Easy Trash to Treasure Upcycle…using spray paint!

Trash to Treasure Makeover using Spray Paint!

Every now and again I’m reminded just how amazing paint can be!

Take this ramshackle collection of discarded “goodies”…

Spray Paint Project Before

Lovely, aren’t they?

Let’s face it, ordinarily you wouldn’t look twice at any of this, right?

The round board was the original top from the stool I hacked recently (it was just sitting in the shed gathering dust) and the other pieces were all found at the op shop for a grand total of $7.

Well, an hour or so and a few coats of spray paint later and you just might look twice!

Upcycled Thrift Store Finds using Spray Paint

Not bad, eh?

Amazing Transformation of Second-Hand Decor

This is such a quick, easy and affordable project anyone can have a go at. All I did was thoroughly clean each item, place them on a protected surface, then spray away. Around three light coats per item.

It really is that simple, though here are a few extra pointers for achieving great results…


:: After cleaning using warm soapy water, wipe with isopropyl alcohol. This removes any trace of grime and creates a squeaky clean surface ready to accept the paint. I find it improves long term adhesion.

:: Place each item on a little pedestal which is narrower than the item itself (you can use anything – a scrap piece of wood, a spray can lid, a yogurt container). This makes it super easy to spray all around the piece.

:: If you can, use a rotating board (lazy susan). Again, it just makes it easier to spray the piece all over.

DIY Spray Paint Update

The board is coated in Dulux Duramax Granite Effect (in “Light”) which is basically stone-in-a-can. So cool!

The other pieces are all Dulux Duramax Chalky Finish (in “Vintage Charcoal”) with a hint of Dulux Duramax Metallic Finish (in “Rose Gold”).

No lie, I think the super matte look of the Chalky Finish makes it my most favourite spray paint ever!

Spray Paint Upcycle

I’ve painted glass and ceramic in the past and have found it holds up great. Of course, it’s not foolproof (as no paint is) and I wouldn’t suggest scrubbing it with a wire brush or anything, though treated with some care it should be totally fine. That said, if there are any mishaps touching-up the paint is a breeze!

Hope this simple upcycle helps inspire some of your own trash-to-treasure transformations!

Spray Painted Thrift Store Finds


If you’d like to save this project for later, feel free to pin the below image.

Thrift Store Spray Paint Upcycle





Gran’s House is SOLD!

If needed, catch up on things by finding my original post about the house flip HERE.

Budget Friendly DIY House Flip

Sorry, I kinda drank all the champagne already.

Seriously though, for a rural house which had proved impossible to sell prior to our flip we achieved a great result. It was certainly bubbles-worthy.

We received several offers (the first of which came on the very same day it was listed!) and, after just three weeks, we accepted one for $340,000.

Bedroom Refresh

Although it was slightly below listing price, it amply covered all our costs. My mum didn’t even attempt to negotiate!

The fact is, this flip was never about making money. We simply needed a sale! Having sat on the market for years prior with absolutely no interest, gran’s sudden move into an aged care facility gave a new sense of urgency to things. Our main objective in refreshing the property was merely to find a buyer. Any profit was always going to be little more than a lovely bonus. All we wanted was a respectable enough price to cover gran’s aged care costs along with a relatively quick sale (in order to combat the compounding interest fees associated with the nursing home).

Luckily, we got both – and more!

Bedroom Before and After

To summarise the financial side of things, we received two appraisals prior to our refresh. One was $260,000 and the other was $280,000 (conditioning we made the property more presentable). In the interest of clarity, let’s create a mean and say the property was originally valued at $270,000.

We spent a total of $20,000 on the flip – $7,000 on the interior, $13,000 on the exterior ($10,000 of which went on replacing a large unsafe deck). This $20,000 covers absolutely EVERYTHING, including all furnishings.

So, this takes the standing total to $290,000.

In all honesty, this was the kind of figure we were expecting from the new appraisal. Remember, we weren’t trying to make a profit, just incite a quick sale.

Imagine our surprise when the agent quoted $359,000! That’s an increase of $69,000!

I have little doubt that given the luxury of more time we would easily have achieved this figure. That said, having accepted $340,000 we still far exceeded our expectations with a technical profit of $50,000!

Such an amazing result for gran.

House Flip Before and After

As already mentioned, this refresh was never about revenue however it does show what is possible. And for someone who has always loved the idea of renovating for profit, it’s actually pretty exciting!

Thanks so, so much to everyone who offered their good luck and well wishes. Seems it worked!



Find my original post about the house flip HERE.



Mother’s Day Outdoor Transformation | Live Video!

This was such a fun-daunting-exciting-scary makeover for me!

If you follow me socially (on Facebook or Instagram) or are a blog subscriber, you’ve probably heard about this project – in fact, you may even have already seen it!

Last weekend I was fortunate to have the opportunity to host a live video on Facebook centering around the easy transformation of an outdoor space for Mother’s Day.

Yes people…LIVE! See where the ‘fun-daunting-scary-exciting’ bit comes in now?

For someone who’s usually behind the camera this wasn’t something I approached lightly. Now that it’s over though, I’m so, so glad I gave it a go. Even if the whole experience feels like a total blur!

I don’t want to give too much away in this post, so pop on over to my Facebook page and check out the video to see the transformation.

Facebook Live Outdoor Makeover


Whilst you’re over there, feel free to leave any comments or ask any questions. Even a simple ‘hi’ would be lovely. It’d be awesome to hear from you and I’ll be sure to respond to everyone.

And just remember, this is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this so please be kind (and ignore any weird awkwardness, including my daughter wearing a onesie, m’kay?).




Progress in My Little Boy’s Room | A Landscape Gallery, Bedding & More!

Now that things have finally settled down (in case you missed it I’d been helping my gran prepare her house for sale), it’s time to get back into some decorating for my own home!

Starting with my little boy’s half-finished bedroom.

If you’ve been following along with the makeover you’ll know that…

The walls got a coat of paint

Green Wall Paint - Dulux Tarmac Green

And the door got a mini makeover

Door Makeover

I made some easy repurposed book shelves

Repurposed Drawer Tidys into Wall Bookshelves

And simple landscape art

DIY Canvas Art Paintings Tutorial

And purchased a ‘new’ desk and chair

Child's Vintage Desk and Chair

Then I got stuck.

You see, from the start I had envisioned using a cool wall lamp though I just couldn’t seem to make things work.

Plug-in sconces are virtually non-existent here in Australia so I was always going to DIY something (similar to what I did in my daughter’s room). I only had three requirements – it needed to be easy, it had to have a certain look, and it absolutely, definitely, positively could not negatively impact on my non-negotiable-landscape-art-gallery!

Suffice to say, after lots of shopping around and sideways thinking – and even a few attempts! – I didn’t feel confident I could satisfy my criteria (clearly number one was already out the window!). Of course, I could have compromised, or bolstered my efforts, or dedicated more time, though things just suddenly felt all too hard. Besides, my indecision was holding up the most exciting aspect of the space…the landscape art gallery!

I decided to forgo the wall lamp all together and things suddenly progressed!

I hung the gallery…

Landscape Gallery Wall

And some vintage tennis racquets…

Vintage Tennis Racket Wall

I made the bed…

Vintage Style Boy's Room

And played around with some decor…

Vintage Boy's Room Decor

I have wanted a landscape art gallery somewhere in my home FOREVER and am so excited there’s finally one! I absolutely love it!

Most of the works are thrifted with nothing costing more than $10. The two smaller canvases are easy DIY’s which I shared here.

Landscape Gallery Wall

I didn’t do any fancy gallery wall planning prior to hanging. I simply laid them on the floor and played around until I was happy with the configuration (I like to start with the largest artworks first then build from there) then transferred them to the wall. To keep everything straight and level I secure each frame with a small dob of adhesive putty (Blu-Tack) under one corner.

Boy's Room Dresser Styling and Vignette

The old tennis racquets are also thrifted. They cost around $35 total. Riley plays tennis so they’re just perfect.

Style-wise, the bedding is a bit of a mix of contemporary and vintage, fresh and moody.

Vintage Style Boy's Room

The plaid throw is the HERMINE from IKEA. They no longer seem to carry it here in Australia. I actually bought mine from Gumtree for $35. The army blanket was a $50 eBay find.

The quilt cover was a bit of a splurge (for me!). I wanted something white to freshen everything up (and because it’s a dark room) and just fell in love with this diamond tufted one. It’s the Kokomo from Bambury and was $100 (although the bed is a single I use a double quilt – I just find that up-sizing provides better coverage). I know I could have found something similar enough for half the price though I had been looking for a while and sometimes you’ve just gotta bite the bullet.

The mustard velvet lumbar cushion, which I kinda want to marry, is from H&M ($12). It links perfectly with all the warm woods and the autumn tones in the art.

Boy's Room Decor Detail

The two mini drawer cabinets are previous DIY projects (you can find my tutorial for the green file drawers here and the card catalogue here).

You can buy the timber hands on eBay and the brass magnifying stand is from TK Maxx.

Boy's Room Vignette

The sweet little clock, timber dish and pop gun are thrifted. The skull was found in the paddock behind our house.

I know it’s hard to gather the configuration of the room from these pics (remember, this isn’t the full reveal post!). Just to give you an idea, the chest of drawers is on the opposite wall to the bed. It’s a tiny room at around 2.7 meters/8.5 feet square.

I still need curtains, an end-of-bed toy box and, strangely enough, a lamp (he, he). Some coat hooks, a whimsical accessory or two and probably to paint the desk. I know some of you won’t like hearing that though all of the furniture is wood. Overall, things are just a tad too brown, and it’s a dark room. I’m thinking either an off-white or warm grey?

In other news, I have an exciting announcement!

This Sunday at 4PM (Australia Eastern Standard Time – please check the world clock for your local comparable time) I’ll be hosting a Facebook LIVE session centering around the easy transformation of an outdoor space!

Those of you who know me will know that I’m usually BEHIND the camera, so although this is gonna be fun it’s also kinda scary! Please mark your calendar and be sure to pop on by. I’d love to see you there and any comments or questions during the feed are super welcome. Compliments such as “gee, your hair looks nice” or “those jeans totally don’t make your butt look big” will score the most points :)

Click the image below to join my Facebook page if you’re not already a follower.

I hope you liked this little progress update.


Rustic DIY Stool Hack…using a $12 kids’ stool

Firstly, I have to express my gratitude for such an amazing response to my last post. Given I almost didn’t publish it I was completely overwhelmed by the comments and emails. Thank you all.

When I shared my parent’s bathroom refresh last month many of you asked to see a tutorial for the kids’ stool hack.

DIY Painted Vinyl Floor in Bathroom

I’d been looking for an affordable rustic “display” stool for ages though just couldn’t find one. Eventually I decided there was nothing to lose by having a go at making my own!

This was one of those experimental projects I wasn’t sure would work so I didn’t document the process first time around.

When I created the second stool for my tutorial I made some slight changes to streamline the process a bit and because I wanted a slightly different finish. I’ve referred to both methods in the supplies section of the tutorial for those of you who are seeking the same look as the original stool.


Kmart Stool Hack Supplies

I used the Kmart Dipped Stool ($12). Any similar stool which is constructed in the same manner (with brackets which allow the legs to be easily removed) will suffice. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be too difficult to start from scratch with some angle brackets, metal thread and a length of dowel. In fact, it might seem like starting from scratch may be the better option, though according to my calculations at just $12 the Kmart stool can’t be beaten for price, and ease.

To create a new top (I decided to replace the original top because it was quite small and made from MDF). I used a 30cm/12″ chopping board from Kmart ($5). I liked this one because it had a slightly irregular edge which suited the primitive look I wanted to achieve. Any similar bread/cheese/chopping board should work fine, or you can always cut your own, or use a natural wood slice.

Note: For the original stool I used a slightly thicker bread board which I found at one of my local discount stores.

To form the ‘braces’. I used 26mm/1″ pine dowel ($8) which was similar in girth to my stool legs. You can use anything round with the right proportions – sometimes old broom handles work well. Just bear in mind that some shaping of the dowel is required (refer to Steps 4 & 7 for further information) and for this a soft wood is much quicker and easier to use.

Note: For the original stool I actually used three little rolling pins! They had tapered ends which provided a nice shape, though for the purpose of this tutorial I wanted to use something a bit more universal.

I used teak stain and danish oil. I wanted a rich finish with lots of tonal variation and a nice natural lustre. Danish oil brings out the warmth in timber without creating too much of a sheen – plus it’s super easy to apply.

Note: For the original stool I used a jarrah stain (because the original bread board was quite red) followed by a grey wash. To finish, I distressed the grey wash to reveal some of the red stain beneath then sealed with white wax.


Sand Legs


Remove the factory paint using some sandpaper and elbow grease.

I realise sanding is nobody’s favourite job though this paint comes off really easily. It only took me a few minutes.

Step 2 Kmart Stool Hack


Unscrew the angle brackets from the original stool top and attach them to the underside of your chopping board.

Attaching the Brackets

You will need to measure to ensure your spacing is somewhat even (it doesn’t need to be perfect) and drill pilot holes; four small ones for the screws and one large one to accommodate the leg thread (as per the original top). Don’t overly tighten the screws at this stage (some movement in the brackets is useful for the following steps).

DIY Kmart Stool Hack

Once the brackets are attached, screw in your legs.

Note: At this stage it may be useful to number each bracket and leg (just with a pencil) to keep track of which one goes where.

Kmart Stool Hack


Decide at approximately what height you’d like your braces to sit (mine are 16cm/6″ from the floor). Flip your stool over, measure down two of the legs and make reference marks at your desired height.

Measure and Mark

Next, measure between these marks from the approximate center point of each leg – this is the length for your first brace (mine was 24cm/9.5″).

Stool Hack

Transfer this measurement to your dowel and cut it to length.

Dowel Brace

Note: Don’t be too concerned about precision. This isn’t a millimeter perfect kind of project. As long as you don’t cut your brace too short, you can always trim it down later if you find it’s too long.

Rasping the Ends


In order to slot the brace into the legs the ends need to be whittled down. There are a few different ways you could go about this though I decided to use a rasp. If you’ve never used a rasp before it might seem daunting or difficult though it’s actually pretty quick and easy.

With the dowel secured in a vice (or similar) begin by rasping out a rough square.

Rasping the Brace

Next, round off the corners to create more of a cone shape (sort of like an over-sized pencil). It doesn’t need to be quite this pointed – this is just the shape I ended up with.

Rasping the Brace Ends

You can be as rustic or refined as you like. I wanted a somewhat rough, hand-crafted look so wasn’t too fussy. You can create a smoother, more tapered finish using a finer rasp, some sandpaper and a bit more time and care.

Drilling with a Spade Bit


Mark the inside points on your stool legs where the brace will be inserted (ensure the legs are screwed in tightly as this will dictate their final position).

Marking the Stool

Unscrew the legs and secure in a vice (or similar). Select a spade drill bit a few sizes smaller than your dowel then drill a hole, stopping just before you go right through the leg.

Drilling with a Spade Bit

This was the first time I had used a spade bit and it was really easy. Ensure you hold the drill nice and straight and apply steady even pressure. You can stop every now and again to check your progress and feel the underside of the dowel for the tip (this is how I ensured I didn’t drill too far through). Just be careful not to force things as the bit can easily bite into and gauge the timber. Let the tool do the work.

With the holes drilled, check that the brace fits okay.

Check that the Brace Fit

Again, things don’t need to be perfect. You just need to be able to insert enough of the brace so it can be secured with glue later on. If your holes seem too large you can always use excess glue and fill any gaps. If your holes seem too small you can re-drill them with a larger spade bit or rasp the brace ends further.

Once you’re happy, screw the legs back into the stool and test the brace in position.

Testing the Brace

There should be enough movement in the legs to splay them as needed to insert the brace (given the screws for the angle brackets haven’t been secured too tightly – as mentioned in Step 2). Don’t worry if things look a little imperfect. Everything will come together – promise!

Kmart Stool Hack


With the stool still assembled, determine the position for the second brace. Measure the remaining leg from the floor up (again, 16cm/6″ in my case – as per the height of the first brace) and make a mark.

Measuring the Second Brace

Next, measure between this mark and the approximate center of the first brace from the mid-points of both the leg and brace – this is the length for your second brace (mine was 22cm/8″). Transfer this measurement to your dowel and cut it to length.

Rasping the Ends


Repeat the process from Step 4 by rasping both ends of the second brace.

Drilling with a Spade Bit


Mark the inside point on the stool leg where the second brace will be inserted (the first brace can be swiveled as needed so there is no need to determine its inside point). Unscrew the leg and remove the first brace then drill two holes following the process from Step 5.

Assemble the Stool

Once you’re happy that everything fits okay, dry assemble the stool to check it all goes together well enough. Remember, we’re not going for precision here so don’t be concerned if things aren’t ‘craftsman’ standard. The primitive imperfections will be this stools triumph!

Glue and Clamp


Remove the braces and place a generous amount of wood glue in each hole.

Glue the Braces

Insert the braces again, wipe away any excess glue then fully tighten the bracket screws. Clamp everything in position until set.

Stain and Seal


There are a heap of different ways the stool can be finished. I wanted an aged, rustic, primitive look (which I think suits the nature of this hack) however you can create whatever look you like.

Remove the clamps and fill any gaps around the braces if needed (I personally didn’t bother). If desired, use some tools (I just used my rasp) to randomly distress the stool all-over before lightly sanding everything to smooth any overly rough areas and create a good surface for the ensuing stain.

Distress the Wood

Note: Given the braces were purposefully imperfect, distressing the whole stool gives everything a sense of intention and unity.

Wipe clean then apply your choice of paint or stain (I used one coat of teak stain).

Staining the Stool

This is where the magic happens. Because my stool was only partially raw and had heavily distressed areas the stain produced a lovely inconsistent finish with lots of tonal variation. This is what I wanted and is one of my favourite looks. If you’re after a more even finish, sand the entire stool back to raw first. To bring everything together and provide some protection, finish by sealing the stool (I used one light coat of danish oil which is super easy to apply, enriches the timber and produces a subtle lustre).

Applying Danish Oil

It looks quite glossy in the above pic because, obviously, it’s wet. Danish oil mellows beautifully as it dries (conditioning you don’t apply it overly thickly as it needs to somewhat penetrate the timber).


Kids' Kmart Stool Hack

DIY Display Stool Makeover

These pics are taken in my bathroom – which I’ve never shared on the blog before!

I love it!

Kmart Stool Hack

I realise this hack might seem a little lengthy and complex (that’s likely due to my penchant to thoroughly explain processes!) though it’s actually quite simple. Still, if you want to avoid the whole rasping side of things you can use a much thinner dowel and insert it into the legs.

Here you can see where the braces adjoin the legs and how the fact they’re not perfect doesn’t matter one bit.

DIY Stool Hack Braces

Stool Braces

To make things look pretty I dressed the top with a vintage glass bottle holding fern sprigs, a simple nail brush and an old brass ‘pocket change’ dish cradling a cake of the world’s most photogenic soap.

Stool Vignette

I hope this project helps inspire!


Easy Rustic Stool Hack using a $12 Kids' Stool