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Posted by on Aug 25, 2015 | 4 comments

Elizabeth’s Dining Set Make-Over: Homemade vs. DIY Chalk Paint

Elizabeth’s Dining Set Make-Over: Homemade vs. DIY Chalk Paint

Elizabeth spotted this dining set (nicknamed the “Smurf blue” dining set) at the MV Big Flea last year and just knew she could spruce them up for the dining room in her new home using chalk paint. Fortunately for us, Elizabeth kept us posted on her progress. Here is her story of giving this dated second-hand dining set a fabulous new look using chalk paint. She used both store-bought paint and a DIY mixture. Around the time Elizabeth purchased the dining set, she had been working with designer Kay Sidhamed to pick out paint colors for the walls of her home. Kay also helped her choose colors for the chairs Kay suggested she paint the chairs in pairs in three colors, while keeping the table in a more neutral shade. Elizabeth chose chalk paint because you don’t need to prime and it’s easy to apply. She bought both American Paint Co. and Annie Sloan chalk paint. She also wanted to make use of the 15 sample cans of Benjamin...

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Posted by on May 29, 2015 | 0 comments

DIY Design at Ease Yoga in Del Ray

DIY Design at Ease Yoga in Del Ray

We’re excited to welcome the new Ease Yoga & Cafe to Del Ray and are especially taken with the tried-and-true DIY elements they’ve incorporated in their interior design. Owner Tara Casagrande gave me a tour recently and pointed out a few of the fabulous projects she worked on with friends to personalize the space. The showpiece is the wooden paneling that runs underneath the Cafe bar, here in its unfinished state. Tara’s friends came by to hand-paint the wood in a kaleidoscope of muted chalk paint colors. It really turned out great. Above the bar, she installed mason jar pendant lamps. And she is hiring a chalk artist to draw a menu on the chalkboard painted cabinets in the cafe. Tara also has an artist painting a mural in one of the yoga studios. We’ll return to see how it all looks during the grand opening this Saturday, May 30 and in the weeks to come. Visit the Ease Yoga website to learn more about the range of classes...

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Posted by on Dec 22, 2014 | 0 comments

Before and After: Curbside Storage Cabinet Makeover

Before and After: Curbside Storage Cabinet Makeover

A few months ago, one of my neighbors moved out and in the process, he left a bunch of furniture on the curb. I’m always on the hunt for free curb furniture so the pile immediately caught my eye — a dresser, a few bookcases and this, a small storage cabinet with a glass front door. Upon closer examination, I could tell it had been the victim of a frisky feline, with scratches on the side and badly worn finish on the top. I didn’t have space for the cabinet in my house so instead of putting it back out on the curb, I passed it over to my friend Mary Denby who could give it a makeover before we donated it to the MV Big Flea. Mary sanded the scratches and applied several coats of her homemade chalk paint — a mixture of latex paint, water and plaster of Paris. The beauty of chalk paint is you don’t have to prime and the paint will adhere to practically...

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Posted by on Jun 20, 2014 | 2 comments

Easy Kitchen Makeover with DIY Chalk Paint

Easy Kitchen Makeover with DIY Chalk Paint

Ever since we moved into our home two years ago, we have never been quite in love with our kitchen. Though it was brand new when we bought the house and we were able to customize the counter-tops, the overall cabinet style and color is just not our thing. Replacing the cabinets or remodeling the kitchen is not an option, so we decided to paint the cabinets. When I received my designer kit from Devine Color earlier this year, the color “Devine Ripe Banana and Beans” immediately caught my eye and I started to see yellow in our kitchen’s future. My husband and children all agreed on yellow but it took us about a week to decide between different hues. We tested out four colors on large pieces of poster board. We also tested two colors on the cabinets. Sherwin Williams’ “Butter Up” (below, left) was my family’s favorite and I liked it for its crisp and modern character. After viewing the paint samples for several days in different...

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Posted by on Jun 28, 2013 | 1 comment

Very Phara’s Furniture Rescue

Very Phara’s Furniture Rescue

In her charming Del Ray cottage, with a front porch surrounded by gorgeous flowering vines and ornamental perennials, Phara turns curbside castaways into beautiful works of art. She’s a talented DIYer with a keen eye for furniture rescue and rehab, a skill she learned from her grandmother. I visited Phara to check out her collection. Most of her pieces were either found on the street or purchased at yard sales and thrift stores. Classic older furniture is usually built well, so while the finish may be damaged, the pieces themselves are structurally sound with many more years of use ahead of them. For example, take a look at this dresser Phara found on the street. She cleaned out all of the cob webs and sanded and re-stained the top in a dark walnut finish. For a one-of-a-kind fresh look, she painted the bottom portion in a vintage blue chalk paint and sanded the edges. Now she uses it as a sideboard and bar in her dining room. This dining table was...

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