Free shipping on orders over $100! (Continental US only)

diy paint

All Funked Out!!

Every once in a while you get to do something for yourself and don’t care what anybody thinks!!!  Well, here is one of those pieces, my funky little end table 🙂

I picked up a pair of these super cute end tables on the side of the road…  Don’t you love it when you find something and it’s FREE?? Yeah?? Me too!!

As usual, they sat around my studio (for many months I might add) until I found a moment to get started.  You know, that dreaded prep time…  I hate sanding, have I said that enough?  LOL!!  I need to find a studio assistant (ASAP!!) to do all this prep work for me!!  But, this piece went out the back door and received a good sanding and cleanup.  Yup, the spider webs and all had to go!! Oh the things you get to deal with during prep.

Now, the fun started and yes I think the primer is fun! Or at least the assurance it gives me to know that my paint will adhere and may prevent any bleed through.  Then… the real FUN began and it was time to break out the DIY Paints!!!  WooHoo… and of course the fun colors 🙂

Talk about a fun palette to use: Old 57, Mermaid Tail, Kissing Booth and Cowgirl Coral … I love getting to play with all these colors.

I started the base with Old 57 and Mermaid Tail – haphazardly applying both at the same time, using a little water to blend the colors.  You can add water to your brush or use a spray bottle and mist.  Once the base was dry, I decided to get a little crazy with my colors and basically dry brush on both the Kissing Booth and Cowgirl Coral.  I really didn’t try to blend these two colors, just more of a random application.

Then on to some pattern and design!  Breaking out my stencils and rollers here 🙂  Don’t you just love adding pattern with stencils? It is such a fun and easy technique to add so much character to a project!

I stencilled the Hampton Medallion pattern randomly and in a distressed look.  Not trying to define all the detail and letting it be faded in the background design.  I stencilled with Americana Acrylics – Sea Breeze and Desert Turquoise (these colors were a close match to the Old 57 and Mermaid Tail).

Once all the stenciling was accomplished, I decided to randomly roll on the Chrysanthemum pattern.  I brushed the paint onto the roller using the Kissing Booth and Cowgirl Coral (at the same time) and just rolled where ever I felt I wanted a little more interest.

This beautiful piece was protected with the Final Coat wipe on varnish.  This stuff is amazing and so easy, just wipe it on with a staining pad.  It dries really fast because you are wiping it on super thin and I just layer about 3 to 4 coats depending on the surface and use!!  Super cool stuff 🙂

Painting is one of my passions and it’s so fun to just let the artist in you out and have fun with a project.  Nothing to match, no one’s opinion, just letting your creativity explode!!

Project Materials:

DIY Paints: Old 57, Mermaid Tail, Kissing Booth, Cowgirl Coral

Chrysanthemum Roller

Hampton Medallion Stencil

Primer  ** affiliate link, no extra cost to you, I will just make a couple dollars **

Americana Acrylic Paints: Sea Breeze, Desert Turquoise  ** affiliate links, no extra cost to you, I will just make a couple dollars **

Final Coat

Getting Funky with some Painted Jeans

So call me a little Funky, a throwback to the 70’s or whatever… BUT I love my painted Jeans!

Talk about fun!!  They are fun to wear and even more fun to paint!!  So grab yourself some jeans and if you don’t have any to paint, head to your favorite Good Will (or your favorite thrift store) store to find a pair at a great price!  This is even a great idea for some practice and playing around.  I picked up several pairs for only $5 to $7 each!!


I love using my rollers to paint on the jeans (I’m currently looking for a denim jacket for another project) and both of the rollers styles can be used.  But for the most consistent application, I like to use the Stamping Rollers.

When using the rollers for painting on fabric there are a few things that you need to know first.  Many different paints can be used, but I have found that fabric paints do work the best.  The main reason is that you are only rolling the paint over the fabric and not working it into the fibers so we need something that is meant for fabric painting.

Even spray a light mist of water over the area you are going to paint – this will help the paint to soak into the fabric.  Make sure to allow the paint to dry for the recommended time and then heat set.  Heat setting can be done several ways: you can bake them in an oven on low, throw them in the dryer for about 30 minutes on high heat or iron using a pressing cloth.  All these methods will work for heat setting the paint.

I have used Plaid Fabric Paint and have also used DIY Paints, General Finishes Milk Paint with adding a Fabric Medium to both of them… BUT the Fabric Paint did wash the best.

So get out your rollers and a pair of those old jeans hanging in your closet and make some wearable art!!

Come on girls, get funky with me!!!

Ins & Outs of Debi’s Design Diary DIY Paint

If you know me at all, you know that I LOVE DIY Paint!!

Let me tell you why I love this paint so much and how to use it.

First off, it is all natural and that makes me a happy person considering I’m in it a lot and sometimes, it’s all over me! LOL! Also, this product only has 9 ingredients and has absolutely NO VOCs!!

Second, it’s a little thicker than most paints on the market and holds its form. This is called tooling, meaning it will hold your brush stroke or for me, it holds the roller pattern. I love that I can brush on one generous coat and roll my patterned rollers through the paint and the pattern stays without self-leveling. It’s also thicker than most paints so that I gain a little texture and depth from the roller patterns. This is great for your wax or glazes to set down in and add even more depth to your project!

Third, the colors! I can’t say enough about the color selection!! I’m in love with this palette and they mix so well together to make new colors I want! Yes, I know that I have been a little stuck on the Teal palette, but how can you go wrong with Mermaid Tail, Seaglass and Old 57? They are just fabulous 🙂

So, let’s move on to some techniques you can do with these paints 🙂

Creating a “smooth” finish can be achieved with the following methods:

Option #1 – Wet your brush first with water, but not dripping. This will allow your paint to be a little diluted and thinned out. After several brush strokes, dip you brush into water again and brush back over that area you just painted.

Option #2 – Pour some paint into a separate container and add a small amount of water and mix thoroughly until you have created a thinner consistency. Make sure it is not too watery. The DIY Paint is highly pigmented and this will not affect the color with the little amount of water added.

Use either technique for applying your paint and apply 2 to 3 coats of paint, allowing each coat to dry completely between layers. Also, you will need to sand with a fine sandpaper or a paper bag between coats to smooth out any unwanted texture or brush strokes. You will need to finish with either DIY Wax or Big Top to protect the paint.

Creating a “textured” finish can be achieved with the following methods:

I love how thick DIY Paint is straight out of the can and how easily it can build texture on any surface. Just apply paint directly to the surface from the can, using less if any water at all. Apply your strokes in one direction or in an “X” pattern.

When the first coat of paint has dried completely, you can apply a second coat using the same color or a different color. Paint on the second coat using the same brush strokes, creating even more texture.

For some extreme texture, get out your putty knife and dig into the paint in places before the last coat has dried completely.  This will expose the colors underneath and create a very weathered worn look.  You can also use the putty knife to apply colors randomly by pouring some paint into another container and allowing it to sit out for a while and thicken up!

Again, you will want to finish off with either DIY Wax or Big Top.

The possibilities are endless!!  Let your creative spirit fly and make a masterpiece with these amazing paints!  You can check out the complete line on my website, in my studio or my second location in San Clemente, California, La Casa Verde de Granada!

Be Blessed and Paint!!


The Old Oak Table

Here is the story behind my “new” dining room table.  This table has been in my family for about 60 years!!!  My parents bought this table shortly after they were married and I grew up at this table, enjoying some fabulous meals, as well as some tough meals that I didn’t think were so fabulous (sorry Mom!). I was a picky eater and just didn’t like a lot of food growing up, so some of those meals were not my favorite. HAHA!

But there are some great memories with this table for me and I’m so glad that my Mom finally let me have it. It took her a couple years to part ways with it and give it to me, but she finally did!

It is a solid oak table and really heavy, so the boys have done all the moving.  I started my process with the help of Hunter, getting this heavy thing moved out to the alley for a good sanding and clean-up!  I will have to admit, as I started sanding the top of the table I decided to leave some of the marks/memories.  Most of these were created by my sister and me, and with my sister already gone, I decided that our marks/scratches/memories were going to remain.  This way when someone makes a new one, it will just fit in with all the history of the table.

While growing up, the table was usually in the 54″ round. I sure don’t remember using the leafs too many times, but with my large family, I decided to max the area the table would be and add as many leaves as possible.  This table is rather large, but it is nice to have room for everyone and then some!!

As always, this baby was primed with my favorite primer, XIM Bonding Primer. One full coat on all sections of the table, leaves, and base.

At first, I thought I was going to use two different colors and blend as I was painting, but I have to admit I didn’t like the way it was coming out. So I just mixed the two colors together and created a custom color.  The colors I used are from the DIY Paint collection: Weathered Wood and Black Velvet (approximately 70/30).  This custom color was painted on all sections with two complete coats.

Once the base painting was complete, it was time to have some fun with one of my newest stencils: Passionate Paisley.  I wanted the stenciling to be somewhat faded and uneven, a little more old and worn look.  This was accomplished with the DIY Paint Black Velvet and one of my 1″ Stencil brushes.  I also used some Extender to keep the paint moving smoothly.  I tried to keep an uneven hand, which is harder than it sounds when using the DIY Paint because it dries lighter, so it was hard to determine if I had enough color or not until it was dry.

I also ordered a couple of custom stencil Bible Verses for the “skirt” of the table.  I had enough room to have two different verses created, one on each end.  “Say What Stencils” created these for me, so that I could choose the font style and size I was needing for this specific project.  This makes lettering way easier than writing something out letter by letter.  I used American DecoArt Acrylic Paints Ion Laguna for the Bible Verses.

These stencils are a little different to work with because they are a one-time-use stencil.  They are cut out of masking material and the vinyl stencil is sandwiched between a backing and a clear vinyl material. It’s best to watch my video for complete detailed instructions on how to install these. But you basically tape it into position, remove the backing material, smooth down onto your surface area and then very carefully remove the top clear vinyl leaving the stencil in position to paint. Just watch the video below for a complete walk-through on this!

The base of the table was painted in Black Velvet for a slight contrast to the table top, then I applied several layers of top coat to protect all of the stenciling and color.  I used the Final Coat Low-Gloss and did about 8 to 10 layers, I lost count!! This is an easy-to-use wipe-on varnish that is hard and durable. The more layers the more durable it becomes and this is a dining room table that is used every day for several meals, so I wanted to make sure it would hold up.

This table was such a fun project for me and I am so glad I get to sit at a piece of history with so many memories each day! Can’t wait for the next family piece I get to do next!

List of Materials:

DIY Paint

XIM Bonding Primer

Stencil Brushes


Final Coat



Transformation of a Great Buy

You know how excited you get when you find the perfect piece for your home?  That’s how my customer felt when she found this piece! It was perfect for her bedroom!

The desk (dresser), chair, and round mirror were what Debbie had been hunting for and she finally found the right size that would fit in her master bedroom.  Now it was time to decide on the palette for the transformation of this project. Debbie and I brainstormed together and came up with the perfect color combo from her bedding and a painting!

Now it was time to figure out the finish that I would accomplish. Since this was a project on Debbie’s list for some time she had collected pictures of different furniture pieces that she liked. With the palette and inspiration photos, it was time for me to get to work.



I brought all the pieces to my studio which gave me the perfect space to work on everything for Debbie. The fun began with sanding and cleaning. NOT my favorite part of any project, but necessary for correct preparation! Once everything was cleaned up, I created the Custom base coat (this was a green/khaki color) and I applied two coats for a good primer base. Once dry, I then created another custom color, matching the Red from Debbie’s painting. I used Debi’s Design Diary DIY Paints Carnival Red and Summer Crush to achieve this custom color (it was about 60% Summer Crush and 40% Carnival Red).IMG_3780

I painted everything Custom Red and applied two coats for an even opaque coverage.  I then went back and made my perfect paint job look old and worn. This was accomplished by using wet cheesecloth to wipe through where I wanted to expose the base color. There are several different techniques for rubbing through depending on the look you want to achieve. I recommend practicing on a sample piece of molding.


The distressing takes a little time when you want it to look authentic. Once I accomplished all the distressing, I glazed with Modern Masters Glaze tinted with an Umber colorant to deepen the colors. Then I applied Clear and Dark wax to enhance the aging process.

I totally LOVE working with the DIY Paints paints!  Many different looks can be accomplished with very little effort.

Painted Chairs – An Addiction

So I wrote a book!! YES, I have written a couple of books actually!!  Painted Chairs was my first book and I have a total obsession with painting them!!

I had been painting chairs for a while and actually did a segment on the Carol Duvall Show with one of my chairs (this is how the book idea started).  Everyone is assigned to a producer when you are a guest on the show and my producer suggested that I write a book on my chairs.  Honestly, I had never thought to write a book at this point and I’m not sure I would have thought to write a book on painted chairs ever! LOL!

But the idea had been planted and the lead to a publisher had been provided!  Now, to somehow land the “book deal” meant really getting their attention and what better way than to send them a chair!!  I’m sure no one had ever sent them a painted chair before and how could they ignore me if I did that.  Well, it worked!! I got their attention and landed my first book deal!

You talk about exciting!! WOW!! I landed a book deal!!

But, now it was time to start painting and writing and painting and writing.  I really do love the painting more than the writing, but once you get in the grove, the words seem to flow better.

Painting the chairs was so much fun and they really started to take on a personality of their own.  I loved figuring out the design and color palette and putting them all together.  This book really shows a variety of style, colors and patterns!!!

Painted Chairs is no longer in print, but you can pick up a copy on Amazon! It may be used but still a great book full of inspiration!

I have also inspired many others to paint chairs! I have hosted several classes at my studio for creatives to make & paint their own chairs.

Go find yourself a chair or two and have some fun!!

Art brushes

Acrylic Paints

Painted Chairs book