Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Process of Painting a Room

I am getting ready to start painting the nursery (EEEEK!!) so I thought now would be the perfect time to share the process of painting a room. It's fairly simply but I thought writing out step by step instructions may help. Painting a whole room may seem like a big job but it is so rewarding in the end. Ok, maybe I'm just a crazy painting freak. :)

Step 1: Pick out your paint color

This may seem like an easy task but it can be overwhelming. Once you've narrowed down what color you want (blue, gray, green, etc) then get a few different color strips in those shades. I stick the swatches right on the wall and take a day or two to see what they look like in the morning, afternoon, and evening. (In this case I was looking at colors for the door).

Step 2: Buy samples of a few different shades

Once you have your swatches narrowed down to anywhere between 2-5, go to the paint store and ask for samples of those colors. I usually go to Sherwin Williams and they're around $5 a sample. I let these sit there for 2-5 days to really get a good idea of what the color will look like. Keep in mind the color will change in the morning vs evening and if there's sun or rain. Also if your painting a hallway, the color may be close to a window in one area of the hallway but then have no natural light in another area. This will make your color look different so be sure to paint multiple areas of the room/hallway.

I've learned not to rush your decision because you don't want to spend 8 hours painting a room only to hate it a few days later. I've done that way to too many times! I just get so excited to start painting and making a difference that I was always rushing my color decision. In my current home, I took my time and am very happy with the colors I have chosen.

Step 3: Putty any holes, sand and clean your wall

Ok, that's like 3 steps in one but they all go together. You could also do this before you start the other steps but because the above two steps usually takes me a week, I like to do this while I'm deciding on which color to use.

There are probably nail holes from pictures or even some places where the wall was chipped a little. You want to get your putty and cover these up.

Sand down those areas after they have dried.

Then go over the whole room with a damp rag and wipe off the walls and trim really well. If you're moving into a new house or the walls haven't been cleaned in a few years, it's a good idea to put a little soap in with the water and wash the walls. Make sure to go over them a second time with a  damp clean rag to remove any excess soap.

Step 4: Cut in the corners and around trim

It's time to start painting! You can take a small paintbrush or a regular sized one to do this. I prefer an angled brush for this job. If you don't have a lot of experience with "cutting in" then use blue painter's tape to cover up the trim pieces.

Monday, July 20, 2015

How to Caulk Trim

This is going to be a fun one today so hold on to your hats!! Ok, not really. It's a boring topic but I'm sure someone somewhere needs a tutorial on how to caulk trim.

I shared with you my process of how to paint trim a few weeks ago. Going from an orange oak trim to bright white has made such a difference in my home. You can see here the difference of the trim on the floor verses the trim around the door. So much lighter and brighter. It really makes the area feel bigger and taller.

If you really want your trim to look professional and have a crisp clean look, you will need to caulk it. It's super easy and I was actually having fun doing it. Crazy, right?! It goes on so quickly but makes such a big difference.

Let's first take a look at the places you'll want to caulk. The main obvious place is where the trim meets the wall. That is just an eye sore and makes it look very unprofessional and sloppy.

The next place is where all the millions and millions of nails went into the trim. You couldn't really see them when the trim was oak colored, they just blended in. But they stick out plain as day on this white trim.

The other place you'll want to caulk are the seems where trim pieces meet. You could stick a quarter in that slot! I'm actually surprised my daughter never tried. :)

You'll want to stop at Lowe's or the hardware store and pick out your caulk and caulking gun if you don't have one. This caulking gun was only $6-8. I used this brand of caulk. It's nice because you can paint right over it which is actually recommended. Otherwise your caulking spot will turn yellow over time.

The only other supply you'll need is a rag or torn up old t-shirt. I went through a lot so be prepared.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

DIY Abstract Art

On Tuesday I shared with you some abstract art pieces from around the web. I remember being in 8th grade art class and hating it. I had no clue what I was doing. I think at one point we had to make something out of clay and mine looked like a big old blob. But then you see movies where a character paints for fun and it just looks so relaxing (The Notebook, anyone??).

I think because I don't feel very creative and also don't have many relaxing hobbies, I was on a mission to see if I had it in me to paint. After all, it's been a while since 8th grade! Plus art pieces are usually super expensive and wouldn't it be great to save some money?? Then that feeling of accomplishment would be fantastic... if it actually turned out decent.

I had a little luck on my side. My mom. She is a woman of many talents and one of those just happens to be painting. Now usually she does things like flowers but I really needed her expertise in showing me how to paint. Are there certain brushes you use? What techniques are best for what I want to accomplish? How do you mix multiple colors together and not make it look like a 3 year old did it?

So one afternoon I took my daughter over to my mom's and we all had some quality time painting. I really thought I could get this done in 30 minutes (jokes on me!) but it ended up taking 2 hours to complete.

Let's get this party started!

It all started off with wanting a fairly big canvas to paint on. I headed to Hobby Lobby and scored an amazing deal. I always check their clearance section and happened to find this flower picture for $12!

Did you know that you can paint over previous paintings on a canvas? So if you find a hideous picture on a canvas at a thrift store or somewhere else at an amazing low price, grab that baby up because you can reuse it. It's also great because after its been hanging up in your home for a month a year, you can take it down and start all over with a new idea.

I got out some plain white paint that I usually use for my walls or trim and went over the canvas one time. I probably should have done two coats just to be safe but I was too excited to get started.

I knew that I wanted blues in my picture. I am trying to incorporate different shades of blue around my home and so far don't I have any on the walls so this was a good place to start.

I actually used a mix of acrylic paint and paint I had leftover from painting my walls. It's a really neat way to use up some of that leftover paint you have from painting a bedroom or bathroom.

I used several sizes of brushes but the main reason was so that I didn't have to continuously clean them over and over. But for a piece this big I actually preferred the type of paintbrush you use to paint your walls. Nice and big.

I just started swiping on paint, doing one color at a time. The trick is to wet a big paintbrush (wipe off the excess water onto a paper towel) and quickly go over the color so it bleeds out a little. This creates a whispy effect so your lines aren't so harsh.

On occasion we took a blow dryer to the canvas to help a spot dry faster but it really wasn't necessary.

During this whole process I was questioning two things: 1. I wasn't sure if the turquoise color would really match the colors I had in my home. 2. The vision I had in my head had all of the lines in the painting going vertical instead of different directions. I decided I'd take home my piece of art and live with it on the wall for a week to see how I felt. But I was super proud of myself for finishing my first painting!

So after living with it for about 10 days, I decided it looked like a tie dye shirt... wah wah. I also really wanted the lines to be vertical. Luckily for me, Hobby Lobby is having a sale on paints this week so I started my own collection (I was using my mom's acrylic paints before). I grabbed up different shades of blues.
While my kid's were napping I set everything up and started working on recreating my piece.

You can see how the canvas is still wet from using the damp brush.

In reality I should of just painted the whole canvas white again because it took several coats to cover up the turquoise color but I am happy with how it turned out.

I ended up using 4 different colors in the new piece. I toyed around with adding some metallic silver or gold in the future but for now this is how it will stay... at least until I change my mind in a week. :)
This was really easy to create, just a bit time consuming. Remember that you can always start over if you don't like the end result. Keep your brushes a bit damp and it will give you the whispy effect.
Now it's your turn!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Abstract Art

I have never really been interested in a good piece of art. In my last house I never even decorated a single wall! I think I didn't know what I liked and where to begin.

I've been reading decorating blogs for a few years now. At first my taste was all over the place. Rustic here, modern there, throw in some color here but neutral tones over there. I really had no clue what my style was for a while. Then I started paying attention to the little things in these blogs. The paintings on the wall, the colors they used to bring a space together. All the small details that make a space work. I am finally learning what I like for myself and for my home. Abstract art is quickly becoming a favorite of mine.

Let's take a look at some pictures of abstract art.


It's very whimsical and free flowing. I love that it uses a variety of color because then you can pull in different colors from your home into one piece. You can use vibrant and bright colors to really make the art pop. Or you can be subtle and use pastels or neutral colors to add calming character in your home.
I have quite a few paintings on Etsy that I've been crushing over.
Do you want to know what I love most about this type of painting? It's easy to create yourself! One of my favorite blogs, Thrifty D├ęcor Chick, did a painting similar to these a few years back. She used my favorite color, blue!
It was her painting that inspired me to try this myself. I am not an artist. I am lucky if I can use glue without messing up the paper I put it on! But some of these paintings go for hundreds of dollars and I was not ready to spend that much until I tried this for myself. I also think it was one of those "I must conquer my fear of not being artistic" type of things.
So on Thursday I'll be sharing how I did my first DIY Abstract Art piece!!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Organizing a Bathroom Drawer

Wow... what a crazy 10 days it has been! I didn't realize how much the 4th of July was like Christmas, being that you are busy for like two weeks straight! In the past 10 days we have had 4 family events (I think... I lost count), made a trip to the zoo, went to a parade, had 2 baby doctor appointments that took up a whole day (baby is healthy and measuring right on track), and my daughter started swim lessons which is every evening for 2 1/2 weeks straight. Needless to say, I've been busy and exhausted! In between those events I had to take countless naps just to keep up. All of this is why I didn't get to post at all last week. I had to put my priorities first and spend quality family time. Which is what I hope all of you have been doing. :)

We are in the midst of about 4 projects all going on at the same time. Of course we've been super exhausted lately so it seems like they're taking forever to get finished. But what gets me excited to finish a project is having a deadline to meet. Otherwise I'm kind of in limbo and don't care too much about how long it takes to finish. We have scheduled a little get together in about 5 weeks at our house so now I'm all ready to get going on my growing to-do list.

Today I wanted to share a quick organizing project I did this past week. It was super easy and only took me about 10 minutes. I even did it while my kids were playing in the bathtub!

My bathroom drawer was starting to look a bit scary. Ok, it wasn't all that bad but it could have been better.

I'm pretty sure I picked up these organizers at IKEA. They are awesome. They connect together which helps them not to slip all over the place.

So I took everything out of the drawer and placed it all on the counter.

I also cleaned out the drawer because I may have had one million hairs a piece of hair in there.

Then I used my new organizing containers and began putting everything back in. Now everything has a place and it makes me smile every time I use this drawer.

Sometimes it's the little things that can make our day and the little things that keep us going.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

IKEA Malm Inspiration

In my recent Master Bedroom Update post, I showed you some of the changes going on in our master bedroom. It's about time I got my grown up room. :)

One of the changes is our new nightstands. We picked up two MALM three drawer nightstands when we were at IKEA last. They were on sale so I talked my Hubby into getting them!

I have seen the MALM series all over the internet and there are some pretty awesome things you can do with them. You can pretty much do a hack to any IKEA piece you want to change.

I wanted to share some inspiration pictures with you. Maybe you can help me decide which one to do because I love them all and can't make up my mind!

Here is what the MALM nightstand looks like right out of the box:

Pretty plain and simple. Now let's look at all the fun ways to change it up!

A quick coat of paint can do wonders for any furniture piece. And I am in love with these L brackets!
I am pretty obsessed with these knobs. You could even spray paint them a different color.



O'verlays are designed specifically to go on top of IKEA furniture. It really makes the piece look completely different and gives it so much character. You can spray paint the overlays to be any color you want. There are several pages of designs to choose from depending on which IKEA series you have.
To recap, here are some of the things you can do to make an IKEA piece of furniture look more custom made:
* Paint the whole piece one or two colors
* Do an ombre effect on the drawers
* Add knobs - there are so many to choose from!
* Add L brackets - spray paint these whatever color you like
* Add O'verlays - also spray paint these any color you want
* Use Washi Tape to give it some pattern or sparkle
* Use painters tape to make a pattern and paint the piece two different colors
Or you could do all of these! I am really having a hard time deciding so if you could leave me a comment and tell me your favorite or what you would do, I would appreciate it. :)