Saturday, August 10, 2013

Wow! I can't believe it's been almost three weeks since my last post! Shame on me :( On the other hand, I haven't posted because I've been so busy and now I have a great makeover to show you!

I originally bought this china cabinet to make over for my dining room. I later found an entire dining set that stole my heart so this wallflower has been in the garage waiting patiently for her makeover. This picture was taken after we removed the hardware and glass. But not to worry it was all there and in great shape :)
After removing the hardware she got a good scrub down with TSP followed by two coats of Behr Premium Plus Ultra Flat in Burnished Clay.

It already looks SO much better! It's amazing what a coat of paint can do!

Mixed up a little antiquing glaze . . .

This mixture is Benjamin Moore Acrylic
Clear Glaze and Behr Ultra Flat in French Roast.
As for the ratio, I start with "about" 2 parts
glaze to one part paint. Then tweak it as needed.
The more glaze the longer time you will have to
work the glaze before it dries, but more glaze also
thins down the paint and the antiquing effect will
be less or lighter.

I painted the glaze on using a chip brush. Don't paint too much on at one time or it will dry before you can get it all wiped off.

                    Paint it on, wipe it off . . .
                    Repeat . . .
                    Like a broken record.
                    (Tell me I'm not the only one
                    who knows what a record is!)

Antiquing glaze makes those gorgeous details just POP!
Before, you hardly even noticed those corners, now look
at them shine!

Details, details, details  . . . LOVE the details! Can you believe I almost pitched that crisscross wire insert? It was brushed gold and ugly and I thought it really dated the piece. My husband was the one who convinced me to see how it looked painted. Bonus points to him on that call!

All the hardware got a spray coat of Rustoleum's Oil Rubbed Bronze and once dry, it was reattached.

Look and those details and the graceful, sweeping curve of that handle!


           I think the beautiful curves of
           the hardware are a nice contrast
           to the straight lines of the
           cabinet. And the white finish
           really makes the lines and
           curves pop!

                                          A close up of the lower half of the cabinet.

And I now present this beauty who is ready to leave her wallflower status and become the star of the dining room!
I didn't have a way to really stage her for a beauty shot, but don't fret. Within 48 hours of being listed for sale she was on her way to her new home.

One more look at the before and after.
Thank you so much for stopping by!

Till next time,
Julie (the DIYer)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I've been featured!

Oh my goodness I'm so excited I could bust! One of my favorite blogs is Better After.. I've been a regular reader since I first found Lindsey over a year ago. Well today she featured my dining furniture makeover at Better After!!! I feel so honored!! If you're like me and can't get enough before and after makeovers, hop on over to and check it out!

P.S. I've got another china cabinet makeover post coming VERY soon!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Easy as pie

Hello! All my furniture projects are "in progress" at this time and the horrendous heat we've been having has made working outside with paint near impossible. So I'm switching gears for this post! Being a DIYer doesn't just mean I work on furniture. I DIY a lot of things and one of the things I like to DIY is pie. Yes, real, edible pie! Today I'm going to take you step, by step, through making a blackberry pie :)

First off we need blackberries. I'm lucky enough to be able to pick mine in my back yard. 

Wash the berries thoroughly and set them aside to drain.

Next, using wax paper, I  measure out 8 ounces of Crisco. I prefer to measure the Crisco by weight instead of a measuring cup. It's less messy and I think more accurate.

Oh, you noticed I'm measuring Crisco on a Weight Watchers scale . . . Don't judge!

Then I toss that wax paper into the freezer for a bit. (15-20 minutes should do the trick)

Meanwhile back at the ranch . . . errr . . . I mean workstation . . . In a small bowl combine 1 1/3 cups sugar, 1/2 cup cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Stir well and set aside.

Grab those well drained berries and place them in a bowl. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel.

Sprinkle on the sugar & cornstarch mixture.

                                                                         Gently toss the berries to coat. Set aside.

Time to make pie crust!

First grab the flour out of the freezer . . . Oh, you don't keep yours in the freezer. Hmmm, I do. I think cold flour makes better crust. Anyway, measure out 2 cups of flour and 1 teaspoon of salt.

I like to use the pastry blender to "fluff" the flour and mix in the salt before proceeding.

Remember the Crisco in the freezer? Time to get it and add it to the flour.

Use the pastry blender to cut the Crisco into the flour.

Next, sprinkle in 1/2 cup of cold water. Don't just dump it all in at once. Sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle. You may not need it all. Using a fork, lift and toss the flour mixture with the water. When making pie crust you don't want to stir it like you're making brownies. Sprinkle more water. Lift and toss. Repeat until the dough sticks together but isn't gooey.

Once the dough is sticking together, divide the dough into two equal sized dough balls. I use all the dough for the two crusts.

On a floured surface, pat down one of the dough balls and begin to roll it out. I find it best to begin in the center and roll out to the edges.

Roll, roll, roll your dough gently down the stream . . . oh wait I don't think that's how that song goes . . .

Roll the dough until it's just slightly larger than your pie plate. I might also mention at this point that I prefer to use heavy glass or ceramic pie plates. I find the pies bake more evenly in these than thin metal pie pans.

 Folding the pie crust in half makes it easier to get it in the pie plate.

Time to add the berries! The sugar and cornstarch have dissolved nicely.

Top the berries with about 1 tablespoon of butter that's been cut into small bits. Yes, I said butter. If flies won't eat margarine, why should you??

Roll out the top crust.

Fold it in half . . .


                                                  And in half again . . .

 Place the crust on top of the berries

                                          And unfold it . . .

Once the top crust is unfolded, pull the edge of the bottom crust slightly away from the edge of the pie plate, just enough to tuck in the top crust.

When you've tucked the top crust in all around, it's time to add the decorative seal.

To prevent burning the edge, tear three pieces of foil approximately 2 inches wide. Pinch the ends of the foil together to form a ring. Place the foil ring around the outside of the pie.

Brush the top crust with half-n-half. Then cut a design into the top crust to allow for steam to vent.

Fold the edges of the foil over. Place your prepared pie on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes remove the foil and continue baking 10 - 15 minutes longer.

Taa Daahhhh!!!

 There it is . . . Easy as pie!!

Are you ready to give it a try?

Till next time,
Julie :)