Saturday, April 28, 2012

My "get er done" projects playlist

I don't know about you guys, but I love to have music the car while I'm carting kids to and fro, at home when I'm cleaning and especially when I'm working on a project.  When I was younger I used to blare it while I studied.  I don't know, it has just always worked for me. 

Anywho, I love almost every genre of music...everything from Vivaldi to Justin Bieber. 

My latest project{s}-laundry room redo and my painted floors- were quite time intensive so I knew I needed to have some good working music on the ready.

Usually I like to mix it up, but I ended up listening to one band the entire time.  They totally motivated me and kept my "ADD" mind occupied, so I thought I'd share them with you. They are my new obsession...
I included a little ear candy for your listening pleasure. 

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

I love their entire album {it's the perfect soundtrack for a long road trip too, methinks} but I only included a few of their songs.  MY BODY is my very most fave.  I like to think that it is all about cupcakes {or bacon}...totally relatable.

If any of you are having a hard time getting up the motivation to work on some of your looming projects, I highly recommend cranking up the tunes and bustin' a move, whilst bustin' out your project.  I suppose you can borrow these guys if you don't have a band of your own. :)

P.S. sorry if any of you came across the techno remix version of cough syrup.  I've since resolved the problem.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Painted Floors- A Tutorial

I thought I'd repost my painted floor tutorial from my Lovestitched feature, just in case some of you missed it.  It was a time consuming project, but I think my efforts paid off.  My floors look a million times better.  I really love how they turned out.  Read on if your curious to see how my floors when from pig sty, to totally fly.

Okay! How many of you out there have a room in your house with hideously unattractive floors? Sadly, I have a couple of them. Here’s number one on The World’s Fugliest Floors list.

A couple weeks ago, I finally decided I had had enough of the “life sucking” laundry room floors and I decided that I was going to do something about it. I considered my options.

Option 1- Actually try cleaning it…like really cleaning it, with a pressure washer and the works. Yuck! Seems like a lot of work and the floors would still be the same drab grey color…just a little cleaner {well, a lot cleaner}.

Option 2- Rip out the tile and replace it with something uber attractive {the David Beckham of all tiles is what I’m talking about}. I liked this option, but since I would most likely be going solo on this little project, I didn’t really think my delicate hands and back would appreciate all of the manual labor. Plus, this option would most likely make a significant dent in the ole pocket book.

Option 3- Paint over the existing tile. No chipping, chiseling, pressure washing needed. Done! My decision was made.

I had never painted over tile before, so right off the bat, I did a little research. I knew that regular latex paint would not stand up to the high traffic. So my thoughts turned to epoxy based paint…you know the stuff you use to coat garage floors?

Before you can start this project, it is important to get the work surface as clean and grime-free as possible. Then it needs to dry thoroughly.

Once this is done, you need to prep the floors by applying an appropriate primer. There are several types of primers on the market, but the lovely paint guy at “the depot” said this one would do the job.

I applied one coat
and after about an hour it was dry enough for me to apply a second coat.

{This is a fairly quick drying primer. It says right on the back that it should be dry enough for light traffic in about an hour, but I would just make sure that the surface is in fact dry before walking around on it. Just sayin’.}

After the second coat of primer was dry, I applied my first coat of paint.
I used a 1-part epoxy paint. 

I applied two coats of this white base paint.
Then I let the floors cure for several days before starting the next step…

Honestly, the hardest part about the taping was coming up with a design. I spent a lot of time pondering the right pattern: chevron stripe, basic stripe, argyle. I finally settled on a “v” pattern that I just sort of "made up".
I measured out the center of the floor and taped a large “X”.
From there I simply began taping “V’s” in each of the four sections of the “X”.

I removed every other “v” to reveal a space inbetween.
{It goes against all I believe to be wasteful, so I reused the pieces of tape I removed from the inbetween spaces in order to cut down on tape usage}

Here it is…several roles of tape later. But isn’t she gorge? And she’s not even done yet.

For the second color, I chose a greyish-blue color…I believe it was called FOG.

This is after the first coat.

And this is after the second coat.

There was a little bleeding.

{No worries though. It’s nothing a little paint and Q-tip couldn’t fix}

And VOILA! Here she is in all her striped glory.

And a little close up. See how well the Q-tip worked.

Here’s a before and after…just so you can remember the hideousness from whence she came. David Beckham hotness achieved…I think so.
I was able to complete this project for around $100. Not too shabby for a flippin’ awesome floor. Here’s the breakdown: Gripper Primer $23, 2 gallons of Behr brand epoxy paint @ $30 each, 2 roles of painters tape @ $7 each}.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Knock Off Decor Feature and a "Light Bulb"moment.

Howdy peeps!

Becky over at knock-off decor is currently featuring my industrial metal letters that I made for my laundry room revamp. {Thanks lady!}
I've made it pretty clear that I am a sucker for a good knock off.  And if you are into knocking off ridiculously over priced home decor as well, I would highly suggest hopping over to her place and taking a look around.  It's amazing to see what people can do with a little ingenuity.

And in other news, I have been dreaming of covering every thing I see in contact paper.  It's gotta stop.  I'm worried that pretty soon I'll be living in a house entirely coated in plastic.  But that said, I love my "wood" lamp shade.  I failed to mention in my post about it how it looked with the light on.  My answer to that is  "FLIPPIN' AWESOME"! 

It looks even better with the lamp turned on.  My only advice is to take extra care when trimming off the excess contact paper.  You can see if it's uneven through the shade when the lamp is on.  After I had adhered my c.p., I just took a razor blade and trimmed all the excess off along the support rings at the top and bottom.  Easy, peasy. 


Monday, April 23, 2012

To contact paper or not to contact paper? That is the question.

I have really become obsessed with natural wood lately. I just love the warmth and earthiness it can bring into a room. I love that it can add texture and visual interest, while at the same time remaining netural. Wood is like denim...everything just seems to goes with it.

The other day I came across these lovlies and was smitten. The shades remind me a little of the sixties, but I don't mind that mid-century modern look so much. Besides, when they are paired with the right lamp base, like in this picture, they become totally current.

The only downside to these gorgeous lamps, is that they can be pretty spendy. I saw some selling for as much as $170...just for the shade. So, I started brainstorming ways that I could recreate the look for cheaper.

I researched wood veneer and found that it was less inexpensive than the shades themselves {ranging in price from $40-$70, depending on what kind of wood and the color etc}, but that was still a little too spendy for me.

Then I remembered ripping out a bunch of contact paper shelf liners when we moved into our current house. Of course, at the time I thought the idea of large, fake wood, stickers was repulsive and in very poor taste, but I started to wonder if I could actually make it look respectable.

I decided to give it a try. I bought a 24ft. roll of the stuff for $3.50 and figured I wasn't out much if it ended up looking tacky and crappy.

I decided to try it out on this very unassuming lamp. She's not hideous, but she could be so much more...maybe...hopefully.

After about fifteen minutes of wrestling with the contact paper and finding the best way to go about wrapping it around the lamp shade {this particular lamp shade couldn't be removed from it's base, so it was a little awkward} I ended up with this.

What do you think? Be honest. I was really skeptical at first, but when I put her back on her crate, I thought she actually looked pretty a totally inantimate sorta way.

The biggest difference between my c.p. version and the veneer version is, well, the fact that mine is plastic contact paper. But unless your guests have a tendency to rub their hands all over your lamp shades, you should be able to get away with it. The other slightly noticeable difference is the sheen. C.P., has a little more shine to it than the veneered version which is more matte.
That said, I only spent $3.50 as opposed to $170 and with that kind of savings I am totally okay with a little shine.

So, what's the verdict? Yay yay, or nay nay to contact paper?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Faux zinc/industrial metal letters-Tutorial

Anybody remember seeing these beauties at Anthropolgie awhile back?

I really like the urban punch these industrial letters give. They are super versatile and look great in any room and in any decor.

As I was nearing completion on my latest project, my laundry/mud room revamp...I thought some of these lovelies would be the perfect accessory for personalizing some hooks I hung.

Always the sucker for knocking off anything I think is over priced, I set out to recreate these preciouses for as little as possible.

I started out with a regular, old paper mache letter {or number or whatever tickles your fancy}. You can get them at any craft store {$2-4.50, depending on what size you choose}.

I grabbed some black and some metallic silver craft paint. {$2-3 each}

and some silver brads {$3 for 50}

Bam! That's all you need to create some industrial chic goodness.

To begin, paint the letter {or number} black

After it is dry, lightly brush over it with the metallic paint.

You want to take care not to put the paint on too thickly. The goal is to allow some of the black base coat to show through.

After this coat of paint is dry, apply one more coat of metallic paint. Again, brushing very lightly. Most of the black should be covered up with the silver paint at this point. But, you should still be able to see some of the black peeking through- giving the letter more depth and the zinc look we are going for.

Now, you could stop here and call it good, or you could add a little industrial bling by applying strategically placed silver brads all over the letter.

Poke a little pilot hole with a sharp utensil of your choosing...I used a little paring knife.

Once you have the hole made, add a little hot glue to the prongs of your brad and insert into the hole.

{I brushed over all of the brads with some left over paint to tone down the shine and help them blend in with the letter more...not necessary, but I think it looks better personally}.

And voila. Paper mache letters that look just like industrial metal letters.

I ended up spending about $30 for five, 12 inch letters. The zinc letters at Anthropologie, were smaller and sold for around $18 each. That's a savings of almost $70. Boo-ya!!!

{Also, my little tip for hanging the dears...use adhesive velcro cut into little squares on the back. The letters will stay nice and secure on the wall. This also makes it easy to take down and put the letters back up should you ever need to.}