Monday, October 13, 2014

DIY West Elm Inspired Art

I was browsing the West Elm website and fell in love with this piece of art - the colors, the simplicity, but not for $150 each.  So I decided to attempt to make my own version and you can do the same thing.  Here are the supplies I used.

- Drawing Paper
- Two paint brushes (one small and one larger) with a rounded tip
- Craftsmart paint in Gray and Granite
- square frame with a matte (optional)

The design was actually very easy to create.  I used a smaller brush for the inner portion of the circle and the larger brush for the outside.  I simply used the brushes to create dots in a circle.  Switch between the dark granite, light gray and a combination of both colors to create a random color pattern.

See how the colors vary below.

Unfortunately I am not very good at creating dots in a perfect circle.  In order to remedy that issue, I placed the matte over the art to create clean lines.

  Below is the finishes product!  For a fraction of the cost, I'm pretty pleased with the outcome!  If you are better at creating a perfect circle than I am - or at least one that looks less like an oval - you can omit the matte.

Have you created any knock off art or projects?

Friday, October 10, 2014

A "Formal" Reveal

Yes, finally I am happy to say what was our "formal" living room, now playroom, has made significant progress and the repaint is complete!  Below is a before shot and the inspiration room.

And here's the after:

I'm so excited that the room turned out better than the inspiration plan!!  Instead of painting the walls white, I decided to paint them Valspar's Montpelier Ashlar Gray like the remainder of the main floor and painted the accent wall Valspar's Mark Twain Brick Gray.  It actually translates as a dark navy/gray on the walls and I LOVE IT!!  It adds some depth and color to the room without being too overbearing.

The ottoman/coffee table was stolen from the living room.  We keep Little Man's train tracks in it.  However, in here it could serve dual purposes.  I feel like my mission is to always find a way to hide toys!  They're everywhere! :)

I'm really excited about where the room is going!  Like the wood wall art?  You can make your own just like it!  Check out our tutorial here.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Kitchen Faucet Swap Gone Awry

If I ever say that I am considering going into the plumbing profession, someone please slap me back to reality.  The most frustrating DIY projects I have done have been related to plumbing.  One of the first projects I did was swap out a sink and we ended up having to pull the whole sink off of the wall to replace it.  In all fairness it was wall mounted and very difficult to get to the plumbing to swap out the faucet.  There may have been some tears involved in that experience...

Since then my skills have improved a little (I've even swapped out a toilet successfully).  However, this past week we've encountered a frustrating project.  Our kitchen sink faucet started to leak, and I mean REALLY leak... if you moved the faucet neck it would pour out water and it was dripping constantly!

Here's the nice (or rather nasty looking) before picture of our sink.  Note the very modern faucet - which I say as facetiously as possible.

We decided to swap out the faucet and found this really nice Moen faucet that was affordable.  However we couldn't get the old faucet out!  It turned out that we would need to take out the whole sink in order to replace it due to some strange plumbing fixtures that were attached to the pipes.  However, I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a new top mount sink since I want to install an undermount sink when I put in new countertops in the next year (hopefully).

We were out a kitchen sink for a couple of days but enlisted some help from Mav's dad this weekend.

Fortunately, Lowe's sells a very inexpensive stainless steel sink that was almost exactly the same as the one we were ripping out.  The most painful part was getting the old sink out and everything disconnected.  There was even an old water filtration tank and spicket that had black gunk coming out of it.  Yuck!

However, once everything was out, we had the new sink and faucet in quickly (I only had to do the faucet - which was a breeze to install!).  :)

Installing the new sink...
I am in love with the result!  Although the sink is just a temporary fix it looks so much nicer than what we had before - it's so shiny and new!  Plus the faucet can be reinstalled when we put in a new sink and countertops.  Here's a nice little after.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Budget Kitchen Renovation: Adding Moulding to Sides of Base Cabinets

We are moving right along with section one of our budget kitchen remodel.  Earlier this week we showed you how you can use moulding to add feet to your base cabinets to make them look more custom.

Today we're going to check off one more item on our checklist:

Sand Doors
- Drill holes for new hardware
- Sand drawer fronts and cabinet frames
- Add decorative moulding to outside edges of cabinet frames
- Add decorative moulding to base of the frames (i.e. feet to make more furniture-like)
- Apply one coat of gel stain
- Apply two coats of Carrington stain
- Apply 3 coats of some kind of poly

For those with exposed cabinet sides, I'll now show you how to carry the same feet that you applied to the front of your cabinet frames, to the side of the cabinet.  Here's the finished product:

Here are the supplies we used:

- trim moulding (from cabinet feet) - click here for info on adding feet
-  8 pieces of trim wood- 1/4" x 3" x 48"
- caulk
- sand paper
- Mitre saw
- wood glue
- painter's tape
- finishing materials of your choice (i.e. paint, stain, poly) and applicator (i.e. paint brush)

First, add four pieces of 1/4"x 3" wood to the edges of the cabinet frame.  You can secure with wood glue  (or construction adhesive if you prefer).

Next, apply the trim moulding that you used when you installed the cabinet feet to the bottom (mitre the corners).

Last, we need to add some wood beneath the trim moulding, but we don't need to worry about cutting out any feet with a jigsaw.  I simply cut and fit a piece of 3"wood and glued/taped (see below).

Fill any gaps with caulk, smooth and let dry.  Once you are satisfied with the results, finish as desired (paint, poly, etc.).

Voila! You now have base cabinets that look custom without breaking the bank!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Budget Kitchen Renovation: Adding Feet to Base Cabinets

Today we are crossing off another item on the checklist for section one.

Sand Doors
- Drill holes for new hardware
- Sand drawer fronts and cabinet frames
- Add decorative moulding to outside edges of cabinet frames
- Add decorative moulding to base of the frames (i.e. feet to make more furniture-like)
- Apply one coat of gel stain
- Apply two coats of Carrington stain
- Apply 3 coats of some kind of poly

Here's the final results.

In order to make our cabinets look more custom, I added two different sets of moulding to the bases and I'm going to show you how you can do the same thing.  We did a similar project in the kitchen of our townhouse by simply adding base moulding to the cabinets (read more here).  However, you weren't able to stand with your toes under the cabinets which can prove slightly awkward.  So, I decided to take a different approach this time.

Here's what we used:

- trim moulding (see photo below)
-  3 - 1/4" x 5" x 48" pine or poplar boards 
- wood filler or caulk
- sand paper
- Jig saw
- Mitre saw
- wood glue
- clamps
- Finishing materials of your choice (i.e. paint, stain, poly) and applicator (i.e. paint brush)

First we're going to start with the feet.  Take your trim moulding and cut the pieces to fit at the base of your cabinets.  I used moulding with a small lip so that it would slightly overlap with the base of the cabinet.

Be sure to mitre corners (we'll fill in any gaps later).

Once you have all of your trim pieces cut, we're going to move onto the actual feet.  I used 1/4" pieces of wood and cut a custom design using my jigsaw.  Measure so that your feet will fit underneath the trim while still touching the floor.  I recommend creating a template that works and then tracing it to duplicate the pattern.  For cabinets that were next to each other, I cut a foot with the pattern on both sides (see below).  To get a nice smooth, rounded curve, I traced around a gatorade bottle.  You can make the pattern on your feet as simple or ornate as you would like.

This is what it should look like dry fitted.

See how this leaves plenty of toe space!
Once all of your feet are cut, sand down the cut edges to create a nice smooth finish and remove any ink marks from drawing the template onto the wood.

Next, I glued the feet to the moulding and let them dry for several hours.

Once they were dry, I placed glue in the small lip on the back of the moulding and clamped it to the cabinets. This allowed the wood glue to create a strong bond and straightened out the moulding (since it bowed a little bit).

Once everything was dry, I filled in any gaps with caulk.  I also caulked the seam where the moulding met the cabinet.  I know, generally you wouldn't use caulk on wood when using stain, but since my stain finish is opaque it is almost like using paint (you won't even know the caulk is there once it's done).  I have found that caulk is your best friend when you're trying to hide imperfections in wood working.

When that has all dried, it is time to apply the matching finish to your cabinets.  For us, this meant one coat of gel stain and a coat of Rustoleum's Carrington stain.  Click here for more information on the finishing method I'm using on my cabinets.

That was it!  Now our cabinets have feet that make them look more custom (rather than like they are the original cabinets to the house).

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Our Newest Addition!

If you've noticed, we've been a little light on posts lately and that's because we've been busy welcoming the newest addition to our family.  We're pleased to introduce to you our new baby girl.

Little Man has really taken to her which has been fun to watch.  He is pretty anxious to have her play with him.  It's so sweet!

We'll continue to take some time away to focus on our family before returning to projects and blogging, but we wanted to share our exciting news with you.
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