First spring project – Repainting light fixtures

Winter. The time when we regroup, rest, and reevaluate. Our lives, our choices, and our projects.

This winter was especially transitional. I managed to murder my vehicle after it got me home in a blizzard (4.5 hour drive from hell). I got talked into a beautiful new lease car. I then got a new job that is absolutely wonderful. And as our first winter in our new home we were full of excitement for all the things we wanted to do. We even started a running list on the fridge of things we needed to tackle.

Top on my list was something that drove me crazy everyday. In the front and back of our new house we have these light fixtures. Little lamps that were rusted and weather worn. I’m probably the only person that noticed but whew they are ugly. I had been dying for months to refinish them.

I mean just look at them:



Not a pretty sight. But with some help from my beloved we took down all the glass portions and removed the pieces. Unfortunately the fixtures were wired in and since neither of us is an electrician we had to leave them on the wall. Our solution? Unscrewing them just enough to slide cardboard under it.


Then the spraying commenced! We used another piece of cardboard off to the side to catch any overspray. After all I don’t think gold spray would have enhanced the siding. We sprayed all the fixtures and the covers before replacing the glass.



Once they dried enough to handle everything got tightened back into place. These fixtures which once looked ready for a junkyard now looked brand new. With a little help from this little can:


Not to shabby for spring project #1. Six fantastic lights! Well, I also planted some flowers today…..





Desk Re-do #2

What happens when you make a really cool desk for yourself? The future hubby wants one too! After seeing how I redid the desk for myself my fiancé, Geoff (yup, Jeff with a G), decided it was time for an upgrade too. Since he moved into my apartment he had been using a leftover desk that I had kicking around in my attic. It was in rough shape to say the least. We elected to leave it behind when we moved to the new place. So off to the thrift stores I went and for once they failed me. I couldn’t find a workable piece anywhere. Luckily for me I was introduced to a local Facebook group that is pretty much Craigslist but safer. Everyone in the group must be invited in by a friend. Within the first hour of getting into the group I spotted the perfect desk for a great price. $30 to come get it tonight. Using the buddy system (just in case) Geoff and I went to scoop it up. Then the process started all over again. desk1 STEP ONE: Wash it off and sand it down. It was during this sand job that I decided I wanted a power sander for Christmas. A slightly odd request from a twenty something about to get married, but there it is. It was really dusty and the top coating was quite tough. Eventually I got it stripped down enough that I felt comfortable painting it. Cleaned it off again to get it ready for the next step. STEP TWO: Prime. Sprayed it down with my handy dandy Rust-oleum primer. He wanted the top of the desk silver and the rest white. I coated everything in white primer including the top portion which was removable (and you will soon see below). I removed the built in pen holder from the bottom to be painted later. The desk, much to my relief, held the primer well. STEP THREE: Paint! For the white base I was using my can of White Rust-oleum Painter’s Touch paint (semi-gloss white that I used on my other desk) with my handy dandy mini foam roller. Knowing this I decided to spray the top silver first. Since the room is grey/white/blue this seemed like a cool combo. I picked up a can of Rust-oleum metallic silver and went to town. Even with the primer and putting on even coats after three passes and nearly the whole can the top looked TERRIBLE! It looked mottled like I wasn’t spraying evenly, or like some of it was sinking in. Needless to say it was pretty awful as you can see: desk2 STEP FOUR: PAINT AGAIN! After a brief talk about the color not working out we agreed to just do the desk white and I would put a coating on the top to protect it. I let the silver dry completely overnight just to be safe before covering it. I re-sanded the top to make sure the new layer of paint would stick. Using almost the whole can of white I applied two even coats. Then I used my cheating trick of filling in the tough spots with the leftover white spray paint. Overall it looks very white. While it was drying I took the remaining silver paint and painted his papers inbox and the pen tray. Both of those held the paint well without primer or sanding. But they were also both plastic. STEP FIVE: Top coat. Made a mistake here too. This project was a real learning experience for me. I bought a can of spray Lacquer to put as the top coat. Well, following the directions made for a nice shiny finish but not very protective. It was scratched during moving just by gently bumping it. No good. We got it into place in the new room and I touched up the white paint. I then did some research and picked up a can of Rust-oleum Polyurethane to help seal it better.  Two gentle coats left a nice shiny finish (but not too shiny, I used satin) that is amazingly more durable. I even did I little scratch test by moving the keyboard around. SAFE! The final result? Not too shabby for a couple of mistakes. photo 12  photo 1 photo 2

The Office Accessories!

If you have been following along with the office makeover then we are on the same page. If not scroll back a bit to read about the filing cabinet and desk first.

So we moved the desk into the office and it looks great but all of my other things looked out of place. I found an awesome stapler and tape dispenser that matched my office on But something about paying $14 for a stapler/tape dispenser stopped me. Especially since I had a perfectly good set of them already. Of course I took this time to remember that I had leftover spray paint. Logically the only solution was: PAINT THE ACCESSORIES!!!!!

Yeah… really spray happy with my office accessories….

Basically I held them down, primed them, and sprayed them with the leftover spray paint. The result was a tad bit sticky. For some reason the odd coating on my stapler took the paint but wouldn’t let it dry all the way. The first time I put it down on the desk it stuck. The other ones came out just fine. Black dividers, black stapler, puke green tape dispenser, and grey speckled pen holder turned into this:

photo 2 photo 3


I was happy the way they turned out but wish I could figure out why the stapler took so much longer to dry then everything else….curious.

Anyway, it definitely completes the new office space right?



photo 1

(P.S. caught that cute storage ottoman from a sale at JoAnn Fabrics – the back to school collection. $9 for a storage ottoman? You bet!)

New Desk Makeover

So right in there with the awesome new office color scheme mentioned in my previous post comes the new desk! This post got a little delayed due to the moving that happened but here it is anyway.

My current desk is a huge wooden thing with two filing cabinets on both side that collect junk. It was perfect in college when I needed space for drafting and laying out sketches and projects. Now that most of my sketching takes place in an 8.5×5.5 tablet I keep behind my computer there really isn’t a need for that much space. It just collects junk basically. Mostly half baked wedding ideas and old bills.

The replacement was an accidental gift from my future brother&sister-in-law. We happened to be over to at their house for dinner and he needed some help moving things for heavy trash day. He spotted the desk and asked if I wanted it. I said sure since I am always on the lookout for cool things I could use. It came home with us and immediately went into the attic, biding its time I’m sure. However it was everything I actually wanted in a desk. Our new house has three bedrooms, and we wanted to use the smallest one for our office. My current desk would eat that room alive and rob all the space. What a perfect time to renew and redo that awesome cast-off desk! Sure it has lots of scratches and some of the drawers are coming apart, but it can definitely be saved! After all this little guy has potential right?


STEP ONE: GATHER SUPPLIES! (Actually step one was wrestling it down from the attic to my driveway. Somehow I managed to do this solo and have since convinced myself that I am a superhero.) Since it too was going in the office my supplies were pretty much the same as for the filing cabinet. I bought the paint together. When I ran out of paint painting the drawers I added additional supplies, which I will get to, but the Satin Aqua Rustoleum spray paint was the same.

image (1)STEP TWO: Remove all the drawers and gorilla glue the one that was coming apart. Removed all the drawer pulls from the drawers. Then the scrubbing commenced. Less grease for this project and more dust. There was a particularly nasty layer of grim inside the top drawer but it didn’t take forever to get out.

STEP THREE: SANDY SANDY DANDY. (Kidnap Mr. Sandy Claws? sorry…)
My mom was there for this step and helped me sand down the one side which was very helpful. My main concern for this sanding project was to remove the glossy layer from the desktop. Eventually we achieved this, but it was much more difficult than sanding the filing cabinet.

STEP FOUR: Primer ahoy! Started into my second can of primer for this one. There was a seriously layer of primer going down because we were trying to turn a black desk white. We primed everything and made sure to have the best coverage we could without overdoing it.

STEP FIVE-Part One: Painting time. The drawers were simple. Just spray them down. Two coats of the blue made them look all shiny and new. A neat tip for painting drawers is using painters tape to cover part of the top of the open drawer so you don’t spray into the actual drawer. This didn’t apply for this particular drawer but is good to know in the future.

STEP FIVE-Part Two: Painting the white portions of the desk. I sprayed down the side of the desk and it quickly became clear that the white spray was not going to cover everything. At least without a few extra cans. Enter Rustoleum Painter’s Touch Multipurpose brush on in semi-gloss white! I remembered this paint from my first DIY furniture attempt when I was in college (I painted a dresser out of absolutely necessity. It was a HIDEOUS thrift store find but big enough to fit all my clothes. Girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.) I picked up a can at Home Depot and grabbed some extra foam rollers for my mini foam roller. I love it because for some projects it gives much better & more even coverage than a brush. Plus it comes with its own paint tray so I don’t have to keep dipping. Poured the paint in and started rolling. The coverage was nice and even and I applied two thin coats. I used a small foam brush to get in the corners and tight spaces. After the second coat was partially dry I realized I really wasn’t happy with the coverage in the corners. There were still gaps that the brush couldn’t get in to. So I tried something a little unusual. I used my white spray paint to spray paint the small corners I couldn’t get at. I wouldn’t recommend trying this with two different brand but because Rustoleum is so awesome, it turned out great. There was no division from where I sprayed to where I rolled. The results were awesome, just seamless coverage.

STEP SIX (kinda): Logically step six would have been putting a top coat on the desktop to prevent from scratches and chips. Luckily I had a piece of plexi-glass available that was able to be cut to the perfect size. PERFECT! I put the drawer pulls back on and had a beautiful new desk!

Moved it in the garage because it was starting to rain so here are the finished pics.

image (2) image (3)

Estimated cost? About $22 for all the paint and supplies. Not to shabby right? Now wait until you see what I did with the leftover Aqua spray paint…….


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Filing Cabinet Makeover

EXCITING NEWS! In 2.5 weeks we will officially be home owners! 

What does that mean? It means redecorating galore! After all the most important thing about buying a new home is figuring out a new decorating plan right? (OK, maybe not…)

So my fiance and I have nailed down the color schemes for all the bedrooms, the office, basement, and upstairs bathroom. The kitchen, dining room, downstairs bathroom, and living room are still in decor limbo. Since we have the rooms somewhat picked out I set to work. First up is the office! Currently my office is maroon and cream with huge wooden desks/tables/crap. Given the opportunity to start fresh (like with a new house) I wanted to go for a more clean lined modern look. Three tone color scheme with clean lines. We decided on a grey/teal/white color set up.

Some Pinspiration that got us there:

So knowing what I had to work with I went out and got the paint swatches we needed to stock up on project supplies. The first thing I really wanted to tackle what this hideous filing cabinet I had kicking around. It is that oh-so-attractive putty color that is so popular for filing cabinet. It was gifted to me by my dad and had been living in his shop for quite some time. I needed the cabinet but could have done without the quart of grease on it.

before filecabinet

Anyway, STEP ONE gather supplies!
Headed over to Joann Fabrics since I had a coupon and stocked up on the colors I would need. Encountered my first problem. There was no attractive flat grey paint. It was all metallic or stone finish. So I just loaded up on the blue that matched the swatch, primer, and white semi-gloss. Rustoleum Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover spray paint in Satin Aqua matched the blue perfectly. Side Note: Halfway through the next project I ran out of this paint and had to get more. I decided to check Home Depot first and they have Rustoleum spray paint for $4 cheaper than Joann’s, I was not a happy camper but at least my first round of paint was with a coupon. 

STEP TWO: Laid the supplies out and covered my work space (driveway) with a drop cloth. Scrubbed down the inside and outside of the cabinets with strong cleaner. Removed the handles from the drawers and scrubbed again.

STEP THREE: Sand the crap out of it! I sanded anything I could reach and double sanded the areas that were rusting slightly (mostly the corners). There were some stickers stuck here and there so I made sure to sand those down. Don’t skip this step – the sanding helps the paint stick better. After all the sanding was complete (don’t over-analyze, it took like 10 minutes tops) then wipe down the entire cabinet again with a wet cloth. Let it dry completely before the next step.

STEP FOUR: Prime it! Even with the double coverage paint I still wanted to prime the metal. After all, the primer will pretty much guarantee that your paint color is going to stick. It also gives you a nice even base to work off of. Just be sure to let the primer dry for at least an hour before painting over it.

primed primed2

STEP FIVE: PAINT! Lay down an even coat of spray paint. Be sure to stay far enough away that the paint won’t pool in awkward puddles on the cabinet. If you get to close you will see it. Paint a nice even coat and then wait 5 minutes. Paint a second even coat, don’t be tempted to only cover the spaces you missed. Just go over the whole thing again. Make sure you look at the edges and cover any cracks completely. There is also a small bar that usually separates each drawer. Don’t be like me and forget to paint that part! You can see it when you put the drawers back in.


STEP SIX: Let it dry. It will be dry enough to handle in about an hour or so (depending on the paint you use and the humidity). For safety sake I left it out overnight. Then you slide the drawers back into place and viola!

Beautiful New Filing Cabinet!

finished finished1


A New Bar!

Making a home bar out of a random kitchen cabinet from the thrift store.

Hampton Bay 36x34.5x24 in. Base Cabinet with Ball-Bearing Drawer Glides in Medium Oak

So I found this old cabinet that looks a little like this. (Not actual cabinet because the project is already finished) Except there was no doors on it, they were broken and separate. The whole thing was dirty and just left at the thrift store. Picked it up for $10 and brought it home. I figured my first shot at a DIY project should be something I really needed. A place to store the party supplies so I can celebrate future DIY successes!

I repaired the doors on the top and put knobs on them but for some reason the bottom doors didn’t fit on. They were too small. Strange that they would sell me doors that didn’t fit but then again maybe that’s why it was at Amvet’s. So I grabbed some old fabric I had sitting around and a tension rod from the local store and stitched a quick curtain for the front of the cabinet. If you don’t have doors then go with a curtain. I cleaned out the cabinet and laid down some shelf paper inside the bottom of the cabinet and the top shelf. In case things were to spill I wanted easy clean up. I suspended the curtain rod and found an old wine rack in my parents basement that I could borrow indefinitely. Viola! Instant bar. Stocked and ready to go. Not a very exciting DIY but a DIY all the same!

Finished Product:

20130809-180359.jpg 20130809-180442.jpg

How much?
Cabinet: $10
Tension Rod: $2.99
Shelf paper: $1.00
Fabric: Free
Wine Rack: Free

Total Project Cost:
1 hour of labor



Me Do Redo!


With a million other blogs out there why on earth would I start another one?

Because I love to remake old things and broken things into something useful. Friends keep asking me how I do the projects I do and what my tricks are. Why not share it for everyone? I will post all my redo projects and hopefully inspire some people to do some of their own. There is potential in so many places, if only you know where to look.

These are my DIY chronicles. ENJOY!