Category Archives: DIY

Brady’s Furniture is Done!

Hi Everyone! I am SO happy to report that Brady’s furniture is finally done! I’m not going to lie…this was a tough one and if this project had a theme song it would be “Patience” by Guns N Roses. So, go ahead and hum that song to yourself while I share the details.

First, here’s a look back at what his furniture looked like before…

I won’t bore you with a step by step tutorial.  You can Google how to paint furniture and come up with a hundred different sites explaining the various ways to paint furniture.  I will tell you that I chose to sand, prime and apply 2 coats of paint to all the furniture.  And, it was a pain in the neck…literally!  After one 8 hour painting marathon I woke up the next day unable to move my neck!  It took me a week to recover!  Who get’s injured while painting?

Here’s a look at the furniture before I sanded it…

Do you see all those slats on the bed?  Twenty four to be exact!  I had to individually sand and paint each one!  I also removed the old hardware on the dresser and nightstand drawers, filled in the holes with wood putty and drilled new holes for the new hardware.   I removed all the drawer fronts to make them easier to paint.  One cautionary note for you if you ever decide to paint furniture…make sure you label all the drawer fronts before you remove them!  I didn’t and had a heck of a time trying to figure out which drawer front belonged to which drawer.  You wouldn’t think it would make a difference, but believe me, it does!

Here is the furniture with the primer applied…

I decided to hand brush the paint onto the furniture rather than spray it with a paint sprayer for two reasons.  First, I had tried spraying my younger son’s furniture last year and had less than satisfactory results.  I kept getting little, tiny air bubbles in the finish.  I never was able to figure out what I was doing wrong and I didn’t want to repeat that with this project.  Secondly, I really didn’t want to move all of the furniture out of the room.  When you use a sprayer, paint gets EVERYWHERE!  So, I hand brushed everything.  Did I mention there are 24 slats on that bed?  It took FOREVER!

After painting the room Navy blue, I knew we were going to have to choose a light color for the furniture.  I thought we would do white, but Brady really had his heart set on a light gray, just like the New England Patriot’s helmets!  We chose Coventry Gray by Benjamin Moore.

Here’s a look at his furniture now…

I am very happy with how it all turned out!  Even though it took weeks to finish and a whole lot of patience, I think it was all worth it.  And, Brady was right…the gray is really cool!

I am so close to being done with his room!  I just have to hang some art work and shelves, replace the door knobs & hinges and replace the light fixture.  Hopefully I can get all that done in the next week.  Stay tuned!

Easy Window Cornices For Brady’s Room

Hi Everyone! I’ve made some great progress in Brady’s room this week and I want to show you the window cornices I made for his room. These were SO easy (and cheap!) to make.  I apologize upfront for the poor quality pictures.  I never said I was a photographer!


Foam Insulation Boards



Utility Knife

Glue Gun

Staple Gun & Staples

Straight Pins

L brackets

Here’s what I did…

First I measured the window and determined how wide I wanted the cornices to be.  Brady’s window is 33.5 inches wide and I wanted the cornice to extend 2 inches on either side of the window, so I measured and marked the board at 37.5 inches.  The board was 13.75 inches high and I decided I liked the height as it was.

Next, I used a utility knife to cut the board along the markings I made.  I’m not going to lie…this part was messy!  I had little bits of Styrofoam flying all over the place and sticking to everything!

I then determined how far out I wanted the cornice to stick out from the window.  I decided on 3 inches.  For the top piece I measured another board at 37.5 inches wide and 3 inches high and cut the board long my markings.  For the sides I used a leftover piece of board that I had cut from the other boards.  I measured 2.25 inches wide  and 13.75 inches high and cut 2.

I then used my glue gun to attach the sides to my cornice board.  One cautionary note…if your glue gun gets too hot it will melt the Styrofoam.  Yep, it happened to me!

Then, I glued on the top.

This is what the cornice looks like after you’ve glued on the sides and top…

Next, I cut the fabric and batting to be big enough to wrap around my cornice.  I placed the fabric on a flat surface, then the batting on top of the fabric and the cornice on top of both.

Using my staple gun, I pulled the fabric and batting up and around to the back of the cornice and stapled it into place.  I continued to pull the fabric tightly around the cornice and staple it into place.  I did the bottom first and then the top, taking care to keep the fabric straight and smooth.  When I got to the corners I played around with the fabric and folded it into place until it was neat and stapled it into place.  Along the edges I found that using straight pins were easier than the staples.

Here is what the cornice should look like when all the fabric and batting is stapled and pinned into place…

I hung 2 L brackets above the windows.   The cornices are so lightweight I didn’t even bother with wall anchors.

Lastly, I slid the cornice over the L brackets.

I LOVE how these cornices turned out!  Honestly, the pictures don’t even do them justice.  They look super sleek and modern and finish off the windows perfectly!

These things only took me a half an hour to make and only cost me about  $30 in materials!  I would call this project a success!

Next up, refinishing the furniture.  Wish me luck people!  This is the project I’m most worried about!  I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

P.S.-Did you notice the new wall color?  I’ll tell you all about that soon!






Practice, practice, practice

Hello Everyone!  I have been very busy these past couple of weeks with end of the school year activities, jury duty, projects around the house and a trip to Maine, just to name a few.  But, I wanted to share one of the projects I completed last weekend.

In preparation for my upcoming kitchen project, I wanted to practice using a paint sprayer on something other than my kitchen cabinets.  Did I mention before that I plan to paint my cabinets myself?  Well, now you know!  So, I decided I would practice on Gavin’s dresser and night stands.  When I started this project I was thinking, “How hard can this be, really?  All I need is a little time and patience!  I’ve totally got this!”  All I have to say now is Hmmph!

Here is what Gavin’s night stand and dresser looked like before…



In preparation for painting I read many, many, many tutorials, blogs and online articles.  In general I followed the advice I found on Young House Love, a favorite blog of mine.

I used Jasco Easy Liquid Sander Deglosser (found at Lowes) on all the surfaces.


Then I filled all the holes from the drawer pulls with wood putty and sanded everything.


After I wiped down all the surfaces with a cloth I sprayed the dresser and night stand frames and drawers with the first coat of paint.  I used Benjamin Moore Advance paint in White Dove.  The folks at the paint store assured me that with this paint I did not need a primer, so I skipped that step.


After I gave the first coat ample time to dry, I sprayed the second coat.  I did NOT do a great job.  Wah, wah, wah.  I had drips on the sides of the dresser and night stands and most of the drawers had thousands of tiny air bubbles that dried into the surface.  So, after that coat dried, I used a fine grit sandpaper, sanded everything and applied a third coat.  Although I avoided drips this time, I still had tiny air bubbles on most of the surfaces.  I again repeated the sanding and painting process without much success.  By this point I had run out of paint and I was pretty frustrated.  This was not how this was supposed to go…I was SO sure that I had an inner professional painter gene just waiting to be unleashed!  I guess I have some more practicing to do.  Oh, and there was this…


I’m still trying to get the paint off my feet!

So, after running out of paint and patience I decided to call this project done.  It is NOT perfect, but it’s good enough…for now.  That inner perfectionist is screaming some pretty choice words right now!  But, here’s the finished product….

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So, In the next few weeks I plan to practice some more on other things in my house.  Although Gavin’s dresser is good enough, it is not good enough (in my opinion) for the kitchen cabinets.  I am going to try priming my next project first to see if that makes a difference.  I think I’ll also try adjusting the pressure setting on my sprayer and maybe thinning the paint a little.  Hopefully I get this dialed in so I can attack the kitchen.  I’ll keep you updated!



Another DIY Project Completed!

Hi Everyone!  This weekend I finished another DIY project that was waiting patiently for me in my laundry room (somehow that’s where all my half-completed projects end up, even though I have a designated craft space elsewhere in the house…Don’t ask!!).

A few weeks ago I bought this mail holder at Michaels for half off.IMG_1572I loved the shape of it but didn’t have a need for a mail holder.  I bought it anyway not knowing exactly what I would do with it or where it would go.  That seems to happen a little more frequently than I’d care to admit!  But, as I was dreaming up ways to spruce up my mudroom, inspiration hit!  I decided it would be a perfect plant holder for an empty space I had on the wall of my mudroom.  I hung it up just like it was to live with it a few days and decide how I wanted to alter it.  Even though I liked the blue color, it didn’t exactly fit the vibe I’m going for, which I guess I’d describe as modern farmhouse (is that even a real style???).  So, I decided to “age” it.

First I removed the silver name plates and filled the holes with wood putty.  Then I grabbed my handy dandy palm sander and roughed up the surface a bit.  After that I cleaned it well with a soft white cloth.IMG_1579

Next I raided my ever growing collection of paint samples and half empty paint cans in the basement and came up with three colors; Benjamin Moore Advance paint in White, Benjamin Moore Aura paint in Coachman’s Cape and a Benjamin Moore sample in Calypso Blue.IMG_1604

Once I had my paint I just took a brush and haphazardly brushed the colors onto the holder.  I didn’t try to cover the entire surface, just brushed the colors on here and there, allowing each color to peak through.  This wasn’t a time for precision painting, however I tried to keep all my brushstrokes going in the same direction.  After the paint dried I went over the holder again with my sander to rough up the edges and take off any excess paint that I wasn’t happy with.

And, Voilà!  Here’s the finished product!IMG_1592copy-2I really love how it looks with the plants in it!  I’m now looking around the house to see what else could use a little “aging”.  Anything but me…time is taking care of that all by itself!

I still have a few other updates I’m planning for the mudroom, but I’ll be sure to keep you posted with my progress!


Meet Bernadette

Hi Everyone!  I am busy planning my upcoming kitchen makeover and I’ll update you about my plans in another post.  In the meantime, I wanted to share some of the other things I’m working on.

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Part of my kitchen makeover preparation is finishing up all of the other little projects I have going on around the house.  I think for the sake of my family’s sanity I need to finish at least some of what I’ve started before I tear the kitchen apart!  I tend to have a dozen things going on at once and I think it sort drives some people (ahem…my hubby) a little cuckoo.

So, without further ado, meet Bernadette. IMG_1479-copy 2

Yes, I named my plant.  My theory is that if I name it, I won’t kill this one!  My husband likes to joke that when I walk into a nursery all of the plants run and hide in the corner.  I really love plants, I’m just not so great at caring for them. Well, I’m determined to keep this one alive!

I first came upon Bernadette while shopping for a Fiddle Leaf Fig.  In case you were wondering, Fiddle Leaf Figs are super pretty plants that are supposedly easy to care for, so naturally I thought that would be the perfect plant for me.  But, I couldn’t seem to find them anywhere.  None at Lowes, Home Depot or a handful of other locations around town.  So, I stopped into my local nursery and sadly they didn’t have them either.  But, I struck up a conversation with one of the girls that worked there and asked her what type of plant would be good for someone with a brown thumb.  She mentioned a few different plants and showed me some samples but nothing really grabbed me.  I asked her if she had any Swedish Ivy…I once had one and kept it alive for several years!  She asked me to follow her and then pulled the weirdest looking monstrosity out from under a table in the corner of the shop.  Apparently, it wasn’t doing well under their care and was headed for the dumpster out back.  She told me that I was welcome to have it for free if I wanted to try and nurse it back to health.  Well…I RARELY back down from a challenge!  THIS was the plant for me!

Here is what Bernadette looked like when I brought her home….20160427_143624

Some of the leaves were bright green and healthy, but some were pale and resembled lettuce in size and color!  I immediately got to work Pruning her.


I put the cuttings into water so they could grow roots.  And then I waited.  And waited.  And waited…About four weeks!  By the way…the cuttings lived in my bathroom during this time.  Pretty strange!

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Finally they were ready to plant!  I bought some inexpensive clay pots for about a dollar a piece and painted them with some leftover chalk paint I had.

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Then I decorated each one with chalk and planted the cuttings.  I am now the proud grandma of six new baby plants!  Admittedly, the plants still look a bit like an alien species, but I think with time they will fill out nicely and grow to be beautiful (or at least interesting)!  The pots were SO easy to make and I think they would make a cute teacher’s or housewarming gift.

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So there you have it!  My plants are doing well and I think some of the babies are ready for adoption.  My advice…name your plants!

P.S. I finally did find a Fiddle Leaf Fig!  His name is Bernie!