Spray Painting Tips and Tricks

Hi friends.  I have joked before that I’ll spray paint anything that holds still long enough.  While that’s a bit of an exaggeration, a big chunk of my projects and my posts here on jhb involve spray painting, so I figured I’d share my best tricks and tips with you guys!

*This one is obvious, but, always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the can!  Not all spray paints are created equal, and they can behave differently depending on the brand, finish, and even the climate you’re in.
*Make sure your object is spray-paintable! The instructions on your spray paint can will tell you what surfaces it’s designed for.
*Shake, shake, shake!  Make sure you shake the can until the ball rattles and then for another two minutes to make sure that everything in the can is thoroughly mixed together.  My arm gets tired when I do this but skimping here can mean a gloppy, uneven mess.  Ick.
*Protect yourself!  I always wear gloves (can’t be messin’ up my mani), clothes I don’t care about, and a dust mask.  I don’t want to breathe in paint particles, and neither should you.  It’s plain bad for you.
*Prep your surface!  Plastic drop cloths are very cost effective, and can usually be re-used many times if you take proper care of them.  I always lay a drop cloth on my work surface, and if there’s a light breeze going (a luxury here in North Texas), I protect items around me from overspray with an additional drop cloth.
*Take it easy!  Use a light trigger finger on that spraypaint can to avoid a gloppy, drippy mess, friend. It should take at least three light coats to get full coverage with spraypaint.
*Move swiftly!  Quick, even strokes (paired with the light trigger finger) make for beautiful coverage and a smooth finish!
*Paint at your own risk…  Guys, I’m an amateur home diy-er.  I have a lot of experience, but I am not licensed, and I am not a professional.  Everything I write on this blog is an account of, or based upon an experience of my own.  If you don’t feel comfortable using spray paint, tools or anything else, consult a pro first, okay?

I hope these tips are helpful to all of you in diyland!  Here are some of my spray paint projects:

Post links: green mirror | gold mirror | instagram t-shirt | gold metal and glass console | pattern top accent table | coral frames

Do you have any tips, tricks or warnings about spray painting?  Holler at me in the comments!

My Key Lime Green Mirror

It’s the New Adventures of Old Mirror up in here, dudes.

A friend gifted me this mirror a couple of years ago. It didn’t match my stuff, but I knew it was a great piece that I could somehow work with, so I happily accepted her generousity.

green spray painted ornate antique mirror

First off – this thing is big. Like, 38″ x 48″ x 2″ and heavy big.

It was very classic and traditional in style, with several embellishments on its red and gold frame.  In all of its intricate crevices, there was a decent layer of clay-like, caked-on dirt.

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I knew that spray painting it a fun, bright color would accomplish two very important things: a) it would match my stuff and 2) I would like the looks of it more!

But first I had to clean it. I tried jut blowing the dirt off with my hair dryer first. Ha! That dirt didn’t budge. Then I tried soapy water with a toothbrush. That just turned the dry clay-like dirt into wet clay-like dirt, and moved it around but didn’t clean it off. Also, after it took me a whole five minutes to cover about one square inch with the toothbrush, I ditched that method.

This is when I temporarily “gave up”. Do you ever do that? Lots of times I get frustrated with a project and I bail. Ninety percent of the time I go back and finish but sometimes, the juice just ain’t worth the squeeze.

Anyway, my final attempt to clean the frame (two weeks later) came in the form of a thick-bristled cleaning brush that I used to dry-brush the dirt off of this thing. You guys, my arm got SOOO TIRED. I brushed it as hard as I could for a good 45 min. Then I thought, “okay, if the dirt isn’t coming off with this much force, I’m just gonna spray paint right over it and hope for the best”. And that, friends, is exactly what I did.

green spray painted ornate antique mirror green spray painted ornate antique mirror green spray painted ornate antique mirror

Check out how great it turned out!

I had zero issues with the spray paint adhering, and I’m confident it will hold up well over time.  My best tips and tricks for spray painting household objects can be found here.

I used Rustoleum Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover Paint and Primer in One (say that ten times fast), which I’ve used before with great success. The color is called Key Lime and I used the gloss finish.  I feel like changing the finish of this very ornate mirror to a high-shine, vibrant color creates such a fun juxtaposition!

I hung it over my 2×4 expedit unit in my dining room, and I love it there, but I’m already staring to redocorate the room around it in my head!


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green spray painted ornate antique mirror

That builder’s special boob light has GOT to go.  And I’ve already got a plan to IKEA-hack that expedit.  And I need to do something with that wall on the right.

I really need to find that elusive affordable tulip style dining table I’ve been searching for to give this room a little more cohesiveness. Plus, once I refinish my sexy cantilever dining chairs, they’d look preeeety handsome pulled up under a tulip table, yes?

Anyone else working on giving new life to an old item? Hit me up in the comments!

DIY Purple Hair

You guys… I recently (finally!) mustered up the courage to dye my hair purple (by myself!) and its causing me to question why my genes ever thought I should be a brunette.

I am obsessed to the point of annoying narcissism; frequently asking my boyfriend what it looks like in different types of lighting, posting selfies on my various social media accounts, and buying clothes that accentuate it’s luxurious vibrance.  This, too, shall pass.


When I was researching how to turn brown hair purple without bleaching it first, I found some helpful videos and articles online, but no one-stop-question-and-answer-shop.   So here I am writing one out in hopes that it will help someone out there who’s having the same dilemma.  Because I’m totally an expert now that I’ve done it once, right?!

Q: What brand did you use and why?
A: Manic Panic, because I had used it when I was younger (90’s kid alert) so I sort of knew what to expect.  I used Purple Haze mixed with just a touch of Infra Red mixed in.  Manic Panic has a ton of color options and bonus – their dyes are vegan and don’t damage your hair.  Mine felt much softer and was much shinier AFTER dying than before.  No, this post isn’t sponsored.


Q: Would you consider other brands?
A: Sure, but I’m super happy with the results from using Manic Panic.

Q: Is dying your own hair difficult?
A: Not really.  I’ve been coloring my own hair for more than 10 years, so I have definitely found my own rhythm for it.  As long as you’re careful and you prep yourself and your space properly, you shouldn’t have any issues.

Q: Do you need to bleach your hair to dye it purple?
A: Not necessarily.  It depends on what shade of purple you’d like to achieve.  I didn’t want grape bubble gum colored hair (although some people can rock the hell out of it – I’m looking at you, Katy  Perry) so I didn’t lighten my hair at all before the purple.  My hair is naturally dark brown so it ended up with a purple tint to it, which is more vibrant and fuchsia colored in natural sunlight, and takes on a dark violet look in fluorescent light.

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Q: Why didn’t you bleach first?
A: Friends, I’ve been 50 shades of blonde in my lifetime, and with how dark my hair naturally is, it’s just too much time and money to maintain it.

Q: Did you apply the dye to “virgin hair”?
A: No.  The last time I dyed my hair (a few months before going purple) I went with boxed dye in a hue a few shades lighter than my natural color.  My hair had only grown about an inch since then, so even though the color had faded, the brown was permanent and still existent on my hair shaft.

Q: What are your best technique tips for dying your hair at home?
A: Protect all the surfaces!  Use petroleum jelly to protect your face, neck and ears from staining (Aquaphor is great for this).  Wear clothes that you don’t give a flip about.  Wear rubber gloves.  Use a dye brush for your hairline and apply to your entire length of hair with gloved hands.

Q: Wait, this stuff stains your skin?
A: Oh honey, so very much.  My entire scalp was BRIGHT purple for the first two days.  It’s unavoidable unless you’re only coloring your ends.  Also, if you’re hair is super long, you may want to wear it up for a day or two while the dye fully sets in. Or just wear a purple shirt!  Matchy matchy!  My hair isn’t even shoulder length so I didn’t have to worry about any transferring.

Q: How long did you leave it in?
A: Two hours.  I told you, my hair is DARK brown.  I wanted to be 100% sure you could see the color.

Q: How long will it last?
A: The dye is semi-permanent so it will last around 3-5 weeks without maintenance.  I’m in week three and there has been some fading, but not much.  In fact I really only noticed some mild fading this morning.  I plan to refresh the color in the next week or two.

Q: Tips on prolonging the vibrance of your color?
A: Say it with me: DRY SHAMPOO IS MY FRIEND.  I only “wash” my hair every other day, sometimes every third day.  I put the word wash in quotes because I don’t actually shampoo.  I recently started using the Wen system, and I am sold on that too.  My hair is EXTREMELY  fine, and I am shocked at how much bounce and shine it has now!  And they’re summer scent, coconut lime verbena… I’d eat it if I didn’t know it was a beauty product.  Again, this post is NOT sponsored.  I just like giving my opinion.

Okay, blogville, those are all the faq’s I could think of.  If you’re thinking of going purple, or any other crazy color, I hope this helps you confidently jump in head first!  Hashtag YOLO, or something like that.  If you have questions that I didn’t address – let me hear them in the comments section!

Alright, I’m off to post more selfies of my lovely locks! #PurpleHairDontCare

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How To Stretch Jersey Knit Cotton

Most of us have had that sinking feeling… The t-shirt you bought at your favorite concert, or those super comfy pj pants you love, accidentally got washed in hot water. Now you’re running around in crop tops and highwaters. Bummer. Or are crop tops back on trend again? Either way.

how to stretch and unshrink cotton jersey fabric

If you’ve got something made of jersey fabric that has shrunk and needs to be re-sized, give the below method a try to get your item back to it’s original shape… Or at least close!

I had to do this with my diy Shibori curtains, which shrunk about a foot and a half during the dyeing process.

You’ll Need:
*Hair conditioner – nothing fancy, anything will do
*Sink, tub or vessel to soak your item to be stretched
*A helper if your fabric is large like mine

Step 1: Put hair conditioner in your vessel. Use enough to make the water feel slick – an oz or two if you’re stretching a shirt in the sink. I used about 6 – 8 oz for my curtains in this plastic bucket. Make sure the conditioner dissolves completely.

how to stretch and unshrink cotton jersey fabric

Step 2: Fill your vessel with tepid (NOT hot or cold) water. I used water straight from the hose and let it sit for a while so it could warm up. Being that it’s August in Texas, it didn’t take terribly long.

how to stretch and unshrink cotton jersey fabric

Step 3: Soak garment. Fifteen minutes or so should work for your average garment.

how to stretch and unshrink cotton jersey fabric

Step 4: Wring out excess moisture. Many people around the internets say to wring it while wrapped in a towel. That wasn’t possible for me since my panels were so big, and I found that it wasn’t necessary to accomplish my end game. I just squeezed out as much water as I could while still keeping the fabric damp.

Step 5: Here’s where you may need another human to help, depending on the size of the item you’re trying to fix.  You want to pull gently but with enough force to make a difference on opposite sides of the fabric to stretch it.  For these panels, my handsome helper and I folded them lengthwise until they were only about 8 inches wide and then we each gripped our hands all the way around the panel in the center, and slowly pulled outward until we each reached our end.  I wish I had photos of this part of the process but sadly, I don’t.

Step 6: Line dry.  Gravity itself should keep your garment or fabric in it’s stretched out state.  I’ve seen posts on the internet about weighing down your edges, but it just wasn’t necessary for my curtain panels.

how to stretch and unshrink cotton jersey fabric

That’s it!  This method works so well on cotton jersey fabric.  As I said, my curtains shrunk about a foot and a half during the dye process, and by following the above steps, I got them back to their original size!  To date, they’re one of my favorite DIYs!

diy shibori tie dye curtains

Do you have a tried-and-true method to stretch out shrunken fabric?  Share it in the comments!

Concealed Media

The title of this post totally sounds like a name of a production company or cheeky pop-punk band, no? #randomthoughts

concealed media storage

I crossed something off of my to-do list!  Crossing things off of lists is really satisfying, wouldn’t you agree?

It also satisfying for me when I fix something that irks me.  I love playing Nintendo and watching DVDs, but it irks me to have media visible.  It’s just too busy to be visually attractive.  I store all of my media in this beautiful scandinavian-style cabinet, which I adore, but I had to do something about the fact that you can see inside.

concealed media storage

I have several options in my craft stash that would look nice behind the window panes of these cabinet doors – scrapbook paper, cork, mountains of scrap fabric.  I ended up going with textured, paintable wall paper that I had leftover from a dresser redo (my first post on the ol’ blizzog!)

concealed media storage

I measured posterboard panels that overlapped the glass panes by about an inch.  Because my cabinet doors were longer than the length of one piece of posterboard, I cut a few pieces at the right width and taped them together.  High tech stuff.

concealed media storage

I attached my wallpaper to these panels using mod podge instead of the adhesive thats already on the back of the paper, because the former is much less messy and time consuming than the latter.

concealed media storage

concealed media storage

I still have about two-thirds of my sample pot left of Valspar Greek Tapenade, which I used for my Instax photo display shelf. Why did I choose to use it for this project, too? I. LOVE. THIS. COLOR. SO. HARD.

concealed media storage

I used this same paint on my “FRIENDS” style picture frame around my peephole (see below pic), and I have other plans for it as well. Sometimes those little samples go a long way!

inexpensive small space decor

Once the paint was dry (two light coats), it was time to affix it to the inside of the cabinet doors. Guys, this part was so easy… I used double sided tape.

concealed media storage

The best part? They aren’t permanent, so if I change my mind (entirely possible), I can pull them down lickety split!

Doesn’t it look much better now that you can’t see my collection of horror movies and every Nintendo system ever made?

Do you prefer to conceal your media items, or do you like leaving them out in the open? Let me know in the comments!