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).

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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.


4 Products I CANNOT Live Without

We all have things that we cannot live without. I have narrowed my list down to 4 things that I cannot live without. For me, this is easy, but it has not always been that way. For years, I didn’t know how to be content with the products I was using in my house and on my body. I jumped from product to product, unable to “commit.” Over time, I have found some things that I would buy over and over again, regardless of the price. Here are some of them.

4. Tea Tree Oil

All pictures shown, unless otherwise noted, are from pexels.com

I use Tea Tree Oil religiously. It has the germ killing power necessary for cleaning agents, and it is delicate enough to be used on skin.

I first discovered the rich powers of Tea Tree Oil when I tried a DIY Athlete’s Foot treatment on my husband. For those of you that don’t know my husband, he has some stinky feet. Once he started rubbing tea tree oil on his feet, his feet stopped stinking within a day, and within the week, they stopped itching and peeling.

I use Tea Tree Oil in my DIY All-Purpose Cleaner, and the Tea Tree Oil is what gives my the peace of mind that my kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room are really clean!

I use Tea Tree Oil to kill mold in my shower, to soften my hair and scalp, to make DIY make-up remover, and to 

3. DIY Laundry Detergent

I am not trying to toot my own horn, but this stuff is really great. It make my clothes look and feel great, but it also smells amazing! Honestly, though, I am not very picky about my laundry detergent. I don’t want it to use bleach, and I want it to clean my clothes completely. I care most about how tough it is on my clothes (like many of you, I want my clothes to last and look good for as long as possible), and how it smells. This detergent smells great, and it is gentle on clothes.  Check it out here

2. Downy Unstopables

This photo came from unstopables.com

I love love love downy unstopables! They make every load of laundry (including my laundry room!) smell fabulous. I mix these with my laundry detergent when I make it, and it holds well in liquid detergent. 

I have used many detergent softeners, but Downy Unstopables are my favorite by far. Many softeners left residue on my clothes and sheets that irritated my skin and felt unpleasant. With the unstoppables, I don’t have any of these problems. 

You can find coupons for this product here!

1. Roomba

This is number 1 on my list because it is the one I am most in love with. I LOVE my Roomba! It has honestly saved me so much time and effort. Before we made “the switch,” I was sweeping twice a week, and my floors were still gritty. I hated having dirty sock bottoms! When I upgraded to Roomba, that all changed. Really! We have this Roomba, and we have it set up to run every morning at 6 am. We empty the little dirt hatch once a week, and then we forget about it. It really is that simple. 

I have heard some negative reviews on the Roomba, and it would only be fair to talk about those, too. Some reviewers say their Roomba did not work well with multiple pets or small children. I am assuming this is because of pet fur and the likelihood of children leaving their toys in the floor. We have not had any issues with pet fur clogging up our Roomba. While we do not have children, we do often leave bags, shoes, and dog toys in our floor throughout the day. Our Roomba occasionally gets stuck on these things, but we do not mind helping him get unstuck! For us, the pros far outweighs the cons.

Honestly, if my Roomba died today, I would buy a new one tomorrow. That being said, I first bought a refurbished Roomba from Amazon, and I would not recommend that. The refurbished Roomba did not work effectively and was not worth the effort that we had to exert to exchange it. I would recommend just buying it on their website! They have excellent customer service.

Use the code SAVE10 to get 10 percent off an IRobot bundle!

Come back next week to see how we refinished our old, grime-y shower to make it look brand new!

This page does not have affiliated links. This post was created before I became a member of the Amazon Associates program. I will not receive any benefits from your purchases.

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

7 Ways to Make Your Pre-Loved Home Look New

According to the National Realtor Association, over 91% of homeovers look for a pre-loved home, rather than build a new home. This likely because of the many advantages of buying an older home. The timeline of purchasing a home is drastically shorter than that required to build a house. Though, new houses have a certain lustre to them, here, hopefully you can benefit from my tips to make your new-to-you home look and feel as new as it should.

I tried to make these tips beginner friendly, inexpensive, and quick! Enjoy!

7 Ways to Make Your Pre-Loved Home Look New

1. Paint

This seems obvious, doesn’t it? Though a good paint job can make an enormous difference, I am not talking about simply painting your living room. No! Paint the things that do not immediately catch the eye, such as your closets, your baseboards, and your window seals. These small details will make a huge difference in making your home feel new!

We also painted many of our ceilings! It was tedious, a bit messy, but totally worth it! We did this on the ceiling our carport, as well.

2. Update Hardware

One of the first things we did in our new home was install new door knobs and cabinet pulls. We picked out affordable, yet durable, door knobs, cabinet pulls, and door hinges from Lowes. This completely updated the look of our hallway, kitchen, and bathroom for under $50. 

*I would never purchase door knobs or hinges from a store that does not specialize in home improvement materials. They will not likely hold up or work effectively. You will not save enough money to make it worth it!

3. Update Light Fixtures 

We updated the 70s style chandeliers in our living room, to replace it with a stylish ceiling fan. For us, comfort was more important that elegance in this aspect. It made a huge difference in appearances, regardless, and it made us much more comfortable!

We also added hanging lights in the hall way, the bedrooms, and the kitchen, instead of the standard recessed lighting that was originally in the home. I did not dispose of the original fixtures though! These things, though they are tacky, are antiques. 

We love the look and feel of the new light fixtures because they really updated the room.

4. Sand and Re-stain Woodwork 

Over time, natural wood becomes scratched and loses its finish. We sanded and re-stained all of our baseboards, window seals, and door facings. We picked a stain that was close and complementary to the original stain color. We were sure to use 240 or higher grit sandpaper to ensure a smooth finish. Be sure to go with the grain of the wood, sand until the wood is completely soft, and seal the stain with polyurethane. This gives a professional look to old wood.

5. Add Peel and Stick Laminate

Peel and stick laminate is AWESOME! There are so many options for any and all projects. We installed peel and stick laminate over the ugly linoleum floors in our bathroom. We bought this laminate from Lowes for less than $100! This laminate allowed for a natural tile  look because it could be grouted. We get tons of compliments on our floors. I would do it again and again!

There are even more ways to use peel and stick laminate, though. You can make an easy, waterproof backsplash, even with grout! You can even make a faux wood wall with laminate floor tiles. It is so popular right now, and so beautiful. It requires absolutely NO prep work! Just start sticking.

6. Refinish Your Showers, Tubs, and Sinks

We recently experimented with refinishing our shower, and we are in love! It has turned out so well that family members are begging us to refinish their tubs and showers. We bought this Bath Works Kit from Home Depot. With shipping and taxes, we paid a little less than $100. It turned out incredibly, and you can do this on any showers, tubs, or even sinks. It looks so classy and new!

7. Refinish Antique Hardware

pexels.com

We already talked about replacing hardware, but we don’t want to replace everything! Once we start gutting a house, it loses its antique charm. Instead of throwing out interesting pieces, try refinishing them! We redid our antique mailbox and outdoor light fixture. It was so easy, and it cost us less than $20! 

We used Rust-Oleum Outdoor Spray Paint. We restored details of the original mailbox that were no longer visible to create a beautiful antique piece in front of our house. We did this with all of the outdoor light fixtures as well, which were rusty and unappealing. When we were finished, our carport and porch looked brand new.

If you found this article useful, like and share this post! Feel free to comment you suggestions or experiences

Next week, come back to read the 4 products I CANNOT live without!

This page does not have affiliated links. This post was created before I became a member of the Amazon Associates program. I will not receive any benefits from your purchases.

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

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!

This post does not have affiliated links.

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.

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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!

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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:

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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!

This page does not have affiliated links. This post was created before I became a member of the Amazon Associates program. I will not receive any benefits from your purchases.

Cheap DIY Non-Abrasive Cleaners

Non-Abrasive All Purpose Cleaner

There is no doubt that cleaners like Comet can get rid of all grime and dirt. In my experience, abrasive cleaners can make tubs, tile, and countertops shine as if they were brand new. Abrasive cleaners can also strip finishes off products and cause deep, ugly scratches on delicate surfaces.

I have tried to avoid abrasive cleaners because of my messy nature, and I eventually grew tired of staining my clothes with Bleach.  I was further motivated to use nonabrasive cleaners after refinishing our shower. My husband, Ethan, and I knew we couldn’t use bleach cleaners anymore, so I decided to experiment with making my own non-abrasive cleaner.

We use All-Purpose cleaners more than any other cleaners, so I started with that. Anyone can create their own All-Purpose Cleaner. I will share my favorite recipe and how you can create your own that best fits your needs.

First, I needed something that could cut through dirt, grime, and mildew without the rough, toxic feel and smell of an abrasive cleaner.  I also wanted something that could be used to clean countertops, floors, toilets, sinks, and shower walls. 

All-Purpose DIY Cleaner

  • 1 cup of Hydrogen Peroxide ($0.88)
  • 2 TBS dish soap ($0.99)
  • 5 drops of Tea Tree Oil ($3.00)
  • warm water (FREE)

This is not a terribly complex recipe, nor did I want it to be. I wanted something that I could throw together in a few minutes and begin using immediately.

The water acts as a liquid filler. It distributes the products so it can be sprayed easily.

The Hydrogen Peroxide cuts through the dirt without taking off finishes and or leaving an abrasive smell. Of course, like anything, if left unattended for long periods of time, Hydrogen Peroxide can eat away that furniture and finishes, but overall, it is safe. I purchased 3% Hydrogen Peroxide for $0.88 at Walmart. One bottle can made at least 4 batches.

The dish soap also acts as a cleaning agent. My favorite way to clean has always been with a dishrag, warm water, and dish soap. This has proven to be a sufficient alternative! I only used 2 Tablespoons of soap, to avoid it becoming too sudsy. If you’re on a budget, you can get Palmolive Soap for $0.99 at Walmart. One bottle will go a very long way!

I also added 5 or more drops of Tea Tree Oil. This is an essential oil that is known for killing funguses and other bacterias. It also has a heavy aroma that reminds me of traditional citrus cleaners, which I enjoy. I have added other oils to add or change scents. The entire bottle cost me $3 at Walmart. It took me a while to find it, because it is not near the other essential oils. Instead, look for it in the pharmacy area. This bottle will also last you a very long time.

I mix the Hydrogen Peroxide, the dish soap, and the tea tree oil first into a spray bottle. I fill the remainder of the bottle with warm water and shake it up. The cleaner is ready to go!

All together, this cleaner costs me $0.33 per spray bottle. I love it!

Here are some picture of my cleaner being used:

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Sadly, I try not to let me sinks get too dirty, so my “before” picture is not a drastic difference. There were some set in, water stains on the back of the sink and on the knobs. I sprayed the sink and scrubbed it with a vegetable cleaning brush. I prefer small brushes like tooth brushes and vegetable brushes for things will small areas like a sink. The sink glistened after I rinsed it with warm water.

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This is one of the only things in my house that I don’t clean very often. It is a column that used to be decorative but now is for the cats to play on. The left is before I cleaned it at all, and the right is after a gentle scrub with the same vegetable brush.

To customize your own All-Purpose Cleaner, you will need:

  • A cleaning agent 
  • A filler liquid (like water)
  • Essential oils (optional)

DIY Laundry Detergent

We also make our own Laundry Detergent. We modified this DIY Laundry Detergent by Matt and Betsy Jabs. Their recipe is a powder recipe, but we prefer liquid. I pair this detergent with Downy Unstopables to create a pleasant, welcoming aroma that is found with store-bought detergents! I’m sure you could add Snuggle to the detergent recipe to save a step later, if you were feeling experimental.

For this DIY Laundry Detergent, you will need:

  • 1 bar shaved bar soap (we use Ivory shredded bar soap) ($8 for 4 bars)
  • 1 cup Borax ($5)
  • 2 TBS dish soap ($0.99)
  • Water

I’m all about saving money, so I mix up this detergent in a recycled gallon milk jug. If you want your laundry room to be cute, you could pick up a decorative jug at any Walmart, Target, or Dollar Store.

I begin by grating the bar soap with a cheese grater. I add the borax, grated soap, and dish soap into a gallon jug. I fill up the remainder of the jug with warm water and shake it all together. Before each wash, I shake it again to ensure nothing separates to the bottom.

For each load of laundry, I pour in 1 cup of detergent, so 1 gallon will wash anywhere from 12 to 16 loads of laundry. That is only $0.18 a load!

I have used this detergent off and on for over two years, and I have never experienced any soap or grime build up! It is as good, if not better, than traditional, store-bought detergent and a whole lot cheaper!

If you try any of these recipes, please comment your experience!

This page does not have affiliated links. This post was created before I became a member of the Amazon Associates program. I will not receive any benefits from your purchases.

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

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.

IMG_3284

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?

IMG_4860.jpg

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

This page does not have affiliated links. This post was created before I became a member of the Amazon Associates program. I will not receive any benefits from your purchases.