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Painted Curtain Project

I figured almost 2 years later, I should upgrade our curtain situation in the front room(a table cloth for awhile, then bed sheet, lol). I've been drooling over the clean geometric patterned curtains, but they're so expensive -$70 and up! So I thought I'd take a shot at painting my own.

I got this plain white pair on sale from Target for $15.29
I went Googling and loved what I saw from Here's a few favorites.

I fell in love with "Fuji" above. But even to DIY curtains, this stencil costs $39.95 plus S&H. Still out of my budget. I did the next best thing- cut my own! (yes I am crazy)  I print screened the pic above and printed it out. Using a plastic folder from Dollar Tree, I traced and then cut out the design with an exacto knife. 

45 min later, a few slips of the knife, and vowing never to make my own stencil again, I had my $1 version :) The original plan was to use acrylic paint, a fabric painting medium, and roller to apply paint to the curtains (2 parts paint to 1 part medium). But... unfortunately the result was too gloppy and thick for my taste. I even got some runs where I guess the roller had too much water in it and the paint bled under the stencil.

eek. Lol, yeah... Plan B: I tried a fabric pen. I used a medium point silver Sharpie Paint pen with an oil base. Oil is better than water based for fabrics.

Muuuuuch nicer! Then I painted... and painted... and painted for days. It took 2-3 paint pens for one panel. It took 4 stencils to do a row on my curtains. And at 35 minutes a row, I finished in around 6 hours, lol. Thank goodness DIY doesn't count labor :) or this would be the most expensive thing in my living room.

Final verdict- love it! Well almost, the only part that bugs me is when the light really shines through you can see the pen marks in the fabric-

Not my proudest knock off project ever, but it does the job, and has a great effect on the over all look of the room. Just don't look too close :) My opinion on painting curtains- I wouldn't do it again. The paint technique is ok but when light shines through you can really see the heaviness of the paint, and any color looks more gray/black because it's a solid applied to a sheer material. Paint pens worked MUCH better for me, but again, in the strong light you can see the difference in thin and thick paint. 

I have a feeling these curtains will grow on me. Off to the next thing!


Wrapping up our house tour :)

This'll be the last post catching up to where we are today with rooms and spaces. Besides the Master Bedroom and upstairs bathroom, the other rooms upstairs are the nursery and office. I'll cover the nursery when I actually have baby things and can start putting it together (i.e. after the baby shower! :). The office is our catch-all room and obligingly does triple duty as an office/ craft room/ and music studio. Yikes! Since I don't want you to horrify you by the state that its in, best to leave that one alone for now too, lol.

Heading to the ground floor, we have the living room. Here's a reminder of the "before" shot from the upstairs hallway-
  The existing paint was cream, but the gross fleshy shade that reminds me of internal organs : / The name of this color should be something along the lines of "Stomach" or "Small Intestines". IMHO- never EVER use a warm tan on the walls (has reds/ oranges in it)! Something cool with a hint of gray, green, or blue is much nicer. And less organ-ish.

Here's the progress-
I think this room definitely wins "Most Improved" overall. We tiled the whole downstairs with a travertine-esque ceramic tile I got a crazy good deal on. I bought a giant 14 x 10 area rug from a remnant warehouse to make the space more comfy. This is where things started to go wrong. We already had tan walls, now tan tile and a tan rug. I had to buy couches too, and looked everywhere for something in a beautiful dark brown color. But alas. I did find these beauties which, aside from the color, I love, for $450 for the pair. Cort Furniture sells model home and movie set furniture at reeely nice discounts. The selection is a bit small, but worth the trip for sure: ). So that's how I landed a tan on tan on tan living room *shakes head. 
The DIY wall art helps add some color. I'm cooking up a rug painting project to add some dark browns there. The coffee table is a "for now" item, graciously given to us by a friend, along with the side tables. Maybe something dark wood with chrome legs?

Cooper, our shepherd mix, chomping down on his bone.

View from the front door. I think everyone must have had this living room set back in the day, because the entry table was given to us by a completely different person, but perfectly matches the rest of the set! You can see our tile better in this shot. Above is the carpet in the upstairs hall. Still needs some trim.

Our front door. The bit of board and tape on the left was from a fun "surprise" we discovered this spring. After observing the paint slowly peel itself from the baseboards I discovered the whole wall under the front window was squishy, like wet, like spongy. Thankfully a surgical inspection found no mold in the window box, but the rotted footers still need replacing. Gotta love being a home owner! :)

Beside the front door- a thrift store find with 99 Cent Store moss rocks inside. I'm not sure how I feel about this, I think there's something more creative I can muster up for it. Suggestions?

We managed to find a fan shade at Home Depot for about $5 that we could cut and fit to our steeple of a window. You can see it better in the next picture. Moss balls on the coffee table are from The Alley. If you've never been, that place is a-mazing. Go there. All sorts of home goodies at good prices.

Not sure what they were thinking architecturally, "let's make it look like a small chapel in here?" Can't do anything about that though. Also- bed sheets are the new DIY curtain! :)  (kidding). I'm working on a project for this right now, to be highlighted in my next installment.

Our useful little bookcase. We'd really like to move it out, put this couch against the front window, and buy this piece for $229 from Ikea. It'll give some separation between the living room and dining room, and give us another wall to utilize.
Recap collage for the living room:

To the left, the stairs-

The picture arrangement helps draw the eye upward. I think I need to add 5 or 10 more frames for a more substantial arrangement. Like this:

There's also baby-proofing plans in the works. We're thinking ex the railing (its rusty and only comes waist high) and put in half walls. And carpet those slippery wood steps! 

<insert pitiful mock up done in Paint by yours truly>

Haha :) anyways. Recap!

Not exactly the same angle, but you can really tell the paint color is deeper than before. I don't mind it on the stairs, it seems to help the tall walls seem less imposing.

Behind the living room is the dining room.
A work in progress. I still need to refinish the buffet, paint the accent wall a deeper green (my paint sample taped to the wall), and hang the plate collection (stacked on the buffet) on the right wall. 

Just added the set of black and white photos on the side wall. All places me and/or Jason have been. I like! Not sure if its final, I think I need some more color in the frames.

At the back of the house- the fireplace/ family room/ band storage room. Lol, it was hard to get a good shot of this one since most of the time it looks like this:

But for about 5 hours on Sundays, we cart all our gear to church and it looks like this:

A charming fireplace,  and side "desk" (aka random piece of furniture we don't know where else to put :) Gotta love the wool rug, on sale for $230 from Home Goods.

I'd love to put in couches and make it a comfy space. Someday... :) I really like our yellow wall, although some had doubts while it was going on. Something about mac and cheese, lol. This gets runner up for most improved space. Check out our grody fireplace in the before shot!

Last stop on our tour is our down stairs bathroom.

Greens and orange kind of "happened" when I stuck the orchid plant in here. I dig it : ) Again, cabinets need major refinishing. 
I think it needs something on the wall above the "throne"...

$3 "Spa Moment": rolled white hand towels in a tin flowerpot, all from Dollar Tree. Speaking of 99 Cent stores, this gave me a laugh.

 So true : P

"The Entrance of Hope" by Dantini. I randomly found this print online and LOVED the bright colors. I hit print screen, printed it out, and stuck it in a frame I had. $1 wall art! 

There's the grand tour! Whew. I wish I had started this thing sooner :) Next post I'll get into some of my experiments in design, on the cheap.


Fast forward: Master Bedroom and Hall Bath Progress

Back to our story.
After that crazy week of renovating, we moved in. Crazy is literally how I felt, for this newly wed gal who had only known her bedroom and tiny apartment up til then was deciding paint colors, carpet, and tile for a 2000 square foot house!

Thankfully almost everything worked out great. That is until I realized that having the nice people at Home Depot "match" a paint color from an expensive brand to a cheaper brand had its risks. And the outcome was that my "warm sand" color I'd picked for the majority of the walls actually came out a much darker color. And that I'd just spent $500 on supplies to have my dear friends paint almost my whole interior, well, brown.

Gah. This began what is still a long process of color correcting (especially difficult when there's 2 story vaulted walls involved). <Sigh>... More on that later. (Sorry for the dusty picture, guess the dust literally had settled, on the camera lens :P )

Fast forwarding 20 months, lets see some progress pics! Starting with the Master Bedroom.
I went with red, orange, and aqua as the main colors. The poppy painting above the bed is from my super talented friend, Tracy. <Thank you Tracy!> I love the way it came out, and incorporates all the colors of the room. We have plans for a DIY wooden headboard. (insert feeble attempt at photoshopping). 
We'll see how that moves up the Honey Do list. lol. The side lamps are freebies from my parents, and begging for a makeover. I have my ideas... currently involving glass aquarium beads, gorilla glue, and silver spray paint. Mua ha ha. Stay tuned.

The bedroom set, also inherited from family is gorgeous, but definitely not where I'd like to take the room. Something much darker and with more modern lines. The curtains are cheapies from WalMart, and may be receiving a stenciled paint treatment one of these days.

Best 99 Cent store find EVER= the Love is Patient word decals by our door! Still can't believe I got it for a buck. Frame by the door is awaiting a paint chip art treatment. I didn't realize til this picture the odd empty space behind the door. I think its saying, "I need a full length mirror" (that is, if walls could talk).

My armwar... armuar... armoire. I framed our wedding picture along with both our parent's, in pretty much the same pose.  :) 
So recaping- here's the before and current situation:

Next, in no particular order, is the hall bathroom. This will soon become the kiddo bathroom.

 This pretty much sums up my partiality to greens- green walls, green shower curtain, green candles and plant, green rugs... and even a green toilet brush.

Pictures don't lie. The aged, dirty vanity is mocking me. You will be refinished, mark my words.
Yeah, its really bad.

DIY Rubber Ducky art, I just think it's fun :) I think I want to redo the background to be the lyrics from "Rubber Ducky" the Sesame St. song, "Rubber Ducky, you're the one, do do do do..."

Biggest need= a mirror! I'm still on the lookout for an unbelievably cheap and great looking framed mirror. Almost bought one today for $23, but I think I can do better. No one really uses this bathroom yet, so I have a little time to keep hunting.

Here's the old and the present:

Next post= Living room, dining room, and stairs.
<3 Alyssa
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