MEMORIAL DAY MAKEOVERS

Over the weekend I FINALLY finished some DIY projects that have been on my list for far too long. I found these tables at my favorite local thrift store. The first one I found about 5 months ago and it was perfect for John's nightstand. It sat neglected because I just wasn't sure what to do with it, and every time I asked John what he wanted he said I should just leave it, yeah right. I chose one of my favorite creamy whites, Nacre by Sherwin Williams. I loved the little brass knob, it was far too charming to replace, over all I think it turned out great. Now I just need to find some lamps




When I found this table I knew it was perfect for our deck. I have a soft spot for faux bamboo and this table was a steal at $20.00. For about a week it sat in my kitchen and I couldn't decide what color to paint it, black or white. I decided black. I primed it grey, and painted the legs when I realized it just wasn't right. So then I decided I would paint it a fun coral color. When they didn't have coral spray paint at Home Depot (they had pink and orange but no coral...) I made a snap call and went with green. But it was okay, because we both love it! A design compromise that was worth it.





HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY

We are so grateful for the sacrifice of a few to protect a nation of many. Never forget the brave who came before and honor those who serve now. From our corner of the world, wishing you a happy Memorial Day.



ECO SWIMWEAR

Memorial day is just around the corner, which means one thing. Swimsuit season is upon us. Soon we will be in the line at the market staring at the headless photos of celebrities who had the best and worst beach bodies. To ensure you are all toned up and in shape we shared a beach-ready workout on Wednesday, but today I want to share some great swimming suits with you. All eco-friendly options.

Eco Swim by Aqua Green
The line can be found at stores like Nordstrom, Macy’s and Everything But Water. You can find a complete store listing here. They have great modest options and mix and match pieces.




Kelly B has some fun and modern looks in her latest collection 


This Vintage-inspired polka dot bikini by Kathrine Hamnett is available at YooX but they are going fast!

BEACH-READY WORKOUT

I used to spend all my time on the treadmill and elliptical at the gym and it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. I really started to get results when I began doing circuit training in combination with my cardio. This workout is a great way to start getting back into shape, or tone up for the summer. I do this in combination with 30 min. cardio when I can't get into the gym for my usual boot camp class. Do three times a week in combo with a healthy eating plan.


ECO OBSESSION: MAKEUP CADDY

Right now I am loving this great makeup brush holder from Lessandmore's Etsy Shop!And they have so many creative ways to use on old block of wood.

Such a great idea. I have almost no counter space in my powder room and all of my makeup brushes and bits and bobs are sitting inside of antique glass goblets. I hate tossing them into a drawer because they will only stay organized for about 3 seconds. The DIY possibilities are endless. I'd love something like this in my kitchen to hold my metal utensils. Check out this one to hold pens and scissors!


 This little bud vase is the perfect thing for spring. We have such a slow season here with the trees blossoming, but it is my favorite time of year. I love to see cherry blossoms mixed in with spring floral arrangements. Such a fun and clever idea. I could see a long one down the center of a dining table.

PAINTING TIPS

I get a lot of questions from people asking me about how to paint furniture. I am no expert, but I have made so many mistakes, and had some small successes. So to the best of my experience here are my tips for an even profession look to DIY painted furniture.

Sometimes I use spray paint for projects and other times I use canned paints. Most furniture pieces that have a veneer, are metal, or plastic I use spray paint, because you can get a uniform finish that will stick. For wood that is unfinished or sanded down I like to use a brush and canned paint, because the wood is going to "absorb" the paint and if you do it right you can get a pretty smooth finish. My favorite spray paint brands are Krylon and Rustoleum. And my go to interior latex is Benjamin Moore's Natura line because it has no VOCs. I use Kilz primer because that's what my mom taught me and you don't mess with that advice.



METAL:
For metal I only prime if I have rusty, exposed spots. I use Rustoleum's 2x primer because its good for metal wood and plastic, if priming is necessary. Once I have a good base of primer I usually use Krylon if I want bright colors, they have lots of great colors. If I'm going more subdued I stick with Rustoleum that have good cream, white, and grey tones that I like. Sometimes it all depends on whateve brand the hardware store carries, you can;t go wrong with either of those options.

The key to painting metal is scuffing up the surface with steel wool or sand paper to remove debris and rust. And allowing adequate drying time. I can't tell you how many botched paint jobs I've seen because someone didn't read the back of the can. Spray paint will look awful if you: hold the can too close to the object, paint in extreme temperatures, and don't allow for proper drying time. I maybe know this from experience, maybe...
 
VENEER:
Veneers are tricky and you have to feel them out in their own situations. In most cases I skip sanding all together with this type of furniture. I HATE sanding. So I avoid it when/if possible. I try to give it a few light coats of primer before my final coat and I rarely have problems. The biggest issue I have run into is with flat and satin spray paint. If your final coat isn't even, you can get a streaky-stripey looking finish, not in color but in the sheen of the paint. I have found that this is best avoided when the can of paint is full. When it starts to run out you can't get even coverage, even though it appears to be coming out even- its not. Do your final coats with a full/almost full can of paint. And make sure you aren't painting in direct sunlight, or on a hot day- it can make the paint sticky and you won't get an even coat.
I am sitting in the direct sunlight, don't paint my top or my finish will be uneven...


NATURAL WOOD:
 You should sand down all natural wood, and prime it first. I like to lightly brush on my primer and lightly sand in between coats, being sure I follow the grain of the wood. I prefer synthetic bristle brushes and foam brushes, because you get less brush marks in the final coat. Sometimes I'll even use a foam roller, just steer clear of  the natural bristle brushes, they loose bristles so easily, they do not last as long, and they leave streaks and bristles behind, you are basically throwing money away on these. I used this technique on my dining table and it came out looking amazing. I get compliments on it all the time, its hard to believe it was a $10 thrift find.

Even sheen from painting with a synthetic brush.

PERFECT PAINT LINE:
My secret to the perfect paint line with no bleeding or drips is to tape off the area you want to paint and then paint a base coat of the background color. On this nightstand I painted my first layer of stripe in blue, then 2 coats of white. if the paint is going to bleed the only color that will bleed is the blue. It acts like sealed barrier, now only the un-taped parts with be white, and you end up with a crisp, clean paint line. 








HAPPY WEEKEND:GRADUATION

We are jet setting to the show me state this weekend for John's brothers high school graduation. I love graduations because: you get to dress up, there is usually a party, and of course lots of family and fun! I'll be back in no time though, hope you enjoy your mothers day weekend!