Easy Gilded lamp – DIY Monthly Challenge

Howdy, folks!!  It’s time for another Monthly DIY Challenge!  The rules, you ask?  Easy… My bloggy friends and I are simply assigned a theme and must make something with it!

This month, our theme was paint!  And we were allowed to choose any kind of paint that floated our boats.

Now, I’ll admit…  My project is definitely not something new to my blog.  It’s actually one of my regular go-tos for changing up random items.  It’s quick, easy, cheap, and wholly effective, thus, it’s one of my very favorite DIYs.  You guessed it…. spray-paint!   I’m a true believer running with what works.  So, I do.  ūüėČ   And since my little blog-baby here is about our home and its progression, I wanted to choose something from the list of projects on my to-do list.   So, I chose a lamp makeover plus the transformation of the little nook that it resides in.   Basically, I’m talking spray paint + a nifty new shade + art.   It’s simple, but in my opinion, makes a world of difference in the space.  And I’m not gonna lie… I want to pet the pretty lamp every time I see it while whispering sweet nothings.   I really love how it turned out.

So, let’s start with a shot of Lucas being a ninja turtle while watching the Ninja Turtles…

While it’s pretty much the cutest thing you’ve ever seen, I’d like you to pry your eyes from the adorable Leonardo and relocate them to the decor.   This picture was taken in October of last year shortly after we moved in.   I’d actually forgotten how mis-matched it looked at first.  It makes me feel really good about myself now.  Heehee!  #bloggingmakesconfidence   This photo was taken months before we found our mid-century-dresser-turned-media-stand.  And the nook in question for the purpose of this post is that corner with the black chair.   It was clearly messy, and the orientation was wrong… it looked unquestionably better once I rotated the chair so that it was facing the sofa directly.   And that lamp…. I got it on clearance about 7 years ago at Walmart for $10.   It wasn’t a bad lamp.  It was sturdy, and it didn’t look cheap close-up, but it needed some love.  You can’t really tell in the shot above, but the shade was kind of dingy and had a dent on one side.

So, yeah… It’s fair to say that I’ve wanted to gussy up that area for some time.  Each night, my eyes would inevitably stray from Gossip Girl to the corner.  It was naked.  And not in a good way.  And I would brainstorm ways to dress it.  To make it feel more cozy and welcoming.  I experimented with some of the wall art I had on hand, but nothing looked right, so until recently, activity remained at a standstill.  That is, until we were given a super cool Fort Worth Stockyards print by Joey’s parents, which then inspired me to spring for a sweet new geometric lampshade (from Tar-jay)…

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So, here we were.  And it wasn’t too shabby.  It was just VERY grey/silver.  Now, don’t get me wrong… that’s not a bad thing.  It’s just that there wasn’t anything to tie this corner in with the rest of space in terms of finishes.   I mean, sure, I have stainless steel accents throughout the space, but I also have lots of gold.   For example, our swanky new pulls on our built-ins and wet-bar…

And I wanted that corner to join the cool-kids club to make the gold seem even more intentional.   So, I whipped out the gold spray paint…

Taped off my lamp…

Wiped it down with vinegar spray to remove any dust and dirt, and gave it several light, even coats of my pretty gilded spray paint.

Now, when it comes to spray-painting, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… apply light, even coats with dry time in between to prevent drips.   HOWEVER… READ THE CAN.   If the label says “Paint within one hour or after 48 hours” abide by this.  For the love of Pete, save your sanity and listen to the can.  If you spray within the non-recommended time-frame (Ie: between one and 48 hours), the paint will be too dry to accept wet paint, but not dry enough to properly adhere to your item.  Thus, the spray paint will crackle and wrinkle and develop an almighty attitude.  And you will ugly-cry.  And it will be sad.  Trust me.  I know this from experience.

So anyways, I painted per the instructions on the can, then allowed my lamp to cure up in the garage for a good 24 hours.    Once he was good and dry, I pulled him back inside, which left this….

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And just so you don’t have to scroll up, I give you “The Before”…

Although my little lamp makeover isn’t a huge change in itself, that small pop of gold really helps to tie the corner in with the rest of the space.  I think the change may be more noticeable in person.  If only I could take a picture by blinking.  Then you could see what I see.  Anyhoo, I REALLY want to change out that pillow for a more colorful kilim style pillow, but I haven’t found one that strikes my fancy quite yet.  And I have an idea for storage on the other side of the chair as well… again, it’s a matter of locating my item of choice.   I must say that having really specific decor pieces in my head can be such a pain sometimes… tracking them down is like hunting unicorns.  Ie:  Majestic creatures that *probably* don’t exist.  Not that I’d ever “hunt” a unicorn.  I’d find it, then ask it to be my friend and grant me wishes.  Because clearly unicorns speak English.  And also grant wishes.  I mean, CLEARLY.   Aaaaaaanyways, when my mythical decor items finally present themselves, I’ll let y’all know.

In the meantime, you can fully enjoy yourselves by checking out the fabulous projects created by my fellow bloggers for this #monthlyDIYchallenge….

TDC Before and After

Wood-Framed Art Headboard – Monthly DIY Challenge

You guys ready for another DIY Monthly Challenge??!

The challenge where my bloggy friends and I are assigned an item or theme and must simply make something with it?

I have to say… I love these challenges. ¬† I really do. ¬†They keep me on my toes and maintain my motivation. ¬†Sometimes though, when life gets crazy, finishing a project can be… well… a challenge. ¬† Especially when the project in question ends up giving you a run for your money. ¬†Now, I’m gonna warn ya. ¬†This post is a bit long. ¬†I made a few mistakes and still have more to do, but I’m here to spill the good, the bad, and the ugly details with you. ¬†Because, really… what’s a mistake if you can’t either (a) learn something from it, or (b) help somebody else to not to make the same mistakes. ¬†So, consider this a partial what-not-to-do post. Let’s get started. ¬† This month’s theme was…

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And I had an idea that I was beyond stoked about. ¬†I didn’t have a scrap wood stash, unfortunately, so it meant purchasing a small amount of wood… ¬†but it was inexpensive and totally worth it. ¬† My idea came to me when I realized that this piece of art….

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Was the perfect size for a twin headboard.

Just as a little refresher… Last we spoke about the guestroom, it looked like this…

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Back in¬†that post, I said that I’d chosen this layout with the bed against the wall to maximize floor space. ¬†But when it came down to it, I just couldn’t do it. ¬†It made me twitch to have a space set up in an arrangement that I knew for a FACT was not the most appealing. ¬†And I realized that I could easily utilize floor space in other rooms if needed. ¬†So, I flipped the bed to the adjoining wall.

Although this messy picture doesn’t properly¬†capture the difference, trust me, it’s way better.

Now, I’ll be honest…¬†I finished the headboard¬†to the point where it looks good. ¬†Like, really good in my opinion. ¬†But, it’s not structurally sound yet. ¬† I have a few more tweaks to complete before I’ll allow anybody to sleep against it. ¬† So, I’m gonna take you through what I’ve finished up to this point, and then I’m gonna Vanna White the other steps. ¬†As in, demonstrate what I WILL do using a scrap piece of wood and my *lovely* hands. ¬†You can thank me later. ūüėČ

I started by purchasing 3 pieces of 1/2″ x 2″ x 48″ pieces of poplar from Home Depot for $2.62 a pop.

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And I cut one piece down to size to match the width of the painting.  By.Myself. With.My.ARMS.

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I am woman.

**Now, it is notable to mention that once I began¬†assembling the headboard, I realized that I should’ve purchased five poplar pieces and then cut 3 down to size. So, if you do a similar project buy five. Not three. ¬†I’ll explain more later.**

Anyhoo, I left the other two pieces long to act as legs. ¬†Which I then stained with Varathane’s Early American stain…

I applied two¬†coats with dry time between and then topped it with two coats of Formby’s Tung Oil to give it some sheen and protection. Once my pieces were dry, it was assembly time. ¬† I’d purchased these brackets…

**Again hindsight… Purchase 2 packs of the flat corner braces instead of one.**

I began by laying out my materials…

I attached my flat corner braces first, both in front and in back of the frame to keep the corners¬†square and flush…

Because the wood was rather thin, drilling pilot holes was super important to prevent the wood from splitting. ¬†Next, I played around with how I wanted the corner brackets that would hold my painting in place to be mounted, and I ended up with this orientation because I liked the metal industrial vibe…

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Now, here’s where things got a little hairy. ¬†And why I should never, ever rush into a project. ¬† The screws that came with the brackets were slightly too long for the thickness of the wood. ¬†But rather than go back to the store and buy shorter screws, I opted to drill them in at an angle, both to prevent the screws from going through the wood, and to allow the screws to help¬†hold down the painting beneath them (I would slide my painting beneath the angled screws)…

If I had to do it over again, I would’ve definitely gone and gotten the shorter screws. ¬† I mean, angling the screws was fine and technically, my plan worked, but I know it’s not as secure as it would’ve been if the screws were drilled straight in. ¬† I’ve told y’all… this post contains the good, the bad, the ugly… and the shameful. ¬†All right here for your enjoyment. ūüėČ

Anyways, once I’d secured both top brackets, (Reality Parenthesis: Which took FOREVER… since I’d¬†angled my screws, getting the brackets straight was a challenge. Again, do NOT follow my lead on that.) I went to slide my painting in place. ¬†Which is when I realized that I hadn’t calculated in the thickness of the mounting bracket when I’d cut my wood. ¬† Thus, my frame was about 1/8th of an inch too short. ¬†And my painting wouldn’t fit.

Son of a friggin’ nutcracker.

At this point, I just stared at my project for an undisclosed length of time. ¬†Then, I pulled out the flat razor in my Exacto knife kit and became wrath started shaving away some width on the painting to help it fit between the brackets…

Which worked like a charm and allowed me to attach my bottom brackets as well (thankgoodness)…

I¬†proceeded to drill holes in the painting and secured it to the brackets with machine screws, washers, and nuts…

And I basically just set the headboard back behind the bed frame.

Which brings us to what I’ve done so far. ¬†As you’ll see in my “sort-of after pics”, it looks completely functional. ¬†Heck, it might even work fine. ¬† But, I’m WAY too Italian¬†to allow any guest stay at our house without 150% assurance that their accommodations are secure and might make them gain 5 pounds. ¬†If you’re Italian or know an Italian grandmother you understand this. (“No, I’m not hungry.” “Okay, I fix you something.” namethatmovie) ¬†So, here’s what I recommend (and what I WILL do) to make this more secure before someone actually uses this room to sleep.

1. On the bottom edge of the painting, I’ll attach a fourth piece of stained, cut-to-size poplar wood¬†to frame in the painting entirely #vannawhitingit…

This’ll add stability to the bottom of the headboard and make it look more finished visually. ¬†Then, just as I did on top, I’ll add a set of flat corner braces to both the back and front of the headboard where I’m pointing to secure the corners further and help them look more balanced aesthetically…

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Which would be these corners if you’re looking at the front. ¬†Basically, it’ll have the same metal brackets and framing on all four corners of the painting…

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Lastly, I plan to add support behind the painting so it doesn’t bow back should someone lean on it (In my mind’s eye, the scrap wood in the photo below is straight, plumb and runs across the entire length of the frame). ¬†This is where your fifth piece of cut-down poplar will go. ¬†I’ll most likely secure it with a few small corner brackets to avoid having a visible screw head …

Did I say “lastly” before? I lied. ¬†Lastly, I would properly mount this puppy to the wall (or bedframe) rather than just set it back there. ¬†No guest of mine will be awoken by a toppling headboard. ¬†No siree.

So, now for the “sorta-after pictures” (I swear the bedding is more of a rust color and less orange)…

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And here’s the room from the doorway…

And because I’m a huge nerd and love progression pics, lets look at the evolution of this space so far…

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This room is a work in progress, but is definitely getting closer. ¬† I anticipate at least 10 more changes before I call her done. ¬†Lol! ¬† My main issue with the space right now is the bedding. ¬†That’s a queen sized bedspread that I’m making do on a twin sized bed. ¬† I’m totally working with what I have right now. The bedskirt is just scrap canvas material that I had on hand. ¬†I need to iron it which will make it look more tailored for sure. Our hold-up on purchasing new bedding is that we either want to upgrade to a larger bed at some point or change the function of the room entirely (since we also have the hang-out room with a queen sized pull-out sofa to sleep guests). ¬†So, we’re trying to make this room presentable on a shoestring budget until we figure it out. ¬† Eventually, we’ll have legit bedding. ¬†I’m almost sure of it! Haha! ¬†I also have a fun nightstand project up my sleeve that I can’t wait to get started on. ¬†It’ll help the nightstand fit in more with the style of the space, appear less visually heavy, and be at a better scale with the bed.

I have to say that I’m just glad that the room is starting to feel more like us. ¬† I mean, the space¬†before was fine, it just felt like it could’ve been anywhere, in any house. ¬†It didn’t feel like OURS, per se. ¬† I like that the headboard is unique¬†and that it helps the room to stand out a bit more. ¬†I love that it adds color to the space which will allow me to be more free with accessories. ¬† And I love the subtle masculine industrial touches against the more feminine curtains. ¬† All steps in the right direction.¬† ūüôā

***For updated pics of this space, check out this (revamping a mid-century nightstand), this (adding a new awesome $12 lamp) and this (creating DIY burlap wall art).***

So, there you have it.  My sort-of scrap wood project,  Now check out what my fellow bloggy friends came up with..

TDC Before and After