Friday, April 29, 2011

Free Advice Friday

Since Salvage Savvy is not yet one week old, I think it’s safe to say that it’s still in the “building phase.” Therefore, when I inform you that there were no questions submitted for today’s Free Advice Friday post, no one will be terribly shocked, right?! However, the simple fact that no one asked me a question rarely stops me from dishing out my advice [just ask my super hero husband] so, I shall continue on undeterred!

Btw, I refuse to make up a question from some make-believe follower and fool my faithful [of 4 days] readers [I’m saving that for next week if no one responds].
Instead, I am going to write about a common question- how to choose a [non ugly] paint color.

We’ve all done it…you get the first coat of paint on the walls and think, “It’ll be better with two coats.” [Deep, deep down you already know that it won’t; nonetheless, pride, denial and hope all converge forcing you to press on]. Once the second coat goes up you think, “It’ll dry to the perfect shade that I chose at the hardware store.” Then, once it dries… it looks worse. You immediately rush over to the paint can thinking, “They mixed this color wrong, I should’ve waited for the old guy who knows what he’s doing- that teenager who helped me looked like he was high.” Finally, you hold your selected paint swatch up against the wall and… it’s a perfect match. D’oh.

Here is a simple, stress-free way to [hopefully] avoid that situation. First, never ever, ever [ever] begin your hunt for a paint color at the hardware store [ever]. Always begin at home, standing [I guess you could sit too] in the room that will be painted. If you have already begun the decorating process, then find an item in the room that has colors you love [a favorite pillow, rug, curtain, vase- you get the idea]. If you are starting the room from scratch, then you can find anything in the whole world that has colors you love [a favorite shirt, purse, your dog…]. Once you have your item, decide if you want it to stand-out in your room or blend into the room. If you want it to stand out, then select a color from it that is used sparingly [meaning one of the accent colors]. If you want it to blend in [meaning that you want the entire room to “feel” like that item] then select the main color from it to “pull” for your paint color.

Once you’ve chosen the color to “pull,” take the item to the hardware store [don’t say, “I think I’ll remember the shade.” You must bring it – because you won’t remember]. While at the hardware store pull all of the colors that seem to match your item and then [this is important] follow the color you’ve chosen down to the darkest shade and make sure you like that shade.

For example, what looks like a light brown could have some serious mauve undertones and end up looking pink on your walls [been there, done that]. Lastly, if you have plenty of patience, time & money it’s a good idea to purchase a little sample can of your color and paint it on your walls to make sure you like it in your room.

Honestly, I never do that- I’m too excited at that point. I just grab the swatch and sprint to the paint counter where there’s usually a teenager working who looks a little high…then I say to myself, “it’ll be fine, I’ve got to get home and PAINT!”

*Need a specific example?? Check out my follow-up post entitled As Requested!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

It's almost friday, woo-hoo!

What makes this Friday so awesome? Is it because it’s the last day of the work week??? No [well, yes, but that’s not what I’m gettn’ at here]. Is it because the Royal Wedding has arrived and Prince William is finally going to wed his beloved Kate??? No [well, yes, but (other than wanting to see her dress), I'm just excited about the wedding because it means I don’t have to hear about it in the media anymore]. Is it because it’s Free Advice Friday on Salvage Savvy?? YUP [how’d you guess?]!!!

So, now's your time- send in any decorating questions for me today and I’ll have an answer for you tomorrow… what could be more exciting [don’t answer that question]?!

Are you trying to figure out what to put in that awkward little corner in a room? Did you choose a wall color that looked great as a 1” paint chip, but now you’re not sure about it on a 13’ x 8’ wall? Did you buy a great chair to fix-up, but now it's stuck in the garage because you're not sure what to do next?

Just go to my Free Advice Fridays Page, click on the Free Advice Friday! link and send me your question. Or, you can always write your question in the Comment section of that page if you prefer. Also, feel free to snap a photo of the item in question [if you feel it will help!]. I’m super excited to see what questions arrive!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Turn your old gold into... a new bathroom

Sounds tacky, right?! Don’t worry. It’s not. It’s genius. You see, I really, really, really wanted to re-do our small downstairs half bathroom, but there was a problem. I am a Dave Ramsey-aholic [which means I must give every dollar a name before the month begins… yes, I live on a budget]. And you can probably guess that redoing a perfectly fine [and perfectly boring] bathroom just wasn’t in the budget… nor would it be for a long time.

However, one day my sister-in-law asked me if I wanted to go with her to sell some gold for cash [Do normal people actually do that? I thought it was just for thieves and scoundrels; but, I guess that was “back in the ‘90’s!” because now it’s acceptable even for suburban housewives]. So, I looked through my old jewelry box and realized that I could sell a bunch of high school memories [bonus!] and get enough cash to redo the bathroom.

Moral of the story: if you have a project that you want to fund, don’t just whip out the credit card and go into debt [guilt makes even the most beautiful interiors ugly]. Get creative- have a garage sale, sell old stuff [crap] on craigslist or ebay [for suckers like me to buy], or sell your plasma[don’t do that]…whatever you can think of!

So, here’s a photo of my new bathroom. I forgot to take a before photo [Boooo] but just imagine your standard contractor-grade bathroom [boring wood cabinet, white sink, frameless mirror & a lovely round light-bulb vanity light]. I love it now. Oh, and do you want a vanity like that?? It wasn’t expensive. DIY vanity instructions coming soon…[sorry, it's a cliff hanger post :)].

Every room needs a story...

...and frankly, “I went to the same store as half the neighborhood, bought the same entry table, and spent twice as much as I should have,” is kind of a boring story! Please don’t get me wrong, I have many store-bought items in my home and I love them, [I’d better love them because they all cost more than I wanted to pay] but every room should have at least a couple of accent pieces that are 100% you!
If salvaged beauty is your way of life, then you know what I mean; however, if this new to you, keep reading this blog and others to get ideas that inspire you [but keep coming back to Salvage Savvy, pllleeease!]. I promise that if you find a DIY project that excites you, [enough to actually do it] that piece of furniture, art, etc. will become one of your favorites. You’ll never go back… when your friends tell you how adorable your accent table is, and you get to say that you found it for $10 and paid another $10 to fix up… those words become addictive. Soon, you’ll have a home filled with your exact style and many, many good stories!
In honor of my own addiction, here is a photo of my latest story. I saw this dresser at Goodwill [this thing put the “ug” in ugly. My daughter said I was crazy… it was even a little embarrassing having to walk up to it and tear off the purchase ticket!].

Here it is now, though- with a little elbow grease and alot of paint it has been transformed into a beautiful dresser! Now it's your turn- go forth and make [non-boring] stories for your rooms!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Paint Furniture Fast [Rated PE for Pretty Easy]

Do you have furniture in your house that just needs a little… something? My foyer table was seriously lacking in the "wow" department so I decided to do something about it- which means... [you know what’s coming here] time to PAINT!

This is the perfect painting project for the following people:
Any newbie diy-er who isn’t sure about this whole “painting thing.”
Anyone who has attempted to paint furniture before and, [gulp] vowed to never paint agian.
Any diy-er who just wants to get a project done fast [that’s me].

First, you will need to get some spray paint [yes, I said it, s-p-r-a-y paint… it’s not just for expressing your love to Billy Bob on the side of an interstate overpass anymore…]. Are you still with me? Good, lets move on.

Here's what you need:
Sand paper
Spray paint primer
Spray paint
-I used ivory bisque [I know, I’m taking design to the next level with that bold choice]
-I used 3 cans for this project
!!Important!! Get more paint than you think you’ll need because nothing de-rails a diy-er like running out of paint in the middle of a project…not that it happened to me [it totally happened to me].

Here’s what you do [this is the rated E part]:
Lightly sand the furniture- sand in the same direction as the wood grain
*Apply primer coat
*Apply multiple base coats- please remember- you want several light coats- don’t over spray or you’ll get drips, runs [and general heart-ache]
It took me three light coats to get everything even & wonderful on this piece.

*For the best results, read the directions on can & then actually follow them [On a related note, did you know that when making a Betty Crocker cake if you take the time to actually beat the batter on low speed for 30 sec. then medium speed for the full 2 minutes, as directed, the cake will actually be moister & more delicious?? True story].

Now, if you don’t want or need to embellish your item, then you’re done… it’s that easy! Spray paint dries really quickly which means that you can do an entire project in only a few hours. Also, upon completion you get a good, strong finish- which means that it doesn’t [usually] chip or scratch as easily as regular paint sometimes does. However, I will caution that if you are doing a large, totally flat surface [table tops, the side of a large dresser, etc.] it is difficult to get a really nice, even finish with spray paint [that's my professional way of saying "don't use it"].

Alright, so if you get done painting and then step back, take a look at your furniture... and still just want… more [like me], then here is the second half of the directions [this half is what put the P in Pretty Easy!] .

What you need:
Water-based paint of your choice for stencil design(I used a titanium leafing paint)
Latex paint (in a similar color to your spray paint base color)
Tintable Glaze
Paint brush
plain white paper

What you do:

Stencil or paint your design on the drawers [it doesn't have to be perfect, the glaze will hide little flaws].

Mix your base color with the tintable glaze (2 parts glaze to 1 part paint).

Once your design is dry, then brush on the paint/glaze mixture completely over drawer fronts.

Wad-up your paper into a ball and pounce strait up and down (don’t swirl or wipe). This will remove the paint and reveal your [hopefully] beautiful stencil job underneath. When your paper gets too much paint on it, then get a new, fresh piece because your goal is to remove the glaze mixture with the paper. Keep pouncing until you see the texture that you want.

And that's it! See, [pretty] easy :)

*Here's how the entry table looks now with it's Thrift[tastic] Makeover!

**Out of full disclosure I’ll tell you that I free-handed the zebra stripes [too cheap to buy the stencil]; however, if you aren’t comfortable doing that, then it's worth the $$ to get a stencil.

    Time to link-it-up!!


    The Girl Creative

    Tip Junkie handmade projects

    Tuesday, April 19, 2011

    Salvage Savvy Visuals

    Here are a few examples of how to combine thrift and elegance:

    This table was my parents' and has been restored beautifully [by them, not me, I just paint stuff!!]. The chair; however, I found at a garage sale for $5. It wasn't very pretty [imagine a cat's scratching post]. I did a fast and simple afternoon rehab on it and now it looks wonderful! I'll show you how I did it in a DIY post soon...

    Do you ever feel weighed-down by too much heavy cabinetry in the kitchen? Here's a great trick: take down a cabinet and replace it with inexpensive open-shelving. Add a great piece of artwork and you've transformed the space! These two shelves cost a total of $22. You might be surprised how we [this one was my super-hero hubby's project] did it! Once again, it's a DIY post that will be coming to Salvage Savvy soon...

    This bathroom is filled with thrifty-goodness! I purchased the beautiful artwork from a flea-market- $3 each [I KNOW, crazy, right!?]. And the side table came from a garage sale. I don't recall how much it was, but I was a completely broke college student so it couldn't have been much [how many college students hunt for garage sale "finds" on the weekend... ]. Finally, the plant pedistal was given to me by a fellow thrify-gal, so while I love it and use it, I don't recall where she found it [don't ask, don't tell rule :)].

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    What is Salvage Savvy anyway??

    "Use it up, wear it out, make it do." –A quote from my wonderful grandmother, Donna. After growing up during the Great Depression she was what my sister and I call "granny green," which means that she lived "green" before it was cool and she didn't do it to save the world… she did it to save her money! My grandma lived on a "dime" and her home was always beautifully decorated in her own charming and personal style- she set a great example of living beautifully for less and not being wasteful with what we have.

    Salvage Savvy style is also finding beautiful ways to use what others have disregarded as less-than [Goodwill, garage sales, e-bay]. Since I was a child, I’ve watched my dad do just that soooo many times. He owned a construction company, and where his clients saw a "demo job" he saw endless possibilities of re-purposing their demo-ed items! He has woven creativity & function seamlessly together, turning the old into something new and exciting.

    I decided to take my design style of Salvage Savvy and start a blog about it because [there just aren’t enough blogs these days… wait, that can’t be it!] life is expensive and I want to share the secrets of having a thrifty and gorgeous home. It is my hope that as you read each post you will be inspired to change the ordinary or overlooked into something really beautiful and fabulous. Then, you can use the information about my successes [and failures- D'oh!] and go forth in confidence to make beautiful happen in your home! [Plus, I have a ton of stuff I want to do around the house, and I'm hoping that if I can tell my super-hero hubby "it's for the blog, dear" he'll be like, "Awesome, let's get started right away!!" yeaaaa, maybe...]

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