Friday, August 26, 2016

Showing off Deb!

Hello there and happy Friday! This week seemed to go forever! I'm thankful for a pretty low key weekend with a equal parts DIY and relaxing. :)

Today I have a fantastic blogger to share with you -- it's been awhile since I've shared one with you. Deb's home at Seeking Lavender Lane has always caught my eye. She incorporates a lot of DIY in her designs, which I love. Her home is soothing and pretty but also has moments of great contrast.

Enjoy this tour and be sure to check her out this weekend and say hello!

I absolutely love how she painted the coffee table in her living room -- what a great idea to update an older piece!:
DIY clock coffee table

I just love it! I also love the black base at the bottom and the rest of this living room is beautiful as well: 
decorating around a TV

Deb's kitchen is a bright and pretty space thanks to some updates they've made over the years: 
farmhouse kitchen ideas

 She made a few more changes earlier this year and I was swooning over that light and those chairs!:
farmhouse kitchen table

I think this shot from her kitchen into her dining room is my favorite in her home though: 
grasscloth wallpaper dining room

You have to see the black accent wall in the kitchen -- it's dramatic and classic at the same time. 

Deb does a beautiful job of mixing items and accessorizing. Her family room is so well done and looks like such a cozy space: 
decorating with grays and white

I love that lamp! Isn't her home so comfy and pretty? 

She can change things up and it looks just as good -- like the industrial look in her son's room:
DIY industrial metal doors

Those faux steel doors are another DIY project, brilliant! 

You know I adore her use of gray and white in her powder room update
stamps on wall instead of wallpaper

By the way, that's not wallpaper -- it's a stamp! Love it!

I hope you enjoyed seeing Deb's home! I've just scratched the surface, there's so much more to see at her site. I love sharing talented bloggers with you! I am always in awe at the talent out there. 

Have a fantastic weekend and stay safe! 

Love peeping in on homes? I have a bunch of beautiful home tours over on my Projects page. Kathleen's home is one of my favorites: 

And Nicole's kitchen (and whole home) is so dreamy: 


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

How to make a giant DIY chalkboard

Hey there! I'm still in beast mode as I work on finishing up the loft/craft room/office makeover. I'm determined to get it done by the end of the month and I think I'll make it! 

I got a TON done in the past few days. I'm excited to share the little DIY project I added above the cabinets: 
shiplap walls

I've always known what I wanted to put up there. A massive chalkboard. I knew it would be a fun place for organization but also would look great against the white background. 

This was a fairly inexpensive project for the size and I'm loving how it turned out. I joined up with Minwax as I do occasionally to share how I use their stains on this project as well. 

The first thing you'll need to do is get a SMOOTH board. This is important, obviously, as you'll be writing on it. :) You can spend $50 on some nice smooth stuff but I didn't want to spend that much, so I kept looking. You know I love the luan for the DIY shiplap look I've added in here, but it's not smooth enough. 

I ended up finding a higher grade luan/plywood that was $19 for the sheet. I had it cut down to the size I needed -- this is how the smooth side looks: 
large DIY chalkboard

We held it up, made sure it was level and then nailed it in: 
plywood chalkboard

You can paint before hanging or after, I prefer standing up to do it. I taped off the edges (although I was adding trim so it wasn't really necessary) and did two coats of a dark paint as a primer (I don't have any tinted primer right now) and then two coats of the chalkboard paint: 
DIY chalkboard

I loved it right away! It was the perfect contrast against the planked walls and I love it with the sconces!

Here's a tip that some don't realize -- you really need to "season" a chalkboard before using it. This will make it easier to erase the chalk down the road. I haven't always done this and the chalk still wipes away with a wet rag, but if you are using a real eraser especially, I always suggest doing this. 

You just take some chalk on it's side and rub it over the whole board until it's covered:
seasoning a chalkboard

Then wipe it away -- if you want a real cloudy board you can use an eraser or dry rag. I use a wet one because I like how it looks after the fact. :) 

Then it was time to stain my trim. I found pretty chair rail to use -- before I started staining I made sure to pre-stain with the Minwax conditioner
pre stain conditioner for wood

I can't express how much better your staining projects will turn out if you take the extra few minutes to use this. I used to be too impatient every time and some wood would turn out crazy blotchy. You just wipe it on with a foam brush and then let it dry. You can stain almost immediately. 

I went with my favorite Minwax stain -- dark walnut. It's a classic, darker stain that is really brown -- no red tones to it at all. I use these foam brushes (at a great price!) to apply all my stains:  
staining with Minwax dark walnut

Be sure when staining to not let any part of it dry -- so don't stop one part and then start up again later. You need to keep what is called a "wet edge" while staining. With smaller projects like this it's not hard to finish up, but if you are tackling something large, be sure you have time to focus on it. 

Don't worry if the piece looks a little iffy while you stain. See how uneven it looked while I was staining? Let it sit for a bit (I usually only let it sit for a minute or two, but the longer you wait the deeper the stain) and then wipe with a clean towel: 
how to stain wood trim

The more you wipe the more it will even out. If it's still not right you can add more stain and do it all again. 

I absolutely LOVE how it turned out. You know how much I love contrast (if you don't know, I DO) and it looks lovely. The stained trim just makes the whole thing:

I was on a roll and got the cabinets painted too. You can see my full tutorial on how to do that here. (Check out my painted kitchen cabinets I did myself!) They turned out great, I just have to do a few touch ups:
how to paint kitchen cabinets

I love love love the sconces with the chalkboard: 
large DIY chalkboard

I have a few ideas in mind for this -- one is a permanent calendar I can write on each month. I also plan to dress it up with photos and other fun stuff to bring in more color: 
Chalkboard on white wall

The whole space is very white right now (which I'm actually quite liking) BUT there will be plenty of color coming in with art, pillows and accessories. I picked up some bright knobs for the cabinets last night but I have to see them on before I decide on those. 

These were two of the last big projects, whoot!! Some minor stuff is left to do and the desk and countertops, which a big element in here and also the most expensive. I'm just so happy that this room is so close to done and that I love it as much as I hoped I would: 
How to make a large DIY chalkboard

I'm loving the nod to a school house look the chalkboard creates -- this room will be used for homework and projects, so it is fitting. :) 

Just for kicks let's look at how far this room has come: 

I'm dying to decorate this space but will hold off till the counters and desk are in. I hope to get those later this week or early next. It's so close!! This is going to be such a fun room. :) 

This post is sponsored by Minwax but all opinions and experiences are my own. I only work with brands I know and trust. See my policy and disclosure information here

Some affiliate links included for your convenience!