DIY Hand Painted Sign

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Please forgive that my past few posts are all related to the laundry room/command center that I am yet to post about (I promise to do so soon!), but it just so happens that a lot of my DIY projects as of late have been part of that particular little room makeover. This little sign I made as decor for our little family command center, emphasis on “little” since I didn’t have much space to work with, this cutsie little sign was the perfect thing to jazz it up. Another reason I am so excited about this little sign is because it was my first attempt at a hand painted sign using this particular method (printing out the wording and using painters tape cut with an X-acto knife to create a stencil). Additionally this project was my guinea pig for what will be two larger painted decorative signs that I am now planning to get to work on in the next few weeks given that this one came out so well! So if you’re like me and love the idea of DIYing something that fetches a fortune on Etsy (like hand painted signs!), give this one a try, all you need is wood, some painter’s tape and a steady hand. I also want to add that my inspiration for this project was both my glass etchings (see tutorial here which is generally the same idea only with glass and etching cream as opposed to wood and paint) and my friend Courtney of Wildly Domestic’s tutorial for her growth chart ruler in which she uses this same technique for stenciling and painting the ruler! If you’re skeptical about your ability to pull this one off give it a try anyway by practicing on some scrap wood, just be careful with that X-acto knife, I wouldn’t want my project to be the reason for any DIY-induced ER trips :-P.

DIY HAND PAINTED SIGN

WHAT I USED:

  • 1 small wooden plaque – normally I would just use scrap wood or cheap lumber from Lowes, however, my laziness got the best of me when I saw this little pre-cut plaque at Michael’s for only $2.99 that fit the space perfectly and already had a decorative edge.
  • chalk paint – you need not use chalk paint, that is just what I had left over from my previous projects and the color was right for the space. Any latex or even acrylic paint will do. Check out my post on using homemade chalk paint here. For this particular piece I used “Stone Mason Gray” by Valspar, read about my love for sample size paints here!
  • white paint – for distressing the wood. If you do not plan to dry-brush the wood for a distressed look you can skip the white paint altogether. I just used latex trim paint we had lying around from our work on the Honey Tree house.
  • acrylic paint – I used acrylic paint for the wording but latex paint will do as well if you have some lying around in your desired wording color, it will just take a little longer to dry than if you were to use acrylic.
  • sanding blocks or sandpaper
  • foam brushes, for painting
  • regular paint brush, for dry-brushing
  • small paintbrush, for wording
  • clear topcoat – I used this Krylon Matte Spray Finish purchased at Walmart for about $3.00, since I had it leftover from my DIY Painted Plastic Planters (post coming soon!)
  • painter’s tape
  • scotch tape (or any clear tape)
  • X-acto knife

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1: I began by preparing and painting my piece of wood. For a more detailed description of how I dry-brushed and distressed the wood check out my DIY Rustic Picture Display to see the step-by-step instructions on a larger piece. For the purposes of this post I’ll give a more concise version  – first I sanded down the wood surface quickly so as to remove any roughness or scratches, then I painted the wood piece with a coat of chalk paint (you may need more than one depending on your paint color, I only used one). Once the coat of chalk paint had dried, I dry-brushed the surface using a regular 2″ paint brush (see above mentioned post for detailed instructions) and once that had dried I sanded down the edges and a bit on the surface to give the wood a distressed look and wiped it clean with a dry rag.

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Step 2: Once my wood was prepped, I used painter’s tape to cover the surface of my wood. Then I simply created a document in Word of my wording in my chosen font and printed it out. I cut each of the words out individually and used scotch tape (any clear tape will do) to secure them onto the painter’s tape by covering the entire surface of the words with clear scotch tape.

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Step 3: I used an X-acto knife to carefully cut out each of the words. This is pretty tedious but goes much faster if you have some SVU re-runs on in the background :).

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Step 4: Once you’ve cut out all of your words use your smaller paint brush to paint the wording onto wood inside of your makeshift stencil. As soon as you have finished painting all of your words carefully remove the painter’s tape from the wood (I gave mine a few minutes to dry before removing the paint but didn’t wait too long because I didn’t want any of the edges to glob up against the painter’s tape and dry in weird pattern).

Step 5: As soon as your piece has dried apply your top coat and you are finished! If you like the way your piece looks sans topcoat this is fine too since your sign will most likely be mounted on a wall indoors, there isn’t much need for added protection to the wood.

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Bathroom Vanity Makeover – Cabinet Painting Tutorial

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The master bathroom was the last major house project we tackled before baby P was born. We had been putting off this particular project because we anticipated that it would be the most expensive of our DIY projects as well as the most work. Well, it took us two other bathroom updates (the guest bathroom and the half bath downstairs) to realize that replacing the entire vanity was a stupid idea. While both of the other bathrooms came out great and our cute little modern vanities look amazing, replacing  the old vanities meant ripping out the cabinets and sinks, having to sand and repaint the walls, install new tiles in the empty space that was left on the floor and replace the floor molding before installing the new vanities – SO much work. We spent hours laying tile, grouting and cutting molding when we very well could have just updated the old cabinets and just purchased a new vanity top. Oh, well, lesson learned and we still got two cute bathrooms out of it so no harm done. Needless to say when it was time to tackle the master bath, I was determined to simply repaint the cabinets and replace only the vanity top. Having already repainted our kitchen cabinets (I will post about this soon!), this was not my first cabinet rodeo, lol. When ordering the new vanity top, we ended up choosing a cultured granite in a light gray because it went with our color scheme but was also neutral enough to compliment really any paint color, should the new owners decide to change the wall color. After purchasing our vanity top, I  got to work on the cabinets. These were a super easy project (all the more reason I wanted to kick myself in the head for not doing this in the other bathrooms as well), especially when compared to the kitchen cabinet process, this one paled in comparison!

Now, I will get to the tutorial, but first some advice. If you buy an older home take a good look at the existing cabinets and fixtures before you look to do a complete overhaul of the place. While some things may be physically damaged beyond repair and need to be replaced for non-cosmetic reasons, if it is just ugly but still functional try to look beyond the hideous 1982 stock cabinetry because chances are you can save a lot of time (and maybe some cash too) with just a quick paint job! In our case the cost of the projects were going to be about the same (the cost of the custom vanity top was comparable to the cost of a new full vanity and replacing the floor tiles) so we didn’t necessarily save a significant amount of money by going the repainting route BUT we sure did save a heck of a lot of time and aggravation! I am a HUGE advocate for making simple cosmetic changes, it is AMAZING what a little paint and DIY decor can do for a room and with little to no effort and cash you can bring an old, dingy space back to life (and more importantly, into the 21st century, lol)!

REPAINTING BATHROOM CABINETS

*NOTE: This can also be applied to kitchen cabinets as well! Basically all of the same principles can be applied to painting wooden furniture, check out my post on re-doing old furniture here.

YOU WILL NEED: 

  • Semi or High Gloss Kitchen/Bathroom Paint (the label will say “kitchen and bath” these paints are specifically designed to withstand the moisture caused by showering and cooking. If you don’t want to buy a bathroom or kitchen specific paint go with a semi or high gloss regular latex paint, I DO NOT recommend any finish below satin, as eggshell and flat paint don’t hold up to moisture well at all).
  • Sanding Blocks or regular sand paper
  • Foam Brushes or Small Rollers (they make rollers specifically for cabinets, they are good for the large surfaces but I found that I needed to use the smaller foam brushes on the edges anyway so I recommend skipping the rollers altogether, as they won’t really save you too much time).
  • Polyacrylic Top Coat (I suppose this could be optional because you are using a high or semi gloss paint, however, I wanted the extra protection on the cabinetry).
  • Drop Cloth
  • Bonding Primer (optional)
  • Caulk (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Begin by removing all of the drawers and doors, then remove all hardware. If you are planning on reusing the hardware you can let it soak for a few minutes in warm soapy water then clean them with a toothbrush or you can repaint them using a satin spray paint).
  2. Give the surfaces of your doors and drawers a quick sand, no need to go nuts, just about a minute on each surface will do, you are simply trying to remove a good amount of the original sheen or varnish. Once you are done sanding, wipe all surfaces down with a damp cloth to remove any sanding dust. Don’t forget to sand the exterior body of the vanity as well. Once you are finished sanding, vacuum or dust the insides of the drawers and around the vanity itself to ensure that no particles will get on your wet paint once you begin working. NOTE: Some tutorials and cabinet painting kits (such as Rustoleum) suggest using deglosser (aka liquid sandpaper) in place of sanding. I have done both and I now prefer to just sand, it takes about the same amount of time and you won’t have to deal with the greasy disgustingness of the deglosser.
  3. Another optional step is using white paintable caulk to fill in any cracks or holes in the wood, this is a great trick! Just squeeze it in and smooth it out using your finger. This will make your cabinets look even newer as you will be hiding any wear and tear or factory imperfections. Most caulk is paintable after just a half hour. Again, this step is optional but if you are a perfectionist I wouldn’t skip it, as once you paint your cabinets (especially if you are using a light color) imperfections in the wood will be more apparent.
  4. Set up a work area for painting the doors and drawers, since this is usually a few day project, I do not recommend doing it outside. The garage or spare bedroom will probably be best (since I didn’t have any tiny humans crawling around at the time, I simply moved our dining table to the side, laid a giant plastic drop cloth of the tile floor and set up shop there). Lay a drop cloth (I suggest plastic) and you are ready to paint!
  5. If you are using stark white paint as I did you might consider applying a coat of bonding primer or cover stain first, that way you won’t require as many coats of paint to hide the wood color beneath. This is optional, however, and if you are using a darker color paint this is definitely unnecessary. As far as the method for painting the drawers and doors, the drawers can usually prop up on their own, but for the doors I use the same method as I do when cooking a whole chicken in the crock pot (lol), I create a few balls out of tin foil then prop each door up flat so you can easily paint the sides and edges. Now, give all exterior surfaces an even coat of paint, using even strokes in the direction of the original wood grain. I don’t paint the insides or sides of the drawers, when I first tacked my kitchen cabinets I posed this question to the Google gods (haha) and it seems that even professionals don’t paint the insides or sides of cabinets when refinishing them, which worked for me – less work, woo-hoo!!! Once you have applied your first coat of paint to the drawers, doors and exterior body of the vanity or cabinet itself, allow about 12-24 hours of dry time. I know that sounds like a lot of dry time, however, good dry time is key in ensuring that your piece will hold up and it is extra important in the case of cabinets as they will be handled on a daily basis. This is a good nap-time or after work project as you can spend an hour or so each day over the course of a few days.
  6. Repeat the painting process until you have applied the desired amount of coats, for darker colors this may only be two but for stark white you may need up to four if you choose to forgo the cover stain. Once your final coat has dried you can go ahead and apply your first coat of polyacrylic top coat if you are using one. I chose to apply two coats of the clear polyacrylic just to be safe. Once your final coats have tried go ahead and reattach your hardware and you are finished!!!

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I hope that by looking at these before and afters you can see what a difference refinishing your cabinets can make. You would NEVER know that my vanity was originally a piece of crap 80’s builder-grade cabinet! I will be making another post soon on our entire master bathroom re-do and give you some more budget-friendly decor pointers, so be on the lookout for that. In the meantime, here is a sneak-peak of the before and afters just to give you an idea.

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DIY Chalkboard – No Chalk Paint Required!

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As much as I love to craft and create, the easier the project the better! I love chalkboards and had been searching for one to display in our kitchen as a menu/note board for quite some time. Problem was, anything I was finding on Etsy or at local homegoods shops like Marshalls was way too expensive for my decorating budget. After hopping on Pinterest and seeing what my DIY options were, I found that most people were using either old frames or mirrors and inserting a piece of plywood painted with chalk paint or simply painting over the existing mirror with chalk paint. I knew this would be perfect since I had two dresser mirrors left over from my repurposed entertainment center, good thing I resisted my husband’s pleas to take them to the dump every weekend, my subconscious must have known I would be able to reuse them somehow, haha! I began this project while snow-bound during our “snow storm” aka 3″ of snow which is nothing to us northerners but apparently here in the south it was enough to get my hubby a week off of work, lol. After inspecting the mirror I was going to use I decided to go with adding a piece of chalk-painted plywood instead of painting over the mirror since the existing piece was super heavy and I have a phobia of hanging super heavy items on the wall with a soon-to-be-crawling baby in the house. I removed the mirror from the piece (very carefully!) and disposed of it, left with only the wood frame I prepped it to be painted (see my tutorial on how to paint wooden furniture here). After finally getting out of the house (4 days inside is NOT fun lol), I headed to Lowes to pick up my sample size paint (I used Farmer’s Market by Valspar to match our dining chairs), chalk paint and plywood. Here’s where the “no chalk paint required” part comes in, the craft gods must have been smiling upon me that day because Lowe’s saw was broken so they were going to be unable to cut my plywood to size, so I decided to go to Home Depot instead. There as I was picking out my piece of plywood in the lumber aisle I found that they had pieces of plywood that were ALREADY CHALKBOARDS, WHAAAAAAAT??!!! I was so thrilled! This was amazing since it eliminated quite a few steps in making my chalkboard, now all I would have to do was paint my frame and glue the board in place. I even saved some coin since the chalkboard only cost about $9.00, and the chalk paint alone would have cost $9.00 in addition to whatever the plywood would have cost me, I still have quite a few pieces left over for future chalkboard projects. This was a fun and easy project and is great for birthday boards, menu boards, you name it! Here is my tutorial:

YOU WILL NEED:

  • Mirror or empty frame
  • Chalkboard cut to size (available at Home Depot here, they cut it for me for free)
  • Latex Paint or spray paint (if repainting frame)
  • Black Foam Brushes (if repainting frame using latex paint)
  • All Purpose Crafting or Wood Glue (preferably something that is fast-bonding, but as long as it dries clear and works on wood, you’re good to go).

 

HOW I DID IT:

  1. If you are using an empty frame, go right to step 2. If you are using an old mirror, CAREFULLY remove the mirror from the frame. Mine was not secured with any adhesive so it came out easily. I do not recommend busting up the mirror, I’m no health professional but I do know that nobody wants a DIY project to land them with a hospital bill, which WILL happen if you cut yourself with a piece of mirror glass or drop a heavy mirror on your foot. You have been warned lol.
  2. If your frame is wood you can follow my steps for repainting wooden furniture using latex paint here  . If  your frame is metal or even if it is wood, you can hit it with spray paint if you’re looking to save time. My frame was very think and ornate so I painted it using my latex paint method, but since the piece wasn’t going to see much action I cut down on the dry time allowing only about 6 hours between coats, then using 2 coats of polyacrylic as a top coat.
  3. Once your mirror is painted and dried, you are ready to glue in your chalkboard. Apply a line of glue to the inside of your frame where the board will sit, then insert your board, pressing down hard (I used a tackier glue so that it wasn’t running all over the place and I made sure that after pressing it in I turned it over to wipe up any glue that had gooped out onto the front). Allow the glue to dry for the recommended time and you are done! Check out my before and afters below.

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Here is my before and after of the mirror. You can see from the before pic why my husband wanted to throw them out, what the heck were we ever gonna do with these things? lol I didn’t include the cost of the paint because technically I purchased it to use on a bigger project that I am working on. The color is “Farmer’s Market” by Valspar. COST: ~$9.00

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Since I had an extra mirror and I’m an awesome sibling haha, I made one for my sister’s apartment to match her jungle-y printed chairs. I used a sample size of “Painted Parrot” by Valspar. COST: ~$3.98

 

Budget Friendly Tips For Painting Furniture

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1. CRAIGSLIST -Check out your local Craigslist ads for furniture! I always hit Craigslist before thrifting because you have more negotiating power with a private party than with a thrift store, especially if the item is on consignment. The dresser I re-did for P’s nursery was a Craigslist find, the guy was asking $85 but I got it for $45! Also, if you’re lucky enough to live in a big city people are always getting rid of furniture for FREE whether it be on the sidewalk or in the “free” section on Craigslist, take advantage of this, I have lots of friends who have furnished full apartments using furniture that was being thrown out!

2. LOOK FOR QUALITY – … Or at least what was quality in the 70s or 80s lol. Go for solid wood pieces, while a laminate dresser at a thrift shop may seem like a great buy at $20 when a solid wood one might be $60, opt for the wood piece – it’s still a great buy and you will end up with a finished product that will last a lot longer and that you’ll love for a lot longer!

3. DO IT WITH A FRIEND –  Try to get some friends together that want to redo some things too! You can save money by sharing supplies and the job is much less tedious with some company and cocktails (limit the cocktails for better results, just sayin lol).

4. PREP WELL & TAKE YOUR TIME – You are most likely to get a good finished product if you take the time to prep your furniture well (sanding or priming) and don’t rush. I find that the key to a good finished product is LOTS of dry time, I allow about 12-24 hours between paint coats.

5. GET CREATIVE – There are so many options for repurposing a single piece of furniture, it’s crazy! Don’t pigeon-hole yourself into an idea, if you find something at a good price and it isn’t quite what you were expecting, try to think of how you could design it to better fit your style, if the drawers are strange looking or damaged maybe add baskets instead or if the pulls are ugly add new ones. Also, do not dismiss things that are dirty or defaced, some of my pieces have had toddler scribble all over them – dirt can be cleaned and writing/scratches will be covered by paint anyway. My favorite piece in my house (and cheapest for the size) I was so unsure about because it was super unique looking (not necessarily in a good way lol) and pretty dirty but I ended up getting three awesome projects out of it!

GOOD LUCK! CHECK OUT MY FURNITURE PAITING TUTORIALS!

 

Redoing furniture on the cheap – my favorite products!

 

 

 

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Some of my favorite projects have been my furniture re-dos. I love being able to see the finished product sitting there in my house each day as if to say “oh, hey lady, good morning, remember when you made me for $30? Yea, you’re awesome!” lol. My interest in refurbishing furniture was sparked by our move to our house here in Jacksonville. Up until  then we had been living in a one bedroom condo with little need for much more furniture than the few IKEA pieces we’d purchased when we moved in. Suddenly we found ourselves living in about triple the square footage with our tiny condo’s worth of furniture at hand. Having seen a few things on Pinterest, I figured I’d give these re-dos a try. So I hopped on Lejeune Yard Sales (our local version of Craigslist) and found a few pieces for  a few bucks and an obsession was born, haha.

Now I consider myself a novice furniture re-doer (is that a word? oh, well lol), I won’t say expert because I’m sure there are actually experts out there that will read this and cringe at my use of sub-par products and corner-cutting techniques, which brings me to my next point. My goal from the beginning has been to re-do my pieces on a budget, so I try to use products that are readily available at local home improvement stores at a low price point. Should I ever decide to re-do furniture for resale I would consider more expensive products, however, until that day my ways have worked for me and I’m sticking to ’em! Here are some of my favorite products (in no particular order) that I’ve used on many of my projects and while some are rather obvious, it will be easier to refer to this list when posting individual tutorials.

 

1. SANDING BLOCKS – I don’t to a ton of sanding on my pieces, just rough them up a bit and try to get any existing varnish dulled down. If you’re just looking to re-do an old piece you purchased for a few bucks or looking to upgrade and existing piece of old furniture, you probably don’t want to invest in an electric sander that you’ll probably use once. I happen to own an electric sander but I HATE that it generates so much dust and I find that sanding by hand has been fine in terms of how well my pieces have held up. These sanding blocks are easy to grip and great for giving a quick sand with even pressure as opposed to regular sheets of sand paper. I usually buy a 6-pack of 100-150 grit at Walmart or Lowes for about $6 (I found a 3-Pack here on Amazon for $7.30), tthese are great because they are reusable so a few will last you a few projects.

2. WOOD FILLER – This won’t be necessary for every piece, but for instance if your dresser comes with some weird metal piece that you’d like to pop off before you paint, this will fill the holes left behind. Additionally if your piece has any damage to it, such as deep cracks, dents in the wood or imperfections that can’t be fixed with sanding, this will do the trick. If you want to get supper crafty and change a two-pull dresser to a single knob just fill in the old holes with wood filler and drill new holes. Once you paint over it you will never know there was a hole or ding! Also, this tube is cheap and will last for many projects (I think I’ve been using the same tube for a year – impressive!!! lol). I usually go with the “natural” color, but it doesn’t matter what you choose as long as it’s paintable.

Carpenter's® Interior Wood Filler Natural -3.25oz

3. GENERAL FINISHES GEL STAIN – This stuff is awesome! It is technically a stain but goes on like paint. I originally used General Finishes which I purchased here on Amazon after seeing a tutorial recommending this particular brand (pictured below is my before and after of the dresser I re-did for P’s nursery and here is the tutorial). That being said I’d like to point out that recently Minwax has started making gel stain available in a variety of colors and is available at local home improvement stores, if you’d prefer to just buy it in-store as opposed to online. I prefer gel stain to regular stain because of the simple fact that it is so easy to work with. Regular stain is messy and requires a LOT of prep work and sanding which I am just too lazy for lol. That aside, I think that the gel stain gives it a more modern look. I also love the gel clear satin top coat (also available here on Amazon), it’s a little pricey but well worth it, when stored correctly a pint will last you MANY projects. NOTE: These GF products are not low VOC meaning that you will require lots of ventilation while doing your projects, no shutting yourself inside your garage for hours on end in the dead of winter, you need mask on, fans going and windows open! That being said breathing the stuff for a bit won’t kill you or but if zero or low VOC or eco-friendly paint is important to you please disregard this product recommendation.

4. FOAM BRUSHES  – Okay this is kind of an obvious one lol but painting furniture with regular paint brushes will leave brush strokes. These foam brushes will put on a nice even coat of paint are easy to work with. Best of all they are SUPER cheap so you can buy a bunch and don’t have to worry about cleaning them in between coats, just chuck it and use a new one when you return to the project later. I have also used 4″ foam rollers designed for painting cabinets but only because I already had them from my cabinet re-do, it wouldn’t really be cost effective to buy a small roller set just for a dresser or what-have-you since you will still end up needing foam brushes for the corners, edges and grooves. Like I was saying, I always keep a ton of these foam brushes on hand since I end up using them on so many crafting projects, I purchase the 2″ ones at either Lowes ($0.79 ea) or Walmart ($0.47 ea).

5. BONDING PRIMER – This product comes in SUPER handy when refinishing laminate or fiberboard furniture. That being said, when possible try to stick to refinishing solid wood furniture, the finished product is much more durable and looks a lot nicer, BUT if you already have something lying around that you want to spruce up or happen to come across something for super cheap like I have, go nuts! Since you can’t sand fake wood, this bonding primer helps whatever paint you use adhere to the piece with minimal chipping (we hope, lol). The brands I use are Zinsser and Kilz but there are tons out there, as long as it is labeled “bonding primer” you’re good to go. Good thing is, you’ll only require one coat of this so a quart will last you a few projects. Check out my tutorial for re-doing laminate pieces here. NOTE: This is also some powerful stuff, it is oil-based so it can be messy and SUPER strong in the fumes department so be sure to keep those windows open! For a few more bucks, I think Lowes now offers an “odorless” version.

KILZ Gallon Interior Oil PrimerZinsser Gallon Interior Oil Primer

6. SAMPLE SIZE LATEX PAINT – If I was listing these in order of favorites, this would be number one. I know that there are tons of tutorials out there using chalk paint and furniture wax and while the finished products are beautiful, I am yet to try it. Latex paint has worked great for me, it’s cheap and I’ve found that as long as you have a solid piece of furniture and/or a good top coat it will be just as durable. I started becoming obsessed with these sample-size paints after I redid the dresser for P’s room using the java gel stain. I ended up using not even an eight of a quart and didn’t plan on using it for any other furniture in the foreseeable future (I’m pretty sure it’s still sitting in my garage and is most likely a solid block by now lol). In the interest of not wasting money like that on my next piece, I went to Lowes and instead of purchasing a quart of paint in my desired color, I had them tint an 8oz sample size (see below). Get ready to have your money-saving mind blow – it cost $2.98 (say whaaaaaaaat?!!?), I thought to myself “why you no think of this soon stooooopid???” haha. The truth is, for a lot of pieces, you’ll find that even with this tiny sample size you’ll have a ton left over. Be sure to keep it, they’re great for other craft projects! NOTE: Unfortunately, these little samples are only available in satin finish which is not ideal for furniture (a flat paint would adhere better), however, my pieces look great and I haven’t experienced any chipping so I guess it’s not that big of a deal.

Valspar 8-oz Cathedral Stone Interior Satin Paint SampleOlympic 8-oz Aqua Smoke Interior Satin Paint SampleValspar 10-oz Radiant Orchid Interior Satin Paint Sample

7. POLYACRYLIC TOP COAT – This is a great top coat, it holds up well but is water-based so it’s a good alternative to a heavy oil-based top coat. I have used this on many of my pieces. If the piece is more for looks and isn’t going to experience a lot of bumps and day-to-day wear and tear (I used this on my chalk board frame and the little make-shift bathroom pedestal), I always opt for this product because it is easier to work with and requires less dry time than the oil based gel top coat. I usually purchase the satin finish because I prefer my pieces not to look super shiny, but if you’re piece is going to be touched and need to be wiped down a lot a gloss finish may be better suited to your project.

8. PLASTIC DROP CLOTHS – Here in NC our weather is not too conducive to painting outside, as most of the seasons have one factor or another that will make it pretty difficult (spring – rain, winter -cold, summer -humid etc.). Since multiple coats and a lot of drying time is required for furniture, the chance of you getting a solid 12-24 hours where there is no rain, the temperature is favorable and there is no wind to blow debris or bugs onto your project is pretty much none, haha. Additionally the fluctuating temperature makes it hard for me to paint in my garage since the temp in the garage is pretty much always the same as it is outdoors. Taking this into consideration I do all of my furniture painting projects in my living room or office on a big plastic drop cloth and even though my house will look like a project-zone for a few days it is well worth the finished product! I prefer plastic to canvas drop clothes because I am always paranoid that spilled paint or stain will seep through the cloth and onto the floor, which would not be the case with plastic. When I am finished I simply take it outside shake it out and fold it up to reuse for my next project!

 12-ft x 9-ft Plastic Drop Cloth