am I a bad DIYer if …

1 – I suck at painting?

living room front wall May 2014

Seriously, light colors are my friend, because then you can’t see the little white dots that poke through in some areas I didn’t paint completely.  As I’ve been hanging the living and dining room trim (I’m done, people, I. Am. Done!) I’ve found a ridiculous amount of those little white dots peeking through my paint job. Some I’ve fixed … and some I’ve convinced myself no one else will notice.  :)

2 – I don’t understand angles?

living room front door May 2014

Again, seriously, I have this little t-bevel thing (like this one) and I swear I am not using it properly, but most of the time it just works itself out anyway.  And we’ve been working with our fair share of random angles … don’t let it hold you back.  If I can make it work, you certainly can.  Honestly, I will mark and remark and make sliver cuts all day before I pretend to know how to measure an exact random angle.

3 – What if my tape measure lies to me?

living room side wall May 2014

I am serious.  I can measure the same wall three times and get different measurements each time.  Tell me I’m not the only one.  Lie to me if you have to.

4 – What if I need a drop cloth when I paint.  Always.

driftwood seahorse

I aspire to be one of those DIYers who is all “we don’t have drips, we don’t use drop cloths”.  But I’m not.  It just is what it is.  Splatters happen all over the place around here.  Maybe I have an aggressive painting style or something.  Maybe I should try my hand at some Pollock style art.  You know, work to my strengths.  😉

5 – And this one might just be the one.  I admire beautiful wood work and aspire to make perfect cuts and stain-quality pieces all of the time.  But I believe caulk is one of the best inventions ever.

pallet hook board

It covers up a wide array of DIY sins.  It has become quite the joke around here with Joel declaring “that’s nothing a little caulk can’t fix” for even ridiculously large gaps.  Yes, we speak in double negative.  :)

Easy for him to say since he wouldn’t know the first thing about working a caulk gun.  He just knows the caulk gun comes out and gaps and seams disappear.

living room May 2014

Anyway, the answer to all of these questions is no.

No.  I am not a bad DIYer.  I’m just not perfect.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t give it a good old college try. Many times I hope for the best and expect the worst and am always happy when things end up somewhere between.  From the girl who tends to say “good luck” as I’m getting ready to attach a piece of wood I have measured, marked and cut for any range of projects.  You know, good luck that it actually fits.  :)

Thank goodness perfection isn’t the goal in these parts.

And can we celebrate the fact that the living and dining room trim is finito!?!?  I just wanted to snap some pictures of the current state, since it’s about to get whack up in here as we empty out the current closet to get started with demolition of the master bedroom /bathroom/closet.  It’s not nearly a “furnished” room but I did recently acquire that cool driftwood seahorse at a local shop and those three galvanized tins at a yard sale – I think they’re going to end up in the master bathroom on the open shelves of the vanity.  Maybe.

I don’t know what I should do with the wall above the tv, any thoughts?  Leave empty?  Hang the old oars?  I bet you have the perfect idea?

You know those pups are beloved around here, those DIY canvas silhouettes were one of my first projects on the blog.  I don’t know if they’ll live in the living room forever, but don’t try to tell me two old dogs sleeping with their silhouettes in the background don’t make you smile.  I won’t believe you.  :)

And check in on the all of the upgrades we’ve made so far in the living room.

don't stress the small stuff - here are 5 skills (that people always talk about) that you DON'T need to be a good DIYer

And now head on over to Remodelaholic to check out my latest post about some pretty incredibly creative container garden ideas!

creative container garden ideas


  1. Sue says

    Love that seahorse! And the seas the day. Too cute! I would put something over the tv. (But look at me–3years and the wall over the love seat is STILL blank. Lol)
    The house looks awesome. Pat yourself on the back, my friend. :)

    • says

      I would but my shoulders hurt too much to reach back there. You’d be proud of me, I’ve been giving myself little neck massages. I learned from a trained professional. :) xo

  2. says

    Confession: I cannot cut in paint to save my life. I use the heck out of blue painter’s tape and I still get bleed through. I don’t care. Paint is cheep. :)

    The place looks GREAT! I’d leave the TV wall as is. Sometimes I like the openness of a vacant wall, and as it is accents the gorgeous ceiling.

  3. says

    these are so fun- i am only good at painting and don’t need a drop cloth. but give me some angles, or throw some technical terms my way and i will melt into a ball of furniture wax….. when people start telling me about build projects etc all i can hear is charlie brown’s parents and NONE of it registers.

  4. Larry Lewis says

    A perfect DIY’er? If you were perfect you’d be a professional! Wear your DIY label proudly.

    I have a friend who is a professional painter – his motto is “caulk is a painter’s best friend.” Not just for DIY’ers, Karah.

    Drop clothes – get some from Home Depot and don’t worry about drips and splatters. When you’re ready the cloth will make great slip covers for your outdoor furniture. And I’ll bet you get admiring comments.

    Nobody – NOBODY – will notice the pinholes. You will because you micro-inspect your work. They all just blend, and soon even you won’t see them.

    Doing DIY sets you above 99% of the people who will talk about DIY but never try it.

    • says

      Your last sentence made me laugh out loud. We have so many friends that come to the house and say “you are a doer, I just talk about doing stuff like this”. hahaha Thank you, as always, for the support. Hope you’re having a great weekend!

  5. says

    Hurray for you Karah! Things are shaping up. I too can measure over and over and over again and still not get it right. I often wonder what skill “they” have that I don’t have that allows others to get things perfect. If I waited till perfect I would have no projects. None. Over the TV? I was thinking long and horizontal, so oars would be perfect. That is a great space for you to start a bulky Key West/beach/nautical/ocean tochke wall. Heck, you could hand a whole canoe up there!

    • says

      DUDE! I told Joel the other day that I wanted to make an old, rustic looking wood canoe to put up there. He just shook his head. lol

  6. Sheryl says

    Looks amazing. I’m totally going to replicate the Seas the Day sign over my back door. You will know when to put something over the TV. You will see something and know that it belongs there. Don’t put something up just to have something there. There should be purpose. Obviously, you know this, as I’ve seen your decor and it’s pretty amazing. Oars are a great idea, but only if you’re in love with the idea. I’ve put some things up over the years, only to come back and do it all over again, because I didn’t take my time in the placement.

    Above all, have fun! And I think that you do!!
    Sheryl from Boston

    • says

      Thank you so much, Sheryl (from Boston!!). I really appreciate the reminder to just wait for the right idea to hit me. Sometimes it’s hard not to feel like I need to get something up there since the large blank space is staring me down, but waiting for just the right thing is definitely the smart way to go!

  7. says

    Lol — we are totally kindred spirits! Just painted my family room this morning and had to cover everything because I’ve been known to have a snafu or two. :) Love that seahorse! And your space is looking AH-MAZ-ING!
    xo Heidi

    • says

      Thank you, Heidi! Glad I’m not the only one who needs the ol’ drop cloth. I may or may not have paint splatters around that I just pretend aren’t there. :)

  8. Mindy says

    I totally agree with all your points, unfortunately I live with my sister who is a perfectionist and it’s her house. I’m remodeling the basement for my own space and fortunately she let’s me do anything I want down there, but I can’t even suggest putting up a shelf upstairs without her freaking out.

  9. says

    Karah, I just found your blog. I am in love with it! Everything you make is just beautiful. I’m especially in love with this room. I want to do my laundry room with a coastal feel. I’ve thought about using a light aqua color, but am just afraid to commit. When I saw your “Seas the Day” sign, I had to click through. I’m in LOVE with the color on the walls here, it feels warmer than an aqua. Can you tell me what color you used, pretty please?

    • says

      Hi Alissa, thank you so much for such a nice comment. The color of the walls is Sherwin Williams Rainwashed mixed 50% lighter using Behr paint. I have tried a lot of different light aquas and this one seems to be just the right amount of blue and green combined!

  10. says

    Hello Karah, I love your post here. I love that you have confidence to talk about what can go wrong during DIY projects. I’ve done quite a few myself, and I’ve had days when I think know one else can possibly be as goofy as I am about this stuff. Yes, paint splatters! And, there are multiple trips to the hardware store, lots of touch-ups, screwed-up angles, painting when it’s 90 degrees, and some swearing. But, there are other times I totally fake something, and it totally works! Of course, the best thing is when something is finally finished! I came in from fitting a pane of glass into a window frame of my garage – took me an hour in rain. I came inside and read your post…you made my day! Dannie

    • says

      Hey Dannie! Thanks so much for the comment. I’m glad I’m not the only one who tends to have a little something go awry with pretty much every project. If we’ve learned one lesson throughout the years it is that everything takes longer than we think it’s going to. Whether it’s from our own error, lack of knowledge, or the inevitable extra trips to the hardware store. Hope you’re enjoying the new window in your garage!!

Let me know what you think!