We moved in to our beloved Holly House last November and have finally moved into the DIY stage of our homeownership. This means that we are FINALLY unpacked all of the way (don’t judge- Megan was 8 months pregnant when we moved) and the house is reasonably clean. So we can finally start making it our own. That first coat of paint on the walls will let everyone know that we own this thing. No renters with paint deposits and limitations here. We’ll share DIYs and before/afters as we go, but we’ve already learned a few things that we thought we should let you know. Because after all, one of the great things about reading other people’s DIYs is being able to learn from their mistakes. So here’s to hoping you learn from ours.

When life gives you recorders...

1. If you are painting, make sure you buy plenty of paint stirrers. Otherwise you may end up having to use your 5-year-old’s toy recorder in the middle of the night (boy are we glad Eliza can’t read yet).

2. RustOleum’s magnetic primer spray paint DID NOT work for us. We had this big exciting project planned and spent quite a bit of time spraying on four coats of the dang stuff. It still is in no way shape or form magnetic (we promised we followed the directions to a “t”). Furthermore, the can got clogged about a million times so we spent more time un-clogging the spray paint can than we did actually painting. We can’t find it on their website, so maybe they stopped making because IT DOES NOT WORK. (Can you hear the frustration in our type?) We’re debating on whether or not to buy the non-spray version, but don’t really want to spend the $$ if we don’t know if it really works. Has anyone had any luck? We may just have to re-think the project.

3. Paint thinner does not help clean paint brushes. It just makes your bathroom stinky and you light headed. Jake would like you to know that this is only Megan’s mistake; he would never be this ditsy. In her defense, you would think that from the name that thinner would work for this purpose, though, right?

4. When spray painting, stand back for God’s sake. And spray the can in short bursts with tiny strokes instead of one continuous long stroke. Again, this is Megan’s fail. Jake is a spray-painting expert. If you’ve bought something in the shop that has been painted, there is a 99.9% chance that it is Jake that made your pretty goods. This all goes with the golden DIY rules of “be patient” and “take your time”. Not Megan’s best qualities (unless children are involved).

5. Measure twice. We have this rule down when it comes to cutting fabric at home, but for some reason it didn’t translate to our shopping lists. “Eyeballing it” does not cut it when buying supplies. Now Meg and her Mom will have to get creative piecing fabric for curtains because the two yards that “looked about right” didn’t cut it.

P.S. Here’s our Holly House Before post in case you want to see our home as a blank slate.