China Hutch Upcycle

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I didn’t actually realize how long this project had been in the works until I sat down to write about it. For those who follow me on Instagram, you might remember the stories I posted about this hutch. I found it last year in May and HAD to have it. The problem, it is HUGE, weighs a ton and we don’t have a truck to haul it with.

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Deck Restoration, Part 2

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When I got to the point of being ready and able to start getting projects done again, with the urging of my husband, I knew I needed to finish up some things I had started before I got pregnant. A few examples…

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Inspired by…Grain Mill turned Farmhouse

My mom is really going to LOVE this post 🙂 Pretty sure her dream is to turn an old barn into a home. Or at least into an event venue that she can run a business out of. Well mama, here is your inspiration! This is a 161 year old grain mill that was bought and remodeled by a couple of antique dealers, obviously they knew what they were doing.

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Nursery Crib

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Someone contacted me asking about some of the furniture details in Landon’s nursery and I realized that I never shared the finished crib! No time like the present…

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Breakfast Nook Table

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So it’s been a month since I’ve posted 😦 #1 I can’t believe it has been that long! #2 That also means that this pregnancy is moving along insanely fast! In just 1 week I will already be 24 weeks!! I’m starting to panic about all the things I haven’t even begun to tackle in the nursery yet, not to mention finishing my registry, researching daycare/nannies, take some baby classes…the list just keeps piling up!

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How To: Adjust Chandelier Height

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Before baby came to be, the room getting all my attention lately has been the kitchen. Now, I’ve realized my bedroom and the nursery need to be ready in just 6 short months. That may seem like a long time, but, I tend to move at a very slow pace. I’ve really done nothing to our bedroom since we moved in other than painting the walls that same color as the rest of the house. The thing that really drove me crazy was the huge Tommy Bahama style ceiling fan that just didn’t go with any of my décor. So, I decided that would be the first thing to go.

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Room Makeover…Home Bar

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Last week when I was sick, I started re-watching the Gossip Girl series on DVD. It helped pass the 4 days I spent in bed. The problem…now I can’t stop watching episodes…back-to-back-to-back. It is making me completely unproductive. All I’ve gotten accomplish today is eaten 2 meals, watched 4 episodes and styled the new little bar area of our dining room.

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How to: Change a light fixture

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My friend, Janine and I made a trip to Ikea the other day. On the way, we decided to pull off the freeway in search of a cute little café she had heard of. We didn’t find the café, but we did find THE BEST home store I have found in Portland to date. It is called City Home and it is the most amazing mix of vintage & new, rustic & eclectic. It really has something for everyone. I just know I am going to be back again and again, especially after bringing home this light fixture that I am absolutely obsessed with. And don’t worry, I did get some cute little faux herb plants from Ikea as well, those will be used in a later post.

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DIY Upcycled Frame

DIY upcycled frameAs I type this, I am watching Fixer Upper re-runs and the episode where Joanna created a wall sign with the saying “today is a good day for a good day” is on! It’s meant to be that I have this sign in my home and post it for you all.

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DIY Menu Chalkboard

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I finally bought a fiddle leaf fig tree!!!! I have been wanting one of these for SO long but have been nervous to pull the trigger because they are spendy and I have what you would call a black thumb as opposed to a green thumb. Now, I didn’t re-pot the plant because as I was driving it home with a giddy smile on my face, my mom texted me and said “is it poisonous for dogs?” Well, crap! It is!! The woman at the plant nursery said it is only toxic if the leaves are ingested and not in a fatal way but that I can return the plant if it makes me nervous. I am going to talk to my vet today but I really hope I don’t have to get rid of my new favorite décor item!

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Upcycled Queen Bed

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So it’s been almost a month and a half since my last blog post and I have felt like a part of my heart was missing! It has been an absolutely crazy past 6 weeks with work. And when I say work, I’m not talking about fun blog stuff in the works. I mean, my real-life, money making job. As much as I wish the blog could pay my bills, that is just not the case. Don’t get me wrong, I do love my job, but blogging and DIY has really become a huge passion and I have felt a little lost without it.

The hiatus is over and I am so thrilled to be back at it. I also realized today that my blogiversary is coming up very soon, it’s already been 1 year since I started this crazy journey! (Did I just use the word journey? What am I, a Bachelorette contestant?!?!). On one hand it feels like I just started yesterday, and on the other, I feel like I’ve been doing this forever. Either way, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

On to the post…

We have a queen bed in our guest bedroom, that, for the longest time, has just been sitting on a boring metal frame. I forgot to take before photos of this room when we bought the house so I snapped a quick photo before I started painting.

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I bought this queen bed over a year ago. I was furniture shopping at thrift stores and came across it. I certainly didn’t need a queen size headboard/footboard/frame but I loved the look of it, it was super sturdy and very well built and was only $150, so I brought it home. And there it sat, in my garage, for all this time. My husband is a big fan of that, by the way, all the stuff I buy because I think I will use it someday that just sits in our garage or extra bedroom. Oops.

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I did a quick and easy update on this piece, just 1 coat of white chalk paint and then sanded it down to let some of the dark wood show through and get a worn look. When you paint a light color over dark wood, people think it takes a lot of coats. If you are going for a worn, antique look, 1 coat should be enough.  After just one coat, here is what the wood looked like…

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Don’t worry if the paint looks streaky or doesn’t completely cover the wood. When I sanded, I used a fine grit (220) sand paper and ran it all over the wood. As you come to a spot where the brush strokes really stand out, this is where a put a little more pressure on the sand paper and make that a “worn” spot. Ultimately, the key is to not worry too much as you sand. You can always go back and sand more or add another layer of paint in some spots if you need to but you don’t want it to look perfect.

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The bedding used in this room is from Pottery Barn, part of our wedding registry, so it isn’t available any longer but their Jessie Organic Duvet & Sham are a similar color palette and pattern.

Now that I have the bed done and in place, I can’t wait to finish painting and decorate the rest of the room. Stay tuned!

Antique Coffee Table

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My mom refinishes old furniture, which is where I got this DIY bug from. She had an upcoming show and was low on pieces and asked me to shop around some Portland thrift stores to see what I could find. I called her from the Habitat for Humanity Restore to let her know I found this amazing cedar chest that she had to have and it was only $40!!! She got just as excited about it after I sent her some photos. Unfortunately, this was the only piece of furniture I found for her that day, and even more unfortunate, I decided I loved it so much that I wanted to keep it for myself. Oops. Luckily I have a very understanding mom! And since then she has found plenty of furniture to refinish.

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This chest is so well built and sturdy, when I got it home I started researching it. I found an almost identical chest that originated in Mexico for $800! Did I mention I got it for $40?!?! Now for the refinishing…really simple this time. The wood was very scratched and banged but I wanted these characteristics to show through an almost white washed look. I used Annie Sloan chalk paint in Pure White and just painted on one thin coat and let it dry. Then I took a very fine grit sand paper (220 grit) and sanded the surface so that the white still remained but so you could see each seam and scratch in the wood. Then I finished with a coat of Annie Sloan Soft Wax to seal the wood and paint.

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Quick change! Now time to coffee table style…

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Painted Front Door

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My mom painted our front door black when I was younger and I’m pretty sure I looked at her like she had four heads…and look at me now. Yep, four heads, just like my mama. When I decided to change my front door, what I really wanted was a huge, knotty pine wood front door with a speakeasy grille for a peephole. Like the one on the vacation house in the Hamptons on the current season of Kourtney & Khloe take the Hamptons…anyone know what I’m talking about? However, that kind of thing isn’t in the budget right now so I decided to try painting the door before anything else.

As always, lets start with the before photo:

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Nothing special, just a plain white steel front door. To prep before painting, I wiped down the door with a wet rag and then took 200 grit, fine sandpaper and lightly sanded the door to get any imperfections out and also create a rough surface for the paint to stick to. Then I wiped the door down a second time.

I decided to leave the door on the hinges while painting, 1) because I was by myself and didn’t know if I could lift the door once it was off the hinges and 2) because I didn’t want to deal with keeping the dogs away from a wide-open front door and thus having to chase them up and down a large hill which is my neighborhood if they got out. I did remove the doorknob and deadbolt before painting and changed the hinges out afterward. Keep in mind when doing this that you will need to leave the door open partially as it dries between coats, which will take a couple of hours. Mine took about 5 hours to dry between each coat but I also did this on a pretty wet, cold and rainy day. Painting on a dry, warm day will speed up dry times.

For the paint, I chose Rust-Oleum High Performance Protective Enamel in High Gloss Black. This paint is super sticky but it covers well, it took just two coats. The key when you are painting a door is to go slow and to paint in the direction of the panel.

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Can you tell how I changed the brush strokes on the different sections of the door? It’s a bit tough to see. Start by painting the deep grooves between each panel, turning your brush horizontally for the top and bottom grooves and vertically for the side grooves. Next, paint main panels that are surrounded by grooves, moving  your brush vertically. Third, paint any horizontal panels on the main frame of the door, moving your brush horizontally. Finally, paint the outside and center vertical panels moving your brush vertically. See the diagram below from the blog Love, Pomegranate House…hopefully it helps. She does a great job of demonstrating the flow and direction to take.

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Once your paint has dried, you can change your hinges and put the deadbolt and doorknob back on. I updated mine to a Schlage brushed nickel metal handleset.

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And that was it! Any easy update that you can complete in one day to update your home! Would love to hear if you try this out on your own door. Comment on the post and let me know how it turns out!

Room Makeover…My Master Bathroom Vanity

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Ok, ok…so it’s not an entire room makeover again…I haven’t gotten that far yet. But only because I haven’t gathered up the courage to re-tile my shower and bathtub just yet. Be patient…it will happen. This mini-makeover, again, happened by accident. I just can’t help myself! I decided just before going back to work that I wanted to get all the walls in my house painted, that it would make me feel like I accomplished a big project and like I was at least making some progress in this oh-so-slow DIY remodel process. So, I started painting away, one room at a time. Then I got to the master bathroom. As I was prepping the walls to paint I decided to take down the large plain contractor grade vanity mirror to paint behind it. Boy was this a huge pain in the you know what! That thing was heavy!! Since I wanted a better looking mirror in it’s place anyway, I decided to not put the old mirror back up and to just go find a new one. Easy enough. Except, then I wanted a new light fixture to replace the old copper one. And then I couldn’t stand the gold faucets and towel rings. You get the point…once I started, I couldn’t stop until the whole area was remodeled and redecorated. I know what you’re thinking, and yes, my husband knows I’m a DIY addict. I have yet to seek help.

So, here we go. Let’s start with the before picture…

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Isn’t she a beauty…man, this before and after thing is kind of embarrassing! So this is what I started with. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all bad. We do really like the grey marble counters in our bathroom, the problem is, they don’t really go with ANYTHING else in the room. Tan floor & bathtub tile, gold faucets, copper light fixtures and cabinet knobs and pea green walls…

I started with the colors in the marble and went from there. The taupe wall color that I was already using throughout the house was going to match the taupe lines in the marble perfectly and I love myself some brushed nickel fixtures right now so I continued with that in this room as well. First things first, I painted the walls and replaced the mirror and light fixture.

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 I used the same color paint as the entry way, Valspar Lyndhurst Timber from Lowes but for the bathroom I used a semi-gloss finish instead of a matte finish. The light fixture is Portfolio 4-Light Brushed Nickel Vanity Light from Lowes. The mirror is from Home Goods.

Next, I installed the new towel rings and faucets.

I used the towel ring and sink faucet from Moen’s Boardwalk collection at Lowes. I’m always that person who is a bit over-confident when I first start a DIY project, then, about halfway through, I tell myself I’m crazy for ever deciding to DIY my entire house and I want to sit on the floor and cry. And then I remember that you can find ANYTHING on the internet, including how to dismantle an old faucet! This was not the easiest thing I’ve ever done, mostly because the metal seemed a bit corroded on the inside which made getting the pieces apart a bit challenging. Have no fear though, once you get the old one out the hard part is over. The new faucets are so simple to install, you’ll think you should become a plumber. But don’t.

Next up, freshening up the cabinets.

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They were already painted white when I started, however, it was a pretty awful paint job. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to paint cabinets to freshen up a room but if you’re going to do it, take your time! Use a small paint brush and be delicate. Make sure your brush strokes follow the grain of the wood and don’t let the paint drip or pool. The goal is to make the cabinets look custom, not like a 4-year-olds art project.

I stripped the cabinets down, took off all the hardware, sanded off the old paint and started fresh. I know you can’t really tell from the photos, but trust me, this made a world of difference. Now, had the cabinets just been stained with a clear coat finish, I probably would’ve painted right over it without sanding (like I will soon do to my kitchen!! In my head, I was saying that while squealing like a little girl.) Once the painting was finished, I reattached the doors and drawers and added new knobs, allen + roth Brushed Nickel Square Knobs from Lowes.

Final step: decorate!

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I’m a bit obsessed with this little terrarium/vase that I found at Cost Plus World Market. It’s not originally what I set out looking for but I fell in love with it. The apothecary jars are from Pottery Barn, the PB Classic Glass Canister in small. I also got Ralph Lauren white hand towels from Marshalls for $5 each. The soap dispensers were a wedding gift, also from Pottery Barn, they do still carry them as part of the classic collection along with the apothecary jars.

And that’s that!

All in all, I spent about $500 on the mini-makeover. Pretty good, considering $200 of that was just for the faucets. Now to tackle the bathtub and shower tile!! Wish me luck and stay tuned for the full room makeover update!

Converting carpeted stairs to hardwood

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I feel like I’ve been a bit MIA this week. There has been a lot going on and a lot of good things in the works but this week I definitely struggled to balance it all. Here’s to hoping I get my act together next week 🙂

The exciting news is that I did get my carpet stairs converted to hard wood! This was by far my biggest project to date. Now, luckily for me, my stairs are fairly simple in that it is just the risers and treads, no banisters or newel posts to deal with. I was hoping that when I pulled up the carpet I would get lucky and discover original hardwood stairs but sadly, just nasty, paint-splattered plywood.

I am most certainly not an expert on this so all I can give you is advice from my experience.

Tip #1: Be ready to complete the entire staircase once you start, if possible. Once you start taking the staircase apart, you are going to have a big mess (and in my case, insulation) under you staircase and you won’t want to leave that open to rest of your house for too long.

Tip #2: Start at the bottom and work your way up, one step at a time. Start by removing the existing stair parts, risers and treads for the bottom 2 steps. Cut you new hardwood risers and treads to fit the space. Place the first and second riser using wood glue and nails. With the upper and lower risers in place, you can place you first tread in the same way. As you work your way up the stairs, you’ll lay the upper riser followed by the tread below it.

Tip #3: I used both wood glue and nails to secure my stairs and will counter-sink the nails, fill nail holes with wood filler and stain the wood later. Because I used glue and nails, the stairs were VERY secure right away. If you are not using nails and are just gluing your stairs, be prepared to not walk on them for at least 3 days. The most common reason to not use nails is if you paint you stair parts before installing them. I’ve come to learn that when installing anything, it’s going to get dirty and you’ll have to touch it up anyway, so better to save time and paint once you’ve installed.

Here are my photos in order of how my stair parts went in. I used Unfinished Oak Interior Stair Tread & Unfinished Oak Interior Stair Riser, both from Lowe’s.

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My first step was to remove the carpet, underlayment, treads & risers from the first two steps.

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Second, placed the 1st and 2nd risers.

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Third, place your first stair tread. Don’t mind Ella in the background, she’s just supervising my work 🙂 At this point I also removed the parts from the third step.

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You get the pattern at this point, right? 🙂

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Finished product! They turned out so well! Now to touch up the walls, and stain the steps 🙂 my plan is to have white risers and stain the treads the same color as the floors. I’ll be sure to post the completed photo once the painting is done!

Vinyl Plank Flooring

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I’m almost finished with the flooring in the foyer and I’m so impressed with the look and how easy it was to install that I just had to share the details with you all. When I was trying to decide what flooring to go with there were a couple of factors I considered:
1) Price – I got an estimate from a home improvement retailer to install wood plank flooring and the cost was going to be similar to sending our future children to private school in Switzerland. Ok, maybe not that much and the estimate was for the whole house but still, more than we wanted to spend right now. However, I’m an instant gratification type of gal so I needed to figure out another option that could happen in the coming weeks.
2) Waterproof – I wanted the flooring in our entryway, powder room and possibly kitchen and master bath but everyone knows (at least my mother’s horror stories tell me) that you don’t put wood floor in rooms where water leaks are a possibility.

I started looking at other options and came across this vinyl plank flooring at Lowe’s (Shaw Matrix Floating Vinyl Plank in Franklin Hickory).  Yes, I cringed a bit at the word vinyl because it conjured up images of the faux tile flooring in my childhood home. A cream “tile” with pink flowers with large green leaves all through the kitchen and hallway. (Sorry mom, totally throwing you under the bus in this post. Love you!) That floor has long since been discarded but I still couldn’t help but think of outdated material when I see the word vinyl in reference to flooring.

I really liked the look of this particular color of “faux wood” flooring and it was relatively cheap in comparison to the other floor options, waterproof and you install it with nothing more than a tape measure and a box cutter! So, I brought a box home and gave it a shot. You install this product right over existing tile or over subfloor, no underlayment necessary. Before I knew it, I was back at Lowe’s buying enough to finish the whole foyer.

As with the crown moulding, I didn’t take pictures as I went because I wanted to get a little experience first. I’m feeling quite confident with it now and will post a Part 2 when I tackle the next room. However, I will say that the flooring comes with instructions in the box and it is SO EASY that you probably don’t need the photos.

Until then, check out the photos, check out the flooring and seriously consider it if you are looking to update your home. Below is the original flooring and then a few more shots of the new floor. Now to tackle the baseboard and stairs!IMG_2420 IMG_2694 IMG_2711

Crown Moulding

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This is the project I am most proud of so far, it took me a while to get it right (and by that I mean to get to the point that my perfectionistic personality was satisfied) but I did it and am super pleased with the result.

I used 5 1/4 inch angled moulding to get a prominent look that adds depth to the walls, rather than a moulding that lays flat on the wall. You can tell the difference by looking at the back of the moulding. If it is completely flat on the back then it lays flat on the wall. If it has a slanted edge at the top and bottom then it sits at an angle with the slanted edges sitting on the wall and ceiling. Most moulding comes in 8ft or 12ft lengths, measure each wall, the goal is to use just one piece of moulding for each wall so you don’t have to deal with seams of connecting 2 pieces of moulding. However, if you have a long wall and can’t avoid this I will show you how to create a smooth seam. I painted all of the moulding and corner blocks with white semi-gloss interior paint prior to installing it.

Supplies:
Evertrue Interior Primed MDF Crown Moulding from Lowe’s
Evertrue Outside Corner Crown Moulding Block
Evertrue Inside Corner Crown Moulding Block
15 Gauge 1 1/2 Inch Nail
13 Gauge 2 Inch Nail
Nail Punch Set
Miter Box
Wood Filler
Fine Grit Sandpaper

1. I started by attaching the corner moulding blocks to each corner using the 2 inch nails. Each block has predrilled holes so attaching them to the wall is fairly simple. Once you have secured the nail on both sides of the block, using the nail punch set (I used the smallest in the set) to countersink the nail then cover your nail hole with wood filler and allow it to dry for at least a half hour before painting or sanding.
2. Once all your corner blocks are in place, you can put up the moulding. Measure the distance between 2 blocks and cut a piece of moulding to that length. Remember the rule: Measure twice and cut once, and you can always cut off a bit more if it’s too long but you can’t fix it if it’s too short. Angle your moulding so the edges sit flush with the wall and ceiling and anchor in the center of the wall with the 1 1/2 inch nails, one nail into the wall and one into the ceiling. Do the same next to each corner block, and depending on the length of the wall, halfway between the corner and center of the wall. I personally anchored the moulding approximately every 2 feet.
3. After you’ve finished anchoring the moulding, go back with the nail punch and countersink each nail and fill the holes with wood filler like you did with the corner blocks. After the filler has dried for at least a half hour you can lightly sand it so the surface is smooth. Now you can go back with paint and touch up the nail holes.

Because this was my first attempt, I didn’t take photos of the cuts and installation as I went, however, I will post an update soon with more detailed photos of installation and cuts for seams, edges connecting with corner blocks and corner without corner blocks.

Stay tuned!

Foyer Table Re-do

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  I’m SO excited about this table you guys!! This was my first project with Annie Sloan chalk paint and I’m hooked. My mom has been using Annie Sloan paint on her furniture (she re-finishes old furniture and does an amazing job, check out her Facebook page…Simply Country Quilts & Antiques) and she swears by it.

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Deck Restoration

 

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Whoever lived here before us didn’t seem concerned with the obscene amount of rain we get in the pacific northwest and saw no reason to put any sort of finish on the front porch deck. The wood was weathered and worn, dirty and grey; much like the wood I take off of a pallet for some DIY project. I thought for sure that we would need to replace the whole deck if I ever wanted it to look new again. Boy was I wrong!

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