z gallerie inspired canvases with paint samples for the house

What's a chick to do when she needs to pick up paint samples for her house but ALSO wants to swing through Z Gallerie in pursuit of canvased art to give the empty entryway some love? KILL TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE, THAT'S WHAT!

So I headed to Home Depot to grab some paint samples for the house because the ol' girl could use an update (Kendall Charcoal and Simply White from Benjamin Moore but with Behr paint). After grabbing 2 canvases from Hobby Lobby for 50% off, I then spent the rest of the day experimenting with the two different tones by adding white until my heart was happy, both on the canvases and on the actual walls. Add a little white here, a little white there not only for the art's effect, but to figure out just how light I wanted the grey to end up on the walls with the current paint color as it's predecessor.

While I was attempting this whole art thing, I obsessively looked at Z Gallerie's canvased art selection. I noticed that I was always drawn to the ones with a bit of glam in there - glitter and shinyness forever, I guess? I just LOVED them! So over the neutral grey's of my experiment, I decided to add a metallic paint and ATTEMPT to recreate some type of thang from their amazing collection. Also, I loved the drip look from Tatertots and Jello's tutorial, then got further tips on how to attain the drip look from here. So I guess what I was trying to do was a big freakin' mixture of all of them.


^^^After acknowledging the world's WORST PLACED VENT (WOOOOOOORST), I hung the canvases up just to get a good feel. (I mean, really with that vent? Not only is it off center, but it's SOOO LOOOOOW. Look at the size of that wall! It's placement has actually kept me up at night bahahaha.)

^^^Next I gathered my materials. The two paint colors, canvases, cheap tarps, a cup to make the ombre mixtures (I poured a little bit of the charcoal into the cup for the first "stripe, then added white for each "bar" after that, ending with the majority of the cup being the infused white with only a little bit of the charcoal left). Then, to create a drip, I got myself a handy dandy spray bottle.

^^^Then it was fast moving!!! As soon as I painted the darkest stripe in the charcoal up there, I had to immediately add white and move onto the next area. I didn't use enough paint resulting in a major lack of ombre flow in my finished product - USE A TON OF PAINT so it will drip! Anyhoo, as soon as I was done painting the whole thing, I sprayed water on the charcoal like a crazy woman - COATED IT IN WATER. Then, because the main reason for this whole thing was to see what type of grey we would like, I let the kids paint on the walls, always comparing it to the Simply White because that will be our batten board color that we are planning on installing (different from the last house's though).

^^^...and then all of a sudden it took a really awkward, ugly turn for the worst. I really did NOT like the non-ombre-ness because the stripes were so prominent due to my lack of blending and not using enough paint. Also, my world-class "trickling down of the metallic" effect? No. These bad boys needed some serious help, so off the wall then went and into the back yard we headed.

^^^...and because I felt like the whole project was going to have to be scrapped due to it's depressing state, when Kota asked if she could do "polka dots" on the thing, I said yes and holy bejoli - IT TRANSFORMED THE WHOLE FEEL OF IT!!! She really did make it look so much better!!! The eye of a 5 year old, I tell ya.

Now it looks a whole lot more "trickley." And honestly, just like my last post (THAT GOT SHARED BY ANA WHITE AND REMODELAHOLIC OH MY GOODNESS I AM NOT WORTHY!), it's definitely far from perfect, but it's perfect for US! In fact, it actually photographs pretty dang terribly. It really does look better in person - and my paint samples over there to the left of the art? Doesn't exactly help the situation. But I like it (now)! The metallic really did take it up a notch. So up it shall stay.

Now I'm trying to restrain myself from running to the Depot and buying myself fixins to make a table to go underneath those thangs.

Final cost: $65!!!!!!!! Works for me! Better than $1,099 for the canvas I wanted from the Z. But truly, I'm not about to talk crap on ze Z Gallerie. I love that place.

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insanely expensive outdoor taste on an insanely tight budget - patio furniture diy!

* Really quick: like all of our projects, this set isn't PERFECT, but it's PERFECT FOR US. Pocket holes and other screws are still visible, but hey - as long as no one gets any splinters and they won't fall apart, I'M ALL ABOUT 'EM.

The absolute NUMBER ONE AND ONLY REASON Chad and I ever turn to DIY always comes down to cost - ALWAYS. In fact, in our new house, I got a little high-falutin'ish - I started making sweeping statements like "Oh yeah, I just don't want to DO that, who wants to get their hands dirty? Let's just hire someone!" thinking I was hot sh**. Then, feeling super cool, I would call a few contractors and/or specialists in whatever project I wanted to accomplish, resulting in several different quotes. THEN... I would remember why we DIY bahaha.

So anyway, imagine my surprise when with what I thought to be a "higher than usual" budget to spend on patio furniture turned out to be pretty dang low on the totem pole of outdoor seating options. I had $500 to spend on whatever the heck I wanted out there! Lounge furniture to enjoy the pool with - how exciting! How unlike us, entering into the retail jungle with $500 in our pocket, ready to SPEND like the high rollers we thought we were! Well - come to find out, $500 could buy us two very cheap-looking chairs with - wait for it - cheap-looking ottomans to go with them! No table, though. No, no. Not for $500.

It was so depressing! Pinterest to the rescue though, duh.

FINALLY, I found something I liked (right there above. All the heart eyes). It was super simple looking, so how expensive could it really have been? OH YOU KNOW, JUST A SMOOTH $2,659 FOR ONE CHAIR! $3,000+ FOR THE MATCHING COUCH! NO BIG DEAL!!!!!! I mean, are you kidding me? I'd like to meet the humans who are spending that much on their outdoor sets - can we be friends?

(No but for real, those above are apart of a teak set, hence the high price tag.)

But look how simple they are!!!! I told Chad, "Hey man - we've got $500 to spend on this situation. Let's just make these things. Look how simple they are!" and he agreed. We did a little bit of mental engineering and decided we wanted to use 4x4's for the frames to sort of match our tress beam table and benches. We chose to do a different stain (weathered grey) - it's still growing on me. It didn't take to the 4x4's and the table the same and then with the color cushions we had gotten (navy blue), the whole thing does look a little... much. But oh well! After a year out on the patio I'm sure the set will weather a bit and end up looking super natural out there. (Upon cushion replacement though, I may get some white ones just to make the wood pop.)

So we bought the cushions from Lowe's and made the plans around their dimensions. We accidentally made them a bit too low on our first go around so we had to add an additional 4x4 to lift the chairs up from the ground a bit but hey, it resulted in our own design type thing.

 ^^^And then Chad also built a table go along with the set. Love him!

...And one more time with the finish product - it's where we've been spending our lives! We love it TOO much.

Annnnnnnd in functional situations! LOVE.

^^^Here we were enjoying the whole thing on Mother's Day - we had just finished days prior. It's such a blessing to get to make these type things with ma'man. He's the bomb. These projects give me LIFE!

Two small things: a) I was particularly proud of this project because we didn't get any plans for them anywhere - it was just our own result from team work. So great! (Clearly isn't exactly a tutorial post - those type things take me 10 years to do, I'm not super great at listing all the detail oriented things that goes down, and... kids. Ha! But this project just involved straight cuts with a miter saw and screws - easy peasy!)  And b), and these things are SOLID. The kids climb all over them like monkeys, a fact which wouldn't have been possible without breakage had we spent the $500 on the flimsy patio furniture that we had been seeing. REAL wood for the win!

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restoration hardware truss beam outdoor table base - our first diy in the new house!

Way back in 2014, right after we bought our first house, Chad and I tried our hand at DIY for the first time. We made THIS table (and it straight up took us 2 weeks - TWO WEEKS TO COMPLETE THAT PROJECT - bahahaha. We were SO inexperienced). Here's a pic from that precious post - we were so thrilled with ourselves! (And how about that cute 4-year-old-at-the-time Carter?)

So yes, preciousness. Looking back, constructing it in that way was probably the most roundabout process ever in terms of making a table - I mean, kindaaaaaa over kill (hence the 2 weeks construction timeline?... Let's be real, we were just slow workers back in da day). But hey, it was the first thing we ever made and gosh dangit we loved it then and we love it now. 

That table top has lived a full life since 2014 - making a stint as our master bedroom's headboard for a bit there - and now is nestled in our backyard upon a new TRUSS BEAM BASE that we, a much more experienced DIY duo, completed.


But anyhoo, here was a bit of us making it (in pictures). Honestly, who needs an additional tutorial from me (like I've done in past posts on this here record-o'-our-projects blog) when every DIY we ever tackle comes from a much more DETAILED and HELPFUL tutorial anyway?
 ^^^One of the two benches we made! So darling!

^^^Before sanding it down and staining it, we moved it into it's spot just to see how the ol' girl would look! We ended up keeping 'er there for a few weeks, eating outside almost everyday - I'd say we were in love.

^^^Time to sand, stain and weather-proof! We've got some cute helpers ;)

^^^My favorite accessory right there!

I'm so glad we have a solid, huge, beast-of-a-table out there. And with Chad's new pride and joy (his grill/smoker), the whole outdoors just got a whole lot more fun.

2.5 months in the new home is looking pret-ty darn great, I have to say :)

*One thing we skipped from Ana's tutorial (and the Restoration Hardware version of this table - HOW ABOUT THAT FREAKIN' PRICE TAG?!!!!!! HOLY HECK! $2,895-4,295! Oh my goodness. Thank the Lord for husbands who indulge their wives' champagne tastes on beer budgets!) were those two pretty beams that come down in the middle (if you checked out the tutorial, you know what I'm talking about). I asked Chad if he wanted to add them last second before staining but he said he liked it the way it is here - simple. Works for me! Love him!

Our last DIY before selling our tiny first home

Well gosh-be-darn, we bought a new house (UNEXPECTEDLY!). If you're interested, you can see what went down here on the ol' family blogular. But I just couldn't skip over our final DIY at the old house on this here home improvement project site of mine! It would be blasphemous.

So anyway, this project started out with us just wanting to oomph up the entryway, specifically this one, giant wall - it was just a huge, blank, vaulted ceiling-ed thing of nothingness. When I discovered Lauren over at Blesser House and began stalking her site regularly, I became transfixed by her DIY batten board project and so it was decided - BATTEN BOARD IT WAS!
So yes, anyhoo, it started off as us just wanting to do that one, entryway wall. But then, when we (very briefly) decided it would be in our best interest to stay in our tiny home for a few more years (baha! We were unaware of how we would be selling the ol' thing just months later), the project's scale escalated. All of a sudden, instead of just doing the one entryway wall, we decided to do the 7' batten around the ENTIRE entryway ROOM. So just to start things off, we did the entryway walls on BOTH sides (making one section into a tiny mudroom type area) and wrapped it around to the wall where we had a TV mounted.

We did it all based off of THIS tutorial - straight from Blesser Heart OF COURSE. (If she leaves, I will find her, Wedding Crasher style. Obsessed with her visions!)

*Lame photography comin' atchyu. I got lazy and didn't want to edit.

^^^Not horrible, but just BORING.


1. We skipped the whole MDF thing (even though I'm pretty sure that's the "proper" way of executing batten board) opting instead for a few easy-on-the-pocket-book coats of paint. It took 4 coats - with white you can't mess around! After that we framed out the top of the project with a few 1x4's nailed to the wall with Chad's baby, the ol' nail gun. EASY PEASY.

2. Next it was time to space out the batten! It was SUCH a tough process doing this - oh man... We had to do the arduous task of placing a batten board at each end of the giant wall, then one in the middle of those two, then two in the middle of those sections, then more in the middle of those ones (baha! Easiest thing ever). Then we went through and individually measured the horizontal space between the batten. Each time it was different. Some were 18" apart, others were 21" - it's worth it to take the time to do this step! Don't just go out to the garage and cut a bunch of the same-sized horizontal boards - it will be a waste of your time. Measure twice, cut once, ya dig?

SO WE ADDED A BOTTOM SET OF BOARDS WHICH VARIES FROM THE ORIGINAL TUTORIAL. In our home, on top of the already-existing baseboards, leaving the bottom open gave it an unfinished look. It was Chad's suggestion to add that bottom step and I'm glad we did. How pretty does it look, all buttoned up like that?

 3. Next it was filler time (or spackle? Who knows what the correct wording is baha!). There I am SUPER pregnant with little Gracie!!!!!!!! So cute.

Doing this part of any project is always the WORST PART for me. These finishing steps suck - they just do. No one wants to spackle. No one likes to sand. It's awful, boring, mind-numbing and just one big fat hurdle before the finished product. But of course, it's so important to get that super amazing, finished look. So spackle (or fill?) we did! (Spackle, then sand to get a flat surface where the boards meet.)

^^^Okay so see what I mean with the white paint? It's streaky and easy-to-see-through on almost ANY surface. So we actually ended up doing a FIFTH coat to give it that bright white look.
4. Next it was PAINT, PAINT, PAINT, PAINT, PAINT! We added hooks to that area on the right, creating a cute little mudroom-esque type feel and we actually ended up painting the door Hale Navy because the off whiteness of it looked like puke compared to the bright white of the project.

And here is the rest of the project we finished a few weeks later! I really loved it! The plan was to complete the rest of the room but then we ended up selling it.

So anyhoo, not the most detailed blog post ever but you get the gist, amiright? Also, like I said, we followed Miss Lauren's tutorial anyway, so pop over there if ya fancy more dets. Bottom line from me: we used Behr Premium Plus for the paint as always (around $27 per gallon - who knows how many we went through for this project - I want to say 3 or 4 gallons?) and a whole lotta 1x4's from the Depot, each weighing in at a whopping $3.62 per board - WINNING.

I loved what this project did for our home. It made EVERY picture the sexiest thing ever. Batten board just does that!
^^^December 2016! See how pretty it is? Bah! Makes me miss that little ol' place. Now we've got to DIY our way through our new house :)

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