Thursday, July 3, 2014

DIY // How To Repair Your Walls with 3M DIY & A Bedroom Makeover

Our house was previously a rental property that experienced some abuse from tenants.  The owners had fixed it up, rented it out only to have to come back in to replace the carpet and paint the walls because the tenants destroyed the place.  I totally get the frustration of having to repair what you've already repaired but using a paint sprayer while frustrated is not the answer.  Drips are not so attractive or easy to remove once they've dried.  Unfortunately, we inherited the drips and oh boy, were there a lot of them in our bedroom.  We also inherited a painted over wallpaper border and flower appliqué in the middle of the wall and a million nail holes all over the room. What on earth were they hanging?  I will always wonder...

After living here for 2 1/2 years and staring at the eyesores, I finally gained the motivation to tackle it all.  Actually it didn't quite work out that way.  My curious little 4 year old noticed a piece of the wallpaper peeling so he pulled at it....and kept pulling at pieces.  He took most of it off and I finished the rest for him with my trusty knife from the kitchen. Hey, it was quick to grab and I was impatient.


Then, I used hot tap water in a spray bottle to wet the paper backing which came off really easily.



With the wallpaper border removed, I broke out my trusty supplies from 3M DIY Website and my paint scraper to tackle the rest of the problem areas. I scraped off the paint drips using a paint scraper and used 3M™ Advanced Abrasives to sand down the raised paint runs as well as the edges where the border and the flower appliqué used to be.  I made sure to wear my 3M™ Safety Products (Respirator, ear protection, safetyglasses) when I was scraping and sanding to help protect my eyes from flying particles and my lungs from that nasty paint dust.





To fill all the nail holes and random dents I used 3M™ Patch plus primer which was easy to apply, plus I loved that it already included primer.  Then there were a few spots in the wall that were in really rough shape and required application of joint compound.


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Once the spackling was dry I sanded it smooth with the 3M™ Advanced Abrasives and wiped the walls down with a damp cloth to remove any sanding dust to ready the room for paint.
// TIP //

When you have less than perfect walls, choose a paint that has a low sheen -flat paint hides most blemishes and a high-gloss will highlight every single eyesore.  I usually buy an eggshell finish.  It's a bit easier to clean than flat but hides more than a satin.
 When we moved in the entire house was painted a creamy white color and little by little I've moved through each room of the house to completely rid our home of that color.  The bedroom was the last room left - I chose to paint it the same color as our hallway 1) because I'm low-budget and we already had the paint on hand and 2) I just really love the smokey blue-gray color. 




The wall below was definitely in the worst shape and these photos show how much better it's looking now.



I still have some work to do in here - painting the closet doors, crown and ceiling white, plus replacing the carpet but it's already feeling like a whole new space.


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I am proud to be a 3M- sponsored blogger, and, as part of my responsibilities, I get the opportunity to evaluate new products from 3M DIY Website . Opinions are my own and additional product used in the project were selected by me. Follow 3M on 3M DIY Twitter , 3M DIY Facebook , and 3M DIY Pinterest .

Monday, May 5, 2014

Beautiful DIY Ceilings // Armstrong Residential Ceilings Review

For most people, I think ceilings don't really come to mind when they're considering their home renovation.  A basic drywall ceiling is pretty standard, but when there are so many gorgeous options out there for every style of home basic just seems boring.

Armstrong Residential Ceilings has an amazing resource called Ceilings 101 for DIY ceiling repair and updates. There you can learn about selecting, buying, installing, and repairing your ceiling project.  Whether you are wanting to install basement ceilings or just want to refresh what you already have - it covers it all.  For those that require a little more assistance, online video tutorials are a'plenty.


Ceilings 101 offers great inspiration photos - like this wood ceiling. WoodHaven Wood Rustic Pine 5" x 84" Plank ceiling adds a lovely warm texture to this traditional home. 

My favorite style of all?  The coffered ceiling.  

I love this before & after of the tiled ceiling transformation thanks to the Easy Elegance Coffered ceiling tiles.






If you have a ceiling project coming up or are interested in learning more you should definitely check out the Ceilings 101 page at Armstrong Residential Ceilings.

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This is a sponsored post for Armstrong Residential Ceilings, but as always, all opinions are 100% mine.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Uncovering the Hardwoods

Just peeking out of my unmotivated state (have you noticed?) to share a funny little story.

I know I've mentioned this before but sometimes I get in a manic I-need-to-change-something-NOW mood.  You'd think that I'd learn to not give in to these crazy episodes.  There's lots that I could do...like finish peeling the wallpaper border off our bedroom wall (which is a result of another day where I let the crazy get the best of me), paint the trim, touch up paint in the living room where we removed the baseboard heaters or deep clean the house, but none of those would satiate me.  I.wanted.those.floors. I've dreamed of wood floors since the day we moved in and when I discovered them a couple months back it's been itching at me to uncover them.


So the other day, during a very rare two kid nap, I set out to pull up the carpet. I moved the furniture out of the way as best I could, unassembled the sofa (the chaise detaches and the pull out bed comes out) and started pulling it up - moving things around as I went.  It was exhausting.  But I was fueled by grand thoughts of refinishing this beat up flooring to a more beautiful state and had visions of Nicole Curtis egging me on.


I rolled up the carpet (very unprofessionally) and pushed it out the front door.  Then I grabbed the pliers and small pry bar to pull up the tack strips, nails and staples that were left behind.



After I finished the section behind the sofa the motivation and joy of it all started to wear off and I was staring straight into my reality.  I didn't like what I saw.  My mind just kept repeating "This is bad.  This is really bad."


This floor has seen years of abuse (over 100, I'm told.)  That's not a bunch of dirt and dust on the floor (although there is that) but the floor's glorious uneven finish.  It's been stained, painted, worn down and in a few places it's rotting and brittle.  In it's current state it is less than charming and it's not in the cards to refinish it anytime soon.  I sure didn't feel comfortable with the thought of walking around on it with my bare feet, let alone with my kids crawling around on it. (Did I mention the little one is already crawling?)  You'd think these things would have crossed my mind before I got to work...but no.

I stood there staring, sweating and panicked.  I grabbed the broom and dustpan, dumped the debris in the garbage, vacuumed the floor and pulled the carpet back into the house and started rolling it back into place.  Luckily most of the room still had the tack strips attached so it was just a matter of matching it up and stretching it out.  Where we were set on pulling up all the carpet and refinishing these floors I'm now a little overwhelmed by the process and am leaning towards re-carpeting - especially if we were to put down a thick padding and a soft and beautiful loop style carpet from Mohawk Flooring, like the Ensemble.  Of course we'll be living with the current carpet for awhile - oh did I mention the padding didn't survive so now we have thin berber carpet sitting directly onto these old hardwoods.  It is amazing.

That'll teach me.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Get Fresh // The Bouqs Co. Review

Free flowers in exchange for a review of "The Most Epic Way to Buy Flowers Online. Period." Well, consider me intrigued.  

The Bouqs Co. (the new floral kid-on-the-block with awesome South American flowers picked from the side of an active volcano as well as U.S. grown flowers for those sustainably conscious folks) contacted me about doing a review.  After a quick scan of their website I was in love...with their wit (their flowers were pretty nice too.)  I don't know about you guys but a good sense of humor wins me over in nothing flat.  Don't believe me...see for yourself.



Normally I'd choose a bouquet grown in the U.S. (which they have) but The Bouqs Co. offered me $40 to choose a bouquet from their Volcano collection grown in South America.  Ranunculus top the list of my favorite flowers so the Marshmallow bouquet - a pretty bouquet of white ranunculus and larkspur was a no-brainer.  $40 and an easy checkout process had the "Original" size scheduled to arrive on my doorstep on April 15th.

The flowers arrived from the volcano in perfect condition.  The packaging was both sturdy enough to ensure safe transport and informative enough to ensure proper care.


The flowers were beautiful, but I had trouble finding the perfect vessel for the dainty bouquet. A baby food jar ended up working nicely.

Full disclosure:  When I say dainty, I mean it.  This bouquet was very small (which they fully warn in their listing.)  Just to give you a little size comparison, here's the bouquet next to my iPhone.  If you're trying to wow that special person in your life I'd recommend going with a larger size or a different variety all together.


But even with their small stature, these blooms are gorgeous and were the perfect little touch of spring for our home.

Beautiful flowers, free shipping and a great company philosophy - I know what you're thinking...  where can you get your own flowers from The Bouqs Co.?  FYI:  I'm now a Bouqs Ambassador and every purchase that is made via my affiliate link (any link on this post or the ad on the right sidebar), I'll receive $10.   Shop beautiful volcanic flowers from The Bouqs Co. Click here! 

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The Bouqs Co. provided me with flowers for this review, but all opinions are my own.

Friday, March 21, 2014

DIY // Craft Stick Geometric Pendant Light

March is National Craft Month and to celebrate I'm taking part in Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores' National Craft Month Campaign.  I've been a little unmotivated lately so coming up with a cool craft was not the easiest of tasks.  Luckily, Jo-Ann.com has an amazing spring crafting inspiration website to help get those creative fires burning.

Inspired by the whole geometric trend and my math teacher husband, I decided to finally tackle something I've been coveting for awhile...the good ol' geometric pendant light.




This project was soooo simple.  It only took three items from Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts Store and a pendant light kit from Ikea to create.
  • Craft Sticks
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Hot Glue Sticks

Use three craft sticks to make a triangle - apply a dab of hot glue on each corner and glue the sticks to each other.  Repeat this process to make 20 triangles.


Next, glue 5 triangles together to make a pentagon.  Continue to glue the triangles to each other to make an Icosahedron (a poly hedron with 20 triangular faces - 5 triangular faces meeting at each vertex.)  The hot glue is flexible enough to allow you to bend and shape the form as you build it.


Before you attach the last triangle, insert the pendant light with bulb attached into the center of one of the points.  Then, glue the final triangle in place.


Finally, remove all the little webs created from the hot glue.  Hardware is included with the Ikea pendant light kit so hanging it is as simple as locating a place and screwing in a hook screw into the ceiling and locking it into place.

I chose to hang it in our hallway where it would contrast nicely against our slate blue walls.



The hallway can be pretty dark so the light comes in pretty handy.  Plus, it casts some pretty cool shadows across the walls.




Want to get your own craft on?  Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores make spring crafting easy during National Craft Month with a $5 off a $25 purchase coupon and a spring crafting inspiration website.

Be sure to come back and share what you created.

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The following post is part of the Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores' National Craft Month Campaign.  I received compensation for this post; however, this is my personal and honest opinion based on my experience.

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