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 Stretch Tight ShoesHow to Stretch Tight Shoes

Have you ever bought a pair of shoes because they were super cute, but they were a tad too tight. If you’re like me, you probably bought them and thought, “They’ll stretch out if I wear them enough.” Then a year or two later you put them on and remember why you don’t wear those shoes. They are just too tight. Frankly life is too short to wear uncomfortable shoes!  I’m sure you are thinking, “Are you telling me to get rid of my uncomfortable shoes?” On the contrary, most too tight shoes can be stretched. Today I’ll show you how to Stretch those Tight Shoes and start wearing them comfortably!

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.)

shoe stretcher materials

Instructions:

I created this short video for you to see how easy it is to stretch your own shoes. Let me know if you have any questions after watching the video.

Step 1: Determine Tight Areas

Determine where the tight areas on your shoe are. If your shoe stretchers have plugs, you can add them to the stretchers for maximum stretching in those areas.

Step 2: Use Stretcher

To loosen leather shoes, you may want to use a Shoe Stretching spray. Spray inside the shoe. Turn the knob on the stretcher to adjust the heel stretcher. Insert the shoe stretchers into your shoe. Tighten the heel knob. Then turn the metal rod until the stretchers are as wide as they can get in your shoes.

Step 3: Set in Warm Area and Wait

Set the shoes in the sun or leave them in a warm area for 24 – 48 hours. It’s a good idea to check your shoes after 24 hours. After 24 hours my shoes were still a little big snug. I left the stretches in for another 24 hours and set them in the sun because the heat helps stretch leather.

Step 4: Try Them On Again

Time to try your shoes on. If they are still too tight. Spray the stretching spray and turn the shoe stretchers to stretch more. Wait another 24 hours.

silver clogs on table

I’m so happy I can wear these clogs comfortably! And now I can stretch any future cute shoes I buy (within reason.)

Do you have a pair of tight shoes you want to try this on? Get to it, those shoes want to be worn.

Rustic Wooden Caddy with a Branch Handle

Spring is right around the corner and I’m itching to cut some fresh flowers to bring inside. I love displaying them in jars placed inside rustic wooden caddies. Making a little caddy or tote out of salvage wood and branches can be an easy beginner DIY project. But, it’s also satisfying for experienced woodworkers looking to use up some old scraps or upcycle an old wooden box. Here’s how to elevate a simple wooden box into something more quirky and special by adding a branch handle.

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.)

I happened to be browsing through a yard sale and spotted a sad little box begging for me to buy it and give it a new life:

How could I say no! It was only $3. I couldn’t leave it at the yard sale in its sad burgundy dust-covered state. I brought it home so it could sit in my garage collecting more dust. (This happens more often than I’d like to admit. It’s a sickness I have.)

Using the pry bar and pliers, I pulled off the lid of the box and removed any nails.

Then I had a basic box to work with. You can use this tutorial to create a simple box if you don’t have one.

Instructions:

Cut upper handle supports out of 1×3 or other scraps. Clamp them inside the box.

Pre-drill holes and drive wood screws through the sides of the box and into the vertical supports.

Now it the time to finish the wooden caddy using your choice of paint or stain. (I like to create a rustic look using a relatively dry brush and by letting some of the wood grain show through your brush stokes.)

While the paint is drying, use a hack or coping saw to remove any bumps or burrs from your branch.

Measure the ends of your branch and select the spade bits that are closest in diameter to your branch (you want the holes to be equal to or wider than the branch.)

Drill a hole into each side of the vertical handle supports.

Insert the branch into the side of the caddy. You might have to experiment with which direction to install the branch.

Fill some jars with flowers and set them inside the crate.

Set it out in a prominent spot in your home.

Enjoy your shabby chic crate, caddy, tool box, or whatever you like to call it.

Personally I can’t get enough of this branch handle:

I’m curious, would you have bought that little dusty box too?!

If you liked this tutorial, you’ll love these other easy DIY Projects:

Mini-Picket Fence Caddy

Make a Driftwood Gift Crate | Pretty Handy Girl

Make Your Own Driftwood Crate

Galvanized Metal Star Garland | Pretty Handy Girl

Remember when I told you I’ve been on a galvanized metal kick? Yes, you may have noticed my Rustic Metal Magnetic Window Frame on Monday. When I put the windows over our fireplace mantel, I knew there was something missing. I tried a few different garlands in the space, but nothing felt quite right. When I gazed upon the leftover galvanized metal, the idea to create a Galvanized Metal Star Garland was born.

Galvanized Metal Magnetic Windows | Pretty Handy Girl

Today’s post is part of the Deck the Halls DIY-Style tour hosted by Jen Woodhouse, If you are just hopping over today from Sawdust and Embryos, amazing vignette, right?! My favorite is the monogrammed scroll snowflake. Welcome to my little slice of DIY Blog heaven. I can’t wait to show you how I made several elements over our fireplace mantel.

Deck the Halls DIY Style | Pretty Handy Girl

The Galvanized Metal Star Garland is so incredibly easy to make. You’ll be looking for more places to decorate with a garland of stars.

Ready to get started? Grab these things and let’s make something stellar!

Materials:
(contains affiliate links)

Instructions:

Draw stars on your galvanized sheet of metal. If you prefer a beautifully aged metal patina, you can follow this tutorial to make your metal age quickly.

Galvanized Metal Star Garland | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut out the star shapes with tin snips.

Galvanized Metal Star Garland | Pretty Handy Girl

Rub the pencil marks off the stars with a gloved hand. Read more

Galvanized Metal Magnetic Windows | Pretty Handy Girl

I was really inspired by Laura Putnam’s new book: DIY Rustic Modern Metal Crafts. I love the look of aged galvanized metal and knew that our home needed more of it. Today I’ll share with you a tutorial to create your own Rustic Metal Magnetic Window Frame, inspired by Laura’s Vintage Window Memo Board. But, you’ll definitely want to get a copy of Laura’s book to learn how to make 34 more storage and decor items using galvanized metal!

Materials:
(contains affiliate links)

Galvanized Metal Magnetic Windows | Pretty Handy Girl

Optional: Silicone Caulk (for more secure metal)

Instructions:

Ready to make your own Rustic Metal Magnetic Window Frame? If you have newer galvanized metal, you can easily add an aged patina to metal following this tutorial. Prepare ahead of time, because it might take up to 8 hours to get the look you want. The sheet you see below was left overnight in the solution to get a nice white patina.

aged-galvanized-sheet-metal

Remove the glass panes from your old window.

old-window-pane

Measure the size of each pane.

measure-window-panes

Transfer your measurements onto the galvanized metal sheet. Read more

Fall Home Tour 2015 | Pretty Handy Girl

When I got back from my extended stay in Houston (after my sinus surgery), I was so anxious to decorate for fall. All those magazines I’d been perusing and all the beautiful Instagram photos had me craving some beautiful autumn decor. It took me a few days to get my energy back after I got home. In fact, I was still feeling a little worn out when I spotted this post on Facebook about a local multi-family yard sale that ran Monday – Saturday.

Rustic Yard Sale

I thought it was a joke or a dream. But, something told me (more like fifty of my fans on Facebook) that I should get off the couch and high tail it to this sale. My sweet friend Candace from Rusted Roots Blog was easily persuaded to meet me there, so I wouldn’t be the only fool who fell for a yard sale mid-week.

We both filled our cars with some great finds! I got home and quickly put together a little pumpkin and rustic relics display by our side door.

Fall Home Tour 2015 | Pretty Handy Girl

Fall Home Tour 2015 | Pretty Handy Girl

Fall Home Tour 2015 | Pretty Handy Girl Read more

Family Organization Door | Pretty Handy Girl

It’s hard to stay organized when you are a DIY blogger, Mom, wife, cook, cleaner, taxi driver, and a student (taking evening classes for the general contractor exam.) I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve dropped a few balls in this massive juggling act. But, I strive to improve and part of that effort involved hanging a Family Organization Center Door next to the refrigerator.  Did you know there was such a thing? Ha, me either until I saw this half window door at our local Habitat ReStore.

Family Organization Door | Pretty Handy Girl

A vision of a place to plan meals, keep track of chores and keep reminders became clear in my head when I first saw it. Want to see how I took this old door and turned it into a family organization center? Hang around for a few minutes to find out.

Materials:
(contains some affiliate links)

Optional:

Instructions:

After finding a door for your organization center, you may need to trim down the sides to fit your space. I had to trim an inch off each side of my door to fit on the side of our refrigerator cabinet. Use a circular saw to trim the door. Using a Kreg Rip Cut will help keep the saw straight.

Family Organization Door | Pretty Handy Girl

For extra stability, you may want to add a caster on the bottom of the door (opposite the hinge side). This is not necessary, but will add extra support.

Family Organization Door | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut scraps of coax cable to fit into the tops of the windows. Read more

Metallic Color Block Canisters | Pretty Handy Girl

I’m back with another easy Lowe’s Creative Idea this month. When you get tired of your cobalt blue canisters you can easily spray paint them with a metallic color block pattern. That’s exactly what I decided to do with my thrift store canisters.

I’ve been on a major mission to purge things I no longer use or love from my house. I have almost completely filled our dining room with things to donate. I had contemplated donating my cobalt kitchen canisters because the color wasn’t making me happy anymore. But, then I realized that I could give them an entirely new look with some spray paint.

Materials:

Instructions:

Remove the lids, the metal ring, and spoons from your canisters.

Metallic Color Block Canisters | Pretty Handy Girl
(Wood plank photo backdrop courtesy of Leen the Graphics Queen.)

Use a sanding block to lightly rough up the surface of the canisters. Wipe all the sanding dust off with a damp rag.

Metallic Color Block Canisters | Pretty Handy Girl

Spray the outside and base of the canisters with Valspar Premium Primer. Read more

Racing Stripe Mirror Makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

While my sister and I were renovating the Topsail Beach condo we had a strict budget. Finding a large mirror for less than $15 was challenging until I found this mirror with potential. I know my sister was doubtful, but I had a vision. Some red milk paint, lattice and glue would make this racing stripe makeover complete!

Racing Stripe Mirror Makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

To transform the mirror, I disassembled the top and cut off the panel portion using my Dremel MultiMax. I salvaged the top crown moulding and re-attached it to the new top of the mirror with glue and finish nails.

Then it was time to add stripes.

Materials (some links are Amazon affiliate links):

Instructions:

Tape off the edge of the mirror where it meets the frame. Paint two coats of Miss Mustard Seed Tricycle red paint onto the frame. (See this post for painting with milk paint.)

Racing Stripe Mirror Makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

After the paint dries, wax it or leave it unfinished. Mark the center of the frame at the top and bottom of the mirror.

Racing Stripe Mirror Makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut pieces of lattice to fit the mirror frame width. (I used three pieces of lattice and cut a fourth piece in half for the outer stripes.) Pre-paint the lattice pieces ironstone (white) and let dry.

Wet the frame and the back of the lattice. Apply a small amount of Gorilla Glue to the backs of the lattice.

Racing Stripe Mirror Makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

Line up the center lattice piece with the pencil mark. Attach it and the other two pieces beside the middle lattice.

Racing Stripe Mirror Makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

Use a ruler to create a space between the middle stripe and the outer small lattice piece. Glue the outer pieces in place.

Racing Stripe Mirror Makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

Set a weight (or paint can) on top of a scrap board and the lattice pieces while the glue dries.

Racing Stripe Mirror Makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

Remove the weight. Paint the top and bottom edge of the mirror frame white to create the illusion that the stripe continues around the frame edges. Distress the lattice pieces with sandpaper if you want a rustic look.

Racing Stripe Mirror Makeover | Pretty Handy Girl

Hang your mirror on the wall and admire! Not bad for $15, two coats of paint, and some scrap lattice!

Some red milk paint, lattice and glue transform this $15 find into a charming racing stripe mirror perfect for a boys' room! | thrift store makeover | DIY mirror | mirror tutorial | #prettyhandygirl #DIY #tutorial

The mirror hangs happily in the twin bedroom at the Topsail Beach Condo. Click here to see the rest of the condo!

Some red milk paint, lattice and glue transform this $15 find into a charming racing stripe mirror perfect for a boys' room! | thrift store makeover | DIY mirror | mirror tutorial | #prettyhandygirl #DIY #tutorial

Hope you never turn down a $15 mirror again ;-).

PHGFancySign

 

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Painted Bedside Vanity | Pretty Handy Girl

In the quest to makeover our master bedroom and save money, I’ve been painting several pieces of furniture to coordinate with the new bed I built.

One of the pieces I painted was this small desk that doubles as a nightstand. Our bedroom isn’t very large and our master bathroom is even smaller than what can be described as a “master” anything! Doing my hair and makeup in our bathroom isn’t a viable option, especially when both Pretty Handsome Guy and I wake up at the same time. When I saw this little desk at a local thrift store, I grabbed it. Especially because she was only $20!

Painted Bedside Vanity | Pretty Handy Girl

She had lots of age, but not much character.

top-of-wood-vanity

However, she was the perfect size and had just enough storage for a makeup vanity.

With a light sanding, primer and a coat of Benjamin Moore Advance paint, she is now showing her more glamorous side. Read more