Who Says You Can't Teach An Old Desk New Tricks

I wanted a fairly simple (yet still shiny) vanity, but I couldn't believe how astronomical the price of a new one was. After settling on the fact that I would not spend that kind of money on one, I realized this old desk was the perfect candidate for a three-step (OK, three and a half) makeover. All for about $15.

After ditching the hutch, I got to painting the inside of the drawer. I went with Rustoleum's Black Night Protective Enamel Metallic Spray Paint.

For that shiny silver, exterior, you have the option of doing silver leaf, but I took a shortcut, using Rust-Oleum Specialty Metallic Silver Spray Paint:

After several coats of that stuff, I swapped out the plain metal knobs for glass, my M.O.

The last step for me was to add a piece of plexiglass to the surface, which will protect the paint and the wood if you use hot hair tools. 

Beautify Your Books[helves]

As some of you may know, I have spent the better part of "adulthood" in higher education. As a result, I've acquired enough textbooks and case books to give any sane human a stomach ache. While I've held on to many of them for reference, they are certainly an eyesore. 

I have a simple solution. All you need is paint, doilies, and some Mod Podge.

After painting the spines, I simply applied a bit of Mod Podge to the back of the doilies (also painted) and pressed them firmly onto the books until [relatively] dry.

 

(If you're apprehensive about painting the books themselves, you can easily make book covers for them and simply paint those.)

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This is a great project to do with all the left over paint you have, as it ties in all the colors you've used on other items throughout your home.  

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Porch in Progress

Now that I have a porch—and a swing—I don't know how I ever lived without either. I find myself spending a lot of time out here, so I decided to spend some of that time making it just a tad more lovely. Here's what I've done so far:

After sweeping and hosing down the concrete, I let it dry before applying paint. I used Behr's concrete paint. I plan to add to it by "painting tiles" to break up the solid color block a bit. 

The swing and rocking chair were left here, so I hit them with some wood stain and added seat cushions to each. Good seating is important! I also dragged out an old coffee table, which I'm so glad I hung onto all these years—despite having another coffee table. I just love the curved legs and mosaic top! The other table (the one nearest the door) was inherited by some former tenants. The fabric came off an old headboard I was taking down to the studs. I almost threw it away but then thought it perfect for outdoor use.

I added LED lighting along the base of the porch (still need to affix them properly) and have "curtain lights" on the way.

I was able to score some outdoor curtains for only $10 per pack of two. I saved the old curtain rods that were on the interior window when I moved in and recycled them for outdoor use in hanging these panels.

The lavender wreath by my door is one of my favorite additions. It's so wonderfully fragrant, and I smell it every time I'm coming or leaving home.

Lastly, I added some plants. Trying to resuscitate the poor little guy in the bottom lefthand corner—just pretend like you don't see him.

 

My little porch is on its way to being a most lovely retreat. Happy DIY-ing to you all!

FKJ

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From The Ground Up! Err-Floors

I was not a fan of the floors—at least not in the state they were in (below). However, I was not prepared to tackle installing new flooring in this house solo. Additionally, I was under a major time crunch, as I had movers scheduled to come the next morning after I got the keys, so stripping and refinishing two bedrooms, a foyer, living and dining room in one night didn't seem feasible for obvious reasons. 

I decided the easiest solution would be to paint right over the floors as is (well, after a good scrub down or seven).

I picked out some "Sedona" color and initially was pretty horrified at how red it was when it first went on. But like I said, time pressured. Too late to turn back.

I tried to tell myself, "FKJ, maybe it'll look better when the whole room's painted. Can't judge it when just one corner is done."

 

NOPE. It was still alarmingly red to me. Sigh. Onwards and upwards. As you can see below, I painted myself out of the house that night.

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I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW MUCH I LOVE THE FLOORS POST-DRYING (see below--bonus dingo!). They have that deep, earthy, rich look I wanted. I love the warmth they bring to the house as a whole.

You have the option of putting a sealant on the floors after the paint has dried. I chose to skip this step because I wanted them to become "distressed." I love the effect my pups have had on them.

Happy DIY-ing!

FKJ