Shabby Kitchen Pantry Redo

I bought this solid wood armoire on Craigslist for $40..including delivery!

Shabby Kitchen Pantry Redo

Perfect for the kitchen pantry storage I need and don’t have in my small kitchen space!

Sorry I didn’t get a “before”, I was excited to get started, and forgot to take a before picture.  All I’ve done here is prime the knots in the wood with Zinsser Primer. 

Shabby Kitchen Pantry Redo

I cleaned out the cabinet with vinegar and a clean cloth and let dry.

Shabby Kitchen Pantry Redo

 I then primed the entire cabinet, inside and out.

(Note: It took me about 4 coats of primer to cover the knotty pine. Even using a great primer such as Zinsser, which is a stain blocker!   Don’t get discouraged, eventually, the knots will stop bleeding through, and Zinsser dries pretty quickly!)

Shabby Kitchen Pantry Redo

Then I made some chalk paint with some leftover white paint. Directions for making homemade chalk paint can be found HERE. I did two coats of the chalkpaint, letting it dry a day between coats. (Although, this is summer in the very humid Key West, a climate with less moisture in the air may take less drying time!)

I sanded the edges with medium grit sandpaper to give it a lightly distressed look.

Shabby Kitchen Pantry Redo

Wanted to give the back a pop of color. Started with the same blue used on my walls.

Shabby Kitchen Pantry Redo

Added a pattern with a stencil. I purchased this one at Cutting Edge Stencils. They’ve got some great patterns, and they are super easy to use! I know this isn’t perfect, but hey, its hard to paint way in the back of a cabinet 30 inches deep!

Shabby Kitchen Pantry Redo

And you can’t tell after I filled it in with all these beautiful vibrant colors!

Shabby Kitchen Pantry Redo

I added some decorative shabby appliques purchased on eBay at Do It Yourself Chic. They have some really great appliques that will turn any boring or outdated furniture into fabulous! Highly recommend trying these out if you haven’t yet!

Aging Furniture Appliques

Always attach appliques on a flat surface using E6000. I don’t care what anyone says, it’s the strongest adhesive out there!

Shabby Kitchen Pantry Redo

I used Satin Polycrylic Glaze to finish the cabinet, and added a mishmash of leftover knobs..

Shabby Kitchen Pantry Redo

(It dries fast, and cleans easily. Another great thing about Polycrylic? It’s tintable!)

On one side, I added some S Hooks to give me a little more room for hanging pans..

Shabby Kitchen Pantry Redo

And on the other,  a lazy susan to access stuff on the back of the shelf.

Shabby Kitchen Pantry Redo

I’ve got plenty of room for all my pantry goods now! No more trying to figure out where I stashed what!

Shabby Kitchen Pantry Redo

Have even more storage on the top for some canisters and a bread bin..

Shabby Kitchen Pantry Redo

I love how this came out! Functional AND pretty!

Shabby Kitchen Pantry Redo

I added a pretty curtain between the wall and the pantry using a small tension rod to hide my mop and broom.. no closets in my little cottage!

Shabby Kitchen Pantry Redo

Thanks for visiting!



Can you believe this is laminate??

I live in a tiny attic apartment in old town, Key West. I pay for my location. I do certainly not pay for my storage, because I don’t have any. One tiny closet in the whole apartment! I’ve been wanting a sideboard/credenza/buffet/dry sink for a while. Just somewhere to store my good dishes- the – vintage pieces I pull out on holidays.  I have expensive taste. I want a solid wood piece I can refinish. Been looking a while, but of course, everything I want is upwards of $800. Not going to work. I found this dresser on Wayfair for $249.00. It’s called the Huntington 8 drawer dresser. Laminate, hmm, I can work with this! It’s in my budget, and will provide the storage I need.     It took me and a very patient friend 3 1/2 hours to assemble.(thanks Tim!) Definitely a two person job. I’m pretty handy, and no way could I have done this alone. Sturdily built, only a few minor issues matching up dowels to holes. Now the fun part.     First, I sanded with my mouse and medium grit paper, just enough to take the shine off. Then I painted some areas blue that I wanted to show through the topcoat.   IMG_4057   Here’s my new toy,  a Miss Mustard Seed Wax Puck. Great for distressing furniture! Just slide the puck over anything you are planning to distress and want that color to show through.   (See Photo)IMG_4058Next, I added some furniture appliques. These are my new best friend.  I buy them from Do It Yourself Chic on Ebay.

So much fun! She makes these “molds” with wood filler. She’s got a huge selection ranging to price from $1-$70. All you do is glue them on! I use my go to adhesive, E-6000. It  NEVER comes off!   Now, 2 coats of Zinsser  primer, and she’s ready to paint.

    I make my own chalk paint with good results -Budget, budget, budget! I scoured the returned paint shelf at Ace Hardware. I found a pint of winter white paint for $2. Done! Mix it with a tablespoon or two of unsanded tile grout,then add a splash of water. I usually  end up adding water a couple of times, as it tends to thicken. Just try to keep it at the same consistency throughout -not too runny. Think of the consistency of Elmer’s Glue. Two coats. 4 hours. Then, buff with a clean cloth, 2 coats of polyacrylic, and done!   mixed paint

To finish it off, I added some clear and acrylic knobs I had on hand. Now I have TONS of storage! What do you think?






DIY Shabby Succulent Birdcage

DIYDIY Shabby Succulent Birdcage

I bought this plain metal birdcage at Ross for 12.99.  Boring, but it has possibilities!


I really liked the cute little bird swinging on a chain


A couple coats of Zinsser 1-2-3, my go-to primer..


My little bird is so much cuter already!

A coat of Krylon Blue Ocean Breeze..


A light sanding with medium grit sandpaper to “age” the paint..


And off to the MARC Plant Store to buy some succulents!


For those that haven’t had the pleasure of visiting the Marc Plant Store, a little background.. The Monroe County Association for reMARCable Citizens is a non-profit organization here in the Florida Keys designed to provide employment for adults with developmental disabilities.  Its great to see these guys landscaping around town! Also, the plant store has amazing products.  Worth a visit if you’re here in the Keys!


This is what I picked up to play with..


****NOTE: I strongly advise you to wear gloves.  I did not wear gloves.  BIG mistake!

Originally, I had planned on putting a plastic plant liner at the bottom of my cage like ones I’ve seen on

Pinterest. I couldn’t find one that fit snugly, so I opted to go a different route. This is what I came up with..


Vintage milk glass, a silver creamer, and a tea cup..perfect!(although I later switched the small milk glass with the creamer)

Way better than the original plan!

To plant, I placed some moss and potting soil in the bottom of each “pot”.


CAREFULLY repot the succulents, filling in with potting soil around the edges.

(I do not recommend the plastic bag on hand method that I used.  Really.

Buy gloves!! These teeny tiny needles feel like fiberglass!)


Love this project.  It was super easy and fits right in in my bedroom.  I like it with

 the roses,  but I’d have to replace with some dried ones.

What do you think?


succulent birdcage2

The Wedding Conch Shell, how-to

I was recently asked to paint a conch shell for a friend’s son’s wedding.  The beach themed wedding in North Carolina, has aqua and purple accent colors. This is what I came up with, and I am very happy with the results!


As anyone who has ever tried to paint letters on a conch shell well knows, its not easy! The surface is very uneven. So, after several trial and errors, I decided to try something new, clay letters! I absolutely love how it turned out!


I started by giving the outer part of the shell a base white coat with my always handy Zinsser Primer, stuffing balled up newsprint into the interior of the shell to keep it paint free.


I wanted to added a bit of glitzy sand to the shell. So my next step was to make up a blend of Elmer’s glue, water, Key West beach sand, and clear German glass glitter.  I wasn’t exact, I just played around with it till it was a consistency I was happy with.  I applied the mixture to the inner lip of the shell and let it dry a bit in the sun.



For those of you that haven’t worked with German glass glitter before, I’d like to stress how awesome it is! It is actually made out of shaved glass, and the effect is has is AMAZING!  Once you use it,  you’ll never want to use regular store bought glitter again.

clay letters

My next step was making the letters. I sculpted the letters with Sculpey III, and baked them the recommended time.  I then applied a layer of Krylon gloss, and let dry. I added a coat of Judy♥Kins Diamond Glaze, and applied some German glass glitter to the still wet  glaze and let dry.

diamond glaze


Next, I added some vintage jewelry, sparkling rhinestones and shimmery pearls, along with some  starfish, sea urchin, and white sea glass, using E-6000 silicone glue. (This is the only glue I ever use. Slow drying, but when it dries, its bonded forever!)


Then I secured the letters using my e-6000 glue.

conchletters close up


Lastly, I gave the shell a shimmery top coat using my favorite brandof metallic paint, Modern Masters, in gold shimmer. Its pricey, but so worth it!


I love how this Wedding conch shell turned out.  What do you think?

Fireplace, Drabby to Shabby

Yes, I live in Key West, and I’m not ashamed to admit I have an electric fireplace. Two actually. I remember my first year here, we had record low temps for weeks, and I spent days huddled around a little space heater with my roommates. Quite a shock to my system, having moved here from the Virgin Islands where it doesn’t get below 75, hardly ever. (And yes, northerners, 45 IS cold when you don’t have heat, and the wind is blowing icily off the ocean!) I vowed to never be cold again.

I bought my first fireplace at k-mart for $120.00, on sale.

Pretty boring. I actually hated it, (I hate faux wood laminate!) but had been shopping for one online, and couldn’t find one I liked for under $500.00.

So, the makeover. Had to have it done in time to hang my Christmas stockings. HAD TO!

I taped off the glass screen with newspaper and blue painters tape. (sorry, no pics of this step, but easy enough to figure out!)

Then I did a quick once-over with my mouse sander using medium grit sandpaper. This just takes the sheen off the laminate, and allows the paint to adhere better.

Zinsser 1-2-3 primer. Two coats. Zinsser dries really fast, about half an hour in the sun if its not too hot out. What I like about Zinsser is it sticks to and covers anything. They even say you can skip the sanding step when using this primer, but its super easy to sand laminate, so I did just because I wanted to do it right the first time.

Then I painted it with some leftover “baby boy blue” Benjamin Moore paint in an eggshell finish using a small foam roller. Easy. 2 coats, let dry 24 hours.

Finished with 1 coat polyacrylic. Total time spent on this project,  3 hours.

I had all of the supplies needed on hand for this project, using leftover paint and such, so basically, all this cost me was the $120.00 I paid for the fireplace..and



The Mermaid Boat

13 - 10Key West’s Minimal a boat out of plywood, duct tape, fasteners and 2×4’s.. sounds easy, right? Well, I didn’t build the boat, but I did paint and decorate here’s the tutorial on DIY Mermaid Scales!!

IMG_0031Here’s how the boat came to me.  Primed with Zinsser, and ready to paint!

boatcloseupI painted the base with Painters Touch in Jade. I bought 4 cans, and only needed 1 1/2. Rather have too much than having to run back out though, I’m sure I’ll find another use for this beautiful color!

circlesAnd the circles. These are actually leftovers from a upcycled book chandelier I made. They were made with a 1 1/2 inch circle punch.  I sprayed a base coat of the same jade paint and let dry..didn’t take long in the Florida heat!

paintcanclseupOnto the fun part, shiny scales! I absolutely love this paint. Its a bit on the pricey side, but a little bit goes a LONG way! I pay about 40 dollars for one of these 32 oz jars here at Strunck Ace Hardware Key West (probably cheaper anywhere else in the U.S., haven’t checked, but I do know our Home Depot doesn’t carry these) It comes in a huge variety of colors, and they ARE tintable!

IMG_20130522_140657Also a huge fan of these Preval Sprayers. Basically, its a glass jar that you screw into an aerosol can, make any color a spray paint! I’ve only tried with water based paints. LOVE.The key is adding water, paint thinner or alcohol to thin the paint enough to move through the straw. The glass jars are reusable, and the kit comes with a screw top if you have leftover paint. You can also buy the pieces separately if you’ve got the jar but have run out of aerosol, or vice versa.. THey do clog a little bit, but its an easy fix and so worth the trouble! In my experience its usually its just a matter of adding more thinner.

IMG_20130522_152054Adding the scales..definitely tedious. Easy, but time consuming. I just used regular elmers glue.


13 - 7 (1)

IMG_20130524_191631Finishing touches. I painted the trim white. For my masthead, I found a boring grey plastic dolphin at the dollar store, and painted him aqua. So cute!

frontofboatI used some Annie Sloan silver wax to finish off the paint job. I rubbed it into the scales and on the white trim. Love the shimmer it added!

IMG_20130524_183514Bought a cheap fishnet, stapled it in the front of the boat. Added some starfish that were lying around the house.

naked ladyFor the back, I framed used an old frame to frame the name of the boat. (Incidentally, I had nothing to do with the naming of the boat. That was the guys..) Covered in silver glitter. Polyacrylic to hold the glitter in place. And of course, a Conch Republic flag to show our Key West pride!!

saminboat3Our crew with the finished boat. (The guys clear coated it when I was done.  Wasn’t around for that.)

saminboat1 (2)And in the water she goes! She floats!


384723_4864836904533_312443757_nAlthough we didn’t win the race, drinks were flowing, the boat didn’t sink, and a good time was had by all.