Time Saver DIY Hack – a Mani/Pedi While Riding in Car From St. Louis to Chicago

Technically, you could call this a painting project. Painting nails. So I say this counts as an appropriate post for my blog. 😁

And if you’ve ever traveled the roads from Missouri through Illinois to get to the Chicago area, you know you need a distraction. Until you get to the wind turbines. I love seeing the wind turbines. I think they look so peaceful.

I was so busy getting ready to go on a trip after some marathon painting and delivering furniture and grandkids visiting, I didn’t have time to actually fit in a visit to the nail salon. And let’s face it. When you are a painter, salon manicures are pretty much a waste of time anyway.

But, I did think ahead so I brought along some nail supplies, planning on doing it in the car while my husband drove. I pretty much make him drive all the time when we go on trips. I learned early on if he was going to tell me step by step how to drive, then he might as well do it himself. Am I right? So, through the years that has freed me up to enjoy many things along the route… grading papers, reading, sleeping, working on the computer (love my hot spot -except when I forget to turn it off-?uh oh), and now setting up a portable nail salon.

First of all I must thank McDonalds. Without their donations, this would have been just another paint your nails in the car thing which would be no big deal. But McDonalds made this a game changer. 😂

I posted this on my Facebook page, too. I tell you, this is going to go viral! Feel free to like my post, my FB page, and share, share, share. You can say you know me when I become an Internet sensation! https://facebook.com/sharsumpaint

Important supplies:

* Used coffee cup from McDonalds (dry it with a napkin they provide)

* Drink carrier (who knew when we accepted McDonald’s offer of one that it would make the perfect salon tray)

* Handy dandy little knife found in the console. 🤷🏼‍♀️ An amazing assortment of items in there. I could take it on Let’s Make a Deal and come home a winner. Note: Be sure to get a lesson on how to close the knife. 🙄

* Those foam things for your toes because God knows its going to be hard enough as it is contorting your body in the front seat to get to them in the first place. You sure don’t want smudges.

* Car air conditioner turned on full blast

Car air conditioner vent works great for drying!

* And, of course nail polish

* First, cut down the coffee cup with the knife. Be careful because this is a dangerous little thing.

* Finally make a pit stop at a rest area before you begin because you don’t want to be interrupted.

*Arrange your supplies and you are all set!

That’s it! Enjoy this life hack you are sure to try again and again.

Warning: This is it on the pics. The actual contortions getting a salon perfect mani/pedi won’t be pretty. And neither will the finished pedicure. I may share the manicure. We will see.

Update: Ok….you get to see a bit of the mani. The hand may or may not have gotten a little bit of filtering.😉

Update: I know I wasn’t going to share any pedi pics (I truly hate seeing those myself) but this is too funny not to share. Turn the mode of the car air conditioner to the leg area and stick your feet under the dash. Perfect pedi drying!

Update: Last pedi pic, I promise. This is all you get to see…think Wilson on Home Improvement … when you only got to see the top of his face. Trust me, you’ll thank me that you are only seeing the top of my toes. But, those sparkles really finish the pedi off nicely. 🥳

Now, what can I do for 2 more hours traveling from Missouri to Chicago? Not as many cornfields to see due to flooding.

And I still can’t believe the luck of finding this knife tool! I’m sure it has a 1,001 more uses. 😂

Upcycle a Stone Coaster with a Decoupaged Napkin

I ran across a set of four stone coasters in a thrift store one day. Someone had tried to stencil and had a fail with bleed through. Their loss was my gain so I bought them with the idea I could do something with them some day.

Update: these coasters were already made but a friend told me she gets the stone tile at Lowes and then adds felt pads to the bottom for coasters. 🙂

Today is that day. We are going to deliver this beautiful bistro set to its new owner this weekend (hopefully the snow stops soon), but we wrapped and loaded it before the snow started in case we can’t go until Sunday.

This is a repeat client and I wanted to have a little gift for her. As I am such a hoarder….I mean a person who is always prepared …… with supplies, I just happened to also have a package of napkins I purchased in a shop somewhere that I knew would look great with the color of paint I used, Missouri Limestone Paint Company Chalk-style paint “Clothesline”, one of my favorite colors.

Here are the steps I took to create two coasters for her that will look great on the stained table top. Sorry, I forgot to take pics of this part.

1. I cleaned the coasters thoroughly.

2. I painted the tops and sides (to cover the black stencil) white “January” color. The white paint will really help the print stand out.

3. While the paint dried, I cut out the flower area a little bigger than the coaster. I peeled off the two white layers of the napkin so that I was left with only the printed part.

4. For the decoupage medium, I did not use Modpodge. I used Varathane water-based Polyurethane. I find it works great for decoupage. I applied a layer over the white paint and while still wet I applied the napkin. I used a sponge dipped in the poly to press the napkin into the stone, making sure I had no bubbles.

5. Once dry, I used 220 sandpaper to sand the edges.

6. I then used 2 coats of Rustoleum spray lacquer on the tops and sides to seal the napkin. Using lacquer will not reactivate the poly, so no bubbles formed.

The coasters look beautiful! I think my client will be very happy with her gift.

A Coffee Bar from a Dresser

Yes, please.  I wasn’t going to pick up my paint brush until after Christmas but….I just had to.  I felt the need to de-clutter after Thanksgiving and it came to me that I should make myself a coffee bar.  The piece could be used to store coffee cups, coffee, coffee pot, crock pot, toaster, and whatever else would fit and clear up some space in my small kitchen.

I just happened to have a long, narrow dresser that I hadn’t been able to decide how to finish.  I knew I wanted to paint the drawers different colors due to the way the top drawer was made.  So, Danny dug it out of our shed and we went to work.  He cleaned it up and I started painting.

coffeebar-original

The piece (I call it a dresser, but not sure what it actually was) is made of pine.  The top was in pretty good shape except for a couple of gouges and scratches.  Danny sanded the top a little and smoothed it out and then I used my secret weapon:  Varathane Water-based stain and sealer in Dark Walnut.  I love this stuff.  It goes on so smooth, really brings out the wood grain, and dries quickly.  I used 3 coats, sanding lightly in between.  It dries pretty shiny, though, and I wanted to use the semi-gloss water-based poly on the rest of the cabinet so I put two coats of it on after.  The top is so smooth, with just a little sheen.  I love the distressed look of the scratches and gouges.

coffeebartopwithstainsealer

After 3 coats of stain/sealer – pretty shiny

coffeebartopwithpoly

After 2 coats of poly – really toned it down. Now has a nice soft, sheen.

Then, I wanted to paint the base gray to match my kitchen cabinets, which were Annie Sloan Paris Gray.  So, I took some Missouri Limestone Paint Company “Winter Gloves” and mixed in a little dark “Gray Goose” and it came out pretty darn close.  You’d never know they weren’t exactly the same.  I painted the drawers the same colors I painted my chairs in the dining room. (“Sour Green Apple”, “Old Tin Barn”, “Trading Post”, and “African Violet”) I also bought some gray printed burlap at Jo-Ann’s for the doors and my daughter-in-law, Daphney, suggested adding chicken wire.  I found that at Hobby Lobby.  The chicken wire was the perfect final touch!

I’m very happy with the results.  It’s probably one of my favorite things I’ve done….possibly because I get to keep it.  That didn’t stop me from thinking, “Hmmm…I wonder if people would be interested in buying this coffee bar?”  After all, I have a dining room set to match and I can always paint another table and chairs.  : )  Nah…..I’m keeping this.  For awhile, anyway.  However, you never know that else will come up that I may want to paint just for me. But best of all, it has given me some counter top and  cabinet space in the kitchen.  Yay.

Meet my new coffee bar:

 

 

TIP OF THE WEEK: November 12, 2016 – DIY ANTIQUING WAX

For previous TIP OF THE WEEK click here.

Those who know us, know we recommend using toulene-free Briwax with Missouri Limestone Paint Company’s chalk-based paint.  It is so nice and buttery and goes on smoothly.  It rubs in well.  Then, with just a bit of buffing, you get a nice soft sheen.  Briwax does not take a lot of elbow grease and that’s always good.

Briwax does sell dark wax and we can and do get it.  It is great for a uniform color and if you have a very large project or do a lot of distressing with dark wax to get an antique look.  The consistency is a little different than the clear.  It goes into a liquid phase much quicker than the clear.  However, a few minutes in the refrigerator and you are back to a solid again.  This is normal, so don’t worry if your dark wax turns liquid.  Briwax also sells a liming wax.  I talked about liming wax in a previous Tip of the Week, when I did a tutorial on getting the restoration hardware look. Liming wax looks great over colors when you want to get that white washed beachy look.  I would not use it in bathrooms or kitchens, however.  For those areas, I would just thin down some white paint with water and do a wash.  Brush it on and wipe it off, then poly.

A good rule to follow when using any kind of antiquing wax – USE CLEAR WAX FIRST!  The reason is the clear wax base allows you to move the antiquing wax around more to get the look you want.  If you get too much just use a little more clear wax to wipe it off.  Without the clear wax, you won’t be able to work it as much and may not be happy with the final results.

Update:  It is very important to use Clear wax first on light colors.  On dark colors, however, I recently came across a tutorial in which clear wax isn’t applied first but in conjunction with the dark wax.  This produced beautiful results.  Keep in mind, you are still applying the clear wax before the dark wax has a chance to dry. https://sharsumpaint.com/2017/08/13/the-best-blackdark-wax-over-chalk-paint-tutorial-ever-by-jan-brown-kissick/

You also may not want to purchase a large can of dark wax or liming wax for just a small project or if you are experimenting with distressing techniques.  This is where this DIY tip comes in.  You can make your own antiquing wax with clear, toulene-free Briwax and any color of Missouri Limestone Painting Company (MLPC) paint you choose.  For liming wax I use “January” but I’ve made  antiquing wax with “French Roast” and “Grey Goose”, too. Can you use other waxes or paint?  I suppose, but I don’t sell those.  I stick to only what I like and use myself.

There is no scientific mix thing you need to know.  This is pretty simple.  I take about 2 Tablespoons of Briwax and mix in about 1 Tablespoon of MLPC.  Stir it well.  That’s it!  That’s all there is to it.  You can apply with a rag or brush. REMEMBER:  A clear coat of Briwax goes on first.  A tip I learned is to take one of the cheap chip brushes and cut about an inch off it.  You’ll then have a pretty sturdy, stumpy brush.  Applying your wax with this stumpy brush will let you dab it into all the nooks and crannies and move it around really well.  Make sure you don’t use too much and that you rub it in well.  You don’t want to have too much wax.  Let it dry for a bit and then buff.  Then apply your antiquing wax in the same way.  Work it around to get the look you are going for.  Then let it dry and buff.

That’s it!  This DIY tip is a great way for you to practice.  Go on….try it. It’s fun to distress with antiquing wax.

NOTE:  When using wax, you cannot seal it with poly after.  The poly does not work well on top of wax.  Remember the alphabet.  W is after P.  If you choose, you can apply a coat of wax over the poly.  Some people like to do that as wax helps repel dust.  But that is just a personal preference.  Poly is fine all by itself.

Electrical Spool Redefined as a Coffee Table/Bookcase

We’ve all seen these…..those spools in the hardware store that hold electrical wiring, etc.  You may not realize that at stores like Lowe’s (at least in my town) you can put your name on a list to get one of these for next to nothing.

Then, once you have one…..what to do with it?  I recently, thanks to my son’s father-in-law, received one.  It was a smaller one, the perfect size!  I forgot to take a picture of mine before the redefine, but it looked similar to this one…especially the top.  The bottom had 4 holes around the perimeter that matched the 4 top holes.

electrical-spool2

A quick search on the internet “electrical spool DIY” produce quite a few results.  One of the ideas I ran across was to make a coffee table/bookcase.  I loved that idea.  I also knew I wanted to keep all the imperfections in the spool so I chose not to sand mine.  My project was going to be to redefine my spool into a shabby/chic coffeetable/bookcase perfect for a lake house.  Why not beach house?  We live closer to a lake rather than an ocean and I think one that says lake house would sell much better….more market for a lake house table.  LOL

It’s a little difficult to see from the photo above but there are 4 washers and screws on the top.  I also decided to leave them as is and not paint them.  I did clean them good as they were kind of oily.  Now, onto creating my table.  Here’s the inspiration piece I found.

spoolbookcase_inspiration

Off to Lowe’s we went to purchase dowel rods….oops…stumbling block.  They had the perfect size dowel rod, but at over $6 a rod and we need 4 of them, that meant over $24 just for the rods to create the bookcase part.  Nope….that wasn’t going to happen.  So, we put on our thinking caps and decided pvc pipe was the way to go and off to the plumbing department we went.  They had a long piece that would make 4 the size we needed for a little over $3 for the piece.  Yes…..pvc pipe it is.  However, there was printing in black up one side.  We knew from experience that wouldn’t wash off.  So, off to the paint department we went.  We found a can of spray paint for plastic for about $6.  I knew I would use this again, so we purchased it and were on our way home.

The first thing Danny (my handyman husband) did was cut the pvc into 4 pieces just about the right length and then sanded out the existing 4 holes around the edge so the pvc pipe would fit.  It was just a bit too snug.  It didn’t take long and soon our bookcase supports were in place.  He then sawed them off even with the top of the spool.  We took them out again and gave them one coat of the spray paint for plastic.  (I wanted to have that base coat so that the chalk-based paint I would be applying later would have a good bond).

While that paint was drying, Danny turned the table over and added some wood on the bottom to create a stable base.  There were washers and nuts on the bottom, too, so without that (or casters – which were more expensive than I wanted) this worked out fine.  He made kind of an X pattern with the wood that fit around the nuts and washers.  He made one long piece and then two shorter pieces that formed the X and screwed them in place.  He also added on each edge, those little things you put on the bottom of furniture to keep it from scratching floors.  The ones he used were round and had what looks like carpet pieces on them that you tap into place.

I was now ready to paint the spool and bookcase supports with Missouri LImestone Paint Company’s (MLPC) chalk-based paint – “Front Porch”.  We put the supports back in and for good measure, Danny added a small screw on the inside of each one to make sure they stayed in place.  But they were a good type fit as he pounded them in with a rubber hammer so I don’t think they were going to go anywhere. I gave the whole thing one coat, allowing a little of the wood to peek through if it wanted to.  On the supports I also only used one coat.  A lot of the white showed through, but I liked that.  It looked like the front page color was just a wash over them and it created a nice effect.

Note:  All the other hole in the top of the table we left open, including the pvc pipe holes.  In interesting thing to note is at the bottom of the spool column there is a little hoe shaped like an upside down U.  I saw one idea that someone draped white Christmas lights down the big middle hole.  The plug would easily come through that little upside down U hole and you could plug them in.  That would make a nice effect at night.

After the paint dried, I cut a stencil from my Silhouette machine and stenciled “Lake House” on the top using MLPC “Sunday Silver” color.

The final step was mixing up some liming wax by adding some MLPC “January” to some Briwax and giving the whole thing a coat of wax….let it dry for a bit and buffed it.  I loved the effect of the liming wax.  The redefine was complete.  We are taking it to our storage unit “PopUp Shop” this morning.  Fingers crossed that it sells!  If not, I’ve posted it on Facebook’s marketplace and several local facebook swap shops, so hopefully it will sell on one of those if not today.

spooltable

TIP OF THE WEEK: October 17, 2016 – Four Chairs and a Bench

Previous TIP OF THE WEEK

What a week we’ve had!  This week Danny and I worked with our friend, Michelle, to come up with a beautiful dining room set for a customer.  Michelle had the table and chairs but the customer also wanted a bench, preferably a church pew.  We had the task of staining and re-covering the chairs and finding a church pew or something like it.

chairsstainedforcustomerRepairing, staining, and covering the chairs – no problem.

chairsstainedforcustomer1

But, when it came to finding a small church pew, we were soon out of luck and time.  Danny had often talked about trying to turn chairs into a bench after we saw one, so we started thinking about finding some chairs and trying that. Michelle found us 4 chairs and we were off to Pinterest to learn how to make one.

We saw a  lot of chairs made into benches but many of them curved, due to the shape of the chairs.   And then we found what we were looking for! There were no detailed directions, just this simple paragraph and we had our “ah-ha” moment.  http://www.robomargo.com/bench.html 

KyLady wrote:  “We shortened the front piece on the middle chair and attached it to the corner of each of the outside chairs. If you do not shorten the front piece of the middle chair the bench would not have a straight front and back, it would curve since the fronts of chairs are wider than the backs. The only legs removed are the front ones on the middle chair, the other legs are the original chair legs. All you actually use on the middle chair is the entire back and the front piece.”

At first it didn’t sink in because we didn’t understand what she meant by shortening the front piece and attainspirationbenchching it to the corner of each of the outside chairs.  And then we got it.  Notice the middle chair has no front legs.  Removing them allowed the chairs to sit right next to each other.  This made the middle chair the same width in the front as in the back.  You can see in the photo it is narrower than the other two chairs. The front piece KYLady mentioned is that piece the arrow in the photo is pointing to.  That piece was saved and shortened and added back on so all 3 chairs would be the same in the front.  “Ah-ha”!

So now Danny was ready to start.  We only needed 3 of the chairs for the bench to get the size bench we wanted.  The fourth was still used, bench-3though. You will see how in the the photos below.

You can see the gap when the front legs were still on the middle chair in this photo.

In this photo, Danny has remobench-4ved the front legs of the chair and both the side and front pieces and has glued and clamped and screwed the middle chair to the other two.  He screwed them together right under the top edge and right under where the seat would go.  He shortened the saved front piece to fit the space in front, and then added dowels (and holes) to fit them together and glued it in place.

Rebench-6member that fourth chair? The back legs were broken on it anyway, so he used them to create beautiful curved sides for the bench. That was Michelle’s creative idea!  He cut them off even with the back of the chairs using a straight cut and then glued, clamped and screwed them on. He also cut a 1/2″ piece of plywood to fit, then sanded it for smoothness.

We were now ready to paint.  We used, of course, Missouri Limestone Company’s chalk-based paint in “Grannie’s Lace”, the brand we distribute and love to use!

With a little dry brushing of some water-downed Varathane water-based stain and sealer, we highlighted the embossed design on the front of the bench.  We added some fiberfill batting to the board, covered it with fabric and screwed it in place underneath. We sealed it with poly and the result was a beautiful bench.

Danny did a great job creating this work of art, don’t you think? The customer was thrilled!  She said she liked it even better than the church pew she had been thinking of originally.

Danny’s ready to make more as soon as he finds more chairs!  Be sure to contact us:  sharsumpaint@gmail.com if you’d like a custom made bench for your house.

bench-11 bench-12 bench-1bench-2

Projects are Endless, Using Chalk-based Paint

My chalk-based paint of choice is Missouri Limestone Company because, as you know by now if you’ve been reading my blog, I love it so much I’m now selling it locally!  So, when I see an idea using chalk-based paint, I just substitute with my MLP!

As I’ve said before, the projects are endless when using chalk-based paint! I was just checking facebook before leaving to get my plant at Lowe’s for my newly painted plant stand and saw this idea. Well, yes! Missouri Limestone chalk-based paint would be perfect on concrete pavers.http://www.countryliving.com/…/g10…/decorative-paint-ideas/…

My project for last night was to paint my wrought iron plant stand. There was no rust flaking off, so I cleaned this old thing up then gave it one coat of Missouri Limestone Paint’s “Homemade Ice Cream”. It now matches my newly painted front door. I know exactly what plant I’m going to buy for it in the morning at Lowe’s. 😍 I have plans now for my wrought iron set.

Update:  Here’s a photo of my new look for the front of my house.  The wrought iron furniture is painted and the set turned out great!

doorandfurniture

For even more projects using chalk-based paint, be sure to follow my board Chalk Paint Projects for inspiration as I’m always adding new project ideas there. https://www.pinterest.com/sharsum/chalk-paint-project-ideas/