DIY Gold Stripe Tray

When I was considering adding the tulip table to my foyer I wanted to have a little spot to corral the mail, my keys and other things when I come in the door. I knew a small tray would be ideal for that purpose, so I set out to find one that met my criteria – it needed to be rectangular, not too expensive, and it needed to have some colour given the table and the walls in my foyer are white.

To be honest I had absolutely no plans on DIYing anything, and I actually did find a lovely contender for the spot at HomeSense that was just $13. Then of course I went to the thrift store and found a tray for $1.99 and my plans changed.  Given its thrift store provenance the tray was predictably ugly, but it was the right size and shape and I knew that making it prettier would be easy.Thrift store tray before

I’ve been in LOVE with this tray forever, and if it had been the right size I may have been tempted to buy it for my foyer (but only if it also went on sale). Since the original wasn’t to be I decided to make my own version using my thrift store tray and spray paint I already had on hand.

(Appologies for the bad cell phone picture)

(Appologies for the bad cell phone picture)

After spraying the tray white I set out to mark off the pattern on the top of the tray using masking tape. I eyeballed the pattern and used a small piece of tape to help with the spacing between the lines.  I did have painters tape on hand, but it was too wide for the scale of my tray so I ended up using the regular masking tape (I use it in class to tape my drawings to the drafting table).  Thrift store tray painted gold

Once the pattern was complete I sprayed the tray top and bottom with gold spray paint, and when it was dry I peeled off the tape and voilà – a gold stripe tray.DIY Gold stripe tray

There was some bleeding under the tape that more than likely wouldn’t have occurred if I’d used painters tape, but I’m honestly not too concerned.DIY Gold Stripe tray.

Not bad for $2 right?

Thrift Store Keepsake Box – Para Paints Blog Crew Spring Fever

When the idea of a Para Paints Blog Crew Spring Fever Challenge was hatched I must admit to being a bit hesitant – I mean what would I paint? Sure, I still live in a condo with all white walls but, while I have vague ideas of what I want to do with the rooms, with school and work I simply haven’t had the chance to sit down and really figure out what colour(s) to use. I wish I was one of those people who can pick a colour out of a fan deck and immediately know that it’s the perfect colour for the space. I take a while pondering and second guessing myself and I didn’t have that much time for this project.

Anyways, once I committed (along with Meredith and Susan of Newberry Sykes, Tash and Kes from The Dream House Project,  Sabrina from the Pink Little Notebook, and Sara from Saige Wisdom) I decided that as this was a spring themed project I would try to do something fun with a used item – a renewal of something old which I thought was appropriate as spring brings a renewal of life (both for plants, and for us unfortunate humans who’ve been hiding from mean Mother Nature for months). I thought of reworking something I already had but in the end I found the perfect item at Value Village for just $1.99. Thrift Store Painted Wooden boxI’ve wanted one of these keepsake boxes since I first saw them a few years ago, but as they’re priced from $95 to $145 (US) each they are a bit too pricey for my ‘tuition-is-expensive’ pocketbook. When I saw this wooden box sitting on the shelf at the thrift store I knew what I would do with it. The box had been the recipient (victim?) of someone’s artistic touch, but I figured a bit of sanding and some primer and I’d be good to go. Famous last words.Thrift store wooden box insideI used Para BlockOut primer which worked wonders on the untreated pine of the box including a couple of knots, but strangely the little blue dots thwarted my efforts to remove them. I have a feeling the only thing that would have blocked the ink was something oil based which I didn’t have on hand since it tends to be smelly and I was painting in my dining room. As I planned to use dark paint on the top of the box and the worst of the dots were on the inside of the box (which would rarely be seen), I decided they just add a bit of character to my project. Besides – polka-dots are ‘in’ right?Wooden box painted whiteOnce I’d primed the box I added two coats of Jo Jo Whitewash (PF 17), and then it came time to tape off my borders.

I debated the size of the borders a bit, but eventually I decided that 1/2″ was the perfect size as the box is 14″ long. Taping didn’t take as long as I thought it might, and once it was completed I used an artist’s brush to paint some more Jo Jo Whitewash along the edge of the tape to try to eliminate any colour from seeping underneath. Painters tape added for the borderThe colour I chose for the box is called Rubber Boots (P5027-73D). I love the colour, but I think it was the name that sold me – can you think of a paint more perfectly named for a spring project? A couple of coats later and it was time to peel of the tape. I’ll admit to being nervous, and wondered if painting over the tape would make it hard to remove, or worse remove some of the paint entirely, but I had no trouble when I peeled it back slowly, and it revealed a crisp line.My new keepsake boxI’ve decided I’m going to store various keepsakes in the box. I’ve got some ‘First Home’ cards from when I moved into my condo, some recent birthday cards, pictures of friends and family, and a couple of pieces of jewellery (a bracelet from my Gran, a ring from my great aunt, and a bracelet I got for my first communion) that I don’t wear (but want to keep) and I think this will be the perfect place to store them all instead of in a few different places. For now my new keepsake box is sitting beside my TV, but I don’t think that will be it’s forever home I’ll probably move it to the bookcase, or maybe my bedroom. What do you think? Not bad for a thrift store box right? Wooden box Storing special keepsakesNow that you’ve seen my spring inspired paint project, I hope you’ll check out what each of the other members of the Para Paints Blog Crew created – click on the banners below. spring fever newberry sykes bannerThe Dreamhouse Spring Fever ChallengePinkLittleNotebook_SpringFeverSaige Wisdom Spring Fever Challenge BannerOnce you’ve been wowed by their projects I hope you’ll share one of your spring painting projects in the link-up below (You just have to share your project once, and it will appear of each of our blogs).

SPRING FEVER – Share your Spring paint projects!

A few simple rules:

  1. We ask that you only link projects that were created by you.
  2. You must link directly to a specific post.
  3. Do NOT link posts that are linked to your link party, shop or giveaway.
    If you do, YOUR LINK WILL BE DELETED

Be sure to follow each of your PARA Blog Crew hosts:

The Dreamhouse Project
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Newberry Sykes
Bloglovin’ ~ Mere Twitter ~ Sue Twitter ~ Mere Pinterest ~ Sue Pinterest ~ Facebook

Pink Little Notebook
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Sweet Suite 10
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Getting Plastered in my Dining Room

Remember back in July when I confessed that my dining room a had a small problem? That problem included globs of wallpaper glue, cracks, and a badly patched ceiling.Dining room - corner

Dining room ceilingFor my birthday my mom and dad gifted me a repaired dining room, so in late August operation #letsgetplastered begun (yes, this was finished in August and I’m just blogging about it now. I’m a bad blogger). My mom and dad are ‘the’ original DIYers so they decided that they’d try to fix it themselves first, and if that didn’t work we’d call in some hired guns for the job. Those hired guns weren’t needed.

First up my mom and I took a trip to Rona to pick up supplies. While there she introduced me to this amazing sanding block she’d seen while shopping in her hometown, and it was so helpful as we started my dining room rehabilitation by hand sanding the walls and ceiling the remove the old wallpaper glue, and try to even our some of the imperfections.

After the sanding was done it was on to a coat of primer, and then onto applying coats of spackling compound in layers to try to even out the walls. Once the last layer of spackle had been sanded it was time for another coat of primer, and then some plain white paint. The whole operation took about a week, and it was a huge success. There are still some imperfections, but it’s a thousand times better than it was, and honestly in an almost 100 year old building there isn’t a single wall that doesn’t have some character.

Teh After - My newly repaired wall and ceiling

The After – My newly repaired wall and ceiling

A New dining room deserves a  new light fixture

A new dining room deserves a new light fixture

For an unplanned bonus when lit the string light casts a neat shadow on the walls which makes any small imperfection even harder to see.

For an unplanned bonus when lit the string light casts a neat shadow on the walls which makes any small imperfection even harder to see.

I owe a HUGE thanks to my parents for my birthday present – I was going to pay someone a lot of money to fix the problem, but they’ve reminded me (again) that if you put your mind to it, have a willingness to try something new, some patience and a bit of help, there are a lot of things you can do yourself.My newly repaired dining room

PS – My apologies – an all white room is hard to photograph for a relative novice.

PPS – RONA doesn’t know I’m posting about the sanding blocks – I just loved them.