Strip, Sand and Stain: Refinished Side Table

refinished oak side tablerefinished oak side tableWe’ve had this little wooden antique table for many years. I’m not sure why, but it is one of the few that I have never taken the time to refinish. We keep it in our bedroom and I love both the size and shape of it. The old stain was super dark and didn’t reveal even the slightest hint of the wood beneath. In all honesty, my first choice would have been to paint it out white just because that’s what I do. Tim really likes “wood” and the grain to be revealed, so my thought was to do a quick refinish and prove it was nothing spectacular and then have my way and paint it white. I must say, we were both quite surprised when the stripping was done and the beautiful oak wood grain was exposed. Although I still prefer the “painted out” look of white, we do have dark brown in our room, so I opted to stain it and make my hubby happy! I can’t believe the difference in the BEFORE and AFTERs.

 

Storage Bench Upcycle

upcycled storage bench

BEFORE: storage bench

BEFORE: storage bench was looking worn and tired

This project was another one that didn’t even make my “to do” list, but just kind of evolved. I’ve hated this bench for a long time and last winter, Eden spilt her smoothie on the upholstered top. If it was to stay, something had to be done. I decided to give it a freshening up with white paint and a newly upholstered top. I was so excited when I found this fabric on clearance for $8/m. I love the design and colour of the fabric. So pleased with the result, although I’m not sure where it might find its permanent home.Before and After upcycled storage bench

 

upcycled storage bench

AFTER: cleaned up the interior with paint and Mactac (you can still see the tape on the side)

 

Antique Coat Rack

antique coat rackMany years ago, my grandparents were downsizing and had an auction sale prior to moving into a seniors’ facility. I managed to pick-up their antique coat rack at the sale. I loved the coat stand and it also allowed me to keep something that had belonged to them. Over the years, it suffered many chips and nicks and although the transformation was far from dramatic, I am pleased with the results of the stripping and staining.

Circa 1850When stripping, I find the Crica 1850 products work great. They are strong and fast acting products that require proper gloves and protection. Although effective, be careful when using these products. I’m not quite sure what type of wood my coat rack is, but the grain is not very visible and it seems to have a natural redish hue ~ maybe fir? I chose a deep brown stain that helped to tame the red and a satin finish, as opposed to the old high gloss. I love how it has more of a matt look.

antique coat rack

 

Bedroom Makeover: Part 4 Contemporary Boy’s Room Reveal

Well, Shay’s contemporary styled boy’s room is officially done! I love the black and white combination and with Eden choosing the same palette, the upstairs flows nicely together. A black and white colour scheme is so versatile and really stands the test of time.  I actually got this project completed pretty quickly, but was delayed in finding blackout curtains. I ended up scoring big at Jysk and got some black room darkening curtains that were regularly priced at $50 per panel and on sale for $10 – I cleaned the store out and bought the last 6 panels! What a great deal! When the curtains are closed the room is pretty dark with the black walls and curtains, but Shay’s room has so many windows, he can get away with it. There are a total of 6 windows in his room plus the one in his closet. It is very bright without proper shades and so we decided to go for the blackout curtains and he loves it. This is one of my favourite rooms in the house. It is so bright and a great size as well.

The total room makeover included the following:

  • patching, sanding, priming and painting three walls black
  • painting a geometric feature wall
  • scraping, sanding, priming and painting the two side windows (this was a huge job as these two windows alone meant trimming around 48 panes of glass)
  • repainting baseboards, trim and doors
  • spray painting the door knobs (we’ll have to see if these hold up or not but thought it was worth a try)
  • repainting the bedside table
  • repainting the desk top
  • reupholstering the chair
  • replacing the bed board beneath the mattress as it was cracked
  • replacing the dark blue chalkboard tubs in the red cabinet with black ones
  • repainting the hockey stick shelf black
  • purchasing, hemming and steaming 6 panels of curtains
  • new bedding

The main expenses for this project were the paint ($100), curtains ($68ish) and bedding as well as a few smaller accessories ($100ish).  I am guessing it cost under $300 to re-do the entire space. Many of my room makeovers are more about the sweat equity than the dollar value.  Designing on a limited budget is possible….so much can be accomplished with paint and some hard work!!

Bedroom Makeover: Part 3 ~ How to Paint a Feature Wall

Geometric Feature Wall

Geometric Feature Wall

For a feature wall, Shay wanted something geometric. I did some research and ended up coming up with a triangle design for his geometric feature wall.

How to Paint a Feature Wall:

  1. Prep your walls (plaster, sand, prime any holes)
  2. Paint your base colour (in my case white)
  3. Plan and tape off your design.
  4. Firmly press both edges of the painter’s tape to the wall.
  5. Using a fairly dry brush, seal the edges of the tape with the same colour as your base wall.
  6. Plan your colours.
  7. Paint the sections of your wall.
  8. Remove the tape and touch up if necessary.

I first had to sand the edges of the red stripe and then patch/repair any imperfections on the wall. Once that was dry and sanded, I primed those areas before putting on two coats of white paint (Benjamin Moore Simply White). It is important to let fresh paint cure before adding any tape. I let the painted white walls cure for 10 days before starting this actual feature wall. In the past, I have applied tape too soon and it is very frustrating when you remove tape from your finished project and have several layers of paint come off with it. Be patient!

To be honest, other than deciding on triangles, there was no plan. I liked the look of having a one inch white border between the shapes and that was why I did the two coats of white before starting. I began by taping off a border that went around the permimeter of the wall (top, bottom and both sides). I did not put a border around the door frame because I wanted to create the illusion that the design extended through the door frame. I then created the wall using the tape as my design tool. It was important to make sure the lines I created were straight, but the angles and sizes varied from triangle to triangle.

tape wall

Tape the design on your wall. Ensure the edges are firmly pressed into the wall.

Once the design was created with the painter’s tape, I had to go over each piece with the edge of my finger nail, firmly pressing both edges of the green tape to make sure there was a proper seal to the wall.

Although you may be tempted, DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! Step 5 is the key to getting those crisp perfect lines with little to no bleeding beneath the tape. You must take your base colour (white in my case) and with a fairly dry brush (not too much paint on it), seal Seal the tape edgesboth edges of all the paint strips. This may seem a bit overwhelming, but believe me it is the key to achieving the best results possible. The truth of the matter is PAINT BLEEDS UNDER TAPE, so you want to control this by making sure that the paint that bleeds is the same colour as your base wall (white bleeds on white). There is nothing as disappointing as removing the tape and finding that the colours you’ve used have leaked over top of one another. I have to confess the white boarders made this job pretty easy because all of my sealing was done in white. If you have different colours up against one another, you need to make sure that the colour you are sealing with is the same as the colour it will bleed onto. For example if I didn’t have white boarders, I may have grey bleeding onto black and visa versa. I would need to use the appropriate colour to seal each and every strip/edge of tape. This is much more work.

Seal the edges with base colour.

Seal the edges with your base colour to avoid have the paint bleed under the tape.

To plan out the colours for the triangles, I ended up taking a photo of the taped off wall and importing it into a Pages document on my Mac. I then used the drawing tool to draw each triangle and then filled it with the desired colour. This allowed me to change the colour for any given shape until the desired look was achieved. The grey tones did not match my paint colours exactly, but I was able to get the over all look using black, dark grey, medium grey and then a light shade. I wanted to make sure I was happy with the design and colour placement before starting to paint. For the colours, I used the black and white paint I’d purchased for the walls (one gallon of each) and the grey was a gallon I’d purchased as a mistint for real cheap. (When decorating on a budget, always check the mistints because you can often purchase excellent quality paint for a fraction of the price.)

Plan your colours

Use a drawing program to plan out your colours. I just used Pages on my Mac.

Once you have a plan, begin painting the triangles. I did this one colour at a time and by the time I finished the wall, the first colour was pretty much ready for a second coat. I rolled my colours on as I prefer the smooth look of a roller as opposed to a brush. (I did use a brush for a few of the tight corners and to trim along the door frame where there was no white border).

Remove the tape and voilá ~ you have a beautiful geometric feature wall! If you have sealed your tape well, you should not need to do any touch-ups, but if you didn’t, you may need to clean-up the spots where the paint leaked under the tape. This is not fun, so try to be very careful when completing steps 4 and 5.

 

Bedroom Makeover: Part 2 ~ Upcycled Desk and Chair

The desk and chair in Shay’s room have been in our home for years. If I remember correctly, I think the set was a freebie from a friend (or maybe a really cheap second-hand purchase).  Over the years, I’m sure that the top has been painted at least 4 times. It’s an easy job and the plain black base allows it fit with almost any decor. It is a perfect kid’s room desk and despite its age, has really stood the test of time.

hockey theme room

BEFORE:  Desk, chair and hockey shelf from Shay’s old hockey themed room.

upcycled desk and chair

AFTER: A new paint job and some updated fabric will help coordinate these old items into Shay’s new bedroom design.

 

Shay actually loved the style of the top, but wanted me to redo it so that the colours were consistent with his new decor. Basically, all I did was give the urethane on top a light sand so the paint would stick, prime it and then play with some paint to get the desired look. I did add a bit of glaze to the paint because I already had it on hand. The glaze is great for mixing colours together and slows the dry time slightly so that you can “play” with the paint a bit more.  Once the painting was done, I added three coats of urethane to seal it and make it more durable.

Since I was already in the midst of painting, I also decided to give the hockey stick shelf a bit of a new look, by painting the shelves black. I really like the black as opposed to the original red even though I’m not yet sure that the shelf will remain in Shay’s new room. Either way, I thought that fresh paint in a more neutral colour would make it more marketable on Kijiji when we post all of his other Jets/hockey room accessories.hockey stick shelf

Of course, the previously reupholstered blue chair would no longer work. I have upcycled a few of these old style folding chairs, so giving this a new look was probably no more than a half hour job. You simply remove the screws. lay new fabric overtop (or remove the old first) and use a staple gun to secure it in place. I had left over fabric from previous projects, so the fabric cost me nothing.

upcycled chair

 

Bedroom Makeover: Part 1~ Door Knob Hole Repair

Well, so far its been a great summer! We spent the first week in my home town enjoying our time with family and friends. It was awesome connecting with so many people that I hadn’t seen in years and in some cases decades! I must admit I was thoroughly exhausted after so much visiting and many late nights (I’m actually surprised I can still do that).  So after arriving home, I did take a few days to relax before embarking on big project number 1 – my 12 year old son’s room.

Although it doesn’t seem like that long ago since we completed his Winnipeg Jet’s hockey themed bedroom, his bedding had been the same since he made the big move to his big boy bed over 9 years ago. With the bedding looking very tired and a gaping 3 foot hole on the underside (he caught his foot in a small worn patch), it was in fact deemed necessary to do yet another bedroom make-over.

hockey theme room

Goodbye hockey themed room!

Shay has always been very set in his ways. He had a very clear idea of what he wanted, so the design factor was pretty minimal on my part. He wanted a black and white room. The great thing about his colour selection was that it tied in nicely with Eden’s city themed bedroom which is also primarily black and white. In addition to his choice of colours, he already had two navy blue walls in his room, so painting black over the navy was virtually a snap, but the third wall was formerly beige and did require 3 coats to get proper coverage. So, the job began by sanding out the red stripe (a hard and tedious job), patching, priming and finally painting the walls. He chose to have three black walls and one feature wall. The idea of having a primarily black room may seen daunting, but Shay’s room has an incredible full wall of windows plus two additional windows in the main space and yet another smaller window in his walk-in closet.

One of my first jobs was to repair the door knob hole in Shay’s wall. Interestingly enough, it wasn’t until I was mid repair that Shay spilled the beans and told me it was actually his dad that made the door knob hole in the wall while trying to do a slam dunk on his over the door basketball hoop. Although I had never directly asked what happened, I had always assumed it was Shay that had done the damage during his endless hours of basketball play in his room throughout the winter months. According to Shay, Tim said “don’t tell mom” ~ of course, this little secret wouldn’t have been as easy to keep had I asked, but I never did. The part I didn’t get was, why is it that I am doing the repair then? When I asked Tim about fixing the wall, he told me it would be a big job and began to list all the steps that it would take ~ to me this translated as – I will do it “someday”. Unfortunately, that seemed like a long way away and if I was going to knock off this project I had to begin by doing my first ever major wall repair. I began to search the web looking for instructions on how to repair a door knob hole and found what seemed like a great tutorial that outlined the steps to fix the hole. I didn’t tell Tim because a part of me wanted to surprise him and show him that I could do it without his help. Here is what the hole looked like.

door knob hole repair

Here is the hole that was behind Shay’s door.

door knob hole repair

Here is another shot of the hole.

door knob hole repair

Click the picture to check-out the full tutorial.

 

The directions on Snapguide were super easy to follow and I must admit I not only impressed myself with my handy work, but my husband as well! The key to the repair was really leaving the extra edge of drywall paper on the outside edge of the square I cut out.  The overlap of paper helps hold the drywall piece securely in the hole. Made sense and worked like a charm.

 

 

I certainly can’t claim perfection, but pretty good for a first try.

door knob hole repair

Here is the repaired wall. You may also notice that I spray painted the old door knobs. It’s too early to see if they’ll hold up, but so far so good.

Ice Cream Cake Extraordinaire!

I enjoy ice cream, but have never really been a fan of ice cream cakes. I have always loved a good old fashioned home made birthday cake. Shay recently celebrated his 12th birthday and when I asked what kind of cake he wanted he said he didn’t want one at all. I pretty much insisted that he had to have a cake or cupcakes, as our guests would expect it. He flatly declined both options for his birthday with his mates and opted to take his friends to Dairy Queen for Blizzards on the way home from his paintball party. I had to admit this seemed a bit too good to be true ~ I didn’t have to host it in my home or haul any food to the party. We literally packed up the boys and a cooler of drinks and spent the afternoon paintballing. On the way home we stopped at DQ before dropping the boys off at home. Too easy!

However, I did have to insist on a cake for his family party. He finally consented and asked if he could have an ice cream cake. I had never made one before, but thought it would be fun to see what I could come up with. In the end, I have to say even I was left wanting seconds. I ended up using a combination of several recipes and ideas to come up with this fabulous homemade ice cream cake recipe. It was delicious and I have a feeling it might become a regular request at our house.

Ice Cream Cake Extraordinaire

Ingredients:

Ice Cream Cake Ingredients

  • 20 ice cream sandwiches
  • Oreo cookies, crushed and separated (2/3 package + remainder split in half)
  • 3 Hershey’s Cookies’n’Creme candy bars
  • large Cool Whip
  • Smucker’s Magic Shell
  • Smucker’s Chocolate Sundae Syrup
  • Oreo Ice Cream, softened
  • Jello Vanilla Instant Pudding
  • foil
  • cake pan (I used a 9 X 13)

Preparation:

  1. Soften ice cream (just enough so that you can stir in other ingredients).
  2. Line the cake pan with foil – be sure to extend it a few inches above the edge of your pan so that you can grab the edges when removing the frozen cake.
  3. Make your own Oreo Crunch (similar to the chocolate crunch in the cakes at Dairy Queen). Mash 2/3 of a package of Oreo cookies into crumbs and add the bottle of Magic Shell to the cookie pieces. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the softened Oreo Ice Cream with the instant pudding powder and half of the remaining crushed cookies. Stir well and then fold in half of the Cool Whip.
  5. Break the chocolate bars into small pieces to decorate the top.

Assembly:

  1. Add a layer of ice cream bars to the bottom. Make sure they fit tightly.
  2. Drizzle chocolate Sundae Syrup on top and spread evenly to create a thin layer of sauce (not sure how much I used).
  3. Add the Oreo Crunch. Spread evenly over the syrup.
  4. Add the ice cream mixture evenly to the top.
  5. Arrange a second layer of ice cream sandwiches.
  6. Top with remaining Cool Whip.
  7. Sprinkle the top with remaining crushed Oreos and the broken chocolate bars.

This cake extended out the top of my pan, but maintained its shape and froze well. You can make this ahead of time which is super convenient.  To serve, carefully lift the cake out using the foil edges. Set the cake on a tray and serve immediately. Add extra Sundae topping if desired.

This cake was a big hit and served a party of 13 with about 6 pieces leftover to enjoy another day. I’d guess it would easily serve 20! I love how versatile this recipe could be ~ you could use the basic idea and generate a totally different cake by simply changing some or several of the ingredients. So many possibilities by simply changing the cookies, chocolate bars or flavour of the pudding or ice cream. So easy and yet a real crowd pleaser.

If you should decide to try out my recipe and make some of your own creative changes ~ be sure to let me know how it turns out!  I can’t wait to try some other combinations ~ already thinking about Pralines ‘n Cream ice cream with Skor bar and butterscotch pudding…maybe vanilla wafers??

Summer isn’t all fun and games!

Well, it’s been a few weeks since my last post, but I’m back from my short holiday and ready to roll. I have big plans this summer and am trying desperately to stick to some sort of a schedule. Obviously, it’s my vacation time as well as the kids, so we definitely need to book in some fun, but I have a very daunting list of “to do’s”. Last year, we tackled Eden’s room and did a complete make-over of her space. It was a big undertaking and took up most of our down time. Of course, we were away for 3 weeks, so between our holiday and her room there really wasn’t time for much else. With Eden’s fresh new space, it didn’t take long before Shay was begging for changes in his room as well.

So aside from all the things I want to get done, I’ve added Shay’s room to the list! I can’t imagine that I can complete even half of what is on my list, but here are some of the things I’ll strive to get done this summer and of course, I’ll keep you posted!

  • Shay’s bedroom make-over
  • Dining Room table – Refinish our old antique table to replace the glass one we’re currently using.
  • Living Room – We are finally going to replace our couch! We all know what that means….we’ll also need a new coffee table, lighting and of course, accessories!
  • I am super behind in my scrapbooking, so I have set a goal of one lay-out per week during the summer. This won’t catch me up completely, but would certainly help to get me on track.
  • Have I mentioned purging ~ well, we can’t forget that! My plan is to tackle one “collection” per week.  Some tasks will be very manageable, but others will take several hours of commitment to get through. I have already gone through my recipe cupboard and have it looking more organized. I was able to purge 6 cookbooks and clean-up the clutter of photocopied recipes. I can’t say I’ve gone through all my recipe binders and removed those I don’t use, but at least the cupboard is looking much better. Still on the hit list are: towels, linens, Christmas decorations, photos, books, toys and the kitchen (yikes).
  • Prep, prime and paint the new laundry room space (I’d love to see it all set-up and ready to go, but I’m not sure we can pull that off this summer.)
  • Mud room make-over ~ this is a bit of a pipe dream and I really have no idea if I will get anywhere with this project, but it is also the area I hate the most in our house. It is completely dysfunctional and very ugly. There is inefficient (or should I say non-existent) storage and it’s completely void of any design elements. Let’s just say it’s a sore spot with me, but the biggest issue is that it will be a huge job and one I can’t do alone. We’ll have to see what’s left in our budget and how much stamina I have left after attacking some of the other items on my list.

So with that said and my goals shared, I’m off to accomplish them.

Happy Father’s Day!

As always, the service at Springs Church was excellent today. The praise and worship team did a couple of special numbers, both of which were fabulous tributes to DADS.

Eden managed to video this performance, so she could show her dad later today, when he gets up for work. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did…..so hilarious (and true)! They sang this parody based on the Brittany Spears song “Hit Me Baby, One More Time”.

PS Dads, you may think you have us all figured out….don’t bet on it!

Happy Father’s Day!