Category Archives: Paint

Hallway Board & Batten

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This post has been in our drafts for just over a YEAR. I took these photos and planned to complete this DIY project last February, but the photos, the plans and the project were put on hold for a thousand different reasons. My dad is the veteran DIY-er that will be helping this Rookie DIY-er tackle this project, so we needed both of our weekends free and the stars just haven’t aligned to make it happen! (Weddings, vacations, snow days, other weekend DIY projects… you name it, it’s delayed the process)

I don’t want to jinx us, BUTTTTT  I’m pretty sure the stars are about to align. I couldn’t be more excited to report that we are about to tackle a mini hallway makeover after over a year of planning!

Our hallway isn’t bad, I just feel like it could use “a little something” in order to brighten the space and add some character. Plus, I have always loved the look of board and batten, so it seemed like the perfect place to bring this look into our home. That’s exactly what I plan on doing– adding board & batten down both sides of the hallway.

I was initially inspired by this post from Young House Love. Their hallway is very similar to ours and ever since I read their gorgeous, informative post/tutorial, I knew that’s exactly the look I wanted. Plus, they tackled their entire hallway of board and batten for under $100! What’s not to love about that plan?! Here’s a peek at the inspiration:

younghouselovePhoto via YoungHouseLove <– miss them!! =(

Gorgeous, right?!

I anticipate that the board and batten will brighten the space, while also adding a “custom” look on the cheap. At this point, just checking this project off the to-do list will be worth it! A year in the making… it’s gotta be good, right?!


So that’s the latest project we have up our sleeve around here. If all goes as planned, look for an update on the progress of our board and batten hallway here on DIY Playbook next week! In the meantime, have a great weekend! We hope you get the chance to check off something looming on your DIY to-do list too.

Bridget Signature

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7 thoughts on “Hallway Board & Batten

  1. Gloria @ GloriaJoy

    Yay to getting long lost projects done! I think it’ll look great in the hallway! You may have just inspired me to put some molding up on my dining room walls, buuuuut may have a few more things to get done before that.

    Reply
  2. Allison

    Totally missing YHL. Was just thinking as I was pulling up your blog that I’m glad I found DIY Playbook to help fill the void left by YOungHouseLove. 🙂

    Loving everything I’m seeing from you guys!

    Reply

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7 thoughts on “Hallway Board & Batten

  1. Gloria @ GloriaJoy

    Yay to getting long lost projects done! I think it’ll look great in the hallway! You may have just inspired me to put some molding up on my dining room walls, buuuuut may have a few more things to get done before that.

    Reply
  2. Allison

    Totally missing YHL. Was just thinking as I was pulling up your blog that I’m glad I found DIY Playbook to help fill the void left by YOungHouseLove. 🙂

    Loving everything I’m seeing from you guys!

    Reply

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The tale of an A-door-able Painted Door

red_door

(Disclaimer: We have partnered with Valspar to bring you this post. All opinions are 100% our own. Now onto this a-door-able makeover…)

Remember when I painted my front door a few months back? I chose a color that is bright, bold, and totally gave the occasional passer-by a sneak peek as to what the decor was all about inside. Well apparently bright, bold, beautiful doors are starting to run in the family. #goodgenes
Door BeforeMy older sister (remember, the one who recently got married?) moved into her home about two years ago. The doors were this hunter green color, which was actually really unique and totally worked well for their home. However, the paint was chipping and these doors had seen better days.

[[Enter an annoying DIY inspired little sis, a family not hesitant to share their opinions on what the new door color should be, a lot of indecision, & finally a gallon of Valspar Reserve to save the day…]]
Valspar Door

…. and this is what you get! A bright, bold, and gorgeous new door color that totally breathes a breath of fresh, sassy air into their a-door-able home. I mean, talk about an All-American front door color. It definitely gets the stamp of approval from these two DIY Rookies.
Backdoor beforeBut the fun part of this a-door-able makeover is that it doesn’t end at the front door. My sister’s house has doors on doors on doors… and every single one of ’em underwent time in the Valspar Reserve beauty shop.

red doorred_doorEach door is more gorgeous than the next! I just love how the red POPS next to the grey siding. Green Door BeforeBut my favorite transformation of this painted door series is probably this one. Can you spot the differences?

red doorwayA bright door AND a fresh new fence…. yes, please! Like how clean and amazing does this tiny white fence look next to the red?

backyard doorMore doors?! I think this is the last one.. last but certainly not least! Wow, I may be a little biased since this is my big sis’ house, but this traditional red is totaling stealing my heart. Bright, bold, and G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S!!
Valspar reserveThe color is Valspar Reserve’s Exterior Semi-gloss Radiant Red (1009-3). IMG_1141This product is amazing because it’s Primer + Paint in one. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about priming the door, waiting for it to dry and then painting it (again). It’s one stop shopping, which is a total MONEY & TIME saver. And the exterior paint is supposed to have much better protection to the sunlight and harsh outdoor elements than other exterior paints = less paint in the future! #winwinwin

Plus, Valspar’s website is filled with so many resources to help you pick the perfect paint color for your space. I mean seriously, you may be shopping for paint for days (ask my sister, she’ll tell you first hand). The color wheels are hypnotizing in a magical way that makes you want to paint your whole house and maybe even your neighbors too.

I love that they picked radiant red because this red really does follow my front door rule of: picking a color that gives the passerby a hint of what they’d find in your home. My sister’s house definitely uses hints of red to accent, so an accented red door seems to fit into the mix flawlessly. Maybe I’ll work on sneaking in to get you guys some pics of this adorable home. Give it time, I know I can win her over.

Red FlowerOverall, this a-door-able makeover was a success! And geez, if I’m gushing about their DOORS this much, I can’t imagine how excited I’ll be for their first born. #helicopteraunt

bridget

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Paint Can Planter

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With Father’s Day quickly approaching, I thought I would stick to tradition and make my favorite dad a little something to personally thank him for not only for being the most amazing man I know, but also, to start to re-pay him for being the most influential DIY coach/fan/assistant I have in my life.
Any question, hesitation, concern, or disaster I get myself into thanks to my lack of DIY knowledge, you can bet that I have my dad to thank for immediately stepping in to help clean up the pieces and get me back on track… all without a bit of hesitation. For the first time in a long time (probably since last year’s gift to be exact), he is on the receiving end of this DIY and not the working end of it. For that reason alone, I know he will LOVE it!
For my favorite DIY coach, I opted to create these paint can planters for him to add to his beloved patio. Not only do these fun lil’ planters capture a mini snapshot of all the DIY aid and assistance my dad tirelessly lends me, but the paint cans also represent him as the hardworking professional he is. Painting Contractor by day; dad, husband, son, brother, coach, therapist, comedian, DIY-er, landscaper, selfless gentleman by night. I hope that when he looks at these sloppy little paint cans, he remembers how thankful all three of his little angels are for everything he does for us- even after a long day of work.
But onto the real question, how can I make one of these myself? Let’s chat about that, first by emphasizing the most important information you will need to know to re-create your own: you do NOT need any artistic talent to successfully re-create these- so get that out of your mind right now. I repeat, you do NOT need any art skills to make one of these adorable paint can planters… You can do this!

All you really need is:

  • 2 paint cans (You can find them for around $4 in the paint section of your local hardware store)
  • Pencil (Sketch the outline of your paint drops)
  • 2 mini paint brushes (one for each color)
  • Paint (Update: I used acrylic paint for this project but would NOT recommend it because of the contact it may have with water. I would recommend using REAL paint. To save money- try & score the mini paint samples at your local hardware store instead of an entire quart)
  • Plants (I used 4 different succulents so my dad won’t have to worry about watering them, and  they seemed a little more “manly”)
  • Soil

The paint drip design really is just as random as it looks. I tentatively sketched an outline of the paint drips on the cans, but really had no specific game plan in mind. As I painted, some of the paint dripped outside of the sketched lines, which worked even more perfectly! My advice on the actual sketching/painting… go with the flow. I have almost no artistic ability at all… so if I can make it look like dripping paint so can you. I promise.

I did use a thick layer of paint to cover the silver bucket. After painting the yellow can, I would recommend using a darker color if possible. I mean, the yellow was do-able, but the green covered easier and was more forgiving with the brush strokes in the long run. Just my opinion though…

Personally, I like that the mini can only had two drips, while the larger can had lots of drips. I think the yellow looks more realistic, which is a bonus since that “look” is super easy to sketch. But as always, do whatever fits your style.

Because these cans were going to double as planters, I added a little drainage hole to the bottom of each using a drill.

Then, I filled these puppies up with some potting soil & topped them off with some succulents. The succulents seem like the perfect mix of manly and low maintenance. I envision my dad adding these to his patio, but hey… maybe he’ll opt to put them inside his office instead?! Whichever he chooses, I hope he loves his new paint cans. Maybe when he retires, we can create a whole garden of paint can planters with his old supplies?! That’ll probably take some convincing…
Happy Father’s Day to one heck of a DIY coach! Once you retire, maybe you can join the DIY Playbook full-time? Think about it…
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White Cabinet Makeover on a Budget

white cabinet makeover
The laundry room makeover is officially underway! (If you missed the plans, check them out here). First on the DIY to-do list: Get rid of the vintage orange cabinets, which happened to be our home’s original kitchen cabinets, and replace them with WHITE cabinets.
When I started to create the plan for the laundry room, I originally planned to take off the doors of each cabinet and order new doors from a local hardware store. I planned to then paint the cabinet’s base white to match the purchased doors, which I figured would save me money and make the space into everything I dreamed it could be. Well, well, well… little did I know that my 1960’s laundry room cabinets are not “standard” sizes to the type of cabinet doors that are sold in stores in 2014. After doing my research on the internet and around the suburbs of Chicago, I figured that buying three new cabinet doors to replace these old, orange ones would have cost me up $400+ bucks. Back to the drawing board…
The budget-friendly alternative to this dilemma you ask? DIY-ing these suckers top to bottom, inside & out. Ugh.
So that was my NEW plan. New hardware, original cabinets. I was okay with painting the cabinets (I tried my hand at painting chalkboard cabinets last summer in my garage) but I decided to step it up a notch and challenge myself with this DIY project. Not only was I going to paint these eyesores, I decided to add a “frame”/”border”/’new face detail” onto each of these flat faced cabinets as well. (What was I thinking?!)

Before I dive into the dirty (and yes, I mean DIRTY) details of how I tackled these cabinets… allow me to highlight a few points of interest:

  1. This project was Time consuming! (with a capital T and !)
  2. I completed this DIY 100% on my own.
  3. In honor of full disclosure, I do have to admit that I did consult stalk the gentlemen at some local hardware stores for information/supply questions/general advice on what the heck to do. #lovethem
  4. I also called my dad several times throughout the process for some “pointers” or some necessary moral support. (…. thanks Dad! Every word of encouragement helped)
  5. The before & after shots look fabulous, but don’t be fooled & think that I snapped my fingers and the place was white, clean, and amazing. Sometimes I wish DIY’s worked like that…
  6. But not even close. The process was frustrating, challenging, tedious, messy, yet fun, and very fulfilling all at the same time.
  7. I did most of the work at night after I came home from my day job – lesson learned.
  8. I want to be REAL about this process and really highlight the fact that I was not skipping around, painting the cabinets while whistling my favorite tune. Not.at.all. This was one tough DIY, especially as a one-man team, but I survived… and even lived to tell the tale.
  9. Although the process was not all sunshines & smiles, I DO think this is my proudest DIY accomplishment to date. Partly because I love the outcome, but mostly because I did it independently and LEARNED so much along the way.
  10. If I did this, so can you! Just don’t be afraid to get a little dirty, lose a little sleep, and come out feeling like one accomplished rookie DIY-er!

So here’s where I started. With a screw driver, I removed the cabinet doors from the cabinet’s base. Oddly enough, the cabinets were already white on the inside… which was a HUGE bonus!

I decided to tackle the base before I addressed the doors. My first step in doing this involved a palm sander and heavy-duty sand paper to sand down the wood.

Rookie Tip: As seen on the bottom of this picture, take all of the hardware from your project and store it in a sealed bag throughout the project. This will guarantee all of the nails/hardware stick together and will save them from getting any paint smears on them. I bought new hardware, but it was helpful to bring this bag to the hardware store in order to pick new hardware that was the same size. 

Back to the sanding. Below, you’ll see the bottom of the cabinets, which are already sanded vs. the top of the cabinets, which haven’t been touched just yet. I sanded all the way down to the wood, just to make sure I got off all the old varnish and the new paint would adhere to the new surface.

Rookie Tip: Cover EVERYTHING with drop cloths, dress in your crappiest clothes, and close any and all doors that you can to help minimize the amount of dust that will cover your house. Sanding is DUSTY! Any and all precautions you can take to help keep a handle on where this dust travels (or doesn’t travel for that matter) will be to your advantage in the long run. 

Here’s a look at the cabinets completely stripped and ready for some paint. After I was completely done sanding these suckers, I made sure to wipe them down very thoroughly so they would accept the primer + paint that was on its way. Because sanding gets so dusty, I would recommend wiping/drying at least two different times.

While those dried, I moved onto the cabinets.

Notice that I  took all of the hardware off of the cabinet doors before I even started sanding them. I did this for two reasons:

  1. I knew I was eventually going to replace both the pulls and the hinges, so it just made sense.
  2. I didn’t want to waste time taping and risk missing a spot on the cabinet because the hardware was still connected.

I laid the doors out and got ready for a serious arm workout and some more quality time with the palm sander.

Here’s one of those times where the blogosphere makes this process look like it was done in 2.5 flawless minutes. Boy, could that be any further from reality. I sanded these puppies for what felt like forever. It takes some serious elbow grease in order to get both side of each cabinet door down to the bare wood. On the bright side, I completed the sanding outside, which helped cut down on the mess.

Now, the new “frame” on the front side of the cabinet doors. This was a part I was completely clueless on how to do. I did a little research on the blogosphere, made a list of measurements and headed to HomeDepot for some cheap wood and the opportunity for one of the fabulous workers to cut my purchased wood… free of charge. I bought quarter inch thick poplar pieces and had them cut into the appropriate sizes.

With some wood glue and wood clamps (no power tools required… woohoo!), I was able to glue 4 pieces of wood onto the front of each cabinet door, creating a frame-like look. I wish I could give you some tips or tricks, but honestly… I had not clue what I was doing. I was lucky that the free wood cuts were pretty much SPOT ON and fit exactly how I imagined they would, which isn’t often the case.

I let them dry for 24 hours and when I removed the wood clamps…
I was one proud DIY-er!! Did I mention you needed absolutely NO power tools to do this?! Glue & some clamps… more my pace.

In other news, I also decided to paint the laundry room half way through the cabinet makeover. What was I thinking?! Like working full time and refacing the cabinets wasn’t enough in one week?

But boy was I glad I did it! Such a welcomed difference.
Now back to those darn cabinets. I primed the base with a small paint brush and mini roller. I used the same primer/paint combo and number of coats of each on both the cabinet base and cabinet doors. The total ended up being one coat primer, three coats white semi-gloss paint.

I used the small paint brush and mini roller on the doors as well.

Rookie Tip: If you notice that your seams from the wood pieces don’t match up perfectly, don’t be afraid to add a little painter’s putty into the seam to make it a more flush transition from one piece of wood to the next. Do this before painting and make sure you allow the putty to dry overnight before priming or painting it. Sanding the wood down can also help make the seams disappear. 
Rookie Tip: Before you paint the doors with your last coat of white paint, make sure you drill some pilot holes into the new wood to help guide your hardware. This will save you from having to drill through freshly painted doors, which could chip or blemish with the drill marks. I used the old holes in the original cabinet, which made creating new ones through the new layer of wood super simple. 
All that was left to do was add my new hardware and hinges and hang these babies back up! Like I said, the hardware and hinges went back in the same exact spot as they started, which made lining them up to hang that much easier!

Because the laundry room reveal isn’t until MONDAY, I’ll leave you with a little teaser of the finished product!

Needless to say, I’m absolutely in LOVE with the new look and I am so proud of my cabinet accomplishments. Although the process was trying at times, the end product and feeling of being DONE is reason enough to stick with it!
Want to see the Laundry Room Reveal? Check it out HERE.
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How to Pick the Perfect Front Door Color

Colored Door

Painting our front door has always been on my to-do list. Since the day we moved in, I knew I wanted a colorful front door that was bold, unique and set our home apart from the rest on the block. Unfortunately a year and a half later, the door was still on the to-do list & still white.

Not that I didn’t appreciate white or don’t love a crisp, white door… I just knew I wanted a pop of color! What pop of color should it be exactly? That’s where I was stuck! Some days I wanted yellow, some days I wanted navy, I even tossed a few shades of gray into the mix at one point or another. The problem wasn’t necessarily getting the door painted, but more so picking the color to make it happen (all with the approval of my darlin’ hubby that wasn’t always sold on a bright door, or any colored door for that matter).

The more I researched stalked the blogosphere, the more I was able to eventually identify my philosophy on colored doors, which gradually gave me the confidence to pick a color & check this job off the to-do list once and for all.

Thanks to a post from one of one of my all-time fav bloggers, Dana from House*Tweaking, I agreed that a colored door should give the neighborhood a little hint of what they would find in your home. The door selection should be an extension of the “flavor” of your home. Dana was so right! How did I not think of that before?! And just like that, my decision was made.
I love a yellow door… but yellow isn’t necessarily the “feel” of my home.

I love a navy door… but was navy the overwhelming color in my home? Hmm… not exactly.

A blue-ish/teal-ish door… well, I had never really thought about that before, but wow… how spot-on to my home’s “style”. So just like that… blue it was! Blue was the color that would give that sweet lady walking her dog each morning a peek into what our home was all about.

I chose Benjamin Moore’s Covington Blue to be exact. The door required TWO coats of paint over two days.
Clearly, one coat just didn’t cover evenly.

But because we loved our Covington Blue so much, we didn’t stop there. Surprise, Surprise…

We painted the inside too!

A big difference from what it looked like when we first moved in, huh?

We love, love, love the new color it brings to our space and think that it flows perfectly with our blue accents. Yes, the door is a little bold & outside of our comfort zone, but we could not be more excited about the change! Even Matt is a fan & has converted to Team Colored Door! (Another accomplishment I can check off of my to-do list).

If you follow us on Instagram, you probably already heard this. For those of you who do not have Instagram, I wish to leave you with one final thought.

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
A door.
A door, who?
A-door-a-blue

I know, I know…. I’ll stick to my day job. I just couldn’t pass that one up.

Bridget Signature
Come check out all of the paint colors in our homes in this post!
paint-colors

 

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20 thoughts on “How to Pick the Perfect Front Door Color

  1. Louise

    That looks amazing. I love that you painted the inside, too. I’m curious where the door was during the serious dry/cure time. Did you take the door off to paint it, and if so, how long was it down?

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks Louise! Between you and I, I actually kept the door on the hinges to paint it. I taped around the hardware and painted both sides at once. Then I kept the door slightly open for a few hours with a fan blowing on it. Overnight, I closed it & locked it… but was careful touching it in order to give it extra time to cure for a few days. (Still didn’t add the wreath, just in case!). Good luck!

  2. Louise

    That looks amazing. I love that you painted the inside, too. I’m curious where the door was during the serious dry/cure time. Did you take the door off to paint it, and if so, how long was it down?

    Reply
  3. DIY Playbook

    Thanks Louise! Between you and I, I actually kept the door on the hinges to paint it. I taped around the hardware and painted both sides at once. Then I kept the door slightly open for a few hours with a fan blowing on it. Overnight, I closed it & locked it… but was careful touching it in order to give it extra time to cure for a few days. (Still didn’t add the wreath, just in case!). Good luck!

    Reply
  4. Alysia @ Slim Sanity

    I LOVE THIS! Oh – guess what! We just bought a house!! I think I wanna paint our new door this color too 🙂 Just gotta sell it to Kyle!

    Reply
  5. Alysia @ Slim Sanity

    I LOVE THIS! Oh – guess what! We just bought a house!! I think I wanna paint our new door this color too 🙂 Just gotta sell it to Kyle!

    Reply
  6. Rachel S

    Hi! I was wondering if the Covington Blue is mixed to 100%. Also what finish the paint is, if you remember. Thank you! 🙂

    Reply
  7. Emily Moothart

    Hello,
    I love your door – not only the color, but the actual DOOR! I was wondering if you have any idea where it was purchased, or where I might find one similar? Thanks so much! 🙂

    Reply

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20 thoughts on “How to Pick the Perfect Front Door Color

  1. Louise

    That looks amazing. I love that you painted the inside, too. I’m curious where the door was during the serious dry/cure time. Did you take the door off to paint it, and if so, how long was it down?

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Thanks Louise! Between you and I, I actually kept the door on the hinges to paint it. I taped around the hardware and painted both sides at once. Then I kept the door slightly open for a few hours with a fan blowing on it. Overnight, I closed it & locked it… but was careful touching it in order to give it extra time to cure for a few days. (Still didn’t add the wreath, just in case!). Good luck!

  2. Louise

    That looks amazing. I love that you painted the inside, too. I’m curious where the door was during the serious dry/cure time. Did you take the door off to paint it, and if so, how long was it down?

    Reply
  3. DIY Playbook

    Thanks Louise! Between you and I, I actually kept the door on the hinges to paint it. I taped around the hardware and painted both sides at once. Then I kept the door slightly open for a few hours with a fan blowing on it. Overnight, I closed it & locked it… but was careful touching it in order to give it extra time to cure for a few days. (Still didn’t add the wreath, just in case!). Good luck!

    Reply
  4. Alysia @ Slim Sanity

    I LOVE THIS! Oh – guess what! We just bought a house!! I think I wanna paint our new door this color too 🙂 Just gotta sell it to Kyle!

    Reply
  5. Alysia @ Slim Sanity

    I LOVE THIS! Oh – guess what! We just bought a house!! I think I wanna paint our new door this color too 🙂 Just gotta sell it to Kyle!

    Reply
  6. Rachel S

    Hi! I was wondering if the Covington Blue is mixed to 100%. Also what finish the paint is, if you remember. Thank you! 🙂

    Reply
  7. Emily Moothart

    Hello,
    I love your door – not only the color, but the actual DOOR! I was wondering if you have any idea where it was purchased, or where I might find one similar? Thanks so much! 🙂

    Reply

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Frequently Asked Questions: PAINT

IMG_3803

Paint color can really make or break any space. Not to put any extra pressure on you or anything, but let’s be honest here, we just did. Unfortunately, choosing the perfect paint color is not always as easy as it seems (especially for indecisive rookies like us). We often get questions on painting, paint, picking the perfect paint color and what tips we would recommend for tackling this colorful DIY. To address all the wonderful readers who reach out and actually think we know what we’re talking about, we give you a big ol’ shout out and virtual hug… (jokes on you). 

Today’s post is all about YOU as we have decided to give you simple, to-the-point (not always easy for us), and accurate answers on some Frequently Asked Paint Questions (even if it meant we had to do some sweet talking to get the real scoop from a hall-of-fame/professional painter).

Where do I get paint swatches? How much do they cost? Paint swatches. It’s a very preliminary step but it’s a great place to start in choosing the perfect paint color. Check your local paint store or hardware stores for FREE swatches of paint colors. Collecting these will be helpful to bring home and tape on the wall or to carry in your purse (or wallet) when shopping for new furniture, bedding, or decor accessories. Did we mention these were FREE?! Stock up on these bad boys to determine which paint color you’ll decide on.

Should I paint a few colors onto the wall? Do I have to buy a whole gallon of each paint to do this?
After you’ve narrowed down your search thanks to the swatches, you may want to buy a few color samples at the paint store or local hardware store. For about $3, you can buy mini sample bottles of any color. Take these home and paint a little bit of each color on the walls to get an idea of what each color looks like in your space. What the color looks like on the wall is not always what you envisioned, so seeing a few options on the wall next to each other will (hopefully) help you find a winner!
I saw this paint color that I LOVE but can’t seem to find the color’s name… any tips? 
There are actually cell phone apps available that help you match what you see in a picture/or in real life to an exact paint color & name. For example, you see a beautiful colored door on vacation and want to replicate that same exact color for your bedroom. Take a picture of the door (in the most non-creepy way possible), plug the pic into the app,  and ta-da…. you have the name of that paint color! 


When is the best time to look at paint colors in a room? Seeing the color(s) in your space is extremely important (hel-lo sample sizes). The room’s lighting, amount of sunlight, baseboard, flooring and furniture can all have an effect on how the color looks in that room. Make sure you peek at your samples at all times of the day too, seeing the colors in the afternoon may look completely different at night. You want to make sure you love the color at all times of the day.

How do I figure out how much paint I will need to paint my space? There are several conversion tools online that help you decide how much paint you should buy based on the size of the room. Plug your room measurements in to a conversion chart (like this one…) and you’ll know how much to buy. 
I have a comforter that I want to match to my paint color but I can’t seem to find the PERFECT match. What should I do?  Most paint stores and large retail hardware stores have computer technology that can take any color from an item you bring in (like a comforter) and replicate it into that exact paint color. I wish I knew paint shops were such perfect matchmakers when I was a single lady….
What if the color I love doesn’t come in the paint brand that I prefer? 
No problem! The computerized color matching technology can pretty much match any competitor’s paint colors within the brand of paint you love. Bring in the competition’s paint color and your favorite brand can match that! 
Do I need to prime? Now, THAT is a great question. Thanks to the two-in-one products you can prime and paint all at once. Buy the paint that has primer mixed right INTO it so you’re able to reap the benefits of priming the walls without actually priming the walls. I don’t know about you, but that sounds good to me! #money saver
I started painting and I hate the paint color…. what should I do? Well, don’t jump to any conclusions! Always remember that the true color of the paint will NOT be accurate to the color you chose until AFTER it dries. I repeat, don’t judge the color until AFTER it dries. So don’t head up to the paint shop and accuse the poor clerk that he made a huge mistake until after the paint dries. Awkward….
What kind of brushes should I buy? It’s important to invest in a quality brush ($15-25) and a quality roller ($4) to get the best results. Although this may be an unwanted investment at the time, it will be worth the extra buck and both tools can be re-used if they’re cleaned and dried properly.
Semi gloss, Egg shell, flat finish…. what does this mean & why does it matter? In short…. These are “finishes” of paint and will dictate how shiny or not-so shiny your surface looks after it dries. These finishes effect all paint jobs (as it is the amount of shine the surface will have) but will never impact/change the color of paint. So if you have decided on shamrock green as the color for your hallway, you will have to decide on whether to buy shamrock green semi-gloss, shamrock green egg shell, or shamrock green flat finish before starting to paint. All will obviously be the SAME shamrock green in color but each will have a different amount of shine on the wall after it dries. To find out the differences of each and where each finish is recommended, check out this SIMPLE tutorial
If you are stilllllll tuning in – bless you! You must be tackling a paint job in your near future and looking to absorb as many tips as possible (good for you, you’re ready to get started as far as we are concerned). That, or you’re just putting off getting back to work & trying to look busy so your boss isn’t on to your blog readin’ ways (we promise we won’t tell). Either way, we love you for sticking it out and really hope at least ONE of these tips helped – – at least then cornering our darling painter was all worth it.  
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Polka Dot Holiday Door Mat

polkadot mat
Back by popular demand…a door mat tutorial that will dress up your porch just in time for Santa’s arrival. Because our fall herringbone door mat tutorial was such a hit, we had to try our hand at a holiday DIY doormat.  As far as we’re concerned, once Santa lays his eyes on this beauty, he’ll want to skip the chimney thing all together and waltz right through your front door. But do you blame him?
DIY holiday doormat
Although we heart herringbone here at the DIY Playbook, we are also loving the falling polka dot trend that has been spotted (literally) all over the blogosphere these days.
Plus, the polka dots resemble falling snow, which seems fitting for this time of year. Oh, and the fact that the falling polka dot design takes about ten times LESS than the herringbone doormat is quite the selling point, especially during this crazy time of year. Cute, cheap and less than 20 minutes… are you sold or what?
plain doormat

I started this DIY with a plain, $8 door mat from Home Depot.

door mat supplies

I also bought a bottle of acrylic paint in each color and three round sponge paintbrushes (one slightly larger than the other two) all from JoAnn Fabrics.

Rookie Tip: I ended up using the entire bottle of white, I mean like seriously every.single.last drop. Since the bottles are each less than a dollar, I would recommend buying more than one bottle of the color you paint on with the largest paint brush. Or heck, buy two of each of the bottles if you want to get reaaallll crazy! #yoursecretissafewithme 

white paint
Once you have all of your supplies, allow yourself less than 20 minutes to get this project done. Yup, you read that right…. your doormat will be on the drying rack in no time! I mean seriously, this project is QUICK! And if you do it outside in the dead of December, the bitter cold may motivate you to get this doggone door mat dotted in record timing.
steps to dotting a door mat
1. After dipping your sponge in the white paint, stamp the rug and push the sponge down with some pressure. Hold the sponge down then wiggle it around slightly.
2. Release the pressure
3. Admire your work
4. Repeat
The good news best news ever: if when you stamp your dot, the paint does not cover as perfectly as you had hoped… you can re-do your stamp without losing the original shape as many times as you want!

Honestly, there was no rhyme or reason to the placement of my white dots. I just wanted to have more dots on top of the mat and try to slowly use less and less dots as I moved down the mat.

dot doormat
white polka dot doormat

I really like the plain white dots and probably would have been okay stopping here, but my mitten-less fingers weren’t frozen yet & I still had two bottles of paint that I didn’t want to waste, so I kept on dotting…

white dots on doormat
red sponge
I used the smaller sponge with the red paint and used a few less dots than I had with the white.

Using the same method as before, the red dots took me less than 5 minutes. Again, no rhyme or reason just aimed for a random “falling” polka dot effect.

polka dot doormat

Using the remaining smaller sponge (same size as the red), I finished off the polka dotted door mat with hints of Christmas green.

As far as I’m concerned, this 20 minute DIY door mat is POPPIN’! 
This polka dottin’ doormat could make the perfect hostess gift, could sneak on to your BFF’s front porch for a very “secret santa”, or could help ring in the new year with a new color scheme!!
For less than $14 & 20 minutes of your precious time…. how could you go wrong?! You can’t!
Now don’t be nervous about tackling this DIY doormat, it’s one project that’s pretty simple to connect the dots… Happy dottin’ my fellow rookies!

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Tray Makeover

I love the green-rustic look of this simple tray, BUT I just couldn’t make the green work in our new guest room. I know I’ll regret it come March, but for now, I’m happy that I was able to incorporate this cutie pie into our guest bedroom without spending a dollar! 
Green Tray Before

I bought this tray last year at our local HomeGoods for $4. Soo technically, I guess I did spend four dollars on the project, but last year doesn’t count does it?

I really loved it then (and still do), but my guest room went a different direction than I originally planned and the green had to go. So with white spray primer that I had laying around our house and some left over spray paint, I was able to find a way to get this $4 gem back in the rotation.

Green Tray
primer spray
Black Tray

After I sprayed the tray navy, I “roughed” it up with some sand paper to keep the worn & torn look going. Simply scraping a few areas once or twice with the sandpaper allowed some of the paint to scratch/chip/smudge and even allowed the white primer to peek through in areas.

Rookie Tip: Don’t sand the surface until after the paint is completely dry!

Distressed Navy Tray
The navy definitely fits the ticket for our new room far more appropriately! I can’t wait to show you the whole guest bedroom, but for now, I’ll leave you with a little peek.
Tray and bench
Alarm clock and books in tray
Are you ready for the full reveal? I promise I’ll get my booty in gear to finish these last minute projects and share all of the scoop as soon as I’m done. 
Stay tuned… I have new pictures of not only the guest room to share, but I’m dishing on the dining room and bathroom updates next week. So, so much to fill you all in on!

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A Mailbox Gets a Bright Makeover

Close-Up-Yellow-Mailbox

(Disclaimer: We were given a free HomeRight Finish Max Fine Finish Sprayer in exchange for this post. The information and opinions expressed are 100% our own and are not influenced by HomeRight.)

Right now, I’m paying “rent” to my roomie via DIY projects. It’s a pretty sweet deal if you ask me. (More on that here)

So, I’ve been slowly taking inventory at Janimal’s house and seeing what I can transform to make it even more fabulous.

Jan's Yellow Front Door
Yellow Front Door

My mom recently painted her front door a bright and cheery yellow. We are both obsessed with it, and it really transformed the entire front of her house. It’s happy, welcoming, and friendly…just like my mom! (She also made that burlap bubble wreath using Bridget’s tutorial.  It’s safe to say that she may be our only reader that actually recreates a majority of the projects we put on the blog. Way to go Janimal!)

Anyways, my mom had some leftover yellow paint from her door project and I figured I might as well put it to good use. When I spotted her mailbox…I instantly knew that the yellow paint would go towards giving that bad boy a makeover.

Mailbox Before
Black Mailbox Before

Her mailbox wasn’t too horrible. It just didn’t really have much personality. Also, it was rusting and the painted wood was a chippy mess. Time for me to step in and bring this bad boy back to life!

I came up with a quick gameplan, consulted my roomie, and got to work.

My first order of business…take those rusted address numbers off of the wood base.

Pulling address numbers off

I thought this would take me 10 minutes tops…boy was I wrong!

Those suckers didn’t want to go anywhere. That was their home for the past 15+ years and they didn’t feel like packing their bags.

After lots of prying, sweating, and maybe a bit of cursing I finally got each number off of the post.

Mangled number

My original plan was to reuse the numbers and spray paint them white. I moved to plan B after mangling those numbers up, and decided to buy some cheap new ones.

Spray painted numbers
Rustoleum Spray Paint

A quick coat of Rustoleum primer, followed up by a quick coat of Rustoleum satin spray paint (in white) and I had some new numbers all ready to go.

While those dried, I got to work on the actual mailbox.

New Gray Mailbox

My mom purchased a new one (@ Lowe’s for $11) simply because the current black one was incredibly creaky, old, and rusted. We decided the $11 price tag was worth it.

Now, I knew that I didn’t just want to use a paint brush to paint the metal mailbox because it could leave some noticeable paint strokes. Spray paint would give me the smooth, even finish I wanted…but there was no way I could match the yellow of the door to a random yellow can of spray paint.

HomeRight Finish Max

That is when HomeRight came to the rescue! They recently sent me a new fine finish sprayer to try out, and this project turned out to be the perfect test for this neat gadget.

I could use the yellow paint from the door AND have the even, smooth finish on the metal mailbox. #doubleplay

Valspar Yellow Paint

The paint is “Summer in the City” if you’re interested in a nice yellow paint.

Casey using HomeRight fine finish sprayer

I was a bit intimidated to try out my new toy, but it was seriously so easy. Tomorrow I’ll walk you through the steps and I’ll offer some advice on this handy sprayer (and I’ll be giving out a brand new FREE HomeRight sprayer to one lucky winner! So be sure to come tune in!)

3 light coats was all it took to bring this gray mailbox from blah…to bright and beautiful!

Wooden Mailbox Post

Next up, tackling that chippy mailbox post.

Palm Sander

I used my palm sander to get rid of the years of gunk and goo on the wooden post. Then I wiped it down really good before whipping out the white primer.

Zinsser Bullseye Primer

I used my favorite Zinsser primer and did a light coat all over the wood with a paint brush.

Primed mailbox post

After it dried, it was time to bring out the brown paint.

Clark and Kensington Paint in Bark Brown

I used the color “bark brown” and chose one that would last in harsh outdoor conditions.

HomeRight Fine Finish Sprayer

My HomeRight sprayer again came in handy for this part of the project. I was able to get a nice even coat on the entire post in less than 5 minutes. I’m guessing this part went about 3x faster using the fine finish sprayer. #lifesaver

Brown painted mailbox wood

The sprayer also helped cover all of the nooks and crannies on the post, without the paint globbing up and creating a thick coat.

Bright Yellow Mailbox

Then it was just a matter of attaching the new mailbox and hammering in the bright white letters.

Mailbox before and after

A pretty dramatic before and after, right?

Yellow mailbox in front of house

I love how the mailbox complements the front door. It makes the front of the house bright, without overwhelming it with color.

Yellow Mailbox Makeover

My roomie is definitely pleased with her new mailbox. I’m hoping this project buys me at least a few more weeks, before I’m evicted 😉

Casey from DIY Playbook
Be sure to come back tomorrow and enter to win your own HomeRight Fine Finish Sprayer! 
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  1. Ray

    I agree…the mailbox compliments the door wonderfully. I also liked the brown for the post. Very near a stain color. Nice choice. However, to truly make the project into a rehab of the mailbox, you probably should have used an exterior polymer wood filler for the large cracks in the post. Then primed and painted. It would have restored the post and it wouldn’t look like a new box on an old post. Just food for thought on the next project. Great job, good luck.

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  2. Pingback: Two-Tone Nightstand Makeover | DIY Playbook

  3. Pingback: How To Use a Paint Sprayer and a Free Giveaway! | DIY Playbook

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5 thoughts on “A Mailbox Gets a Bright Makeover

  1. Ray

    I agree…the mailbox compliments the door wonderfully. I also liked the brown for the post. Very near a stain color. Nice choice. However, to truly make the project into a rehab of the mailbox, you probably should have used an exterior polymer wood filler for the large cracks in the post. Then primed and painted. It would have restored the post and it wouldn’t look like a new box on an old post. Just food for thought on the next project. Great job, good luck.

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Two-Tone Nightstand Makeover | DIY Playbook

  3. Pingback: How To Use a Paint Sprayer and a Free Giveaway! | DIY Playbook

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Vanity Makeover

  (Disclaimer: We have partnered with New Uses to bring you this post. The information and opinions expressed are 100% our own, and are not influenced by New Uses.)
Fact: I have never really put on my make-up while in a bathroom. I know a lot of ladies are totally cool with the normal tradition of brushing on their glam in the same space they brush their teeth. Me… not so much. 
It’s just something about leaning over the sink to awkwardly apply my mascara that just doesn’t work for me. Call me high maintenance. Call me crazy. Just don’t call me into the bathroom to do my make-up… ain’t happening.
So when I spotted this little vanity at New Uses, I knew it could be my ticket out of the dreaded bathroom glam session.    
Yes, it was a little out of date, and yes, the parrot had to go, but overall… I could see some major potential in this unique piece. 

I hauled her home and sanded this pretty little lady down to her bare bones.

After the sanding process, I washed her down to remove the dust. I picked up two bottles of new spray paint (Krylon to be exact), and sprayed every square inch of her…twice.

After her makeover, I hardly recognized her! 

I added a few new knobs from Menards, a few accessories, my make-up essentials, a drawer organizer…. and my new space was all set to go.

Good bye dreaded bathroom, hello functional vanity.

Shelves, drawers and some generous table space make up (pun intended) the must haves for any vanity. 
I added a little china saucer in one corner to hold some of my daily accessories. You can easily find a saucer like this at any thrift store. (Rookie Tip: don’t pay anything over a buck, if they’re lone rangers… they should be less than that)  
The shelves are now home to my perfume, some candles, and a cotton ball holder. I picked up the two sided make-up mirror from Bed, Bath and Beyond. (Don’t forget that 20% off coupon) 
 
I love that this drawer allows my make-up to be out of sight from guests. Plus, it’s large enough to hold this fabulous organizer, which is a great way to keep each item in its own little compartment. (more details about this coming soon). 
And what kind of makeover would this be without a hint of coral? 
Gray vanity makeover with striped seat

Recognize the seat? These two DIY projects have quickly become inseparable. I have officially added a large mirror to my DIY to-do list, to make this a DIY triple threat.

But for now…I’ll take two-of-a-kind!

Before and After Vanity Gray Paint
Who knew that these two pieces had such potential for glam and function? Thanks to New Uses, I have finally escaped the awkwardness of putting my make-up on in the bathroom and have created a space that not only works for me, but reflects my style too! Talk about a double play?! 
Does anyone else avoid putting make-up on in the bathroom or am I the only crazy one? Any other creative vanity tips, tricks or ideas. I’m all ears…
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