Ever since we moved into our house two years ago, I've wanted to add a runner to our stairs. They're really slippery, and they're also just really boring. So I decided to install a runner myself. And here's what I found out.
As our kids are getting a little older, I thought it might be a good time to introduce a simple chore chart to teach them shared responsibility, goal setting, and following through on commitments. Sometimes parents can be so hard on ourselves (and others) when it comes to the idea of putting our kids "to work" at a young age. I've even heard the term "child-labor" thrown around...which is, of course, silly and even dangerous.
I never thought I would say this, but "when I was their age..." I did chores around our house all. the. time. I started helping to clean at six, babysitting when I was 12, and was expected to cook for the whole family as a teenager. (I began working at a fast food restaurant when I was 14 and I'm still alive to talk about it!)
I'm proud of those experiences, and they taught me a deep sense of gratitude and a positive attitude. I think those are all experiences we want to give our children. So! This is a super simple DIY to help your kids visualize their responsibilities and celebrate their little achievements along the way.
If you're looking for ways to save money, or working on shrinking your environmental footprint, air-drying your washing is a great place to start. Dryers, while they are handy, use a ton of energy to operate. Plus, you might own delicate clothes that aren't suited for aggressive machine drying. A clothes drying rack is a must-have asset for your laundry room - and bonus, you can make your own.
Living in a rental is not my ideal situation, but I’ve learned to make the best of the space that I have and still make the customizations that I want. One of the best ways to customize a space is with a fun accent wall, and for renters who cannot paint or apply wallpaper, removable wallpaper is king! I wanted to create a completely customized accent wall without painting it, so instead, I created customized removable wallpaper using a form of solid-colored contact paper.
Have you ever struggled to find the perfect pattern for something? Then you see it...but it's the wrong product? That happened to me when I was searching for an outdoor rug, so actually decided I used an IKEA shower curtain to recover an outdoor rug, making a simple statement rug that was exactly what I wanted! Because shower curtains are already waterproof, you can makeover any rug with the pattern from a simple shower curtain.
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.
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?
I've tried multiple techniques for organizing earrings over the years, but dangling earrings tend to be more difficult to organize in an easy-to-manage way. Luckily, this simple DIY concrete earring tree does the trick and makes the perfect spot to hang several pairs of dangling earrings in a way that's easy to grab what I want and head out the door.
I can't get enough of Scandinavian design, and I'm on the hunt for ways to bring this style into my home. The decor in my house hasn't had a theme until very recently (unless you consider furniture inherited from past roommates a theme). Now that I'm almost 30 (panicked bells ringing as I type that), the items in my home are brought in with more intention. I love all things monochromatic, so the Scandinavian look fits my mostly-gray furniture perfectly. This dining table needed a new tablecloth, and the Scandinavian-inspried Swiss cross pattern seemed the perfect fit.
Before I bought this nightstand, I had never stepped foot in an IKEA (gasp!). It wasn't for lack of wanting to, I just never had the opportunity before. As a former small-town gal, I haven't lived within driving distance of an IKEA up until I moved to the big city (more specifically, the Twin Cities) about a year and a half ago. Since moving, I've been putting off a trip to the IKEA because I know myself too well. I know that I love cute home decor, and I knew that I'd want to take everything in that store home with me. Impulsive purchasing aside, I needed a new nightstand. Let me tell you two things: #1. IKEA is awesome (and massive and a bit confusing at first - but they have Swedish Fish which totally made up for me getting lost), and #2. I love this TARVA IKEA nightstand because it is so hackable.
When I decided to give my guest room a makeover for the One Room Challenge, I knew it would be a great opportunity to create a cool accent wall. So once I finished the rest of the space, I dove into the final detail - a hand painted brushstroke accent wall using a slightly darker paint color.
Painting a room with an indoor paint sprayer saves time and results in a more consistent finish. Here's how we used one to transform a spare bedroom.
One of my favorite things about interior design and home improvement is discovering tools that help us do our job better. Painting is one of those jobs. We paint things all the time - walls, furniture, floors, floor tiles, baskets. Why? Because nothing transforms a space (or an object) quite like paint does.
But painting can also be a chore. It's time consuming, messy, and unforgiving. And it requires careful prep work. A few months ago, Bruno and I took part in a painting event at Wagner Spray Tech. Wagner specializes in paint sprayers that are total game changers. We had always been hesitant to use a paint sprayer indoors, but the folks at Wagner took us into their painting 'lab' and taught us some tricks, and I painted two large walls in less than 10 minutes. Then I looked at Bruno and said, "I'm never rolling a wall again." And I meant it.
Not only did the indoor paint sprayer make the process go speedy-fast, but the paint coverage was flawless. No streaks, no thin areas that needed another coat, and no thick, drippy areas that needed to be retouched. It was the most satisfying painting experience of my life.
We recently completed a room makeover in our home, transforming an empty bedroom that served as a storage/play/catch-all nightmare room into a cozy den. The foundation for the whole room was a fresh coat of paint, and we were eager to experiment with spraying the walls vs. rolling and cutting in.
The Prep Work
Spraying the walls of a room will save you loads of time - like, hours. But, you have to prep your room in order to ensure total success. And that prep work depends on having the right masking and surface protection products. We used a few key supplies from Trimaco to make sure our room was prepped correctly.
Trimaco makes all the painting jobsite protection products professionals use, and they have something for everything you can think of. When spraying a room, don't be intimidated by the prep work - the truth is, even if you're just rolling and cutting in, you'd have to do the same amount of prep (taping around windows, trim, and baseboards).
- Tape & Drape: pre-taped masking film makes covering windows, doors, and other surfaces super fast and easy.
- Cling Cover: self-adhering protective plastic sheeting. It clings to almost any surface and also attracts over-spray and dust.
Here's how it all went down:
We taped around all the windows and baseboards using Trimaco's Tape & Drape painter's tape. This tape it the bomb! Why? Because it comes with plastic attached to it. You simply apply the tape to the trim, then pull the plastic out to create big swaths of coverage. We applied this same tape along the ceiling line.
We covered our floor with a giant, non-slip drop cloth from Trimaco. Adding a tacky back to underside of a drop cloth was somebody's masterstroke because it stays put!
Bruno is gaga for gadgets and he likes to keep his work area super clean, so he insisted we wear plastic coverings on our feet. This was not totally necessary for a job like this, but this floor guard for shoes would be a great addition to a winter cocktail party where people want to keep there fancy shoes on in your house. I'm kidding ... maybe.
How to use a Paint Sprayer in an Interior Space
We used the Flexio 590 Handheld Paint Sprayer. It's perfect for an interior paint job like this, because it can cover an 8x10 foot space in 5 minutes! Before spraying, we added our paint to the sprayer and mixed in a bottle of Wagner's Paint Easy additive to thin the paint and help it go on smoothly. Don't let the notion of thinning your paint fool you into thinking the coverage will be poor. When paint is applied through a sprayed mist, the super-fine droplets land and attach to one another, making the finish smoother than the voice of Barry White.
Despite the fact that it was freezing when we painted the room, we opened the windows a bit for ventilation. I think anybody who paints indoors does this, but it's especially helpful when spraying a room, because you have paint particles hanging in the air. Wearing a mask is also important - it keeps the misty-fine particles out of your lungs. That said, the Flexio 590 doesn't over-spray nearly as much as you might guess. You won't feel like you're painting in the clouds.
Bruno painted all four walls of the room in 20 minutes. That's it. 20 minutes and he was D-O-N-E. No second coats, no touch-ups. Can you even?
Here are some of our best tips for using an indoor paint sprayer:
1. Keep a damp cloth in your pocket to periodically wipe the tip of the sprayer - it can get blocked as the paint begins to harden. This is important! You'll need to wipe the tip more often than you think ... but doing so will keep the sprayer from clogging and splattering. If your paint sprayer won't spray, it's often because the tip is clogged with dried paint. Keep it clean and you'll have great results.
2. Learn how to adjust the sprayer nozzle to change the spray pattern. A horizontal nozzle position creates a vertical pattern; a vertical nozzle creates a horizontal pattern. Putting the nozzle at a diagonal will generate more of a round spray pattern.
3. Stand close to the wall and keep your sprayer 6-8 inches from the wall. The further back you go, the wider and thinner your painted area becomes. Standing close to the wall helps you get a nice, thick coat on the first try. You want to keep the sprayer closer to the wall than you think; if you feel weirdly close, you're probably doing it correctly.
4. Apply the paint in strokes (we like horizontal strokes), and pull your finger off the trigger at the end of each pass to let the paint trail off (rather than doubling up an application by continuing to run the sprayer row-after-row). Overlap each spray pass by about 50% to ensure full coverage.
This video on how to use a paint sprayer was extremely helpful in getting us up and running:
We let the paint cure for an hour, then I removed all the painter's tape and plastic film. We folded up the drop cloth, and the room was a perfect blank canvas set to become all denned out!
Before we show you all the pretty pictures of the finished room and talk about the design process, I really want to make sure you understand how smooth and efficient the painting process was. I feel like we have a golden key to Paintsville, and we have an obligation to pass on the ease of this method. It is a game changer. It makes painting so quick and easy. Try it out. I promise you'll breakup with your roller and your old ways.
A Little Bit About the Den Transformation
For years, Bruno and I have been unsure about how to use the empty bedroom on our second floor. When we first moved in, it served as our baby boy's nursery, because our house was still under construction and our master bedroom was not complete. Once our remodel was done, we moved him into a larger bedroom, and this little room met an ugly fate: The room where all the misfit toys and furniture lands. I know many of you have a room (or closet) that's befallen this same sort of fate. It's a luxury to have a room like this, especially because you can close the door and kind of forget about it. But, it's also a big bummer. It bothered me that this totally legit room was being used for such a lousy purpose.
Bleh... what a shame of a room.
We wavered between making it a guest bedroom (it wouldn't get much use that way) and turning it into a den. Bruno was fairly opposed to having a television on the second floor near our peaceful bedrooms. But, our current first-floor TV situation wasn't working. Because of the configuration of our sunroom, the only furniture we could sit upon to watch a movie was a loveseat. We did this for years, spending many Friday movie nights with kids on our laps. But, our kids are now way too big to do this comfortably, and it was becoming more and more apparent that we needed some kind of family-friendly sofa in our lives.
So Bruno got onboard with the second-floor den idea, and we made it happen in two weeks! We ordered a rug, chose a comfy sofa with a chaise (the best seat in the room), and bought a slightly larger television (but not a giant screened beast, because I'm completely opposed to them and don't ever want to feel like I have an actual movie theater in my home - I like going to the movie theater for that kind of thing).
Here's how the room came together:
I really love it. It feels a little more country/boho than anything we've designed before. But, this is exactly what I love about it. It's super cozy and understated, but a little hideaway-y and retro (the wall of wicker baskets is very 60s & 70s). And yet, it still feels like it belongs in our house.
We're in love with our sweet, little den and thrilled with the ease and swiftness of the room's transformation. I hope you'll give spraying a try the next time you paint a wall because it'll save you so much precious time, and the results will be stunning!
- Paint Sprayer: Wagner FLEXIO 590
- Paint prep: Trimaco Tape & Drape, Trimaco Cling Cover
- Paint: Sherwin-Williams Origami White (SW 7636)
- Rug: Arcadia Rug (8x10)
- Sofa: KIVIK with Chaise in Hillard Beige
- Hanging Baskets: Hearth & Hand Flat Rattan Wall Art
- Pendant: Large Sculptural Glass Globe Pendant
- Sconces: Sully Warm Brass Plug-in Sconce
- Toss Pillows: Waraniene, Navy, Cream, Birds
- Throw: TUVALIE
- Trunk: Vintage find from our neighbors!
- Face Planter: Head of a Lady Resin Planter
- Artwork: Edward Hopper + Ship
Thanks to Wagner and Trimaco for sponsoring this post; all opinions are mine alone. And thanks to you, for supporting Curbly and the brand partners that help keep us going!
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!
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?
Materials! My favorite. Before you get started, you're going to need to do a little shopping and gather up the following items:
- Paint - Oil based OR 100% acrylic latex, semi-gloss or gloss. We went with acrylic latex, semi-gloss.
- Primer - Don't skip this! If you can, try to use a primer labeled "high build" or "sandable".
- Degreaser or TSP
- An angled brush OR rent/buy a paint sprayer. Using a sprayer will probably save you about one (of our five) weekends.
- Sandpaper - You're going to need 100 grit (medium) and 220 grit (extra fine/fine).
- Sponge (to use with your degreaser/TSP)
- Gloves (to use with your degreaser/TSP)
- 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
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.)
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!
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.
Vacuum up as much sawdust as you can.
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.
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.
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.
Vacuum off all the sawdust.
Wipe everything down with your tack cloth, making sure to get any remaining sawdust.
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!)
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:
DIY: How to Paint Your Cabinets a Dark Color
By Lidy Dipert
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.
- 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
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.
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.
If your doors and drawers have little details, use a sanding block to get into the hard to reach places.
Wipe all surfaces clean with tack cloth to get rid of any dust.
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.
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.
When the paint has dried, begin your second coat. For the doors, flip over and repeat process on the other side.
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!
When it comes to thrift store finds, painting can be a fantastic way to totally transform something old into something new. That being said, too much paint can be a bad thing. Sometimes the most refreshing way to refinish a solid piece of wood furniture is to totally strip it naked and start fresh. That's how I felt about this chair (and its amazing technicolored dream-coats of old paint). Thankfully, it wasn't a ton of work to remove paint from the entire thing. Here's how:
Urban jungle fever is still going strong in the design world, and I don't mind one bit!
From hanging air plants in every way imaginable, to covering a room with plants of all sizes, this decorating trend has us all "bringing the outdoors in" in ever-inspiring ways.
To pay tribute to the uncontested queen of stunning indoor plants, the monstera deliciosa, also known as the split-leaf philodendron, I created this embroidered monstera leaf art print.