Curbly Original
How to: Make an Easy Perpetual Chalkboard Calendar

by Faith Towers
How to: Make an Easy Perpetual Chalkboard Calendar

 

Organization is not my strong suit. Of course, I enjoy being organized, but somehow I never quite get there. So, I thought a new calendar might help to keep my schedule in order. I wanted to make one that I could reuse each month to keep track of my projects and appointments, so I decided to make a perpetual chalkboard version. And then? I stumbled upon the miracle of clear chalkboard paint... and the rest is, well, my own DIY perpetual...

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
Make This: Minimal Magnetic Towel Bar

by M.E. Gray

Make this minimal magnetic towel bar

Currently I'm living in a place with a kitchen that must hold some sort of record for tininess. There are four drawers, a couple of cabinets, and exactly one countertop. Said countertop is about 2.5 square feet, and that's literally my entire cooking workspace. Suffice it to say, I need to be wise about kitchen organization if I want to keep from going crazy. Knowing there's absolutely no room to store things horizontally, I recently went vertical with this magnetic paper towel holder.    

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
How to Fold that Hoard of Plastic Bags that Lives Under Your Kitchen Sink

by M.E. Gray

Life Hack: The quickest and easiest way to fold plastic shopping bags

I am pretty good about remembering to bring my reusable shopping bags with me when I pick up groceries. I walk in the store with my canvas bags, and I leave with my groceries and only those bags (and usually a pint of Ben & Jerry's - don't judge me). No matter how hard I try, plastic shopping bags still seem to magically appear under my kitchen sink. While tiny bags are handy to have around (fellow pet owners may agree with me here), keeping them from looking like a literal wad of trash is tricky. I'm here to share with you a folding technique to beat all others. It's by far the fastest, and definitely the easiest, way to fold a plastic shopping bag.    

Continue Reading

68 Apartment Decorating Ideas and Organization Tips for Renters

by M.E. Gray
Apartment Decorating Ideas and Organization Tips for Renters
Source: Apartment Therapy; Photo Credit: Sophie Timothy

Renting your home has some perks (no mortgage, no maintenance costs, no headaches), but there are downsides: apartment decorating can be a challenge, and limited storage space makes it hard to stay organized.             

Many apartments are too small or don't offer much storage. Maybe the landlord won't let you paint or put nail holes in the wall. And rental properties are usually...

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
Make Cleaning Less of a Chore with this DIY Household Cleaner Organizer

by M.E. Gray

Handmade cleaning caddy - keep all your cleaning supplies in one place with this cute carrier

 

There are a couple rules-of-thumb when it comes to successfully keeping your home clean. One of those rules is that you should always keep your cleaning supplies in one place, and you should always put them back when you're done using them. A cleaning caddy meets both those criteria, and - bonus - makes carrying household cleaners from room to room super easy! I've been wanting to incorporate a carrier into my cleaning routine for a while now, and rather than purchase a cheap-looking plastic one that will surely break over time, I opted to make one instead.     

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
Make This: The Half Hour Half Apron

by M.E. Gray

Easy half apron tutorial (no pattern needed!)

Are you ready for a crazy-quick sewing project? I'm calling this the "half hour half apron" because it's one of the fastest sewing projects I think I've ever completed. Honestly, if I busted out a few more of these half aprons, I believe I could get my time down to 15 minutes. No sweat. My point is, this half apron is a breeze to make. This is a perfect project for beginner sewers. Plus, who doesn't need an adorable handmade apron in their kitchen?   

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets: A Step-by-Step Guide to DIY Bliss!

This is our most complete guide on how to paint kitchen cabinets. A DIY cabinetry painting job can be time-consuming, but if done right, the results are excellent. We show you two examples of DIY kitchen cabinet makeovers, one light and one dark. Read on to find out how to do it!

How to paint kitchen cabinets (step by step)

Yesterday we had an interesting discussion about whether or not painting kitchen cabinets was a simple, one-weekend project.  On Twitter, this commonly-repeated idea was referred to as "commercial break cabinets" and "design on a crashing dime".  I'm here to burst a few bubbles and tell you that painting kitchen cabinets is absolutely NOT a one-weekend project.  But you know what?  It's still easy!  And doing it the right way first will save you time and money later.  That's a promise.  So, if you've got a few weekends set aside for the lowest-cost, biggest-impact change you can make to your kitchen (and I haven't scared you away yet), read on!   

 

We painted our kitchen cabinets as part of our recent kitchen makeover (which you can see more of here).  Going in, I, like many earnest DIYers of the past, had high hopes of turning our cabinets into sparkly white wonders within a single weekend.  Turns out, it takes a lot longer than that.  In fact, it took us 5 weekends.  You could probably cut out at least one of those if you used an orbital sander and probably another on top of that if you are using a paint sprayer.  But we're hardcore and sanded and painted everything by hand.  Yippee!  But enough about that, you're here to learn how to paint kitchen cabinets in your own home, and that's just what I'm going to show you!  Ready?

created at: 03/13/2012

Materials for painting kitchen cabinets.

created at: 03/13/2012

Materials!  My favorite.  Before you get started, you're going to need to do a little shopping and gather up the following items:

  1. Paint - Oil based OR 100% acrylic latex, semi-gloss or gloss. We went with acrylic latex, semi-gloss.
  2. Primer - Don't skip this! If you can, try to use a primer labeled "high build" or "sandable".
  3. Degreaser or TSP
  4. An angled brush OR rent/buy a paint sprayer. Using a sprayer will probably save you about one (of our five) weekends.
  5. Sandpaper - You're going to need 100 grit (medium) and 220 grit (extra fine/fine).
  6. Sponge (to use with your degreaser/TSP)
  7. Gloves (to use with your degreaser/TSP)
  8. Tack Cloth

Other items you will need: rosin paper OR plastic sheeting to protect your counters, painters pyramids OR 2x4s with nails hammered through (to set your cabinet doors on while drying), and a shop vacuum.  And that's it.  Let's start painting!

 

How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets White Yourself 

created at: 03/13/2012

Remove the doors

 

Step

Remove cabinet doors and drawer fronts, plus any hardware that might be attached.  (If you're protecting your countertops, now's the time to cover them with your rosin paper/plastic sheeting.)

Step

Take your degreaser/TSP and thoroughly clean all areas of your cabinet doors/drawer fronts as well as the cabinet boxes.  If you have sensitive skin (or don't want chemicals all over your hands) wear gloves!

Sand the surfaces

Step

If your cabinets have dings or you're replacing your hardware with something different, fill in all the holes/divots with wood putty.  (We didn't have this issue.)  Next, sand your cabinets and cabinet boxes with 100 grit sandpaper, going with the grain.  Really get in there and rough up that surface.

Step

Vacuum up as much sawdust as you can.

created at: 03/13/2012

Step

Using your tack cloth, wipe off any remaining sawdust.  You want your surface to be as clean and dust-free as possible.  Taking the time to adequately prep is KEY.

Step

Prime time!  Apply your primer, starting with the inner panel.  Go against the grain first, then with it.  This will help to fill in the grain and create a smoother surface.  Allow the primer to dry thoroughly; consider priming your cabinet boxes while you wait.

created at: 03/13/2012

Step

Once your primer is dry, it's time to sand again!  Using a fine or extra-fine grit sandpaper (around 220 or so), sand away any brush strokes or uneven primer.  Create as smooth a surface as you possibly can.  Like I said, taking the time to adequately prep your surface is KEY.

Step

Vacuum off all the sawdust.

created at: 03/13/2012

Step

Wipe everything down with your tack cloth, making sure to get any remaining sawdust.

Repeat steps 6-9 again at least once, if not twice.  That means you'll be applying 2-3 coats of primer, sanding in between each and once more before painting.  DO THIS.  Remember what I said about surface prep.

Step

It's finally time to paint!  Using your angled brush, start on the back panels of your cabinets like you did with the primer.  This time, go with the grain only.  Apply a relatively thin coat, don't slop it on there.  Let this coat dry to-the-touch before flipping it over and painting the other side.  Allow this coat to dry thoroughly, on a level surface.  Meanwhile, go paint your cabinet boxes, following the same technique.

Once dry, make a quick pass with your tack cloth to get any dust, then repeat Step 10 to apply a second coat.  (A third coat will probably not be necessary, but if it is, you know what to do now!)

Optional Step: Some people suggest finishing your cabinets with a coat (or two) of a water-based polyurethane, sanding once between coats.  This is semi-controversial, as others claim it will cause your cabinets to yellow over time.  It's up to you; we didn't do this. 

After your cabinets have completely dried and cured (which takes a day or two), you can reattach them and install the hardware.

And now?  Now you celebrate, because you just spent 4-5 weekends creating the prettiest, most properly-prepped painted kitchen cabinets on the planet!  Go wild, you earned it.

Here are some beauty shots of our finished project:

The finished kitchen project - painted cabinets look great!

 

After painting kitchen cabinets white

 

 

DIY: How to Paint Your Cabinets a Dark Color

By Lidy Dipert

How To Give Your Existing Cabinets a Fresh Facelift

We'd had enough of our dated kitchen, so we decided to give it a full-on facelift, while staying on a budget. Follow along with our whole series: Lidy's Kitchen Makeover.

 

So, you’re tired of your outdated kitchen and you have a small budget? No problem! We can totally relate to those familiar feelings. Our kitchen truly is the heart of our home, so we wanted to find a way to make it the our favorite room in the house without spending a lot of money. 

Anyone can do this quick-fix on the cheap and in a short amount of time. Let’s start with the biggest and most obvious problem: the contractor-grade oak cabinets. It was cool in the 90s (or was it?!), but it’s time to move on. We wanted a kitchen with a modern look, something sleek and simple. The easiest and most inexpensive solution is to paint your existing cabinets and add new hardware. We went with a bold, dramatic palette, which is a great backdrop for any design style

For more kitchen remodel ideas, check out the kitchen makeovers section.

Materials

  • Paint (in your preferred color and finish)  
  • Paint brush
  • Mini roller and accessories 
  • New handles and pulls
  • sandpaper and sanding block or power sander 
  • Tack cloth
Some brands of paint do not carry colors other than white that are made specifically for cabinets. If that is the case, go with the highest gloss possible. This will help for wear and tear.  

Step

How to Give Your Existing Cabinets a Fresh Facelift

Start with giving your cabinets a good clean using warm soapy water to get rid of any dirt or grease. You want to start with a nice clean surface, so scrub hard! Remove all the cabinet doors, drawers and any contents in your cupboards, as they will be covered in dust in no time. Avoid making more work for yourself.

Step

How to Give Your Existing Cabinets a Fresh Facelift

Begin sanding the surface of your cupboards, doors and drawers. You can use an electric sander to really rough up the surface and to speed this process up. 

Step

How to Give Your Existing Cabinets a Fresh Facelift

If your doors and drawers have little details, use a sanding block to get into the hard to reach places.

Step

How to Give Your Existing Cabinets a Fresh Facelift

Wipe all surfaces clean with tack cloth to get rid of any dust. 

Step

How to Give Your Existing Cabinets a Fresh Facelift

Place painters tape around the cupboards to avoid getting black paint on the walls. Paint your first coat on the cupboards and allow to dry.

Step

How to Give Your Existing Cabinets a Fresh Facelift

Meanwhile, begin your first coat of paint on your doors and drawers. Use a brush to get into all the grooves and a roller for the flat surfaces. Allow to dry completely in between coats. Tip: Place doors on blocks to keep off the floor or floor tiles in case dirt sticks to paint while drying. 

Step

How to Give Your Existing Cabinets a Fresh Facelift

When the paint has dried, begin your second coat. For the doors, flip over and repeat process on the other side. 

Step

How to Give Your Existing Cabinets a Fresh Facelift

Once everything looks fully covered, you can begin piecing back your kitchen, one door and drawer at a time! Place new hardware on your door and drawer fronts. We went with black hardware on black cabinets and drawers for a clean and modern finish. The cabinets alone will make your whole kitchen feel fresh and updated. But there’s more, so stay tuned! 

 

How to Give Your Existing Cabinets a Fresh Facelift

How To Give Your Existing Cabinets a Fresh Facelift

How to Give Your Existing Cabinets a Fresh Facelift

 

 

 

Thanks for checking out our tutorials on how to paint kitchen cabinets! I hope yours will turn out great. Here's another great post on 13 ways to upgrade builder grade cabinets (without replacing them).

 

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
Seriously Effective DIY Apartment Upgrades That Won't Tick Off Your Landlord

by M.E. Gray

Upgrade your rental apartment without ticking off your landlord!

Apartment-living, like anything in life, comes with its own set of pros and cons. Con: the walls are so thin you can hear your next door neighbors breathing. Pro: when the 20-year-old fridge in your kitchen inevitably breaks, you're not the one who has to replace it! I've been living in rentals for about eight years now, and while one day I'd like to buy a little fixer-upper of my own, for now I'm figuring out how to enjoy the temporary spaces I inhabit. Here are a few tricks I've learned that can help you put your own mark on your apartment. Bonus - everything is reversible, so you don't have to worry about a disgruntled landlord!     

Continue Reading

How to Clean Tile Grout

by Chris Gardner

 How To Clean Dirty Grout

Dirty grout is a common problem. But with so many cleaning tips floating around on the internet, it's hard to know what to believe. So I decided to take the guess work out of it by testing a few methods and reporting back to you. Read on to see what I discovered...  

Continue Reading

Curbly Original
Forget What You Know About Nautical Decor: The Complete Guide to Coastal Design

by Amber Dickson
Nautical Decor Design Guide
Photo: Chipper Hatter for CM Natural Design

The widespread appeal of nautical and coastal decor makes a lot of sense when you consider the primal and ancient connection humans have to the sea. Being attracted to the water is hardwired into our very cells. Scientific studies have proven what we already know anecdotally: spending time near, on, or in lakes and oceans make us happier and healthier. It's no wonder that so many of us respond to the colors, clean lines, and natural elements of coastal, beach, and nautical decor. It makes us feel good to be reminded of the sea.

If your initial reaction to the term "coastal decor" is negative, it's probably from witnessing too many cutesy and heavy-handed thematic rooms.  We are not advocating buying and displaying any and all items that have a sailboat or seahorse on them. Good decorating never grows out of an overly simplistic theme, and, "Put an anchor on it" is not a valid design philosophy!           

Continue Reading