How to Get Rid of a Chalkboard Wall

I know many of you are still dying to get on the chalkboard wall train, but I am so excited to have hopped off it. The previous owner of the house put up ours and it was crooked, off center, and just made so. much. dust. For someone with severe allergies, it was just a bad idea.

I hate this wall so much that the most recent photograph I could find of it was from October 2012.  Maybe I should have photographed it before I took it down, but sometimes you just need to take a hammer to a wall RIGHT NOW and can't wait to get your camera first.

I hate this wall so much that the most recent photograph I could find of it was from October 2012. Maybe I should have photographed it before I took it down, but sometimes you just need to take a hammer to a wall RIGHT NOW and can’t wait to get your camera first.

Getting rid of this thing was a beast. First, I used a hammer to rip out the (crooked, unpainted) trim that was installed around it. Next, I patched a zillion nail holes and wall dents (how did they dent the wall? HOW?!) Then I washed it like crazy and let it dry. Once it dried, I went at it with a palm sander. Then a sanding block. Then I washed it again. Then I repeated the wash/palm sander/sanding block routine about 4 more times. Eventually I gave up on getting rid of all the dust so I just sealed it in with a few thick coats of Zinsser primer.

how to get rid of a chalkboard wall

I was actually really impressed with the whole painting process- the chalkboard is black and our front entrance and landing are white so I thought I’d need a zillion coats. Instead, I did 2 coats of primer and two coats of paint (White Truffle by Behr) with just a few touch ups to make things blend easier since I just painted the chalkboard area and not the whole wall all over again.

sorry for such a strange, shadowy picture- it was nighttime and overcast when I got this done.

Sorry for such a strange, shadowy picture- it was nighttime and overcast when I got this done. 

The art I hung there was purchased for the living room (it’s an original silkscreen piece by Pippin Frisbie-Calder that I picked up in New Orleans), but the scale was perfect here so I’m on the hunt for something else for the living room. The frame was $10 at the Habitat Restore and needs a fresh coat of black paint to clear up some of the dings, but otherwise it was an amazing find.

Can you paint a thermostat? Because I kind of want to.

Can you paint a thermostat? Because I kind of want to.

You can see a version of the print here, though mine is in different colors. It’s super weird and creepy and I’m very much in love with it. I can just picture my mom coming in and saying “Oh… that’s… different.” I’m also really trying to bring more color into the house, which is pretty much gray and white. But I want  color to just sort of exist here, not pops of color all over the place (yellow blanket! aqua bird! pink pillow! …vomit) so I’m working on learning what that means. In the words of Nate Berkus, “pops of color have popped.” Tips on layering in color are much appreciated!

small entry way


I love how sleek this area looks now and it coordinates really well with the dining room, as well as providing extra storage and a display spot for some sentimental pieces and interesting things.

inexpensive entry way

The art was not cheap, but since everything else was I was able to get it. Save where you can so you can splurge when you’re in love! Also, maybe dust the spots between furniture before you take a picture… whoops.


How to liven up a thrift store lamp

Today’s post is short and sweet: I bought a lamp for $3 at my local Habitat Store, it came with a shade but it was so hideous I “donated it back.” I’m super generous like that:


The brass was not working for me so I wiped it down, taped off the top and the wire, sprayed it with 2 coats of primer, then 2 coats of Rustoleum white in a satin finish. I also hit it with a coat of ModPodge clear acrylic spray to seal it just in case:

Screen shot 2013-05-28 at 6.56.48 AM

Follow me on Instagram for all sorts of project sneak peeks.

I got a shade at for $18 (5% off, plus free shipping with your card!). It is fabulous, however the metal-lamp-shade-attacher-part was not working with it. To remove it I very professionally bent it back and forth until it broke off then just placed the drum shade right on.

And now, a picture parade:


For the regulars- no, that’s not Dutch. It’s his girlfriend, she came to stay for the weekend. :)

The best part of the lamp is the curves on it, which of course are impossible to capture on my camera.

The best part of the lamp is the curves on it, which of course are impossible to capture on my camera.

IMG_2543The shade is a little off white and the gray has just a hint of purple in it, but I may be just noticing that because I’m nitpicking. I picked the shade because it goes well with the stencilled wall right across from it, and so far I’m loving how this room is coming together. There’s definitely a few changes kicking around in the back of my head though, like adding a matching floor lamp to the other side of the couch… so stay tuned. :)


Linking up with: Inspire Me Please (via Liz Marie), and A Blossoming Life

Glazed DIY Sunburst Mirror

On Monday I shared with you my DIY Sharpie Stencil Wall, and to go with it the art on the wall got a little update too.

A while back I made a DIY Sunburst Mirror out of wood shims, gorilla glue, and an old mirror. After it was spray painted white it looked like this:

hello, gorgeous.

hello, gorgeous.

Once that wall got the stencil treatment though, it was a little too white on white. I decided to shake things up a bit. WITH COLOR. I know, I know- it’s crazy. I painted something a color other then white. I was feeling wild.

After a few light coats of Rustoleum Aqua it was looking pretty stunning so I hung it up on the wall (with the tape still on the mirror) to marvel in the sweet, sweet shade of aqua.

before glazed

If this were a staged shot, with maybe just the chair up against the wall, the aqua would be lovely. But within the room it was like HI! I’M HERE! AND I’M THE ONLY COLOR IN THIS WHOLE JOINT! So I got out my glaze and roughed it up a bit.


Once you’ve got your mixture ready get your foam brush and brush it on a few sections at a time, then lightly wipe it off with a damp cloth. If you’ve never glaze before I recommend wiping off most of the glaze then going back and doing a second coat (and third, if you need it). Slow and steady wins the race so you can tweak the look the way you want it.

After the glaze dried I hung it up and fell more in love then I ever thought possible.

oh yeah. much better. RAWR.

much better. RAWR.

And so now here’s some gratuitous shots of the whole room:

wide left

It’s basically impossible for me to take a picture without a cat and/or dog in it.wider

Love, love, love the view of this wall. And for reference, here’s what the other side of the room looks like:

Maybe I got a little over excited about aqua and sprayed a bird too... I couldn't help myself.

Maybe I got a little over excited about aqua and sprayed a bird too… I couldn’t help myself.


Linked to: Inspire Me Please Linky Party

How To Draw On Your Walls With Marker… And Make It Fabulous!

You guys, I’m SUPER excited about today’s tutorial. It has been a loooong time coming. I’ve been working at my living room for quite some time, trying to figure out what was missing, and then when I did figure it out it was magical.


First, let me remind you what my living room looked like the very first time I saw it:



When I first moved in I painted the room immediately, and because that crimson accent wall was so THERE I had somehow convinced myself that wall was supposed to be accented. I painted it yellow. Then I realized that is the wrong wall to accentThat wall all the way on the right side of the picture, that you can’t even see because there’s so much stuff against it? THAT is supposed to be the accent wall. So the yellow went away and I’ve been staring at the soon-to-be accent wall for almost a year trying to figure out what to do…

A few months ago Mandi @ Vintage Revivals posted a DIY Wallpaper technique she basically invented out of thin air using nothing but her mind grapes and a gold sharpie. However, her tutorial had a whole lot of measurements. I’m not the measuring type. I hates math (sorry, mom). So I combined it with this awesomeness from Sarah @ While They Snooze.

I took the Sharpie paint pen idea from Mandi and the hand drawn stencil idea from Sarah and mashed them together like a pb & j.


The Sharpie paint pen I bought was just over $5, and it was the only material I paid for. I bought three of them and ended up using 2, and technically I think I could have just used one if I was easier on the tip (heh heh heh). I used the cardboard from the box the pens came in to make my stencil.

Here’s the how to:

  • I printed the stencil on computer paper from Sarah’s site (it took up four pieces of computer paper).  I folded it long ways and cut it to be symmetrical, and I folded it horizontally and cut it to be symmetrical. This is very important, do not assume it will be. Fold it both ways! Snip, snip, snip!
  • Then I traced it onto the cardboard and cut it out with a box cutter (heavy duty scissors would do too)
  • Finally, I got my paint pen, estimated what might be the middle of the wall, and started tracing. I traced it approximately 9 million times and every single time I traced it I first checked to make sure it was level. Always check to make sure it’s level! Don’t get lazy!

That’s it- super easy. No need to buy a $50 stencil, no need to buy a pint of paint. Just put on a good playlist and trace, trace, trace. I spread it out over 3-4 days but if I just focused for 3-4 hours it could have been done all at once.

So here’s what the room looks like now:

heck YES.

heck YES. This angle is from where the tv was in the “before” picture.

Here’s another glorious look:


Um… sorry.. there’s a cat in the way. Let’s try that again:

Yes, much better.

So what do you think, are you going to run out and get some Sharpies? Or are you an old fashion stencillin’ kinda lady?

PS- To learn how to make that wood shim mirror, check here! And to find out how to glaze it, check here!




Day 13 of organizing: Making a Gallery Wall

I love love love my gallery wall, I saw them in blogs all over the place before I bought a house and knew immediately that I wanted one.

Gallery walls come in a ton of different shapes and sizes, and it’s good to look at a bunch before you go ahead and organize your own because, well, you don’t know what you don’t know: Young House Love has an entire gallery hallway, Hi Sugarplum! had her whole living room wall at one point and has since toned it down, Dans Le Townhouse just posted recently about the one in her basement.

For mine, I knew I wanted all black and white frames and all black and white pictures- no exceptions. Normally in my house I go by a personal rule that art belongs on walls and pictures belong on shelves, but I threw that out for this.


The shape of it actually happened by accident, originally I wanted the whole wall blocked with frames from ceiling to floor but as I was piecing it together a frame fell off the wall and this swoop shape sort of took form and I loved it, so I went with it.

I wanted there to be meaning/DIY/symbolism in the wall, just not a random assortment of things, and I think that’s how all gallery walls tend to go. Here’s a little break down of what it means to me:

  1. Architectural Art by my friend Dawne, spelling out Home, that symbolizes this as our first home
  2. For now, just a piece of scrap book paper
  3. A picture from my college campus, where Matt & I met, taken by one of our best friends (in a frame I repainted)
  4. For now, just a piece of scrap book paper
  5. The first letter of one of our last names
  6. The first letter of one of our last names
  7. Us!
  8. A mirror I got at a consignment shop and freshened up
  9. A lovely graphic design (Lighten Up) (in a frame I repainted)
  10. An inside joke between Matt & I (Haters Gonna Hate, Potatoes Gonna Potate)
  11. Matt and Dutch on the first morning we had the little butt-meister (in a frame I repainted)
  12. The first letter of one of our last names

13. Hard to see, but it’s a vintage postcard from the town where Matt & I fell in love (awwww) (in a frame I repainted)

14. Matt and I again! (in a frame I repainted)

15. Some lovely graphic design (Umbrellas floating through the air in Pairs)

16. Another consignment store mirror that got some freshening up

17. The first letter of one of our last names

So there you go- squares, circles, swirls, and a swoop shape. There’s still a few things to switch out, but I don’t think I’m going to add any more frames.

Do you have a gallery wall in your house? I’d love to see!!


Also, make sure to like the new Sandpaper & Glue Facebook page! There’s even a new little button on the sidebar to make it easy for ya! :)

Day 12 of organizing: DIY Sunburst Mirror

I saw this post on Ten June blog way back when and immediately knew I wanted to make one of my very own (with a twist, of course):

When we first moved into the home we had to fix the drywall in the basement, so I bought a huge bundle of long wood shims and had a ton left over. Also, in our old apartment I had a bunch of little circle mirrors from Target hanging in our bedroom but then once we moved they got put in a closet until further notice. Put those babies together and you’ve got a F-R-E-E DIY project! My favorite!

I made a square base of three (approximately) 6-inch long wood shims to start with, then I slowly layered on more shims throughout the day. I put about 2-3 at a time, then weighed it down with a heavy book for an hour to dry, then repeated that step over and over until it was finished. It’s about 3 piles deep, so only about 2 inches thick when all is said and done. I let it dry completely overnight for 2 days before the next step:

I lightly sanded the whole piece just to get stray splinters off, but I was going for a sort of weathered/reclaimed look so I didn’t make it perfectly smooth. Unfortunately it rained for a week so I resorted to priming with regular paint instead of my BFF Kilz spray primer, and while I was at it I primed a few other things I had on my to-do list.

Terrible weather called for hand painted priming. Boo! Hiss!

The next day it cleared up enough for me to spray on 3 thin coats of pure white Rustoleum spray paint in a satin finish.

Once the spray paint was dry I used a hot glue gun to attach the mirror to the front and Gorilla Glue to attach the hook to the back. The hook was just the original backing to the mirror that I scraped off to reuse.


Here she blows:

Ooooh! Ahhhh!

And a little farther away:

On the wall itself it’s a bit small, but paired with the zebra chairs and gallery wall it adds the right amount of oomph for the space:

A few months later I decided it needed a little more va-voom so I spraypainted it aqua and then glazed it with black (read about that process here), then I drew some wallpaper onto the wall with a Sharpie paint pen (read about that process here):

oh yeah. much better. RAWR.

oh yeah. much better. RAWR.




Day 11: The Butterfly Effect of Organization (& a chair redo!)

Here’s how things went down last week:

  • I moved the slipper chair from the sunroom into the office
  • I thrifted a new chair for the sunroom
  • I cleaned my guest room closet enough to put the laundry basket in there, which meant I count put the cat scratcher from the front entrance where the laundry basket used to be
  • I decided the newly thrifted chair would work better in the newly opened up front entrance
  • I found two free chairs on the side of the road that’ll look much better in the sunroom

Whew! Let’s get to the before and afters:

I bought this chair at the Habitat for Humanity Restore and it clearly needed a new seat cover, but was otherwise awesome. I Gorilla Glued the brace in the front because it was a little loose, wood puttied some knicks, sanded it down, then spray painted it to awesomeness.

Once it was sanded I lightly wiped it off with a damp cloth, spray two coats of Kilz spray primer, then lightly sanded and wiped again, then sprayed two coats of Rustoleum white spray paint (satin finish) and one heavy coat of Mod Podge acrylic sealer. Originally I was going to polycrylic the whole thing to protect it, but it’s not going to be in a high traffic area so the sealer should be fine.

In between coats, I redid the seat cover by cutting off the fabric  and first layer of cushion. I replaced the layer of cushion with quilt batting I had left over from my kitchen wall art, then reupholstered with my trusty staple gun. The fabric I got was super discounted- it’s outdoor fabric so it was 40% off because it is out of season, and there were only two yards left and since I bought both I got 50% off the second yard because it was the end of the roll. Both yards added up to just $9, and originally it would have been about $25.



Because this fabric has a distinct and straight pattern, before I went nuts with the staples I put one staple on each of the four sides and flipped it over to make sure it was lined up. To get the corners, I just folded it like a Christmas gift and kept it tight-tight-tight while I was stapling.

Let’s see a side by side:

I still maybe add a little something-something to the back, but for now I’m going to leave it sweet and simple.

And now for an even bigger before and after, here’s what the front entrance looked like when I toured the house for the first time and before I rearranged the entire house this weekend:

A big change… but not big enough since there was still a litter box at my front door.

Gadzooks, that looks nice! :)

So basically, we’ve got a lot of chairs at my house now. :)

But overall, I’m super pleased with how this chair looks and I am in love with the pattern on the cushion. The medallions are perfect- they’ve got the black/gray/white of the living room and the bronze to tie in with the sunroom. so it goes great on the first floor.

The two chairs I now have in the sunroom are in dire need of a makeover, so they’ll be popping up on here in a few weeks!


Linked up to the THRIFT IT party.

ONE YEAR LATER: Front Entrance & Living Room

All this week I’m going to be posting before and after photos of the house, so keep tuning in to see what a completely different place we live in now!

The front entrance and living room really smacked me in the face the first time I toured the house because this is the area the day care was run out of and it was super filthy and cluttered. It smacked me in the face on move in day too because the floor was covered in dog poop and the heat vents had been peed on (by a dog? a human child? who knows!). It was this space that worried me most when I showed it to Matt.

Let’s start with the front entrance:

Holy storage shelving, Batman!


Ok yes, there is a giant cat litter box there now. But hey, it’s still better! We never ever use this door to enter the house, so it would have been wasted space anyway!



And now the actual living room:

Man, that is one dark, dank space.


Much better! Still not done, but definitely better.


Seriously, who has blood red living room walls?


The gallery wall is still missing one frame, which should be ready to go up by this weekend.



And one extra “now” picture just for the fun of it:


What we did:

  • Scrubbed, scrubbed, and scrubbed the floors and walls (thanks to my wonderful brother and sister-in-law)
  • Primed and painted the walls and ceiling
  • DIY wall art made from shutters and picture frames
  • DIY accent table, spraypainted silver and glazed black
  • Decorate and arrange furniture and additional accent pieces


What’s still to do:

  • ?

This room has the least amount of direction. I definitely know I want a floor lamp and a cute storage box for the empty built in shelf,  maybe a runner for behind the chairs, maybe a rug for the sitting area… nothing’s for sure. I am positive we won’t be redoing the floors because with 3 cats and a dog that’s nearly impossible and just not worth it, I also don’t think I’ll be buying a new couch because again-animal kingdom. I’m just going to work on this room as inspiration hits me.


Want to know where something came from? Or how it was made? Leave it in the comments!






Subtle Changes

I know, I know- I haven’t posted an awesome craft on here in a while. But I promise next week there will be plenty because I am off from work! It’ll be a vacation filled with spraypaint and pets. I’ve got plans to redo the dresser in my bedroom, to paint a bit in the downstairs half bath, to show you some awesome baby shower decorations, and oh yeah- to foster a dog. So we’ll have 3 cats and 2 dogs next week. Then at the end of it all, my big brother and sister-in-law move into their sweet house and join me in the ranks of first time home ownership. HOLY MOLY.

But anyways, on to the subtle things for now.

We have de-slipcovered the living room couch and I am loving how it looks:

It’s like a breath of fresh air swooped down in here.

With the couch such a light color I fell back in love with the yellow accent wall, I think the room seriously needed to lighten up and that cream couch really takes care of it. It makes me almost, almost  glad that the dog chewed the seem of the slipcover and that I was too lazy to resew it so I took it off…

I was worried that in  our zoo (3 cats, 1 dog on a normal day) a cream colored couch would never survive, but it’s been a few weeks as long as I vacuum regularly it’s perfectly fine. Also, it’s been so hot out lately that they prefer lazying around on the cool kitchen floor instead of the hot sunspot couch.

The cream of the couch plays off the cream zebra stripes and in person really links things together- it’s hard to capture that in a photo.

I wish I had known what this room would look like with furniture and design because I don’t think I ever would have bought the slipcover in the first place. At least I’ve got it as a back up in case this does somehow get stained or destroyed.

Also, yes,  currently two frames are missing from the gallery wall. Sadly one fell to it’s death 2 weeks ago (the hole in the bottom left) and the other just needs a new hook to hang on (the hole in the top right).

The second subtle change I have to show you is in the office, and honestly it has been changed for over a month now so I apologize for not sharing sooner:

Let’s pretend this room is not an insanely cluttered hot mess.

We took the blinds off the windows because in the past ten months not once have we changed their position. Also, we hung up some black toppers my Nonna sewed up for us. I made three, THREE, attempts to purchase black toppers and stores were continuously sold out. There must be a new black topper fad I don’t know about.

So anyway, a little bit goes a long way around here. The office gets way more sun without the blinds, and the living room is like a whole new room without the gray slipcover.

What do you think? Have you done anything on the cheap lately that rocked your world?

Rugs. Rugs. Rugs.

I think I’ve mentioned rugs about 700 times on this blog- specifically back in December not once but twice and basically every time I’ve posted about the room it’s been referenced again.  An affordable, not awful, 8×10 rug does not exist. So I’d like to take matters into my own hands.

Here are some options I’ve been mulling over lately:

Creating a rug made out of strips of fleece, a la Life on Maple: It seems like you’d just slip it through a rug mat and tie a knot. So you’d need a rug mat, a latch hook (to get it through the holes), and heck-uv-a lot of fleece.

The breakdown: The rug mat can be bought on Amazon for under $20, the latch hook for under $5, and the fleece maybe under $100.

Creating a rug out of strips of towels, a la Tip Junkie: It’s the same process, only with towels instead of fleece. My worries though include if it’ll tear and shred, if it’ll look good in a living room as opposed to a bathroom, if my dog will try to rip up and eat each and every knot.

The breakdown: Same as above, only I feel like a zillion clearance towels would be less expensive then fleece.  Either way, it’s pretty cute. I may test this one out as a 2×3 in my half bath (photos tomorrow, I PROMISE).


 Buy two dull, lazy rugs and merge them together, a la Vintage Revivals. Seriously, even if you don’t want to do this project you should really read what this blogger did. It is amazing.

The breakdown: I think this would cost about the same as the above two options, maybe slightly more. However, you wouldn’t spend hours and hours tying knots and I wouldn’t have the fear that my dog was going to eat it.


I also kind of, really badly, am absolutely dying for a faux sheepskin rug. Ikea makes this tiny version of it. But perhaps I could by a cheap boring rug and cut it into the shape I want, then somehow seal off the edges? This is what I’ve been leaning towards for the longest.

I recently took the gray slipcover off my living room couch to reveal the cream colored fabric underneath and am in the process of testing out how well it holds up in my zoo house (3 cats and a dog). If the cream holds up, I may get an off white shag rug. I really don’t want anything with a pattern because I already have zebra striped chairs and darkish gray walls, so it needs to be toned down and brightened up.



What do you think? Faux sheepskin all the way, amiright?!