Seven Days In The Seventh Layer of Hell


Well, I did it. I finished the job! I have to say, painting the rooms bathroom and kitchen was easy…. it was the damn paneling that was a nightmare! Also, the trim was so yellowed/not painted at all, that painting it all white made the most incredible improvement. It took me 7 days, working 6 hours each day. I popped Advil and iced my shoulder each day until it was done, and done well. I have high standards, which is why it probably took me so damn long in the first place.

Here are some before shots:

Ok, I am all set up, ready to go, but where the hell do I begin? I started with cutting in along all the baseboard, windows and ceiling. I also covered SOME (yes there were more!) markings that were on the walls with paint as I went to ensure extra paint coverage.

The first coat of paint had to be put on heavily, the walls were so dry it sucked it right up! However, after two heavy coats of paint, the walls were brand new. With the walls in the bedrooms, bathroom, and kitchen painted, I was ready for my stand off with the paneling. Boy, it was quite the shoot out. You see, the thing about paneling is… that in order for the paint to adhere to the paneling, the walls and seams need to be prepped with primer. When the paneling has more ornate seams than that of standard paneling you know you’re going to be doing this for a long time.

So with my trusty Purdy brush, I used KILZ primer, and brushed each and every seam, and cut in all around base board, windows, doors and ceiling.

My shoulder was shot once I was done. But..WOW, when I looked around I noticed how much brighter it already looked! I knew I had made the right decision, which made the tediousness feel worth it. I rolled the primer on the rest of the walls. From there, I had to repeat the whole process of cutting in and brushing all the seams with paint (x2 coats).

The next and final step would be quite the feat as well. ALL the trim (baseboard, door frames, window casings) needed to be painted as well. This is a very time consuming process.

At last, 7 days later, I was done. I have to say, this project was a much bigger undertaking than I thought and I am very proud of myself for completing it. Here are some quick before and afters. More after photos will be at the bottom! Enjoy!


What a difference savings can make!


Ever find home decor you LOVE, but then see the price tag and run far far away? Well sometimes you can have it all- the decor you want at a cheaper price.

I was at Jordan’s Furniture with my mother the other day (she was mattress shopping- a detail you didn’t know, but there it is anyway). I wandered around, looking for inspiration. I came across these gorgeous prints with blue designs. I zoomed in to look at the price tag and my eyes bulged out of my head- very cartoon like. Are they beautiful? Yes. Are they worth the money? Debatable. Here they are below:

Gorgeous right? Well I moved on rather quickly, but then I got to thinking….. I’m an avid Target shopper- you know that store where you go in for ONE thing and you leave $200 later not knowing what happened? Yeah that store. Anyway… I remember strolling through the aisles and coming across something similar.

For the purpose of my research, I went over there after my Jordan’s Furniture trip. Low and behold I found what I was looking for. Granted these are not the same size and a little different in style, but man they are pretty damn close!

Here is what I love about the ones at target. First of all- it’s a set of TWO! Second- the set comes in at:

So let’s to the math….

Jordan’s Furniture VS. Target:

That’s a savings of: $499.95!!!!

Say whattt? That’s a score! So my message to you: if you see something you like but it’s over your budget, don’t feel defeated, just keep hunting!

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Since I love being so crafty- I created a lot of the decorations used at our wedding.  One of my favorites was making our card box.  I wanted it to fit in with that antique feeling I was going for, but was looking for just the right piece.  One day, my husband and I headed up to a vintage store, and there we found an antique dining flatware box.  It had seen better days for sure.  I always try to envision what the story is behind each item.  When I came across this box my mind ran wild with ideas.  Perhaps it had been in a husband and wife’s home for years, and it is where they stored their fine china flatware, and maybe they received the box at their bridal shower or wedding.  How fitting since we were getting married.  Immediately it was a must have- “This is it” moment.  Here is how we found it:

I started by ripping out the inside of the box:

I sanded the box and painted it with Annie Sloan’s chalk paint.  Once it was dried I distressed it and used antique wax to add some depth and seal it.  I used fabric I already had, and then used the thick card stock from a gift bag I had lying around in the closed.  It provided the perfect lining for the drawer.

Now- to accessorize….. For our wedding I wanted to put this on display and stage it.  Here’s how I staged it:


By: Renewed Reloved

Stuck to you like glue!


I can’t express to you the time I spent on this bathroom.  Much of the delay was due to poor timing and personal things going on, but this bathroom was put on the Earth to haunt me.  I absolutely love this client, and she is so incredibly kind and flexible.  This bathroom needed a complete overhaul.  We decided to work with most of the pieces that were in the bathroom: the pre-existing toilet, vanity and tub.  We wanted to keep this project in expensive.  Here is what the bathroom looked like before:


There was a very outdated wall medicine cabinet, with the old 1980’s light fixture, which needed to be removed to bring this bathroom up to date.  It was the first thing to come down!


As you can see there is wallpaper…. everywhere.  This was both good and bad.  The Vinyl layer of the wallpaper came off very easily HOWEVER, the paper underneath was adhered to the wall with superhuman powers.  It was evident that they had used wheat paste, and the paper was put up 30 years ago….. needless to say the paper and glue would not budge.  It required A LOT of products, scraping, and sanding.  This prep work took up most of the time.  Another problem I ran into was the border that was laid on top of the wallpaper.  It was double duty at the top of the walls, and I had to be extremely careful not to ruin the edge that ran along the ceiling.


Once the walls could breathe they were patched, washed, and ready to go, paint went up!  In order to pull in the grey tones of the toilet and tub, I chose Benjamin Moore “Timberwolf,” pictured below.  It was important that we used the kitchen and bath brand of Benjamin Moore to reduce mildew build up on the walls.


Timber Wolf is a very popular color by Benjamin Moore, and works well with a variety of color tones.  Since the baseboard looked quite old, I thought it was best to paint the baseboard the same color as the walls.  This allowed it to have a facelift of its own and it also blended in with the wall, which made it less of an eyesore.


The vanity was in excellent shape, and its countertop worked well with all of the colors.  I thought it would be best to paint the vanity to give it a new look.  For this I used Annie Sloan chalk paint “Graphite.”


I actually HATE this image (above) because it is not a black.  It actually has a lead pencil look to it.  This image has it coming across as black.  Here is what it looked liked once I painted it, used a sealant, and new hardware:


So there you have it.  Issues aside, the bathroom came out great, and the client was happy!

The Bathroom From Hell


There is always that one renovation that sucks the soul out of you.  Well yeah, I just finished one.  My client is one of the most wonderful people I have ever met, and this is one of the bathrooms in her house she has asked me to fix up.  It was a half bath with wallpaper, how hard could it be?  Here is what the bathroom looked like before:

Well I don’t know WHO put the wallpaper up but it was NOT budging.  I tried EVERYTHING.  I tried scoring and softening with downy, I tried special products, I scraped.  Best of all, this was happening during Christmas time, which is my most favorite time of the year.  I found myself crying and scraping at the same time…. ok maybe thats a bit dramatic, but I wasn’t happy.


What should have taken me 1 day took me 4 days, and I was still left with this.  Ironically, it looks like a tornado, and I found humor in that.

I decided to call local paint and wallpaper stores because I have never been faced with this before.  They suggested I use a hand sander with 60 grit and just destroy the vinyl surface.  From there I could use downy and it started to peel…. THANK GOD.  It was a two step process.  I had to sand, spray with downy, and peel the vinyl, and then spray and peel the paper.  Of course there was still residue, so I took a bucket and filled it with warm water and TSP.  Washing down the walls with the TSP cut right into the remaining glue and I was able to scrape it off.  Finally the walls were clean.


I patched old holes and sanded….

Finally, finally, finally…. I was able to paint!!!  Paiting is the easy part.  The color my client chose was “Chocolate Pudding” by Benjamin Moore.


When I was finished painting I put a nice fresh polyurethane on the woodwork to brighten it up!  There were days that the bathroom won the battle, but in the end I won the war!  Here is the finished product:

Geography Rocks!


This post, is a bit out of scope, as it does not have to do with my business Renewed Reloved, but I thought it was worth sharing nonetheless.  It’s my first year teaching, and I am so thrilled to have FINALLY landed a teaching job.  I am teaching 6th grade Geography, and in my hometown of Framingham, MA.  Born and raised in Framingham, I was so happy to be a part of the community.  Well, I was hired very close to the start of the school year, and the teacher who was originally in my room hadn’t moved his things out.  Sorry Jason, but your room was a mess.  He had been in the same room for 8 years and never moved a thing.  This is what the room looked like before:

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All I was really about to do before school started was de-clutter and clean.  Most of the books were in Spanish because the teacher taught class in Spanish and English, so I was able to eliminate almost ALL the clutter.  The yellow cabinet was covered in posters, and there was an abundance of tape residue.  Thank god for Goo-Gone!

Well school started, and I only had about a month before open house with absolutely NO decorations.  I love to think outside the box.  You know the Dr. Seuss book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go?” Well I thought I would put a little twist on it.  Since I am teaching Geography, and will be covering the world’s landscapes and cultures I thought it would be cute if I changed it to “Oh, the Places We’re Going!”  I thought it was adorable!  My original plan was to make a poster for my front door, but I ended up making it huge and displayed it in the class.  I created a transparency, and used an old overhead projector to trace the design.

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I free handed the bottom, pretty good huh?  Then like a lunatic I decided to paint it.

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Don’t mind my cat Binx’s tail in the picture….  Well five days later, hand cramping…. I was like wow this came out awesome.  I realized I was going to keep this in my classroom forever, and wanted it laminated.  Here is the finished product:


I have three other bulletin boards in the room.  One is a chalkboard, but I covered it in paper because I won’t use the chalk board, ever.  I bought the cutest little “poof” balls in blue and green.  I thought it would exemplify water and land. If no one else gets it, that’s what’s its supposed to represent.  The students recently completed a landform assignment, and I posted them all around the board.

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I wanted the main board in the back of the room to really be a showcase.  Framingham is such a diverse community, and I wanted to reflect that.  I had the students provide me with their heritage, and I used pushpins and yarn to connect it to their names.


It really looked good, but I wanted a quote to tie it all together.  I came across the an unbelievably appropriate quote by Martin Luther King Jr.  I used the projector to trace all the words, and then hand painted them.  I had it laminated and placed it above the board. BOOM!



The last big poster I made for the room connected to our team name.  We are 6x, and I came up with my own little rhyme “6x=Success.”  I wrote that in the middle of a poster, and had all the students trace their hands.  I outlined them in sharpie to really make them POP, and a few of the students stayed after school to help me color.


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Alright let’s warp this up.  Here the other “decorations” I put up around the room!

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Thanks for keeping a peak! I’ll keep at it!


A Quick Fix!


So when I can use what I have and make it new again, I’m all for it.  I had an old desk light from IKEA, but it was brushed nickel with a white lamp shade, as seen below:



I hated the look of it, but needed a desk lamp.  I’ve been on this spray paint kick, and I love the antique bronze I have been using.  So I went to IKEA to find a new shade, and sprayed the base.  I saved myself about $40, and only spend $9.99 on the shade.  Here’s how it came out:



Looks like a brand new lamp, right? Well when I picked up the shade for the desk lamp, I found the matching floor lamp and shade!  Except the lamp base was just an extra expense:


I remembered that I had an upright lamp at home that was gold with this crazy guido shade:

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Beautiful right? Eekk, well it served its purpose in my French Provincial bedroom back in the day, but not anymore.  I wondered if I could use the matching IKEA shade on this lamp.  I grabbed the shade for $12.99m and got to spraying again.  I used the antique bronze on the lamp base.  Here is the final product:

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In total I spent $22.98 (plus tax) for the two shades.  I could have spent $112.97 (plus tax) for a new table lamp and shade, and floor lamp and shade.  I saved $89.99 (plus tax)!!! Wahoo!

Here is the matching set I created:

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LIGHT @ the end of the tunnel


FINALLY.  I finished the lamps for my family room.  I purchased the lamps for my old house.  They worked really well there, but don’t quite fit in my French country cottage themed family room in my new house.  Theywere a deep red, here they were before:


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All of the colors in my family room now are creams, beiges, soft blues, soft yellows… you know, all those shabby colors.  I really was torn on color.  I wanted to paint these lamps, because they are almost new, and I’m trying to design on a dime!  Waste not want not, right?  I was torn between three colors:


I immediately eliminated “Provence” it was just too bright.  I was worried the “French Linen” wouldn’t come out right- it tends to look different when paired with certain colors.  So there you have it, I was going with “Paris Grey.”

The lamps covered really well, and two coats later- BAM here’s what I got:

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But I’m a pain in the a$$ and something just wasn’t working for me.  I wasn’t “feeling it” as I always say.  I felt that the burlap shades (which I wanted to keep) was fighting the grey blue of the lamps.  I think it was too much of a contrast.  So I debated what to do…. dry brush with “Old White,” “Antique Glaze,” “Dark Wax,” or distressing.  I really waited almost two weeks because I was afraid to make a move.  Well, today I decided I need to man-up and do something so I could get some damn light in my family room.  I feel like Helen Keller feeling my way in the dark.  Sorry for those of you who find that comment offensive, but it’s true.

So today I kind came up with my own little experiment.  I took Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in “Coco” and sort of dry brushed it on.  I would put a bit on, and then wipe it off.  I kind of shrugged my shoulders, and thought to myself “eh, I’ll keep going.”  I figured if it was a total disaster I could always just repaint it and start over.  Once it dried, I liked it, but again it felt like it was missing something.  I know, like I said, I’m a pain in the ass!  I decided to mess around with dark wax, and diligently worked quickly so it wouldn’t set in too much.  I loved the way it came out.  I took a total chance, and it paid off.  The “Coco” and the dark wax completely tamed down the dusty blue, and the lamps now compliment the burlap shades.  Checked that off my list!


Just to give you an idea of what the “Paris Grey” looked like alone compared to the finished product, here you go:

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Lastly, here are more pictures of the finished product:

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Design on a Dime


I’m always on the hunt for inspiration, and I have a vision in my head as to how I want the master bedroom to look like.  I came across this “Inspiration Room,” and have begun to gather items that compliment this room.  However, I am adding my own little twist and creativity- especially with my furniture, which has been Renewed & Reloved… I will show you all that later!


In a previous post, I had mentioned that my mother and I were walking around Jordans Furniture.  I came across these GORGEOUS lamps.  I had just purchased a king bed frame with upholstery nail heads along the top.  When I saw this lamp I almost grabbed it right there and ran to the register, but saw the price and I HAULTED!!!


This lamp is beautiful and all that- but they were priced at $359 each- seriously?  No way…. so I decided to make my own, and I was immediately on the hunt for burlap shades, the bases would be easy to find, and they didn’t have to be this exactly.  My friend Liza and I headed to Home Goods- which I have to say is either a hit or miss… but I was pleasantly surprised when I was checking out at the register and saw two lamps that had been returned… They were rustic, romantic, AND HAD BURLAP ROUND SHADES!  Here are the top of the shades:


Ok, lamps and shades check… now I needed to order upholstery nails.  I went on and purchased upholstery nails that match the upholstery nails that run along the headboard of the king bed.


Now, for those of you who know me, known that I am NOT very good at math, so I was nervous about my measurements, but shockingly it ended up perfect!  I used a flexible measuring tape to measure the circumference of the top and the bottom, because the bottom was wider.  The tacks are 1/2″, and I wanted them to be spaced at 1″ so I took the circumference and divided it by 1.5″ and figured out how many I would need.  Pretty smart, I know.


So I got to it!  I started in the back, along the seam of the shade, because I wanted the sides and front to be perfect, and I knew the back would be off about 3/8″ (something you would barely notice, but I knew I would….).  The process was fairly easy.  You just need to make sure that you’re keeping an eye out to make sure they stay in line with each other.


I have to say the process was easy enough, and it only took me an hour to do both shades.  They came out really great!



So here is the break down of how much I saved, I saved a total of $595.31 by doing it myself!


BOO-YAH! I rocked out!!!

Here are the lamps all put together with their bases:

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Behind, in front, can’t get around the candelabra!


Ok, all my posts so far have been “tips and techniques” and “progress” posts, but let’s lighten it up with something funny.  I have been shopping around looking for an upholstered head board; online, in stores etc…. My mother and I headed to Jordans Furniture so I could buy a new mattress, and we figured while we were there that we might as well look for some bed frames.  I love walking through the showroom floor, everything looks so nice, and you can get some great decorating inspiration.  However, when we turned the corner, we both almost sh*t!


We had come face to face with Liberace’s bedroom set.  It even had its very own candelabra.  I of course think this is hilarious, and wonder who would actually buy this set, aside form the man himself!  I didn’t just move on, I laid on it and felt like Cleopatra.  Liberace my man, you were on to something….


Then again, he WAS the man and could do whatever he wanted.   If the bed wasn’t enough for you, perhaps you want to accessorize the room with full blow sparkly/glittered furniture.  Did I mention the price?  YIKES!


I digress…. I did find something that I absolutely LOVED, and ordered it with my new mattress, I know I will sleep soundly!  I found a gorgeous upholstered headboard/footbard/frame studded with antiqued bronze/brass upholstery nails.