Laundry Room Project Part 3: Upcycled Light Fixture

Upcycled Vintage Basket Light FixtureLike any room make-over, you generally have a vision for how the space will look when you’re done. I have dreamed of a main floor laundry room for a long time and although I have a very distinct style in mind, there are so many great ideas out there that it is hard to narrow it down and decide exactly what I want in this new space. My old laundry room was really not a laundry room at all, but rather a corner of my unfinished basement that housed stinky hockey equipment, various tubs of items in storage, boxes for electronics that were still on warranty, the freezer and so much more. It was nasty to say the least. If one doesn’t hate doing laundry because of the nature of the task, having a complete and utter dump in which to do it will turn you off for sure.

The one thing I knew  for certain was that I wanted to do lots of upcycling in this space (not unlike the rest of my house), but with deliberate intention to mix old and new. For the light fixture I wanted something old and worn that would add a bit of character to the space. I have high 10 foot ceilings, so I knew that a pendant would be necessary in order to get adequate lighting. Although I didn’t know what the final form would take, I trusted that I would know the piece when I saw it. Sure enough, I found this incredible antique metal basket at one of my favourite antique stores “Candle and Co.” in West St. Paul. I picked it up for $40 and the best part was I didn’t have to do one thing to it! I loved the colour and the peeling paint/rust was exactly the look I was going for.

Antique Metal Basket upcycle

I actually picked up three items for $46! Love this basket.

In addition to the basket which would end up being my make shift shade, I also picked up a set of two pendant lights for $5 at a garage sale.  (Yes, that is $2.50 each – what a deal!) All I needed to do was remove the glass and spray paint it black.

To create the finished fixture, we just took the spray painted pendant and reassembled it with the basket between the rod and the bottom ~ way too easy and I love the finished look. The colour is a hint darker than my walls and the old style bulb is a great finishing touch!

garage sale pendant light

This is sitting a little wonky because the fixture was already taken apart, but basically the glass shade sat inside the metal basket part.

garage sale pendant light

All we did was unscrew the the fixture to remove the glass and spray paint it black.

Tim and I moved the washer up on Thursday. It is hooked up and ready to go. The dryer gets moved today and although the room isn’t even close to being finished with many smaller projects left to complete, my goal is accomplished ~ starting today I can do laundry on my main floor! The light fixture looks great in the space, the only thing I may do, is use a small “s” hook to hold the handle up. It doesn’t interfere with head room, but I may play with the finished look a bit.Upcycled Light Fixture

Deep sigh….feeling so blessed to have such a handyman for a husband and so appreciative that he spent his entire two weeks of holidays working on our laundry room!

Laundry Room Project Part 2: Antique Washboard Upcycle

Upcycled Washboard

AFTER: Upcycled antique washboard for my new main floor laundry room.

You may remember my beginning of summer post with so many lofty goals I hoped to accomplish this summer. Although I have definitely fallen short on my scrapbooking goals. I did manage to plow through many of the items on my “to do list”.

I have to say that purging is what took up most of my time. I went through tubs and boxes and old toys and extra linens… name it, I purged it. I posted many items on Kijiji and although there are still lots of items that are up for sale, I have sold a ton and it feels so good to de-bulk. All that accumulated stuff just feels heavy and I must say it is so cleansing to rid your home of all of those things that are not essential and that you just don’t like. As with any great purge, I also came across several great items I forgot I even had. Such was the case with this old washboard that actually once belonged to my mom. (I’m not really sure where she got it, but I do know it once belonged to her and having lost her over 17 years ago – it was a great find and something I wanted to hang on to.)

Finding the old washboard during my summer purge was perfect time with the relocation of our laundry room to the main floor. The washboard was not in great shape and the words on the front plate were faded beyond recognition. I decided to upcycle the washboard to go into my new laundry space. This involved a simple coat of paint and application of the words I wanted on my washboard. I can’t say this was my idea, I saw it on Pinterest and copied the words verbatim. I used the same process when I created the homemade Rummoli board last Christmas. The tutorial I followed for both was from Little Bit Funky.

Letter Transfer:

  1. Create the word art for your project using Word or Pages. To get the curved LAUNDRY word, I inserted a circle and stretched it into a large long oval shape. I used the top edge of the shape to place my letters in the desired shape. To do this you need to place each letter in its own text box and then rotate the box slightly to match the curve of the oval. (In Pages, you hold the command button while clicking a corner of the text box in order to rotate it. )
  2. Carefully glue a piece of freezer paper (waxy side up) t0 a sheet of 8 1/2″ x 11″ cardstock. Make sure it is cut to exact size and glued down on all the corners.
  3. Place the paper inside your printer. (If you don’t know if your ink lands on the top or bottom of your page, you may want to do a test run on a blank sheet of paper so you place it in correctly.) *I place my page with the waxy side facing down.
  4. When you go to print the document, you need to choose: BEST quality on plain paper and FLIP HORIZONTALLY (mirror image). Once you choose this option, your print preview will display your image in mirror image. Press print.
  5. Carefully place your image ink side down on the desired surface. You must be very careful not to smear the ink as it is just sitting, wet on top of the waxy surface. You can not adjust it once placed so do it right the first time.
  6. Use the edge of a spoon to press/transfer the lettering/image to the surface.
  7. Spray with a clear coat (urethane) to seal the image and prevent future smearing. Do not drag a brush over it.

I love how this method is not perfect ~ it gives a great vintage look! My laundry room is certainly not at the decorating stage, but I can’t wait to hang this up when it’s ready for the finishing touches.

Life Hacks I Love #15: DIY Paint Tray Liner

If you’ve been following me for any length of time you will already know that I do a ton of painting! I can’t say I love to paint, but I am a bit of BEFORE and AFTER addict and paint is often my weapon of choice when transforming an object or space. The actual transformation coat is quite fun to apply because it is when you really see your vision come to life, but the steps leading up to painting (patching, sanding, priming) and the clean-up that follows are tedious and void of any real emotional pay off. Prep and clean-up are just necessary jobs that need to get done as part of the process. Over the years, I have tried different paint tray liners (including plastic bags) to help save on the clean-up at the end of a project. Store bought liners work well if they fit properly into your tray, if they are not designed specifically for your tray, they are more of a pain than anything else. My friend uses plastic bags by slipping the entire tray into the bag and tying the ends to secure it. I find that bags slip around and they just don’t work for me.

This summer I finally came up with a DIY paint tray liner that works great! The answer: GLAD Press’n Seal. Depending on the size of your tray, you may need two pieces to cover the bottom and up the sides of your tray. I simply overlap the seam in the middle by a couple of inches to stop leaking. The sticky surface on the bottom of the Press’n Seal adheres to the surface of the paint tray to prevent slippage and works like a dream. I actually made a simple video (my first ever) to show you how great it works. You will see a bit of seepage in the bottom, but this was caused during clean-up when I was trying to scrape some of the excess paint out of the roller with the edge of the paint stick. It slipped and the seam split slightly (you can see the spot at the beginning of the video). Had I not done that there would have been zero seepage. As it was, I simply wiped the spot with a paper towel and it came right off. Now you must keep in mind that my tray is not completely spotless as this is the same tray I have been using for about 25 years of painting!

Voila! So simple and what a time saver! Try it out next time you paint and let me know how it works for you.

If you like this idea and think others might too, share it on FB or Pin it for others to see!

Laundry Room Project: Part 1

Quick share! I am excited beyond words…the first major steps in converting my old scrapbooking room into our new main floor laundry room are done – plumbing, electrical, patching, priming and paint. I don’t even have my appliances in yet and I am bursting with excitement. The room looks amazing with a fresh new paint job and just the thought of having MAIN FLOOR LAUNDRY has me giddy. Maybe if I get really courageous, I might actually share what my current laundry room in our cave of a basement looks like. I’ll feel like Cinderella going to the ball when I step into my new laundry room!

This room was in desperate need of an update. The original colours made the room look dark and drab. The fresh paint brightens the room and makes it look so much bigger! Can’t wait to pull it all together and get this room functional. I am absolutely in love with this colour ~ Sherwin Williams: Tidewater (I actually get Benjamin Moore to do a colour match for me because I love their paint so much.)

Huge shout out to my husband who can do all things handy! He is amazing and even took holidays to help pull off some of the many projects on our list. We hired someone to drill the dryer vent hole, but other than that he has done all the plumbing and electrical – he rocks and I feel so blessed to have him!

Check out these BEFORE and AFTERS!

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Life Hacks I Love #14: Dishwasher Cutlery Basket Repair

Cutlery Basket RepairThe great news is I fixed my cutlery basket and the utensils no longer slide through the bottom and interfere with the function of the dishwasher or the pulling out of the bottom drawer! The bad news is I am not the genius I thought I was when I came up with the idea on how to repair this. I had two holes in the bottom of my basket that were driving me nuts and one night in bed it dawned on me – ZIP TIES! Although I wasn’t sure if the plastic would hold up or melt, I thought it was a brilliant idea ~ so simple, effective and inexpensive! (In fact free for me because of course, I had some on hand.) It took me about 5 minutes to repair the basket and to date (about 2 weeks now) the repairs are holding up very well.

So this morning before doing this post, I thought I would do a quick google search to see if anyone else has attempted to repair their baskets and see what ideas they came up with. I quickly found Mert’s Workshop and his great video on how to use zip ties to repair your basket. I must say I felt a little deflated because I really did come up with this idea all on my own, but I guess it just wasn’t that original after all. The silver lining is that I can share Mert’s detailed DIY video and save the time of restating the tutorial in my own words. Check-out Milt’s video to see how simple it is to have your basket repaired in no time at all! My personal preference is to stay away from red and stick with something a little less obvious like white, but the red ones give you a great visual of how they work.

If you like this idea and think others might too, share it on FB or Pin it for others to see!

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.