Aqua Dresser Makeover – What’s Knot to Love?

Facelift for a Knotty Pine Dresser | Pretty Handy Girl

Facelift for a Knotty Pine Dresser | Pretty Handy Girl

You know you’ve seen those knotty pine dressers from yesteryear. Their spotlight has faded and they are finding themselves at thrift shops, ReStores or worse yet…at the curb.

Facelift for a Knotty Pine Dresser | Pretty Handy Girl

I’m begging you to let this knotty eyesore back into your home. It doesn’t have to be banished. It’s KNOT her fault she was built from cheap pine. All this dresser needs is a new coat of paint and some beautiful brass knobs and all her flaws and knots will be forgotten.

Facelift for a Knotty Pine Dresser | Pretty Handy Girl

Extra observant points to anyone who realized that this blogger forgot to take a good before picture! She looked very similar to the knotty pine dresser shown above, except she had wooden circle knobs and an unfortunate set of bun feet. I did remove the bun feet from the dresser when I first brought it home. Mama ain’t got no need for buns in this oven (or on my dresser.)

Here are the details on how to refinish a knotty pine dresser and give it a complete makeover!

Materials:

  • Sandpaper
  • BIN primer
  • Damp rag
  • Paint brush
  • Foam paint roller
  • Quart of Benjamin Moore Advance paint (Deep Ocean)
  • Valspar asphaltum glaze
  • Brass hardware (I bought mine from House of Antique Hardware)
  • Drill with bits
  • Screwdriver
  • Level

Instructions:

This tutorial will be fairly brief, if you need more photos and explanation, you can view my previous dresser painting adventure.

Begin by removing all the drawers and knobs. Lightly sand the dresser and drawer fronts. Wipe off any sanding dust. [Read more...]

DIY Striped Euro Shams

striped euro shams 1

striped euro shams

Every DIYer loves a little drop cloth project right?  Jaime from That’s My Letter here to share how to make striped euro shams.

Using drop cloth and acrylic craft paint, I made these grain sack inspired shams to finish off our new poster bed.

striped euro shams 1

I added piping to finish the edges. It wasn’t too hard, and it was worth the extra effort.  Brittany has a great piping tutorial here or you could always leave off the piping if you choose.

05-CLX-digging-deep-striped-duvet-cover-0613-xln 1

I found my inspiration for these shams from a Country Living article in the June 2013 issue.  The master bedroom in the featured home had the perfect striped lumbar pillow and I knew I just had to have my own!

striped euro shams 3

Similar but different, these striped shams coordinate well with my Joseph’s Coat quilt.  Check out how easy it is to make your own shams:

Materials:

striped euro shams supplies

  • drop cloth (2 – 26″ x 26″ square piece per sham)
  • cotton cording (2 yards per sham)
  • 22″ zipper
  • painter’s tape
  • stencil paintbrush or stiff bristle brush
  • acrylic paint
  • pencil
  • clear quilting ruler
  • rotary cutter
  • self healing cutting mat
  • scissors
  • thread
  • sewing machine
  • iron & ironing board

Instructions:

striped euro shams step 1

Step 1: Measure your sham inserts and add 1″ to each side.  (My inserts measured 25″ x 25″ therefore I cut the drop cloth at 26″ x 26″.)  Tape the corners of the drop cloth to a hard surface.  Slide a piece of cardboard under the drop cloth to protect your surface. Mark a 1/2″ wide stripe at the center and secure painter’s tape down either side of gap. [Read more...]

How to Paint an Ombré Wall Technique

master_bedroom_photo

How to Paint an Ombré Wall Gradient | Pretty Handy Girl

Ombré painting is EVERYWHERE. Clothing, home décor and even wall paint techniques. An ombré wall is the paint technique I chose to create a misty and ethereal look in our master bedroom. It started when I fell in love with Kendall Charcoal by Benjamin Moore but didn’t want to make our entire bedroom too dark (I have a hard enough time waking up in the morning.) I decided a good solution was to use the dark charcoal gray color on a focal wall behind the headboard. But, I didn’t want to stop the color in the corners and create a sharp line.

How to Paint an Ombré Wall Gradient | Pretty Handy Girl

Instead, I wanted a softer edge that would make us feel like we were being hugged by the room.

How to Paint an Ombré Wall Gradient | Pretty Handy Girl

I used Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore to paint the other three walls in the bedroom, but created a random ragged edge where the two colors meet.

How to Paint an Ombré Wall Gradient | Pretty Handy Girl

This is how the side walls look in preparation for the ombré wall technique.

How to Paint an Ombré Wall Gradient | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials:

  • Dark latex paint color (Kendall Charcoal by Benjamin Moore)
  • Lighter latex paint color (Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore)
  • A small container with a mixture of the two colors to create an in between gray
  • Paint brush
  • Dry brush
  • Water-filled spray bottle
  • ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape
  • Damp car wash sponge
  • Rubber gloves
  • Wet wipes or wet rag

Instructions: [Read more...]

How to Paint Your Room Twice as Fast – HomeRight PaintSticks Review

HomeRight PaintStick vs. EZ Twist Review | Pretty Handy Girl

HomeRight PaintStick vs. EZ Twist Review | Pretty Handy Girl

Remember when I declared that I only use a handful of painting products that I’ve used for 15 years? I usually detest “new and improved” painting gadgets. I’ve tried many and they are usually a flop or not as efficient as my current arsenal of painting tools. So, you’ll understand that when HomeRight first approached me about trying their PaintStick products, I declined. After saying no, I started seeing many rave reviews from other DIY bloggers. As I began anticipating the task of painting our master bedroom, I began to rethink trying the HomeRight PaintStick Paint Applicator. I was definitely tentative. Finally, I agreed to try out both the PaintStick original and the PaintStick EZ Twist. I warned HomeRight that I have high expectations and that if they weren’t met, I wouldn’t blog about their PaintSticks.

I guess you know where this is going because here I am to tell you that I really loved both PaintSticks! And I will be using one every time I paint a room from now on! Seriously, these products are a game changer.

For one, you don’t have to worry about the messy task of pouring paint into a tray and moving the tray with you as you paint. Both HomeRight PaintSticks come with a paint can cover and fill tube that fits on your gallon paint container.

HomeRight PaintStick vs. EZ Twist Review | Pretty Handy Girl

This keeps the paint from drying out and eliminates the need for a tray. The fill port on both PaintSticks is covered with a sponge type gasket that allows the fill tube to go through, but keeps the paint inside the PaintStick.

HomeRight PaintStick vs. EZ Twist Review | Pretty Handy Girl

But, my FAVORITE aspect of the PaintSticks is that I can roll half a wall without stopping! No joke. With the traditional roller and tray I can usually paint a 4′ x 4′ square and then have to reload my roller. No more! The PaintStick literally allowed me to paint an 8′ x 7′ section (almost 4 times as much) without reloading.

HomeRight PaintStick vs. EZ Twist Review | Pretty Handy Girl

And refilling the tube is almost as fast as rolling. I cut my painting time down drastically. Here’s a video HomeRight made showing a side by side “Paint Off” race between the EZ Twist PaintStick and a roller and tray (and a paint sprayer). It’s pretty accurate in my experience.

The only negative, is that you will spend a little more time cleaning up. The PaintSticks have to be disassembled and cleaned out when you finish painting. But, this process doesn’t add enough time to come near exceeding the time it would take to paint conventionally with the roller and tray.

What’s the difference between the PaintStick and the EZTwist PaintStick? [Read more...]

How to Decorate Series: Color Harmony in Decorating

How to Choose Colors in Your Home | Pretty Handy Girl

Decorating with Color Harmonies | Pretty Handy Girl

One of the most frequent complaints from homeowners is struggling to choose colors for their home. When you walk into the paint store, the color selection can seem overwhelming. Choosing a rug or furniture can be equally daunting. Today I’ll give you some tips and tricks for creating color harmony in home decorating. You’ll learn a little knowledge about color theory, compliments and harmonies that make choosing colors much easier. Plus, you can use the same theories in almost any visual field. From  graphic design and web design to choosing your outfit for a big event. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to put together pleasing color palettes with ease.

Today’s post is part of Home Stories A to Z’s: How to Decorate Series. If you are just arriving to the series, be sure to go to Beth’s introduction to follow all the other posts in the series. If you’ve been following along, welcome from At The Picket Fence! Vanessa & Heather put together a great post about Blue Home Decor Ideas!

How to Decorate Button

I’m sure you’ve stumbled across art, paintings or photos that use visually stunning color palettes. Chances are that the artist or designer put thought into each color and how they work together. Let me introduce you to color relationships and harmonies!

You’ve heard the term complimentary colors, but do you know what defines a compliment? Here are the definitions of the various color relationships or harmonies and some great sample palettes you can use in your home!

Complimentary Colors:

One of my favorite color combinations are the gorgeous pinks in a bouquet of peonies paired with an aquamarine ball jar.  Something about this palette stops me in my tracks every time! The reason this pair grabs my attention is that those two colors are complimentary.

How to Choose Colors in Your Home | Pretty Handy Girl
Photo courtesy of Two Twenty One

Red/orange and blue/green are directly across from each other on the color wheel which makes them complimentary or a perfect pair. (Kind of like wine and chocolate…right?!)

Complimentary Colors | Pretty Handy Girl

Here is another example of a complimentary color palette. Blue and orange are stunning together. All the blues are balanced by a few pieces of fiery orange that demand attention in Sarah Richardson’s nursery below.

How to Choose Colors in Your Home | Pretty Handy Girl
Photo courtesy of Sarah Richardson via HGTV.ca

Complimentary Colors | | Pretty Handy Girl

 Split Complimentary Colors: [Read more...]

Easy Card Table Makeover

Card Table

Super easy card table makeover
I can only imagine that Matt and I are not the only family in America with a less than stellar card table.  In fact both of ours were hand me downs from grandparents and though they may have been fabulous in the 80′s, now they are really lacking in the attractive decor department.  A few years go I picked up some vinyl table clothes with hopes of breathing new life into our sad card tables and once again life got in the way and I never recovered them.  I recently came across the table clothes and decided it was time to move on with my project but there was a small problem, I no longer liked the table clothes I had previously picked out.  Have no fear, after a quick trip to Target I was back in business and ready for my amazing, fabulous, incredible card table makeover!

Materials:

  • Card Table (old or new)
  • Damp rag for cleaning
  • Ratchet with socket
  • Vinyl Tablecloth
  • Drop Cloth
  • Spray Paint
  • Sand Paper – 180 grit
  • Drop Cloth
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Hot Glue Sticks
  • Scissors

Instructions: 

Card Table

Give the table a good wipe down with a damp rag to remove any dust or possible cobwebs that may be lingering on the underside of the table.

Table

Remove the top of the table from the frame and legs. (Be sure to store your screws in a safe place because you will need them later.)  Most tables will be attached with a few hex screws that can easily be removed using a ratchet and socket or a socket wrench.

[Read more...]

Boy’s Bathroom Refresh {#LowesCreator Project}

Seaside Theme Bathroom Refresh #LowesCreator | Pretty Handy Girl

Seaside Theme Bathroom Refresh #LowesCreator | Pretty Handy Girl

You know those projects that you complete 80% of the room and think to yourself, “This is good for now. I’ll do the rest in a day or two.” Yup, the boy’s bathroom was one such 80 percenter. I finally took the time to finish the last 20 percent of this bathroom makeover by giving it a refresh with some paint and new knobs.

The bathroom used to look like this:

Seaside Theme Bathroom Refresh #LowesCreator | Pretty Handy Girl

But, before that, it looked like this:

I find it comical that I took an underwater themed bathroom and gave it a seaside retreat feel. I guess you could say I pulled this big whopper from within the ocean and laid it out on the beach. LOL.

Let’s break it down now. Here’s how to paint a bathroom vanity so it will withstand the abuse of two young boys: [Read more...]

Why I’m NOT going to participate in Teacher Appreciation Week anymore!

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

Farmhouse Painted (chalk like paint) Jar Vases | Pretty Handy Girl

Two weeks ago was Teacher Appreciation Week at my son’s school. Every year I have a bit of a knee jerk reaction to this week. Is it because I don’t appreciate my sons’ teachers and administrators? Definitely not true! I appreciate them more than I can ever show. It’s a joke in our house that if I homeschooled, we probably wouldn’t have children. We all need that time away. And, my kids are so head strong, that they learn much better from talented educators that don’t tuck them in bed at night.

So, why you ask do I have a knee jerk reaction? Let me explain. [Read more...]

Wall Mounted Desk Tutorial

Wall-Mounted Desk Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Wall-Mounted Desk Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Hey, I hope you had a fabulous weekend! Was it productive? Full of DIY activities? Well, I’m back with a tutorial for building a wall-mounted desk. The great thing about a desk that is wall mounted is it can be small or large and it won’t take up any floor space! This gives a nice clean look and makes the room feel larger. Plus, the materials will almost certainly cost less than buying a desk.

My son is starting to have more homework in school. (I didn’t realize that first grade was the new 3rd grade!) I figured soon enough he’s going to need a spot to sit and work on homework. Plus, he’s an avid Lego builder and this makes a great surface for him to build on.

Materials:

  • Finish grade plywood (my desktop is 16″ x 40″)
  • Painter’s Tape
  • 1 – 2″ x 4″ x 93″
  • 2 – 9.5″ x 9.5″ bird’s mouth brackets
  • 4 – 3″ cabinet mounting screws
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Level
  • Pencil

Instructions: 

Begin by assessing where you want to mount your desk. For better perspective, you can outline the desk area with painter’s tape on the floor.

Wall-Mounted Desk Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut your finish grade plywood to size. Using the Kreg Rip Saw with my miter saw is much easier than hauling out the table saw and getting as assistant to help lift the plywood. If you put a piece of rigid foam insulation underneath, you can cut almost anywhere! Just set your saw blade depth slightly below the plywood.

Wall-Mounted Desk Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut your 2″x4″ stud 4″ narrower than the length of your desk top surface. (My desktop is 40″ long, therefore my mounting stud is 36″ long.)  Locate the studs in your wall. Mark their location.

Wall-Mounted Desk Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Pre-drill holes in the mounting board at the stud locations. Use a small bit slightly narrower than your screws. Then use a larger bit the width of your screw head to create a countersink hole. Drive the cabinet mounting screws into one end of the mounting board and into the stud. Use a level to make sure your mounting board is level, then drive the additional mounting screws into the other studs. [Read more...]

How to Make a Chalkboard Surface Desk

How to Make a Chalkboard Surface Desk | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Make a Chalkboard Surface Desk | Pretty Handy Girl

As part of the makeover of my son’s bedroom, I wanted to create a fun chalkboard desk surface for him to write and build legos on. The idea of a chalkboard coated surface came to me when I remembered how much he liked the mini-chalkboard decals that used to be on his room wall.

Creating a chalkboard surface on any desk or flat surface couldn’t be easier with the right tools. Here’s how you can create your own chalkboard desk!

Materials:

  • 3M fine grit sanding block
  • Valspar High-Hiding Primer tinted gray
  • Rustoleum chalkboard paint
  • 2″ paint brush
  • Foam brush
  • Small craft paintbrush
  • Desk surface (I used pre-cut finish grade plywood)
  • ScotchBlue painter’s Tape
  • General Finishes Water-based sealer (or satin Minwax Polycrylic)

Instructions:

Begin by lightly sanding your desktop with the sanding block. Wipe any dust off with a damp rag.

Paint one coat of primer on your desktop surface. (A little note about my primer: I asked the Lowe’s paint department to tint it as dark as they could with black colorant. This helps when you are painting over the primer with a dark color.)

How to Make a Chalkboard Surface Desk | Pretty Handy Girl

After the primer has dried, create a border on your desktop with painter’s tape. Press the edges down firmly with your fingers. Paint one coat of chalkboard paint with the paint brush. Brush the paint in one direction. Let that layer dry. Repeat with a second coat brushing across the original strokes (i.e. vertical then horizontal.) [Read more...]

A Blue Loft Bed for My Son

blue-loft-bed

blue-loft-bed

Guys and Gals, I am here today to tell you that you can build a loft bed for your child! However, unlike most of the tutorials you find on my site, building this loft bed is not one of them. Instead, loads of gratitude goes to Ana White and her fabulous plans for building a loft bed. You can follow her plans for the build. I assure you, they are detailed and easy to follow.

DIY Loft Bed | Pretty Handy Girl

The only modification I made to the plans was to move the ladder to the foot of the bed instead of the side. What I will show you is how to color stain the bed blue in two simple steps. I’m absolutely in love with the Minwax Express Color wiping stains. They go on super easily, and clean up is a snap with soap and water. Then you seal it as easily as you stained it. Coolest product EVER!

Materials: [Read more...]

An Easy Way to Add Color to a Dresser {Lowe’s Creative Idea}

Easy Added Color to a Dresser | Pretty Handy Girl

Easy Added Color to a Dresser | Pretty Handy Girl

Adding color to dresser drawers is definitely an easy way to add a pop of color to an otherwise boring piece of furniture. Add some new knobs and your dresser will look like a new piece of furniture! (Tutorial for creating custom knobs coming soon.)

You could say that I finally got that Kick in the Pants I needed to start working on my son’s room. One makeover I had in mind was giving his dresser a pop of color.  The top and sides of the dresser were in great shape and it has a tough laminate top. Instead of painting the entire dresser, I decided to paint only the drawers because — knowing my little guy — he would have it scratched up in no time.

Easy Added Color to a Dresser | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials:

Instructions:

Start by removing clothing from the drawers. Then firmly pull the drawers all the way out. Some drawers have a clip at the end, just pull straight toward you. Others may require you to lift up on the front to release the drawers from the track. Mark the inside of the drawer so you know which slot to return it to.

[Read more...]

Knock off Garden Table

Knock off Partridge Garden Table Tutorial

Knock off Partridge Garden Table Tutorial

I often find myself searching online looking at furniture and decor on sites that I consider full of unique items.  I recently came across the Anthropologie Partridge Garden Table and fell in love.  The creative use of old mismatched legs was awesome.  Then I saw the price; a mere $ 148.00.  As cool as it is, spending that much for a plant stand is way more than I could ever justify.  I knew I could make it cheaper and am excited to show you how to make your own!

Materials

  • 3 different banister Spindles or table legs
  • 10″ clock face round
  • Wood Glue
  • Nail Gun
  • Wood Filler
  • Painters Tape
  • Three different colors of Paint
  • Sliding T-Bevel Square
  • Miter Saw
  • Spray Paint (Rust-Oleum Rustic Mist)
  • Spray Paint (High Gloss Sealer)

Round Legs

Instructions

1.  Lay  out the spindles and decide which sections will be used for the legs. [Read more...]

How to Faux Finish Weathered Wood Grain {Lowe’s Creative Idea}

Faux Weathered Gray Wood Grain Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Faux Weathered Gray Wood Grain Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Do you love the Restoration Hardware tables that have that beautiful gray (driftwood-like) weathered wood? Me too. But, I can’t justify spending thousands of dollars on their furniture. Instead, I found a Craig’s List pedestal table that had the right shape and size for our kitchen. It was a cherry veneer finish, but after some paint you’d never know!

Faux Weathered Gray Wood Grain Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

And then, I created my own Faux Weathered Gray Wood Grain top. All you need are some Valspar paint samples, some wood grain tools and a dry brush to achieve this look.

Ready to get started?

Materials:

Faux Weathered Gray Wood Grain Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Base Coat and Glazes:

Faux Weathered Gray Wood Grain Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Before you begin creating your wood grain, you should paint your surface with Valspar Woodrow Wilson Putty and allow it to dry.

Faux Weathered Gray Wood Grain Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

If you are painting furniture, lightly sand the piece. And be sure to use Valspar Paint + Primer in one. This will allow you to paint directly onto the furniture and skip the primer. [Read more...]

Upcycled Plant Cart Saved from “Above the Rim”

Upcycled Metal Rolling Cart Plant Stand | Pretty Handy Girl

Upcycled Metal Rolling Cart Plant Stand | Pretty Handy Girl

This past summer I spied a metal cart in a dumpster. To be frank, I have never truly actually participated in dumpster diving. The thought of actually climbing inside a dumpster has never been on my acceptable things to do list. But, this metal bar cart was floating on top of the trash pile. It was (to quote a Seinfeld episode) above the rim! And it was begging to be upcycled into a beautiful plant cart.

So, I convinced myself it was okay and wasn’t officially dumpster diving. Feel free to debate this fact in the comment section.

I brought it home and knew I could do a quick makeover with some spray paint. But, first it needed a good cleaning and some prep work. The tops of the shelves were very rusty:

Upcycled Metal Rolling Cart Plant Stand | Pretty Handy Girl

And the undersides were filthy. But, the end product was worth it! Here is how to upcycle your own little metal rusty bar cart into a beautiful plant stand!

Materials:

Upcycled Metal Rolling Cart Plant Stand | Pretty Handy Girl

  • 1 Discarded rusty bar cart (rescued from above the rim)
  • Socket set
  • Hammer for coaxing rusty bolts loose
  • Can of Rustoleum Heirloom White spray paint
  • Can of Krylon Copper Spray paint
  • Sander/sanding block
  • Fine grit sand paper
  • Wire brush
  • Rag and/or damp wipes
  • Painter’s tape
  • Drop cloth
  • Scraps of wood to elevate while painting
  • Optional: Drill

Instructions:

Loosen corner bolts with a socket wrench or drill and socket bit. Hammer out any that are too rusty to budge. [Read more...]

Pretty Waterlogue April – Photo a Day Challenge

Pretty Waterlogue April | Photo a Day Challenge

Pretty Waterlogue April | Photo a Day Challenge

Hey y’all, I’m in the mood for Spring and beautiful things around my home. How about you? Let’s have a little fun together this April, okay?! In the process, it will help you brighten up your home with some beautiful original art. Are you in? Here’s the scoop: Starting April 1st, I would love to inspire you to join me in a Pretty Waterlogue April challenge!

If you recall, I turned some vacation photos into beautiful watercolor paintings for my sons’ bathroom using Waterlogue. And I know that you can also have beautiful paintings for you home just as easily!

How to Mat a Picture Like a Pro | Pretty Handy Girl

The concept is simple, if you use an iPhone, download the Waterlogue app (it costs $2.99, but is well worth it).

Then follow these simple directions:

1. Starting April 1st, snap one photo daily (or email a photo to yourself from your photo library) and turn it into a Waterlogue masterpiece.

Pretty Waterlogue April | Photo a Day Challenge

2. Share your photo with me by following me on Instagram and tagging me (@PrettyHandyGirl) in your photo description. Also, use the hashtag #PrettyWaterlogueApril so you can share, follow and see other participants photos.

Once a week, I’ll pick my favorites and share them on the blog.

Pretty Waterlogue April | Photo a Day Challenge

At the end of the month not only will you have 30 original art pieces to choose from, but you might also be chosen to win a fabulous prize pack from me! I’m still working out the details, but it will be awesome, it will encourage you to create more art, and you will love it…I promise!

Who’s up for the #PrettyWaterlogueApril challenge? Share this idea with your friends by spreading this graphic on Instagram:

Pretty Waterlogue April | Photo a Day Challenge

There should be no excuse for anyone to not have beautiful personal art in their own home!

Pretty Waterlogue April | Photo a Day Challenge

See you in April!

PHGFancySign

Disclaimer: I have no connection with Waterlogue. They have no idea I am holding this challenge. I just thought this would be a fun way to get creative, follow more of you on Instagram and build up your art collection!

 

DIY Colorful Coffee Stirrer Keychain

coffee stirrer keychain

coffee stirrer keychain

Hello Pretty Handy Girl readers, Jaime from That’s My Letter back again to share a fun craft project.  Today we’re making DIY wood keychains using coffee stirrer sticks.

If you love coffee just as much as I do, what could be better than a nifty craft made from coffee stirrers!

coffee stirrer keychains 1

The pattern possibilites are endless, stripes, diagonal, rainbow, chevron and on and on.  And what a great gift or favor idea for a party – you could paint them to match the party color scheme.

coffee stirrer keychain sticks

I may or may not have borrowed a few wood coffee stirrer sticks from my local coffee shop with a green and white logo.  Of course, I let my daughter do the dirty work but you only need about 5 sticks for one keychain.  Or more appropriately you can purchase coffee stirrer sticks or thin wood craft sticks from most craft and hobby shops.

coffee stirrer keychains 3

The painted coffee stirrer sticks are sealed with clear gloss varnish which gives a super hard finish that will hold up to everyday wear and tear while protecting the wood and paint.

Try one and I guarantee you’ll be hooked — then you’ll be making different styles and versions for everyone you know in a school or team color scheme ;-).

coffee stirrer keychain 4Materials:

coffee stirrer keychain supplies

  • 5 wood coffee stirrer sticks
  • acrylic craft paint
  • small paint brush
  • basswood (purchase one stick at 36″ l x 3/32″ thick x 2″w)
  • super glue (gel version is best)
  • scissors
  • rubber bands
  • clear gloss varnish (Americana DuraClear or similar)
  • sandpaper
  • clear gloss polyurethane spray (optional)
  • drill & small drill bit
  • keychain hardware

 

Instructions:

coffee stirrer keychain step 1

Step 1: Paint wood coffee stirrer sticks desired colors using acrylic craft paint.  Paint the edges too but not the back. [Read more...]

Desk Makeover {Paint Stripping with Citristrip & Painting with Latex Enamel}

desk painted with Latex enamel

desk makeover sitristrip latex enamel

One of the unique features of our home’s floor plan is a “tech room” with built in desks just off of our mud room.  When we first built our house I thought they would make the perfect place for our older boys to do their homework.

PicMonkey Collage

The builders painted the desks with latex paint and unfortunately it showed evey little mark and scratch almost immediately after we moved in.  Within a few months I had already given the tops of the desks a coat of black chalk paint in the hopes of giving it a more durable surface.  I was again disappointed within a couple of weeks.

chalk paint on desk

In a last ditch effort to make the space look nice I did a total overhall last summer and redecorated the entire room.

TechRoom-Makeover2

It looked fantastic at first but again, it held up horribly.  I knew I needed to come up with a solution that would make the desks both functional and durable.

At this point the desks had multiple coats of paint and my husband and I decided to strip them bare and start over.  We opted to use Citristrip to strip the paint after much research.  We have three small children and the lack of toxicity was a big plus for us.

how to use citristripMaterials:

  • Citristrip Stripping Gel
  • Paint brushes
  • Scraper/Joint knife
  • Sanding block
  • Latex Enamel Paint
  • Safety Gloves
  • Protective Eyewear

Instructions:

Clean your surface of dust and debris. (You can see how horribly my latex painted desk held up to three little boys!)

painted desk stained

Apply a generous coat of Citristrip to the painted surface using a paint brush, you’ll notice the Citristrip has a thick, gel-like consistency and does not have the strong odor of other paint strippers.  It is important to use a thick coat (if your Citristrip begins to dry out, it was not thick enough.)

You should wear gloves and protective eyewear when working with Citristrip. (I didn’t realize until later that my husband didn’t have his gloves on in many of these pictures.  He has been sufficiently reprimanded!)

stripping paint citristrip

Allow the Citristrip to sit on the project for 30 minutes and test a small area with your scraper.  You can leave the Citristrip on the project for up to 24 hours before scraping.

Scrape the Citristrip and paint off the surface, scraping in the direction of the wood grain. The paint should be removed easily.

scraping paint citristrip

Remove paint debris and thoroughly clean the bare surface.  Sand surface lightly to remove any residual paint if necessary.

desk after stripping citristrip

When our desk was stripped we were left with a large piece of MDF.  We originally thought it would be regular wood so I attempted to see how stain would look on the MDF but the results were not good so that plan was quickly abandoned.

stain on mdf

After much research into durability we decided to use a latex enamel paint to finish the desks.  We chose latex enamel because it is a harder, more durable finish than traditional latex paint.

latex enamel

Apply one layer of latex enamel paint with a paintbrush and allow to dry fully.  Do not place anything heavy or damp on the painted surface for 7 days to allow the paint to totally harden.

desk painted with Latex enamel

I’m happy to say it has been three months so far and the latex enamel is holding up perfectly! It’s durable enough to scrub and I love the deep, velvety appearance of the paint!

MelissaSignature

 -Learn more about Melissa-

DIY Aged Chippy Paint Technique

DIY Aged Chippy Paint Technique | Pretty Handy Girl

DIY Aged Chippy Paint Technique | Pretty Handy Girl

This is another one of those tutorials that I’ve been dying to share with you! Like sitting on my hands and anxiously waiting to type it out. But after taking 2 weeks off from blogging, I’m back and ready to give you this fabulous tutorial for achieving the aged chippy paint look on your next project.

DIY Aged Chippy Paint Technique | Pretty Handy Girl

Before I give you the chippy gritty, I want to give you the background story on those gorgeous corbels.

If you’ve been following along, I finally completed my 13 month kitchen renovation. The last task was installing two open shelves on the full tile wall. Finding the perfect corbels to use as shelf brackets was not an easy task. I scoured eBay, Craig’s List and salvage shops. I was really getting discouraged. That was when I met Garlan from Southern Accents Architectural Antiques at Haven. We talked for a few minutes and he showed me some of the corbels he had in his store. There were some wonderful old ones, but I felt a bit like Goldilocks. One was too tall. The other not big enough, but the biggest problem was that I needed four of them. Garlan showed me some new corbels that he had. He told me he has a guy that can duplicate any corbel design and can customize them to meet any size requirements. It was as if the heavens parted and angels sang! I was elated and couldn’t wait to find an image of a design I liked. But, again, the Goldilocks in me couldn’t find the “perfect” corbels. So, I opened up Adobe Illustrator and started to design my own unique corbels.

PHG Corbel Design for Sa1969.com

 

I designed a scroll pattern based off of one corbel I saw, but also added some relief portions inside the corbel. I sent the image to Garlan and a week later he sent me a picture of one of the corbels. It was love at first sight! I quickly approved the initial one and waited anxiously for the corbels to arrive. When I opened the box, they were beautiful and exactly as I had pictured them in my head.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques corbels

I set forth to give them an appropriate aged chippy paint look to fool people into thinking they were actually antique salvage. Here’s how I did it. [Read more...]

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...]