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Faux marble bedside table update and tutorial

As part of my seemingly never-ending saga to update our rental, one of the rooms which is unfortunately ignored decor-wise the most is our bedroom. Which makes zero sense because it's the room we spend the most time in. 

Our rented apartment didn't come with bedside tables and as you can imagine, that was tremendously awkward. We needed bedside tables mainly for storage so they had to have a lot of drawers and a good sturdy shape. Earlier this year I kept an eye on adverts.ie for a set of bedside tables I could update and eventually found a pair for €9 each. SOLD! They had a faux wood finish which was a bit bleugh, but they had a great shape and I knew I'd eventually update them. As a reminder, here's what they looked like before [try not to be jealous of our glamorous bedside light situation] ...

I've worked with Rust-Oleum before, so when they got in contact about their new line of furniture paint and asked if I had some furniture I'd like to update, I immediately thought of our bedside tables. I also like to make more work for myself, so I thought why not try my hand at creating a faux marble effect for the top too? I panicked as I started, but I have to admit, they look absolutely incredible. Even Robert has said a number of times "I cannot believe that's not actually marble". I did not pay him to say that. 

I began by disassembling the bedside tables [took the drawers out and the handles off] and gave everything 3 coats of Rust-Oleum's 'Cotton' white furniture paint. The reason I painted 3 coats was to ensure I covered the dark wood knots for an even finish all over [you can see the original finish and knots on the inside panel below. What a difference some white paint makes].

I then started on the faux marble top. Here's how I did it ... 

1. I began by painting a layer of white paint in the same direction I wanted the grain of the marble to go.
2. Using Rust-Oleum's 'Slate' grey, I roughly marked the main marble bands across the top of the bedside table. 
3. Using a dry brush, feather the 'Slate' grey paint into the white paint. This gives a base to the faux marble look. This doesn't need to look perfect, but smooth strokes do look the most convincing. 
4. Dip your fingers in some water and flick little droplets onto the top of your bedside table. This sounds mad, but trust me. 

5. Using a rag or piece of kitchen towel, dab off the excess water droplets. What this does is lift a very soft layer of paint and reveals the white paint underneath [as seen better in the picture below]. You can feather this again with a dry brush to smooth any imperfections.
6. Add further detail to the faux marble effect by using the 'Slate' grey with a thin paint brush and adding subtle marble veining throughout. You can soften any bits with either a dry brush or with a wet finger. Mix things up and see how it best works for you. Remember - the less perfect it looks and the less symmetrical the pattern, the better. 

I let the bedside tables dry with the drawers open slightly and nothing on top for a minimum of 24 hours to ensure the paint dried completely. I couldn't resist getting new handles for our bedside tables too, and at a whopper of a bargain.

I really am impressed with the finish from Rust-Oleum's furniture paint. It dries very quickly which means my initial 3 coats of paint were done and dry in under an hour. I have a good amount of paint left over after painting each set of bedside tables, so I've had my eye on our IKEA step stool for repainting it white and doing a similar faux marble finish on each of the steps. Well lush!  

Before you plan on buying a new set of bedside tables or furniture, just think of all the sad furniture out there in need of a home. They can not only look fabulous but feel fabulous and loved once again. Think of all the second hand furniture and their potential ... All they need is love. Okay, less sap. Thank you again Rust-Oleum for helping me update our sad bedside tables! Happy Friday, friends xx

Disclosure - this blog post was sponsored by Rust-Oleum, who also sent me the necessary paint for updating our bedside tables free of charge. As always, all words and opinions are my own. I only work with companies I like and of course, think that you will too. Thank you for supporting the companies that support The Interior DIYer. 

How to [re]stock a bar cart on a budget

Some of you may consider it deceptive. Some, straight up cheating. I consider it just a little white lie. I'm going to let you in on my little secret for how I [re]stock our bar cart leading up to the festive season without burning a hole in our bank account. Because let's face it, being merry ain't cheap. 

There's no better place to introduce you to my idea than where it originally began; one Christmas my parents were entertaining a snooty guest who was preaching about his delicate palette and how it can tell the difference between top brands vs. cheap brands of liquor. As he was bragging, little did he know the 'Crown Royal' he was sipping was simply a cheaper brand of whiskey carefully poured into a Crown Royal bottle. And that is how my parents pwned said guest. Able to taste the difference, are you? *insert troll face here*

I'd say my parents did this to stick it to him, but it got me thinking about our own bar cart and how expensive it can be to stock it. With the festive season upon us, the price of entertaining is daunting. One way you could save a few euros is by bluffing your booze; refilling fancy bottles you may have with a cheaper brand that is of equal taste. You could wait until a top brand is reduced or on special price, buy it for the sake of the bottle, and simply refill it with a cheaper substitute after it runs out. It's not lying. I'm not telling you to refill it with brown water. You're putting the same thing into a slightly different bottle, because that fancy bottle costs an extra €20. It's sticking it to the system, man.

This will work with most liquor brands. It works best with rum, whiskey, gin, creamed liquors and vodka to name a few. There are a few however that you can't really mimic. Fancy gold Smirnoff I impulse bought a couple of months ago [there it sits, hardly touched. Because it's too pretty]. Any specifically flavoured drinks - orange chocolate flavoured Baileys, lime Smirnoff etc. Bluffing the likes of these will be near impossible, so you'll likely need to buy the top brand. But for the rest; I got your back. I'll keep your secret if you keep mine xx

p.s. Two years ago I tried my nannie's knock-off Baileys recipe. If you'd like to try your hand at it, please do! It's incredible and you wouldn't know the difference. I'll be trying a vegan version of it this year, in a very small batch. Because it could either turn out vegan marvelous, or hella wrong.

DIY Friday - copper blanket hanger

It seems like forever since I blogged a DIY project so I thought why not ease myself back into the swing of things with the most simplest of DIYs. Seriously simple, guys.  

The inspiration behind this project came from a blanket my grandmother crocheted for me. For the past couple of years I've unfortunately been storing it in a cupboard. I wanted to display it in some way, and here's the kicker, in a way that would KEEP KITTENS OFF OF IT [as it's white, their fur shows up to no end on it. Kitties have plenty of their own blankets so they're not deprived]. A lot of thinking went into it, and I eventually thought "why not hang it up?"

I wanted to keep this hanger idea very simple. Copper is very big this year so I quickly came to the conclusion of using a copper pipe and some rope to create an incredibly basic yet pretty hanger. I did a quick mock-up using some thick black ribbon I had laying around, and I think I actually prefer it. I think it works better with and compliments the blanket vs. using a piece of rope that might be competing in texture and attention. 

FUNNY STORY - I kinda managed to blag this piece of copper pipe. As I was leaving a restaurant I noticed a gentleman working outside with quite a lot of copper pipes. I plucked up enough courage to ask if he had any leftover when he was finished, would he mind keeping a piece aside for me. We got talking and it turns out his other half also is forever collecting random pieces for projects, so he was well used to such requests \o/ We were discussing sizes of pipe etc. when he found a piece about 2ft / 60cm long. "Here, just take this piece. Maybe hide it in your bag ...", so off I went with 2ft of copper pipe sticking out of my handbag and headed home! [thank you again so much, Donnacha!]

It's a pretty self-explainatory DIY so I figured there was zero point in photographing steps. But just in case, here's what to do ... 

- get copper pipe
- get some heavy ribbon or twine
- thread through and knot securely
- hang up blanket
- the end

So there you have it! Really simple, but [I think] gives a big impact. Happy Friday, homies! Hope you have a lovely weekend lined up.

Rebrandiversary - what's in a name

It's kinda hard to believe one year ago I made the leap to rebrand my blog. I say rebrand as if my website is an actual thing that's taken seriously, but nevertheless it's been a year since that little change and I can say it was possibly the best change I made around here. Before 'The Interior DIYer' my blog was called 'Hydrangea Girl'. I know it was the right decision to change it because that last sentence makes me cringe to no end [if you're particularly bored you can read why I changed the name here].

In the year since changing the name of my blog I've been offered some amazing opportunities. I'm not saying it's down to the name change, but within the past year I became Woodie's DIY guest blogger, was asked to jump on board as Image Interiors & Living's DIY Expert, conducted interviews at the spring and autumn Colourtrend Interior Design Forum and wrote for a number of bloggers and brands; with Harvey Norman's blog being one of the more recent. It's mad! It could be coincidence and I'm not saying such brands wouldn't have worked with me beforehand, but I mean come awn. I think having the name 'The Interior DIYer' helped a little. It's what it says on the tin.

Hydrangea Girl will always be how I started and I'm not turning my back on the name I picked quickly one morning when I first started this blog. Robert recently wrote on a card to me "you'll always be my Hydrangea Girl" [insert ugly crying here]. I don't think I could forget it if I wanted! 

So if you're thinking of changing the name of your brand or your site, my advice? ... 

It really tied the room together

Me and rugs don't have had a great history. First, there was the ethereal IKEA Stockholm rug I lusted after for so long. Being in a high traffic area and having two cats meant the rug went downhill rather spectacularly fast so I repaired it and sold it as it was not a rug suitable for our home [the rug was definitely the issue, Dude].

Then there was the dainty pink rug. I got it cheap. Real cheap. Second hand. From an online site where you advertise stuff you want to sell. Especially dirt cheap if you want to get rid of it fast. Yes, it was a bit small for our space, but it was cute! At first. Then it gave up on life and fell apart. It was cheap. I learned from my mistake. That rug went straight into the bin as it would have been of benefit to no one.

With the most excellent of timing, Wayfair.co.uk got in contact to work on another project this year [I worked with them last year on my lumberjack pillow tutorial that was featured in my broseph's Canadian man cave office]. In return for my upcoming tutorial, I got to shop on the Wayfair.co.uk site and low and behold, their rug range is immense. 

Since I already have a lot of burgundy in our apartment and I've had a [failed] black and white rug, I wanted to go for something different yet would work with our apartment. I spied the Fusion Green Rug and thought about it for a couple of weeks. It was an incredible green with an imperfect navy pattern on it. It was a bit of a leap as I wasn't sure exactly what colour it would be sans a sample, but my fingers were crossed on a deep viridian. It arrived yesterday, and boy did I luck out ...

I am not just saying this because I am now the proud owner of it, but it's an exquisite rug. It's painfully luxurious and soft under foot. It's also a very solid rug so it won't warp like the IKEA Stockholm rug did. It passed the cat test and doesn't shed or pull or distort like our disaster of a pink rug either. MASSIVE. SIGH. OF. RELIEF. I'm still up in the air as to flipping the rug 90 degrees so it's running the other direction, but for now, it'll more than do. 

Disclosure - Wayfair.co.uk sent me this rug free of charge in return for an upcoming project I'm working on for them [keep your eyes peeled as it's a good one and involves a certain new movie being released next month!]. As always, all words and opinions are my own. I only work with companies I like and of course, think that you will too. Thank you for supporting the companies that support The Interior DIYer. 
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