Big Boy Room Makeover

Hey Friends!

I’m ready for the big reveal! If you didn’t catch my last post {here} I am sharing my son’s big boy bedroom makeover with you today! I started the process by making a list of goals. Here’s a quick recap:

Problems:

  • His room was ALWAYS messy (queue the knowing nods of moms everywhere).
  • His small bedroom looked even smaller because of dark furniture.
  • He was outgrowing the themed elements of his room (because Lightning McQueen, tractors, and Ninja Turtles are only a passing phase.)

Solutions:

  1. Organize the chaos.
  2. Lighten up the dark accents.
  3. Simplify the “themed” elements of the room.

I already shared with you how I solved problem #2 with Rustoleum Chalk Paint (and a full review of that product can be found in my last post {here}). So with today’s post I want to share the full reveal and how I solved problems #1 and #3.

Get ready for it. Here’s the before. (Cover your eyes. Or don’t. Because then you can’t see how desperately I needed to fix this problem.)

Before Photo Big Boy Room www.graceinmyspace.com

BEFORE

Now here’s where I’m just going to stop myself. I know full well that cleaning all this junk  up (I mean….precious treasures) would solve problem #1. It is, after all, a complete mess. So I’m just going to say that his room could have been much nicer looking if I’d ONLY organized better instead of doing everything else I did. Organization does make a world of difference so if you are looking to make your space more inviting and less chaotic, then I would highly recommend simplifying, clearing out the clutter and trash, and investing in a good organization system. If nothing else, it is simple enough to stack things when you’re in a pinch. 😉

Here are a few more before photos for the full effect.

Before Side- Big Boy Room www.graceinmyspace.com

THEMED ELEMENTS EVERYWHERE

Before Table- Big Boy Room www.graceinmyspace.com

HE’S ALREADY STARTED TAGGING 😉

Before- Big Boy Room www.graceinmyspace.com

CHAOS AT ITS BEST

Ok, now let’s get down to it. Solutions!

PROBLEM #1: CHAOS

SOLUTIONS:

  • Remove extra un-necessary surfaces to collect clutter.

He did not need two side tables. So I simply added one to the garage sale pile and left the larger desk to serve as both a homework station and nightstand. I also removed the wall shelf above his desk because it visually cut the wall making it appear to be a smaller area. Plus, he has an entire wall dedicated to his Lego creations and one more shelf just meant that he wasn’t forced to choose his favorites to display, thus adding to the clutter.

After Wide Shot- Big Boy Room www.graceinmyspace.com

AFTER: DOWN A SIDE TABLE AND SHELF

  • Make better use of wall space.

Next, I chose to display his bulky treasures, like these guitars and lasoo, which were always taking up valuable storage space in his closet. This allowed me to add storage to his closet for smaller items by collecting things in baskets on his shelving system. Plus, he can now easily plunk on his guitars without knocking everything over getting them out of the closet! Score!

IG Photo Beddys Bed www.graceinmyspace.com

USE YOUR WALLS AS STORAGE

  • Get Beddy’s bedding!

This step was instrumental in organizing my son’s room. As you can see from the before photo, his bed was never made and he is a blanket hoarder. Seriously, the child never has less than three blankets laying all over his room and the novelty of making his bed wore off around the time that he figured out 25 cents isn’t very much chore money. So Beddy’s bedding was my solution!

Their bedding system works like a sleeping bag making it 100% easy peasy for my 6 year old to make his bed. Simply zip the sides down on either side, climb in and cover up for the night, and then zip it back up in the morning! The entire comforter fits like a fitted sheet ensuring that it won’t end up on the floor each morning. And, since I do love that my son loves a cozy blanket, we also went with the buffalo check bed mate for those cold winter nights.

He has had this bedding for several weeks now and I can honestly say that he loves making his bed now. He thinks he’s so cool to zip it up and be done. 🙂 My daughter even wants one because she wants to be cool like her big brother. Momma win!

If you’re interested, check out the Beddy’s products {here}. Owen has the Game On Gray comforter and Check Mate Blanket.

IG Photo www.graceinmyspace.com

BEDDY’S BEDDING FOR THE WIN!

  • Develop a system that works for your child.

My last step in the organizing process was to develop a system where he can keep his treasures without causing mommy to go crazy. My son LOVES art and every single project he does is his masterpiece. I don’t want to stifle that! But, let’s be honest. They aren’t all masterpieces. (Like that beautiful picture he drew on the back of the restaurant placemat that we had to bring home. With food stains on it.)

So we struck a deal! He gets to keep one masterpiece a week in his room. After the week is over he decides if it gets tossed or saved in our memory box. We shall see how this one goes. But I want to make him a part of keeping his living space tidy. Hopefully his future wife will appreciate this. 😉

 

After Lego Shelf- Big Boy Room www.graceinmyspace.com

DISPLAY ONLY FAVORITES

Problem #3: OUTGROWING THEMED ELEMENTS

SOLUTION: Streamline and simplify.

By making his decor more generic, removing the “baby” decor (As he called it. Apparently Lightning McQueen is now for babies…), and sticking with his lasting interests I was able to create a space that will hopefully grow with him for years to come.

He has had a great interest in planes for quite some time and my husband helps foster that with an interest of his own. So the plane decor stays because it means something to him and is more than just decor. It is a bonding experience for father and son. (PLUS, aren’t those vintage glider wings AMAZING? I can’t say I’m sad to keep that unique element. 😉 )

After- Big Boy Room www.graceinmyspace.com

STREAMLINED AND SIMPLIFIED

So there you have it folks! I also did a few other things in this space that I’ll quickly catalog:

  • Added some black elements to help ground and tie in the decor.
    • Spray painted the curtain rods black
    • Buffalo check pillow accents (which we already had)
    • Black globe to go with the around the world plane theme
  • Simplified the curtain situation. The other gray curtain were too long and frumpy for a boy’s bedroom. After a failed attempt to make my own roman shade 😦 I went with these blackout curtains from Amazon {here}. They are only $10 a panel so I’m counting that as a win.
  • I painted all of the furniture {sources in my last post HERE} and also sanded and re-stained his Lego display shelf to lighten it up but keep the wood element.

So, let’s have some before and after shots shall we?

 

 

 

 

So what do you think? What is your strategy for keeping kid’s rooms feeling cleaned up and put together?

IG Photo Guitars www.graceinmyspace.com

Be blessed my friends!

Sarah

{Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.  — Lady Bird Johnson}

Rustoleum Chalk Paint: A Review

Hello Friends!

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks working on revamping my son’s bedroom. He’s becoming a big boy (insert momma tears) and his room needed a bit of a refresh to a more sophisticated look. But let’s remember, he is only 6. So I was looking to accomplish three things with this revamp.

  1. Organize the chaos.
  2. Lighten up the dark accents.
  3. Simplify the “themed” elements of the room.

This is the before. Now, let’s remember that this is a judgement free blog. 😉 I literally snapped this photo out of the blue one day because this was my reality. Bed NEVER made. His “treasured” collections (a.k.a. random rocks, two second art projects that he considers Van Gogh’s, last year’s birthday balloons and chuck-e-cheese trinkets) scattered EVERYWHERE. Messy, messy, messy. It made my mom OCD go crazy every time I passed his room.

Before Photo Big Boy Room www.graceinmyspace.com

BEFORE

So I decided something must be done! And it all started with objective #2: lighten up the dark accents. His furniture is the same set we bought when he was born (can I get a hallelujah for convertible cribs?) and still works perfectly fine. So I figured I could just paint it! FYI- I really hate painting. Like, a lot. But it is an easy DIY and affordable so I went to work. And that is where this post comes in!

I’ve never before tried Chalk Paint. I know, I know. This has been around for some time now and that is why I am definitely not doing a tutorial for you. There are a ton of them out there already and mine would be subpar I’m sure. So instead I wanted to share a quick review on the brand I used: Rustoleum Chalked Ultra Matte Paint in Country Gray. (Side note: I started with Aged Gray, which is the lighter version of Country Gray. Be warned! Aged Gray is actually baby blue. Boo….)

81MiRbmyUVL._SL1500_

I wanted a medium true gray and I didn’t want to pay an arm and a leg for it or have to go “into the city” to find it. Because we live in a small town with very limited hardware store selection and no Home Depot. Which is a very sad thing in my opinion. 😦

Rustoleum Paint Review www.graceinmyspace.com

BEFORE + ONE COAT

So as you can see the wood is an engineered cherry wood finish. I did not want to sand this, hence the chalk paint. So I took the bed apart, with the help of my handsome hubby, and set up shop in the garage. On my card tables. Because isn’t that how all handy DIYers do it? 😉

Rustoleum Paint Review- Set Up www.graceinmyspace.com

AN EXPERT’S WORK STATION

I was highly doubtful that it would only require one coat to get the coverage that I needed like it claimed. Nothing EVER only takes one coat when it comes to painting. Hence why I hate painting. You have the painting, the waiting, the more waiting, the second coat, the waiting, the finish coat, the waiting…..you get the picture. I am impatient and that’s all it boils down to.

Rustoleum Paint Review- One Coat www.graceinmyspace.com

ONE COAT FINISHED

Above you can see the coverage after one coat. Now there are certain projects where a person may want a distressed look. If that is what I was going for then I could have stopped here and strategically sanded down areas to give it that look. But I have a feeling my son is going to distress this all on his own with everyday use. 🙂 So I wanted to give it a little more durability with a second coat.

Rustoleum Paint Review- Two Coats www.graceinmyspace.com

SECOND COAT FINISHED

As you can see, even after the second coat there were some spots that rubbed off. But I personally think that is because I was impatient and should have given it another hour to dry. Plus, I didn’t mind the few areas that rubbed, so I moved forward with the finish coat.

This is where I wavered on what to do. I really didn’t want to do another two coats of a top-coat. Because: Impatient. But I asked around on Instagram to some of my fabulous DIY friends and they assured me I would regret it if I didn’t. So I used Rustoleum Ultra Matte Chalked Top Coat. I added two coats of this for extra durability.

81YKqdzw6SL._SL1500_

And here is how I feel about the products I used. (Note: I’m not getting paid to review these. I didn’t get them for free and am not partnering with Rustoleum in any way. I just wanted to share my experience with you in case you’re also looking for a cheaper chalk paint option! However, I do earn a small commission if products are purchased using the affiliate links above to help this little blog keep a-goin’.)

PROS

  • Much cheaper than many other chalk paint options.
  • Sold in many stores and not hard to obtain. (I found mine in our local grocery store!)
  • Did stick VERY well on un-sanded furniture. And the angels rejoice!!
  • Only took two coats to cover a dark stain, whereas latex paint most likely would have taken three.
  • Leaves a nice finish that is not streaky with brush strokes.
  • Has a matte finish, which you typically want in furniture.
  • Cleans up well with water.
  • Easily sands for distressing if you prefer that shabby chic look.

CONS

  • Does not cover in one coat like it claims. But really, I didn’t expect it to.
  • Limited color options. This is not tintable so what the can shows is what you get! (Unless you buy Aged Gray, like I said above. In which case you get baby blue.)
  • You HAVE to do a top coat to ensure the durability of the paint. And most likely two top coats.
  • Top coat is very runny and can leave drip marks easily if you aren’t watching it closely.

So there you have it! My take on this brand of chalk paint. And now, drumroll please…..

IG Photo Beddys www.graceinmyspace.com

AFTER

Ta-da!! This is a little sneak peek of my son’s revamped room!! I LOVE how bright and airy it feels, even though I didn’t paint the walls. Removing all the dark furniture brightened it up so much. And on my next post, I’ll be sharing the full reveal. Including how I accomplished goal #1 and #3 above. And here’s a little hint, this gorgeous bedding has something to do with it. 😉

Be blessed friends! Until next time,

Sarah

{Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children. – Charles R. Swindoll}

Bamboo Flooring: An Honest Review

Hello friends!

Today I want to talk about bamboo flooring. Be VERY excited.

I’ve got two disclaimers for you right off the bat.

  1. I am NOT a flooring expert. I am just a SAHM who is sharing my own experience in my own home.
  2. I’m not planning to share any brands with you. Sorry! I don’t want to be a brand rep or a brand basher, depending on which pro or con you read. And that’s all I’ll say about that. 😉

So let’s get started, shall we? You may have noticed in my spring home tour that I have dark wood flooring. Bamboo flooring, to be exact. Well it stuck out to me in this photo below and after a friend asked me how I liked my flooring I thought, maybe other people would like to know too! And here we are. Talking about bamboo floors.

spring-home-tour-living-room-2017-graceinmyspace-com

After our house fire we had to very quickly decide what type of flooring we wanted in this space. And let me tell you, if there is ever a decision I DON’T want to be rushed into, it is the permanent flooring in our largest living space. BUT, I also didn’t want to be kept out of my house any longer than our 6 month remodel dictated. SO, after some quick shopping and mild deliberation, we decided to go with these bamboo wood floors.

We chose them for the following reasons:

  1. They were stated to have the highest durability rating. With trucks and scooters and dog nails we really wanted something that could hold up to our energetic family life.
  2. They were pretty.
  3. They were in our budget.

(Reasons 2 and 3 are really the most important, after all. ;)) Friends, I will never forget the moment they finished installing them and the woman who was polishing them up with a final cleaning looked at me and said, “Good luck keeping these beauties clean.” Why thank you woman that I don’t know. Thank you for completely deflating my otherwise happy demeanor.

But ya know what? She was RIGHT! She totally knew her stuff. (She just could have been nicer- just sayin.)

spring-home-tour-living-room-fireplace-2017-graceinmyspace-com

So here’s my qualms with my bamboo wood floors. And enough of the pretty pictures. Here comes some real life folks.

CONS

  • The are not, in fact, very durable. 😦 Imagine my dismay when the very first day we moved back into our house my son ran a small truck across the floor and left a huge scratch. We have scratches, we have gouges, we have little marks all OVER the place. In fact, I had to buy a 10×14 rug just to cover up the issues in our flooring from when we had a smaller rug that didn’t cover as much surface area.
  • They show EVERY SPEC of dust, dirt and dog hair. Not to mention dog footprints, footprints of kids with sweaty feet (I told you we were getting into real life) and drops of who knows what that comes from my kids.
  • You can’t refinish them. At least with real wood you have the option of sanding it down and re-staining. But with these, as you can see from the gouge picture above, the top layer of finished bamboo is very thin and not refinish-able.

I swear to you all, I am not a dirty person. Cross my heart. The pictures above were taken less than an hour after sweeping and vacuuming. You may be able to find a lighter finish but these dark ebony floors are my nemesis.

Now, just to be fair, I do have some pros for ya. I’m just not sure they outweigh the cons.

PROS

  • They shine up real nice. (I said that in my head like a lovable southern mama.) Before company comes over I have to mop for my own sanity. Otherwise I just sit there looking at all the smudges and dirt wondering if they think I’m a bad housekeeper.
  • They can get slightly wet. A lot of laminates and even solid wood floors can buckle if too much moisture is on them. These bamboo floors have held up nicely to a simple wet mop and everyday spills. Granted we’ve never had a flood or anything drastic. But I’m not really sure any type of flooring could stand up to that.
  • They are a bold addition to the home, stylistically. Many floors these days are tile, laminate, or carpet. All of which can be beautiful. But these tend to make a statement. And they are much more realistic (since they are real wood) than most laminates or even engineered wood flooring.
  • They are budget friendly. Compared to many types of floors, these were a decent price. On a scale of $ to $$$$ they would probably fall in the $$ range. Do you like that technical description?

So there you have it. If I had to do it all over again I would choose a lighter color wood. And go with real wood floors. Flooring is a long term product so a good investment is worthwhile if you plan to stay in your home for any length of time. But we are stuck with our decision for now, so I will continue to show Grace in my own home. Even with my dirty scratched up floors. 😉

I do have one quick tip! If you happen to struggle with the same issues I do with these types of dark floors, a good black sharpie works well as a scratch filler. Just mark it over the scratch or gouge and buff with a cloth or paper towel immediately after before it dries. It doesn’t completely cover it but it does work better than any scratch cover I’ve tried.

Anyone have any other tips you’d like to share?

Sarah

{I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us. Anne Lamott}

Bamboo Flooring_ An Honest Review

Removing Wallpaper the Eas(ier) Way

Hi Everyone!

Welcome to a new day and a new week! Today I wanted to get back to the in-law refresh series, Take 4! Part of the project included removing a half wall of wallpaper in their dining room. Let me tell you, I thought I was prepared for this. My mother has removed wallpaper in almost every house we’d ever lived in as a child. Which totaled over 20. (Military brat here! Though I’ve always hated that expression. I most certainly am no brat.) So I had my mom’s tried and true method in my back pocket. Queue the vinegar and water solution.

I will tell you now. You need not read any further. (But I hope you do!) It is all lies. At least, it was for this particular project. Here’s the real solution. Get a steamer. Rent, buy, borrow, steal, (I mean, obtain) a steamer in any way humanly possible. It will still be a tedious project, but at least it will be bearable. Now that I’ve told you the easier way to remove wallpaper, feel free to keep reading if you’d like to learn a bit more about my experience as well as a few techniques.

wallpaper 3

Before: Needing Some Updating

 

I started out awesome. I used the vinegar and water solution method by first scoring the wallpaper with a putty knife and then soaking the paper with the solution. You are supposed to score it so the liquid can get behind the paper and loosen it from the wall. Then you wait 15-20 minutes until it is good and soaked in and use the putty knife to scrape it away from the wall. If you are removing vinyl paper, you should first take off the top layer and then use the knife to scrape off the backing.

So, like I said, I started out amazing. My dear friend Janelle was with me and after the first section fell off without a hitch we celebrated. She gave me a little cheer. My father in law hoorayed from the other room. Even the guy laying the wood floor in the front room shared his relief. I thought to myself, “I’ve got this. An hour tops and I’ll be done.”

Whoa nelly, was I ever wrong. So there I was in my ignorant bliss of what was to come and I dove into the next section with gusto and a light heart as I soaked the paper and scored away. I waited a bit and started to peel back what I expected to be an entire section of paper.

That is when the walls came crashing down around me. There may have been weeping and gnashing of teeth. My hopes were decimated as a section of paper about 1 mm x 1 mm tore away from the wall. You may think I’m exaggerating. Ok, maybe it was 1 cm x 1 cm. Either way, it was a horrible realization that I just plain got lucky with that first sheet. You could practically hear the groans throughout the house as people realized what was in store for me.

But, what else was there to do but press on? So on I went with this so called “tried and true” method as my fingers numbed from peeling off such small sections of paper. I think the next section (of a half wall, may I remind you) took about an hour. For one section. That is when the contractor lent me his heat gun to help release the glue from the wall. I mean, come on! What did they use when they put this on? Superglue? So I kept at it for a bit longer when the contractor mentions he has a steamer at home.

I’m pretty sure I just stared at him. Like, seriously? You have a steamer within 5 minutes of here and I am not using it right now? He offered to go get it and I practically hugged him. Thank you Mr. Contractor! You are my new hero.

Once he returned with my life-saver it took a little bit of getting used to, but it was the sweetest moment when that first sheet peeled away whole. I didn’t know I could get emotional over wallpaper, but I was close. Here is my discovered method that made life much easier.

  1. Make sure you have a towel handy to catch the water drips. You also may want a glove if you have a tendency to daydream like I do and aren’t watching the steam closely. Otherwise, you will burn your hand. Multiple times.
  2. I tried a few different ways of applying the steam. The winner was to start at the bottom of the wall and let the steam rise.
  3. Place the steamer wand (Is that what you call it? For now, it is.) near your baseboard as close as possible to a far side of the paper and hold it in one spot for 10-15 seconds. Then move horizontally along the section of wallpaper until you reach the seam. Do this repeatedly as you rise up the section of paper about a foot.
  4. At this point, you should peel up one corner from the bottom and pull the paper slowly as you are using your other hand to guide the steamer up as you peel. Go as far up the section as you have already steamed.
  5. Start the process all over again! From the point where you stopped pulling the paper off, start steaming again in small sections as you go over horizontally first and then up another foot or so. And then continue pulling.

The trick is to use the steam as you pull to continue to loosen it from the wall in big sections. If you pull too fast, don’t apply the steam long enough, or wait too long to pull it off after you’ve steamed it, then it won’t come off as easy. You will really want to get into a rhythm of steaming, pulling, steaming, pulling….until you’ve removed the whole section.

wallpaper 4

Getting There!

Now, I’m not saying I didn’t have to scrape any sections off that didn’t tear. I still had to go back every now and then to get some stragglers that didn’t stick with the group. But they were few and far between and MUCH easier to get off since they were so soaked with steam ahead of time.

So there you have it! Keep at it. Pick a day when you have LOTS of time and patience. And eventually your wall will be ready to repair and paint! Make sure to patch up any spots where the removal process took away the under layers making the wall rough. You want it to be as smooth as possible before painting.

Up next, the big reveal!

Wallpaper 1

Patched and Painted!

wallpaper 2

SO much cleaner.

{May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.- 2 Peter 1:2}

Blessings!

~Sarah

Removing Wallpaper Pinterest

Whitewashing Brick: In-Law Refresh Take 3

Hello All!

This has been a busy and fun week doing some small projects and getting to be outdoors enjoying the beauty that spring brings. I’m glad to finally feel some warmth out there. It has been a LOOONNGG winter my friends.

Today I wanted to get back to my In-Law Refresh series. I am done helping my in-laws redo the first two rooms on the list and today I wanted to highlight my first experience in whitewashing brick.

Let me just begin by saying that this was a first for me. I did some research. I read some blogs. I particularly enjoyed Cleverly Inspired’s post from way back when because she is simple and sweet and to the point. (Thank you Tracie!) And then, I went to work and did my own thing anyway. I seem to do that a lot. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. Meh. Life has a way of working out. Like in this project!

So here is the beast of a fireplace that I tackled.

IMG_1044 2

See that beautiful mantle? Yeah, me neither. That is because everything is brown! This dark dark brick made it so hard for the mantle to be the stunner that it actually is. Solution: lighten and brighten.

I think my MIL was hesitant when I told her I wanted to paint the fireplace. She definitely wanted to keep some of the color. So I suggested a whitewash. In my mind, I was thinking this would be the final product. I love how the brick shows through!

our coastal farmhouse

Photo Cred: Our Coastal Farmhouse

But do you know what my in-laws don’t have? They don’t have red brick. They have brown brick my friends. Very brown. So let’s just say, there were moments of panic in the process. But before I get to that, I’ll share what my process actually was.

  1. Gather supplies. I know, this is always obvious. But necessary. For this particular project I used:
    • Leftover white paint from another project
    • A small disposable plastic tub to mix the paint
    • Water
    • Old brush (Don’t use a new one! The brick will destroy the bristles. And you don’t need a smooth finish so an old brush is fine.)
    • Rags or paper towels
    • Drop cloths to protect the area
  2. Clean the brick off well.
  3. Cover the mantle VERY well. The paint is going to be a drippy mess so I didn’t want to splatter on that pretty wood. (If you need to, also cover furniture and flooring. I was grateful to be surrounded by carpet that was about to be ripped out so I didn’t have to worry about it. Score!)
  4. Make your paint mixture. Now here is where I just started doing my own thing. I read a few blogs that said to do 50/50 water/paint, 70/30 water/paint, 40/60 water/paint. Do you see a theme? Everyone does something different with varying results. So I started with a 50/50 mixture and it looked like cloudy water. I just thought that it wouldn’t cover any of the brown brick. So I added a dollop or two more of paint until I thought it looked better. Trial and error my friends.

Now I was ready to start applying. Everything I read said to brush on a layer of paint and then blot with a rag to remove some of the liquid. So that is what I did. And I got about halfway down from the ceiling and started to have heart palpitations. And not like, my heart is going pitter patter over this project. But the kind where I’m thinking about breathing into a brown paper bag.

IMG_1050

Now, unfortunately this picture just doesn’t show it well. But I’m telling you, that top half looked PURPLE in real life. Like a dark plum. The way the brown was coming through the paint mixture just was not working for me. But I remembered a few other bloggers saying they also had panic attacks after the first coat so I kept going. What else was I to do? I can’t very well keep half of it purple. Prayer and pressing on was the only logical thing to do.

Here it is after the first coat was complete.

first coat

Still much too much brown showing through for me. So I adjusted my method. Instead of dabbing with the rag to remove some of the paint, I just brushed it on and left it. The brick really soaks a lot of the paint up. And I did not want to do a third coat. So applying a thicker layer sounded logical to me. And it worked! Here it is after the second coat on the bench area. The top half still had only one coat. See the difference? (Sorry, the picture is a bit blurry. Better pictures below!)

second coat

I waited a day before deciding if I wanted to do a third coat or not to make sure the brick was done absorbing what I had applied. And I was satisfied with the results. Now that mantle pops out, it brightens the room significantly, and it looks more like stone than brick. Amazing what a little paint can do! What do you think of the final product?

Completed ceilingwhitewash headerMantle

Anyone else have a tried and true method to share?

{I will hold myself to a standard of Grace. Not perfection. – Emily Ley}

whitewashing brick pinterest

Entryway Mini Makeover

Afternoon Friends!

Today I wanted to debut my first mini makeover in my own home. Last week I scored a beautiful old window from a little boutique in my neck of the woods and I could hardly wait to put it up. There is nothing that says character like an old window. Am I right?

And, by the way, I did this entire makeover for $30. Which happens to be the cost of the window. I used other decor that already existed in the entryway and swapped in some things from around the house to spice it up. And the other item that I LOVE is the new coat rack which was a birthday gift from my lovely mom. Thankfully she didn’t make me wait to get it until my actual birthday a month from now! Isn’t she the best?

So here is a before photo. Blah, right? I mean, I guess it has been functional. But it was not balanced with the other side of the entryway. And I’ve just never been in love with it. And ignore the messy playroom I forgot to crop out. 😉

Once I got that one special piece of decor that solved my problem I was good to go. Here’s my process.

Step #1: Gather supplies, take everything down and prep the walls. Nothing says ugly like dirty walls with nail holes that haven’t been properly fixed.

I always like to spackle nail holes right away so it can dry while I do everything else. That way I have time to also paint the spackled holes. You see, I don’t like to wait and do things in shifts. I am not the kind of person that allows a small project like this extend itself over more than 3 hours. So the drying time ends up being a problem for me. That is why I get it done early and with any luck it will be ready to go by the time I’ve gathered materials and decided my layout for the different items I’m planning to hang.

Step # 2: Clean! If your decor includes an old window like mine you will need to get the grime off. I don’t tend to go buy special things for these types of projects. I didn’t have wood cleaner so I used the next best thing. Murphy’s Oil Soap for my hardwood floors. The floors are wood. The window is wood. I’m sure it will work.

Before I used the good stuff, I first vacuumed off the cob webs (yuck) and wiped down the window with a wet rag. Tip: Don’t use wet paper towels! I’ve done this before and they leave little white particles everywhere. You want to make sure and use a rag that is lint free. I just happened to have my kids’ old wash cloths on hand and they did the trick. After the initial cleaning, I brightened up the wood with the soap. Good as new! Except with all the chippy goodness of an old window.

(Side note: If you don’t like the beautiful wood patina to show through you can opt to paint your window. But beware, that is a project in and of itself. Also, if your window was painted instead of stained, make sure there are no little hands around to snatch the paint chips off the floor when you are cleaning the window. Old paint typically equals lead paint. And that is a no-no.)

 

Step #3: Lay out the pieces you have for the wall that need to be hung. You don’t want to get one piece up first and then find out you don’t have room for the other things you wanted to use.

Entryway project

Step #4: Get to work! Make sure you have the right type of hardware to hang your decor. My window happened to be fairly heavy so I used some strong and long drywall screws and put one in each corner. If you go that route, just make sure not to put the screw too close to the glass. Breaking glass is never a good way to end a project.

And RULE #1 of using screws! DON’T grab the screw head of the screw you just majorly stripped out. It will be HOT. And your fingers will be branded just like mine were. See that white? It isn’t paint. It is my seared skin. I’ve learned my lesson. Don’t make the same mistakes I did please.

DSC_0687

Step #5: Get to decorating! One everything that requires hanging is up it is time for the fun part. Making plain jane decor come to life is all about layering. And texture. And contrast. And just loving the pieces you include. Someone else might not love it. But that’s ok. If you love it, put it up. It is your home after all!

I wanted to add some natural elements and greenery. What better way than with a boxwood wreath. I love them. And they are expensive. So if you ever come across one that is cheap snatch it up! I also wanted to get another wood element in there and so I hung my CUTE “Give Thanks” wood tags up. Normally, those would be fall decor because of Thanksgiving. But, my house, my rules. So out they came. And every wall can use a little black so my chalk plaque stays as well. I bought it with the “hello” already written on it and haven’t changed it since. Add in some textiles with throw pillows and you have yourself an entryway. What do you think?

entryway project4Entryway project 3entryway project2

entryway final product

Isn’t the balance so much better?

Hope you have success finding that one piece that will MAKE your entryway!

{Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.- Philippians 4:8}

Entryway project Pinterest

Painting Pop Corn Ceilings: In-Law Refresh Take 2

Today I want to talk about the first step I took in refreshing my in-law’s home. Painting the popcorn ceiling. I thought it was the logical first step of a big project because I didn’t want to splatter paint all over freshly painted walls or newly installed wood floors. But before I get into the details, here is the list of items I decided to tackle in this project. No doubt many of these things will be posts to come.

  • Paint front room ceiling
  • Paint walls of front room
  • Paint baseboards and window trim in front room
  • Whitewash brick fireplace
  • Decorate front room with new furniture and some new decor
  • Remove wallpaper in dining room
  • Paint dining room walls
  • Decorate dining room with some new decor

Now that you have the plan, here’s what actually went down. See all those white spots on the cream ceiling? Those are touch up spots from over the years. Along with those were a smattering of stains as you’d typically see in an older house. That is why it was a must to paint the ceiling. No amount of “prettying” up the rest of the room would help if the ceiling was still all out of whack.

inlaw refresh

So there are several steps to this process. Here we go.

  1. Buy your paint. Yes, I know this is pretty obvious. But the kind of paint you get will make a difference. I bought Zinsser Alkyd Enamel Ceiling Bright White Flat Water-Based Enamel Interior Paint and Primer in One. And no, I am not being paid to promote this product. Though, I wouldn’t refuse it if they offered! But this paint really was awesome. It made a huge difference after the first coat so I could actually see where I needed to paint vs. where I already had since it goes on pink and dries white.
  2. Gather your supplies. A good large nap roller with an extender pole is a must. That way you can paint from the floor instead of moving a ladder around. Plus, your neck with thank you. You will also need a brush for edging and the paint tray/liner combo.
  3. Cover all of your pretties. Paint WILL SPLATTER. So make sure you are good and protected from it on anything you don’t want to ruin.
  4. Grab a hat and protective eye gear so you don’t have white hair and blind eyes after the job is done. You’re welcome.

Once you have everything on hand, get to painting! Here is where my experience took a turn for the worse. (For some reason I chose to roll first instead of trimming. I had thought that I might not need to trim since I was going to paint the walls later. However, the roller just didn’t get close enough to the edge. So I ended up having to trim it out after the first coat. My recommendation would be to trim first. That is how I usually do it and I just find it easier because it helps guide the roller so you are aware of your boundaries.)

So I started rolling on the paint after first cleaning off the ceiling cobwebs in the corners with a broom. At first I was excited. I thought it just might cover in one coat. Then I started to notice that what I had at first thought was paint speckles hitting my glasses became much larger chunks. Not chunks of paint. Chunks of the popcorn. I took off my glasses so I could see more clearly and noticed large gaps in the popcorn “pattern” where I had rolled. Then I inspected my roller to find those pesky little popcorn pieces embedded in the roller.

AHHHHH! Apparently the moisture from the paint was causing the old popcorn texture to release from the drywall. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of this catastrophe because I was so distraught over my dilemma. Instead of snapping a picture, I texted my husband an S.O.S. The popcorn was coming off in chunks….and I was certainly not planning to de-popcorn said ceiling. That would add a whole other level of difficulty and time to my project. The hubby sympathized but had little advice. So, I did what I always do. I just kept going.

After the first coat I waited a day and prayed to the Good Lord that a second coat would hide the flaws in the ceiling and wouldn’t result in more popcorn falling from the sky. After the first pass of the roller I heaved a sigh of relief. The first coat of paint seemed to have sealed in the texture. This is where having that pink paint made a world of difference. The first coat going from cream to white was pretty easy to see where I needed to paint. But going from white to white was much harder to tell where I was missing spots. Pink paint to the rescue. I only had to do one more coat and voila. It was a think of beauty. Crisp white, clean, and fresh.

 

Completed ceiling close up

The moral of the story? When all else fails, just keep going. Up next, the process for whitewashing this beauty peeking out above!

{Beauty without grace is the hook without the bait.- Ralph Waldo Emerson}

Popcorn ceilings tips and tricks

In-Law Home Refresh: Take 1

Afternoon ya’ll!

No, I’m not from Texas. But I have southern roots and every now and then it just comes out and my fellow mid-westerners give me funny looks. That’s ok. We all have our quirks.

Today I wanted to start a series following the progress of my in-laws “refresh.” I’m not going to call it a remodel because I’m not tearing down walls. And in my mind, wall demolition is required to be considered a remodel.

So a few months ago my precious father in law asked if I would consider helping my mother in law redecorate one room in their house. What I will call, the front room, as they so lovingly call it. Now let me stop right there and say that for some people, decorating anything with their mother in law sounds down right horrid. But not for me! I have been blessed with a saint of a mother in law. She doesn’t meddle. She doesn’t nag. She doesn’t judge. She babysits for free. She prays for my family. She is a hospice nurse. There, enough said. It takes a special someone to give care to those passing from this world.

11986477_10207896274384092_820811191431643845_n_Fotor

There she is! With my FIL and kiddos. Isn’t she lovely?

Now, I don’t say all this to brag. And no, I don’t even think my MIL knows I have a blog yet, so I’m not brown nosing. I just say this to say that the idea of redoing a room with my mother in law was not something I groaned about. In fact, I did the exact opposite. I jumped for joy, agreed without hesitation, and then promptly went home and created a Pinterest board just for the occasion. We all need a little inspiration, right?

My husband laughed as I outlined all my plans. And then I realized that they had asked me to help with the FRONT ROOM. And my plans detailed changes I would make not only in that room, but also the dining room, entryway, hallway, and family room. They are all connected, so in my mind that just meant they all needed to be freshened up.

Here’s the problem. I tend to take on more than I bargain for. So I had a little chat with the in-laws, laid out my ideas, and they agreed to start with two rooms. The front room as planned, as well as the dining room. Ok. Got it. I can reign in my ideas and go slow. I then proceeded to offer to do all of the work in 10 days so I could surprise my MIL with a completed project when she got home from a medical missions trip to Guyana. (I told you-amazing.)

So there you have it! I’m committed. Let the wallpaper removal begin. Stay tuned for progress updates!

As a little teaser, here are a couple of front room BEFORE PHOTOS:

{“Grace, then, is grace,–that is to say, it is sovereign, it is free, it is sure, it is unconditional, and it is everlasting.” ~ Alexander Whyte}

Update: The project is done! If you are interested in following along with the process click below.

Painting Popcorn Ceilings