DIY -Have a go before you throw!
‘Do it yourself’ or as my Husband calls it “Done In Yard”, because that is where you will find me on weekends transforming things ha ha ha.
I thought I would take this opportunity to share a little about how my love for DIY came about.
From a very young age I have always loved craft and making things pretty, and I was that weird child who would spend hours in my bedroom organising and colour coding my things and making sure everything was neat and had a place.
At least every second weekend my parents would take us to local garage sales and I grew up with many of my things being bought at op shops and I loved it. This taught me to appreciate everything I had and to learn that one persons trash really was another’s treasure. Although we lived in quite an affluent suburb, they saved money by buying second hand and we lived a very humble and recycle friendly lifestyle. If I was bought a brand new pair of sneakers, I treasured them and looked after them because most of my clothing was always second hand.
Being the Daughter of a mechanic, as a tot I loved to sit and watch cars and motor bikes being repaired, pass the tools, and loved nothing more than to see something old and broken be restored and given a new lease on life.
I moved out of home as soon as I finished high school and secured my first full-time job, and at 18 I had champagne taste on beer wages. I was earning good money but it wasn’t enough to furnish an apartment. I spent good money where I needed to, on a quality brand new couch and fridge etc, but went back to my roots and sourced many items from op shops and garage sales. I would find things and paint them, learnt though much trial and error how to spray paint correctly, and even better, how to make many items suit my home and on a budget. I was happy and surrounded by things I had transformed myself.
Fast forward to me at 32, a wife and mother to two little treasures and I am still exactly the same. Although we have many beautiful and expensive pieces in our home, I am no stranger to Diy and the thrill of a good bargain. I still love to visit op shops and garage sales and have found so many wonderful things I have transformed with a little elbow grease and a lot of love. Over the years I have also found many bargains on Ebay, Gumtree and my local Buy swap and sell pages on Facebook. They are hidden treasure troves and well worth a look.
I think as a society we have become very comfortable with throwing things away and if something is broken or we don’t think we can use an item in any other way than the intended use, we must toss it and this is sad. I am in no way saying we should all become hoarders, but to instead, think carefully before making purchases and to recycle or restore when we can, rather than calling for a council pick up.
Our parents and grandparents generations would always treasure their items and try and repair them, and I think it’s important to teach our children that our possessions are important and should be looked after, but this is just my humble opinion.
Here are a few ways in which I recommend giving your items a change before you consider throwing them
Chalk Paint –
For furniture, I understand we often want to change our look or theme throughout our homes, but big pieces are very expensive so changing the colour is a far cheaper option. If you have timber or laminate furniture, a good option is chalk paint. Most independent paints stores stock Annie Sloan or Porters chalk paint and this is a brilliant way to makeover your furniture. There are many tutorials on Youtube and there are even Facebook pages that have a ton of before and after pics and provide tips and tricks and inspiration.
This transformation was done by Lauren Hardy using chalk paint and she has a wonderful Facebook page Revamped where she shares her amazing work. This hall table is absolutely stunning and it’s come up like new. Thank you Lauren for kindly allowing me to share your images.
Spray Paint –
This would have to be my favourite way to quickly transform items to any colour and in little time. Quite often I find things in Kmart and op shops and after a quick clean and a spray, they come up like new and there are a variety of colours to choose from so you can customize things to suit your home. My preferred spray is Rust-Oleum as it has an inbuilt primer, gives great coverage and in my opinion is the best quality on the market.
Here are a few items I have sprayed over the past few months. You can also find lots of before and after pics, tips and tricks and a video on my Facebook page.
Another way to freshen up items is by painting them. This is the best way to change the colour of wooden items and I personally find painting so therapeutic. The blue book rack pictured below in the bottom left was a spice rack I picked up for only a few dollars from my local Op-shop, and after a coat of paint it now holds books in my childrens playroom. I head to Bunnings Warehouse and buy the $6.95 sample pots and have quite a few colours on hand ready to give things a make-over.
So next time you see something you fancy but perhaps you aren’t fond of the colour, consider giving it a spray. If you have items around your house you no longer have use for of course sell them off or donate them to charity but also consider if it can be used effectively somewhere else in your home.
Thanks for reading