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Well I have been getting a lot of feedback on my newly redesigned master bedroom (thank you for all the nice comments!) and so I thought I’d better get the headboard tutorial up for those of you who are interested in DIY-ing one yourself.  This isn’t so much a tutorial on how to build an upholstered headboard (there are plenty of tutorials out there on that) but more how I handpainted the chevron-ikat pattern onto my plain white headboard fabric.   Since I’d never done anything like this before, I pretty much guessed my way through it so my headboard is far from perfect.  To be honest, I’m thinking about completely repainting it with my leftover fabric.  But, lucky for you, I can walk you through what I did right AND WRONG and you can learn from my mistakes and make yourself something beautiful.  The best part is you can use this fabric painting technique to paint anything, headboards, pillows, chairs, t-shirts, whatever.

Cost: Varies by project.  Mine cost about $18 for the fabric and paint

Supplies:

  • White or other light colored fabric.  I used 2 yards of white cotton twill (from Walmart for $5/yd) for my headboard.  Natural fabrics work best and allow the paint to bleed a little bit.
  • Craft paint in your color choices.  I used a limey green and a tealy blue.
  • Textile Medium.  To mix with the craft paint to make it soft like fabric paint.  (Or you could just save yourself this step and buy fabric paint instead).
  • A medium sized flat/square tipped craft paint brush.
  • A spray bottle with water in it.
  • A water bowl to rinse brushes.

Okay then.  Heres what I did:

1.  I first upholstered my headboard in the white fabric by staple-gunning the fabric around to the back of the padded headboard.  Then I layed my headboard flat on the table to start painting.

2.  Next I got a square tray I had (you could also use a right angle ruler if you have one) and trace the corners of it onto my headboard lightly with chalk.  DON’T use chalk to do this.  It sucked up my paint wherever it was and made some really distinct paint lines that I don’t love on the finished project.  You could try a pencil or just dots of the paint color you’ll be using to give you the guide you need.  I’ll be honest though.  I did this only for the top portion of my headboard and then got lazy and didn’t do it to the rest.  I wish I would’ve though because some of my lines got whompy because I was winging it without a guide.  Thats what I get for being an impatient crafter.

3.  Next, working in small sections, spray the fabric lightly with water.  I would recommend testing the amount of water you need to be spraying with the amount of bleeding you want to get on a scrap piece of fabric before you try this on the real thing.  I didn’t do this and learned as I went.  I got the right hand side of my headboard pretty soaked and then learned that “less is more” and so the left side has less bleeding (which I like better).  You probably only need to spray a section two maybe three times and no more.  You don’t want the lines to become tie-dyed looking, but you do want the colors to bleed slightly into eachother.

4.  Now, holding your brush so that the square tip is on its side (or that the tip of the paintbrush looks like a vertical line), dip your brush into the water and then into the first paint color (after mixing it with the textile medium per the instructions on the bottle).  Then follow your guide using up and down choppy strokes on your fabric.

5.  When you have a section done, switch colors and do the same thing with the next color except push that color into the first color a little bit.  You may have to give it a squirt with the water bottle if the fabric has dried.

6.  The ikat-ness of the design is dependent on how you’re holding your brush so practice first on a scrap piece until you feel like you’re getting the look you want.  Then paint your piece (in my case an upholstered headboard) alternating between wetting the fabric with the squirt bottle and painting on the lines in an up and down stroke.  (You can see in the image below where I wet the fabric too much and the paint bled a little more than I would’ve liked.)

And thats what I did!  I would like it much better I think if I did it again and really took my time.  But, hey, not too shabby for a first try I guess.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed the tutorial!  Learn from my mistakes and go do your own! 🙂

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I walked into my master bedroom a couple weeks ago and thought, “BLECH.”.  Not that I haven’t loved the black and white neutral color scheme, I just got tired of it.  I blame it on the quarter-life crisis I seem to be going through.  I have been feeling very anxious and OLD and have been itching to mix it up a bit in my life.  I would do what I always do when I feel like this and just go and do something drastic to my hair, that usually seems to do the trick, but I PROMISED my hubby I would grow my hair out and wouldn’t cut it until it was about “boob length” (his words).  So, after flipping through my “Happy Chic” book by Jonathan Adler (it is so fun and dramatic),

I decided to spruce up my room with a younger, funkier, Jonathan Adler meets Domino Mag (I miss you Domino) vibe and some really happy colors. The problem, like usual, is that I don’t have much of a decorating budget so I had to get creative and try to use what I have as much as possible.  I knew the first thing I wanted to do is change the wall color.  I decided to keep it neutral and lighten it up so I went with a light gray.  This decision was also largely based on the fact that I happen to have a bunch of leftover gray paint from Peyton’s room that I knew I could lighten up and use.  I also knew I really wanted to make the walls come to life so I decided to take it one step further and paint subtle gray horizontal stripes on 3 of the 4 walls.  I thought this would be a BIG time consuming job, but it actually wasn’t that bad.  And the lines came out really crisp, even on my textured walls, thanks to this tutorial I found over at Living With Lindsay.  I did this all by myself so I imagine it would be much easier with a helper.  I figure my husband will be less annoyed by my constant redecorating if he doesn’t have to do any of the work, so I do things while hes not looking so he can be amazed at the result later! 😉  Anyway, my stripes are 11.5″ wide.  I simply measured from the baseboard up 11.5″, then marked it, and measured up another 11.5″, marked it again, so on…until I had marked off the whole 3 walls, putting marks every 4 feet or so.  Then I just layed the tape on the wall as straight as possible from mark to mark.  I’m sure its not perfect, but I’m impatient.  I think it turned out pretty dang straight actually.  I left the tall wall, opposite my bed, stripeless because A. The weird ceiling line would’ve made the stripes look off at the top, and B.  I decided to put bookshelves against that wall that would pretty much cover it anyway.

Well, I’ll just show you the pics and walk you through the rest of what I did….

As a reminder, heres what my master bedroom looked like before:

And heres what it looks like now!  SO much more fun and fresh I think.  And it definitely is a better reflection of me and Mr. Hubby’s style:

Didn’t the stripes turn out great?  I super love the subtle little FUN they bring to the walls.  So obviously with practically NO budget I kept all the original furniture.  The first and most noticeable upcycle is probablly the DIY’d ikat chevron headboard.  Yup.  I made that baby.  I looked and looked for cheap fabric that I liked and just couldn’t find any so I hit up Walmart’s fabric section and found some great white cotton twill.  Then all it took was a little craft paint, mixed with some textile medium, and a bit of creativity.  To be honest, I like but don’t love it.  I was too impatient and so my lines are a bit whompy.  I have leftover fabric so I might just do it again.  I dunno.  Anyway, the tutorial on that is coming soon if you want to paint your own!  (I’m sure you’ll learn from my mistakes and do a better job!)

I was happy to keep my lime green chairs and create a pallet around them so I distributed pops of green around the room.  But I also LOVE tealy-blue and threw that in there too, spray painting the nightstands, and adding other teal accents around the room.  Then I wanted just a little bit more so I added in just a few PUNCHES of tangerine orange.  It was tough to break out for my “4 colors in a room” box but I figured since gray, black, and white are really just neutrals in the background, 3 more fun colors wouldn’t hurt.  🙂

The black frames used in the pic above I got from BigLots for $5 for 2 (I also saw the same ones at Joann’s for $20 for 2 so I got a killer deal).  I just wrote on some canvas panels the letters to spell “ME” and “YOU” and flanked the room with them to fill up all the extra wall space surrounding my bed.

I debated for a bit on what to hang above my bed.  I didn’t want anything too busy to compete with the vibrant headboard and striped wall.  I thought about putting the framed “Me” and “YOU” there but decided I wanted something a bit more simple and small.  Also, I was afraid Daniel would think the room was getting too girly so I thought I’d throw him one and macho the place up by stealing the antlers (thrifted and painted for $4) from Sawyer’s nursery and mount those above the bed instead.  (Don’t worry, I just replaced them with the Pinterest project from this post and my wire dear head looks great in there).  I LOVE them in here.  I think they float perfectly inbetween my DIY’d hanging lamps and give just that touch of bohemian but in a sophisticated way.  Daniel likes them too.  Mostly because he says, “The bedroom is meant for mounting.”  Haha!  😉

Okay, I just wanted to talk about these pillows really quick!  Little orange guy is just some fabric I have wrapped around a pillow right now but I will soon get to sewing.  But the big gorgeous fringed beauty I found the other day at Home Goods in the clearance section for $7.  YES  $7.  You can’t even buy a down pillow form at the fabric store for $7.  I just love it.

This is all pretty much the same.  I still want to do something more to that dresser.  Not sure what though, but it works great the way it is too.  The little teal lamp was on sale at Target for about $20.  The picture frame was also a Target buy on clearance for $2 as well as the new duvet cover set that was (my big splurge) about $60.

Above is a quick look from the other side of the room.  Below is a look at my bookcase wall that once was my gallery wall.  I ordered the white bookshelves from Walmart (in store they only had the 11″ deep ones and I wanted the 9″ deep ones) for $35 each.  They did site to store so I didn’t have to pay any shipping.  Originally I wanted to back them with some fun fabric or wallpaper (probably something black and white to allow the decorative accents to pop) but once I assembled them and got them up I realized I rather like them backless with the gray wallcolor showing through.  I’m not sure if I’ll leave them this way or decide to go ahead and back them, but here they are for now.  I’m still working on the styling, but heres the gist:

I am also debating on building legs for my shelves to stand on to make them look a bit more custom and give them more height on my tall wall.  I dunno.  I’ll probably just be too lazy. 🙂  Most of the accent pieces on the shelves were things I already had although I did pick up a few colorful vases and such at Hobby Lobby (50% off) and Ross.  I probably bought about 6 things all under $6 each.

And thats pretty much it!  I LOVE my new colorful funky room, and so does the hubby which is always a plus.  😉  I also mixed up some leftover paint from Sawyer’s nursery and am going to be painting my master bathroom shortly in a tealy-blue color.  Of course I’ll post it when I get to it!

A completely new look for under $300!  So happy.  So chic. 🙂

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So I was staring at a pair of cream colored flats I bought at Target on clearance a while back for $5 thinking about how I have never worn them and wondering if I should donate them.  I’d hate to donate them.  They are seriously brand new.  And super cute and unique.  Then why don’t I wear them?  Hmmm…..  I looked around at my other shoes.  I have bright yellow heels, hot pink flats, teal espadrilles,…duh.  I don’t wear them because they’re boring!  Plain old creamy-nude.  Well then, I’ll just have to change that.  So I got online in search of a way to jazz up my boring little flats.  Thats when I discovered that you can actually SPRAY PAINT shoes.  And people had.  And it was awesome.

Having an abundance of spray paint in my garage, I got excited, grabbed my shoes, and headed out there to find the perfect color.  I picked a can of corally-salmon spray paint I had gotten at the Dollar Store months ago.  I LOVE coral lately and coral paint would be just the punch those shoes needed.  So heres what I did.

Cost:  $6 (thats for my shoes and the paint)  this of course will vary.

Supplies:  

  • A pair of shoes.  *TIP* Patent leather or faux patent leather (basically anything shiny) will probably not hold the paint as well and may end up cracking.  I recommend only painting shoes that are a faux suede-ish material (like mine), cotton-ish material, or satin.  That way the paint seeps into the fibers and doesn’t become super stiff and chip off.
  • Paper towels, rags, etc.  To stuff your shoes so the paint doesn’t get inside.
  • Tape.  If you want to tape off the sole and heel so that it stays the original color.
  • Spray primer.  (Recommended but may not be absolutely necessary)
  • A razor blade.  To take any over-spray off of the heel or sole.

1.  Stuff your shoes with rags/paper towels.  Make sure that any are you don’t want paint on is covered by towels or tape.

2.  Prime your shoes with a spray primer if you’d like before you paint them and let that dry.

3.  Spray paint shoes in sheer coats to avoid drips or puddles.  Spray on an even sheer coat, let dry, then spray on another, etc, until the shoes are completely covered in an even coat of paint.

4.  Let dry overnight before you wear them.

5.  Remove tape and rags and take off any over-spray by carefully scraping it with a razor blade (or fingernail).

6.  Enjoy your new shoes! 🙂

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Hey again everyone!  I told you in the last post that I’d get some new pics of to show you Sawyer’s room now that its all done (13 months after his birth…don’t judge me).  Actually, its been done for a while I’m just slow at posting.  Theres really not TOO much that looks different from the nursery posts before this one, just a few added details that I think pull it all together.  Anyway, here it is.  All DONE.  🙂

Please ignore the stuff on the floor.  Sawyer was in here while I was taking these pics and was dragging all kinds of stuff out.  At least it shows how the room looks in reality!

The white Jenny Lind crib and changing table set I got off of Craigslist for $125.  The vinyl wall mural I found here.

I found the empty frame at Hobby Lobby in the clearance section for $8.  I made the banner with a template and cardstock and chipboard letters I covered in scrapbook paper.  Here is a template you can use to make your own.  (Just cut the little corners off when you fold the top over your string).

Above are some close-ups of Sawyer’s bunting name banner.

The woodsy vinyl wall mural totally MADE this room.  Since I wasn’t spending much on the rest of the room decor, I “splurged” on it and got it for around $100 or so.  I could pick the colors I wanted and I think it turned out FABULOUS against the teal wall.  (p.s.  Sawyer is so cute rockin his new mowhawk!)

A tree branch made the perfect curtain rod for this space.  I also used a tree branch for the DIY mobile below.

This mobile was SUPER EASY to throw together.  A tree branch+wooden cutouts in woodsy shapes from the craft store+orange craft paint+hemp string and a hook screw= a graphic naturalist simple baby mobile.  You can also buy a little hand drill in the wood pieces section of the craft store for easy hole drilling into small wood pieces like this.

The lamp above was made from an old shade I had leftover from a client’s house, and some extra orange and white fleece from other projects.  My little sis helped me cut out a bunch of “leaf shapes” alternating between regular scizzors and pinking shears.  Then I simply sewed them together like a long garland right down the center of each.  I then cut varying lengths off of the “leaf garland” and hot glued them to the lamp shade, being sure to cover the entire shade and vary the lengths that dangled.  It turned out pretty cute I think and was an easy way to add fun, whimsical lighting.

Sawyer’s baby quilt was another DIY project.  I had found a towel at Walmart for $4 that was the PERFECT color and then decided to applique birch trees and leaves onto it with scrap fabric from other projects for the room.  Then I simply bound and backed the entire “towel quilt” with white fleece.  It has held up really well through several washings and ties in the wall mural nicely.

Below is the block printed bird pillow I made.  Martha Stewart has a great tutorial on block printing using Speedy-Carve blocks here.

And below again is another pillow I hand stamped.  That tutorial can be found here.

I also made this DIY fabric wall art.  That tutorial is here.

And above is a pic of the white $4 thrifted antlers (I sprayed them white with high gloss spray paint), and a photo set I took and framed (got the white frames at the Dollar Store), and also a little owl I made with a hand towel and scrap fabric.  I love this little vignette.

So there you go!  This is my cheap and easy DIY’d, aqua, orange, brown, and white, vintage modern, refurbished, thrifted, woodland creatures, little boys nursery.  Phew.  Hope you like it and can go and DIY one for your little man (or woman) ! Happy crafting!

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A friend of mine tried to update her honey-oak cabinets with a dark espresso gel stain.  No bueno.  I have never worked with gel stain before but from what I’ve researched it seems like a fickle medium.  Anyway, I’m not sure if it was the way my friends applied the stain or if it was the type of finish that was on the oak cabinets before but the stain went on blotchy and, once dry, immediately began chipping off with the slightest touch.  They were in a pickle so they called me up to get my opinion on the matter.  I went over and took a look at the cabinets and got a handle on what had been done.  We then came up with a plan of action to get their kitchen looking lively and updated again.  Then they got to work stripping and sanding the cabinets back to bare wood.  BIG JOB but worth it.  If you are reading this post with your own cabinets in mind I should tell you that stripping and sanding back cabinets to bare wood ISN’T ALWAYS necessary if you’re planning on painting them and/or refinishing them.  In the case of my friends, we had to strip the gel stain away because you never want to paint on top of a coat that was never correctly bonded to the original cabinets surface.  So basically, and I’m not an expert so you might need a second opinion depending on the state of your cabinets, if you have chipping finish (stain, laquer, paint, etc.) stripping and sanding are usually necessary before refinishing.  If your cabinets are in good condition (no chipping finish, bubbles, drips, etc.) a light sanding with medium grit sandpaper (just to give the existing finish some tooth for the new stain/primer to hold on to) should do the trick just fine.  On my cabinets (we had standard builder grade oak cabinets when we first moved in that I wanted to “jazz up”) I simply went over them lightly with sandpaper and then antiqued and stained them with a stain 1 shade darker than the original finish.  Heres the before and after (sorry the pics aren’t great).

If you are going to stain over pre-stained and laquered cabinets without stripping them, you should only apply a  new stain that is one or maybe two shades darker than the existing stain.  Also, keep in mind that if you have any “fake wood” (mine have fake wood on the sides of that cabinet shelving) this will not “take” the stain like wood so if you go more than a shade or two darker you will have to most likely replace those areas with new “fake wood” to match the new stain.  I stained over my fake wood with the same new stain I used on my cabinets and it blended in fine since I didn’t go much darker than the original color.

For my friend’s cabinets, we discussed staining the oak a darker medium brown color.  They liked the look of natural wood antiqued cabinets.  Their home has a french-country flair to it so we wanted to do something inkeeping with that feeling.  Heres the issue we had with staining the now bare oak cabinets:  Wood grain.  Tons of it.  Oak (especially oak that has been stripped and sanded bare) has tons of gorgeous, open, porous wood grain that soaks up stain like crazy.  It is BEAUTIFUL no doubt, but in this situation would have made the cabinets far too rustic and busy looking alongside their beautiful speckled granite countertops.  Now, I have heard of ways you can lessen the graininess of oak cabinets so that they take stain more uniformly.  You can “seal” the grain before you stain with different things.  I’ve never done it and I can’t vouch for it as a DIY’er.  So with this realization we decided to paint the cabinets instead and antique them.  I know.  The purists out there are going to hate me for that.  But to each his own.  In this case, this was the best option to 1. Update their cabinets and spruce up their kitchen, 2. Make the cabinets POP with the granite counters and black/stainless appliances, 3. Create a nice flow with the style of the house and the homeowners decor.  So what we decided on, after much deliberation, was to go ahead and paint the main cabinets an antiqued cream and the island antiqued black to make it POP.  And I’m telling ya, its gonna be gorgeous.  You may even forgive me for painting over wood. 😉

So how’d we do it?  I brought home a couple of doors as a demo for you guys.

Cost: Varies depending on the size of your kitchen

Supplies:

  • Primer: Ask a pro or get a recommendation from the sales associate depending on the state of your cabinets.  There are tons of great primers out there.  I used Behr primer for these.
  • Paint: Interior latex paint in semigloss.  The semigloss finish helps the stain go on smoothly and creates an easy-t0-clean surface for future wipe-downs.
  • Sandpaper: Medium grit and fine grit.
  • Stain with a polyurethane coating built in.  This will eliminate the need for an additional laquer coat and seal the areas that have been sanded back.  *TIP*  Buy a stain that is darker than your paint color.  For example, for an antiqued cream finish I bought white paint, and a medium brown stain.  The stain gets into the corners for the antiquing and creates a soft variated wash over the entire cabinet turning the cabinet cream.  Realize when you are buying your paint and stain that for this technique that the stain will darken and dull the paint color.  So, buy a paint that is lighter and brighter than your intended result and a stain that compliments it.  If you are nervous, just buy some sample paint colors and a stain and test out the technique on some scrap wood until you find the color combination that you like.
  • Good paintbrushes. You want the cabinets to have as little paint strokes as possible so find a couple of great paintbrushes with fines, soft bristles.  If you have decorative moulding, get a 1″ angled brush to get in all the corners and a 2″ flat brush for the flat surfaces.
  • A sponge.  They have different size sponges in the paint section of your local hardware store.  I got a big one and cut it up as I needed.
  • Disposable gloves.
  • Blue heavy duty paper towels.  Find them in the paint section as well.  You will use these to wipe off the stain when you do the antiquing.
1.  Prep your cabinets.  This might mean stripping them and sanding them down to wood (as mine are), or simple hand-sanding them with a medium grit sandpaper.  Thoroughly wipe down the cabintes with a damp cloth to remove excess dirt and debris.
2.  Begin priming your cabinets.  If your cabinets have decorative moulding (like these), take a small angled brush and prime the moulding first being sure to get in the corners, follow the woodgrain as much as possible, and being careful of drips and puddles.
3.  Next prime the flat surfaces with the flat brush, following the wood grain as much as possible.  Try to keep your strokes as steady and straight as possible and be sure not to overload your brush with paint.  Also, be careful not to over-brush your cabinet; the primer is typically quick drying and will quickly develop a skin that may be hard to smooth out if over brushed.  Also, always prime and paint in a well-ventilated area and keep out of direct sunlight.
4.  Once the primer has dried, paint the first coat of paint color onto your cabinets.  Follow the same painting style as with the prime: moulding first, flat surfaces second, follow wood grain, straight strokes, don’t overload, don’t over brush, etc.  If you are seeing more prominent brush strokes than you would like to, don’t worry.  Just paint the cabinet up and let it dry.  If you need to you can “buff” out some of the heavy brush strokes with fine grit sandpaper in between coats if you need to.
5.  Let the first coat dry.  Survey the cabinets for drips or heavy brush strokes.  If you see any that bother you, lightly “buff” them out with fine grit sandpaper.
6.  Apply the second coat of paint the same way as the first.
7.  Allow that coat to dry and do any touch-ups as needed.
8.  If you’d like to do some distressing at this point you can.  Lightly sand back to the wood edges, corners, grooves, of your cabinets until they are distressed to your liking.
9.  Now comes the fun part!  Get out your stain, sponge(s), and paper towels, and disposable gloves.  Cut a medium sized wedge shape out of your sponge (this will help get the stain in the grooves).  Open up your stain and get ready to work fast.  (If this intimidates you, practice on a scrap piece of wood until you are familiar with the technique and timing).
10.  Dip the end of your sponge into the stain and quickly apply it to one side of the cabinet.  Make sure to squeeze the stain into all the grooves and corners.  Only do one section at a time as this stain will set up fast and you need to be able to focus on one area at a time to make it look right.  Be careful not to overload your sponge with stain.  You want it damp, not dripping.
11.  Now that one section is covered, pull off one paper towel and fold it into fourths.  Firmly press the paper towel onto the stained portion of your cabinet and begin wiping off the stain, following the wood grain as much as possible.  If you see too much stain puddling in the edges, use a corner of your paper towel to sop up and evenly distribute the stain throughout that area.
11.  Do the remaining sides of the cabinet the same way.  *TIP* If the stain starts to dry too early for your liking, re-wet your sponge with a little more stain and work it into that area.
12.  Do the flat surfaces the same way, following the wood grain and blending the stain in to the stained sides.
13.  Let the newly stained cabinet dry overnight.  Then do the insides the same way.
And thats it!  Gorgeous eh!  I’ll get pics when my friends kitchen is complete!

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I painted my kitchen chairs green last weekend and I’m LOVING the way they pop now against my new white tulip table!  I completely forgot to take close up before pics of the chairs and didn’t even think of doing a “how to” on them but I will give you the rundown on how I painted, distressed, stained them right now for those of you who might be wondering.  This is my own made up way to distress and paint wooden furniture.  There are tons of great sites out there with lots of professionals that really know what they’re doing but I’m impatient and cheap so I do things the short and sweet way.   These chairs were previously painted cream and distressed and stained.  To get them green I simply bought a spray primer (in grey to save on top coats), and green spray paint.  The paint I used is from Rust-Oleum and is called “Fern”.  It came in a “Gloss Protective Enamel” which worked great and will be extra durable to little hands and wipe downs.  I also bought a stain that has a built in polyeurothane coating.  I used Minwax PolyShades in Antique Walnut.  Staining over a painted piece of wood furniture gives an antique feel and gives the piece real character.  I wanted my old farmhouse style chairs to look old and worn because I thought the flat gloss paint color would look odd on that style of chair.  Anyway, heres what I did:

1.  I sanded the chairs slightly with a medium grit sandpaper.  Just to give them some tooth for the primer to hold on to.

2.  Then I sprayed a coat of the grey primer all over the chairs.  I wasn’t super concerned if they weren’t completely covered in opaque primer.

3.  Once the primer was dry, I sprayed the chairs with the green enamel spray paint.  If I weren’t doing these for myself I would’ve done several light coats until the chairs were covered.  But I am impatient and didn’t care about PERFECTION so I just slapped it on thick in one coat, being careful not to create drips.

4.  I let the freshly painted chairs dry overnight.

5.  The next day I took my sandpaper and lightly sanded some of the edges and divets and other areas to give it that distressed, worn look.  Some of the areas got sanded down to the original wood, others got sanded down to the cream paint color that was on them before.  My chairs were already “beat up” from when I had distressed and painted them the first time.  If you want a real distressed look, feel free to take an awl, hammers, rocks, chisels, etc. to your piece to distressed it and make it look worn and old.  Then, when you sand, pay special attention to all those little areas and make them come out by sanding them back a bit.

6.  After they were all sanded and distressed, I wiped them down really well with a damp cloth.  Then I got my stain out and started applying it one area at a time with a paper towel.  This is where you gotta move kinda quick.  I just dip my towel into the stain and start rubbing it on in the direction of the woodgrain (or where the woodgrain would go if you hadn’t painted it).  Rub it on and keep rubbing over it until you have applied the right amount.  It will start to dry and get tacky if you rub too much though so you might want to practice the look you’re going for on a scrap piece of wood first until you feel like you have it down.  I covered the entire chair this way with the stain, making sure I worked in sections and got in all the sanded back areas (the stain is what seals those parts that you’ve sanded back so they don’t continue to chip).  

7.  Let the stain dry at least overnight before using the furniture.  I waited a couple of days before I brought our chairs back in to use.

Anyway, thats how I did them. So sorry there are no pics!  But heres what they look like now in my kitchen:

You can see in the pic above how the stain creates variations in the paint color.  I love that.

And there they are!  I love them and am even more thrilled about the green since I found some awesome green dishes at the DOLLAR STORE last week!  I’ll have to take pics of those too because they’re seriously awesome and you’ll never believe they came from the Dollar Store.

P.S.  I sold my old table and 2 of the 4 chairs that came with my tulip table and actually ended up making a $10 profit out of the whole deal!  Which made my hubby very very happy! 🙂

Anyway, check back soon because I also made a fabulous new light fixture for my kitchen that you’re going to want to see the easy breezy tutorial for!  Heres a sneak peek!

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I walked through my entry way hall the other day and suddenly had the urge to draw on the walls.  The hall looked fine as it was, but for some reason I felt like it needed a little more “dazzle”.  I’ve been loving some of the wallpaper that I’ve been seeing on design blogs and in design mags but never have wanted to “commit” to a wallpaper enough to justify some of the hefty price-tags that are tacked on to my favorites.  Here are a few of the wallpapers I’ve seen lately that I love:

I LOVED this Binweed Floral Wallpaper I found on femaleways.com.

And this Berry Black wallpaper also on femaleways.com.

This Sketchy Frames wallpaper is so fun too.

Wallpaper has re-emerged into interior design as a new beautiful wall decor option.  I used to hate the stuff, images of granny florals and peach and forest green came to mind, but now I acknowledge that a good wall-covering can really MAKE a space come alive.  As much as I have come to love the look of a wallpapered wall, I still can’t bring myself to make the commitment to spend the $$$ to do it.  So I came up with my own solution for an easy and inexpensive alternative:  Drawing on my walls with a paint pen.  And I must say, I am pretty pleased with the results so far.  Want to do it too?  OKAY!  Heres how!

Cost:  Depending on the size of your wall(s) you may need to buy 2 or more paint pens for about $3 each from your local craft store.  For the 2 walls in my hall that I’m doing, I’m thinking I’ll be using up 3 pens for a cost of about $9 for the finished look.

Supplies:

  • A paint pen(s) in a color of your choice.  I used white because thats what I had on hand but get creative and use whatever you think would look nice on top of your existing wall color.  *TIP* For a more muted fancy look use a color just a shade or two lighter (or) darker than your wall color.  Also, I think this would look amazing done in a metallic silver or gold paint pen.
  • A notepad or something to “blot” your pen on.
  • A stencil or traceable picture if you are not comfortable just winging it.
The tutorial is more about how to draw the flowers I am doing on my wall.  You could use this same “paint-pen wallpaper” technique using a stencil or just tracing any image you’d like to use from a printed page onto your wall.  The possibilities are vast so let your imagination go and have fun with it!
1.  To make the sketchy poppy-ish flowers for my “wallpaper” I simply started by drawing one large petal-like blob on the wall.
2. Then I just loosely traced over that again to make it more sketchy looking.  I also added little lines in one of the indented parts of the petal for my center.
3.  Next I loosely sketched in circles and dots to finish off the center of my flower.  There is really no screwing up here.  With this look each flower you draw will be different (which is what makes it kinda awesome and artistic) and none of them are “perfect”.
4.  For some flowers, this is enough.  But just for the sake of showing you how to draw more I added a squiggly line down the center to create two separate petals.
5.  Then I decided I wanted the petal on the left to fold down so I added this line…
6.  Then I added some more curving lines to the petal on the right to give it some more dimension.    I also finished this flower up by adding the base and stem.  If you’re intimated by the “artisticness” involved in this, don’t be.  Really its easy and you can’t mess up.  If you’re nervous about just jumping in and drawing right on your walls with the paint pen, just practice first on a piece of paper until you feel like you got the look you’re going for down.
7.  And thats basically how I’ve been doing it.  Every flower on my wall is a variation of this design.
*TIPS and POINTERS*  Decide how far apart you want your main vertical “stems” to be and mark those with a pencil on your wall first to keep the pattern consistent.  Draw your flowers first before the stems so you can decide whether some flowers are behind the stems and some are in front to add dimension.   Keep the size and spacing of each flower somewhat consistent so the overall look ends up cohesive and flowing.  Vary the use of full blooms, half open blooms, and buds.  The paint pends work best on walls that aren’t extremely textured and have a coat of base paint in a satin or semi-gloss finish.
Anyway, here are a few more of the flowers on my wall to give you examples and ideas:
And here are some more inspiration pictures of things you can draw with paint pens:
This would be SUPER easy and cute to draw in paint pen on your wall!
Another hand drawn tree wallpaper you could duplicate using a paint pen.
This would be a pretty easy look to achieve by tracing a stencil with a paint pen.
This would be fun if you painted the blue first and then drew the design over the top with a black paint pen.
Anyway, get creative and have fun with it!  It takes a bit of time, I’ve just been adding a couple of flowers every time I walk through the hall, but it is cheaper and a lot more unique and personal than actual wallpaper.  🙂  Enjoy and come back soon…I’m making a light for my kitchen and its going to be FABULOUS!

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