Thrifty Makeover: Vintage Dining Table

If you have been reading my blog for a while, or if you are new here, you will know I LOVE to buy second hand furniture and revamp for a new look. Its the thrill of the hunt and of course easy on the pocket book that keeps me going. There have been many pieces that have come and gone, as I sell some pieces. Recently, I stumbled across a dining set that I wanted for the chairs. I have been looking for chairs for our kitchen that have the Scandinavian windsor chair look, and finally found a set. They recieved a paint treatment, but that is for another blog post. The table caught my daughter's eye and she wanted it for her apartment. It is a versatile piece that has leaves that fold down to tuck it against a wall, or add another leaf to make it an oval shape.

 The brown-orange lacquer needed to go. After stripping the laquer and giving it a good sanding, it received one coat of Dark Walnut by Varathane and 4 layers of Diamond Finish clear coat in matte by Varathane. The legs were painted in Coal Black by Fusion Mineral Paint. Let's just say I am MORE than pleased with the result!!

A Thrifty Find: Makeover with Fusion Mineral Paint

If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen my amazing thrifted find last June that I managed to cram into the back of my small Honda Fit! What I found on Facebook Marketplace was a gem of a desk in Hollywood regency style for $45! It was the perfect project for Fusion Mineral Paint which helped sponsor this project!

The table is solid wood with a wood veneer top, this was discovered as I attempted to strip the high gloss coat. If you have ever tried to use wood stripper on something that isn't really wood, well, it just doesn't work. So I wiped off the stripper and primed the whole desk with a high adhesive primer. I really wanted the paint to stick. Fusion Mineral Paint doesn't need primer for most projects, just a little pre-sand and that is it. But since the top wasn't real wood I wanted to be sure the paint would adhere.

All that was required was two coats of Coal Black hand-painted on with their amazing Staalmeester brush. I sealed the top with a matte poly top coat. The handles were treated with a bit of rub on gold leaf! I am still shopping for a drawer liner to give the inside of the drawers a bit of pretty. It was a real challenge getting good photos as the desk is in the guest room and there isn't a whole lot of room, and our grey days seem never ending. But I LOVE the desk and am so thrilled with the paint and not to mention she was cheap!

Isn't she pretty?

 I have a few more projects using Fusion Mineral Paint, that are complete and one more in the works! Stay tuned!

Celebrating with Modern Map Art

Recently I was asked by Modern Map Art if I wanted a free print to review. A quick peek at the site and I had no hesitation. I love typographical art and maps. Since I was a child, maps have always been a fascination for me. I could pour over our atlas and dream about visiting far off places. Growing up in the city, seeing stars at night was less than stellar. When we visit in my inlaws farm in Alberta you can see millions of stars! Naturally, the Star Map really caught my eye. You can choose to customize your piece: there are various fonts, add text and change the backgrounds. I love how you can choose a date, location and time to celebrate something important in your life with a star map!

I chose my husband's and mine wedding date. Today is our 27th wedding anniversary, 1991-08-24, what a perfect gift to celebrate our special day from 27 years ago!

Modern Map Art has city maps, country maps and ski maps as well! On my wish list is a Prague map! Pop over and see what catches your eye!

An Amazing Opportunity With Rustoleum Canada

If I haven't harrassed you already on Instagram or on Facebook, then you might not know I have been asked to be part of a social audition for Rustoleum Canada as part of their #we_wood campaign to be one of 3 influencers who will be flown to Toronto to visit their lab, play with their products and be part of a video campaign. I would LOVE some love on Facebook, this blog post and Instagram. If you share anything, please tag me @barbara.matson,  Rustoleum (@RustoleumCA  that's their IG and Twitter handle) and use the hashtag #we_wood.

Thank you to all who follow me on all the social media channels and to my loyal blog readers.  I hope you are still out there?


Here are some projects where I used Rustoleum products, I've linked to all the products I used for each project!

This is a fun chair I did in partnership with Rustoleum Canada and BC Home & Garden show for #CHAIRLiftYVR as a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity. You can read about it here

Chair painted with Painter's Touch Ultra Cover spray paint in Cardinal Red in satin. Chalkboard painted with chalkboard paint

This garden gnome was another project I partnered with Rustoleum Canada and BC Home & Garden Show.  We called him "The Hipster". 

Chairs painted with Chalked Ultra Matte SPRAY paint in Charcoal. Table was primed with Zinsser BIN Shellac Based Primer (life saver primer!!!) and sealed with Varathane Diamond Wood Finish Indoor in Satin

There have been countless projects I have painted over the years and haven't documented them all but I LOVE to paint and makeover furniture with paint. Rustoleum definitely is my go-to for most of my projects. I would LOVE to be a brand ambassador. Please visit my Instagram and Facebook page to like and comment. Also any sharing of my page or any projects you have done using Rustoleum products please tag me @barbara.matson @rustoleumca and use the hashtag #we_wood !

Thank-you to all my loyal followers! Your support means the world to me!

An Amazing Rental Makeover

If you have followed my blog for a while or if you are new here, we are renting our current home. You can read more about why, here. There are others who rent and do not shy away from adding their signature touch to their space. Recently I started following Lisa Canning on Instagram and her YoutTube channel. Not sure where I have been but I have been sucked in the black hole of YouTube. SO MUCH GOODNESS. Lisa Canning, her husband and 6 children recently sold their small home and are renting a stunning home in the Toronto area that is swallowed up by trees essentially making it feel like a cabin in the woods. She calls it the "Canning Cabin." Her home is AH-mazing. Hard to believe its a rental. Please have a look and watch her YouTube episode as she explains how and why they did a mini-renovation on their rental home. So inspiring!

Isn't her home stunning! Love that she doesn't shy away from permanent additions such as shiplap. I'm itchng to update our home too. I've got the summer off, must keep myself busy!

Budget and Renter Friendly Spaces from the One Room Challenge

Participating in the One Room Challenge was hard for me as it took a lot for me not to compare myself to other participants. As a renter, I was not able to renovate, add millwork, change carpeting, etc., to my space. That left me with the 4 walls, ugly carpet and a window. Working with what I had, a few thrifty finds, fresh wall paint, fabric and artwork, I managed to create a space for me that was not only budget friendly but rental friendly as well!

What I did find is, you don't have to spend a lot or own your home to have a beautiful space. Scouring the MANY participants on the One Room Challenge, I have rounded up some of my favourite spaces that are budget and/or renter friendly!

1. Sarah Gunn's Master Bedroom

Sarah Gunn, a fellow Canadian and renter, created a gorgeous space for herself and her partner. Using drapery, new furniture, accesssories she created a cohesive and inviting bedroom. The icing on the cake is the "custom" closet she created using Pax wardrobe units from Ikea. Painted in a serene blue she gave the unit a custom look. She can take apart the wardrobe units and take it with her to her next house if she chooses! She didn't shy away from custom drapery, new lighting and adding her personal touch to the closet. Other than the door, she can take everything with her.

2. Design Confetti's Water Closet

What a beautiful little space! Simple touches like the high impact wallpaper, chic Roman shade, cool leather straps and live edge shelf elevate this room to a throne fit for a queen or king. The BEST part is, it's budget friendly. Her total cost was: $170

3. Steve Storck's Baby Nursery

Taking cues from her nursery design, you can see how thrifted furniture and a wall mural creates such a chic space! If you were renting you could take a mural, mount it on large plywood with a frame and hang it up! Stevie used what she had, mixed with vintage pieces and show stopping mural to stop you in your tracks!

4. Grit and Polish Girl's Bedroom

What caught my eye was the FREE bed they scored on Craiglist. You read that right, free. What a drool worthy find! They DIY'd the drapery, made the table from bits they had laying about, used what they had mixed with that fabulous bed and used up scrap wallpaper, they created a space easy on the pocket book, all for under $500.

Alex and her husband recently moved to Canada and are renting an apartment in Ottawa. LOVE how she used paint, fabric and thrifted pieces to create this fabulous dining room! Love the chandelier, the mirror and the dining table mixed in with Ikea! Even the high chair looks so chic! 

This kitchen is a true testament to the power of paint! A fresh coat of paint and wallpaper. yes, those are not tiles but wallpaper, takes this space from the glossy 70's to a modern fresh space. I LOVE when people re-use and re-imagine their spaces with a little DIY and elbow grease.