Thursday, November 8, 2012

DIY Tips From My Best Friend Craig

So you've scoured Craigslist and found some amazing pieces, you haggle your way to a great price, bring home the items and then what? How the heck do you transform that dingy cane chair or banged up nesting table to a thing of beauty without spending a fortune with a professional? The talented Charmaine from My Best Friend Craig has learned some DIY tricks over the years and is here today to give us the skinny. Break it down girl.   

Hi Everyone!  I'm Charmaine from My Best Friend Craig.  I'm thrilled and honored to be guest posting for Nicole and Debbie today. Although I don't consider myself as an expert DIYer,  I've done some fair share of DIY projects... some good...and others bad.   But all of them simple DIYs. Patience, time and a positive attitude are all you need.
Here are my 5 tips on how to get you started.

1.  Choose a small starter project first
You have to know your limitations and what you are comfortable doing.
I have a neighbor who's a great DIYer.  She tears down walls and even does some electrical work.  I wish I could say I can do the same but I know my limits. I was more comfortable with a paint brush and staple gun than a sledgehammer and a jigsaw.I think my first DIY project was painting and recovering some dining room chairs.

2. Do your research
Before I painted and re-covered the chairs, I did my research.  I found out that I had to sand and prime the wood first before painting.  I also found out that there are alternatives to sanding, which I hate doing(like using liquid deglosser or using a good primer that doesn't require sanding)
You can Google just about anything these days so use it to your advantage!

3. Set a deadline
There's nothing worse than starting a project and not finishing it.  Setting a deadline would force you to make the time.

4. Pay attention to details
This will separate your DIY project from looking like project.  It can be as simple as choosing the right paint color and finish or adding that little bling to make it from drab to fab.

{choosing the right color and high gloss finish for coffee table}

{choosing the right color gray for the DIY Inlay desk}

{adding nailhead trim to DIY headboard}

5.  When in doubt, phone a friend/ask a pro
Don't be afraid to ask for help especially when you are not comfortable doing it.When I laid down the vinyl flooring in our main floor bathroom,  I asked one of our neighbors, who's a plumber, to take out and put back the sink and toilet.

There you have it!  I hope I've convinced you to start your own DIY project.
My rule of thumb is this:  if there's a simple step by step how-to and it's within my comfort zone,  I'm there!!!
Also, don't get discouraged easily.  If you don't get it right the first time, try doing it again.  Learn from your mistakes.  Practice makes perfect.
Lastly, as you tackle more DIY projects, you build confidence and you slowly expand your limits. Before, I was scared to use a jigsaw and didn't know how to operate a sewing machine.  Not anymore!
So, never say never!

{DIY parson style upholstered bench}

DIY upholstered stool

Thanks again Nicole and Debbie for having me here today! I hope you guys get that well deserved vacation soon!

Hehe, I think that vacation is eluding us lady. Thanks again Charmaine for the amazing tips. I swear she makes it all look so easy and really, those are some pretty doable projects no? P.S. I'm secretly obsessed with that orange stool. It has orange, so of course I'd covet. Charmaine and other DIY savvy bloggers have inspired me to do a DIY project or two on our own design projects so I'm spray painting a curtain rod and some picture frames for a guest room project we're installing this weekend. What DIY project do you think you can tackle this weekend or for the upcoming holidays? Send us a before and after photo and we'll feature it in future posts.


  1. Charmaine is a DIY queen. Everything she does is fabulous! These tips are great.

  2. Charmaine doesn't give herself enough credit! These transformations are fabulous! And she offers some excellent advice. You would really be surprised at the things you can do. I think we beat ourselves up mentally before we get started. HAHAHA Excellent post!

  3. She is really a DIY Queen. She needs to claim her throne. It takes some major patience to do those projects!

  4. Ladies, you all are too sweet! I'm definitely not a DIY Queen. I just have the patience and am too cheap to hire a professional. ;)

  5. What a great post! I love these tips!!:) I think you are a DIY Queen!

  6. Totally convinced! All these DIY projects just took a special eye for design to turn something a bit drab into something gorgeous!

Holly Foxen Wells


  7. fantastic post Charmaine! I love that you just JUMP IN! and it's true, JUST TRY IT first, then if youre not happy you can have it done, but the more you try the better you get. Youre our inspiration!
    xo Nancy

  8. If Charmaine wasn't so darn nice, I would hate her. But, I love her too!! She is such a great resource of info on so many DIY things.


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