Monday, January 31, 2011

Painting Kitchen Cabinets Tutorial

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Now don't get me wrong, I love wood cabinets.

I think they can be beautiful and make an ordinary home look expensive and custom. Sadly, the wood cabinetry in my home did nothing but make my house look dated and cookie-cutter but I definitely did not have thousands of dollars to buy beautiful new cabinets.

So what do you do when life hands you dated oak cabinets? Why, you paint them of course!

Again I went to Google and searched for kitchens. I loved the clean lines of simple white cabinetry. I also went to Home Depot and Ikea and walked around their kitchen sections and looked at their cabinets. After deciding on the look I wanted I went to work.

First I removed all the doors and drawer fronts. I put all the hinges into one baggy, the current knob handles in another baggy and the screws that held the drawers fronts on in another. Most drawer fronts are glued on but because my house is a little over ten years old the glue wasn't doing much to hold them on. 

Here are my cabinets after removing the doors.

Here are my drawers after removing the fronts. 

You will need to clean your cabinets well. I filled my tub with a little water and a small amount of dish soap. I knew that the top of the cabinet doors would be greasy but I was shocked at how greasy the doors were where we touched them every day.


I even wipe by cabinets down... sometimes. I used a scrubby sponge and scrubbed them clean. Then I towel dried them and set them out overnight to dry.

I then used wood putty and I filled all the holes from the old hardware because we had bought new hardware. I also filled any big dings. I used white wood putty because I was painting them white but you can use any kind that you can paint. I filled the holes, let it dry and sanded them. There were a few I had to fill and sand again. 

I primed the cabinets using Sherwin Williams Adhesion Primer. This primer is specifically for things like cabinets that are normally hard to paint without sanding or stripping. I would recommend buying a nice small roller, large roller and brush for this. I used a roller to cover most of it and then I used a brush to get into corners. I painted both the fronts and backs of my cabinet doors and also the inside rims of the cabinets. 
Image from Sherwin Williams

Here are my doors and drawer fronts after one coat of primer.

I started by painting some inside my house and don't worry, Mr. U got to them.

I used two coats of primer and I sanded after each coat. Next I used ProClassic paint from Sherwin Williams. This paint is specifically made for doors, trim and cabinets. It is a paint that drys hard and holds up against abuse. It is a thicker paint and while we didn't have any problems with it I know that some people have. Another good paint choice is Sherwin Williams Duration paint.

Quick money saving tip. If you do use Sherwin Williams paint, search for "printable Sherwin Williams coupons" online. You should be able to find one for 10%-30% off your purchase. 
Image from Sherwin Williams

We just used their base bright white because we wanted our cabinets to match out trim. I used three coats of the ProClassic but I did not use any sealer or top coat. I also sanded between each coats to give it a nice smooth finish.

My handy hubby also cut and added crown moulding around the top and small decorative moulding around the bottom. Because we were painting the cabinets white we were able to buy cheaper pine and composite moulding without worrying that is wasn't the same wood type. 

I just love how they turned out. You will have to wait for the big reveal to see the new hardware. I will also be doing a tutorial on why I cut up the doors on some of my cupboards! I am so excited to show you guys everything that has changed.

Faux brand new cabinets for around $150 for everything. Much better than thousands of dollars!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Paint Changes Everything: How I Choose Colors for My Home

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Choosing a color palette for any room can be daunting. Believe me, I know! Last time I picked out paint for my home I made a huge mistake by not realizing what it would look like once it was done. Especially when it was on every. single. wall. in my house.

It is hard to picture what a color will look like on your walls from a tiny paint chip. It is even harder to imagine it once furniture and accessories are added to the mix

Here are some things that helped me this time around.

For my kitchen, I googled and googled and googled. I looked through hundreds of pictures of kitchen. I searched for kitchen color ideas, color pallet ideas etc. and I found myself gravitating toward similar ideas.
Image from

Image from

Photo from
They all seemed so bright and fresh. Once I had an idea of the color I wanted, I searched for fabric next. I was looking for fabric that had a perfect blueish/teal color to it.

I love Joel Dewberry's fabric. Once I found my fabric I went to Sherwin Williams and matched the light blue color until I found the right color family. I ended up painting my walls with Raindrop SW6485.

If you are still nervous about the color, most paint stores have a tester size you can take home and paint a good size square to stare at.

Image from Sherwin Williams Raindrop SW6485
If you are not a fabric person, another really cool site out there for color palettes is COLOURlovers.  If you go to their website and click on trends you can find awesome color palettes taken from fashion, media, weddings, etc. You can also create custom color palettes. They even give you the HEX and RGB numbers. You can print out your custom palette and take it to a local paint store and have them match it.

Here is one of my walls.

I think they look a little more blue in the picture than they actually are but I love the color. It brightens and freshens up my kitchen. I actually painted it while my hubby was away on a business trip and didn't tell him. When he walked in the door he said "Wow. I thought you were going to go with a nice tan or something."

Nope. No tan here. No yellow for that matter either.

For all you mommies out there, Mr. U (my two-year-old) christened my newly painted walls, only a few hours after they dried, with a fresh scribble. Guess he had to welcome the new walls home.

I know not everyone will love my color choice because it is personal. My biggest piece of advice is to pick something you love. A color that makes you happy.

What about you? Are you afraid of painting color in your home? Are you stuck in a color rut? How did you pick the color palettes in your home?

Well I am off to feed the kiddos.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Faux Kitchen

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My kitchen is the first on my to do list. I am so excited to show you how far it has come and I have so many tutorials to share! We have done all the work ourselves and everything is fake. You will see what I mean, I promise.

I am so proud!

We still have a few projects to wrap up so I can't reveal the transformation, but for now I will share some fantastic before shots.

These first two pictures are from when we first bought the house. I think the fact that I took these with a disposable camera just adds to how great this space is.

Each wall was a different color. We had some beautifully decorated light switches and the best light fixtures. Sigh. The yellow wall had over 35 nail holes in it.

That wall paper border above the door was the only part of it that was actually glued. The rest had been hanging with push pins. I loved the push pin idea. Way easier to take down.

Here is what it has looked like for the last five years... oh the yellow.  I swear it is not as bright as it looks in the picture... well maybe. In defense of my kitchen I actually had it decorated pretty cute. All country like, with reds and blacks and... yellow. But we lived in Alabama for the summer because of the hubbies work and I didn't put all the decor back up to take a picture.

Let's just say that I think I was a little obsessed with red. All of the accessories in the kitchen were red. Even my pot holders.

The only changes we had made in this picture were all of the appliances, blinds, the awesome yellow paint and the floors.

I love my floors. I am sorry I don't have a great picture of them because they are a beautiful slate.

Kind of.

Image from Home Depot

We used TrafficMaster Resilient Vinyl Tile Flooring. The image above is not the exact style we have. We bought a slate look and it even has texture of bumps and ridges like slate. They are tough stuff too. 

These are around .98 cents a square foot and they are peel and stick. That's right. They are like a giant, thick, industrial strength sticker. I scrubbed our linoleum floors clean and we just stuck them straight onto it. We used tile spacers and then grouted them just like tile. 

All of our friends and families have assumed it is real slate until we told them otherwise. You can only tell it isn't the real thing by running your hand over it. We got the look we wanted for about half the cost and it was way easier to install. You can cut it using an utility knife so no tile saw needed here.  

Stay tuned for the big reveal and a ton of new tutorials!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A New Years Resolution and a Fabric Covered Journal

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The hubster and I were talking a few days ago about New Years resolutions. The entire idea drives my hubby nuts. People make the same resolutions year after year but never actually follow through. Sometimes people even put off good resolutions until the beginning of the year so they don't have to work on them now.

So can resolutions begin at anytime? I sure hope so because I almost never start resolutions on the very first of the year.

Now don't get my man wrong. We set goals for our family at the beginning of the year. On the first family night of the year we all set goals. Even the littles. Some of Baby V's goals this year are to learn to crawl and walk. Mr. P wants to start learning to read and Mr. U wants to get potty trained.

Okay mommy wants him potty trained.

My hubby and I set goals for our family. Financial, spiritual etc but we also set individual goals.

This year one of my goals is to keep a journal.


I have been told all my life the importance of keeping a journal. Leaving your story for future generations, keeping a record of your thoughts.

I am just not convinced that anyone would find my grocery shopping trip or changing diapers a good read.

So I decided to have a theme this year. I am not going to write about day to day happenings but I am going to record something funny or happy that each of my child did or said that day.

I want to remember those moments.

In order to help me keep my resolution I need something fabulous to keep those memories in.

The fabric is from Amy Butler's awesome Love collection. Cypress Paisley in Lime, Sun Spot in Olive and Tumble Roses in Tangerine.

It's just begging for me to fill it with thoughts.

Want to make one, too?

Gather your supplies. Fabric scraps, ribbon, hot glue gun, mod podge, composition book, paint brush, solid color cardstock, scissors and a pen.

First you need to take your cardstock and place it inside your journal. Line it up with the black band and trace around the journal. Cut two pieces of that same shape.

Glue those pieces on the front and the back with hot glue. Glue down the edges and run a bead of glue down the middle. This will make it so you can't see the cover through the fabric

Take another piece of cardstock and do the same thing but this time push it flush to the inside. When you cut this one out you want to cut inside your line about 1/4 inch on the top, one side and bottom. Cut two of these.

You then need to cut two rectangles from your fabric for the front and back. Make sure to cut them about 1/4-1/2 inch bigger on all sides. Use your mod podge to glue the fabric down.

Open your cover and run thin strips of it on the edges and push your fabric down. Fold the corners and pull the fabric slightly. Repeat the same process on the back cover also.

Next I cut a strip of fabric to cover the black binding (you could also use really wide ribbon). Cut it about an extra 1 1/2 inches wider and longer. I pressed the fabric in half and then pressed the long sides over with an iron about 1/4-1/2 inch. Glue it using mod podge to the front of your journal.

Make sure you cover the raw edge of the other fabric. DO NOT glue it to the spine or back yet. Turn your journal over.

You are going to make two cuts on each side of the strip like in the picture. You want to make the cuts so the middle piece is the width of the spine of the journal. Glue down the middle piece with hot glue or mod podge.

Cut a piece of coordinating ribbon a about 3-4 inches longer than the journal. Use a lighter, candle or match to heat seal the ends by melting the ribbon slightly. Glue the ribbon to the upper spine with hot glue. Fold over your strip of fabric and use mod podge to glue in place on the spine andback cover. Make sure you fold the long edge under.

Open your journal and glue the strip of fabric on the inside using mod podge.

Take the two pieces of cardstock you cut for the inside. Cut fabric a little bigger on all four sides than the cardstock. Glue it to the cardstock and turn it over. Glue all four sides down. Glue this piece to the inside of your journal. I used mod podge to glue it down but then I went back with hot glue and glued the edges down with that.

I can't wait to start using it! This would be cute for a journal, to do list, planner, anything. You could also use cute paper instead of fabric.

What about you? Do you have New Years resolutions? Do you keep them? Do you have anything that helps you accomplish them?

Well I am off to write down today's adventures.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

About Me

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Well, thanks for stopping by! I guess I should tell you a little about myself since we're going to be friends and all.

I am a wife of a hunting, outdoorsy, cowboy with little-to-no fashion sense but a heart as big as they come. This man of mine let's me try anything and knows how to deal with my new obsessions. He does anything to make me happy and just his effort makes me happy.

I am a mama of two very mischievous little boys who are each others best friends. They can destroy my house in about 2 minutes and make me smile in about 2 seconds. The oldest loves learning and coloring and the younger one learned to say T Rex and Stegosaurus before saying please and more.

I am also the mama of the happiest baby girl who lights up my day. I was overwhelmed when I first found out I was having a girl (how do you deal with all those hormones?) but she balances our family and adds joy to our day. She always has a smile for me and loves her daddy and her brothers. Not to mention it is ridiculously fun to make things for her.

I am lucky enough to be a stay-at-home-mama which, as many of you know, encompasses about every job known to man.

I love it.

The Starter Home-

We were able to buy a starter home just a year into our marriage with the thought that we would only be there for 3-5 years. It was a HUD home, which pretty much means it was a foreclosure, and it was an interesting house to say the least but really cheap. Dark red walls, black walls, blue walls, weird light fixtures (there was an old chandelier in the garage) and wallpaper borders hung with pushpins.


We repainted the entire home bright yellow (I was 8 months preggo DON'T JUDGE) and replaced the carpet, light fixtures and hung some blinds. We tore out the yard to put in a sprinkler system and slowly replaced the swamp cooler with an AC, the heater, water heater, dishwasher, oven, refrigerator, microwave and garage door opener.

Luckily we didn't have to replace the washer and dryer...

we had already bought those before moving in.

I decorated mostly with hand me downs from my Mama. I took whatever I could get free or cheap and tried to work around the YELLOW.

Side note. I cried when I walked in the house after the painters left. Did I already mention I was preggo?


I have never liked our house. Not once. To me it was an in between place. A place we would look back on and laugh while sitting in our gorgeous dream home.

In front of the fireplace.'s been five years and no moving plans in sight. Life happens, goals change.

This last summer I got to spend about four months away from The Starter Home because of that man-of-mine's job. I started to realize how much we had grown in The Starter Home. We went from a newly married couple to a family with 3 kiddos. We have experienced so much life here yet I hated this house. I was letting today slip by because I was so consumed with tomorrow.

I decided to take action. I was going to make The Starter Home a place I loved to be. Even if it doesn't have walk-in closets and a fireplace.

So join me on my journey as I try to create a beautiful place for my families beginnings. Maybe we can both learn a little something on the way.

Places I Party

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Katie's Nesting Spot

Show and Tell Green


Fantabulous Friday!

Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special




Somewhat Simple

A Little Knick Knack

Stuff and Nonsense

Cherished Treasures”=
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