Galvanized Tub Storage Bench with Furry Upholstered Lid {Lowe’s Creator Idea}

Galvanized Tub Storage Bench for Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Galvanized Tub Storage Bench for Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Every month Lowe’s challenges me to create another unique project to share with you. This month’s challenge was creative storage ideas. Have kids? This is a unique storage solution using a galvanized tub and a furry upholstered lid. It’s the perfect place to store and corral all that kid clutter in your child’s bedroom. The storage tub doubles as a bench and a step stool. Don’t be deterred if you don’t have children, the storage bench could be used for magazine storage and much more!

Grab these materials and tools and follow along with me (and my 13 year old assistant.)

Creating the Galvanized Storage Bench and Lid

Materials for the Galvanized Storage Tub and Lid:

Galvanized Tub Storage Bench for Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

 

Instructions:

Turn the galvanized tub upside down on the plywood. Use the sharpie to mark approximately 1/2 – 1″ out from the edge of the tub. [Read more...]

Tips for Choosing Paint Colors in the School Library

Tips for Choosing Paint Colors | Pretty Handy Girl

Tips for Choosing Paint Colors | Pretty Handy Girl

Choosing paint colors can be a daunting task. Looking at small paint chips at your local Lowe’s Home Improvement store can be a bit overwhelming. Especially because there are so many colors to choose from! (That can be a good thing too ;-).)

Luckily I have two tips to help you choose the paint color that’s right for you:

1. Use Valspar paint. Finding a paint color you love is easier with Valspar. If you don’t love the first color you choose, you can have another on them. It’s as easy as, love your color, or change your color. That’s the Valspar Love Your Color Guarantee. And it certainly helps alleviate the stress of choosing the right paint color for your room.

2. Create larger paint chips. Looking at tiny paint chips won’t help you conceptualize that color over the entire wall. Making large paint swatches using foam board and sample paints is easy and can save you time when choosing the ideal paint color. I put together this short video to show you how we selected the final color for the school library.

I knew if I could create big paint chips and let the librarian live with the large chips for a few days, she’d be better prepared to make a final decision. As you saw, she was much more comfortable choosing this way.

The winning color was Montpelier Wedgewood by Valspar. And, luckily after we began painting, we all fell in love with the color she chose.

Here’s how we tackled painting the school library (acoustic ceiling tiles and all!): [Read more...]

Faux Cross Stitch Tea Towel

Faux Cross Stitch Tea Towel | Pretty Handy Girl

Faux Cross Stitch Tea Towel | Pretty Handy Girl

How about a cheap and easy DIY gift idea today? Faux Cross Stitch Tea Towels are sure to please anyone and they cost less than a dollar! I bought several of the red striped Tekla tea towels at Ikea that cost .79 a piece!

Faux Cross Stitch Tea Towel | Pretty Handy Girl

I came up with the idea after seeing Miss Mustard Seed’s cafe curtains. But, decided to create monogrammed tea towels to give as gifts.

Faux Cross Stitch Tea Towel | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials:

  • Ikea Tekla Tea Towel
  • Red & green acrylic paint
  • Tiny round paint brush
  • Painter’s tape
  • Light box (if you don’t have one, you can tape your letter and towel to a window during the day.)

Instructions: [Read more...]

Painted Lampshade and a Quick Guest Room Makeover {Lowe’s Creator}

GuestBed

Painted Lampshade & a Quick Guest Room Makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

My mom was coming to visit his month. Since she’s a repeat guest, I wanted to give the guest room a little mini makeover for her. With the addition of some new pillows, curtains and a painted lampshade I gave it a new look in an afternoon.

Here’s the before:

GuestBed

And the after: [Read more...]

Abstract Art Ocean Painting Tutorial {Video Tutorial}

video_abstract_ocean_water_painting

Video Tutorial: How to Paint a Giant Abstract Ocean Painting

As promised, I created a tutorial to show you how you too can paint a giant abstract ocean painting. The easiest way for me to show you how was to share the video of the process. If you are viewing this post in your email, you will need to click on the link to view the video.

Materials: [Read more...]

Save Time by Learning How to Cut in with a Paint Brush {Glidden Show Me How Video}

How to Cut in Without Using Painter's Tape

How to Cut in Without Using Painter's Tape

I’m back with another great video from my friend Lindsay.

Lindsay from Makely School for Girls

She worked with Glidden to create a series of short videos to help DIYers like yourself tackle your own paint projects.

Painting a room like a professional means having straight lines where the wall meets doors, windows, ceilings and baseboards. To achieve crisp lines you can tape around all these spots.

tape_off_room

Anyone who has ever taped a room knows it takes FOR-EV-ER! Have you ever wondered how the pros can paint around doors and windows without using painter’s tape? Well, wonder no more. Lindsay is here to save the day (and your time) with tips to cut around your trim with a paintbrush.

Looks pretty easy, right? Next time you have to paint a room, you should try it for yourself. Hey, if worst comes to worst, just have a damp rag nearby to wipe the paint off. Speaking of saving time, you might want to head over to Glidden’s My Colortopia and learn more tips from Lindsay with 5 Tips for Speeding Up the Painting Process!

Get more tips, tricks and tutorials for your next painting project at Glidden’s new Show Me How website!

PHGFancySign

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Glidden brand paint. I was compensated for my time to write this post but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

How to Fake a Fake Pumpkin (Faux Painting Tutorial)

sponge-off-white-2

How-to-faux-paint-a-fake-pumpkin

Have you seen those neon orange fake pumpkins and nearly vomited because you wouldn’t dream of decorating with them. I mean, get real, everyone would know they were fake. Ah ha, but have you seen the price tags? $1 – $6? For that price you might just be willing to take a leap of faith with me, wouldn’t you? Awesome, because I’m going to show you how to faux paint a fake pumpkin so you can decorate with them year after year and hopefully fool your friends.

Materials:

materials

  • Fake pumpkins
  • Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (French Linen, Country Grey, Pure White, Versailles, Duck Egg)
  • Acrylic craft paint – Brown and Green
  • Sea sponge
  • Stencil brush
  • Medium round brush
  • Fan brush
  • Palette knife for mixing
  • Container or palette for mixing

(Ignore the extra paint tubes and brushes above, the listed ones are all I used.)

Instructions:

Start by painting all the pumpkins with French Linen. Allow them to dry.

paint-pumpkins-french-linen

 

Painting Realistic White Pumpkins: [Read more...]

Creative Block {a Mother’s Day Gift Idea using ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape}

square_off_2x4s_bandsaw_sm

create_art_block_holders_sm

Mother’s Day is this weekend! Have you decided how to show her your appreciation and love?! I did! My mother is a professional artist. She creates amazing paintings that inspire others and brighten their homes. For Mother’s Day I wanted to brighten her studio with these art utensil holders. I call them “Creative Blocks.” (Or maybe they should be Creative Unblocks. LOL.)

They were easy and fun to make and certainly a project that you can customize to meet your needs. And best of all, the kiddies can help with the painting step! [Read more...]

Painting Ceilings Like a Pro

painting_ceiling_supplies

how_to_paint_ceiling_like_professional

Can you tell what I’ve been doing in the kitchen lately? Yup, painting the ceiling!

Painting your ceiling like a pro isn’t difficult, it’s just a pain in the neck, literally! But, these tips and tricks can help you get professional results for less money. This is definitely a DIY task, so let’s get this ceiling painting party started! [Read more...]

15 of my Favorite Painting Tips, Tools and Paint

storing_wet_brush_in_cover

I have painted almost every room in our home now. Make that almost every room in two homes! You could say that over the years I’ve learned a few tricks of the trade and have acquired quite a few painting tools. But, only a handful are my tried and true gear that get pulled out for every painting job.

[Read more...]

How to Make New Wood Look Old, Weathered and Rustic

mixed_formula_aging_glaze

 

I have a confession to make. All the wood that you saw on my art studio wall is not exactly old and salvaged.

In order to have enough wood, I had to buy some new pine boards off the shelf at Lowe’s. I actually chose furring strip boards because they are already chewed up and imperfect.

But, I also grabbed a few other supplies: [Read more...]

Old Paintbrush Cabinet Door Handles

cabinet_over_workbench

Happy Wednesday! Something kind of exciting happened to me yesterday. Woman’s Day sent a photographer, an assistant and a stylist to photograph me and my garage. They worked together like a well-oiled machine and made my garage more beautiful than I could ever imagine! If you follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram (@PrettyHandyGirl), I snapped a few photos with my cell phone. I am still in the “I’ll believe it when I see it mindset.” But, this was for a small feature on organization for the September issue. Honestly, I’m a little concerned that the editor will take one look at the photos and drop them in the garbage. After all, it is the LEAST attractive room in my house! But, the editor assured me that they really want to show an organized garage space. So, I’ll be sitting on pins and needles until the issue comes out.

Two weeks ago I got an email from someone at Woman’s Day expressing interest in my garage. She politely asked if I could make a few changes to complete my workbench. They were all changes that I had wanted to do eventually. But, that date suddenly became last week. So, I put my tail in high gear and added those finishing touches to my workshop.

This was the workbench area of our garage before: [Read more...]

Summer Calendar and Our Bucket List

bucket_list

I don’t know whether to be excited or dread that yesterday was the last day of school for my boys. I have some summer camps lined up for them, but frankly our summer schedule is all over the place. So much so that I need help remembering where the kids are going and when.

I thought it would be a good idea to display the schedule so the boys could see what was coming up (to avoid the inevitable anxiety from different camps for different weeks.) To give them a little control over the schedule, we sat down and brainstormed our bucket list for the summer. Ice cream, swimming, and Carowinds are only a few of their bucket list items. I thought it was especially sweet that they wanted to spend time with our longtime sitter one or two days ;-).

While I was contemplating this displayable schedule, I received a box of goodies from Plaid. The boys were home when it arrived, so naturally they hovered like eager vultures as I opened it. And of course they immediately wanted to make something with the supplies. Sometimes timing is a serendipitous thing.

I set up the kitchen table with all the supplies and a plastic cover over the table. When I looked up, my oldest son had disappeared! I found him like this:

[Read more...]

How to Paint a Miniature House

side_view_mailbox_painted

Yesterday, I unveiled my mini-me house mailbox. I appreciate the kind comments (even it they were coerced ;-). )

Today, I wanted to give you a little tutorial on painting a mailbox to look like your house. If you can color in a coloring book, you can create a painting of your home! [Read more...]

Shabby Chic Chest of Drawers – Guest Post by Storywood Designs

Waxing_the_drawer

Hey y’all! I’m super stoked because I’m on my way to Blissdom in Nashville, TN for a few days.

I can’t wait to learn some new blogging tricks; network with a few blogging buddies; and listen to some inspiring speakers. Don’t you worry, I’ll be sharing everything I learned when I get back.

While I’m away, I will be leaving you in very capable hands. My good friend, Holly, is going to give you a tutorial for repainting and distressing a sad 1980′s chest of drawers. But, before she begins I have some news…


…I am really stoked to be partnering with Tomboy Tools, Inc. Together we’re going to bring you some serious DIY empowerment!This is such a wonderful venture for me because I love their tools; I love that their goal is to empower women; and I love that they are a company that gives back to women through the Avon Foundation.

Tomboy Tools and I are going to get YOU inspired to create more in 2012!

You may remember Holly from the Charm & Character Tour of her home. Many readers commented that they wanted to know how she distresses furniture. Holly was kind enough to create this tutorial for you:

Welcome Holly!

I’m so excited to be doing a guest post at Pretty Handy Girl! Brittany has been such a wealth of information to me as I have been working on growing my business and creating a web presence for Storywood Designs. There is truly nothing that Pretty Handy Girl can’t do and her willingness to share her knowledge and skill with the rest of us is so appreciated!

Several months back, I had a client approach me about painting an old chest of drawers she had. It had been given to her in her college years and had been painted to embrace the trends of the times. ;-) The chest itself wasn’t an antique or looked like it had been built by hand. However, it has a lot of sentimental value for my client. She wanted to pass it on to her toddler-aged daughter… and envisioned something that wasn’t too “baby” and not pink in color, and wanted to create a piece that might stay with her daughter as she grows.

Check out the chest of drawers in all her 1990′s glory! The chest itself was painted with a textured hunter green paint and the drawers were cream with hand-painted burgundy, gold and hunter green flowers. She was in dire need of a makeover! My client envisioned a more feminine color scheme and wanted the piece to look distressed. She was also itching to get rid of the brassy hardware.

I knew there was no hope of stripping the piece to the bare wood, staining it and distressing it. The piece had always been painted and I had no clue (and neither did she!) as to what was under all that textured paint. I also knew it would be cost prohibitive to her to try to get to bare wood in order to stain. I suggested painting the piece an base color that I could use in the distressing process and to create the overall look she was going for. With a plan in place it was time to get started!

The first order of business in any refinishing project is to prep the piece for refinishing. In almost all cases, this means sanding. Painted pieces require less sanding than pieces that are being stained… and in this particular case, I knew I had to sand enough to smooth out that textured paint surface. Forunately, my orbital sander made quick work of the texture and using 150-grit sandpaper, I was able to completely remove the texture without much fuss. A mask and safety goggles are important anytime you sand – you never want to breathe in the nasty particles sanding stirs up; nor do you want to get it in your eyes. But in this case, the eye and mouth protection were super important! That textured paint flew all over the place as it was sanded off. I lightly sanded the drawer fronts as well so that the hand-painted floral design would no longer show when painted. We have a scary, apocalypse-looking mask only because we use it often and for some pretty yucky stuff, but any disposable mask will work just fine!

Once sanding was completed, I wiped the chest of drawers down well using mineral spirits. I then checked for loose pieces of the chest; keeping a close eye on drawer bottoms, corner and bottom moldings, and around the top edge of the dresser. I made repairs using wood glue and clamps to hold the pieces tightly together until dry. If needed, I added a finishing nail or 2 to the repair. Before painting, I also eyeballed the dresser looking for chips in the wood that needed to be repaired with wood putty. This dresser had a large chip in the base molding, so I filled it in with wood putty, let it dry and sanded it smooth with the orbital sander. Once the repairs were made, it was time to paint!

This dresser was a little different than ones I had completed in the past because my client wanted a distressed look, but we wouldn’t be distressing down to the original wood finish. I knew that the royal blue paint we were painting over needed a strong primer to cover it, so I went with Glidden’s Gripper Primer in Gray. It’s super thick, hides well and I’ve found it to have excellent coverage.

Since I didn’t have to worry about sanding through it in the distressing process, I knew it was the paint for the job. The simple lines of the dresser and its drawers made it easy to roll most of the paint on. I did run my brush through the grooves in each drawer, but was able to paint the rest of it with a roller, which really sped the process along.

Once the primer coat was on the dresser and had thoroughly dried, I went to work on the base color. This is the color we would be distressing back to instead of the original wood finish. We wanted the dresser to look like it had originally been painted an antique white color… this would be the color that peeked through the final coat when the process was complete. I went with Benjamin Moore’s Navajo White.

Navajo White is great because it’s one of those paint colors that is not too yellow and not too beige. It is a true neutral and has served me on many, many painting projects. I was able to apply the Navajo White in the same manner I did the primer… rolled it on with my foam roller and touched up the drawers’ grooves and various places with my brush. Since the Navajo White was only the base coat and had a strong primer underneath, one coat sufficed.

The final coat of the dresser was to be a beautiful grey color. I decided to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Grey for several reasons. First, Annie Sloan’s paints have great coverage and I knew that only 1 coat would be required. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint gives you a lot of control in the distressing process. That control was very important to me on this project because I only wanted to distress back to my base coat, not to the primer or original royal blue color. Finally, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint waxes beautifully and easily and that was important to me as paste wax would be the final coat on the dresser. I painted most of the Paris Grey on by hand with my brush. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is expensive and I try to use it sparingly!!

Once the chalk paint had time to dry, it was time to distress. In my opinion, this is where Annie Sloan Chalk Paint really sets itself apart from other paints. Chalk paint allows you a lot of control in the distressing process. In fact, there is no sandpaper required to distress Annie Sloan Chalk Paint! All the distressing on this dresser was done using a wet rag. I simply dampened the rag and started rubbing in the places I wanted to distress. The more I rubbed, the more distressing I got. I didn’t have to worry about sanding through my base coat and with a wet rag, I was able to get to places that would be difficult to get to with sandpaper. As an added bonus, I was able to distress the dresser in the house without a fine powdered substance all over everything!

The last steps to complete the dresser were to wax the entire piece and add the new hardware. With any piece I wax, I always start with a coat of clear wax. I’ve tried several brands, from Johnson’s Paste Wax to Briwax to Fiddes and Sons. I have yet to try Annie Sloan’s wax, only because the others are readily accessible to me in local stores. In my opinion, I have not noticed a big difference in application and finish between Johnson’s Furniture Paste Wax (which is found at Home Depot) and Briwax or Fiddes (which I can only find at a local wood working store). But there is a big difference in price. I think that it comes down to personal preference… there are definitely people that prefer one brand over the other… I just have not noticed a big difference in them! I did not apply a darker wax to this dresser… we wanted to keep it light and happy for a little girls room and I didn’t want to add the color changes that a dark wax brings to a piece of furniture.

With waxing, the key is get thin, even layers of wax with each coat you put on a piece of furniture. I find the easiest way to apply the wax is to cut a clean rag, place a small amount of wax in the center and fold the rag around it. The wax will seep through the rag as you rub down your piece of furniture, keeping your coat nice and even. Once the wax coat is completely dry, you take another clean cloth and buff the piece. The result is a soft sheen and a smooth finish!

For new hardware for the dresser, we selected these beautiful glass knobs from Restoration Hardware.

They added a bit of bling to the dresser, gave it a definite feminine touch, but weren’t too fussy or ornate. They fit into the existing holes with no issues, and with that, the dresser’s transformation was complete!

A lot of prepping and priming, several quarts of paint and a lot of elbow grease later, this dresser was transformed and updated and ready for its new life in a little girl’s room!

Thank you Holly! Oh my goodness, can you believe that transformation? From hunter green hand-painted to…

…shabby chic in Paris grey! Ahhh, that’s much better!

Be sure to check out Holly’s Storywood Designs Etsy shop where you can purchase a framed monogram like this one!

Holly also recently started a blog, Storywood Designs, showcasing the furniture that she refinishes. You really need to check it out!

Storywood Designs

Would you like to be a guest on Pretty Handy Girl? Well, here is your invitation: View this page for all the specifics on being my guest.

Dollar Tree Placemat Turned into a Snowman Flag with Tulip Shimmer

let_it_snow_flag2


Brrrr! Anyone else experiencing the dipping temperatures? I really don’t like the cold unless it is going to snow. If it snows, I’ll put up with the sub-zero artic blast because I know we couldn’t have snow without the cold. But, if it isn’t going to snow, you can take your cold temperatures and get the heck out of here!

For this reason, I thought we needed to give Mother Nature a little hint, hint, nudge, nudge, and then a boldly displayed sign:

Cute garden flag, don’t you think?! Would you believe me if I told you that the flag is made from Dollar Tree placemats? Yup, I wouldn’t lie to you. I bought two because I wanted to decorate both sides and only one side of the placemat has a sheen to it. But, for $1 each, who can complain.

Stick around and I’ll show you how I made the flag. But, first, I have a confession to make…

…Do you secretly loathe glitter? Me, too!

When Pretty Handsome Guy sweeps up errant glitter from the kitchen floor, he’ll say, “The person who invented glitter never had children.” Then we both laugh. We were both in the camp of Glitter Haters Anonymous and detested any bedazzled art projects that came home from school. But, this week I snuck out of the camp under the radar and tried out a new product: Tulip® Fashion Glitter™ Shimmer Transfer Sheets and  Tulip® Fashion Glitter™ Shimmer Fabric Paint. Pretty Handsome Guy doesn’t know yet, but I think I’m changing my tune about glitter thanks to Tulip Shimmer products.

Why you ask? It is elementary, my dear Watson. The glitter stays put on the transfer sheets and in the fabric paint! No more sweeping up underneath the glittered project. No more random speck of glitter on the tip of my nose like a Rudolf wanna be. The shimmer products hold their glitter!

Materials:

Instructions:

Mark  a line 2″ from the top of the “flag” placemat using the chalk (this will be your stitching line for the rod pocket. Then draw your design below the pocket line.

Punch out snowflakes from the Tulip Fashion Glitter Shimmer transfer sheet. Because the sheets are thick, it is easier if you peel up the top sheet and only punch through the transfer sheet.

Cut out the rest of your design (you can leave the top sheet on if you are cutting with scissors.) After the designs are cut out, remove the top sheets.

It can be confusing to determine which pieces you removed the top sheet from, so look at the pieces from an angle and look for any reflection or shine on the top sheet of plastic.

If you pull the top sheet off too quickly, it can pull the glitter with it (see below.) Go slow, and if it does happen — don’t stress it — just cut a new one.

Position all the snowflakes and any other transfer sheet pieces on top of the flag. Pay attention to make sure the glitter side is up and the glue transfer side is down. 

Lay a clean rag on top of the pieces and iron the design onto the placemats according to the directions. (The placemats I used are polyester, so I used that setting on my iron. And it took about 30 – 40 seconds to get the transfer sheet glue to heat up enough to stick to the placemats.)

Remove the cloth and check to make sure that the design is adhered to the flag/placemat.

Before painting my snowman, I did a little test on the backside of my placemat to determine if the Tulip Fashion Glitter Shimmer fabric paint was transparent or opaque. It is transparent, so I chose the Tulip Soft fabric paint to fill in the snowman.

Paint your snowman, arms, hat, eyes and mouth using the Tulip Soft fabric paint. Using the smaller brush, paint the words too.

After the fabric paint has dried, dampen a clean cloth and gently wipe off the chalk.

Now is the time to add the Tulip Fashion Glitter Shimmer Fabric Paint magical glitter dust! I call it that because it really looks magical and the gel slowly disappears as it dries and leaves the glitter trail behind. Tinkerbell would be proud. Brush on curves and curly-q’s. You can brush on top of the words and the snowman because it will dry transparent.

Look at that beautiful magic glitter dust!

When the Tulip Fashion Glitter Shimmer Fabric Paint…ahem…I mean magical glitter dust has dried, pin your two placemats together rights sides facing out.

Stitch one line across the top. Stitch a second line across the marked pole pocket.

Leave the two sides of the pocket open and stitch down the sides and across the bottom (as shown.)

Thread the flag onto a standard sized decorative flag bracket.

And then challenge Mother Nature to “Bring it on!” (Be prepared, you might have to do a snow dance too. But that is a whole other tutorial!)

I have to tell you that the Tulip Fashion Glitter Shimmer products really surprised me. I truly loathe loose glitter, but these products really held the glitter in place. There might be a few pieces of glitter that are dislodged when you peel the transfer paper top sheet off, but honestly I didn’t notice and I never found any on me. I highly recommend these products. Especially if you have kids that love glitter!

You can find the Tulip product line at these retailers. Selections may vary per store.

  • A.C. Moore
  • Ceramic Arts Ltd.
  • Crafties Hobby Craft Ltd, Nigeria
  • Hancock Fabrics
  • Hobby Lobby
  • Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts
  • Meijer
  • Michaels
  • Tall Mouse
  • Wal-Mart
  • Wal-Mart Canada
  • Sharing this project with: Funky Junk Interiors SNS

     

     

     

    Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Tulip Products,  iLoveToCreate®, a Duncan Enterprises Company. I was sent some samples of the Tulip® Fashion Glitter™ Shimmer Transfer Sheets and Tulip® Fashion Glitter™ Shimmer Fabric Paint. I already owned the Tulip Soft Fabric paint. I was also paid a small fee in return for writing a post about my experience using the products. The ideas and opinions are strictly my own. I will never let any compensation (monetary or free product) keep me from giving you (the reader) a straight up and honest review.

    Pretty Handy Girl in a Box Giveaway and on being 40!

    Me.40

    June 23rd 2012 - It's a great day! Taken with my phone.

    Good morning! I woke up today and was happy to be alive. I am grateful for my health, my family and my friends. And, I am grateful to be 40.

    Believe it or not, I used to be shy and self conscious. I hated middle school and all the girls that made fun of me. Luckily I had some friends who accepted my geekiness in high school. And most importantly, I met this guy in high school:

    Baby wearing and vacuuming! I know, he's hot isn't he?!

    Pretty Handsome Guy and I have aged together, although we are still in disbelief that we are older than some of our physicians! REALLY?! I still feel like I am in my 20′s. And yet, I am glad I’m not in my 20′s. I like the self confidence that comes with age. I like the acceptance of myself and who I am. I will never be a supermodel, and so what! Who wants that kind of pressure to stay thin and beautiful anyway. I know what I love to do now, and I love doing it. I like that I can laugh at myself. Afterall, if you can’t laugh at yourself, what gives you the right to laugh at anyone else?!

    40 feels young to me. Sure, I’ve noticed a few changes: My hips have not forgiven me for being pregnant with two babies and inflict pain occasionally. My eyes play tricks and make me hold the menu forward and backward until I can read it. But, these symptoms are nothing. I have family members who live with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue. I will be grateful for every day that I do not suffer from these or other debilitating illnesses.

    So, Whooooo Hooooo! It’s my 40th birthday today! And I have a gift for you!

    I am stepping out of my comfort zone and am sharing a video with you today. I have so much to pack into the “Pretty Handy Girl in a Box” giveaway that I figured it would be easier to create a video to show you the contents (instead of filling this post with photos.) Be sure to put some ear plugs in, I am singing!

     

     

    What’s in the box? from Brittany aka Pretty Handy Girl on Vimeo.

     

    Contents of the Pretty Handy Girl in a Box: (subject to change if my boys break something, but it is more likely I’ll add more to it.)

    Painting Supplies:

    • 3 pk. Purdy paintbrushes
    • 8 pc. Mini Paint Roller set (tray, mesh, four paint rollers, handle and paintbrush)
    • Scotch Blue Painter’s Tape with Edge Lock Protector
    • 3 Benjamin Moore Paint Samples: Buxton Blue, Yarmouth Blue, Monterey White
    • 3M All Purpose Sanding Sponge
    • Sherwin Williams Designer Paint Swatch Kit w/ Fan Deck
    • 1 Complimentary Paint Preview service

    Tools & Gear:

    • 3M Tekk Virutal Safety eyewear
    • 3M Tekk Sanding Respirator with cool flow valve
    • 16′ Tape measure
    • Retractable Safety Scraper
    • Women’s work gloves
    • Scotch Tough Duct Tape

    Home Decor Items & More:

    • Glass Cloche
    • Aqua paper decorated plate
    • Blue robin’s eggs with paper nest
    • Notecards from Scotland
    • Decorative Flowerpot
    • Bird salt & pepper shakers
    • 3 Winter themed glass votive holders
    • Blue wine bottle fork photo holder
    • Hook Frame
    • Citrus Striped Cake Stand
    • Wine Crate

    AND, a $25 Gift Certificate to Home Depot with mini Home Improvement 1-2-3 book

    I can only estimate that the contents are worth about $200! So, tell me, do you want this box? (Unfortunately you must live in the USA. Otherwise it would cost me more than a fortune to ship it. However, for my readers who live outside the US, if you enter and win, I will ship you a few lightweight things instead. Including the gift certificate to Home Depot.)

    Here is how you can enter to win!   Sorry this giveaway has ended.

    Painting Like a Pro – Step 3. Painting and Touch Ups

    Welcome back, I hope you are ready to paint with me today! If you are just stopping by and haven’t prepped your room for painting, you may want to take a moment to read Painting Like a Pro Step 1 and Step 2.

    Okay, are you ready? I’m going to show you how I painted my downstairs half bathroom, the professional way!

    Before

    After

    Materials:

    • paint tray
    • two plastic grocery bags (optional)
    • a paint roller with a regular nap for smooth walls. If you have a textured wall (orange peel, cottage cheese or as “My Boy’s Teacher” showed me: sand texture) you may need a thicker napped roller.
    • 2.5″ angled painter’s brush
    • edger (optional)
    • Painter’s tape (I prefer the Scotch Blue Delicate Surfaces tape)
    • a damp rag
    • sanding block with 200 grit or higher sand paper
    • damp sponge with a bucket of fresh water
    • x-acto blade (optional)
    • small flat artist’s brush

    Go ahead and pour your paint into a paint tray (make a liner with grocery bags as I show HERE.)

    Only fill the tray about half full (more than shown in the picture), you need some blank space at the top to squeeze the excess paint out of the roller by rolling it back and forth.

     

    Painting Walls and Ceilings:

    When I paint a room, I always paint the ceiling first, unless it REALLY doesn’t need painting. It is more efficient to paint the whole room while you have the tarps down and supplies out. Besides, you know you won’t go back and paint the ceiling another day. Am I right?!

    You can paint the ceiling the same way I paint walls, just use an extension pole and a two-step ladder for painting the border. Don’t worry about taping off the walls or trim right now. I’ll tell you when to tape later. The only time I would use tape now, is if I need to mask off something like the vanity, a light fixture or a wall I’m not going to paint.

    1. Begin by painting the border on your wall. Use either a paint brush or the edger. If you are using the Aura paint, let this border dry before you move onto the next step. If you are using another brand/type of paint, work quickly and move onto the next step.

    2. Use your roller to roll out a 3 – 4 foot “W” shape. Try to roll into the edge while it is still wet (unless you are using Benjamin Moore Aura paint.)

    3. Roll the roller back and forth, up and down and in random directions until you have filled in a 4′ square section of wall.

    4. Roll the roller very lightly over your square to make sure the coat of paint is even; feather the edges; and to rid the wall of any start and stop roller marks.

    Start on the next section with another “W” shape and repeat steps 1-4 until you have covered your wall in paint. Then move on to the next wall. Keep in mind that you will need at least two coats of paint. You’ll get a more durable paint job, more even coverage, and it will look professional if you use two coats of paint. So, own up to the fact that you will need two coats!

    A few words of caution while painting:

    • If your paint has started to dry and {{gasp}} you see a spot you missed or a bug in your paint, resist the urge to roll over it. Wait until it dries, then sand or paint the messed up area.
    • It is best not to overload your roller with paint. Too much paint can drip and run. If that happens, use your damp rag to wipe it up immediately. And remember, you are going to use two coats, right?!

    Now that you have completed the first coat (and it is dry to the touch), pull out the sanding block. Lightly sand all the walls. You are just knocking down any bumps (or bugs) and giving your paint layer a little “tooth” for the next coat to adhere to.

    Then wipe down your walls with a damp sponge to remove all the sanding dust.

    The sanding between coats may seem like overkill to you, but trust me, the sanding step makes a difference! And you wanted to know how to paint like a professional, didn’t you?!

    Now, go ahead and paint your second coat of the wall color repeating Steps 1-4 above, for  painting a border and rolling the paint inside.

    Done? Well, not quite. Remember when I showed you this the other day?

    Yes, the wall paint is on the trim. That is okay, I want it like that. I knew I was going to paint the trim and wanted to make sure that the wall color went right up to my trim, it’s all by design baby, trust me.

    At this point you have painted the ceiling and all of the walls in your room. If you are sure your walls are dry (at least 1 hour or more), then you can move on to the trim.

     

    Painting the Trim:

    Now you can go ahead and tape off the edge of your walls where they meet the moulding. Then use the matte medium  trick I showed you HERE (or you can use a small amount of wall color if you like) to seal the edge of the tape on the wall side.

    Go ahead and paint all your trim with a 2 1/2″ paint brush dipped in a small bucket of trim paint. I prefer Purdy brushes because they last for years! See my post on cleaning brushes HERE to see how I protect them from wearing out.

    Be sure to put two coats of paint on the trim, this will help to keep it looking new and stand up to the “Matchbox Demolition Derby” games that ensue in your home. (What? You don’t have those games in your house? Lucky for your home.)

    When the paint has dried partially (don’t wait too long), go ahead and remove all the tape.

    If you don’t have any imperfections, you better go play the lottery right now! If you are human and normal you will have a few. No big deal. You can use one of two techniques (I use both).

    1.Gently scrape any excess paint off with an x-acto blade.

    2. Use a small square artist’s brush and paint over any seepage. I like to shake my can of paint and remove the lid to expose just enough paint on the lid for touch ups.

    Horray, you are done! Now you can tell your friends, “I’m sorry I can’t give you the name of my painter, because I painted the room myself!”

    Here are the before and after pictures of our half bathroom. I am LOVING the results. I have a few more tutorials for you from this project. I promise, they will come in due time.

    Before - Beech Wood Vanity

    After- Painted Vanity Black

    Before - Towel Ring on Wall

    After - New Towel Hook on Wall

    DIY - Vintage Soap Sign

    Before - Shutter on Wall behind Door

     After – Same Shutter on Newly Painted Wall

    My Favorite Quote and Postcards

    I would love to know if you paint a room using my Painting Like a Pro tutorial. And how it worked for you!

    Other Steps in this Series:

    Step 1. Prep work

    Step 2. paint and sheen

    Painting Like a Pro – Part 2. Paint and Sheen

    combining-paint-cans

    Let’s talk about Paint, Baby…

    Before we start, let’s talk paint. One factor for a perfect paint job is the quality of the paint you choose. Do yourself a favor, don’t settle for the cheap store brand paint. You may save yourself a few bucks, but you will be looking at streaks and imperfections from the cheap paint for years to come. Or worse, the paint won’t hold up to wiping or moisture (not good!)

    Benjamin Moore Aura Paint – Love this stuff! Serious love affair here. Not only is it low VOCs and low odor, but the coverage is amazing and you don’t see any of the roller marks. It is thick like a chocolate milk shake and spreads slightly after it is rolled on. This is the only paint I’ve been able to get away with only using one coat. But, it was because I was painting a lighter shade of sage over a pine green color. Other rooms where I was going from a much darker color to a light color, I had to use two coats, but I definitely didn’t use as much paint as I would have if I used another brand. Be prepared for the sticker shock, this paint isn’t cheap at $56 a gallon, but you will use less and you will be saving the environment!

    Valspar – Hi Def Paint – Before we were spoiled by the Benjamin Moore Aura paint, Pretty Handsome Guy and I used to paint with Valspar paints for all our walls. In fact, we still use the Flat Ultra White for our ceilings. We were always happy with the results, but the idea of using a Low VOC paint really appealed to me.  Last week, as I eyed the “oops” paint at my local Lowe’s (a normal habit of mine), I was lucky enough to spot a color that was very close to a color I was craving for our bathroom. I grabbed it up for $5 ($10 at register with a $5 rebate. Normally $32). The paint was a gallon of the new Valspar Hi-DEF paint. I have to say, I was impressed by the coverage. It almost covered all of the old color in one coat (I was covering dark purple with a light aqua.) This paint would be a good option if you didn’t want to shell out the $56 for the Aura paint.

    Benjamin Moore Impervo paintThis is my new favorite trim paint! This stuff goes on smooth and spreads like an oil paint. It also has a durable finish that resists chipping and really stands up to our kids’ shenanigans. Before I found the Impervo, I thought I was doomed to use an Alkyd (oil paint with a dryer added) paint for our trim. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of using oil based paint, you know that it has a strong odor and the brushes have to be cleaned with turpentine. Not at all good for you or the environment.  You can imagine my excitement (and skepticism) at finding a water based trim paint that is supposed to hold up like oil. Our living room trim paint has lasted 1.5 years and it still looks great! Again, this amazingly durable paint isn’t cheap, it costs $48  a gallon, but at least you don’t have to paint your trim every year if you have little devils boys in your home.

    Please note: There are other good paints available (Sherwin Williams is also a favorite of many other DIY bloggers.) This is just a list of the paints that I love to use.

     

    Let it Shine, Let it Shine (or maybe a little less shine) - Flat, Eggshell, Satin, Semi-Gloss, or  Gloss. How do you know which one to choose?

    Gloss - The only time I use gloss or high gloss is for trim and cabinetry. (Or the things that get grubby fingers ALL over them.) The gloss surface cleans up much better than non-gloss, and it doesn’t hold onto oils or grease like the other finishes.

    Semi-Gloss - This sheen is great for painting a bathroom, kitchen or walls that will see a lot of moisture, water and basic abuse.  Similar to the gloss, it will be easier to wipe clean and water splashes won’t show as much on this surface.

    Satin - I know I just said you should paint kitchens and bathrooms with semi-gloss, but I rarely do. Why? Well, because my walls are far from perfect. We have two rooms that had wallpaper painted over (not my decision.) After spackling and sanding the seams (doing my best to smooth them), I used a satin paint.  Satin has most of the durability of a semi-gloss, but less sheen. If you use paint with a sheen you will see highlights wherever there is a seam, bump or edge.Therefore highlighting your imperfect walls.

    Eggshell - Low sheen, but not flat. Eggshell is best for rooms with imperfect surfaces or bedrooms. Eggshell has an almost matte or flat appearance and is very smooth and hides bumps and dips fairly well. It’s not as easy to clean, but will stand up to an occasional wiping better than flat paint.

    Flat - I never use flat, except….when painting ceilings. Then we grab our favorite ceiling paint: Valspar Flat Ultra White for maximum light reflection. (Read more about bright white ceilings HERE.) So, unless you are painting ceilings, don’t use flat, it is too chalky and hard to clean.

    Just call me Ms. Mix-a-lot. How to Save $ by Mixing Your Own Paint:

    Some of  the paints I mentioned can cost quite a pretty penny. So, I thought you might like to know the way I save money on paint. I frequently scour the “Oops” or “Mistint” paints. If I see a color that is close to what I want, I grab it. For my downstairs bathroom I spotted this sea green color and knew it was close to the color I wanted, but just a shade darker. All I needed to do was purchase an empty paint can and use some leftover white paint to mix a prefect color.

    You can mix any two sheens as long as they are next to each other in the list above. In other words mixing gloss and semi-gloss is fine; semi-gloss and satin; satin and eggshell; or in my case eggshell and flat paint.  You definitely don’t want to mix a semi-gloss with a flat or eggshell. You might get some streaks and it is hard to mix.

    To mix paint, I like to use this paint mixer attachment that fits on my drill. It is a dream come true for a custom paint mixer like myself.

    Without going into too much color theory, here are two mixing formulas I like to use.  Keep in mind your paint color has to be fairly close to the final color you want before attempting these mixes.

    Too vibrant, intense or bright - Let’s say you find a color that you like, but it is too intense and you want to dull or tone it down. You can add either black or brown paint (I use acrylic craft paint) to tone down the color. Pour some of your paint into an empty bucket or paint can, then add a big squeeze of black (or brown.) Mix it, put a dab on a piece of paper and dry it with a hair dryer (because I’m too impatient to wait.) Still too vibrant? Add more black (or brown) until it is the color you want. I used this method for my dormer hallway shutters. You’ll have to play with the mixing until you get the desired results.

    Too dark, need a shade lighter - Add white paint to a bucket, then slowly add small amounts of your paint color and mix it. Put a dab on a piece of paper and dry it to check the color. Still too light? Add more color or if it is too dark, add more white.

    I hope this post helps you find the perfect paint for your next paint job.

    Other Steps in this Series:

    Step 1. Prep work

    Step 3. painting your room and finishing touches

     

    How to Paint Doors (The Professional Way)

    Home-improvement-1-2-3

    So you want to paint like a pro? Well, sit back and let me give you some tips and a tutorial for painting a door for starters. Then we’ll work our way around the room.

    Our doors are all the six panel type. If you have flat (non-panel) versions, you can skip this post and come back later. For the rest of us, get out your paper and pencils and take some notes (does anyone do this anymore?)

    Step 1: The easiest way to paint a door is to start by removing it, then removing all the hardware and lay it horizontally on saw horses. This will eliminate potential drips. But, I’ve painted plenty of doors without removing them. So, it’s your choice.

    Step 2: Lightly sand the entire door. No need to bust out the power sander, you can use a sanding block or sheet of sand paper. Be sure to sand down any bumps or blemishes. The main goal is to give your door a little “tooth” for the new paint or primer to adhere to.

    Step 3: Time to decide if you need to use primer. Here are reasons you would need to use it:

    • If the door is bare wood or stained wood.
    • If the door is a dark color and you want to paint it much lighter.
    • If the door was painted with oil and you want to use latex paint (how to tell? Rub a small spot with ammonia and if the paint comes off it is latex.)

    If you are painting over latex with latex (or oil over oil) and the previous paint job is in good shape you can skip the primer. (This was the case with my door, so I didn’t prime it.)

    Step 4: Paint the panels first.

    Using a small roller to paint doors can greatly speed the  process. Begin by rolling paint on the panels.

    Work quickly by rolling on the paint, then use a brush to smooth out the paint and fill in any spots missed by the roller. Follow the arrow directions above when brushing on the paint.

    Drag your brush  in the same direction as the woodgrain on your door. This will highlight the grain and keep your door looking neat and clean. NEVER run your brush strokes perpendicular to the wood grain. This does NOT look professional.

    Step 5: Next roll the inside cross pieces. Start by rolling and painting the center vertical piece.

    Again, drag your brush up and down vertically with the wood grain (see arrows in the above diagram.)

    Then paint the horizontally pieces in the middle of the door.

    Keep your brush strokes horizontal as you cross over the tall vertical center.

    Step 6: Paint the border. Pay attention to the direction of the woodgrain for this last step. The grain on the two sides should flow vertically from top to bottom.

    There are header and footer panels sandwiched between the left and right sides. These “sandwiched” pieces should be painted by dragging your brush horizontally (see diagram above.)

    Step 7: The last step is to paint the edges of the door. (Avoid painting the hinges…that’s not very professional either!)

    Roll paint onto the edges then smooth them with the paintbrush. Be on the lookout for drips or puddles of paint.Go back and check the face of your door for drips as well.

    Let your door dry (30 minutes – 1 hour), then follow up with a second coat of paint. When you are done let the doors dry for 2+ hours before flipping them to paint the other side. I have found that it helps to put a pieces of cardboard or scrap bare wood under the door so the paint doesn’t stick to the saw horses. But you can also buy some of these Rockler Painting Pyraminds.

    Now about the rest of your home, let’s Learn How to Paint Your Walls Like a Pro!

    PHGFancySignIf you liked this post, you’ll love more of my painting tutorials:

    Over 50 Painting Tutorials!