Accent Table

Awhile back, I found an accent table I liked at Target. It was a bit dark for my taste, but I needed something that would spruce up a corner in our living room. So I sprung on this dark wood, modern table and added accessories over time:

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Looks decent, but it was just sucking up tons of natural light that we couldn’t afford to lose. I decided to play around a little bit.

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I took of the front drawers and unscrewed the hardware. Oh, I should mention that my FIRST attempt to lighten this piece was to spray the hardware gold, to match some various accents on the table already (like the picture frame, the vase and the mirror). And it was a good attempt, but it wasn’t enough!

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I brought the two drawers to the garage and used 60 grit sandpaper on a palm sander to get the darkness off. Then I went over that with 150 grit. I would have used 3 different grits and ended with a higher (like 180 grit) finish, but I felt that it was sufficiently smooth with what I had available. Once it was sanded I used odorless mineral spirits and rag to wipe off the dust and debris leftover on the drawer front. 

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Once the drawer fronts had “dried” (the wet look that the mineral spirits left) it was time for primer and paint. I usually use Kilz Primer. We pick up a big bucket at Home Depot whenever we’re low. Then I went over it with Behr Ultra Pure White in a semi-gloss finish (which was left over from another project). I trial-ed a foam roller this time around while painting, and I must say: I will never go back! They are perfect for a smooth surface. Probably would have looked even more amazing with self-leveling paint. Next time…

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I popped the hardware back on after everything had dried nicely. And I’m VERY happy with the results.

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It’s like a brand new piece of furniture! Very awesome DIY for cheap. What is everyone else working on? Anyone updating with paint?

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Vase Painting

I stopped into Goodwill the other day and picked up a few of these beauties from the glass department.

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I think it was about $3 or $4 for all four jars. This chic, feather-patterned guy is my favorite.

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The intention was to follow this tutorial on how to make some fancy/modern decorations at home for cheap. I’m thrifty like that. I used paint we had in the basement and also picked up a $3 sample pot of Behr’s paint at Home Depot.

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Basically, you pour the paint down the INSIDE wall of the jars and rotate them (mouth of the vase up!) until the inside is completely covered. Then you can flip them mouth-side-down onto old newspaper. They take a while to dry, but I’m loving the result!

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They are not quite as “pastel” in person, that’s probably a camera flaw. I’ve already set them on display on my little accent table of the living room. I’m constantly futzing over what should sit on that thing. It changes weekly. And I’m actually thinking of sanding the drawers down and painting them white for a little pop of brightness in that little corner.

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Oh yeah, I finished one of my designs! It’s a personalized family print. Here’s a closer shot:

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It makes me happy… Any paint-related projects going on out there in the world? Tell me about them! Or link to them! I’d love to see your DIY projects.

Super Post

It’s a super post friends! It has a little bit of everything. We’ve been busy on our vacation week off of work! So… my family has been coming over occasionally these past few weeks helping us drywall in our kitchen. We had quite a big job after removing a wall, and tearing some trim out in there. The drywalling is mostly done, except the seam where the living room ceiling and kitchen ceiling newly meet up. That’s going to take a few more coats to smooth out. Let’s talk about the floor though. This is how we prepped our kitchen for porcelain tile.

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We bought a bag of Versabond dry mix. Then we added water. Our end result was slightly thicker than pancake batter and it worked great. Oh, if you ever have to mix something like this up, invest in a “mixer” drill attachment. Our’s is that fuzzy metal piece you see in the picture. Pro: It’s heaven-sent. Con: It wears out your drill battery.

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We swept and vacuumed our plywood subfloor and then poured a small puddle of the Versabond onto the surface. It doesn’t take much to cover a 3’x3′ square. We had purchased a trowel tool with 1/8″ teeth. I used the flat side to smooth my puddle over the plywood, and then went over my work with the grooved side, kind of combing the mixture into a lined pattern.

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I won’t lie. It’s a messy job. I was the first person to try it out and found my groove right away, so I “mudded” most of the kitchen while Kevin assisted with pouring more mud and also laying the concrete board over the surface and drilling it into place.

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Our concrete board (or backer board, rock board, or whatever other name it has) had indentations where we should drill. It was about 60 screws for a 3’x5′ board. Remember extra drill batteries or find a corded drill if you are doing this yourself! Once you start mudding, you shouldn’t stop. We drilled while the mud was still wet and got great results. Walking on it right away didn’t seem to be an issue either.

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That’s about how far we got before running out of the Versabond mixture. Not bad. We were back at it first thing in the morning.

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It didn’t take long before getting to the point of having to make custom cuts… which is not our favorite. The board cracks pretty easily. Kevin found it best to make a very deep score in the board before snapping the cut you want to make. We managed… and finally, finally the concrete board was down. Woohoo!

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I don’t have pictures, but we did use a mesh tape to cover the seams and use more versabond to seal the tape to the floor. Without getting super specific, our next step was priming. Then we popped into Home Depot and found a product I have since fallen in love with.

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Homax texture in a can. See… the walls and ceiling in our living room are an orange peel texture. Maybe sand. We’re not sure. The walls in our kitchen are flat. Homax in orange peel, when used at the “fine” setting makes an identical, seamless surface on the areas where the two rooms join. It’s amazing. A+.

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Here’s after we primed and sprayed the flat wall in the kitchen. The texture is subtle, but I think the camera does a good job of picking it up. It feels like it’s been there all along.

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Next up is kitchen cabinets. And shims. Lots and lots of shims.

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I will be sharing more very soon. We are tweaking the finishing touches on the cabinets as I type this. Now… it’s your turn! Encourage me by mentioning something you’re working on!

Windows: Bad to Bright!

Before I get going, guess who moved in?

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My new loves. The cabinets!! Admittedly though, one has the door installed backwards and we are missing some paneling for the sides of the upper cabinets. Remodeling Problems. Speaking of problems, onto today’s post. My almost un-salvagable window trim.

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It’s bad. We’d love, love, love to get new vinyl windows installed, but it’s out of this years budget. Sad day! So I’m getting my hands dirty covered in paint to get these babies looking like something special. First, I trashed the beige mini blinds.

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Ahem, beige mini-blinds? Can you take all the beige light switches and outlet covers with you? Then, I removed the window hardware.

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Hiya neighbors. I am lucky that my camera blows out the windows from far away… We do not have the best view. Next, I removed the frames and took them outside for some priming. I had previously putty-ed up the nail and hardware holes and lightly sanded the frames.

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I used an angle brush on the inner beveled part of the windows, then went over the square frame parts with a 3″ roller. Gave it 2-3 coats. Very, very happy. And… that’s as far as I am. Priming is tedious, yo! Can’t wait to show you the final result. In the meanwhile… what are all you working on? Anything household items that are getting some love or a makeover? Tell me about it!