Rage Against the Garage

Happy Monday! Thanks so much for all your kind comments on my beast of a bookcase makeover. And for your concern! You are too kind.  I DID in fact wear a mask and the room was very well-ventilated, but I still don’t recommend spray-painting anything that large.  I would definitely not do it again. But I’m glad it’s done!

So, how was your weekend? Did you do anything cool? Work on some fun DIY project out in your garage? Hey, here’s a crazy idea. What if your garage WAS your DIY project? What if you organized it and spiffed it up so cute that you couldn’t wait to get out there and make stuff! Or … if you’re me, you obsessively organize it, and then freak out when anybody touches it, (which happens anyway no matter how much you freak out), and then you give up on it ever being organized, let alone cute. Your choice.

Joan chose to carve out some cuteness in her workshop and it’s unfairly adorable. This old cabinet got an apothecary-style makeover:

Apothecary Cabinet Makeover


Apothecary Cabinet Makeover After

Then she really jazzed up this plain old green cabinet above with a tissue paper transfer:

Lumber Cabinet Makeover Before


Lumber Cabinet Makeover After | betterafter.net

Then she built a new countertop out of pine boards, built a rolling cart to store wood scraps, added a task light, and there’s even room for some decor! I have garage envy.

Workshop Makeover before

Workshop Makeover | betterafter.net

This is only a small corner of her workshop makeover, believe it or not.  Check out her blog Scavenger Chic to see more. Warning: you will probably feel inadequate in your garage-organizing capabilities afterwards.


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My Home Office and Bookshelf Makeover

I wanted a wall of built-in cabinets in my office sine the day we moved into this house.  I thought it would be the first thing done on my list. I got a quote for it, and it was so PRICEY. I couldn’t pull the trigger. So I had a huge bare wall in my office for nearly a year.

Then I happened upon these bookshelves at an ‘upscale’ secondhand shop here in town, and I loved them! And they fit perfectly in the space, and they cost a teensy fraction of what custom built-ins would have cost, and even though they’re not exactly what I had envisioned here, I am happy.

bookshelf wall in home office


They didn’t always start out looking like that.  I – try to contain your shock – painted them white.

bookcase makeover before

I’m awkwardly posing for your benefit to illustrate how tall these babies are.  Eight feet!

bookcase cracked veneer

Obligatory picture of damaged veneer so I don’t get hate mail for painting it.


If you are interested in the painting process, here are the details:

UGH! WOOF! It was a freaking beast to paint.  And I have a paint sprayer.  Two of them actually.  One of them farts out the paint so violently that the finish looks like the surface of the moon. I didn’t even bother with that one.

The other one is supposed to be a ‘fine finish’ sprayer, and it still gave me too much texture, and took WAY WAY WAY too long.  I’m talking like a two foot by two foot patch took around 45 minutes to get full coverage.  No thanks.  So don’t come looking to me for any paint sprayer recommendations, because I don’t have nice things to say about any of them yet. I’ve tried paint additives and all that jazz, and I think what it really boils down to is latex paint just isn’t going to give you the same results as an oil-based paint.

You know what kind of paint IS oil-based? Spray paint.  So that’s what I did. I hung up the paint sprayer and instead spray painted this monstrous set of bookshelves plus its four doors and sixteen shelves. That was really awesome and so fun. That’s not the paint fumes talking. Yes it is.

Here is an untouched side-by-side comparison so you can see the difference:

spray paint vs. paint sprayer

Here is a close-up:

spray paint vs paint spray copy


There’s no contest.  I used Rustoleum paint+primer in satin white, which is really durable and has amazing coverage. I love that I can skip a step since the primer is already in the paint. However, one can doesn’t go very far.  They aren’t paying me to say any of that, but I wish they did because this project took about 30 cans!

And then it was time for some fun decorating it!  I think I might want to paint the back a fun color someday, but let’s be honest with ourselves. It’s probably not happening.




brass giraffe

Look, it’s our friend divorced giraffe!

gold arrow cabinet pulls

I picked up these new pulls from Hobby Lobby, and I love them hard.


gold polka dotted candlestick

Just messing around with my paint pen, like I did on my polka-dotted unicorn.


magnifying glass bookshelf decor

I tried the ‘group all your books by color thing’ but I secretly wish they were all white.


roccoco bulletin board decor

That quote on my bulletin board is from Isaac Mizrahi and says “I’m all about exuberance. We only have one short life to live, and we shouldn’t waste it being tasteful.”  Obviously, it’s a struggle. I’m trying to teach myself to embrace more of that. Yes, I truly like white and lots of it, but I would definitely like to figure out how to have more exuberance in my home and my decor.


roccoco bulletin

My bulletin board is pretty fancy and it is from The Container Store.


gold homegoods decor

Gold knobby thing is from HomeGoods, and I bought that book from Goodwill just because it had gold lettering! I’m sure it’s a nice book or whatever.



white arched office bookshelves

Anyway, it’s a work in progress, but it’s SO much better than the huge empty wall it was before.  I think I need a rug in here.  I think it should be hot pink. How’s that for exuberance, Isaac?

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Super Side Table Status

It’s Friday! Friday! Do you know what you gotta do on Friday? You gotta get down on Friday.

Let’s get down with a nice little mix of side tables. I have several different styles to show you today, so you are bound to love at least one of them. And if you don’t, what are you waiting for? Send me a makeover of your own!

First, this simple side table from Joy at Beautiful Protest. The before was secondhand Ikea, and couldn’t possibly be any less exciting. But the nice thing about those Ikea pieces is that they are solid pine, so Joy was able to sand down the drawer and stain it, which looks fantastic against the white. So chic!

White and Wood Nightstand Before

White and Wood Nightstand Makeover | betterafter.net


Stephanie managed to make this bargain table look anything but cheap with spray paint and the magical ingredient: gold leaf. Have you played around with gold leaf? It’s the best. I can’t seem to stop. I have gold leafed many items in my house that have no business being gold leafed.

I love the perfectly sized trays that she found for the top too, you’d never know these tables had such humble beginnings!

See more at The Styled Soul.


Gold Leaf Tray Table Before

gold leaf side table makeover


This sad and squatty cabinet had seen better days, and was sadly squatting its way the dump when Lisa stepped in and saved it.  All it needed was a little love, some happy colors, and a set of legs to elevate it to super-side-table status.  Ahh, it makes me smile.

See more from Lisa at Sweet Parsley Home.

Wine Bar Storage Before


Wine Bar Storage Makeover


Jen at All Things New painted this sweet little table pink with gold-dipped legs. I love the ‘dipped’ look, but some people don’t understand it.  Well, I never understood why Michael Jackson always wore high-water pants with white socks, until I asked my mom. She said “It’s so he can show off his feet when he’s dancing!” And then everything in the universe made sense.




Pink Side-Table with Gold Dip Before


Pink Side-Table with Gold Dip Makeover | betterafter.net


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Grand(ma) Theft

Hey. Your grandma called. She wants her armchair back.

No, seriously Katie. Grandma’s on the phone right now and she really regrets handing over her dated swivel rocker now that she’s seen you work your magic on it. Here, you talk to her.

“Katie? Is that you? Listen sweetie, Grammie really needs her armchair back.  I forgot how much it uh … helps with my … hips.  Yeah. Be a good girl and bring it back to Grammie’s house, okie dokie? I’ll make you some cookies. Did you get that $20 I sent for your birthday? How is your blog going? What’s the name of it again? The Sewing Nerd Slipcovers?  That’s so cute. You’ll have to come over and show me sometime, you know I don’t know how to internet. Bye bye dear. Don’t forget my chair!”

Ikat Upholstered Rocker Chairs Before

Ikat Upholstered Rocker Chairs

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