Build / DIY

Finishing School // DIY Stained Glass + All Weather Wood With Leather


The Design Confidential x Michaels Makers Craft Paint Challenge DIY Stained Glass and All-Weather Wood with Leather via @thedesconf

Finishing School is in session, my friends… and today we are covering some new finishes that are perfect to add to your finishing arsenal – stained glass, all-weather wood and even some leather. The fabulous thing about the main finish is that it will work on raw wood – or in other words – newly built furniture, if you catch my drift. If you want to dress up your glass inserts, I will show you a fantastic way to do it.

The Design Confidential x Michaels Makers Craft Paint Challenge DIY Stained Glass and All-Weather Wood with Leather via @thedesconf

This month’s Michaels Makers Challenge is all about the world of craft paint. I thought it would be a great opportunity to give some of the ideas I have had, floating around in my little head, a bit of a whirl. I am working with the super chic vintage bar cart from Oh Joy for Target, which is sadly not available any longer, but this one is a great option if you would like to put your unique spin an existing piece. Of course you can choose to build something from the ground up, as well, using any of my DIY furniture plans!

The Design Confidential x Michaels Makers Craft Paint Challenge DIY Stained Glass and All-Weather Wood with Leather via @thedesconf

As you can see, this bar cart is fantastic as-is, but a bit too colorful to work with my decor on a more permanent basis. Of course it has a lot of little challenges in the rehab department, with two different shades of glass for the trays, solidly painted wood and even a bit of faux leather on the handle(bar?). I was able to reign it in and neutralize the color with just a few products, making this a simple and budget friendly revamp. Note that both glass trays appear fairly light in the image above, but they are not. Both colors were relatively saturated and about mid-range in terms of light and dark. You can see this more accurately for the yellow tray, in the image below.


The Design Confidential x Michaels Makers Craft Paint Challenge DIY Stained Glass and All-Weather Wood with Leather via @thedesconf

For those of you who have ever taken any classes on color theory, you are probably aware that the best way to make a neutral color is to blend the three primary colors of red, yellow and blue. So if you are working with clear glass, you will want to purchase all three colors of stained glass spray paint and you can choose the dark blue or the light blue depending on how dark or light you prefer your neutral to be. If you are attempting to alter an existing color and want to neutralize it, and you are working with a color that is a secondary color (orange, green or purple), you will simply choose the complimentary color on the color wheel (the color directly opposite from your color – blue, red or yellow).

The Design Confidential x Michaels Makers Craft Paint Challenge DIY Stained Glass and All-Weather Wood with Leather via @thedesconf

If your existing tint is a tertiary color, you will do the same as you will for the secondary colors by choosing a complimentary color – but, since you do not have the option of lime green or crimson stained glass spray paint colors to work with, you will choose both of the complimentary colors on either side of your actual complimentary color. For example, if your glass is tinted a shade of pink similar to the crimson section, instead of choosing lime green as your complimentary color you will choose both green and yellow. If your existing tint is red-orange, you will choose green and blue to neutralize.

Since I am starting with one dark reddish pink tinted glass tray and one yellow, I simply need to focus on completing the trifecta for each, in the hopes of bringing them closer in shade and hue. For the yellow tray I will use the dark blue and red stained glass spray paint, and for the dark pink I will use the lighter blue and the yellow. It is important to note that you will NOT apply these color equally. Since blue and red are more dominant colors, you will always use less of those, regardless of your starting point.

The Design Confidential x Michaels Makers Craft Paint Challenge DIY Stained Glass and All-Weather Wood with Leather via @thedesconf

If you occasionally lose your mind, like I do, and you buy the yellow sea glass paint instead of the yellow stained glass paint… you can either go with the frosted look, or you can take the complementary color route as described above, just be warned it is much more difficult to do this if your complimentary color calls for green. The green color option is a very standard green color which means it is a relatively equal mix of yellow and blue – which is precisely what I mentioned you would NOT want to do in the previous paragraph. So yes, not having yellow at your disposal will likely make things tricky.

When I tried to replace the sea glass for the correct product, they were out of stock, so I thought I would roll with it and see just how difficult it would be. Naturally, if I was taking that hard route for the reddish pink tray I figured I would do the same for the yellow and use the purple stained glass for it, rather than the red and dark blue.

If you are using the primary colors to neutralize, start with the more dominant color and you will be spraying the bottom side of your glass. I always like to get a running start with spray paint, to work the crazy out, and then I will over spray on the sides in each direction, as I move back and forth with my paint. You will spray one very light coat of your more dominant color, running horizontally across your glass, over spraying on the sides (so you do not end up with stop and start marks) and overlapping slightly with each subsequent spray. Wait a couple of minutes and then spray one additional extremely light coat of the dominant color, in the opposite direction, or vertically. Let this dry for a few minutes and then get to work on your lighter color. You will apply this in the same way, alternating between a horizontal and vertical direction, for each coat of paint. You will have to use your best judgement as to how many layers of this second color you need, but it will likely be somewhere between six and fifteen, depending on whether it is yellow or red. Yellow will obviously require more layers than red.

The Design Confidential x Michaels Makers Craft Paint Challenge DIY Stained Glass and All-Weather Wood with Leather via @thedesconf

If you need to use a secondary color as I did here, I am happy to report that after 87 very light coats in both directions, I was successful in evening them out and neutralizing them quite a bit. They are not perfect, by any means, especially when you consider my lack of patience and the colors I was working with. But, they are both far more even in lightness to darkness and much more bronze in color. Sadly, I didn’t think to take a before shot of the trays next to each other as you see them above. That would give you a much better understanding of just how far they came and how similar they are now in comparison.

The Design Confidential x Michaels Makers Craft Paint Challenge DIY Stained Glass and All-Weather Wood with Leather via @thedesconf

I let the trays fully cure over night and the next day I painted the wood surround with the outdoor paint. I used a 1 inch foam brush and it was as easy as can be. No sanding or priming was necessary even though I was working with an existing finish – gotta love that – and it went on like butter. I applied two thorough coats of paint and that is it. No sealant is necessary and given the nature of this piece of furniture, having a water resistant, durable paint seemed like the way to go. This will make maintenance virtually nil. I also love that…

As for the faux leather wrap on the handlebar, I used the same paint and foam brush, making sure to apply the paint to all areas of the texture. I applied two coats mainly to be sure I had every nook and cranny covered and it worked beautifully.

The Design Confidential x Michaels Makers Craft Paint Challenge DIY Stained Glass and All-Weather Wood with Leather via @thedesconf

The reflective quality of the leather made it difficult to capture, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well this paint worked on this type of material. It looks as if it was black all along and in no way appears to be painted. It feels fantastic as well, without having any of that painted feel. It is quite remarkable and begs for some additional testing, to see just how far one might take this… but for now, suffice to say that I am surprisingly really happy with every aspect of this makeover. I feel like both types of paint used here have a lot of potential and open a lot of finishing school doors along the road to more complicated and intricate DIY projects. You know how I like options… options is precisely what this project gave me.

The Design Confidential x Michaels Makers Craft Paint Challenge DIY Stained Glass and All-Weather Wood with Leather via @thedesconf

This project was created for The Design Confidential, in partnership with Michaels and my role as a Michaels Maker.  With over 800 new styles of craft paint, Michaels has more paints for more surfaces! Check out some of their new finishes including ultra-metallic & watercolor and get started on your next DIY! If you want to see how the other amazing crafty folks used craft paint for their challenge projects this month, visit the Michaels’ blog, The Glue String, or browse the goodness below.

Design / DIY / Home / Shopping / Studio

From the Windows to the Walls / Upping the Ante on Curb Appeal


The Design Confidential x Schlage Curb Appeal Update via @thedesconf

Curb appeal… that tricky little concept that can be somewhat elusive and difficult to nail down. The very definition of curb appeal is entirely subjective, but when things have spiraled out of control, your neighbors are usually irritated at the sincere lack of appeal your home gives off, in unison.

From the windows to the walls, curb appeal involves absolutely everything you can see from the curb. That is quite a bit of real estate to consider when you are trying to up the ante and show off a bit of your personal style without straying too far from the confines of your neighborhood’s existing style. Because being the odd man out on the block, is not usually a good thing…

The Design Confidential x Schlage Curb Appeal Update via @thedesconf

Take for example the view from the front of my house… Not crazy awful, at first glance, and certainly not ruffling any feathers around these parts. Of course on closer inspection, you may notice a few things that make you cringe and might even look familiar if you are a procrastinator of small repairs, like I am. Truthfully, I lived with my front porch in this state for so long, the things that needed to be done out there managed to transition from nagging little tasks, to utterly invisible problem areas, without so much as a peep.

The two empty pots you see flanking the decorative railing are filled with soil, the memory of two adorable trees that are no more and a reminder to all those who dare to tread there, death comes quickly in the form of extreme heat and a lack of attention. I am fairly certain I used them for planting a couple of faux tombstones, last Halloween, so it is safe to assume the loss of my trees was not a recent occurrence.

The Design Confidential x Schlage Curb Appeal Update via @thedesconf

A couple of years ago I installed a Sense Smart Deadbolt with Century Trim and matching handleset and as you can see, I never got around to touching up the paint from the previous door hardware. In my pitiful defense, I live in a neighborhood with fairly rigid HOA regulations, and we are not able to alter the exterior colors without going through design review. I was left several of the paint colors used throughout, when we moved in, but not one for the exterior door and trim. This meant I would need to color match in order to touch up, or go through the process of design review, and that was not entirely conducive to maintaining my motivation to fix the problem – as you can see… Apparently obstacles are my nemesis.

The Design Confidential x Schlage Curb Appeal Update via @thedesconf

Aside from the row of lilies I planted last year, to say my curb appeal was sincerely lacking, would be the understatement of the year. Since no one was storming the house with pitchforks or torches, I managed to wear blinders for the better part of two years until I had finally had enough of the madness.

The Design Confidential x Schlage Curb Appeal Update via @thedesconf

Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt with Century Trim and Latitude Lever Set / Paint / Trees / Bench / Pots and Similar Option / Rug / Lanterns / Wood Table / Solar Landscape Lighting / Doormat

Armed with a far more pulled together overall plan for the interior spaces, I crafted a design plan for the exterior. I drew my inspiration from the interior details and while the furnishings may change, the finishes create continuity and flow between the inside and out. Starting with a desperately needed fresh coat of paint on the front door and gorgeous new hardware that is same-same, only different (in the finish), I began checking things off my very long list of exterior updates to help improve my previously sad state of affairs out here.

The Design Confidential x Schlage Curb Appeal Update via @thedesconf

I gave the concrete a good scrubbing and it improved the appearance substantially. It will need to be resurfaced at some point, but it is far more civilized with a proper bathing. The gorgeous smokebush trees are show stopping, to be sure, but nothing makes as much impact on the overall curb appeal of this space as the new door hardware I installed in matte black. I adored the previous iteration of this set, but by introducing a new finish into the space, it was out of place so replacing it with the matte black version works so much better and ties in the existing door hardware elements.

The Design Confidential x Schlage Curb Appeal Update via @thedesconf

While the majority of the people who grace my front porch and enter through my door are under the age of ten, I feel confident that the changes I made out here more accurately represent the type of home I have and want to portray.

It is important to me to have beautiful finishes and fixtures throughout my spaces, but I demand those pieces I choose work hard and require very little from me in return, especially as it relates to installation, maintenance and upkeep. My previous door hardware did precisely that, so much so that I was willing to overlook the crazy paint job that remained, but this new colorway knocks it out of the park. What’s more is the fact that the most difficult aspect of overhauling this space was driving all over town for an entire week to find just the right trees. The new handleset and deadbolt took less than ten minutes to put in place, even with my husband out of town and pack of wild children coming and going like bees in a hive, and all it required from me was nothing more than an hour of my time to repaint the door, so that gorgeous hardware would sit pretty, as it rightfully should.

The Design Confidential x Schlage Curb Appeal Update via @thedesconf

If you need to up the ante on your own curb appeal game, you can enter the Schlage Superb Curb Appeal Sweepstakes now for a chance to win a Schlage Sense™ Smart Deadbolt, a $1000 gift-card from The Home Depot and a design consultation from a popular home-design blogger.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Schlage. The opinions and text are all mine.


Reader Showcase // A Swanky Round Farmhouse Table


The Design Confidential Reader Showcase / DIY Swank Round Farmhouse Table

I have been meaning to showcase this gorgeous build for more than a year now… I know, I am horribly slow and I am behind on showcases like you would not believe! But this beauty deserves the spotlight and the mods are fantastic. A link to the plans this was built from is below, along with a link to her post that shares how she modified this beauty!

Built From These Plans

Free Woodworking Plans to Build a 48 Inch Round Provence Dining Table

Free Woodworking Plans to Build a Round Provence Dining Table

To Read More About This Build, Visit This Blog Post