Posts Tagged ‘Paint’

Dining Room Table and Mismatched Chairs

You’ll notice a lack of BEFORE pictures in this post.  2 reasons for that:

I tend to JUMP into projects with abandon… Much too anxious to get started, I forget all about things like cameras and how people might want to…. You know… Actually SEE what my piece of junk looked like when I started.


Secondly…  This was before I started my blog… Or even seriously thought about *maybe* starting a blog.  Therefore… Not really on my radar screen at all.


So anyhoo…  Since we’re skipping BEFORE… On to the DURING and AFTERS!  🙂


Imagine this…

Free dining room table…. Large… Screamin’ 80’s… with a damaged laminate top.  This thing was uuuuuuuugly!  🙂



Inexpensive Dining Room Table Re-do by DIY in Real

Went to Menards…. Bought 7 – 2×6’s…    We arranged them on the tabletop… Not an easy task, because even if you spend forever picking out the straightest boards… They’ll still be a wee bit crooked.  So we arranged and rearranged and rearranged till we found they fit the closest.

To attach them,  Handsome Man just screwed them in from underneath.  He had me use my weight to our advantage… Ummmm yeah…. That’s code for… He had me sit on the table while he drilled!  😉   Whatever works, right????


Inexpensive Dining Room Table Re-do by DIY in Real

A little leftover stain from the wood floors….  and 6 coats of high-gloss poly sealer…


Inexpensive Dining Room Table Re-do by DIY in Real

Looks AWESOME, right?!?!!?  Love it!!!


I suppose you’re wondering about the base/legs too, right?

Inexpensive Dining Room Table Re-do by DIY in Real

I painted the legs with several coats of various gray paints… and just for good measure, I sprayed flecks of black spray paint.


Inexpensive Dining Room Table Re-do by DIY in Real

Sanded the living daylights out of the edges to distress…


Inexpensive Dining Room Table Re-do by DIY in Real

And then glazed the whole base with this miracle stuff.  Seriously?  Love what magic this glaze can preform.  😉



And the chairs!   My pretty little white mismatched chairs.  Again…. No before picture.  KICKING myself, of course!!! 🙂


Inexpensive Dining Room Table Re-do by DIY in Real

I did, however… Get 3 random pictures of me recovering the seats with this awesome gray vinyl I had on hand.


Inexpensive Dining Room Table Re-do by DIY in Real


Inexpensive Dining Room Table Re-do by DIY in Real


Inexpensive Dining Room Table Re-do by DIY in Real

LOVE these chairs actually!  All mismatched but painted the same.  Kinda adore the look and the price makes it even MORE attractive!!! 🙂  Especially since friends gave them all to me for freeeeeeee!   All it cost me was the paint, people.


Inexpensive Dining Room Table Re-do by DIY in Real




Inexpensive Dining Room Table Re-do by DIY in Real


Anyone else in love as much as I am?  And cheap!  Sweetness!!!



Check out these other mismatch chairs I loooove!









Check out the original Dining Room post….


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Check out the DIY built-in coffee bar that’s rockin’ my dining room!!



DIY in Real Life: Coffee Bar Before & After

You know how I mentioned that I have a tendency to do projects at my friend, Emily’s house… Fall in love with them… And then re-create the project in my own house?

Yeah… Guilty again.


My coffee bar is no exception.  That goes for the upper cabinets anyway…


DIY in Real Life: Coffee Bar Before & After

We already had this buffet that fits PERFECTLY in this space.  It actually belonged to Handsome Man’s great-grandparents.  I got it from his grandpa’s auction before we were even “official.”  We were “just friends” at the time.

Didn’t THAT work out well?? 🙂

It was soooooo empty up there though…. and all that storage I was missing out on….  I was totally itching to re-create Emily’s built-in coffee bar!

And yes, unbeknownst to me, I was photographing my terribly attractive blue pj’s with clouds all over them.  Sexy, right?  😉

DIY in Real Life: Coffee Bar Before & After

You guys must think I never do anything!!! All these pictures of Sam working oh, so, hard.  Honest!  Right before I took this picture, I was holding those cabinets up by myself while Sam screwed them into place!  Haha!!!

DIY in Real Life: Coffee Bar Before & After

I’ll go ahead and mention… Even though I don’t know a whole lot about this part…

When he was screwing the cabinets together, he mentioned that you should always drill pilot holes so the cabinets don’t crack and something about he was screwing at an angle because it actually gives more support.

That, and those were the only finish screws we had on hand and we didn’t want to make a trip just to get more finish screws. lol!   They were a shade too long, but if he put them in at an angle, they were perfect!  My man is so smart. 🙂

DIY in Real Life: Coffee Bar Before & After

Clooooose up!

DIY in Real Life: Coffee Bar Before & After

4 little cabinets, all in a row!  Now bring on the paint, baby!

We finished off the sides and underside of the cabinets with bead board.  We also inserted 1x’s on the underside between the cabinets and the bead board for the cup hooks you’ll see later

DIY in Real Life: Coffee Bar Before & After

You know the drill…


2 top coats…

DIY in Real Life: Coffee Bar Before & After

Looking clooooser!!!

We added an old scrap 2×4 up top to attach the crown molding to.

DIY in Real Life: Coffee Bar Before & After

The crown molding TOTALLY finishes it off!  It looks AWESOME!!!

A post on how to install crown molding coming soon!!!! 🙂

DIY in Real Life: Coffee Bar Before & After

Look!!! It’s me!!!!  And I’m working!

That’s my arm screwing in cup hooks for out mugs to hang on.

DIY in Real Life: Coffee Bar Before & After


This built-in coffee bar is ready to roll, baby!!!

DIY Show Off


How DIY batten walls saved our lathe & plaster dining room…


DIY in Real How to install batten walls over less than ideal walls


As you can see…. Our dining room walls were a mess.  They were lathe and plaster and extremely cracked.  And to top it all off, they were COVERED with layers and layers of wallpaper like so many old houses are.  By this time the dining room came around, we had demolished and moved so many lathe and plaster walls that I was in NO mood to rip out all the lathe and plaster in ANOTHER room and drywall it.

And therefore… Necessity is the mother of other creative options that mean less dust.

Or something like that.  However the line goes.  😉 lol!

So enjoy the sega of how we went from

DIY in Real How to install batten walls over less than ideal walls


DIY in Real How to install batten walls over less than ideal walls

To this!



Step 1: Remove the loose wallpaper.  Don’t worry about getting it all…. I’ll explain that part later.



Step 2: Seal remaining wallpaper and upper walls (That will not be behind the batten walls) with GARDZ by Zinsser.



DIY in Real How to install batten walls over less than ideal walls Step 3: We just used 1/8 inch thick sheeting found in the panelling section.  You can skip this step if you are doing this on nice drywall walls and don’t need to cover up cracks and just less than ideal walls! 🙂



DIY in Real How to install batten walls over less than ideal walls


Step 4: We used 1×4’s for the batten… battens… whatever you call those boards.  😉   I opted for a taller batten wall to both cover more cracks and we have super tall ceilings so it just seemed more proportionate.  Feel free to do whatever suits your fancy!  We did the horizontal pieces and then the vertical ones but again, do whatever makes sense to you.  We didn’t glue them since we put them every 18 inches on the original studs behind the lathe and plaster.  We just went crazy with our handy dandy finish nail gun. 🙂


DIY in Real How to install batten walls over less than ideal walls


Step 5: If you look closely, you’ll see that we used 1×2’s along the topside to finish it off.  Again, that is just a matter of preference as to how you handle the top.  There’s about as many ways as there are various shaped of trim.  And that’s a lot! 🙂


DIY in Real Life: How to Install DIY Batten Walls


Step 6:  Finally!!!!  Those cracked walls ABOVE the batten.  I had you wondering, didn’t I??  I textured the walls.  Unfortunately I neglected to take pictures of that step.  *Sigh*

All I did was get a bucket of drywall mud and a 8 inch drywall knife.  There was absolutely NO method to my madness!

Slap it on,

spread it around,

and kinda scrape it back off in a slight random curved motion.

ABSOLUTELY no right or wrong way to do this.  I didn’t leave a whole lot of mud on the wall because I didn’t want a TON of texture.  Just enough to hide what was behind it.


It worked PERFECTLY!!!!   Love the walls now and you totally can’t tell that they were in such bad shape at one time!  Score!!!


Step 7: Caulk all the cracks in the batten walls.  You MUST do this step because that’s really what finishes it off!!!


Step 8:  After the drywall texture has throughly dried, quickly and lightly scrape all of it.  that just takes of the pokey high spots and makes it look more finished



DIY in Real How to install batten walls over less than ideal walls


Step 9: Paint 1 coat of primer on both the batten walls and the textured walls.


Step 10: Topcoat both as desired.  It took 2 coats of white high gloss for the batten and 3 coats of the red satin for the upper walls. (It only took 3 because I didn’t use a tinted primer and because I was painting a deep red.  Reds don’t cover the greatest! 😉 )


DIY in Real How to install batten walls over less than ideal walls


The finished product!


I TOTALLY loved this super easy fix to really lousy walls!  Even if you DON’T have lousy walls, this is an AWESOME fix!!!




Check out some of my inspiration for the Batten Wall re-do!






Just a Girl has an AWESOME step-by-step tutorial!





I just read this week about how Young House Love just did a batten wall in their hallway and it really MADE their hallway! They used much thinner boards and I’m digging it!!! Fantastic!  Awesome tutorial and cost break-down.

And there are OODLES of other tutorials and styles of batten walls out there!  Get out there and just TRY it!!!  You’ll be AMAZED at how easy it is for the impact it will make!

DIY Show Off


Home Stories A2Z

Before/After Coffee Bar… My Favorite Emily…

DIY in Real Coffee Bar Before/After

Yes…. This was an AWESOME re-do!  Like my favorite ever!!!  So much so that I went home and did one in our dining room!

Actually it’s a little embarrassing how many projects I did at Emily’s and then came home and replicated.  lol!  Oh well.  If you like it, flaunt it.  😉

DIY in Real Coffee Bar Before/After

{Photo compliments of Emily}

This is what we started with…  A beautiful blank wall just screaming for a coffee bar! 🙂

One thing you really must know about Emily and Allyn is that they are some of the most hospitable people I know.  It’s incredible!  So a coffee/drink bar was *just* the ticket for their hospitality needs!  And of course the extra storage in the kitchen has got to be good too. 😉

Check out some of our inspiration photos:



Loved the hanging mugs…



Loving the open cabinets….



Again with the open cabinets and the bead board backsplash…  Also keen on that butcher block countertop.

DIY in Real Coffee Bar Before/After

First we started with the lower cabinets.  Which were actually upper cabinets, installed on the bottom.  I think Allyn was the one who wanted this… Can’t remember for sure…  But it turned out AWESOME!!!!   Basically the big difference is that they are only 12 inches deep instead of the standard 24 inches.  It provided storage without taking up too much space in the room.  We built the cabinets up with 2×6’s thereby making them look very custom and built-in.  It also brought the countertop to a PERFECT drink bar height.  *Love*

DIY in Real Coffee Bar Before/After

Then Allyn & Sam started hanging the uppers.  Never an easy task, but they totally rocked it!  Way to go guys!

Especially Allyn.

 Because Sam is missing from this picture.  Not sure where he is! 😉

DIY in Real Coffee Bar Before/After

Oh there he is!

My handsome man!

After all the uppers were hung, we were ready to paint.

What I WASN’T expecting was THIS!!!!

DIY in Real Coffee Bar Before/After

 Yes… When you get cabinets at Home Depot instead of Menards, you’ll see that the insides are glossy.  Even if you use liquid de-glosser first, you may find yourself looking at something that looks like an albino leopard gone very, very wrong when you prime it.

Our fix?  Wipe off the paint and give it a light coat of spray paint primer.  THEN coat with regular primer and 2 coats of white semi-gloss paint.  And then all will be well with the world. 😉

DIY in Real Coffee Bar Before/After

Our faux butcher block countertops…  (Actually 2- 2×8’s stained and sealed like crazy.)

We stained them outside, then brought them in… Installed the first one… Loaded the crack up with clear caulking… and installed the 2nd one.

DIY in Real Coffee Bar Before/After

Then the guys went to town putting up crown molding.

 Step 1: Watch YouTube’s on how to cut crown molding. 😉

Whatever the case, it turned out AWESOME!!!

DIY in Real Coffee Bar Before/After

Yes. Yes.

Handsome Man is wearing Elmo pants.  Because that’s how he rolls.  😉

DIY in Real Coffee Bar Before/After

Next Step?  Bead board backsplash, underneath the upper cabinets, on the sides of the lowers and covering the 2×6 faming on the frontside of the uppers.  A little glue… A few finish nails with the nail gun…  Whaaalaaa!

DIY in Real Coffee Bar Before/After

We used strips of wood to rest the shelving on because we liked it better than the plastic brackets that came with the cabinets. (We painted these after Handsome Man installed them, of course)   We also caulked the holes that come in the cabinets because we weren’t going to move the shelves anyway and it just looks better now.  😉

DIY in Real Coffee Bar Before/After

Getting clooooooser!!!

DIY in Real Coffee Bar Before/After

Here it is pretty much FINISHED!!!!  After we left, they finished priming and painting the backsplash… But it looks SO FANTASTIC now!!!!

TOTALLY LUUUUURVE how it turned out!!!

DIY in Real Coffee Bar Before/After

Love this girl!

DIY in Real Coffee Bar Before/After

And this man… Even if he does wear Elmo pants… and Crocs… And dress up like a lion and go around the kitchen roaring.  😉

Also while we were there we painted all the other cabinets in their kitchen… It brightened it up SO MUCH!!!!

DIY in Real Kitchen Before/After


DIY in Real Kitchen Before/After

DIY in Real Kitchen Before/After

DIY in Real Kitchen Before/After

This was a SUPER simple addition that REALLY tied the room together between the old cabinets and the new cabinets in the coffee bar area.  Little bead board pieces and corner round.  Nice!!!

Overall… This was SUCH a fun project to do with Emily and Allyn!

You should check out their other blog posts showing what all went down before we ever got there!!!!   Wood flooring… the removal of entire walls…  LOVE where they’ve taken this house!!!!!!







TDC Before and After

My Favorite Emily and a Desk Before and After….

Emily is my friend.  I don’t see her NEARLY as much as I’d like…. But let me tell you…  Emily is amazing!  One of my favorite roll-models and one of the people I have the MOST fun with.  I’ve known her for probably 18 or so years out of my 26-year life. And she still likes me!!!! 😉


Anyhoo…. I *love* visiting Emily!  My favorite thing is to work on some project or another while I’m there… Makes for a GREAT excuse to visit.  lol!


A while back this was one of our projects….   Emily blogged about it here…  Loved the re-do for this desk!!!   Be sure to check it out!!!cBeforeAfter



Blog post coming soon on what we worked on LAST time we were down there visiting!!! 🙂

{Update: Here’s the link to that post}

6:07 p.m.









Caulked…. Primed… And top-coated! Just one more coat and its done!!!!!! I’m giddy!! 🙂

I even got a door front/back painted AND a bench I made out of pallets!  How’s THAT for a productive day??

P.S. ignore the junk in the sink. Mentally pretend its not there. 😉

My obvious problem is that I get overanxious to start a project and don’t take the time to… You know…  Clean things up???


Almost everything there will go on the shelves I’m painting.  So….   Ummm…..  That’s my rationalization this time!


You shoulda known what you were getting into when you started reading a blog called DIY in REAL LIFE!!!!!   Haha!!!


How to Paint Clouds for Non-Artists!

DIY in Real Life: How To Paint Clouds for Non-Artists!


So…. I’m not an artist.

Not by a long shot…

A very VERY long shot….

I mean we’re talking best sniper in the military LOOOOOOOONG shot.

Yes, I love to paint flat surfaces… But I like to paint them all one color.  Maybe two or three with the help of tape for lines.

I don’t do artist-y things.  Ever.

Creative? Yes, perhaps.

Artist-y? No.

So when my friend (the-overly-confident-in-my-artsy-abilities-Angela) said she would love clouds on the upper walls and ceiling… I freaked out.  Inwardly.

I’m sure that my confident bluffing as I said, “Sure!  Why not!  Let’s try it! WHAT’S THE WORST THAT CAN HAPPEN??!” totally fooled her! 😉

So I did what any normal person in this situation would do.

I looked it up on YouTube and Pinterest.  (My heroes!)

These are some of the inspiration photos I looked at on Pinterest:



This one came with a wee bit of a tutorial… I didn’t really follow it, but they were a good basis for when I ended up just “winging it.” Haha!



Yes… These clouds are totally better than mine.  I’ll totally admit it.

The key is just going for it!!!!!  Even if you don’t know what you’re doing and you’re not an artist!  What’s the worst that happens??!!  You merely re-paint over it and try again?!?!?  That’s not so bad!!!

Then I just looked at pictures of lots of real clouds.  Google Images is magic! 🙂

Then… SINK or SWIM…

I went for it!!!


I hand mixed several colors with the white, blue, and gray I used for the walls.

4 colors are what I ended up with.


Lighter Blue (Mixed about 1/2 and 1/2 of the white and the blue)

Lighter Gray  (Mixed about 1/2 and 1/2 of the white and the gray)


Blu-ish Gray (Mixed about 1/3 white, 1/3 blue and 1/3 gray)

Then I used those cheap sea sponges.

Yes… I totally forgot to get a picture.  Shame on me.

They are pretty standard though… They’re in the paint department at pretty much any home improvement store…

Craft Store…

Wal-Mart… 😉 lol!

And I grabbed a paper plate.

And just started at it!


First I did the main shape of the cloud in white…

Then I did the gray shadows…


Then I started blending along those gray shadows with the Blu-ish/Gray…


Added some of the blue here and there for depth…

(Okay real-artists… You should leave now.  I’m probably driving you completely out of your miiiiimd! Haha!)


And then finished blending it with white again.



Okay… Just to Re-interate…

I am NOT an artist!

BUT I tried it!

And it doesn’t look half bad!

And Levi (The little man munchkin that lives in this room now) apparently can’t stop looking at the clouds on the ceiling!  So at the end of the day, I’ll consider that  a smashing success!

So TRY it!  Just TRY it!!!

What’s the worst that could happen?!??!?!






Check out the nursery reveal I updated and the tutorial on how I managed to paint these super crisp lines quickly and easily!




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DIY Show Off




Not Just a Housewife

How to paint a super-crisp line….

Okay…. So…

You know the drill… When you want to paint a crisp line, you…

1. Paint first color….

2. Tape the line…

3. Paint over the line with a light coat of the first color to seal any bubbles…

4. After that dries, paint the 2nd color…

5. Remove tape!

Waaahhh-laaahhh!  Perfect line!


But what do you do if you have a room that is already been previously painted and you want to paint a crisp line but don’t have any of the original paint to seal the tape with?

If that’s the case for you, you’re in the right spot!



This was a nursery I helped a friend out with this last summer…

(Before had nursery on my brain! Haha!)


This is what it looked like before.  We were doing an airplane room, so the green had to go, but we liked that brown stripe!


This is how it all went down:

1. Tape the line.  After it’s been taped, press along the tape like crazy!  Rub it… You can even use an old credit card or something.  Whatever the case, just put a little effort into getting as many of those bubbles out as is humanly possible!


Go Christina! :)

Go Christina! 🙂

2. “Paint” a light coat of Modge-Podge along the entire line that you will be painting.  No need to “goop” it on.  You just want enough to seal any remaining bubbles. Obviously I would suggest using the matte Modge-Podge if you’re painting with a flat paint and the high gloss Modge-Podge if your painting with a higher gloss paint.  Not that you’ll ever really see it, you just want the sheen to be as close as possible.


3. Once the Modge-Podge dries, (it doesn’t take very long!) paint your remaining coat.  (We did sky blue above and grey below.  It’s kinda awesome!)



4. When the paint is semi-dry, pull the tape….   Then you merely need to OOOH! and AHHH! over the nice crisp line you have going on.  And show it off to everyone who visits.  Go ahead.  They’ll be impressed! 😉





Will be doing a complete nursery “reveal” soon so you can ogle all the plane adorable-ness. 🙂

Also, check out the tutorial on how to paint clouds even if you have no artistic talent! 🙂



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Ooooh! A Blue Painted Dresser Before and After!


The Before and After of a blue painted dresser acquired on Craigslist!


Because a little paint and distressing is awesome.



Complete with sugar and a coffee cup.  At that time, we didn’t have a kitchen and we kept the coffee maker in our bedroom.  Newlyweds!!!! Ha!

Can’t knock it though until YOU’VE had a coffee maker with a timer sitting on your side table and woke up to the sounds and smells of COFFEE!!!!!  🙂

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