Paint Projects

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 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. 🙂

 

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!

 

Painted Front Door

Hi there. I’m guessing you’re here to read about our freshly painted front door.

I WILL tell you all about it.

But first, let me walk you through our morning. Then you’ll see why I chose to do a post about the bright and happy colored front door. Ha.

As I sit here and write this, it is cold and rainy outside.

Anything below 50 degrees and my kids think there is going to be a blizzard before the sun goes down.

I was up from 4:00-6:15 with a “jack in the box” toddler who WOULD NOT stay in her bed.

That girl has will. Can anyone else relate?

But based on all of the self-help websites I was reading at 4:43 am, we are just supposed to out endure the will. I’m not so great at that at 4:43 in the morning, but we did our best. Then we got 15 minutes of sleep before it was time to wake the other two up for school.

We get them off to school. No major problems with the morning.

Phew.

Now get Millie to preschool, and then…breathe.

Nope.

As soon as I was about to walk said toddler out the door for preschool, the school nurse called. A Smith kiddo was down.

I knew I had to lean on the Lord for strength because I didn’t have any on my own this morning.

But I am thankful for family and sweet teachers who have brightened our day. Turned out to be a virus that called for hunkering down and watching movies and resting.

So on this cold and rainy, sleepless Tuesday, I’m thankful for this brightly painted door.

Let me tell you how I did it.

Painted Front Door-Before
My enthusiastic assistant

PREP THE DOOR

If you see any minor nicks, dents, or scratches from the dog (that was our door) then fill them in with a sandable wood filler.

Let any wood filler that you used dry completely. Then lightly sand the sheen down. I didn’t spend too much time on this. Just sand enough to take some of the shine from the previous topcoat down.

After you clean up the mess (there may not be too much of a mess) from sanding, it is time to prime.

I used a shellac primer that I already had on hand and applied with a brush in the crevices and a roller on the rest.

Primer never looks pretty does it? But at this point, it already felt better and brighter in our entryway.

TIME TO PAINT

Now my favorite part. Time to paint.

Use a very fine grit sand paper to sand down any areas where the primer may have dried unevenly. You will want to do this between coats of paint as well.

I used a paint that is newer, Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel, and I love how much potential it has. I painted the door about 2 weeks ago and it is still curing, but it already seems very durable. It should be fully cured at 30 days, but we haven’t noticed any problems so far.

This is a newer paint that Sherwin Williams offers. It is a paint that has an enamel mixed in it. This is awesome because it eliminates the step of having to apply a clear topcoat, like a polyurethane. Plus it will be crazy durable.

Fewer steps and more durable…sounds good to me!

The color that I used is Silvermist. I tend to lean towards neutral colors, but I stepped out of the box a little and am so glad that I did. 🙂

I painted with the same application technique that was used for the primer. A brush on the panels and a roller on the flat areas. This paint did dry without any noticeable brush strokes or roller marks.

Interior door painted with Sherwin Williams Urethane Trim Enamel in Silvermist

If you’re wanting a pop of color on your door, go for it!

Molly’s New Desk

Grab a cup of coffee and let’s take a trip down memory lane together.

Do you remember where you sat to do homework when you were a kid?

For me, it was usually at this table.

This was the first set that my parents bought as a married couple. We now have this very table in our own dining room.

Every time I sit there, it kind of takes me back to those nights of AP calculus homework. The nights of studying for biology and listening to my mom as she made up goofy songs to help me remember all of those crazy words for my test. I thought were annoying at the time. But they helped me pass my test.

Thanks, mom.

I want to make those memories with my kiddos. To be there when they have those “oh I get it!” moments.

To watch them grow. To experience those struggles followed by the victories.

So when we moved and Molly said that she would love a desk for her room, this mama was ON. IT. 👊🏼

And for the record, I am now the one making up goofy songs. I’m quite certain she’ll thank me one day.

Now let’s walk through how we made this desk dream of hers come true.

FIND A DESK

The first step to a DIY desk project is to find a desk!

Anyone that knows me knows that I love a good deal! You don’t have to break the bank on your desk. Just find something that is the size that you need and has the drawer space that you’d like.

We found this one at a thrift store for $30!

Already have a desk that you like? Just skip the painting part and read ahead for the next steps on customizing the inside of the drawers.

PREP AND PAINT

After finding a desk, you’re ready to prep and paint. Clean that bad boy up. I would recommend priming but with the paint I’m about to share with you, it isn’t required. My favorite primer for wood is Zinnser BIN primer. You can paint it on with a brush/roller or get the spray kind. If you’re just using it for this project, the spray should be enough to cover your desk.

What paint should you use?

I do love chalk paint,  but for this project, I chose a latex/waterbased paint. In my experience it is more durable for pieces that will get lots of use.

So I used Sherwin-Williams proclassic paint. I love this paint when I paint furniture or cabinets that will get lots of daily use.

The pro classic latex (waterbased) has many great properties that you’ll love, especially if you’re just getting into painting furniture. It is self leveling (like oil based paint is) but won’t yellow over time. Basically, self leveling means that it won’t show brush strokes once it is dry. I give that 2 thumbs up! 👍🏼👍🏼

As far as sheen goes, you can get satin or gloss. For this project, I used satin. The color I used is Sherwin Williams Alabaster

Now that you have your primer and paint, start painting! I sprayed my primer and then used both a brush and roller for the paint. Don’t panic if the first coat of paint doesn’t look good! It took me three coats until I felt it was covered. Remember to check your paint can for how soon you can paint each consecutive coat. Most if the time, I wait about 4 hours.

SHOP FOR YOUR SCRAPBOOK PAPER

Now here is where the fun part began for Molly. I mean who doesn’t love a good trip to Hobby Lobby?

We went shopping for scrapbook paper that we used to line the inside of the desk drawers. Since there are 7 drawers, Molly picked out 7 different pieces of paper that she liked.

Measure your drawers before you go to the store to make sure that you get the right size and enough paper. I skipped this step and had to make an extra trip to Hobby Lobby (I actually didn’t mind that ha).

The pieces that Molly picked were all very random and I completely let go of control so that her little personality could come out!

I was very proud of myself. And her. 😆

This is my favorite piece that she picked out because every single time she opens this drawer, she will be reminded of how awesome our God is. Great choice, Molly!

APPLY THE PAPER TO THE DRAWERS

While you’re at the store, grab a few sponge brushes and two different types of Mod Podge. You will want to grab the spray kind and the kind in the tub. Is that what you call it? 🤔 Just look at these pictures and get these two!

Once you get home with your goodies, go ahead and trim your paper to fit the inside of your desk drawers.

Then you will want to get the spray Mod Podge and lightly spray each piece of paper, front and back.

It will discolor the paper for a minute and you just might panic when that happens.😬

Don’t panic. It will dry quickly and it’ll be just fine.

Doing this spray step preps the paper and makes it stiff so that when you begin to glue the paper into the drawers, it won’t wrinkle up as much.

I repeat…as much.

I did get a little wrinkling still, but I’m ok with that. If you’ve ever worked with Mod Podge, you know what I’m talking about. Those air bubbles make me a little stressed out🤪. Anyone else have tips for that?

Now it is time to glue the paper to the drawers. I use the Mod Podge as glue and applied it directly to the wood on the drawer. Then just apply the paper to te drawer base and brush a coat of the Mod Podge over the paper. This seals it. It will go on white then dry clear.

You may still have a few bubbles that come up. Just do your best to smooth them out. It prob won’t be bubble/wrinkle free though.

Check out all of Molly’s choices!

CHANGE THE KNOBS OUT

You’re almost done! The last step is optional, but you can always change the hardware out to add more character.

We originally tried to polish the brass hardware.  I liked it but Molly wanted something with more color, so we added these that we found at Hobby Lobby.

I hope this inspires you to do something fun with your kiddo so that you create lifelong memories together!

And maybe you can sprinkle a little homework and silly songs in along the way. 🙂