Hi, I’m Sharon Hankins – a furniture painter & restorer who loves to up-cycle and repurpose old neglected pieces and bring them back to life again. My blog was created for thrifty DIYers and home renovators to encourage them to make transformations in their own homes, with educational tutorials, tips and inspirational makeovers.
Add a little Industrial Farmhouse Style to your furniture with this fun and easy update.
These two stools came from one of my op-shop (thrift store) finds here in my local area in Australia. They had been painted black during the start of their life in a factory somewhere in the world. I thought they’d be perfect for an industrial farmhouse style makeover.
I had painted another pair of stools with a black base and stenciled top recently and they sold right away before I could even get them to my booth at Camp Hill Antique Centre! So I thought I’d create something similar with these.
For these I used my Orbital Sander (USA readers use this affiliate link to find an Orbital Sander) with approx 180 grit to get the black paint off the top and then a finer grit to smooth out the finish (eg. 240-320 grit).
Tinting Fusion’s Tough Coat Wipe-on Poly
Next I tinted some of Fusion’s Tough Coat Wipe-on Poly with a little of their Chocolate colour in the paint range. This creates a stain/poly sealer for the seats before I stencil. The reason I used the wipe-on poly is that you are able to paint over the tough coat with Fusion’s water based paints, therefore I could create the stencil over the stain and then seal again when finished.
Stenciling Tips on my Facebook Live
A couple weeks ago I challenged myself to go live every day on Facebook with something. This particular day I chose to offer my best stenciling tips while painting these stools, so here is that video of the live for you to enjoy the replay!
Finishing touches for an Industrial Farmhouse Style
Once the stencil was finished, I added another coat of the Tough Coat Sealer to seal for extra protection of the stencil. Before doing the extra sealing, you can opt to distress your stencil a little to give it a more aged and industrial finish.
And here are the finished stools:
As you saw in the Live video replay above, I centred the whole sign stencil over the span of the two chairs to give it a more industrial farmhouse feel as though the stools had been made from an old sign.
5 Tips for Taking your Creative Hobby to the next level!
So you’re passionate about your creative hobby – in fact, you wake up thinking about the next project in your to-do pile! You are so excited about creating another unique piece that friends and family have come to admire. Maybe you’ve started selling your wares at markets, craft shows or even on Etsy.
This thing that once started as a creative hobby, has begun to take over your life. You really feel like this could be a way to supplement your income, add a little more to the family budget, or even potentially become a full blown, creative, entrepreneurial empire!
Photo by Ella Jardim on Unsplash
If this sounds like you, or you see yourself heading in the direction of building a business out of your creative hobby, I was exactly where you are a few years ago. I can totally relate to the excitement, but also the doubts and fears about the next steps to take.
Here are 5 tips that I thought might help you along the way:
1. Define your Creative Business
What is it that you will be selling? The aim of any successful business is to make a profitable income from what you are creating.
Are your creations products that are in demand? Are friends and family or people you know, asking you to make them?
These are important questions to ask, because I could absolutely love making popsicle stick ornaments, but if there isn’t a demand for them, then all my clever marketing efforts will be in vain.
Do your market research – who are you marketing your product or creative services to? Find out your ideal customer and gather ideas about how you are going to reach them.
Are you going to have a “brick & mortar” store, a pop-up shop, or are you going to sell online?
Write down all your ideas, make a plan, have some goals – but be flexible.
2. Name your Business & Make it Legit
Once you’ve brainstormed a few names for your new creative hobby turned business, you may want to test it out on a few trusted friends or family. But most importantly, you’ll need to check that the name is actually available with your country’s governing business registry, as well as the domain name that you’ll need to build a website. Even if you are not planning on creating a website immediately, a domain name is essential, in fact, here in Australia, it is added on as a part of the process when you register your business.
Open a separate bank account for your business, so that you can keep a more accurate record of your transactions.
Next, claim your social media business account names. You may even want to check on availability of these as you finalise a name for your business. My suggestion is to have at least one social media account that you are currently most active on – for most creatives, this is likely to be Facebook or Instagram. Then choose a secondary social media platform, and you can gradually add more. Don’t overload yourself with trying to grow too many Social accounts all at once though, as this can be quite overwhelming.
You may also want to create a logo and/or some branding to reflect your craft, your personality and your target audience.
I Restore Stuff Logo
3. Building Your Audience
Now that you’re all set to go – it’s time to start building your audience, finding out where your target market hangs out, and growing your following on social media. It can take a long time to grow your following on Facebook, Instagram and other social platforms, but slow organic growth is far more valuable than ‘buying followers’ and other promises of fast growth. You want real customers, not just followers.
Photo by William Iven on Unsplash
One of the most valuable assets you can build is your email list. It is important to understand that your business accounts on any social media platform, are subject to the ownership of that platform. In other words, Facebook really owns and has control over your Facebook business account. If Facebook decided to change the rules suddenly – and let’s face it, they are changing their algorithms all the time – and lets say for some crazy reason Facebook chose to shut down all together (I know it’s highly unlikely) … or even shut down your business account. Then you are stuck – IF you have put all your efforts into building an audience on Facebook alone! I remember first learning about the importance of my email list after attending a blogging conference here in Australia where online marketing expert, Amy Porterfield was talking about this. It was a lightbulb moment for me – we “own” our email lists, they are our “asset” so to speak, whereas social media accounts can be valuable, but fickle.
There are several ways to build your email list, but you can start very simply, by creating an opt-in form or sign up sheet to add to your website. Here, people will need to give you permission to send them occasional emails. These emails need to be of value to the people on your email list – because, let’s face it – nobody wants to be spammed with sales emails constantly.
An idea might be: sending a newsletter once a month (or weekly) with a valuable tip or craft idea that you have perfected. You can add any specials you might be having at the end of your email.
In summary, to build your audience you will need:
an email list (I use Mailchimp to gather and store my email list securely)
a Facebook business page (with over 1 Billion people active on Facebook, this is a priority)
*NOTE: For more help with growing and building your social media account, I’d love you to book in a one-on-one workshop with me. We can spend an hour looking at your accounts, and brainstorming strategies to grow them further.
4. Additional Income to Compliment Your Business
In addition to the creative hobby or idea that you have started with to begin your business journey, have you thought of other sources of revenue that you could be earning to complement your business, to make it even more profitable?
a. A Product Line
My Story: When I began painting furniture, I loved it with a passion, and began posting about my before/after makeovers online in the form of a blog. In those early days, I was just happy that people were enjoying reading about the transformations, and I sold my furniture pieces on Ebay or Gumtree. It wasn’t long before furniture paint companies were noticing what I was doing and offering me paint to try, in order to blog about their paints – it was a win/win for both the brand, who were now exposed to my small but growing audience; and I scored free paint! Then I honed in on a particular paint line that I really resonated with and loved, and became a retailer for Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint here in Australia when it first hit our shores. I added Fusion Mineral Paint and other products soon after, and have found them to be a beneficial addition to growing my business.
Is there a product or brand that you can sell online and/or in a brick & mortar store or pop-up shop along with your items that you create? Make a list of all that you can think of and begin contacting these companies to see what their requirements are for carrying their product.
b. Teaching your Creative Idea
What about teaching your craft or creative skill in the form of workshops? This can be done both locally and online. Is there a local community space where you can hold workshops to teach others?
Create a video course showing your “How to” and sell it via your website. This doesn’t have to be super professional – people are really valuing great content over the quality of your video. Most smart phones, if set up on a tripod of some sort, can be a good start to creating a video or series of videos in order to create a course. There are plenty of tutorials online regarding editing video. Again, if this is something you are keen to learn more about, book in a one-on-one workshop with me and we can find out where you are at in skill level, and discuss ways you can improve or up your video game!
c. Online Ad Revenue & Affiliate Income
As you begin to grow as a business, and your audience gets bigger, and your website gets more eyes on it, there are several ways that you can include ads on your website or on your Youtube channel, for example, to monetize your site, and receive ad revenue. Currently, I use Google Adsense to place ads on my site and on my Youtube channel and receive a monthly amount, which is in no means large, but every bit of income counts. The more traffic you can get to your site (by sharing your posts on social media, or having good SEO, excellent keywords, etc.), the more you can earn.
Bloggers can earn income by doing “sponsored posts” for brands – I recommend only doing sponsored posts for brands that you have tried, love and are happy for your audience to know about, because I think it will benefit THEM. It also should be a good fit for your brand. I think it is important to stay authentic and keep the trust of your audience, so I myself, don’t like to promote anything I haven’t tried or haven’t been completely happy with.
Another way of earning online is Affiliate sales. According to Wikipedia, “Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.” For example, you’ll see a link along with tip number 5 (below), for my business coach, Jennifer Allwood’s upcoming Creator’s Roadmap course – this is an affiliate link (total transparency). All this means is that if you happen to sign up to Jennifer’s course by using the affiliate link, Jennifer pays me an affiliate fee as a part of her affiliate program. It’s like an incentive to help her promote her course. Again, I will NEVER promote or advertise something that I have not completed myself or if I don’t believe it will benefit my audience.
These are all great ways to add more streams of income to your creative business.
5. Get Educated on All Things Business!
I love learning – especially in the area of things I’m passionate about. When I first started painting furniture, I watched hundreds of online tutorials and read a tonne of blog posts related to painting, restoring, waxing, finishing … you name it. Whatever I needed to learn, I was online researching the best ways to do the thing I was wanting to try. Some of these were free resources, others I paid for.
It has been the same with the business side of my business. When I started my Youtube channel, I researched the best ways to get my videos seen on Youtube, and how to embed links to the videos into my blog posts to add value to the tutorial I was blogging about.
There are plenty of options for both online and offline learning. Here are some that I have used:
a. Free info online
There is a lot of info to wade through online regarding all sorts of business related things. It can be overwhelming at times. Each social media platform have their own lot of tutorials and Q&A type info pages that provide helpful info in setting up and using their platforms.
One great resource I have found for Social Media related info is the Social Media Examiner – they even have their own conference event, but plenty of great blog posts and resources.
Another influencer that has been valuable in my blogging journey, is Darren Rowse from ProBlogger. I have attended several ProBlogger conferences over the years and have gained great info from their resources on blogging and how to earn money from your blog.
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
Conferences are another great way to gain knowledge on growing your business. I have attended both retreats and conferences in which I’ve learned so much from the pool of guest speakers that the host has gathered in one place in order for attendees to glean from. Often these speakers will hold electives at various times throughout the conference or a master class, where you can hone in more on specific niche subjects.
I’ve also done free mini courses, or webinars, which often lead to full paid courses on things like Social Media, growing your brand, marketing, etc. Many courses also have the added benefit of a Facebook group, where others doing the same course can be such a great sounding board for some of those beginner questions you may have. These groups have a great sense of community and accountability, which are excellent and I would say ESSENTIAL for anyone wanting to grow their business.
Courses range in price, but if you find a good one, they are totally worth every penny – think of it as investing in your business, because that is absolutely what you are doing. PLUS, they are counted as a business expense for taxation purposes.
One such course that I recommend, is the one that my business coach, Jennifer Allwood is about to launch next week. Her course may not be for everyone, but I’m happy to answer any questions you may have about doing the course (email me or hit the “Contact Me” tab)
Last year I took Jennifer Allwood’s Creators’ Roadmap course and learned 6 different ways to generate revenue online (outside of making, painting, physically working) and it totally changed the way I think about my business. I mentioned to you a couple of extra ways you can make money online above, in this post, but Jennifer has some that will blow your mind and get you thinking way outside of the box!
There’s a better way than always trading time for money and getting stuck on that hamster wheel.
If you’ve already “tried the business thing” and feel like you’re struggling to make ends meet, this course is for you. If you want to start working less and making more, this course is for you. If you THINK your business isn’t scalable, this course is for YOU.
Sign up at this link, and you’ll get access to the FREE preview series that will help you determine how you can take your craft to new heights in 2019.
I’d seriously encourage you to go check it out! It absolutely costs you nothing to sign up for the preview series and for their Facebook pop up group where Jennifer will take you through an exploration of where your business currently stands and where you can take it in the coming year. It’s almost like one of those fun personality tests! More info here:
d. Paid Coaching or Mastermind Groups
Once I was established a little with my business, I looked into ways that I could continue to grow. One of those ways is to gather around those who are already nailing it in the business arena. I came across Jennifer Allwood via a friend, who shared one of her podcasts – I binge listened to every podcast she had available, as her story really resonated with mine – a creative DIY furniture painter and faux finisher, who loved helping people and teaching other women how to reach their full potential in their creative endeavours.
After going through Jennifer’s Creator’s Roadmap business course, I figured I’d jump right into her “Inner Circle” coaching group, and allow her to “mentor” me alongside other Inner Circle group members.
Coaching can be a more one-on-one style (where you would expect to pay bigger $$ ) or it can be in a group setting. The group setting also has added value of many more encouraging business owners who are all on different stages of the business journey. You can benefit from other group members who may have the exact answers to that website question that has you stumped, for example.
I hope these 5 tips for turning your creative hobby into a business have been helpful. Remember no matter where you are on this journey, there are always others who have just been where you are now, ready to give you a helping hand up!
PS. You can check out how I can help you with one-on-one “pick-my-brains” sessions HERE.
PSS. Jump in on Jennifer’s FREE Preview Series for her CREATOR’s ROADMAP Course HERE. Click on the video below to hear April’s story of her struggle to keep up with the physical orders of her creative business. With a special needs child, it was imperative she not get run down and exhausted working every single minute. She had to cut back and get her business online…
I’ll be back with more DIY projects next week!
Have you been following my Instagram Stories?? (below) My husband finally finished his big van painting job! And I’m working on some lovely wood staining on some rustic wood table centrepiece trays that were made by my father-in-law. Follow along here:
Most times when wanting to age an ornate frame like this one, furniture painters will opt Antiquing or Ageing Wax, which gives a lovely authentic patina of old world ageing paint replicating dirt or grime collecting in the crevices.
This time I thought I’d try Miss Mustard Seed’s Zinc Wax. So instead of brown tones showing in the ornate frame details, I would see grey tones peeping through. This is awesome for those who are wanting to match their home decor in more of the grey tones around the house.
Zinc wax has a very slight metallic appearance and shimmer on flat surfaces. However, in this project, I didn’t notice any metallic finish showing – just the lovely grey details appearing as aged patina on the surface.
I began with about 3 coats of Fusion’s Whitest White – Picket Fence. Aiming for a distressed finish with the Zinc wax showing in the detailed crevices, I wasn’t too concerned about getting the paint right down into all of the grooves (below pic) of this ornate frame.
Using my Madeline Wax Brush (mini rounded) I dipped the brush tips into the Miss Mustard Seed’s Zinc Wax and wiped the excess on the edge of the container.
Applying the wax in all of the details and across the surfaces of the ornate frame is super easy! Then I grabbed a lint free cloth (aka old sock!) and wiped the excess away, leaving the beautiful grey tones of the Zinc wax sitting in the ornate details of the mirror. (below)
In this example below you can see the far right of the picture where I haven’t applied the Zinc Wax yet. On the left, I have added the Zinc Wax.
** VIDEO TUTORIAL ON THIS EXACT FRAME AT THE END OF THIS POST
Here you can see where I added it to the outsides. Now if you don’t want as much wax to show up on the flat surfaces, use a little of the clear Furniture Wax to “erase” the Zinc Wax. I erased a little of the Zinc Wax on the sides in the centre, where I wanted it to show more white.
Results of Zinc Wax over White Ornate Frame
You can see it doesn’t stand out too much from a distance, but I do love the fact that there are subtle grey soft tones, peeking through the details.
I hope that gives you another option for Antiquing your frames AS WELL AS your ornate furniture details.
Video Tutorial for this Project:
As promised, here is a video tutorial that I recorded LIVE on Facebook as I was doing this project, to give you a better visual exactly how I created this look:
How to Antique an Ornate Frame using Miss Mustard Seed's Zinc Wax - YouTube
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If you’re in Australia, you can purchase paint product right here on my website under the Product tab – or use the easy search bar at the top to find a particular colour, or item that you’re looking for.
It’s actually super easy to create beautiful home decor on a budget, and lately I’ve been having some fun shopping our local “op shops” – if you’re in Australia, you know exactly what I’m talking about, but for my North American friends – “thrift stores” or charity shops in the UK – same thing as an Op Shop. I believe the word came from the contraction of “opportunity shop” – perhaps as a place where people have an opportunity to purchase items at a lower price, at the same time, giving them the opportunity to support a charity.
Anyway, if you follow my Instagram stories, most Wednesdays (Aus time zone), I’ve been dropping in to a few local op shops to see if I can find things to give you creative ideas for home decor on a budget, including some furniture “pickin” tips along the way. I’ve created a “Highlight” on my Instagram Profile dedicated to Op Shopping where you can see some of the fun I get up to. Oh, and if you’d like to tag me in any of your own op shop finds, use the hashtag #irestoreopshopfinds on Instagram – I’d love to feature some of your submissions in my stories!
So in this post, I’ll show you some of the things I’ve found along the way, and give you some ideas for your own home decor on a budget.
Re-vamping a Simple Pot
An easy makeover, any ceramic or terracotta plant pot can be up-cycled using a bit of paint and optional finishes. This pot pictured below came like this from our local Salvo’s store:
For this easy makeover, I used Fusion’s Coal Black to paint the entire pot, then finished with Miss Mustard Seed’s Zinc Wax to give it a metallic, kind of gun metal finish. I love how it turned out:
Update a Jewellery Box
This next item is actually a Samantha Wills jewellery box that I also found at our local Salvos Store op shop. It’s cute, but I love the white shabby, chippy look and figured it’s still a bit of a trend in my neck of the woods, so decided to do that.
I painted this one with Fusion’s Champlain, then sanded a little to distress the paint back to the wood in some areas (mainly the edges). Then I took a brush and used a dry brush technique to hit the highlights using the colour Casement (a brighter white).
Don’t you love the top on this?
Transform a Mirror
Here’s an old mirror I came across one time, I’ve taped it up and you can see the before and after pics here below.
To show a step by step of this amazing transformation using some appliques and one of my favourite GLAZING techniques, check out the full tutorial HERE.
A Tiny Stool Makeover
Another Op Shop item I tend to love, are little stools of any kind! This is one I found with a tapestry on it that was pretty dirty and worn (although it doesn’t look too bad in this pic). I refinished this one a few years ago and you can see the full post about that makeover HERE.
Upholstering stools is about as straightforward as you can probably get as far as “smaller” upholstery jobs go. Usually requiring just a new fabric, and sometimes extra cushioning, but with a staple gun, you can change out a stool like this quite easily.
Here’s the result from using a simple drop cloth fabric:
So there you go – these are just some of the things I’ve changed up a bit using items found in thrift stores/op shops/charity places – whatever you like to call them in your neck of the woods.
I’d love you to join me over on Instagram … here are some of my current stories below to show you a bit of personal, behind the scenes type fun that I get up to on my Instagram account. Most of my stories are related to furniture, DIY, antiques, collectables, showing you my Shop space at Camp Hill Antique Centre each week, tips on painting, etc.
Other times, I give you glimpse into my personal life, where I’m hanging out, a look in my workshop or things around my house. You can click the video play button on these stories to watch them here, or head over to my Instagram account and click on my picture in the top left corner.
I have not ONE – but TWO Kmart DIY hacks to share with you today.
A hack using some cool hairpin legs for a table, and then stay tuned for a fabulous Christmas hack on a $5 tree!! Yes – I totally went against all votes NOT to buy this tree when I polled my Instagram followers – haha. But wait till you see how it turned out!
Kmart DIY Hacks – 1 – Hairpin Legs Table
For this first hack, I had actually found these cute little side tables at our local Kmart here in Australia a while ago. They come unassembled and are a pretty basic laminate circle top with hairpin legs – HAIRPIN LEGS! Now, you realise that hairpin legs are not easy or cheap to come by? And this table pack was pretty cheap – somewhere around $10-12 if I remember correctly. (This is not a sponsored post for Kmart BTW)
So being the thrifty DIY’er that I am, I wondered how I could use those hairpin legs for other projects …
And this old worn table top came into my possession via a friend who was helping her parents move from their family home. Her dad was a carpenter/framer in his prime and had several pieces of old wood, so I picked up several pieces that I thought I could use for future projects.
It looked like it had some parquetry veneer on the top at some stage. I had my worker, Eric, sand it down for me, and then I used Fusion’s SFO (Stain & Finishing Oil) in White, to create a white-wash over the whole table.
I then attached the hairpin legs out of the box from the Kmart table, and voila – a whole new round coffee table!
Now I have a solid wood table and it looks sort of Scandinavian or Farmhouse a bit don’t you think?
Kmart DIY Hacks – 2 – The $5 Christmas Tree!
Okay, you’ll love this next activity, and if you saw my Instagram stories, you’ll have seen some of my process which I totally borrowed from Natalie of My Vintage Porch. I’ve been following her on Instagram and she’s a crack up in her stories, so if you love Instagram, check her out HERE.
I polled my Instagram followers while in our local Kmart last week because I found this $5 tree in a box … and let me just say, for $5, I was doubtful about using it as a tree in my house too. And the poll results came in as a majority “NO – do NOT buy the tree” … but my creative juices were itching to try this hack, so I bought it anyway, hehee.
Source: Kmart Australia
In Natalie’s post at My Vintage Porch, she used what she had on hand … which also happened to be what I had on hand – minus the spray can of paint. But since I have lots of paint on hand, I just used Fusion’s Casement white for the first part.
OR, you can check out Natalie’s awesome post HERE.
Look at her cute little flocked trees:
Source: My Vintage Porch
And … Here’s exactly how my little tree turned out:
My $5 KMart Christmas tree hack
Here it is by itself in a faux metal bucket that I painted. Keep scrolling to see how I created that look!
Bonus – How I made the Faux Metal Bucket
This was another of my op shop (thrift store/charity store) finds. I’ve started doing stories on Instagram about my op shop adventures and some of the treasures I’m finding as I go. This started out as a wooden (bamboo I think) oval container which probably had a lid at some stage:
I painted it in a base coat of Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint, in the colour, Typewriter (a charcoal black)
Then I used carbon paper (graphite paper) to trace our last name onto the base
I lightly sanded the white paint after it had dried thoroughly (I used a white gel pen to outline, then filled in with Fusion’s Casement using a tiny artist brush.
Next step I used one of our latest products in – the new Zinc Wax by Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint:
See on the left is the unwaxed Typewriter colour (when dried, Typewriter has a chalky appearance, then turns more black as you add a finishing coat of Tough Coat sealer, wax or Hemp Oil). And on the right, I’ve brushed on the Zinc Wax in a random manner – I like how it becomes like brushed steel as the light hits it. It’s not too shimmery, but enough to give it an aged gun metal patina.
Totally love how it all turned out!
Well, I hope you enjoyed these Kmart hacks and I hope it inspired you to think outside the box when you look around at what is available to you. I love finding things that don’t cost a lot, but end up looking a million bucks!
Jump on over to Instagram to see my stories there and you’ll find this tree hack in my Highlights under “$5 Tree Hack”.
Don’t forget to save this to your Pinterest board (you can follow me on Pinterest HERE).
Easy Christmas Sign Tutorial using Sharpie - YouTube
If you enjoyed that tutorial, you’ll find a lot more over on my youtube channel – just hit the Subscribe button so you don’t miss any – if you hit the little “bell” icon, you’ll be sent a notification when I add another video.
My latest UpCycles
Also in the studio/workshop the last couple of weeks, I’ve had fun bringing home some op-shop finds and giving them a makeover. This little stool was a fabulous find and all I had to do to it was wash a little dirt off the fur!! Seriously – how cute and Pinterest-worthy is this stool (below). I’ve been having fun on my Instagram Stories showing you around op-shops here in my local area (usually on a Wednesday).
I also found this cute foot stool – it was covered in an old vinyl that looked a little worn and brittle, so I gave it a quick makeover.
All I did was remove the legs, gave them a bit of a sanding with my Sandi Hands gloves, and then rubbed some Stain & Finishing Oil in the Natural (clear). They came up beautifully. Next I removed the old vinyl and cut some linen/cotton canvas type fabric that was also an op shop find. I used the old piece as a pattern, sewed it up and stapled it on.
The other little detail we did to the legs, which you can’t really see when it’s finished, but the metal parts on the top of the legs, where they attach to the seat, were all tarnished and not pretty, so we painted them easily with Fusion’s Metallic Paint in Brushed Steel for a neater finish.
Well, I do hope you are enjoying the decorating this season! I’d love you to share any Christmas crafts you have going on – jump in to our Facebook Group and post your pics!
If you’ve just started subscribing to my blog this year, and didn’t see my Christmas videos last year, here is one of them again (BELOW), just for a bit of holiday fun – I changed up the lyrics a bit because I know some of my painting nerd friends can totally relate – haha!
Enjoy, friends … until next time.
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas - I Restore Stuff Style! - YouTube
Painting pressed tin panels seemed like a daunting task, but a challenge I was up for, when asked by friends and owners of Unveiling Poppy if I could paint the front counters of their newly opened shop in Daisy Hill, QLD. Amy Gurling has been a florist, specialising in weddings, for a number of years, and her husband Gene – a bit of a handyman – built most of their shop fit-out himself.
If you follow my Instagram account @irestorestuff you’ll see a lot of “in the moment” behind the scenes of what I get up to on a daily basis. You may have seen my posts last month when I painted their pressed tin panels. It was lots of fun, and although I’d seen this look before, this was a ‘new to me’ technique or surface to paint on, and so I was kind of experimenting along the way.
Thankfully, Gene had a spare panel section for me to “play” with and experiment on when I arrived.
Where Did You Get the Pressed Tin from?
The tin panels were purchased from Pressed Tin Panels in Bathurst. I was asked a lot about where the panels came from when I first posted about this project on Instagram. They have some lovely patterns/designs.
Here are the unpainted pressed tin front counter benches that I began with:
The Painting Process:
I took a few video snippets of the process as I went along and pieced them together for you here on my Youtube channel (psst – I’d love you to subscribe).
I experimented a little first on the scrap panel of tin shown here:
Here’s the video and I’ll follow with my step by step process below that.
Old World Look using Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint on Pressed Tin Panels - YouTube
In case you missed all the steps in the video above, here’s a brief overview of how I completed this aged and chippy look:
Mix a dark coloured base of MMSMP & paint on pressed tin. I used a combo of Curio, Typewriter & Schloss. You may want to scuff sand the tin first, but as I said in the video, I tested this particular tin, which held the paint very well without any hint of chipping – so I skipped the sanding.
Apply Miss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Wax randomly over base coat (mostly the high points of tin – I followed the raised lines)
Mix a white colour of MMSMP & paint over entire surface, working in sections. I used the colour, Ironstone.
While paint is still drying, gently remove paint with a rag along the waxed areas (dab or gently rub). If dried, use fine grit sandpaper (eg. 400+).
Allow to completely dry before sealing with MMSMP Tough Coat. I would wait about 12-24 hours.
I worked in sections when adding the wax and top coat of Ironstone.
I’ve been asked a number of questions relating to this topic, since the time I started doing Facebook Lives, and thought it was time for a post about some of these queries, to help others who are wanting to up their game when it comes to doing Lives for their DIY business. Really, most of these tips can relate to ANY type of business or personal page that you want to promote well.
This post contains affiliate links – thank you for supporting my blog.
First, let me say that I am not the expert, but I AM married to one. Haha. So, he’s the real magic maker when it comes to my more professional live videos that you may have seen over the years via Hometalk’s Facebook page, How to Paint Like a Pro, or my own ‘I Restore Stuff’ Facebook page.
A little background
Marty, my awesome husband, has been in the audio/video industry for the entire time I’ve known him – we’re coming up to our 26th Wedding anniversary towards the end of this year, so it’s been at least a couple more years than that! He loves to test and try out new equipment & the latest technology, and stay on the cutting edge in his industry. He’s worked in the recording/audio industry since he was 19 and has added video production to his skill set over the years, providing both audio and video production for large scale corporate events, music festivals, conferences, you name it – both here in Australia, and in his birthplace, the good old USA!
So when Facebook introduced live video as a part of its social networking mega influence, we knew that video was here to stay and that it continues to be a major part of society and influence, educating and entertaining the masses! A couple of years ago, I started doing Facebook lives for the large DIY network, Hometalk and for my own page, and when Marty heard that Hometalk had a rather large social media following, he offered to provide a little more than the standard ‘iphone holding camera person’ for me. Oh, yeah – he pulled in the big gear. “Really, babe?” I said, “I’m sure we don’t need to go this far”. But he did have some ulterior motives, and thought it would be great to test out the new live streaming methods he planned on using for his larger corporate jobs, on me – his guinea pig.
Screenshot of a Facebook Live I did for Hometalk’s DIY Facebook Page.
And so, we did indeed have a multi-camera shoot, with extra laptop for my friend who read the comments & questions, another friend switching the cameras live in our home based recording studio, and an extra camera person (usually my son, who was studying and home at the time) as well as Marty. Not to mention we each had lavalier microphones taped to our aprons/shirts – oh yeah, we went the full hog! Major production scenario – but it did look great – and Hometalk admin were impressed and wanted more!
Needless to say, this couldn’t happen every time I wanted to do a live, as I had to work around Marty’s schedule, friend’s availability, etc. and so, most times, I do have to resort to using ‘just me’ for my own page, holding the camera or putting it on a tripod, etc.
“But I don’t have a production guy!” you say.
Having said all of that, you do NOT have to have your own production guy to make your Facebook Live’s look pretty decent. There ARE a few tips that you can apply to your own Lives so that you can improve the quality and standard of Live videos presented on your professional pages.
So here are my top beginner tips to get you started. I do go into more detail on Facebook Lives in my one-on-one mentor session if you’d like to book a coaching time with me.
5 Top Tips for Facebook Lives on Your DIY Business Page
1. Good Content
With so much video content vying for our attention these days, it is essential that we give our audience quality content to consume. Otherwise, they’ll just keep scrolling. Make sure you are bringing your people VALUE. Make it engaging and entertaining, giving them a reason to hang around and watch. Think about the videos that you stop and watch and why you watch them – are they inspiring you to action something the video is teaching or telling you about.
Especially if your video involves you or anyone else trying to explain something, or you’re having a heart-to-heart with your live audience – if you can’t be heard, people are less likely to stick around.
Check your surroundings – are you outdoors in a busy street? Are the kids yelling and having a crazy fun time in the room next door? It makes sense to opt for a quieter environment to film your live in. However, if it isn’t possible to change your location, one way to enable you to control the ambient noises around you is to use a microphone with a more directional pick-up pattern, ie. the mic focuses in the direction of your voice rather than picking up all the sounds around you.
This could be:
a) a lavalier microphone – you may also know these as a “lapel mic” or a “clip on mic” – the kind you can attach to your clothing (your shirt) pointed to your voice, or
b) a shot gun microphone (has a very narrow pick-up pattern) or
c) a hand-held microphone
Any of the above options, are able to be connected to your smartphone via an adaptor cable. Here’s an example of the lapel mic that I use, which I’ve found to be excellent quality and super convenient to throw in my handbag to take with me anywhere I go (even comes with a little carry purse).
If you have the iphone 7 or above with a lightning port instead of a standard headphone/mic jack, you will need to get an adaptor like this. A regular adapter will not work as they are only for headphone input.
Also, if you find that the cable on the Rode smartLav is not long enough, you can use an extension cable like this:
3. Good Lighting
Having yourself or the set you are working on, lit well, will bring the quality of your video up to a higher standard, making your live video stand out above the rest. Before we get into any gear you may want or need, lets talk about some important guidelines.
Basically, when videoing, your foreground (where you are, your face or where your hands are demonstrating a project), needs to be the highlight.
It is important when videoing – whether live or not – that your subject (you or the project you are working on) is not over-exposed or under-exposed. Over exposure is when your light source is so bright that it blows out the features of the face or the subject, and there is no good way to fix this in your post editing. Under exposure is when the area you’re filming in is too dark, and whether you try to fix this with your phone or camera settings or attempt to fix it during editing, it will result in graininess and pixelation – a loss of quality.
Always try to adjust the lighting in your environment, before attempting to adjust any settings on your camera or phone.
Now that we have those things established, here are a few options for lighting that my handy hubby, Marty, has put together for us:
No Lighting Kit – Even if you do not have a fancy lighting kit, there are some great tips to help you make the most of what you do have. The first tip Marty has for us here, as mentioned above, is to adjust the lighting in your environment, before attempting to adjust any settings on your camera or phone. So if the room you are doing your Facebook Lives in is fairly dim and dark, move to an area that has more natural light streaming in, like near a window. Avoid shooting into the window – you want the light coming in from behind the camera and washing onto your face or onto the project that you are working on.
Lighting Option 1 – Aputure Amaran AL-M9 – this LED light produces “daylight” which is a cool/blue light, great for lighting up a subject at a close range in daylight.
Lighting Option 2 – Aputure AL-MX – this LED is a variable bi-colour, which means you can vary the colour temperature from a cool light (eg. outdoor light) to a warm light (eg. indoor warm lighting – orange/yellow tone). It’s extremely helpful to be able to match your light with the environment that you’re in, in order to achieve natural looking skin tones.
The Diva Ring Light – the main purpose for the Ring Light is to be an additional fill light to smooth out the features of the face with soft light. Often it is mistakenly used as the ONLY light in a video set up. While this can have mixed results, and may look great sometimes, users need to be aware that it will create a reflection of circular rings of light in each eye, which can be a distraction to some viewers.
4. Good Planning
Having a plan is always a good idea, instead of winging it. You don’t want to be live and having to think of what it was that you were going to say, or getting half way through a tutorial, and realising that you have forgotten some key components of your project.
At the very least, jot down some notes on a piece of paper in front of you, so that you can refer to them if you get stuck or forget where you were up to. It will also help you to remember really important things going on in your business, that you may want to make your audience aware of.
A good plan can be as detailed or as simple as you like – it all depends on you, your audience and what they want, and the content of the live itself.
Here’s an example of what a plan for your live could look like:
5. Maximising Content
Once you’ve published your live on your Facebook page, you now have some great content to share and also re-purpose. It’s time to make the most of your video. Here are some ideas for sharing and making the most of the video you have just produced for your “Live”.
Share your FB live to any other relevant groups that you are a member of on Facebook (be sure to check the individual group rules first to make sure sharing from your business page is appropriate).
Share it to your personal FB page if appropriate – sometimes family and friends have similar interests, or know others who do too.
Consider boosting your live or promoting it with advertising dollars – this way you can target your audience and show up in more news feeds.
Download the Live video and re-purpose it by uploading to your Youtube channel. Here you reach a whole other audience with the same great content.
If you have downloaded the video to your computer, and have access to video editing software, you can even edit smaller bits out of this video to re-create a shorter version or a snippet for your Instagram feed or stories, or even a small video ad!
Embed your FB Live into a blog post – use the topic that you talked about or showcased during the Live, to create an entire blog post, adding your video as an extra bonus to give your blog readers a visual of exactly what you are trying to teach them.
Here’s an example of a Facebook Live I did for the Paint it Beautiful Facebook Group, below. I downloaded the Facebook live video file via my FB page video library, then uploaded it to my Youtube channel, and now here it is, embedded into this blog post:
Using Fusion's Ultra Grip on a Shiny Surface (Pt 1) - When and Why would you do this? - YouTube
I hope this post has answered a lot of Facebook Live questions for you, or at least inspired you to improve your FB Live skills and make the most of your online presence for the benefit of your DIY or Painting business.
Please, if you have any questions, please post in the comments below, and if there are any social media or video related topics that you would find helpful, let me know and I may address them in future posts.
Want more tips for your Social Media and DIY/Painting business? I have started a FREE newsletter, where I’ll be sending great content, ideas and more to help you grow your creative online business. Join me here:
Well, Spring is most certainly here in Australia, and here in Queensland, we’re experiencing sunny days and beautiful breezes, and have even witnessed a few storms lately in the south east. Today I thought I’d do a roundup of some of my favourite Spring blog posts over the years, to maybe inspire you in your own home makeover projects this Spring – or Fall, if you are in the Northern Hemisphere!
(*This post contains affiliate links.)
But, before I forget, this week over on Instagram I am collaborating with My Stencil Lady for a HUGE GIVEAWAY worth over $236.95!
Yes, look for this post and enter (Australian residents only) as it finishes this Friday night:
1. Paint a Piano
Do you have an old dated piano that needs sprucing up? Or maybe you’ve come across them on Facebook marketplace once in a while and been tempted to bring one home for a little makeover? Let me tell you, this was a fun project to do, even though it wasn’t my own, I enjoyed the lift that it gave my client’s home and it gives a beautiful peaceful pop of colour for the home in Spring.
Click the image below or HERE for the full post on how I painted this piano with Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in the colour, Eulalie’s Sky.
How I painted a piano with MMSMP
2. Change the Colour of your Outdoor Setting
Another fun way to add a new look to your home this Spring is to change up your outdoor setting! Our wooden table and seats were looking quite worn and weary, so I teamed up with Dulux to give them a new lease of life and to match in with our external colours.
Here is the full post on this outdoor setting makeover and the sprayer that I used, or click the image below.
If you’re looking for a quality paint sprayer, I have tried the Wagner brand a few times and found them great to use.
3. Add some Greenery – Large Leaf Plants or A Boxwood Wreath
One way to update the look of a room is to add some foliage – I’m loving the look of the large leaf plants that are on trend this season.
If you are anything like me and find the REAL plants hard to keep alive – we bought a few of these artificial leaves from our local IKEA that look great in a tall vase or pot in a living area or bedroom.A preserved Boxwood Wreath is also a great way to add some Springtime to your living spaces – these are a year round decor item, so you don’t have to just think Christmas. How gorgeous they look with some added twinkling lights or just hanging from a wreath hook over a rustic door!
4. Decoupage with Spring Floral Napkins
We actually cover this in one of our Workshops – Decorative Finishes – where we create a fun look on a crate or box using napkins. This is a look you can try on any furniture – think drawer fronts or top of a side table or coffee table. Or use for the background of signs.
Here’s the full tutorial on how to use napkins to decoupage, including a fun Beach Sign I created while I was at it. (Click image below) I kinda wished I’d filled this box with beautiful flowers for the picture!
5. Just grab an old piece of Furniture and Paint it!
Come on … you know you want to! It’s Spring – the season of Garage Sales, Swap Meets, and everyone is de-cluttering so you KNOW the charity stores will be overflowing with goodies. So get on out there and find a piece that might need a new home in your own home and use some of the beautiful paint colours available, to give your home a lift this season!
It’s always fun when you find hidden treasures in vintage or antique furniture when you go to clean them up and paint or restore them.
Remember the time I found a stash of old newspaper clippings (from 1899), receipts and other things in the seats of these 200 year old chairs?!
Isn’t it crazy what upholstery was stuffed with in the early days alongside horse hair and other interesting bits and pieces?
I have a friend who sent me this picture of her dear Nanna’s buffet that had been passed along to her. She wanted to know if I could paint it and give it a more updated look to go in their newly built home on acreage.
Emily wanted the top of the buffet to remain the same with the original wood finish, so the first thing I did was tested the finish on top to see what was on the surface.
Finding out About the Surface on Your Antique Pieces
If you’d like to know how to do this, I have a great 3 part blog post all about determining the finish on your antique or vintage pieces. They explain how to remove them and how to refinish them. Here are the links and you’ll find them extremely helpful, including free handy printables along with video tutorials.
After following the steps in Part 1 above, I found that the surface was a shellac finish. So I followed some of the steps in part 2 (above), and instead of removing the shellac entirely, I blended any imperfections and scratches and basically repaired the surface – you’ll see this in action in the live video we did in part 2.
I was really happy with the repaired finish (below).
Emily was happy to keep the mirror back on this piece to remind her of how it used to look in her Nanna’s home.
I then painted the entire piece in Lamp White, which is also the same white we used on another piece in Emily’s home – her chunky solid TV console, seen here in my workshop just as I was finishing it up.
First coat of Lamp White
The first coat of any paint project is usually pretty dodgy looking, especially if painting white over a dark wood. You still see so many streaks which is a sure sign you’re going to need another coat or two before your paint job is finished. I used Fusion Mineral Paint’s Lamp White. At the stage below, I hadn’t painted the glass door frame, and double checked with Emily to see if she wanted to leave the frame on this door wood, or for me to go ahead and paint it.
Finding Treasures in Antique Furniture
As I was cleaning out the inside of the cabinet, there were some old floral patterned papers lining the shelves as was done a lot of the time years ago. Maybe you still do line your shelves – let me know in comments below! Under one of the papers I came across this brown paper with tiny holes in it. It looked a little like pianola music, but the way it was formed like book pages with the staple area in the centre line, I figured it may have been braille.
I messaged Emily with a photo to show her what I had found and she was so delighted with the find – you see her Nanna was blind and this would have been one of her old books or newspapers or a journal perhaps and she used to line their shelves with the old papers. They are about the size of scrapbook pages if you cut them down that centre line, so I suggested they would make great background in a frame with a family picture or a photo of Nanna and some items that belonged to her.
I can’t wait to see what she does with them.
What have you found as treasures in old furniture pieces you have come across? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your story!
To finish off the insides, I used the Natural in Fusion’s Stain & Finishing Oil to really bring the interior wood surface to life again. Here’s a little look via one of my Instagram posts I did that day:
A post shared by I Restore Stuff (@irestorestuff) on Aug 21, 2018 at 12:13am PDT
And then I added these cute rustic looking, iron handles. I love their plain and simple style.
But ALAS! Not everything goes smoothly with every renovating project, and here’s a friendly reminder to NEVER use the cheap screws they add to the pack when you purchase handles online! At least two snapped off in the hole as I was screwing them in. One of them needed a complete drill out and re-filling of the hole to make things nice again! So annoying when you’ve already painted them, but it all turned out okay in the end.
Here it is all finished and ready to go to its new home …
Just a reminder that my business coach, Jennifer Allwood is opening up her Inner Circle for registrations these next four days starting TODAY!
If you didn’t get on the waitlist, that’s okay, you can head there via my affiliate link here:
I am so excited to share this with you, because I’ve found it so beneficial to have someone coaching me in business who actually GETS what I do!
Jennifer is a DIY Painter and Faux Finisher, who has taken her painting business to the next level, and is now coaching other creative business owners to increase their profits, and do more of the things you LOVE to do, while creating income streams that in turn help the people you want to help in your creative niche!