Geometric Walls and Grout Paint

When we first moved into the house, the bathroom looked like this:

dark brown bathroom before

Don’t let the picture fool you- the walls were FAR too dark for the space, the tile was cracked, the floor grout was permanently stained, and there was a curtain where the vanity door should be.

Recently, we replaced the vanity and I painted the tile:

before and after budget bathroom update

But I’ve yet to talk to you about the walls and the floor!

Painting geometric walls was crazy easy.

geometric wall how toThe color there is “Fountain” by Sherwin Williams, which is as close to the “Aqua” Rustoleum spray paint as I could get. I bet lightened 25% it would have been spot on.

Because it’s a bathroom, I used mold and mildew resistant primer on both the walls and the ceiling. Then I rolled on 1 coat of Fountain, paced anxiously as it dried, then randomly Frog Tape-d the walls to look like my inspiration picture. Once done I rolled on two coats of City Nights by Clark + Kensington (Ace Hardware brand paint) and carefully peeled off all the tape.

I freaking love these walls. They are so modern and funky, and because it’s only 1/4 of the wall space it’s not overwhelming.


Next up- grout paint! This is simple- you get Polyrenew grout paint for like $12 dollars and an old toothbrush and just paint it right on:

grout paint before and afterWipe up the excess as you go with a damp rag, then let it dry for 72 hours. And BAM! New grout color! You can see a much more detailed how to over on Domestic Imperfection’s blog .

So finally, here’s where the bathroom is today:

aqua and navy geometric wall pattern with frog tape

A million times lighter and brighter, and lots of personality!!

Still a bit left to do, like fill the space where the vanity ends and the wall begins, and maybe add a glass shelf above the toilet? I’m not sure about that yet though.


DIY Herringbone Chair

You guys, it’s just about a miracle- I actually have a project to share with you today. I know, I know, it’s been a while. Let’s just go ahead and blame summertime for that and not my laziness.

Anyways- on with the show! I’ve got a sweet chair to show you.

The night of my bachlorette party we passed a busted up old chair on the sidewalk while we were walking to the train station. So obviously I grabbed it and put it in my trunk. I have a chair hoarding problem

before Collage


The chair was a hot mess- dinged, scratched, a little broken, and it stunk like cigarettes. But I loved the style of the seat. I had to have it. When I got home I sanded it like crazy then wiped it down with white vinegar (usually I use a cloth dampened with water, but white vinegar will get rid of the smoke smell and dry odorless). Once it was dry I repaired the broken seat slat with gorilla glue.

The seat wasn’t actually even attached to the base of the chair, which made things a bit easier for me. I placed the seat and the base next to each other and sprayed them both with two coats of Rustoleum spray primer, then I painted the base with 2 coats of City Nights by Clark + Kensington (Ace brand, leftover from the basement redo).

Then I took the seat inside to work some magic.



I didn’t measure out the herringbone pattern, I just eyeballed it. Basically I ripped strips of frog tape and reverse zig zagged them on the seat, using a letter opener to squish the tape into the spaces between the slats. This took patience. Once when it was all on there I used my finger to press down the tape strips one more time, just to make sure it was on good.

Once it was all taped up, I gave the chair 2 coats of City Nights and immediately removed the tape, again using the letter opener. When it was dry I did a little touch up work with an artist brush and some white paint- frog tape is awesome and usually doesn’t bleed, but there was just so much tape here I missed a few spots when I went over it with my finger.




I am so pleased with how this chair turned out! As soon as all the paint was dry I sprayed it with 3 coats of acrylic sealer (ModPodge brand). I may still do a coat of polycrylic on the seat, just to make sure it’s protected.



The home for this chair doesn’t exist yet, but it will! I’ve got big plans for the guest room and one day I’ll execute them… maybe sometime in the next year. haha!



What do you think? Do you have any cool patterned chairs or painted furniture? Are you shocked I have, once again, not painted a piece of furniture white?

Faux Moulding for Dummies

A little bit back my friend Kenz posted a tutorial about how to add faux moulding to your house, and I started looking all over my house for a spot to try this out. Then, in my last kitchen update post I started giving my basement door the stink eye and knew it was time to get my paint on.


When we first moved to the house there was no door in that frame, so we went out and grabbed one for $10 at the Habitat for Humanity Restore… and even though it was a bit knicked up $10 is a steal for a solid wood door.

I spackled and sanded & spackled and sanded to fix the issues, then gave it two coats of primer and two coats of pure white Behr paint.


But what kind of blogger would I be if all I did was paint a door white and leave it? Not a very good one. So now I’m going to teach you how to add faux moulding without doing any math. Because math is hard and makes my head hurt… unless we’re talking about money in which case I’m all over it.

ANYWAY, I had 2 inch thick Scotch Blue tape and 1 inch thick Frog tape. I put two strips of Scotch all the way around the door, then 1 strip of Frog Tape inside that. That way all my moulding would start 3 inches in from the sides and top. Then, I needed to divide the door in half so there’d be two sections of moulding. I took my level and added a strip of Frog Tape above the handle and below the handle.


Now that I had my outline I had to give myself something to paint. Here’s where it’s time to get creative. You know those free paper Ikea rulers you can get at the door? Well, I carry one around in my purse all the time. For measurement emergencies. And it just so happens to be 1 inch wide. And I just so happened to want my moulding 1 inch thick. So I taped the measuring tape next to the Frog Tape border I had up, then carefully added another strip the the other side of it. I moved around the door doing this until I had two boxes outlined:

Even though you don't need to measure anything, do be sure to check everything is level as you work your way around the door.

Even though you don’t need to measure anything, do be sure to check everything is level as you work your way around the door.


You could just stop here and start painting, but I wanted to be a little more fancy then that. I decided to use this inspiration picture (also supplied by Kenz) because I figured straight lines would be easier to work with then curves. Basically, I cut a little square out of each corner of my moulding so that it dipped in. Not so basically, it took me over an hour to do this. I had to stare at the door for a very long time to figure out how to do this because I’m an idiot and was trying to paint this inversely (as opposed to painting the whole door the color I wanted the moulding, then taping off the molding and painting the door color over it). Eventually I got it looking like this with the help of a cardboard square template:

IMG_2310I painted 2 coats of Behr Manilla Tint (the color of the kitchen) and took the tape off carefully while the paint was still wet. Voila!

ooooh! ahhhhh!

ooooh! ahhhhh!

It’s super subtle, but just gives a bit of dimension to a plain white door- without making it overpower everything else going on in the room.

Please let me know if you have any questions on this… also do be sure to check out Kenz’s post because she did it a bit different then me so maybe you’ll prefer one method over another. 🙂

faux moulding, painted door molding, door update



Stripey New Sunroom!

Our sunroom has been in a constant state of flux for the past year and a half, it is an addition to the house and one of the rooms we use the most. We enter and leave through the side door, we let the dog in and out through the sliders, and we use it for entertaining guests (as opposed to the living room) more often then not. So my goals for this room have always been clear:

  • It must be durable (every animal sits in this room all day long while we’re at work- claws and fur and all)
  • It must be realistic for our lifestyle (we broke, yo, and cats = painful rug death)
  • It must work with what we already have (ie, the bar and curtain rods are brown/bronze and I wasn’t going to repaint or replace them).
  • It must be sexy (because I said so)

I think I have finally achieved that goal, and I’ve been sharing sneak peeks and progress on Facebook and Twitter for the past week. But what’s a room reveal without a reminder of the nonsense we started with when we first moved in:

Here's the view from the kitchen looking into the room, at the end of the couch is the side door (cut off in the picture). This is the first room I saw when I toured the house.

Here’s the view from the kitchen looking into the room, at the end of the couch is the side door (cut off in the picture). This is the first room I saw when I toured the house.

And here's the other side of the "sunroom." It wasn't very sunny... yet.

And here’s the other side of the “sunroom.” It wasn’t very sunny… yet.

August of 2012 I ran a little one year later series catching up with each of the rooms, so you can check out the in between state here. That wallpaper lasted less then 24 hours and the room has spent most of its life with us a mossy green:

An improvement, but still not quite right.

An improvement, but still not quite right.

BUT NOW LET’S GET TO THE GOOD STUFF. The mossy green wasn’t working. So, I put two coats of primer on the wall, then two coats of Behr White Truffle Paint. Then I grabbed my handy dandy laser level and went to town:

Black Friday weekend this Black & Decker laser level was seriously discounted, I got it for $12. Basically it inspired this entire room.

Seriously, without a laser level I wouldn’t have had the patience to stripe this whole room, it curved around the corners and made life so so easy.

I used the laser level to mark off foot thick stripes throughout the entire room, then Frog Tape to tape off the stripes, then I pressed each strip of tape down with a plastic card to make sure it was on extra good.

I used the laser level to mark off foot thick stripes throughout the entire room, then Frog Tape to tape off the stripes, then I pressed each strip of tape down with a plastic card to make sure it was stuck extra good. DO NOT skip this step. You’ll want to, but don’t. I’m not going to tell you this was a breeze, it took about five hours to tape off the whole room. So be ready to hang in there because it is SO worth it.

You’ll see two types of tape in the pictures- I used Scotch Blue tape for around the molding simply because I had it on hand. I used Frog Tape for my stripes- and I suggest if you want a very clean very clear line you do the same. Honestly, I never want to use Scotch tape again after this project. There really is a difference in the products (and I promise, I don’t know anyone at Frog Tape, it’s just my honest to goodness from experience opinion)- besides the crispness sof the line, the Frog Tape was way easier to pull off too.

But back on track… many hours later the room looked as so:

Bam! Tape stripes! I gave the white truffle color a day to dry and set before taping just because I was super afraid it was going to peel up (it didn't).

Bam! Tape stripes! I gave the white truffle color a day to dry and set before taping just because I was super afraid it was going to peel up (it didn’t).

It’s hard to tell in this picture, but to save paint I measured up a foot from the floor and down a foot from the ceiling and just painted the white truffle in those boundaries, since the top and bottom stripes would be gray.

The most difficult part of the taping was remember to tape inside the white truffle stripes, because the gray was the secondary color(Partridge Gray by Better Homes & Garden, color matched to Behr). I kept forgetting about that, and had to retape a few sections a few times.

Ohhhh! Ahh!!!

Ohhhh! Ahh!!!

I’m not going to lie, I was so nervous the paint was going to bleed through the tape and I’d have a million zillion touch ups to do. But here it is, no touch ups needed at all:

Oh what crisp lines you have, grandma! (anyone? anyone?)

Oh what crisp lines you have, Grandma! (anyone? anyone?)

Have I kept the suspense going long enough? Are you ready? I SAID ARE YOU READY?!!



My Nonna calls them “HGTV stripes.”

And once more, so your finger doesn’t have to scroll all the way up, here’s the before:



And the glorious after:



In case you’re interested, a quick source list:

  • The lighter color paint is Behr White Truffle, darker color is Partridge Gray by Better Homes & Gardner color matched to Behr. They both have brown undertones in them that are hard to see in this picture, but definitely help in real life to tie in the brown furniture.
  • The bar is from Bob’s Furniture
  • The chairs were from the side of the road, and redone.
  • The bench is from Christmas Tree Shops, but reupholstered.
  • The yellow curtains were made by my Nonna, the slider curtains are thermal lined and from JC Penney
  • The picture frames are from TJ Maxx


UPDATE: More tips, tricks, and info on painting & this room here