If You Give a Girl a Paintbrush

About a week ago, I emptied out my front hall closet with the full intention of making it beautiful and functional.  Then I let it sit for a week.  I told Alex that I was going to finish it over the weekend and when Sunday came my sister and I made the sojourn to Home Depot for supplies.  We stopped by his work to say hi and ask him if he needed anything from Target (we were having a bit of a shopping spree).   He didn’t want anything so we headed out on our way.  Leaving him with the false assumption that the closet was all we would be doing.

When we made it home, she grabbed a paint brush and I grabbed a roll of painter’s tape.  I began working in the closet and she began working in the kitchen.  The full details of the closet’s transformation can be found here.  I took breaks throughout my project to put roller to the kitchen walls.  Go big or go home, right?



The closet is a breath of fresh air.  It also pushed me to get my room and closet upstairs more organized. It was relatively quick and made a huge impact on the living area.  However, what I’m most excited about is what happened in the kitchen.  After painting the cabinets,  all I could think about what getting rid of the terrible yellow I had painted the walls when we first moved in. It was a mistake.  When the cabinets were brown, it was too terrible, but after they were painted white the walls looked unintentionally yellow. It was a gross look and it had to go.  My sister did a great job.  She really did most of the work and for that I’ll always be grateful.  We went with Bedford Gray by Martha Stewart, if you were wondering.  I’m in love with it.



The kitchen still has a long way to go. I need to change out the outlets for white ones,  repair the soffet above the stove (water damage), install a backsplash, find drawer pulls, put down new tile, and do something about the brick above the fire place.  I used to worry about what to do with the countertops, but with the freshly painted cabinets and walls, I actually love them!

So that’s the story about how one small closet project became painting the closet and the entire kitchen as well.  Have you ever started a project that snowballed into something bigger?  Any big projects last weekend?


UPDATE:  I showed Alex’s dad/our landlord the painted kitchen and he asked if we got new counters.  Haha! That’s how much the new color (and probably the freshly painted cabinets) made an impact.



I think I might understand why mothers will go through the pain of childbirth once and choose to do it again.  After painting my kitchen cabinets, I feel like I can relate.  Because those two things are extremely similar and definitely equal amounts of pain. I feel like a survivor. These were my kitchen cabinets. I don’t have anything against wood or brown cabinetry, actually I like it a lot.  My cabinets, however, were is pretty bad shape.


Around every knob, there was a worn away patch were you could see that these were not in fact made of wood at all.  They were also very dark in a house that tends to be rather dark.  In a townhouse, we don’t have many windows.  The kitchen is the room that gets the most light and it still looked dreary thanks to these cabinets.


I decided to do something about it. I got my handy dandy (brand new) toolbox and got to work.  I just received this toolbox from my dad and step-mom for Christmas. It included this screwdriver, and it was a godsend for this project!  Removing all the hardware would have been the biggest chore without it.


First, I removed all the doors. Let’s not judge the content of my cabinets, ok friends? I’m 24. I do what I want. We sanded everything down with a sanding block and medium grit sandpaper.  After sanding, we wiped down all the surfaces with a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar to get any residual grease and dust off.


Alex was incredibly helpful while I slaved away removing hinges and knobs.


After two coats of primer, things were looking life changing. Every ten seconds I would yell at my sister, “Are you dying right now?  This is the greatest day of my life. I can’t believe this is happening!”   She was instrumental in helping me get this done. It’s definitely a multi-person project. One of us would go around and edge and get in the nooks and crannies of the doors with a 1″ angled brush and the other would cover all the smooth areas with a trim roller for an even finish.


Here they are after 2 coats of primer and at least 2 coats of paint. We used Behr’s Clear Moon and we love it.  I used the original hinges and the knobs I talked about in this post.  They are both an antiqued nickel finish.  I haven’t gotten drawer pulls yet because finding pulls that are 3 1/2 inches center to center AND in a similar finish is pretty difficult. Lowes and Home Depot both carry 1 drawer pull in that size in the store and neither suited our kitchen.



Can we talk about how I’m really in love with the lines of the cabinets?  They aren’t something you see all over the place and I like how architectural they are.  I’ve been waiting 2 1/2 years to do this project and now that it’s done it is like a breath of fresh air.  It was totally worth the 4 coats and the sanding and having a pulled apart kitchen for 2 weeks. We had to do most of this stuff after work and the doors had to be done in groups of 5-7.


Hello Beautiful.


Hopefully we can get the walls painted a more palatable color (pun intended) sometime soon.  For now I’m going to relish how lovely the cabinets are.

It’s Been Sunk

I will have a longer and more photo heavy update post on the bathroom, but our bathroom is on the last leg of it’s long journey!  The most important part is that the freaking sink and vanity combo is in and it works! If I had to look at one more sink I think I might have thrown a toddler style tantrum in the middle of Home Depot.  I hung art and the mirror that I updated, installed the faucet and painted the walls so it really look like it’s coming together. Not sure about the color right now, but it’s growing on me.

Our updated to do list (66% done):


That’s all for today. I started a new project with my mom so await an update on that.

The Unsinkable Bathroom Part 2

I posted about the debacle that was going on with the sink pretty recently.  I say debacle because it’s been an aggravating situation with a bunch of people trying to tell me which direction to go in. Keep the sink. Don’t keep the sink. Get a new vanity. Find a different sink. Keep the vanity and forget about ever having a sink. Burn your bathroom to the ground. I was in favor of the latter. I decided to give sink finding a last ditch effort and I went to HOBO and Habitat for Humanity Restore and Home Depot and I looked at Lowes.com. Then, as if in a dream, this vanity/sink combo arose from the ashes of my frustration, took my hand and guided me back to sanity.

It said to me, “Katie, guess what? I don’t have a back splash! I’m modern and a little unique, but still small enough to fit in your powder room. AND they took $60 off me just for this weekend. BUY ME.”  So in an impulsive flick of the debit card, I did.  That night I returned the other vanity to Home Depot all the while apologizing for abandoning it. I sent Alex to pick up the new vanity the next day, but it didn’t fit in his car.  We’ll have to go back tonight.

I’m a bit nervous about the pipes and whether or not they’ll fit in the cabinet.  I don’t know the exact height of the bottom of the cabinet portion of the vanity so I’m going to cross all my fingers and everything else I have to hope that this just ends up working out in my favor. Wish me luck.

The Unsinkable Bathroom

A few months ago, I was perusing the As Is section at my local Ikea and came upon this:


A clean and modern sink that will fit in my bathroom for $30? Yes please.  It was a bit of an impulse buy, but I loved it. I brought it home and placed it in the garage until it was time to install the vanity.  A few weeks went by and we tiled and tiled and admittedly put the project on pause a few times.  Soon I realized we would need to get a vanity.  I measured the width of the sink and placed an order with Home Depot for this vanity for $128.

Foremost Denman 24 in. Vanity Cabinet Only in Espresso

I wanted patiently for a text from Home Depot to arrive to tell me I could come pick up my new vanity.  As soon as I got it, I got Alex into the Sentra and we excitedly made our way to the store. We picked up the vanity (and some new house keys) and almost couldn’t get it into the car. As soon as we got home, I had to take it out and put the hardware on.  Then I just HAD to put the sink on “for a dry run.” Guess what I didn’t measure?  The depth of the sink. It’s about 3 inches too short. I could have cried. I really thought the bathroom purchases were done.

Today is the day decisions are made. We already tried HOBO for a different sink, but they don’t carry any sinks in that size in white. Because they hate me, I’m sure of it. Tonight we try out the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  If we don’t find anything there then I am buying a generic white sink from Home Depot and calling it a day.