Future DIY Projects On The Way

Hello, all! I must admit, I have been neglecting you, hard. This week has been so busy, but I have been working on a few awesome new DIY projects that I think you will love.

Stay tuned in the following weeks for:

Wooden Planter for under $5

DIY Deck using Recycled Wood

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Storage Ideas

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We are in a constant state of clutter, so here are a few of our favorite storage tips and ideas.

Storage Coffee Table

Storage Coffee Table

This is the exact coffee table we have in our living room, and we love it! We store all of our blankets and throws inside, and we don’t have to waste precious closet space.

Ladder Rack

Blanket Rack

We have an overwhelming number of blankets, but we don’t want to get rid of them. Instead of wasting valuable blankets, we got this blanket rack. This saves space, while adding an ambiance to the room. It is 4.5 ft. tall, and can hold 5 blankets.

Jumbo Vacuum Seal Storage Bags

Jumbo Vacuum Storage Bags

I have just ordered some more of these Jumbo Vacuum Storage Bags! These bags are great for storing huge comforters, without the bulk of plastic bins. You can stuff several comforters in a space that originally would only fit one! These bags can be used for clothes, stuffed animals, etc. The bags are “vacuum sealed” by your vacuum nozzle!

Mop and Broom Wall Hanger

Mop and Broom Wall Hanger

I have this Mop and Broom hanger, as well. It saves a lot of space and keeps my laundry room from looking cluttered. We hang our mop, our broom, our Swiffer, and our dog leashes from this, and it works like a charm. It is held up by screws, so it doesn’t even wobble when your pull down your mop.

Wooden Shelves

Wooden Shelves

Our house doesn’t have much cabinet space and no pantry at all. We improvised with this Wooden bookshelf. We converted shelves into an open-faced pantry, and we love it. It was inexpensive, and it has ended up being invaluable to the structure of our kitchen.

Amazon Prime

As you might be able to tell, we order tons of things online. We order furniture, groceries, clothing, books, and movies from Amazon. Amazon is our go to method simply because of the Prime free shipping. We pay $100 a year to get completely free shipping, and it is worth it. All of these items would end up costing at least $50 extra in shipping. If you buy a lot of things online, like we do, try the Amazon Prime Free trial. The trial is for 30 days, and you can cancel anytime before the trial is over to prevent charges to your card.

If you are a student, you can get Prime Student for half the price, and if you are on EBT cards or Medicaid, you can get discounted Prime Membership.

Prime Membership comes with free two day shipping, unlimited Prime movies and TV shows, unlimited music, Audible, and several other perks (like Baby Registry gifts).

Subscription Free Home Security Products

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Home Security Products help us feel safe in our homes, and I love having that additional security. I do not, however, love the price that comes along with security subscriptions. ADT can end up costing hundreds of dollars a month, and though the service is beyond compare, a lot of us just can’t afford that. Here are some alternatives that have proven just as effective!

Ring Video Doorbell

I’m paranoid, so I love this Ring Video Doorbell. You can see if someone is trying to ding-dong ditch you, and you can see if someone looks dangerous before you open the door. Of course, we have peepholes for this reason, but this doorbell saves videos in case of foul play.

Zmodo Wireless Camera

I love these Zmodo Wireless Cameras. They run off a wifi and do not require a subscription of any kind. We have these cameras posted all around our house. They have come in handy so many times. We get notifications every time there is movement on our property, and we switch off notifications when we are at home. These cameras are incredible for a small price.

Fortress Home Security System

The Fortress Home Security System is another item we use at our home. This home system does not require any type of subscription or commitment. It has a one time price and comes with tons of tools! Our system came with a home key pad, 3 keychain keys, 4 toggle keys, 8 door and window sensors, 4 motion sensors, an indoor alarm, and an outdoor alarm. This system will not call the police for you, but it will alert your neighbors of an emergency. Trust me, these alarms are loud!

Insta-worthy Door Decor for under $50

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Hello, all! This week, I transformed my entry way! This was the one area that never really felt inviting, and it should because it is the first thing you see! I will share all of the products I purchased make this happen, and I only spent $48!

First, I purchase this Mainstays rug from Walmart. This week, all of my links will come from Walmart or Target. I got all items in store! It cost me $11.44.

This picture is from the Walmart website!

I have been a huge fan of the rug on rug concept, so that is exactly what I did! The second Mainstays rug is also from Walmart. I chose this one, for $19.99, and I think the rugs complement each other wonderfully!

You can pair any rugs together that you like. I specifically liked the “hello” rug, so I just picked a complementary rug that was inexpensive. I knew rugs could totally destroy my budget, so I looked at price tags before looking at patterns!

The bigger rug wasn’t even my in-store favorite, but I knew, in the end, I would only remember how much I spent.

Two of the decor items were completely free! No, they weren’t gift, but instead, they were found in the dumpster! I love dumpster diving, which is how I found the red table, and my faux fence.

The table was originally a black, with a faux granite top. It had dings and scratches, and frankly, it was ugly. I spray painted it red, years ago, and it has been a constant on my front porch ever since. If you don’t want to look for valuables in the dumpster (totally understandable!), keep your eye open as you drive down the road. There are tons of people that throw out perfectly good furniture that can easily be remodeled.

My faux fence was built from dumpster wood! I aligned pieces the way I wanted them to look, and screwed the pieces together with some wood in the back. It was that easy! You can make this with any scrap wood and wood screws, which most people have lying around. Right? Or is that just me…

Some people put up “Welcome” signs, but that was out of my budget. You can find really cute ones on Etsy! Here is an example. You can get this from $19.99 to $69.99, depending on the size that you want. Like I said, this was out of my budget, so I, sadly didn’t get to indulge in this decor… not yet, anyway!

This sign is by NativeRange.

I decorated the red table with pinecones that I found in the yard. I considered actually buying pinecones; can you believe it?! Thankfully, I was able to find these for free!

I purchased this Magnolia Farms Vase from Target, and filled it with greenery that I had around the house. In the spring and summer, I will fill it with wild flowers! This only cost me $10.

I also found a tiny, faux succulent in Bullseye’s Playground in store at Target. Sadly, I cannot put a link to this item, because it is an in-store exclusive. If you go to your nearest Target, I’m sure you could find something that would fit your needs! Here’s mine:

The succulent is inside a little mug that I made from a wine glass a while ago. You can get one like this on my Etsy page in a few days!

Lastly, I bought a glass wine keeper from the Dollar Tree. There are tons of awesome decor items at the Dollar Tree, and everything is literally a dollar or less! I got the little white rocks from the dollar tree, as well. In total, I spend $2.36!

I have noticed many Instagramers began decorating their doors and entryways months ago, but I just recently joined the trend. I didn’t think it was possible to decorate on a budget, but it was! In total, I spend $44.07!

Don’t forget to like, share, and follow this blog for more DIY tricks and tips! As always, thanks for viewing!

Budgeting on a Teacher’s Salary

Teachers make a fair salary, but we are far from wealthy, monetarily that is. My family relies heavily on my income, with my husband going to College and only working part time, budgeting is the only way we get by.

After some time, we have almost completely mastered the art of budgeting, so I am going to share some of our tips, tricks, and editable documents that you can use for your budgets, even if you aren’t a teacher!

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Some/All images come from Pexels.com – the royalty free collection of stock photos.

According to Every Dollar, which is an incredible app for tracking spending, we should only spend a certain amount of our income on food, housing, charity, etc.

If your budget does not look exactly like this, that’s okay! I know ours doesn’t. Some people have more debt than other, like student loans. My resources seem to be useful for every individual in every income bracket.

Bill Due Date Calendar

I create my Bill Due Date Calendar every month, depending on the bills that we have coming in. We put this calendar on our phones and on our fridge. This helps us keep track of what money is coming in and going out, so we know what we should and should not spend.

You can download the editable calendar that I use below.

I like to check my Bill Due Date Calendar anytime I make a purchase. With this method, I never overdraft anymore!

The amount we pay in bills varies by the month (sometimes even the week)! It is important to create a new calendar each month, if your bills are like ours. I tried to just use one “generic” calendar but I got confused and ended up overspending. For me, the extra effort makes a huge difference.

Spending Log

Do you remember the old school Check Book Register that came with a stack of checks? Some people still use them, but I prefer to keep a spending log on my phone or computer. I have recently discovered Anastasia’s digital log on Etsy. Hers is cute, functional, cheap, and reusable! It is a digital download that you can keep reusing month after month.

You can use this code DIYDIARY10 to get 10% off your order for this digital spending log! But hurry because this code is only valid until February 3rd, 2019!

Digit App

So this is a new one for me! I have recently downloaded the Digit App, which rounds up each of your bank transactions to create a “Rainy Day” savings. You can also create a “goal,” which you can save toward.

I was originally concerned about transferring too much out per day, but you can even set up a daily transfer limit. Unlike typical savings accounts, you can withdraw your money as many times as you want and as often as you want. You even earn 1% interest every 100 days.

My favorite feature, however, is that Digit will transfer money from your “Rainy Day” savings to your checking account if you are about to overdraft!

This app does cost around $3 a month after your first 100 days. At least you can see if you like it before you buy it!

I hope you find these tips useful, and I would love to hear some of your favorite budgeting tips! 

Don’t forget to like and follow this page for more posts like this!

Create Your Own Pinterest Laundry Room for Under $50

Hey, guys! This week, I took on the task of creating my own “Pinterest Worthy” Laundry room. It was by far the worst room in the house, but now it is one of my favorites!

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All/most images are from Pexels.com, a royalty free website, for which I have a subscription.

Let me just warn you, our laundry room was pretty gross. It was disorganized and scattered in clothes. It is also the home of our cat’s litter boxes, so it was, at times, hard to glamorize.

The room itself wasn’t dirty, it was just terribly disorganized. So I headed off to Amazon, where every decorator can find his/her muse.

Amazon is an incredible place to bargain hunt, and that’s exactly what I did!

I bought:
pet food bin to hide eyesore paper bags ($16)
canvas bags to store and hide cleaning items on our shelving ($22)
curtains to match the color of the room ($11)

I re-purposed:
– a metal tin that I bought for a party months ago – similar to this, though mine isn’t this cute!
– a small side table – like this one
– a small wooden basket for dryer sheets – similar to this
glass jars to hide laundry detergent and softener containers

I recommend re-purposing as many things as possible, because this is where you save the most money. I never throw furniture, baskets, or bags away for this very reason!

I encourage you to look around your own house. What are you not using? How could it benefit you somewhere else?

I reorganized everything based on purpose and placed them in my canvas totes. This added decoration and organization to my otherwise drab shelving. It has also helped me out enormously when doing laundry! I know exactly where stain removers are, without digging through cabinets!

I put our dog towels in the metal tin. This freed up so much space in our cabinets that we could use for something else, and since we use our dog towels so often, it became far more convenient! I ended up sitting this on top of a side table that I smooshed behind the dryer. It ended up actually looking like a shelf, and I love it!

I put laundry pods and fabric softener beads in their designated glass jars. At first, I wasn’t going to put the dryer sheets in a decorative box, but it felt like such a waste, so I re-purposed an old box we had in our closet! It looks fab!

Last, but not least, I hung up curtains and new decoration (which I made from old fabrics and various sized embroidery hoops). It looked great so far!

I cleared out full laundry baskets, resolving to finally fold them punctually, and I rearranged the litter boxes (which I didn’t include in the pictures because who want to see kitty poo? No one!). All in all, I ended up very pleased with my “transformation.” There are some things I would love to accomplish, like a decorative wall-paper wall or new wooden shelving, but for now, this will be perfect. Until next time, happy DIYing.

Oh! You didn’t think I forgot did you? Our winner for last week’s giveaway is… Heather Kennedy!

Please email me at diydiaryblog@gmail.com for more information about your prize.

Faithful readers, don’t forget to like and share this post with your friends and family.

 As always, thank you for reading. 

If you are interested in supporting this blog, you can donate, or you can purchase from our Etsy shop here!

DIY Shower Refinishing for Under $150

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Hello, all! I hope you’re having a FABULOUS week so far! Today, I will be sharing my DIY shower refinishing experience!

I have been wanting that new, glossy shine of a new shower wall since we moved in, but I did not want to install a new shower wall. That is an enormous amount of work and money. Instead, I ventured out to try a shower refinishing kit! 

Spoiler alert: It is awesome!

We do have a shower/tub combo, but we did not refinish our tub. Our tub is porcelain, so it was in pretty good shape, except for some faint discoloration from a shower door. Our shower walls looked old, grimy, and discolored. Our shower actually had about four different shades of white all on one wall. It was hideous! We were able to completely change that in four days, though, and we do not regret any of it!

I avoided taking pictures of our raunchy shower because I really was embarrassed of it. It looked like it was dirty, regardless of how long and hard I scrubbed it. I tried bleach, Comet, Scrubbing Bubbles; I even tried a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser! Nothing worked. 

The caulk lines were the worst. There was a huge gap between the tub and the shower wall, which allowed moisture to grow mold. We re-caulked the shower wall every couple of months.

Isn’t it disgusting? That was right after I scrubbed the shower. Do notice the dirty kitty tracks on the tub. That was Duchess’s doings. 

This tub was not something I wanted to live with, so we bought a shower refinishing kit online. We got this BathWorks Shower/Tub Refinishing Kit. It was $112, and it came with everything we needed! I did my shower in white, but you can get this kit in bone, white, and black. 

BathWorks Kit from Amazon

We followed the instructions exactly on the kit, and you should, too.

We started off with a freshly cleaned shower. I used the most abrasive cleaner I had: Comet. I used a hard bristled scrub brush to get every crevice. I did this twice. It is important to make sure your shower is completely clean. A grimy shower can result in a short lived refinish. 

I rinsed off the Comet, and scrapped the shower with a razor blade like this. Residue will come off. This is soap build up; mine flaked up a lot like soap, and yours probably will, too.

After the shower has been scrubbed and scrapped, we started sanding with the provided sand paper. It is recommended that you wet the sand paper before sanding. We did this, and it went well. We ended up sanding 3 or 4 times before we actually refinished the shower. If you skip the sanding step, your refinish will not hold up. The idea is that you want to get rid of the glossy shower finish. 

Don’t worry! Your new shower will be even shinier than your old one!

After sanding, we cleaned the shower wall again with Comet. It is crucial that you remove all of the sanding residue! After the wall was dry, I ran my hands over the sanded wall. If I felt anything that was smooth and looked glossy, I re-sanded. Repeat this step as many times as necessary. We repeated it 3 times. After it has been cleaned and sanded, tape up what you do not want to be painted.

After sanding, cleaning, and taping,  you will wipe down your tub with the tack cloth. I officially love tack cloth, by the way. It is incredible and useful for every project! You can find some here. The tack cloth picks up every speck of dust and dirt. It will leave your hand feeling tacky, but it’s worth it. Tack cloths are included in this kit.

You would then apply liquid primer. This stuff smells awful, so make sure you have a well ventilated room. We cracked the window and wore high quality face masks. These were not included in the kit, but you can find the ones we used here. Do not stay in these fumes for too long! I recommend you take at least 15 minutes breaks between steps from here on out. We ended up rotating paint shifts because the fumes were so strong.

Once the primer is dry, you start mixing together the paint kit. You mix the paint with the hardener. Make sure you get it all and stir it up very well. In my experience, not stirring things correctly can ruin the entire project (more on this here).

Once the paint is mixed, you only have about 3 hours to finish. This paint will be really thick. Use the roller brushes provided; we hated the yellow brush, but the white brush was great. Roll the entire shower wall evenly. You will need at least two coats. Each coat dries pretty quickly. 

Once you are finished, take the tape off. Do not wait until the paint is dry to take the tape off. Allow at least 24 hours to pass before using your shower. We tried to wait 78 hours because it was a lot of hard work, and we did not want to mess it up! 

This is what our shower looked like once it was finished. After two months, it is still holding up very well!

Since this shower has been refinished, it is more delicate than the original shower wall. I care for and maintain this shower differently than I did before.

How to maintain the new shower finish so that it will last as long as possible:
 – use non abrasive cleaner; I make my own.
 – dry off your shower walls after showering
 – clean frequently; it is important that you do not let your shower get overly dirty because it will be harder to clean without damaging the new shower 

If you use abrasive cleaning methods, it will not look damaged at first, but it will not last as long as it could.

Come back next week to see me try Pinterest DIY Hacks!
Suggest hacks that you want to see me try, below.


Making Cheap-y Cabinets Shabby Chic

Cabinets can be really expensive, especially if you have to replace an entire kitchen of cabinets. We don’t have the desire to fork out money for new cabinets, so I decided to test out a distressing technique on a Walmart cabinet in our bathroom. It turned out beautifully!

IMG_5071

I decided to refinish this specific cabinet, because it had some serious damage from previous tenants. It had a large hole that needed to be patched, so I knew I would be painting it at some point. Why not today?

After taking the cabinet down, I saw that it was shockingly dirty! Note to self: clean the top of cabinets more often.

IMG_5031

Sadly, this is the best “before” picture that I took. I got distracted by the sweet puppy in the picture!

If you are interested in buying this exact cabinet, you can find it here. Personally, I would not spend $119 on a cabinet that I am planning to refinish. If I were going to buy a cabinet, I would choose this one, which is only $46. This cabinet, however, has been in the house since the early 2000’s, so I spent nothing! We did switch out the knobs for something similar to this. We matched our knobs to our other cabinet pulls. If you like your original knobs, by all means, keep them!

We started off with these materials:

  • Valspar Satin Interior Paint in the color Granite Dust $35
  • Polycrylic Water Based Protective Finish $17
  • sponge brushes
  • 40 grit and 240 grit sandpaper
  • sander (optional)


I had originally planned to paint the cabinet gray to match our newly painted bathroom. Peep picture here…

I decided to go with a more rustic look, because I was afraid the heavy use would cause the paint to eventually chip. I didn’t have a concrete plan of action, so I just decided to go with it. First, I removed all the hardware and painted the cabinet gray. You will want to fill any holes or imperfections before this stage. I did not sand before this, because, by this point, I thought I might want to sand it off. Once the paint was dry, it looked like this:

We let it dry over night, and the next day, we started sanding. We sanded with 40 grit sandpaper to scrape off the majority of the gray paint. We, then, sanded lightly with 240 grit sandpaper to smooth the finish. By this point, particle board had started to peak through the original white finish. I was surprised by how good the finished product ending up looking, honestly. I have always felt so poorly about particle board furniture, but this made me reconsider!

This is the first cabinet door after sanding. Not bad!

We sanded the entire cabinet, and after 45 minutes, it was finally where we wanted it to be. I put two coats of polyurethane on each piece to protect the finish. It is important to allow each coat to completely dry before adding another coat; we waited about an hour.

I put the hardware back on the cabinets and reattached the doors. In only two days, the cabinet had been revitalized. It looks wonderful, and didn’t cost us any money out of pocket!

Next week, I’ll give you 7 tips to make your old house look and feel brand new!

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DIY Countertop Refinish SUCCESS!

Hello, all!

If you have read my previous post, you will know that I have struggled hard with these countertops. The polyurethane chipped, yellowed, and overall, just let me down.

I have experienced a range of emotions throughout this entire experience. I was ecstatic when my faux marble countertops came out looking like this:

IMG_4548

But I was devastated with small chips of paint started peeling off within the week. I now know that is all has to do with the finish!

I used 4 coats of Giani’s Acrylic Topcoat. I chose this because the top coat is designed to be a long lasting top coat, but it did the worst job. I have used it as a polyurethane replacement, and it does an excellent job! I just would not recommend this topcoat for something that experiences severe wear-and-tear.

If I had sealed my work with Envirotex Lite, I would have been able to enjoy my faux marble countertops for many years to come.

Learning from our mistakes, my husband and I started again. We scrapped our previous countertop paint down to it’s original Formica Laminate glory.

We started here, back at the beginning:

IMG_4860

I started by sanding the countertop with 250 grit sandpaper. My countertops have been sanded many many times before, or I might have started with a courser sandpaper.

For the initial prep and paint, I used these materials:

  • Comet or any other abrasive cleaner ($6)
  • Bath Works Etching Cleaner – I had this left over from my shower refinishing kit ($10)
  • painters tape ($10)
  • scrap bag to cover faucet (FREE!)
  • Tack Cloth ($2)
  • KILZ oil based primer ($9)
  • “better” quality paint brushes in 1″ and 2″ ($8)
  • Face mask (2 for $7)
  • ColorPlace Interior Latex Wall & Trim Paint in Semi Gloss – Charcoal Gray ($8 for 1 quart)

After sanding, I cleaned with Comet and the Etching cleaner. I followed the instruction that came with the Etching cleaner, which was to rinse off the powder with warm water after scrubbing.

I, then, painted off the areas that I did not want to be painted. I ended up getting paint of the tile, but I was able to scrape that off with a razor blade after I was finished. I did put an old paper, prescription bag around my faucet because I can get messy!

After everything had sufficiently dried, I put on two coats of KILZ oil based primer. I waited for the first coat to dry overnight before putting on another coat.

This is what the countertop looked like after the second coat of primer:

Primer.jpg

FUN FACT: you can put latex, acrylic, or any other water based paint over an oil paint, but you cannot put oil paint over latex, acrylic, or water based paints.

I then started adding my ColorPlace paint! This was the color we were hoping for on our first project!!

paint gray.jpg

I added two coats, allowing each coat to dry over night. This is latex paint, so it takes a bit longer to dry. Be careful not to get ANY water on this! We accidentally splashed water on the first coat before it fully dried, and it left weird water droplets. These mostly went away with the second coat, but if you look hard enough, you can still see the water indent.

We loved the look of this already, but we wanted to add a bit more to spice it up! Naturally, we took a trip to Hobby Lobby.

We came back with these materials:

IMG_4870

We stared with the Metallic Lustre.  This was inspired by the tons of other bloggers that have added glitter to their Epoxy topcoat. Due to my bad luck with the Eopxy, I figured this might be a safer bet.

I started applying the White frost in large circles across the countertop. I was hoping it would blend better, but it is more of a paste than a powder.

IMG_4876

After I had coated the entire countertop with White Frost, I started going over it with the Black Shimmer. I did this in lines because the Lustre did not blend very well. This allowed the White Frost to peek through without being overpowering.

IMG_4878

After the entire top had been sufficiently coated in Black Shimmer, I went back over with a few swiped of White Frost. I blended this out with the Black Shimmer brush.

IMG_4881

After this step, I put a coat of basic water-based polyurethane over the Lustre. I used cheap foam brushes for this step so I could just throw them away when I was finished! I did not want to risk a bonding issue with my Resin coat, so this is an additional “just in case” practice.

After the polyurethane had dried overnight, I sanded it some with 250 grit sandpaper. This helps the Resin bond with the polyurethane more effectively. I would avoid using oil-based polyurethane for this step.

FUN FACT: Oil-based top coats tend to yellow more quickly than water- based top coats.

We added Envirotex Lite on top of our sanded polyurethane and waited for that to cure. the top coat was beautiful already!

IMG_4884

We let the resin run off the sides of the countertops freely. I did try to catch drips before they hardened, though, because they will “freeze” in place essentially and be very hard to remove. Here is what that looked like:

IMG_4886

The Envrotex Lite took 3 full days to completely cure. After that was finished, I sanded down the edges pictured above, to get rid of the wavy look. I wiped down the edges with pure acetone and applied a “flood coat,” or a thin coat of resin only on the sides. If I had any major indents, this is when I would fill those as well.

 

Here is the final look! Isn’t it gorgeous?!

Honestly, I did not like Envirotex Lite before this experience. Turns out, all my issues were user errors! This time, with extra care, I ended up getting a perfect, beautiful topcoat.

To use Envirotex lite:

  1. Cover and tape everything you do not want to be hardened.
  2. Measure your Resin and your Hardener separately. You want to be exact.
  3. Mix your Resin by itself for 2 full minutes with a silicone spatula.
  4. Mix your Hardener by itself for 2 full minutes with a silicone spatula.
  5. Combine your Resin and your Hardener in one bowl – everything your use this with will be trash. Make sure you get everything out of your original bowls!
  6. Mix your Hardener and Resin together for at least 2 full minutes.
  7. Apply your mixture to the countertop and spread with your spatula and foam brushes.
  8. Use a hairdryer on high heat to pop bubbles that have formed
  9. Remove tape before the mixture hardens.

If you’re wondering how this finish holds up after several years, check out Dawn’s Blog! She first refinished her countertops in 2011, and they are still holding up strong!

If YOU try this at home, please let me know how it turns out!

Next week, I will be showing you how to turn a cheap cabinet into a shabby chic dream!

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Laminate Countertop Paint FAIL

Hello, all!

One of the first projects my husband and I decided to tackle was our hideous bathroom countertops. The entire bathroom was a disaster, seeing as it didn’t even have flooring when we moved in, but I knew immediately the countertop had to go.

Sadly, I completely forgot to take good before pictures of the countertops, but I will attach what the bathroom looked like on arrival.

Bathroom Before

Beautiful, right? Peek the plywood flooring.

Right away, there are SO many issues with this bathroom, but there is a lot of charm that goes along with it. Our goal was to dig through all the junk, so we could really appreciate the charm.

We, like so many other people in our age bracket, do not have the money or the desire to replace a countertop, so I did what any logical 20-something would do. I went to Pinterest.

There are hundreds of articles about painting laminate countertops on Pinterest. I did my research, and I was sure we could come out successful.

We cleaned, sanded, taped, covered, and all of the other things every article told us to do before we started painting. We were ambitious, optimistic, and a bit ignorant. We painted!

We skipped the primer, which might have been our first mistake, and went straight on with Rust-Oleum Spray Paint. I was hoping to get a nice gray color, but ended up getting something very close to black. This, of course, was my error. If you are interested in black countertops, this very well might be for you! It was not, however, for me. The black countertops looked way too “DIY” for me. After all, we never want someone to walk into our house and say, “I can tell you did that one yourself.” We always want the professional look.

I sealed this with a clear concrete epoxy, which was recommended by an employee at Lowes. My local store did not have any countertop epoxy, which was what I originally intended to buy. At the time, I thought I should have purchased the countertop epoxy online and waited for it to come in the mail. Later, I will show you the results of actually doing that.

Bathroom Afte r1

This was my very first “after,” and boy, was I excited! The bathroom had come a long way. Look at those floors! Naturally, I do not have a good picture of the countertops, but that is mostly because I never even thought for one second I would be writing this blog. I never dreamed that this beautiful countertop would be back for vengeance!

I’ll admit, this countertop could have lasted me for longer than I allowed it to. It held up strong for a few months, that is, until I could not bare to look at that black any longer.

If you like this look, here are some tips I would offer you:

  • clean very well before painting – You cannot over clean!
  • Wipe everything down with a Tack Cloth – this is a sticky cloth that catches all kinds of dust. You want them for every step, especially the sealant!
  • tape everything meticulously (or have a razor blade nearby to scrape off unwanted paint)
  • Pick a high quality, water resistant, heat resistant sealant – all of your hard work will go down the drain if you do not seal this well.
  • Have patience and another place to brush your teeth while it all dries

I decided to start anew! I sanded the topcoat off, and decided to add a little color to the black. “Perhaps then, I would like it,” I thought to myself.

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Though this picture does it no justice, it was actually a huge step in the right direction. I added shades of orange, white, silver, and brown. I hoped that this would give it a faux granite look, and though that was not achieved, in the short time I rocked this look, I got many many complements. I wish I had added more color, but I was afraid that it would look overpowering and cheap, if I didn’t make it subtle.

This time around, I decided not to skimp on the sealant. I ordered pour on resin online that had rave reviews. This stuff was beautiful! I applied it to everything. The kitchen countertops, a kitchen island that I had purchased, and, of course, the bathroom countertops. I would have kept this stuff forever, had I not run into the problem that I did.

This resin would not set completely in some areas. I tried everything to fix the issue, even going so far as to purchase more resin to to redo the areas that were still sticky, to no avail. No matter what I did, there were sticky areas all over my countertop. Hair, fuzz, and dust loomed continuously. After two months, I couldn’t take it any longer. I sanded down the countertops again.

Now, folks, this is my third attempt! I was growing weary.  This time, I decided to follow the advice of one blogger, whose name I no longer remember.  This blogger painted her entire countertops with cheap $0.82 paint from Walmart. She sealed it and all was well. “Heck,” I thought, “I’ve got all this stuff here. I might as well give it a shot!”

I decided to go the opposite route and paint this countertop white. My plan was to do a faux marble. I, once again, omitted primer and just dove right in. With a sponge roller, a craft sponge, and several paintbrushes, I created a faux marble to die for (or at least, I thought so!)

Marble Countertop

This took the longest of all other attempts, and it looked the best. I sealed it with Giani’s High Gloss Top Coat, another big name sealant. This lasted a month at best. It started chipping immediately, as did my now tender and tired heart.

Yesterday, my husband I decided to take all of it off. We scraped with a razor blade until we could finally see the original, hideous countertop. Okay, it’s not that bad, but it doesn’t match the rest of the bathroom, which is a huge pet peeve of mine. We have not decided what to do yet, but we are thinking of trying one more time. I have done research, all of which tells me that my previous attempts should have been successes. Perhaps if we use oil based paints only and seal again with the concrete Epoxy mentioned previously, we will have success?

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This is where we are now, once again at the drawing board. Will we finally have the countertops of our dreams? We will see.

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