Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Budget Kitchen Renovation: Section Two Progress

I know things have been a little quiet here on the blog lately and that's because my days have been filled with these two cuties!

When I do find a couple of free moments, I've slowly been making progress on section two of our budget kitchen remodel.

Here's the checklist for section two (still plenty more to do - not to mention the base cabinets still need poly):

Sand Doors
- Drill holes for new hardware
- Add decorative moulding to outside edges of cabinet frames
- Apply one coat of gel stain
- Apply two coats of Carrington stain
- Apply 3 coats of some kind of poly

What is unique about our kitchen is that our upper cabinets are 42" high, where standard cabinets are 36" high.  That equates to more storage space for us (which I love).  It also meant that it took longer to sand these cabinets.  Not to mention they were much grimier than the lowers.

However, all of the staining is complete and here's the result with the new stain!

I just love it!  For these doors, I stained them out on our deck and used two 1x4's to create a stand for them to lay on.  Working only a couple of hours at a time (during naps), it took a couple of weeks to complete.

I have to say, when I put up a couple of the completed doors onto the old cabinets, I was a little nervous about the final result...

Sometimes I find that DIY projects look worse before they get better - but keep faith and press on towards that final result.  The cabinet frames were completed much more quickly than the doors.  I found it was easiest to use a drop cloth and painter's tape to cover the counter tops and appliances to keep stain from dripping on them (I encountered more splatter than drips on the drop cloth).

You can see below that I still have section three to complete, but I also have to add the moulding to section two before the "bones" can be said to be complete.  As of right now the backs of all of the doors are still the original color as we'll (still to be stained, but I figured I'd get the fronts complete and then move onto the backs).

Here's a couple more shots just for fun!  You can see the color variation in the stain depending on the lighting-  sometimes it has a reddish hue and other times a dark cool almost espresso brown hue.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Our Entryway is Complete!!

I am super excited today for two reasons.  One - the moulding in the entryway is finally done AND painted!  It only took nearly a year to complete - no big deal  ;).  

Two - I found this awesome dresser for the entry way at Home Goods.  I swear the finish looks just like it came out of a Pottery Barn store - but the price tag certainly didn't.  I feel like Home Goods can be totally hit or miss, and this time it was a home run.

This has been the plan for this space since before we moved in and it's so exciting to see it all come together!!

We were also able to swap out the light fixtures on the ceiling.  The best part - it was a contractor pack and included two lights for about $20.  You can't beat that price and they look way more expensive than they were.  Plus our entryway is brighter than ever!

Here's one final before and after for the final effect.

What I love most about moulding is that it is an easy upgrade you can add yourself and it makes a drastic update to a room.  How have you used moulding in your home to update a room?

Click below to read more about how to install picture frame moulding:

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!

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