Boys bunk room makeover with ACE.

This is a Sponsored Post by ACE Hardware.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Every year the decorating Gods come out with a color of the year.
This year it’s Marsala…which, by the way, I thought was some sort of fancy cocktail drink…little did I know it was actually a color.
It’s lovely and all but it’s trendy. Next year Marsala is going to be “so 2015″ and totally out. That’s just what trends do.
Which is why I say skip the trends and go with colors you love, not just the colors that have been deemed to be the color to use if you want to be hip.

As you may know I am a part of the Ace Hardware blogger panel. This month we get to feature the Clark+Kensington paint line, as a part of Ace’s 31 Days of Color event. Our assignment was to use a shade of their paint to give an accessory, wall or entire room a re-fresh. I decided to challenge myself to give my boy’s bunk room a little more personality and life.


(Photo by Allison Bills).

Last year, we went vertical in there in order to make more room for them and their stuff.  The room has been pretty monochromatic with its use of white, black and gray.  I love me a simple color scheme but the two men who bunk here are larger than life and needed their room to reflect that.  What better color to introduce life and energy than yellow?!  And hey, let’s just say I know my way around the yellow block.  It was pretty much the primary accent color in our Arizona home.

Decoratin with yellow by 4men1lady

For this project Clark+Kensington Etruscan Gold was my chosen color. Etruscan Gold is today’s 31 Days of Color “Color of the Day.”


PaintChips_650x650_0006_Etruscan Gold

A little yellow goes a long way.  Fortunately, Ace sells color sample pints for only $4.99.  You’d be amazed how far you can stretch a 14.5 ounce can.  Now I have to be honest, I had actually never heard of Clark+Kensington until I familiarized myself with Ace’s paint selection. To my surprise the paint was very thick, I mean uber thick, and it applied very smoothly. All of this means good coverage and fewer coats of paint.

The first project I tackled was adding some Etruscan Gold to some baskets I found at Home Goods.  Every kids room could do with ample toy storage and these baskets fit the bill.  But, the plain-Jane baskets needed more personality than their original state.

Painted baskets

I simply taped a line where I want to section off the color and used a paint brush to add the paint.  Because the paint is quite thick, one coat did the trick.  Here’s a tip for assuring good coverage in all the nooks and crannies of the basket weave…use a circular swirling motion when applying the paint.

Next project, adding color to some framed objects.  I spotted these wooden feather darts on Dot & Bo and knew they would look great framed.  I found the frame at Home Goods, took it apart and painted the mdf backer board with my Etruscan Gold to really make the darts pop.


As you can tell from the first picture, my paint brush left some heavy brush marks. I didn’t want to invest in a little roller just to paint a few frames but I became worried after I saw the brush marks that I may have ruined it right out of the gate. Fortunately, the paint self-leveled and I was left with a smooth surface. After the paint dried I used a hot glue gun to adhere the darts to the painted backer board.

I did a similar process with these vintage arrows I found on Etsy. I shared the tutorial in a previous post.


  I didn’t want to paint the back yellow again so instead I used some yellow Frog tape, which I picked up at Ace, to incorporate a touch of my yellow theme.


The last project I did was simply painting some old frames with my Etruscan Gold…

Painted Frames

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Voila! A gallery wall of desert themed items we’ve collected over time.  You can take us out of the desert but you can’t take the desert out of our hearts.



 Now this room is no longer mundane monochromatic…





To learn more about Clark + Kensington’s paint line at ACE click here. You can also learn more about Ace’s 31 Days of Color – running throughout the entire month of March – by clicking here. Ace will reveal a new Color of the Day there every day (you can even enter for a free sample of that day’s color!), and if you visit you can enter for a chance to win a $10,000 paint makeover or daily $50 gift cards.

 To see more of my fellow ACE Bloggers creative projects, follow us on Social Media.
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Hop on over the ACE’s 31 Days of Color page to see my other fellow blogger’s projects using paint.

Seasonal maintenance + ACE card giveaway.

I am part of the ACE Hardware blogging panel which sponsored this post and product. 

A few weeks ago I announced my joining the ACE blogger team. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with them.  I’ve always felt that ACE has the mom-and-pop shop feel which has gone by the way side.  Every time I walk in I’m always greeted by someone eager to help and walk me to where I need to be.  No wandering through a store trying to figure out where things are and what they’re used for.  Quality products + helpful employees.  Fist bump ACE!

Today I get to kick off my first ACE sponsored project.  Our task this month was to complete a project centered around weatherizing your home.  I decided it was high time to give some attention to all the wood trim on the exterior of our home.  As the temperatures fluctuate from season to season the wood on your home expands and contracts.  Unfortunately it can leave your once perfect seams and joints separated.  Three years ago we updated the front exterior of our home by adding a column and siding to the bay window.


Everything was perfectly built, caulked, sealed and painted at that time.
Fast forward to 2015 you can see just how much damage changing temperatures and a little bit of seasonal weather has caused…


The wood trim has come apart everywhere on the house.  Our house has started to venture in to the frumpy zone.

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The cracks around our new windows has also allowed air to come in making it not very energy efficient.

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Another problem we’ve encountered is nesting insects.


While inspecting all the cracked and separated trim we found that bees had begun to make a hive under a section of hollow trim.
Suffice it to say there was an “Oh he$@ no!” uttered.

Fortunately, repairing separating trim is really not that difficult with a few simple steps.

Repair and recaulk wood trim

1. Cut as much existing caulk away as possible.  This can be done with a utility knife.
2. Remove any other debris and dirt from the area.
3. Sand all flaking paint and uneven surfaces.  Wipe and clean well.
(Use caution when sanding paint that may have been applied prior to 1978 as it may be lead based and can cause very serious health problems).
4. Using some exteirior caulk apply a bead down the cracked surface.
5. I picked up some Dap Clear Caulk at my local ACE Hardware.  You can also use white or paintable caulk depending on your surface.
6.  I use my wet finger to smooth down the caulk in to the crack which makes a tight seal.  After it has dried, reapply if necessary so there are no other cracks.
7.  Once the caulk as dried you can paint.
“Caulk and paint make a carpenter what he ain’t”.

Re-caulking around windows is especially important.

window caulking

Brand new windows don’t make that big of a difference if they aren’t sealed properly around the frame.

After seeing just how much the wood trim has separated we’ve now officially added this task to our spring and fall yearly maintenance list.

ACE Hardware wants help you weatherize your home by giving one lucky reader a $100.00 gift card to their store.

This giveaway has closed.  Congratulations to Cindy Kreb, winner of the giftcard!

Painting the stair banister.

Post Christmas I typically go in to hibernation mode and try and survive the rest of the cold, dark winter.  However, winter in the west has felt more like spring.  Today I went out and watered the tulips that have started to grow.  I know, right!? Our dry state desperately needs to the snow but it’s hard to curse the sun.  As a result I’ve come out of hibernation a bit early and am feeling an extra pang to get started on some spring cleaning and creative projects.

My first “out-of-hibernation” project involved myself.  If you follow us on Instagram you saw that we went down to Vegas for the Rugby 7’s Tournament.  I also revealed that I cut off almost all my hair when I was having a particularly daring moment at the salon…it’s liberating to rid my neck of all that hair but I can’t lie…still trying to adjust.


While in Vegas my dad made himself right at home and surprised us with a little “DID” project (Do-It-Dad), not be confused with “DIY”.
Forever I’ve been talking about making changes to this stair wall and banister.


It’s old, it’s wobbly and it really dates the house.  For the past 3 years I’ve had it on my to-do list to replace it with something much more up-to-date.  My dad suggested I paint it but it just seemed like one of those massively tedious projects that I love to procrastinate.  Well, sweet guy that he is did it for me as a Valentine’s Day gift.


He taped and tarped the entire space then spray painted those old spindles.  The top hand rail got a coat of black paint.  Amazing what a little paint can do.  I’m even more motivated to now to get on to the planking project that will go behind the banister.


We all took a vote and decided that the first larger spindle needs to be black, not white.  That will be next weekend (where I will also be de-cluttering that magnet board).

Even though I didn’t do the project myself I do have a few tips…
1. Air the house out when using spray paint. While spray paint is a great choice for all the nooks and crannied on the spindles it stinks. Bad. Think spring or summer when you can keep the doors and windows open for a long time.
2. Tape really well. You can see in the next picture there was quite of bit of overspray that we’ll have to go back and touch up.

It’s been a few days and the smell has finally dissipated.  I still plan to eventually change the entire banister out but until that time this nifty paint job will hold us over.

What out-of-hibernation projects do you have planned for the spring?