DIY Projects

My First Chalk Paint Project


So now that you are caught up on my life as of late (we moved in case you missed it) I can start to share all the exciting, new, fun and sad things we are experiencing since relocating.

One of the things that I had longed for when living downtown, was a little more space. Not necessarily more square footage (in our new house, we actually only have about 400 sq. ft. more space) but a different kind of space.

Our downtown home was one level with two bedrooms, a main kitchen/dining area, a living room, two bathrooms and a small office room. Our new home has three levels, three bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms and a finished basement.

What this means is that we all have more places to spread out to, including an entire room (with windows yay!) devoted to crafting, sewing and office work. It’s really my dream come true. We also have a garage and driveway and an unfinished part of the basement that all help to contribute to my first chalk paint project.


Now that I have a few spaces to work on “dirty” projects, I have taken full advantage. One of my first and favourite projects was refinishing a console table, that funny enough, I tried to sell but couldn’t. It really is true when “they” say it can be a blessing to not get what you want.

Not Getting What You Want Is a Blessing

This table is made of really high quality and was purchased in one of Toronto’s trendy furniture stores on King West, so I hesitated to let it go, but alas, it was the completely wrong colour for our new home so up for sale it went.

When I just was wasn’t getting the price I felt it (the table) deserved, I decided I was going to keep it, and use it to fulfill a dream, and that was to refinish a piece of furniture all on my own.


City Mom Chalk Paint

While I realize that I am not the first (nor the last) to share a chalk paint project, I do hope that this post will provide inspiration for you to refinish that table/chair/dresser etc. that you’ve been hanging onto to do just that. It was a fun and rewarding project.

Steps to Chalk Painting

Thankfully chalk painting is a fairly easy and straight-forward project to complete. Here is how I did it and what I used:

  • Decide upon your piece of furniture/item that you are going to refinish
  • Select your brand and colour of chalk paint that you’d like to use
  • Measure the square footage of the piece you are painting and buy the corresponding amount
  • Note: if you plan to distress your piece, you may want to put one colour on the bottom and another on the top
  • You do not need to sand your piece first…just begin painting
  • I used a small paint brush because I liked the look of brush strokes as I felt it helped make my piece look more weathered
  • Let the first coat dry, and decide if you will do another coat (I ended up doing three)
  • After you have applied all of your coats, let it dry overnight
  • Move your piece to a well ventilated area and begin sanding – sand the entire project with a very fine grain sandpaper
  • If you are going for a weathered/distressed look, you will also want to use a heavier grain sandpaper and really use some elbow grease – focus on the edges and corners of your piece
  • After you have completed all of your sanding, it is time to apply a generous layer of wax – this will help to keep your surface protected

Here is a great video that you can use for more inspiration and more detailed instructions: Refinished Night Stands with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint by iamlikehearted.

Chalk Paint Before and After

Chalk paint is easy to work with and is water soluble which makes clean up a breeze. It is also an incredible product specifically designed for furniture that can be used on almost any surface. You also get a nice shabby-chic look or a weathered beachy look which what I was going for to fit into our new home. It’s an easy project with a dramatic outcome.

I got my paint at Benjamin Moore but there are many places that you can find it. If you have any questions about my project, please feel free to ask.

Have you chalk painted before? Do you have a piece of furniture that you’re itching to refinish?

City Mom

Magazine-Worthy Holiday Table for Under $50

Holiday Table on a Budget

When I received the most recent edition of Canada’s Style at Home magazine, I was really taken with the holiday dining table image on the cover. In fact, the entire issue had some gorgeous holiday design ideas. Sadly for me, I do not have the budget to recreate the image exactly, not even close in fact. I imagine the table accessorizing cost hundreds of dollars.

We are just not a hundreds-of-dollars-holiday-table kind of family so what is a girl to do who wants to have one but can’t? I decided that I was going to go out in search of items that could create the same sort of feel as the magazine design for a fraction of the cost.

I think I was pretty successful in my hunt and I was able to create a pleasing holiday table that not only fit our budget, but also our small dining table.


I should note that I already owned the wine glasses, dinner plates and cutlery so they are not included in the fifty dollar budget.

I bought everything at Dollarama except for the red tea light lanterns; those I found at Loblaws for just five dollars each.

Holiday Table on a Budget

List of items I used are as follows:

  • Two sparkle pillar candles
  • Silver paper napkins and one set of red tree ornaments
  • Silver tablecloth
  • Pinecone greenery
  • Two snow-covered candle wreaths
  • Four silver serving platters
  • Four antique-looking china bowls
  • Two tea light lanterns
  • One LED Pillar candle
  • Dinner plates
  • Silverware
  • Wine glasses

Holiday Table on a Budget

I am pretty pleased with the outcome of my little project and now we’ll be ready for any drop-ins over the holidays as my table will always be set.

Holiday Table on a Budget

What do you think? What project would you love to try on a budget?

City Mom

DIY Remodel Before & After


A number of weeks ago I created a post titled Do-It-Yourself Headboard. The post included steps on how to go about making your own headboard at home. In that post I also promised to share photos from our completed bedroom remodel.

I was waiting to do this post until we had completed the project, but life has gotten in the way and we have a few finishing touches to complete before we reach 100 percent. I realized that it may be a while before we make it to completion, so 95 percent was going to have to be good enough.

Our condo is roughly 1650 square feet. Our new master bedroom was smaller than the one we had in our house in the suburbs. Our colour schemes of beige, dark brown and red really worked in the large space, but when we downsized, the colours fell flat. The space looked too small and we felt that a lighter pallet would make it appear larger.

We were able to complete our bedroom remodel for under $1000. We didn’t buy any new furniture; we just did some strategic placing of our existing pieces.





With a few inexpensive decorative accessories and some lighter bed linens, we were able to open up our bedroom and create a unified look.





Patterned wallpaper is back in style!

 We decided to use a busy pattern on one small wall to create an attractive accent piece to the room. I loved getting creative with mixing patterns in this project.





Here you see the DIY headboard covered in a different, yet complimentary pattern to the wallpaper, some retro-style lamps and a few throw pillows in our chosen accent colour. This fabulous wall colour is called Herringbone Grey from the Sarah Richardson’s Paint Collection. We’re still in search of the perfect piece of art for this wall.





Normally I love a neutral taupe colour on any wall, but in this room it just felt dull. We’ve refreshed the look with a colour called Universal Grey that compliments the darker grey nicely.

We’ve cleaned up the exposed cords and placed some more sophisticated accessories to complete the look.





Perhaps the most drastic and least expensive change we made was replacing the boring window shade with luxurious patterned drapes. It adds height and interst to the otherwise plain window. We moved the mirror and placed it on the angled wall to create depth.

So there you have it, our master bedroom remodel before and after. This project took us one weekend. The most difficult part was working with the wallpaper but even that was fairly easy. I love redecorating and changing things up. For this room I found my inspiration from home decor magazines like Style at Home, I love thisCanadian publication!

What redecorating projects have you taken on? Are you changing things up for the Spring/Summer? Share your experiences!

City Mom

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