Friday, January 28, 2011


Well, nothing is ever as easy as it looks! My son and I have removed all the carpet off the stairs, pulled every staple and sanded for 4 hours straight! (both of us!) This is why you should never wash the kitchen brings you to the mouldings, which bring you to the walls, which turns into the hall...I think you get the picture. The never ending story? No, I see the end in sight thanks to Diane at "In My Own Style", I have my eye on the prize! My husband on the other hand does not see the same picture, but he will!

The carpet was sort of glued along the wall, so we had to do some sanding and filling and more sanding and priming, but I think it is looking good! I am not so sure about this plywood landing but I am working on it. Any ideas?

The risers are not great so we had to fill some areas and sand just a bit more!!

I also took this opportunity to paint the banister and all the rails. After all, it is only fair that if the stairs are getting a face lift that the railing gets one too! Next, we primed the risers...looking good!

Once the banister was painted the walls looked a bit dull so...I painted the hallway too! Everything is looking so clean and fresh. I just wish my husband could feel my joy. I am tired but happy!

Last night my husband came home with these beautiful flowers...Why you ask? I think he wants me to forgive him. I think he is saying that although he hates the mess I am making, he trusts me!

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I would be lying if I said that I did not already have a "FEW" projects on the go but, after a rather large martini and a very inspiring BLOG post, "My Foyer Staircase Reveal" by Daine at "In my own Style"....I felt that old familiar feeling of uncertainty mixed with excitement. Could my stairs look as wonderful as the one on the screen in front of me? I am thinking so! And not only that but my son said "you can do it" and he would help!

Since my husband was not home at the time, my "partner" and I took just a little "look see" under the carpet. It looked just like the "before" pictures of the BLOG that I was reading and I am thinking that, that is a good thing! So, here we sat, waiting for my husband to come home just to be sure that he would be okay with this idea. Well, we sat and sat and he was late, so....we started without him! While we were tugging away at the carpet and wondering just how many staples could there he walked! I can not share exactly what happened next but.....

by 10:30pm we had 3 steps done! Not bad! I can so totally picture how BEAUTIFUL our steps are going to look. My husband on the other hand is not as visual. I will keep you posted!

Today is the morning after and I am glad that although slightly "tipsy" as my son tells me...


Friday, January 21, 2011


Tell me you have been there before! I have painted hundreds of pieces of furniture and every so just does not stick! Oh, I get so mad at myself! I should have guess, I should have known! I thought I was so smart, I finally found some time to get some painting done and I did such a good job cleaning up the inside of this wonderful farmhouse cabinet but...I should have listened to that little voice inside my head! Now look what I have to do...what a mess!

As someone who likes to look at the positive side of things, this experience has given me an opportunity to share some valuable information. Before you start repainting your flea market find you need to know what type of paint was used to create its current finish. "How do you know if it is oil or latex?" Well, let me tell you....

- Traditional paints are either water-based (latex) or oil-based (alkyd)
- You CAN NOT paint water-based paint directly over oil-based paint (I knew this!)
- You MUST prime first before painting water-bases over oil-based
- You can paint oil-base over oil-base
- You can paint oil-base over latex paint without primer but you should give it a light sanding first.
- You CAN NOT mix oil and water based paint in one can, this will create a toxic gas!

So, how do you tell what your project piece is painted with???

First, clean a section of your painted surface, then soak a cotton ball or q-tip in alcohol (not vodka) and rub back and forth over the cleaned area. If the paint comes off, it's latex (water base), if the paint does not come off it's alkyd (oil base).

Another little tip to assure success is to sand off any super shiny or glossy finish before you prime or paint. It is always the prep that makes the difference!

Since this picture was taken, I am happy to report it is all done and ready to come into the store!

We learn from our mistakes and share with our friends. I hope you find this information helpful! Happy painting! C

Monday, January 17, 2011


If you have a project piece and are ready to RECLAIM & RESTYLE, understanding some of the basics will add to your confidence when starting your project. This may be elementary for some of you, but it may answer a few questions for others. So, though it may sound silly, I thought I would share some information on SANDPAPER! That one piece you have in the garage may not be quite the right piece to start your project we go!

Sandpaper works a lot like a saw, chisel or any other cutting tool. The particles on sandpaper are made up of a number of sharp edges that cut the wood the same way a saw blade does.

Home improvement centers sell a commercial grade of sandpaper in different "GRITS". Grit is reference to the number of abrasive particles per inch of sandpaper. The lower the grit number, the rougher the sandpaper. The higher the grit number, the smoother the sandpaper.

30-36 Grit - Very Coarse - Good for rust removal

40-60 Grit - Coarse - Heavy sanding & stripping

80-120 Grit - Med - Smoothing & removing of small imperfections

150-180 Grit - Fine - Final sanding before finishing

220-240 Grit - Very Fine - Sanding between coats

I think you get the idea! By going through the grits, each progressive piece of sandpaper removes the scratches from the previous piece. So, before you touch that one piece of sandpaper that you found in the garage, take a look at the number on the back of the sandpaper and think, is this the right piece for you to start with?


Here is one lady who takes ACTION! Be inspired at

Monday, January 10, 2011


Who knew that decorating your home could be good for the environment?

REDUCE & REUSE - Keep furniture out of the landfill and support the 3 "R's". Reduce, reuse & recycle. Decorating costs effectively can start at home. If you are looking for just the right piece to complete your space, you may just have to step into the next room, the attic or the garage. Just because you have always used that small table to hold your telephone in the kitchen, does not mean it can't hold your glass of wine in the bathroom! Be imaginative and use pieces for other than their intended purpose and feel free to move furniture from one room to another. This is a great way to get organized and create new functional spaces.

(just missing the glass of wine!)

RECYCLE & RESTYLE - What about the bedroom suite handed down to you from your Grandmother? It comes with plenty of sentimental value but not much else. Why not breathe new life into it and treat it to a fresh coat of paint? You will create something that is up to date and that compliments your decor. With proper preparation, primer and paint your options are limitless! Not only will you gain appreciation for your new pieces, you gain a fresh new bedroom style. You will have also freed up some space where you were storing your dusty hand me downs. (And who couldn't use more space?)

(Primer done, paint next!)

RECLAIM & REDECORATE - Think outside the box! Your grandparent's old trunk does not have to stay in the garage. Reclaim it and use it as a coffee table in your family room. The storage is a bonus for videos, DVDS and magazines. Or, put legs on it and make it into a bench to sit on at your back door. You could use the storage to keep your family organized - gloves and hats in the winter and sun hats and sunscreen in the summer. An old wood ladder for example, from your uncle's apple farm could be a magazine rack in the family room, a one-of-a-kind pot rack above your island in the kitchen, a place to display photos in the den or a fun way to display and organize your high heeled shoes in the bedroom! Uncle Joe's ladder could also hold your towels in the bathroom or by the pool. Your creations will be inspiring!

(Very creative Susan!)

D.D.D. - Dumpster Diving Diva! It's quite acceptable these days to admit that you found your latest home decor find on the side of the road! This way of decorating is truly WIN, WIN! (and it is good for the environment too!) Sometimes you can hardly believe your luck! Sometimes your spouse may look at you differently! If that antique chair at the end of some kind person's driveway is missing its seat, just drop a flower pot into the opening and place your chair in your garden or at your front door and fill with seasonal colour. But just remember...don't wait to pick up that chair until after you pick up your groceries or it will be gone!

(Of course today this would be filled with cedar and holly!)

Here is a perfect example of a "D.D.D Find". The photo below is of a table that is almost the same as the table that my mother-in-law found beside a dumpster.

Here is how it looks today in my living room! What do you think?

Re-purposing orphan items is a great way to mix old with new and create your own personal style! Stylish solutions are everywhere, so open your mind, consider the possibilities, let your creative juices flow and have fun!

If you have a RECLAIM, RESTYLE, REDECORATE story, I would love for you to share!