Posts Tagged ‘paint’

Nail Polish Keys

Nail Polish Keys_Cover

When we first moved into our house, we had all the locks changed. We hadn’t realized that the previous owners used a different lock brand for nearly every door, meaning a different key to every door. My house is tiny, but it sure has a lot of doors! I wanted to find a way to differentiate between all the keys that was cute and not those rubber things I’ve seen. My locksmith wasn’t about to cut me any cute printed ones I got from Home Depot.

So…back to my trusty Pinterest. I saw this pin by A Bubbly Life and decided to make my own version.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Rubbing alcohol
  2. Cotton ball/paper towel/cotton pad (whatever to use the rubbing alcohol with)
  3. Nail Polish (OPI Need Sunglasses, Essie Recessionista)
  4. Optional: Glitter Nail Polish (Essie Silver Bullions)
  5. Top Coat (Seche Vite)
  6. Keys (obviously)
  7. Toothpick or Dotting tool
  8. A place to wedge your key (more on this later)

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To start, I prepped my key by using rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball to remove any dirt/grime/grease to ensure that polish was going to stick to key. I lied. I used nail polish remover because I can’t find my rubbing alcohol. It all works the same. You just want to clean it.

Next, I painted my first THIN coat of yellow polish (OPI Need Sunglasses?). THIN is the key. Ha. No pun intended. Seriously though. Thin coat. Its like polish on your fingers. Many thin coats are better than one gloppy one. Make sure to go around the sides, the edges and the little hole at the top.

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Nail Polish Keys_05  Nail Polish Keys_06

Voila. First coat done. You’re going to need some dry time in between coats. The first time I did this, I walked around the house waiving the key around like an idiot. Lucky for you, I’ve found a better solution. This is the part I tell you about the place to wedge your key. I placed my key on top of my face cream (if you’re curious its Philosophy’s Hope in a Jar) with the painted part hanging off and my little tube of toothpicks on top to make sure they key doesn’t tip over. This image is after 3 coats.

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I know. I’m a DIY MacGyver. Kidding. This sure beats walking around like an idiot waving a key around.

Next, it was time for the pattern. I decided on hearts because…why not? I took my mauve colored polish (Essie Recessionista) and dropped a globby onto an old business card. You can use anything you have on hand. You just want something that isn’t going to absorb all the polish. You want polish to sit like little gobbies on top of whatever surface you use. Magazine covers would work great for this.

I took one toothpick dipped it into the polish globby and began drawing some hearts. To make these you dot two dots next to each other and then drag the polish down to draw the point. You can use a dotting tool or toothpick for this. I tried both, but I found the toothpick gave me a better point than a dotting tool, so that’s what I went with. A zillion hearts later…

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They hearts don’t look perfect and I didn’t expect them to. There’s nothing like some glitter polish to cover up some less than perfect painting. I painted a coat of a fine silver glitter polish (Essie Silver Bullions) to distract from all the imperfections. The more imperfections, the more glitter and polish with bigger glitter pieces.

Side note: This is also how I cover up a botched nail art attempt.

Another side note: This is the best type of nail art because you don’t have to figure out how to paint your non dominant hand.

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Let the glitter coat dry (if you used it), then slather on a top coat. This is where I say, thinner is not better. This is the protective coat that’s gonna seal in your design and make it last longer. It definitely extends dry time, but who cares? Maybe you do walk around waving your key around like a crazy person until it dries.

The other keys I painted have lasted well over a year. Here’s my newest key to add to the collection:

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Painted Wood Dandelion Wall Art

Painted Wood Wall Art_Cover

To me, wall art is SO daunting. It seems so permanent and I’ve had such a hard time deciding what to put up. It’s really not that permanent, but the idea of changing it or having to patch a hole or figuring out how to cover up a hole later on is a lot of motivation to make me pick something I can love and live with for awhile. So I went about my usual Pinterest search to find some inspiration and found this painted wall art from Joss and Main.

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It’s a cute idea…less cute on the image and text. I like beer (especially good beer), but its not something I want on my wall. I also do love me some grey and white and I love the idea of the wood. So off to Home Depot…

Here’s what you’ll need to recreate my version (but add/change/adjust to make any design you want):

Wood Canvas and hanging:

  1. 5 strips of Red Oak (24″ x 2.5″ x 0.75″) for the “canvas”
  2. 2 strips of Red Oak (1.5″ x 0.75″ x 14.5″) to hold the “canvas” together
  3. 10  1-1/4″coarse thread all purpose screws in gold
  4. 2 Ready Screw D-Ring Hangers
  5. 18″ Mirror Cord
  6. 4 Self Adhesive 3/4″ Felt Pads
  7. Optional: Wood Stain (Sunbleached)
  8. Optional: Sponge Brush
  9. Cordless Drill (Milwaukee)
  10. 7/64″ Wood drill bit (Ryobi Drilling and Driving Kit)
  11. Phillips head drill tip (Ryobi Drilling and Driving Kit)
  12. Wall Anchor Kit (includes anchor, screw, and drill bit!)


  1. Paintbrush
  2. Acrylic Craft Paint (any colors you want!)

So I didn’t really go into Home Depot with much of a plan. I walked into the lumber section and wandered around until I found what I wanted. You can pick any type and size of wood you want. Just keep in mind that the bigger the pieces, the more your wall will have to support. Its gonna be bad news if your anchor doesn’t support it and the whole thing comes crashing down. Womp womp. So anyway, I picked out the size I wanted, and true to my frugal nature, I went and found the cheapest type of wood I could find. This is how I settled on Red Wood. If Home Depot doesn’t carry the size you want, they can cut it for you! However, call ahead to see if the saw is working. Its a conspiracy that every time I go into my local Home Depot, the saw is broken. Annoying. Also make sure you check out the scrap lumber section! You can find some SUPER cheap stuff in there, but there is only stuff when the stupid saw is working. No saw, no scraps. Stupid saw…

Okay, next I went to pick up all the hardware. I picked out some 1-1/4″ coarse thread screws (recommended by the Home Depot guy). I picked up a box because it was cheaper than buying the ones in the tiny little packets. You want to make sure that the screw is long enough to grab the strip or Red Oak that holds the canvas together and the canvas piece, BUT without stabbing through the front of your canvas. I made my Home Depot guy swear this would not happen (and he was right).

Next up, pick up some Ready Screw D hangers. These are rings shaped like D’s and you’ll need 2 per canvas. It comes in packs of 3. Sneaky, sneaky. Trying to get me to buy more than I needed. Since I made 3 canvases, I picked up 2 packages. No extras! HA! Next to these hangers, you should find the mirror cord. The one I picked up holds 40 lbs and I was pretty sure my canvas wasn’t going to be more than that. In the same aisle, there are heavy duty felt pads. I used these to cover the screws so it wouldn’t scratch the wall behind it. You’ll need 4 per canvas.

Lastly, you’ll need wall anchors. I had a kit at home from a previous project. Mine came with a drill bit too! Also check to make sure you pick up ones that will hold the weight of your canvas. Google or ask the Home Depot people.

Tip: A great way to measure not-heavy-enough things with a regular scale is to stand on the scale, remember your weight, pick up your stuff, and stand on it again. Take the difference. Mine weighed 8 lbs each.

Okay. Now that I had all my stuff from Home Depot, I was ready to get started. I paid some good money for some non scrap wood (stupid broken saw…) so I wanted to make sure the wood grain showed through. The Pinterest pin painted the whole thing an opaque grey, but I got a free can of stain from my contractor so I used that instead. You can not stain at all if you want to keep the wood color or paint if you hate the color of the wood. I laid out each plank on top of a box pretty side of the plank up (and by pretty side I mean sticker side down so I wouldn’t have to remove them) so I could get to all the sides of the plank as well, took out my stain and sponge brush, and got to staining. The first time I did this, I forgot to stir the solid bits at the bottom of the can into the stain and one of my canvases is a slightly different color. Oops. I did it for the other two. This stuff is a one-coat stain. So one coat and some dry time later. All done.

Next up, putting the canvas together. I flipped over all the planks (pretty side down, sticker side up) and laid them out the way I wanted them to be put together. I left some gaps to accentuate the these-are-wood-planks look. I placed the strip of red oak across the back about 2-4″ from the top. I got out my drill an drill bit and drilled a hole through both pieces, making sure not to go through the pretty side of the canvas. I did this because the would might split if I just screwed straight through. So I made the first hole, I switched to a Phillips drill tip and screwed in one of my screws. It seems tedious and stupid to switch back and forth, but its pretty impossible to realign the holes if you do them all at once. Believe me. I tried. Repeat 4 more times, then do the same thing for the other strip 2-4″ from the bottom. You’ll notice that mine don’t match up perfectly and that’s because Home Depot doesn’t cut precisely and I can’t drill/screw in a straight line either. Its okay though. It adds to the rustic look. Tah dah! Canvas done.

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Next up is the fun part. I was flipping through Etsy for some inspiration and found these:

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  1. Floating dandelions
  2. Floating across canvases
  3. Crossing dandelions

I laid down some paper, pulled out my acrylic paints and brushes and got to work. I randomly painted on some stems and then drew some straight lines out of an oval to make the petals.

Painted Wood Wall Art_04  Painted Wood Wall Art_05

I added some yellow and grey accents to tie into the rest of my living room decor. I tweaked and added to it until I was happy with what I had. Once I was done painting, I let it dry for a few hours and was ready to hang this thing on the wall.

I stood up the painting right side leaning against a wall. I measured 2.5″ from each end and screwed in the D hangers with my drill with the flippy tabs facing in. No need to pre-drill since these screws are pretty shallow. Just be careful not to hit the screws that attach to the front of the canvas. You can adjust slightly in or outward to avoid those. The only thing you need to be sure of is that they’re equidistant from the sides so you don’t get any wonky hanging. Next, I took the mirror wire and threaded it through the D ring with about 4″ doubled over. I did an overhand knot (that knot that you do right before you do the rabbit ears when tying your shoes–I don’t know names of any knots and you probably don’t either) then took the excess and wrapped it around the hanging part of wire. I did this to make sure it wouldn’t come undone with the weight. I did the same thing to the other side, but leaving very little slack because I didn’t want this peeking out over the top.

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Next, I placed 4 felt pads on each of the screws on all four corners. I did this to keep the screws from scratching up the wall.

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Now time to prep the wall. I marked off where you want the painting to hang. Honestly, I eyeballed where I wanted the first one and hung the other two equidistant from that one. I didn’t both measuring too much. Next, I took the FREE (love free stuff) drill bit that came with my anchor kit and drilled a hole. Next I took the plastic anchor and shoved that in with my finger until it was flush with the wall. I tapped it with the back of a screwdriver to make sure it was extra flush with the wall. It shouldn’t take that much effort. If it does, you used the wrong size drill bit. Try again. Next I used my drill to screw one of the screws in my kit into the plastic anchor with about 1/4″ hanging out.

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I hung my new painting up on the wall and adjusted until it looked strait. Voila.

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I did this 2 more times to get my 3 piece installation. Happy painting!

Repainted Dining Chairs

Painted Dining Chairs_Cover

Trying to furnish my house on a budget this past year has been a difficult task and I turned to Craigslist, The Salvation Army, and Goodwill to source a lot of my furniture. Most of the stuff I’ve been able to find has been for a great price in really good condition.

So after securing an awesome deal on a West Elm dining table (Angled Leg Expandable Table), I needed to find some chairs to go around it. After stalking Craigslist for weeks, I was able to find a set of 6 chairs that looked less than awesome, but were structurally in good condition for $125. Not bad considering similar chairs are $49 a piece at Ikea.

Painted Dining Chairs_01

I got a quick lesson on how to do this from the painting contractor who was painting the interior of my house.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Chair(s) to paint
  2. Screwdriver (or Cordless Drill if you have one)
  3. Cardboard/Drop cloth/Something to cover the floor
  4. Fine grit sanding sponge (Home Depot)
  5. Sock or Rag
  6. Paint and Primer in 1 spray paint, about 1.5 cans per chair (Rustoleum gloss finish in white and yellow)

This is definitely an outside project, so laid some cardboard out I found and turned the chair upside down on it. There were 4 screws that attached the seat to the chair and I used my drill to unscrew them. You can use a screwdriver for this, but honestly, get yourself a cordless drill. They are SO useful for so much stuff. I did this for all the chairs at once and keep all the screws in a zip top bag for safe keeping. I don’t know about you, but I tend to lose everything important. As for the seat, I put it inside the house. I recommend you stash it somewhere clean especially if you’re not planning to reupholster it.

Next, I took my sanding sponge (permanently borrowed from my contractor), ran it under some water and wrung it all out super dry. I prefer the one with the angled edge to get in all the nooks and crannies. Notice all the grids in the back of my chairs. That was SO MUCH WORK. Think about that as you pick out your chairs. Sanding is terrible, but it must be done. Here I used wet sanding, recommended by my contractor and painter to get a smoother finish. The purpose of sanding here is to slightly rough up the surface and take off the layer of glossy finish. This helps the paint adhere better (said my painter). So I went at it. For days. And more days. This is the least rewarding part of the process. Power through.

Next, time to clean up the sanding. Time to wipe down the entire chair. Every bit of it. You’ll start to see chipping wherever you miss. Don’t miss. I like to take my husbands old socks (after I’ve washed them), slip it over my hand inside out and start wiping down. The terry part of the sock picks up all the bits of sanded off stuff and holds it in the sock. Pretty nifty trick I discovered.

Painted Dining Chairs_02

Now its finally time for paint. Spray paint is easy to use and looks awesome if you follow instructions. First, flip the chair upside down. This is what all instructions and contractors have told me. Made sense to me. Next, pick up the can, flip it upside down, and shake it for AT LEAST 60 seconds. I got lazy and didn’t do this for ONE can and it sprayed all this crazy white sandy stuff out all over my newly sanded chair. No good. Next, I popped off the top and did a test spray on the cardboard, checking for that evil sandy stuff. If everything’s all good, then get to painting.

Spray in semi-slow even strokes about 10-16″ away from the chair. Don’t expect to cover it all on the first first pass. Its not worth the runny drips all over the place. Cover all the surfaces once, then go back if you need to touch up any spots. Remember, you’ll have to do a second coat anyway, so we’re looking for coverage, not perfection on this first pass.

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You can either let it dry or be impatient like me and try to flip it over to do the rest of the chair right away. I press my hands against the inside seat of the chair (notice no paint there) to pick up and flip the chair over. Requires some maneuvering but worth it for impatient people like me. Repeat painting the process with the chair right side up.

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I didn’t flip the chair back over for a second coat because I figured that nobody’s going to see the chair upside down anyway. So I left the chair standing up and applied a second coat with the chair right side up. Here are some tips I picked up along the way:

  1. Always test spray. Its not worth re-sanding the whole chair again if you get crazy stuff coming out of the can. Did this twice. I should have learned the first time.
  2. There is tons of over spray. My patio has white cardboard box shaped outlines. I moved to the grass later on and let the gardener mow off all the over spray. Self cleaning!
  3. If you see shadows in the corners, especially if you have a grid back chair like mine, hit the corner with a quick spray. The shadow is because there wasn’t enough paint there.
  4. If you aim and spray along the corner edges of the chair, you’ll hit 2 surfaces at the same time. I was amazed. And conserves paint!

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Let the paint dry a few hours before moving the chair/touching the paint. Spray paint dries pretty quick, but wait about 24 hours to make sure the paint has dried all the way through before reattaching the seat cushions or using the chairs.

I went on to reupholster the chairs with some fabric from Joann’s I got on clearance. Look out for a post on chair cushion reupholstery coming soon!

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Here are some other chair colors I liked:

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  1. Grey
  2. Light Blue
  3. Teal


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