PAINTED KITCHEN CABINETS—WHY NOT?!

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in MUFFINTOP DIY, Uncategorized | Posted on 23-04-2014

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I know the title of this blog post probably gives some people the sweats. Because who would paint perfectly good kitchen cabinets?

ME! (And by me, I mean, a professional painter.)

You know I loves me some paint. I will paint almost anything. I will try, and admittedly sometimes fail, to DIY anything. And honestly, we contemplated painting them ourselves, but I knew deep down this would be the focal point of the room–and not just any room but THE most utilized room in the house— and if I messed it up it, well, I’d be rhymes with moooooed because I ain’t got the dinero for new cabs right now. (My side biz pole dancing has been slow. What can I say?) Also, you KNOW Larry, Curly, and Moe aka my three sons would be bathing in primer when I turned my back for an undoubtedly well deserved beer break.

THIS WAS A JOB FOR A PRO, DUDE! *AVATAR BY DAVID VISNICK

THIS WAS A JOB FOR A PRO, DUDE! *AVATAR BY DAVID VISNICK

After much research (I asked the paint guy!) I bought Sherwin Williams Duration interior latex paint for it’s durability and washability and chose Downy for the color. I wanted white but not clinical white but… not cream with any yellow undertones. The color Downy fit the bill. We could not be happier with the finished product–it’s been about a month and so far so good with wiping up splatter from all my gourmet burning and microwaving.

I have no affiliation with Sherwin-Williams (feel free to call me SW!) but I’ve been really happy with their paints and they run frequent sales for 30-40% off. You cannot beat the quality for the price. Two gallons of paint cost me around $80 bucks and the oil based primer was around $20–the painter bought the primer at Home Depot. (The oil based primer is totally migraine stinky, and you need to wait 24 hours to paint after applying it, but it is supposedly more durable so worth it IMO.) I picked up new hardware at Lowe’s off da rack for around $3 a pop in oil rubbed bronze–another good deal which helped keep costs in check while giving us a whole new look.

Everyone who sets foot in the kitchen, without fail, says it looks like a completely new kitchen, and comments about how much brighter and lighter it is. And that’s exactly what we were going for–score! You’ll see the cabinets were totally fine—they were a nice color, not too dark. But three years ago, we added granite, tile backsplash, and hardwood floors, and once we added the hardwoods, it felt like I was in a sea of orangey wood—there was no contrast between the floors and the cabs. And the truth is, for better or worse, I FOR REAL, spend the majority of my life in this room right now–scary, but true. And so I am telling you, this was worth every penny to me. I could not love this space any more. Everything stands out more now, from the floors to the backsplash to the fresh looking cabinets–and no one is competing for our kitchenly affections! I feel like it is such a cheery, bright space and it truly puts a spring in my step. (I know you’re ragging on me right now. Bring it!)

So….what do YOU think? Here is the before:

OH AND P.S. YOU CAN CLICK ON ANY OF THESE PICS TO SUPERSIZE THEM.

SORRY FOR THE IPHONE PICS. I REALLY THINK LARRY, MOE, AND CURLY ATE THE DOWNLOAD CORD TO MY REAL CAMERA.

SORRY FOR THE IPHONE PICS. I REALLY THINK LARRY, MOE, AND CURLY ATE THE DOWNLOAD CORD TO MY REAL CAMERA.

 

 

YOU ARE PROBABLY WONDERING HOW WE MANAGE TO EAT SIDEWARDS IN THIS FUN HOUSE???

YOU ARE PROBABLY WONDERING HOW WE MANAGE TO EAT SIDEWARDS IN THIS FUN HOUSE???

 

OH MAH WORD, ALL I CAN FOCUS ON IS THAT CLUTTERY CORNER...GOOD THING IT'S FREAKING SIDWARDS TO THROW YOU OFF!!!

OH MAH WORD, ALL I CAN FOCUS ON IS THAT CLUTTERY CORNER…GOOD THING IT’S FREAKING SIDWARDS TO THROW YOU OFF!!!

You get the idea…nothing against orange tones, but we felt like we were drowning in orange. Since we’ve lived here eight years now, and the house is ten years old, we thought it was acceptable to paint the cabs guilt free because they are definitely not “new”. They are builder grade cabinets and we are hoping they last until we get sick of the white!

And now…..the after:

AND WE DON'T HAVE TO EAT SIDEWARDS ANYMORE!

AND WE DON’T HAVE TO EAT SIDEWARDS ANYMORE!

 

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MY “NEW” BRIGHT KITCHEN MAKES ME HAPPY!! CUE UP MY BOYFRIEND, PHARELL!

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AND WE’RE SIDEWARDS AGAIN…LIFE IS SO HARD HERE!!!

 

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HERE’S A FULL SHOT…..

I HAD THE PAINTER ADD SOME BEADBOARD TO THE BREAKFAST BAR AND THE BOTTOM CABINET SIDES....ANOTHER HUGE TRANSFORMATION FOR SMALL $$!

I HAD THE PAINTER ADD SOME BEADBOARD TO THE BREAKFAST BAR AND THE BOTTOM CABINET SIDES….ANOTHER HUGE TRANSFORMATION FOR SMALL $$!

 

I BOUGHT THIS DECORATIVE WOOD PIECE AT HOME DEPOT FOR AROUND $8 AND HAD THE PAINTER GLUE IT UNDER THE WINE RACK AND PAINT IT. I LOVE THE ADDED DETAIL IT MAKES FOR NEXT TO NOTHING!

I BOUGHT THIS DECORATIVE WOOD PIECE AT HOME DEPOT FOR AROUND $8 AND HAD THE PAINTER GLUE IT UNDER THE WINE RACK AND PAINT IT. I LOVE THE ADDED DETAIL IT MAKES FOR NEXT TO NOTHING!

 

HERE'S A NICE CLOSE UP OF THE COLOR AND THE HARDWARE...AND OF MY CLEAN SINK...WHICH LASTED ALL OF 5 MINUTES!

HERE’S A NICE CLOSE UP OF THE COLOR AND THE HARDWARE…AND OF MY CLEAN SINK…WHICH LASTED ALL OF 5 MINUTES!

So….what do you think? Are you ready to rumble with some paint or do you think we are dummies??? I will anxiously await your thoughts while I drink my beer in a can sidewards……in my “new” bright kitchen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE ONLY SECRETARY I’LL EVER HAVE—VIVA THE FLIP TOP DESK

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in MUFFINTOP DIY, Uncategorized | Posted on 29-01-2014

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Who wouldn’t love a secretary?

“I’m terribly sorry, Muffintopmommy cannot come to the phone right now, she is rather busy watching the Biebs burst into flames, whilst snacking on a Pop Tart. May I take a message and she will return your call when Real Housewives is over and the keg has runneth dry?”

Dreams are free people, come on! Come fly with me—-it’s one degree out and life is too short!

Ahem….if you can’t afford a real, live secretary…..tada! How about a flip top desk aka secretary? A year ago, the husband and I decided to paint our family room—when I looked at the gold I’d chosen years earlier, a French’s mustard nightmare is all I saw. What was I thinking? Add those walls to the list of personal and societal transgressions—pegged pants, banana clips, Caillou…need I go on??? This of course set off the inevitable chain of decorating and DIY events. One thing we despised about our family room were two indentations, roughly three feet wide, on either side of the fireplace. Total wasted, awkward space; they screamed for built ins. Finally, we decided to get a quote. And….nooooo. Moneymoneymoneymoneeeeee! Thanks for playing…..If only these pesky kids didn’t need to eat all the time.

Type B, Plan B. Craigslist ho’ing. I love the lines of the old secretary desks, and just like the sideboards, they are as sturdy and practical as they are beautiful. Dood! More drawers to hide stuff in style—I’m all in. I wanted one with a serpentine aka curvy front for added interest, and I held out until I found the right deal. Scored one for $75, solid cherry, Dovetail drawers, a little banged up but overall a solid piece. Due to the unfortunate 6 year old dumping my phone in the toilette incident of 2013, I do not have any before or during pics (but I do have eyewitnesses who saw me painting in the driveway!). This is a different one currently for sale on the CL, and is roughly what it looked like prior:

Behold...a facsimile!

Behold…a facsimile!

And…..after:

Cue up Stevie Wonder..."Isn't she loveeeely...."

Cue up Stevie Wonder…”Isn’t she loveeeely….”

Why are my pictures sidewards again???????? *puts down Pop Tart to investigate…..

Here you can see the indentation of which I speak and see how great the secretary fits in!

Here you can see the indentation of which I speak and see how great the secretary fits in!

*finishes Pop Tart….yeah, I still don’t know….*&^% Too bad I don’t have a secretary to ask! Damn!

Anyway, this is how the DIY went down….I painted the drawers and the outside of the piece in Annie Sloan chalk paint in old white, distressed it lightly, and added a coat of clear wax and a coat of dark wax, just like the demilune shaped sideboard in my last post. The biggest benefit to using Annie Sloan paint is that you don’t have to prime first. However, in this instance, because it was a reddish toned wood to start, I found with the old white it needed one more coat than usual—I did experience some reddish bleed through. Something to keep in mind if you’re doing a similar project.

Also, Annie Sloan paint dries to a flat finish, and that’s why you add the wax step after painting—the wax protects the piece, but it also adds a lovely silky feeling to the finish. As for distressing, that’s totally a personal preference. Some hate it, some love it. I like it but try to limit it to places on the piece that might have naturally worn away over time. On this piece I chose to keep the hardware because it’s classic and I really can’t imagine any other hardware on it. I painted right over the hardware and distressed that in places as well, and I do like how it turned out. You could always unscrew the hardware and spray paint it if you wanted a different look for a minimal price, as I did with the demilune.

Here is the finish up close...

Here is the finish up close…

I kept the inside of the secretary in the cherry finish because it was in decent shape and it cleaned up well with a coat of Restor-A-Finish. It could probably use another coat as it’s been several months. And check out the cool compartments inside the flip top! You invest in a piece like this and it can truly perform so many functions—it could be used as a writing desk, a lovely addition to a dining room to store dishes, or even a bedroom piece. If you had an old school bathroom, you could use it to store linens. I have a feeling my little secretary friend will serve me well for years, even if we wind up moving from the house with the awkward indentations some day!

Annnd....we're sidewards again. Have you been drinking?

Annnd….we’re sidewards again. Have you been drinking?

AGGH! For now, my little workhorse can house stuff like this…

It was no Trouble to finish this....I'm not Sorry I bought it...(I'll regret this like the French's mustard paint, won't I? Badum dum...)

It was no Trouble to finish this….I’m not Sorry I bought it…(I’ll regret this like the French’s mustard paint, won’t I? Badum dum…)

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I should really hide some top secret shiz in here….

I'm not gonna lie..I'm digging the two tone....

I’m not gonna lie..I’m digging the two tone….

As you can see, it is not perfect. And that’s okay— just like C is for cookie, it’s good enough for me! I’ve already found Lego’s and Beyblades bouncing around in there, so until the Queen of England comes to stay, we are good! (And even then? Pfft. What has she done for me lately?!!)

So that’s it—–if I can do it? You can too. Any questions before I go get my Bravo TV on?????

WHADDYA KNOW? I’M A CRAIGSLIST HO! ALSO? I’M BAAAACK.

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in MUFFINTOP DIY, Uncategorized | Posted on 22-01-2014

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I know, it’s been a while.

Anyone still out there?

Haaaaaallllloooooo?

I couldn’t stay away. I mean, I could. I did. I even forgot how to get on this thing. Dude, seriously. I did. But, I’ve been doing a whizness business of DIY’ing over the past year and it seems like I can’t stop. So? I thought I’d share some of my projects and hope they can inspire some of you, while still reserving the right to rant about nothingness if the mood strikes. This is not Martha Stewart’s blog. This? This is more like her wicked bourgeois step cousin once removed who drinks beer out of a can, buys store bought Valentine’s in the box, and produce in a bag because she’s too lazy to wash her own damn greens always sometimes. Hey ecoli, give me a shout out if that triple wash promise on the bag ain’t true, would ya?

See, it all started because I got really bitter that my three sons would bust everything nice I had. Literally. But I still wanted my house to look cute, and so, a type B DIYer was born. Once I found Craigslist and realized I could buy stuff, not get murdered (yes!), and make the stuff actually look halfway decent for short dough, I was all in.

This is the DIY blog for Type B, laid back lazy, and/or economically challenged mamas who choose to feed and clothe their offspring rather than shop at the store we all have lovehatelovehate relations with, Lottery Barn. Btw, if you are breaking out in hives right now and your OCD is kicking, get off my lawn now–you will not survive my ‘eyeballing it’, ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’, and ‘meh, no one’s gonna look THAT close’, attitudes. You will want to smother me in my sleep and really, that will help no one. So you ready to get this party started? Sing it!

From shizz to shine, all on a dime.

I gots to save mah money for cute shoes and wine.

So let me not briefly review some of my projects—some of which I shared with you in more detail last year when I didn’t know if this was just a phase like exercising and avoiding alcohol on weekdays! (Also, I have some bad news–many of my pics are a. iPhone quality –let’s review, type B, and who would trust me with a good camera? and b. many were lost due to a tragic incident where 6 year old might have dropped my old phone in the toilette….and now you know why I shop on Craigslist!)

Anywho! Let’s do the best we can with what we have! Today we’re gonna talk sideboards. Let me say, my love affair with sideboards came to fruition when it dawned on me that they not only make a lovely statement in a room and add lighting, HELLO, they are a place to hide crap when your OCD, Type A friends are coming over and you fear they will sign you up for Hoarders. Score!

Sideboard #1, this is my dining room and this is where all the magic started. I got it for $25. No, seriously. Here’s the original post and here are some pics:

HERE SHE IS!!! AIN'T SHE GRAND?!!!!!

HERE SHE IS!!! AIN’T SHE GRAND?!!!!!

This was her before:

ONE DAY IN CASA DE LA MUFFIN TOP GARAGE AND ALREADY, CLUNKITY JUNK ALL OVER IT. CAN YOU SEE THE SCRATCHES ON IT? SHE WAS A BANGED UP DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH....

ONE DAY IN CASA DE LA MUFFIN TOP GARAGE AND ALREADY, CLUNKITY JUNK ALL OVER IT. CAN YOU SEE THE SCRATCHES ON IT? SHE WAS A BANGED UP DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH….

 

Sideboard #2:

Ok, this one still bothers me because I bought it from a lovely newlywed couple for only $60 and it came with a mirror that I now have hanging in my dining room above sideboard #1. (Pics to follow!) I painted it a champagne color. I feel like I stole it but they just weren’t into it. Here’s the before–look at those lines! Look at those legs!

BEFORE

BEFORE

 

And…….after. She was sort of banged up on the top, so I used some stuff called Restor-A-Finish because I had no clue how to strip something and restain it but wanted a two tone look. Enter the lazy girl solution! You wipe the stuff on and boom. For real. And no, I am not getting anything to pimp Restor-A-Finish since this is my FIRST official DIY post of 2014 AD! (But feel free to call me, sponsors. Mama needs new Spanx!) It worked great and has held up. The bottom got two coats of Annie Sloan chalk paint in old white with clear wax and dark wax (wax on, wax off!) and I spray painted the hardware in oil rubbed bronze. Dude. So easy. Be not afraid.

TADA!

TADA!

Here is a closeup of the hardware which I just think is so pretty, and the sideboard in action today, a year later. (Of course I’m not opening those drawers–but yes, they are dovetailed and yes, they do have crap in them!) And yes, I know Christmas was a month ago but how can I take that fabulous deer wreath down so soon????

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Yeah, I have no idea why this came out sidewards but I’m not going to waste valuable TMZ time to fix it. Just turn your head to the left. Annnnnd, now your cardio is done for the day. You’re welcome!

They do not make hardware like this today!

They do not make hardware like this today!

So just proving that decorating can evolve and it’s fun (and free!) to move stuff around your house, please see the mirror from this sideboard over the green one, post spray paint. I updated it for the very LONG holiday season with an ornament wreath.

Dude, you can't get a mirror at Homegoods for $60, never mind WITH a sideboard. Crazy, right? Btw, who is PUNKING me with these sideways pics? Come on!

Dude, you can’t get a mirror at Homegoods for $60, never mind WITH a sideboard. Crazy, right? Btw, who is PUNKING me with these sideways pics? Come on!

 

Once again, a very Merry sideways Christmas to you and yours!

Once again, a very Merry sideways Christmas to you and yours!

Finally! Sideboard #3. My MIL had this for years and gave it to us last year and we shoved it in our garage and gasp! used it for storage. It was banged up, mostly I’m afraid after being in our garage for a year. I regret there are no before pics but I sanded the top down with a palm sander, primed it, and it got two coats of semi-gloss black–it took me all of a few hours out of my day.

TADA!

I LIVE AND BREATHE. IT'S NOT ON ITS SIDE!

I LIVE AND BREATHE. IT’S NOT ON ITS SIDE!

I do have a pic of the original color because I didn’t paint the inside of the piece. I’ll get to that soon never! Really, why would I bother? Are you gonna come to my house and open my drawers? Good luck to you if you do!

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OH WAIT, THAT'S ME SHOWING OFF MY NEW KOOZIE MITTEN.

Seriously? How would I find time to live the vida loca with my new koozie mitten if I was busy painting the insides of things????

 

So the deets….The acrylic glass knobs are from Home Depot and I bought the fork and spoon hardware on Amazon because I thought it would be fun for the kitchen. The lamp I moved from a hall table upstairs, the wine cork jar was on the cream sideboard and I still want to move that to a smaller jar, the cookbooks I had on the other sideboard, the owl was in another part of my kitchen, and the vintage scale I scored at a local shop for only $20! Oh and the framed print of wine country above is from a pre-kids trip from another lifetime!!!! So for very short money–about $30, I got a whole new look for this part of my kitchen! My MIL came over the other day, exclaimed she loved it, and wanted to know where I got it. Not kidding. So there, that makes this blog VALID! You can totally change the look of something with a little elbow grease and some imagination–it might even be lurking in your basement or garage and cost zeros dineros! (You don’t even need imagination! Go on Pinterest and steal other people’s ideas, hello. It’s not even a sin you need to confess to your local padre–that’s the whole point of it!)

Close up of the hardware or, the bling that makes this piece SING!

And so, if you look at my paint job closely, you'll see some crackling. I totally meant to do that! It's possible that's the result of hastily painting in a 15 degree garage--I have no idea!

And so, if you look at my paint job closely, you’ll see some crackling. I totally meant to do that! It’s possible that’s the result of hastily painting in a 15 degree garage–I have no idea!

So I hope this was fun and you feel inspired to go DIY something up or have a beer in your mitten–whatever rocks your world? Wanna come back next time? I hope you do!

 

 

 

 

 

MUFFIN TOP DIY—OOPS, I DID IT AGAIN.

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 10-01-2013

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Itch, itch.

I’ve been bitten. By the DIY bug. I started and now I can’t stop. All aboard the cray, cray, crazy train????

Backstory…..Hubs promised 7 year old a desk last year so he would have a quiet (?? Under this roof? Dude.) place to do his homework. In theory, I like this idea because often wild hyenas little bros jump all over him, literally, when he’s trying to do homework. But this promise, made by a well meaning man, did not take into consideration that a first grader generally needs supervision and/or help with homework by a trusted adult or zookeeper. So, I procrastinated and then, to be honest, suffered from desk sticker shock. A little kids desk should not cost more than grown up furniture or a bender to Vegas. Wolfpack!

I'M SORRY, WHAT POTTERY BARN? YOU WANT $500 FOR THIS THING? FOR $500 IT BETTER GET MY KID INTO HARVARD SOME DAY!

 

What.a.racket. Even a simple desk at the unfinished wood store was a few hundred bucks and then you still need to prime and paint it.

No, Homie, no.

Enter my fun Craigslist furor! Feeling emboldened that hubs didn’t get stabbed with a pitchfork on the last Craigslist run I sent him on (let’s review…still alive….yay!), I had him grab this little beauty (and by little beauty, I mean, please disregard my Appalachia garage once again. The rest of the garage, like where I keep my beer, is extremely pristine. Note the funny angle because I was wedged between a bumper and a desk. Good thing I’m so skinnayyyyy! I mean, aren’t I getting to be a pro at this! Better Homes and Gardens will surely call me for these professional before and after shots!) Let me say we are 2 for 2 with no bodily harm–woot. Desk guy is a hipster and it was his dad’s desk—a cool, sturdy, dovetailed, well made Maddox desk. (Oh son, you might regret selling that one day but….fitty US dollahs says that ain’t my problem!) The top even has a glass top so 7 year old can put old ticket stubs and baseball cards underneath, or I might put a world map under there because he’s really into geography all of a sudden. (No, we can’t go to London for school vacation, dude. I am buying you a desk on Craigslist, connect the dots you high fallutin’ little thing! God save the queen and you save your pennies!)  So here she is:

I KNOW. I KNOW. AT THIS POINT I DON'T EVEN THINK A MOUSE WOULD LIVE IN OUR SCARY ASS GARAGE. COOL DESK THOUGH, HUH?

So this is the part where I tell you after I gushed all over the Annie Sloan paint that I used for my sideboard that I actually didn’t use it on this piece. Ahh. WHY, GOD, WHY?!! For this, I wanted a vibrant, glossy, strong red.  So I went with Heritage Red by Benjamin Moore in the semi-gloss (they can’t do gloss in red, boo) and I LOVE it. What I didn’t love? Priming and then painting that $hit thing three times! Wedged in a small space in my basement. (Again, skinnayyy! Not. I couldn’t walk for two days because twisting an almost 40 year old muffin top like a pretzel ain’t coo. But I love my boy!!!!! And he, in second grade now, needs a quiet place to do his homework all by himself. Not really. No. Not at all. )

GUYS, GREAT GAME BUT I GOTTA RUN. MY MOM PAINTED ME A DESK AND I CANNOT WAIT TO SIT DOWN ALONE AND DO ALL MY SPELLING WORDS. TWICE. .

No really.  Here is the result of my blood, sweat, tears, and salty linguistics:

WHAT'S UP, POTTERY BARN?!!!

I forgot to mention, I probably could have kept the old hardware, but I really wanted a total update so I scored those pulls for roughly $3 each at Lowe’s. I love the look with the red.

You know, even my brandy new slippers from Santa took a hit on this project…..

THIS IS NOT EASY WORK, PEOPLE. I CAN ONLY IMAGINE HOW MICHAELANGELO'S DEARFORMS LOOKED.

The pink slips are now striped in red in places—every time I get something pink it gets sucked into the vortex of this frat house, I swear. But how about his chair?

HERE'S THE DESK IN ACTION....THAT LOOKS LIKE SERIOUS HOMEWORK HUH? AND THE CHAIR!

 

So I thought I was all DIY sly. I had a Windsor chair in my basement collecting dust that I was gonna paint, and boom, the seat was too wide to fit under the desk. DIY disaster! DIY disaster!  So I shot down to the local consignment shop and picked up that awesome ladderback chair with rush seat (in primo condition) which I LOVE. $15 dollahollah!!! It was a reddish cherry stain which would have clashed big time. I primed the chair and used some blue paint with primer combo (Behr–could not read the name on the label. Probably because I’m OLD!!!!). We had it kicking around from some previous furniture painting shenanigans. This thing took four coats and honestly? It needs one more.

Annie Sloan, I bow to your genius.

$15 and not over $100 like rhymes with Lottery Smarm!

 

So that’s it—I think I scored another muffin top DIY bahgain. If I can do it, you can too.

$50 bucks for desk

$15 for chair

$18 for paint

$21ish for knobs (They were $3 and change each. I forget! I’m an obvious accounting major!)

Swearing and multicolored slippers….free

For a grand total of….$104 and change!

(Plus the cost of admission to Harvard. I’m sure I can find some used textbooks on Craigslist!)