Redoux Interiors’ tips and technique for creating a real wood look…

I’m on vacation this week – hurray! I’ll still be in and out of “the office” but I’m so happy to have a few guests this week. First up is my super talented blog friend, Karen:

Hi DIY Showoff Readers, I am Karen, aka “Good Time Charlie from Redoux Interiors.

I am thrilled to be here filling in for Roeshel. I love Roeshel’s blog so much, probably for many of the same reasons you do. There are really good tutorials here, and I always learn something new. I am going to share with you how to make anything look like wood, for real!

Do you ever find a piece of furniture, especially a table, that you really wished had a rich, wood toned top, and you could paint the rest. The problem? The top is plastic, or veneer that is really in bad shape, or just ugly wood! These nightstands started out like this:

I had a vision for these two. I wanted them to have a rich wood top, and an expensive, creamy glazed body.

I achieved the look by using several layers of glaze. This isn’t hard, and you don’t really need any particular artistic skills, just a little practice, and you can start turning any surface into wood.

I come across a lot of Farm tables like this. Maybe you even have one in your home? The wood top is usually inferior wood that isn’t stainable. Many of these tables are built well, they just need an updated “Redoux”!

If you haven’t worked with glaze before, you might want to start by just familiarizing yourself with how it works, feels. Try antiquing something with glaze, and then adding another darker glaze to deepen the color, you will get the hang of this technique in no time.

Let’s get started, time to gather your materials:

I use Modern Masters products for this technique, they are high quality and the products are concentrated so I end up using less. You can purchase these online through the MM website, some Kelly Moore stores have them, or you can buy them from my distributor HERE. Alternatively, you can use similar products, and high quality, highly pigmented acrylic paints (best purchased at an art supply store)

NOTE: If you are painting a surface where water where will be present, I recommend starting with two coats of an oil based primer, I like Zinnser. Follow this with a light brown standard paint, to make your “base color”.

TIP: You can paint over an oil based primer with water based paints and glazes, but not vice versa. Make sense?

  • Modern Masters Dead Flat Varnish, or Glidden Polycrylic in flat, or very low sheen
  • *Foam roller, or old paint brush
  • *High quality paint brush (I like Purdy Brand)
  • Glazing medium (cream)
  • *Tobacco Brown colorant (or warm wood acryclic paint color)
  • Aged Mahogany colorant (or similar acrylic paint color)
  • Van Dyke Brown or Coffee Bean Brown (this is a very dark brown color)
  • Cheese cloths, cut in half, and wadded up to look like a “pom pom”
  • Chip brushes, 2″, 3″, or 4″ (depending on the size of your piece)

1.Using the foam roller, apply varnish to a clean, lightly sanded surface. Using the high quality paint brush, lay off the varnish in the direction of the grain.

2.When 1st step is dry, prepare your glaze by making a mixture of TB colorant by a 1:6 ratio with glaze. Depending on how big of a piece you are glazing, start by making a small amount, you can always make more.

3. Using a chip brush, apply Tobacco Brown glaze all over surface, generally following the grain, (or if there is none, in the same direction). While this is still wet, apply your Aged Mahogany colorant straight out of the bottle. I like to pour some onto a paper plate and then use a chip brush to (dab it on). It should look like this when you are finished with this step.

4.Now Use your cheesecloth Pompom to pull the glaze in the direction of the grain. The pompom will absorb the excess glaze and softens the look. When your cheesecloth is loaded up with glaze, you can use it to apply glaze to the sides and details. Also, just sort of re”pompom” it to use a dryer section, and continue doing so until your cheese cloth is all used. Use your chip brush to pick up the excess glaze that may have settled in corners and grooves.

5. Prepare your next layer of glaze by using a mixture of the Van Dyke Brown (or very dark brown) in a 1:1 to ratio. This is a very strong mixture, if you want your wood to be lighter, use more glaze to colorant ratio. Apply Dark Brown glaze with a chip brush in the same way you did the first layer. If you are doing a cabinet door, start with the middle, and work your way to edges. Again, soften and “remove” excess glaze with a Cheesecloth “pompom”, following with a chip brush like you did in step #4.

***Optional step*** If you desire a richer, darker look, you can experiment by repeating the first step, just by adding another layer of the Tobacco Brown glaze, and then when dry, another layer of the Dark brown glaze.

6. You can decide to leave your finish as is, or you can take this optional step. When glaze is completely dry, use some of your dark brown colorant straight from the bottle. (Again, I like to pour it onto a paper plate). You can apply some to the edges, using a chip brush, and randomly throughout your piece to “darken” the wood. Use a rag to “blend” the colorant.

8. When you have achieved the desired look, seal with protectant of your choice. I have used wax or a clear coat, or nothing, depending on where my piece will be used. Both will work beautifully with this finish.

Tip: This is one of my favorite glazing “tricks”. You can try this on just about any surface. If you are painting a surface that is not easy to paint, i.e. laminate, etc., then it is a must that you begin with a high adhesive primer.

Here is the kitchen table I did, completely “glazed over”


Close up of corner:

One more note…..the chairs were black with the same fakey wood on the seats. I used my sprayer to paint out the chairs and the table base with Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black in an outdoor paint they carry called “Resilience”. I don’t usually use an exterior paint for indoor use, but this family has small children, entertains often, and I decided to go with something that would hold up to all kinds of wear and tear, and lots of wiping down!

The wonderful thing about this glaze treatment is the endless choices of wood tones you can come up with. Once you get comfortable with this method, you can begin experimenting with all different colors of glaze and colorants. Here are some other samples of work I have done using this technique:

This bathroom was honey colored Oak. The owner’s master bedroom was all Cherry Stained wood, I added more red tones using more Aged Mahogany to achieve this look:

This bathroom had all white laminate cupboards and did not match the English Country Style of the rest of the Decor. I used less red and dark tones to achieve this look:

This was a large, very light colored built in Oak cabinet. It didn’t suit the new owner’s tastes. Instead of stripping and staining the entire piece. (which would have been very long, laborious, and EXPENSIVE!), I used my glazed wood technique. The new owner’s were delighted. They had a rich, dark, built in, for a fraction of the cost and time it would have taken to strip and stain the entire piece.

Hopefully I inspired you to go create your own wood on some unsuspecting furniture! It is really fun to experiment with this technique. I would love to hear from you if you have more questions, or even better, see your results!

 What an awesome technique! Would you look at that gorgeous dark rich wood? ::insert whistle:: Thank you so much, Karen for sharing your tricks with us! Can’t wait to give this a try!!!

DIY Project Parade Highlights – showing off some awesome DIY friends.

Thanks for stopping by and joining the party on a weekly basis. I can’t tell you how much it means to me with all of the amazing parties going on. I hope that the DIY Project Parade is an event which introduces you to new friends and a place to find the latest DIY inspiration from some awesome DIY talent.

I welcome every single guest and I’m so glad you take the time to show up, link your projects or visit our friends sharing their creativity! Here are a few highlights you may have missed…


Cassie from Primitive & Proper shares a couple of sweet updates. One on a special little girl, Cora, who could use our continued thoughts and prayers and another on her beautiful living room updates.

living room updates - Primitive & Proper

Laura from Top This Top That shares her super fun media room filled with so many sweet DIY accents! Imagine having a movie theater in your home?! (Maybe you do, but I don’t … yet and Laura’s is such great inspiration!)

DIY media room

Bridgette from Osie Moats shares a sneak peak of her beautiful cottage dining room. Dreamy!

Missy from Lookie What I Did has one gorgeous laundry room reveal! I’d share every image but I think it’s best if you visit her for more pictures, storage ideas and links to several awesome DIY details. Wow!

laundry room reveal - Lookie What I Did


I love when creative, easy DIY makes a HUGE statement, especially when it turns out to look like something from a gallery. That’s what you’ll find this past week from Jessica at Stay at Home-ista: linen and paper DIY art! Wow!

DIY linen and paper wall art - Stay at Home-ista

Have a box of photos NOT in an album? Or need a fun creative inexpensive way to create beautiful personalized wall art? Love wall galleries but don’t know where to start? Did you see this super cute snapshot wall gallery over at It’s Two A.M.? Loooove the fun colors and mix of pretty frames…

snapshot wall gallery


Jen from The House of Wood is soooo good at building furniture. I love her most recent: how to build the perfect end table. Love the shape!

DIY end table - House of Wood

I’m including this under “furniture” because that’s what I consider a headboard, don’t you? How fabulous is this picture frame headboard from Remodelando la Casa? Cristina shares how to make a this unique picture frame headboard.

picture frame headboard at Remodelando la Casa


Kelly at Live.Laugh.Rowe always has the cutest projects and this past week was no exception when Kelly shared her painted drop cloth soap wraps. Counting down the days to filling stockings? This is a sweet idea!

DIY soap wraps - Live.Laugh.Rowe

So, big round of applause for these talented ladies! Better than applause, they’d love for you to stop by and leave a comment on original posts and pin from there! And I’d feature every link if I could but since that would be the longest blog post in history, visit last week’s DIY Project Parade to see so much more inspiring creative DIY. And if you were featured, don’t forget to grab your button. :)

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Have I told you lately how much I love it when you stop by? With traveling to the apartment for renovating, I feel like I miss so much…not being able to sit in front of the computer. I can’t wait to be done and take a few days to get caught up. Thanks for showing up today and showing off your DIY. I hope to see you again at the DIY Project Parade!

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Where I find decorating inspiration.

I’m guest posting over at Heartland Homes blog today! 

DIY Show Off guest blog post

When it comes to decorating our home, “where do I begin?” Here are a few things that give me idea and jump start my decorating motivation:

  • YOU! Blog friends, DIY Home Improvement and Decorating blogs. I love all of the ideas linked up to the DIY Project Parade each week. And that leads to
  • Pinterest. Addicted? Yea, me too!
  • Catalogs.
  • Magazines.
My reading nook is filled with my magazine collection…
  • Decor Books.

  • Lifestyle: Can you tell something I might like to do by the picture below? 

  • Inspiration piece -
Ways to organize favorite ideas and inspiration:
  • Scrapbook: a collection of ideas and images, paint and fabric swatches.
  • Design board for online favorites using Powerpoint or a Word document or an online source like Olioboard or create a real board using physical items as you would a scrapbook.
  • Utilize Pinterest.
  • Keep a notebook on hand.
We spend more time than anyone else in the world in our home. Our motto is “do what you love”. Surrounding myself with an environment that works with our lifestyle and personality makes us happy and comfortable.
Visit Heartland Homes blog for more thoughts on how I gather inspiration for decorating my home.
DIY Show Off guest blog post

DIY Project Parade and DIY Highlights

It’s a DIY linky party and you’re invited to share your latest DIY project! I’m so glad you’re here today! Share your amazing DIY work to inspire others and visit the thumbnail links for ideas for your next project.

This past week blogging was limited because I’ve been working on the apartment and the transformation is beginning to happen! So exciting!  That’s where I’ll be spending most of my time again this week. Again. {I could copy/paste those few sentences into my blog posts for the rest of the month! But this week I will be sharing the countertop and cabinet transformations. The pictures are piling up on my hard drive and can’t wait to share!

choosing bathroom tile for the apartment

Daltile Sandy Beach porcelain tile

As always, last week’s party had so many awesome projects. I’d feature every one if I could but since I can’t, here are a few favorite highlights in case you missed them (see all links from last week here)

Molly from The Poor Sophisticate used things she already had/repurposed and recycled items from around the house to give her hallway a new look and the result is stunning!

Hallway Makeover

hallway makeover

I love affordable solutions and when I saw the DIY string globes at Desert Domicile, I fell in love…

DIY String Globes

DIY string globes

I think this gorgeous cherry blossom bureau from Kim at Reposhture should be delivered straight to my guest room, don’t you? Unfortunately, I don’t think she’s parting with it.

Cherry Blossom Bureau Makeover

cherry blossom bureau

You may have seen this one. Okay, usually I’m ‘writing’ my blog posts on the old outdated loveseat in the living room, where I’m also reading blog posts. And I read books on my Nook in my bed before falling asleep. After visiting Shauna at Perfectly Imperfect it dawned on me {light bulb moment!} that I need a reading and writing room exactly like hers. Except in my house. Inspiring!

Writing Room Redo 

How fabulous is this? A DIY board and batten headboard with awesome tutorial over at Todd & Lindsey creating. Such a great idea!

Board and Batten Headboard Tutorial

board and batten headboard

Robin at Happily Home After did an amazing foyer makeover keeping the budget small ($25) and impact HUGE.

Budget friendly foyer makeover

foyer makeover

Thank you so much for linking up your DIY projects, visiting the highlights and other blog friends showing off their DIY and for your sweet comments! I’m so glad you’re here. Let’s see what you’ve been up to! Don’t forget to visit a few of the neighboring links! No need to link and run! I WILL BE VISITING  the links throughout the week AND SHARING as many of YOUR PROJECTS as I can on FACEBOOK, TWITTER AND PINTEREST! 

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1. Please use the button above or text and link to this post to share the linky love. Here is the link: I’d love for you to share a link on your FB or by tweeting too if you have the time. :) Thanks!
2. Your post must be recent, shared at one DIY Project Parade only (not continuously) and be DIY related.
3. Include your name or blog name and project title. Add your permalink (not your blog url, but your DIY project post url).
4. Or email your link to and I will add it for you.
5. This blog linky party is for DIY projects only. Links not related to DIY will be deleted. Please share your link one week only.  Please do not link recipes, giveaways, linky parties, promotions or a collection of inspiration. 
6.  NOW you can “like” the links!  What a fun idea!  Most liked links may be included in a post of DIY Project Parade highlights later in the week, featured on DIY Show Off Facebook or Pinterest.
7.  Visit a few other links to make some friends and to collect some creative inspiration!

Want to see what $1000 worth of Purdy paint supplies look like? Today (Sunday, 8/12) is the last day to enter to win some of my stash of Purdy and FrogTape!

Purdy paintbrushes

DIY Project Parade Highlights

As always, I appreciate when you share and ‘show off’ your DIY projects in the weekly party. You all are so creative, so talented and such an inspiration. I love seeing what you’ve been up to. It’s motivation to get something done myself. Thank you for sharing here.

DIY Project Parade

Here are some favorite highlights from last week that you may have missed:

Kristin at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia shared her beautiful DIY bath shelf. It’s gorgeous. I want it. First I need a beautiful bathroom.

DIY bath shelf

Josie Jones always has some inspiring ideas and my latest favorite is this wire basket attached to pallet wood. I think I’ve just inspired to alter a project we’ll be doing in the apartment. Love this!

pallet wood wire basket

Soothing colors, great work space: Office Reveal at The DIY Diaries. A beautiful space to get some work done and to be creative:

DIY office reveal

A living room reveal – so much personality and beautiful DIY details!

The Poor Sophisticate

living room reveal

Amazing beadboard backsplash tutorial at The Modest Homestead…{semi} easy and inexpensive and beautiful!

beadboard backsplash

How cute is this DIY paint stir lamp shade by Serendipity Refined? I love the colors and rope detail!

DIY paint stir lamp shade

I love this fun drum light fixture too! The Blissful Bee – handing drum shade light fixture tutorial. It’s something I have plans on doing somewhere and the ‘how-to’ is super helpful!

DIY drum shade light fixture

I love chevron and I love monograms. The two combined are stunning. See the chevron monogram details at Hey Little Mother.

chevron monogram

Shelby designed a sweet travel themed nursery at Honeysuckle blog, filled with so many beautiful vintage treasures and lots of DIY…

DIY travel themed nursery

I’m loving the no sew burlap coffee bag valances by DebbieDoo’s – so clever, so pretty! What’s not to love? No sew. Burlap. Coffee. Cute!

burlap coffee sack no sew valance

A big round of applause for these amazing talented ladies! Thank you for sharing your hard work and creativity!

Do you have something do-it-yourself to share? Pop over to link up to this week’s DIY Project Parade or check out the links for inspiration for your next project!

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DIY Project Parade Highlights

I missed featuring some favorites from last week’s DIY Project Parade. In an effort to catch up, I wanted to share some amazing DIY highlights from a few of our awesome DIY blog friends. Click the links to see the original post, more pictures and tutorials.

Inspired by a poster on Pinterest, this awesome “Anchor Yourself” DIY art is a beautiful addition to the gallery wall at Junkin’ Junky

DIY wall gallery

Laura from Top This Top That has the right idea about summer relaxing in her low cost DIY summer cabana corner…

DIY cabana

I this DIY art work from Red Hen Home, don’t you? She claims to be an amateur artist, but they look awesome to me!

DIY vintage art

Looking for a inspiration for a romantic getaway in your own home? I think Beaux R’eves accomplished just that with her master bedroom updates…

romantic master bedroom

Home is Where My Heart is shared an unbelievable kitchen makeover with before and beautiful after photos:

DIY kitchen makeover

How sweet is this insulator coat rack from Creatively Living? I can’t tell you how often I spy insulators at yard sales and even have a few on display in our home. What an inspiration!

DIY insulator coat rack

DIY artwork so easy that anyone can do it and the options are endless. Remodelando la Casa shows us what she did to make a big beautiful impact…

easy DIY canvas fabric art

What better place to spark creativity than this happy sweet craft room (reveal) at The Cards We Drew

colorful craft room reveal

You’re aware of my love of striped walls (we have a striped bathroom too) and the bathroom makeover at Seaside Shelter is another beautiful inspiration source for stripes…

striped bathroom makeover

Barn door love? YES! Me too! And Gail’s new barn doors are awesome! She shares the full tutorial at My Repurposed Life.

DIY interior barn doors

There are so many more AWESOME projects to see here!

Have you linked up your latest project? Do “show & tell”! We want to see! Looking for some inspiration? Browse the links!

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Thanks for inspiring me!

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DIY Eye Candy from Little Yellow Barn

A mid week DIY treat: I recently had the pleasure of meeting two talented DIY’ers,  Ashley & Jourdan from

Little Yellow Barn
They’re the blog authors of Little Yellow Barn which specializes in furniture restoration.  Like us, Ashley and Jourdan share a love of anything handmade or simply one of a kind and they also dabble a little bit in the kitchen, mostly with recipes that are impossible to botch {my kind of cooking!}.  Both girls are building their dream from the ground up, a partnership in a little yellow barn to house their power tools and collection of furniture, home decor and stupendous, stock pile of squirreled away vintage valuables. Making something from nothing always gets them giddy {us too, ladies!}.  Ashley and Jourdan inspire readers to save money by providing inexpensive avenues for designing their own homes as they each design theirs.

Today they’re sharing a little of their inspiring DIY candy…

DIY dresser makeover

Not only is their painted furniture gorgeous, the photos look like something out of a home decor magazine, don’t they? Beautiful styling.

DIY teal ombre dresser

If Little Yellow Barn was a catalog, I’d add one of everything to my wish list.

chair, books, vintage lamp

So many fun DIY ideas…


Beautiful furniture makeovers…

DIY reupholstered chair

DIY inspiration…

DIY topiary

DIY gray painted dresser

vintage print

Makes you want to go restyle a vignette or paint a piece of furniture, doesn’t it?


Pop over to say ‘hi’ to Ashley & Jourdan, follow along and see more DIY at Little Yellow Barn.
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Sewing Room Makeover ~ RubyJean


Meet: Angelina from .

Her sewing room is a romantic, vintage dream. Prepare to fall in love.

sewing room before

A couple of weeks’ work was sacrificed but tell me this result wasn’t worth it? {I hear your ooohhh’s and aaahhh’s!}

sewing room reveal

Continue reading

Inspiring Living Room Reveal – The Painted Hive

When Kristine from the Painted Hive revealed her living room, my mouth may have been hanging open. I might have drooled. Mostly, I’m inspired.

Sigh…isn’t this straight out of a magazine? She has a beautiful home.

We’re starting our family room makeover (more on that coming Sunday) but I’d love to copy/paste Kristine’s living room into my family room.  If I was technically savvy…I’d make that happen. ;)

The living room is open to the dining room and it’s just has dreamy. I love the mix of rustic and industrial, don’t you? Some people just have a talent for pulling it all together beautifully…

One last peek, then you’ll have to visit The Painted Hive for MORE including details, more Pin-worthy photos, DIY, links, sources and cost breakdown.

Ready to see more of this beautiful room PLUS lots more DIY and decorating at the Painted Hive?  Click, be redirected and inspired {or envious!}. rustic, industrial living room makeover

Distressed Vintage-Looking Alphabet Blocks by ThistleWood Farms

I am so excited to have Karianne from 

visiting today. You may know her recently as one of the hostesses from the fun “Imagine the Possibilities 2012 Challenge” and her beautiful cottage bathroom makeover {it’s Pinterest Popular recently!}, a finalist in the WhisperWood Cottage First Project of 2012 Contest and a beautiful inspiration (see the bathroom reveal here). I love her style and she’s very sweet too…so if you’re not friends, hop over and introduce yourself.

Today, Kari is sharing a super cute tutorial for Distressed Vintage-Looking Alphabet Blocks. I love these. Here she is:

Project Details:

  • Scraps of left over wood free
  • Sample paint left over from projects free
  • Hot glue gun free
  • Scrabble tiles $1.00 at yard sale
  • Chip board letters from Hobby Lobby $1.99
  • Little bits of worn chippy typography for the hallway priceless

Step 1: Go to your workroom/garage/craft room and find the wood left over from projects. I used pieces of molding from other projects and scraps of wood that were just piled in the workshop.

Step 2: Cut wood into squares or rectangles or perhaps an octagon or two if you are feeling especially adventurous.

These blocks are 2″x 2″ and 3″x 5″ and 3 1/4″x 2 1/4″ and 5 1/4″ x 4 1/4.”

Step 3: Paint the leftover wood.

Leftover paint is the best. I used SW 7045 Intellectual Grey, SW 7015 Repose Grey and SW 7046 Anonymous. These were the sample cans I used to test out colors in my dining room. Yep. Leftover wall paint at its finest.

Step 4: Distress. Distress as much or as little as you like. You can see….I like a lot. I was going for the “wood left out over winter in the rain look.”

Step 5: Paint your alphabet.

I bought these chip board letters at Hobby Lobby (for 50% off in the scrapbooking section) in a variety of sizes and fonts.

And I painted them using the same leftover paint.

On my dining room table.

On what used to be my dining room curtains…..

…but that’s a post for another day.

Step 6: Hot glue your letters to your painted and distressed wood.

Or you can hot glue them to your really, really painted and distressed wood.

You can also glue scrabble tiles to the wood to mix it up a little.

That’s it.

Here are the letters in my PB knock-off/used to be an advent calendar/typography holder.

I love this project.

It met my requirements.

Easy. Check.

Cheap. Check.

Good use of my dining room curtains. Check. :)

Thanks for joining me on my journey through the alphabet. If you want to hear a funny story about this project, stop by my blog….thistlewood farm.

And lastly, a big shout out to Roeshel for letting me post about my little bits of chippy, painted typography.

She is a true rockstar and diy diva.

DIY Project Parade Highlights

There were so many amazingly creative DIY projects linked up to the DIY Project Parade this past week. DIY’ers rock!!!  I wanted to share a few of the most popular posts but please feel free to check out all of the thumbnails/links for some inspiration this weekend.

Inspiring Master Bedroom Reveal at Creatively Living {outside the box}. This room is such a motivation to move our master bedroom makeover up on my DIY list. I love the peaceful feel, all of the DIY touches and personality in this room:

Continue reading


After recently popping over to the Lettered Cottage and reading about Layla’s inspiring word of the year resolution {I’ve seen several other of my favorite blog friends joining in too and it’s so motivational}, I started thinking about what my word for the year would be. It required a little more thought that I anticipated. I kept thinking of phrases instead of words. But after much pondering and  making a mental list of the things that mean the most to me, things I plan to do and goals I’ve set, I kept hearing the same word pop up: “keep”. 

Continue reading

The Creative Process by Amy from The Salvage Collection

Meet:  Amy from 
The Salvage Collection
greetings, DIY showoff readers!  i’m so excited to be here since i’ve been an oogler of roeshel’s blog for quite a while now.  i love the way, along with her own DIY journey, she promotes so many creative bloggers through her hugely popular site.
anywhoopla, i’m here today to toss out some ideas about the creative process.  you know, the thingy you do in your head between having an idea and finishing a project.
oh, you don’t think you follow a process?  hmmm.  let’s talk about that a bit.
i have an interior design degree and, though i loved my major, i never was exposed to the creative process as i know it today.  perhaps it was because i did not attend a “design school” and my major was housed with the other “girly” majors (i can say this b/c i’ve held two of those girly professions so zip it.).  regardless, i recall being assigned a project and…uh…going to quarter beers on thursday night, watching jack and jennifer get back together on “days of our lives” and then pulling an all-nighter hanging in the studio with my design buddies, working to meet the deadline.  i went straight at it with nary a crumpled paper on the floor to prove my planning.  and, yes, i graduated.
in fact, i’m not sure i ever heard the word “brainstorm” until i returned to graduate school–after a few “eh” years in corporate interior design–to become a teacher .  

in recent years, much of my training and research about teaching was based on processes to help each student tap into her creative side when approaching an assignment.
“just toss out a bunch of ideas even if they’re crazy or strange or silly or ridiculous.  there is no such thing as a bad idea.”
“close your journal and walk away from the first draft.  put some space and time between you and the words, then go back and reread it when you are fresh.”  

“you can and should always edit, always make changes because nothing is perfect the first time.”
that’s a bit of what i’d say to my sixth grade students as i walked them through the writing process, hoping they’d understand that it’s messy yet malleable, flexible yet under their control.
sounding familiar to you?  uh-huh.  i sniff me a diy-er who dippin’ some toes in the creative process river.
am i wrong or is this process—the process of creating—not overtly exposed in this blogiverse of  delectable “before and after” shots?  of course, we love to hear the origin of the idea but, dude….really?  c’mon.  how’d miss diy design diva get there with THAT from waaaay the $#@! over there?  …and why won’t she toss me a rope so i can climb to the creative summit on which she rests and hang with the cool diy cats?
oh?  wait a sec, she’s going to share it?  alrighty, then.  get to it.  i’m all ears.
(but is it a cat or a dog… or something else?)
miss diy design diva:
“well, let me see if i remember this correctly.  i believe i was sitting in my eclectic vintage ’60′s kitchen on my original eames chair–found on a brooklyn curb–eating my organic avocado/free-range turkey sandwich on gluten-free low-carb fat free bread with my husband, the head designer–and self-taught professional photographer–at schnockeral and sven.  our cats, ernie and bert, were playfully tossing around one of the 128 catnip-stuffed felt mouse toys that i had crafted earlier that morning.  suddenly, our yellow lab, scout, darted into the room and clamped down on bert’s neck like a shark scoring the leg of a surfer.  ernie went limp, bert sprouted wings, flying to safety atop the fridge and i…. i…. i saw scout’s soft yellow fur gently intermingled with ernie’s calico patches… BAM!

yes.  oh, yes.  that’s when my new 12 pattern hand-printed silk-screened 100% organic cotton fabric line flashed before my very eyes.”

(i made that up.  really, i swear. i’m weird creative that way. nooooo, it’s not from my interview with a famed diy blog queen.)
moving on.
does a design plan usually come to one in a “flash”of genius like the diva’s or is it more of a gathering little twigs in an effort to build a fire of an idea?  it could be a bit of both but the consensus of the people who study this stuff agree that it’s more like the fire analogy.  “they” have organized the creative process into the following steps:
simply stated, it’s not much different than the process i taught to 6th graders in expanding their writing. now that i’m painting furniture full-time, i also realized that i’m NOT using this process fully when i dive into each piece as is evident in my recent flubs.  let’s face it, when juggling 4+ projects that need to be squeezed into an hour here and twenty minutes there, the “process” can become lost in the… uh… process.
my recent process-less process….
STEP 1 “preparation”:  choose a project and start the basic repairs to prep for the finish while you explore the details of the piece.
for me, STEP 1 was selecting and repairing this formerly-caned shelving train-wreck-of-a-piece to tackle:
scary, right?
STEP 2 “incubation”:  this is where we are supposed to be open-minded, explore the crazy ideas (hello, donna at funky junk), ask the opinions of others, visualize the end result, ponder, poke, prod, peek around (hello, pinterest!), pour over colors….and document all of it so we see the ideas, make connections and don’t forget any of it along the way.
STEP 2 for me with the scary shelves was…. a whole lotta phooey.  yep, this is where i swerved to the left in the process due to my lack of patience.  i was like violet, the greedy blueberry girl in willy wonka’s chocolate factory…
“DADDY! i want to use my new annie sloan chalk paint in provence and old white.  I WANT TO USE MY NEW PAINT!”  
i barely tasted the chocolate bar of “step 2: incubation” as i shoved it down my throat and popped open the paint cans.  i didn’t explore and i didn’t document; i just raced to the finish with my golden ticket… paint cans and turned into a plump blueberry along the way.
so, here is the result of speeding through the design process…
yes, it’s nice but… just eh.  whatev.  after 263 hours, it’s not the “wow” that i wanted it to be because i went all “violet” and didn’t pause to explore ideas.  currently,  i’m using it as a punishing daily reminder of PATIENCE and PROCESS.
and what will i do in the future?  in typical teacher fashion, i’ll be using one of my black and white composition books to write and sketch my ideas for each of the 4+ painting projects i am currently steering…
starting with two traditional school chairs that i plucked up for $10 each.  yippeedoo!
care to join me as i document my way through the rest of the creative process to wow up these drib-drab chairs?  i promise it won’t be boring…and the posts won’t be this long, either.  hopefully…for your sake.
in the meantime, if you want to see more about the way successful people work together in the creative process, then check out this 2+ minute video of creative wizards at anthropologie staging window displays for earth day.  note the sketchbook, peeps–part of THE PROCESS!
thanks, roeshel!  hope i haven’t sent too many of your readers running for the hills….

Things We Fancy – Using Fabric as Wallpaper Tutorial

Meet:  Hillary & Breann from 
Things We Fancy
Why would you want to meet these talented ladies?  Because they’re new to blogging and DIY divas!  I’m loving these DIY tutorials…
AMAZING, huh? There’s more where that came from!  But, first…
Today they’re sharing their tutorial on how to use fabric as wallpaper – a beautiful solution for those of us with anti-wallpaper phobia (when you’ve scraped an entire house with layers upon layers of wallpaper, some even painted, some on ceilings…you understand the hate and fear of wallpaper).  This is gorgeous and the fact that it’s easily removable is a huge bonus! Not to mention fabric comes in so many beautiful designs, patterns and colors.  Welcome Hillary & Breann: 

  • take starch and poor into your paint tray
  • take your paint roller & roll starch on just part of the wall about a 24″x 24″ square
  • line up your fabric and stick it to the wall

Tips: They found it easier to thumb tack the corner and top to make sure it stayed and didn’t slide–{make sure to always start at the top corner}[also make sure to leave about an inch extra on the top, bottom, and sides. the fabric shrinks about 1/2"].
  • after putting your fabric on, take your roller and roll starch over the top.
Tip: {fabric should be soaking with starch}-also when using the roller brush only roll upwards. if you you roll the roller down, all the starch comes gushing out of the roller-

  • continue doing the same thing with the rest of the panel & each one after that.

Tip: {it would be a good idea to place thumb tacks through out the whole process. especially where the panels overlap.}
  • once your wall is completely dry, go over it again with starch to get all the air bubbles out
  • after that dries, take your rotary cutter and cut the excess fabric off the sides.

Tip: [using a rotary cutter [or razor blade] was the best way to get a smooth straight cut. scissors… no bueno.]

For more information or questions, visit Hillary and Breann and their awesome DIY at
Things We Fancy

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Sleeping Beauty by Click Clack Gorilla

Meet:  Nicollette from 
I love her DIY story:  In July 2009 a couple gave me the 60-year-old wooden caravan/trailer (German: Bauwagen) that they had had on their garden plot for the last 20 years. All I had to do was dig the axle out of the ground and get it home.

Two days later and a few layers dirtier we hauled trash house home to the wagenplatz where I live and the oh-crap-I’ve-never-built-anything-more-complicated-than-a-CD-shelf, diy renovation gauntlet began. A year, 900 euros, and many borrowed tools and trips to the dumpsters later, I had me a sweet little house on wheels.

Here’s the transformation: 
I am astounded that I’m really finished—well, finished enough to be sleeping in trash house, lighting the wood stove in trash house, and gazing around the room looking at the physical reality of what I’ve been imagining for over a year. Technically I’m not really finished—someday soon the pleas of my frozen feet will be too loud to ignore and I will insulate the floor—but as far as daily life goes, trash house is ready to have a bottle of champagne smashed against her snow-bobbled buttocks.

So, here are some before-and-after pictures for your consideration. May they astound you the way that comparing my memories of the last year to the present astounds me.
once upon a wagon…

When I first got trash house home from Rüsselsheim after digging her out of the garden where she’d spent the last 20 years she looked like this:
My very own sleeping beauty, given to me for zero euro because sometimes people would rather just be rid of something than to do the work of taking it with them when they move. My first task was to insulate the walls. Below you’ll find her stripped and defiled some months later:
And today, parked in a new spot, covered in snow, and bedecked with a wind chime.
The siding in the pictures above was born of an ex-ceiling. The hose carries water from the rain gutter and into the rain barrel that will make watering my garden next summer exponentially easier. The hose is from the trash, the barrel is from the trash, the ladder, the candle holder, trash, trash, trash, etc, usw, et. al.

In the picture below you can see the one side I managed to cover with the original boards (only one side’s worth of boards survived the crow bar’s wrath and my impatience), and the end I sided with boards from Natasha’s ex-ceiling. Most of them were kind of fucked, so next summer will probably see another brief re-siding project. My neurotic side wishes that all four sides looked exactly the same, but since I usually don’t have to look at them all at once, and I like having saved some of those purdy original boards, my neurosis’ twitchy pleas for further symmetry remain quiet enough to ignore.

First, the climatic before photo. Summer 2009: shortly after hauling trash house home from Rüsselsheim, I filled her innards with huge Styrofoam bits that I intended to slice into insulation-sized pieces. Those blocks ended up back in the trash where I’d found them after I discovered that cutting Styrofoam is a big messy. Many other objects have come from (and gone back to) the trash since. I even made 40 euros selling what it turned out I didn’t need at the flea market for 50 cents a pop.

Note the small window to your right, the unplea
santly bland wall and ceiling color, and the cardboard-brown color of the floor for future comparison:
Today: wha-la! Lived in, cheerful, and filled with the crap I call my possessions:
As seen when facing in the opposite direction (with my back to the door), before the make-over:
And don’t forget the big hole in the wall where I had to cut out some scary sponge mold! Wasn’t that a blast! Does the fun ever start?! (Ugh.)

And there you have it folks, a year’s worth of learned building skills, and an incredible amount of timely dumpster dived resources: my finished house. And the best part? The even better bestest of the best part? The whole thing–the house, moving costs, building materials, and tools–cost me under 1000 euros.

It’s an awesome story and amazing transformation, Nicolette! Just proves that home is what you make it and you are a DIY super star!  Thank you so much for sharing!  It reminds me of the episode of HGTV’s Design Star last season where they transformed tiny houses…only you had a bigger challenge!  It looks so cozy and you’ve done a great job cleaning it up and making it livable!  Great job! See more at Click Clack Gorilla.

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DIY at Our Old Country House

Meet:  Lesli from My Old Country House.  Lesli is an artist and does beautiful custom portraits (I love the pets and animals! Awe!). She’s also an actress, nurse, mom, CITY and COUNTRY girl and DIY’er. I love her blog…where she “finds extraordinary beauty in the most unlikely places, all under one leaky tin roof”. A 130 year old farmhouse = lots of DIY! I love her modern country style. 

Check this out:

“When we first moved into Our Old Country House, the sweet lady across the street had a bedroom set on her front lawn with a “for sale” sign. I asked her how much and when she found out it was for us, “the new neighbors with all cute the little kids”, she said“Oh, for you, Just $40″.
So we got a headboard, a bed side table and a dresser. DEAL!

Presently the bedside table still lives in my daughters room…

The headboard, has been upholstered by me and is in my Sons room

.…and the dresser has been sitting in the hall since Phoebe’s room make over, in May.
Lost and with No Where to go. Phoebe’s clothing just did not fit the drawers anymore.
It would be a perfect Nursery dresser. I debated Craig’s list. 

Then, I saw this inspiration dresser for a mere $13,000!!! Are people just crazy?
But then I kept looking at the lines and thinking “I really can make this work”
 and so last week…I did it.
Makeover Time!

Beautiful After:

WOW! Isnt’ that gorgeous? I love the new look – gray and cream and so pretty!
Want to see more from Lesli?  Visit My Old Country Home.  Here’s a few of my favorites that you’ll want to check out:
I LOVE her modern country style and home filled with character.
I seriously need a cow painting – can you tell they’re my favorite?
Read through to see an awesome kitchen update too!

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DIY Riddle: What did Sarah from Hart's Desire make recently?


Sarah first stumbled on a Riddling Rack last year. You can read more about the original function here.
The problem? The cost: $200-600. 
Sarah was determined and knew there had to be instructions somewhere on the internet and after a quick Google search she found some here. Seemed easy enough. She says she cheated and used some left over fencing from the fence they built earlier this summer but I call it being clever and resourceful! 
The whole project cost about $3. UNBELIEVABLE! She only had to get one piece of wood to use for the back. The whole family got involved in this one, and they each took turns distressing the wood. After it was all put together, she stained it with a mix of stains to give it an older look. 
Amazing. DIY genius. 
Beautiful rustic finish…
Don’t you just love it?  I do! Beautiful $3 compared to $200-600. I love DIY! Amazing job, Sarah!
See more from Sarah at

before ($5)


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Jenna Sue Design

I‘ve known Jenna Sue for a while now and love her blog and DIY projects and in the event that you don’t, meet:  Jenna Sue from 
Jenna Sue
Jenna is an amazing photographer,
Etsy shop owner, selling creative modern prints…(I just added at least 20 prints to the shopping cart in my head and bookmarked her site for future room makeovers!)
I love her personalized prints…
Custom House Number Art Print / Choose your Colors & Background / 8x10
and  customized city map prints…
Custom City Map Art Print / Choose your City & Color / 8x10
And if that’s not enough, she’s also a talented DIY’er.  Take a look:
Foyer Before
If I close my eyes and picture my dream foyer, this is it:
I love everything about it – coat hooks, flooring, door, art, new board and batten and soft color palette. 
Need more info on DIY wainscoting? I do! I’m so thankful! Jenna Sue shares her tutorials:
Her home is so fresh and pretty. I love this transformation too:
Vintage Chest Now and the her beautiful livingroom

Head over to see Jenna Sue’s California home and her adventures in her current Florida home.  SO much to see! You’ll love the befores and afters!

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There are 8 days left to vote for Cassity & Roeshel (pretty please!) and every vote is a chance to win new flooring (area rug, hardwood, laminate, carpeting!!!) for a room in your home!  Isn’t that awesome?! 
All you have to do is vote!  We’d love a little comment love too – we’re watching and each time we see Cassity & Roeshel ~ we hoot and holler!  Enter and vote to win!  Somebody has to win and we want to see our friends’ names listed and new flooring in your home!
Go here:
If our room wins the Shaw/HTGV Home design challenge – we’ll be enjoying an all expense paid trip to HGTV’s Urban Oasis in Chicago! We’d LOVE to share that experience with you!  Please help us pull ahead of the competition this last week and take advantage of all of the chances to win yourself too!  Nothing would make us happier than for us all to be winners!  Thanks! 
Cassity is also giving away a beautiful Shaw area rug – any size/any style at Remodelaholic

Roost and a Boost

Meet:  Marissa from


She’s an aspiring interior designer and talented DIY’er.  I LOVE these DIY projects:

Draper Chest Ikea Hack – Marissa couldn’t find the perfect night stand but didn’t give up and created her own version of exactly what she had in mind and transformed this Ikea dresser into a $4000 Dorothy Draper Espana Chest look-alike.
TONS of Pin-worthy Inspiration for your files…
My favorite post?  Vintage Scarf Art. Yes. DIY project in my future.
Chilly weekend.  Looking for something to do? Check out Marissa’s lovely blog:  Roost! 

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Special thanks this week to these two ladies.  Just when I’m feeling a little insecure, my blog friends (you all) make me smile. Yesterday, these sweet acts of kindness completely put a stop to my pity party for one:

Lindsey from 
Better After had some sweet words for our room in the design challenge and shared the contest with her readers.  I love Lindsey. I love her hilarious commentary on the before and after projects she shares.  I wish being witty came so naturally to me!

Another favorite, completely comical site created by writer, comedian and actress, Molly Erdman…

Gary & Elaine stopped by Cassity & Roeshel’s room! Awesome!

I can’t finish a post these days without a reminder and request for a vote for our room at where your vote every day is a chance to win flooring for your home.  We want our friends to win too!

Thank you all so much for your help!  
And for your comments, reassurance and support. (And patience with begging!) I am so blessed by your friendship.  Have a wonderful weekend.  See you tomorrow at the DIY Project Parade!  

DIY at Blissfully Ever After

Meet:  Jennifer from

Blissfully Ever After
Jennifer shares her creativity, blissful and healthy living and DIY.  :)
This beast of a bathroom after being gutted…
became this beauty!  Blissfully ever after?  Definitely! Beautiful fixtures and attention to detail. See the full post with more detailed pictures and progress at Bathroom Renovation
Bathroom AFTER
The entryway before wasn’t bad…
Entryway BEFORE
But now, with a new facelift, this girl shines! 
Secretary's desk
Sweet scripted detail…
Scroll design
Welcome to Blissfully Ever After…DIY coat rack and wainscoting detail:
Front Entry
Jennifer isn’t only talented with home improvement.  She’s a craft genius too. I love these Restoration Hardware inspired baskets.  Gorgeous! My favorite project and since she had everything on hand, her cost? 59 cents for the foam brush. Now that’s thrifty and inspiring!

Inspiring, yes?  Thanks for sharing your beautiful DIY, Jennifer!

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After you’ve enter the HGTV Home collection area rug giveaway and cast your vote (PRETTY PLEASE!):

$5000 Couple Speak DIY Contest

Pop over and get a big whopping shut up! ROFL for a hilarious voting contest with my friend Lindsay over at

Trust me, you’ve never witnessed anything so ugly!

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Focal Point

I‘ve enjoyed the posts over at Focal Point for quite a while now and I’m excited to share a few great DIY projects by Lynda with you! Here’s a little about her:
“I never really thought of myself as a DIYer – but hey – the shoe fits!! I love fashion & interior design. I also love & enjoy problem solving, making something from nothing, thrifting, furniture refinishing, decorating for the seasons (especially in seasonless South Florida!) and sharing with people how to create a look for less! After working in retail for 25 years and posting our home on HGTV Rate my Space, I started blogging (in Oct. 2009) as a means of sharing how to’s, home projects, and trend spotting.”
Lynda recently created a beautiful gallery wall using things she already had.  I love when things like this come together.  Take a look at her stunning dining room:
If you’re wanting to do a gallery wall, you must read her No Template Tips. I want my dining room to look like hers. Lovely!
End of summer is a great time for re-organization in the pantry with lots of fall and holiday cooking coming up.  Just a little DIY and creativity…
See Lynda’s list of materials and how-to at Style Solution:  DIY Budget Pantry Update. I can’t wait to have a pantry again. ::envious:: Our old enclosed porch is serving as our pantry area at this time.   
And as a DIY’er, I LOVE the gift Lynda gave her mom this past Mother’s Day so much, I think my mom’s getting this next year (thanks, Lynda!)…
Mom’s Memory Wall After
Spending time with her mom going through pictures was a bonus to the great gift.  Lynda also created two other gift areas.  You’ll have to head over to Focal Point Mom’s Day Gift to get the details. 
Lynda, thank you so much for sharing a few of your DIY ideas!  I always look forward to seeing what you’re up to next! 

DIY at Josie Jones

Hello DIY Show Off readers!!  We are so thrilled to be doing our 1st ever guest post here!  We are quite new to the blogging world as we just launched our blog, JosieJones & Company, May 2011.  Here’s a little bit about us.  We are moms, wives, business owners, Christians, lovers of all things old/shabby/vintage, and passionate about simple design.  This is just what our blog is all about- simple design that anyone can achieve.  We love to feature room redo’s that didn’t cost much money, but required a little thought and patience to find the right solutions.  At JosieJones & Company, you will also find fun and unique DIY projects that anyone can tackle.  We lead busy lives and know it can be overwhelming to have a mind full of projects we’d like to try, but so little time.  Here are a few examples of the simple projects you will find at
We also love to feature simple recipes we find!!  Here is a great homemade lemon body scrub.
All of our featured recipes include a downloadable recipe card for you to print.
Another idea we love to show our readers is how to repurpose treasures for all sorts of uses.  Check out this fun toolbox repurposed 4 different ways.
Now if you’re like us and love a good “Before and After” project, we’ve got those as well!!
You may also enjoy this bathroom remodel where we took an old outdated room and transformed it into a country chic oasis!
Each month we will post several DIY projects, recipes, and fabulous finds that we hope will inspire you in some way.  We will also feature an amazing Giveaway each month full of fun and unique treasures.  We are bursting at the seams with ideas and projects that we can’t wait to bring to you!
We thank Roeshel for giving us this opportunity to share our new blog, Josie Jones & Company with you and we hope you’ll find some time to stop by and give it a visit.  We would love to hear from you!!!
Natalie and Kim
Thanks so much to the talented and creative Natalie & Kim for sharing so much DIY inspiration and goodies!  Please visit to check out their beautiful site, say hello and get some great DIY tips and ideas.

And a very special request…please
visit my friend Nan at

Your comment counts as a $1 donation from Design Gives Back & GuidePost to Friends of Kids with Cancer & the Miracle Makeover program.  Click HERE to read about last year’s recipient: Charlie, a sweet kids with a big heart and brain tumors and his makeover experience.  Seeing his smile and story is so heart warming. You comments will mean so much!