Archive of ‘before pictures’ category

Brush Strokes & Chalk Paint®

brushIn case you don’t know, I work for my local Chalk Paint® stockist Total Bliss.  I spend Tuesdays and Thursdays interacting with our customers and helping them with Chalk Paint®.  I love it!  My 5 hours a day there feel like 5 minutes….good problem to have huh?

It seems lately that much of our dialogue has been about Brush Strokes and Chalk Paint®.


Yes, you will definitely have brush strokes if you use Chalk Paint®!

Is that bad or good?

It’s a good thing and even and awesome thing most of the time.  Annie created Chalk Paint® as a decorative paint primarily for furniture.  She created it to do lots of different things, and many of those things are based on the texture that you can create with the paint. You create that texture primarily using a natural bristle brush. If you are using the Dark Wax you can achieve a much better look with it by having brush strokes, especially when they are in different directions and length.


Can you see how the Dark Wax sits in the strokes here?


On this piece I only used the Dark Wax in small areas, so my strokes give it texture only where I want and the other areas the strokes are really not noticeable at all unless you really look closely.

There are ways to lessen the appearance of strokes…

First of all the lighter the pigment of color, the more brush strokes the color seems to show.

1.  You can control the paint and lessen the appearance of strokes by using some water to thin your paint.  I always like to keep a spray bottle of water by my side to either mist my brush or the actual work surface.  The paint drys so fast that if you brush through drying paint, you disturb it and create “texture”.  Spritz that spot with some water and “paint it out”.

2.  You can also be more “anal” about your strokes. Painting in one direction with longer strokes helps.

3.  You can also vary the tools you are using to apply the paint with.  I have found that using a flat brush that is either all synthetic bristles or a blend of natural and synthetic bristles produces a much smoother look.  Foam brushes and rollers also are great ways to apply the paint for a smoother look.

4.  You can also perform a light sanding between coats, or after your final coat to smooth out your surface.


I generally use 150 or 220 grit sandpaper…but you can even go up into the super fine grits like 600 to really smooth our your surface. Yes, this take extra time…but if that is the look you want then a few extra minutes to do this really is not that big of a deal.

I’ve had people come into the shop and be very frustrated because their pieces have brush strokes.  They are under the impression that the furniture we paint in the store is “perfect”.  I usually walk them around and show them our pieces and our brush strokes.  It is funny when they realized that they are really just being hyper focused on their piece, and when they step back and look at the piece is really is beautiful and perfect.

Don’t hyper focus on the strokes!

That being said, if you are extremely OCD and just can’t handle it….then maybe Chalk Paint® is not the right paint.  There are lots of other paints and products out there.  Choose the one that is right for you and your desired look!

Master Bath Demo!




Today was THE day….the demolition of the Master Bath did occur!





This big space at the end is where our BIG double shower will go!!


Here is a little peak at what I’ve been working on….Paris Grey on the Kitchen Cabinets

I’m LOVING it!!


Master Bathroom


Welcome to my Master Bathroom!

 I pointed out in a previous post about our new home, that this bathroom was almost a deal breaker on buying this house.  It is a bowling alley nightmare!  I also knew right away that any type of solution was beyond just a little paint.

mastershowerCheck out the space capsule shower straight out of 1991….I feel like for 1991 this was still a serious crime the day it was done!

I’m kinda a shrimp of a girl and I’m totally claustrophobic in this shower! So thankful for my 20/400 vision so I don’t have to really “see” the nasty stained fiberglass.  Hello curves that won’t let any bottles rest upright on them!

bathtubThis bath tub is another crime!  57″! Dang…that is a hard space to replace with anything stylish or worthy of “sitting” in.

It is currently serving as the place in which I bathe the dogs!

We’ve tossed around many different scenarios in making this bathroom more functional and enjoyable, yet still not spending every last penny we have to remodel the house with.  We considered moving plumbing, primarily the toilet, either into the linen closet space, which then required us to move the entire entrance into the bathroom.  We also considered moving it to where the bathtub currently is.  We even considered doing something like this….

dreambath…where we kept the bath tub in a large shower area at the end of the bathroom.  But, then the quest for a bath tub small enough to fit in 57″ began.  By the time we added up the expense of the bath tub and fixtures our budget was BLOWN!

My fabulous friend, and Interior Designer (who knows me really well since she did spend 11 years right across the street from me!) Julie Jersey, of Julie Jersey Designs, pointed out that I DON’T TAKE BATHS!  Yep, this total ADD girl, (me!) cannot sit still long enough to even enjoy a bath!

Problem solved….back on budget…we are nixing a bath tub, and going for a HUGE double shower (using the entire space where the bathtub and shower currently are!) with 2 shower heads!

That also means we are leaving the toilet where it is…but we are OK with that.

Traditional Bathroom by Jenkintown Interior Designers & Decorators Robinson Interiors
Here my inspiration board I made on Polyvore for my bathroom style:
xThis is the tile I have picked out so far….large beveled subway tile in the shower and this Winterwood Weathered Farmhouse tile for the floors.
I’m also working with another FABULOUS friend and business, Dustin Marsh of Omega Creations Kitchens and Bath Design.  He has patiently listen to me jabber (aka. whine!) on about this bathroom, spent hours measuring and spearheading design and solutions within my budget.  He is currently working on our double vanity! Which I think I have decided to have gray cabinetry.
We hope to start demo in the next month!! 

The Official "BEFORE" Photos of the New House

We are finally the official owners of this house!
I still can’t believe that in just under 3 months we found this house, prepped and sold our house and moved!!
When I woke up here the first morning, I just looked around and was still just in shock that
I wanted to share the official BEFORE photos first …. so here they are!
Welcome to the Land of Oak, Brass and oh my Popcorn Ceiling!
Who the heck thought that one up? A lazy man I assume…
To the right of the entry is the BIG living room with a grand fireplace!  I’m in love with the fireplace and the plantation shutters in this room!
(this photo is taken from the dining room looking towards the front of the house)
Straight off the Living Room is a very nice sized Dining Room that goes into an amazing Sun Room!
Check out that Super Brassy Chandelier!
This Sun Room is one of the reasons we feel in love with the house!  It sits up high and has an amazing view of our property.  Next door is a farm with donkeys and goats and a fabulous Red Barn!  Who doesn’t love a view with a Red Barn in it?!?!
I feel a lot of morning coffee will be sipped in here!!
Here is my view from the side window in the Living Room!
Here is the kitchen….yep there is that Oak Motif we have going on!  There are stainless steel appliances and newish counter tops and backsplash.
I love the bigness of this kitchen!!
A laundry room is adjacent that leads to an enormous oversized 2 car garage!  Big enough for the Harley, the Ford F150 and my car!!
The Master Bedroom is on the front of the house on the first floor.  You enter it to the left as you enter the house.  It’s got plantation shutters that look out onto the front porch.  It also has HIS and HERS CLOSETS!  Oh  my!  I cannot tell you what a dream come true for us this is!!  Basically my husband is the neat and organized one and I am a complete MESS!  We only had one shared closet in our last house.  Although it was big and luxurious, it was not working for us.  Hubs moved his stuff to the guest room closet year ago.  I’m sorry, I just don’t have time to be that organized!
Hello Green Walls….oh my!
And now I present you with the room that almost was the “deal breaker” on this house!  The Master Bowling Alley, I mean Bathroom.
I just about fell over when I entered.  It was actually the last room in the house we saw.  Somehow I missed that the master bedroom was on the first floor until I had seen the whole house.  My heart just SANK!  I knew that the house was “too perfect”!
Hello “Toilet in the MIDDLE OF THE ROOM”!  I’ve been so spoiled with the “toilet room” in our last house for the past 11 years.  That was only the beginning for me.  The double vanity was built for midgets I think.  The mirrors and lighting is abnormally low.  And then there is the teeny tiny 21 year old fiberglass insert shower and the strange “regular” bath across from it.
I felt like I was in a Ramada Inn!
My heart just sank….
but the Fabulous Workshop had stolen my heart!
The Man Cave with a wood burning fireplace and a full bath in the basement had stolen the hubs heart!
And the bigger than a football field, almost 3 acre lot!
The front porch I always dreamed of!
The lot was perfect, the all brick exterior perfect…the rest I can see past!
So, follow me on my journey!
I’m also excited to say that my website/blog is getting a HUGE makeover!!
I love even years and 2014 is gonna be GRAND!!


Sneak Peak……getting ready to MOVE!

I’m excited to tell you all that we close in just 2 weeks on our new home!
It is very bittersweet I must say.  We bought our current home 11 years ago when our first born was just a few weeks old.  Honestly, I never thought we would leave this house.
So, why are we?  Good question!
It seems that with the addition of the RV this past 6 months, and the blessings of my successful painted furniture business, a motorcycle, 3 cars and a boat and 2 growing boys we have outgrown out “play” space.
While on vacation to Maine in August I was playing on the App on my phone and stumbled across this house just a few miles from our current one, and still in our school district.  It haunted me for the rest of the 2 week trip.  I pulled it up everyday and stared at all 16 pictures several times a day.  I called my real estate agent and we went to see it the day after we got back.  Our boys were horrified that we were going to look at another house.  I insisted that they go, they had to like it for us to even consider it.  We all knew the moment we got there that it was more than a house, it was our new home!  The boys are so excited too!!!!
Even with 4,000 square feet of popcorn ceilings and more brass and oak than you have ever seen, she is our home!  She sits on almost 3 acres of beauty!
That being said I’m inviting you along for a the makeover ride of a lifetime!!!
Check out my almost 700 square foot basement workshop with its own garage door bay as well!
Stay tuned….I’m off to figure out how to pack up 11 years of my life!

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