Category Archives: DIY Makeovers

Tarah’s Haven Conference Recap

….because I KNOW you want to know what I thought. It’s been a week since we got back from Haven. Yeah, it took that long for me gather all the wonderful thoughts and ideas in my head.

I bring you Tarah’s Haven Conference Recap!

Dirty Dancing FTW
Where to start? How about the night before we caught the OBNOXIOUSLY early flight at 6:15AM. Yes, I said 6:15. Heather, Sars and I decided to stay at a hotel the night before and catch a cab. Heather and I ordered pizza and enjoyed a little relaxation (with the temperature down to 62, not kidding!) and TV. We found “Dirty Dancing” on a channel and settled in. Who doesn’t love “Dirty Dancing”? Except one person that I know. She’s crazy. Nobody puts baby in the corner. We also found ourselves watching “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” while packing up to leave Atlanta. Actually, we watched the end of it, then the beginning of it. Isn’t that the way you’re supposed to watch movies?

Once we arrived in Atlanta, which was NOT hot by the way, we stupidly walked through the whole airport. I don’t know why we didn’t remember to take the silly train to get our luggage. We hate the Atlanta airport, by the way.

Selfie @ Ryobi Party
I have two points that go together. First, the parties. Oh, the parties …and putting yourself out there.

After registration there was a fabulous cocktail party on the terrace of the hotel. Many attendees gathered in the lobby area. Heather and I met up with Jessica at Gourley Girl and Guy and Melody at My Passion for Decor. We sat around and chatted for a while. They decided to freshen up for the cocktail party. We then met Paula at Sweet Pea. She might have been more shy and timid than I ever thought I was! She was super sweet. I saw her every day after and she was with a new friend EVERY time. I was so proud of her for putting herself out there. You go girl!

Something I’ve learned both years: ALWAYS go to these parties/gatherings. You absolutely never know who you’ll meet, and you may never know what you might receive or get from the party hosts! The Ryobi guys started walking around the party with flashlights and giving them to whoever was following them on Instagram.

Ryobi Par-Tay!
Before you ask, yes, we all have drinks in our hands. We just had to walk across the street, so there was no driving either. We’re good girls.

Last year, we attended the first little cocktail party and then we stayed and ate together every night after. This year was completely different. We had dinner with a huge group of ladies the first night (Mexican in Atlanta, yeah, I know. I KNOW!), then Ryobi gave a party at the Intercontinental Hotel the next evening (with food and drinks, drinks and more drinks), and the last night we had a quaint little dinner at FarmBurger. We met so many new people, it was truly awesome! I’ve never been so open to making new friends.

The ladies on the Haven team did a great job on creating the sessions for the attendees. It was so hard to choose which ones to go to. I ended up enjoying the design sessions and 2 blogging sessions. I learned mass quantities of information in all of them. Like last year, I came home inspired to do so much, and I have. Again, this year, I left feeling inspired, but inspired on a whole other level. It’s a great feeling, yet overwhelming! I want to do so much more in both DIY/decorating and for our little blog. I learned so many new blogging ideas, especially in New Kids on the Block: 15 Fundamentals – that was taught by Tauni at Snap!, KariAnne at Thistlewood Farm and Heather at At the Picket Fence.

Ballard/Haven tote

When we checked in for the conference, we got this awesome tote from Ballard full of goodies. Its so nice of all the companies to just freely give us some fabulous products to try. I can’t thank the team enough for all they did for us.

RCHOTX  Heather and Court Haven 2013

So THIS picture. This picture. THIS picture was sent to me with the words “Suck it, Tarah”

The story goes – Heather and I participate in Google+ Hangouts. For y’all non blogging people, it’s like video chatting/Skype. One of the Google Hangouts included Beckie at Infarrantly Creative, Brooke at All Things Thrifty and Court at The Blog Builders. I made mention that I thought Court was pretty darn cute. Fast forward to Haven. Last year at Haven, Heather found Leslie, better known as The Bearded Iris, and chatted with her about one of her blog posts and how a friend tried it. Said friend was in the same session and Heather introduced Leslie to her. The blog post was HILARIOUS. Anyhow, Heather made sure to let Brooke (All Things Thrifty, also Court’s sister) how her friend “that’s in another session thinks Court is SOOOO cute”. I most definitely laughed! Was I embarrassed? Nope. He’s totally cute! Right?

(ETA: I think he’s cute too, but Tarah was a good excuse! Thanks for taking the picture, Brooke! – Heather)


pretty hardware

Pretty! Purple!

The long awaited “AWESOME” post I was going to do on Friday. My child is now feeling much better and I have found time (at 10pm while watching the Rangers FINALLY WIN in a week). Last week we were childless. The kids went for a visit to the grandparents and I had a list a mile long of projects to get done. I had some furniture piling up in the garage (my $20 Craigslist find, my dumpster dive and a free dresser from a friend). I started off Monday morning with a list, some money and some paint colors in my mind.

Which piece did I want to start with first? Well, since I am planning on reselling the Craigslist find and the dumpster dive find, I started with the piece that was staying in my house – the dresser.
RCHOTX | dresser makeover

I desperately wanted a purple. Not just any purple, a deep purple. In case you don’t know, none of our favorite paints that we mention continuously have a deep purple. I took to Pinterest and found a “recipe” to make something similar with non-sanded grout and latex paint. I can report back that it worked wonderfully.

DIY paint

Before putting the paint on, I did do a light sanding on the dresser because of the finish it had. I wanted that paint to stick. It most definitely stuck, 2 coats of it. 2 coats = 2 cups worth of paint. I only bought a quart to begin with because I don’t need a whole gallon of purple paint. Want a gallon? Yes. Need? Not so much.

After the 2 coats dried, I moved onto the wax. I stopped by a local retailer and picked up some Maison Blanche dark antique wax.

MB dark wax

I’m not a very good “waxer”. It definitely requires a skill set and I’m getting there.

dark wax

While I waited for the wax to set and “cure”, I decided what I wanted to do with the hardware. I was sure I wanted a dramatic look for this dresser. I went to my paint shelf to check out my spray paint collection. Aqua, bright chrome and purple just weren’t going to work, but the can of black spray paint that wasn’t even half-full. I was quite hopeful it would be enough. I was wrong. A text with a picture to the husband asking nicely for another can of black paint, and viola! I was the proud owner of a full can of spray paint.

After the black dried, I just topped it with a clear protective coat. I may or may not have missed a spot on one piece of hardware that I didn’t see until I was completely done.

pretty hardware

Now, with the furniture refinishes I’ve done, I always find that there’s something I did wrong or that I don’t like. This piece though. This piece I absolutely LOVE. LOVE!

purple after

How could you NOT love that? Its beautiful and definitely perfect for the dramatic “big girl” room that I have planned in my head for Savannah. I sent a picture of it to Heather and her reply “Pretty! Purple!” which was the inspiration of the title. :)

I linked up with Project Inspire{d}!



I linked up with Miss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Feature Friday!


Benjamin’s Nursery Reveal

Nothing like waiting til the last minute, huh? We are about 4 days out from my scheduled c-section and we finally got the nursery done! It has been in the works for a while, but still unorganized and not completely “finished”–until now. A huge weight has been lifted now that it’s done…even though I know it really doesn’t matter since it’s not like the baby cares or will even be sleeping in there anytime soon, but it’s one of those irrational, hormonal, pregnant things. Don’t judge.

Anyway, onto the nursery reveal pictures–I know that’s what you are here for.

nursery1 You might remember the framed artwork, wooden B, table, and lamp from our fall Pinterest Party. And that awesome chair? A gift from a very close family friend, my dad, and my Nana. It is SO much more comfortable than the wooden one I had with Logan (which I still have, we just moved it to the living room). And we re-used the garland from the baby shower to dress up the plain navy curtains.

Oh, and that quilt rack? Started out like this:

quilt rack before

And now:

quilt rack after

A little ASCP Napoleonic Blue, thin wooden board cut into ovals, and a wooden star to cover the old hearts and it is much cuter and more appropriate for a boy’s nursery.


nursery2 The other side of the room with more Pinterest Party crafts (sorry for the blurry camera picture).


nursery3 The infamous orange dresser turned changing table, colorful lanterns (I’m thinking I need to add some more), and more storage above.

I love it. It is pretty close to what I was envisioning–modern, colorful, not too theme-y (just a few whales thrown in there). I can’t wait to bring Benjamin home and rock him. I say that now, but I know those late nights will catch up to me. At least I will have a comfy chair to sleep in.




Real Cheap Housewives of Texas

Vintage babydoll crib

Real Cheap Housewives of Texas

WHAT IS THIS? Well, it is the vintage babydoll crib I used for my baby dolls when I was younger. What you don’t see, that I apparently forgot to take a picture of — an ugly bass fish sticker on the other side. This little piece of history is going to be used by my daughter but not before it’s had a little facelift makeover. It’s in need of one, don’t you think?

Real Cheap Housewives of Texas Real Cheap Housewives of Texas

Purple is my favorite color. As you can see, I’m trying the force my love for purple on my child. Its what every good mom should do. I had this purple paint left over from painting her nursery at our last home. I’m going to start planning her “big girl” room soon, so I just decided to use this paint on small stuff.

Real Cheap Housewives of Texas After covering up the little bear and ugly bass fish, I felt that the ends needed something. Luckily, Heather thinks ahead and brought her stencil set from Royal Design Studio that she used on her Barcelona Orange dresser for her craft room. I just took some acrylic paints that I brought with me to the Pinterest Party. (If you go to our April Pinterest Party, you’ll see this pretty little makeover in the front. At least half of the makeover)

Real Cheap Housewives of Texas I know. You don’t have to say anything. It’s ugly. And most definitely does NOT go with the pretty purple crib. Time to fix it.

As our Facebook “likers” heard yesterday, I did something with fabric. You know, the person that doesn’t want to sew or do anything with fabric. I totally tried it. I left the ugly fabric on because I needed the thickness. However, it wasn’t enough so I had to add something else so that the staples from the staple gun wouldn’t go through.

Real Cheap Housewives of Texas

Enter piece of cardboard. Yes, I totally used cardboard. Don’t judge. You work with what you got.

Real Cheap Housewives of Texas

Please notice this piece of “wood” looks like it was a piece of 1970s paneling. See the little crease to the right side.

Real Cheap Housewives of Texas

 Look at that perfect corner and use of staples with the staple gun. Its almost like a hospital corner. Yes, I do make the beds with hospital corners WHEN they get made, which I’ll admit isn’t often enough.

Real Cheap Housewives of Texas


I chose a duck cloth to use for it’s durability. It is going to be used by a child and hopefully she’ll be able to pass it on to her children. Maybe she’ll even want to make it over as well, but I’m sure paisley will still be in style, or back in style.

Real Cheap Housewives of Texas


I most definitely like the after. It looks so cute. I’m sure that the baby dolls will love it, along with my children, who will probably end up sitting in it. (They tried it out while it was sitting in my craft room before the makeover.)

This was an easy fabric challenge for me. Just fabric and a staple gun, simple. I might venture into making some of those fabric flowers that Heather is addicted to making. I did see a cute wreath made with them.

What do you think? Did I do a good job with the fabric? Isn’t it cute?


DIY Nursery Decor

This last Pinterest Party was really more of an ‘Operation Get Benjamin’s Nursery Decor Done’ party for me. And I got it all done! I love all of it and I think his room is going to be modern, bright, and cheery–just what I was going for. And it really didn’t cost me anything, other than the cost of a few sheets of scrapbook paper, some spray paint, and some DIY knowledge. Remember this post and the sneak peeks I gave? Well, here you go!

This sign was in my son’s old nursery at our previous house, but it just didn’t go with this nursery. I tried to sell it but I guess it was just meant for bigger and better things. So, it got re-purposed.
Upcycled Sign Before - RCHOTX

A couple coats of ASCP Napoleonic Blue and it was good to go for it’s new plan!
2013-04-19 16.46.21 And ta-da! All done. Scrapbook paper, the trusty Silhouette, some mod podge, and a clear coat of spray paint and it was a brand new piece.
2013-04-20 20.20.40

I found this huge B at the Hob Lob and immediately knew what I wanted to do with it. I love the name Benjamin, but it is a *little* long to put up on a wall. The space on this B would allow me to put his name on there without taking up an entire wall. Problem solved. (I was so proud of myself and my craftiness this weekend…you guys don’t even know.)

Big B Before - RCHOTX

Again, more Napoleonic Blue, Silhouette letters, and a frame found in Aunt Toni’s attic (which I spray painted orange), and we have decor for above the crib. 2013-04-21 12.22.53

Now, this little beauty (ha) started out as a plant stand when my sister was going through a Mary Engelbreit-ish stage. I needed a small table for beside the glider and this was just sitting in her garage collecting dust.
Upcycled Plant Stand - Before - RCHOTX

You guessed it–Napoleonic Blue, some scrapbook paper and mod podge and it’s a cute table to hold my phone/water/bottle/etc. I LOVE it!
2013-04-19 22.56.54

Now, this next project took the most time. More time than it probably should have but it was SO worth it in the end.

I had these old framed picture of herbs hanging in my old house, but was over them by the time we moved. Again, tried to sell them but couldn’t.
2013-03-08 18.13.33

We took them apart (which took quite a bit of effort–thanks Aunt Toni) and got to work. A little spray paint, some cute pictures and sayings from the Silhouette, scrapbook paper, and posterboard for matting and they have a whole new life.
Nursery Art - RCHOTX

Orange Whales Nursery Art - RCHOTX

Little Brother Chevron Nursery Art - RCHOTX

Blue Diamond Whales Nursery Art - RCHOTX

Where the Wild Things Are Nursery Art - RCHOTX

Can you even believe it? So much better, right? These will look adorable above his dresser/changing table.

I got the idea for the ABC canvas off Pinterest (I know, imagine that).


My version (thanks to Heather for helping me out with this):
2013-04-20 22.51.59 It took a lot of effort to line them up and make the patterns “random” enough and then I *still* ended up spacing them wrong, which is why you see the 2 stars placed in odd spots. Oh, well. Still works.

My final two projects weren’t even in the original plans, but they sure did turn out cute! When scouring my aunt’s attic for other goodies, we came across this lamp. Old and brass, but would work great in the nursery.

2013-04-19 17.01.31 2013-04-21 12.29.42









That other cute sign? Totally last minute. I had this rustic sign from my old house and it wasn’t getting used, so I figured–why not paint it?

2013-04-21 12.29.53 2013-03-08 18.14.10









I figure I can hang it on his door or on the front door during naptime or something. Better than letting a good piece of wood go to waste! Oh, wow, how I have changed. A year ago, I swear I wouldn’t have looked at any of this stuff twice.

I can’t wait to get it all hung up this weekend and of course, I will share the pictures once it is all completed!

So what have you re-purposed? Or are you more of a ‘start fresh’ kind of person?


Maison Blanche Part Three – Le Dirt and Organza

Remember those pieces of moulding I showed you in the first post Maison Blanche Layout

Maison Blanche makes two products – one is called Le Dirt and one is called Organza. Both of the products amazed all of us!

Once you have painted and waxed your piece, you can add Le Dirt to it to give it that old, antique-y feel. The wax helps it “stick” to the piece!

Before Le Dirt Maison Blanche - RCHOTX


(This picture was pre-waxing – I forgot to snap a pic after!)

Once we were all waxed and ready to go, we took our moulding and Le Dirt outside with a chipbrush. You definitely want to do this outside if possible, because it is a powder (much like dirt). You don’t want to inhale this stuff, and we made sure that Whitney did not do this part since she is pregnant. Annie @ Maison Blanche did not think there were any problems with a pregnant person using it, but we didn’t want to take the chance!

Le Dirt Maison Blanche - RCHOTX


First, you’re going to pour some Le Dirt onto your piece. Wherever the wax is, that is where the Le Dirt will stick!

Le Dirt Maison Blanche - RCHOTX (2)


Once it is on there, start brushing it off.

Le Dirt Maison Blanche - RCHOTX (3)


Keep brushing until you’re happy with it.

Le Dirt Maison Blanche - RCHOTX (4)


Can you see how it has settled into the crevices? It looks like an antique piece you would find in your grandmother’s attic! It completely changes the look of it.

The Organza really blew us away, and was probably our favorite product we used that day. Remember Whitney’s faux zinc coffee tables? Yeah, she has been kicking herself since we learned about this stuff – this makes it SO easy to get that same look with almost no work at all.

Moulding Before - Maison Blanche - RCHOTX


This was the “before” picture of the moulding. No wax, nothing but paint.

Moulding After - Pearl Gold Shimmer Maison Blanche - RCHOTX


Can you believe the difference?! I’m pretty sure a jar of this would last the normal person for years – we used VERY little of the product to get this effect.

Bayou Blue Before - Maison Blanche - RCHOTX


Moulding After - Silver Shimmer Maison Blanche


It is a cream and we just dabbed it on with a clean rag. You can wax it afterwards if you want (I probably would just to protect it). These pieces that we have pictures of have not been waxed.

Organza comes in three colors – Pearl Gold, Silver, and Gold. Whitney can’t wait to try the faux zinc look with this!

That’s it for our Maison Blanche “Heather Has a Big Mouth” Tour! You can find Maison Blanche on Pinterest, their website, and Facebook. All of us really had a blast at their warehouse when we went, and we would all love to go back if they invite us! Thanks again to Annie and Nicole – you girls are great! (Go check out Part One and Part Two if you haven’t already!)


Barcelona Orange Nursery Dresser

Only a little over 9 weeks to go and I FINALLY got the nursery dresser painted!

Remember this:

nurserydresser My $30 Canton steal? It sat in our bedroom for WAY too long and I was finally motivated/energetic enough to get started on it. I knew it would be a longer process–I have learned this with Barcelona Orange. But if you can’t put a bright orange dresser in a young boys’ room (or craft room), where can you put one?

From our previous experience with this color of paint, I knew it was going to take several coats. For some reason, it just doesn’t cover as well. Now, I think I know the reason, thanks to the ladies at Maison Blanche! Apparently, some colors (usually darker ones, but not always) have a deep base (when you look at the paint cans in the big box stores, they will say deep/medium base, etc.) and that means it isn’t going to cover as well. The way to overcome that is NOT to use white primer, but rather a gray color as a base coat. Wish I had known that BEFORE I started painting this beast (5 coats later!). Oh well, lesson learned.

dresser 1st coat Do you see that? Not great coverage like I have come to know and love from my ASCP. But I persevered.

dresser side 1st coat

And 4 (or 5–I lost track) coats later, it was finally done to my liking. Well, pretty much. I like my furniture pieces more modern-looking and smooth, rather than chippy and distressed (at least for boys’ bedrooms), so other people may achieve that look quicker if that’s what they’re going for. I also did 2 coats of poly (no wax) since it was going to be in a high-use area and I didn’t want to have to worry about it or re-wax in anytime soon. Plus, I am 7 months pregnant and waxing is pretty labor intensive.

dresser final coat

I reused the same hardware (don’t love it, but hardware is expensive!) and just spray painted it chrome.

dresser complete I still can’t believe I have an orange dresser. I can’t wait to see it with the rest of the room all put together, which we are getting to soon! I will be working on some nursery crafts this weekend at our Pinterest Party, so I will post pics when they are done. But I will leave you with some sneak peeks/hints:

glider before If I can find some fabric I love (Heather might kill me by then), the plan is to recover this. Or attempt it, anyway.

quilt rack before Say bye-bye to the hearts and wood tone.

2013-04-15 13.39.12 Old decor will become new again!

whale And look at the cute whale my aunt found at HomeGoods! Love!!

There is more where this came from–can’t wait to get it all done and put together! And of course, show it off to all of you!

What do you think? Would you paint a dresser orange? What’s the boldest color you have painted a piece of furniture (or anything)?

Have a great week!!



Maison Blanche Part Two – Glacage

If you haven’t read Part One of the Maison Blanche field trip, go ahead and check it out!

Our first project was learning how to use Maison Blanche Glacage. It’s kind of difficult to explain exactly what it is, so I’ll just say it is a texturing/embossing process. It comes in five different colors (Natural Wood, Oak, Cherry, Black, and Walnut), so you can match it to what you are working with.

Annie and Nicole from Maison Blanche, showing us just some of the effects you can get by using Glacage.

Annie and Nicole from Maison Blanche, showing us just some of the effects you can get by using Glacage.

Annie from Maison Blanche explaining Glacage - RCHOTX

To teach us how to use Glacage, Annie and Nicole had cabinet doors lined up against the back wall. These can be bought for next to nothing, and would make cute gifts! We each chose the style we wanted (yes, they had a variety!), then chose the stencil we wanted to use, and then chose the color of Glacage we wanted to use.

Our "BEFORE" cabinet doors.

Our “BEFORE” cabinet doors.

The first thing they had us do was lightly sand down the cabinet doors to take a little bit of the gloss off of them. Once that was finished, we used some stencil adhesive and laid our stencils out where we wanted them. (FYI: Stencil adhesive spray works SO much better than tape!)

Maison Blanche Glacage - Cherry - RCHOTX

Now comes the fun part (and the part that we basically managed to not get ANY pictures of!) – slapping that Glacage on. Glacage is a cream, not a liquid, so it is thick.  We applied it to the outer front edges of the cabinet doors, and also onto the stencil. You can use whatever color you want, it just depends on the color paint you use and/or how you want it to look after distressing if you distress it. The Glacage takes a little while to dry, so Annie and Nicole magically had more for us that were already “Glacaged”, dry, and ready to go! It was like something on the Food Network.

You can kind of see what Annie is doing - she is using "Natural" Glacage over a stencil.

You can kind of see what Annie is doing – she is using “Natural” Glacage over a stencil. She applied hers with a plastic scraper. It’s just that easy.

Here is my "during". I used Cherry Glacage. You can see the texture! Another thing we learned is that Glacage is "sandable" after it is dried.

Here is my “during”. I used Cherry Glacage. You can see the texture! Another thing we learned is that Glacage is “sandable” after it is dried.

Once your Glacage is dry, it’s time to paint. I chose Pastille, Whitney chose Chicory Spice,   Tarah chose Collette, Christie chose Cayenne (although now that I think about it, she could have used Cerise!), and Aunt Toni chose Robin’s Egg. (Collette is new and is not on their color chart yet!) Annie did a cabinet door in Bayou Blue. The paint was smooth, went on great, and covered just like I knew it would! I think I did maybe two coats on mine, and that is only because it was a really light color.

Maison Blanche Pastille, Chicory Spice, Collette, Cayenne, and Robin's Egg.

Maison Blanche Pastille, Chicory Spice, Collette, Cayenne (or was it Cerise?), and Robin’s Egg.

Cabinet Door painted with Maison Blanche Pastille over Glacage - RCHOTX

You can see the texture from the Glacage in this picture. Once the Glacage dries, it is raised and you can feel it – it looks like the cabinet door was made with that design in it!

We took our wet cabinet doors over to some fans to speed up the drying while we worked on some other things (that’s for another post, y’all!).

Drying the cabinet doors - Maison Blanche Bayou Blue, Cayenne, Robin's Egg, Collette, Chicory Spice, and Pastille Paints - RCHOTX

Once the paint was dry (maybe 45 minutes?), we took them outside and sanded them down a little (to distress them). You don’t HAVE to do that, it is completely optional. Then we chose our wax. Maison Blanche has Dark Brown, Light Brown, Amber, and Clear. The Maison Blanche wax was almost like a liquid, it went on so easily! I was amazed. It got in all the nooks and crannies and it really was as simple as brushing it on (we used chip brushes – cheap and you don’t feel bad throwing them away once they’re worn out!) and wiping it off with a soft, clean cloth. Some of the other waxes I’ve used are so thick it almost hurts to put it on – I’ll never buy the cheap stuff at Lowe’s / Home Depot again!

Robin's Egg with Dark Brown Wax on edges

Robin’s Egg with Dark Brown Wax on edges

Robin's Egg with Dark Brown wax during - still needs to be buffed more, but can you believe how much the wax you use can change the color of the paint?!

Robin’s Egg with Dark Brown wax during – still needs to be buffed more, but can you believe how much the wax you use can change the color of the paint?!

Collette before wax

Collette before wax

Collette after Amber Wax. This is probably the biggest difference we saw!

Collette after Amber Wax. This is probably the biggest difference we saw!

Cayenne and Dark Brown Wax

Cayenne (or Cerise) and Dark Brown Wax

Annie is the quickest waxer in the west. You can see how easily this wax brushes on in this picture.

Annie is the quickest waxer in the west. You can see how easily this wax brushes on in this picture.

Annie told us that when we got home we needed to “buff” it a little with a soft cloth to make it shine a little bit more. I still have not done that since I have been a tad bit busy, but I plan to work on it next weekend at our Pinterest Party, and hopefully have a totally finished project to show you!

I still can’t believe how much fun we had while we were there. I seriously have thought about going back ever since we left! In the next post, I’ll show you some of the finishes that Maison Blanche carries, and how much they can change the look of your painted pieces. I couldn’t believe what a difference it made!

Read our other posts about Maison Blanche here! Part One / Part Three



Recycled pallet wood

Do y’all remember that time I posted a picture on Facebook? Yeah, if you don’t maybe its because you need to be a Facebook fan. Go. LIKE!

WEEKS ago (yeah, so what I’m *just* now getting around to posting about it) I drove around our neighborhood and gathered some good-looking pallets. I picked up 3-4 total. One looked awful, but I wanted it that way. 

Well-loved pallet


My tools – a hammer, mallet and gloves


All taken apart and ready to be used

I’m sure you’re asking, “what on Earth are you going to make with these ugly boards from that ugly pallet?” Well, see, I have this sweet BFF that got married on March 29th. While her dream was to get married during the winter with silver, sparkle and snowflakes, she changed her mind based on the date and the place she found to have this little shindig. The place she secured for her wedding was a rustic barn. From there we went to Pinterest and she literally had a Pinterest wedding. Maybe I can get her to do a guest post about her Pinterest Bridal experience. She is a wife now, you know.


This recycled pallet wood was made into a sign for wedding guests to see as they were walking up the walkway to the barn. Both Lindsay and Brice love it, and I saved it after the wedding for them to put in their new house in June.


Goodwill Makeover – Before & After!

If you follow us on our Facebook page (um, you should be, because we talk about cool stuff on there), then you may have seen some “before” pictures of some lovely items I picked up at a local Goodwill a while ago. Are you ready for a cute, easy Goodwill Before & After?

3.99 Goodwill Find

3.99 Goodwill Find #2

So, I almost didn’t buy that second shelf. See that white spot there on the left? Yeah. That was a Tic Tac. Apparently it exploded at some point and I don’t even want to know about what happened – I will just say that I took a screwdriver to it and knocked the Tic Tac off. Yeah, the Tic Tac was STILL on the shelf. I have an extremely weak stomach and just didn’t know if I could handle dealing with someone else’s breath mint gone astray. I powered through it and decided to just cover that nastiness up instead. (Can I say Tic Tac ANY MORE? Tic Tac. Yes.)

A little spray paint, a little Mod Podge, a little bit of washi tape, and some scrapbook paper – and here’s what I ended up with! I love them now, and they were so worth the gagging. The one with the drawers will hold all of my glitter (yes, I have a lot of it), and the shelves will hold my craft paint (yes, I have a lot of that too – I was just making sure *after the fact, of course* that they fit on the shelves for the picture!).

Goodwill Makeover After - RCHOTX


Have you ever “redone” something you purchased at a thrift shop? I LOVE doing that – it just takes me a few months to get around to it sometimes!

Y’all have a great weekend!


Adventures with vinyl

Last week I tried something new – adventures with vinyl on my Cricut. It truly is a trial and error type of adventure. If I hadn’t bought some vinyl on Pick Your Plum for inexpensive, it would most definitely be an expensive one.

First let me say … I LOVE GOOGLE! I googled before putting the vinyl on my cutting mat. No, I didn’t google “how to put vinyl on the cutting mat”. I just wanted to be sure I didn’t get ahead of myself. Wonderful Google took me to YouTube, another great invention (entertainment and learning!). Google and YouTube brought me to a tutorial for cutting vinyl with the Cricut. Suzy’s Scrappin Spot has a list of tutes to view. I watched the one for cutting and then watched her cheat sheet tute. While her settings worked for her, they didn’t work for me, so I set mine differently. It’s good to know though!

Y’all remember the stool I painted at last week? I have finished it.

As we know, I don’t own a Silhouette. I have a Cricut. It works, I like it, I live with it.

Kitchen Helper Cricut


I went back and forth with that I wanted to put on the stool. I asked Heather to help decide between “Mommy’s helper” or “Kitchen helper”.

Her reply – “Kitchen helper. Mommy’s helper = valium” 

Kitchen Helper it is.

Kitchen Helper cut


After messing up the first try because I used the “cheat sheet” settings. after changing them up a bit, it worked. I went with a simple font and a simple color – black.

Kitchen Helper layout Once I had the extra taken off and thrown away. I cut the block and placed them where I wanted them. I figured little feet were going to be standing on this, it just needs to be simple.

Painters tape


Being a first timer at this, I didn’t know I needed transfer paper. Maybe I should do a little research first before starting something like this. But really? Who wants to do that? I like to fly by the seat of my pants sometimes.

Google also provided me with a substitute material for the transfer paper that I didn’t have. Did YOU know you needed yet another material for this vinyl stuff? Yeah, neither did I, unless of course then you did know and I’m clearly in the dark about this stuff. The substitute is …. painter’s tape! Shocking, I know.



I know this is hard to believe, but I have had a semi-FAIL. What makes this a semi-fail? Well since the kids have been “using”* it, the L has flattened out.

*read – getting the stool and getting their own snack, mommy’s tape measure, a banana … I could go on.

Kitchen Helper done and we’re done. Super easy, super cute and they love having their own stool. Too bad they’ve moved Savannah’s into the laundry room to help with the laundry.



Kitchen helper

Now that my kids are growing like weeds and getting up there in age, they want to help with stuff (whether I want them to or not!) Heather has given all 3 kids these cute personalized stools. She got them from Ikea and then painted them. Each have their names and designs on them. Jaxon uses his stool in his closet to get his school clothes and Trent uses his stool to crawl into his bed. We’ve been using Savannah’s in the kitchen for whoever decides they want to help with lunch/dinner. Its time for her to take her stool to her room. Now we will have a “kitchen helper” stool specifically for the kitchen helper that night!

Last month we went to J’s parents and made a trip to Ikea in Round Rock. I love Ikea. I had 2 things on my “need to get” list and a few on my “if I see it, I might get it” list. I quickly picked up the stool I was there for, then continued to peruse.

stool before

Jody was nice enough to put this bad boy together for me. It was amusing to hear him talk to the picture only instructions. This little guy was only $14.99, easy and comes in handy.

Of course I didn’t leave it natural. That’s totally not something I would do.

CeCe Caldwell paint


I’m the only one of the 5 of us that has branched out from Annie Sloan and tried a competitor. I’ve had this can of CeCe Caldwell Chalk Paint for a while. I’ve used it on quite a few things (a potato bin and a queen size iron headboard). This paint truly goes a long way. Since the stool is going to be used in my kitchen, Spring Hill Green is perfect for it.

painted stool


BUT here’s the thing about this color – until you get the wax on it. It seems more pastel than bright. Also, I hate pastel. So.


Clearly, I’m the rebel of the group. Not only have a branched out from ASCP, I also went with some different wax. Everyone loves Home Depot and Lowes, and I do too, however, they are not conveniently located near me when I need to make a quick trip. And when I say “not convenient”, I mean it’s like 5 miles away and … let’s be honest, ain’t nobody got time for that when you only need 1 thing. We have a nice Ace Hardware located near us, and wouldn’t you know it, one of the employees loves to refinish furniture. He recommended Johnson’s Paste Wax. Its for floors, but works nicely on furniture.

dryingstool I’m not patient. At all. Luckily, I was working on another project while waiting for the stool to dry. It dries quickly, so that’s always a good thing.

Aren’t quick little projects always great to get out of the way? There’s more to this little guy. You’ll see.


ANOTHER Faux Zinc Coffee Table

After testing out the process (using this tutorial) on my $20 Craigslist coffee table (that I later sold for $90), I knew that was what I wanted to do with my $65 Craigslist coffee table. I just knew that it was going to take A LOT longer due to the 8 drawers and extra details that the other did not have. I put it off and put it off until finally I got some motivation (in the form of my sister who was coming over to work on her coffee table).

This is my coffee table BEFORE:

before 008 Quite the beauty, no? Well, maybe not in this form. She was scratched up and a little worse for wear, but SOLID (aka heavy beast) and had nice details on the corners. And lots of storage (which my son promptly took advantage of with his coloring books and games).

Using my trusty Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Graphite, I got started and had the first coat done relatively quickly. Heather was painting her coffee table at the same time with homemade chalk paint (post to come later about that) and her first coat took way longer than mine and her coffee table was nowhere near as detailed/large as mine. The ASCP just covers so well and goes so far–it is worth the money in my opinion (especially now that I have seen the comparison firsthand). I didn’t even sand or repair any of the scratches, I figured that would add character and a more “metal” look to it once it was done (plus I was lazy).

After 2 coats:

1st coat zinc coffee table Once dried, I sanded down the entire table using a 200 grit sanding block. I tried sandpaper, thinking it would be better for the crevices and details, but I liked the sanding block so much better–much quicker and more comfortable to work with. It has a totally different look after sanding.

coffee table sanded sanded drawers After sanding it was time for the wax. Heather and I decided we wanted to try Briwax, as we had heard it was a good substitute for the ASCP clear wax. I had been using Minwax Finishing Paste and it was easy enough but definitely took more elbow grease than the soft-as-butter ASCP wax. I have to say, the Briwax was a *bit* softer but had quite a strong odor. I had to open doors to allow for plenty of ventilation, which I usually never have to do. And I may have started waxing too soon, but the Briwax also seemed to take off some of the paint as I rubbed it on. Again, that could have been my fault for being in a hurry, but it was something I noticed. I still used the ASCP round brush for the wax (LOVE) and an old t-shirt to wipe off excess.

After the first coat of wax was dry, it was time to start on the faux-zinc part by adding silver metallic craft paint (any will do–Heather happened to have some in her stash so I just used what she had; I think it was 2 different silvers too) to the wax. It seemed to take more craft paint to achieve the look than it did with the last table, but it could have been because I couldn’t get it to blend with the wax very well. I may be splurging on ASCP Clear Wax for my next project–I have been spoiled by her Dark Wax already.

Drawers and top of table AFTER:

Top drawer has just been waxed, bottom drawer has been waxed with the silver craft paint added. You can see the depth the craft paint gives it in this picture.

drawers after silver paint 2013-02-11 15.22.01 After doing a final coat of wax (this is a much-used coffee table, after all) and letting that dry, I buffed the entire thing (using a good amount of muscle/force) to get a nice smooth finish and shine. I love the buffing pad I got from the ASCP stockist. It is just a microfiber pad (for only $1.50) but it is wonderful.

It took me a while to find knobs to replace the original worn-out wooden ones because I didn’t want to spend more on knobs than I did on the entire table. I saw some beautiful ones at Hobby Lobby, but even $3.00 a piece was more than I wanted to pay. I decided to go with some cheap, black $0.97 ones from Lowe’s. It ties it back into my black entertainment center and work just fine. They even had a little detail to them.

zinc table knobs close And I was done! Since it is a table that we use (and couldn’t NOT have in our living room), I kept it covered with a sheet for a couple weeks to make sure it could properly seal without getting scratched up by my son with a race car or something.

Zinc coffee table1 Zinc coffee table2 Zinc coffee table4 So, just for fun, let’s see a before and after. I always love those!


Zinc coffee table after

I love it! Now, if I can get rid of my couches and rug and get that charcoal grey sectional I so desire, then it would look even better, but that will have to wait.

This was definitely labor-intensive but still didn’t take very long in the overall scheme of things. I could have knocked it out in a couple days if I tried really hard. Definitely worth it when you see the results though–my cell phone pics don’t quite do it justice.

Next up, a Barcelona Orange dresser for the nursery! Yikes!

Have you tried this technique? What do you think of it? What has been your favorite piece you have painted (any technique)?

Today's Creative Blog

I’ve linked up to Miss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Feature Friday!



This Old House

My husband and I live in an old house in an old neighborhood. No, not the “good” old, you know – like the cute little houses in my favorite ‘hoods in Austin – I’m talking 1959 old. Not old enough to be cool, but old enough to be fugly. We rent it, and have (somehow) lived here for 8 years. I’m pretty sure this started out as very temporary housing, but a combination of job layoffs and me being lazy = staying put for now.

Luckily, since we rent from a family member, we can pretty much do what we want to the house – because if we’re being honest, anything would be an improvement! The other day, when I was spray painting the media console shelves, I sprayed part of the old iron column on the front porch. Black. Why? I don’t know – lack of impulse control? Anyway, it got me thinking that I could easily make that column look better, so that’s exactly what I did today. The whole process took me about an hour, not including drying time for all the paint.

before iron colums Told you it was ugly.

See all that rust? Yuck! I was going to use sandpaper, but then Sars (or was it Christie?) suggested using a wire brush instead. So smart! I scraped off all of the nasty rust and a lot of the old, cracked paint. I couldn’t get it all because my wire brush wasn’t small enough, but I got most of it. I’m glad it was outside, because it was nice and dusty when I was doing that!

supplies needed

These are the supplies I bought at Home Depot (while we were at the Do-It-Herself Clinic with Shanty2Chic) – $27 or so. I decided to go with plain white instead of some crazy color (which is totally my style, but it would look really strange to have a hot pink or lime green old-school iron column in this house).

Once all the rust and chipped paint was gone, I used Kilz spray primer on the entire thing – and it definitely took the entire can. I think I may be a little heavy handed with primer, because I always run out!

I took a break and caught up on Grey’s Anatomy while the primer dried. There may or may not have been a nap as well, but I digress.


That picture was taken after one coat of spray paint. Don’t mind the plastic bags at the bottom, that was my makeshift solution for not spraying the porch. Yeah – don’t do that, it doesn’t work. Now I have to figure out how to get spray paint off of the concrete at the bottom of the column!

side column

This picture really shows me that I need to spray down the house/windows. Oops. While the paint was drying, I decided to make a house number sign. Important people can never find our house because there have never been any house numbers on it (you know, pizza guys, UPS, Publisher’s Clearinghouse, etc.)! I whipped out my trusty Silhouette, spent an hour picking out the font, and finally printed out the numbers.

address sign before

I’ve got approximately 35 pieces of scrap wood just hanging around (leftover from the O Holy Night signs – I figured I might as well cut it all and use it eventually, right?) so I grabbed one and spray painted it white. This took 3 coats because the plywood just sucks the paint right up, much like the MDF from the media console.

address sign during

I barely had room for the numbers! (By the way, I may be tricking you with the house number – you don’t know me! Don’t be a stalker!) Again, I would have made it more my style, but I wanted simple and easy to see, so I went with boring black and white. I ran the numbers through the Xyron, stuck them on, and sprayed it with clear coat. After that dried, I drilled a hole in each corner and (for now) we put it on the column with clear zip ties. I may switch that out sometime soon, but it was an easy solution and it will hold up to the weather. I’d be happy to hear any other ideas you have!

finished sign closeup

This simple, quick, inexpensive project made a huge difference! It also made me realize how dirty the siding and windows are – so that may be my next project. Anyone have any tips on powerwashing?

Today's Creative Blog


Our Home Depot Adventure

Home Depot puts on several workshops every month – for anyone, for kids, and one especially for women. This month, the workshop is being run by two bloggers who just happen to live very close to us Cheap Housewives, so of COURSE we had to go support them! I think I briefly talked to one of the girls at Haven last year, and had no idea that they live, oh, 10 minutes from my house? Crazy!

The project for this month is a tiled frame mirror. When we got to Home Depot (finally! It took us an hour to get there!), they greeted everyone at the door and directed us straight to the workshop. I figured it would be much more crowded – I was pleasantly surprised! They had each of us register (name and email address), gave us a CUTE reusable bag and a door prize ticket, and told us to help ourselves to snacks and drinks. I think they had 3 cakes! (I was saving myself for dinner, so I just grabbed a water).

The employees were very friendly and talkative, which was nice to see. They introduced themselves to everyone, and then introduced Whitney and Ashley from Shanty 2 Chic. I think there were a few people there who had come just to meet them, but I got the feeling that the overwhelming majority were just there for the project. The girls talked for a few minutes, and then one of the Home Depot employees took over to do the actual project.

I thought the project looked easy and made a huge difference (tiling the border of a plain mirror) with a small amount of money and time. My attention, however, was mainly focused on the very excited woman in front of us. I decided that she would be GREAT as an audience member or a host for an infomercial, and I was afraid that she was going to break her neck from all of the nodding she did! She was very much into the whole presentation, and I really think she was learning some groundbreaking stuff. It gave us a few giggles for the 45 minute tutorial…



After the presentation, they had stations set up to try making mirrors. Now, I will admit, I was under the impression that it was more of a make-and-take thing, but it wasn’t. That is just fine, because I have nowhere to put a mirror anyway! I was prepared to get all dirty and grout-y.

We checked out a few stations, Sars got her hands a little grout-y, I picked up some stuff for a project, and we were headed out the door. I decided to introduce myself to Ashley & Whitney, and I’m glad I did. They were so sweet, and went to the same high school as Sars! We talked with them, they got a picture with us (I will add it when I get it from them), and we told them we would see them at Haven this summer – if not before, since we frequent the same Home Depot and Lowe’s that they do. Ha!

Then we went to Chuy’s, ate my favorite meal in the whole world, talked for a long time, and made the long drive home. It was good times, and there are a couple more DIH workshops I would like to go to – but at a Home Depot closer to my house :)