DIY

I Found The Best Black Paint Color

Well, it’s official. After using it 3 times now, I have found the best black paint color!

I would probably describe it as more of a really, really, REALLY dark charcoal.

Or maybe light black. Is that a thing?

What I’m trying to say is that it isn’t a true, stark black. If that is what you’re looking for, then scroll to the bottom for a pic of our front door.

Ok, without further ado, I present to you….

Iron Ore

The first time that I used it was when I painted our french doors.

I wanted to use something other than white, but felt like a black was still safe. I’m never scared to paint things, but I have a comfort zone with colors.

Next, I used this lovely color when we redid our kitchen cabinets. I wanted a darker color on the island so I went with Iron Ore for this.

And last but not least, my most recent project. I used Iron Ore to paint our back door.

I carried it over inside, too. I LOVE it!

Are you looking for a true, stark black? You would like Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black. Here it is on our front door. (P.S. I know. I know. They look similar, but Iron Ore is lighter.)

Front door painted in Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black.

How to Remove the Dingy Smell From Old Furniture

Ugg. That dingy furniture smell. Here is how it might go…

You found the perfect piece of furniture.

The measurements are exactly what you need for the space.

It needs some help, but you like the challenge. You’re feeling excited and inspired.

Then it happens. You open the drawers and the smell hits you like a ton of bricks.

Can you relate? If not, this will happen one day and now you will know exactly what to do.

You probably already have the supplies on hand.

 

Here is what you will need:

  • 1 old stinky piece of furniture
  • white vinegar
  • saran wrap
  • a bowl per drawer
  • a fork or other sharp item to pierce the saran wrap. Make wise choices with your sharp item of choice, please.

From here, it is super easy.

You will pour your vinegar into a bowl. Pick a bowl big enough but not too big to fit in your drawer. This piece is actually two big drawers. So I pulled two old bowls out of the cabinets and filled them with vinegar.

Next, you will wrap the saran wrap around the top of the bowl and poke holes in the top.

Now close the drawers and wait. I think I left the bowl in there for about two days. It was Christmas break and just don’t ask me to remember details like that when we aren’t on a schedule.

I forgot to add tire pump and cute assistant to the supply list, but it helps.

I did end up painting this piece and lining the drawers with removable liner, but I’m happy to report that there is no trace of dingy smell anymore! 🙂

How To Paint Your Kitchen Tile Backsplash

Don’t love your kitchen backsplash? Maybe your colors have changed but it just isn’t in the picture to redo the backsplash?

You should consider painting it. Trust me. You’ll LOVE it.

Let me walk you through why and how we did ours and hopefully by the end of this you’ll be feeling confident(ish) to go for it yourself!

Why We Painted Our Tile Backsplash

One of my favorite things about this house is the kitchen. However, over time we have converted the golden and beige walls to grey and the gold backsplash was clashing with the rest of the house. But, life happens. Our back door really needs to be replaced and the money needs to go towards that right now. We also aren’t going to replace the countertops now. So, I researched painting tile. To be honest, I have been hesitant to do this for awhile. When you paint furniture, you can usually sand it and restain if you don’t like. But with the tile, I wasn’t sure. After looking for a few different tutorials (all being similar but not the same), I came up with my own plan. Spoiler…it cuts out an extra step which saves time. And all of the mamas said…AMEN!

Total fail on my end but I didn’t get a ton of before pics. Here are a few glimpses of the tile before I started.

 

The Tools Needed For This Project

Here is what I used. For those of you that like the “why” behind it, I’ll explain that too. If you don’t like the why, just buy all the things and trust me.

  1. Zinsser Primer. Find it here or at your local hardware store. I’ve even seen at Walmart. Get the one with red on the front. It is a Shellac based primer. You don’t need the big can. The small one should do for this project.
  2. Sherwin Williams Urethane Trim Paint. The color I used is Dover White. I got the Satin finish. It is not super shiny. To me is seems between a flat and satin. You also don’t need the big can for this. The smaller one should do. I have the big can because I also used this same paint and color for our kitchen cabinets. ***WHY THIS PAINT? This is where you save a step. This paint as a urethane built into it so you don’t have to apply an additional clear coat of anything to seal and protect. LOVE IT!
  3. Brush for primer-basic economy (the cheapo kind) brush. I used a 2 inch. You can find these just about anywhere.
  4. Brush for the paint-I like this one. It is a 2 inch, stiff, angled brush. This is just my personal preference. Use whatever is the most comfortable for you. This will be your main paint brush for this project.
  5. Painter’s Tape. Frog tape is my favorite! I used up what I had in the garage this time so I wasn’t able to do frog tape for the entire project.

Let’s Get Started!

Prep Work

Roll your sleeves up and let’s get started.

Clean your tile up with warm water. Don’t clean with TSP. The shellac primer and TSP aren’t friends.

My assistant helped me with this step.

Now tape off where needed. This part is so tedious but stick with it. I think I just made a joke there. Get it? Tape is sticky? Ok, moving on. As you can tell from the pics, I forgot to take a pic before I primed. Also, Millie had a few strategic places for the tape. She’s a DIYer in training.

Time To Prime

The shellac primer is very runny. It is an alcohol based primer and dries very fast. I dry brushed it on. If you have never done this, that just means you only get a tiny bit of primer on your brush and dab the excess off onto a paper towel.

It will not look pretty. Just keep going. Like I said, it dries fast, so by the time you are done, you should be ready to move onto the painting step.

Time to Paint

I wanted my tile to have more of an industrial look, similar to old painted brick. Because of this, I chose to not completely paint into every crack of the grout. I just took the brush and brushed flat against the tiles. If it got into the grout, great. But it it didn’t, I just went with it. So far I’m liking this look. If I decide to go fill the grout in later with paint, that is easy enough.

Just like with the primer, the first coat won’t look pretty. I ended up doing 3 full coats and a 4th touch up coat in places where the paint still looked thin.

How many coats you do just depends on your personal preference and you can always decide as you go. Even with 4 coats, it did not take a lot of paint to get the job done. 

You can see in this pic that the paint still looks a little translucent. I went on to the next few coats to get the final look I wanted. Read the can of paint also, but I waited at least 4 hours between coats. Even though it may be dry to the touch sooner, you want to let it do it’s thing before you start your next coat.

Voila! The After

If you’ve been hesitant or stuck with your backsplash, I hope this helps give you the courage to go for it! Paint is such an inexpensive way to make big changes.

Do you love this urethane paint? I also used it on the inside of our front door here. 🙂

 

Handprint Christmas Tree

Who doesn’t love a good handprint craft that you can cherish forever!?

I’ll admit that by the third kiddo, I don’t keep every little thing that they make. But if it involves a handprint, I will save that sweetness FOREVER!

So today I want to show you one of my favorite handprint crafts. We have also made these as gifts to give to grandparents and it was a big hit.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

  • a canvas or some sort of flat surface for the handprints
  • A sharpie or black paint marker
  • foam brushes

All of the paint used is acrylic. Here are the colors you’ll need:

  • green paint-you will need a shade of green paint per kiddo
  • colored paint for the tree lights
  • gold or yellow paint for the star
  • brown paint for the tree trunk

Here is we what we did…

  1. I started with Molly’s (our oldest) hands. We brushed a shade of the green paint on her hand and then did her layer of handprints. This will take a little planning on your end depending on the canvas size you’re working with and how many kiddos you’re hand printing. See how we did ours above. You will repeat this until you have your first layer of handprints. Next, we did Maggie’s handprint in a different shade of green, followed by Millie’s hands for the top and final layer of handprints.
  2. Once this dries, you are ready for the lights. I used a sharpie to draw the string on the tree. We used this as a guide for the placement of the lights. I let each girl pick a color and then one at a time, we used their thumbprints to place lights on the tree. I went ahead and did all of Molly’s, followed by all of Maggie’s and then Millie’s.
  3. See their names on the bottom? The color that they wrote their name in corresponds to the color of their thumbprint on the tree. I knew I might forget from year to year which thumbprint belonged to which girl. Problem solved.
  4. The final thing we did was the star and the tree trunk. I don’t know why I didn’t paint the tree trunk in. I must have gotten distracted and not finished. Ha. Maybe I’ll paint that in this year. Or maybe not.

Before we had 3 girls, we did a similar version with two handprints. On this canvas, we let each girl have two different colors of lights for their thumbprints. It looks like I colored the trunk in that time, too! I’ll have both trees out at Christmas each year.

Happy handprint tree making. I hope that if you do this with your kids or grandkids that it is something that you can also cherish for years to come.

If you want another handprint idea, see this post on what you can do with a tree skirt. 🙂 Handprints EVERYWHERE. I love it.

Sometimes I’m Spontaneous

Sometimes I’m spontaneous.

Ok, often when it involves a DIY project, I’m almost always spontaneous.

The rest of my life is pretty planned out. I have my planner (I’m a paper and pen kind of planner gal)  and all of our family’s activities penciled in, but when I decide it is time for a project….

HOLD ON TIGHT.

This is what happened last week. Dicky and I were talking down in the kitchen and then my eyes started wandering around. He immediately knew what was about to happen. This isn’t the first time this has happened.

“Oh no. What are you thinking? You want to paint something, don’t you?”

“How did you know?”

“I know that look.”

“Ok, I’m going to paint the cabinets this week.”

I know he had to be thinking “Good grief woman.” But he was (as always) behind my craziness.

“Ok, how about I can help with Millie while you paint?”

I. LOVE. HIM. Teamwork at its finest.

There have been seasons where he’s all up in the project with me. But the season we’re in…playing defense with the toddler is the most helpful thing he could offer. If you have little ones at home, you know what I mean.

Sometimes she is helpful. 🙂

WHAT HAVE I STARTED?!?

Once I got started, I knew this was going to be quite possibly one of the biggest projects that I had ever tackled. There was chalk paint and wax on the cabinets. Nothing wrong with that. I had done that on our previous house. But….it was going to take lots of research and elbow grease to figure out how to remove the wax  and then prep the wood before I could move on to the actual painting.

Oh and I had to get this done quickly because we have house guests in 2 weeks. That’s another thing I tend to do. Start a project when there is a deadline coming up. Hey…it makes you work fast.

If you’ve done a big project like this, you know that we rest of the house temporaily falls into a chaotic mess because all of your energy goes towards getting your project done. And we eat lots of Kraft Mac and Cheese. Powdered cheese and all. And use paper plates. And use lots of dry shampoo. All something to stock up on before you start a project. Mac and cheese. Paper plates. Dry shampoo. Grab a big box of goldfish while you’re at it.

I’m planning to share each step of this process with you once I’m all finished. I need to finish the island and our hardware has been ordered and is (hopefully) on its way soon!

This picture makes me laugh. I’m smiling here and feeling all proud of getting the first coat of paint on. Little did I know that a few hours later, the paint would be completely stuck and painted onto that paper that I have the doors laying on.

Uggg.

I wasn’t smiling then. So that’s what NOT to do. Don’t lay your cabinets on paper. I should’ve known better.

I will share all of my tidbits with you once I’m complete, but here are some of the things that I learned during this process…

  1. How to paint over chalk paint and wax. Actually how to remove all of it so that you can paint with a paint other than chalk paint. I had trouble finding a lot of info on this, so I will share with you how I successfully removed it and painted over it.
  2. How to pick a cabinet color that will coordinate with what you already have going on. Sometimes (ok, this is the case most often) it just isn’t in the budget to get new counter tops, so you have to work with what you’ve got going on vs picking the color of your dreams. It all works out in the end.
  3. The best paint for your cabinets! This is my 4th time using this paint and once it is fully cured, a complete DREAM! So durable if you have littles. See where I used it on our front door here.
  4. Get out of your comfort zone when getting new hardware! I’m so excited about the cabinet hardware I ordered. It isn’t something I would normally pick. Here is a little teaser…BRASS IS BACK. At least maybe in the kitchen hardware department.

I should be done soon and I will share with you once I am! I hope you enjoyed a sneak peek and a little dose of reality behind the scenes!