This week’s project theme in the Quarantine DIY Home Projects comes at zero cost! So what are you waiting for? Rearranging your furniture can make a room look and feel brand new, even though you… More
As many of us find ourselves quarantined during the Coronavirus pandemic, we’re all spending way more time staring at the same four walls we call our home. Whether you’re working from home, furloughed or laid off, this situation probably has you thinking “What cheap DIY home projects can I do while I’m quarantined?”
If money isn’t tight yet, you’re probably worried about it becoming tight in the future with record numbers of unemployment in many countries. Now probably isn’t the time to splurge $30,000 on that brand new kitchen you’ve been dreaming of.
There’s also the aspect of safety. Having multiple contractors in to your home means potentially more germs exposed to you and your family. So now is a good time to start learning some DIY skills yourself.
With all these challenges, you’re probably wondering what you can do for just a few $100 and basic DIY skills to make your house feel more like ‘home’. Luckily there are plenty of projects that you can tackle yourself with just basic DIY skills and some small change.
If this sounds like you, subscribe to my blog to receive 10 weeks of easy and affordable home projects, with a different theme each week. There should be plenty of ideas to keep you busy during quarantine, and as a bonus you’ll come out of it with better DIY skills and a refreshed home!
Here’s what you’ll get:
- Week 1: Create a home office
- Week 2: Create a home gym
- Week 3: Paint transformations
- Week 4: Cheap and easy feature walls
- Week 5: Furniture makeovers
- Week 6: Create an outdoor room
- Week 7: Bedroom mini-makeover
- Week 8: Rearrange your furniture
- Week 9: De-clutter and re-style
- Week 10: Kitchen mini-makeover
Have you ever browsed listings like Craiglist, eBay or Facebook Marketplace and loved a piece of furniture but thought “If only it was white/black/grey”? You may have skipped past it because you thought it was too difficult to make it look like you wanted it to. Well I’m here to tell you that it’s super easy to make-over furniture. This blog post explains how to paint furniture with chalk paint in just 6 easy steps. To see how to paint furniture with spray paint and regular acrylic paint read my blog here.
I decided to chalk paint a bookcase we brought over from the UK. It’s a pine bookcase we paid about £30 for and painted in Downpipe Grey by Farrow & Ball (on the left). Which I do absolutely love, but with repainting the lounge to a darker shade it would’ve looked lost. So I decided to paint it in Old White by Annie Sloan to contrast with the brown paint we’re doing.
Here’s how I did it in 6 steps, so you can try it on a second-hand bargain find too!
What you’ll need:
- Chalk paint
- Clear wax
- Dark wax (if you want to age it)
- A brush
- Some lint-free rags
- Fine sandpaper
I recommend Annie Sloan chalk paint, it’s a little pricey at $40 per quart but has better coverage and color than others I’ve tried. I also used the Annie Sloan clear and dark waxes. Make sure the rags are lint-free with no fluff or dust on them, otherwise you’ll end up waxing bits of fluff into the finish.
Step 1: Firstly give your furniture a light sand. You don’t need to sand things when using chalk paint, but it helps to get rid of any imperfections that you don’t want showing through at the end.
Step 2. Start painting! Chalk paint is quite thick, so if you don’t want it to look so textured you can water it down to give a smoother finish. I didn’t thin mine down, I wished I had now. But the texture definitely picks up the dark wax at the end if you’re distressing it which gives a nice effect.
Step 3. Keep painting until none of the old color shows through. It took me three coats, and I probably should’ve done four, but I have no patience!
Step 4. If you want it to stay looking perfect and clean, then all you need to do now is apply the clear wax. I applied it with a rag, rubbing it all into the grain. Then rub off the excess with another clean rag.
Step 5. If you want it to look distressed, start sanding off the edges to make it look worn.
Step 6. If you want to make it look really old and worn, apply the dark wax. This step takes a lot of skill to apply it well without making it look too dark. I ended up mixing a tiny bit of the dark wax with some of the clear wax so it didn’t make it too dark. If you do apply too much dark wax, just apply more of the clear wax over the top until it lightens up. Or if all else fails, try sanding it back a bit more before it dries.
And that’s it! 6 easy steps to paint furniture with chalk paint to transform a bargain into a beauty! You can also paint other things like books, lamps, fabric etc. Annie Sloan’s website has some great tutorial videos and tips. You can check it out here: Annie Sloan website.
Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear how your chalk paint projects go. Share in the comments section or tag me on Instagram @britflipper.
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Until next time,
I love the coziness Boho style brings to an outdoor space. With its almost tropical feel, it can bring the vacation vibe to your patio or screen porch without you ever having to leave home. Let’s face it, who isn’t dreaming of a tropical beach vacation right now?
Boho style isn’t as easy as it looks though, while it may look almost thrown together, it’s actually quite a difficult style to get right. I recently decorated our screen porch in this style – well my muted version of it – and here are my 5 styling secrets to creating a beautiful Boho outdoor space.
Secret No.1: Boho Vintage Furniture
Boho style shouldn’t look new and squeaky clean, it’s meant to look well-worn and lived in, and most importantly comfortable. Facebook Marketplace, eBay, Craigslist or your local thrift store are fantastic places to find second-hand treasures. Look for things made of wicker, cane, leather and wood that are well-loved, not only will they look instantly vintage, but they’ll also save you some precious pennies. I found this vintage wicker bar cart from Facebook Marketplace for just $38! If you can’t resist buying new, I also bought these vintage looking wicker garden stools from Kohl’s recently for just $80 in the sale.
Secret No. 2: Boho Colors
True Bohemian style embraces color, lots of it. Clashing patterns, clashing colors, an array of tassels and embroidery, like this vibrant Boho patio space by Jungalow. If you’ve seen any of my designs, you’ll know I don’t usually use a lot of color, mainly because I change my mind so often. I prefer to use muted color palettes or monochrome designs, however you can still achieve the Boho look with a paired down palette. In this design I chose natural wood, off-white and accented it with green. For some of the green accents I bought this ceramic garden stool also at Kohl’s in the sale for just $70.
Secret No.3: Boho Fabrics
You’ll see a lot of fabric used in Boho style outdoor spaces. I love the tulle curtains in this design by Hammock Town, it creates an enclosed cozy space which would otherwise be wide open to the rest of the yard. I did a similar thing with our screen porch using Lill curtains from IKEA costing just $4.99 per pair.
Try also using plenty of rugs, throws and cushions too. Layer them on top of eachother to get a cozy lived in feel.
Secret No.4: Boho Plants
Boho style tends to incorporate lots of greenery from plants, large and small. Again, use lots of them! If you’re lucky enough to live in a climate where tropical plants will grow year-round, then opt for plants like Split Philodendron, Birds of Paradise, Banana Leaf or Palms, like this beautiful patio from Magnolia Lane. If you live in a place with harsh winters like Minnesota, or you’re just not that green fingered, then opt for artificial plants. There are some great options out there, and again check out the second-hand options first. I bought this Ficus tree for just $15 off Facebook Marketplace.
Secret No.5: Boho Lighting
To make an outdoor space feel cozy and inviting after dark, think about lighting. Candles, lanterns, festoon lights and fairy lights add a cozy warm vibe to an outdoor space. I recently bought some festoon lights from Amazon for our outdoor patio area. We still have to finish laying the new deck boards before I can put them up, but stay tuned for a blog post on that shortly, I can’t wait!
This Boho patio looks great at night with the wicker lanterns and paper lanterns hanging from the tree. Get creative with the lighting, and make your Boho outdoor space feel magical and romantic.
I hope your enjoyed this week’s tips for creating a beautiful outdoor Boho style space. Even though many of us can’t get to a beach for a vacation at the moment, we can still enjoy some rest and relaxation in a warm and cozy tropical inspired getaway in our own backyards. If you’d like to learn more about creating the perfect outdoor space, check out my blog Using Color and Texture to Bring the Inside Out.
I’d love to see the Boho style spaces you create, tag me @britflipper on Instagram.
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Thanks and until next time,
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In this blog post, I wanted to inspire you with how easily and affordably you can makeover a cane chair, or any chair for that matter. All it takes is some paint, some fabric and some time.
What You’ll Need:
- A chair
- Spray paint primer or paint and primer in one
- Fine sandpaper
- Wood filler
- Painters tape
- Paint brush
For this ‘how to guide’ I used spray paint and regular acrylic paint, however you can also use chalk paint to makeover furniture. The advantages of this, is that you don’t have to sand or prime the furniture beforehand. To read how to paint furniture with chalk paint read my blog here.
STEP 1: The first thing you should do is to give the chair a very light sand with 180 grit sandpaper and fill any holes or damaged parts with some wood filler. Once the wood filler is dry, then lightly sand the filled areas.
STEP 2: Once the surfaces of the chair are smooth and free of damage, wipe the chair to remove all traces of dust. Now you’re ready to apply the primer coat of paint. I used Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover 2X in Flat White which is a paint and primer. I applied two coats to the finished cane areas, and one coat to the wood. I recommend this product as it creates a nice even finish in just two coats. You can buy it here from Amazon as a 6 pack. I used about two cans of spray paint to complete this chair.
STEP 3: Once the primed coat on the wood and finish coat on the cane are dry, you’re ready to mask the cane, and apply the finish coat of paint to the wood. I used Sherwin Williams Emerald Interior Acrylic Latex paint and color matched it to a grey I loved from our kitchen cabinets. However, you could also use the Rust-Oleum spray paint to apply the finish coat.
STEP 4: You should now have a completely painted chair, ready for new upholstery. I cheated here, as I don’t own a sewing machine any more. I took my fabric to a local sewing shop with the old cushion inner and they made a new cover for me for $50. But if you do have a sewing machine, it’s pretty easy to make a new cover. I chose a classic farmhouse ticking stripe fabric in grey and white from Best Fabric Store. However make sure to choose an upholstery grade fabric to make sure it’s suitable.
And that’s it! You now have a beautiful new cane chair!
As I mentioned, you can apply these steps to any chair you decide to makeover. It doesn’t have to be a cane chair. However, watch out for upholstered chairs with fixed cushions, as unless you’re skilled at re-upholstering, it won’t be a simple case of swapping out the chair cushion cover. So my tip is to look for loose cushion options to keep the costs down.
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Until next time,
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You may have wondered how to add some interest to your room when you sit staring at those bland four walls. You could add art, which is a great idea, or you could create more of an impact with an accent wall. However, accent walls can be expensive, and difficult to install. So what are the best options for DIY accent walls? I think it comes down to three basic options: wood, paint and wallpaper.
Why add and accent wall?
First of all, why should you add an accent wall? An accent wall helps create interest and a visual focal point. They can add a pop of color to a room, or create added texture. They’re a great option for the wall behind the bed in a bedroom, behind a freestanding tub in the bathroom, or on fireplace walls in living rooms. They draw the eye to this part of the room and can help create balance and cohesion in a design scheme.
However a full slab of porcelain, stacked stone marble tiles or even some wooden accent walls can be very expensive to buy and install. Here are some ideas of cheaper and easier accent walls you can DIY over a weekend.
Cost: $-$$ / Ease of installation: Easy – medium
Wood accent walls can be installed pretty easily, and for low cost. There are so many different looks you can create with wood from traditional farmhouse white shiplap, to a more rustic barnwood look, to modern slat wall designs. The possibilities are endless. Here are some of my favorite ideas to inspire you.
Shiplap is a great traditional staple, but why not mix it up a bit and paint it black for a more modern feel like this one by A House We Built.
You can get creative with it too and create patterns with strips of wood like this stunning design by Madsen Remodeling.
A personal favorite of mine is this accent wall by Katie Kurtz of Adorned Homes. I love the warm color of the wood and the herringbone design adds interest.
Or for a more modern look, I love (correction, I’m obsessed) with slat walls. They add so much interest and texture, and make your home look like it was created by an Architect. Here’s a really easy and affordable how to guide to creating one by Simply Aligned Home.
Cost: $ / Ease of installation: Easy – medium
Painting a wall is probably the easiest way to add a DIY accent wall. All it takes is paint, tape, a roller, a paint brush and a steady hand! It’s also probably the cheapest way of adding an accent wall, as it’ll probably cost you less than $100, and only take a few hours, depending on what you do. Here are some creative ideas that you can try.
If you have a very steady hand and an artistic eye, why not try this spectacular painted accent wall by My Style Vita.
If painting an an entire wall by hand is too daunting of a prospect, try using a stencil to create an interesting design like this one by The Tattered Pew.
Or another easy option would be to use painters tape to map out a design. This one by Lolly Jane is super easy and looks fab!
Or for the easiest way to add an accent wall, just simply paint one wall a different color. You can read my tips on how to do this here.
Cost: $-$$$ / Ease of installation: Medium – difficult
I… am… addicted… to… wallpaper… There I’ve said it. I love the stuff, can’t get enough of it! I could literally write an entire blog on wallpaper, but today I’ll spare you. I deliberated about whether to include it in the ‘cheap and easy accent walls’ list though, as I personally have never tried to apply traditional wallpaper myself, as I’ve always thought it looks quite tricky. However friends have told me that it is in fact easy. So I tried my hand at a vinyl mural wallpaper that we had custom made for us, and well, you can read how that went here. However, if you are handy at installing wallpapers, here are a few of my favorites.
It’s important to note that wallpapers can be quite pricey, so use them sparingly on a smaller wall ideally. They make great accent walls for downstairs toilets or other small rooms like this one by Paige Pierce Design. She used Tibet by Clarence House Wallpapers.
We used a wallpaper accent wall in our kitchen. I love this wallpaper by Harlequin in Limosa pattern in Mustard / Charcoal / Stone color way. I color matched the background color of the wallpaper to the paint we used on the rest of the walls to make it look like a hand painted mural.
Or for something a little more modern, Omara is an affordable peel and stick wallpaper by Wayfair.
I could go on, and on, and… There are literally thousands of wallpaper designs out there. Emily Henderson does a great job in this blog rounding up the best wallpaper designs out there, and is a good place to start your search.
I hope you found this post inspiring and motivating to try your own DIY accent walls. With all this time at home, what are you waiting for!?
Thanks, and until next time.