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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Thrifty Find

When I first started reading blogs about 6 months ago I was shocked at the amazing things these bloggers found at thrift stores. Since then, I started frequenting these places for hidden treasures and I've found a lot of amazing things. Sometimes it takes a little hunting, but there is almost always something I see potential in.

Yesterday I stopped in Salvation Army and bought my favorite thrifty find to date. And it didn't even need any spray paint!

How cute is this dog treat jar?!

I probably would have paid the whole $9.99 they were asking, but it was 50% off day so it only cost me $5. As you can imagine, Homie and Cali were thrilled about it!

Here is a close up of the top:

This thing is heavy duty, the top probably weighs 5 lbs by itself. I can't imagine how much it "really" cost.

Doesn't it look great on our counter top?

I love finding great things like this. What have you thrifted lately?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Decorating for Fall...

A few weeks ago I picked up these guys. The green gourds are from the Dollar Store and I found the box of pumpkins at Goodwill for $0.99.... with all the cute fall projects around blogland I just couldn't pass them up!

This is a terrible picture (from my phone and at night) but this little fall arrangment was also at Goodwill for $1. He was a little too cheesy for me, but nothing a little spray paint couldn't fix!

I took out the pumpkin and a few of the other picks and gave them a coat of bronze spray paint. 

Once it was reassembled, it looked much better! I've lagged on getting our fall decorations out of the attic this year. It's been hard to think of it as Fall since it's still in the 90's here in California, but with Halloween quickly approaching I decided it was time!

I decorated our china cabinet with the new fall arrangement, a few ceramic leaves I picked up from an estate sale, and the "Fall" pumpkins I got on sale at Target a few years ago.

The box of orange pumpkins also got sprayed with various metallic paints and now sit on our dining table. The long white tray stays out year round and gets repurposed for the different holidays, it was also a Goodwill find and I think I paid $3.

The clock dome I posted about here also got updated with fall decor.

It's on our living room console table with a couple of placemats and wire acorns I picked up from Michael's after season sale a few years ago.

I put another acorn (from Target) and ceramic leaf (found at a thrift store) on the nesting tables in our entry.

Glass pumpkins on the end table. The largest one came from Target, but I found the other two earlier this year at thrift stores for $1 or $2. I'm thinking about using the new antique glass paint and updating these guys a little bit...

This is our coffee table. I believe the leaf bowl, candle holder, and pumpkin came from Michael's as well. I recently found the acorn dish at the SPCA Thrift Store for $1.49

And of course the acorns I painted and posted about here.

As you can probably tell, I just love decorating for the holidays/seasons. Just wait until you see all the Halloween decorations we have! It's almost as bad as Christmas around here.....

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Wonders of Chalk Board Paint!

With a can of chalk board paint the possibilities are endless! And I love using it on metal to make the chalkboard magnetic.

I’ve done a few projects lately using chalk board paint.

Bulletin Boards:

Dog Treat Canister:

Menu Board:

I’m attempting to clean up my craft room and decided I would actually MAKE something out of this guy I picked up for $0.49 a few months ago.

With a few upcoming weddings and baby showers I thought it would make the perfect little chalk board sign, you really could use it for anything!

As I’m sure you can tell, I’m a big fan of white, so I primed and freshened up the base.

And gave the top a few good coats of spray chalkboard paint. I’ve also used the brush on kind that comes in lots of fun colors, but I like the coverage and finish of the spray much better.

Add a vinyl frame cut with my Silhouette, a piece of twine, and an antique key and it’s all ready to go!

Change out the ribbon or add a flower and it would be darling for a baby shower!
I’ll definitely be putting this guy to good use.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

I'm fairly new the blog world and have just recently started entering blog giveaways. Boy have they paid off! In the past 2 weeks I have won 3 giveaways!!

The first was over at Ucreate, sponsored by The Printable Cottage (which has the cutest party stuff) and I recieved a $50 Target gift card, can't get better than that!
Here is what I scored:

A new fall scarf, moccasin slippers (my fall/winter staple), marshmallow roasting sticks, a towel bar (for an upcoming bathroom project I'll post about), and a few necessities!

This weekend I found out I won the Jamberry giveaway over at Southern Lovely!
I can't wait to give my nails a fun makeover!!


Maybe I'll even like cleaning...

So I figured I might as well wrap up the week with a lottery ticket, I'll let you know if we're millionaire's tomorrow = )

Monday, September 19, 2011

Kitchen Cabinet Drama

WARNING: looooooooong picture heavy post!

As usual, a weekend project turned into a weeklong project and we encountered several hiccups along the way. This is the story of our “simple” kitchen remodel = )!

We are very familiar with blown budgets, blown timelines, and Plan B’s when it comes to home renovation. In fact, when we first bought our house a few simple projects turned into gutting a few rooms (including the bathroom), refinishing the original hardwood floors, and retexturing every wall before we even moved in. I’ll post more about that and some “before” and “after” pictures later!

The only thing we didn’t change, literally, was the kitchen. So naturally, I’ve been itching to tackle that project! Let me preface this by saying that, for our home, we love our kitchen. It is well laid out, has a reasonable amount of storage for a 60+ year old house, and has amazing pull out drawers in all the lower cabinets. This is something the previous owners did and they make the cabinets so much more useful, I never have to dig in the back of the cabinet and I can maximize the space.

However, I do not love the color of the cabinets. I have been eyeing several dream kitchens on Pinterest and love the variety of colors. So, when I saw that Rustoleum had a new Cabinet Transformation kit I couldn’t wait to try it! After checking out a few reviews and the tutorial online I couldn’t wait to get started. Originally I wanted to paint the top cabinets white and the bottoms a color, but finally settled on painting them all gray.  I’m obsessed with gray lately and thought it would be a nice contrast against the current countertops and give our kitchen an updated look while still going with the rest of our home.

Day 1: Purchase and Prep Work

After work on Friday I headed over to Home Depot to pick up the supplies. The kit comes in light (mostly whites, tans, and light stains) or dark (colors and darker stains). You pick the kit and the color and have the paint counter tint the cans accordingly. I picked Seaside. It was a nice color without being too dark, since our kitchen is in the middle of our house without any real natural light I didn’t want to make it feel closed in.

When I got home I read through the instruction booklet and watched the how-to video (with a glass of champagne of course, that’s what every good DIY project starts with!).

Then I got to work emptying out the cabinets! I removed all the contents and took off every door, drawer, hinge, and screw.

As they recommend, it’s a good idea to draw a layout of your kitchen and number each piece. Then using painter’s tape you put the number on the corresponding door or drawer and use a labeled plastic bag to hold the hardware. This way you’re not trying to put together a puzzle when you reassemble the kitchen.

Word to the wise: do not misplace the kitchen drawing or cover the numbered tape with so much paint that it’s hard to read. Yeah I did both those things……..luckily our kitchen doesn’t have too many cabinet doors that are the same size so it was pretty easy to reassemble!

Once it was all taken apart, I got to work taping off all the appliances and edges and started Step 1 of the process, de-glossing. Since this kit works on laminate, melamine, and real wood cabinets, there is no need to sand or prime. You use the de-glossing solution and a rough pad (included in the kit) to scrub down the cabinets and prepare them for paint. Once they’ve been de-glossed you wipe them down with a damp rag and let them sit for a few hours before Step 2.

Day 2: Painting Kitchen Destruction

This is the part where we were supposed to start painting, but instead we decided to tear the kitchen apart = ).

Back story: last year my mother in-law bought us a new refrigerator for Christmas. Luckily we decided to measure the space before it was delivered and figured the refrigerator wasn’t going to work. After a little more research we figured that very few refrigerators would actually fit in our kitchen because the opening wasn’t tall enough. So, while we were at it, we figured we’d raise the cabinets before they were actually painted since we do plan on buying all new appliances in the next year.

In order to do this, we had to remove the 6” piece of drywall above the cabinets. After some scoring, hammering, and a huge mess it was all out.

Then we had to actually move the cabinets. Since the boxes are original they have been in the same place for 60+ years and were built in place as one big unit. No pushing and pulling was going to move them. As any DIY’er would do, we improvised! After removing all the screws holding the cabinets to the walls we used a very sophisticated combination of car jacks and 2x4’s to push them up.

Then we stood back to admired our handy work. We are both tall, but even to us the cabinets looked funny… they were a little too high now! As usual, no home renovation project goes exactly as planned…….

After looking up standard cabinet heights we considered ripping out the upper cabinets all together and replacing them with new, longer cabinets (42” instead of 37”). After some more research we realized our cabinets are not standard sizes and any new cabinets wouldn’t work with our current configuration. So we were stuck with what we have! On to plan A, B, C.

In the end we met in the middle. Now they are raised 3” from their original position (making enough room for a standard refrigerator) and 3” lower from our first attempt. Once they were even, level, and screwed in, we called it a night!

Day 3: Reassembling the Kitchen Painting

Sunday we had a few other things planned in the morning, but I finally got to painting in the afternoon. After a couple of hours everything had a good coat of gray paint. Once it dried the paint was blue. Not the beautiful shade of medium gray on the box, but little boy blue. I debated about testing a section with glaze to darken it up, but in the end I decided it wasn’t worth the time and effort and I didn’t want my kitchen torn apart any longer than necessary.

Day 4: Painting Continued….

After work I went back to Home Depot to explain to the paint manager the situation and how terrible my cabinets looked. After a little arguing, she finally agreed to give me a new kit (this time I decided to go with the safest color, white, because I did not feeling the repainting my kitchen a third time).

That night I got to work covering the gray blue paint with white. As I’m sure you all know the novelty of painting quickly wears off. I just wanted the cabinets DONE!

Day 5: Painting, Painting, and More Painting

I took Tuesday off work so I could spend the day painting and [hopefully] get our kitchen put back together. After a few coats on the back of the cabinet doors and one coat on the front we were not very happy with the finish of the Rustoleum kit. We had followed all the directions and used the recommended brushes, but you could definitely see brush strokes. We even used a foam roller on the front, but then the paint didn’t coat very well.

So………we decided to stop there and go with my favorite DIY product:

Rustoleum 2x the Coverage in Blossom White.

After a few more coats and 12+ bottle of paint later, the door and drawers had a nice smooth white finish.

While I waited for everything to dry I finished up the cabinets inside. The frames had been given several coats of the Rustoleum kit white paint so I went ahead and sealed them with the last step of the kit.

After that had dried I painted the interior and shelves with the same blue/gray paint that is on the accent wall in our family room. I love how this turned out!

Day 6: Reassembling the Kitchen

I continued coating the doors and drawer fronts with white paint, sanded where there were any blemishes.

In between coats I worked on getting the cabinets filled and everything off of the pool table. One good thing about emptying the kitchen is that I get to reorganize it all as I put in back in. I mixed things up a bit and like how the new organization is working.

Day 7: FINALLY Getting the Doors Back On

Once everything was nice and painted we were able to put the doors back on using the old hinges. We decided to seal the doors and drawers once they were back in the kitchen so we could touch up any paint from mishaps. After a few coats of sealant our cabinets were FINALLY done.

Here is the before:

And the after:

In the end, I was glad we bought the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation Kit to use the de-glosser (step 1) and sealant (step 3), but I prefer the smooth finish of spray paint over the traditional paint included in the kit.

Of course we still have several projects on the to-do list!
·         Install crown molding along the ceiling.
·         Paint far wall a fun accent color (still debating which one)…
·         New counter tops and back splash
·         New Appliances!

And then I promised to give my husband a break from any big renovation projects = )