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Aug
29
2015
The Design Confidential DIY // Copper Hanging Small Space Coat Rack

I mentioned a while back I would be partnering with Bernzomatic to bring you guys a new project each month and would be working to develop my metal working skill-set... I am pretty excited to share today's project because I really put those skills to the test and learned so very much in the process. The result is a fabulous shiny new solution for the mess that is our entryway... especially during the colder months, which we are about to enter (4 months from now).

Let's get real for a minute - I was terrified about using this torch, and I have actually used a torch many times before. You see, I took a metalsmithing class in college and I loved it so very much, but everything was set up in a space that was used exclusively for working with fire and acid and all of those crazy things that sound terrifying to use in my own home and those torches used a manual striker to light so much harder and a lot more scary. I mean, eek, right? But I set up a work space that felt safe and took a few extra precautions that in hindsight were probably a tad much, but you can never be too safe when you are playing with fire so I am glad I did. Turns out there was nothing to worry about and jumping back on that bike was a cake walk. They say most things come back to you, just like riding a bike, and this was true for soldering... though I am fairly certain I have actually forgotten how to ride a bike, so who knows. Also, the new and improved torches have an easy on / off trigger so you don't have to start the gas and then spark it with a striker, so that alone makes this sooooo much better.

So I will walk you through the steps for this project and a few of my tips for getting started with soldering and torch work because... that is the part you are likely to be nervous about at first. Promise it's so much easier than it seems!

The Design Confidential DIY // Copper Hanging Small Space Coat Rack

Here are the supplies you will need for this project. Keep in mind that the techniques here will work for any variation so feel free to make your fabulous creation if you prefer that!

MATERIALS //

Copper Pipe - 1" x 2 feet

Copper Pipe - 1/2" x 5 feet

8 - 1/2" Copper Pipe Caps

Pipe Cutter

Drill Bits with 1/2" Bit

Bernzomatic TS8000 Self Igniting Torch Head

Sanding Cloth

Metal Files

Safety Glasses / Outdoor

Gloves

Ceiling Hook

Nylon String

Soldering Kit //

Bernzomatic Plumbing Kit - I purchased this kit and used it with the torch head listed above, but if you prefer to purchase the pieces individually, they are listed below.

Individual Kit Pieces //

Map-Pro or Propane

Flux

Solder

The Design Confidential DIY // Copper Hanging Small Space Coat Rack

Safety is extremely important when you are playing with fire... so be sure to wear gloves, goggles and glasses to shield yourself from debris and burns. You will also need at least 2 drill bits - one small bit like 5/64" and one 1/2" larger bit that are appropriate for metal. A center punch is also extremely helpful when you are drilling metal, so your bit doesn't slip or twirl, but if you don't have one, any screw with a nice tap from a hammer in the center of where you plan to drill your hole will also help.

Let's get to work! Start by laying out where your pegs will go on your 1 inch pipe. I chose to put two holes per side and 4 approximate sides for a total of 8 holes. I varied the locations on each side for an organic look. Use a small piece of your 1/2" pipe to trace a hole in each of these 8 locations on your 1 inch pipe.

You can cut your 1/2 inch pegs to length using your pipe cutter. You will need //

3 - at 7 inches

3 - at 5 inches

2 - at 3 inches

The Design Confidential DIY // Copper Hanging Small Space Coat Rack
The Design Confidential DIY // Copper Hanging Small Space Coat Rack
The Design Confidential DIY // Copper Hanging Small Space Coat Rack

I gave each future hole a tap with a screw and then used the smallest bit in my assortment to drill a tiny pilot hole. You probably won't drill all the way through, so watch the pressure you apply as you are drilling or you will go all the way through whether you want to or not.

Once I had my pilot hole drilled, I switched to my large 1/2" bit and opened the hole up quite a bit.

Then use your rounded metal file to give it more room and to smooth it out so your pegs will fit nicely. You can do a dry fit to make sure you are on the right path.

The Design Confidential DIY // Copper Hanging Small Space Coat Rack

Once you are finished cutting your pegs and drilling / filing your holes, you will want to prep your surfaces for soldering. This means you need to clean the area where the joint will be and you need to clean both your pegs as well as the large 1" pipe, in and around all of your holes.

You will do this using your sanding cloth and you can simply wrap it around the ends of your pipe and sand (clean) until it shines. For your 1 inch pipe, sand inside your holes and the entire area around each hole. Try not to touch or dirty these prior to soldering. If it's helpful to do each peg as you go along then that works as well - I found it easiest to set up for soldering both pegs along one side at the same time. Which reminds me, it might be helpful to decide how you want to arrange your various sizes of pegs around your pipe. I never put two of the same size on the same side and tried to think about what we might be hanging up (hats, scarves, jackets) so that I could figure out my arrangement. Obviously having a sweater hanging above a hat is tricky so put that shorter hat peg on top, or on a different side from your longer pegs.

// You will also need to set up your work space. I found it easiest to work on concrete and set my pipe on two pavers that were standing up on end. You will want to have a bucket of water nearby - just in case - or if you are outside, you can use your hose. If you are working near flammable materials - move them or your work area - and if you have plants, trees, or mulch that might catch fire, you should give your surrounding area a good hosing before you get started.

The Design Confidential DIY // Copper Hanging Small Space Coat Rack
The Design Confidential DIY // Copper Hanging Small Space Coat Rack

After you clean with your sanding cloth, you will apply your paste flux to the end of the peg that will sit down into your hole and the area around the hole as well as the edges of your hole. Use the silver brush that comes with your flux do this and then move your flux and brush away from the area where you plan to work.

The Design Confidential DIY // Copper Hanging Small Space Coat Rack
The Design Confidential DIY // Copper Hanging Small Space Coat Rack

Your Torch Head will screw onto your Map-Pro or Propane tank easily and there are directions for setting things up in the torch head package. Follow those directions and you should have no problem! Basically, you will begin with your torch head and tank separated, make sure your trigger on your torch head is set to the off position, then turn your valve clockwise all the way so that it is shut off. Then attach your torch head to your tank and tighten by hand. I will note that I didn't quite understand where the trigger was - not sure why this little fact was over my head - but just in case you are blonde like I am... the trigger is the same button you turn in the on and off position (the only one so you can't miss it). Once your tank is attached, you will simply open your valve all the way, then turn your trigger to the on position and when you are ready, press your trigger to ignite. It all works so smoothly and easily that you will absolutely love it once you realize it really isn't scary at all and the process is a cake walk. No guessing or difficult steps.

The Design Confidential DIY // Copper Hanging Small Space Coat Rack
The Design Confidential DIY // Copper Hanging Small Space Coat Rack

With your flux applied and your flame lit - you will now actually begin to solder. You want to hold your torch in one hand and your solder in the other for the easiest manner of handling things. You should have a decent portion of your solder unrolled and extending away from the remainder so you can easily let it do it's thing without burning your hand.

Start by heating your joint. You will want to heat the area evenly all around your joint rather than heating your solder directly. Since your peg will sit down into your hole, you will heat your peg and the 1 inch pipe in the immediate vicinity. Keep your flame moving and you will start to see the flux begin to bubble a bit, this takes a few seconds or more and you can then see if your solder will run.

To do this, remove your flame from the area and let go of the trigger so it stops. Then touch the end of your solder to the joint and you will know you have heated the area enough if when you touch your solder to the joint, it runs easily into the joint and looks a bit like liquid. If you touch your solder to the area and nothing happens, you will need to heat it a tiny bit more so you will remove your solder, then ignite your flame again by pressing the trigger and heat your joint by keeping that flame moving evenly over the area you are working. When you are ready to try again, let go of your trigger and remove your torch while you touch your solder to the joint with your other hand. It should flow beautifully right down into your hole and will run around the edges. It's so utterly gratifying. Promise!

// It may not make it all the way around so you will likely need to let it cool, and once it does apply another round of flux, then heat the joint and finish it off with your solder. Just try to avoid directly heating the area you have already soldered or it may run or overheat and ball up a bit, leaving you with yet another area that isn't soldered.

It will take a bit of practice with how much heat you need and in controlling your solder, but not to worry because those colorful heated areas and messy solder can all be fixed!

The Design Confidential DIY // Copper Hanging Small Space Coat Rack

If you have an area that has a large clump of solder, you can give it just a little bit of heat and it will run just enough to flatten out a bit. It will likely run down onto your pipe, but that is far easier to deal with than a huge clump that needs to be filed down.

For everything else, use your rounded file to smooth out the solder around your joints. You can see above one that I filed to fix a big run and clump versus one that hasn't been filed yet.

The Design Confidential DIY // Copper Hanging Small Space Coat Rack

Finish off your piece by sanding the entire thing with your sanding cloth. This will remove the colorful sections and any crazy marks from filing your solder. Try to work it in a uniform way so that it looks more perfect ultimately. I chose to sand in an up and down manner and as you can see above it turned out beautifully!

Clean everything off with soapy water or a water and vinegar mix and then add your caps to the ends of your pegs. Drill your holes at the top for hanging, using a medium sized drill bit (maybe a bit smaller than 1/4") and for this one you can drill all the way through. Now you simply need to string it up and hang from your ceiling hook! Yahoo

This awesome-sauce project was created in partnership with Bernzomatic and is part of an ongoing series between that fabulous company and The Design Confidential! Yahoo. All crazy talk and opinions are 100% my own... you know - as per the usual. 

Feb
13
2015
Easy DIY from The Design Confidential for Sleek Hanging Closet Rods

Sorry for the radio silence my sweet friends... it was D-Day for the wisdom teeth removal and I was a complete loony toon in a crazy amount of pain there for a bit. I am still a loony toon (thank you pain meds) but at least now I can move my fingers without fear that it will hurt my face, so we can return to some of our regularly scheduled fun!

This project probably lets the cat out of the bag on what I have been working on, but yahoo, a major closet overhaul is under way and it is looking mighty fine so far! Like - damn girl, you fiiiine - kind of fine, which is perhaps appropriate given our impending heart shaped holiday? There are a dozen and one projects on the web for creating hanging coat racks, closet rods, and other awesome but similar things. Rather than jumping right onto that bandwagon and giving you my take on the same sort of thing (same, same only different - as they say in the East), I thought I would give you more of a recounting of the materials I chose and why, where you can find them, along with some tips (that I learned the hard way of course) for doing this successfully and in a way that will work for real people with real wardrobes. Not that I don't look longingly at those other DIY project beauties, with their 5 items hanging on them, because I do... they are so good-looking with only 5 items hanging from those cute minimal rods with all of the items only in black or beige. Oh to be that gal, am I right? But of course, I'm not, and you probably aren't, and in fact they might not be either and might just pull out the rest of their clothes once the photoshoot is over... so I guess in a round about way, this is a project for all of us while we daydream about being all of them, who may not even be 'them' in real life, and who clearly don't have children climbing the walls and swinging from your favorite sweater while you race to get the remaining items hung. Le Sigh.

Materials Needed for Easy DIY from The Design Confidential for Sleek Hanging Closet Rods

Let's talk turkey... or paracord, whatever - same diff. The materials I used for my sexy sleek hanging rods cost around $30 to make 2. This price goes down for each additional pair of rods you plan to make since some of the items allow for multiple rod making.The most expensive item on this very small list is definitely the hooks. They run about $6 per hook for a swiveling ceiling driller toggle hook that is rated for holding at least 50 pounds and preferably 90 pounds. Just consider what you will hang on your rod and purchase accordingly. This is where the cost will add up since you need 2 per hanging rod (duh), but is quite frankly the lynch pin for the success (or failure) of this project. If your ceiling is made of drywall, which for 99% of you is definitely the case, and if you plan on hanging real clothing from your rods, which 99% of you probably do, then you need these hooks to be heavy duty and have this toggle bolt functionality to be as secure as possible. The braided cord is actually very inexpensive and comes in a fun assortment of neon colors as well as some basics like white or black. Now the item I chose to use for the rod portion is indeed actually a closet rod and is adjustable in length which means that when you purchase it, it comes in a package with two separate rod pieces so you can essentially buy one package and get 2 rods from it. You will need to remove a screw at the ends (where the rods would connect if you were using this traditionally) and otherwise there is no cutting, painting, or drilling involved with this project whatsoever. This is always a yahoo in my book because this means that the project will come together quickly and easily - as in - under 5 to 10 minutes maximum to whip this together quickly, kind of quickly... ha. Of course you can use many different things for the rod portion, like copper or steel and even a dowel would work so get creative if you like.

I created one big loop of rope that I threaded through the rod looped over the hooks. To secure the ends of this big loop together I simply tied 3 knots and then cut a separate piece about 12 inches long and made a gathering wrap to sit over the top of this. Then I got to play with fire for a bit and used a lighter to melt the cord at the ends as well as around the gathering wrap so I felt extra sure that baby was nice and secure. I let that knot sit inside the rod to hide it.

Sloppy Closet Before Makeover for Easy DIY from The Design Confidential for Sleek Hanging Closet Rods

So now that you know what I used for this project, let's take a peak back to the beginning and gaze at my wiry slobs (the before shot).

The hardest thing about planning for this space and in deciding to completely gut it and start from scratch in here, was coming to the realization that even though there was a crap ton of completely functional wire shelving in here, that it was not being used well. I have lived with it for 2 years now and kept thinking that the problem was me, and the busy life I lead (which is partly true, to be sure). I had plenty of space to hang things, plus a ton of surface space and shelving for the clothing that will be folded. But, when you are using shelves to store your folded stuff instead of drawers, this inevitably means that the minute you are in a hurry and can't find something, you make a complete and utter crazy mess of things. That is a losing battle, because it means my closet looks like the image above virtually all of the time. Not to mention that when Mike does the laundry and puts things away, he gets completely confused about how to sort things since items like tops (at least for us gals) should be sorted by purpose to keep the stacks from getting too high. Who can blame him, this is a very specific type of organizing that most people find impossible to do for someone else.

Completely Gutted Closet for Easy DIY from The Design Confidential for Sleek Hanging Closet Rods

It is pretty difficult to make the decision to get rid of things that should, in theory, be working beautifully, but just aren't. For a gal like me who feeds off of functionality and hates to spend money on things that I don't really need, this was initially a painful 'coming to terms' decision. If it isn't broken, then why try to fix it, am I right? But once I decided to take a good look at this space and try to figure out what on earth it needed to make it better, I was able to see that ven though it wasn't technically broken (physically), it was still in fact actually broken (mentally perhaps) because it wasn't working, for me.

Once I have this sort of light bulb moment, it's on like donkey kong and I embrace change like a champ. If it means the possibility for improvement, then I am all for it. The Mister, on the other hand, apparently hates change (who knew? certainly not me until this project came along) and takes much longer to warm up to an idea. Removing all of the functional and plentiful wire shelving and rods, it appears, is one of those things he doesn't find easy to jump on board with. Subsequently, I started this project on my side, and he has been able to warm up to all of the possibilities, by seeing the actual changes as they unfold - on my side.

Simplified and Streamlined Closet for Easy DIY from The Design Confidential for Sleek Hanging Closet Rods

And so... this closet was entirely gutted - on my side (3 walls) - and where there was once chaos, now there is utter beauty and simplicity. My original inspiration came from a recent shopping trip to HomeGoods, where I stumbled upon a gorgeous selection of velvet hangers. I thought to myself... I love when all the hangers are the same, and everything is awesome... and great (a little Lego Movie throw back). In that moment the seeds of change were planted and a simplified wardrobe and lifestyle were born. I purchased 100 of these velvet hangers (4 packs of 25) and decided that Mike and I would each get 50, and have no choice but to slim down our wardrobes accordingly. No exceptions. And of course, if we could streamline our hanging items and cut them down below our individual limit of 50 hangers, well that would be a lovely bonus as it would greatly simplify and reduce the number of things we have to launder and put away each week. Win, win.

I took a fine tooth comb to my clothing and forced myself to part most of those things I have been hanging on to for far too long. Turns out hanging onto things for the possibility of needing those things at some point in the future is not all it's cracked up to be. Having so much of this type excess was weighing me down. I cut myself some slack throughout this process and allowed myself to keep some of these items that were particularly hard to part with, and gave myself time to come to terms with giving up those little bits of my past life. I think this left me the space I needed to mentally deal with moving on from my youth and into a more current version of me. As I have been forced over the last couple of weeks to take the time to hang these items and watch my once light and loosely packed rods become full and cramped, it has become much easier to part with these pieces of my former self. I have definitely embraced this new found simplified life, wholeheartedly. It seems to be the good life, so far, and I haven't once looked back in regret at donating those someday pieces. Just wait till you see the other areas I worked over in this space. Can we say, downright skimpy? Yes we can - but in a good way of course...

To view all projects in this closet case series, in order, check out the articles below to see how far we have come!

Out of the Darkness and Into the Light // Easy Lighting Update

DIY // From Wiry Slobs to Sleek Hanging Rods

Just Add Shelves // Easy DIY Shelving for Stylish Shoe Storage

Closet Case // Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Closet Case // Measuring Up and A Bit of Reflection

IMAGES // Rayan Turner for The Design Confidential

Jan
30
2015

From dim witted recessed can lighting to bright shining modern pendant light fixture in two easy steps... true story.... This is by far one of the easiest and fastest updates I have done to date, but what a huge impact it has had. It's funny how you can let something that is completely functional go entirely overlooked (because duh, it's working just fine). When you decide to take things up a notch and give these bland but functional pieces a new look to suit a new space, it rocks your world and gets you thinking about all of the other easy updates you might do to bring your other spaces out of the darkness and into the light.

For me, recessed can lighting falls in the category of 'works just fine' (assuming the bulb hasn't burned out of course, because prior to LED bulb invention this would be a major pain in the you know what for a gal of not so epic proportions) so if it ain't broke... why should I bother thinking about it at all, forever and ever, amen. Am I right?

Now boob lights on the other hand are an entirely different story and it is my goal to eradicate this atrocity from the world, or at least my world... you can keep your boob lights if you want to.

But lighting is such a crucial element in a space, especially if that space were to revolve around helping you figure out how you look, which in this case is definitely how the story goes. So I have been slowly trying to go through each room to replace all of my bulbs with LED bulbs (so I can never ever worry about changing them again... have I mentioned my procrastinating tendencies?) and adjust the color of the light for the particular space and how it is used. Just look at how pleasant the difference is above, it is almost night and day... literally... since the former bulb took 15 minutes to warm up and get going before it would actually light the space - the Cree LED Bulbs do not and are fully lit instantly. Another big (no, huge actually) yahoo on that front. 

This space will be used as a dressing room and will be retrofitted somewhat so I can put on makeup more easily than I can at my bathroom counter. Where makeup is concerned, overhead fluorescent-like (read... weird sickly shade of blue) lighting is your enemy which means that the two bulbs for the recessed can lights in this space would need to be something more in the daylight spectrum and very likely joined by additional lighting at face level anyhow. Once that occurred to me, it seemed to mentally give me the push I needed to make these functional fixtures a bit more beautiful and, well, functional... and so I did. A light bulb moment, if you will. These fabulous finds can be found at the Home Depot and are incredibly affordable. I think they were around $5 each and since they last for somewhere around 20 years, I think even my penny pinching self can manage that.

Replacing the bulb was a snap and since the Cree LED bulbs are well, duh, LED, they run cool which is fabulous especially when you are trying to add a decorative shade to the fixture and must sit in close range of this thing for more than a minute. And ya, I needed to do the second portion of this project with the lights on since otherwise this room is essentially pitch black (ok slight exaggeration there, but it is really really dark). Just changing the bulbs made such a big impact on it's own, but of course this story is all about adding those less than obvious little details to give a boring fixture some style so.... you will need a few additional items for this fast update to transpire.

Now for the easiest thing you ever did see. Buy a drum shade you adore that has the 3 arm lamp ring like you see above, mine is from Ikea and has a copper lining on the inside with a cutaway pattern throughout. This will help with the darkening affect that adding a lamp shade to a light fixture can have. You will also need hooks that swivel so they can be used to hang things from the ceiling. The hooks I used are command hooks from 3M and so they simply stick on and remove easily so no holes to fill if you switch back to basic can lights later.

I prepped my hooks by putting the sticky thing on, but I did not uncover the side that will stick to the ceiling for fear I would stick it to something accidentally in the process of getting up the ladder. If you notice the hook placement in the image below, you will see that they ultimately came to rest about 1 1/2 inches in from the outside edge of the lamp shade ring. This was the ideal spot for the hooks to rest since my lamp shade ring arms sit at a slight angle and slope downward from the edge of the ring toward the middle. If your ring is flat, you can place the hooks wherever you like, but somewhere inside of the edge is best so you can't see them!

I found that everything seems to hold nicely if each hook is holding the arm at the edge of it's reach, rather than with the hook straight up and down. This just makes sure everything is secure and keeps it from sliding in any one direction causing it to be slightly off center. To do this you would secure one hook and then rotate your shade just a tiny bit so your hook swivels and is holding the shade at the edge of that cute little hook's reach. But, not going to be a deal breaker my friends, just a nifty little thing. Now here is the one single solitary tricky part of this (and I am joking clearly because you will see how not tricky it is)... you will want to have 2 out of the 3 hooks face toward each other (or away from each other, either way). This just keeps the hooks from swiveling in tandem if they were all facing the same direction, and letting your shade fall off. So 2 hooks inward toward each other (or away from each other and back to back) and the 3rd hook can do whatever you please. That is it. Donzo...

To view all projects in this closet case series, in order, check out the articles below to see how far we have come!

Out of the Darkness and Into the Light // Easy Lighting Update

DIY // From Wiry Slobs to Sleek Hanging Rods

Just Add Shelves // Easy DIY Shelving for Stylish Shoe Storage

Closet Case // Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Closet Case // Measuring Up and A Bit of Reflection

IMAGES // Rayan Turner for The Design Confidential

This project was brought to you in partnership with Cree. Thank you for supporting the awesome-sauce brands and companies that help The Design Confidential create fresh new content like this! I heart you guys. 

Jan
16
2015
Copper Shelf for The Design Confidential On Display // 5 Stylish Storage Solutions You Can Totally DIY

If built-in shelving is not an option for you at the moment, and custom or specialty shelving never was an option, fear not.... these five stylish shelving solutions are totally DIY'able even for the not so craftily inclined. Promise!

While this beauty above appears to be made of copper sheeting, it also happens to resemble those clever little track systems and and a couple of shelf standards. With a bit of spray paint and 1/2 inch plywood to span between the brackets, you can create your own shiny modular shelving unit to suit your exact needs. OF course if brass is more your jam, these babies listed below will do the trick - no spray paint necessary. You can span the brackets with clear acrylic, plywood, or any type of 1x12 board and cover it with contact paper to match the brackets and standards.

Materials // Shelf Standards / Brackets / Plexi / Plywood / 1x12 / Spray Paint

Image Via

Rope Board and Hook Shelving for The Design Confidential On Display // 5 Stylish Storage Solutions You Can Totally DIY

I see this fabulous shelving system as new take on the tried and true favorite of the blog world - the industrial pipe shelf. This solution uses a series of ropes and hooks to hang shelves at various heights and locations and would be so much less expensive than piping or miles of conduit.

Materials // Rope / Ceiling Hook / 1x12 Boards

Image Via

Gold Bracket Ikea Hack Shelving for The Design Confidential On Display // 5 Stylish Storage Solutions You Can Totally DIY

This gorgeous overabundance of gorgeous shelving requires little handiwork aside from painting and hanging, but what big impact it has, no? Oh how my OCD inner self would be in pure bliss with this many shelves to choose from.

Materials // Ikea Ekby Brackets1x12 Boards / Spray Paint

Image Via

Copper Pipe Shelving for The Design Confidential On Display // 5 Stylish Storage Solutions You Can Totally DIY

A truly imaginative way to store pots and pans on display, but just think of all of the potential uses for a structural statement piece like this. A bit of copper piping, some elbow pieces and a bit of strapping here and there to keep it in place and the sky is the limit with how large and in what cool shape you could make this. Coats, magazines, fabric... I mean, I could have this beauty loaded up in under 5 minutes if you gave me half a chance. In fact I did do something similar to this in my Entryway Update. I will show the full steps and pieces I used in the next couple of weeks in case you want more detail!

Materials // 3/4 Inch Copper Pipe / 3/4 Inch 90 Degree Elbows / 3/4 Inch Copper Pipe Straps

Image Via

Brass Plated Industrial Shelving for The Design Confidential On Display // 5 Stylish Storage Solutions You Can Totally DIY

This gleaming little (actually big) gem is brass plated and very likely more costly than I even dare to imagine. But, a well priced industrial shelving unit and a few cans of brassy spray paint and I imagine you would have yourself a much more satisfying gleam in your eye, since you would have managed to keep your life savings intact over a pretty little towel rack (actually a big towel rack in this case - and literally for storing towels).

Materials // Industrial Shelving / Spray Paint

Image Via

Because sometimes it just needs to be easy and simple and not require special skills or tools, am I right? What easy yet stylish shelving solutions are you loving? Please share, I would love to see what you are currently crushing on!

Nov
13
2014
The Design Confidential Patio Rescue and Resurface Project

And the show must go on... you see...

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, a poor little courtyard patio had seen her better day. Once she was loved and cherished so, but now her color had begun to go. Worn and tattered, not looking her best, this patio used to be heads above the rest.

In the winter her favorite little children do slip, when her surface gets wet since she has no more grip. This makes her upset when her kids just don't visit, it's her uneven concrete that seems to be the culprit. She waits and waits, much time has gone bye, she needs to act now, she just has to try. She decides to take these matters to heart, so she gathers her courage and she gets a head start. Ugly and useless she will be no more, she can't wait to show them what she has in store.

When last we left off she was all prepped and ready, she waited to move on till the weather was steady. 

Mixing the Paint for The Design Confidential Patio Rescue and Resurface Project

Once the weatherman gave her the green light, she pulled out her Rescue It! and the finish line was in sight!

Painting the Seams with a Brush for The Design Confidential Patio Rescue and Resurface Project

She taped on her brush and painted the seams, it went on like butter, no need for extremes!

Painting the Surface with a Roller for The Design Confidential Patio Rescue and Resurface Project

Then she pulled out her roller and painted away, this was the beginning of a brand new day. As soon as it dries her kids come out and play, she was so overjoyed, hip hip hooray! 

This is the story of her fairy tale, from tattered and worn with much travail. She has triumphed over all and can't wait to unveil, hard work and good prep will always prevail. 

To watch her story from beginning to end, hit the play button below I do highly recommend.

Finished Project for The Design Confidential Patio Rescue and Resurface Project

It has been a wild and eventful journey but her transformation has made her so dreamy. I hope her tale inspires you to try it, hard work pays off you have to admit. She looks so pretty I could cry but for now I will simply say goodbye!

This project was created in partnership with Olympic, all opinions and crazy talk are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the partners that make the new and original content on this site possible. I heart you guys.

Jun
17
2014
DIY Faux Watercolor Wallpaper Wall Treatment with Paint

I am so excited to share this project with you guys today. This was definitely the showstopper from Blake's Boho still Boyish and Beachy Bedroom Makeover and It is one of those that looks really complicated or like you need to have a special skill in painting to get this right, but you do not, I assure you. I know this because I redid this dang wall 189 times just to be sure that someone who has never done any painting, artistic or otherwise, could still absolutely do this project! My first 188 attempts didn't work. Or at least they didn't end up resulting in something that was easily reproduced and so... they didn't work. 

To complete your project like this, you will need an few things:

  • - 2 - 2" paint brushes - short bristle is easier to work with, flat angle (not angled), light weight is a good idea. 
  • - dark color paint - I used a dark indigo color, you can use any color you like.
  • - white or light color paint - if your walls are builder grade white you can use your wall color, otherwise just use a white or something close to it. 
  • - easy hold paint container - similar to the one you see pictured below. This will help tremendously, though it isn't a requirement obviously.
  • - water

Each stage pictured in the following steps will be a mixture of your colored paint, white paint and water in varying amounts but the process will be the same all the way through, only your placement will change along with your formula. Easy peasy.

Paint Mixture for DIY Faux Watercolor Wallpaper Wall Treatment with Paint
Apply First Circles for DIY Faux Watercolor Wallpaper Wall Treatment with Paint

Our first step requires a 1:2:1/2 ratio of color to white to water with half the amount of your color to the amount of white and half of that still in water. You need a decent amount of product for this step so you can start with something like 1/4 cup of your colored paint, 1/2 cup of white and an 1/8 cup of water.

You will work about 2/3's of the way up your wall and the total area you cover will be about 2 feet in height for the majority of the paint application and a few scattered swirls will fall in the foot above and the 2 feet below this strip of swirls. 

We are going to be using a circular swirling motion for every single step of this project. For this step you will swirl your brush into a circle that is approximately 4 inches in size like you see above. They don't need to be perfect, in fact this will be better in the end if they aren't and have some white showing through or if you can see your brush strokes. If you find your paint to be a bit to thick to easily make the circles, just add a few more drops until it's easy to swirl it on, but doesn't run or drip when you apply it. 

** This is very important. Drips will be a problem during any of the steps that have colored paint so make sure your formula is never too runny that you have drips. 

Expand Circle Area for DIY Faux Watercolor Wallpaper Wall Treatment with Paint
Fill In Circles for DIY Faux Watercolor Wallpaper Wall Treatment with Paint

You will continue making your circles all the way around your room in a section that is 2 feet high and scattered as you see in the first image above. Once you finish doing this you will follow it up by filling in the white space for the middle portion of your section with a slightly concentrated number of circles that overlap like you see in the second image above. It's easier to do this in two steps so that you don't have a solid 2 foot section and instead end up with the middle being more concentrated than the top and bottom of this section. I learned this the hard way. 

Lighter Color Circles for DIY Faux Watercolor Wallpaper Wall Treatment with Paint
Lighter Circles Above Below for DIY Faux Watercolor Wallpaper Wall Treatment with Paint

For this next step you are going to use a formula of 1:6:1 with 1 part colored paint, 6 parts white paint and 1 part water. This will be a much lighter concoction that you will sprinkle over the top of your section in a scattered very spaced out manner. Then you will pull this color down below your section and place your swirls in a very scattered pattern that runs about 2 feet below your section. Once you do that you will also scatter this color above your section sporadically, about a foot above your section. 

Wash Out Circles for DIY Faux Watercolor Wallpaper Wall Treatment with Paint

While this step might seem counterintuitive, I promise it will be important for helping you get that watercolor look later without using watercolors or knowing how to paint, so just go with me on this. You will need a mixture of 1:1 white paint to water. This should be about the color of milk but not quite as runny, though not much more thick. You don't want to be painting for this step, you will want to be washing, which means when you apply this it will be see-through a bit but will wash out the color your applied so you will need to judge your consistency by testing in a discreet area. 

You are going to keep on swirling and essentially swirl right on over the top of everything you just painted. This includes all of the scattered circles above and below. You want to wash out the color quite a bit so you are left with a milk mess of something that used to a paint project. It will look cray for just a bit. Don't worry. 

If your paint is too thick and it actually just blocks out the color you applied in the previous steps, completely, just add a few more drops of water at a time until it's not so thick. You can use a bit of water over the top of your test spot to 'undo' your test spot so that it isn't different from the other areas of your project. 

Add Light Indigo Circles for DIY Faux Watercolor Wallpaper Wall Treatment with Paint

Now we will go right over the top of our original scatter section only in a more sporadic way using a formula of 1:1:1 ratio of colored paint, white paint and water. You want this to be easy to apply and a bit see-through-ish as you swirl, but not runny or drippy. Your circles will be spread out and you can do just a few that sit above the top of your section and a few that sit below it as well. Sparse is the name of the game here, you can always build, but less is definitely more.

Add Darker Indigo Circles for DIY Faux Watercolor Wallpaper Wall Treatment with Paint

For the final bit of color before the final step, you will want a ratio of 1:1/2-1 of colored paint to water. You will not use any white paint for this step, only the color itself watered down. This will make it runny to the point where your color is see through even in your paint pan. When you apply your swirls for this step you will need to put your color on your brush and then wring your brush out so that when you actually put it on the wall it's watery, but doesn't run. You can wring your brush out by pressing it against the sides of your container until most of the wetness runs out. If it is still coming out of your brush when you push it agains the side of your container, then it's probably going to cause drips... very dark drips. This isn't a project you can touch up very easily so I warn you against getting sloppy here. 

You are going to apply this layer in small and larger circles that overlap the previous layer and are more frequent than the previous layer, but are still sporadic.

Wash Over Entire Wall for DIY Faux Watercolor Wallpaper Wall Treatment with Paint

Woot woot! Your arm is probably very tired after all this swirling and whirling around your space. Mine was, especially since I did this project over and over again. Also, I learned you can actually wear the bristles on your brush down into a nub if you work it like this for an extended period of time... who knew? 

So for your final step we are going to create a wash again, similar to our wash earlier in this project, only this time it will be more runny and much more watery. Use a formula of 1:2 white paint to water and adjust until it looks like watered down milk. It won't matter quite that much if you have drips of this since it's white, but to avoid drips, wring your brush as in the previous step, and then apply covering the entire area you have painted. It will look like the image above after you apply your wash. You can see that the colors aren't saturated and look as though they have been painted over with a bit of milky water. 

You can also now see all the layers come together into what looks like an entirely watercolor application, and why you did the first several steps as the colors blend a bit and water down into this beauty! Yahoo! It gives you the look of blending with only the need to apply layer after layer of circles one on top of the next. 

TDC 

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