$300 Kitchen Cabinet Transformation

Happy New Year darlings!

My goodness the past few months have been INSANE right?! Between the holidays and the election results and the insane amount of dancing I’ve been doing (which I’m super grateful for, by the way) I have completely neglected this little ray of sunshine of a blog. But I’m back and I hope that you are finding as much inspiration and strength in all aspects of your life as I am this new year!

Alright so let’s get down to it. Here’s what my kitchen cabinets looked like before the transformation:

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BASIC. BLEH. BORING. A HOT MESS.

They are original to the condo and John refused to let me do anything to them in fear that it would make them “less appealing and harder to sell the place if we ever wanted to.” So I was on a mission to make him eat his words 🙂

And here’s the after:

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Dramatic right?! Bye bye drab, hello fab!

I wanted to do a two toned cabinet scheme and decided on the colors Crystal Cut for the top cabinets and Magnetic Gray for the bottoms, both by Behr.

The project took me a solid 14 days in total with painting around 6-8 hours each day. YEAH. It was insane. Luckily John was back home in New Hampshire for the holidays and I had a lot of time off from work so I was able to do it rather quickly. Trust me, the time is SO worth it for the end result!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Liquid Deglosser
  • Painters Tape
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Topcoat
  • Foam Rollers
  • High Quality Synthetic Brush
  • Tarps
  • Clean Rags
  • New Hinges (optional)
  • A bunch of TV shows on Netflix to binge watch

Here’s how I did it:

  1. Start by clearing your work space and laying down tarps everywhere you will be painting. Trust me you will get sloppy and drip everywhere.
  2. Remove all of your doors and drawers from the cabinets and place the screws and hinges into some tupperware or plastic bags to keep them organized.
  3. Find areas in your home to lay all of your cabinets. I elevated my doors with random cans of food or boxes of pancake mix, really anything that would keep my doors off of the floor and stable as I painted.
  4. If your cabinets are particularly dirty give them a solid cleaning with some cleaner and a rag.
  5. Degloss EVERYTHING with a rag and make sure you wipe down every single surface.
  6. Tape off walls and floors with tape to protect areas you don’t want to get paint on.
  7. Now you get to prime! Use a foam roller and your synthetic brush to lay down a nice thick coat of primer over everything. Allow to dry. img_0300
  8. Now comes the time consuming part. The paint. I had to do 3 coats for the white cabinets and 2 coats for the gray. This takes forever when you have to allow one side to dry before you can flip your doors over to do the backside. But stay diligent and be sure to apply even coats and to check for drip marks as you go. This is where the Netflix shows will come in handy because the work is so monotonous and time consuming. I finished 4 series by the time I had finished!
  9. Once you’ve finished all of your paint coats, now we have to seal and protect that beautiful color! Apply your topcoat according to that brand’s instructions. Mine required three coats and to be applied with a synthetic bristle brush, no roller. If you use a roller you’re going to get bubbles and an uneven texture.
  10. Now the easiest part, allow your topcoat to cure. Take a break, you deserve it you’ve been working like mad!
  11. Apply clear rubber stoppers to prevent your doors from scratching when they close.
  12. Paint your hinges if necessary, and begin reinstalling the doors and drawers. This step is so satisfying as you begin to see the final product come together so quickly!
  13. Remove the painters tape and do any touch ups as necessary.
  14. YOU’RE DONE!

Now go get a massage and treat yourself because that was A TON of hard work!

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I am beyond ecstatic with the final result and couldn’t be happier with how much the paint brightened, opened up, and updated the whole kitchen!  And all for under $300! This experience also made me fall in love with how moody and grounding gray can be. ❤

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Now here are some little tid-bits to help you prepare yourself for your kitchen transformation:

  • This WILL take you an extremely long time to complete. Make sure you set aside ample time where you can live without your house because the cabinets will take over.
  • The paint lady at Home Depot said I was going to need 2 gallons of paint to cover my top cabinets and a whole gallon for the bottom. She was SO wrong. I used a little more than a half gallon for the three coats on the top cabinets and about a quarter gallon for the bottom. It doesn’t hurt to have extra for touchups but seriously?
  • Keep your receipts because I was able to return over $100 worth of supplies at the end!
  • When applying your topcoat it is very easy to slap on too much and drip marks will happen as soon as you walk away. Apply thin coats and triple check for drips because they sneak in there. And honestly after you’ve been painting for a week straight the last thing you want to do is be precise but if the drips harden they won’t sand off without taking the paint with it and they will be visible when you hang the cabinets up.
  • When I removed my painters tape, I had created such a thick layer of paint that I had to score along the tape with a knife to get it to come off. And to my dismay it ripped off parts of the paint with it. I was freaking out, but honestly you just go back in and touch up with a small paint brush and it’s like it never happened.

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If you decide to paint your kitchen cabinets I would LOVE to see some before and afters! It is honestly such a cost-effective way to create a huge dramatic change to your home, if you’re willing to put in the work.  😉

xoxo

$10 Mirror Transformation


So John’s old roommate is a self-proclaimed pack-rat. She was always saying how she needed to go through all the junk that had piled up in her bedroom and the hallway and the living room AND the kitchen. But nothing had changed by the time John had moved out.

We recently went to the Hillcrest Farmer’s Market with her and her husband and went back to their place afterwards to enjoy all the treats we had acquired. And low and behold the place had COMPLETELY transformed!

She said the book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” had literally changed her life. I was in awe and so happy that she was able to do the work all herself! And also, it was a great day for me because she had a bunch of stuff she was about to send off to GoodWill.

I ended up taking this huge heavy mirror and an adorable wooden jewelry box.

Now the mirror was butt-ugly let me tell you, but I had other plans in mind for this bad-boy. I was also on a budget so I didn’t want to spend more than $10.

Here’s what I did:

 

Black with Gold Trim. Ew.

I started by priming over the existing paint and fabric trim with some old primer I had on hand. That trim was superglued on to the mirror so there was no hope of removing it without leaving residue or damaging the mirror.

Next I painted the whole thing in Martha Stewart’s Mother of Pearl Acrylic Paint, which is only $3! Two coats got me to the color and sheen that I wanted.

 

I LOVE the pearl finish dont you??

Next I hot-glued these awesome rocks I found at Michael’s onto two of the corners. I bought two bags but definitely could’ve gotten away with just one. Depends on how rock crazy you wanna get!


Voila you’re done!

This DIY was ridiculously easy and took no time at all. And best part is that it is totally customizable to your color preferences and of course that it is super budget-friendly too! If you don’t have a mirror on hand that you want to do this to then go look in the free section of Craigslist! You’re bound to find some old dirty mirror to transform into your own one of a kind piece 🙂

 

 

Notice that jewelry box on the dresser? That’s the one I took from John’s roommate! All I did was spray paint it in Krylon’s Metallic Copper to give it a fresh update!

Hope this gives you some inspiration for your own home! xoxo

Craigslist Dresser Transformation

I’ve been on a Craigslist binge lately. I seriously can’t believe some of the things that people are *literally* giving away for free! It’s crazy addictive and for those of us who love to customize and DIY just about everything in our homes, it is a frugal and eco-conscious way to decorate your space.

My latest find was an awesome solid wood dresser that this woman was selling for only $25! Just from the pictures alone I could tell that it was a solid, quality piece of furniture. I immediately contacted her and arranged a pick up date.

I had to borrow my friend’s truck (thanks Alyssa!) cause that thing was not about to fit into my little Prius C!

Once we got to the seller’s home (an ocean front condo in La Jolla (#jealous) I met with the woman, who by the way was so incredibly fun and spunky and was basically my spirit animal, and she showed me the dresser. We were chatting a bit and she asked me what I do for a living and I said “Oh I’m a professional dancer and teacher.” It took her less than a second to respond with “Oh my gosh you’re an artist!? Take the dresser for free!” WHAT?! I was floored by her generosity and appreciation for artists; it was a breath of fresh air to meet someone who values the arts so enthusiastically.

I tried again and again to pay her for the dresser but she refused, and then continued to show me things she wanted me to take! She was in the middle of moving to another condo down the street that was higher up with an even BETTER view, yeah, it’s a tough life haha. I ended up leaving with the dresser, a storage ottoman, 2 rugs, an assortment of beautiful pillows and blankets, kitchen ware, and a GORGEOUS capiz-shell chandelier that I have been eyeing at Pottery Barn for like 3 years! And all for FREE.

I must have had some amazing Craigslist karma cause that day was a dream. ❤

Anyways, on to the transformation!

Here is the before picture:

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Brown. Basic. Ugh.

And here is what I turned it into:

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Super cute right?!

Here’s the materials and methods I used:

Materials:

  • Dresser
  • Sanding Block (I used 220 grit)
  • Primer (I used a Kilz primer)
  • 1 Quart of Paint (I went with the color “Light Quartz” by Benjamin Moore Advanced)
  • Painting Supplies (foam brushes, foam rollers, drop cloth)
  • Hardware for Drawers

Method:

  1. I started by removing the old hardware and sanding down the whole thing with my sanding block and then wiping it all down with a wet cloth to make sure there was no dust left behind.
  2. Next I primed everything with a nice thick coat of primer. I used a foam roller to do all the large surfaces and then a small foam brush to get into all the tiny details.  
  3. Allow the primer to dry and then apply 4 coats of paint. I did this many because my color was the faintest shade of pink and it really took all the coats to get to the color that I wanted. The first couple coats just looked white to me.
  4. Allow the paint to cure (about 16 hours).
  5. No top coat needed! The great thing about the Benjamin Moore Advanced paint is that it levels and hardens to a furniture quality almost lacquer like finish. Super durable and smooth.
  6. Attach your hardware. I found mine at Anthropologie and they were on sale for only $5 a piece! I freaked out when I saw the price cause the other knobs I was looking at were $20 a piece. Not exactly in my budget.  Slash these are too freaking adorable!For the bottom drawers I ended up spray painting the pulls a metallic copper by Krylon to help bring out the pink tones in the paint.
  7. Admire your beautiful new piece of furniture!

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Pretty awesome am I right?!

The project is really simple and easy to do, just a little time consuming as you have to wait 16 hours between each coat of paint. It took me a week to complete this project, painting about an hour each day. And the whole thing only cost me about $80 to do!

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What do you think? Do you have any Craigslist furniture transformations? I’d love to see them!

xoxo

DIY Charging Station

Hello all! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a restful weekend!

This week I’m sharing with you this awesome (and incredibly easy) DIY. A charging station to house all your electronics!

John-John and I are trying to keep our bedroom an “electronics-free zone,” so that means no phones and no iPad in the bedroom after bedtime. This also means that we had charging cords all over the place; all those cords were giving me some serious anxiety. I don’t know about you but I HATE having to plug and unplug and search for phone chargers, it’s a problem.

So we needed a place where we could keep all our electronics nice and tidy and the cords hidden away. And then this was born!

It’s a simple letter organizer I found at Home Goods (it was priced at $20 but it was scratched so I got it for $15!).

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Letter Organizer
  • Sanding Block
  • Spray Paint
  • Drill and Drill Bit Set

Take your letter organizer and give it a little sand down if you plan on painting it. Wipe off any dust with a damp cloth and then go to town with your spray paint of choice, I went with a metallic silver.

Let it dry and then get your drill. Use a drill bit big enough to allow a cord or two to slip through. I made two holes in the back and made two matching ones in the slot in the middle so that the cords could reach both slots.

Dust off and you’re all done! Now you have an adorable place to store and charge up your devices! And the best part is that you can use as many cords as you need so that you can simultaneously charge everything!

The charging station really adds a clean look and keeps everything organized nicely! What do you all think?
Enjoy lovelies! xoxo

DIY Silver Leaf Nightstand. What NOT To Do.

Here’s another DIY project I took on this last week to share with you guys.

I found these awesome little tables at Target in the college section for about $50 a piece. We managed to get 10% off one of them since it was pretty beat up.


I loved the shape and the legs on the tables, but I was not so crazy about the black. Black is just so bleh to me. I want metallics and colors and GLITTER!

I decided to do a silver leaf finish on these bad boys after being inspired by this GORG gold leaf nightstand over at crab+fish.

I bought my materials mostly on Amazon and also Blick’s Art Supply.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Tables
  • Sanding Block
  • Adhesive Size (Mona Lisa works great) and a Foam Brush for application
  • Metal Leaf (if you’re going with silver make sure it’s the aluminum kind so that it won’t tarnish over time) I used about 70 sheets to cover my two tables.
  • Stubby Natural Hair Brush
  • Metal Leaf Sealant (Mona Lisa Brand)

Make sure you work in an area with a hard floor because there will be little bits of leaf EVERYWHERE.

Start off by giving your tables a light sand down and then wipe clean.

Then apply a light coat of adhesive size to your tables, making sure that you get every single spot that you want leaf to be applied. If the size isn’t there, the leaf won’t stick.


Wait 30 minutes then grab your leaf.

Starting from the middle, apply your first sheet very gently. Apply a few more pieces around your initial piece making sure to overlap them so that you don’t have any space in-between.

Take your natural hair brush and give the leaf a brush down so that it adheres to the table. DON’T brush away the excess just yet because it will fly and get stuck to the table and won’t come off, giving you bumps and a rougher finish.

Continue along until you’ve covered the whole piece. This will take a long time and some of your sheets will break and it will get a bit frustrating. But truck along and you can use any pieces that fall off to fill in holes later.

When you’re all done take your natural hair brush and brush down the whole thing to get rid of any excess bits of leaf so that you have a smooth finish all over.

Now move your tables outside or into a garage and apply your sealant. The spray is super easy to use and dries in 15 minutes so that you can do your 3 coats in no time flat.

Ta da! Now you have a gorgeous piece of metal-leaf furniture!


Now here’s a bit of advice of what NOT TO DO, as I learned the hard way.

  1. Go slowly when applying the leaf because the slightest wind will blow your leaf and once it is stuck to the adhesive there’s no going back.
  2. Make sure you have enough leaf. I started my project only to realize once I had finished the first table that I didn’t have nearly enough to finish my second one.
  3. DO NOT use a metal leaf paint to fill in holes and gaps. It will not look the same whatsoever and will be super duper obvious when you’re all done.

Have any of you done a metal leaf project? I wanna hear about them in the comments below! xoxo

DIY Farmhouse Dining Table for Under $300!

You guys! I BUILT A FREAKING TABLE!

I am pretty impressed with myself for how beautiful it turned out! Especially since I have NEVER used a power tool in my life.


This was a big undertaking but I have to say it was well worth the time and effort because I absolutely adore my new table and I love that I didn’t have to pay $2000 to buy one!

I found the plans for this table over at the fab site Shanty 2 Chic. This site is awesome you can find plans for just about any project and they’re all FREE. Jackpot.

Now, she was able to do it for $110. However, when I went to the Home Depot, I bought the most inexpensive wood I could find and it totaled in at around $200. Hopefully you will have better luck than I did!

This project took me about 2 weeks to complete working on it off and on. I think you could totally finish the construction if you dedicated a whole weekend to it.

Here are some things I learned along the way, being a COMPLETE newb to carpentry:

  1. Get the good tools. I attempted to start cutting my wood with a freehand circular saw. It’s almost impossible to get straight lines with that thing. Get a compound miter saw and you will save yourself the headache of re-cutting all your wood to get straight lines! (I was able to borrow one from John-John’s school but you can rent them at the Home Depot for around $40 a day!)
  2. Make sure you have all the tools you need before you begin:
    • A powerful drill with a a drill-bit set.
    • Compound miter saw.
    • Electric sander.
    • Kreg Jig System and the longest clamp you can find (I got mine from Amazon).
    • A work table or a pair of saw horses.
    • Gloves, protective glasses, and ear protection.
  3. Measure twice, cut once. I think this one is self-explanatory. 😉
  4. If some pieces are not perfect, it will be ok. There are a few 45 degree angle cuts for this table, and let me tell you not a single one of mine were correct! But I said “screw it” and it ended up working out just fine. I was close enough to fudge it and to be honest now it gives the table a bit more character and it also gives me something to laugh about whenever someone notices. 🙂
  5. You will make about 20 Home Depot trips just because you forgot something or you need just ONE more paint brush.
  6. You can TOTALLY do it by yourself. The only time I needed help was getting the thing up the stairs into my condo!
  7. HAVE FUN. I mean you’re building a table for goodness sake. Take your time. Learn.

I ended up painting my table a bright aqua color called Thai Teal, by Glidden, in a high-gloss because I wanted a bright pop of color in our condo; everything is super brown right now so I needed to make a big statement. Home Depot doesn’t carry Glidden though, but they’re able to look up the color and create the same exact color, just in Behr! (which I prefer anyways for its superior quality)


I did one coat of Behr primer/sealer, two coats of paint, and then 5 coats of Varathane Clear Gloss Polyurethane in Gloss. I HIGHLY recommend this top coat. It is mega-durable and gave my table a gorgeous almost lacquer-like sheen. This is the most time consuming part just because you have to wait about an hour to two hours between coats.

All in all I spent about $300 for this beauty! I even found the awesome vintage swedish chairs on Craigslist for $80 total! So for the entire set it was less than $400! However I will say that if you have to purchase tools, your costs will be much higher than my estimate. But ask around! You’d be surprised how many of your friends have tools laying around just waiting for you to come borrow them! Maybe bake them some cookies as a thank you for saving you hundreds of dollars. 😉

And ta-da you’re done! I hope this helped you guys and let me know if you end up making a table for yourself! xoxo

DIY Crate Desk for $100

Hello friends!

I’ve been wanting a desk for my living room now for a few weeks and I finally decided to just make one.


All the desks in the stores were either way too pricey or just not my style.

I was inspired by this desk I found on Pinterest and knew that Michael’s carries crates that would be perfect.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4-6 Crates (depending on how high you want the desk, I used 6 to get it to bar-height)
  • A Desk Top from Ikea
  • 1 2×4 Wood Plank
  • Wood Glue (Gorilla Glue)
  • Sander & Paint Supplies
  • Paint & Polyurethane (optional)

I got my crates from Michael’s and lucky for me it was the Labor Day sale! So I got 40% off one crate and then the clerk gave me 20% off my whole purchase! Score!

Tip: Download the Michael’s mobile app, they ALWAYS have 40% off coupons and other deals on there!

The desk top from Ikea was about $30. But they had a smaller one that was only $9!!! I would’ve gone with that one but it would’ve been way too small for me.

I decided to paint all my crates white for a rustic feel, and then paint the desk top a gorgeous metallic Rose Chrome color by Martha Stewart for a hint of glam.

Sand down your desk top first and apply a primer before applying your paint and then finally polyurethane. (I used some leftover primer and polyurethane from my DIY Farmhouse Table)

For the crates I started by spray painting them with Rust-oleum’s Universal Paint and Primer. And let me tell you it didn’t do diddly squat. It gave the crates a kind of white-washed look, but I wanted them to be solid white. So I nixed the spray paint and bought some straight up white paint and applied it with a roller and brush.


Once all of your painting is done assemble your crates by glueing them together with some wood glue (Gorilla Glue works great).

Next measure the height of your crates and cut your wood plank to size to create two support beams.  I painted mine white to match.

And then finally either glue your desk top to the crates or just lay it on top. Add your support beams to the front or back with glue and you’re all done!


Now you have a stunning custom piece of furniture for half the price of a store-bought desk!

I found the super cute magazine files and organizing bins at Ikea for less than $10. The trash can is also Ikea just spray painted a metallic gold! Finally the bomb white barstool is a Craigslist steal for only $50!

Enjoy lovelies! xoxo

Find the tutorial on how to make the charging station here!

(I tucked a power-strip under the top crate on the left so that it keeps all the cords off the floor and so that my cords for the charging station are long enough to reach easily.)