- Using FLAT paint in a light color (I used cream color) and a paint brush, apply a light coat all over the peice. Remember, the goal here is to make the piece look distressed so don’t get all OCD on this step. The less perfect you paint this layer, the better it will look in the end. Be creative and try not to cover the whole piece with tons of paint. Let paint dry (not more than an hour).
- Using sandpaper or those sand pads you can get at any hardware store, lightly sand the edges and corners of the piece (remember in step 2?). BOOM – distressing made easy!
- NOTE: You can incorporate several colors if you wish! I did this with the shutter. I used teal, dark brown and cream. Just be sure to add an additional step of painting before you apply the Vaseline. Be creative…you can’t go wrong with to many colors.
Putting the table together was pretty easy! All I needed was an electric drill, drill bits, screws and a husband! Since the desk already has legs and a base, the only step left to do was assemble the shutter to the top. The desk was already set up for a top so literally all we did was screw the shutter onto the base of the desk…very carefully! Actually, I shouldn’t take credit for this as my husband did most of the work…okay all of the work! Thanks Hun! OH…and I added vintage crystal knobs to the functional drawer.
Table After Distressing with Shutter Attached! Enjoy! I am super proud of this project!
Remember that awkward wall I talked about in the “Big H” hallway upstairs? This desk and picture works perfectly in this space! To read about the “Big H” in our upstairs hallway and envision where this desk is placed in my house, click HERE.
I have been dying for the finishing touches of a couple more rooms in our home before I could post pictures! I am finally at the point where I can share.
I have always dreamed of having a mudroom, especially when your husband and brother-in-law like to work on four-wheelers and hunt. In this house, the mudroom hangs off the garage and is an entry way to the kitchen. This is PERFECT because it forces the boys to wash up before they can enter into the house.
The mudroom originally had concrete floors which makes total sense but is not the prettiest! We added tile to the concrete to make the space look less like a garage and more like an updated mudroom. We found our tile on the Lowe’s clearance rack…SCORE! The previous owners added lots of cabinets that were really nice, especially since the house didn’t come with a pantry! Plus, let’s be honest, we need lots of cabinet space for storing things like canned goods in case the zombie apocalypse happens…TOTALLY kidding! Only problem…the cabinet doors looked like an Elementary School. Simple fix, we worked with a custom cabinet guy and had him replace the cabinet doors to match the kitchen. A MUCH more budget friendly option! And there’s those Miami Vice counters again…yes, those had to go and we replaced with granite that matches the kitchen! That door off the end of the mudroom? That is a mini bathroom which I will share in another blog post (it is not done yet).
So, according to Pinterest, you can make just about anything out of a palettes. I thought it would be so cool to make a large sign to place above the washer and dryer…out of a palette, obviously. So the million dollar question, where on earth do you get palates? A friend and I drove around Pittsboro looking for free palettes. Food Lion? Nope… Lowe’s? Nope… Then, thanks to my friend’s eagle eye, THERE…on the side of the road…PALETTES! We screeched off the road into a sketchy parking lot where this really nice man was selling fruits and veggies! “Excuse me Sir, are you throwing those palettes away?” “These old things, yes Mam, would you like them?” HECK YES!!! Score! You should have seen my husband’s face when I drove up with 5 palettes in the back of his truck. Yes, I know, I am palette obsessed and nuts…and I am okay with that!
This was an easy project. All I did was clean the palette with a power washer, crackle it (see instructions on how to crackle here
) and then printed letters onto wax paper to transfer to the palette (see instructions to create words on wood here
– brought you by Unexpected Elegance). Also, I found a little sign that I loved at the local Carolina Pottery and nailed it to my palette.
Hi there! I am excited to reveal another before and after project that I have been working on, the Guest Room. In our last house, we did a similar concept in the Guest Room not long before we moved so I didn’t get the chance to really enjoy it. So, I used the same concept just put a different twist on it.
Here is the before picture…I am not sure where you would find such a shade of forest green and why you would paint a single wall in this color! Maybe because it compliments that amazing blue carpet so well 🙂
…and here is the after! Enjoy!
This room is very “recycled!” The bed is my childhood bed that was previously white, however, we painted it black. The armoire was originally wood grained colored that we painted black. We found this for a steal at the Salvation Army. The old window with the orchid painted on it came from the dumpster at my old apartment complex (ewwwww, I know but it was totally sitting next to the dumpster, not in it). All I did was paint the orchid! And that beautiful old grandma chest at the foot of the bed – my favorite piece of all and the inspiration to this entire room. This was my great grandmas piece and I love it.
Here is another Pinterest inspired project, a wreath made from felt circles. You can find instructions to make this wreath here (brought to you by Design Sponge).
Our house came with those old, out-dated bronze door hardware that I desperately wanted to change. A couple of things to note about updating door hardware…
- Door knobs are significantly cheaper online, even if you have a Lowe’s or Home Depot coupon! I saved $5 per knob on this website. Click HERE to find the website I ordered my knobs from.
- Hinges must be the exact/correct size…it’s better not to guess. Bring an existing hinge to Lowe’s or Home Depot to figure out the size you need…this will save you a lot of time and frustration!
- Bed & Bath means that the knobs come with a lock. Hall & Closet means that the knobs do not come with a lock.
Replacing all hardware on existing doors is so much easier than it seems. To install knobs, follow the directions that comes with the set. The directions are super easy and once you get the hang of it, you will be able to replace a knob within 5-10 minutes.
QUICK TIP: When installing a door knob, always put the door plate on first. This is the piece that catches the closing and locking mechanism on the door knob. Next, install the actual door knob…but only enough to test that the door will close properly with the door plate you initially installed. This trick will save you a lot of headaches and time because sometimes the alignment of the door plate and door knob closing and locking mechanism is not 100% – causing issues with opening and closing the door!
Here is the “door plate” I was talking about…
Here is an example of the old bronze hardware before I replaced with oil rubbed bronze.
Now…let’s talk about Hinges!
Have you ever picked up a door? They are extremely heavy. I consider myself pretty strong but I am not sure I can not man-handle a door by myself…nor would I want to. Have you tried lining up the door and hinges? This should not be rocket science but it is really not easy and certainly takes two people…one to hold the door and the other to fiddle with the hinges to line them up properly…what a pain in the butt!
I have GREAT news…there is a much simpler way to do this and without a man. Check it out. Drum-roll pllllleeeeaaaasssssseeeeeee!!!!!!
Replace the hinges one at a time, starting with the middle hinge…brilliant! My husband is the brains of the family…I can’t take credit for that one! I will remain the creative one.
Here are pictures to demonstrate how easy this is…
After you replace the middle hinge, replace the top and bottom hinge…one at a time of course!
It is that easy!