Saturday, February 16, 2013

My DIY "Ceramic" Containers

So I bought these ceramic containers for my kitchen table and I just love them. I decided that I want to make the rest of my counter accents to match. Originally I had red accents but decided I prefer the look of the ivory and brown.

So I went on a mission to find more of the ivory/brown ceramic containers to switch out all of my red accents. After looking at several stores and not finding what I was looking for, I decided to make my own "ceramic" containers. 

First I painted my lantern. This was originally a dark shiny bronze, then it became red (for a very brief red phase) and now it is ivory with some rustic brown for that aged effect. I think it fits in well with the other ivory/cream pieces.

Next was the utensil holder. I had an old dark brown shiny container so I decided to use that and improvise. I first used ivory craft paint to cover the surface, then I added some dark brown just like the dark brown on the real ceramic containers on the kitchen table. I wanted it to have the same shine so I added some high gloss clear coat spray and it didnt turn out too bad. And best of all, it only cost a few bucks for the paint and clear spray.

Here is a pic of the two new additions next to the WHITE stove (which is another project for another day - I want to convert it to faux "stainless steel").

I also need something to put my topiaries in, so I bought a couple of plain terra cotta pots for $2 each- I am sure you have seen these before. I painted them with the same ivory craft paint. 

After adding some dark brown to mirror the look of the real ceramic containers, I sprayed them with some of the high gloss clear spray to give it that shine of ceramic.

Here is the pair next to the kitchen window

Monday, February 11, 2013

Spring Wreath with Greenery

I decided to lighten up my fireplace mantle by switching out my twig wreath wrapped in pip berries to something a little fresher for spring.  This is what I added:

Oh yeah, I also repainted my "welcome home" sign from bright red to a muted cream with the brown around the edges. I am still going to use a stain and lightly go over the cream to antique it just a bit more. It seems a bit too bright right now.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

DIY Faux "Barn Door"

During my quest to make my house a little more cozy country, I decided to try and find a cool old barn door. Well, that didnt happen. I checked quite a few antique stores but couldnt find what I was looking for. So I decided to make one. I figured worse case scenario, if it didnt turn out, then I still wouldnt have my barn door.

So I wandered into Lowes and found a big slab of house siding. I got out my tape measure and realized that not only could I make a barn door out of it, but I could make two. Yeah, a pair!

I had it cut to the size that I needed, bought some hardware for the latch and the hinges and brought it home. First I stapled 2 pieces going across and then it was time to paint. So what better to paint with but a sponge. Literally a sponge from under the sink, not a sea sponge, but just an ordinary sponge that is used for cleaning. I pulled out my craft paint bottles (I have a lot of those) and found some burnt umber and black and started painting away. It didnt take long and this is what I ended up with.

After hot gluing the latch and the hinges, they were moved to their new home....

This one is in the entry way hanging on the wall.

The other one of "the pair" is sitting on the fireplace mantle.

My DIY Rustic Hutch

I have always wanted a rustic hutch but I really do not have the wall space in my kitchen, so I found a small wall that I figure it could fit on. But.... it had to be just the right size because you see, it couldnt stick out too far from the wall, and half way up the wall is a light switch that I knew couldnt be blocked. So the hunt was on for something, I just didnt know what.

I started at an antique mall and I immediately found a wooden cabinet that was perfect. It was quite ugly (black & red) and it had a big hole in the side and the top was a little wonky, but the measurements were perfect. The top of the cabinet came to just below the light switch. So I bought it, brought it home, and my hubby filled in the hole with a squre piece of wood and some wood putty. Then I used a dry brush technique to painted over the black with some dark brown while still leaving some of the black showing through (for the aged look) and replaced the handles.

excuse the horrible picture - see where the light switch is...

Then I knew I needed something to sit on top, but because of that darn light switch, it couldnt be very wide and it couldnt be very deep either.

Low and behold, right there on my bathroom wall was a white beadboard style cabinet. It kind of looked like this one but instead of the shutter doors, mine had glass doors.

This is similar to the one I used except mine had glass doors.

 I decided to remove the drawers and the glass, then it was time to paint. First I spray painted it all black, then I went back over the black with the same dry brush technique using the same dark brown while still allowing some of the black to show through so that it would match the lower cabinet.

see how it is turned upside down

Then I added some chicken wire where the glass used to be and voila, it is my new spice rack/rustic hutch and it fits perfectly on the wall. I can even turn the lights on in the kitchen and inside the pantry, which is kind of important.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Paint Laminate Countertops

You really can paint over laminate countertops to give the look of granite. Here are some current photos...

This is a close up and the sparkly is the gold glitter dust that I added.

Below are some really outdated pictures, but you can get the idea. We painted these back in 2005. They were a plain ugly off white laminate. Basically I cleaned them really well, sanded them lightly, painted a coat of primer, then painted them with 3 different shades of brown using a sea sponge. To top if off, I sprinkled just a touch of some gold glitter (the kind made for paint) and then sealed it with about 5 coats of an oil based polyurethane.

They have held up very well. The island is due for another coat of the poly since the islands gets the most use, but otherwise I am happy we did it. I believe there are many products out there now that are made for this purpose, but back in 2005 I didnt know about them so we used good old fashioned paint from the home improvement store. Here are a few pictures - excuse the outdated decor.... I tell you, I am constantly changing things around the house.

These are photos from 2005 when we first painted our white laminate countertops so the decor is a bit outdated.

Another photo from 2005

Our Cozy Home - a perpetual work in progress

Lately I have been into the "farmhouse" and somewhat country style so I have slowly been adding rustic, antique and country touches to the house. It is ever evolving but I am enjoying the process.

The kitchen - the dining table is being replaced with the farmhouse table and I hope to someday replace the white stove. Hmmm... maybe a project to paint it to look like stainless steel.

another angle

the living room

The faux "barn door" that I made on the mantle, and the mantle itself which is painted to look like wood. It is actually just a stucco surround.

Here are some close ups of the faux "wood" surround on the fireplace.

This is a cute little ladder that I found at the antique mall. It was aqua (not my type of color) so I dry brush painted over it, but left just a smidge of the bluish color showing through.

The other faux "barn door" in the entry way

I also switched out the red accents replaced aka re-painted the accents in ivory/chocolate brown.

faux "exposed" brick in a few places

Here is the foyer where a bit of the red did survive, probably not for long though.

DIY Farmhouse Table

I will be updating this a little as I go and since it is under construction, please ignore my saw dust (pun intended).

It is finally finished. I think we ended up with 4 coats of polyurethane but it sure made a difference and was well worth the extra waiting time. Here it is!


Another angle

So here is a picture tutorial of the process:

 We used 2 x 8 pine boards for the table top and 2 x 4 boards for the apron.

Here is the table top (turned upside down) and the apron

Add the legs using 4 x 4's

add some cross supports. We used 1 x 2's but it might be better to use 2 x 4's. I guess it depends on how much weight you plan to put on your table.

whew, it took some serious muscle to get this baby turned upright
added stain after sanding (Minwax English Chestnut)

another view after staining - dont you love the snowman table cloth that we used as a drop cloth...

It is in the kitchen on top of a drop cloth and some wood boards. Now it is time to add the polyurethane. I just had to add some decorations to get an idea of how it will look. I will post a final picture once it is finished.

Here is the table with the first coat of the polyurethane

Here it is after another coat of poly. We need to let it dry, sand out the bubbles and then hopefully put on just one last coat.

Waiting for the polyurethane to dry......      waiting.....      waiting.....     waiting....             I hate waiting!