DIY expert, Monica Pedersen of HGTV stopped by to share great tips on completing your first do-it-yourself project!
Candace Rose: Do-it-yourself projects can seem like a daunting task, especially for those of us who've never done one before. Where do we begin?
Monica Pedersen: "Well, a great do-it-yourself project is painting. It's the least expensive and easiest way that we can transform our space either through painting the walls, cabinetry or even accessories. But before you open up that gallon of pain, you really need to do a little research and do your prep work, so doing the right prep work really will differentiate you from being an amateur painter and a professional painter. Part of prep work is having the right tools to work with, so what I tell people who are jumping into it for the first time with paint – 'I say when you choose your paint, make sure you get the right finish but also invest in a low-voc paint, that's a paint that's going to emit less smell and less gasses, so it's good for the environment but it's also good for us beginner/do-it-yourself painters because on top of the frustration of sort of learning what we're doing, we don't have to smell the paint at the same time. So, do a nice low-voc paint; get a roller, look for a nap that matches the texture and surface on your walls, so don't forget to check that out; good paint brush, good quality brush that you're going to want to use again. Make sure the brush matches the finish if you're using oil-based or latex (they have different brushes for that.) And lastly, most importantly you have to have the right time, so I love 3M.' This is called ScotchBlue Painter's Tape with Edge-Lock and the edge lock is the adhesion that's going to give you that really clean line, that once you peel off that tape after you've painted your baseboards or your walls, it's going to give you that sharp, super sharp straight line that makes it look like a pro did it.
3M ScotchBlue Painters Tape with Edge-Lock – 3M
And when I've been in houses; I've done over 100 episodes of a design show and homeowners would love to show me the rooms that they'd painted and believe me when I'd walk in the door, I knew they'd painted them and that was because of the wall covers, because of the lines. And I've done that myself, so super sharp straight lines really makes it look professional; so take your time, do your research, really get the right tools, do your prep work.
If you want to just try introducing color through accessories whether you're doing or entertaining indoors or outdoors here are a couple of fun projects that I created (shown below) – black and white's been really popular this summer, it's just a classic black and white awning stripe and again I created these stripes with tape but you can see the yellow flowers and even just serving a little orange juice on the beverage tray, that fun summer colors can make a difference. If you're entertaining and you're bringing this stuff outside, it looks finished. It's festive, it's fun and when you're accessorizing I often tell people- 'designers, we bring in accessories for impact like those little finishing touches are the things that really make a space a home, that you really make a space pop and you want to do your accessories in groups of three.'
A nice detail to bring in is a pillow because you can always throw a pillow somewhere on a chair, on a bench and that can sort of be your third accessory. I love pattern, I'm a big pattern girl and I decided to dress up this pillow (shown below) just with a simple pattern and I did this with stenciling and using fabric paint. You start with your stencil middle, you tape it off with your blue painters tape and then you add another layer to it. A little tip that helps out with this is to actually pin your fabric down, so I"ll put a piece of cardboard in between the fabric on one side of the pillow and the other, and when I'm stenciling none of that paint ever goes through and then I can also stick a couple of straight pins in there as well into the cardboard, so fun little accessorizing.
Now if you'd done your walls and you've done some painting with accessories and you're going 'you know what I feel good, I think I'm a painter, I'm ready to tackle the big project;' the big project is your kitchen, kitchen cabinets. Now check this out, I've got a before and after (shown below); simple, simple, simple. Off white glossy paint. You can see the before, you can see the after. I just finished the look with a nice polished chrome pull. People are afraid to paint their kitchen cabinets because it's such a large surface, we're all afraid of it because if you screw it up, they're really expensive to replace. However the same principles that you're using painting your wall, painting your tray are to be used when you're doing your cabinet – it's the prep, it's priming, it's a light sanding. You know having the right tools and again I'm going to use my tape just to help guide me as you see here (shown below) a lot of people don't realize that you don't paint the inside box of your kitchen cabinet, you only paint both sides of the door as well as the frame on it, so I use my ScotchBlue painters tape just to give me a guide and just to keep me from getting paint into the inside of the box for my cabinet. You can start with the walls, start with your accessories, get those paint skills under your belt and then you can go forward in your kitchen if you want to."
CR: Sure! Haha
MP: "Are you feeling it now, Candace? You said you've never done this before before, but I'm hoping that you're inspired!"
CR: I had wallpaper for years and years and years and it took me FOREVER to take it off and what do I do? I paint my walls white!
MP: What's wrong with that? White is really popular right now. Pale neutrals are in! All you've got to do is bring a piece of artwork that's colorful and it will pop off that white wall. Do you like the white? Was it a fun experience?
CR: You know what, I actually feel good about it but everyone says 'you should have done color; you shouldn't be afraid of color.' So, thank you for making me feel better!
MP: You know what, you do what feels right. Our homes are our homes, we should surround ourselves with things that make us feel good and if white walls make you feel good; sometimes minimal can be very glamorous, very chic, so enjoy your white walls. If you want to bring in color, bring in a couple pillows, bring in a lampshade, a lamp or maybe some artwork. I love white walls, I think they're lovely and especially if you don't have a lot of natural light coming in it's a good way to keep a space brighter."
CR: That's what I like to hear, thank you so much!
MP: "You got it, you're welcome."
Monica Pedersen demonstrating many of the DIY tutorials you can find on ScotchBlue.com
CR: Where do we go for more information?