No-Sew Method for Hemming Curtains

For as much as I love DIY, sewing is one skill I haven’t grown to love that much. I do love the look of curtains though, and they rarely come in the correct length for what I need. When I bought the 96″ curtains for our primary bedroom, I knew I would need to hem them. I like a slight pool of fabric at the bottom, but these curtains were still a couple inches too long for my taste. Today I thought I’d share a little tutorial for my method for hemming curtains – no needle and thread in sight.

This no-hem method is a low-cost, quick, and simple project that is perfect for beginner DIYs!

Materials

HeatnBond hem tape

-Iron

-Paper clips (or pin of your choice)

-Scissors

-Ironing Board (or other heat-safe surface)

Ideally you would use an ironing board but I didn’t have one so I improvised with two folding chairs and an old table protector pad. Before beginning, I recommend cutting off the curtain tag at the bottom (if there is one). I found that the hem tape did not adhere as well to the tag. Once the tags were removed, I folded the bottom of the curtain to create the new desired length.

For me, this was easy because the width of the existing hem was the amount that I wanted taken off overall length, so I could just fold the curtain over on the existing hem. I chose to secure them with paper clips because they’re easy for me to slip on and off and safer than sharp pins if I accidentally dropped or lost one and a child or pet found it.

Once I had secured the entire bottom of the curtain, I ran the iron lightly over of the new folded seam to create a nice crisp seam on the bottom.

Next came the hem tape. At first I accidentally bought super weight (it’s supposed to be for heavier fabrics) but it worked fine for my cotton curtains. I did run out and have to buy a second roll so I bought regular weight that time and honestly didn’t notice a difference in how they worked for my fabric.

I chose to work in smaller sections and ripped off roughly 8-10 inches of hem tape at a time. I placed it underneath the folded fabric and ran the iron across to activate the adhesive. (Note: the curtain edge is peeled back in the picture below to show you where I placed the tape, but make sure it is lying completely flat when you run the iron across)

I found that it worked best to hold the iron over each section for a good five seconds before moving it down the line, and I overlapped the iron each time for additional heat. If I spent less time on each section, the adhesive didn’t get hot enough to work. My iron was on the cotton heat setting since the curtains were cotton.

When I came to the end of the curtain, in addition to the hem tape running parallel to the old hem, I ran a small piece of hem tape along the outside edge to keep the fold secure.

To finish the seam, I flipped the curtain over and ran the iron once more over the hem tape from the other side, spending about 1-2 seconds on each small section.

That’s it! Once the fabric cools down, the glue dries and creates a nice new hem. This project cost less than $8 and took roughly 10 minutes per curtain. Quick, easy, and inexpensive! The perfect little DIY šŸ™‚

Sources

Wall Color: Sherwin Williams Foggy Day

Curtain Rods

Curtains (out of stock ā€“ similar here)

Basket

Vanity + Chair are vintage

One Year Later: How has the Basement Kitchen held up?

My Google Photos sends me a lot of “one year ago” flashbacks and lately, all the pictures have been flashbacks to our basement kitchen renovation. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since this transformation!

This project was a great example of the power of paint, as paint was the biggest tool I used to transform the space. Painted walls, painted counters, painted cabinets, painted floors . . . lots and lots and lots of paint went into this renovation! I thought it would be fun today to take a look at the kitchen one year later and see how everything has held up so far. There’s also a few small changes since the initial reveal – see if you can spot them!

Cabinets

I’m still in love with the cabinet color (Rock Bottom by HGTV by Sherwin Williams). I chose this paint brand and I have to say I’m very impressed with how it has held up. This kitchen doesn’t get normal everyday use, but now that our kids play in the basement so much we use it for snacks frequently and the kids even play in the kitchen sometimes. We also use it as a hosting kitchen whenever we’re entertaining, which we’ve finally started to do more of now. There is not one scratch in the paint on the cabinets and it doesn’t need a single touch up!

Countertops

I also am really glad I chose to paint the countertops instead of replace them. You can read all about that process here. Even though it’s not perfect (there are about 3 places where I didn’t get the epoxy quite thick enough so there’s a small hole in the top layer), it was a super cost-effective way to get a new look. When guests come over, no one can believe it’s paint!

I will say, the counters do show some very slight scratching from use, but it’s hard to see unless the lighting is just right. It’s so minor that I think it’s one of those things that no one else notices except for me because I know to be aware of it. Would I recommend painted counters as an update? YES! I think this is a perfect way to inexpensively elevate a kitchen and it’s a fairly easy DIY. I do think that it’s probably a better “short-term” fix (like 5-10 years) and not necessarily a good permanent solution for counters you plan to use for 25 years, particularly in a kitchen that gets heavy everyday use. I just think it would likely show more wear and not hold up quite as well for that long. But it’s a great solution for counters that you hate but can’t afford or don’t want to replace yet!

And speaking of counters, the butcherblock is also holding up very well. This gets the most use: it’s where my kids eat snacks, where we prepare food for guests, where we set out food when we’re entertaining, and where we first drop things off when they come into the kitchen. The butcherblock is easy to clean and still looks great after a year of use!

Floors

The only painted surface that I am not very thrilled with one year later is the floor. The picture below is a realistic glimpse at how it often looks after a light sweep of the floors.

Painting the tile was again, an inexpensive way to transform the look of the floors. And the paint kit I chose (you can read the whole process here) was a great decision, as the actual paint itself has held up well. The floor gets heavy use from kids playing and guests walking in and out; I’ve had to scrape food off the floor and even when I have to use my nail, no paint scratches off. The quality of paint is great! I just wish I had chosen a different color.

White on floors is a horrible decision in a kitchen. I wish I had chosen a darker base color or a different pattern (or at least much larger triangles) so not as much white was showing. It’s just so hard to keep them looking clean! They show so much dirt and almost always look like they could use a good scrubbing. I’m someone who doesn’t actually scrub the floors super often – I want them looking clean with a light sweep and then an occasional deep clean. I typically don’t see dirt on the gray triangles, just on the white, but there is a lot of white!

We had to buy a new fridge when the old one died a few months ago, and the new one a little smaller so some of the old tile now shows at the bottom. I’m seriously debating whether I should continue the pattern under the new fridge or use this as an opportunity to re-paint the entire floor in a darker color. . . hmmm.

Overall, I’m still really happy with this space and I’m so glad I decided to invest a lot of time and effort into making it shine without breaking the bank (this whole reno was under $1500!) This is a space I know we will be enjoying for years to come!

For all sources, you can check out the bottom of this post.

ORC Week Eight: Primary Bedroom Reveal(ish)

After several weeks of work, our primary bedroom is . . . halfway done!

Yep, you read that right. I’m only finished with half of the room so far, but my oh my do I love this half!

Here’s a reminder of where the space started at the beginning of the One Room Challenge:

Throughout the past nine weeks, I painted the walls, baseboards, ceiling and windows. I also replaced the window casing with chunkier trim and updated the outlet and switch covers with wooden covers painted the same color as the wall. Justin and I hung new curtain rods and curtains, new smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, installed sconces, swapped our nightstands with the ones from our guest room, and of course, upgraded our bed, bedding, and rug.

I have realized something important about myself in this process. I understand the value of planning out a renovation ahead of time. The mood board I created at the beginning of the project was such a helpful guide for me in making decisions early on and to gather all my thoughts in one place. That being said, I realized that I also really like slow, thoughtful design decisions. I like to solidify a choice, see it in my space, and then finalize the next choice from there. This room started with the bed. I knew I wanted a platform bed in a deep, solid color. Once I had the bed in place, I could gather bedding ideas and a rug that would all coordinate well, and once I sat with those choices for a couple weeks, I found the curtains that worked perfectly to complete the look.

Looking back at my mood board, I stuck with a lot of materials and products that I first envisioned, but I’m glad I didn’t jump the gun and order everything at once in the beginning. Take the curtains for example – I originally envisioned a solid mustard color. As the renovation went on and everything came together, I realized with solid color walls (I did not do limewash as I originally planned), a solid color bedframe, and a solid color throw blanket, I needed more pattern! I wanted a subtle graphic pattern to balance out the bolder, more intricate pattern in the rug and I really wanted to stick with a mustard color. It was actually very hard to find affordable, in-stock, 96″ length curtains in a small, mustard-colored, graphic pattern that I actually liked, and I searched for weeks before finding these beauties (snagged on sale for under $50 a pair!)

I’m very glad I didn’t let the pressure of a “deadline” with the ORC rush my decision because I’m so so happy with the end result!

My goal when starting out with this space was to create a colorful, moody retreat. I wanted a place that felt relaxing for Justin and I – a little haven just for us away from the chaos of sharing a house with two toddlers and two dogs. The bedroom before was a functional, but boring blank slate. We are both so happy with how it feels now: a restful, soothing space just right for us.

Now that I’m finished with the “bed half,” I am ready to focus my energies on the other half of the room: the half that currently looks like this.

I have an Ikea dresser I plan to hack for this space, as well as add a little vanity table, more curtains, and possibly a different mirror. Again, I’m taking things a little slower and honing my vision one decision at a time! I can’t wait to see how it all comes together!

Sources

Wall Color: Sherwin Williams Foggy Day

Ceiling Color: Sherwin Williams Alabaster

Upholstered Bed

Nightstands

Cream Pillows

Green Pillows

Lumbar Pillow

Quilt

Floral Sheets + Throw, both from Target (no link available)

Rug

Eucalyptus Stems

Wall Sconce

Curtain Rods

Elbow Connectors (used to make the rods work for a bay window)

Curtains (out of stock – similar here)

Dog Bed

Be sure to check out all the other One Room Challenge reveals here!

ORC Week Six: The Sconces are In!

We’re in the home stretch of the One Room Challenge!

Justin and I are on vacation this week and it has been amazing to take some time away together. Right before we left, I finished painting the walls and we tackled one more small project in our bedroom: putting up our sconces!

I love the look of sconces but didn’t want to hardwire them because a) it’s expensive to do and b) we will likely move where our bed sits when we remodel the en suite bathroom/move a wall in 3-5 years. At that time, we’ll hardwire them because it’ll be a more permanent spot for our bed. Until then, Justin just attached the sconces directly to the wall and I used these battery-powered, remote-controlled puck lights in place of lightbulbs. This solution works for now, but the puck lights aren’t super bright with the white globes so I’m on the lookout for a similar light with more lumens.

Side note…can we talk about how my library check out pile has officially gotten out of control!?

Also, if you’re wondering if the smoke alarm placement bothers me, the answer is YES but the previous owners hardwired it there and we’re not going to move it right now so I’m learning to deal with it. Win some, lose some!

Okay back to the sconces. They are from Illuminate Vintage, a small business out of Houston that I discovered and fell in love with. Made in the USA, conscious of sustainability, gorgeous styles and high quality – sign me up! I was immediately drawn to these Erie sconces which feel modern and fun and I chose a raw brass finish that will patina over time.

When we come back from vacation, I need to paint the ceiling, hang curtains, replace the baseboards, install window trim, and the big one: complete my Ikea dresser hack! It’s a tight timeline but I think we can pull it off!

Sources

Wall Color: Sherwin Williams Foggy Day

Upholstered Bed

Nightstands

Cream Pillows

Green Pillows

Lumbar Pillow

Quilt

Floral Sheets + Throw, both from Target (no link available)

Rug

Eucalyptus Stems

Wall Sconce

ORC Week Three: Fabric Sample to the Rescue!

Another week of the One Room Challenge has come and gone and if this one was a Friends episode, it would be titled The One Where Almost Nothing Happened. Ha! I say “almost” because one very small but important thing did happen yesterday afternoon, in the final hours of a week full of no other progress.

ORC-Guest-400x218.png

When I first ordered my bed, the estimated delivery date was May 14. Then I got a notice that it would be May 17. Than I got another notice that it was backordered and wouldn’t arrive until May 25. I’m crossing my fingers that that will be the actual date of arrival but at this point, I’m not very confident.

Unfortunately, our bedroom has more or less been at a standstill with the delay of the bed. I had been waiting on it before making decisions with other colors, textures, and textiles to bring into the room so it’s been very frustrating to not know when it’s going to arrive. Then last Saturday, I realized that I could order a fabric sample of the upholstery! I immediately ordered a free sample, only to have it tell me the estimated delivery date was June 15. Sigh.

I ordered it anyways, thinking maybe it would still come before the bed. I’m so glad I did because it completely surprised me by arriving yesterday! Although the order on the website still says “preparing for shipping” with a delivery date of June 14 so that really doesn’t give me confidence in Wayfair’s delivery notifications. Hopefully that’s not a bad omen for the bed’s shipping…

Now that I at least have the fabric sample, I feel like I can actually proceed with making some other decisions. I’m feeling energetic and excited to get moving on this again!

Make sure to check out the other ORC participants here. They probably have made a bit more progress than I did this week. šŸ˜‰

Home Tour 2021

It’s been two years since we first moved into this house. On one hand, I can’t believe it’s been that long. On the other, it feels like so much longer! Last year I posted a tour of every single room to document our progress one year in (to see last year’s tour, click here). Today, I’m once again sharing every single room in our house, now two years in to living here. Something interesting I noticed after the fact is that last year, I titled the post “house tour” and this year, I titled it “home tour.” I think this subconscious decision speaks to the fact that we have been working really hard to turn this house into our home and with each little change it feels more and more like us.

This post is inevitably a long one but I tried not to make it even longer with a lot of words, so anytime the italicized room name has a hyperlink, that will take you back to the renovation post. If you want to read more about how that room was transformed, click the link and you can see before and afters! The rooms that haven’t been addressed don’t have hyperlinks but I’ll share a few thoughts about what the room has been through so far and what still needs to happen.

These tours are fun to look back on because not only does it show all the changes this house undergoes, but it also shows the changes in our family (cribs to toddler beds, stuffed animals now to older choices later, etc). For that reason, I didn’t really shift around much for these pictures. Obviously I cleaned so it’s looking its best šŸ˜‰ but I still wanted this to look like us. I didn’t suddenly style a coffee table that normally we keep empty due to toddlers or didn’t take down LJ’s creations on our fridge or move our exercise bike (even though I wanted to!) or anything like that. In one case I didn’t even pick up LJ’s toys. This is just our home in 2021.

Basement

Guest Bedroom

I would still like to go back and add wallpaper to this room at some point!

Guest Bathroom

Entertaining Space

This is a space that’s been added to and adjusted in bits and pieces over the time we’ve lived here. I’m constantly rearranging all the plants on that shelf as we collect more or they grow and get re-potted so this space is always evolving. I still want to swap out the old window trim and paint the windows at some point, which I think will make a big difference!

I found this huge piece of furniture on Marketplace and I have some ideas in mind to really transform its look but for now, I’m just glad we have something other than a bent folding table to hold our TV!

Behind the couch is the dining table Justin made from scrap wood paired with chairs I found on Marketplace for $2 a piece. Right now, that space is also occupied by our exercise bike (Quarantine Splurge #1). I’d really rather that be somewhere else but Justin prefers to have it there so he can ride and watch TV at the same time. Did you also see all the weights and yoga mat to the right of the entertainment center in the picture above? We really need a dedicated home gym space . . . more on that in a minute.

Perhaps my favorite part of the basement is the kitchen I renovated last year!

On the other side of the basement is a wide open space that wasn’t really utilized until Quarantine Splurge #2 entered the picture. This bounce house was purchased over the winter and was a total game changer for life at home with two toddlers who can’t go anywhere. Even now that the weather has warmed up and we go outside more, this still gets used almost daily and is so great for getting energy out!

There’s also a treadmill that we never use that just needs to be sold to get out of the house and a lot of wide open space for the kids to play. I decided to leave LJ’s toys out instead of clean them up for the picture because he is obsessed with tractors and loves to line up his toys and I know I’ll miss these sweet little lineups some day.

Mudroom

The last room in the basement is by far the worst room in our home. It’s my Monica closet for all you Friends fans. I’m cringing just looking at it! It’s been used for storage but it’s cluttered and unorganized and so badly needs attention. I actually want to totally re-work this space and use it as a workout room for all the exercise equipment taking up space in the basement so that may be a project one day!

Now we head up the spiral stairs to the main floor of the house!

Main Floor

Laundry Room

This room has been pretty much untouched since we moved in but I have big plans to address it this year!

Full Bathroom

I did a zero dollar update to this bathroom off the laundry room last summer and still love how it turned out!

Powder Room

This room has been untouched so far and it low on our priority list right now. Someday, my friend.

Office

By far my favorite project to date!

Dining Room

Kitchen

This was our most recent renovation and I’m still pinching myself over how different it looks in here now!

Playroom

We renovated this room back in 2019 but this past year we did give it a few updates like new window trim and a light and a DIY play kitchen!

Living Room

Another untouched room with tons of potential, but life with toddlers has made this a very low priority over the past two years. It’s functional and kid-friendly and that’s what we need right now!

Foyer

This has been . . . somewhat addressed. Ha! We need to hire a painter to complete the top half of the walls. We also have plans to eventually knock out that little closet, replace the front doors, update the railing, replace the light, the list goes on! I think this could be a showstopper someday.

“Secret” Nook

Top Floor

Landing

Notice LJ’s ever-changing artwork – it looks like a Q but I think it’s a person!

Kids Bathroom

LJ’s Bedroom (complete with Scout!)

Vi’s Bedroom

Primary Bedroom

This room is our current project, although all we’ve been able to address so far are the windows. And our new adjustable bed base is just hanging out in the middle of the room as we wait for the mattress. I can’t wait to see it all come together soon!

Primary Bathroom

A gut renovation will still happen someday, but I’m still so glad we did a phase one update back in 2019!

Whew! That’s a wrap on the house! We’ve still got a lot to do but it’s come a long way and I’m glad to have a minute to sit back and just enjoy all the progress we’ve made so far. And I’ve got to end on this picture – LJ and Vi ran in from playing outside with Justin as I was photographing and insisted on being in a picture. The lighting is off and it’s blurry but I love it so much. My two little kids cheesing after a fun day outside – this is what it’s all about. This is why I work so hard on this house. It’s for our family and our life together. It’s the safe space for our family, the place we gather with our loved ones. This home is the backdrop for all our sweetest memories and I love finding all its hidden potential.

Friday Features {5.14.21}

Good morning! It’s been a big week this week, so today I’m sharing some of the things that have been going on with our home and family.

Kitchen Island Light Fixure

Our kitchen refresh is officially finished! I shared the first part of the reveal a couple weeks ago but there was one thing left on my to-do list: replacing the fluorescent light over the island! I ordered a new light fixture over a month ago but the original estimated delivery date was between July 29-August 2. Well for once, I’m thrilled that a shipping date was off by a couple months because the fixture arrived earlier this week! Justin installed it and we are both thrilled with how it elevates the look of the kitchen.

$1000 Kitchen Refresh

Piggy-backing off that, I love looking at these before and after shots of the kitchen. Justin and I have always intended to do a gut renovation of this kitchen and change the layout, but that is several years down the road. This refresh was a way to make the kitchen feel like the rest of the house without a huge investment of money. Fresh paint on the cabinets, walls, and window trim + updated backsplash from repurposed beadboard + new LED can lights + updated light fixture and bar stools = a kitchen that feels brand new. And the best part of this transformation is that it was right around $1000. Totally worth it!

Last Day of Preschool

And speaking of before-and-afters, yesterday was LJ’s last day of preschool. I cannot believe how much this boy has changed this year! The days are long, but the years really are so short. I went back and forth so many times about whether or not to send him to preschool, but looking back I’m so glad I did. He had a great year!

Mother’s Day 2021

We had a sweet little day with our family on Sunday. LJ went with Justin to the store after their haircuts on Saturday and picked out the brightest flowers I’ve ever seen. Justin said when he saw the balloons he immediately asked if he could get one for mommy. Melt my heart! I will always take the handpicked or handmade gifts over anything fancy. I love his sweet little heart!

We stayed in comfy clothes all day and it was pretty much what you’d expect for Mother’s Day with toddlers. I love being their mama!

Although I have to also include this picture – the day after Mother’s Day, things went back to their normal chaotic selves around here. This is truly my life as a mama haha!

Happy Birthday Mom!

And speaking of moms, today is my mom’s birthday! She is one of the most important people in my life and I am grateful for her everyday. It’s been so fun to watch her thrive in her grandma role these last few years – she is one-of-a-kind and we love her so much!

Have a great weekend!

Spring 2021 One Room Challenge Week One: Primary Bedroom Mood Board!

I’m so excited to be joining in as a guest participant for another round of the One Room Challenge and this time, Justin and I are finally addressing our bedroom!

ORC-Guest-400x218.png

I forgot to take “before” pictures prior to our new adjustable base getting delivered yesterday, so right now the room looks like this:

The base is heavy, so we had them set it up and once our mattress is delivered we’ll take down the old bed and move the base in place. You probably get the point, but here’s a few better shots of the room without the extra bed from back in January 2020. As you can see, we’ve done almost nothing to it since then!

The room feels like a blank slate. All we have done since moving in two years ago is replace the overhead boob light (if you know, you know) with a matte black ceiling fan and paint the walls from the same brown that was everywhere in this house to white (Sherwin Williams Alabaster). That’s it! We have no art on the walls, no window coverings at all (don’t worry, we have enough trees for privacy), just nothing inspiring or relaxing or anything. It just feels like a room, and while I know we’re lucky to have it and we don’t need a single thing for it to be functional, we’re really ready to treat ourselves to a nicer, more relaxing space.

We’re also ready for some upgrades. Our mattress was my college graduation gift so it’s *cough* 10 years old, and while it’s still in decent shape, it’s not providing us with the best sleep anymore. We’re using an old comforter that used to be in our guest room. Our bedside lamps are now mismatched because the other matching lamp died a few months ago and we just used a spare we had. It feels a bit like a minimalist hot mess (is that a thing!?) We’ve just never wanted to spend money on “ourselves” and our bedroom before, but it finally feels like the right time to do it.

I’ve been gathering inspiration for months now and I put together a mood board to help me home in a direction for the room. Here’s my inspiration for the space:

I want our bedroom to feel like a retreat, but like, a colorful, moody retreat. I think bedrooms that are light and airy and done in a neutral color palette are beautiful, but that’s just not the direction I want to head with this room. I’m also not a huge fan of all white bedding (serious question: how do people keep it looking crisp and clean!?) so I’ll be incorporating lots of different textures, patterns, and colors in the bedding. The room is actually very large (too large – who needs enough space for a dresser, a queen bed AND a king bed!?) and there is a lot of wall space so I’ve been thinking of ways to add some interest without overcommitting to a huge project and an accent wall doesn’t feel like a great option because there is a window or door on every wall. Right now, I’m leaning towards trying a limewash paint but I’m going to hold off on making a decision until I can pull more elements of the room together.

Our base is here and our mattress and bed are on their way – I’m really excited to start tackling this room! I’ll be posting weekly check-ins on Thursdays but if you’d like to follow the process more frequently, I’ll be posting more real-time updates on my Instagram @simplifythechaos

Be sure to check out all the other participants and their projects here!

Creating a Simple Craft Space for the Kids

While I finished up the largest part of the kitchen renovation a couple weeks ago, there was one lingering area I had yet to address: the desk. Since the One Room Challenge starts Thursday and that will take most of my home project focus, I decided to spend time yesterday giving a quick and inexpensive refresh to this space.

This little desk area on the side of our kitchen used to be where I worked from home; however, once we completed our office, this space became an area for the kids’ creative activities. We store their playdoh, markers, crayons, stickers, paper, etc. here and they spend hours crafting, making sweet little messes, and stretching their creative muscles. Here’s what it looked like before we did anything to the kitchen:

I painted the cabinets a few weeks ago with the rest of the kitchen but hadn’t done anything else yet. It was time to finish!

A very realistic look at what the space is like on a daily basis.

My goal from this space was to make it feel cohesive with the rest of the house while still feeling like a distinct space for kids. The first step was removing all the stickers off the wall (lol) and then I painted the wall to match the rest of the main floor with one coat of primer and two coats Sherwin Williams Alabaster in Eggshell.

I wanted to have a cute way for the kids to display some of their artwork on the wall above the desk but didn’t want to spend money so I went searching through our house. I found some old 14″ x 14″ corkboards that had been in storage for years (leftover from a DIY project Justin made 6-7 years ago). I collected them from our garage and found some baker’s twine in my gift wrapping supplies. Since our kids are too little to use thumbtacks, I pulled the twine over the front of the corkboard and wrapped it around the back, securing it with masking tape. A simple and inexpensive DIY project that took less than 20 minutes for two corkboards!

I created a crisscross pattern over the front of the corkboard so now they can just slide their artwork in behind the twine and it’s easy to swap out creations when they want.

I attached the corkboards to the wall using command picture hanging strips. I love that these don’t damage the wall if I decide to take them down later, and the Velcro allows me to easily take the corkboard off the wall if I ever want to access the outlet behind (the kids don’t have a need for it, but it’s nice to know we can access it if we need to).

I finished off the space with an aloe plant and two thrifted containers to hold markers and crayons. Both the yellow container and the basket were $3 each at thrift stores, bringing the grand total investment spent for this specific area to $6. Not too shabby!

All in all, this little refresh took about half a day – and most of that time was dry time in between paint coats. I probably spent about 2-2.5 active hours working on it and while it’s far from glamorous, I’m happy with the result. The space fits in with the rest of the home but still feels distinctly like an area for kids. Both kids have already used it since I finished up and I foresee lots more creativity and fun memories happening right here!

Sources:

Cabinet Color: SW Link Gray

Wall Color: SW Alabaster

Trim Color: SW Agreeable Gray

Planter and Chair are from Marshall’s

Yellow container and basket are thrifted

Citrus Recipe Box

DIY Painted Kitchen Cabinets

We’re currently in the process of giving our kitchen a budget-friendly facelift. While we’re still working on a few more projects for the space, we’ve finished one step that has already made a huge difference: painting the kitchen cabinets!

New cabinets were not an option, and the floor and countertops are also staying. With so many things staying, painting the cabinets was an easy and cost-effective way to still make a major impact! Today I’m sharing the process I used for this transformation – it took me about three days of actively working on it (while my parents watched our kids) to get the whole kitchen finished so it’s a good project to tackle over a long weekend.

Materials

deglosser

-lint-free cloth

primer

-paint

-foam roller

-angled brush

-painters tape

The first step was to remove all the cabinet doors. We have a little electric screwdriver that makes quick work of this step, but a regular screwdriver would work too.

Ideally, we would have removed the drawer fronts as well; however, when I started trying to unscrew one, I realized that the previous owners had used screws and a nail gun to attach the fronts. I have no idea why they did both, but we would have had to pry all the fronts off – a laborious process that possibly would’ve caused some damage to the drawers. We chose to leave them attached to the drawers and just painted the fronts and sides and left the backs as is since they’re rarely visible. Assuming your drawer fronts aren’t nailed on, I would absolutely recommend removing them as well and following the same process as with the door fronts.

After unscrewing the door from the cabinet, I removed all hardware (hinges and knob). While wearing a latex glove, I poured some liquid deglosser onto a clean cloth and rubbed it all over the surface of the front and back of the doors. This process is a substitute for sanding and prepares the previously stained wood so that paint will adhere better to it. It saves so much time compared to sanding!

Once the deglosser is dry, the doors were ready to be primed. I buy Kilz 2 primer in bulk because I use it so often and it worked well for this project. I recommend starting with the back of the cabinet doors so that once you flip them over, the front will be finished last. The painted wood has the potential to get a nick or scuff when it’s flipped over and I much prefer that if that happens, it happens to the back side

After the primer has dried, it’s time to paint! After a lot of deliberation, I landed on Sherwin Williams Link Gray – a nice warm grayish-green that coordinates well with all the brown and gold tones in our kitchen countertop. I recommend getting a higher-quality paint for the cabinets because they’ll get a lot of use. I chose the HGTV Showcase line from Lowe’s (in a satin finish). There are brands out there that specifically have paint for cabinets but I used this brand when I painted our basement kitchen cabinets last year and they still look perfect!

I used an angled brush to paint the inset edge first . . .

. . . then I used a six inch foam roller to cover the rest of the door.

This paint boasts “one coat coverage” and that may be true for walls, but I found that the first coat didn’t quite get everything and a second coat was needed. That being said, I chose not to do a second coat on the backs of the doors since the coverage was really pretty good and the backs aren’t often visible. This allowed me to also do the entire kitchen with just one gallon of paint!

I waited about four hours and then flipped the doors over to repeat the same process of primer + paint on the fronts. Again, I used a brush to paint the inset first and then used the foam roller for everything else.

When painting the fronts, I like to set them on top of paint cans or other small items where they can be lifted off the ground so I can roll the edges as well.

After letting the fronts dry for at least two hours, I applied a second coat.

For painting the cabinet boxes, I followed the same process of deglosser + primer + two coats of paint. I used painter’s tape to protect the floors and underside of the countertop. Personally, I like a smoother finish on cabinets so I used the foam roller for as many surfaces as I could and saved the brush for edges and corners that the roller couldn’t reach.

I recommend letting the cabinets and fronts cure for at least 24 hours before reattaching the fronts. I have two little kids around and couldn’t leave my fronts off that long, so I reattached them sooner but after the kids went to bed, I opened up all the doors and drawers so they could continue to cure without touching (if the paint isn’t fully cured and a door front rests on the cabinet, it could lead to the paint sticking).

I wish I had a better “before” picture of this angle, but all I have is this crummy screenshot so it will have to do.

And now here’s that same stretch of cabinets:

I honestly can’t believe what a big difference paint made. Same floors, same knobs, same countertop, same backsplash (for now), yet the kitchen looks completely different! And since I could do the whole cabinet with one gallon of paint, this transformation cost me around $50. Well worth it!

I wish I had more “after” pictures to show you, but we’re already well underway with the next step of updating all the backsplash. So stay tuned for more of this kitchen transformation soon!