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Cross Stitch Painting

Last week I was chatting with my friend who pointed out that cross-stitch is kind of a dying art. These are the important things we contemplate.

“Maybe older women do cross-stitch a bunch?” I suggested as a feeble attempt to defend our beloved cross-stitch hobby.

“There’s lots of ‘hip’ cross-stitch art you can buy online I think?” she piped in.

The truth is, cross-stitch may not be our craft of choice when we think “hip”, “modern” or even relevant interior design. I refuse, however, to believe that cross-stitch doesn’t have something to offer when it comes to home decor.

I saw our little chat about cross-stitch as a challenge to be accepted! Here is what I came up with — (drumroll now) — A cross-stitch painting using a cross-stitch pattern! This tutorial will teach you how to take your old cross-stitch patterns and turn them into artwork for your home!

Cross-Stitch Painting
Let’s Get Started

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When it comes to making over a beach house on the cheap, my family doesn’t just get our hands dirty knocking down kitchen walls and turning a tiny closet into a beachy bookcase, we’re also all-in when it comes to filling the beach house with one-of-a-kind furnishings.

My 18-year-old nephew scored this solid cherry bedside table for a song at an estate sale last fall. It was quite literally falling apart so he used his charisma and law-school-bound negotiating skills to get the seller to throw it in (for free!) with the rest of our haul. After my dad replaced missing bits and stabilized it, this once shabby little nightstand was ready for a chic makeover:
Beachy Rustic Nightstand Before and After

My sister and I decided to paint it black but re-stain the top to match an antique chest-on-chest on the bedroom’s opposite wall. Even though the finish was pretty scuffed up, more sanding was necessary to provide “tooth” for the paint while an orbital sander made short work of completely stripping the top so it could be stained. Because I planned to distress the paint to highlight details and allow the cherry wood to show thru, one coat of black paint was all I needed:
Sanding and Painting Rustic Nightstand

Once the paint had fully dried, I used sand paper to give the table a time-worn, distressed look. The key to distressing is to concentrate sanding on areas that would have naturally seen the most wear, like any raised details, corners and along edges. Next, I brushed the top with an oil-based stain, then used a cotton rag to wipe the same stain over the remainder of the nightstand. The stain soaked into the distressed areas to create a more realistic time-worn look.
Sanding and Staining Rustic Nightstand

For less than $20 in materials, this little table (that was once destined for the trash) provides handy bedside storage and adds just the right cottage touch to the master bedroom. Finished Cottage-Style Nightstand*Three years later, the beach house is still a work in progress; keep checking back for more thrifty transformations.

MORE BEACH HOUSE MAKEOVERS:
Budget Beach Cottage: Make a Nautical Rope Mirror
Budget Beach Cottage Before and After: Built-In Bookcase
Budget Beach Cottage Before and After: Kitchen
Budget Beach Cottage Before and After: Living Room
Adventures in Antiquing: Easy Beachy Candle Update

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As you may already know, I’ve been planning to paint one wall of the nursery a rich indigo blue with a graphic herringbone-meets-chevron pattern, inspired by this wall on the Brick House Blog. I started by measuring the accent wall so I could figure out the width of my panels. It turns out the room is a perfect 12′ x 12′ square, so I decided for simplicity’s sake to make 6 2-foot-wide panels across the accent wall. After taping off the sides, ceiling, door, and molding, I used a laser level to ensure that my vertical tape lines are straight.Taping wall for paintOnce the panels are measured out, it’s time to start adding the diagonal lines. I started by eyeballing the angle of the first line. After that, it’s simply a matter of measuring out the stripes. I like the varied width in my inspiration photo, so I worked with 6-inch and 4-inch stripes with the occasional 3-inch stripe thrown in. Once my first panel was complete, I used the laser level again to mark out the adjacent panel’s first stripe. Once your angle is established it’s pretty quick work to tape off all of the stripes.Adding diagonal tape linesHave you ever tried to tape off a stripe pattern, only to have the color bleed under the tape and look messy? Hoping to avoid this, I followed Jenny from Little Green Notebook’s advice and painted a thin coat of my base color over all of the tape. Is this extra work? It sure is! But I spent so much time taping the wall that I didn’t want to risk anything. This seals your line and gives you a crisp, professional result. Also recommended? A cute assistant.Painting base coatNow it’s time for two coats of my color choice for the room: HGTV HOME by Sherwin Williams in Indigo Batik. Then, the moment of truth. I let the paint dry overnight and then oh-so-carefully started removing the tape. And…voila! I think I held my breath the entire time we were pulling tape off, but thanks to the base coat of white there were only a couple of spots with bleed through and I touched those up in a snap. What do you think?Removing the tape and seeing the finished wall.We’re in the home stretch now! Time to start moving the furniture in and tackle a few more small projects.

Follow The Nursery Files from the beginning:

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Well, it took some heavy lifting (not on my part, don’t yell!), but the Room of Shame is now empty and ready for a fresh coat of paint. It’s been a while since I took on a paint project at home, so I revisited our Painting Dos and Don’ts to make sure I was prepared. Armed with those tips, I headed to our local Sherwin-Williams store to pick up some HGTV HOME paint and supplies.

HGTV HOME Paint and Supplies for the Nursery

I wanted a nice deep blue with gray undertones that wouldn’t read as purple in any light, and HGTV HOME’s Indigo Batik is perfect. I’m only using this on one wall (more on that later), so the other three walls are getting a fresh coat of HGTV HOME Interior Satin in Extra White.

The empty room, waiting for paint.

But I’m getting ahead of myself — before we start painting, there is prep to be done. We — or rather my patient husband, Chris — started by wiping down all of the baseboards, windowsills and light fixtures. I patched old nail holes and lightly sanded. Then we removed all of the switch plates and outlet covers. We took down the curtains, and taped off the floors and windows. Lastly, we laid a drop cloth over the entire floor. I don’t want to risk getting even a drop of paint on our beautiful wood floors.

Prepped and ready for paint!

And now it’s time to paint! HGTV HOME paint is zero VOC (though some colors are only low VOC), so I am able to help out, which is good news because I love painting. This weekend we will finish the white and next week I’ll show you how I’m tackling the paint treatment I showed you in the mood board here.

Well, I know what I’m doing all weekend! How about you, readers? Are you taking on any painting projects in your home this spring? Spill the details below (but not the paint!).

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Moving into a new house or apartment is like trying on someone else’s clothes. You might like your friend’s patterned dresses or covet her high heels, but her outfits likely don’t feel like “you.” That’s exactly how I felt when I came home every day to a front door decked out in maroon and white*:

Front Door Before Shot
Is it the ugliest color combination out there? No. Does it speak to my love of bright colors? Also no. Luckily, adding fresh front door paint is a super-quick update; mine took about half a day.  Read on to see my new and improved front door hue.

See the Updated Front Door

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Maybe you’ve been painting in your home recently. Or maybe you’re like me and take a handful of paint chips whenever you run across them in the hardware store. (Hey, they make great bookmarks!) Whatever the case, today’s mission is to show you how to use those colorful strips in ways you’ve never imagined. The best part? You can probably knock these crafts out in an afternoon or less!

paint chip chandelier

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Did you ever go to a theme park or a boardwalk and pose with your family for one of those old-timey photos? You know what I’m talking about, right? You dress up as cowboys and saloon gals or gangsters and flappers and you get a sepia-toned print of the photo? Well, 18th.me has elevated this kind of thing to an art. Now, instead of being cowboys and saloon gals, you can be the Mona Lisa or Napoleon Bonaparte! And it’s not just photo magic — we’re talking hilarious hand-painted portraits here. You select a famous work from their gallery, send in a photo of yourself similar to the pose in the original and 18th.me artists hand-paint your portrait and mail it to your door.

18thme portraits

They’re kitschy, but that’s what makes them fun. I could envision these cheeky paintings over the stairs, in a small powder room, or in a game room. As the site states, they’re great conversation pieces. Or a seriously impressive gag gifts! As someone who spends the entire day on the Internet, I can tell you that there are tons of people who’ve Photoshopped themselves into these works of art, but I can’t think of any who’ve taken it to the next level like this. (And if you follow memes like I do, you will recognize the Ducreux self-portraits from their use with archaic rap lyrics.) Personally, I’d go for the Marie Antoinette, though I’d probably look more at home in American Gothic. :(

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I kinda punted on Valentine’s Day this year. Sure, I got my boyfriend a heartfelt card and stuff, but it’s not quite the expensive restaurant reservation or romantic bed & breakfast extravaganza that it used to be. Time is an issue (we’re both busy!), as is money (hey, taxes are coming up!), but the sentiment is still there, which reminds me of this Love Print by Katie Daisy on Etsy.

love print

I like the energy and whimsy the print has, and the feeling it gives me when I look at it — it just makes me feel happy. Not unlike the feeling I get when I look at the man I love. So, Happy Valentine’s Day, Buzz. Here, I got you a blog post! ;)

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The year is drawing to a close and I am sure many of you have projects sitting in your garage or storage closet waiting to be tackled. Today I’m offering one simple suggestion: paint.

A good paint color can transform a drab item into an amazing statement piece. Best of all, all it takes is some patience and a little bit of money.

Most people think painting furniture is only for wood or plastic pieces. Not true. Almost anything can be painted.

Just recently I painted a set of wing-back chairs. At less than $10 for supplies, I updated them in just one weekend.

In its past life this desk was probably the life of the room, offering substantial storage and a sturdy writing surface. However, years passed and trends changed. Natty by Design brought this gem back to the modern era with a fresh coat of paint. Its high-gloss finish adds just the right amount of pizazz without being overpowering.

 

You can also use spray paint to give something new life. While these particular lamps weren’t thrifted, Janel Beals knew the blue color wouldn’t work in her space, so she fixed that dilemma with a nice coat of white paint. Thrift stores tend to have reasonably priced lamps with great shapes.

 

Perhaps you like the idea of painting but want to go the extra step. Take this secretary that received a facelift for one of Amy Meir’s clients. Yes. I know. Spectacular.

Now I know the secretary was a quite daunting. Some of us are not quite ready for that experience. How about this boot jack? I found it while browsing a local thrift store and was not a fan of the color. I simply spray painted it gold and now I am using it as a paper weight. How easy was that?

Have you also painted a thrifted piece? Share!

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