November 03, 2016

How to Paint a Lamp - Shabby Chic

Lamps can be so expensive!?!  I mean you can easily drop $100 on a good lamp here in the Pacific Northwest.  For an average lamp, you're still looking at spending that same amount on a pair of them.  Well, this is your lucky day.  I'm here to tell you that you don't have to spend a fortune on a lamp or two that matches the style of your home.  In fact, you can even re-do those lamps you have in the house that don't seem to fit with your style anymore.

First off, your lamps do not have to match in each room.  In fact, it creates more interest and texture in a room when they don't.

In these next two photos you can see that NONE of my lamps actually match, yet they still go with the room and create a balance.

But a lamp like this one below, doesn't quite fit the look of the room or the light and bright feeling I am striving for.

So .....you can start this project with any old lamp.   Find a set for cheap at a garage sale or thrift store, or pull out that set you put in the attic last year because you didn't know what to do with them.

I wanted to create a shabby chic look, and I wanted it to be light and bright.  So I chose to paint it white.  And with this project, chalk paint is the only way to go in my opinion.  It literally sticks to EVERYTHING.

I am still working on this can of linen white Rustoleum chalk paint from other projects, so I didn't have to buy anything.  You can buy it on Amazon and I have put a link below for your convenience.

I literally slapped it on, two coats.  Drying inbetween of course.  But no prep, no sanding, no cleaning.  I just started painting.

Here's what it looks like after 2 coats of the chalk paint.

 Next, I grabbed a sheet of 150 grit sandpaper out of my garage.  I always have some handy for my projects, but you could buy a sheet for less than a dollar if you don't have any.

The lower the number or 'grit' of sandpaper, the rougher the paper is.  So a 60 grit would have been too rough and would take off too much of the paint.  150 grit is a finer grit that works perfectly for this kind of project.  And I'll be honest, it's all trial and error.  I have had to repaint projects because I used the wrong grit!  But that's okay too, you can always repaint and do it again.

 I sanded just so it would wear through evenly all over the lamp.   

I may or may NOT have tried sanding this lamp in the living room while our family was watching the World Series last night?  It didn't go over very well. :)

That was literally it.  I didn't even seal it with wax or anything because it's a lamp and doesn't get alot of handling.


So don't buy new lamps, redo the ones you already have!  Or buy some cheap ones and fix them up.  You can even find lamp shades at the thriftstore or inexpensive discount stores that could give that lamp the finishing touch you are looking for.

Here's a few that I like that would look great on this lamp.  I plan to trade out the plain white when I find what I'm looking for.

Pewter Gray Bell Lamp Shade 8x14x11 (Spider) 
Lolli Living Lampshade, Grey Zig ZagAttractive 10" Drum Lamp Shade, Trellis Bronze | 10"L x 10"W x 12"H 

As always, please share your projects with me!  I would absolutely love to see and hear about your lamp redo project.  And if you ever have any questions, I would be more than happy to attempt an answer for you.  Have a great weekend!

November 02, 2016

Update your staircase on a Budget!

Our home was built in 1998.  Some of the finishes that were installed are very timeless with a Craftsman style.  Other finishes reflect the year of the home and show it's age.  The wood on our staircase was the old yellow oak finish that was so very popular in the 1990's and into the 20th century.  But the style of the banister is very classic and Craftsman. 

Often you will see in old farmhouses and even in some new homes built today that the staircase is all white.  I LOVE the white look as it feels fresh and bright and clean.

So today...was FINALLY the day to do it.  I felt like when you walked into my home it was the first thing you would see and that it made my home feel dated.  (Although I'm sure it was more me than anyone else with these thoughts)

Here are the BEFORE photos.

Honestly?  Part of why I put this off so long as it seemed like a tedious task that was going to take FOREVER!  But it didn't!  I did it in just a day.  Although it's not quite completely dry...it's all done.  

An afternoon with the kids at school and this lady can accomplish GREAT THINGS!

I started with my little cheat that I have shared in other posts before.  That I like to use chalk paint as my PRIMER!  For a staircase, chalk paint isn't as durable as a trim/cabinet/door paint so I didn't want to go that route.  I used the same techniques that I did on my kitchen cabinets.  You can find that tutorial by clicking below. 

I have found a chalk paint that is much less expensive than many other brands out there (like by almost $15 a quart!) and works just as well.  I'm using Rustoleum chalk paint in Linen White for this project.  You can buy it yourself on Amazon by clicking the link below.

I use a cheap brush that I can throw away if need be.  I've just learned to accept I'm one of those people that often forgets to clean my brushes.  After who knows how many expensive brushes over the years, I have resorted to keeping it simple.

After first cleaning with TSP (link below for product information), I applied a thin coat of the chalk paint to all the yellow oak on my staircase.

TSP Cleaner - CLICK HERE!!!

Then I finished with 2 coats of cabinet/trim/door paint.  Standard off the shelf white to match my interior trim.  I think it turned out great!

I can't tell you how much brighter and how fresh it feels compared to the yellowed oak.

Eventually I plan to take the carpet off those stairs and have wood stairs, but all in good time and one step at a time.

Thank you for stopping by my blog today, and as always...let me know if you take the plunge and take this project on yourself!  I'd love to see YOUR before and after photos.  

October 27, 2016

How to Give Your Dining Room A Farmhouse Style ~ with what you Already Have

So here she is today in all her glory!  Well, maybe not glory.  But to me, it sure feels like it after what we started with.  It's been a long process to get it where it is today.  I don't have the budget to buy things all new.  But more importantly, I love things that are unique or have sentimental value.  Our home is supposed to reflect our family and who we are.  That means something different to everyone, but to me...it means family.

Let's go back to our before photo from the night we put an offer on the house.

You are looking at a room with red wall paint and a green painted beadboard wainscoting installed around the room.  The wainscoting is missing the finishing 'cap' or trim at the top of it.  It's just a raw edge of the beadboard you can buy at your local home improvement store.  

So, naturally...we started with paint.

 This was a great improvement in and of itself.  I picked this color for the whole interior of the house to just give it a blank slate as we were moving in.  It's called Pavillion Beige by Sherwin Williams.  

Here is a link to my Pinterest page where I first saw and saved it many moons ago, as I was dreaming of the day we would buy this home. 

I'd like to tell you that the rest of it just magically came together, but it took some time.  Most of our furniture was dark and we didn't have alot to fill up the room either.

Wow...just looking at this photo is crazy to me!  I can't believe how much it has changed!!!  You know how you don't notice something when it gradually changes daily over time?

The next thing I did was paint the buffet.  I used a chalk paint and lightly distressed it.  I didn't take any photos of this in process.  Well, you can see some in the background of this next photo.  We also sold our dark dining room table.  I had bought a table from a friend years before that needed some refinishing.  This was the perfect room for it.

And here is the before and after shots of the table we refinished!  You can find the full tutorial by clicking the link below.

Here is a quick before and after so you get the idea.

Next on my list was the 'cap' or trim for the top of the wainscoting that was never installed by the previous owners.  We decided to go with something as close as we could get to the trim around the doors in the house.

This was one of those projects we had the matrials sitting in the garage for what seemed like forever and not enough time.  So one day, I decided to do it while my hubby was at work and surprise him!  I think it turned out pretty good :).   He wasn't surprised though, I'm not sure anything could surprise him anymore.

I just painted the trim to match the wainscoating after it was installed.

Another thing that bothered me in this room was the chandelier.  It just felt so dated.  I love that farm house family look so much and a new light just wasn't in the budget.  So....we turned OURS into a more classic style you find in many stores today....but for FREE!  Just a few alterations and some good ole' Rustoleium Spray Paint.  You can check out what I like to use on metal in the link below.

And after changing out a rug here and there, making some curtains, adding some inexpensive candles and garage sale finds like crates and barrels...oh and fresh greens from outside every chance I can get.....

We have a COMPLETELY different look!

Remember the BEFORE shots?

Here she is today!  Do people name dining rooms like they do cars??  What should I name her?

The large barn door looking thing on the left is a sliding barn door in the progress of being hung.  All the details on that baby coming soon!

This room to me, reflects our family.  The buffet was given to me by my mom.  It was given to her by my dad once upon a time on HIS birthday of all things.  It took me a long time to get up the nerve to paint it, and I even asked my mom for permission...but this way we get to truly enjoy it many more years.  This table design is a big square that seats everyone facing each other equally...as a family.  There is a handmade sign that my oldest daughter made me in a corner that says "With God All Things Are Possible".  Also, the cross was given to me by my husband on mothers day, and reminds us we are saved by his Amazing Grace.  This room, is where our family and friends now make memories.  It's where I get to start and end my days with some of the people who matter most.

Thank you for sharing my journey with me.  I know it seems like alot, and if it overwhelms you...you are not alone.  Take it one step at a time.  One thing at a time.  Just like how I wrote about this makeover.  First, we painted.  Next, we did the buffet...and so on.  You CAN do it.  You CAN create a room that inspires you to be the best that you can be.  A room you get to start and end YOUR day in.  A room you can make many more years of memories in.