Tag Archives: Paint

Play Kitchen Renovation Of 2017: $4 DIY faux marble backsplash

Toys. Bless them. Colors of the rainbow litter every room. They are taking over our home! 

I don’t know about you but mismatched toys everywhere can make me feel a little chaotic. Add in normal toddler messes that are hard to clean up and my day is gone admits the chaos. I mean, this is just an example of what my toddler can do in about 14 seconds. Tiny. Paper. Everywhere. 

I’m on a mission to organize said toys and random stuff in an effort to calm the chaos a bit and make it easier to clean up at the end of the day. I mean, who wants to watch the bachelorette in the midst of that mess? Not me.

I’m dedicating a play area for the kids in one of the main areas of our home. I mean, I want the kids to be able to play and enjoy our home still. I’m not a total Scrooge. In doing that though I knew I would want to tweak some of the toys blend in more with the decor of the room and keep things feeling even calmer. 

I was so close to be doing done organizing (can you already feel the chaos coming down?) but that play kitchen really needed a facelift.

I scored it for $15 so I wasn’t out much if it didn’t work out. So much to gain and so little to lose. I was off to lowes for what I jokingly dubbed the “play kitchen renovation of 2017.”


1. Spray paint. You’ll want at least two colors. The color you want the kitchen to be and color you want the hardware to be (and any additional colors if you want to do the kitchen in multiple colors). I chose a brighter navy blue for the kitchen and stainless steel for the hardware.

2.  Stick on floor tile (large size) for the backsplash. I only needed one for this project but you may need more depending on size. I used Item A3263 to get a marble look. There’s so much variety and it was less than $3! It would have cost me quadruple that for the premade stick on backsplashes!

3. Painter’s tape and scrap paper/bags

4. Super glue

5. Sharp scissors


1. Prep for painting. Scrub your kitchen down and remove and/or tape off the sections you don’t want painted.

Our knobs were removable so I took those off to paint separately with the stainless steel paint and then used scrap paper, plastic bags, and painters tape to cover the remaining areas of the kitchen I didn’t want painted.

2. Paint your kitchen. Self explanatory. Follow use, dry times, and safety precautions on your spray paint can.

3. Backsplash. Cut your floor tile into subway tiles (or your preferred tile style). My subway tiles were 3″ tall and 6″ wide. I traced them out on the paper back and then cut. Once I had my main tiles done, I practiced placing them where I wanted before removing the paper backing and sticking them more permanently. This let me see what space was left and cut some special sizes to fit in the leftover spaces (just like you would when tiling a real backsplash). You can see the special, shorter pieces I needed on the ends.

TIP: to figure out the easiest and best size tile for your kitchen measure the width and height of the black splash area. I didn’t want to cut a ton of special sizes so I just evenly divided the 9″ tall backsplash area by 3 (because I wanted three even rows so if yours is taller or shorter you may want to divide by less or more than 3) which got me 3 rows of 3″ tall tiles. I just doubled the 3″ to get my width and keep it simple. 

Practice placing the tiles before removing the backing. Once you have all your tile pieces cut out and you’re pleased with their practice placement, remove the backing, add super glue around the edges (for extra hold), and place your tiles permanently(ish).

I placed mine edge to edge and I think it gave it a cool, marble-looking backsplash. Much more sophisticated than what it was before for sure. 

$3 Tile + dollar tree super glue + a little math and elbow grease = $4 backsplash!

Here’s a little peek of the kitchen in its new home. Don’t mind the blurry pic. I was trying to to snap the pic as my destructive toddler headed straight for the play area. But, I mean, doesn’t the kitchen fit in MUCH better?

I love the new, modern look of the kitchen! What do you think? Any tips for tackling your own play kitchen project? Let me know in the comments below. 

If you like what you read then please feel free to subscribe and follow along. You’ll get notices of all my most recent projects and ideas. Don’t miss a thing! Until next time…

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Add a metallic accent to any room with this quick, easy, and budget friendly DIY idea

wpid-20150330_101013.jpgOur family room has been 50 shades of brown since we moved in. All of our lounge furniture and decor just somehow ended up being brown, beige, greige, or white. All of it.

In an effort to get the room redecorated in time for spring, I decided to work on adding in some color and texture…on a budget of course. Some of the textural ideas I had I already blogged about, like my $2 DIY jute bowl or my easy burlap frame. Once I got some texture into the room I turned my eye towards pops of color.

The idea I am blogging about today came to me out of a desperate need for metallic accents. One way to add texture and color is to use metallics. But how could I do it on a budget? Reusing what I already had was one way to save money. Our family room already had a lot of glass from old candles that had long since been used up and old dollar tree glass and knick knack items that could really use an upgrade. So I had a lot of stuff I could re-purpose but I also needed to do it quickly (I have a toddler so nap time is about my average project duration these days). Spray paint was the clear answer. That seems to be my go to whenever I need a color quick and am on a tight budget. You already saw how I was able to transform some old Dollar Tree frames into Lilly Pulitzer inspired frames in this post so my love for spray paint comes as no surprise. But that being said I wanted to share what all I was able to transform with a $4 can of spray paint

You will need:

Old trinkets and glass containers (try dollar tree if you don’t already have these).

Gold spray paint (or color of your choice)

You need to:

1. Spray anything you want gold. Obvious right?

Really, this blog is to give you ideas and inspiration based off of what I was able to transform. So, here are some of my ideas on what you can paint to give your decor a little face lift.

1. Old candle jars. Spray paint them and display them empty or place an arrangement inside. No need to take the candle out unless you want to. I just placed the floral arrangement right on top of the old candle.


2. Glass vases. Again, some of these I displayed alone and others I added flowers to. For this first one I wanted an ombre type look. To achieve that I began by spraying about 6 inches from the glass and moved further out from the glass as I sprayed in upward motions.


3. Wood letters. This W was $1.49 at a craft store. A little paint and it takes on a whole new look.


4. Knick knacks. I got these from yard sales or thrift stores. I always keep my eye out for fun shapes that would look great with a new coat of paint. To get the two toned leaf pictured below I simply places it upside down and sprayed only the bottom portions of it. I like the surprise gold you get along the edges of the leaf.



I even spray painted a trash can from the Dollar Tree!

wpid-wp-1428521314383.jpgWhat do you think? Let me know how your accent pieces turn out and don’t forget to check back soon for more DIY ideas…on a budget of course. I will be sharing how to make the floral arrangements pictured in this post from Dollar Tree florals soon. And, as always, if you enjoy what you are reading then feel free to follow my blog to get all my latest decorating and money-saving ideas and tips.

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$20 Fireplace Makeover: How to get a whitewashed look on a fireplace already painted white

20150122_101411Can I just tell you all how much white used to be in our living room/kitchen area? White walls, white shelving, white fireplace, white molding, white doors, white counter tops, and on and on and on. I am so tired of white! But, having just had a baby who was in the hospital for 82 days, we aren’t exactly in a prime position to start house renovations. Perhaps that will come later. In the meantime, for my sanity, I began researching ways to get rid of all this white. My first project (done pre-baby) was to paint the counter tops. You can check out that blog post here. Loved the contrast.

Next, I needed to work on the living room area of this room.


This is our informal, family room that is open with the Kitchen. Lots of lounging and just hanging out happens in this room. So, I wanted a cozy, inviting feel without being too fussy. To do that I knew I wanted to use warm tones such as browns, golds, and maybe add in some grays, but now that we had our sweet baby it had to be a nap time long project. My first item to tackle was the fireplace.


I began researching ideas for the fireplace and dumb luck led me to this idea from Lowes. Could it really look as good as it did in the website pictures? I really had nothing to lose at this point. Worst case scenario, I would just paint it all white again.

Here are my supplies:

2 large O-Cel-O sponges

1 quart Valspar Ultra in Smoked Oyster (#6005-1C)

If you have the original brick fireplace, you will also need supplies to paint your brick white first. See the Lowes link referenced above for that info. My fireplace was already white so I skipped this step.


First, I set to cleaning the fireplace. I grabbed a scrub brush and some warm water. Scrub, scrub, scrub.

Second, I skipped the base coat since my fireplace was already white. If you do need to do the base coat, be sure to talk to your paint person to determine how much paint you need. Brick is porous and can soak a ton of paint into it.

HERE’S A TIP: If you have a fireplace that has already been painted with oil paint or glazed, just sponging with latex paint over that will not be enough to set the latex paint permanently onto the oil or glazed paint. No one really touches our fireplace so I felt fine just painting over the existing oil paint with a latex paint mixed with a primer BUT it would have been a good idea to sand the base coat first, or, better yet, kilz the existing paint on the fireplace before putting the color on to give it something to adhere to. If you scratch hard enough on ours, the paint will come up a bit, but I am okay with just not scrubbing that hard and it still has a good adherence since I bought paint with a primer in it.

I also skipped taping off the edges of the fireplace with painter’s tape. I used latex paint and we have wood floors and wood molding so the key was to just be careful and have a wet rag handy for those times I sponged a little over. Easy to fix if you just wipe it up right away and saves you a ton of time (if you are using Latex). Now, if you are a messy painter, are using oil based, or have carpet, by all means protect your valuables from the paint!

Lastly, I sponged on the paint. I used a large O-Cel-O sponge and a quart can of Valspar Ultra in smoked oyster. Less than $20 in supplies! Honestly, a sample size of the paint mixed with a little water would have been enough but I also have another project in mind for this paint so I went for the quart.

Lowes suggests you cut your sponges to fit exactly to the shapes of the bricks making up your fireplace BUT HERE’S A TIP: Because the mortar in between the bricks making up our fireplace was so much lower than the brick faces (about a 1/2 inch) I did not bother cutting up my sponge to fit the different sizes of the brick. Instead, I just lightly sponged on the bricks with an over-sized sponge but using care not to push so hard on the sponge so as to push the paint on it into the mortar crevices. For the times I did get some into a crevice, I simply wiped down the mortar line with a damp rag until the paint was cleaned up. Time saver!

To paint, pour a small amount of paint into a plastic, flat container. Evenly place your sponge in the paint until the entire bottom side of the sponge is covered. Sponge around on a large piece of cardboard to help spread and even out the paint on your sponge and to get the desired color level you want on your fireplace. If you want a darker look, leave more paint on. If you want a moderate whitewashed look, leave a medium amount of paint. If you want a very whitewashed look, leave just a sparing amount of paint on your sponge. We went for somewhere around medium. Once you get your desired level of color, sponge away on your fireplace. The color will vary, meaning, it will be darker when you first start sponging and lighter right before you need to refill your sponge with more paint. That is what gives this project its realistic look. Feel free to move around and add darker areas once you are done to get a great mix of color and add depth.

Once done, sit back and enjoy! So easy!

I had a recent guest ask if we had scratched the white paint off the fireplace to give it its white washed look. He had no idea it was paint on paint and he was standing just a few feet from it!

HERE’S A TIP: When I first started, I hated the look. But at that point I had committed. As it got closer to being done, I really turned a leaf and fell in love. For some reason when the paint is only on a small section, it really looks sponged (ie: fake) but as you do more it takes on a realistic white washed look. Stick to it and you may be amazed just like I was. SO worth it!

I have a few more plans for the fireplace (painting those bronze doors being first on the list) but for now, I think the cozy feel I was going for has been achieved.

What do you think?


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How To Turn Your Old, Current Counter Tops Into Faux Granite Counter Tops For $100.00

imageMy husband and I just bought our first home. What a fun time and yet, oh, what an exhausting time. Our lives have centered around DIY home improvement projects for the past month and a half. And please note, neither myself nor my husband are craftsman by trade and, quite frankly, we have little natural ability to work with.

The first project I wanted to share with you was one I was skeptical about at first. When we bought our house our kitchen was white. Literally, everything in our kitchen except for the floor and cabinet hardware was white. Here’s what it looked like – just know that this picture was taken after we removed the cabinet doors:

Knowing we weren’t huge fans of ALL white, we bought the house with the intention of making improvements at little cost in preparation for a total redo much further down the road. So, I began roaming the internet in an effort to find an affordable way to add some contrast to our white white kitchen. I found what some of you may have already heard about, Giani Granite Countertop Kits. This kit lets you paint a faux granite right onto your existing counter tops for about $70 a kit. What a deal…but is it too good to be true? I was skeptical. Some of the example pictures I found online were very obvious that the owners had used a sponge. That is exactly what I did not want…an obviously sponged counter top. But, after watching the videos Giani provides and seeing a friend do her own counter tops, I gathered enough courage to tackle this project on my own counter tops.

Now, Giani’s website provides tons of helpful info, technique tips and even videos you can watch. There are also a few blogs out there which show you similar techniques to the Giani videos. So, I won’t beat a dead horse by telling you the same things yet again. In light of the numerous help options you have, I will only give my and my mom’s (my mom flew in to visit me and tackled most of this project on her own while I was at work. Thanks Mom!) top lessons learned:

First, use Frog painter’s tape. It is by far the best tape we used. You will be surprised at how easily the bottom coat seeps under the painter’s tape.

Secondly, really do only one foot wide sections at a time. The paint dries pretty quickly and its hard to blend once dry. Mom learned that one the hard way.

Thirdly, layer, layer, layer. The more layers, the less spongy look you get.

Before you even begin, be sure to research the style of granite you want to try to resemble. I researched all the different granite types before settling on a more “veiny”, darker style.

To get the same look, I purchased the Bombay Black kit, rolled on the black base coat on, and then my Mom sponged a very light layer of white onto the black base coat which gave the counters a gray/slightly silver tone. My mom then sponged in some heavier black and white to add texture, varying it from place to place. To get shadow effects, she sparingly added thicker areas of black and white in odd “U” shapes, using the black to sponge in various “U” shapes and then sponging in a thinner, lighter line of white on the inside or outside of the black “U” (see picture below). For color variance, she added a few, small bronze sponged “U”s. Lastly, to get the veiny look I loved, she used a thin paint brush to add veins to the granite using the black and white (see picture above).

I must say, I am VERY pleased with the results. And new (looking) counter tops for our entire kitchen for just under $100, can’t beat it!


Cost was just under $100 to do all the counter tops which includes the kit, Frog painter’s tape, caulking and gun.


It’s been almost a month now and, so far, it has held up very nicely. I have banged on it a bit, unintentionally, and it has no scratches, nicks, or scrapes as of yet. Looks very promising and I expect it to last us until we do that kitchen overhaul in 10 or so years.


Next project to tackle in this room, an affordable and trendy backsplash. I have a few very interesting ideas in mind. Can’t wait to tackle the project and show you the money saving results!

08/04/2014 UPDATE: We do have some knicks along the edges of the countertops where I rub against them daily. I was able to simply apply some of the leftover paint to touch it up and it looks new again.  We also had an issue with standing water on the counter tops. The water causes the top protectant coat to bubble up. But once the water is removed and the sealant dries, the bubbles go away and you can’t see any evidence of the water.  All in all the coutertops are still looking great almost 2 years later! I am still very happy with our decision to paint instead of replace until we can do a total kitchen gut in the future

07/24/12015 UPDATE: still pleased with the results but I did aunt to mention I can tell the difference between the areas I really sand and cleaned well and the areas I skimped a bit and also areas I thoroughly added the top coat and areas I didn’t. Knicks are generally all on the areas I didn’t sand and clean well or skimped on the top coat (I was running low and wanted to be done quite frankly). That being said, still an awesome look for only $100. It has held up so much better than I had imagined paint could. Here’s is a pic of some of the knocked up areas so you can get a better feel. I am NOT easy on my countertops so some of this could just be me and my accident prone nature :).


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