DIY Miscellaneous Projects

Pink ombré dresser. Painted four shades of pink. Sprayed all the old fixtures with a black glitter spray paint and added silk flowers behind the knobs and added some jewels for a little bling! As usual, I used Valspar paint. I bought the samples for $3 and one was even a mistint so I got it for $1.50.







Kitchen Remodel

July 2013

I decided to switch jobs and ended up with almost a month off before starting the new job. I knew this was the right time to tackle the kitchen remodel that I have been wanting to do for a long time. I will try to break down for you what I did in this post. If you have questions about specific details, just leave me a comment and I’ll try to explain in further detail. I didn’t do any “how to” videos for this remodel, but I do have some photos. Let me apologize in advance for the poor quality photos! I am not a professional photographer and most of these were taken with my IPhone rather than using my nice Canon Rebel camera. Just didn’t want to take time away from working to photograph. (wish now I would have). 🙂

Kitchen Before Remodel:


First Step: Add Pantry

I wanted to add a pantry on the end of my existing cabinets by my patio doors. I had a large empty space and really needed the additional storage space. I bought an unfinished cabinet from Menards. It cost around $120. I bought new knobs to match my existing ones and I flipped the doors so it would open to the right.

Second Step: Custom Crown Molding

I decided I wanted to close up the “dust collector” space above the kitchen cabinets. I thought about adding additional cabinets or open cubbies to add baskets, or closing up part of it and leaving some spaces for wine rack, baskets, etc. But, I decided to just close it up all together and create a custom crown molding. I only decorate above my cabinets once a year (Christmas) and I hate all the dust!

The steps are as follows:
1. Remove the existing crown molding on the cabinets.

2. Build the frame for the new trim to connect the cabinets to the ceiling. I bought some wood (1×2) and attached pieces to the cabinet and to the ceiling. I used a scrap piece of plywood to make sure the fronts of each piece were level from cabinet to ceiling. I attached the pieces using my finishing nail gun.



3. I then attached the 1/4 inch plywood to the frames closing up the empty space.


4. Adding the molding details

My closed up space was almost 12 inches so I decided to create a dramatic crown molding using 3 different types of trim. I didn’t want to have a large section in the middle that was just plain. For the top crown, I found a bundled pack at Habitat for Humanities Restore for $20. It was enough crown to do the entire project with some left over. The middle trim is the only one I purchased and I believe it was around $6 each and I needed 4 pieces = $24. I liked it because it was the same on top and bottom, (no right or wrong side). It made for easy cutting! The bottom trim was leftover from my dining room remodel when I created the picture frame molding. That cost me $0!! I attached the top and bottom trim with my finishing nail gun, connecting to the frame. The middle trim I used Liquid Nails.



Lastly, I painted all the trim with my base color and caulked the space between the closure and ceiling.Image

Third Step: Refinish Cabinets

Once the pantry and above closure was complete, it was time to refinish the existing cabinets. My previous kitchen was very dark. I had dark (non wood) cabinets with a dark counter and I had painted the walls a dark orange. I really wanted to lighten the kitchen up and I love the beachy, cottage feel. So that was my inspiration. I usually paint my furniture myself, but this time I choose to try the Rustoleum cabinet refinishing kit. I purchased from Lowes around $70. I didn’t want pure white cabinets but was nervous about a solid color so I selected the pure white finish and used the color glaze included in the kit to add an antiqued finish. The steps for the kit are in the instructions and very easy to follow. Degloss all surfaces, paint base coat (took 2-3 layers), then glaze, lastly apply the top coat. The glaze was a love/hate relationship for me! I liked the look, however, getting it exactly how I wanted it and making them all look the same drove me nuts. I finally had to resign to the fact that it was impossible for them to all look EXACTLY the same. I also applied this treatment to my new molding/trim and my kitchen window trim so all the color matched.




During the many steps of cabinet work, I also reused the existing cabinet pulls. My original pulls were 1016924_10151705018078374_1804668270_nbrushed nickel and I wanted them to be dark. I bought a can of spray paint by Rustoleum in the Oil-Rubbed Bronze finish. I pushed all the knobs onto a sheet of sytrofoam and sprayed away. They turned out fantastic and cost the $5 for the spray paint.

Step Four: Tile Backsplash

I’ve always wanted a tile backsplash and I’m so thankful that I waited until now to do this project. I found some glass tile that I fell in love with months before and was thrilled that I was still able to find it at the store. My main tile is a glass/stone mosaic with green, blue and tan colors. It cost $9.98 per 12×12 sheet from Lowes. I decided that I wanted the mosaic tile to go around the entire window above the sink so I was afraid it may be too much to run it all under the cabinets as well (and expensive). I then found this off white subway tile that I decided to use under the cabinets with a 4 inch accent of the mosaic. The subway tile was only $3.68 per sheet, also from Lowe’s. Because I enjoy tiling and this wasn’t my first tile job, nor will it be my last…..I broke down and bought myself a wet saw from Lowe’s for $89. It was worth every penny!! Worked great and made cutting so much easier! I used a white mortar and a non-sanded grout in the color of Bisquit. They recommend non-sanded grout when using glass so it isn’t abrasive on the glass, however, it’s a pain in the neck on the stone. I literally got out an old toothbrush and was scrubbing the extra grout out of the stone crevices. Sanded grout seems to fall out a lot easier.

When tiling a backsplash, it is very important to start the tile on the highest point of the countertop. then draw a level line on the wall to place the first row of tiles. Do NOT just start tiling, because chances are the counter and/or cabinets are not level! As you can see in the pictures, my counter sank in the corner several inches. Have no idea why, other than the installers didn’t shim it correctly when it was installed because the floor is still perfectly level….so it can’t be the house settling. ??? Anyway, so I have a huge, ugly gap on my backsplash that I had to try to hide with paint and caulk. And, I will be placing items on the counter in that area to try to cover! 🙂

Here are some photos of the Tile:

602473_10151714927483374_2001706576_n 1011378_10151714927473374_608099717_n 22011_10151715859928374_1192295794_n This is a photo showing the unleveled counters that I was blessed with! AGH!! With a little paint and caulk, it is still there….just not quite as visible.

IMG_1072 IMG_1073

Step Five: Painted Walls

After many paint samples and a lot of indecisiveness, I finally picked a paint color! The color is actually a Sherwin Williams color called “Silvermist”, however I LOVE Valspar paint so I had Lowe’s mix that color for me in the Valspar Signature paint. I was painting a light color over my dark orange walls and the Signature Valspar does a great job on coverage! It turned out fantastic and I LOVE the new color. Really brightened the space and I even added it in my hall by bathroom/laundry and farther down towards my living room.

1002543_10151729550328374_465659742_n IMG_1069

IMG_1074 1017737_10151729550323374_269055901_nCurtains over the patio doors came from Habitat for Humanity Restore – $7 per panel, total = $14. Brand is Allen Roth

Step Six: Island Makeover

I debated on doing the island with wainscoting or creating a craftsman style look to the plain boring island. I finally decided on the craftsman look because I may be doing that look in another part of my house. (another project yet to come).

1. Create the craftsman trim look. I used 1/4 inch plywood (same as I used above the cabinets). It is easy to paint and much cheaper than pine wood, however, it can be tricky when cutting because it doesn’t always make the nicest edge. I used 4 inch thickness on the horizontal panels and 3 inch thickness for the vertical panels. I started the panels on the sides and attached one in the center, then measured to even out the other two panels (on the back of island). I attached using my nail gun with a 5/8 inch finishing nail and Liquid Nails behind every panel.

Starting framework, top and bottom panels first.

Starting framework, top and bottom panels first.


Craftsman framework done.

Craftsman framework done.

2. Paint the island, doors and drawers. I selected Valspar Signature paint in “Lincoln Cottage Black” with a Semi-Gloss sheen. I did two coats all around.

3. Poly. I added a layer of poly on everything for durability.

Island done...chairs not yet painted

Island done…chairs not yet painted

4. Add new hardware with the same Oil-Rubbed Bronze finish.

5. Spray paint the existing bar stools to match.

Step Seven: Change Lighting & Faucet189502_10151729218993374_1084298411_n

I needed to change my pendant lights because they were orange … no longer matching. Lowe’s had some pendant covers on clearance for $5 ea. I picked them up and made them work! They didn’t quite fit my current light hardware, but with a little creativeness…..they work. I spray painted the top of the hardware the Oil-Rubbed Bronze to match the cabinet pulls because it was brushed nickel.

992809_10151728008208374_1368415503_nWe had a generic faucet with ugly plastic white pull out sprayer. I changed those out for a Oil-Rubbed Bronze faucet with pull out sprayer and soap pump. LOVE them both!! Wish I would have done this a long time ago. Installing the new faucet was super easy…..however removing the existing one, not quite as easy.

Step Eight: Magnet Board

969365_10151729109228374_52413143_nI decided I can’t stand my refrigerator always cluttered with papers from the kids’ school (notes, permission slips, projects, etc). So, I decided to create a “command center” on the side of the new pantry. I debated on chalkboard, magnetic paint, metal, corkboard, etc. I finally decided to go with a full sheet of metal so the entire wall is magnetic. I called a local company that does sheet metal work and they were able to cut to my specifications an 18 gauge sheet of metal, cost 1016411_10151729109233374_211080964_naround $40. I then had a friend of mine sand it with a swirling technique that really made it look great!! I then purchased some fun items to put on the board. A dry erase calendar, 3 clear file holders from Staples that I added chalkboard labels with each kids name and “mail” to the fronts. I found these cute unfinished frames at Michael’s on clearance for 2/$1. I spray painted them black and aqua. I will use these for kids pictures, artwork or just some inspirational 1016411_10151729109238374_1306931200_nquotes. I found a magnetic pen/marker holder, two magnetic hooks for keys and 3 adorable large paper clips. I then found a bunch of cute magnets to add so the kids can hang their school work and artwork to the space as the school year begins. I’m sure this area will constantly be changing.





Project not yet complete……will continue to post as it is completed.

Brown Paper Bag Floor

Several people have asked about my paper bag floor that I did in my dining room. I am currently working on the same floor in my office and decided to try to show some images and videos as I do the work so you can watch and learn. Hopefully, this will help you to create your own new floor in your house! And by the way……this REALLY IS THE BEST THERAPY EVER!! Not only does it help me to relieve stress, but it enhances the look of my home!

Check out the website where I found this idea for detailed directions and list of items needed:

Lovely Crafty Home

Dining Room Floor

Dining room floor









Finished Dining Room

Finished Dining Room

Now on to the office:

Office After Carpet Removed

Removing the carpet is quite simple. I did not cut carpet with a razor blade because the room is a perfect square. I just pulled up, rolled up, and hauled out. The hardest and worst part of the entire job is pulling up the tack strips and removing all the staples from the padding. I use a chisel and hammer for the strip and needle-nose pliers for the staples. I HIGHLY recommend knee pads and gloves too. Here is a short video to show the process:

Filling CracksNext you must fill all the cracks and any holes or blemishes in the plywood with wood filler. I used Elmer’s Wood Filler and a putty knife. After drying overnight, I lightly sanded. It is okay if not perfectly smooth, because the texture is actually better for the effect….but you don’t want bumps.Filled cracks

After the prep work, you are ready to start laying the floor. Tear the craft paper into a variety of shapes and sizes. (I usually use 8-12 inch diameters). I left my paper flat until I was ready to use, this way I could see the size and shape of the paper. I found that was easier for piecing together the “puzzle”. Mix your glue mixture in a large bowl or bucket. I found my paper stuck best with a 2:1 ratio water to glue mix. Ex: 4 cups water, 2 cups glue. Crinkle one section of paper, place into the glue mix and lay on floor until ready to use. Then unfold and smooth onto the floor. Watch this quick video to get a visual of laying the paper.

All paper is now laid and drying. Stain goes on tomorrow…..


I also added a new light fixture today to add to the new look of the room. I love it!



Today I stained the floor. I started by using a chip brush all around the room by the baseboards. I then used a wood stain block & pad with extension pole to spread the stain onto the floor. I like to put it on in a circular motion so there aren’t any visible streaks. Work your way out of the room. This brief video shows how I apply with the block & pad. Don’t push too hard, because you do not want to risk tearing the paper. Also, you don’t want the stain to be too wet or it will take a lot longer to dry. I really spread my stain by pulling and dragging it to other sections. The stain absorbs very quickly to the paper.

The stain color I used was Minwax Dark Walnut (oil based). Let dry at least 8 hours. It will still be a bit tacky to the touch, but should be ready for the poly after that amount of time (or overnight). Pictures below show as stain is being applied, the difference with the stain and without. The last picture is after all stain is applied and the doors are closed to try and reduce odor. 🙂


Last step, and by far the easiest….applying the Poly. I used the same wood block but with a lambs wool pad. I vacuumed the pad to eliminate any loose lint before starting. I used another liner for my paint pan to make cleanup easy. All you do is dip the pad and spread onto floor. This goes on very easy and I prefer to do a light coat (not too thick or you will see a visible haze) so the drying time is quicker between coats. Apply 8-12 coats depending on the area you are doing and taking in to consideration high traffic vs low traffic. I used 8 coats in my dining room and still have no scratches or blemishes. Allow at least 1 hour between coats to dry. I use two fans to help speed up the drying. Here is another quick demo. (Yes I’m in my pajama pants…it was late at night).

UPDATE:   The floors are holding up great!   We even have a large lab dog now too and we don’t have any scratches or tears.  I also did this on my stairs.  Below is a picture:

Stair remodel

Stair remodel