Friday, July 25, 2014

Another Bathroom Upgrade & Giveaway Winner!!

Happy Friday everyone! First, I want to thank everyone who entered my Simpson Strong-Tie Workbench or Shelving Kit giveaway, and second, I have a winner.

Congratulations Angie K! 

Angie blogs at Postcards From the Ridge. She is a very handy lady, so I'm excited to see what she does with her kit.

If you were very observant in Wednesday's post about my make-up storage, then you may have noticed a little something new. Another step in the world's longest bathroom upgrade.

A new title backsplash! 

I thought about writing a tutorial for this,but there are enough tile back splash tutorials out there in the world, and honestly, its not that hard. 

I found my tile at Lowe's for around $11 a sheet. Since I cut the sheets into strips, I only ended up using 2. 

Okay, yes. I still have never painted my mirror trim. Its still just primed. I promise I'll get to that soon!
This tile is a lesson in compromise. I went to the store with my husband and he was the one to suggest this particular pattern. I was voting for classic, white penny tile, but that was instantly vetoed. He loved the geometric shapes and we both fell for the stainless steel and Carrara marble tiles. Although it wasn't my first pick, I decided to compromise and we went home with the husband's choice. 

When we got home, I realized this was the absolute easiest tile I could have installed. I could cut the mat with scissors (no tile saw required) into strips and it fit perfectly above the counter. I did have to trim about an inch off of one strip, but thankfully due to the pattern of the design, I could easily do that. 

Not only did it fit the space perfectly, the colors could not be more perfect. The warm gray matches the concrete counters. The white ties in with the sinks. And the stainless steel adds shine, just like the chrome hardware. Good job honey! I guess I should listen to you more often. Compromise isn't always a bad thing. 

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

DIY Counter Top Make-Up Storage

If you are new here, I have been sloooowly updating my master bathroom. In addition to darkening my stock vanity cabinets, DIYing concrete counter-tops, and upgrading my lighting and hardware, I've been trying to spruce up the decor a bit. 

Back when I was a teenager, my mom had a best friend that I idolized. She was only like, 12 years older than me, beautiful, and hilarious. I remember one day when I was in her bathroom, I discovered that she kept her make-up in a decorative chest on the counter. Great idea! Kill 2 birds with one stone. Free up scarce drawer space, and add a cute design element. I was using the same, dirty chest I bought for my first apartment. Time for something new. 

I know a few ladies that use little plastic drawer things to hold and organize their make-up. Since this is going to be on display, I think I can do better than that. 

I started with my favorite reclaimed wood substitute, AKA fence boards. I used the wider of the two commonly found sizes, approximately 5.5". 

I cut two pieces at 17" and five at 11" long.

Assembling the frame is pretty basic. Its like building a basic box, you just add more dividers. For an easy way to ensure the bottom board is square, use a scrape piece of wood as a spacer block. This way, you are sure your board will be joined at the same height on both sides.

I used wood glue and 1 1/4" brad nails to join the pieces, starting with the bottom, then the top, and finally the 3 center dividers.

Now that I had a frame, it was time to make the drawer boxes. Do these look familiar? They were made from the same plywood and in the same manner as these 30 boxes. Once again, pretty easy.

Now that everything was built, it was time to start the finishing process. The first step was to brush all the wood with  homemade oxidizing solution. The next day, I gave both the frame and drawers the worst paint job ever, using a bluish gray, latex paint. I knew I was going for a super distressed-reclaimed look, so I intentionally was very sparse with my application.

Once that was dry, I pulled out some Antique Crackle from Old Fashioned Milk Paint. This stuff is fun to play with. If you aren't looking for large, 90's-ish cracks, I have a little trick that I share here.

 It does create cracks, but more importantly, it causes this great, antique texture in the paint.

After the crackle medium, I applied another crappy coat of paint, this time in white.

I placed everything outside to dry, which in Arizona during the summer took about 3 minutes. Next, I went crazy with the sander and some 60-grit.

I intentionally took off the majority of the paint. I wanted to see the wood underneath. I sealed everything with a coat of wax and allowed it to dry. Once dry, the last step was to attach the label holder pulls, which were generously donated by D. Lawless Hardware.

Here is the final result. It looks like it was drug behind a truck, AKA, perfect.

It gives me TONS of storage, and I love how the 4 drawers help me organize my make-up. Before with the chest, everything was just thrown in and eventually got broken and covered in the remnants of 100 different types of powder. So much better this way.

Okay, I have a confession. I ordered the label holder pulls in black. They looked fabulous, but a little too "new" next to the super chippy wood. I fixed that with a little of this and a little of that. Mostly, gray primer, black spray paint, and aging dust. They still look black...just old black.

And here is where my new storage box will stay. Proudly out in the open. My make-up hiding in plain sight.

What do you think? Would you "hide" your make-up this way? Or, do you have any other clever ideas for make-up storage?

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Easy HEAVY-DUTY Shelving (Plus Giveaway!)

As a blogger, I have the chance to work with brands and try out new products.  Some bloggers try to hide the fact that they are working for brands. I'm not here to trick you, just being real.  I can honestly say that I only work with companies and products that I believe in and use personally. Its pretty exciting when I get an email from a big company who has been following my little blog. I probably should act cool and not tell you this, but I still freak out every time.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

How I Mask Off a Circle

I have a quick tip to share with you today. Ever try to mask off a circle using painter's tape? Yeah, its not fun. I came up with a little trick that works much better.

I have this little table clock that my mom "antiqued" several years ago. I decided it was time for a quick update.

The first step is to determine the size of the circle. The best way to do this would be to use a compass, but if you don't have one, look around the house for something the same diameter. It will work fine.

Now, here's the secret. Trace the circle on a piece of contact paper. The contact paper will take place of painter's tape.

Pull back about 1/3 of the paper backing. Starting along one edge, align the circle and pull the rest of the backing off as you smooth the contact paper down.

Now, rub like crazy. Make sure all your edges are smoothed down and you don't have any gaps.

Now you can spray or brush almost any coating without fear of bleeding.

You can see in the photo that I still have some paint nibs that I need to sand, but the face is looking great.

So do you have a mirror or clock around your house in need of an update? Dig up some contact paper, bust out some paint and voila! 

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Linking at:

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

DIY Entertainment Center

A few months ago, I told you guys about my good friend Maegan. Maegan's older sister, Nicki has been my best friend for over eleven years. I met her the first day I moved to Arizona and we have been best buds ever since.