Hot Cocoa Bar Farmhouse Style

Hot Cocoa BarFarmhouse Style

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Brrr! It’s been so cold in Virginia lately with record low temperatures. We’ve gotten significant snow twice already resulting in many snow days. Not that my kids are complaining… Their friends love coming to our house and they have fun playing together outside. As soon as they come in everyone is begging for hot cocoa! I can’t even tell you how much we have gone through this year! My boys love it!

I set up a hot cocoa station for them in my family room as I have limited available counter space in my kitchen. Having the supplies ready to go is important! Today I’m sharing some tips to set one up in your own home.

hot cocoa bar farmhouse style jersey girl in the south

 

The first thing I did was lay down a blanket scarf to protect the top of my dresser from any spills. With 3 boys plus their friends it’s bound to happen!

hot cocoa bar farmhouse style jersey girl in the south

Tiered trays are perfect for holding extra mugs and some fun accessories. They can be found at most home stores like Target, Hobby Lobby and TJ Maxx.  The paper straws are from Walmart and are very inexpensive. I used some new tinted mason jars to hold mini marshmallows and caramels for hot cocoa mix ins. The jars fit perfectly on the tray. My kids love peppermints so I used the top tier to place them in. Of course they will want a snack too since they are always hungry. Powdered sugar cannoli chips are a yummy treat!

hot cocoa bar farmhouse style jersey girl in the south

I like having the hot cocoa ingredients in the center of the bar. The wooden tray helps to keep it contained. Jars with a good seal will keep everything nice and fresh. One jar is filled with hot cocoa mix and the other has chocolate chips. Too much chocolate is never a bad thing!

 

hot cocoa bar farmhouse style jersey girl in the south

Of course the best part is the hot cocoa with a ton of marshamallows!

hot cocoa bar farmhouse style jersey girl in the south

Finish your hot cocoa bar with some fun decorative winter touches and you’re done! In my house I like mixing the new pieces like my Rae Dunn collection with vintage pieces like my antique crock and the Radio Flyer sled. Use your imagination and whatever you have on hand! Making a hot cocoa bar does not need to be expensive. The only new thing I purchased was the kettle. I couldn’t resist!


 

I hope you were able to get some decorating ideas for your home from my post! If you are looking for additional design inspiration I love the online resources at Havenly.com. You can see projects sorted by style or room on virtual mood boards. They also offer a service where online interior designers customize a project for you! Take a look for yourself!

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DIY Chalkboard Tray from an old frame

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I love re-purposing old items into something new and functional. I used to have this wall art from Hobby Lobby hanging in my old house. It had a plaster fleur di lis cemented to the middle of the wooden frame. Unfortunately it did not survive the move and came unglued. I decided to throw away the fleur di lis as it was not really my style anymore and kept the wooden frame knowing I would eventually figure out what to do with it.

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Inspiration finally struck the other day. I love trays. I own several already but they are all very large and bulky. This one is the perfect size and weight for the kids to carry. I also made it into a chalkboard so I can write a little message if I choose to.

Here is how you can make your own:

One large frame or lightweight piece of wood

Chalkboard paint and foam brush

Painter’s tape

Handles and screws

Sandpaper

I only needed to purchase the handles and screws. Everything else I already had on hand. The total out of pocket cost for me was $8 and I still have a bunch of screws left for other projects.

 

First I took my sanding block and smoothed down the board. I also sanded off the old glue until it was flat with the rest of the wood. It left a stain on the wood where the glue used to be but that’s ok. The chalkboard paint covered it.

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Next I taped off the bottom part of the frame with painter’s tape. If you are a neat painter (which I am not…) you can skip this part. If you are using a piece of wood instead of a frame you can tape off a square or rectangle to paint. The rest of the instructions will be the same.

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Then I painted the bottom using my chalkboard paint. It took two coats for this project. This picture was taken after the first coat. For this project I had a sample size pot of chalkboard paint. It was just enough paint in the little jar. I bought it at the Target Dollar Spot a few years ago and had in my craft stash. I always use a disposable foam brush and disposable bowl for small painting projects. The foam brushes are inexpensive and do not leave brush marks when dry. It’s also a plus for lazy people like myself as there is no cleanup involved.

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After that I put the handles on. I decided where I wanted to place the first one and used my ruler to make sure I had the same exact placement on the other side. I normally try to eyeball things but there was no margin for error on this project. If I messed up it would not be an easy fix.  I found these handles at Hobby Lobby for 50% off. Bargain tip: Never buy knobs and pulls for full price unless you need them right away. Every few weeks they go on sale for half price. Hobby Lobby has a huge selection and I always find what I am looking for there. If they do not have the quantity that you need in stock an employee can order more for you. They will honor the sale price and call you when your order arrives at the store. I had to do that for my son’s dresser that I chalk painted. Unfortunately these handles did not come with hardware so I had to buy screws at Lowe’s to use with them.

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Repeat the same thing on the other side and you are done! Wait for the paint to dry and it’s ready to be used.

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This tray is the perfect size to sit on the bench in my family room. It will be a great coaster for when we have parties or to bring snacks into the family room for the grownups. I’m a mean mom and only my husband and I are allowed to eat in this room unless we have company. White couches + kids with food=giant mess.

My kids told me that they will be delivering me breakfast in bed using my tray on Mother’s Day.  They are very excited to use it.

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Fall Home Tour 2016

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Fall is my favorite season! The temperature starts to cool down but it’s still warm enough not to need coats, hats and all that mess. As much as I love flip flops I am eager to wear my new fall boots! There is something fun going on every weekend and it’s perfect fire pit weather.  I can do without the ragweed pollen and the rainy few weeks we have had though!

I am not a pumpkin spice fan (I know! The horror! You can revoke my basic girl card now) and I don’t like pumpkin pie but I can’t get enough of pumpkins in my decor. Per the usual Target did not let me down. I went to every store in the area an embarrassing amount of times to collect all of their awesome fall stuff from the bargain spot. Half of my decorations were purchased there this year. If you haven’t been lately it’s worth the trip!

The cozy throws I have on the rocking chairs are really blanket scarves. I had bought one to wear but it was entirely too hot. I was having trouble finding a second one in the same pattern so I cut mine in half. Shh…don’t tell. Aren’t these pillows cute? Also from Target!

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In the foyer I styled my chalk painted pumpkins with another blanket scarf in a metal crate. I love it alongside my brass quail from Goodwill and my faux sunflowers from Hobby Lobby. You can see how to make your own pumpkins and also how I painted the dresser here. http://www.jerseygirlinthesouth.com/diy-projects-and-crafts/

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In the dining room I tried to stay with simple, rustic decorations. The Thankful banner is another Target find from last year. I styled the tray on the table with things I had around the house (grapevine balls, burlap ribbon, tray and candle holder) and a bag of gourds and mini pumpkins from the grocery store.

 

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Do you see my new grain scoop on the buffet?

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I did not decorate the kitchen for fall except for the coffee station. Rae Dunn mugs are my favorite! They have such cute sayings and I buy them whenever I find them at Homegoods. My rack is full now so I will have to move onto bowls and trays. 😉

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My family room colors are the perfect backdrop for fall decorations with a quick change of the couch pillows. I also swapped out the greenery and changed up the mantel a little bit. I decided to stay simple and neutral. It will change over to Halloween next month but I like this look for September and November. I’ve been on the hunt for birch branches to fill the olive bucket.

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I hope you enjoyed seeing my fall decor! If you are not already following me on Instagram please do @jerseygirlinthesouthblog I have been posting my decor changes over there. I also love seeing everyone’s homes.

 

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DIY Farmhouse Style Gallery Wall

Farmhouse Style Gallery Wall

Farmhouse Style Gallery Wall

I love the look of gallery walls and have had one in every home. I started out in our first home in NJ with our wedding pictures but now it’s all based on the kids (like every other aspect of our lives.)  Unfortunately I did not have a large spot to hang photos downstairs so I decided to use the upstairs hallway. We have a large wall at the top of our stairs next to the laundry room. I used a mix of heavy gold frames we had from our old house when I first hung everything up after we moved in last year. We had a french country look going on in our previous house and had these for many years. I quickly threw it together and it was a “good enough” project instead of something that I loved.

A few weeks ago I got bored of looking at the ornate frames. They did not match the farmhouse style we have in the rest of our home. Normally I would try to update them with chalk paint but instead I donated the frames and went shopping for new ones. Well, except for one unfortunate frame. That one made it into the trash instead…I tried to straighten the lopsided picture to take a good “before” picture and ended up knocking one off of the wall….Oops. The broken glass scraped up the picture so I was not very happy with my clumbsy myself. (Stuff like this tends to happen at least once a week. At least no one was injured this time.) One frame also had the boy’s picture sliding down on the inside. I left that one alone so as not to have another casualty.

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Here is the before shot. The big open space on the top left was our wedding toast picture.

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I tend to like gallery walls that are not just pictures since I feel it makes the display more interesting.  The black key and the painting were the only items that we reused. Everything else was either borrowed from other rooms or purchased. I always like to shop the house first before spending any money. If you know me personally you know that I am constantly changing and rearranging things. My husband is not a huge fan of this habit since I often make him help.

I found some great new frames with more of a farmhouse look along with some new signs. The blessed sign was purchased as a digital download off of Etsy from Sweet Meadow Market. It can be found here. https://www.etsy.com/shop/sweetmeadowmarket. The family sign, “quotes” sign, letter S, number 5, black key , Enjoy Today sign, and wooden picture frames are all from Hobby Lobby. The blue chippy frames are from Michael’s and the clothespin frames are from Kirkland.

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It’s a fun way to display your favorite photos. To create your own gallery wall you can follow these easy steps:

  • Find frames that coordinate with each other. It is not  necessary to be matchy/matchy. They can all be the same frame if you like but I prefer more of an eclectic look.
  • Use paper (old wrapping paper, tissue paper, whatever you have laying around is fine) to recreate the size of your wall space
  • Arrange your frames and other objects on the floor on top of your paper to find your desirable pattern for the wall
  • Trace the frames and mark exactly where the hangers and hooks are located on your paper with a pencil
  • Using painter’s tape hang your paper on the wall.
  • Use nails and picture hangers in the marked spot where each one goes
  • Pull the paper off and hang your art
  • Stand back and admire your work

I will be honest and tell you that all of the frames sat on the floor leaning against the wall for almost a month. I just couldn’t make up my mind how I wanted to arrange everything. It’s not a good idea to make a ton of holes in the wall and not love something so it’s best to wait if you are not sure. Not that I would know that from past experience or anything…

An easy way to create your own is by using a pattern. Pinterest is full of ideas! I have several pinned on my Farmhouse Style Family Room board. https://www.pinterest.com/jerseygirlinthe/farmhouse-style-family-room/

 

This is the before and after. Much better!

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Do you have any tips to share?

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How to: DIY Chalk Paint Pumpkin with Twine Stem

How to Chalk Paint Pumpkins

As you may have already figured out I am in love with chalk paint. I think it’s the easiest way to transform a boring and outdated object into something spectacular.

My husband got down the fall decor bins out of the attic for me the other day after I nicely asked several times aka bugged him until he did it. I started going through them to see what goodies I could find. Last year I did not decorate for fall as our house had some construction projects going on and I could not remember what I had saved.  We did A LOT of purging before we moved but I still kept a few things that I was not totally in love with. Example: these too bright and obviously fake plastic pumpkins.  The decor in my new house has made a change to a more neutral pallette.

I have been loving white pumpkins, burlap and natural textures. The only problem was I didn’t own any, well until now! Instead of dropping them off at Goodwill I tried to see what they would look like with a fresh coat of paint. I figured why not? The worst I could do was ruin them. My youngest decided to “help” and drew on the tall ceramic pumpkin with green marker so I needed to do something to fix it anyway. I have owned these pumpkins for about 15 years so I got my money’s worth out of them already. A roll of twine was found in my gift wrapping stash and the white chalk paint was leftover from painting my dining room furniture. This was a zero budget project! My favorite kind!

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I started out with 5 pumpkins and ended up only keeping 4 of them. I just was not feeling the short fat one once I started painting it. Sometimes I am not happy with my DIY results and that’s ok. No harm, no foul and into the trash it went.

How to:

Step 1-Gather fake pumpkins that need a makeover. They can be ones you already own or you can buy new. Dollar Tree, Walmart, Michaels and other craft stores are filled with them. They are inexpensive and come in a variety of sizes, shapes and styles.

Step 2-Get chalk paint of your choosing and a foam brush. I used Americana Decor chalk paint in Everlasting. https://decoart.com/americana-decor/chalky-finish/paint It’s a pure white. There are many brands of chalk paint to choose from. Americana Decor and Annie Sloan are my two favorites. I have built up a nice paint stash the past few years. I buy big packs of foam brushes since I find they give me the best results. They are cheap and I throw them away when I am done. Easy peasy cleanup. It is not worth it to me to save them.

If you want to cover the pumpkin stems with twine find a roll or you can paint them for a more realistic look. My twine is from The Bargain Spot at Target from last year but you can purchase it at most big box stores and hardware stores.

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Step 3-Paint two coats of chalk paint allowing them to dry in between coats. I use a pencil as a paint stirrer since the jars are so small and dip my foam brush right into the paint. I found it easier to paint in the grooves first and then go back and do the whole pumpkin.

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Step 4-Unroll the twine. Tuck an end under the cheesy plastic stem. You can secure it with glue if you choose to but I was able to get my twine to stay without it. Wrap the twine around the stem to cover it fully. I wound it around twice and tucked the cut end back under the stem by pushing it in with the tip of a pair of scissors. Again you can use glue to hold it but I was able to make mine stay all by itself. I chose to do a simple bow instead of wrapping the stem on the ceramic pumpkin. There was no way to hide the ends of the twine. I could have glued it to the back side but I wanted to be able to have all sides of my pumpkin visible.

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Step 5-Admire your work and style your fabulous new to you pumpkins! My pumpkins found a home for now in the foyer. I put them in a metal basket (found on clearance at Hobby Lobby) with this awesome $7 blanket scarf from Target’s bargain spot. If you have not been there lately you must go! So many fall goodies and they are selling out fast! The brass quail were a Goodwill find a few weeks ago. Aren’t they cute? I was going to paint them too but I decided I like the brass for now. I swapped out my summer flowers to these faux sunflowers, also from Hobby Lobby. The dresser is another chalk paint project and can be found under the DIY and crafts tab of my blog.

The possibilities are endless with this project. You do not have to go with white. The pumpkins would be cute in black or deep purple for Halloween or a fun color that matches your other seasonal decor. You could also add patterns, polka dots or whatever look you are going for! It’s really that simple!

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If you decide to replicate my project I would love to see your results! You can tag me on Instagram or on Facebook @jerseygirlinthesouthblog .

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My summer family room tour

Family room styled for summer

The best part about having a neutral decor palette is the ability to easily change pillows and accessories with the seasons. I never have to worry about my seasonal items matching the furniture or wall color. The first floor of the house is updated for each holiday. For the summer I decided to keep out the Americana style pillows that I found at Target late July on clearance (70% off! yay!). The patriotic look just says summer to me and they tie in with the two pieces of flag wall art I have in the room. The red and white bandana print pillows are double sided (the other side being a plain linen) and are easy to coordinate with seasonal ones by simply flipping them over. I did take down the Fourth of July banner and sign I had on the mantel and left it very basic with minimal decor.

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The armoire is actually a matching piece to my bedroom set. We downsized when we moved to this home and there was no way it would fit into our current bedroom. The movers were happy to hear that! This sucker is solid and HEAVY. I’m still searching for artwork to add to the wall on the right side. I am taking my time finding pieces that I love rather than buying “something” just to fill the space.

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I found this sweet little side table at Hobby Lobby (for $10! 90% off) a few weeks ago. The small blue table that was previously in this space has been relocated to the master bedroom next to my chair.

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Tucked in the corner is a small rocking chair that belonged to my great grandmother on my mother’s side. The pillow is from Target and reverses to a red striped pattern. The curtains are light blocking panels purchased from Target last year. They work well keeping it cool in here from the blazing hot Virginia sun. With so many windows and sliding doors this room heats up quickly!

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This is the corner next to the kitchen. I am in love with this dresser. You can see my previous post about it here: http://www.jerseygirlinthesouth.com/chalk-painted-dresser-love/

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The empty space near the back door used to be The Little One’s second toy area. He wanted to be near me every minute of the day and luckily he has (mostly) gotten over that. I need my space! The toys have been moved into the playroom. This week I have been perusing Pinterest for DIY plans to build a sofa table. I have not made up my mind yet which one I am going to attempt to build. My husband is burnt out on projects right now so this one is all me. Hopefully The Big One will help…

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I hope you enjoyed my “summer look”! Do you change your decor seasonally too?

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Farmhouse style master bedroom makeover

DIY Farmhouse Style Bedroom Makeover

 

When we first came to see this house I fell in love with our master bedroom. The bright sun shining through the arched window and tall vaulted ceilings drew me in. The vanity was the perfect spot for me to get ready in the morning. I could imagine myself snuggling in bed with the kids on weekends and late night Facebook browsing on my phone in bed when I really should be sleeping. (Don’t judge. You know you all do it too!) Then I caught a glimpse of the 90’s trendy textured ceiling and equally dated ceiling fan. They had to go! I am one of those weirdos who hates ceiling fans blowing on me when I am trying to sleep so I opted for an elegant chandelier instead of a new fan.

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My main job was the designing and decorating (the part that I really enjoy).  I wanted a soft romantic feel in this room. In order to save money I also did the painting (which I do not enjoy). For those that do not know me in person I am very clumsy. Like fell off of a ladder injuring my back for life and was out of work for 6 weeks kind of clumsy. My bedroom ceiling is 12 feet high in the middle. Standing on my tippy toes on the ladder caused me to struggle but I got it done without any major incidents. I was very proud of myself and the kids kept coming in to cheer me on aka make sure I was still alive.

I am in LOVE with this paint color, Benjamin Moore Glass Slipper. We also used it in the kitchen and family room in our last home. The little boy’s bedroom in this house is the same color as well. I would consider it a neutral shade and it matches so many different color schemes.

We also removed the carpeting on the entire second floor. The previous owners had a cat and a dog and we are extremely allergic to both. We had the carpet professionally cleaned before moving in but it was not enough to remove all of the dander. My middle son has asthma and breathing is kind of important. We were hoping to keep the carpets as they were in perfect condition but what can you do. The carpeting was replaced with Allen and Roth laminate flooring in Toasted Chestnut. We hired Lowes to install it since my husband would not have had the time. We have been very happy with it so far and the installation went perfectly.

 

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The giant glowing object on my nightstand is a crystal pitcher. It belonged to my father’s grandmother and was given to me at my bridal shower. When the sun comes into the room and hits it light bounces everywhere. The picture is of my father and I on my wedding day. I used to be a blonde!

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It was surprisingly easy to convince my husband to plank the ceiling. Originally I thought about whitewashing it but once it was up I preferred the natural wood tone with our painted bedroom suite. We had worked with these interlocking wood panels before in the kitchen in our last home when we updated our island. It is so simple to do but is tedious and time consuming work.

I plan to write up a tutorial for the ceiling if there is any interest with my husband’s help in the future. He did not use any instructions and just winged it. He amazes me with his on the fly math and measuring skills. I, on the other hand, have trouble hanging a picture without putting a million holes in the wall and like step by step instructions.  He also hung the chandelier and changed out the vanity light fixture by himself. Electricity scares me. We make a good pair.

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This sweet little vanity is just for me! I live in a house full of boys so I need my own girly space. It will be receiving a little makeover shortly.

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My cozy little reading chair aka where the throw pillows live at night.

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I love the view from my bedroom window. It is really cool during thunderstorms to watch the lightening through the arched window.

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The whole room took us almost a year to complete. Sometimes we have great intentions, purchase everything and then take a very long time completing the work (cough…kid’s playroom that still is not finished…cough). I stared at a pile of wood against the wall for about 6 months and the ladder became a new spot for my husband to hang his clothes. It ended up being well worth the wait! I am not a morning person at all but I love waking up in this room.

Source list: (Links have been provided below as several readers have requested more information. I do not receive any compensation from them)

Curtains, rods and bedding: Target

Flooring: Allen and Roth laminate in Toasted Chestnut from Lowes

Chandelier: Allen and Roth from Lowes

Vanity light: Home Depot

Paint: Wall-Benjamin Moore Glass Slipper in Satin  Trim-Valspar Signature Ultra White Semigloss

White chair: Ikea Jennylund

Vanity chair: Home Goods

Furniture: Lane Furniture

 

Would you like to see how we did the ceiling? Leave a comment and let me know!

Bedroom Makeover

 

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DIY Chalk painted dresser

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Yes, I know what you’re thinking. How many dressers does this lady have in her house??? I only have two downstairs so I don’t think that qualifies me as a dresser hoarder. Yet. I am not a clutter person and piles drive me insane. If I can clean up quickly by shoving everything into drawers I am a much happier mom. 😉

I used to have a cute little bench with baskets for the kid’s shoes and winter gear plus hooks for them to hang their baseball hats and coats in this spot. That didn’t last very long. The kids pulled the coat rack right out of the wall yanking on their hats and broke it. The shoes never quite made it into the basket. They seemed to keep multiplying all over the floor. Pile of papers wound up on the bench too. Did I mention my hatred for piles? The bench now resides at the kitchen table and it also received a chalk paint makeover.

I started looking for a better solution and decided to recycle one of the kid’s dressers into a storage piece for the foyer. We bought all three boys new bedroom furniture and I only had space in the two younger boy’s shared bedroom to keep one of dressers. I planned to sell this one along with the two twin beds and nightstands. I’m so glad I talked myself out of it! The beds and nightstands found new homes with friends and the dresser stayed here while I decided what to do. Instead I bought a rolling metal cart for the shoes to keep in the closet. The shoes still end up in a pile on the bottom of the closet half of the time but at least I am no longer tripping over them. Pick your battles and all that. The rest of the other mess went right into the dresser. Inside the drawers are all of their hats and gloves, their rabbit care supplies that used to live in the closet and random stuff that needs to go to school.

Enough rambling. Now onto the DIY part. I am a HUGE chalk paint fan. In the beginning I was all about Annie Sloan chalk paint and their beautiful line of colors.  I still love it but have since found a less expensive option at Hobby Lobby, Americana Decor chalky finish paint. Since I only purchase it on sale or use my coupon the cost is so low. It makes the bargain hunter in me happy! I own multiple colors and have refinished several pieces using this paint. For this dresser I chose Serene, a soft pale blue. I finished it with a coat of soft touch varnish. It’s so simple! This is not a sponsored post even though it may sound like it. I just wanted to share what works for me.

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Directions (According to me. Others may do this another way):

Clean the surface to be painted (No sanding or any other prep work!!! Really! It’s true!)

Remove the drawers from the dresser and remove hardware.

Using a foam brush gently paint using long strokes (A bristle brush is fine too if you want the look of fine brush strokes)

Let it dry completely before putting on a second coat if you plan to do one. (Totally optional)

Let the second coat dry. Distress using sandpaper if you choose to.

Apply a coat or two of varnish (I only do this for pieces that see a lot of use. Picture frames, etc. I don’t bother)

Let it dry overnight or longer if possible before using it.

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Normally people would do two coats of chalk paint. For this dresser and the red one I did for my boy’s room (watch for that post!) I only did one coat. I wanted some of the original wood grain color to show through. The paint odor is minimal so I painted inside with multiple fans running and both sliding glass doors and windows open. I opted not to paint the original wood knobs and instead went with these mother of pearl look glass knobs from Hobby Lobby. I love the way they transformed the look of a kid’s dresser into a more feminine adult piece. I, of course, waited for them to go on sale for 50% off (happens every few weeks).

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All that was left to do was move it into place and anchor it to the wall using a safety strap (VERY important if you have young children!).

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So, what do you think? What have you chalk painted in your home? If you are not already following me on Pinterest please check out my boards. So many chalk painted projects and inspiration pieces can be found on there!

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