Category Archives: Decorating

Painted Table

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I liked our painted kitchen table so much that I decided to paint our old round end table in the family room to match. It’s small, so it took only a moment with the palm sander to denude the tabletop. I only roughed up the legs and apron because primer can go over an old finish.


Two coats of primer and, later, two coats of white latex to the lower section of the table modernized it nicely. Then my favorite part: wiping on dark walnut stain and watching the color change. Lastly, two coats of oil-based urethane, followed by a few days of curing before it was safe to put the decor back.

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Cone Trees – Update


Our cone trees were a huge hit at the ladies luncheon on Saturday.


After the luncheon, we bravely offered the trees for sale in sets of three, and most of them sold! The remaining ones will be centerpieces at a second luncheon later in the month, and perhaps more will sell then. We hope to just recoup our costs.

Below is my “brown bag” lunch in a basket. I created a liner in pink polka dots, which matches one of the fabrics we used for trees. I made a cranberry-chicken croissant sandwich and added fruit for a treat.


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December 4, 2012 · 12:40 PM

Little Projects

This photo has nothing to do with the post; I just like itLast week, I had a newly-painted white lamp and I didn’t really like it. So I (no surprise) painted it again. I tried Rustoleum paint and primer in one again, this time in the metallic oil rubbed bronze. It’s more bronze-y than the Krylon oil rubbed bronze that I’ve used so often, but I like it a lot. I think I might even like it better than the Krylon variety.Now I have two matching lamps in the family room. I still need to replace the lampshades.

Other little projects I’ve been working on:An old framed magnetic white board I purchased at a garage sale years ago, sprayed with chalkboard paint, and now a magnetic menu board! I stood it in a scrolly plate stand on the kitchen counter.Greta drew the Thanksgiving message on another chalkboard I painted recently. The frame has been empty for months; I asked the (wo)man in orange at Home Depot to cut a piece of masonite to fit my frame. I sanded it, primed it, and sprayed it with chalkboard paint. Greta volunteered to keep my messages seasonally updated. Isn’t that nice of her?The white-green-yellow pillow is also new. I found the fabric at Fabric and Fringe Warehouse and stitched it up to fit my favorite Ikea pillow insert. I like to rotate my sofa pillow covers and this one gives me more variety.

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Rustoleum Paint and Primer in One

I’ve been reading rave reviews by bloggers for the spray paint made by Rustoleum, called Universal Advanced Formula Satin Paint & Primer In One. Because I had several projects in mind, I bought a can of white at Home Depot today.
Project #1: change my three-decades-old brass table lamps from aging brass to…something. White? Black? Oil Rubbed Bronze? I couldn’t decide, so I figured white could easily be painted over, and besides, I wanted white for another project.
One old brass lamp. They were never that shiny brass, but an antiqued brass, and they look even more aged now than they did way back when we bought them.
Easy, easy spraying project: no primer, no sanding, just wrap up the electricals and spray away.
One new white lamp. Well. I’m not so sure I like it white. I’m thinking oil rubbed bronze is more my style, and I think we need more contrast against the pale lemon walls. So I may go black (Rustoleum) or oil rubbed bronze (Krylon). Please excuse the shade. I’m very tired of these granny shades. I want drum shades but I can’t find white or light ones when I have the $$$. 

Project #2: Old cork bulletin board to new, refreshed Job-Tracking System above the Professor’s desk. We hope and expect the jobs will be visible now and therefore actually get done before two years go by. Sorry, I was so overly enthusiastic to begin painting the old cork that I forgot to take a “before” shot. As you can see, it’s just a standard, Walmart variety, wood-framed cork board.

So, how did I like the paint?

At first I wasn’t impressed. I couldn’t figure out how to make it spray (Duh. Slide the little red band UP and off the nozzle. Up arrows mean UP, not down.) Then it spit globules amongst the spray. But, miraculously, the globs all evened out and it looks smooth and perfect. After two projects, I can say that I really like-like-like this paint. I’m sad that it’s nearly twice as much as my old Krylon from Walmart, but sometimes I will want to splurge on this paint with primer.

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Pumpkins for the Mantle

After great success with decoupaging foam pumpkins for church decorations, I decided to make some for myself. I waited until Michael’s had the carvable pumpkins at 50% off, and then I bought several in sizes that would fit on my mantle. 
I looked for autumn-friendly quilter’s prints at several stores until I found the colors I was looking for at Hancock Fabrics. No oranges and reds for me! I wanted to stick to the greens and yellows of my home decor, but I found only greens and browns. I decided that would work just fine.

The process was the same for these pumpkins: a coat of primer (this time I used gesso), tearing the fabric into strips and applying to the pumpkins using Mod Podge, and a final coat of clear sealer. Easy, easy. 

 A large pumpkin in a green print, and a smaller pumpkin in a tiny dark brown print.

On the left side of the mantel, a large pumpkin in the reverse print as the green print, and a smaller pumpkin in a smaller green vining print. 

 A few small china pumpkins are scattered throughout.

 This shows the scale of larger pumpkin to the smaller pumpkin better.

 Large green print up close.

One candlestick has a bit of leftover trim from the pumpkins we made for church.

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Tile Tray

Just before I left for vacation I tried my hand at tiling for the first time. I remember years ago noticing that some Girl Scout troops got to do little tile projects, and I hoped my troop would do it too, but we never did.
This was an easy beginner’s project. I’ve had the tray for some years; I painted it white soon after I bought it. At Home Depot, I found a sheet of glass tile, 12″x12″. It was slightly too big to fit in the bottom of the tray, but I eyeballed the fit, and it looked like if I cut off one row of tiles in each direction, the rest of the sheet would fit perfectly. 
I bought the sheet of tiles and some grout, then I went home and googled what adhesive to use. In the end, I just used good ol’ Elmer’s. It made a good bond, and the sheet of tiles did fit perfectly after trimming. Spreading the grout was a no-brainer.
I’ve thought up many uses for this tray all over my house. You will probably see it in many future photos!

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Girly Pumpkins for Fall

Two friends joined me this past week to make fancy pumpkins to decorate the entrance table at church.

Since repainting the church interior a soft gray, our old seasonal decorations just don’t look very nice, especially the bronzes and oranges we used to use for fall. We needed something that would stand out against the walls, and at the same time bring in the gray.

Off to Hob Lob we went. We chose several coordinating print fabrics, and then we tore those into fairly wide strips. By brushing Mod Podge directly on the pumpkins, and then burnishing down the fabric strips, we covered the surfaces quickly. A final slap of  Mod Podge all around, a little touch of acrylic paint on the bare stems, and there we are.

A little rosette trim on a couple of the pumpkins made from leftover scraps.

Nestled in light green burlap on the narthex table at church, with a leaf wreath made of book pages hanging on the mirror.


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