About Me

Hi, I’m Brittany (aka Pretty Handy Girl).

Makita Girls | Pretty Handy GirlI am a licensed general contractor, artist, graphic designer, web designer, photographer and lover of doing everything myself.

I’m so excited that you found my blog. This site is for anyone who wishes they were handy and could make their own repairs, upgrades or become a true do-it-yourselfer. I write detailed tutorials (about home improvement, home repair, decor, craft and sewing) to help DIYers over the newbie hump.  This blog is my way of sharing and empowering others to tackle their own project.

About me

I grew up in Northern Virginia, the oldest of three daughters. My parents added onto our home three times during my childhood. During renovations, my mom and dad let me swing hammers and “help” them build. They instilled in me a belief that I could do anything a boy could do — if not better.

How I Re-Built My Own Kitchen (after a leak) | Pretty Handy GirlFifteen years ago my husband and I bought our first house in Raleigh, NC and I learned how to fix things  — one broken toilet at a time. In 2003, a leaky pipe turned into a major kitchen renovation. We fired the contractors and I took over the task of building back our kitchen from bare studs by myself.

Over the years I’ve amassed quite a few power tools. I enjoy the surprised look on faces when I explain that they are actually my power tools and I don’t usually let my husband (affectionately referred to as Pretty Handsome Guy) touch them.

Want to know more about me? Read this post filled with oodles of mundane facts about the girl behind the blog.

A wish to empower

My mantra is that if someone can do it, then there is a 95% chance that I can do it too! As a woman, I refuse to bow to the stereotypes that women aren’t handy. Please join me on my DIY journey as I show you some of the accomplishments and pitfalls of doing it yourself!

I love to hear from my readers 
I enjoy answering questions, comments or getting feedback! I love getting random sweet notes in my inbox letting me know if I’ve encouraged you. Please, feel free to email me at: PrettyHandyGirl (at) gmail.com *Remove the (at) and replace it with the @ symbol.

Brand Awareness Campaigns

I DO NOT ACCEPT PAYMENT FOR LINKS. I DO NOT ACCEPT GUEST POSTS. I WON’T PUT YOUR LINK ON MY BLOG FOR FREE. Are you still reading? Do you want your product mentioned on my blog? Great! Let me ask you a few questions first. Is it DIY or home related? Can I write a valuable post or tutorial around your product? Do you have a budget for sponsored posts? If the answer to all of these is YES, feel free to contact my agent:  whileyouwriteagent (at) gmail.com.

Please forgive me if it takes a few days to respond to your email. Being the owner of two businesses, this blog, and running after my two boys keeps me “pretty” busy.

You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+.



  1. I need to update/fix/paint my home so badly and have little fundage to so! I happened on your Kreg jig post and came to see what you’re all about. This blog is what I have needed for a long time because even though I am a visual/manual/handy person, I have been paralyzed by my perfection gene so rarely start. I’m going to buy a jig and try to just start doing something, anything. I have many of the tools you list because my folks left them to me, so why am I waiting?!

  2. Wow! I am so glad I found this blog. I am a wife and mother of two rambunctious boys. My husband and I just bought a new home, and I am so excited to finally try some do-it-yourself-projects of my own. I, like Brittany was raised that girls can do almost anything the boys can do and better. My husband thinks I’m nuts and I need this blog to “shut him up.” I can be a do-it-yourselfer! I look forward to this blog helping me create some beautiful projects…….Wish me luck, from your soon to be Texas Handy Girl.

    • Sanetra,

      Welcome and so glad you found the blog. And so nice to meet another handy girl! 😉 You don’t need any luck, just the confidence. Don’t let fear of the unknown hold you back. Remember, “If a Human Being can do it, then there is a 95% chance you can do it too!”

  3. Elizabeth Zimmerman says:

    Hi Brittany…I am so glad I found your blog.. My husband and I are updating our living room. We removed old gold wall paper..eww…and painted the walls a pretty shade of blue. Our old, red brick fireplace needs some help..I think I am going to try your method..Looks like fun and inexpensive..I am kind of nervous, as he wanted to put granite down and around, and I am not a granite person, and the house isn’t a granite kind of abode..so, I am sort of in charge of this project. He is usually the leader, as he can to anything, plumbing, drywall, electrical..I am so blessed..We gutted our master bath last year and it’s amazing what that man of mine can do..so I will be referring back to your page, and will probably be throwing some questions at you…Has anyone done this with unpainted red bricks that you know of? Thanks so much..

  4. Hi Brittany,
    great blog! I need to create a display for my bottles of olive oils and balsamic vianegar in our new cage at the Borough Market (London) my idea is to have display which looks quite old in whiteish, could you suggest any materials, paint, technique please, is something that you could engange perhaps?
    Thanks in advance for your valuable tips

  5. Hi Brittany,

    I love your blog! You have such great ideas…you really are handy! : ) This may have been posted somewhere on your blog already, but I can’t seem to find it. Do you happen to know the name of the paint your home is painted? I love it… we have about 5 big swatches painted on our house right now and I just can’t decide! I would love to know what color yours is if you still have the name on hand. Thanks!!!


  6. Hi Brittany,

    Fantastic Blog! I’ve been thinking about starting a blog myself with all the DIY stuff I do to help other women get over their fear of DIY. When you mentioned that the tools were your and you husband wasn’t allowed to use them I laughed out loud! That’s the same in my house. Guys will be like “hey nice table saw” and I’m like, “no, it’s MY table saw!!!” I grew up with a father who was very talented. He was a home builder, cabinet maker, sculpter, painter and musician…but he never taught us anything. He didn’t want anyone touching his tools. So I guess I inherited this desire to create, improve. Some people think I’m never happy, because I’m always looking for somehting new to do. I have the ability to see in my mind how something should be done. My next big project I want to do is to build a rather large hutch for my foyer with my Kreg Jig. My husband doesn’t want me to do it, he says he doesn’t have the skill. I told him that was fine, because I had confidence in mine! Maybe I’ll document the entire process and start my blog there – not that I have any idea how to start one, but it’s a thought. Thanks for the great job you do. I have done many of the projects you have done. I love the changing out the plug post. It’s amazing what a new plug can do for a room!!


  7. OMGosh! Thank you soooo much for taking the time to blog the tutorials. It’s nice to be able to double-check that I’m doing a project correctly and/or learn how to do something I never DARED before. . . like beating up my furniture! LOVE IT!!!!

    Now, to learn how to use a jig saw. . . . .

  8. Love your blog! It’s always fun to stumble upon another local blogger!

    Mary Ellen
    The Working Home Keeper

  9. I have been divorced for about a year and was left with no tools. Can you recommend a list of must have tools and the order in which you would acquire them. Money is tight so learning to do most of the home improvements is pretty important to me.
    I too have conquered replacing the entire working of the toilet and with that being done I am considering redoing my concrete slab flooring with bamboo plank flooring. Could you give me some advice, a list of tools, difficulty level and whether or not you think a first time woodworker could do this project.

  10. I’m a single mother and have been living in my home for 20 years and fear has definitely held me back. My house is still the same as when I moved in 20 years ago and I’m sooooooo tired of asking my ex-husband for help. I just replaced my front entry door and it’s black. I love it, but it’s so nice it makes the rest of my house look very old and drab. I was thinking about painting my interior doors and trim black. Do you think that would be too much? Would it be better to paint them white? My glass door has white trim. I just finished painting my son’s room and it took me forever because I was so afraid it wouldn’t be perfect, but I got over it and went for it and it turned out great. Now I’m on a roll :) and would like to take on another project. What do you think – black or white???

  11. Hi, Just happened on this website trying to paint new solid panel interior doors. I primed them with a brush panels first but do I roll the whole thing with primer too or wait til they dry and just roll the paint on? Thank you.

  12. Hi,
    Yes, they are bare and I put latex primer on the panels with a 2″ angled brush then took small paint roller and did the whole door, What type of paint should I use over the primer and do I need 2 coats of paint over the primer?

    Thanks again.

  13. Howdy, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one
    and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam remarks?
    If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything you can recommend?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any support is very much appreciated.

  14. Soooo glad to have found you. Love your blog and your tutorials. Thanks for sharing x

  15. Hello I am so happy I found your site, I really found you by accident, while I was browsing on Google for something
    else, Anyways I am here now and would just like to say thanks a lot for
    a marvelous post and a all round enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design),
    I don’t have time to look over it all at the minute but I have saved it and also added
    in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back
    to read a lot more, Please do keep up the excellent work.

  16. What a fantastic concept for a website! Thank you so much for this. I love how you talk about “empowering” people, because that hits the issue right on the nose. I was never involved in my dad’s handywork and was expected to stay out of the way, even though he let my male cousin join in. Now I’m in my 30’s and I’m asking my boyfriend to hammer a nail into the wall to hang a picture because I can’t even do that myself. I want to shed the learned helplessness and be empowered to do these things on my own.

    This is so awesome. You are my hero!

  17. Brittany, am glad to hear everyone is okay. Praise God for watching over your family! and you are so right, material things can always be fixed or replaced, lives cannot! We thank God and we praise Him for bringing everyone safely through the storm. We serve an awesome God! Hang in there, the worst has passed!

  18. Looking for someone like you and/or an interior designer to work with in Raleigh area. Not interested in buying a lot new but more of tweak what I have and accent with new. Hard to find good help with my budget in mind! I am new to area so thought I might ask you.

    • Lisa, I have two good friends in the area that I can refer you to. I think I already emailed you privately (forgive my scatterbrain.) If not, email me back and I’ll hook you up ;-).

  19. Heather C. says:

    This is awesome. I just stumbled upon your website and I love it. I am a single mom with no real support system, and too much pride to ask a neighbor for help. Can you give me some tips or ideas on if I can remove the “wall” above my kitchen cabinets? It is blocked off and I was wondering if I can cut that drywall out and open it up so I can put plants or collectibles up there ? (Aren’t most upper cabinets attached to the wall studs rather than ceiling joists?) Thanks!
    Heather :)

  20. Your blog was just what I needed when I went to replace of three of those ugly Hollywood light bars in our master bath with a set of much nicer lights. I was quickly able to remove the bars and then it was time for sanding and painting :). Great blog and good on you for helping to break down the stereotype that woman can’t use power tools!

  21. Dear Brittany, Thank you for your reply, regarding contact paper. I wiped down the surface and made sure they were very dry and re-applied the contact paper and it sticks much better.

    Sincerely yours
    Karen from Califorina

  22. Hi there! I was just wondering if I could use your picture of the nickel and glass saucer light you said you bought off craigslist? I have the exact same one and want to sell it. You’re picture is better than the one I have of it sitting on the floor, lol.

  23. I just wanted to say your website is great, we just bought our first home a few months ago and there are many projects we have to undertake ourselves. Your tutorials are great! Keep it up!

  24. this is awesome! are you still in no va? do you offer any in person classes? thanks! Roby

  25. Hi, Brittany!

    Just came across your blog today, and WOW! I love it!

    Just wanted to let you know I’ve linked to your site from my blog, which is the link I’ve provided.


  26. I would like some advise on how to keep all the various tools in good working condition. Drills, hammers, ect. Both the hand tools and the electrical ones.

  27. Vince Stalteri says:

    Hi Brittany and All,

    I love this blog and the power it gives women to be able to do what they want because they can!

    I am doing some research about powerful women such as all on this blog and would love it if I could use your voice to drive my research.

    please email at v.stalteri1@gmail.com me if you would be interested in being a part of this online focus group or taking a quick survey.

    Keep it up ladies!

  28. In the Spring 2015 Do it yourself. we loved the kitchen. What color paints did you use on the cabinets that was on page 106?

  29. What color paint did you use on the kitchen cabinets in the Spring 2015 Do it yourself magazine.

  30. Morning! Love your blog. Question about rooting clippings. What do I do if I am on vacation and not at home with rooting mixture, baggies, rooting soil, etc. Sometimes I see a beautiful plant just begging for me to take a snip. What do I do with the clipping then? Thank you. Marianne

    • Marianne, maybe wrap the stem in a wet paper towel or peat moss and bring it in a ziploc bag home. Although, technically you aren’t really supposed to bring plants across state lines. And you may get some questions from airport security. 😉

  31. Great Blog, Im making a canvas bag and finding difficulties with the stitching over canvas and the zipper. What needle size and thread are you using ?


  32. All inquiries about advertising can be answered here: http://www.prettyhandygirl.com/disclosure/

  33. I just stumbled upon your blog and must say I love your ingenuity and sense of humor. I shall return.

  34. Hi! I have this not so lovely counter top. Formica I believe, can’t take it any more, any ideas on something to resurface them and not to expensive and durable? They are the color, some where in between yellowish, not quite gold tone.. Help


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