The time has come to pick paint colors for the exterior of the Millie’s Remodel house. The majority of the house is brick so I have to choose a paint that is safe for exterior brick. If I’m not careful paint can cause the bricks to deteriorate or the paint to flake off easily.

Millie’s Remodel: Exterior Paint Colors – Need Help Deciding

Welcome back to another Millie’s Remodel update. Today I need your help deciding on exterior paint colors!

When I purchased the house, it had ugly khaki vinyl siding on the front.

The rest of the house was red brick. It was hard justifying painting the entire house until…

…my siding contractor removed the vinyl siding to reveal the original wood siding underneath. Would you believe it was in pristine condition? No wood rot!

removed-old-siding to reveal wood siding white and brick front house

The paint was peeling, so I knew it had to be painted and I didn’t like the two-tone look of siding and brick. I really wanted the house painted one color.

You may remember I had my mason brick up the back doorway leading to the laundry room. Anyone living in the house used to have to go outside the house and make a U-turn to go back inside to do laundry, which was just crazy.

back door bricked up with transom window installed

Now that room has a doorway from the inside so you can do laundry from inside the house. That makes more sense, doesn’t it? Because who wants to walk outside in the rain to do laundry? The room is actually a dual purpose room. It’s a laundry room and powder room, which is why I opted for a transom light to allow some natural light in while still maintaining some privacy.

Anyways, now that this doorway is all bricked up, the mortar doesn’t match and you can see where the doorway was. I’ve wanted to paint the exterior, and now this gives me a great excuse because as you can see, none of the mortar matches.

Masonry Paint Specifically for Brick:

Many people love the look of painted brick, but make the mistake of using regular latex paint. If the brick can’t breathe, it forces the paint to flake off the house or traps moisture in which can damage the bricks. Either way, it leaves you with a maintenance issue.

But, RomaBio is a mineral paint that allows the brick to breathe and prevents moisture from getting trapped. While I was researching RomaBio paints, I discovered they had several new colors in the Young House Love collection. Although it was hard to decide, I narrowed my choices down to four colors:

  • Forever Evergreen
  • Navy Steel
  • Sage Advice
  • So Succulent

As you can tell, I’m leaning toward greens and blues. But, I need to show you the other houses in the neighborhood so you get the full picture! Do me a favor and watch the video below to see the samples on the Millie’s Remodel house and see what the surrounding houses look like.


As you can tell, I’ve narrowed the choice down to two colors: Sage Advice and Navy Steele.

Leave me a comment and let me know which is your favorite.

Oh but wait, I photoshopped some renderings of the house with different colored doors! Hopefully, this will help you make a decision!

Pumpkin Door on Navy Steel

 

Lime Green Door on Navy Steel

 

Cranberry Door on Navy Steel

 

Pumpkin Door on Sage Advice

 

Navy Door on Sage Advice

 

Cranberry Door on Sage Advice

Let me know your thoughts in the comment area. I’m all ears.

Disclosure: RomaBio is a Millie’s Remodel sponsor. I reached out to them after doing lots of research on painting exterior brick and asked if they wanted to be a sponsor of the project. I was provided with complimentary products to use.

You can catch up on the Millie’s Remodel project here.

If the birds are out in your area, chances are they are looking for a place to nest. Try your hand at doodle-painting a cute little birdhouse to help them start a family. Who knows, they may be lurking in your yard like a depressed House Hunter’s couple who can’t get past the color on your neighbor’s birdhouse. Check out this cute Doodle-Painted Birdhouse.

Doodle Painted Birdhouse

Doodle-Painted Birdhouse

Have you lost your mind Brittany? This looks like a Christmas tutorial in May? No, I haven’t lost my mind and yes, this is May (for those of us who have lost track of the days. But, this is the perfect project for anyone who has a simple birdhouse that needs sprucing up for those discerning House Hunter birds.

Although I created this little painted birdhouse to function as a tree topper, you can forgo drilling a hole in the bottom and add a hook to have a fully functional birdhouse for those bird watchers in your home.

This is a project you can do for fun or meditation. And kids can also get in the fun. All you need is some acrylic paint and a paint pen and you can have a blast making this Doodle-Painted Birdhouse for yourself or as a gift.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Optional:

 

Instructions:

Spray prime the unfinished birdhouse and allow it to dry thoroughly.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Sketch a star shape on the sides of the birdhouse. Mark the location where you wish to drill holes. (If you are using this for an outdoor birdhouse, it’s nice to have a little ventilation for the house. But, feel free to skip this step if you wish.)

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

If your birdhouse is a double-decker, you will probably want to drill holes through the sides at angle and down into the first floor roof. This will allow some of the light to come through the top story holes as well.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

For Tree Topper Only:

Mark the center location on the bottom and drill a 5/8″ hole through the bottom of the birdhouse. (Skip this step if you want a functional birdhouse.)

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Dump any wood shavings out of the birdhouse. Set up the birdhouse on the drop cloth for painting.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Paint the sides of the birdhouse red (or any color you like.)

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Paint the roof, steeple, and perches gold. Add a star and tree shape on the sides to accentuate the drilled hole patterns.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

After the gold and red paint has dried completely, use the white paint pen to doodle-paint all over the birdhouse.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Afraid to Doodle-Paint?

Nonsense, there is no rhyme or reason to the doodling, just make lots of little curly q’s, c’s, and loops. You can start by outlining the window structures. Then embellish them. Regardless of your doodle-painting style, it’s important to have fun!

You can see how I used the same technique on the chalkboard ornaments on my Feathered Nest Christmas Tree and they came out really cute.

Doodle Chalkboard Ornament | Pretty Handy Girl

When the paint pen lines have dried, add a few coats of an outdoor sealant.

Birdhouse Tree Topper:

You can use it as a tree topper by feeding the top branch(es) into the hole on the bottom of the birdhouse.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Outdoor Birdhouse:

Add the screw eye hook and hang the birdhouse from a tree in your yard.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Décor Birdhouse:

If you simply want to display your birdhouse as décor, set a little battery-powered light inside the hole in the bottom and enjoy a homey birdhouse on a shelf.

Painted Birdhouse Tree Topper Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Want to decorate your birdhouse more? You can see how I created this little Christmas painted birdhouse and embellished the roof.

Christmas Wreath handpainted birdhouse | Pretty Handy Girl

Doodle-painted birdhouses are adorable gifts and very frugal. Make it May is almost over, but stay tuned for one more project!

PHGFancySign

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How to Make a Painted Bird House Tree Topper | Pretty Handy Girl

Many of us have been staring at the same walls and doors in our homes for many years (or maybe many decades.) If you’ve wanted to give your home an update, painting a door is a quick and easy way to do just that. Today I’ll to show you how to paint doors (the professional way) so they look amazing for years (or decades) to come.

How to Paint Doors like a Professional | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Paint Doors (The Professional Way)

So you want to paint like a pro? Well, sit back and let me give you some tips and a tutorial for painting a door. This tutorial pertains to any paneled door (interior or exterior).

How to Paint Doors like a Professional | Pretty Handy Girl

Our doors are all the six panel type. If you have flat (non-panel) versions, you can skip this post and come back later. For the rest of us, get out your paper and pencils and take some notes (does anyone do this anymore?)

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

optional: Painting Pyramids

How to Test for Latex or Oil Paint?

To determine if you need to prime your door you need to assess if your door was painted with latex or oil paint first. To test the paint, rub a small spot with rubbing alcohol (or ammonia) and if the paint comes off it is latex. If not, it’s oil paint.

How Do I Know if My Door Has Lead Paint:

You can easily test your door (or any paint) for the presence of lead by using a lead test swab. I go into more detail about lead paint in this tutorial.

How to Easily Test for Lead Paint

But, the short of it is, if you have lead paint, you must be very careful when sanding it. Cover the area with disposable plastic. Use a wet sanding block (never use a power sander). Wear a respirator and be sure to clean everything with disposable wet wipes.)

When Do You Have to Prime?

As we determined above, if your door was painted with oil-based paint (and you want to use latex paint) you will need to prime. But, here are a few more reasons you need to prime your door first:

  • Bare wood or stained wood doors.
  • Dark painted doors you wish to paint lighter (or vice versa), you want to use a tinted-primer to cut down on coats.
  • If the door was painted with oil and you want to use latex paint. If you are painting over latex with latex (or oil over oil) and the previous paint job is in good shape you can skip the primer. (This was the case with my door, so I didn’t prime it.)
  • The paint is chipping. First, scrape or sand any flakes and then prime. (Important: Check for Lead Paint First.)
  • Lead paint (whether in good shape or not), you will need to prime.

Should I Remove or Paint a Hung Door?

The easiest way to paint a door is to remove the door, then remove the knobs and latch. Then you can lay it horizontally on sawhorses. Painting a door on sawhorses eliminates potential drips and is easier on your back. But, removing the door can also be a pain, especially if it’s a large solid wood door. I’ve painted plenty of doors without removing them, and they look great. It comes down to personal preference.

Preparation:

Whether you are removing the door or painting it in place, be sure to cover the area underneath with a drop cloth, newspapers, or flattened cardboard boxes (my favorite for hung doors because it gives some cushion when you are kneeling on the floor.

Lightly sand the entire door. No need to bust out the power sander, you can use a sanding block or sheet of sand paper. Be sure to sand down any bumps or blemishes. The main goal is to give your door a little “tooth” for the new paint or primer to adhere to. Wipe off the door with a damp rag to remove any sawdust.

Instructions for How to Paint Doors the Professional Way.

Step 1: Paint the interior panels first as shown in the graphic below.

How to Paint Doors like a Professional instructions

Using a small roller to paint doors can greatly speed the process. Begin by rolling paint on the flat panels. Work quickly by rolling on the paint, then use a brush to smooth out the paint and fill in the detailed areas around the flat panel.

This is one of the most important tips for getting a professional look:

Follow the grain direction when brushing on the paint

If you follow the grain and the direction of the arrows in the graphic above, you will maintain the look of the door construction. Original wood doors are made with several pieces and the wood grain changes direction. Even if you have cheap hollow core doors, you can fake the look of a quality door by following the grain pattern.

How to Paint Doors like a Professional Panels

In other words: NEVER run your brush strokes perpendicular to the wood grain. This does NOT look professional.

How to Paint Doors like a Professional | Pretty Handy Girl

Step 2: Next, roll the inside center vertical piece. Start by rolling the paint on in an up and down direction.

How to Paint Doors like a Professional | Pretty Handy Girl

Then drag your brush up and down vertically with the wood grain (see arrows in the above diagram.)

How to Paint Doors like a Professional | Pretty Handy Girl

Step 3: Next paint the horizontal cross pieces in the middle of the door.

How to Paint Doors like a Professional | Pretty Handy Girl

Keep your brush strokes horizontal (with the grain) and cross over the tall vertical center.

How to Paint Doors like a Professional | Pretty Handy Girl

Step 4: Paint the door border. Pay attention to the direction of the wood grain for this last step. The grain on the two sides should go vertically from top to bottom.

How to Paint Doors like a Professional | Pretty Handy Girl

There are header and footer panels sandwiched between the left and right sides. These “sandwiched” pieces should be painted by dragging your brush horizontally (see diagram above.)

How to Paint Doors like a Professional | Pretty Handy Girl

Step 5: The last step is to paint the edges of the door. (Do Not paint the hinges…that’s not very professional either!) If your hinges or doorknobs were painted previously you can follow this tutorial with four ways to remove paint from metal hinges.

4 Ways to Remove Paint from Metal Hinges (& more) | Pretty Handy Girl

Roll paint onto the edges then smooth them with the paintbrush. Be on the lookout for drips or puddles of paint. Go back and check the face of your door for drips now before the paint cures.

Let your door dry (30 minutes – 1 hour), then follow up with a second coat of paint. When you are done let the doors dry for 2+ hours before flipping to paint the other side. I have found that it helps to put pieces of cardboard or rags under the door so the paint doesn’t stick to the sawhorses. But you can also buy Painting Pyraminds which elevate the door and hold it on tiny points.

Ready to perfect more of your painting skills? Check out the Paint Week series with 5 Lessons to Perfect Your Painting Skills:

Paint Week - 5 Lessons to Perfect Your Painting Skills

And if you really want to paint your front door but can’t decide on a color, you’ll love this collection of Bold Colored Front Doors!

Bright and Bold Colorful Front Doors

Look around your house or the next time you’re at a thrift shop. Find either an unpainted tray or a tray that needs a makeover. This is a quick project to create a Painted Trays with Scrapbook Lining for a beautiful and elegant tray to display or organize things in your home.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

Painted Trays with Scrapbook Lining

Today I have a really adorable and easy DIY idea for you! Scrapbook paper lined and painted trays. These trays are so versatile, they can be used in the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, or anywhere you want to corral items or have a flat surface available. And best of all, you can change their look in a snap.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

As I mentioned above unfinished trays can be purchased at many places. If you want a new one, look at your local craft supply store or order one online on Amazon for cheap.

You’ll also want some decorative scrapbook paper, gift wrap, or fabric to line the bottom of your tray.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials:

Instructions:

Lightly sand and wipe off tray with a damp rag.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

Prime tray (if using non-chalk paint.) Paint tray desired color. For this tray I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

After the paint has dried, brush antiquing wax onto your tray if desired. Buff off excess with a dry rag.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut scrapbook paper to fit inside the tray. When overlapping paper, make sure to line up the repeating pattern.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

For the best durability, line the tray with a piece of plexiglass cut to fit inside the tray. (Ask your local home improvement store to cut or order online.)

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

The paper you use to line the tray doesn’t have to necessarily be scrapbook paper. I got this paper from Ballard Designs. It’s actually cheese paper, but I loved the design. It doesn’t quite match up, so I just rotated the paper.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

When you put something on top of the tray, you hardly notice the seam.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

The nifty thing about these trays is the decorative paper can be swapped out when you bore of the design.

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

Once again, I’m loving this idea too much…I might be keeping this one for myself ;-).

Scrapbook Paper Lined Painted Trays | Pretty Handy Girl

Do tell me, are you enjoying the Make It May series?

Check back tomorrow for yet another great DIY gift idea!

PHGFancySign

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DIY Painted Trays with Scrapbook Lining | Pretty Handy Girl

Need a quick gift using scrap wood? A Creative Block Desk & Art Utensil Holder is an easy and fun gift to make and certainly a project that you can customize to meet your needs. Best of all, the kids can help with the painting step!

create_art_block_holders_sm

Creative Block Desk & Art Utensil Holder

Mother’s Day is this coming weekend! Have you decided how to show her your appreciation and love?! I did! My mother is a professional artist. She creates amazing paintings that inspire others and brightens their homes. For Mother’s Day I wanted to brighten her studio with these art utensil holders. I call them “Creative Blocks.”

Go ahead and raid your scrap pile and join us as we make these colorful and fun Creative Block Desk & Art Utensil Holders.

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

materials_wood_blocks_sm

Instructions:

1. Block assembly: Select two 2×4″ scraps cut to the same length. Spread glue on one board and sandwich them together.

glue_blocks_together_sm

Clamp the wood together and drill two small holes to countersink the heads of the screws. Drive two screws into the bottom of the wood to hold the pieces together.

drill_blocks_together_sm

Use a band saw, jigsaw, or table saw to trim off the rounded edges of the wood so you have a square block of wood with straight corners.

square_off_2x4s_bandsaw_sm

Putty any cracks or holes. Sand until smooth.

putty_and_sand_blocks_sm

2. Creating the mask:

If you have a craft cutter (Silhouette or Cricut) you can create a mask in vinyl easily. But, if you don’t you can use the computer to print out your words. Lay the print out on top of a strip of Painter’s Tape. Use a few pieces of tape to secure the corners.

create_art_printout

Trace around the words with the X-acto knife (be sure to have a few fresh blades on hand.) Transfer the resulting cut-out tape onto the block of wood. Press the edges of the tape mask to secure the tape.

add_scotch_blue_tape_letters

3. Painting the block: Paint a base color onto the block. Then use a brush and/or palette knife to dab thick paint over the block (minus the base.) Use the X-acto knife to gently peel off the tape mask. Let the paint dry thoroughly overnight.

lift_tape_up

4. Drilling Holes:  After the paint has dried completely, mark the location of the utensil holes with a pencil. Put a piece of painter’s tape on the drill bit to mark the depth of your holes. Clamp the block and drill holes at each pencil mark.

drill_holes

Dump sawdust out of the holes.

Wrap up the blocks in gift wrap and enjoy the look of joy as your Mom opens her Creative Block Mother’s Day gift!

create_pencil_holder_sm

art_brush_holder

You know, as an artist myself, I almost loved these too much to give them away. But, my Mom is worth it. (And I can make another set if I want ;-).)

create_art_block_holders_sm

For more last-minute Mother’s Day gift ideas and many other creative projects, check out the Gift Ideas section here on the blog.

PHGFancySignIf you liked this project, you’ll love these floating picture frames using more 2×4 scrap wood.

wood-block-picture-frames

Can you think of anything more spring-like than a nest full of blue eggs? Today I want to show you how to make Faux Blue Speckled Bird Eggs and a Nest!

Faux Blue Bird Eggs and Nest

Spring has arrived in North Carolina and I want to dance and sing and tiptoe through the tulips. Now that Valentine’s Day has come and gone, it is the perfect time to start decorating for Easter! A nest of Blue Speckled Bird Eggs makes a beautiful centerpiece! Mother Robin sure does create beautiful blue eggs, but we’d never think of disturbing those precious eggs.

Instead, I’ll show you how to turn regular chicken eggs…

…into a beautiful nest of blue speckled eggs to decorate for Easter or Spring.

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Instructions:

It’s time to get messy. Put down a drop cloth or tarp to cover your work area (and beyond.) First, I’ll show you a magic trick! Learn how to remove the white and yolk out of eggs without breaking the shell. Rest an egg inside the empty carton. Gently tap a nail into the top of your egg.

Turn the egg upside down and put another hole into the other side. Typically you’ll need one hole slightly larger.

Faux Robin's Egg Spring Nest | Pretty Handy Girl

Pucker up and blow through the smaller hole until the egg white and yolk drain out the larger bottom hole. (Of course, you’ll probably want to save the eggs for omelets or scrambled eggs.)

Once you have emptied your eggs, clean them off. Then close your egg carton and flip it upside down to create a raised support for your eggs.

Faux Robin's Egg Spring Nest | Pretty Handy Girl

Gather your blue, black, and white acrylic paints. Paint the egg a robin’s egg blue color and allow them to dry.

Put on rubber gloves. Pour a small amount of black acrylic paint onto a paper plate. Add a little water to create a runny consistency. Dip the toothbrush into the paint mixture. Aim the toothbrush at the eggs and stroke your finger along the bristles to spatter black dots all over the eggs.

Allow the black speckles to dry and repeat the process using the white paint.

While the eggs are drying, pull out your pasta maker. (Am I the only one who never uses my pasta maker for making pasta?) Cut the paper bag into sections wide enough to fit into the pasta maker.

Feed the paper bag through the pasta maker to shred it. (You can shred the bag with a paper shredder or scissors if you don’t have a pasta maker.) Arrange the shreds into a nest form in a bowl, urn, or basket.

Set your faux blue bird eggs into the nest and admire your beautiful Spring décor!

This centerpiece can be left out until you are tired of looking at it. Then store the eggs in the carton and bring them out again next year.

 

Have a great week! I hope the weather is warming up where you are!

 

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This DIY nest of Blue Bird Eggs makes a beautiful centerpiece for your Easter decor! | DIY Easter table centerpiece | Pretty Handy Girl #prettyhandygirl #easterdecor #tablecenterpiece

Want to give something the look of zinc metal without spending money on zinc metal? You can create the look with spray paint and this technique.

How to Create a Faux Zinc Texture (with Spray Paint)

A while ago I was thrifting with a few friends and stumbled across an ugly cabinet at our local Goodwill. The metal chest had extra wide and deep storage, but the worst colors imaginable! The hot pink and mint green were disguising the true potential of the chest. Like a color-blind dog, I was able to see beyond its garish appearance. In my mind, I pictured a vintage metal cabinet with a faux zinc side and chalkboard drawer fronts.

I scooped it up and brought it home. Then the poor chest sat in our garage for months and months until I had a chance to work a little spray paint magic and turned it into….this thing of beauty:

Yes, that is the same chest of drawers! You could do the same transformation. Let’s learn How to Create a Faux Zinc Texture!

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Instructions:

Clean off your furniture piece really well. Remove any dirt or debris (I actually had to use a little Goo Gone to get rid of some sticky residue. But, lemon essential oil will also work for this task.)

Spray paint your object with automotive primer. (I prefer the automotive primer because it sticks to metal and can withstand a lot of abuse.)

Let the primer dry.

Adding a Faux Zinc Texture:

This is the most exciting part of the tutorial. I created this technique by trial and error and I’m excited by how well this method works for creating a faux zinc texture.

Getting a faux zinc texture is really easy. Just have some gloves on and use a crumpled up piece of craft paper. (A loose crumple works best.)

Spray paint your object with a thick coat of the hammered silver spray paint, (but not so thick that it runs). Let the paint get tacky by waiting a few seconds.

Then use the crumpled piece of craft paper to blot into the wet paint.

Work in small 1 foot sections and pounce the paper a few times. (Too much pouncing and you’ll lose the large textured pattern.)

Let the paint dry thoroughly. Then enjoy your beautiful faux zinc paint job!

Chalkboard Painted Metal Drawers:

For my cabinet, I chose to paint the drawer fronts with chalkboard paint for a nice contrast.

Remove the drawers from the chest. Tape over the drawer glides and slides. Mask off the drawer sides and insides by covering the drawers with tape and craft paper, leaving only the drawer fronts exposed.

Spray paint the drawers with chalkboard paint. (Use three fine coats of paint instead of one or two heavy coats.) Set them aside to dry.

Insert the chalkboard drawers back into the cabinet frame.

Add chalkboard art to your drawer fronts.

The thrifted cabinet has a wonderful texture now and the black and zinc colors work with any color scheme.

The chalkboard drawer fronts allow the flexibility for me to store and label other items inside.

I’m so thrilled with the results! I hope you try to transform your own object, now that you know how to Create a Faux Zinc Texture.

If you use this tutorial, I’d love to hear about it. Better yet, will you send me a picture?

Share this with a friend! Pin this image:

How-to-faux-paint-a-fake-pumpkinHow to Fake a Fake Pumpkin

Have you seen those neon orange fake pumpkins and nearly vomited because you wouldn’t dream of decorating with them. I mean—get real—everyone would know they were fake. Ah ha, but have you seen the price tags? $1 – $6? For that price you might just be willing to take a leap of faith with me, wouldn’t you? Awesome, because I’m going to show you how to faux paint a fake pumpkin so you can decorate with them year after year and fool your friends.

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

materials

Instructions:

Start by painting all the pumpkins with Chalk Paint (use gray, white, green and blue paint.) Allow the pumpkins to dry.

paint-pumpkins-french-linen

Painting Realistic White Pumpkins:

It helps to look up some pictures of real pumpkins to refer to.

pure-white-country-grey

Using the stencil brush, paint a mixture of grey and white on one of the pumpkins.

paint-white-mixture

Before the paint dries, dab some of it off with the sea sponge. (Keep your sea sponge dry, not wet during the process.)

sponge-off-white

Dip the stencil brush into the white paint and add paint on the outer most bumps on the pumpkins. This is adding highlights.

highlights_on-white-pumpkin

Dab the highlights gently with the sea sponge to blend.

sponge-off-white-2

Use the fan brush dipped in a small amount of green paint inside the pumpkin ridges. Dab the ridges with the sea sponge to blend.

white-gourd-pumpkin

Have you ever seen a truly unblemished pumpkin? I think not. It’s time to add some spots or marks on the pumpkin to truly fool your friends. Dip the end of the paint brush into brown paint and dot it onto the pumpkin. Blot the spot with a sea sponge and maybe even transfer a few new spots with the sponge.

add-blemishes

Paint grey around the base of the stem and into the grooves with the round paint brush.

add-dark-depth-around-stem

Paint brown and green paint onto the pumpkin stem. Blend slightly with the sea sponge.

paint-sponge-stem

Can you spot my fake white pumpkin? Well, of course you can because I just showed you how to paint it. But, it will definitely fool your friends!

grouping_left_pumpkins

Painting Realistic Blue Pumpkins:

Painting blue pumpkins uses the same technique as painting the white pumpkins, only using a few different colors.

Use the stencil brush to paint blue onto another pumpkin. Dab the blue paint while it’s still wet with the sea sponge.

add-duck-egg-blue-sponge

Use the fan brush dipped in gray and brown craft paint to fill in the ridges.

darken-crevices

Dab the paint with the dry sea sponge to blend.

sponge-crevices

Add some highlights with a mixture of grey and white. This serves two purposes. 1) It adds dimension. 2) It tones down the excess blue on the pumpkin.

add-highlights

Paint the stem the same way you learned above.

To truly fool people, set up your fake pumpkins with some real pumpkins and real gourds. Sooo, can you spot the fakes?

guess-the-fakes

How many did you get right? The metallic gourd is simply spray-painted with copper spray paint. But, I did try my hand at faking a green and yellow gourd using the same technique as the pumpkins, but adding green to the top and yellow to the bottom.

the_fakes

Okay, I’ll give you a second shot. Guess the fakes:

vertical-fall-vignette

How did you do this time? Ha, you can now apply for a job as an art forgery detective ;-).

truth_fake_gourds
Now seriously, how many people will be viewing your pumpkins that close? Umm, next to no one. Normally they’ll view them from afar.

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Get your paints and palette out and go fake some fakes! It will be our little secret.

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PHGFancySignDid you like this painting post? Ahhh, then I know you’ll like this Ballard Pear painting tutorial:

Or if you’re feeling like taking on a larger scale project…how about Faux painted bricks!

Or perhaps you’d like to perform some faux zinc painting magic:

You can do it! I know you can.

Saving Etta: Paint Colors + Home Tour Guide

Now that all the rooms have been revealed in the Saving Etta house, I thought you’d like one post to refer to all the paint colors used inside and outside the home. This will also be a great starting place to navigate all the Saving Etta room reveals.

Before we begin, a little note to let you know that Magnolia Home Paint was a sponsor of the Saving Etta project. I was thrilled to be able to showcase some of their many beautiful paint colors. Unless specifically noted, all colors are from the Magnolia Home Paint collection.

We actually had the honor of trying out the Magnolia Home Exterior Paint line before it hit the market. I can honestly say my painters loved the paint quality and the painter at the property next door came over to ask about it (he explained he was admiring the great coverage and how beautiful the finish was.) The interior paint had already won me over with its low VOCs and creamy thick texture. The paint goes on great and levels out as it dries. I’m looking forward to using their paint on many future projects!

If you want to get your hands on the paint, Magnolia Home Paint is available online and at a variety of paint retailers you can search for here.

Saving Etta Home Tour + Paint Colors:

I hope you enjoy the Saving Etta room tours. If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments.

When you pull up to the front of the Saving Etta house, you’re greeted by a cheery front porch and a beautiful green door. I had agonized over the door color in this blog post. But, ultimately decided on this color palette for the home’s exterior.

Tour Links:

Front Yard Transformation Tour

The Amazing Backyard Transformation

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Upstairs Rooms + an Alternative to Railings

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Upstairs Vintage Inspired Bathroom Tour

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Downstairs Bedrooms + How I Saved the Original Doors

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Downstairs Shared Bathroom

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Master Bedroom + My Bold Paint Choice

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Master Bathroom Reveal

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Mudroom Reveal + Saving the 1900 Chimney

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Kitchen Reveal

Living Room Reveal

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Laundry Room + No Hands Light Switch

I hope you found this paint colors reference helpful when picking out paint colors for your home. Did you enjoy the Saving Etta Home Tour? Please tell me which is your favorite room.

Disclosure: Magnolia Home Paint by KILZ is a Saving Etta material sponsor. I’m honored to work with them on this project. All words and opinions are my own. I have not been told what to say. As always I am very particular about the sponsors I work with and you will be told if you are reading a post that has been sponsored or in which materials were provided. 

How to Choose Color Harmonies | Pretty Handy Girl
Color Harmony in Decorating

One of the most frequent complaints from homeowners is struggling to choose colors for their home. When you walk into the paint store, the color selection can seem overwhelming. Choosing a rug or furniture can be equally daunting. Today I’ll give you some tips and tricks for creating color harmony in home decorating. You’ll learn a little knowledge about color theory, complements and harmonies that make choosing colors much easier. Plus, you can use the same theories in almost any visual field. From  graphic design and web design to choosing your outfit for a big event. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to put together pleasing color palettes with ease.

I’m sure you’ve stumbled across art, paintings or photos that use visually stunning color palettes. Chances are that the artist or designer put thought into each color and how they work together. Let me introduce you to color relationships and harmonies!

You’ve heard the term complementary colors, but do you know what defines a complement? Here are the definitions of the various color relationships or harmonies and some great sample palettes you can use in your home!

Complementary Colors:

One of my favorite color combinations are the gorgeous pinks in a bouquet of peonies paired with an aquamarine ball jar.  Something about this palette stops me in my tracks every time! The reason this pair grabs my attention is that those two colors are complementary.

How to Choose Colors in Your Home | Pretty Handy Girl
Photo courtesy of Two Twenty One

Red/orange and blue/green are directly across from each other on the color wheel which makes them complementary or a perfect pair. (Kind of like wine and chocolate…right?!)

Complementary Color Palettes

Here is another example of a complementary color palette. Blue and orange are stunning together. All the blues are balanced by a few pieces of fiery orange that demand attention in Sarah Richardson’s nursery below.

How to Choose Colors in Your Home | Pretty Handy Girl
Photo courtesy of Sarah Richardson via HGTV.ca

Complementary Color Palettes

 Split Complementary Colors:

Elise from Grow Creative is my newest favorite eye candy blog. She is a watercolor artist and photographer. You should definitely subscribe to her blog for a visual pick me up every time she posts! Her watercolor painting of a cactus contains a great example of the split complementary relationship.

How to Choose Colors in Your Home | Pretty Handy Girl
Photo courtesy of Grow Creative

Although, she only used a little of the bright red-orange color at the tips of the cactus, the bright color holds its own opposite the blue and green split. Without the orange, this painting would still be beautiful with an analogous palette (see the explanation of an analogous palette here.)

Split Complementary Color Palettes

In the photo below of the Thistle from Grow Creative, the opposing colors have a wonderful split complementary relationship.

How to Choose Colors in Your Home | Pretty Handy Girl
Photo courtesy of Grow Creative

The purples and green steal the show for sure, but the small hint of yellow gives this photo more complexity.

Split Complementary Color Palettes

Analogous Colors:

While attending the La-Z-Boy event, I fell in love with Beth from Home Stories A to Z’s room design. The dark and light contrast of the navy with the crisp white doors stole my heart for sure. But, the decor colors really complete this stunning palette.

How to Choose Colors in Your Home | Pretty Handy Girl
Photo courtesy of Home Stories A to Z

The key colors in her room are navy, light green and yellow. The white and grays are neutral therefore, they work with any color. Together you have a great example of an analogous palette.

Analogous color harmony | Pretty Handy Girl

Another example of an analogous palette is seen in this photo of a paper floral table runner by Fiskars:

How to Choose Colors in Your Home | Pretty Handy Girl
Photo courtesy of Fiskars

Choose colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel for a gorgeous analogous palette. These colors together are sunny, warm, energetic, but most of all harmonious.

Analogous Color Harmony | Pretty Handy Girl

Tetrad and Triad Palettes: 

Now we’re getting into a few of the more complex palettes. They aren’t hard to use, but do require a little more thought in terms of amounts and value. The bold palette in this dining room works well because they are presented against a neutral black and white backdrop.

How to Choose Colors in Your Home | Pretty Handy Girl
Photo courtesy of John David Edison Interior Design in Toronto, ON

The blue, yellow and pink colors form a perfect triangle on the color wheel making them a great example of a triad relationship.

How to Choose Colors in Your Home | Pretty Handy Girl

This bouquet my husband gave me for my birthday is a wonderful example of a Tetrad palette at work.

Tetrad Color Hamonies Split Compliment Color Palette | Pretty Handy Girl

The four colors (red/yellow/blue-violet/green) are equally spaced on the color wheel. Using all these colors in a room design can be gorgeous, but you should choose one main color and a secondary color that will dominate and let the other two colors take up less visual space. As an alternative, you could balance the bold colors with a large amount of a neutral color(s) as shown in the dining room above.

Tetrad Color Hamonies Split Compliment Color Palette | Pretty Handy Girl

Monochromatic:

After explaining some complex color relationships, I wanted to leave you with a very simple palette. The monochromatic palette is comprised of one color used throughout a room with differing values (shades of that one color achieved by adding white or black.)

How to Choose Colors in Your Home | Pretty Handy Girl

My screen porch has a monochromatic palette. Using a variety of shades of blue with white creates a calming palette that’s easy on the eyes (and invites one to sit for a while and relax.)

Monochromatic Palette | Pretty Handy Girl

For a little more punch, you can pair one color with black and white.

How to Choose Colors in Your Home | Pretty Handy Girl
Photo Courtesy of MintSix Boutique Homewares and Styling in New Zealand

Mint Six Boutique creates a beautiful example of a monochromatic palette with several shades of red and coral in this bedroom.

Monochromatic Palette | Pretty Handy Girl

The coral color steals the show, but is highlighted by the contrasting black and white in the room. Using strong contrasts in your home are sure to create visual impact.

Where to Get a Color Wheel:

Creating new color palettes is easy if you use a color wheel. You can purchase a color wheel on Amazon for less than $10! Once you have one, you can use it to choose colors for a room palette, coordinate your outfit for a big event, tablescapes, logo design and much more.

Artists Color Wheel | Pretty Handy Girl

Before you have one of these great color tools on hand, you can visit ColourLovers. It is a website that allows you to browse color palettes:

ColourLovers.com | Pretty Handy Girl

(Feel free to follow me on COLOURlovers, as I upload my new favorite color palettes.)

Or you can create your own palettes. One of the best tools on their site is Copaso (found under tools). You can use it to upload pictures and/or create color palettes from scratch. To see suggested complements and harmonies, select one of the buttons below the color wheel.

Copaso color palette | Pretty Handy Girl

Find photos that have color palettes you love (Houzz and Pinterest are two great places to start). Then upload the photo in the Copaso program. The program lets you pixelate the photo so you can select exact colors (you can also fine tune the hue and value until you reach your desired color.)

Copaso Pixelate Picture | Pretty Handy Girl

I uploaded this beautiful seaside home from Houzz to create a new palette of seaside colors that appeal to me:

How to Choose Colors in Your Home | Pretty Handy Girl
Photo Courtesy of Donna Elle Seaside Living in Nantucket, MA

Next time you are thinking about shopping for home decor, paint colors or furniture, have a plan before you go. Use color harmonies and complements to help you solidify your color palette. Planning ahead will help avoid that overwhelmed feeling.

Pin this post to refer to next time you are trying to figure out good color harmonies!

How to Choose Color Harmonies | Pretty Handy Girl

Enjoy picking fabulous color palettes from now on!

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