We're nearing the finish line of our office makeover (more on that later) and so I've turned my attention to some of the finer details... details like, you know, mouse pads. After a desperate search to find some that blended form and function in a way that made my aesthetic-loving soul happy -- and failing -- I decided to make my own. And I'm glad I did because, holy cow, I love them!
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)
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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!
We love the festive season! It’s the perfect time to get creative. If you’ve already got your tree trimmed and you’re ready for a new and exciting holiday project — or even if you’re keeping your Christmas décor minimal this year — this DIY wooden tabletop Christmas tree will bring a little extra festive cheer to your home.
These trees are super easy to make and to personalize. What’s more, they’re so durable. Bring them out year after...
Colorful rope dog leads have been all the rage in the pet accessories world lately -- and I am obsessed! But, with prices ranging anywhere from $70 to over $150, they're a little outside most people's "dog stuff" budgets. If you'd still like to get your paws on a stylish leash for your pooch (in whatever color your heart desires) without breaking the bank, give this easy DIY rope leash project a whirl! You'll learn how to make a dog leash that perfectly fits your fido's taste (and yours!).
I am head-over-heels for the rope leash look. As a visual reference, here are a few awesome shops and brands that make them.
Many of these use traditional nautical splicing and whipping techniques, but today we're going to employ a bit of a shortcut! (If you want to learn how to splice rope, there are tons of video tutorials on YouTube, FYI.) So, are you ready to make your own rope dog leash? Awesome. Pawesome. Here's what you'll need!
Materials for DIY Rope Dog Leash Project
2 to 2 1/4 yards 3/8" thick cotton rope
(2) Rope Clamps
(1) Snap Hook
Large Cooking Pot
The rope clamps and snap hook can be found in the rope section of your local hardware store. Finding 100% cotton rope can be a little tricky, though. I ended up finding the braided style at JoAnn's in the trim section. You can order the 3-strand style from Knot & Rope Supply for pretty cheap. (I happened to have some on hand prior to this project.)
How to make a dog leash
1. Determine about how long you want your leash to be (anywhere from 4-6 feet is pretty standard) and cut it accordingly. Be sure to tape or tie off the ends so your rope doesn't unravel.
2. Soak your rope in some warm water. Meanwhile, prepare your dye according to the instructions on the bottle. You won't need very much! A bottle of RIT Liquid Dye will go a long, long way.
3. Now for the fun part! For an ombré/gradient/dip-dyed effect, quickly dip and remove your rope from the dye. Then, re-dip at different heights/levels, until you're happy with the gradation. Want your rope all one color? Submerge the whole rope in the dye, stirring constantly, until the desired color is reached.
Note: I made two versions of this leash using different kinds of rope and found that the 3-strand variety creates a smoother, more subtle ombré effect.
4. Remove your rope and hang it up (outside or in the garage), dark end at the top, to allow the dye to creep down the rope. You can help it along by squeezing the excess dye/water down the length of the rope.
5. Once you're happy with the way the gradient is looking, rinse the rope in cold water until the water runs clear -- or -- use some RIT Dye Fixative before you rinse out the rope if you want to super-seal the color.
6. Allow the rope to dry thoroughly. This may take up to 24 hours.
7. Now that your rope is dry, it's time to attach the clamps and snap hook. Decide which end you want to place the hook. Feed the end of the rope through the ring then fold the rope over, creating a small loop.
8. Place the clamp on a flat surface with the prongs facing up. Lay the base of the rope loop inside the clamp, between the prongs. With a hammer or rubber mallet, hammer all four prongs securely over the rope.
9. On the other end, fold the rope over to create a 6-7" loop (bigger or smaller depending on how big your hands are and what feels comfortable to you). Then, repeat step 8.
Now, after you've attached the rope clamps, you could call it a day -- you have a perfectly functional leash at this point. (Heck, you could skip the dyeing altogether and just attach the clamps and snap hook and -- BAM -- you'd have a leash.) If you really want to take this project into über-stylish territory, though, you'll want to add some finishing touches and cover those ugly clamps up!
There are multiple ways to cover the clamps: you could wrap them in twine/yarn/string/leather cording/etc. etc. I chose to use up some leftover leather (from this project) and create a sleeve with some colorful stitching. If you'd like to do the same, read on!
Materials for Creating a Leather Clamp Cover:
#18 Darning Needle
Self-Healing Cutting Mat
Rope Dog Leash: How to Make a Leather Clamp Cover
1. Cut a strip of leather about 2.25" wide, or wide enough to cover the length of the clamp.
2. From this strip, cut two pieces of leather, both about 2.5" long or long enough to wrap around the clamp.
3. Soak one of the leather pieces in warm water until it becomes soft and malleable. Stretch it out a bit then pat dry.
4. Fold the leather over. Take a hammer and your darning needle and create some small stitch guides/holes anywhere from 1/8 to 1/4 inch apart. You only need a few light taps from the hammer, don't go crazy.
5. Lay the leather on a flat surface, then position and place the clamp on top. Cut a length of embroidery floss and tie a knot at the end. Anchor the floss to the rope itself by looping and tying the thread a few times.
6. Stitch the two ends of the leather together with a simple whip stitch, pulling tightly. When you reach the end, anchor the floss to the rope as before. Cut the thread.
7. Repeat steps 3-6 for the other clamp. Allow the leather to dry out completely (it'll tighten up around the clamp as it dries) and you're done!
In this post, you'll learn how to make dog treats that are healthy and all-natural.
I'm known around these parts as "the crazy Schnauzer lady", but in truth, I'm crazy about ALL dogs... and think they deserve some tasty, homemade treats every now and then! This simple, two-ingredient recipe can be customized like nobody's business, so get creative and have a little fun (while pampering your pooch) with this easy dog treat recipe!
A DIY advent calendar is the perfect way to bring tradition and beautiful holiday decor into your home for the Christmas season. We scoured the web for our favorites – Scandinavian-inspired, modern, inventive, and colorful – so we hope you find one to make with your family this year!
15 Scandinavian-Inspired Advent Calendar Ideas
It's almost December, which means it's time to bust out your diy advent calendar! Here are 15...
I don't know about you, but my laundry room is a black hole in which I spend as little time as possible. It's dark, tiny, and dank... in other words, the complete opposite of all these awesome laundry room makeovers. If you're in a similar boat and looking for some serious inspiration, check out these laundry room ideas.
Erin's white-washed wood paneling is a Scandinavian-inspired laundry room retreat! And check out that DIY concrete countertop -- nicely done! See more on HGTV.
This basement laundry room gets a warm and inviting face lift -- SO much better than its prison cell-like beginnings! One of our favorite laundry room ideas. See more on Country Home.
More Scandinavian-y goodness! Can you say "so fresh and so clean, clean"? See more here.
I didn't realize how sad and boring the "before" was until I saw the "after"! Holy color explosion! I would fold laundry in this space any day. See more on BHG.
This laundry room started out looking like every laundry room that was ever built in the 90s. And now? Now it's got style to the max! See more on Tatertots & Jello.
Then there was a laundry "area" somewhere in this scary basement... but now it's got its own room, complete with colorful details and some seriously awesome tile. See more here.
Eye Candy: 11 Incredible Laundry Room Ideas
Right now, our laundry room is in a dark, unfinished corner of our basement but we have plans to *someday* turn it into a room that doesn't give us the creeps. Until then, I'll just keep collecting inspiration! If you're in a similar boat, take a peek at these gorgeous laundry room ideas.
Woah! A washer and dryer in the kitchen? Controversial, or just genius?
Let us know what must-have features your dream laundry room would have in the comments below!
Before and After: An Incredible Laundry Room Makeover
This laundry room looks like most do - functional and not so pretty. But just wait until you see the space after its makeover... it looks so nice, you'd actually look forward to doing a load of wash. Check out the incredible transformation. Hopefully it'll spark your own ideas for a laundry room renovation!
So much better, right?! The tiling and new work surface were the biggest changes, while the rest were mostly cosmetic. Make your way over to Twelve On Main to see more photos and to read about the whole laundry room renovation process.
An Incredible DIY Laundry Room Makeover
I think my favorite thing about this laundry room makeover, besides the fact that it looks awesome, is that the homeowners did every single thing themselves -- and on a budget!
Check out all the projects and everything that went into this incredible, budget-friendly makeover right here.
A Fresh and Clean Scandinavian-Inspired Laundry Room Makeover
Going along with our basement and sleeping themes today (because you sleep in clothes/pajamas and washers and dryers are often in basements? I know, it's a stretch...), I thought I'd share this lovely laundry room* makeover from Curbly fave Charles & Hudson!
In preparation for the arrival of their new baby, Timothy Dahl, the founder and editor of Charles & Hudson (and all-around great guy), decided to tackle a laundry room makeover. The old space was functional in the most minimal way possible. Sure it had a washer and dryer (both incredibly old, not to mention huge energy/water hogs), but there was no space for sorting and folding. The scary utility sink was too grimy to actually use for hand-washing and the room had also become a messy, catch-all storage closet. Bad news for a growing family with growing laundry needs!
The new space is not only bright, clean, and full of Scandinavian-inspired goodness, it's also way more functional. A new shelving system keeps supplies organized, the cleaned up sink is ready for even the most delicate of hand-wash-only items, and there's plenty of space to sort, fold, and hang laundry! As for those new Energy Star rated appliances? The icing on the cake!
Check out more of this makeover, including some great DIY projects (like the chalkboard and antler coat rack) and painting tips, over on Charles & Hudson!
*This laundry room is NOT actually in a basement... I told you--it was a huge stretch!
Lovely Laundry Room Makeover
Bryn's laundry room was lacking natural light, not to mention, the function she really needed. See how she gave her wash-and-wear room some "dry clean only" sophistication.
Bryn added some task lighting beneath her upper cabinets, and installed a wooden countertop for a work surface.
She painted her cabinets with chalkboard paint. I think a laundry room is a great place to add this kind of texture. Bryn also glammed up the space with some DIY art and pretty containers for her laundry soap.
Finally, she painted a stripe around the narrow room and installed hooks to hang air dry-only clothing.
For being tiny (about 94 inches wide), Chrissy's laundry room is big on style. Of course, it wasn't always that way. Above is how it looked before she made it over. Utilitarian: yes. Inviting: not so much. After sewing curtains to hide the wire shelving, a new coat of paint on the walls, light fixture, rug, bins and other doodads, Chrissy's laundry room is now cute enough to put on display (aka: leaving the door open for all to see.) For more information about the makeover and the individual projects that went into it, head on over to Shanty 2 Chic. And to see more of Chrissy's magic, visit her blog Hoot Designs.
Recently Stacy made over her friend Taralyn's laundry room, and the results are nothing less than dramatic. The room, or rather, passageway, as it is just off the garage and functions as an entry of sorts to the rest of the home, was well-defined as "builder grade." After its makeover, the laundry room is now an eye-catching transition worthy of a lingering look. Check it out.
Stacy's fearless use of black paint really bumps things up a notch. If working with such a dark color gives you a case of the sweats, Stacy has a FABULOUS tip on how to get super-crisp paint lines. To find out just what the tip is plus more pictures of the room both before and after, visit Stacy's website, Not Just a Housewife.
Unbelievable Laundry Room Makeover with Penny Tiles
Mandi from Vintage Revivals, recently revealed her laundry room makeover and the results couldn't be more spectacular. Unlike a typical laundry room that you hide behind closed doors, this one you'd want to show off. Maybe even host parties in there. New penny round tile on the floor and slim subway tile on the wall, plus loads and loads of new storage and counter space prove to be the winning combination. Take a look at the "after":
Kelly's washer and dryer looked kinda sad in their old living quarters. Did she paint them with a bright color to cheer them up? Nope. She just changed everything around them to make them look like a million bucks--and it only cost $125! From top to bottom--including an amazing DIY pendant light to painting the vinyl flooring--nothing was overlooked by Kelly's keen eye and talented hands. Take a look at what her laundry room looks like now:
The drying rack to the right of the washer and dryer was snagged for $25 and the cabinet in the center of the laundry room was found at a garage sale for $20.
Getting the laundry room ship-shape for spring will be a SNAP with these very clever hacks. There's something for everyone too. Woodworkers can go all out with Ana White's Laundry Basket Dresser plan, pictured above.
If you'd rather keep your tools in their chest, check out this super simple idea from Craft Blog. A 'blob' of hot glue was used to attach clothes pins to a tiled wall to hang dry those little items that get stuck in the dryer and come out damp. (Instead of glue, I'd opt to used 3M's hook and loop picture hanging strips, especially on drywall.)
One of the best laundry room investments I ever made was a ironing board hanger. Although it works great, it isn't as charming as the The House of Smiths' laundry room idea.
Although this next entry is a store-bought item, I thought it needed to be included in our round up as it's TOTALLY DIYable. Some 1" x 2" (or so), pulleys, doweling and rope and we're good to go. I particularly like how this rack is elevated, unlike the ubiquitous fold up/fold down kind.
And now for the second half of our round up...suds and stuff!
Of course, we don't want to forget the fabric softener. Hallee hooks us up for this one. Her recipe consists of hot water, baking soda and vinegar. Her concoction even works in one of those Downy ball thingies!
10 More DIY Laundry Room and Mudroom Organization Projects
Here's a collection of DIY projects and laundry room ideas to aid you in organizing or decorating some of cleanest and messiest rooms in our homes: the laundry and mudroom.
Some of them are simple afternoon projects, costing as little as $10 and using thrifted or upcycled materials, and others are entire plans for building your own mudroom from scratch. There is something for every level of DIYer.
In this 1950s ranch style home you walk in from the garage straight into the laundry room. Inside the laundry room is a walk in coat/storage closet. The owner before had used it as a pantry/coat closet. Besides being outdated, this closet had a few identity problems.
Problem #1: The space of the closet would make a great pantry except the kitchen is down the hall, through the living room, and on the complete other side of the house.
Problem #2: All the doors opened into each other. If the closet door was open you couldn't open the door to the garage and vice versa. If you changed the door to open inward, you would have to walk inside and shut the door to access one side of the closet. The solution? Take the door off and make the closet into a mudroom.
Taking the door off made the space flow uninterupted but it created the need for something functional and visually organized. The mudroom with built-in lockers was the easiest solution.
This was what the closet looked like on the other side. There was another coat closet located at the front door so we didn't lose coat storage. Since the laundry room was located off the garage it was the main entry for the homeowner. The transformation to a mudroom would give the new homeowner a place for her family to drop their things on the way inside.
This was a "use what you have" transformation. The original shelves on the left side were taken down and reused on both sides. By hanging the first two shelves close together it created a nook for shoes. The space under the first shelf was made for bins and baskets to store hats and scarves. The top shelf is a place where she can store her folded laundry just in case she doesn't have time to put it away immediately.
This makeover was easy to do and inexpensive by reusing what the closet already had to offer. Bead board and trim pieces were added to the wall to give the look of a custom built-in locker system.
The hooks were added after the dry wall was patched and the wood got a fresh coat of white paint.
The shelves are even sturdy enough to sit on while you take off your shoes.
Often homes are built in a way that make sense for one family but when the home changes hands it doesn't translate to the new family's needs. It is not crazy that your family uses the space much differently than the homeowner/renter before. If you have a space that seems "off", re-work it a little to make it functional. A great place to start are closets like the one above. They are a great place to add some usable square footage in many different ways.
What's black and white and wood all over? A modern, rustic, Scandinavian Christmas! We've rounded up forty (40!!) Scandinavian Christmas decorations that will have you daydreaming of log fires and warm glasses of glogg in no time. God Jul!
We're kicking the gift giving season off with a roundup of some of our favorite hand-crafted items for guys! In an effort to encourage "shopping small" this holiday season and supporting our fellow makers, each product featured is handmade by independent Etsy shop artisans. Enjoy!