Tag Archives: makeover

Tuesday, May 3 2016

Western Living: Todd Talbot’s Great Experiment


Photos by Janis Nicolay.

First of all, Love It or List It Vancouver host Todd Talbot is one of my favourite interviews because he’s always packed with hilarious stories (chalk this up to his background in theatre) and the tale of how his family’s master bathroom came in to fruition is a pretty good one. Instead of playing it safe, Talbot took a risk and went with stone cabinetry and wood countertops, something you can’t tell just by looking at the photo (yup, all that white storage? Caesarstone!). Breaking tradition meant charting new territory to make the design work, and you can read all about the ups and downs in the full story at westernliving.ca.

Thursday, November 14 2013

Tray makeover: Add mo personality

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A ’stache-themed makeover for Movember, the moustache-growing charity event

Unlike a sofa, a tray is something you can make over frequently to update your decor.

It’s essentially the ‘accent pillow’ of the coffee table that can be more jazzy and trendy, adding personality to those neutral furniture elements in the home.

Tray makeovers are as varied as the moustache, so to whet your palate, we will show you two easy ways to get mo personality using Mod Podge, paper and chalkboard paint (the moustache theme is optional).


Paper tray: Tray (repurpose an old one or buy a new wooden/plastic one at craft/dollar store), Mod Podge, acrylic paint (Martha Stewart Craft Paint in Pea Shoot), paper (used moustache scrapbook paper from Michaels, 99 cents) and scissors/X-acto knife. Chalkboard: Martha Stewart Chalkboard paint in black, chalk, painter’s tape. 

How-to: Mo trays

1. Paper:

  • This moustache tray used paper for its makeover, specifically ’stache scrapbook paper I found at Michaels (99 cents).
  • I bought unfinished wooden trays from a craft store and sanded the surface. I then painted the outside and inner rim of the tray with acrylic paint. (Martha Stewart Craft Paints in Pea Shoot).
  • Mod Podging: To decrease wrinkles and bubbles, apply a medium layer of Mod Podge and place paper on top, smoothing it out gradually with a brayer/baren (or a flat edge) if you can. *Tip: Let this dry before you apply the top coat of Mod Podge.
  • For more tips on Mod Podge wrinkle reduction, head here.

2. Chalkboard:

  • I liked the wood and chalkboard look as-is, because this way its motifs can change with what you draw.
  • Place painter’s tape around the sides to keep paint from straying from the bottom.
  • I painted three layers of chalkboard paint in the centre, letting it dry in between. Then let it sit for 24 hours, rub chalk on the chalkboard surface to cure it and you’re good to go.


Friday, November 8 2013

Movember DIY: The board trim

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For those of us who can’t grow enough visible facial hair to participate in the global month-long charity event Movember, mo-themed craft projects are a fun fuzz-free alternative.

This week I bring you a cork DIY. Why cork? It’s easy to trim, not unlike a moustache. Even at the finer points, it doesn’t disintegrate and you can cut it with regular scissors into whatever shape you like. And, despite its porous and uneven surface, it’s pleasantly paintable for that added pizzazz.


Cork tiles ($13 for a set of four at Staples), masking tape, paint, scissors, tracing paper, pencil.

How-to: Mo corkboard

  1. If you’re going for a mo, cork tiles are great because this makes it easy to get your moustache even. Cork is also available in a large roll, if that suits your desired shape better.
  2. There are a few ways to get the mo outline on your tiles. I taped tracing paper to one tile and freehanded half a moustache. Then I put tracing paper on top of this and traced my half-moustache drawing to get the other side. I wanted to see both sides on paper first to make sure I liked the way the moustache looked together — it’s hard to tell when you’re just looking at one side. (You could also print out a moustache from the Internet instead.)
  3. With half a moustache shape on paper taped to your tile, start cutting it out with scissors.
  4. For tile two, flip your half-a-mo cork cutout, place it on top of your second tile and use that as a guide so it’s even. Trace around the cutout mo with a pencil and then cut along this line. After both pieces are cut out, place both half-moustaches together to be sure the edges line up.
  5. Sand any ugly edges carefully; cork can come off in chunks.
  6. Painting: With masking tape, mark off where you want the painted trim to stop. To get a smooth line you’ll have to carefully round the tape (I ripped the tape into small strips). And keep measuring the width (mine is about an inch) as you go around the mo with tape. Make sure both sides line up.
  7. After painting a couple coats of acrylic paint, let it dry and remove the tape.
  8. Mount on a wall and enjoy your mo board!


Moustache pins/magnets


Rust-oleum primer + paint in white, black Sharpie, tape, stick.


  1. First I taped some old fridge magnets to a leftover piece of wood that keeps coming in handy.
  2. Then I took it outside (very important) and sprayed it with Rust-oleum paint/primer out back by the dumpster. I’m sure the mystery spray-paint splotches are driving my building manager craaazy!
  3. To get a moustache, I used the same technique as when I tried to get mini mos on my nails. 
  4. You draw two circles and then use the tip of your Sharpie to make a flick at the bottom for the curly end.
  5. If you’re making cork pins, glue thumbtacks to the back. If you want fridge magnets, leave as-is! Stachetastic.


Thursday, October 10 2013

Age furniture overnight with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

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For decades, my grandmother has so vehemently lied about her age that no one really knows how old she is.

Isn’t if funny that when it comes to furniture, maturity is something to be bragged about?

The visible signs of aging add character and authenticity to furniture pieces, and therefore value.

‘Vintage’ is such a desired quality in the home decor department that many have pushed to find ways to accelerate, and even fake the aging process overnight.

As demonstrated with this tutorial from expert painter and author Annie Sloan, the distressed and old-as-Father-Time-chipping-paint look can be expertly imitated using her decorative Chalk Paint and waxes.

So roll up those sleeves and prepare your paintbrushes, it’s time to turn your new bedside table into a senior citizen.


  • Annie Sloan Chalk Paint
  • paintbrush
  • Annie Sloan Clear Wax
  • cloth
  • sandpaper

How to: ‘Chippy’ paint look

  1. Leave a can of Chalk Paint open overnight or in the fridge for a few hours to thicken up.
  2. Paint two coats (or even three in some parts), moving the brush in different directions. Leave to dry or use a hairdryer to get some really good cracks.
  3. Apply Annie Sloan Clear Wax with a lint-free cloth or brush, working the wax into the paint like a hand cream and removing any excess as you go.
  4. When it is dry ‘knock’ the paint off using a piece of folded sandpaper.
  5. For a great antique look, use Dark Soft Wax. Work it into your (still wet) Clear Soft Wax and spread. Work in small sections at a time. If you applied too much dark wax, simply dip a clean rag in clear wax and use it to remove the excess as you go.
  6. Another great way to bring out the crackles in paintwork or create an aged finish is by applying a subtle wash in a darker colour. The paint will gather wherever there are cracks. In ‘Color Recipes,’ Annie use uses a Country Grey Chalk Paint wash over Old White Chalk Paint. This is a gentler way of bringing out the crackles than using her Dark Soft Wax.

* This tutorial is from Color Recipes for Painted Furniture and More by Annie Sloan CICO Books, $24.95 US; $28.95 CAD www.cicobooks.com Photo credit: Photography by Christopher Drake

Thursday, September 26 2013

DIY: Annie Sloan charms with Chalk Paint

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If ever there were an expert to induce the ridiculous Wayne’s World ‘We’re not worthy!’ from DIYers, it would be painter and author Annie Sloan.

A pioneer of the furniture-painting craze, Sloan will be in town, bringing her 40-plus years of experience and painting passion, to the Vancouver Home and Design Show’s main stage at BC Place on Oct. 19.

And as a special treat to 24 hours readers, the U.K.-based creative shared with us this ‘Swedish-coloured’ dresser project from her best-selling book, Quick and Easy Paint Transformations: 50 Step-by-Step Ways to Makeover Your Home for Next to Nothing.

This furniture makeover features Chalk Paint, decorative paint by Annie Sloan, a.k.a. a do-it-yourselfer’s dream because it eliminates the need to sand or prime furniture first.

“The whole point about my paint is that it is one paint but there are many possibilities — from using it as a wash, thick and chippy, textured with dark wax, as a dye for fabric, layered and distressed, smooth and modern, etc., etc.”

Sloan said her Chalk Paint’s flexibility allows people to be creative and adapt techniques to suit the particular piece of furniture. “I say you should get the furniture to speak to you.”

Spoken like a true paint whisperer!


  • Old White Chalk Paint
  • Aubusson Blue Chalk Paint
  • 1-inch paintbrush (for paint)
  • 1-inch paintbrush (for wax)
  • Clear Wax
  • Dark Soft Wax
  • Cloth

How-to: ‘Swedish-coloured dresser’

Sloan tip: “To achieve the Swedish look, the right colours need to be used. My Aubusson Blue is a particularly Swedish-style shade — it is based on the Prussian Blue, a colour that was discovered in the 18th century and became available to all.”

  1. The trick to painting this piece in a loose way is to add a little blue onto the side of a paintbrush that is already loaded with Old White. Use the brush to coat the moldings with blue, but allow some blue to spread onto the main parts of the furniture, where it can be blurred and blended into the white.
  2. I painted the whole table, giving the central oval shape emphasis by working the blue into the molding.
  3. Allow the blue to make a gentle “blush” in and around the middle of the oval.
  4. I applied clear then dark wax to the whole table with a brush, again emphasizing the oval shape by filling the molding with dark wax.
  5. Remove any excess wax with a cloth.

‘Swedish-coloured dresser’ is from the chapter Using Colour in Quick and Easy Paint Transformations by Annie Sloan

CICO Books, $21.95 US; $23.95 CDN – www.cicobooks.com

Photo credit: Photography by Christopher Drake

Sunday, September 23 2012

The DIY File: Hand-me-down handiwork

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Some undergrads, upon moving into their bedroom the first semester, may find themselves staring at a hand-me-down dresser with slight revulsion, wondering what it is they did to their parents to deserve this.

“Didn’t I just get into college? Don’t I deserve a sweet bedroom sponsored by the design geniuses at Ikea?”

The truth is, when it comes to furnishing the post-secondary apartment, a student isn’t allowed to be picky. If you’re in school, living away from home and paying university tuition, you’re already too expensive.

So that dingy brown dresser your parents have kept in the guestroom since the first time stirrup pants and crop-tops were cool? It’s all yours, kid. Like an adult chaperone at prom, this old-fashioned furniture with its dorky knobs and wrong-era wood stain is sadly cramping your decorating style. And no matter how hard you try to dress it up, it remains an anachronistic eyesore that makes the rest of your room look shabby and dated as well.

But fear not, young grasshopper. With minimal materials and some DIY guidance from North Delta’s Stephen Toplass (who upcycled this piece for his daughter), even this drab dresser can be Cinderella-ed in an afternoon, leaving you plenty of time to prep for this evening’s beer garden.


  • Sandpaper 150 grit
  • two quarts of paint (CIL Premium water base interior satin) approx cost $14 at Home Depot (used about 1/4 of the paint each)
  • Eight designer knobs (from Etsy.com at approx cost of $30.00)
  • small 3-inch roller
  • 4-inch foam paint brush from the dollar store
  • shelving paper for inside drawers, approx $6,
  • old rags

Dresser how-to

  1. Sand the dresser to remove any sheen from the old finish and any other imperfections.
  2. Use an old rag to clean and dust off the surface.
  3. Use the 3-inch roller and apply the base colour “Pillow Mint.” Let dry for two-to-four hours before applying top coat.
  4. For the top coat use the 4-inch foam brush and apply the dark colour “Lights Out.” This is where you can be creative and have fun — don’t worry about perfection. When applying the paint use light pressure strokes to create a streaking effect, allowing the “Pillow – Mint” colour to show through.
  5. Apply new designer knobs.
  6. Apply shelving paper inside drawers to give a new clean look.
  7. The whole project cost around $70.