{October 27, 2011}   We Have a House!

We finally closed escrow on the house we’ve been trying to buy….for 5+ months…It all worked out fabulously. The only hiccup in the escrow process was the appraisal. It came in $15,000 lower than our purchase price, and because we were getting an FHA loan, the short sale bank had no choice but to lower the purchase price to the appraised value. Score for us! So, we got this place for what we originally wanted to spend on a house. When we revised our offer to beat out two other offers, we increased our price above what we wanted to do originally, but this place is totally fabulous and worth it, plus we could afford to go higher. It still totally floors me that our mortgage, with the added county/city utilities is cheaper than what we are paying in rent.

I’ve done a few repairs. Put new locks on the doors, put the mailbox up, fixed the running toilet, weed eated 1/3 of the overgrown grass. I put up several test paint swatches. Tomorrow night the hubby and I are painting the living room and hopefully kitchen and hallway. I’m not sure I’m loving the blues we picked for our bedroom, so I’ll give it another looksy tomorrow after it has dried.

For now I need to get to bed. All this work is kicking my ass, plus I had class tonight until late.


Over the summer, a good friend of mine took a couple weeks off for vacation. We’d planned on doing some DIY work in her bathroom. My hubby was off for the summer and could watch the boy while I got my DIY fix. My friend had planned on using Rustoleum’s Cabinet Transformations to paint her cabinets. She also sent me a picture of her existing hinge hardware. Here’s the before shot.

Oh boy, definitely needs updating, right? So off to the hardware store we went. After some debate, she finally settled on their Linen color. We got it tinted and off we went with our supplies. The transformation isn’t too much work. First you use a solution and green scrubby sponge to de-gloss and sort of prime the surface. Next you fill in any hardware holes or scratches with wood putty and sand those areas. Then you paint on your tinted bond coat. You can do just one coat, or two. We opted for two coats of bond coat. Next you paint on the decorative glaze and wipe with a cloth to give the cabinets a faux wood grain finish. And lastly, you paint on the protective clear coat. Here’s a picture of me installing the new hardware she picked.

That center attached faux drawer was a pain in the butt to get the hardware installed on. The sink was in the way so it was hard to get the screwdriver in the right spot to get everything secured. This next picture is of all the hardware installed, but we couldn’t close everything because the protective clear coat wasn’t set yet. If you click to see the full-sized picture, you can barely see the drill hole on the left-most cabinet door down on the bottom right corner. I got a little drill-bit happy and drilled 3 right-hand cabinets, and one left-hand one. Oops.

Pretty fantastic, right? And it only took a couple of days. Later, my friend emailed me a picture of the color she was painting the lower half of her bathroom wall and you can see how everything looks now that it’s dried.

So, what do you think of the bathroom makeover? What’s your next transformation project?

While I was in the middle of transforming that fabulous sidetable I picked up for $3, I had passed a garage sale just down the street from my house where I saw this fabulous 4-drawer dresser. I didn’t stop to check it out because, well, I already had another piece I was working on. Every time I drove by this house, I could hear the dresser calling my name. On Monday morning I passed this house again on my way to the gym and noticed that the dresser was still sitting out front. After my workout, I stopped by the house and left a note with my phone number asking the owners to call me if it was still available. Sure enough, 10 minutes after I arrived home, they called. When I asked how much they wanted for it, the lady told me $5. I couldn’t pass that up, so I put the kid back in the car and drove over to pick up this beauty.

Dresser before transformation

Beautiful, right? It doesn’t really matter to me that she’s missing a drawer pull as I’ll be replacing them anyway. When first glancing at all the drawers, I thought one of them was missing its plastic guide, but I found that hiding in the very back stuck between some wood pieces. Score! One less thing I have to spend money on. Now the dilemma was how to paint this beauty. I knew I didn’t want it to be all one color. I figured I might as well use more of the minty green Footpath color that I had used on the sidetable transformation, and I also remembered I had a very dark grey color from when we painted our son’s bookshelf.

Dresser color scheme

Pretty, right? So, now all I have to do is use wood filler to fix the gouges in the top and the holes from the original drawer pulls. Follow that up with the orbital sander to smooth out the surfaces before painting and I’ll be all set to go.

Dovetailing detail

I painted two coats of primer on every surface. Then I decided to paint the frame and top with the Footpath color and paint the drawer fronts with that dark grey color we had used on our son’s bookcase. I have to say, I wasn’t a fan of the fact they dark grey was semigloss. It shows a lot of brush strokes and I had to paint the drawer fronts with three coats so that you couldn’t see the primer poking through. Next I headed over to Lowe’s Home Improvement to look for drawer pulls. I had no idea how hard it is to pick out drawer pulls, but I found these fabulous leaf design pulls.

Hubby asked me why I didn’t paint the kick plate with the dark grey, but i think it would have been too much dark on such a pretty piece. Spray paint with Valspar Gloss Clear Coat for protection, and shazam! you have a fabulously retro-looking piece.

Finished 4-Drawer Dresser

Color-wise it matches the sidetable which means they can both go in the same room. I’m not planning on keeping this piece either. Once again, I have it listed on our local Craigslist site, but no bites yet. I’m thinking this piece would likely sell better on Etsy, so I need to revamp my etsy store front.

What a fabulous transformation, right? And it only cost me $5. What’s your favorite part? How would you have done this differently?

{August 23, 2011}   Side Table Makeover

Being inspired by DIY blogs, I decided to take some me time and leave the kid at home with daddy and go do some garage sailing by myself. I was looking for a single piece of furniture for cheap that I could redo just to try out some of the new ideas I had been reading about. Just around the corner from my house, I found this. I was quite surprised it was only $3. I threw it in the back of my car and drove promptly to Lowe’s to get a few supplies like more sand paper and wood filler. And since the hubby wrecked my good angled brush, I had to get a new one of those, too.

Sidetable as acquired from a garage sale.

Main usable surface.Drawer dovetailing detail

Pretty beatup, right? It has nice dovetailing in the drawer and seems pretty sturdy, though. I contemplated what to do with it, then decided that since I had so much leftover paint from my massage office, I would start there. It’s a beautiful minty green.

Massage office color turned furniure paint color.

I needed to do a little repair on the  corner on top with some wood filler. I also decided that I didn’t want to have to find or buy 4 new drawer pulls, so I decided to fill in the cross pattern and the original drawer pull locations with wood putty.

I sanded the entire thing with the orbital sander so I could get an even coat of paint on it. Then I painted two coats of primer and two coats of eggshell in the Footpath color. I got a little crazy with the painting and probably painted way too many surfaces. The drawer is a little bit sticky when opening and closing (which I had been warned about, but did I listen? Nooooooo!). The drawer pulls are from Ikea that I had picked up several years ago, but they no longer carry it, so I can’t link ’em up for you. Spray with clear gloss spray paint to protect the finish and shazam! a whole new piece that can be used as a living room side table or bedside nightstand.

Sidetable finished!

I’m actually not going to keep this piece. I am trying to sell it on my local Craigslist site, so I made a little faux living room showing how this would fit in well with other furniture. Yes, that’s my garage door and yes I’m taking this picture in my driveway, but doesn’t the sidetable look great?

Sidetable in action!

It’s amazing what a little bit of imagination and free time can accomplish. I think it’s pretty good first attempt at refinishing furniture with paint, and all it cost me was $3. So, here’s the before and after, shown together.

Next time I think I’ll use a roller instead of a brush. I went a little batty obsessing over all the brush strokes in the primer and actual paint. What’s your favorite part of this transformation? If you had to do this yourself, how would you refinish this piece?

et cetera