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Quarantine DIY Home Projects – 10 Part Series

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?”

Man doing DIY during quarantine
Photo by Bidvine on Pexels.com

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

Happy DIY-ing!

Jo @britflipper

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How To Paint Furniture With Chalk Paint – 6 Easy Steps

Finished bookcase painted with chalk paint

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.

First coat of chalk paint
After one coat

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.

Sanded edges on distressed furniture

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.

Chalk painted bookcase
Chalk painted bookcase with dark wax
Finished bookcase with chalk paint and wax

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.

Please feel free to Pin It!

Until next time,

Jo

Best DIY Accent Walls

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.

Marble Walls modern-bathroom
Alamo, CA. Farmhouse. Full Service Design Firm. Master Bedroom. farmhouse-bedroom
Great Room farmhouse-living-room

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.

Wood

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.

Image courtesy of 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.

Image courtesy of 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.

Image courtesy of Katie Kurtz of Adorned Homes

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.

Image courtesy of Simply Aligned Home

Paint

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.

Image courtesy of 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.

Image courtesy of 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!

Image courtesy of Lolly Jane

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.

Painted accent wall by Rustic Country Chic

Wallpaper

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.

Westwood Hills English Tudor Renovation transitional-powder-room

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.

Jo

Paint an Easy Feature Wall

If you’re like me, you’ve got to have a house project on the go at any one time. I’m literally itching to get started on the next as soon as I complete the last! This week I’ll be sharing ideas of small Quarantine DIY Projects you can do with paint. This one focusses on how to paint an easy feature wall.

Tools You Will Need

This is a super simple DIY project, that I dare even the most inexperienced DIY-er to do!

You need:

  • Paint roller and tray
  • Paint brush (I’d recommend a 1″ angled brush)
  • Painters tape
  • Dust sheets
  • Paint
  • Spackling, fine sandpaper (I’d recommend 180 or 220 grit) and a spatula – only if the wall needs repair before painting

It’ll probably take you 1-2 hours to complete, depending on the size of your wall and your level of experience. Afterwards you’ll have a transformed room for less than $100! Worth a try right!?

My Mini-Makeover

For my feature wall paint project, I used the spare bedroom. These rooms have been somewhat neglected since we moved in. A lick of paint and the furniture from our old house and they were good to go. We kept the Golden Oak windows and trim, but after watching countless hours of HGTV, I’ve come to realize that white is definitely the way to go with trim. So we also replaced it during this mini-makeover.

Spare bedroom before
Spare bedroom before
Spare bedroom after first renovation
Spare bedroom after first renovation – definitely better
Spare bedroom with paint feature wall
Spare bedroom after mini-makeover with a painted feature wall and white trim – much better!
Spare bedroom feature wall before
Spare bedroom feature wall before
Spare bedroom feature wall after
Spare bedroom feature wall after

So that the wall decoration didn’t get lost on the dark wall, I chose to swap the existing decor for some white trophies which were unused from another part of the house. They definitely stand out on the dark wall.

Spare bedroom feature wall after
Spare bedroom feature wall after

Step by Step Guide to Painting a Feature Wall

Here are 7 simple steps on how to paint a feature wall. You can save this to your Pinterest board to find it easily in future.

Step by step guide to paint a feature wall

I’ve also compiled a handy Pinterest board of painting pro tips. You can check it out by clicking on the Pinterest link to my profile or here.

I’d love to see your mini-makeovers of easy painted feature walls. Share them with me in the comments below or on social.

Happy Painting!

Jo @britflipper