Tag Archives: painter’s tape

Stencil Success!

September 28, 2010

You may remember my rug drama from last week. Hey, they can’t all be winners right? I think I’ve managed to save this one though. This round of involved Rit Dye, a dollar store spray bottle, and the same painter’s tape stencil from attempt #1.

I followed Rit’s instructions for mixing; 2 cups hot water to 1 pkg of dye (I used 3 pkg’s for this project). Allowed it to cool, and then poured into a clean spray bottle.

My original thought for this rug was actually to try out Rit Dye, but I got scared off by Rit’s instructions. Do not use on rugs. Hmm. Do not use on rubber backed items. Hmm. Do not use on synthetic fibers. Hmmm. Check, check, check. I had it all. So, I started out with my fabric spray paint. As you recall, that didn’t work out so well.

With nothing to lose, and with a great reminder from blogger, Borrowed Abode, about the whole Rit Dye thing… I decided to give it a shot. I would add that I don’t recommend experimenting with that expensive rug you’ve dragged home with you, at great expense, from some exotic land overseas. The rug I am using was a shocking $49 purchase from a hardware store, and I was never really pleased with the colour, but I wanted something softer and warmer under foot while having dinner (on the cheap!).

So back to the rug at hand… Here is coat number one:

Yeah. Kinda scary right? At this point I was having visions of rolling it up and kicking it to the curb come garbage day. But, no, I decided to be patient, let it dry and try coat #2:

Okay, looking a little better. I let it dry overnight and then started taking off the tape…

Hey now! I’m pretty impressed with how the painter’s tape held up to all that liquid and managed to keep a nice crisp edge. I think the fact my rug was a very low pile rug, (ie: Short enough that I cannot pinch any fibres in between my fingers) helped keep the dye under control.

I think this could work!

Now that it’s in place, I think it’s a lot more jazzy than the previous incarnation. It’s got a little kick, a punch, a pop! Maybe this rug and I can be friends after all.

What do you think? Have you experimented with rug dyeing? Any tips for the rest of the class? Share in the comments or our facebook page! Best of luck for YOUR next DIY adventure!

**UPDATE**: After living with my rug for a couple weeks, I started to get paranoid about ink transfer. Though, I have to admit I only ever noticed a slight transfer on the bottom of my white sock. Anyhoo… I thought, what can it hurt to take it outside and give it a rinse? Well, it hurt. It rinsed away a big portion of my pattern. Again, my own fault — I think where I had the fabric paint, kept the dye from setting in properly in that area. Where there was no fabric spray paint, the dye seemed to hold just fine. So there you have it. Mistake one: fabric paint. Mistake two: the big rinse (which would of been fine without mistake one). Oooooh weeeeell. What’s a world without a little bit of creative experimenting right?

Living Room Fireplace Makeover

April 29, 2010

Hallelujah! The Living Room Fireplace Makeover is complete! You may remember some of the work we’ve been up to in recent weeks. I’m so pleased to add that we couldn’t be happier with the results. It’s surprising what you can accomplish with a little imagination, and a lot of good old fashioned DIY handy-work.

Here is a reminder of the “before”:

DIY fireplace surround

The last bit of building involved those beautiful tiles… ahhh… who doesn’t want a little sparkle in their living room? We also built our own moulding up top. Framed it out with plywood, added it the moulding on top for some added texture and interest.

Here she is ALMOST complete:

DIY fireplace surround tile and wainscotting

How about some stain for that mantle? We chose a Varathane Natural Oil finish in Clear 66. It was a surprisingly important decision… so glad we saved an extra chunk of the mantle to do some test swatches on! Saved the day!

DIY fireplace mantel


And the official “after” shot:



Did I mention how inconspicuous that speaker system is? Hello there little guy hiding on the mantle!

DIY fireplace mantel and surround

I love having this new space to play around with decorating and family photos!


Here’s a close-up of those tiles. The mosaic tiles are a glass tile from Bellavita with a Bamboo background finish.

DIY fireplace mantel and surround

A great place to relax at the end of the day. What do you think? Have a project you’d like to share? Don’t forget to email those low-res photos in!!

Nursery Dresser – Before and After

April 26, 2010

I’ve mentioned how awesome our neighbours are before… and they’ve come through again. We got this great hand-me-down and I decided to refinish it while I have the time (since everyone keeps telling us we’ll have none when we have a family).

Here’s how she started out:



I wanted to get the top down to the wood. There was a few coats of paint hiding under there. I began attacking it with a paint stripper…. but only got so far.


But, then it was time for the big guns — the belt sander. That got me right down to the wood.



Picked up some new hardware and paint. The paint is a soft celery colour (Behr Premiun Plus 380F-4 Ground Ginger). The stain on the top and front is Minwax Golden Oak.


Those little giraffes had their own mini-makeover as well. Here they are before:


They started out pretty glossy. So, they needed a good sanding before paint. Here is how they turned out after a fresh coat of paint. I used Behr Premium Plus in S-G-360 Bright Star, for a good pop of colour.




Picked up this set of hooks from Ikea ($3.99) for a bit more storage and interest.


What do you think? Share your own projects by sending low-res photos here.

Fresh Tease – Living Room Reno

April 22, 2010

At long last, it’s time to share what we’ve been up to in that living room of ours! This was a big one for us. As I mentioned in our laundry reno, we wanted all our components out of the Living Room (ie: receiver, dvd player, sat box). This is what sparked the laundry room getting reno’d in the first place!

Here is at shot of our living room fireplace shortly before we moved in, so this is a before-before shot! We had nothing wired for TV (we thought that would only ever be in our basement space — we were wrong!), and we we’re not prepared at the time for the investment of finishing off the fireplace (but the intention has always been there)… so there it sat. Waiting for us to come back and finish her off…



before01Time to get to work… tons of planning before the first cut in the drywall. I think the planning takes as long as the actual work! You can see our plans stapled to the wall here. But we’re just getting started…

during01Oooh yeah… now it’s getting scary. What have we gotten ourselves into?

during04You’ll notice the hubby on the floor here. We are fishing wiring through our walls for the new (discreet) sound system we chose.

during02We ripped the drywall off in order to wire everything into the adjoining laundry room. Speaker wires, hdmi wires, electrical, the whole lot had to be handled at this stage. We also took this opportunity to beef up our insulation.


Meanwhile… in the garage….

mantlebefore01This is our mantle. We wanted something substantial. Solid wood preferred, but we didn’t know much about mantles. Getting estimates on a custom mantle were coming back way out of our price range — plus, we wanted something a little more natural looking anyway. We ended up purchasing this 14′ long 12″x6″ hunk of fir from our local lumber yard.

We spent days with it in the garage taking the belt sander to it for a smooth finish. Now, how do we get it on the wall?

during03We ended up having a friend we know that is a very handy welder create brackets for us — much the same principle as a floating shelf — we drilled holes into the mantle to accept the brackets, and secured to the wall. We also built supports into our fireplace surround to help hold the mantle. Here is the mantle the day it went up on the wall:

mantleduring01Once the wall was closed up with drywall and paint we could get started on the fireplace surround. The wires left hanging are awaiting speakers, and that black spider looking thing on the wall is the TV mount! Pretty serious stuff! ;)

during05Now for the building. You can see here we’ve got it framed out and drywalled. There are fabulous plans for a wainscoting and moulding vibe up top, and tile on the bottom… but this is just a tease (sorry!)… you’ll have to stay tuned for the finished product!

during06What do you think so far? Have you got a project you’re proud of? Email me some low-res images! I’d love to share your hard work! ;)

Moroccan Stencil Download

April 18, 2010

Some of you have been interested in the Moroccan inspired Laundry Room Stencil from an earlier post. Feel free to download a PDF here!


Be sure to resize as you see fit to suit the pattern for your wall. The laundry room pattern was actually larger than an 8.5 x 11 sheet. So you may want to increase your print out by tiling your sheets when printing (Alternatively, you can increase the printout size with a photocopier). Once you have your print-out, trace on to some acetate (I found mine at a local office supplies store), cut it out, and you’re ready to go.

NOTE: Make sure you leave in some tabs on your finished stencil to hold on the centre area! (You can paint over them later on ;). I did my second coat by hand to paint over the gaps left by the tabs, and to smooth out the edges and any small mistakes.

Happy Stenciling!

– Fresh Crush

Mirror – Before and After

April 10, 2010

I was on the hunt for vintage clothing when I came across this mirror for… wait for it… 2 bucks!! Yes, $2 at the local thrift shop. The frame is actually heavy plastic and the mirror was in fantastic condition.

One little fix-up needed. One side had some of the filigree missing, so I grabbed my trusty handsaw and took the matching piece from the opposite side to match up the symmetry.

Here she is all even and ready for a quick sand and then paint!

I taped off the mirror for ease, and applied a creamy coat of paint. Well, maybe more like 5 coats. With all the nooks and crannies of the mirror, it definitely took a few visits to get it right.

Next, I added a touch of black to my creamy paint until I achieved my desired grey colour. And, just started adding some details — it really brought out the texture of the mirror.

And here it is. I think it worked out great.

Let’s take a closer look at that detail. What do you think?

Before & After: Master Bedroom

February 5, 2010

We all know its the most neglected room in the house right? Yep, been there, done that. Enough already! Time to get this show on the road!

So we painted it originally with this goldish-green colour. Great colour. But there was no plan and the room ended up being this mish-mash of colours, & objects and randomness and it wasn’t working. So… start again! This time, with a plan. Here’s how it worked out:

This was a budget makeover. The plan was to get the best bang for the buck with mostly paint and fabric.

Easy-peasy to make a few pillows by picking up a nice selection of fabrics and pillow filler. If you can sew a straight line, you can successfully make beautiful pillows on a budget!

The entire mood is different. Calm and relaxed come to mind. Not bad for a bedroom.

Easiest. Headboard. Ever. — MDF, foam, cotton baton, creamy vinyl, staple it all together, and mount it, you’re done.

I thought I might have a little more trouble with this window seat. But it turned out to be pretty easy! Buy yourself a piece of good quality foam (mine was 2″), add a layer of cotton baton for some extra softness and to dull the sharp edges of the foam. Then, I sewed the fabric cover by basically creating a fabric tube. One straight seam right down the middle (on the underside of the cushion). Work the cushion fill through your “tube” by snaking it aaaall the way through. Sew up each end nice and pretty, and it’s done!

Oscar is quite happy with his new favourite spot.

Before & After: Buffet Cabinet

Ooooh this is an oldie, but we turned her into a goodie. This little gem was hiding under my stairs, possibly ashamed of its paint job from days gone past… but we turned that around! New paint, hardware, glass inserts, added moulding and lots (LOTS) of elbow grease, has her standing proud, front and centre, where she should be… the dining room! Once again a lovely buffet cabinet.





Love this idea. It added just enough detail for the finished product. Few simple cuts with a Mitre box and saw, Brad nails, & wood filler. Place the moulding on the drawer in the arrangement and placement you desire, hold in place with a little wood glue. Pop in a couple Brad nails (don’t forget to countersink your nails), fill up your joints and nailheads with wood filler, then sand it down so its smooth and ready for primer and paint. Pop the drawers back in, and you’re done!



Easier than you think to add glass to a piece. My local glass shop was able to cut the pieces and install them for me for approx. $40. Not too shabby. Not to mention they had plenty of styles to choose from!



I thought it would be fun to add a second colour of paint to the drawer slides and the interior shelving. The soft yellow here works really well with the cottage cream colour of the cabinet. Not too much contrast, but a little surprise and fun nonetheless.