Peel & Stick Brick!

img_5983It all started with the windows. You know, the old double-paned ones where the seal has broken and you can no longer see out of them because they’re all foggy? When you live in a very old house, there is always a longgggg to-do list and never enough time or resources. When we finally had them  replaced, we discovered…we actually have sunlight-and a view! Who knew we had a water view from our master bedroom-it had been so long since I actually looked out that window… Master Bedroom Makeover Water View… and spotted a tiny sliver of the lake, but a realtor would list it as a water view, am I right? So…new sparkly windows means its time for a refresh of the entire room from the (seafoam green) ceiling down. Whenever I mention the ceiling, people look at me quizzically and ask “was that a thing?” I don’t know, but at the time, many moons ago, I thought it was…

Master Bedroom Green CeilingWhen there isn’t much in the way of architectural detail in a room, you have to create some interest in other ways. I guess that was my thinking at the time…soooo, on to the refresh! I started by painting the ceiling with two coats of Benjamin Moore Ceiling White-my go-to for any ceiling painting. Once that was completed, I tackled the walls. I painted three of them in Benjamin Moore Wedding Veil, the same color we used in the Black & White Woodland Nursery.

Hudson the Polar Bear on CribIt is a very soft, subtle gray, (almost white), color that works well with the new brick wallpaper that was applied to the accent wall. Wait, what?! Bricks are made from wallpaper?? Well, these bricks are! Can you tell they’re not real…well, at least online?

1c7a4ef8-3203-488e-884f-3c994b5dc7caAnd I can tell you that they are a heck of a lot easier to lay than real bricks, or even faux bricks. No mortar involved- just the paper, a level and a pair of sharp scissors.

img_5691The paper is very forgiving with cuts and corners-it already has the appearance of old brick so a couple of wrinkles or slices cannot do anything but enhance the look. Last fall, I had decorated the “log room” in our Maine cottage with birch tree paper-also peel and stick.

Log Cabin PaperThat was pretty easy, but this peel-and-stick paper by NuWallpaper is truly mistake-proof. Super easy to cut, peel off and reposition if needed (and yes, it was needed) and looks soooo realistic. Can’t even see the seams (well, barely…if you stand back and squint…)

img_5704For each row, I positioned and leveled the top, then pulled back about 12 inches of the paper backing, allowing the paper to stick to the wall. From there, it was just a matter of peeling and sticking and smoothing all the way to the bottom.

img_5692You know the wise, old adage, “measure twice, cut once”? Well, I measured three times, then ordered it online, got started and promptly ran out of paper before the last window. With wallpaper, you typically start on the far left and work your way across, matching the seams and pattern as you go…until you run out : (

img_5677You see, I hadn’t accounted for the waste while matching the repeat pattern of the bricks. A rookie mistake, but trust me, I am no rookie at paper-hanging. So, what to do? I went back online to the original website to order another roll, but with the shipping costs (I had avoided that the first time because of the amount I had ordered) it was almost the cost of 2 rolls! So I decided to check Amazon because, well, you know, PRIME. And there was the same paper, same manufacturer-NuWallpaper- and code numbers-a bit cheaper and no shipping costs- except it had a different company name on each website-but it was the exact same paper from NuWallpaper. Go figure.  It was on my doorstep the next day. Perfect match, perfect accent wall! Still adding some finishing touches to the room, but now we have these gorgeous, super soft curtains! From HomeSense, of course : )

img_5988And an architectural accent piece for over our bed from Hobby Lobby. That “Always & Forever” pillow, also from HomeSense.

img_5986Still have loads to do, and the clock is ticking before we head back to Maine, but one step at a time…Next up, furniture painting. Have an immeasurably great weekend, everyone!

xoxoxo Susan

Wood Block Painting

‘When does a block of old wood become a painting tool?

img_0202When you’re searching for a simple technique that creates a worn, chippy finish on a piece of wood or furniture! Recently, Coach presented me with a reclaimed primitive pine bench that he thought would “look great with a whale on it!” It had most definitely seen better days…the top was scratched and gouged and the finish was non-existent, but it was solid and had no musty odors, which is always a plus. (Sorry, I hadn’t planned on writing about this project until I tried the brilliant block painting trial, so no before pics) Wanting to hurry along the transformation process, he sanded it down for me and painted the base black. Typically, his next line will be “OK, I’ll paint a whale on it”…which he knows will then trigger my response “Don’t touch it, I’ll do it.” OK, so I stained, then painted the bench, first with blue, then white chalk paint, then sanded it for a distressed look.

img_0201Usually, when I do that, the top coat will sand down and expose the under color- but this time it didn’t work very well and the bench was primarily white and black. So, I thought, hmmm, what can I use to create the multi-layer effect I want…wait for it…a block of wood?! Recently, I had been binge-watching old episodes of Flea Market Flip-I have seen them all so many times, but each one is full of fun transformational tips! I recalled seeing their DIY geniuses use the wood block-painting technique successfully…why not give it a try?! So, at 4:45 AM this morning, BEFORE I even had my morning jolt of caffeine…I was grabbing a block of wood and dipping it into paint and scraping it across the bench and voila! Chippy, distressed look in about 5 minutes time! (OK, well that noise is pretty annoying and grating, but the results are worth it, I promise!) The reason this technique works so well is that, unlike a paint brush, which smooths paint into the contours and ridges, the wood block scrapes over those and only leaves paint on the textured areas.

There are a couple of tips to share- the block of wood works better if it is a little rough. And make sure you blot the wood on paper after you dip it in the paint, otherwise it will leave globs of paint behind.

Other than that, its pretty simple and fun…and the results are pretty much exactly what I had tried to achieve!

img_3738Now its time for the whale : ) Stay tuned… Susan

 

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