Sunday, 22 November 2015

Master bathroom beautification – let’s take a tour

title picture

The master bathroom in our rental house was such a drab room – I don’t think it could have been any whiter! And other than the tiny vanity, there was no storage.

before collage

I wasn’t looking forward to painting the bathroom because I thought it was going to be really awkward but it actually was easier than I expected. And I managed to not have one of my usual paint catastrophes :-)

I already had an almost-full gallon of BM Ocean Air that I used to paint the hallway, so that was my starting point.  I wanted to break away from my usual colours, so decided to go outside of my comfort zone and use coral as an accent colour.

bathroom colour scheme 2

The guy who owns our rental house had agreed to buy a new vanity fixture and faucet for the bathroom. The fixture is a bit too high, but such is life, that’s where the hole is :-) I picked up a can of coral spray paint for about $7.00 and painted the mirror frame.


light fixture


I already had the turquoise soap dispenser, which I got on sale at BouClair.

soap dispenser

The towel rods and brackets were all white. I thought about replacing them with chrome ones, but then thought, why not paint them? So I used turquoise spray paint that I already had to paint the brackets.

towel rod bracket

The vanity is really not very useful – the drain pipe takes up a lot of space inside, there’s a narrow drawer at the very bottom, and there’s not much space on the top to put things like toothbrushes and toothpaste. I picked up a dark brown basket at Canadian Tire for $3.00 and spray painted it with leftover aqua paint.


I used a couple of screws to hang the basket on the wall, and now it holds our most-used toiletries in a handy spot by the sink.

basket with toiletries

Another basket that I picked up at Winners – this was my biggest splurge for the whole room!

tp in basket

I had planned to return this frame to Walmart, but decided to keep it and use it in the bathroom. The art is just something I printed out on paper, I’ve got a photo waiting to be picked up at Costco. I haven’t decided yet whether to leave it black or paint it.

print 2

The switches on the wall above the toilet aren’t very attractive, and we never use them. Hmmmm, how to cover them up…


above toilet no art   

With art, of course! I went to a friend’s house last Friday to paint for a few hours, and the painting I came up with works just right here :-)

above toilet art

You might recognize this little table that I made over with a few coats of spray paint. It’s not terribly functional with that one little drawer, but I really wanted a place where I could put a few decorative pieces.

turquoise table

You might also recognize the basket from my bedroom makeover. I decided to move it into the bathroom, because it just so happens to work with the colour scheme :-)

basket with towels

The vase and brass crab are from garage sales (I think I paid $1.00 each), the faux flowers are from the Dollar Store, the starfish is from a shop in Lunenburg, and I found the shell on a beach.

flowers white

A friend asked me to look after some of her plants while she’s back in the US for the winter. I bought a turquoise planter at the Dollar Store and put her coral flowers into it. Now we’ll see if I can keep it alive till next summer!

flowers orange

The big empty wall above the tub was just screaming for a big piece of art. But I can’t paint something that big, and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a piece of art. So I came up with a way to make my own inexpensive easy art. I’d bought three yards of this beautiful fabric from Tonic Living without really having a plan for it – I just really wanted it! We bought some 1” x 2” pieces of wood at the hardware store, Brian made them into a big frame (it’s about 30” x 50”), and I used a staple gun to attach the fabric. Voila, big & easy art for about $15.00!

fabric art 2

And this is how it all came together…

corner 1

corner 2

corner 3

corner 4

It’s not the fanciest bathroom ever, but not too bad for using what I already had on hand and spending about $75.00 on new stuff. I still miss our bathroom back in Ottawa – I mean, how can you NOT miss body jets?! – but now this feels like a pretty happy room :-)


from door  



art reflected in mirror

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Linking up with…

MM  Savvy Southern Style

Wednesday, 11 November 2015


The 11th month on the 11th day at the 11th hour…

tomb of the unknown soldier

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

- John McCrae -

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Build journal – Driveway DONE!

Wow, it’s been a while since I posted a build update. The last one was about the driveway going in. And now it’s done! Well, it was actually done at the end of September, but apparently I’ve been VERY delinquent about staying up-to-date with the progress!

The excavator made it to the house location and was sitting in our kitchen :-)

deere in kitchen

Turning in from the road…

driveway 1 

driveway 2

driveway 3

And looking back towards the road from the house end of the driveway.

driveway 4

There was a bit of a water problem at the lowest spot…

water 1a

So a culvert was installed. Water problem solved!

driveway culvert

Next up – garage progress :-)

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Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Coffee table makeover, Part 2 – The save!

So this is where we left off yesterday – with a pretty crappy looking coffee table after multiple fails at painting it with milk paint. All sanded down and ready for yet another attempt at giving it a new paint job…

sanded down

All primed and ready to go…


And  all painted it with my new favourite furniture paint, INSL-X Cabinet Coat. And FINALLY, the paint didn’t peel or crack or chip, YAY!

green table

No more chipped feet! YAY!


The colour is nice, but it could use a little something more. The uneven top of the table doesn’t make for a very good spot to put down your laptop or dinner plate. So to make the whole top one level surface, I used two pieces of MDF cut to size. And to make things a bit more interesting, Brian and I decoupaged a map of nova Scotia onto the pieces of MDF.

mdf pieces

And that took two attempts. My first attempt was a total fail – I trimmed the overlapping edges of the map while the paper was still wet and it tore and left a raggedy edge. Then when I went to the tourist center to get another map, they didn’t have any left and weren’t expecting to get any more. What the what?! Luckily another tourist center had the maps in stock, and I picked up two just to be safe. And then I handed the job of sticking the maps onto the pieces of MDF to Brian, because I knew he wouldn’t screw it up :-D

The pieces of MDF fit into the spaces perfectly :-)



My favourite part of Nova Scotia :-)


south shore

I painted on five coats of Mod Podge and sprayed on an entire can of Krylon sealer. Unfortunately, the finish isn’t as resilient as I’d hoped. Hot thing stick to it, but oh well, at least the table is DONE!


from top

whole table

And that, my friends, is the end of the coffee table from hell project!

Have you ever started a project that turned out to be a disaster? And were you able to save it?

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Linking up to…

Inspire-Me-Monday-Link-Party    MM

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Coffee table makeover, Part I – The epic fail

*DISCLAIMER* I know that milk paint is super-popular. Everybody loves it. It’s so easy to use. There are hundreds, thousands, maybe even millions of pictures of furniture painted with milk paint on Pinterest  So I’m not saying that milk paint sucks. I’m saying that milk paint sucks for me.

It started out as an easy enough project – give this pale yellow coffee table a paint makeover.


I’d never used milk paint, so decided that I would give it a try on this table. I even went to an info session on how to use milk paint and bought all the supplies I’d need to create a lovely two-tone blue effect.

I was excited to get started. I cleaned the table to remove any dirt or residue. I gave the table a light sanding. I mixed the milk paint with the bonding agent to be sure that the paint would adhere. Three steps to ensure the perfect finish.

The first coat went on great.


And then it was all downhill from there. I can’t even begin to tell you how much this sucked. But I’ll try anyway, because I don’t have pictures to tell the story. Because I was so annoyed and fed up and disappointed in how the table looked, I couldn’t even be bothered to take pictures of it. It was truly ugly.

After the first dark blue coat, I painted a lighter blue coat. With some sanding and wax application, this was going to give me a beautiful two-toned blue finish. Instead, what it gave me was chipping and peeling and cracking paint. This wasn’t supposed to happen! I decided to try hemp oil instead of wax, thinking that maybe that would somehow make the paint stick. It didn’t. There’s literally not a single picture of this part of the process. That’s how bad the table looked.

At this point, I decided to move on to plan B. I used a hand sander to sand the entire table. Then I cleaned the whole table again and mixed up a batch of my own custom light blue milk paint and added the bonding agent and painted two coats onto the table. There were a few spots that needed touching up after the two coats. I had to add a bit of water to the paint to thin it down, which changed the colour of the paint. ARGH! So instead of doing touch ups, I had to paint a third coat. Then I waxed the whole table. And… the damn paint chipped and peeled and cracked again! I mean really, how crappy does this look?

chipped foot

chipped edges

I lived with it like this for a few weeks because quite frankly, I was tired of painting. Then one evening while I was watching TV, I started to pick at some of the peeling paint. It flaked right off. I got out a screwdriver, and paint chips literally flew everywhere as I ran the screwdriver along the peeling paint. Then I sanded the whole table with a hand sander AGAIN.

sanded down


At this point, I was really wishing I’d never painted this stupid table in the first place! But, I’m stubborn. And the table isn’t actually mine (it came with the rental house), so I couldn’t leave it looking like this. What was supposed to be a quick & simple paint job was now a total of two cleanings, one quick sanding, two in-depth hand sander sandings, one coat of hemp oil, one coat of wax, and five coats of paint. And I was back to square one. Actually, I had passed right by square one and was in the negative square zone. Because at this point, the table looked even worse than it did when I’d started.

And that’s why milk paint sucks for me.

Does milk paint suck for anyone else? Or has everyone who’s used it had better luck than me?

Luckily, I was able to save this table from being a complete disaster. Tune in tomorrow to see the final result – which still isn’t perfect, but it’s a lot better!

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Linking up to…

Inspire-Me-Monday-Link-Party   MM