Tag Archives: paint

Saturday, October 27 2012

Halloween DIY: The bold and the boo-tiful


There really is no wrong way to accessorize pumpkins or gourds. I chose to girly up warty gourds with some metallic craft paint.


  • paint brush
  • Martha Stewart Crafts Mulit-surface Acrylic Paints in Light Gold and Yellow Gold
  • newsprint/drop cloth


  1. There’s nothing challenging or sophisticated about this painting project — in fact, the worse a painter you are the better they’ll look!
  2. Literally slop on your paint or lightly glaze gourds with your loaded paint brush (depending on the look you’re going for) and let dry.
  3. You’ll notice that the metallic paint glazes the surface but the gourd’s patterns will still show through. If you want something more opaque ,go for a solid acrylic colour versus the metallic. For Thanksgiving, Christmas holidays, darker solid paint jobs in fall colours could be a fun alternative.
Friday, October 12 2012

Touchup kit 2go

My desk (well not ‘my’ desk, but it feels that way) upcycle project is now sitting at the Vancouver Home and Design Show getting poked and prodded and hopefully bid on (proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver). However, it got a bit banged up in transport and so I am going with a stealth touchup kit to see if I can do some minty damage control. Hoping this is allowed and no one shoos me away…

Tuesday, October 9 2012

Remove stubborn paint from hands, legs and yes, feet

Some people are fantastic about staying clean while they paint — I am not one of these people. I just spent 15 minutes trying to get the most recent barrage out of my hair. Note to self: do not paint under things wearing a high bun.

The most irksome of paints to get off your skin are those impervious to soap and water — oil-based paints. Not unlike the primer I used on the desk and bookcase I have been painting. Needless to say I’m covered, and it seems I will be all zebra-striped until several baths and exfoliating scrubs later.

But wait! What’s this? Simple household olive oil and salt! Also known as the surefire homemade remedy for paintcidents (paint accidents). I hate to waste good Trader Joe’s olive oil, but it actually broke up the paint and the salt helped slough it off. So next time you get to painting with oils, keep these kitchen wonders on standbye.

Remove paint with oil and salt

A messy painter’s best friends.


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.
Wednesday, June 20 2012

FATHER’S DAY DIY: The Mug-stache

The mug-stache diy

The mug-stache, a simple DIY project for dad. (JULIA DILWORTH/24 HOURS)

Maybe not all West Coast dads love meat, but every dad loves his morning tea, chai-latte or coffee. And with this easy DIY Mug-stache project, you can write any message or draw any design you want to celebrate your No. 1 Dad.

The materials are minimal (mug, paint, brush, oven) and so is the cost. Thanks to hipsters, moustaches are back with a hairy vengeance. So you can, like me, choose to go the lip-tickler route and paint a handlebar, Fu Manchu or walrus to celebrate dad’s hairstyle being cool again.

Bonus: If he doesn’t have a moustache, for 20 minutes every morning, he will. And it will look hairlarious.

What you need:
– ceramic mug $4 at HomeSense
– ceramic paint ($6 each at Opus)
– conventional oven
– paint brush

Mug-stache how-to

1. Wash and dry your desired mug.

2. Paint designs or messages on mug. You may need to do several coats and you might want to use stencils for this. I made a rough paper stencil to line up the moustache so it was even and then free-handed the rest. (Real stencils are also available at art stores.)

3. Wipe away paint blotches/mistakes with a paper towel or Q-tip.

4. Once you’re happy with your stuff, let it sit for 24 hours.

5. Mug-cooking times differ, but Pebeo’s ceramic paint instructions suggest putting it in the oven at 325 F for 40 minutes.

6. Let it cool and you are done!

7. Remember to paint moustaches on the correct side (these are for lefties).