Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Industrial Style Ceiling Fan Makeover

I happened into a Habitat for Humanity ReStore today while out running errands. I love to browse the aisles and always seem to find something I didn't even know I needed. Today I picked up some burlap ribbon, an old vintage scale and three light bulb cages for a whopping $3. Those are the type of deals that keep my thrift store loving obsession ALIVE.

I have been slowly revamping my two year old son's room. (He never really had a "nursery" per say, it was always more of a little boy's room. I figured why decorate with cute, sweet nursery things to only change it a year later when he would surely look at me like "WTH Mom?!". Nevertheless I still MELT at seeing those adorable nurseries and secretly curse my inner sensibilities). There were a few things in the room I KNEW needed updating like his wall color, the mismatched wall decor and his rocking chair but I never really thought about his ceiling fan. I mean it was black and simple and fine. That was until I walked into the ReStore and saw those light bulb cages and immediately thought the fan needed them. They were calling my name. They were only 50 cents. There were only 3. Most definitely a sign. I came home and got to work:

You will need to bend the opening of the cage with some needle nose pliers so that it is circular and will fit into the ceiling fan like this:
It doesn't have to be perfect (you won't see it) just more round 
Pop those into the ceiling fan and tighten the little screws. Put in light bulbs and enjoy! That was easy right!?

Tip:You might want a lower wattage bulb in soft white since there are no shades



A five minute update that totally changed the feel of the fan. I think the hardest part was figuring out how the light bulb was supposed to go into the cage. I felt like an IDIOT when I realized the top of the cage opened up. Here's a picture of it open just in case there are fellow idiots out there like me :)

Monday, June 29, 2015

Entry Table Makeover with Homemade Chalk Paint

I picked a table up on Craigslist for $30 bucks knowing full well I would eventually paint it. It was originally blonde with a few knots in it and looked exactly like this type of wood:

I knew I wanted that distressed "chalky paint" look but didn't really know where to start. I only hear amazing things about Annie Sloan's "miracle" chalk paint but unfortunately it was a little more than I wanted to spend at the time (I do desperately want to try it someday though). I did some research and finally came across a talented friend that gave me a recipe on how to make my own homemade chalk paint! *Update: I've used it on several pieces and been thrilled with the results so far!

  • 1 TBSP Calcium Carbonate Powder (ordered mine off Amazon) dissolved in 2 TBSP's of warm water
  • 1 Cup Flat Latex Paint
I sanded the entire table down and then wiped it clean. The top was painted with regular old black and the bottom was painted with a Behr color named "Aged Beige". After it was dried I gave it a light sanding and did a second coat then let dry overnight. I used my hand sander and gave it a distressed look focusing on the edges of the table and where normal wear would show. *I've also heard you can do this AFTER the next step, I just never have* Lastly, I sealed it by buffing two coats of  SC Johnson Paste Wax on with a clean soft rag.

The decor on top CONSTANTLY changes, that's just what I do, but this is how it looks today:

-The frames hanging on the wall are from IKEA 
-The botanical prints were ripped nicely taken out of a book about...well, BOTANICAL FLOWERS
-The candlesticks were from TJ MAXX (I think). They were originally red and I painted them with white matte paint and distressed them with my sander. The red chippy paint sort of peeks through which I think looks really cool
-The mirrored frames were from Big Lots! (I LOVE these frames and regret not buying out the stock. I've never seen them again)
-The bowl was given to us and the orbs were a variety from different stores (Hobby Lobby and At Home)

Friday, June 26, 2015

Faux Granite? Faux sho! (How to PAINT Your Counters to Look Like Granite)

I knew when we first purchased our home the PINK counter tops had a VERY short life span with The Millers. (See full kitchen before and after pictures here.) Initially we looked into replacing them with Granite or Marble. My heart almost stopped when I received the quote...second mortgage anyone?! Then we looked into replacing them with a solid surface material and while that was muuuuch more affordable it was still out of our price range. I didn't really want to go down the laminate road and although concrete counters look so great in many homes it just wasn't our style. I had seen several posts online about painting counter tops with those refinishing kits you can by at any major box store but I wasn't 100% sold on the look. The results did not look horrible by ANY means...in fact they would be a major improvement from the pink but it didn't look like granite to me. It looked...well, painted. BOO.

So theeen I found a local company that specializes in refinishing counter tops. Professionals? BINGO! I asked them to come out and give me an estimate for all the counters in the kitchen (including my built-in desk area) and it was pretty reasonable. For $700 they would come in and clean, prep, paint and seal all surfaces. It was guaranteed to last and they assured me it would look great. I looked at what seemed like a million before and after pictures on their website and the results were awesome! So, I picked my "color" and scheduled my appointment for two weeks later. I have to say they were METICULOUS about the prep and they really seemed to know what they were doing while spraying on the cover. When they finished I was so happy. It looked a lot like the counter in the picture below with less shine. Best part of all the pink was GONE!

As the weeks went on the counters started bugging me a little but I didn't DARE tell the hubs. We had just had them fixed and he wouldn't be too happy hearing me say I wasn't 100% thrilled with the results.  I initially thought it was because they were too matte so I started researching online and briefly thought about putting a coat of high gloss polyurethane or polyacrylic to make them shinier but that idea faded quickly as I realized that it probably wouldn't hold up to all that chopping, mixing and baking I wanted to do. 

Finally after a few months I came across a blog about painting kitchen counters with regular old acrylic craft paint and sealing with a high gloss pour on epoxy that was MADE for bar tops. The results were absolutely AMAZING! I.was.sold.

So one night I gathered all the information I had obtained from countless hours of research and was ready to make my case to Mr. Miller on why we should yet again change the counters. I was all ready for battle and prepared with come-backs for when he would most definitely try to shoot this idea down. I have to be honest even I was worried a little bit and if I ruined the counters I'd be SO mad at myself. I'm pretty sure my opening statement was something like "I want to paint the counters again because I hate them, ok?". Real subtle Megan. So much for easing the idea out there.  I was (and still am) in shock with how he replied...it was to the tune of something like: "Ok, whatever you think. You know what will look good". Wait, what? No all night discussion? No begging and pleading that would surely end in tears over my first world problems? Awesome! I really DO have a keeper! I was so excited that the very next day I gathered supplies:
  • Acrylic paints in the following colors: Apple Barrel "Khaki", FolkArt "Antique Gold", Apple Barrel "Pewter Grey", Apple Barrel "Burnt Umber" and Apple Barrel "Black"
  • Small sea sponges (purchased at Wal-Mart)
  • Rubber gloves 
  • Envirotex lite pour on epoxy (The box looks like the one below)

  • Small handheld blowtorch (for epoxy)
  • 2 plastic buckets (for epoxy)
  • Plastic sheeting (for epoxy)
  • Paper floor cover (for epoxy)
  • Bottle of red wine (for sanity and liquid courage)
Because my counters were matte like I mentioned and already a nice neutral beige I decided to just sponge the colors right on top. If I didn't have a base I was happy with I would have just put a neutral colored base coat on in a flat matte paint and sponged over that.

For the sake of showing you exactly how I accomplished this I repeated the process on a scrap tile we had laying around.

I began sponging (very lightly) with black and switched my direction and the amount of pressure I pushed with so a "pattern" wouldn't appear.

Then I went in with the dark brown "Burnt Umber". I was a little more light handed with this one
Looking good already!
Then was the "Pewter Grey"

The "Khaki" was next

Finally I used "Antique Gold". I sort of applied this so it would look like veining

The EnviroTex Lite was applied after the paint had dried overnight. I just followed the directions on the box for that step (don't be intimidated by the blow torch step it's really much less scary than it sounds).  

Some helpful tips:
  • Use a damp sponge when applying the paint
  • To vary the intensity of the sponged paint use a paper towel to blot
  • When switching paint colors try to fill in the empty spaces with the new color.
  • Because acrylic craft paint is not permanent if you are not happy with how you started sponging just get a wet paper towel or sponge and remove it with soap and water
  • WEAR GLOVES. Even though its acrylic craft paint the paint dried on my hands the first go around and it took a bit of scrubbing that could have been avoided with a pair of gloves.
  • If doing your kitchen work in "stages" so you still have usable counters in the interim. *The epoxy takes a few weeks to cure rock solid 
  • Pick up a sample piece of granite that you can take with you to buy the paint colors. You'll get a more realistic look that way.
  • We bought our epoxy at Hobby Lobby using their weekly 40% off coupons. One box is about $20 (after the coupon) and it covered approximately 8 sq. ft. Doing the kitchen in stages also helped with cost since we had A LOT of counters to cover!
  • Try and be pretty diligent about removing all of the bubbles that will emerge after pouring the epoxy. They will not go away.
And that's it! You get better and better at it as you continue on but it really was a simple process! We used our counters very lightly for about a month just to be sure it was all the way cured and a year later they are holding up great! The awesome thing about the epoxy is it's SUPER high gloss and made for bar tops so its 100% food safe and hard as nails once its cured!

I'm SO HAPPY with the results and the Mr. can be rest assured I won't be cornering him anytime soon propositioning him with a new counter project!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Monogrammed Pallet Wood Sign

About a year and a half ago I signed up for a bunch of Facebook buy and sell sites. They are a great way to get rid of your junk without having to wake up at 5 a.m. on a Saturday and set up a garage sale. You can also score some awesome goodies on the cheap too! About a month ago I came across a post of a woman giving away 10 pallets for free. I love free things and I had plenty of projects stored up in my brain using old pallet wood so I quickly scooped them up. Actually the hubs did while I waited in the truck. :)

One day I was browsing online and came across a company that hosts those wine and paint parties. They were advertising a class that made monogrammed signs on wood. I LOVED them and immediately wanted one!

Two problems:
1.) It cost $70 to join the class (out of my price range unfortunately)
2.) The class was out of state 

Looking back the second "problem" turned out to be a perfect one! I couldn't have joined the class even if I had wanted to. The hubs and my wallet were happy...I was not. 

So what's a girl to do? Pour myself a big glass of my own wine, use it as inspiration and make my own at home!

OK I know I'm a little biased but I think it came out SO CUTE! It looks perfect in my entryway! 

**Local to Austin, TX and want one? Contact me! I've had several orders now for wedding, anniversary and house warming gifts!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

IKEA Hultet Dish Makeover

I feel like everyone who has ever gone to IKEA has purchased this dish...I mean it's $6 bucks and has tons of uses if you actually use it.  I bought mine probably 8 years ago. I kept up with it for all this time because I knew someday I'd do something with it. In the meantime I've displayed it as-is but as the style in my home began to change I realized it sort of didn't "go" with anything.

One day while the kid was napping I came across this blog post about hand painting a Moroccan inspired stencil on your walls. I loved the idea but considering I had like 30 more minutes of peace and quite, if I was lucky, I highly doubted I'd be able to accomplish a whole wall so I settled for my dusty old IKEA dish instead!

I painted the entire thing with a Behr sample paint I had picked up on the Home Depot's clearance rack. Once it was dry I went back with a light beige metallic color and traced the stencil.

I had an "oops" that I will share so if you attempt this you won't do a repeat. Originally when I started stenciling I began on the left side and worked my way to the right. But because the dish is curved the pattern started looking REALLY wonky. It was too wonky to live with so unfortunately I had to paint the whole plate grey again and start over. This time I started tracing from the center out and it was muuuch better. There are still areas where it's a teeny bit off but I think that just makes it look even more handmade and custom? Ya, we'll go with that.

Here's the paint I used called "Metallic Champagne" by FolkArt:

Here is the stencil I used from Jones Design Company:


Monday, June 22, 2015

Dining Room Makeover on a BUDGET

As far as formal dining rooms go I drool over most of the ones I see in the Restoration Hardware or Pottery Barn magazines. Those barn inspired tables with light tufted chairs. The over-sized mirrors and staged place settings and huge centerpieces and, and, and YES PLEASE! 

I also LOVE HGTV's "Fixer Upper" and envy Joanna Gaines style! Like this dining room she styled on one of her episodes...SO pretty!

Problem was (and is) we couldn't afford to spend 5-10k on new furniture and accessories. I'd like to think that even if we could, I wouldn't but I'm not going to officially say that juuust in case (you know if "one day") :) 

I decided to sort of do my own take and marry (or attempt to marry) the two looks for as cheap as I could manage. 

I knew from the get-go I'd be updating that brass chandelier first. I had seen many a tutorial about spray painting brass fixtures oil rubbed bronze and knew it would be my first project in that room since it seemed cheap and easy. It took one can of Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze and some chandelier shades I ordered off e-Bay for $35 and that baby was DONE.

It looked just like this one before:


It's not exactly the perfect light fixture and maybe someday I'll change it out for something with more wow factor like this one:

but for now I think ours is just fine!

We had a mahogany colored table that we bought off CL years ago and a nice quality Ethan Allen buffet that was a hand me down from a good family friend in a faded walnut color. I was determined to make those things work and if I had to change out the chairs I would. I thought in order to make the room more cohesive those two main furniture items should match. I painted them both using this furniture painting kit from Rustoleum in the color "Kona":

I would absolutely use that kit again but I will be much more careful with the topcoat or use a different one all together. There are a few areas in the corners where it dried white (not clear like it says it will) but it really isn't that noticeable. In hindsight it was probably me just applying it too heavily. All in all I was really satisfied with the end results!

I bought these chairs new from a discount retailer near me. They were my most expensive purchase in the room but well worth it. They are not only the look I wanted but they are super comfy too! 

The rug is something I already had from Ballard designs.

The lamps and tree are other CL finds. $10 for the lamps (Those were also spray painted Oil Rubbed Bronze and lampshades were switched out for more modern ones) and $25 for the tree. The mirror is something I had from Kirklands that I bought on clearance for $30 a few years ago. The glass platter was a gift from our wedding coordinator at the Bellagio. 

The walls are painted with Behr Premium Paint & Primer in the color "Shitake". 

We installed the beadboard and chair rail and painted everything a fresh coat of white. This was the first room we attempted to do the beadboard in and I'm sort of obsessed. I've had a long running crush on molding and wainscoting so I will most definitely be doing a tutorial on this down the line in another room.  

The set of three frames are from Hobby Lobby that were bought using their weekly 40% off coupon

The crystal candlesticks are another wedding gift from Tiffany & Co.. The two moss covered balls and chippy pots are from Hobby Lobby that I got on sale. The magnolia centerpiece was from Goodwill! I think I paid $8 bucks for it!

I'm so so happy with this makeover! It was one of the first rooms in the house to be done and the first to have the wainscoting which may explain why I love it so much! 



Sunday, June 21, 2015

Easy and FREE Book Page Wreath

I love coming across a project on Pinterest or on a blog and then nailing it when I try it at home (too often this is NOT the case). I love it even more when I find stuff around the house and do it for FREE! I've seen a bunch of these tutorials online so this may be a repeat read for you, but what I haven't seen is how to do it for FREE with items around your house!

If a Danielle Steel book, a Cheez-it box, a stapler and some Scotch tape had a baby what would it look like?

Shim would look like this:

Pretty Cute Kid!

Here's what I did:

  • Cut a cardboard box (in my case a Cheez-it box) into a donut shape. I used both sides of the box and taped them together to make it extra sturdy.

  • As cleanly as possible start ripping out pages of your book. Mine was yellowed and old looking and I like the way it turned out but I'm sure white would look great too!

  • Make what seems like a million cones out of the pages that will look like this:

  • Start from the outside of the donut and staple the cones as you go. When you get to the next layer graduate the cones so they are a little shorter as you near the middle. You will start to sorta tuck them into the middle of the donut and secure them to the back of the box with a staple. When you get to the middle the cones might start acting wonky and flopping inward. This is nothing a little double sided tape can't fix. I would put a piece of tape on the back of the cone and stick it to the cone that was behind it so you can't see the tape. The last layer on the inside of the donut you won't want to staple because you will see the staples. For this I only used tape. 
And that's it! It took me about 30 minutes from start to finish and most of that time was rolling those darn cones. My two year old thought it was ice cream and had a total melt down when he couldn't eat it. Kid's are silly.