Painting A Chalkboard Door

I’m about to show you a project NEVER BEFORE SEEN in blogland.  I know because I’ve googled it, searched it on Pinterest, looked on my friends’ blogs… Okay.  That’s a lie.  A really big one.  Chalkboard projects are everywhere.  Walls, doors, wood slices, jars, wall art, inside of pantries, coffee tables and so on.

I’ll be honest.  I’ve resisted.  I said I would NEVER do it.  But it got to me.  Maybe in 10 years we’ll look back and roll our eyes at our crazy obsession with chalkboard paint.  However, today I’ll celebrate my official jumping on board the chalkboard bandwagon.

We have 2 back doors.  One goes to the back yard, and one goes to the garage.  The one that goes to the garage is pretty hideous, and that’s giving it a compliment.  It’s hidden from pictures most of the time, just because of its location.  This ugly old thing is about to get ambushed.

Painting Chalkboard on a back door

This project cost less than $20.  WHAT?!  Yeah.  I figured chalkboard paint would be a little pricey, but it is definitely not.  $9 for the can.  I also picked up a Hi-Density Foam roller kit made for doors to keep things smooth.  You guys, the door took less than half a can.  Imagine all the things I can chalkboard attack with all the left overs.  It’s dangerous.  It’s an illness now that I’ve given in.  The chalkboard plague has struck.

Chalkboard paint supplies

Like always, I only use FrogTape.  Bleeds are not something to be risked.

How to paint Chalkboard

After one coat, it looked like this.

Painting a Chalkboard Door

After 2 coats (we probably would have been fine, but I wanted a solid 3).

How to paint a chalkboard

Awww, and the beautiful 3rd coat.  I followed the instructions on the box to a tee, and waited 4 hours between each coat.  It was ridiculously hard to wait because after about 30 mins the paint is dry to the touch.

Painting a Chalkboard

When painting a chalkboard surface the most important thing to remember is to season it.

The reason seasoning a chalkboard is so important is because chalkboards are very porous.  If you don’t season it properly, the first thing you write may get “burned” into the chalkboard.

You season it by first rubbing the side of a piece of chalk vertical, and then horizontal.  This will fill in all the porous holes that may exist in the surface.

How To Season A Chalkboard

Seasoning a Chalkboard

After that you can erase it using a felt eraser, or a damp cloth.  I wouldn’t recommend paper towels.  They leave behind lots of shreds.

Then you’re game for writing whatever comes to your creative mind.

Of course my lopsided free-hand typography could use some work.

DIY Painted Chalkboard Back Door

Now at least our back garage door can hide in style and on trend.

How To Paint a Chalkboard Door

How To Paint Curtains

I’m breaking away from nursery posts today to bring you a living room update!  Our big projects are coming to a close (more on that soon!), which means I have been focusing on decorating details.

One thing we’ve been living without since demo (late July) is curtains.  It’s like living naked for the world to see.  So exposed.  I mean, cool, if that’s what you’re into.  But um, I dig privacy.

Since we have so much neutral happening in our grand room, I wanted some curtains with a punch.  As it would turn out, punchy curtains are really hard to find unless you want to pay $50+ per panel from a fancy store or custom order on Etsy.  Pretty much all other curtains are simple and neutral.

For a good long while, probably since Avatar was the cool thing… I’ve been wanting to try making fabric paint with textile medium.  Painting curtains was the perfect experiment.

I started with a plain white set of IKEA LENDA curtains, drew out a design on a scrap paper, got some votes, then started taping.  Nothing is trustier than FrogTape for crisp lines.

How To Paint Curtains

I mixed regular latex paint with the textile medium in an old mixing bowl that I was planning on tossing.

How To Paint Curtains

The ratio is 2:1.  2 parts paint to 1 part textile medium.  The handle broke off my measuring cup, so I used this old one to measure out 2 cups of paint.

How To Paint Curtains

I was so worried that the textile medium would change the color of the paint, but it didn’t.

How To Paint Curtains

My preferred color of mustard was Sherwin Williams Kingdom Gold (6698).

How To Paint Curtains

I rolled on the paint to cover the curtains nice and saturated-ly.

How To Paint Curtains

I let it dry over night for good measure.  The next day, Buster watched while I joyfully peeled the tape off.

How To Paint Curtains

However, I made a HUGE mistake.  Michael, I’ve made a huge mistake…  Normally when I paint, I use these old sheets as a drop cloth, and it’s fine.  But I REALLY should have been wise enough to use a heavier drop cloth, or a tarp.  The curtains were completely fused to these sheets.  Peeling them apart was akin to what I imagine an exorcism would be like.  Very gripping.

How To Paint Curtains

But the trouble didn’t stop there.  Because it majorly bled through onto my floors.  It was like a school bus died all over my front room.  For anyone wanting to know how to get paint off floors, warm water with a little Dawn and some elbow grease does the job.

How To Paint Curtains

Luckily the only mishaps were with my supplies.  The painted curtains were more than perfect.  It’s the love affair of the century.  Move aside William and Kate, we have new things to gawk over.

How To Paint Curtains

The final step is to heat set the fabric paint.  You can iron, or tumble dry.  I tumbled of course.

I used this tip to hang the curtain rod.  Please disregard my swollen pregnant hand and robe sleeve.  Take some cardboard and make a template to mark the holes.  Flip the template, and use it on the other side of the window for a perfect match.

How To Paint Curtains

The curtains need to be hemmed, but I’m not sweating that chore until after Thanksgiving.  We have people to entertain!

How To Paint Curtains

They are extra beautiful at night.

How To Paint Curtains

And extraordinarily magical from the outside.  I’m sure all my neighbors think I’m the coolest 🙂

How To Paint Curtains

And for pinning convenience, here you are!

How To Paint Curtains

Now that you’ve read my adventures in painting curtains, are you going to paint some fabric of your own?

Painted IKEA Billy Bookcases

We all know that painting the backs of bookcases are all the rage.  It’s a great way to add a pop of color without going too crazy.  I searched all over the classifieds, but couldn’t find anything that would suit the vision I was having for the nursery.

Two skinny IKEA Billys would do the job just fine though!  AND painting the back would be easier this way, since I could paint it all in one sweep, instead of taping off, and cutting in.  Ick.

Using the boxes the bookcases came in was a great way to not get paint everywhere, if you ever plan on doing this project.

Paint Back Of Bookcase

A rich deep purple was my color of choice for this project.

Paint Back Of Bookcase

The plan was one on either side of the crib.

Paint Back Of Bookcase

However, with the flood of light in this room, everything is either extremely over-exposed, or wildly under-exposed.  I’m still working on my photog skillz, so don’t judge me for sucking at room pictures!  The color balance isn’t quite right, but this is the correct shade of purple, pulled straight from Sherwin-Williams’ site.  “Fully Purple” is her name… even though it almost looks a bit navy in my pictures.  I promise, IRL it’s a gorgeous purple.

Sherwin Williams Fully Purple

Aw, symmetry.

Paint Back Of Bookcase

These two are wondering when they get to use the fancy new dog bed/crate…  They are going to be so disappointed.

Paint Back Of Bookcase

Board & Batten with a Sprinkle of New Furniture

This isn’t going to be an informative tutorial on how to install board and batten or baseboards.  Just an editorial of a ugly duckling turned swan.

We didn’t go with traditional baseboards because they are curved on top.  We knew we would be doing board and batten, so we wanted something flat to work with.

Primed MDF boards for baseboards and board and batten were the best route to go.  Baseboards are pretty easy.  Cut them on a 45 degree angle and use a brad nailer to secure them to the wall.  Easy.  That’s your baseboard tutorial.  End of tutorial.

Baseboards

My dad brought over his laser level to make sure my chalk line was straight.

Board and Batten

AS AN ARROW.  I don’t need no laser level.  I don’t want a part of your country club…

Board and Batten

The top rail was super easy.  My dad and I did it in an afternoon.  Same as baseboards.  Make cuts on a 45 degree level, and nail the to the wall.  Make sure they’re level.  End of top rail tutorial.

Board and Batten

The slats were easy too.  Measure, make straight cuts, put some calking glue on the back, level them, and nail.  End of tutorial.

Board and Batten

Look how wicked cool my dad is.  He’s all the good parts of Norm Abrams mixed with a dash of Bob Villa, and the good looks of Scott McGillivray.  But most importantly, he’s a bunch of fun wrapped in layers of awesome dad jokes.  Like your resident Phil Dunphy.  I’m always the luckiest when him and Aaron team up on projects.

Board and Batten

And for dramatic purposes…  Here’s the difference simple board and batten molding can make.  Before.  (Oh hi Chester!  Welcome to the living room.  Hope you like our bums your new family!)

Board and Batten

After.
(It was a rainy day=bad bad light.  Sars not sars.)

Board and Batten

So much pretty.  We did our boards 30″ apart.  I think 2 and a half feet was the perfect spacing for the scale of the room.

Board and Batten

And the stairs wall before (including the coconut gumball light) …

ENGINEER-PRINT

A sexy after (with the orb-licious light).

Board and Batten

Oh, and we got our new couch and rug.  This trunk came from grandma’s garage.  And those chairs are borrowed from the basement.  We’re trying to decide if we want them to live upstairs, or if we’re still going to shop for the perfect piece.  So far, nothing has jumped out.  The trunk is going to get a better “coffee table makeover,” including legs and glass.  But for now, it’s a good place to toss your tired feet.

Board and Batten

Oh, and the board and batten isn’t 100% done.  It needs to be caulked and painted still.  But, you know, I really just couldn’t wait.  You know, bloggers and their patience.  Do those words even belong in a sentence together?

And for the sake of drama, this picture was begging to be included.

Board and Batten

Can you believe how far we’ve come?!  We are almost done-sies.  Seriously, we have TWO inside things left to do.  TWO.

Tree Removal of 120 ft Cottonwoods 

New roof 

-Build new fence (STILL in progress!  But the leveling, post setting, and retaining wall part is done.  It should be a breeze from here on out)

Paint ceiling & walls

Install flooring 

Baseboards + board & batten

-Build new banister (Newel post is in, if you gathered that from the pictures above)

Counter top install

Back splash (Tile and supplies are bought, just need to do it!)

Woodland Pumpkins

Pumpkin Parade

Well, I guess I’m next up in line for the pumpkin parade.  I’ll be sure to throw some taffy at your face as I pass by.

The first pumpkin decision: real or fake.  What it comes down to is cost vs durability.  Do I want these to last more than one season or not?

JoAnn’s had their fake pumpkins 50% off, plus the coups I had for them.  So the cost wasn’t too bad.  I got all 3 for the price of 1.

Woodland Pumpkins

I decided to go with a “woodland” theme.  Maybe because we watch a little too much “What does the fox say” at our house.  (Is there even such a thing as TOO MUCH?!)

I just spray painted the front of the pumpkins only, because once I got the design taped on, I was going to spray them a difference color.  For those of us not cool enough to have a Cricut or Silhouette cutting machine, we do the hoodrat thing and cut some FrogTape into a pattern.  Yeah?

Woodland Pumpkins

Then you spray paint it a different color of course.  There is no other way to be creative. 😉

Woodland Pumpkins

And then you peel the FrogTape off.  Except, it really screwed up the fox.  Which I was sad about.  I’m not sure why the tape peeled paint off the fox, but not the other 2.  I was really excited about that fox.  I thought the feather would look the worst and the fox would be the king.  But turns out I was way off with my hypothesis.  Like that time I thought 1/3 cup siracha would be yummy to cook chicken in.

Woodland Pumpkins

And the last step is to put them somewhere you can see them.  I, predictably, put them on the hearth.  Because that’s what fireplaces are for.  Seasonal decorating.  The thing I suck the most at… as you can see by my staging a crooked tower of woodland creature pumpkins.

Woodland Pumpkins

Remember, the Pumpkin Parade Link Party is tomorrow!  And I WANT to see all your pumpkin crafts.  So please please come back.  And be sure to check out all these rad-action blogs for their wicked pumpkin designs.

Shift Ctrl Art
Primitive & Proper
Decor and the Dog
A Little Bite of Everything
A Swell Place to Dwell
Newly Woodwards
Boxy Colonial
Wills Casa
Cuckoo4Design
Bliss at Home
Go Haus Go

 

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel {Fall Project}

You guys, I am SO fired up for today’s post!  This is such an easy fall project (or anytime of year project!) that anyone of any skill level can do.  I know, because it was my first time ever.  This is a tale of how I lost Dremel-ginity.

I was contacted by Coupons.com and asked if I’d like to participate in a fall project extravaganza.  I said HECK TO THE YES!  I LOVE Coupons.com.  I’ve been using the site forever.  As any true DIYer, I’m always focused on saving money.  And Coupons.com has coupons for everything from groceries to home improvement supplies.  Did you know they even have coupons for POWER TOOLS?!  My favorite ever.  Go look around and I guarantee you’ll find something worth saving money on.

I was able to find a coupon for a Dremel, and I’ve been wanting one FOREVER.  It was like the stars aligned.  What’s so great about a Dremel you ask?  It is the Swiss army knife of power tools.  It’s a multi-tool with interchangeable bits.  To name a few functions, it can etch glass, etch wood, carve wood, burn wood, drill, polish, sand, route and so much more.

I have never used a Dremel before, so when I picked it up, I made sure practice on a block of wood first so I could get the feel for it.

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel

For my fall project I wanted to etch a piece of subway art.  I picked up a piece of craft wood 2’X4′ in the hobby section of Home Depot for $6.  I got to staining it right away.

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel

I taped the template to the board and lightly traced the outline with the Dremel.

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel

The Dremel came with a few standard bits, and I used one of them to etch/carve it out.  For your reference, I used a 192.  It looks like this:

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel

After the board was roughed in, I buckled down and started etching.

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel

Except, I forgot one MAJOR thing.  I have carpel tunnel.  And using a Dremel kills after about 45 mins.  One thing I’ve learned in all my projects is that you have to be adaptable and change plans sometimes.  I just had to accept that there was no way in the world I would finish the entire board.  To give you an idea of the scale, here it is on the mantle.

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel

Yeah.  Not happening.  Dremel, I love you, but I can’t handle that much of you.  So I found a way to change it up and shorten it.

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel

It was a shift in gears, but I thought it came together nicely.  It could be an inside sign, but I decided to drill a couple holes and thread some twine through, to hang it on the front door.

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel

I would like to thank Coupons.com for providing me with a gift card to Home Depot to get my supplies for this project.  And I encourage you to check out the site so you can score sweet discounts on the same supplies.

But I have extra good news for you!  They are giving away a $200 gift card to a lucky reader!  The give away will be open for a week.  It’s open for US residents only.

These other awesome bloggers are also involved in the Fall Project Extravaganza, and you should definitely check out their awesome fall projects!

How To Etch Wood With A Dremel

Emma – Broke Ass Home
Gretchen – Boxy Colonial 
Fall Projects
So how do you enter for this sweeter than life deal?  Easy, you have 10 entry options.  You can enter up to TEN TIMES!  Follow Coupons.com on Google+, follow the above listed blogs on social media (listed below in the Rafflecopter widget).  Easy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How To Install Laminate Flooring… for dummies and pregnant women

Remember when I told you about this amazing deal on flooring I scored?  If you’re new, that post covers the reasons we went with laminate and the amazing price we got it for from Lumber Liquidators.  Let’s just say that it cost less than a mounted microwave.  With NO compromise on quality.  🙂

Laying laminate flooring is so easy a 5 month pregnant lady on bed rest could do it.  A literal statement.

Each box of flooring had a diagram of instructions in like manner to IKEA.  Aka, no words.  It’s pretty straight forward.

how to install laminate flooring

how to install laminate flooring

how to install laminate flooring

how to install laminate flooring

how to install laminate flooring

Okay.  The biggest thing to be learned from the steps is to make sure to put a doormat down.  You never know when the destruction of ghost feet will find you (as referenced in step 19).

We bought a flooring installation kit for about $15 and I highly recommend you do the same for your flooring installation.

how to install laminate flooring

The spacers go around the edges of the room.  Don’t be worried about gaps.  Your baseboards cover that.

It’s a pretty ingenious idea from IKEA to have the toe-kicks snap on and off.  We ran the flooring under the cabinets and were able to just snap the toe-kicks back on and it looked AMAZING!

how to install laminate flooring

The picture below shows the underlayment we used.  It’s called Traffic Master, and I picked it up at Home Depot.  I bought 600 sq ft for $28 total.  Which is a heck of a lot cheaper than Lumber Liquidators wanted to charge for underlayment.  They wanted to charge $0.40 sq ft.  Almost as much as the flooring itself.  So keep that in mind when pricing flooring.

how to install laminate flooring

When you start a new row, cut a random length, so you get a lovely staggered look.

how to install laminate flooring

The next piece snaps to the previous row nicely, but it’s almost impossible to avoid a gap between the next-door neighbor piece.

how to install laminate flooring

Which is where THIS GUY comes in handy.  Beat it with a hammer a couple times and…

how to install laminate flooring

BAM.  No gap.  Pretty sure this method crossed my mom’s mind a few time when considering braces for us children.

how to install laminate flooring

For the odd shaped pieces that needed to be cut (like for vent holes) we used a jig saw.  It was pretty simple!

Having the same flooring run throughout is like the day I realized wearing make up shouldn’t look like you’re wearing make up.  Bye bye white eye liner.

how to install laminate flooring

And to remember how bad that metaphoric white eye liner really was:

Laminate Flooring

how to install laminate flooringq

Check-in time:

Tree Removal of 120 ft Cottonwoods 

New roof 

-Build new fence (in progress)

Paint ceiling & walls

Install flooring 

-Baseboards + board & batten (supplies purchased)

-**newly added to the list** build new banister (supplies purchased)

Counter top install (done but you haven’t seen it yet, unless you creep on Instagram)

-Back splash (supplies purchased… did you weigh in on the opinion-fest on Facebook?)

We are getting close to being done.  Our new furniture has been arriving.  We have all the rest of the materials purchased, so we are ready to buckle down and get it done!