DIY House Flip in Revloc, PA

Flipping houses can be a dream for avid DIYers.  It also comes with a lot of hard work, vision, and the ability to pivot through unforeseen problems in the process.  Jill Sikora, owner of Nailed It® DIY Studio in Phoenixville, PA, is one of those hard working DIYers that takes her passion to the next level with house flipping. We were so excited to see her latest flip, we wanted to share it with you.  We asked Jill to share details of her flip with us here, in her own words.  Take it away, Jill!
”Home design has always been a passion for Jake and I, whether renovating our own home or flipping a diamond in the rough.  We were so excited when an opportunity presented itself to flip a home in the area we both grew up in.  Revloc, PA is an old mining town founded back in 1917, and consists of about 200 homes, most of which were updated over and over again throughout the years.  The 1,100 sq foot home we purchased had not been updated since the 1980’s.
The first floor layout consisted of small closed off rooms, drop ceilings, paneling, a small bathroom, and a kitchen the size of a closet.  The upstairs had 3 bedrooms, but only 1 with a closet.  The exterior had faded vinyl siding, rotting roof, and a closed in porch begging to be opened up again.  A complete gut job was in order!
After peeling back the layers of paneling, carpet, vinyl floor, lath and plaster, we couldn’t be more pleased with the completed renovations!  The new first floor open concept provides a large farmhouse kitchen with sight lines throughout the entire living space.  Other spacial changes are an enlarged bathroom, and the addition of closets in the secondary bedrooms.  On the outside, we replaced the roof, siding and deck, and opened up the front porch.  (I am so in love with the front porch!).  And how about that yellow front door?!?!”
How about that yellow front door, Jill?!  We love it too.  The transformation into a practical updated home is amazing.  And history will continue to live on in this house for many more generations to come.
Do you enjoy flipping houses, or DIY projects? Share with us on our VIP Crew page.  We would love to learn more!
Visit Jill in her studio in Phoenixville, PA.

Modern Farmhouse Porch Paint Tutorial

It’s that time of the year to bring outdoor spaces to life! What about your front porch entry? Shannon has transformed the entry to her home in some amazing ways.  The most standout change was painting and stenciling the porch floor.  And, guess what, she will show you how to do it too!

STEP 1: Prepare your space. You will need to assume this space will be cleared from traffic for a few hours a day and that anything cleared off your porch will not be put back for the length of the project time you take!

Power washing is the best way to clean concrete and as a boost in cleaning, I used a concrete cleaner as well. Once the space is thoroughly cleaned, be sure to give it time to fully dry. I chose to protect my brick by using painters tape around the edges. Do not try and be perfect with your edging because concrete does not offer sharp clean edges in some spots and it looks less organic when the lines are perfect.

STEP 2: Prime the surface. Using a concrete primer, you will coat the entire surface evenly. (time lapse showing me cutting in with primer, then rolling it. The white stuff is the primer but it dries so fast and clear, I could barely tell where I had already painted.) Cut the edges first so that you can just pour the paint directly on the surface and roll in out. Tip: Use a roller extender. Do not bend over trying to roll this project. Let the primer completely dry. I believe in letting primer cure for at least 24 hours.

STEP 3: Repeat the same steps using your base color paint. Apply this thick enough to not need a second coat. I used a trim brush to push the paint into the split lines which made that easier! Let this coat dry completely, which was about 2 hours. Remove any tape you used around the edges.

STEP 4: To begin, lay all of your products out on a big piece of cardboard. This helped so much to keep everything in one place on a surface that I could just drag around the porch as needed! Decide where you want to start. I chose the back right corner. You may want to lay the stencil down a few times to see how your pattern will end around the ends and edges to ensure the design makes sense, equally. My stencil did not have a definite start or finish to the pattern, so I just went with it to keep from getting too obsessive over it!

If you are anything like me, and have a hard time keeping accurate, straight lines, go ahead and use a piece of chalk to draw a straight line directly down the entire porch floor from one end to the other and use that as your guide each time you start a new row. Most likely, your porch is not straight, so you could drive yourself nuts if you don’t take a few minutes to plan ahead.

Lay your stencil down to begin and use blue painter’s tape around the entire border. I did not use adhesive spray because the deep texture of my porch. Shannon’s Tip: Lay a large piece of tinfoil on your cardboard and tape it down. This will be used to wrap your roller in for later use.  You can place it in the fridge to keep it from drying out when you take a break. wink, wink! Pour a small amount of paint and let your roller soak that right up. Roll excess paint out on the cardboard or a piece of paper towel to ensure there are no thick drips of paint left on the roller. Lightly roll over the entire surface of the stencil, being careful not to press too hard. Let the first coat dry fully before moving to the second coat. (I used a hairdryer at one point because my patience does not do well with paint drying). If you have any deep concrete pores, you can also use a stencil brush to push that paint into it, but do not try and “press” your roller into it or it will just bleed paint under your stencil.

This next part will make or break you! Take a step back and admit this to yourself. “My coverage will not be perfectly even. There will be edges that are not perfectly crisp because I am stenciling on concrete and the surface is porous and not perfectly flat. Everything will be okay. I am fine”

Back to stenciling. Shannon’s Tip: After you rolled your second or third coat, depending on what you like, pull your entire stencil up without letting it “slide” on your newly stenciled floor. Take the stencil and lay it down on your cardboard piece and drag it around a few times to wipe the wet paint off the back of the stencil that may have gone through when you were rolling. This tip was what kept me from moving spots and drips around the floor that had bled through the stencil. You always want to lay a dry stencil down each time.

Carefully line up your stencil, moving in short rows while repeating the process many, many times! Once you have finished all the parts that allow you to lay a full stencil down, you can either maneuver the stencil around the edges or cut your stencil up for smaller sections to use around those edges. Because I can not handle many imperfections in my DIY, I did take a small paint brush and touched up a few spots around the edges to make myself feel better. Always assume your dark color is your touch up paint since it hides the lighter color better than the lighter color would hide the darker color.

Keep the surface clean and dry for about 2 hours and either consider the job done or wash the surface with a mild soap if needed, let it dry and roll a clear, matte concrete sealer on top.

Supplies List: 1. Perma-Crete Primer.  2. Floor and Porch Paint. 3. Roller. 4. Stencils*

Are you ready for a transformation on your own front porch or patio?!  Share your projects with us on the Nailed It® DIY Crew Facebook Page.  Don’t forget to join us in the studio so you can accent your outdoor spaces with personalized decor!  There is something for every one and every space at Nailed It®.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Nailed It will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and believe will add value to our fans. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

New Release: Nursery

Celebrate our newest release centered around the little ones in our lives.  Create a custom nursery, find the perfect gift for a new parent, mark milestones of growth, honor new adoptions, or even book at baby shower party in our studio.  


We hope to see you in the studio soon!  Don’t forget, Nailed It® offers Take and Make project kits for you to create in the comfort of your own home.

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Beyond the Barn Doors: Milestones and Memories

If you reached deep into the proverbial pockets of a lifetime, what would you pull out? What memories would float to the top superseding all others? Would it be a birth, a wedding, or a memory of a loved one? How would you keep that memory alive? How could you create something physical as a daily reminder of the love, comfort, and joy this memory brought to you in your life?  While these answers are personal for each individual, one special bride found a way to commemorate a loss to her husband-to-be within their wedding.

The year before Kelsie and Ionut Pupazan were to be married, Ionut’s mom passed away.  As you can imagine, she was a very special person in Ionut’s life.  Kelsie missed her too.  The excitement and joy of their upcoming wedding was palpable, but so was the fact Ionut’s mom would not be able to attend.  Kelsie wanted to do give something special to Ionut so he knew his mom’s spirit would always be with them.  They were not only joining in marriage, but also in the commemoration of his mom that they could hold dear in their lifetime together. 

Ionut’s mom always read to him when he was younger and made him read a lot as well.  It was this love of reading that a mom passed down to her son and one that Kelsie was about to etch into their memories as a married couple.  One special poem by Rudyard Kipling stood out to her that Ionut’s mom would read to him.  Kay Flick with Nailed It® DIY Studios in Rock Hill, SC helped Kelsie design and emblazon the memory of Ionut’s mom onto a wood sign. It would become a custom piece for their home and lifetime together.

Every weeded letter, every paint stroke, gave more and more meaning to the new memory they were creating.  It would commemorate a lifetime of someone special and a beginning to something new.

Kelsie presented the wood sign to Ionut at their rehearsal dinner and in an instant, his mom was there.  She was always there, but now they have a reminder that in their hearts she will stay.

Memories are yours.  They are fond moments, exceptional people, and even funny quotes.  It is the connections we make with other people and even places that make us feel good, supported and joined.  At Nailed It®, special moments are remembered into custom creations.  Join us, it all happens Beyond the Barn Doors.

Defining Spaces

How do you define spaces in your home? In the day and age of open floor plans, using intention in your design plan is essential.  You must intentionally arrange, separate, group and create focal points to define spaces that not only create uniques spaces but also enable flow from space to space throughout your home.

One major way to define spaces in your home is with construction.  You can build walls, use different flooring for different spaces, drop ceilings or even add architectural beam supports.  But how do we define spaces in a less dramatic and more affordable way?

Color is the easiest way to define spaces and create niches within your home.  Black kitchens are one of this year’s hot new trends.  Painting kitchen cabinets black or islands that connect into the family room for example gives distinction in open floor plans without putting up any walls. Not only that, it engages the eye with clear distinctions of the flow in your home from one space to another.

Wallpaper is not going away any time soon.  It is a wonderful way to accent a wall in a space or even a ceiling.  It can add drama, texture or change the visual size of a room depending on the design and its orientation.  Did you see what kind of wall covering Shannon Evans used to define a space behind closed doors? Check out last week’s Nailing your Life by Misty and Shannon for more details.


Lighting can be so much fun to use to differentiate one space from another.  The size, shape and style all play a part in this function.  You can use it to define reading nooks with low level hanging or task lights.  Or, create drama with an extraordinary chandelier to define an eating space.  Lights radiate down and out and can define the area the light touches.

Eliminate traditional room dividers with the use of rugs.  Define living room areas, dining spaces, hallways, offices and so much more.  Intentionally use size and shape that fits these spaces.  Use the same color or existing pattern in your home to create a cohesive flow and harmonious living.  While rugs define spaces, they also need to tie into your design theme. And, don’t be afraid to layer rugs for interest!

Furniture can actually create “walls” in an open floor plan or within one space.  It can be done with couches, a set of chairs, or a dining table for example.  But, ultimately, how you group them will determine the definition of space.  Within a living room, you may have the couch facing the TV wall, a set of chairs next to the fireplace and a desk in one corner with your computer.  Within one space, you can create these three distinct areas…TV viewing, fireside chats, and a functional office space. Intentional placement and sometimes using every corner of a room can create all of the “spaces” you need in your home.

At the end of the day, the most important factor in defining spaces in your home is personalizing them.  What makes you happy? What are some things you enjoy in your home?
If you are a coffee lover, how about dedicating a coffee bar in your home with a piece of furniture or counter space that may be available?  Infuse your personality with your favorite mugs, coffee, and even wood signs.  Look what studio owner Margie Dotson in Orlando, FL has done in her own home with a dual purpose personalized coffee and cocktail bar in her home. Genius!
Is your bedroom your favorite retreat?  How would you define a space for comfort while infusing your own style?  Studio owner Kristy Flores in Jacksonville, FL has done a wonderful job displaying a special family photo above the bed adding texture and interest to the wall. This not only adds interest to the room but tells a comforting story about her lifestyle and what makes her happy.
And how many of us love the outdoors? Missy Cramer, studio owner from Summerville, SC, obviously enjoys her outdoor space with her family! Look at the infusion of color and design she chose in this tropical design featured in her outdoor space.  Colorful, personalized, and engaging!

What types of spaces have you defined within your home? Inspire us!  Share photos of your spaces with our creative community on our VIP Facebook Page.

DIY Home Renovation Tips

Would you like to renovate your home, but have no idea where or how to start? We have been following Shana Shivel @brickhousereno for the past month and the amazing progress she has made on her own home. And, she has tackled it all by herself from coordinating sub-contractors to choosing raw materials to moving load bearing walls and framing in new ones. We sat down with her to discover what it really takes to accomplish a whole house renovation and tips on tackling a renovation of your own.

Question and Answer Have you renovated many homes? Do you need a background in design or construction to renovate a home? I have renovated several homes in the area in the past 10 years including two of my own and a rental property. I do not have a background in construction but have worked in the design and creative services industry throughout my career. I started in marketing/advertising and migrated to graphic design and special events.

What are your best tips in acting as your own contractor?
My best tips are plan ahead as far as possible, expect that things will not go perfectly and get help from the experts when you need it!
What kind of time commitment is involved when you act as your own contractor?
The time commitment for acting as your own GC is very heavy. It is a full time job to plan the spaces, hire the contractors/subs, purchase materials and so on. I do think it is easier to utilize your favorite online shops to cut down on visiting store after store to find what you like. I do always try to order as many samples as possible too so you can avoid design mistakes later on.
If I want to start tackling my own renovation project, what is the best room in the house to start?
I think the best room to start is a master bedroom or even a laundry room. Start small with a space that you do not have to move electrical, plumbing to build confidence and experience.
How did you organize your whole house renovation? Where do you start to find sub-contractors?
I used spreadsheets to help organize my renovation. To find subs, I searched online groups on Facebook and asked friends and colleagues (that I trust) whom to use. Also, the tile shops and counter suppliers will sometimes refer subs to you. Ask for referrals and pictures of their work.
What is your favorite renovation project to date? (Project within a home)
My favorite one to date was my previous home’s kitchen remodel. I took an outdated, strange layout with two non load bearing columns and an unusable peninsula and made a very large island with room for plenty of seating, a microwave drawer and plenty of storage. We added a bench seat and a cased opening and it was perfect!
What is the biggest risk you have made with biggest reward/impact in renovation?
I think my biggest risk was using outdoor copper lanterns as my kitchen pendants. They were a huge investment and something I had not seen used indoors before but they made the biggest impact.
How do you choose your design elements? Do you look at magazines, Pinterest, Houzz….basically where does your inspiration come from?
I choose my design elements by researching Pinterest, visiting models of homes that I love, Instagram, Houzz and just browsing tile and fabric shops. I am a huge fan of taking something you love whether it be a piece of art, rug, fabric or architectural element and using that as inspiration.
Have you ever thought about helping other homeowners renovate their homes professionally?
I have and would love to do so!
What advice would you give someone that wants to renovate their own home? Pros/cons?
The advice I would give would be to not be constrained by your current layout if it bothers you. Start researching ideas and layouts/design elements that you love and fits your lifestyle and wishes. Also, sometimes the smallest changes can make the biggest impact-paint, lights, new fabrics, even adding trim to a boring wall will make it more custom to your style. I would also say to do what you love. So many times we are afraid to use a color or design element (tile, etc…) because it is not the safe bet but in the end you have to love it and live in your home.
-stay in your current location
-build on your equity
-incorporate custom elements
-very time consuming
-unexpected expenses
-difficult to manage alone
Thanks for all of the great tips, Shana! We can’t wait for you to inspire us even more with your finished details!
Do you think a house renovation is in your future?


Builder Grade Fireplace Makeover

The mantle in a home is usually one of the main focal points in a family gathering space.  What if you have a builder grade option in your home that is an eyesore to your style and sacrifices the comfort of your home?!  You are in luck, Shannon will show you below just how she made the change in her own home, and it is amazing!

Typically, there is a build out structure that includes trimming, accents and a shelf. Everything needs to be removed, down to the base structure. This should leave only the top half and bottom half surround.

You may get lucky and have a gap in between the top structure and bottom structure, which is what my shelf fit perfectly inside. If you don’t have that gap, your box may just require a little more support in the end, but can still mimic this look. 

It will take some reconstruction work after you have removed all of that boring builder grade junk that includes sanding down the base where any damage occurred during the removal. I would suggest an 80 grit as a first run. Once you have sanded it down, you will need to layer two or three coats of spackle over the surface. 

Once this dries, use a 150-220 grit palm sander to smooth it back out. Be sure to vacuum and wipe every bit of dust off before moving on to the painting part. If you think it doesn’t look smooth, do another layer until you do.

Do not paint directly over your spackle. You must use a primer so that it looks smoother and cleaner. 

Building your mantle: This is done as a separate build that is later attached to the fireplace base. 

  1. Measure the length that your mantel will be, carefully considering any corners and the depth you will need the mantel to fit into. Note:  I chose to use a 1×8 size for the top piece and 1×6 for the front piece so that after the shelf went into the crack, I still had enough depth space to place things on my mantle.
  2. You will build a half box with the top and front pieces being exactly the same cut length, but different widths. 
  3. The side pieces will be cut to fit inside the half box as seen in the photos. Use wood glue and nail gun for assembly.
  4. Your underside piece of wood width will vary depending on what you need to work around, but should the same length as the rest of the half box. See photos below. 
  5. Test your fit! If it is perfect, then move on to the next steps.
  6. Sand down the entire build smooth and dust off.
  7. Paint or stain. We used a provincial color minwax stain. 
  8. Paint your surrounding base as we did here. You will see, I started with a navy, and decided I didn’t love it, and went to grey.
  9. Determine where you can screw the box securely into the remaining fireplace base. Our screws went into the top down. The brackets offer just a little more support.

  1. The way you build the underside of your box will vary depending on your mantle. As you can see with ours, we needed there to be a space to account for the fireplace base. It does not need to be perfectly matched up flush, but at least enough to hold the tops of your corbels. (see photo)
  2. We did need to add a spacer for the space between the remaining fireplace base and the thickness of our box so that when it slid into the space, the gap was lifted. 
  3. Stain your brackets to match your new mantle or any color you wish!


Supply List: 

Wood Brackets, Provincial Stain, Paint Color- SW Urban Bronze, Spackle, Wood- 1×6 & 1×8 Eastern Pine- Any wood can be used        (may contain affiliate links)

Let us know if you tackle this project yourself! We would love to see your own style at work!


DIY Apple Votives for Entertaining

Who is ready for Holiday Entertaining?!  If you fall short on your tablescape planning, we have a last minute DIY solution.  It’s easy, inexpensive, and you can use things you already have around the house!

Supply List

  1. Apples
  2. Tea Lights
  3. Power Drill
  4. 1 1/2″ Paddle Drill Bit

NOTE: If power tools or a paddle bit is not available to you, a melon scooper will do the trick. And, if you are more safety-minded about an open flame, you can use a flameless tea light.

This DIY project is so easy, but there are a few tricks.  Go Slow! with the drill.  It only takes a couple of turns of the drill and if you do it too fast, you will split the apple.  It is a small juicy mess, so attempt this project on a surface that is appropriate.  See a quick view of the process in the video below:

Once you have your apple votives prepared, fine unique ways to use them! Place them on an elevated stand within a centerpiece, across a buffet board, add one to a cheese tray for interest, display them across a mantle or down the length of your table runner.  Grab some fresh greenery from your yard and voila!

Happy Entertaining!

Easy DIY Fleece Pumpkins

Fabric Pumpkins are one of the hottest Fall trends this year.  Fleece, Flannel, or Velvet…pick your poison to create beautiful textural accents for your home.  This season as we approach 2020, our aim is softer, brighter and warmer design trends in our homes.
Creating softer and warmer things for our homes creates comfort.  Fabric pumpkins fall into that category.  Using fleece, flannel or velvet are wonderful ways to play the warmth up in your centerpieces and displays.  These pieces do not take much fabric, so recycling flannel shirts or fleece blankets is a wonderful way to upcycle something you no longer use. I chose a plaid fleece in keeping with some of the Fall/Winter design trends.

Here is what you need:

The key to making these handmade pumpkins exceptional are the dried pumpkin stems!  I have to admit, I did not know these existed until this project and I was blown away with the result. I suggest using a thread that is similar in color to your fabric so that it does not stand out and deter from the finished project.  Here are the steps below:

1. Cut varying sizes of circles out of your fabric.  I used things around the house to trace the circles…one was a bowl, one was a bucket and the other was actually a martini table top!  The size circles I ended up cutting out were 8″, 12″, and 18″.

2. Use any thread you have hanging around the house and double thread your needle.  (Cut a long piece of thread.)  Next tie a knot on the opposite end from the needle.  Using large stitches, go all the way around the circle of the piece of fabric about 1/2″ inside the outer edge.  Trust me, this is not like sewing a garment or anything technical.  It’s fast and easy and does not have to be perfect.  It will all draw up in the end and you can tuck the edges inside the pumpkin top.

3. After threading all the way around the fabric circle, pull on the needle and cinch the fabric up.  Place about 1/2 cup of rice in the bottom of the fabric “pouch” first.  This is also not rocket science.  It basically weights the pumpkin down and helps with the structure.  On the large ones I made, I added about 1 cup.

4. Add polyfil fiber.  And fill more than you think it will hold.  But, make sure you can still cinch it closed.

5. Then, use various stitches back and forth over the “opening” making sure to pull it tight when you are doing so.  Then knot to hold closed.

6. This last step is not necessary, but I think it adds to the structure of the pumpkin.  By creating a “dimple” on the bottom of the pumpkin it sits a little wider and stought. Use the same needle and thread and thread down through the center of the pumpkin out through the bottom and move the needle over about a 1/4″ and go back up through the center of the pumpkin and pull to tighten that “dimple” in and tie off/knot to secure. Cut thread.

7. Use a glue gun to secure a pumpkin stem to the top over where the fabric cinched together.

The largest pumpkin took me about 7 minutes to make once I had cut out the fabric circle.  So these are fast and easy! Here is a visual of the process:

Cheers to warmth and comfort in your home this Fall!

Metal Chameleons

We use metal finishes everywhere in our homes: lighting, cabinet hardware, kitchen sinks and faucets, range hoods and appliances and even furniture and home decor.  So, what is on-trend in metal finishes?  Some of the long time staples in the world of metal finishes have changed and are changing right in front of your very eyes.  How is that possible?  There is always a matte black, polished silver, brass, stainless, copper, etc. in the classic metal finish choices.

Many of those classics have skewed their colorations, but they are not always easy to detect.  Current trend moving into 2020, we are seeing tonal shifts in metal finish options.  Mixing metals has been very popular for ten plus years, but we are now seeing some unique combinations and a softening that we have not seen in the past.  The current design theme in our homes is “comfortable” and everything from trend paint colors to fabrics have softened and brightened to give us that seamless comfort appeal.

Let’s look at some examples:

Note the smooth transitions of the ombré finishes.  They are comfortable and show a softening to any hard lines of historically cold or hard metal finishes.

Are you noticing any patterns in the softness and warmth of the finishes?  They are actually chameleon finishes.  We are now mixing bronze over gold and champagnes over golds and bronzes to soften.  This makes you think: Is the finish gold, brass, or bronze?  That is the “comfort” in these new transitioning finishes.  They are so versitile and soft that they can blend into any decor.  It makes the mixing of metals so much easier.  You can now upgrade your sink faucet and cabinet hardware to Champagne Bronze and it will blend with your stainless appliances better than the stark contrast of yellow brass. Changes are easier, more comfortable.

We have all seen matte black.  It’s classic; it’s clean.  But, there is also a new matte black.  It is almost chalky in tone, almost textural and “flatter” than matte with its lack of sheen.  In the finishing industry we call it Dead Flat.  This can be a hard finish to achieve properly, but its impact is awe-inspiring.  So, when you think you have seen one matte black to a flat black to another…look again!

Did you know Rose Gold was “out” this year as far as trends are concerned?  Well it was and is coming back with a twist.  Some companies still call it Rose Gold, but it is very different.  Remember the new metals are chameleon finishes.  The new rose gold adds champagne overtones to blend its historically harsh copper undertones.

Is this Bronze, Gold or Brass?  It is Champagne Bronze and as a chameleon finish it too can pass for multiple tones and blends well with other metals.  In recent past, we would have called this Blonde Bronze, but with its champagne overtones it transforms into something completely different.

Are you starting to see the trending finish applications that manufacturers are using?  These seemingly soft and simple finishes are actually a complex layering of tones.  And, of course, our running theme…it creates softness.  So, all of our historically standard finishes have now blended with warm silvers and golds to seemingly “pearlize” them into a soft soothing element in design.