Tuesday, May 20, 2014

DIY Plank Wall Tutorial

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Hey Everyone, im Sausha from Sweet Pickins!  Today I will be showing you how I added tons of character to our newer home with a plank wall!
I've always thought this wall in my kitchen should be a feature wall… I always felt like it just needed something.  I've painted it a hundred times in the past 5 years, tried stripes, tried a dark color, thought about painting it white…it just needed something…
Well, as long as I can remember i have LOVED the old houses with the old plank walls – especially the ones painted white.  Makes my heart go all pitter patter :)
So –  plank walls I will have!!  I researched several different options for the right product at the right price.  There are lots of ways to do this, but just make sure you take into account the thickness of the planks, the price, the amount of work to hang them, the ease of painting them, etc.
What i ended up finding was 4×8 sheets called utility plywood panels.  They were only $11.55 @ lowes per sheet – super cheap!!  And they are recommended for paint – so they were all nice and smooth (one side was a little smoother than the other).
I measured the square footage on my wall and ended up buying 5 sheets.  I had lowes cut the panels into 6 inch strips (length wise, so each strip was 6″ x 8ft).
So, with my strips all cut lengthwise by lowes, i decided where i wanted my seams and cut my own strips in half just using my miter saw.
Then I just started putting the boards up on the wall.  I didnt want my boards glued in case I want to take it down in the future (ya right!!), so i just used my nail gun and put a few nails in each one (i made sure to angle the nails to keep the boards from pulling out).
**I also gave each board a light sand before putting it up, mostly to smooth out the cut edges made by lowes – the dude insisted on cutting all 5 sheets at the same time, so some of the edges were a little gnarley**
My only issue that I ran into was the crown molding on the cupboard, but it was easy to pop off – lots easier than trying to cut around it.
I left spaces between each plank, I didnt measure the gap, probably about an 1/8″ , i just eyeballed everything.
Of course with any home project that we do, my kids do a little time capsule and write on the walls!  Zailee wrote something about “my awesome mom built this plank wall” – she is such a smart little girl ;)
Then i filled all the nail holes and gave the whole wall a light sand before painting.  I was kinda dreading that part, but it only took about a half hour.
By the way, on that corner wall, i have rounded corners and needed to cover up the gap where the planks meet.  I found some cove molding @ Home Depot and just used it the opposite way that it was intended for – it worked perfect.  I decided not to put any type of finishing molding on the ceiling or around the baseboards.
Ok – at this point I admit, I was a little scared!!  It seriously looked like i just built and outdoor shed in my kitchen!
But, once I got it painted, I was in love!  I love everything about it – the texture, the drama it brings to the room, how that wall is now finally a feature wall, the character it brings to the space, the white!  Everything!
The painting wasnt bad like I thought it was gonna be.  I considered painting the planks before I put them up, but I just wanted to get to work!  I will be doing this project again and I will do it the exact same way.  For the bigger gaps, I painted between them, but for the most part I didnt and you cant tell.
I used Sherwin Williams paint and did 2 coats.  I had them color match BM Mascarpone and i used a satin finish.
I love all the white with the pops of color – totally makes me want to paint my house white!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Bed Bugs, Buyer Beware

  This may be our grossest Blog we've written! 
Prepare for a major case of the Willies!

Bed Bugs!

Hi, It's Jeff. 
Isn't it just like a boy to try and make girls queasy with 
disgusting bug stories?

But, this is probably some information that you should know.  Unfortunately, and to my great embarrassment, I know about bed bugs from my own sad experience. 

What do all these Landmarks have in common?
 the UN building, Bloomingdales, the Empire State building, the Waldorf Astoria and the New York Health Department?

They have ALL had bed bug infestations!

You could live in the cleanest house in town, or stay in a 5 star Hotel and still be affected by bed bugs.

The problem isn't Geography, or climate, it's Travel! 
Bed bugs are notorious hitchhikers!  They travel in clothing, bedding and luggage with tourists and businessmen all over the world.  Cities with a large population and lots of travelers have a good chance of having bed bug problems.

Here's my story: Our missionary Daughter sent a package home from her mission for safekeeping before she returned from Tucson.  It was a box with letters and a some clothing, and a yes, 
Arizona bed bugs!

We did the absolutely worst thing you could do with a box carrying bed bugs, without knowing what was in it, we put it 
Under Our Bed!

After awhile, my wife started getting strange bites like mosquito bites on her legs. Mosquito bites from under the covers? That was the first red flag. But, I didn't have any bites! 
So they are kind of random
(I must be too nasty even for a bug!)

There's plenty of information on the internet about bed bugs, here's a link to the EPA with all the awful details and full color pictures!

EPA: How to Find Bed Bugs

In short, you can detect bed bugs by the trail they leave. They make "spots" like a fly does.  No delicate way to say it, it's a blood trail left by their feces.  You can spot it in the creases of fabric, especially like the piping of a mattress. You may also see tracks on walls and furniture, not just fabric.

To make a long story short, we used a combination of treatments. Exposing the affected items with extreme cold, putting things outside when it's freezing, or in a walk-in freezer will kill bed bugs. You can achieve the same affect by using extreme heat.  We got a large mattress plastic bag from RC Willey and left it out in the sun to get our mattress to a super hot temperature.  
We did the same with bed frames. 
Those are great do-it-yourself remedies.

We also had a professional exterminator come to fumigate our house to be doubly sure.  They offered a free second treatment if we found traces of the bugs again, which we did.  They said the solution they used is a natural substance, not toxic to humans and not a chemical, so we didn't feel like we were "poisoning" our whole house.

The very last place we found bed bugs was in the crevasses of our antique wood head board and side rails.

Bed bugs are about as thick as a credit card, so they can squeeze into pretty small spaces! 

Here's another resource, if you're worried about traveling:


These reports are from consumers and may not be 100% accurate, or up to date.  You can contact hotels and motels directly to determine if they have been successful eradicating bed bugs there.

So the moral to this story is this: be careful when you travel so that you don't bring home any unwanted passengers, and watch for unwanted house guests in any of your furniture, 
whether old or new.  


It's a lot better to be informed, than to be surprised!
Thanks for visiting the Blog, now I think I'll go and have a hot shower!

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Directional Sign Post for Your Garden Fun

Hey, all, its Paula from flea.o.logy 
fresh off a weekend of flea market
 fun.  If you missed the sale you 
can drop by pollyanna-reinvents
 and see some pictures of all the fun. 

It was lots of fun to have
 several current and past Reclaimologists
 there as vendors.   What great women 
they are, which I can only say because
 both of our men gave this flea.o.logy sale 
a pass this time.           
If you came, you may have noticed that 
my garden directional sign is looking 
faded and needs to be redone.  But
 I thought I would share what it looked
 like when it was new.  As a great reader
 I thought it would be fun to make a sign
 of literary references for my garden.    

I included the names of places from
literature I loved.  I am including pictures
 that I took when I put it up two summers


I even included a board with the name 
of the garden house on it, and made
 sure that it points directly to the garden
 house.  "Chawton Cottage" was Jane
 Austen's home for most of her writing

Wanting to have other literary 
reference in my garden I was
 thrilled to find this little rabbit
 with his pocket watch, right
 out of Wonderland, note the 
sign board above.  

And I was so tickled when I went
 out to take pics of the signboards
and there was a rainbow, in honor 
of the Emerald City sign board,
 I must assume!!

Gathering the odd boards, with 
old paint wasn't too hard since I
 am an antique dealer who always 
tucks away interesting bits for
 'someday' ... well this past weekend
 was someday, I guess!

I used lots of methods to letter the
 signs, so they would look like they 
had been placed at the cross roads 
by various persons.  I used 
decoupaging of a whole sign image,
 and also of cut out letters, stamping
a few were hand lettered in different 
styles, I embellished stamped letters
 on one sign to make them look 
different, stenciled one sign, and 
even added a running rabbit to my
 Watershipdown sign.

Check out the top picture again,
 it shows all 10 boards, can you
 figure out the book that each sign
 refers to?  Two of the signs refer
 to the home of a famous author,
 but the other eight are fictional 
sites from favorite books!
If you like what you see here be sure to check out our 24/7 Online Boutique Reclaim-ologists and Other Crafty Chicks!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Shhh.... It's a Secret...Tips for Cleaning Vintage Items.

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Hi it's Debbi from Tattered Butterfly Studio.  I grew up going to estates sales, rummage sales, and garage sales.  I know how to dig to find neglected treasures.  Sometime they're dusty, dirty, grimy, rusty or even a have a few cobwebs.  I love finding these gems.  It's like rooting for the underdog.  Seeing the potential that hasn't be used or loved in a long, long, time.

 There's the thrill of the hunt.  Yes, it's like a wild animal in me.  There's a an adrenaline rush as I comb through basements of estate sales.  While everyone is upstairs I'm looking for old wooden hangers, old board games, camping items, etc..

Sometimes I want the rusty dirty items to be left as they are. Rusty gold is can be charming.  A good rusty bucket should be left alone with some planted flowers or used for magazine storage.

Okay, I know your ready for the tips.  Cleaning up a vintage item can show off  it's beauty.  Here are some staples t I use.

Pictured here are Goo Gone, Naval Jelly, Mr. Clean Eraser and Dawn Dish Soap. 

1.  Goo Gone.

Yes, I use this to get off sticky tags from estate sales to thrift store.  The tags I hate most is Savers.  Their tag are HUGE!  I usually spray the tag and let it set for a few minutes and then it comes lickety split.  This even gets out permanent marker out of wood items.  You might have to let it soak a few times and rub it out.  I sold a wooden box that I paid $3.00 for and I sold it for $35.00 because of Goo Gone.  I've also used rubbing alcohol  works great too for removing tags.  . 

2.  Naval Jelly.

This is a new product I've been using.  I found this awesome vintage child's oven that had a lot of rust on it.  I wanted to use the oven as kitchen decor item.  

I saw that green and fell in love with it.  It was very grimy. I used the Magic Eraser on the everything but the the paper labels. The Naval Jelly I used on the burners.  I highly recommend gloves when using the jelly.  You let it sit for 5-10 minutes.  Wipe off any residue with a wet cloth.


The stove looks brand new and this is from the 50's.  Over 60 years old.  I'm not selling this but you can get more money on an item you are reselling if it's clean and is good shape


3.  Magic Eraser

Yes, the title is true.  It cleans plastic in minutes and gets rid of grime like no other cleaner.


Sorry the picture is blurry.  It's late and I don't have time to take another pic. It looks brand new.

4. Dawn Dish Soap

This vintage mixing bowl had grime and grease all over it.  It was disgusting.  I felt ill inside when I looked at it. It was greasy with a thick layer of dust.  Dawn is the best on grease.  Hot water and Dawn and it looks amazing.


You can pick up these products at a local hardware store.  These are simple tips that pack a powerful punch.  You can find all kinds of curiosities that will make your home one of a kind.  

Be Your Own Kind Of Beautiful, 


Friday, May 2, 2014

Quick Lamp Up-cycle/Redo

Hi my name is Cathy and I have a lighting addiction. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE lighting! I have way too many lamps and lighting fixtures and some of them don't even work. But, what good is a lamp that doesn't work? So...... today I'm gonna show ya'll how to do a quick lamp up-cycle/redo.

I started with an old lamp that I bought at a thrift store for a couple of bucks.  It was scratched and cracked on the side and the power cord  no longer worked. It had a cool shape though and I knew I could make it function again! After patching the crack and sanding the scratches out with a 120 grit sand paper, I headed over to Home Depot for a lamp kit. The one I got was about $12 and included more than everything I needed for my project.

I removed the top of the lamp (the part that you screw the light bulb into) exposing the wires.

 I unknotted the wires and pulled the old cord out the bottom of the lamp. I also removed the other hardware pieces so that I could add the new wire and hardware and paint the lamp. (These should just screw off).

At this point, I spray painted my base and let it dry for about 15 min. before feeding the new wire through the bottom of the lamp base.

After feeding the new wire through the base I added a neck piece and the harp bottom. 

Keeping the wires separated, I added the socket cap on top of the harp bottom and screwed it into place. (At this point, it is very important to follow the instructions on the lamp kit package. You don't want to cross the wires or your lamp will NOT work!) I tied the wire in an underwriters knot and attached the appropriate ends of the wire to the coordinating screws on the socket interior and tightened the screws down. I was then able to add the socket shell. 

After adding the socket shell I tested the lamps power with a new bulb and added the lamp harp.

YAY! it worked! 

Add the shade and your set!

This project was probably a 1 and 1/2 Hr. project start to finish including the patching and sanding and painting. I would give this project a 3 on difficulty. Pretty easy. My 11 yr. old son could do this project no problem!
Please feel free to contact me (Cathy: 801-361-8009 cathy@demi-dos.com) if you have questions about this post and please go check out all of my other projects on Facebook!