Easy DIY: Distressed Metal Art

Chippy Metal Art

Check out this awesome piece of metal art that I bought 4 years ago at Ross.

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I thought that the design was okay-ish and the size, awesome (3 feet by 3 feet),  but above all, I loved the price:

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7 bucks?  That, I can do! I’m thinking that it was discounted because it was kind of scraped up in a few places…

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…which is ok since I didn’t like the finish on it anyway.  So after moving it from place to place in my garage for the past 4 years, it got some attention today, and I LOVE it!

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Wanna see how I did this uber-easy project?  Of course you do!  First I grabbed a can of black spray paint and mainly focused on painting the edges and raised portions:

Sorry, the dappled sunlight makes it kind of hard to see, but if you look at the upper left corner of the above pic, you can kind of see the black edges which will be visible once the piece is distressed.   Next, came two coats of a semi-gloss white paint:

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Of course I could have called it “Done” at this point if I was going for a clean modern look, but I wanted to take it a step further and distress it up a little to highlight some of the details.  Of course that is why I painted it black in the first place.

***Very Important*** If you plan to do a similar project, spray the top coats with only a short time between coats and distress while the paint is still a bit tacky.  They make spray paint so well these days that it dries to form a really tough surface, which is really what we want, right?  SO, if you are distressing spray paint, you have just a short window of time to accomplish that task.  Even though the distressing process took me about 10 minutes, I could tell a big difference between how easy it was when I started, compared to when I was finished.  Work fast, ok?  If, heaven forbid, you miss that window of time, you can try using some fingernail polish remover and a Q-tip like I did with my metal star project.   Just make sure that you change Q-tips often to avoid a smudgey look.  Got it?  Good!

Now, do you want to see my high-tech distressing tool?  Of course you do:

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Let me be honest:  I started out by using my thumbnail and realized that I would likely wear it away to nothing so I figured that a plastic spoon would do the trick and it did.  Sometimes I scraped away with the spoon part…

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…and sometimes I used the handle to cover more area at a time…

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Here is the finished project…

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…which I LOVE!!!  With the new finish, it is no longer “okay-ish”, it is fabulous.  I thought that I knew exactly where I was going to place this baby, up high in my dining room, but now I want it more front and center.   Hmmm.  The easy part was re-creating this piece.  The hard part is deciding where to put it:

What do you think?  Where should it go?

 

Yep, I can honestly say that I love this piece.  Love!   So, do you have something hidden away in YOUR garage that could use a couple of coats of paint and a spoon?

 

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Updated Metal Star

Once upon earlier this morning, I had a metal star that looked like this:

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I bought this 28 inch metal star at a garage sale about 5 years ago for $1.  Loved the price, but I wasn’t crazy about the finish.  Still, I slapped it up on my wall and forgot all about it.   It was up high enough that the unfortunate color and scraped-off paint didn’t really look too bad against the beige wall it was hanging on.  As you may or may not know, I’m going gray in my house.  The metal star came down so the gray paint could go up.

I will give you a preview of what this star looks like now:

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Kind of looks like something that you would see in the aisles of Hobby Lobby, doesn’t it?   Do you wanna know how I got this look?  So easy!  First I spray painted the whole thing black and once that dried, I sprayed on 2 coats of a nice shade of aqua:

I tell you, spray paint these days dries so fast.  Of course, the reason that I painted the star black in the first place is because I wanted to be able to distress it and have black showing through the aqua.  You already knew that, right?

To distress projects that I paint with water-based paints, I usually rub the areas that I want exposed with a damp rag or scrubbing sponge, but water really didn’t have the same effect with spray paint.  I ended up going with pure acetate nail polish remover.  I messed around using the scrubbing sponge…

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…but ended up liking the look achieved by using Q-tips and cotton balls the best.  As the acetone hits the paint, it tends to smear the black beneath into the top coat so I messed around with that a bit :

Here’s some practical advice:  be smart and wear gloves.  Trust me on this one.

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After re-spraying the portions that I over-distressed (which was way easier than I thought it would be) I favored using the Q-tips.  Be prepared to use a lot of Q-tips to avoid a smeary look.  Really, it is so super easy.

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Perched on the same screw that it originally hung from, my updated star really shines.  Never to be ignored or forgotten again.  I must say that I L*O*V*E the finished project.

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What do you think?

 

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Are You a Painting Scaredy-Cat?

PaintingScaredyCat

I know a lot of people who are almost deathly afraid of painting.  Are you?  Does the sight of a paintbrush bring fear to your heart?  Make your pulse quicken?  Maybe some psychologically see the word “PAIN” hidden in the word “PAINt” and make the assumption that it is just too hard to do.  For those of you who are fearful, read on.  For those who just think painting is a big pain in the patootie, read on, as well.  My goal is to empower one and all with the knowledge that painting, although a lot of work, is such a rewarding skill to have.  And…it is easy!  Trust me on this.

Years ago my hubby and I were given the opportunity to rent an Eichler home in the California Bay area (think pricey!) for a very low comparable rent because our friend who owned it just wanted someone in there that he could trust to take care of it.  Since we were getting such cheap rent, our friend asked us to repaint a long wall in the living room/dining room.  We lived there for 8 months and I hated the way that that wall looked.  In my opinion, it ruined the whole house.  One Saturday, my hubby and I finally decided to tackle the wall project and you know what?  It took us less than an hour of working time to paint the darn thing.  Two coats of paint.  Transformed the place!  Made me wonder why we put it off.  Guess we were just scaredy-cats!

I’m sure that we have all heard that the fastest and cheapest way to transform a room is with paint and that is so true!  Last week I painted my master bath and I can’t even believe the difference it made.

The whole place feels happier to me.  I almost hear angels singing every time that I walk in there!  All that as a result of a few hours of work.  Totally worth it!

I am in the midst of painting my family room and thought that I would share some pointers that make painting so easy.  As with anything else, you have got to have the right tools and this is a tool that I love:

I got mine at Lowes for about $27.  Not much more than it would cost to buy a roller brush with an extension plus a roller tray.  Best part is you don’t NEED a roller tray.  Genius!  Basically you just suck up the paint into the stick handle with the included siphon.  Absolutely no mess.  I decided to see just how much I could paint in one minute.  You know how much I like to time myself, right?  Look how much I painted in 60 seconds:

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It may be hard to gauge by a picture, but I was impressed.   All that in one, non-rushing, normal paced moment.

This is how much one handle-full of paint covered…almost one whole wall!

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The instructions say that it will take most of the first handle-full of paint to saturate the roller.  From here on out, one handle-full would probably even cover much more area than this.  By the way, when I say, “handle-full” I am referring to the amount of paint that the handle can hold.  It literally takes about 5 seconds to siphon up a handle-full.  And no messy pouring from the bucket.  I LOVE this tool.

That said, what about the edges and trim?  You can put your scaredy-cat painting claws away because I have another tool that makes this job, dare I say, EASY.  Yep, I said it.

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When I painted my master bathroom I didn’t use this tool.  Stupid me!  I spent so much time perfectly placing painters tape to protect my molding and trim.  I have smartened up in my family room painting project.  This edging tool saves me so…much…time.   Seriously, you will want to kiss this tool when you see how much work it saves you.   Basically, this little gadget holds a small painting pad and it has a couple of little wheels on one edge to help the tool glide along the molding.   You can buy them wherever you buy your paint supplies.  At less than $5, it is even cheaper than buying painter’s tape!

Oh, and here is a subject that needs its own paragraph:  don’t buy cheapo paint.  Just don’t!  That is what I used to do and always planned to paint at least two times.  When you buy good paint you can get by with just one coat of paint.  Maybe a little touchup here and there.  TONS of time is saved by buying good paint.  You really don’t save any money buying cheapo paint either because you have to buy twice as much.  It’ll probably cost you more.  So, repeat after me, “No cheapo paint”. “No cheapo paint”.  Got it?  Good.

Other painting tips?  Have a large brush for the corners (where two walls meet up).  Honestly, I think that a large dollar store brush works fine for this (and I don’t feel bad about just tossing it instead of washing it afterwards…we are in a drought here).

Also keep a container of spackle close by to fill nail holes, etc.

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So, has all this calmed your painting fears?  Does the thought of painting seem less painful?  I hope so!   All said, it does take time to paint a room, a door, a piece of furniture, but believe me, that time is time well spent.  When you sit back and realize what a difference a bit of time and some paint make you will realize it was all worth it.  Take courage, my friend!

 

********* Linking up to these awesome parties!*********

 

Dreams of White and Gray

Do you love Pinterest as much as I do?  It is mind-boggling how much incredible information there is out there.  Like I said in my first blog post ever:  “I used to love decorating magazines.  I subscribed to them.  My mother-in-law gave me hers after she finished reading them.  I would look for them at thrift stores and garage sales.  To be honest, I didn’t necessarily read those magazines.  I would (very quickly) scan through them, tear out pages that I liked and then file them away in my very organized files.  Come to think of it, it was kind of a precursor to my Pinterest addiction.  Pinterest is so much easier.  And less messy.  And cheaper.  And less time consuming.  OK, maybe not less time consuming, but so much more fun.”  Yep.  I love Pinterest.

About a month or so before I found Pinterest, in the Spring of 2011, we purchased and moved into our current home.   My husband loved this house because everything inside and out, landscaping, etc. was done.  Translation for him, “Everything is just perfect.  We don’t need to do anything except upkeep!”.   Honestly, I was a tiny bit bummed because there really was nothing that needed to be fixed, updated, redone.   Well, that was my thought UNTIL Pinterest.  Once I started using Pinterest  I realized something… I absolutely LOVE gray and white interiors.  Love. Them.

Soon thereafter I created what has become my most popular board: Shades of White and Gray.   As a side note; not long after I started this board I heard about the naughty book “Fifty Shades…” (which I would never read or promote) and was a little sickened that someone might think that I was trying to copy the naughty book title.  That was not the case AT ALL.  An-y-way, I really love everything white and gray.  What about my house?   I don’t have a single white or gray room.  See?

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The previous owners did a fantastic job of adding beautiful wood trim everywhere, but painted everything beige.  Beigggge.  I once read a decorator’s opinion on beige…basically you should never paint a room the color of bad foundation.  Amen.  I am at the point where I realize that there is much to be done to this house.  I see a lot of gray and white in my crystal ball.   Until then I will dream.

Here are some homes that have made the beige to gray/white switcheroo:

http://www.whitehouseblackshutters.com/beige-to-greige-before-and-after/

http://www.allthingsthrifty.com/2013/04/room-evolution-from-beige-to-grey.html

http://thefrugalhomemaker.com/2014/07/29/entryway-before-and-after-beige-to-greige-with-behr-paint/

 

Seriously, take the time to check these out!  Here is one more for you to click on.  This blog article from “Our Small-Town Idaho Life” shows the amazing gray colors that this couple chose for their new home.  I want to copy(!):

http://andrewrachelashmore.blogspot.com/2012/01/paint-color-decisions.html

Well, now that I have a whole house of rooms that need to be painted, I have much, much, much to do.  Maybe not until summer, but I have plans.  You can be sure that there will plenty of Before (beige) and After (gray/white) blog posts and photos to come!  Thanks, Pinterest!