January - A time to Refresh part 1

So as  you join us on this blog, you will come to learn that I am the queen of "Cheap" and what I like to refer to as a "Do overs."  By "Cheap" I mean I love to shop the classifieds, thrift stores and even yard sales to find something that I can make perfect for a few dollars and a bit of elbow grease.  I also like to come up with ways to make things that look a little higher end, but on the budget of the lower.  Guess what, it can be done.  And by "DO Over" I mean that I love to buy beat up older furniture or other items, and refinish them or recreate them to make them work for me. 

Whatever your niche is, or where ever your talent lies, make it work for you and do it in a way that can make people say "isn't she crafty."

I love to re decorate my home and I am convinced that the best thing in life is a fresh coat of paint on anything.  If you ask my husband he'll tell you that our house shrinks by 2" every year because I have put more new paint on the walls.  I love the high end look of homes, but am on a do-it-yourself budget.  So, I just get out my sandpaper, nail gun and Spackle and let the creative juices flow. 

For me, January is the best time to "freshen" things up.  In this case, my girl's room needed a little refreshing, so I got right to work.  I love the arts and crafts style that you see in many homes today.  Since I can't live in the million dollar homes built in that style, I have learned how to bring some of it to my modest 3 bedroom home instead. 

I am not crazy about the color pink, but I promised my girl I would try to live with it. After many trips to Home Depot, I settled on a color, lightened it 3 shades and began painting the walls.  To help break up so much pink, I built a craftsman style wainscoted wall and painted it white.  I can't tell you how much that changes the look of a room on it's own. If your interested, below is a tutorial of how you can easily construct this wall in your home too.

1. So as you can see, I started with painting out all of the pink on all of the walls.

2.  At your local hardware store, you can buy pre-primed pressed wood for your project. I was able to purchase 10' for about $3.85. I bought 9 boards and headed home. 

3.  With the use of a miter saw (any saw that can cut easily will work) I measured out the length of the boards I wanted to use and cut them to that height, which was about 4.25 feet from the top of the baseboard.  I also measured from one side of the wall to the other and put together two boards to create the horizontal top.

4.  Because I am on a budget, I couldn't afford to change out all of the baseboards so I had to make the original ones work.  If I would have put the pressed wood boards on the wall, they would have stuck out about 1/2" over the top and it would have looked funny.  So I decided to cut the bottom of the board on a 65 degree angle so I didn't have overhang.  Voila!  Problem solved.

5.  So, I hung the horizontal board on the wall using a level and my nail gun to secure it nice and tight.  If you don't have a nail gun, no worries.  You can do it with a hammer and finishing nails.  After the top board is hung, you can begin hanging the rest.  Starting in the corner, hang your first board, angled end down, and  once that's done, depending on how far apart you want the boards, hang the next one.  I usually hang them between 19" and 22" apart. Now, I have a confession. If you were to measure the boards on my wall, they all vary in distance from one another because I had to work around electrical outlets.  As long as you don't stray too far from your set distance, maybe 2"- 3" is all, then it won't be noticeable.   

6.  Once those boards are hung, step back and be proud of your work, the hard part is done.  Now, it's all about Spackle.  I have come to love Spackle and caulk.  They can cover up pretty much anything.  So if you have a gap, nail hole or a seam, Spackle away.  Once I have filled in the larger holes and gaps,  I use the caulk to close up the small gap made between the boards and the wall. That way it looks seamless. 

7.  Once its' all dry, sand it down nice and smooth and then you can paint.  

8.  And there you have it.  Not too bad and you've completely changed the look of your wall and especially jazzed up your room.  Now "isn't that crafty!"

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