August 22, 2012

How To Update Old Brass Doorknobs With Spray Paint

The secret to updating old brass doorknobs! This is SO great!
Ever since we first moved in to our 1970's fixer upper, I've wanted to replace the outdated brass doorknobs that graced every single door in the house. Upon finding that new doorknobs were around $15-$30 a piece, I decided to try spray painting them instead. 

And good news....they turned out SO amazing!

August 11, 2012

Painting Trim & Walls: What You Need To Know!

After showing how we've updated our house by painting the trim, one of the most frequently asked questions I get is about paint! I finally decided it was best to put all of this information in one handy place to refer to if needed.
I don't consider myself an expert, but after painting an entire house (almost!), I've certainly learned a thing or two along the way.


Painting Trim: what you need to know!



Let's get started!



Don't over-think it!
Most questions I get about paint have to do with FEAR: fear of messing up, fear of wasting money, fear of the unknown! Well, I have good news and bad news. Bad news first: Your probably going to ruin something along the way. I've totally messed up at least 3 pieces of furniture, and I have 2 rooms that I've painted multiple times because the first attempts were a big failure. Now the good news: 99% of the things you paint will turn out to be AWESOME. You'll learn along the way, and your work will improve with every attempt.  Plus, if you even take 10-30 minutes reading about some painting basics, the less likely you will be to ruin that 1% of your projects. 

THE BASICS:
#1. WHY should I paint? 
Painting is time consuming, but it is one of the cheapest things you can do to update your home! This post from earlier this year really helps demonstrate what a big impact paint can make.
A great example is our master bathroom. The only thing I used to update this room was paint!





and also our guest bathroom. You've gotta see how outdated this bathroom was before!





#2. HOW do I paint my trim? 
It's a lot easier than you think. You can check out post that explains the basic techniques for painting trim and walls. The best thing to do is to just get started and trust that it will make a huge difference in the overall look and feel of your home. Paint can completely transform a house from old to new.

Painting Trim: What you need to know!



#3.  WHAT brand do I choose? 
For my trim paint, I used Behr Premium in Ultra White (semi gloss finish) in the entire house. I have no idea how well other brands of paint work for trim, as Behr is the only brand I've ever used on our trim. The reason I chose it is because it was one of the only affordable paint and primers I cold find back when we started, coming in at only $35 a gallon. We had an entire house worth of trim, so I had to be budget conscious. However, I couldn't be more pleased, and I'll sing its praises from the rooftop, as the results were flawless and still hold up years later. So, in my experience, you get a lot for your money with this paint.





As for the paint I use on our walls, I could care less. I don't get too hung up on the brand of paint I use. I've used so many different brands on our walls: Behr, Valspar, Glidden, Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, and countless others. BM & SW tend to have better coverage, but are more expensive. You'll save a little time when painting, but you'll pay $50 a gallon. Behr, Valspar, and Glidden are cheaper, and I find that their coverage is totally fine. Those will cost you $20-30. It's really just a personal preference. I'm cheap and would rather spend an extra hour painting if it will save me $25. I mostly use Behr and Glidden. Also, I'm going to let you in on a little secret. You can get ANY paint color custom mixed in ANY brand. For example, let's say that you found a Benjamin Moore color you LOVE, but you only want to pay $20/gallon. You can take the Benjamin Moore paint chip to Lowe's or Home Depot or Walmart, etc. and have them color match it in Glidden, etc. They have little machines that scan the paint chip and then BAM: same color in the brand of your choice.

#4. How do I choose a color for my trim and walls?
 I usually buy a couple testers for $3 each and paint a little part of my wall with each. Seeing a paint color in your own home during different times of the day is TOTALLY different than looking at a paint chip in a hardware store. I also like to search for the paint color name on Pinterest. It's usually helps me to see it in other people's rooms, and lets me narrow down what testers I want to choose. (See my other tips on choosing a color here. There's some great tips.)

#5. Our paint colors
Here's quick guide to all of the paint colors we've used in our own home (on the walls) in case you're curious. I get this question more than any other, so now you can find all this info in one place!


Our Living Room was painted with Glidden Smooth Stone (main color) and then Behr Sandstone Cliff (accent wall), both in flat. 
Painting Trim & Walls: what you need to know!



Our kitchen was painted in Behr Mineral in Flat. We used chalkboard paint on the interior cabinets and bar surround. You can see how we painted our grout here, our tile here, and our kitchen cabinets here.




Our Home Office was painted in Behr Sandstone Cliff, Flat. The desk was painted in Behr Black Suede in gloss.




Our Guest Bathroom was painted in Behr Ocean Pearl, flat. The white stripe accent was Behr Sea Salt, flat. The vanity was painted with Behr Ultra Pure White, semi-gloss.
You can see the full tutorial for painting stripes here.





The Guest Bedroom Design #1 was painted in Behr Gobi Desert, flat. The headboard and side tables were painted in Behr Creamy White, Satin.




The Guest Bedroom Design #2 was painted in Behr Silver Drop, flat. The white stripe was Behr Ultra Pure White, flat.




Guest bedroom design #3 was still in Behr Silver Drop, flat.





Our Master Bedroom was painted in Glidden, but color matched to Behr Wheat Bread, Flat. The small office part of the bedroom was painted in Glidden Smooth Stone. The dresser was painted in Behr Creamy White, satin.




And finally, our Master Bathroom was painted in Glidden (color matched to Sherwin Williams Sea Salt), flat. All cabinetry and trim was painted in Behr Ultra Pure White in semi-gloss. 




So that's all for today! To see the full tutorial for how to paint trim from start to finish click here. To see my top 10 paint secrets click here.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Don't forget to pin this post so you can find it when you need it!



Painting Trim: what you need to know!



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August 9, 2012

How To Restore Dirty Tile Grout

I recently restored the dirty grout in our bathroom and kitchen for only $10.
And I'm so excited over how well it worked.


How to restore dirty tile grout! This is so great!



It all started when I began updating our master bath. I painted the walls and vanity, and as things began to shape up, our dirty tile grout began to be much more visible to me. I did some research online and found that there was a special paint for tile grout.

I was so excited to get some and see that it actually worked. Here is the bathroom floor after I used the product on half of the grout. 



To see what it looked like when I was totally done AND to see the scary before pictures of this bathroom, go here. You've gotta see the befores.

I also decided to use this product in our kitchen. It had the same tile with the same sad, dirty grout.


After painting the kitchen cabinets and adding a chalkboard to the inside of each door (seen here), the kitchen started to looks so much better, and again, the grout stuck out even worse.


So, I used the grout paint on it, too.
Here's what it looks like now.



Isn't that great?

Here is what I used in both the bathroom and kitchen to restore the grout.

How to restore dirty tile grout! This is so great!




It's called Polyblend Grout Renew and it comes in a bunch of different colors. I chose 'Snow White'. 
The entire bottle was only $10 and I only used up about a quarter of it on two rooms. The only other 'tools' you need are a toothbrush and some paper towels.

  Update: I've been asked how long this lasts. The greatest thing about this product is it has a sealer in it. That means that if dirt or liquid gets on the grout, it won't soak in! You can simply wipe it away. It's amazing. Our bathroom tile is constantly getting wet and dirty, but after 6 months the new painted grout still looks great.

Here's what you do.
First, squeeze a little dot out onto your grout line.


Then, using your toothbrush, scrub the grout paint into the grout line, going back and forth to make sure it has even coverage.


I worked on a small space at a time, moving quickly. 


The grout paint dries fast, so once it looks like the pic below, take a paper towel and wipe off the excess. 


After you wipe off the excess, it should look like the tiles in the pic below.


I'll be honest, it's time consuming. Each room took an entire evening....about 4 hours.

I just set up a little towel to sit on with all of my supplies, turned on the Netflix, and went to town!


I took a few breaks, (you can see where I stopped for awhile below) and then powered through!


The results are totally worth the effort.
Says the crazy girl who sat on the floor with a toothbrush for 4 hours.


And that's all for today! Thanks so much for stopping by! 
(To see how I painted my outdated tile countertop, go here.)



How to restore dirty tile grout! This is so great!



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