Wednesday, March 27, 2013

cheap + big impact...home improvements

During August-November of 2012 B.B. {before this blog ;)}...we worked on several home improvement projects that have made a big impact on the way our house looks.  I thought I would share what we did on here because most of it was very inexpensive and some of it was very easy!  I will go through our kitchen remodel and my fireplace update, but we have already made many changes to this house like, new carpets, new wood floors, new tile floors in bathrooms, painting, painting, painting, painting the exterior, new light fixtures on inside and out, built-in cabinets, and I have many more projects to the bathrooms!  Does the list of projects ever end??

First of all, the kitchen.  This project was very time consuming and I am glad I didn't realize it before beginning it.  It was a lot of work, but so worth it!  We did everything ourselves except for the granite countertops.  Hallelujah!  Ryan even made me help him haul out our old appliances and haul in the new ones ourselves...never again {you hear that Ryan!}!  Fridges are NOT light!  So what all did we do in there?
*  New granite countertops
*  Restained existing cabinets {I will talk more about this in a second}
*  New handles and hinges for cabinets
*  New sink
*  New tile backsplash
*  Painted walls
*  Bead board on walls
*  New blinds
*  New appliances
*  Repainted small shelf
*  New decorations...out with the apples!

So what made the biggest difference in there and was actually the cheapest change?  The restained cabinets!  This is actually why I wanted to start this project in the first place because I had saw on Pinterest how people were using a gel stain to stain there ugly old oak cabinets a darker color.  Let me tell you I love this stuff!  It is a miracle worker!
You have to get the gel stain.  It is way different then normal stain.  It goes on a lot thicker, more like paint.  You won't find this stuff at Home Depot or Lowe' me I looked.  It is sold on Amazon or we bought ours at a specialized woodworking store called Woodcraft.  We just had to lightly sand everything then we ended up putting three coats of this stain on and you can see the pictures for yourself of the difference it makes!  Now I never saw anyone on Pinterest say this, but let me tell you it is TIME CONSUMING!!!  I don't know why people always gloss over that part of the project.  It takes a while to sand, then restain all cabinet doors and the cabinet sides and trim three times...not to mention polyurethane twice on top of that!  We were up late many nights working on this!  The good news is it only cost us $45 to get cabinets that look brand new...that's only took two of these quarts and a polyurethane to do the job!!  Amazing, right?!

However, after I got my cabinets restained you can't put the old hardware on them and then your countertop and backsplash start looking dated, then look at those old appliances they just won't yes, the remodel starts to get a little expensive after that ;).  I believe a kitchen remodel makes the biggest difference in a home so I love that it is done now!


{The horrible oak my whole house is coated in...ugh!}

{The boarder and wallpaper still left from the previous owner}

{Well it does look a little better with a cute girl there :)}


{After one coat}

{Finished look!}

{Good helpers!  This took like 5 coats to paint...also very time consuming!}


So much better!!!!

The other project that I worked on last fall was repainting our brick fireplace.  Now this project was super easy and cheap!  It made a big impact too!  The bricks on our old fireplace were not looking good at I decided that painting them would be the easiest route.  It just took a quart of primer and glossy regular paint to get the job done.  I actually tried gray first and painted the whole thing...decided I didn't like it and repainted it brown the next night :).  It was a super fast paint job too!



The gray I didn't like:

And the finished product:

Now on to the next project...

Monday, March 25, 2013

on the 6th, 7th, & 8th day of spring break

On the 6th, 7th, & 8th day of spring break {whoops got a little behind here}...

there were Easter baskets receiving, candy eating, running & running {9 miles...woohoo}, Easter egg hunting, money collecting, movie watching {The 99 times}, eating & eating, sleeping, snow storming, three dogs a chasing, Easter family canceling {because of the snow storming}, snowball fighting, snow turtle creating, snowman building, driving & driving, sleeping, gym working, friend time playing................oh my!

It was a good spring break, but it better be the END of SNOW!!!

Friday, March 22, 2013

on the fifth day of spring break

On the fifth day of spring break...

there is snow...again...........ugh...

There's also some painting {including painting a turtle shell...Evan's new pretend pet ;)...I have already told you of Evan's LOVE for turtles}, shopping, lunch at Wendy's, visiting Ryan at his {vacation} work at Missouri S&T, seeing Granddaddy at work, egg dying with Kassi, Lego building with Kassi, a girl who wouldn't take a nap and then fell asleep in my lap, more eating, visits from Kay and the Cowboy and his wife ;), and the arrival of Annie and Kelsey {yes, Annie comes first according to the kiddos}.

Here's some pictures of some of that. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

on the fourth day of spring break

On the fourth day of spring break...

we had an "egg"citing day ;) {cheesy, I know}. More indoor play today with COLD temperatures so we got out the baskets of plastic Easter eggs to play with. We had an egg stacking competition, egg races, and egg matching. We are even trying out an experiment where you soak an egg in vinegar for 24 hours to make the shell dissolve and have a bouncy egg. I will let you know how it turns out!

The rest of the day was filled with lots of board game playing with Grandmommy!