Ask An Expert: Mandi Gubler Part 2

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Howdy friends! I am back this week for Ask The Expert Part 2 (what can I say, your questions were just so good I had to split the awesomeness so no one was overwhelmed!)

Picking the Right Color

Q: What are your thoughts on painting interior doors black? Also, what is your favorite gray paint color? Thanks! -Mindy

A: Mindy, I love black interior accents! My advice is to make sure that you are getting a good paint. I have seen many DIY black doors that the paint job looks not so favorable. For some reason a high gloss black door shows every single brush stroke (its sort of like a tight satin dress on someone that has no business wearing a tight satin dress). Its shows every imperfection and can actually make the job look worse. I recommend using an Eggshell or Satin finish to get your color on and then, if you want a high gloss applying it separately.

Interior Door
Image: Southern Hospitality Blog

As far as gray goes I have a few favorites. My current favorite is Iron Ore by Sherwin Williams. I am obsessed with how dark and moody it is.

Living Room Makeover
Image: Vintage Revivals

If you want a good beige tone, Ralph Laurn makes a color called Hopsack that is pretty great.

DIY HoundStooth Rug
Image: Vintage Revivals

Tips for Spray Painting

Q: What is your spray painting 101 must do’s? I love spray painting my thrift store finds to add new life, but often times I find that my paint cracks, drips, or isn’t smooth to the touch after it drys. And I never know what things I have to prime and/or sand first! -Ashley

A:Hi Ashley! Spray painting is my favorite way to paint a piece of furniture. Its easy, there is like zero clean up, and usually its easy to get a good finish.If you are running into the cracking situation (I HATE it when that happens!!) there are usually 3 culprits:

  1. The piece was not cleaned well and there is dust, dirt oil and grime underneath. Your first coat will usually go on ok, but when you reapply it crack.
  2. Tempurature. If it is too cold your paint will crack.
  3. You have waited to long or not long enough to do a second coat.

There is recoat instructions on all spray paint cans that say to recoat within (I think) 1 hour or after 24 hours If you apply an additional coat in that window, you reactivate the solvents in the finish causing wrinkling and such. So dont start a project if you dont have time to finish it (or spend a week on it depending on your recoating goal)

Always spray with even strokes. Start off the piece on one end and go off of the piece on the other end. By doing this you arent leaving a giant start spray that can cause dripping. As hard as it is sometimes to do, light coats really are the way to go. They prevent dripping and give your piece a more professional finish.

Always use a good primer. I recommend Kilz Spray Primer. Its fantastic and worth the little extra that it costs. If you use Kilz, make sure you shake your can for at least 2 minutes before you spray. Once your primer has cured, it will most likely have a sandpapery finish. Go back over it very lightly with 220 grit sand paper and it will very easily come off.

My last tip is sort of lame but I think its important. If you have never spray painted anything before please for the love of all things do not start learning on something that is valuable to you (valuable meaning you love it, not necessarily meaning monetary worth.) Go to the thrift store and buy THE CHEAPEST thing you can find. It doesnt have to be good. Practice painting on this first. You may spend $20 extra but it is totally worth it, until you get the technique down! Brooke from All Things Thrifty has a great Spray Painting 101 post that is a must read if you are tacking the aerosol.

Dresser Transformation

Q: I have a dresser that I found on the side of the road. Its been sitting in my garage for 6 months and I am afraid my husband is going to throw it away. The problem is I dont really need a clothing dresser and dont have anywhere to put it. Do you have any ideas for other uses? BTW love your blog!- Ashley

A: Ashley this is such a fun question!! Dressers are being used to replace basically everything you can think of, so you totally scored lady! Here are a few of my favorite ideas:

Image: Indulgy

Image: Media
Image: Classy Clutter

This Week’s Ask an Expert: Courtney Petersen

Courtney Petersen is the social media coordinator for The Stow Company, a company with a passion for helping make lives more efficient and enjoyable through intelligent home organizing solutions. Her interests lie in finding where good design and smart organization meet. She is also one of the voices behind the EasyClosets blog “Inspired Organization.”

Courtney will be answering all your questions about well-designed home organization. Ask your questions here!

Courtney Petersen


  1. Great piece. And love the idea about spray painting a piece. I always use paint and a brush but that seems way easier. What are other ways to change up a piece of furniture? I find that wood is too dark because I have black furniture (which I hate but was a hand-me-down) and try to keep everything else light. Unfortunately I have painted most of the furniture white or gray but the tops get nicked too easily. Any ideas?

  2. Glad my question about spray paint made it on! However I’m sad you called me Mindy. Haha. That’s the girls name on the comment above. Oh well. Thanks anyway Mandi!

  3. Glad my question about spray paint made it on! However I’m sad you called me Mindy. Haha. That’s the girls name on the comment above. Oh well. Thanks anyway Mandi!

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Mandi Gubler is a DIY/Shelter Blogger known for her fearless approach to all things Do It Yourself. She is a self proclaimed thrift store junkie, craigslist stalker (not the killing kind) and garage sale maven. Mandi started her blog Vintage Revivals in July 2010 with zero DIY/Design experience. She apparently had a hidden talent that once released, not only changed her life but inspires millions. Mandi's approach to design is simple. She believes that true style has the chance to emerge when you stop worrying about what everyone else is doing, will think, or might say, and do what makes your guts grin.