This Old Colonial Home

Filling our house with love and a lot of DIY


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Entryway Decor Part 2: Distressed Mirror

In Part 1, I showed you our distressed shelf. Now for the mirror.

Remember the one I got at an estate sale for 20 bucks? (See it here.) That’s the same mirror I used for this project. Originally it had peeling green paint with pink showing through.wood framed mirror with peeling paintI decided to redo it with a white distressed look. I had never done that before. So I started searching online and I found several ways to do it. I used part of one method and then sort of winged it.

I started by sanding the frame. Be sure to cover the mirror so it doesn’t get scratched. (I learned that the hard way. Oops. I really should’ve known better. Luckily it was a small scratch.) The flat part of the frame I was able to easily sand with an electric sander, but the angled edges I had to do by hand. It got pretty tedious so I did it just enough to get the flaky paint off.sanding a wood frame mirrorI then primed the frame using a foam brush. After that, I painted it brown with latex paint I had from a previous project. It took a few coats to get it dark enough. Then, I simply went over the brown paint with white paint using a bristle brush and light strokes — the idea being to let the brown show through a little.distressing a wood frame mirror diyAfter it dried, I sanded parts of the edging and corners by hand to help give it a more distressed look. This might not be the perfect method to distress something, but in the end it achieved the look I was going for.DSC_0486-002Distressed shelf and mirror in entrywayThe only thing I bought for this project (aside from the mirror) was a quart of white paint for around $8. Everything else I already had on hand. I always try to use leftover materials when I can to cut down on cost.

As you’ll see coming up in Part 3, I do just that to make over a plain lamp shade.

 

 

 

 

Linking up with Dagmar’s Home

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Entryway Decor Part 1: Easy DIY Shelf

We’ve been churning out several projects faster than I can post about them!

Take for instance the latest addition to our entryway. This alone contains 3 DIY projects!!shabby-chic-shelf-and-mirrorLet me start with the shelf.

First of all, the walkway by our stairs is somewhat narrow, and having a radiator there doesn’t help much. It used to have a cover over it, but we removed it to make a little more room.Narrow foyer with staircase and radiatorThat worked, but we still needed somewhere to drop our keys, sunglasses, etc. A table didn’t seem logical so we decided to build a shelf instead. We wanted a somewhat rustic look using wood and metal.

Reclaimed wood and old iron brackets would be ideal for something like this. But we didn’t want to have to search high and low for materials, so we headed off to Lowe’s. We picked up a 6 foot piece of 1×4 pine and 2 metal brackets for around $20.

Jamie cut the board in half and screwed them together using pocket holes that he made with a Kreg jig. We now had a shelf that was 36″ long by 7″ deep. The top of it was a little too smooth for my liking … so I beat it up! I put a bunch of screws in an old sock and banged it against the wood. I also made random markings using both a hammer and a screw driver. (This is a good opportunity to release some stress!) Once it no longer looked new, I brushed two coats of Minwax Bombay Mahogany stain on it.Make markings on wood for aged lookAfter it dried, I went over the edges and corners with sand paper to make it look a little more worn. You can do this as much or as little as you want.Sand edges of wood to look agedJamie then attached the brackets to the wood and hung it on the wall. Such an easy and affordable DIY project!Wood shelf attached to wall with bracketsComing up in Part 2, I’ll show you how I distressed a wood-framed mirror.

 


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Blogger Block Party

On Monday I went to my very first blogger-related party! HGTV Magazine hosted a Blogger Block Party in New York City.blogger block party diy hgtvThe details leading up to the event were pretty vague and I didn’t know what to expect. Needless to say I was nervous about going by myself, especially since I’m still a newbie at this whole blogging thing. But one of my good friends encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone. She said the only way people will get to know me is if I go and meet them. Thanks for the advice, Steph!

So I put on my big girl pants and decided to go. Manhattan is just a 45 minute NJ Transit bus ride away, so there really was no reason not to go!blogger block party welcome sign I felt welcome right away! There was free swag right upon entering the door, which is always okay in my book. Plus, everyone I spoke with was nice and friendly. It was a great opportunity to meet fellow bloggers and even non-bloggers who just love DIY. I even got to briefly meet Sara Peterson, the Editor in Chief of HGTV Magazine.Posing with Sara Peterson editor of HGTV magazineThe day consisted of making connections, as well as crafting, and easy DIY demonstrations. The kitchen art was probably my favorite. I kinda really want to try these painted wooden spoons!colorful painted wooden spoonsThe highlight of the day, of course, was when Scott McGillivray – host of HGTV’s “Income Property” – arrived for his demonstration. His presentation was definitely the most interesting and informative. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s easy on the eyes! (Sorry, honey!)contractor confessions blogger block partyI even got up the nerve to ask him a question during the Q&A portion. Hopefully my nervousness wasn’t too noticeable. I asked him what his thoughts were on ripping out a closet and replacing it with a bench and hooks, which is something Jamie and I plan on doing in our entryway. He answered that taking away storage isn’t a great idea, but as long as you replace it with another form of storage it should be fine. Thanks, Scott!

We were then able to get our picture taken with him! When it was my turn, I simply thanked him and said it was nice meeting him. I tried to act nonchalant on the outside, but inside I was super giddy!Posing with HGTV star Scott McGillivrayI stayed a little bit for the cocktail hour that followed, chatted with a few more people and then decided after nearly 8 hours I would head home.

I definitely enjoyed myself and I’m glad that I went. I learned a lot from more experienced bloggers and left with my head spinning and full of ideas.

While I am just a little guppy in this massive sea of home décor/DIY blogs, this doormat at the party is my new inspiration and motivation!blogging motivation We all have to start somewhere — so keep calm and blog on!


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Mason Jar Sconce

In our entryway we have a doorbell niche. It’s a long, narrow cutout in the wall with only the chime at the top. It’s a plain feature that’s been begging for a little pizazz. (Sorry, I forgot to take a “before” picture.)

I toyed with the idea of tiling it or painting it a different color. I still may do the latter someday. But for now, I decided it would be a good place for flowers. I thought maybe a nice, faux orchid … but while scouring Pinterest I stumbled upon a mason jar sconce. It seemed like an easy and inexpensive DIY project and one that would go with our vintage style décor.

Simple jar sconce

Found on Pinterest

For this project all we needed was a mason jar, a piece of wood, a pipe clamp, stain, and flowers. We already had a mason jar and we used a piece of scrap wood as well as stain left over from Jamie’s awesome coffee table. I picked up a pipe clamp from Home Depot for only around $1.50. More on the flowers in a moment.

Jamie ended up taking the lead on this quick DIY while I worked on another project. He cut the board, sanded it, rounded the edges and stained it. Once it was dry, I simply hand sanded the corners a little to make it look worn. He added a sawtooth hook to the back and then nailed the pipe clamp to the board and tightened it around the mason jar.Nail pipe clamp to wood

Attach mason jar to wood with pipe clampAs for the flower part of it, I found some clear, vase filler gems at Target for under $5 and I chose a fake hydrangea from A.C. Moore for under $4. You could really fill it however you want. But I like how this adds a little pop of color to the room!Easy DIY wall sconce

Shabby chic decorBall jar with hydrangeas and vase fillerPop of color in entrywaySuch a simple solution that helps make the entryway feel a little more welcoming.

We’re adding a few more additions to the foyer … so look for that soon!

 

 

Linking to:

Serenity Now | DIY on the Cheap | The Shabby Nest


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Celebrating One Year in Our Home

colonial-home-family-photoToday marks one year since Jamie, Luca and I moved into our very first house. On June 8, 2013, we said goodbye to renting and hello to home ownership! It’s been a year full of hard work, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. In the past year we have managed to:

Rip up the cranberry carpeting on the first floor

Refinish the hardwood floors hiding underneath said cranberry carpets

Install a stair runner

Replace the switch plates and outlet covers throughout the entire house

Install a smart thermostat

Paint the living room, family room, dining room, first and second floor hallways, upstairs bathroom, and master bedroom (including a stencil wall)

Replace the light fixtures in the dining room and entryway

Create a gallery wall in the living room

Add decor – artwork, pictures, curtains, etc.

Make a mirror out of a window pane

Refinish a dresser into our new TV stand

Build a coffee table for the living room

Freshen up the front flower beds – ripping out dead bushes and adding mulch

And of course we’re not done — there are always more projects on the list. But the sense of pride in owning your own home makes it all worth it! So please join us for our second year in this old colonial home to see what we’ll be up to next!

 

 

 


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DIY Coffee Table

Aside from finding the plans, I certainly can’t take any credit for our awesome, new coffee table.

It all started when I saw this lovely post on Pinterest/Hometalk, which then led me to the incredible site ana-white.com.

Rustic wood coffee table using Ana White plans

Courtesy Creative Little Daisy via Hometalk

If you’re not already following her – START! Her pieces are gorgeous and she provides free, easy-to-follow plans to make your own furniture — saving you some cash.

Jamie picked up the necessary materials, any tools we didn’t already have, and even got a table saw from his dad. (Thanks, Jim!)Supply of pine and douglas fir boards for coffee table Making cuts for the coffee tableWhile I was working on my dresser makeover, Jamie began working on this project. He followed the cut list and then began assembling the pieces step-by-step.The cut list of boards ready for assemblying Screwing the coffee table frame togetherCoffee table base assembledThis is what it looked like when he was done. Pretty impressive for a novice, right?!Base and top of coffee table togetherDIY coffee table assembledHe did have one slight hiccup that needed to be fixed. When we brought it inside to test if it was level – it wasn’t. After taking the top off and apart, he determined that the base was level, but some of the boards on top were warped causing it to be thrown off balance. Jamie eventually replaced the boards with new ones and – voila! All better!

After that, he filled any major holes with wood filler and gave it a good sanding. He then applied a wood conditioner before moving on to the stain. (We picked Minwax Special Walnut.) He brushed on the stain, let it sit for a few minutes and then wiped it off with a rag.Applying pre-stain before stainingA can of Minwax stain Special WalnutApplying the first coat of stainIt took 3 coats to get the look we were going for.Coffee table completely stained with 3 coatsI just LOVE how it turned out! Who knew my husband was so handy?! (I think I’ll keep him around!) Here it is in our living room, where I think it fits in perfectly!DIY coffee table in living room DIY wood coffee table and gallery wall in living room  Close-up of wood coffee tableDIY coffee table and decor Side view of coffee table with XRustic coffee table with blue and green accentsFront view of DIY coffee table Rustic living room with handmade coffee table In the end, this project cost only about $100! Try finding that in a furniture store!


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Dresser Makeover

You may recall several months ago I snagged a free dresser that someone was throwing away. It was literally sitting in the snow amongst other garbage before I rescued it.Dresser set out for curbside trashFree 6-drawer dresser The plan was to turn it into a TV stand. After a good cleaning and sitting in our dining room through the remainder of our endless winter, that idea has finally come to fruition!

It needed to be refinished and I knew I wanted to paint it, so I started with the drawers. I took off the hardware and began sanding it with my new electric sander. (Thanks, honey!)Dresser drawer with hardware beforeUnscrewing hardware from drawerUsing electric sander on drawersI highly recommend using an electric sander for big jobs. I had a battery-powered one for a previous project and it always died quickly. Electric is way better because, in my best Tim the Tool Man Taylor impression, it has more power!  I used course sandpaper – 80-grit – to start and then went back over with finer 150-grit to smooth it out.Drawer sanded downTwo drawers one sanded one not I then took the same approach on the base, going over some of the smaller areas by hand.Dresser base before sanding Dresser base after sanding The plan was to keep the top two drawer areas open. This is where we would put our DVD player and such. My husband drilled out two holes in the back for the cables to go through … and he measured, cut and added plywood to make for a sturdier shelf.Holes drilled in back of dresser for TV cablesPlywood inside dresser for sturdier shelf He also added a few brackets on the inner sides to support some minor splits in the wood.

After wiping it all down with a wet cloth, I then started to prime it. I used one coat of Zinsser Primer that I applied with a paint brush. Once it dried, I lightly sanded it with 180-grit sand paper and then wiped it down one more time. It was finally ready to paint!Drawers primed and ready for paint Dresser base primed and ready for paint I chose regular latex paint – Mystified by Valspar in semi-gloss. I applied light coats using a foam roller and foam paint brush. To get the dark look I was going for it actually ended up needing 4 coats! I thought the painting would never end! The drawers weren’t so bad, but doing the shelf area was kind of a pain.Navy painted drawers In progress painting of dresserPainted dresser with 4 coatsI’m not sure how necessary it was, but I also ended up sealing it with Minwax Polycrylic. It was easy to spray on and I was able to do the recommended 3 coats pretty quickly.Polycrylic spray can Once it was dry, I added new hardware, which I had ordered from Lowe’s. Love this antique look!Brass drawer pulls from Lowes The entire project definitely took me way longer than I had anticipated (3 separate weekends), but I am so happy with how it turned out! And all of my hard work paid off, literally — the total cost was less than $100!!

Dresser before diy project

Quick reminder of the before

Dresser turned TV stand for family room DIY dresser into TV console TV stand from old dresser Turn a dresser into a TV stand DIY