Katy Style

katyI am so excited for my niece Katy.  She is in her 20’s and is moving into her first place.  She adores animal prints. This is the bedding she has picked out for her room.  She is on a very small and tight budget so we are going to have to be creative with her space.

Here is what she needs:

  • Headboard
  • Nightstands
  • Dresser
  • Lamps
  • Curtains
  • Art/Decor
  • Kitchen table & chairs

We will be looking on Craigslist and in thrift stores for a headboard, dresser and lamps.  We are hoping to get it all under $200.  I just bought a Home Right  paint sprayer and I am looking forward to trying it out on some furniture.  If anyone has any bargaining suggestions, please send them my way.  I have a tendency to just pay the asking price.



Dexter Style

Popcorn I have completed the popcorn ceiling removal in one room (if you don’t count the closet and linen closet – 90% done).  I have shifted over to do the living/dining room area.  There are a few steps involved in removing the popcorn.  You will also need to pick up a few items.


Here are the materials you will need:

– Plastic sheeting
– Painters tape
– Dust mask
– Protective goggles
– Wide putty knife
– Ladder
– Garden sprayer – I used a 1 gallon version similar to this.

– Optional – small sprayer (empty Windex bottle will do)

1.  You need to make sure your popcorn ceiling doesn’t contain asbestos by having it tested.  The house I was working in is only 12 years old so we skipped this step.

All Taped Up2.  You need to Dexterize your room.  Fans of Dexter will know that this means you wrap the room with plastic.  Unlike Dexter, you don’t want to cover the ceiling.  You want to make sure your floors and walls are protected.  Popcorn ceilings are pretty much joint compound, but you don’t want to pick it out of your flooring (in our case berber carpets). I taped the plastic sheeting right up next to the popcorn using painters tape. Make sure you overlap the sheeting on the walls and floors.

3. You need to fill up your garden sprayer with water.  I like the 1 gallon size.  It was very easy to haul around and I didn’t have to worry about over filling it.  Don your protective goggles and dust mask (you definitely need these).  Pressurize your sprayer and spray a 4×4 area on the ceiling.  I then waited 10 minutes and sprayed it again as well as an extra 4×4 area.  Next you will use a wide putty knife or you can buy a specialized scraper.  I used a putty knife, but I wish I had the scraper to try.

Getting It Done4.  You will take your putty knife at an angle and gently push/scrape the popcorn off the ceiling.  If you find the popcorn isn’t practically falling off, you will need to spray again with water.  Be careful to not soak the drywall underneath the popcorn or it can easily be damaged while you are scraping. I like to take a small sprayer with me.  You will find some spots that are thicker and need a bit more water to soften up and remove.


My ToolsWe will use lightweight spackle to fix any damage.  Afterwards we will need to sand where any damage was as well as sanding over the areas where the builders skim coated.  It needs to be as smooth as possible.   Then we will be able to just prime and paint the ceiling.  Once that’s done, we will finally be able to paint the walls. Yay!

This was great exercise for me.  I got 7k steps just from going up and down the ladder, constantly shifting the ladder, and spraying the water.  If I can do this, anyone can.


Get’er Done


to do listToday I will finally be getting started on my 25 item to do list. I’m going to break it into four sections. Mouldings, paint, organizing, and final touches.

For moulding I will put up crown moulding, chair rail, or both in several rooms. These rooms are 90‰ completed and will get them to either 100% or 95%. These are the rooms I have put off for fear of losing a finger in a mitre saw. Yes, I know it’s highly unlikely to happen. Yes, I know I’m unrealistic, but the fear is still there. Time to acknowledge it and push past it.

Painting will be mostly touch ups, just one wall, or a ceiling. At one point we thought we were moving so I started prepping my walls by taking down wall art, shelves and pictures . Then I filled in all the holes. I just never got around to painting over the patching and we have lived with white patches. It’s time to get them finished. The only room I dread is our study as its red and I’m going to have to paint an entire wall.

My favorite part is organizing. I like to go through twice a year and purge stuff out of our house. My least favorite room, and the one that needs it the most is my craft room. I’m not a hoarder as I do get rid of items, but at times its pretty bad. I will also be going through the kids rooms and clearing out clothes and toys. I have a four gift rule for Christmas that helps to keep the clutter in check. They each get 4 items. 1 they want, 1 they need, 1 to wear, and 1 to read. I have already done my closet but I haven’t gone through my papers.

My final touches are a bunch of miscellaneous items. Finishing caulking in the guest bathroom, fixing grout in my bathroom, and window treatments in several rooms. I will do these last as they are the easiest. I hope after getting the hardest out-of-the-way first that it will motivate me to continue my list through to the end.

If anyone has tips on painting, installing moulding, or making your own window treatments I would love to hear them.


Wallpaper – Ugh!

Have I ever mentioned how much I detest wallpaper?  When my parents moved into their current house I was 6 years old and my mom allowed me to help decorate my room.  I picked wallpaper.  Lots of wallpaper.  When I was in 11th grade I decided to rip down the wallpaper (I will have to find a picture).  All four walls of my room were completely covered in wallpaper.  After removing it all, I decided that I would never do wallpaper in my home.  At the time I didn’t really consider border wallpaper real wallpaper.

I used border wallpaper in my sons’ room when he was younger.  I painted below the border and while I loved how it looked, I didn’t realize that there would be a line from the paint that I would have to deal with later.  I also learned that you should prime your walls before you put a border up.  Otherwise your wallpaper can have a tendency to pull off the paper of your drywall (you can imagine how I found that out).

Now we have a new place that we are updating.  The lovely couple that lived in the home put borders way up next to the popcorn ceilings in four rooms and a bathroom.  I have never liked popcorn ceilings as I feel they absorb the light instead of reflecting it around a room.  I will be dealing with the ceilings after I finish getting off the border.  Since the border abuts the ceiling it’s a bit more difficult to remove.

I have learned to wear gloves.  Popcorn ceilings will tear your hands up if you don’t.  I wasn’t thinking when I started this project and didn’t bring gloves with me.  Since the new place is an hour and a half from home I just dealt with it. You can bet I will have them next time I head out.  Here is a list of what I use to take off wallpaper borders.

  • Large bucket (large enough to fit my mop in it)
  • Mop (and a replacement head) – Mine is similar to this one.  I like the roller mops but you can also use this.
  • Scrubber sponge
  • Wallpaper scorer
  • 4″ Putty knife – either plastic or metal. I used metal but I have read that some people feel you damage the walls easier.
  • Gloves – optional
  • Step ladder – Size of the ladder is up to you.  Mine has two steps.

First move everything off and away from the walls.  You don’t want the paste from the wallpaper to get on anything (especially fabric).  Take your scorer and gently score your wall paper.  If you push too hard you will mark the walls (and yes, I have done this).  If you push too far over the edge of the wallpaper you will mark the walls (and yes, I have done this too).  I like to have lots of score marks.  The more marks, the easier it is to have water penetrate to the glue and loosen it up.  However, the more marks you have, the easier it is to mark the walls. So, don’t have too many or too few score lines (how’s that for not being specific).

Once your done scoring all the paper, fill a bucket with hot water.  Get your mop wet and wipe it over the wall paper.  Depending on your wallpaper (acrylic or paper) you will see some water absorb a bit into the paper.  I like to go around my entire area twice to make sure it has absorbed enough water.  Then take your putty knife and scrape up an edge of the wallpaper.  I then gently pull on the paper with one hand while scraping with the other.  If you find the water hasn’t soaked through you may need to score the paper more.

Once I have gotten off all I can, I go back over the area with a damp scrubber sponge.  This allows me to get rid of any residual paste as well as any small bits of paper that might be remaining.  With the wallpaper all the way up to the popcorn ceiling, I find that about 1/4 inch of the paper will often still be on the wall as I can’t reach it with a scorer.  I take the scrubber sponge and dampen it then wipe it over the remaining area.  I let it sit for a few minutes then use my putty knife and scrape off the rest.

Once I have removed the border and paste I replace my mop head and use a hot water and simple green (cleaner) mix to clean the walls.  Afterwards I like to sit back and admire my work while waiting for Advil to kick in for any sore muscles I might have.  There are many way to remove wallpaper borders.  This is just how I prefer to do it.



Fill half way

Fill half way

Gently remove

Gently remove

Simple Green Cleaner

Simple Green Cleaner

















Out damn spot…


Spots Galore!

I know, I know…I was asking for spots when we put light colors in the house.  Even my husband originally didn’t want light carpet until it came time to choose colors for the new house.  Yes, we both chose the light carpet.  Yes, we know we have 2 boys and yes we have a dog.  Fast forward 11 years and we now have a teen and a pre-teen and a dog that no longer has potty issues (kinda).  I am waiting on the driveway sealers to get here and I am staring at the spots in the study carpet.  Hmmmm, I have to kill some time and the carpets are all Dalmatian looking, what should I do?   I know!  Test some spot carpet cleaning recipes I have seen on Pinterest.

First up is from moms confession.  This concoction is 1 cup vinegar and 2 cups water.  Mix in a handy-dandy spray bottle.  Oh did I mention you need an iron?  Yep, an iron and a clean, damp cloth.  Simply spray the spot with the mix, place your damp cloth on the stain then iron for 15-20.  I don’t know if it was the age of the stain, but I had to do this several times to get most of the stain up.  I still have a slight stain on the carpet.  Since I have many stains, I decided to only do one this way and moved to the next one.










Next up is from Mrs. Hines Class.  This one is also pretty simple and she also tested the same cleaners I did.  For this one I simply used a 2 cup measuring cup and put in 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide and a squirt of dawn.  I pulled out a clean scrub brush and dipped it in the mix then lightly scrubbed the stain.  The stain started to disappear as I watched.  I used a dry cloth to blot the stain once when done scrubbing.  I decided to do one last way to get out the spots.










Lastly, I used my spotbot.  I used the set in stain setting and used the set in stain formula when putting in oxygen and the pet formula cleaner.  I have to say that the spotbot took 5 times the time it took me to clean a spot with the hydrogen and 3 times the time of the ironing way.  Having a spotbot with young kids was a life saver.  I can’t tell you how many times I had to clean up a mess from a spilled drink.  It is also very good at cleaning up pet accidents.











IMHO The spotbot and hydrogen worked the best.  If you don’t want to scrub, the spotbot and vinegar are the way to go.  If you want instant results while your working and don’t mind scrubbing then I suggest the hydrogen peroxide way.   I am a bit anxious to find out if any of these seem to attract dirt.  I will come back in 6 months and let you know if the spots come back.

Take care y’all


It has been quite a while since I posted.  Life has certainly been keeping all of us busy.  I am happy to say that my papasan chair came back from the upholsterers.  I absolutely love it.  I haven’t put it in my room where it belongs for two reasons.  The first is that I banged it into some white trim when I took it to get worked on and I need to fix that area.  The second is that the room is in total upheaval.  The bed in the room is being borrowed until October so things are a bit scattered around the room.

P1010671In the meantime, I have done a quick reupholster of some fold up chairs that are also being borrowed.  The original fabric was beige and with 2 young kids (and many more kids on Holidays) they are quite stained.  I bought some upholstery fabric for the chairs that would allow me to cover all 6 chairs.

P1010675First you need to gather a few tools.  I have a powershot staple gun (about $20 at a hardware store), staples (ack forgot to take a picture), screwdriver, hammer and scissors.

P1010673Next I unscrewed the seat from the chair.  Make sure that you have a container to hold all your screws so you don’t lose them.  I usually put them in a ziplock bag and tape them to the chair so they don’t get lost.

P1010677Place the seat bottom in the center of your fabric making sure that all sides will wrap around the seat.  This was my last chair and I had cut the fabric a bit short.  I should have given myself another inch.  Then put your staples into your staple gun.  I put a staple into the middle of the front of the chair.  This is the area most people will see first so I like to make sure that it looks good.  Once you have stapled down one side, switch to the opposite side.  This time you will pull the fabric taut while stapling once again in the middle.

P1010680P1010684Next comes the corners which are the hardest part.  I make little tiny pleats on the corner.  Then I use two or three staples to keep it in place.   Once done, I trim off the excess fabric and screw the bottom back on the chair frame.  It’s a fairly quick process. I didn’t time it, but I would estimate that its 5-10 minutes per chair depending on your skill level.

This is my favorite type of project it is quick and the results are immediate.

Take care y’all

Getting started

burletta heather

I am so happy that I finally found some fabric that I love.  My mom has this great swivel papasan chair that my nephew abused for 18 years and it desperately needs a make over.  I finally managed to pry it out of her hands about a month ago and I found this great fabric at Calico Corners.  It’s Burletta in heather/purple and guess where it’s going….. my purple room.  I know, totally shocking.  NOT.

I decided since the fabric is ridiculously expensive, that I would have them do the upholstering.  It’s going to be fairly complicated.  For the base they will need to take off an inner supportive frame and they will have to double the fabric as you will be able to see the fabric from the back of the chair and around the edges on the front.  Next they will have to do the actual seat cushion and that has turned out to be super expensive.  I am hoping they will be able to reuse the original pad, however, it is super lumpy so I think we will be stuck paying extra to replace it.  Then they get to do 15-17buttons and two straps to keep the cushion on the chair.


While I am waiting for my turn for them to upholster my chair, I am currently working on the frame.  I was hoping to re-stain the frame a darker expresso color, however there is some caning at the bottom.  After conferring with my cousin Cheryl (Thanks girl, you Rock!) I discovered that the caning will not take the stain.  I have decided to switch gears and to paint.  Since there are tons of nooks and crannies on this, I will be spray painting.  Wooo hoo!  Fumes!

Here is what I did —

IMG_8567Step 1 – Clean, clean, and clean. Wipe off all dust and clean with mild soap. Trust me, you don’t want to paint over dust unless you want your paint to crack and peel off.   Now, I remembered that I need to put a drop cloth down to protect my garage floors.

Step 2 – Very, very lightly sand with high grit sandpaper .  I used 200 grit.  This will help the primer to adhere to the frame. Now clean again to get rid of the slight amount of dust from sanding.  There won’t be too much because of the high grit of the sandpaper.
IMG_8568Step 3 – Spray Primer.  I love Rustoleum Professional spray primer.  Nice thick even coverage, and for an amateur like me, less likely to drip.  I turned the chair over which allowed me to spray the majority of the frame.  With nice even strokes, I sprayed the frame.  I almost always release the spray at the end of my stroke and start the spray again on the next stroke BEFORE the paint will touch the frame.

IMG_8571Step 4 – Do the Hokey Pokey and turn the chair around.  Ha Ha, yes I know, I am sooo funny.  So I turned the chair over and sprayed the areas I could’t reach earlier. The nice thing about the Professional spray is that it dries in 15 minutes.

Next – I will be sanding again with a higher grit 320 sandpaper, cleaning again and then finally spray painting a nice dark brown which, oops, I haven’t picked out yet.

Til next time – see y’all later!