From Ugly to Pretty

Long ago I purchased this lamp at the Goodwill for 4.99. It was ugly but I saw the potential.

I wanted something for my little office that would bring some gold color, but of course I did not want to pay too much in getting a new one. So I tried the Rustoleum metallic gold paint and let me tell you, this product is AWESOME! (and no, I am not getting paid or sponsored) 


I cleaned it up really well and let it dry. Then I taped the light bulb area with tape and covered the wire with aluminum foil. I gave it a light spray, let it dry and repeated the process three times. I did not even applied primer and the paint still looks good!

I love how shiny it looks and how smooth it is!

Quick and easy “new” lamp for less than $10!!!

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The Party Bunch  A Bowl Full of Lemons The DIY Dreamer  Sarah Titus

Tale of a Little Side Table

Good morning friends! Sorry I have been absent from the blogging world, but we have been SICK! And ya know, when one kid gets sick all the others do as well, including parents. I am still recovering but apparently it is a slow process. I got one bug after another non stop and it has been a rough couple of weeks for our family. Since I have been indoors and taking things easy (and made a few exceptions for going to work at the Dental Office) I have been working on  some of my projects that have been abandoned in my dusty to-do-list.
I have been changing some things in my daughter’s room (she loves when I move furniture around, but the thing is that her room is so tiny that I do not have many options though!) Her room is white, pink and gold and I have been wanting to incorporate some mint colors as well. She loves it. One of the walls has gray and white stripes and I am planning on replacing those with gold vinyl polka dots.

FYI: that pink rug from Homegoods was a Goodwill find of only $7. I actually WASHED it in my washer machine (yes, you read it right) and dried it outside, then I fluffed it with a comb. My daughter LOVES it because it is so comfy for reading!
I  am not the biggest fan of pink but my daughter sure is, and I let her have her room her way, after all this is her place. Some time ago I found a cute little table at the Goodwill for $9 that looked like this:
It had marker writings on the top and looked pretty beaten up, so I cleaned it, sanded it a little bit and painted it all white.
It looked like this for the longest time but I thought it was too blah…plus this also happened:
Artistic hands took a hold of it!
While in Michaels, I came across this:
chalk paint + color I was looking for + only 8 bucks + 40% coupon= HEAVEN! 
This meant NO PREP for painting!!! YAY!  I started painting, and I had in my mind how I wanted it to be: mint, white and gold!

 (my daughter loves this birdie)

Much better! Now it is not so boring!
After the paint was dry I waxed it with Annie Sloan clear wax and painted the edges of the drawer with gold metallic acrylic paint and a small brush. I also spray painted the hardware with Rusteoleum Gold Metallic Spray paint…(BTW, this paint is the BOMB!)
All three stages:
Stay tuned for her bedroom transformation. If you know us, you know it will be cottage-y, girly with tons of thrifty finds and homemade accents…

Kitchen Table Makeover

I have been wanting to do this for the longest time, and I FINALLY got to do it. I thought maybe we should get a new dining set, but then I thought that ours was still in good shape structurally, it was just in bad shape cosmetically. I would save us big bucks if I refinished the one we have. Our set is hand-me-downs from my sister-in-law, which she used for quite some years. We moved to our house back in 2004 and this dining set is still in use, after many, many kids mistreated it! The table had so many scratches that I had to sand it so well I thought I removed like 1/4 inch of surface. I used a 60 grit sandpaper for that! The chairs were really stained and super dirty and there was grease all over the place. The table specifically had a very thick coat of varnish that took me forever to remove.

This is how my beloved table looked like:

It was really a disaster especially on the top. Plus I am not a fan of oak either. My son even had fun once poking the top with a pencil all over the surface. Yikes. But one thing I ADORE about this table are the pedestal legs…so pretty. I did not want to stain the bottom part but I wanted the table to be two-toned, the bottom white and the top dark walnut. For the chairs, I stripped the varnish, sanded them, painted them with Krylon paint + primer in black and then applied two coats of Polycrylic in semi-gloss. They look so much better compared to what they were!
For the table, I cleaned it well using soap and water, then I applied Citistrip stripping gel (you can see it on the picture) pretty much you paint it on the surface and wait a minimum of 30 minutes. I actually let it work for several hours. When the paint looked like bubbles and I scraped off the finish easily. Some of the finish remained but instead of doing this again I decided to sand it. I used a 60 grit sandpaper with an orbital sander first, and then I finished it with a 220 grit for smoothness.

Here it is after the good sanding. This step is tedious but if you want a good result it is needed. Make sure you ALWAYS sand and stain following the grain of the wood.

 All the varnish is gone!

 I used these products. Once you try Minwax, you do not want to try ANYTHING else! I applied the wood conditioner before staining. It prevents the stain from blotching all over.

Using a stain brush, I started staining following the grain. I applied a good amount of stain (this product is thick) and then after 3 to 5 minutes I removed the excess with a clean towel. 

First coat. I let it dry completely, 8 to 10 hours minimum. And yes, I was tempted to do a second coat after a couple of hours, but I resisted…I worked on the pedestal instead!

After the second coat and drying…

We had fun eating on the living room table for a couple of days!

 Here is a close-up of the finish:

I then applied two coats of Polycrylic in semi-gloss but to be honest, I would like to apply something glossier than that.
                                     
For the bottom, I primed it with Zinsser primer and gave it two coats of Behr Ultra White in satin.

Now we are enjoying our “new” dining set makeover for less than $50 that I spent on materials.
Much better!

Just in time for fall and Halloween decorating!
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Trash to Treasure: New Life to Old Lamps

I have been looking for a set of lams for my family room. I live in a tri-level home so the family room downstairs can be a little dark despite having two big windows and recessed lights. I wanted something cottage-y, distressed or patina-like. I saw some awesome lamps at Target (my absolutely FAVORITE store I can’t live without) but they were $49.99 a piece. For a frugal girl like me that is too much for a lamp. However, I must confess that one day I even put them in my cart when my mind told me “go ahead”, but then my heart told me the price was outrageous and I decided to follow my heart (I needed two ;-)…no way! EVAH)
So off the the Goodwill I went. I found these pair of matching lamps for $12.99 and I though they could be saved:

They needed some work but overall were in good shape. They even came with the lampshades that are no that bad, I might use them for further projects. They were just not what I wanted for my family room.
First, I cleaned them very well with water and soap and let them dry. Then I applied two coats of Rustoleum Spray Primer. 
Then I applied two coats of Rustoleum “Slate Blue” it is a gorgeous color!

Even though the color was beautiful it wasn’t what I had in mind and I wanted to do sort of a glaze to antique them a little. So I used some leftover Americana glaze in dark walnut.
I applied it with a cloth and then I wiped it down with a damp cloth. A little goes a long way!
Here you have them with and without the glaze:

After I wiped off the excess glaze, I applied a coat of Annie Sloan’s clear wax (my all time FAV)

Then I found some shades at…yes, you got it! TARGET on CLEARANCE for 13 dollars that still fit what I wanted. 
So here they are now:
Must reads on the table” Stand a Little Taller” by Gordon B Hinckley that my grandma Lu gave me once for Christmas and “Your Happily Ever After” by Dieter F. Uchdorf

I LOVE the extra shine  and protection that the wax gives them!
Now they fit perfectly in my family room for only $26 dollars! 
Pillow covers are from another FAV store: H&M!, throw and frames from TJMaxx, table is hand me down from my in-laws and painted, basket is from JCPenney outlet
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Affordable Makeover for Kitchen Counters

My family and I have been updating our home in the past couple of years. We like to DIY as much as we can. The list is endless but at the same time is fun to do things together. I love doing projects myself and learn in the process. We updated our oak kitchen cabinets this past March and we loved them! I posted a tutorial in how we painted them…still looking fab! I know I owe you the full reveal. There are some people that have written me asking me for the reveal…well, it is not done for the full reveal yet (especially since we are just coming our of summer…we do not do many home improvements in summer!) However, today I will show you what we did to improve our kitchen counters.
We had the basic, laminate counters and did not want to replace them just yet. We wanted to keep the budget as little as possible since we have bigger projects for the house to finish (like finishing the basement…). They were also VERY stained and they looked really bad!
I know some of you are familiar with this product, it is called Giani Granite.

Giani Granite Home
Sample image
No, this is NOT a sponsored post.
They sell painting kits for countertops and cabinets. Let me tell you, this product is AM-A-ZING!!!
This is how my countertops looked like:
Here are the steps:
First, you have to clean them up really well using Brillo cleaner, wipe and let dry.
Second, you have to apply the primer. It is very thick. They even give you the roller to use. Let dry…to me the “drying” part is the most difficult of the steps! LOL!

Then, using the sponge that comes with the kit, put the base paint on a paper plate and tap the sponge into the paint and then into the counter. Keep tapping and tapping to form a pattern. Let dry. You do the same with each color, usually the kit comes with three. 
The key is first playing a little bit on a piece of paper (that comes with the kit as well) so you know what pattern you like. Granite has asymmetrical patterns so really you cannot mess it up. Also, if you do not like a pattern you can let it dry and keep applying different colors, always in a tapping motion and always do it in sections.
After it is all dry, you apply the topcoat which is what really makes this over the top (no pun intended!) It gives the countertops an awesome shine just like granite. And it makes it super durable. You have to let it cure for 24 hours after that and it cures completely in 14 days. It only cost me $80 to update the countertops and I added extra life to them so they can wait for replacement!

My kit was the “Sicilian Sand.”

Let’s do a “before and after,” shall we?
Night and day difference you guys! And they are super easy to clean as well! All for less then $100! Can’t beat that!
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Changes in the Family Room

We are in the process of updating our little house. My husband lets me do the decor, since he does not really care that much except he won’t let me do anything too “crazy.” I had a plan in Olioboard about how I wanted it to be but my taste changed. Since we moved into our house we have been changing, and that is because we were really young and really did not know what we liked. Now we (or better said, I) know. My style is definitely “french coastal cottage,” but I also like some modern touches here and there. I do not like everything white and I like neutral colors, inspired by the beach that I so love! First it looked like this:

And now it is more like this:

This defines my style even more. I already have all the pieces of furniture, I have to repaint some of them and get some of the accents (Goodwill, here I come!) The walls will be one of my absolutely favorite: Benjamin Moore Silver Satin

Silver Satin / BM OC-26
I am thinking on doing an accent wall where the T.V is going to be, some sort of board and batten treatment. I still do not know if I want it all the way to the ceiling or not..we’ll see. I still have a lot of leftover MDF and wood from previous projects I could use them in here. For now, I am thinking something like this:
hallway
Our family room is nicely sized and it also has another wall where the piano goes and there is a bookcase there. For now it will stay like that. We already updated our floor. If you want to see the before ugliness to the after you can see it HERE.
Floor:
Brazilian Cherry 7 mm Thick x 7-11/16 in. Wide x 50-5/8 in. Length Laminate Flooring (24.33 sq. ft./case)
Traffic master Brazilian Cherry laminate, Home Depot
Keep in touch you guys! I’ll let you know of any changes. We are doing this very slowly since we have baseball games and SUMMER FUN to do too!