[ this month's blog... ]

13 expert diy painting tips
beautifying diy
face & body wash
limited edition art from cb2

[ designer insights ]

13 expert diy painting tips


Now is the perfect time to declutter, deep clean and start anew.  It's also an ideal time to roll out a fresh coat of paint on those dingy walls!


One of my obsessions is painting every new apartment I move into...and there have been many.  It just makes everything feel better, like you're staking your claim, making it truly yours (for the next 12 months at least).


Many of you are new to this, so I'm rolling (ha ha) out my top 13 DIY painting tips.  Painting is definitely a big project, but these tips will save you time, money and needless touch-ups.


1 |  Choose your paint colors last when designing a room.  It's much easier to find a paint color that goes well with your sofa, than it is to find a sofa to go with your wall color.  You can have a general color in mind all along, but choose the exact shade last.


2 |  Always "try on" a color by painting it on the wall.  Paint colors look very different in the store vs. your living room and will color shift throughout the day as the light changes.  Most stores will mix up an inexpensive test quart for you to take home.


3 |  Trust your instincts and avoid too many 'opinions'.  Kind of like life, everyone thinks they know what's best for you...and your walls.  Choose a color because it feels good to you.  If it makes you happy, do it!  Don't be afraid to be bold and unique.


4 |  Choose Zero or Low VOC paints.  Shield your body from unnecessary toxins that off-gas from paint in the form of VOC's (volatile organic compounds).  Of course Zero VOC is best, but I usually compromise by choosing Low VOC options because they get better coverage.


5 |  Make sure your not applying latex over oil based paint.  If your living in an old building that hasn't been painted recently, you may want to do this test first.  Traditionally, oil based paint was used to paint trim and moldings.  The problem is that latex paint will bubble and peel if applied over oil based paint. 

Take a cotton ball and dab a little rubbing alcohol on the painted surface.  If the paint comes off on the cotton ball, it's latex paint! 

If it's oil based, you'll need to use primer between the old and new.  Ask your local paint store for their expertise in choosing the right primer. 


6 |  Be prepared for the clean-up!  If you decide to use oil based paint, know that it does NOT come off your hands and brushes with soap and water.  You'll need to purchase Mineral Spirits for cleaning up.  I was once in a 'sticky' paint situation and found that coconut oil works well too!


7 |  Create a safe paint prepping area.  My first step is always to save my floors from my not so graceful self, by laying down a garbage bag or newspaper and securing it to the floor with painters tape.  This creates an area where I can open the can and set down the lid, pour into other containers, and lay brushes down without messy mishaps.


8 |  Invest in easy to clean paint trays.  In the past I used throw-away paint trays, but it just felt so wasteful.  But on the flip side, the clean up was super easy.  So I have 2 alternatives for you that use less waste and are easy to clean. 

( 1 )  You can line your paint tray with foil and simply toss the foil in the garbage with your done.  In theory this should work, but I always find I end up putting holes in the foil and make a mess anyway. 

( 2 )  My personal favorite is to invest in a non-stick paint tray.  It's just like a non-stick skillet.  When your done, let the paint dry and simply peel it away.  Seriously awesome!


9 |  Cut the new paint smell with Essential Oils.  We've already discussed using Low VOC products, but there's still an odor that comes with painting.  Try adding 30 drops of lemon or grapefruit essential oils to a gallon of paint and mix well.  You'll be surprised by the difference!


10 |  One easy step to create crisp lines.  You would think that painters tape would live up to it's name and give you clean lines.  Nope.  Paint always seems to creep underneath, adding extra touch-ups. 

Adding this one simple step will make all the difference!  After you paint your first color (preferable the lighter one) and it's completely dry, apply your painters tape. 

Then seal the tape by painting over its edge with the first color...on the side you're about to paint with the second color.  Once it's dry, continue with your second color. 

The extra step of sealing the tape will give you beautiful, expert lines when it's removed!


11 |  Roll on paint with a zig zag motion.  This one's pretty basic and you've probably heard it before.  But rolling paint onto the wall in a diagonal, zig zag, W-motion will give you the best coverage.


12 |  Invest in a small artist's paint brush.  No matter how great your cutting brush is, there is always a challenging corner or old molding that takes some finesse to get right.  Have a small artist's brush on hand for touch-ups and getting into the fine details.


13 |  Place your brushes and rollers in zip loc bags in the fridge for later use.  This saves you from having to clean-up between coats and they will stay good for about 4 days.


Happy painting!



[ healthy haven ]

beautifying diy face & body wash

Skin care products are chalked full of toxins that inhibit your body to heal and function properly.  That's why I make my own face & body wash at home.  It works beautifully at creating clear, soft, healthy skin.  Bonus - it's cheaper than store-bought! 

I would love to hear from you in the comments below!  How much do you love this recipe?  Share with us your favorite essential oil combinations and creations!



soap base

In a glass, pump top bottle, add the following :

7 oz coconut oil soap

1 TBL jojoba oil(optional)

face wash

(add essential oils)

30 drops roman chamomile
30 drops lavendar
10 drops lemon
20 drops sweet orange
30 drops vanilla

body wash

(add essential oils)

30 drops vanilla
20 drops peppermint
15 drops sweet orange

or create you own favorite scent medley

where to buy coconut oil soap

I get mine at Tropical Traditions.  Choose the unscented, 32 oz liquid soap.


[ favorite finds ]



CB2 limited edition artwork

I personally love when large companies help up-and-coming artists to be seen and successful.  CB2 is doing just that with their collection of Limited Edition Artwork.  Seriously cool!

Click here to see the art and learn all about it.