Reviving that plain old knife block

WP_001213Ok, so maybe the appearance of your knife block isn’t the biggest concern you have. It wasn’t mine either. But, after renovating the kitchen, having that ugly lump of wood on my beautiful new countertops was just a bummer. I’ve been wanting to experiment with chalkboard paint, and decided this was the perfect way to try it out!

What you need

A wooden knife block. If you don’t have one already, every thrift shop in the country has a few on hand. Pick one that matches the knives you have – or pick knives to fit the block!
Primer
Chalkboard paint – preferably spray paint
Chalk

 

Instructions

First, thoroughly clean the knife block. If you have TSP, this is best, as it will remove any grease stains. Let it dry.

WP_001215If your knife block has a magnet in the back for extra knives (mine did), you should cover the magnet with masking or painter’s tape.

Coat the block with the primer. If you’re using a spray primer, I would put two to three coats on. If you’re brushing it on, one coat should be sufficient. Follow the instructions to ensure sufficient dry time.

 

WP_001218Once your primer is dry, spray on the chalkboard paint! I do recommend the spray just because knife blocks are such odd surfaces, with all the holes. The spray will just coat easier. But feel free to brush it on also.

With a spray, you’ll need to do 3-4 coats. It is always best to do very thin coats with the spray, as it can easily drip or run down the sides.

Let the paint dry completely. Remove the tape, if you used it. Decorate the sides with chalk, put the knives back in and voila! A fun update to your kitchen counter!

 

 

(Oh, and yes, I did write “Caution! Sharp!” on the knife block. I need reminders like those!)

Summer BBQs–Festive decorations for your parties!

IMG_3802Summer is finally upon us! Which means it is time for summer BBQs with friends! In Seattle, summer doesn’t really begin until the 4th of July, which is truly a perfect excuse for a party! Here are some fun, easy, and INEXPENSIVE ways to create festive decorations for your holiday party table.

One day, while home sick from work, I was watching the Nate Berkus show and was inspired by an episode on thrifting. He had a segment with a fantastic blogger, Mr. Kate, who created a beautiful holiday table with all thrift store finds. With a little bargain hunting and couple cans of spray paint, you can do the same.

Do a little shopping

Mr. Kate went into the thrift store imagining beyond just what she was seeing. Sure, that ceramic eagle figurine w/ the muted pastel colors and the weird eyes looks pretty creepy now, but spray painted white, it’s a great accent for a 4th of July table. Those slightly rusty metal bowls have great lines, and with a couple coats of navy blue and a cloth napkin liner, they could be the perfect bowl for your buns. And, at 30 cents a piece, you can spray paint the handles of thrift store silverware for a fun look. Whatever you can’t find at the thrift store, you can supplement at the dollar store. I found plates and napkins at the Dollar Tree – they fit in perfectly!

Here are my finds: Continue reading

Refinishing an ugly chair

Last weekend I took an upholstery class and loved it! Had been wanting to do it for a very long time. Upholstery has always intimidated me a bit, so I was glad to learn a lot.

However, there are some pieces that are actually quite simple to do with no real training. This chair is one of them – I did this a while back and it was quite easy. I bought this chair on CraigsList for a bit more than I should have paid. I liked the size of it and the shape, but the fabric was not pretty. Kinda gross actually. But it fit in my front window alcove so perfectly. I figured this one was a project I could tackle.

IMG_3126v2

Supplies you’ll need

  • Staple remover/flathead screwdriver/pliers
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Spray Paint
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Staple gun/staples
  • Glue gun/glue sticks
  • Enough fabric to cover the chair (I highly recommend fabric made specifically for home décor – it is heavier and will last longer)
  • Trim (cord, etc)

Continue reading