My 2015 Home DIY Projects

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Does everybody’s brain get full of DIY home renovations plans as soon as January hits, or is it just me?

To be honest, home DIY projects and plans are really always milling about in my brain. Another stay-at-home mom friend of mine summed up the problem well when explaining to her husband why she has a constant list of house projects for him to work on: “I’m at home all day with the kids, so what my eyes see all day long are things around the house that need work!”  It’s a first world problem for sure, but it is hard to ignore the ugly and outdated things about your home when you are in it for 95% of your day.

Well, I have quite a list of things that I’m hoping to work on this year, but my two main projects are my kitchen and my boys’ upstairs bathroom.  Both are pitiful.

My house was built in 1991, and it shines in all of its Brass-age, Honey-oak, Builder-grade glory.  I can live with the brass doorknobs and various brass light fixtures, but those honey oak cabinets just drive me nuts.


If you follow me on Instagram you saw that 4 weeks ago I started prepping a section of my kitchen cabinets for paint.

I was finally fed up with the grease and grime all over the cabinets left from previous owners (which yes, I have tried to scrub and clean many times), and also motivated by a free over-the-range microwave a family member handed down to us.  If I could just get these sections of cabinets painted, I could install the microwave and take the small one we currently use off our countertops!

Four weeks later, the cabinets still aren’t finished–but they are about 85% done 🙂 I did my research and decided to forego chalk paint and instead paint them the “professional” way, by cleaning, sanding, and priming them. I’m using Benjamin Moore Advanced Paint, and I am very satisfied with it.


Rather than buy and drill for all new hinges, I opted to clean and spray paint the existing cabinet hinges with Rustoleum Metallic spray paint


I have also been very happy with this product. It’s been so easy to use I just might start spray painting all of that other brass in my house now!

The look I am going for has been inspired by several other bloggers, including Cristina at Remodelando la Casa.  

Her kitchen layout is almost identical to mine, and I am amazed at how she made her kitchen cabinets looks very high end by enclosing the space above them and adding molding.

Remodelando la Casa

Remodelando la Casa

Is that not amazing!  Eventually, I hope to extend my cabinets all the way to the ceiling as well (although that may not be a 2015 project).

Patricia at Old Things New also offers an easy DIY solution to upgrading that standard builder’s boxy kitchen island.

Old Things New

Old Things New

She added furniture-style legs and wooden gables to her island to give it an upscale look and more functionality.  I would love to do the same to my island–replacing my laminate countertop with a bigger piece of butcher block countertop, supported by wooden gables, that would allow for some bar stools to be added for extra kitchen seating.

Up until this point, I have basically had nothing decorative on my kitchen counters.  I just haven’t been inspired enough to find anything to work with my honey oak cabinets.  But now that they are going white, I have started hunting for some pieces to add some flair.

I’ve already told you I love old tins . . . I have found two so far for my kitchen.


This one I bought from another dealer at ACM.

And this guy I won on Ebay!

$_57 (1)

I am borderline obsessed with this set of vintage French tins for sale on Etsy.


My birthday is coming up in March, in case you need any gift ideas 🙂

I like things on my countertops to be functional, not just purely decorative.  I love this look from Miss Mustard Seed:

Miss Mustard Seed

Miss Mustard Seed

As well as this cookbook and locker basket collection from A Bowl Full of Lemons:

A Bowl Full of Lemons

A Bowl Full of Lemons

It will be a while before I can change out my countertops and backsplash, but I can live with my current countertops as long as my cabinets are white. Adding these little collections of vintage items will go a long way also to adding style to my super-boring kitchen.

I do already have the cabinet pulls I will be adding:


A steal from Pottery Barn on sale. The simple act of adding handles to my cabinetry will make me so happy!  The grease and grime stays on them, instead of soaking into the wood drawers and doors.  One more step closer to a grease-free kitchen.

Whew, this has turned into a long post!  I think I will save my upstairs bathroom plans for my next post.   I don’t want to overwhelm anybody.

I would love to hear about any DIY home renovation plans you may have, or other great kitchen ideas!


Linking up to:  Fridays Unfolded,   Feathered Nest Friday,   The Handmade Hangout,

Project Inspired

Painting the Island | DIY Kitchen Island Makeover Part 2

Wednesday 31st of August 2016

[…] Want to see where my kitchen started?  Click here. […]


Thursday 28th of April 2016

Since doing your with BM advance but now knowing about fusion mineral paint would you go back and change your paint choice? Why/why not? Thank you


Thursday 5th of May 2016

That is a great question Sussy. Here is what I tell people about painting cabinets--no matter what paint you use, it's not an "easy" job. Be prepared for lots of prep work, lots of sanding, and lots of coats of paint. There are some small differences here and there between the process of using the BM Alkyd and the Fusion that I think do make the Fusion preferable, but really either works great. If I had it to do over again, I would still use the BM paint for my white cabinets, mainly because I have white beadboard trim on my kitchen walls, and I wanted my cabinet paint and finish to match that same white. With the BM paint I could have the exact custom color mixed and get it mixed a higher gloss to match the other woodwork in my kitchen. Fusion is not a high gloss paint, it has more of a matte satin finish. To get it more glossy, you would need to add the Tough Coat. I would rather skip that step, so that's why the BM paint was for me--mainly because I needed that higher gloss and specific white. With the BM paint I had to prime using Kilz (which personally I think oil-based products are a major pain and I try to avoid them at all costs), and then paint 3 coats of white. When I painted my island with the Fusion, there is no Kilz, although I did paint a base coat of the Fusion Ultra Grip on the places of my cabinet where it's not solid wood, but rather wood laminate. Then it was only 2 coats of the Fusion, but that was mainly because it was a darker color. Had it been white, it would have been 3-4 coats of Fusion. I appreciate not having to use the Kilz, and I do believe that Fusion is a little easier to work with for the average DIY painter. The BM requires using a foam roller and you have to apply the paint very carefully, while I paint on Fusion with a brush and it's a little more forgiving. So, that's my take on cabinet paint, hope that answers your question!

Kitchen Tile Backsplash Change of Plans | Lost & Found

Wednesday 20th of April 2016

[…] See where it started, here.  […]

Cynthia - Clockwork Interiors

Saturday 10th of January 2015

Good luck on your kitchen project. I used the same BM Advance product to paint our "orange" oak office and laundry room, and love that product! Even the odor is nice!


Sunday 11th of January 2015

Yes Cynthia, the paint is spoiling me :)

Barbara Ann

Saturday 10th of January 2015

I too love that Rustoleum Metalic Paint. I used it to transform an old brassy looking but still working lamp. It was the perfect size but the gold color was too dated. Vaa-Voom! It looks so much better and it was so easy to work with. Now I have others lamps to try with with. Barbara Ann

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