Kitchen Makeover, Part 3: Get your Prime on!

Gah! How is it already Labor Day!?!  The end of summer!  I feel like we were just starting to celebrate BBQs and shorts weather.  While I’ve learned to love and to even look forward to fall there’s always that dark cloud in the back of my mind….WINTER IS COMING!  This is my first fall home with the girls, so I’m looking forward to apple picking and taking them to outdoor evens during the week without worrying about it being a 90 degrees.

But, before I can do any of that…the kitchen must get done!  So, to recap my last post, I spent about a week or so double sanding all 18 doors and the frames in my kitchen.  It took forever and left my kitchen a mess!  Once everything was sanded, vacuumed, and tack clothed, I laid on my first coat of primer.  As I mentioned earlier, the NUVO paint says you don’t need to prime and barely sand!  However, since my cabinets are wood, old, and who knows when they were given a really good scrub down, I wanted to go the extra step to make sure there was good adhesion.  I used Zinsser odorless oil-based primer in white.  I had reached out to NUVO’s customer service to get their opinion on what brand I should use and they suggested Zinsser or Kilz.  The paint store by me had the Zinsser in stock and I decided to go with the odorless option since I would be doing this during naptimes and I didn’t want the whole house to smell of primer.047719039549I was a primer newbie prior to this project, so I had a bit to learn.  The first thing…primer is THICK!  I tried to use a brush as minimally as possible since it really sucked in the primer and I felt like I didn’t get as smooth as an application.  I used a small brush for all the grooves in my cabinets and along the edges of the wall and frames, but other than that, I was able to use one of the small rollers that come with the NUVO kit for my frames and door panels.

The other thing I learned is that sanding primer is a very messy job.  There will be white dust EVERYWHERE and you will be coated with it from head to toe.  I was able to take all my doors outside to minimize the dust, but the frames…well, there’s no escaping it.  I did find that scrubbing my hands with dish soap got most of the bulk off.  If my hands were really bad, I did a spray of WD-40 followed by the dish soap.  I’m sure paint thinner would also have worked, but I didn’t have any on hand.


Once the first coat was dried, I sanded it down with 320 grit paper.  If you do this, you will notice that some of the primer comes off and you may see some spots with bare wood – that’s ok!  You just want a light sand to smooth it out, nothing crazy.  I did this step by hand since I found the electric sander was a bit too much.  After everything is sanded, it’s time to vacuum and tack cloth to prep for coat 2!  Just repeat the same steps over: prime, sand, vacuum, tack cloth.


We had a bit of a hiccup in our process, so this part took us a lot longer than it should have.  That being said, I am finally done with the prep work and ready to get paint on these cabinets!  I am both excited and scared (a la Sondheim) to start this next step.  There has been so much prep work done that I just want it all to be worth it!


Kitchen Makeover Part 2: The never ending saga of sanding!

This is the mammoth part of this kitchen makeover.  The part that’s been taking foooorrreevvver to finish.  THE CABINETS!  They’re going from the old oak finish to crisp white.  I’m using the NUVO Cabinet Kit in Titanium Infusion.  Now, this kit says there’s no real sanding or priming required; however, I wanted to make sure this makeover lasted and the old finish and grossness on the cabinets didn’t interfere with that. Originally, I was just going to do a quick cleaning and a light sand with 120 grit paper to give the paint something to really adhere to, but after telling my mom and dad about the project – they took it to a whole new level!

My dad told me about 50 times how wrong I was to not take everything out of my cabinets and make it a work in progress zone.  I know he’s right on this one (thank goodness he’s never on the internet, or else I’d never live that down).  But, practically, I have to cook and live out of this kitchen while the makeover is happening and I don’t have the room to take EVERYTHING out of the cabinets.  So – not the most efficient way to do this project, but a moms gotta do what a moms gotta do.

Right before the real fun began and ALL the doors came off.

I should note, that before the sanding really began, I went over everything and filled in any holes with filler and caulked the gaps in the trim and between the ceiling and cabinets.  I also cleaned the really gross areas (mainly the cabinet doors above the stove and the 2 pull out drawers) with some diluted TSP.  It was able to cut through some of that grease and oil build up and keep the sand paper from clogging.


Once the sanding began…it was NO. JOKE.  For the past week, I’ve been sanding the heck out of all the doors and frames in my kitchen. Keep in mind, I’ve been doing this project during the girls’ naptime, so I’m sure it would go much faster for someone who has more than 2 hours a day to dedicate to it. Using an electric sander and the 120 grit paper, we were able to get the cabinets down to a pretty bare finish.

Door on the left: no sanding. Door on the right: post sand

I know I have a lot of cabinets, but until you’re sanding each door and frame – it really doesn’t hit you.  I have A LOT of cabinets.  For me, it went electric sander for the frames and flat parts of the door, hand sanding with the 120 grit for the grooves, and finished with some steel wool over everything but really focusing on the grooves.

Once that was all done, I vacuumed everything up to get the bulk of the dust off and then tack clothed.  I had no idea tack clothes existed until I started researching this project and they are a game changer!  For those who don’t know, tack clothes are just pieces of cheesecloth with a sticky resin soaked into them.  They don’t leave a residue but they do pick up the last of the dust after sanding.  I thought the vacuum did a pretty good job until I saw all the little dust particles the cloth picked up.  For $3 for a pack of 3…it’s worth it!

Next up: get these bad boys primed!  I know I said in the beginning of this post that the NUVO kit says you don’t need to prime.  But, I reached out to their customer service and they said that since I have an old finish and real wood, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

More on that next time!


Kitchen Makeover

Kitchen Makeover, Part 1: Paint, Paint, Baby!

Here’s a serious question….am I the only one who researches paint colors as if it’s a life altering decision?  Google searches.  Pinterest boards.  Paint chips.  Paint samples!  I realize I can change a paint color whenever I want, it’s not permanent.  But man…is it stressful!  Anyone…anyone at all? No?  Just me.  OK….

In any case!  I finally picked a paint color for the walls of the kitchen and I’m super excited about it.  After many a pins and ideas, I decided on Covington Blue by Benjamin Moore.  A few things drew me into the color.  First, the rest of my house is a light gray, so I wanted a color that would play well with the gray and not be too jarring or off putting.  Second, it felt like a grown-up version of a mermaid tail…so that’s always a win!  Third, I don’t have a TON of wall space vs. cabinets, so I wanted a color that would pop against the white cabinets and give it that farmhouse kitchen feel.

Image result for covington blue benjamin moore
Benjamin Moore, Covington Blue HC-138
My inspiration!

After one coat of ceiling white, I knew this was going to be a major change.  I didn’t realize how gross the ceiling and walls were until a fresh coat of paint went on them.

Here’s an after photo with just the ceiling paint done.  To give you an idea, the ceiling and walls were the same color.  *insert grossed out scream here*


I few naptimes later, the 2nd coat of the ceiling was done and both coats on the wall!

I’m kinda in love with the color!  It’s such a welcomed changed from the off-white/yellowy color we had before.  You might notice the backsplash isn’t painted.  That’s so I can lay down the stick tile down without having to wait the 3 week curing period the packaging suggests.  YAY stick tile!  That’s about 3 more steps away…so more on that later!


The biggest DIY yet!!!

Ok! So this isn't a craft project, but it is a huge DIY! Our kitchen is small but mighty and now that I'm home with the girls it sees a lot more love. Unfortunately, it's just bleh and completely uninspiring. When we moved in, it was actually the least offensive room in the house. It was painted a neutral color unlike the rest of the house that was mustard yellow from floor to ceiling (literally, the ceiling, walls, and trim were all yellow).

Originally, we decided we didn't want to put any real money into it since we want to do a full renovation and completely redo the kitchen. So why put in money after money? Well, we still plan on doing that, but it's probably a few years away and I don't want to be in this kitchen the way it is for a few more years….I'll just get sad.

So! I decided….it's time for a DIY facelift! Literally everything in the kitchen is getting touched: walls, cabinets, countertops, backsplash, and floor. And the best part…all for under $500. To me, that was worth the money.

Over the next few weeks I'll document each step as we get it done. I'm working top to bottom, so the first step: PAINT!

To give you a quick glimpse into what I'm working with, here's a couple of before shots of the kitchen.

As you can see, or maybe you can't, but the mismatched linoleum tiles are peeling up, the cabinet doors all hang lopsided, and the toe kick under the sink is just nonexistent.

It's time to roll up my sleeves and make some changes up in here!


My Ghosties

Hello again!

It’s been a while since I wrote anything, which isn’t to say I haven’t thought about writing.  In fact, I’ve thought about writing a post almost everyday.  So what kept me from sitting down and pecking one out?  Well, I guess it’s idea of “for who?”  It brings up the question: when do you share a blog?

My husband is a blogger and the second I told him I was going to start my own he told me he’d share it with everyone as soon as I was ready. But, when am I ready?  Do you share your blog right away and hope you keep up with it?  Do you do what I’m doing and gain a backlog of posts so there’s something to actually share?  Is it something in the middle?  This has been my struggle.  Without a following – who are you writing for?  I’ve lovingly starting referring to the invisible following as my ghosties.

So with that all said, I’m going to start a Pinterest board just for this blog and share some ideas there.  I’m hoping to get out a birthday party review post soon.  They’ll be a ton of photos from Nola’s big day and I’ll gradually get up links for some tutorials!

Until then…see ya soon ghosties!



Spring has finally sprung here in NY!

The rain and grossness has cleared and the sun is shining. Forecast shows it’s going to rain again, but at least for today – the girls and I can enjoy the spring weather and get out of the house!

This year, I’m set on getting the front of my house under control.  Right now, it’s a mix of bushes and English Ivy.  Not hideous, but definitely not in bloom.  I just want it to look a bit more inviting and colorful.  Less bushes…more flowers!

Speaking of flowers, I’ve been working on the flowers for Nola’s birthday.  Being a Wizard of Oz birthday, naturally, I wanted a lot of poppies!  I didn’t want to pay a ton of money for fresh poppies the day of and I couldn’t find any artificial poppies that seemed cost-effective for just the day.  This lead to finding 2 amazing tutorials.  The first is on Lia Griffith using tissue paper and the second is a YouTube video from Tissue Paper Flowers Holly Craft.  Since I wanted to make a bunch of flowers, I modified both of their tutorials to use streamers instead of crepe paper and tissue paper.  So far, I’ve made 50 poppies and I haven’t even used half the roll of either color!

After making a bunch of poppies from both tutorials, I feel like the Holly Craft version are a bit easier/faster.  It eliminates the step of making a solid center and just goes to the fringe.  It also allows you to just wrap the petals on, instead of gluing each one.  I know I said I was going to give you as many tutorials as I could, but these 2 ladies did an amazing job to begin with!  So, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it!  Well, maybe tweak it a bit…

A few things I did differently/noticed:

  1. The biggest thing is I used streamers instead of tissue paper or crepe paper.  Like I mentioned above, for the amount that I needed to make, this was a more budget friendly way to go. Especially for a 3-year-old’s birthday party!
  2. While doing the Holly Craft version, I found it was a bit difficult to get the petals to stay in place as I was twisting.  I’m not sure if it was the glue I was using or if I was wrapping it to tightly/loosely.  In any case, it took me a bit to get the hang of it and even then I had to really hold the petals in place as I wrapped.
  3. For the Lia Griffith flowers, I felt like the petals weren’t super secure on their own. They didn’t create a “tail” like her tutorial showed to wrap the floral tape around (this might be because of the width of the streamers). I just used my trusty glue gun to glue around the bottoms and secure everything in place.
  4. Once again in the Lia Griffith flowers, I couldn’t find foam balls ANYWHERE!  I just took a square of tracing paper about 2x2in and rolled it into a ball.  This allowed me to skip the wrapping in green tissue paper and go right into the black.  It did it’s job and gave a bit less of an even texture and more of a flower center.

The orange poppy is the Holly Craft while the red is Lia Griffith. The differences are subtle, so choose whichever is easier for you!

The whole project cost less than $10 and I made about 50 or so flowers.  You won’t hear me complaining about that!

The finished centerpieces for the Wizard of Oz party.  Just some mason jars, ribbon, and paper shreds.


Happy Easter!

Happy Easter all!  No crafts today, just relaxing with family and enjoying this incredible weather we’re having here in Rockland. 

Our tradition this year was pretty simple: dying eggs with Paz tablets and vinegar with an Easter egg hunt in the living room. I’m not sure if you guys have seen the shaving cream method going around, but it looks super cool and plays into the galaxy theme that’s been taking over. A few years ago it was the literal tie dying method. Who knows what next year will bring!

As for now, I hope your day is filled with family, food, egg hunts and pastel colors!