Front Porch Makeover Part Two – Wood Plank Tongue and Groove Ceiling

If you joined me this past Wednesday, I showed how I painted and stenciled my front porch (which I love). But I wanted to take it one step further.

Many years ago in Pennsylvania, I stopped by a friend’s house. She had recently moved into an early 1900’s house. White waiting for her to answer the door, I looked up. Her entire porch ceiling was tongue and groove paneling and was beautiful.

Fast forward to Wisconsin, 2019. In my area, builders take part in what they call “Parade of Homes” where you buy a ticket and then can walk through dozens of newly built homes. My husband and I were touring these open houses to get remodeling ideas. Lo and behold, as I stood on the front porch of one home, I looked up and saw a paneled porch ceiling. That was it. I had to have one too.

paneled porch ceiling

I admit I could not have done this job myself. Thanks to my hubby though, he knew just how to do it. He measured the area and then purchased tongue and groove plank paneling. The boards were unstained, so I applied wood conditioner to each one and then stained them. It was a warm day and they dried quickly, so we could begin.

He started on one side of the ceiling, and I applied adhesive to the plank. Once he was on the ladder, I handed him the plank. I used a pole to help hold it in place by pushing against it with the pole while he used an airgun to nail it in place. We staggered the boards as we went. Each board fit into the board before it. We had a pretty good system going. He cut the board if needed, then climbed the ladder. I applied the adhesive to the plank and handed it to him. He placed it and I used the pole to push against it while he nailed it in place.

front porch ceiling tongue and groove paneling
See the pole leaning against the house?

We were almost finished when we began questioning if we had enough wood. We had odd sizes left, but it became apparent we didn’t have enough for this one small area. Doesn’t it always turn out that way?

front porch makeover wood ceiling
stained front porch ceiling makeover
Gah! Why??

After a quick trip to buy another package, I stained the last piece, Jim cut it to size, and we were done!

I just love the look of this! The planks give it such a warm, welcoming feeling. What do you think?

Front Porch Makeover Part One – Stencils and Paint!

Stenciled porch painted concrete

Painted and stenciled porches are all over the interwebs. There are rave reviews, and everyone agrees the paint holds up very well. My porch definitely needed some pizazz, so last fall I started this project.

I began by sweeping the entire porch and removing cobwebs on the walls. I then washed it down by adding Krud Kutter cleaner to a bucket of water and scrubbed with a broom.

paint concrete porch and stencil
Nice and clean.

After waiting a day to make sure the concrete was dry I began to paint. I used Dutch Boy Porch and Floor paint and primer in one in Battleship Gray color for the base. It was easy to apply using a wide paintbrush. I covered the area with two coats, allowing the first coat to dry before painting the second coat. I almost stopped after the second coat, because the porch looked so much better. But I gave it two coats.

There are many stencils to choose from, but I finally decided on this one from Stencilit. It is 12 inches by 12 inches, so it covers a larger-sized area.

Have you ever stenciled before? It is so simple and fun. Measure and decide on your starting point and place your stencil down. Hold it in place with painter’s tape. (You don’t want it to shift.) Use a stencil brush to make the job easier and more precise. The secret is to pour some paint on a paper plate. Lightly dab the ends of the brush straight down into the paint. Then wipe the brush on a clean area of the plate until almost no paint remains. Begin dabbing the areas of the stencil making sure to apply evenly and filling in all corners and curves. When your stenciling is complete, lift the stencil and line it up to the completed area, tape in place and repeat.

I used Dutch Boy Porch and Floor Paint in white for my stencils. The fun part of this project is that you can use any colors and stencils you like. It was definitely hard for me to decide on my stencil, but I’m happy with the end result.

I spent some beautiful fall afternoons completing my porch. The sun was shining and birds singing and it wasn’t hot outside. There were painters at my neighbor’s house talking to each other the entire time. Well, I should say one guy talked the entire time. The other guy seemed to just listen. Needless to say, they entertained me with their conversations. Added bonus to this job is I sat down to do 90% of the painting.

When the stenciling was finished, I allowed it to dry for a full day. Lastly, I applied two coats of Rustoleum lacquer spray finish for protection. This keeps water out and protects against stains and abrasion.

paint porch and stencil concrete
More dog supervision. Did I do ok Adele?

Here are the supplies I used:

Krud Kutter

Dutch Boy Porch and Floor Paint in the color of your choice and contrasting color for the stencils I used Battleship Gray for the base and basic white for the stencils.

Stencil – I used this one

Stenciling brush

Painters Tape

Rustoleum Rock Solid Lacquer Spray

The weather is warming up here, and I hope it is where you live too. It’s time to plan your warm-weather projects. I think this job is one of the easiest, so you might want to give it a try.

painted porch stenciled porch concrete

This was Part One of my front porch makeover. Stop back on Saturday to see what I did to give my porch some more love in Part Two!

$5 End Table Makeover from the Thrift Store

Thrift store end table makeover

What do you think of this mistreated cane-topped end table? There was so much going on with this table, but I knew I could fix it. What most drew me to the table was that it was very sturdy, but more importantly, the cane insert on top. But first, let’s examine all the problems.

The legs showed a lot of wear. And it was obvious the table sat too close to someone using white spray paint. There was white paint on the legs on one side. Next, someone spilled or painted something red on the top and on the cane. Lastly, on the top, I could see a water mark from someone placing a glass on top.

End table makeover
thrift store end table makeover

Never fear – paint to the rescue! I made sure to tape off the cane to protect it from the paint.

Behr chalk paint red ochre

For this table, I chose Behr Chalk Paint in Red Ochre. Red you ask? Yes. I was hoping to use one coat but then opted to give this table two coats for uniformity. Chalk paint generally dries pretty fast, so in about an hour, I painted on the second coat.

thrift store table makeover with chalk paint

The next day, I applied Behr Dark Decorative Wax.

Behr decorative finish chalk paint

You need to apply wax after you paint with chalk paint so the finish is protected. Just use a soft, lint-free rag and apply the wax in the direction of the wood grain. You can apply as much of the dark wax as you want to give the desired shade to your project. For this table, I only applied one coat of the wax.

Lastly, I needed to highlight the cane. I decided to paint the cane with Behr Chalk Paint in tan. I also gave the cane two coats. After allowing time to dry, I rubbed it down with the Dark Decorative Wax to lessen the contrast between the red and tan. And that was it! Project Complete!

thrift store table makeover with chalk paint

This table will go to my cabin at the lake and will fit in nicely.

Have you been tempted to paint furniture but didn’t take the plunge? Do you have a small table that needs new life? Try chalk paint. It’s so much fun to work with and there are so many manufacturers now to choose from. This little table would agree!

Secretary Desk Makeover – And One Mistake I’ll Never Make Again

I’ve told you refreshing your home is easy. But. We all make mistakes. And we learn from our mistakes, right? When quarantine hit, I spied this secretary desk on Craigslist for $45.

It was cute and I had seen lots of secretary desk makeovers and I wanted to make over one too. I met the seller, mask wearing and distancing ourselves, and I asked him if he would take $5 less than he was asking. He responded, “No. It still has the key. I don’t find many that still have the key.” So I paid the $45 and took it home. It was painted green and the paint had a texture to it. I have never figured out what was done to the paint to get it to look that way.

See the texture of the paint?

No problem I said. And there was when I learned a valuable lesson. If you don’t know what you’re working with, back away. This desk has been my nemesis and has heard me say not so nice words. I began using sandpaper thinking I could smooth out the paint and finish. The paint wasn’t budging, so I got the electric sander. There must have been oil in the paint, because the sandpaper gummed up and I had to replace it constantly with fresh sandpaper. Next up, paint remover. Such a mess.

It took forever to remove and was still so gummy. I eventually got the paint removed from the top where I could see raw wood.

I think it was then I decided to stop trying to remove the paint and do the best with the sander. I was finally able to prime the desk and begin painting. The top and interior were painted with Behr Graphic Charcoal. The outside is Behr Back to Nature. And the inside of the drawers are Behr Bubble Shell.

I was going to stencil the desk drawers but wasn’t happy with the end result.

Not working for me.

I then found some fabric in my stash with all of my paint colors, so I lined the drawers with fabric.

This is very easy to do. You simply cut the fabric to the size you need. Then brush Mod Podge on the area you are covering and lay the fabric in place. The directions are on the Mod Podge bottle. I also applied fabric to the insides of the desk. When I finished painting and lining the drawers, it looked so cute. But I found my next problem. The paint had added a layer so that the drawers and cabinet front wouldn’t close. The drawers became too tight. And the fabric added too much of a layer for the door to smoothly close. I had to remove the fabric on the sides and repaint those areas. Out came more sandpaper. After what seemed like forever sanding and then repainting the sanded areas, the drawers were finally closing easily. The door closed easily. Then, next issue. When I opened the cabinet front and allowed it to rest open, the gray paint above the big drawer rubbed against the green cabinet door, leaving green marks on grey and grey marks on green. Would this desk ever just let me be happy?? More sanding. More repainting. My hubby said, “Let’s add a bumper somewhere so the door doesn’t rub against the wood” or something to that effect. That actually worked, and I was happy. I could actually see the finish line and sprayed some spray protectant all over the desk to help protect against scratches. The desk had other plans. Once dry, I found that the spray left some swirls in one area. So you guessed it. More repainting. I felt the desk might benefit from some decoration on the front when the door is closed, as this area was marked with small indentations when I bought it. I applied this transfer to the front and immediately didn’t like it.

Word to those interested: Transfers are easy to apply and difficult to remove. After a day of removal (and repainting again), it was looking good. I changed out the drawer pulls and added these pulls from Hobby Lobby. I liked the little knobs on the small drawers and kept them.

I bought this desk and owned it for a year. It taught me many lessons. It did turn out cute though, don’t you think? And I love the colors. And it still has the key! But next time – I’ll pass on the previously painted items.

Updated Basement Bathroom

I showed you how I updated a rental house bathroom and also our camper bathroom. My basement bathroom was next on the list.

After our basement was built, we painted the bathroom walls green. The woodwork was stained and we called it a day.

After 19 years, I decided it needed new life. I used Behr’s Subtle Touch,

which was left over paint from another paint job. Who wants to buy more paint when you have leftover colors you love?

I debated whether to change the trim and vanity colors. I didn’t really want to go to that much trouble. I just wanted a refresh. After a week of indecision, I decided the trim, vanity and door colors would stay the same. As it turned out, my leftover paint was not enough to give the walls two coats, so I had to buy a quart to finish the job. Oh well…

We removed the nickel towel bars, toilet paper holder and faucet. I found the black faucet and the other accessories on Amazon for a very reasonable price.

Then I decided to do something I had never done before. I wanted to change the nickel shower door. After a complete washing down and removal of soap residue and adhesive, I coated the glass on both sides with Masking Fluid.

The fluid dries to a loose plastic film that you peel off later and keeps paint from adhering to glass.

I sprayed the metal frame with Rustoleum Hammered Black spray paint. The hammered paint gives a textured finish rather than a smooth finish and is so pretty.

When dry, I did have to go back and use a blade to remove bits of overspray, but the end result was beautiful!

The Bohemian rug was another Amazon steal and fits perfectly in this room.

So, if you’re tired of looking at a room and it’s paint color, take the plunge and update. Start with the walls! You’ll be surprised how inspired you become.

Art’s Stool – A plain stool is upcycled with spray paint and fake fur to become a posh vanity stool

Walking through Habitat for Humanity Restore, I spotted this stool for the amazing price of $1.00.

And you ask- Kim, what the heck were you thinking? Was it the price? Was it the fact that it was so forlorn? The answer: All of the above, but I could also see it’s future!

I was semi-grossed out to find that the seat of the stool was actually covered in yellow and white 1960’s carpeting. Which makes me ask: What did it look like before the carpet? The carpeting was nailed on, and the nails were very easy to pull out. The carpeting was so dry rotted! When removed, I found that the previous owner, Art, had written his name on the base. (Hence why it’s called Art’s stool.)

The frame was wiped down and since it was pitted with a bit of rust, I sanded it down all over and gave it a coat of metal primer spray paint. I then gave it two coats of Rustoleum Sunlit Brass, which is such a beautiful shade and gives metal a soft glow.

I had some leftover foam that I cut to the shape and size of the seat base. I placed some batting over the top of the foam. (Batting is what is inside comforters and quilts so they are fluffy instead of flat.) The final cover would be fake fur. After pulling the batting and fake fur over the foam and around to the back of the seat base, it was all stapled in place with a staple gun.

I listed the stool on Marketplace and a lady messaged me on Christmas Eve. She purchased it for her daughter to use at her makeup vanity. I’m glad I could make her girl happy. 🙂

Don’t forget that old saying “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. I knew Art’s stool could have a new life. I wonder what Art would say?

Do it Yourself : How we updated our rental house bathroom from blah to GORGEOUS!

My husband and I bought a house to fix up and resell, but we wound up keeping it for a few years and used it as a rental. It was time to sell it. The home only had one bathroom, so I knew home buyers would want it to be perfect.


The floor was ok! Everything else – not so much. We removed the mirror and found the remnants of a medicine cabinet. And cobwebs. Also, the vanity light reminded me of something from a gas station restroom.


I painted the top half of the walls a pretty dark blue color. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name of the color, but Naval from Sherwin Williams is very close.

My husband installed beadboard on the lower half of the walls which I painted white. I chose Dutch Boy’s Sandstone Tint for the vanity and mirror.

FYI – If you are at a loss trying to chose a paint color and don’t know where to begin, browse the different paint manufacturers’ “Color of the Year”. They are amazing.

We bought new towel bars and toilet paper holder. The pretty light fixture came from Costco. And I fell in love with the glass vanity knobs and handle from Hobby Lobby. See how they glisten with the sunlight? They were very easy to switch out. I found the cute throw rug for under $4.00 at Menards, and the shelf above the toilet was a Goodwill find I had sitting around at home. All that was needed was a fluffy white shower curtain and bright white mini blinds.

When the realtor came to take pictures of the house, he commented on how nice the bathroom turned out. I agree!

I hope this gives you a few ideas how to refresh your bathroom. You can easily make as many or as few changes as you want.

Happy painting!