DIY Stained Wood Side Table

DIY_stained table


DIY Stained Wood Side Table

Finding the perfect piece of furniture isn’t always easy.  Look beyond the surface and think of re-finishing a piece with potential.

I needed a side table to fit in a corner beside my loveseat.  I found a square table that fit perfectly in the space, but not with my decor.  I loved the size, shape and inlay on the top of the side table, but the finish looked dated and drab.

For this project, you would need…
1 sanding sponge to smooth the final surface (with a rough and lighter grit)
a few pieces of sand paper
1 paint brush or rag to wipe the stain on
1 small bottle of white stain
1 small tin of a darker accent stain (different finish if you wish)
1 roll of painters tape
1 small angled foam brush for details & small spaces

First sand the table down, as close to natural wood as possible.  Wipe the table clean from any dust or dirt.  Tape off the square or whichever detail you want in another shade of stain.  Use the small foam brush to stain the darker detail, using the angled edges where necessary.  I used the Sanman prestigious grey stain.  Once dry, give the detail a second coat.
Once both coats of the detail are fully dry, tape over it for the first coat of the rest of the table, in this case I used the white Sanman water based stain.  Once that coat is dry, remove the tape and do a final coat over the entire table, including the darker detail.  Leave the tape on the darker detail if you want a sharper edge with more contrast.

Side note:  I chose a grey for the square detail on my side table, but since the wood underneath was dark, it turned a darker shade than intended.  I was pleasantly surprised by the finish and just stuck with it.  Sometimes it takes a bit of playing around to find the right colour of stain, as each type of wood will take the stain differently.  But the beauty of it all is the varying shades that come out from the grain of the woods.

DIY : Gold Leaf Place Cards

DIY_gold leaf place cards


DIY Gold Leaf Place Cards

Thanksgiving is a special time for celebrating friends & family!  I love the colours that autumn brings and using them to decorate our house over the holiday. This year I am adding a bit of metallic tone to our Thanksgiving table setting which will add a warm glitter among the autumn tones. To see the whole tablescape, check out Tamara’s Designer Picks : Thanksgiving Tablescape.

Supplies needed:

Various size & shapes of leaves and pine ones
Metallic paint-I chose to use spray paint but you could also use gold leaf paint or any metallic paint
Butcher paper or practice paper ( both types have a glossy backing so the paint will not seep through)
Black calligraphy pen or paint pen

Collect all your leaves the same day you are going to paint them. Otherwise the leaves either start curling or dry out and break easily.
Cover your table with practice paper, making sure the plastic (glossy)side is facing down. Lay out your leaves , covering the paper.
You could use some spray adhesive to hold down the leaves or otherwise I just held down each leaf as I sprayed it. Let dry and flip each leaf to coat each side.

When dry use your calligraphy pen to write your dinner guests name on a leaf.

As an extra bonus, your white paper is now a metallic leaf stenciled wrapping paper!! Enjoy & Happy Thanksgiving!

DIY : Distressed Wedding Desk

DIY_wedding desk


Distressed Wedding Desk

A friend of mine asked if anyone had a turquoise desk that she could use for her wedding for signing their vows, and I thought what a great project that I could give them for their wedding.

1st stop was the Whistler Rebuild it where you can find lots of treasures for a small amount! I had a choice of three desks and the winner was $25.It was well used and the drawers were decorated with felt pen & gum, but I knew with alittle cleaning and bonding primer, I could clean it up.

1. Cleaned all surfaces of the desk with a cleaner/degreaser, rinsed off with clean water & let dry.

2. Primed all surfaces with Benjamin Moore STIX Primer with a foam roller. STIX is a specialty primer that is perfect to use when you have no idea what coating is on an old piece of furniture. Stix ensures that the primer coat will bond to any surface. It is odourless and cleans up with soap and water.

3.Sprayed all insides of the drawers with high gloss white just to seal everything and make them wipeable. I discovered this great tool which is a spray trigger handle. Not only does it make spraying effortless, it was much easier to control the flow from the spray can. I will use this tool on every project now!

4 . Rolled out all outside surfaces with Benjamin Moore Aura Matte which was tinted to 2040-50 Hazy Blue, the brides choice of colour. Aura as a product has a primer in it, is easy to apply, low odour and when cured is extremely durable. I applied two coats to the outside of the desk.

5. Now comes the fun part! Distressing the desk. Distressing is the process of inflicting intentional damage to a new or newly painted piece of furniture. To make it authentic the distressing should be in places where the piece would naturally weather. To start I took a sanding sponge and sanded the edges of the drawers and desk. Then to create a few dents I used the edge of the paint can and a wire brush to create some scratches. You can use various tools to distress your furniture piece. It just depends on how damaged you want it to look. Some will string a combination of screw heads, bent nails, washers and spikes on a string and roll or flail it on all surfaces. Done properly, distressing can make a new piece look genuinely old.

6. Add a few drops of burnt umber tint into your paste wax. This creates the “antique” look. Apply the wax with a lintfree cloth to all surfaces and let dry. Buff wax with a clean cloth.

7.For the finishing touches I added crystal knobs and a piece of scrap wallpaper as a drawer liner.

It was a beautiful wedding , decorated by Whistler Wedding Planners and the desk was a big hit carrying on into the night as a cake display.


DIY Supplies needed:

Benjamin Moore’s STIX Bonding Primer

Benjamin Moore’s Aura Matte Paint- tinted to 2040-50 Hazy Blue

High Gloss White Spray

Spray Trigger Handle

Foam Roller Kit

2” Foam Brush

Sanding Sponge, Wire Brush, Distressing Tools

Paste Wax

Burnt Umber Tint


Glass crystal knobs

Decorative wallpaper


DIY : Distressed Chalk Paint Tables

DIY_chalk paint table


Distressed Chalk Paint Tables

Materials Needed:

  1. A piece of furniture with great bones but a tired finish
  2. 1 quart of Aura Matte finish paint
  3. Plaster of Paris
  4. Clear furniture wax, we used Claphams beeswax polish
  5. Foam Roller & Tray
  6. Paint Brush
  7. Medium Coarseness sandpaper
  8. Mixing/measuring containers


  1. Our tables had a high gloss finish, so we gave them a really quick scuff with sandpaper
  2. Measure one part Plaster of Paris with 3 parts Aura and mix well
  3. Apply paint evenly. The consistency will be fairly thick. We used the brush for the corners and smoothed over with the roller.
  4. Let dry and re-coat 1-2 more times
  5. Use sandpaper to distress along sides and edges
  6. We did two effects with the wax. One table has two coats of the clear wax. For the smaller table we used the wax darkened with a tiny bit of black paint for an even more distressed finish.

All supplies needed to create your own distressed chalk paint furniture at home!

DIY : Stripe It Up

DIY_stripe it up



Materials Needed:

  1. A space that you want to jazz up quickly and easily!
  2. Frog tape for sharp, clean lines.
  3. A measuring tape for precision.
  4. A level for straight lines.
  5. Paint for striping it up.
  6. Roller set up for laying it out.


  1. If your existing wall is the base colour you would like make sure it is clean, ready to be taped up. If you want a different base colour then prepare the walls as you would for any paint job; fill holes with spackle, wait till dry and sand. Cut and roll the base colour on to the wall. Two coats is standard. Make sure you wait the proper drying time before you start to tape!
  2. Using your pencil to mark, measure out where the stripes are to start and finish up one side of the wall. It may be helpful to draw a picture to scale on graph paper to decide how thick or thin you would like your stripes and how far apart you would like them.
  3. From these marks take the level and start to travel across the wall marking with a pencil along the way so that you have a perfectly straight lines across the entire wall.
  4. Start to tape above and below these straight line marks. Double check that you have NOT taped into the area you want to be the stripe colour. It can get confusing so take your time. Run a strong finger over the edge of the tape to ensure that paint won’t run under.
  5. Roll out the colour!! Two coats will be needed. If you want to play with depth of field and texture you can use a matte paint for your base coat and then use a shinier paint for the stripe. A pearl or even a semi-gloss to add real glam!
  6. Remove the tape before the paint dries completely.
  7. Enjoy.

DIY: Mountain Mural

DIY_mountain mural


Materials Needed:

  1. A tired wall in need of something dramatic!
  2. Spackle or drywall mud for repairing damages to the wall
  3. Sanding block to smooth filler
  4. A pencil for outlining mountains
  5. Painters tape for protecting the adjacent walls
  6. Mix and Measure containers with lids for mixing and saving paint.
  7. An assortment of paint brushes: We used various sized artist brushes for details, a larger paint brush for filling in larger sections, a small roller and tray to smooth brush strokes in large sections
  8. Paint! We used a mixture of quarts and the smaller tester size. The background is Balboa Mist (OC-27), in Benjamin Moore Ben paint, eggshell. For the first layer of mountain we used Ballet White (OC-9), in Regal Select, Ulti-Matt. The closest range is in Stone (2112-40), Benjamin Moore Ben paint, eggshell. The darkest level for the trees was Grey (2121-10), in Benjamin Moore, eggshell. By using a mixture of Matt paint and Eggshell paint (which has more sheen) we were able to create a layered look, building up the sheen towards the first layer of mountains and the trees.


  1. Decide what type of mountain range you’d like. We referenced images of the local mountains to get a more realistic shape and flow. But maybe you’re inspired by the Karakoram mountain ranges and want something more rugged. This is art, feel free to take an artistic license.
  2. Use the painters tape to mask off adjoining walls.
  3. Using your pencil, make a rough sketch of your layout and write in each space which colour you’re going to use. We actually went in and did a dab of each colour as well, to avoid confusion.
  4. Start painting from the background in. Using the artist brushes we painted the edges, then using the larger brush or the roller we worked the larger sections.
  5. We used the Ulti-Matt in the farthest range and mixed it with the darker colours to create the in between layers. Make sure you mix enough paint to do 2 coats because it will be hard to match later if you don’t! We saved our leftovers in yogurt containers.
  6. We needed to do 2 coats of paint and ended up using the smaller artist brushes to refine the edges of the mountains on the second pass. While you’re doing this, make sure that you paint in some irregularities to make them more realistic…mountains have shrubs, trees and outcroppings.
  7. The trees were done last but followed the same steps. Make sure you research some tree images in silhouette. I found myself wanting to draw the branches sloping down but in actuality they branch upwards.
  8. Take the tape off and enjoy your masterpiece!!!!

DIY : Reclaimed Rustic Pallet Tray

DIY_rustic tray



Materials Needed:

A pallet that has qualities you would like to see in your tray. Old, beaten up or smooth and finished.
Measuring tape.
Hand saw.
Sanding block.
Pencil for marking lengths.
Wood glue, screws and screw driver.
Water based clear coat such as Benjamin Moore’s Stays Clear in Low Luster. Or Benjamin Moore paint in a pearl or semi-gloss.
A brush for the clear coat or paint.
Two handles, knobs or drawer pulls.


  1. Decide how long you would like your tray to be. Measure and mark three planks of your favorite looking pieces of wood from the pallet. 18” to 20” will be proportionate to 3 boards across.
  2. Cut where marked. Sand edges.
  3. Place these three pieces of plank together and measure how wide they are when side by side.
  4. Use this measurement to cut two more planks. Sand edges.
  5. Place the two pieces of wood across each end of the three pieces of wood. Glue and screw these from the underside of the tray.
  6. Clear coat or paint the tray. Two coats minimum.
  7. Once the tray is totally dry attach the handles.

And voila! A cool tray is born.

DIY : Clipboard + Chalkboard Weekly Calendar

DIY_chalkboard clipboard



This is a fun and easy way to stay organized for the week! Write important notes in chalk and clip loose odds and ends on the top. Have fun with Benjamin Moore’s colour palette and chalkboard paint, now available in any BM colour! For our project we chose Ash Blue 2057-40.

– 3 clipboards
– Benjamin Moore’s Chalkboard Paint
– 1 mini roller kit and tray
– 3/4” green painter’s tape
– 3 nails & a hammer

1. Tape the outer edges of the clipboard off then section off the interior so that you create 7 boxes between the three clipboards.
2. Using yours small roller and tray, paint the interior boxes. Let dry for 4 hours then re-coat.
3. Once your second coat is dry, remove the tape carefully. Now, try to contain your excitement, you must wait 3 days to chalk it up!
4. Hang your clipboards on the wall with a a few nails and your hammer.

DIY : I Love BC Painted Tray

DIY_I love bc painted tray


Benjamin Moore: OC-17 White Dove, HC-144 Palladian Blue and 2123-20 Caribbean Teal. Get creative and feel free to substitute BC for your province or even for the shape of something you love!


·         1 plain wooden tray

·         1 med/fine sanding sponge

·         1 plastic binder divider

·         1 ultra-fine point sharpie

·         1 exacto knife

·         Spray on stencil adhesive

·         Tape

·         Scissors

·         1 small foam roller & tray

·         Paint, we chose OC-17 White Dove. Benjamin Moore’s Aura line in any sheen would be ideal.

·         Stencil brushes


Make your own Stencil:

1.      Search for an image of a shape that you would like for your tray on Google images. We searched for “outline map of bc” and found a great image from

2.      Click on the image and then click on the view image button. This isolates the photo. You then right click on the photo and select print.

3.      Once printed, cut the page down so that you can tape it to the back of the plastic binder divider. Once taped in place trace with a sharpie.

4.      Once your sharpie trace is complete, cut out along the lines to reveal your stencil.

5.      We repeated this process for the heart.

Stencil your tray:

1.      Using the stencil spray adhesive, lightly spray the back of your stencils and let dry. Once tacky apply stencils to the tray, gently smoothing the edges down.

2.      Paint the stencil area using your roller and brushes. Apply 2 coats. Let dry and remove stencil.

DIY : Terrarium



DIY Terrarium

With snowcapped mountain tops and the snowline creeping down to our valley in Whistler it is a great time to bring some reminders of our lush BC forests into the store.

Terrariums in all shapes & sizes are all the rage these days. Whether it is to add a bit of the outside in your home or as a gift that will be sure to make someone smile, they are so easy to make and will keep on giving.  Terrariums are low maintenance and built properly will keep green & growing as the moisture they release will keep the plants thriving.

In just a few hours and a walk through the forest was all it took to create this terrarium. Supplies needed: A glass container which can be open or closed and of any size. Ideas range from clear glass Christmas balls to jars to cake stands or any decorative glass container. Filler of gravel or crushed rock, potting soil, moss, small plants and added decorative items.

First layer: crushed rock or gravel to create some drainage (enough to fill 1” deep)

Optional layer: a thin layer of activated charcoal which helps to keep the water fresh and prevent mold and mildew from building up

Second Layer: potting soil (1- 2” deep)

Third Layer: Moss- I choose a few different types but be sure to choose ones that have clean roots and do not show signs of rotting or decomposing underneath.

Fourth Layer: small plants- I choose ferns and small plants growing in the forest. But you can really use any plants.

Fifth Later- add dimension with special rocks, twigs, pinecones or figurines.

Lightly mist your terrarium for moisture, cover & enjoy!

Some tips to keep your terrarium  thriving:

Place your terrarium in indirect or filtered sunlight. (think about the forest when trying to find a good home)

For closed terrariums the moisture recycles and needs very little moisture to keep them growing .Do not overwater- once every three months should be ample. I use a spray bottle to lightly mist or an eyedropper is great for smaller containers. Cycles of condensation and evaporation are normal and what keep terrariums thriving. If you notice a lot of condensation building up, remove the lid for an hour to remove the excess moisture.

We love our new terrarium on our front counter- it is sure giving a lot of smiles! Enjoy!