Category Archives: Painting
Since we are in a waiting pattern on the prison bath and roof, I’ve decided to tackle a bunch of small projects to keep me busy. (Idle hands and all….)
Small Project #1: Kitchen Update
My first project has been updating our most neglected but most used room, our kitchen. Eventually, we will be renovating the kitchen completely, so I wanted to update the room without spending a lot of money or major updates. In fact, this project reminds me a lot of my renting days, when I did as many “improvement projects” as I could without major upgrades.
I broke my goals out into five tasks so I could easily complete these over a couple of weekends.
- Update & touch-up the cabinets
- Paint the cabinet knobs
- Add a blackboard wall
- Deep clean the appliances
- Organize the cabinets
- Install a water filtration system
I was lucky, my first weekend on the job was the 3-day MLK holiday weekend. One extra day meant I could really dive into the project and check off a lot on my list.
Touch-up the cabinets
Painting the kitchen was the first project we did when we moved into the house. (You may recall the pink and mustard yellow color scheme it originally had.)
Three years later, the kitchen cabinets need some love. The paint is chipped and cracked, the painted knobs are worn and the room just needs a bunch of sprucing.
For the cabinets, I decided to do a little paint touch-up. I cleaned off all the grime, then lightly sanded and painted the worn areas with a 1″ acrylic paint brush. In some places I had to add a couple of light coats of paint to cover the cracks.
Once I was done, I left the cabinets open to let the paint dry and cure for two days.
Paint the cabinet knobs
The cabinet knobs also needed a make-over. I spray painted them a hammered silver when we first moved in. I have to admit at that point in my DIY career, I didn’t know how to prep metal for paint. Perhaps that is why the knobs were so chipped. This time around, I took time to clean them and deglosser them before I painted.
I wanted to add a little punch of color to the otherwise white kitchen. I perused my spray paint collection, got some feedback from Nate and decided on a sun yellow color. After three coats on each side, I let the knobs dry for two days before I screwed them back on.
Add a blackboard wall
Besides the touch-up work, I decided to add a blackboard wall to the entry way into the kitchen. It’s right next to our fridge and pantry, so a great place to write-up our weekly shopping list or anything else I need to remember.
I’ve never used blackboard paint before, so I followed the directions closely. After prepping the wall, I taped the sided and top and bottom so we would have a 1″ white frame on the left and right of the wall.
Then I painted three coats of paint with a foam brush four hours apart. (I should have used a foam roller for a smoother application, but I didn’t have one on me.) I started this project late in the evening so I just put on Nate’s head light so I could see what I was doing in this dark corner of the house!
Three days later, I covered the paint with a light coat of chalk to cure the chalkboard and it was ready to go. Of course the first writing on the wall about Pixel. I just can’t help myself.
After the painting was complete, here’s the finished cabinets and knobs. The yellow is a really great punch of color on the otherwise white room. (Please ignore the ugly countertop. It isn’t changing until the remodel.) I plan on adding a few more punches before I am done with this update.
And now our entry way into the kitchen has write-able real estate for lists (Crap, I got to run 5 miles today!), drawings and whatever else we fancy.
Next up, I’ll show you how I organized the cabinets and drawers.
After our exciting Saturday night demo session, I finally was able to start painting on Sunday.
After the toilet was removed, I could see the progression of colors the room was painted over the last 50 years. Looks like it started a light green, then moved to a bubble gum color before it became prison pink. All very lovely, but I think white is going to look a lot better than that motley crew.
With my devoted assistant by my side, I started to prime with my Kilz 2 Latex Primer.
We have used this throughout our home and I really like it’s coverage. Even with the Kilz though, the bathroom needed two coats of paint. That prison pink just held on and one coat just didn’t cut it.
Here it is after the second coat. Wow. The white is a breath of fresh air. Now I can focus on the design.
Next up, what are we going to do with the shower?
Last night Nate started prepping the Prison Bath for a much-needed paint job. We both wanted a simple home project to tackle over our three-day weekend.
We’ve been spending a lot of time figuring out what to do with our roof lately. It’s an overwhelming project that looks to be mighty expensive. After receiving our first quote on the work, we may need to push of the project for a year or two. It’s so expensive and we still are paying off our windows and doors. Of course, pushing off the inevitable could cause us more problems down the road, but I think sometimes you got to go with your gut. (My gut is saying live within your means and chance it.)
I wrote a whole post on our Prison Bath last year. See it in its full glory here but basically its a pink embarrassment. (We had hoped Bath Crashers would choose it to renovate, but they decided against it.)
So, back to last night… Nate started prepping for the painting today. He took all the fixtures, guard rails and towel racks down and made one big discovery.
A hole for the original medicine cabinet through the concrete wall. It was a total surprise and still unsure what we are going to do with it. It’s almost too small to use, but I love the idea of a recessed cabinet like this one from Pottery Barn. Guess we will have to put some more thought into it.
Today we’ll clean and then prime the walls. I can’t wait to see the bathroom in a nice coat of white paint. I won’t let Nate even start to think about paint color until we get rid of the pink haze.
Thanks for all the congratulations on the table! I am so glad everyone loves it as much as we do.
How I gave my grandma’s dining table a beach makeover
Here’s the products I used for this project. They worked really well for me, but there certainly are other comparable products out there.
- Electric Sander (I use a Mikita that I purchased for around $30)
- 80-grit, 220-grit, 360-grit sandpaper
- Zinsser Cover Stain Oil Primer
- Rust-oleum Spray Primer
- Rust-oleum Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover 2x Spray Paint in Gloss White
- Rust-oleum Painter’s Touch in Gloss White
- Behr Eggshell Latex in Aqua Spray
- ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape with Edge-Lock in 1″
- Newspaper and Dust cloths
- Minwax Wipe-on Poly in Clear Gloss
My #1 Tip
If I had to do this project again, I would have sanded just a little more at the beginning to get the surface as smooth as possible. So, my #1 tip is to take your time during each step of the project so you get it right.
As I showed you two days ago, I started by sanding the heck out of the top and legs of the table. I didn’t think I could remove the laminate finish on the top so I settled for roughing it up a lot. I started with a medium grade 80-grit paper and worked up to a fine grade 220-grit paper.
Then I flipped the table on its back so I could prime and paint the legs and any visible parts of the underneath. I sprayed about two coats of the primer and 2-3 thin coats of the Painter’s Touch. I lightly sanded it down between primer and paint to smooth out drips and rough spots.
With the bottom dry, I flipped the table upright to work on the table top.
Using my handy 24″ quilting ruler, I measured out the stripe pattern on the table top. I started by measuring the center of each table leaf and then measured out each stripe. The pattern was a 2″ aqua stripe flanked by a 1/2″ white stripe and 1″ wood stripe.
Each panel had to match its neighbor so I started on the middle leaf and worked out connecting all my marks into lines before triple checking all my measurement again.
Taking a deep breath, I then taped off my 1″ wood grain stripes as straight as possible following my pencil lines. The tape was one continuous piece to ensure all the leaves matched up. Once the tape was applied, I rubbed it into the wood with my finger to make sure it didn’t have any bubbles.
Also before taping, I had extended the table so I had about 1/4″ between each leaf. This way the paint couldn’t pool between the leaves and I could easily clean up any drips.
I was a little worried about the laminate finish. Would the paint stick to it? I used a oil based primer to make sure. Nate and I had used it on our hallway cabinets and really loved the results.
Two thin coats of primer were applied and then let to dry for 24 hrs before sanding down with 220-grit sandpaper. The primer stuck to the laminate really well. The stuff is truly amazing and well worth using.
The following day, I applied Rust-oleum Painter’s Touch in Gloss White to the primed table top. I started with spray paint, but quickly changed to the actual paint. (I just bought a pint of the paint sold in the same section the spray paint is found.) I applied two thin coats, let it dry for 24 hrs then sanded yet again with the 220-grit paper.
With all the white layers done, I decided to removed the tape to check that my wood stripes worked before continuing in case I have to change plans. I was really worried that the primer may have leaked. Amazingly, it hadn’t. The Scotch Edge Lock worked like magic and left sharp clean wood stripes. I was so excited I made Nate come outside to see and did a little happy dance.
Next up was the 2″ center stripe. I lightly sanded again just in case there was any edges from the tape. Then measured out the center stripe and taped it off with my magic tape.
I decided to try out a great tip I read for getting foolproof stripes. By sealing the tape with your original color before painting the stripe, any leakage under the tape will be the original color so the stripe should be clean. So I sealed the tape with a little white paint and let it dry before adding the aqua color. (I couldn’t use this tip with the wood stripe since I didn’t have a color to seal the tape with.)
When the paint was dry, I painted two thin coats of Behr Aqua Spray down the middle and let the paint dry overnight.
When I removed the tape this time, I bunch of the white undercoat came up with it. The stripe was nice and clean, but I did touch up the white 1/2″ stripes a bit before sanding the table one last time with the 220-grit paper.
Nate and I moved the table back inside for the polyurethane coats to make sure we didn’t get any dirt or bugs in it. The wipe-on poly is really easy to apply with a clean cloth. It usually dries in 2-3 hours, but it’s been pretty warm here so each coat took much longer.
I had two box fans on and the table still took about 7 hours to dry between coats. I sanded with very fine 360-grit paper between the coats. The final coat was allowed to dry for 24 hours before we used it.
And there you go – the finished table!
The table has gotten lost of use these last few nights. We even hosted our fantasy football draft on it Tuesday night.
The last two weeks I have been refinishing my grandma’s dining table. Here is the big reveal with before and after photos. Project details will be following in the next post.
My dining table was originally purchased by my grandparents in the 1960′s. It served as the household’s hub of activity for 40 plus years. Countless family meals, bridge games and holiday feasts all were stationed at it.
I inherited it when we bought our house. I loved the table’s versatility. It can seat four to ten people easily with four removable leaves. I also am a sucker for the sentimental and cherish all the childhood memories I have sitting at it.
But that didn’t mean I would leave it as is. The table needed a makeover. The top was some sort of heavy duty laminate I didn’t want to keep. The table was scratched and its legs all banged up. There was even petrified gum on the underside from when my uncles and aunts were kids.
My first thought was to paint it all white, but then I thought why not make it playful? Our house is a mismatch of mid century modern lines with punches of tropical color and personality. It’s meant for pool parties and entertaining. Our table needed some fun design.
I went with a classic racing stripe reminiscent of 1960′s surf and skate boards. After sketching out a couple different patterns, I settled on a 2″ aqua stripe flanked by 1/2″ white stripe and 1″ wood stripe.
I became obsessed with having wood stripes. It’s a nod to the original finish, plus it works so well in combination with the white and aqua. My gut said the wood stripes would work, but I was still nervous on execution.
And the result? I am in love with my table!! I am so happy with that I worked the wood into the design. It looks even better than I thought it would!
We’ve already had a chance to try it out for a couple events we’ve hosted and it held up really well. My grandparents loved a good gathering. They would be thrilled their table is now the belle of my ball.
If you are interested in the project details, I’ll post them tomorrow with a supply list. This entry is already long enough!
The last two weeks I have been refinishing my grandma’s dining table. It’s the first BIG furniture project I have ever taken on. Below is a photo diary of the first day.
Get home from work. Change my clothes.
Move dining table to backyard.
Sand with 80-grit paper to scruff up finish.
Interrupted by a small tiger cat.
Take out leaves and flip table over.
Sand table legs.
Quickly prime legs and bottom of table with spray paint as the light fades.
Leave table to dry out back and make some dinner.
This is the second installment on our series of posts on the all mighty concrete. Check out the make-up of our concrete house.
Concrete walls may not be the norm for most living rooms, but if you are painting a garage or basement there’s a good chance it’s concrete.
I love the look of our block walls, but at first was a little horrifed to paint them.
We had to ask a lot of questions in the beginning and through trial and error perfected our block painting method.
I’ll get into the technique in a moment, but first let’s go over how I prepare to paint. Don’t forget these steps that allow for a long lasting paint job.
Wash it down
Before picking up a paint brush clean your walls. I mean think about it. Walls get dirty and you need them clean so the paint can adhere correctly.
We use TSP (trisodium phosphate) mixed with water to wipe down the walls. The TSP is great for removing grease, smoke and soot stains, but a multipurpose cleaner could also work.
Prime and seal the walls
It didn’t appear our walls had been painted in years so we wanted to seal them with a primer to protect against mildew and old smoke damage.
We used Kilz 2 White Primer and Sealer throughout the house. It’s a great multipurpose primer that covers just about anything.
If you are just updating the color or have a newer home you can skip this step.
So now that the walls have been prepped, its time to paint. We have had great results with Behr Premium Plus Ultra paint in a eggshell finish. It’s low-VOC, resists stains and recommended by Consumer Reports. If your walls don’t require a heavy duty primer, you can just use this for the added benefit of having a primer mixed in.
I start with an angled brush to paint the groves between each block and stipple in any deep impressions. (That’s my paint expert Mom demonstrating her skills above.)
Next, I switch to a paint roller cover with a 1-1/4″ nap. The thicker roller cover looks like a furball, but it’s designed for painting rough surfaces like stucco and concrete blocks. It works with all finishes, but best with a flat or eggshell.
For smaller projects, you may just want to use a brush for the project. The thicker roller sucks up a lot of paint and may be wasteful in a little space.
Cover the area with one coat and let it dry. You can go back with your brush to touch up any missed holes after it’s completely dry. Then paint one final coat with the roller. The texture of the wall makes it easy to miss parts so make sure to apply that second coat for good coverage.
We learned the hard way, but hopefully these steps will save you some time on your own concrete painting projects.
Next up, we will be talking about concrete on the floor.