Sunday, January 29, 2012

Desk Do Over with Chalk Paint

I'm on a bit of a painting kick right now, trying different techniques in re-finishing projects and such.

Today I wanted to share my first attempt at refinishing furniture by making my own chalk paint. The great thing about chalk paint I heard is you don't have to sand or strip the projects before painting, saving lots of hard work. Sign me up for this short cut!

So I snatched up this old desk on Craigslist for $20 and went to work...literally-if you know me, you know I went to work right away and didn't want to stop until I had a finished project but it RAINED which was so frustrating! Anyway, it did eventually get done but here is where we started. UG - ly!

Keep in mind when selecting peices to re-finish that you want a solid wood piece -not veneer - that is still in functioning condition (i.e. drawers open easily etc.).

I started by mixin' up a batch of DIY chalkpaint...2 parts paint ( I went with Valspar in "Man Cave" greyish color) and 1 part Paris of Plaster. Mix REALLY well so you don't get chalky white blobs when you start plaint. It will be thick and almost looks like rising dough - very airy & fluffy. Then get started painting...

This chalkpaint is so thick that it covers well in 2 coats and dries to a chalky matte finish. I let mine dry over night and then went to work sanding using a combination of our electric palm sander and 120 grit regular sand paper for the more detailed areas.

The chalkpaint worked like a dream for the distressed, slightly chippy finish I was going for! It exposed the wood along the creases and on the leg details. For my piece, the wood originally was a light Oak stain and I wanted something darker so I coated the piece with a Mahogony stain to get the darker wood look.

Lastly, I wanted a slightly shiney finish so I decided to have the hubs seal with a layer of Shellac.
(I don't have the patients required for spray painting anything yet!)

Here is what she looks like...sans handles which are still being painted.

Overall, I loved the experience of working with the chalkpaint and look forward to re-doing more Craigslist finds!
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Thursday, January 19, 2012

"Super sized" Ruler...a.k.a. Growth Chart

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So I've been inspired by a smattering of growth charts pinned on Pinterest. I had an "I can do that" moment so... I did! I took 8" wide pine board and transformed them into these keepsake growth charts I can measure my kiddo on each year, month etc.

This is such a better alternative to marking on a wall or door jam that is forever bound to a home that you may move from. I love it! I also love that it was a simple project - some stain, paint pen & stencils and in about an hour you can whip one up too. Here is my first version:

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For this second version I wanted something old looking, chippy paint - the junkier, the better was my thought on this one. So I stained & painted and sanded until it looked like this.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Addicted to Pinterest

Like the rest of the crafty world I am now totally addicted to Pinterest. This is a fabulous site full of ideas & inspiration on any topic you can think of!

I am using it for gathering future party ideas like this circus themed party from

I also of course love all the DIY projects ideas like these dollar store tiered trays from

There are also great gift ideas for teachers, family & friends! I've also made reading lists and pinned about vacations I'm dreaming of. It's also a great way to find amazing little blogs from all around the world who are interested in the same things I am intereted in.

Anyway, I'd love for you to follow me...and share your Pinterest link so I can check out what you are pinning too. Follow me here:
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