Wednesday, May 28, 2014

How to Make Your own Unique Wall Stencil

I am proud to be a 3M sponsored blogger, and, as part of my responsibilities, I get the opportunity to evaluate new products from ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape. Opinions are my own and additional product used in the project were selected by me.

I recently did a little makeover on my parent's dining room and I wanted to create an accent wall so I knew a stencil was going to be perfect.  It's been a while since I've had to chance to do any room transformations or makeovers since we moved out of our home in VA and haven't moved into our new one yet.
3M™  must have known I was itching to get some painting on when they asked if I wanted to join forces -- why yes. YES I DO!
When I asked my parent's if I could paint their dining room I saw hesitation but told them if they didn't love it I can always just paint back over it.  They have a very classic home with neutral colors, natural wood wainscoting and wood trim.  The main color in their dining room that stretches into their living room is Behr's Twig Basket (Flat).  I wanted to bring in a little excitement with an accent wall but knew color wasn't going to be the option as it'd stand out too much.

I decided to make my own wall stencil using ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape for Delicate Surfaces with Advanced Edge-Lock™ Paint Line Protector #2080EL.  The great part about making your own design with ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape is the fact the design can be as unique as you wish it to be.

I ran up to Home Depot to pick out my accent paint color and ended up choosing a complementary color to the original Behr® Twig Basket and chose Sandstone Cliff.  Originally I wanted to choose the color two shades up on the sample but knew the contrast to Twig Basket would make it look white so went darker to help bring down the contrast between the two.

Other materials:
Paint brush for cutting
Roller brush

I used two different painter's tape for different surfaces.  For the wood trim and adjoining walls I used the ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape for Multi-Surface.  Once I paint the base color and taping out the stencil design I used the ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape Delicate Surfaces. 

To get a clean taped off line with the wainscoting I press the roll of tape up against the wall and press down and out with the roll so there's a firm crease of the tape and wall to prevent any drips.

Once I had the edges taped out I painted the base color - the color that I want the design to be.  I let this dry over night before doing the next step which is taping out the design.

Here was the scariest part of this whole project for me: the math measurements.  Not my cup of tea.  But I came up with the design I wanted and then had to plan out exact measurements on the wall. 

Since I was doing a lot of parallel lines and 90 degree squares straight cuts of the tape were very important and made the process a lot easier.  A little trick to get an initial straight line of the tape was to pull it back, line the edges with the edges of the roll and cut straight with the scissors and tape pulled tight.

Then the measuring, marking, taping began.  Here's a BIG HINT if you are doing a big design like this across an entire wall, especially any time you do a design with long parallel lines to the floor/ceiling. Measure from the floor upward.  My parents home was built in the 50's and with most homes that were built from that time, or before, and even since then often do not have level ceilings.  Had I measured from the ceiling downward for my measurements some of the lines would have ended up a lot closer to the wainscoting.  Or had I measured some from the ground and some from the ceiling all the lines going horizontal would have been off across the wall.  
If you measure from the ground up consistently, our eyes will forgive more towards the ceiling then had the lines been uneven at the wainscoting chair rail.

For each of my boxes, I wanted a 12" width so I taped a ruler down to the table and then would cut exact 12" tape strips for each of the 4 sides.

This took patience.   This entire taping process took 5 straight hours of taping... I was going kinda insane but kept powering through.

Once the taping was completely finished I went back over each of the tape lines and applied pressure with my thumb to be sure of a consistent adhesion of the tape and the wall for the cleanest lines possible.

Next up was more painting.  This part kind of made my heart sad to just cover up the 5 hours worth of taping I just completed.  Because I was doing a "negative" design the top layer was the same paint color as the two adjoining walls.  I did two light layers with drying time in between the coats.  You don't want to load your roller brush up with too much paint or you risk it running under your taped lines, "bleeding".

Anytime I use tape for painting I be sure to let the final coat dry about a half hour.  I don't want the paint to still be went when pulling up the tape, and I don't want it to fully cure and run the risk of pulling up the paint with the tape.
It's helpful to pull the tape at a 45 degree angle on the outer edge to help create a nice clean cut of the paint and the tape so you're line is a clean edge.

I love the subtle detail the design gives to their dining room without being too modern or distracting.  Plus, it's a one of a kind design style that only they have!

I really like how it frames the wall too between the adjoining wall and the large walk out sliding glass door too.

What do you think? Have you ever made your own stencil using ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape?  Does this inspire you to try it in your own dining room or another room!? If you loved the room I'd LOVE YOU if you pinned and shared it about!!! :)

I also wanted to share about an awesome contest that ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape is hosting!!! Read about all the details below:

Enter the Home of ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape Contest at now through July 15, 2014 and you could win $5,000 to put towards a home makeover! The first 500 to submit an eligible entry will receive one (1) roll of the new ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape with Advanced Edge-Lock™ Paint Line Protector!

Home of ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape Contest 
  Check out this project as a featured project example in the contest!

Contest open to legal residents of the U.S. and D.C. (excluding AZ, MD, NJ, ND, TN and VT), who are 18+ (19+ in AL & NE and 21+ in MS) at the time of entry. Void where prohibited. Enter from June 2, 2014 at 12:00:01 a.m. CT through 11:59:59 p.m. CT on July 15 2014. All contest communications, entry/judging criteria and details subject to the full Official Rules. Sponsor: 3M Construction and Home Improvement Markets Division, St. Paul, MN.


You can also check out ScotchBlue™and all their creative project ideas on:
ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape Pinterest page
ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape Facebook page
ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape Twitter page

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Ripping up the Kitchen Floors | #PBJreno

There's just no way around it... doing ANYTHING related to flooring - your back WILL be sore.  Luckily this stuff was SO hard to get up the boys did most of this part of it. 

So a few days ago we ripped up the flooring.  And to do so we had about 4 layers of materials to get through: Vinyl covering, plywood/underlayment, plastic sheet, and sub-floor boards..and then joists.  We took everything up and out to the joists and the biggest reason why was the floors had become squeaky when walking across.  That happens when your sub-floors and joist nails have become loose/rusty and they're sliding in/out of the sub-floor.

Getting the plywood up was serious hard work...there was honestly HUGE nails every few inches.  We started in the upper level in the kitchen and once we finally got that up we tried a different tactic for the lower level. 

Using a circular saw we set the depth to be cut just deep enough it cuts through the plywood layer but not into the sub-floor.  We My Father in Law cut big 2x3 squares out in the floor and we're were just able to pry underneath them and pop them up.  A LOT easier than our initial method.

All said and done we had the flooring up until the sub-floor level in a few hours on a Saturday.

So the original part of the home is the upper level in the kitchen.  Those sub-floors/joist are above the laundry room in the basement.  The lower level area was an addition so those are sitting above just a slab foundation poured for the addition. 

The day after we were able to pull up all the subfloor from the upper level (we'll be leaving the subfloor from the lower level, and we just screwed in screws 1 per every 2 nails to make them sturdier).  I kept getting SO dizzy during this part.... directly below, as I mentioned, is the laundry room so moving across these boards and being able to see through to the basement kept throwing me for a loop. 

We removed all the boards though (saving them for a little DIY project later) and did a good cleaning underneath them.  Not sure if you know this but unfinished basement ceilings are typically COVERED in spider webs and dust..and ickiness.  So I did a full thorough cleaning as much as I could from up-top.

Next up is laying the NEW sub-floor!!!

This renovation has been long only because we're working on it every night after a full day's of work and all day every day on the weekends.  We're SO lucky with all the help we've received from family and friends, ESPECIALLY my Father in Law - AKA our carpenter, electrician, plumber, handyman, contractor....etc.etc.etc.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Demolition Days | #PBJreno

It's been a LOOONGGG weekend and I am exhausted, but it feels so good to see what we've already accomplished with our home!
We have 4 weeks until all our belongings that are in storage need to be delivered so we are really trying to maximize this time to knock out as much demolition and renovations as possible.

Our big first to do's:
Demo the kitchen
Demo the dining room
Demo the stairs
Demo the basement

Day 1: Friday Night 730pm - 930pm

The Kitchen Before:

This was my first time I actually got to REALLY demo something... like full on take a sledge hammer to something and have at it. Let me be the first to tell you they do NOT make cabinets like they used too. 3" nails every inch... cabinets so sturdy I was able to completely free hang from them... these things were no joke.
The work that night:

As you can see we got a lot done in two hours Friday night.  We were able to get rid of all the cabinets on both walls, and knock out the backside of the sink cabinets, and remove the paneling from the wall in the dining room.

Day Two: Almost all day Saturday
We got back over to the house pretty early on Saturday and was planning on being there all day.  We removed the sink right away to get the final cabinets out of the kitchen.  We had to shut off the water completely and will remain turned off throughout the demolition process because it's just easier than temporarily sealing off the water access for the kitchen plumbing.

As you can see this day was mostly dedicated to knocking down layers and layers of plaster and sheet rock and removing insulation.  IT WAS A MESS.  Every few studs we'd stop clean up the mess, knock out more and repeat. 

Here's my safety disclaimer as it's my duty to keep you safe!  During this whole process it was SO dusty, it's important to wear respirators, proper eye protection and even gloves.  Technically I should be wearing more clothing to protect my arms and neck too but... I live on the edge.  The insulation that was along the wall sharing the garage had the old school fiberglass insulation and that stuff is ITCHY.  So wear gloves, and clean it up immediately. 

We were truly surprised how clean all the walls were as we were knocking them down, until I got to the rear exterior wall in the dinning room.  This was an extension put in at some point after the original home and connects to the outer corner of the garage.  Obviously something wasn't sealed properly and this is what YEARS and YEARS of rotting looks like.  It was gross.  The rotted wood was originally 2x12" boards that are underneath the exterior cedar shingles.  Then there's a soft layer of fabric and then the exterior shingles.  In the very upper corner you can see directly outside.


Looks like we have an entire exterior wall to tear down, replace and rebuild that we weren't expecting to do. But, that's a part of demolition a home you don't know the history of.. there's always going to be a few surprises.

As you can see it rotted about half the wall and hadn't spread to the edge of the framing of the sliding door yet.  Unfortunately all this was hidden under layers of sheet rock, and the exterior shingles weren't effected so none of this was caught during inspection.

A quick wrap up before and after of the kitchen space:


Can't wait to keep showing you more!!

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