TARGET WALLPAPER, A PAINTED VANITY, AND DIY BOARD AND BATTEN MOLDING IN ONE, SMALL POWDER ROOM.

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in MUFFINTOP DIY, Uncategorized | Posted on 23-06-2014

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Here is a tale of a “simple”, small project that turned into a runaway train faster than I could mutter Mich Ultra. I am going to tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly, straight up. Buckle up, because one project turned into at least three.

My half bath on my first floor had seen better days. For months I’d been trolling Pinterest for ideas, and was intrigued with the idea of board and batten molding. I thought it actually looked like it might be a fairly easy DIY project for someone like me with limited skillz and tools. Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I was on a local kitchen tour in my town. I spied the molding in one of the homes that happened to be owned by a builder. Having the chance to see the molding up close and personal inspired me because I realized there were NO angle cuts involved. And if that was good enough for his beautiful custom house, it was good enough for me!

There I was with 5 year old in Lowe’s at lunch time a week later, when, on a total low blood sugary whim, I decided we were going to install molding. THAT DAY. We grabbed a wheely thing and loaded it up with 2×6 pine boards and 6 feet tall thinner boards (I forget the name of them—I’m so professional). I grabbed a box of finish nails and we were off! I dropped about $35 on wood and nails for the project. Not bad! (Faux pro tip: invest in a $5 level!)

I had a hammer at home and a manual miter box and saw. I think the miter box kits cost around $10 bucks. Here is the box–I used a hand saw and this box to cut everysinglepieceofwood. Are you there arthritis, it’s me, Muffintopmommy! By the end I was sweating and my hands were cramped but I did it! The thin, six foot boards I cut in two to make two three feet boards times….again and again. And again. I lost count. Math. Not my strong suit.

CALL ME BOB VILA. I'M FOR HIRE.

CALL ME BOB VILA. I’M FOR HIRE.

Here is a rough idea of what the room looked like before.

I SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN A TRUE BEFORE SHOT BEFORE I STARTED MY JOB AND TOOK AWAY ONE OF THE BASKETS, ETC, BUT YOU GET THE IDEA!

I SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN A TRUE BEFORE SHOT BEFORE I STARTED MY JOB AND TOOK AWAY ONE OF THE BASKETS, ETC, BUT YOU GET THE IDEA!

I still liked my vanity a lot–we had ripped out the builder vanity three years ago and installed this one ourselves. Over the past three years of getting clanged and banged by three boys, its espresso finish was starting to look banged up. I decided after I installed the board and batten I’d paint it grey.

But first! My molding.

Truth time. Mistake number one that I made was the baseboard moldings. There is a lot of debate about installing board and batten and how to deal with moldings like mine—pretty common ones that have a curved cut at the top versus the 90 degree angle boards used for board and batten. I thought ripping out moldings without damaging my paper mache walls was above my pay grade and I still think I was right. Instead, I decided to just rest the bottom of the vertical boards on top of the ridge at the top of my baseboard molding. Confused yet? Yup, me too! After I finished the chair rail and vertical boards and surveyed my work that first night, I wasn’t satisfied with how it looked.

SEE THE VERTICAL BOARDS JUST RESTING ON THE BASEBOARD?

SEE THE VERTICAL BOARDS JUST RESTING ON THE BASEBOARD?

So after feeling like I was finished, I decided to add the same wood I used for the chair rail and install it in between the vertical boards or else it would bug me for all eternity. Or at least every time I took care of biz. This was NOT fun because I had to do lots of measurements. It wasn’t hard–it was just tedious, and it’s a little harder to saw through the 2×6 boards. But I did it. ROAR. In retrospect? It would have been easier to do the bottom board at the same time as the chair rail–in one long board, instead of having to cut random shorter boards to go in between the vertical boards. If I’d done that, I would have had to make way less cuts on the horizontal boards, and even cuts on all the vertical boards. Now we know, people!

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SORRY FOR THE TOILETTE SHOT, BUT JUST KEEPING IT REAL. PERHAPS FOR MY FIRST ATTEMPT AT THIS PROJECT, I SHOULD HAVE AVOIDED A ROOM WITH SMALL SPACES THAT WOULD BETTER SUIT SOMEONE HOBBIT SIZE!

SORRY FOR THE TOILETTE SHOT, BUT JUST KEEPING IT REAL. PERHAPS FOR MY FIRST ATTEMPT AT THIS PROJECT, I SHOULD HAVE AVOIDED A ROOM WITH SMALL SPACES THAT WOULD BETTER SUIT SOMEONE HOBBIT SIZE!

In retrospect, it would have been easier to first attempt this project in a room that was more square with less angles and less awkwardly small spaces. This is what I get for impulsively buying wood and nails when I’m hangry and with a 5 year old who tells me what an awesome idea I have because he thinks he’s going to get to hammer nails! (Chill social services, he just held the tape measure!) I wound up rocking some funky yoga poses with my hammer and nails due to the minion bathroom I was working in. We won’t talk about my vocabulary! The other thing that would have made much more sense, would have been to paint the bottom half of the wall first. I am pretty sure I did about six coats of white. I lost count. Wo-manual labor ain’t easy. Really. Again, more with the squeezing into hobbit sized spaces and swearing. Who am I?

I’m a bad person. (But I love my new bathroom!)

I FORGET WHAT #COAT THIS IS. I HAVE PTSD.

I FORGET WHAT #COAT THIS IS. I HAVE PTSD.

 

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See the straight cut? Not too bad!

After I finished the board and batten, and planned to paint the vanity grey, I decided if I painted the vanity grey, that I needed new knobs. And, I was dying to try the new Target wallpaper, so I decided I’d paper the top half of the bathroom above the chair rail. And if I did that, I’d have to paint the mirror, which was an oil rubbed bronze color.

RUN-A-WAY TRAIN.

If you’ve contemplated trying the Tarjay wallpaper, let me say I found it difficult to work with. It is fabulous in that it is peel and stick paper that is easy to remove and move around BUT…..the flip side is it is roughly the texture and weight of contact paper. I thought the paper would cover up some imperfections in my wall and it did not. Personally, I think this paper would be best in small spaces. It would pack a serious punch for example lining the back of book shelves, built ins, maybe the top of a coffee table? Once I pain stakingly hung the paper behind my vanity and exercised my salty vocab skills A-GAIN, I had to revise my plans—the wall behind the vanity became an accent wall and that was that—my mental health nor my wallet could survive doing even a hobbit sized room in this $hit. I spent $30 on one roll of paper to do that small wall and probably have enough left for a teeny weeny project. There is, of course, waste due to lining up the patterns. (Death to faux wallpaper!)

Love the pattern though–there are lots of fun ones, and I love that it prompted me to try something new in a color I wouldn’t ordinarily choose. I feel like my powder room is a ray of sunshine, literally, and know I will come to appreciate it more during our cold ass winters!

Here are some pics of the paper:

NOT AS WIDE AS I ENVISIONED. LE SIGH.

NOT AS WIDE AS I ENVISIONED. LE SIGH.

ONE STRIP UP. AND GUESS WHAT? IT DIDN'T LINE UP WELL IN CORNER--CROOKED WALL OR CROOKED MUFFIN TOP!

ONE STRIP UP. AND GUESS WHAT? IT DIDN’T LINE UP WELL IN CORNER–CROOKED WALL OR CROOKED MUFFIN TOP!

NEXT STRIP. MORE SWEARING WHILE TRYING TO LINE IT UP.

NEXT STRIP. MORE SWEARING WHILE TRYING TO LINE IT UP.

THE MOFO IS DONE! BUT NOW I DECIDE I NEED TO ADD QUARTER ROUND TO CAMO THE CROOKEDNESS THAT IS REVEALED! CHOO CHOO!

THE MOFO IS DONE! BUT NOW I DECIDE I NEED TO ADD QUARTER ROUND TO CAMO THE CROOKEDNESS THAT IS REVEALED! CHOO CHOO!

PRE QUARTER ROUND AROUND MY FUN WALLPAPER!

PRE QUARTER ROUND AROUND MY FUN WALLPAPER!

 

I brought the paper to Sherwin-Williams and had them color match me some paint in Emerald because I wasn’t about to try the Target “Devine Color” paint after my wallpaper debacle was less than devine. Sorry Target.

ANOTHER DEBACLE. RUSTOLEUM HAMMERED NICKEL SPRAY PAINT? NO! VALSPAR METALLIC NICKEL. YES! BRAIN DAMAGE FROM BREATHING 345 COATS OF SPRAY PAINT? ABSOLUTELY!

ANOTHER DEBACLE. RUSTOLEUM HAMMERED NICKEL SPRAY PAINT? NO! VALSPAR METALLIC NICKEL. YES! BRAIN DAMAGE FROM BREATHING 345 COATS OF SPRAY PAINT? ABSOLUTELY!

 

THIS HOBBIT SPACE WAS FUN TO PAINT!

THIS HOBBIT SPACE WAS FUN TO PAINT!

I sanded the vanity, gave it one coat of white primer, and then three coats of Ben Moore Chelsea grey mixed in Sherwin-Williams Duration. (30% off paint sale—sorry Ben, I did use you.) I used a combination of a small cabinet roller and angled Purdy brush. The knobs look like $5.99 worth of cut crystal (I’m fancaaaay!) from Home Depot. They look so awesome in the light! Truly! LOVE LOVE LOVE.

PRIMER. YUCK.

PRIMER. YUCK.

 

PAINT AND BLING KNOBS UP CLOSE.

PAINT AND BLING KNOBS UP CLOSE.

The grey definitely has some green tones. I was truthfully going for more of a charcoal but I do love it.

HERE IS A CLOSE UP OF THE VANITY AREA.

HERE IS A CLOSE UP OF THE VANITY AREA.

 

TOTALLY FORGOT (SPRAY PAINT FUMES....)...HAD TO SPRAY THE BASKETS WHITE BECAUSE THE OLD TANNISH COLOR WAS NO BUENO ANYMORE. ALSO? THESE BASKETS USED TO BE AT THE BOTTOM OF MY CHANGING TABLE. REPURPOSE..OH YEAH!

TOTALLY FORGOT (SPRAY PAINT FUMES….)…HAD TO SPRAY THE BASKETS WHITE BECAUSE THE OLD TANNISH COLOR WAS NO BUENO ANYMORE. ALSO? THESE BASKETS USED TO BE AT THE BOTTOM OF MY CHANGING TABLE. REPURPOSE..OH YEAH!

IS IT WRONG I TOOK MORE PICS OF MY TOILET THIS MONTH THAN MY KIDS?

IS IT WRONG I TOOK MORE PICS OF MY TOILET THIS MONTH THAN MY KIDS?

Meet my new fave friend, this adorable deer. Which is crooked, because the hooks on the back of him are crooked. And the hook on the picture frame is crooked. I swear. It’s not me–it’s them.

It is!

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A FEW BUCKS WORTH OF FRESH FLOWERS MAKE ME HAPPY AND ADD MORE COLOR. ESPECIALLY IN AN OLD MILK JUG.

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IF YOU REMEMBER NOTHING ELSE FROM THIS POST, WASH YOUR HANDS!

Also?

SAFETY GOGGLES SHOULD BE USED WHEN HAMMERING NAILS. I WOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT IF I HADN'T SNORTED THE SPRAY PAINT.

SAFETY GOGGLES SHOULD BE USED WHEN HAMMERING NAILS. I WOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT IF I HADN’T SNORTED THE SPRAY PAINT.

 

 

 

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THAT’S IT! What are you waiting for?? For around $100 bucks–if you’re not a type A personality and you don’t mind a crooked wall here or there, you can have a whole new look in your bathroom. And, get a hell of a yoga workout in. Bonus! (Not really.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WE HAVE A WINNAH! AND OTHER RANDOMOSITY…..

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Awesomeness, Boys, boys, boys! And did I mention, boys?, Friends...you got what I ne-ed, Mom-ness, OH &^%$!!, Random Rage, Retail Therapy, Uncategorized | Posted on 20-02-2013

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SO…

We have a winnah of the Honeywell Energy Smart 360 Heater!

As promised, the drawing was random:

YUP, THAT'S A DARTMOUTH HAT. NOPE, I DIDN'T GO THERE. WOULD AN IVY LEAGUER EMPLOY SUCH LOW TECH RAFFLE METHODS? I DID DRINK THERE ONCE AND WHEN I WEAR THE HAT, I FEEL ALL NH GOOD WILL HUNTING.

Child labor ensured the process ran smoothly, efficiently, and with the utmost of integrity:

NO PEEKSIES. HE'S A PROFESSIONAL.

 

AND, WE HAVE A WINNAH!

"BECKY B! BECKY B! BECKY B IS THE GUY WHO WON THE PRIZE! WAIT, WHAT IS THE PRIZE?"

 

I told him Becky B. is a gal, and that the prize is the heater. I don’t think he much cared. He raced around the family room with the slip of paper, “Becky BEEEEEEEEEEE.” Becky, five year old will never forget ya! Congrats! Email me your deets to janet@muffintopmommy.com and your heater will be on its way soon.

As for the rest of you, I am only sorry you couldn’t ALL be winners, kind of like child athletes. But I only had ONE special heater to give. I recommend the rest of you steer clear of state lotteries, casinos, and possibly even Bingo (Those octogenarians will trample you with their HurryCane. They will.). I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, but you lost in a 1 in 18 chance raffle. Hold on to your money, honey!

I decided to celebrate Becky B’s win. And simultaneously drown my sorrows about your loss. We are the world.

ALSO, I HAD TO TRY OUT MY NEW FUN WINE GLASS. I LOVE IT--IT SCREAMS, "STEP OFF BOYS, THIS IS MAMA'S GLASS!", BUT IN FRENCH... IT MADE MY CHIANTI TASTE EVEN BETTER---THE ONLY RED WINE I CAN INGEST WITHOUT WINDING UP IN FETAL POSITION. YIPPEE!

Speaking of Vegas, the Boston weatherman said today that a funky storm system that is in Vegas today is going to whirl its way to Boston/the NH Saturday night and dump 6-12 inches on us!

I KNEW "WHATEVER HAPPENS IN VEGAS, STAYS IN VEGAS!" WAS A BUNCHABULLSHITE! THANKS FOR NUTHIN' , CHUMPS!

I told you gambling was bad! *exceptfreeMuffintopmommyblograffling

In other news, my office is painted its new color. I like to call it, “jailbird grey”. I like it. I don’t looooooove it. I like it more at night. And I think I’ll like it more when the touch up is done, and all my stuff is moved back in, including my colorful DIY curtains and chair. I’m working like a turtle to get my new Muffintop DIY blog up so I won’t bore those of you who only showed up for the funny and not the scary DIY projects!

LIKE THE DROP CLOTHS HUBS USED? I'M SURE IT WON'T BE HARD TO GET PAINT OFF MY HARDWOOD FLOOR. I'M NOT SAYING A WORD BECAUSE HE PAINTED FOR ME WHILE I WAS OUT RABBLEROUSING WITH MY GIRLFRIEND BUYING CHALK PAINT AND A MADAME GLASS. PAINT. WHAT PAINT? I DON'T SEE ANY PAINT!

 

FYI, jailbird grey is Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore. However, I cheated on Benny with Val. Spar. Valspar. From Lowe’s. They have a new low VOC, high def paint that I’ve heard wonderbar things about. It’s paint plus primer and Lowe’s said two coats should do it and one gallon should do the whole room. But the first can of paint was really, really thin and we (hubs) used up almost the whole gallon on one coat. So….we had to buy another gallon. Which was bizarroly thicker and seemed better. ?????? Someone on quality control must’ve been sniffing glue, the cracksmokers. It was like two different paints. All in all, not.a.fan. And, it didn’t wind up being cheaper than Benny in the long run. Take me back, Ben! Take me back!!!!

(I used to talk to real men. Back when I was single. And ready to mingle. As my friend likes to say. But now? Now I talk to paint. That’s totally normal.)

G’day, muffintoppers, I’m off to commiserate with Madame tonight over Downton Abbey being over. Love, hugs, and randomosity–peace out!

 

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!)

MUFFIN TOP DIY….

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Awesomeness, Retail Therapy, Some things just don't fit into a neat little box. The uncategory!, Things that make you go....awwww, Uncategorized | Posted on 03-01-2013

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Wow, so the title didn’t scare you away, huh?

I love you guys! Happy New Year to all you crazy muffintoppers. I hope 2013 brings you much peace, happiness, and prosperity.

Speaking of prosperity, or a lack of it, ahem, I have some fun stuff to share with you. During the holiday season, I got my DIY on.

 

Shizz to shine….all on a dime. 

I gots to save mah money…..for new shoes and wine. 

Or somethin’ like that. I also like feeding and clothing my kids. They are so demanding like that!

Quick backstory. When I got married and was all off with my bad self with a double income and no kids, I bought a traditional, pricey cherry dining room set. Which, I have grown to dislike over the past almost 13 years. Practically hate. I know it’s great quality furniture with dovetailed drawers and blabbity blah, but it’s not really my style anymore which is a gut punch because the planner in me thought I’d always like it because it would never go out of style. BURN! When I look at it now all I see is big and brown and… bor-ing. But at the same time, I feel kinda married to it because it cost a lot of money and because the practical part of me knows I can’t sell it for near what I paid for it. So, I decided if I can’t beat it, I’d join it. Or somethin’ like that……..I’mma show you some pics of my DIY but please forgive my craptastic iphone and pocket camera pics….I’m a writer not a photographer (definitely chose the wrong gig!).

I'D SHOW YOU THE TABLE BUT SHE'S CURRENTLY INDISPOSED.....WITH CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS ON TOP OF HER!

So the big Bertha china cabinet inspired this whole DIY kick. Enter Craigslist. I’ve been on enough blogs lately to know if you have an eye, you can score some nice pieces on the cheap and get your magic on. “Pfft! I can do that! I think?” , I huffed inside my head as I perused all the afters on blogs and Pinterest. So I decided I’d look for a sideboard to break up all the brown in the room and paint it a fun color. I also wanted a place to throw some lamps for extra lighting and a place to display some pics and other fun shenanigans.

I sniffed around and then boom, scored a cherry, dovetail, old school, sturdy as my muffin top, sideboard on Craiglist! FOR $25!!!!

TWENNY FIVE DOLLAH?

TWENNY FIVE US DOLLAHS! HO HO HOLLA!!!!!!!!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS TO MEEEEEE!!!!

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....

You can see some damage here:

LITTLE SCRATCHY......

AND….

SCRATCHTABULOUS. AND NAKED--NO KNOB!

The top was a tiny bit sketchy:

A LITTLE SKETCHAROO BUT TWENNY FIVE DOLLAH!!!

Did I mention I politely asked made hubs drive an hour and fifteen minutes to east bumbleberg randomville (It’s not every day you get to drive by a nudist park! You’re welcome!) to meet a stranger at a barn to pick this up because I was skeered that this was too good to be true and that someone would stab me with a pitchfork and stuff me in a hayloft instead of selling me this thing of beauty for TWENNY FIVE DOLLAH! (Maybe I should write fiction!) The woman was a doll, turns out. WHOOPS!!! I mean, phew, because that really would have stunk if hubs was stabbed with a pitchfork and stuffed in a hayloft all because of Big Bertha! (I don’t even know what a hayloft is but I’m assuming it’s a loft with hay and a good place to hide a dead Craigslist shopper.)

After hubs got home, he was kind enough to A. wash the sideboard with Murphy Oil Soap because, hi, the kind lady bought it auction and who knows where it was and who had it and what they had in it and……eww and B. he took off all the hardware for me  and then he picked me up some special, magical paint called Annie Sloan chalk paint. (Not to be confused with chalkboard paint.)

Let me tell you something right now. I read about it online and wasn’t sure what to think. The fact that it’s $40 a quart (as in $15 bones more than the piece!) and the nearest place to get it is a cutesy boutique 45 minutes from my house did not help sway me! BUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They said you could paint something without priming and without sanding. I liked the sound of THAT. They said it adheres to anything. Often with only one coat, but that you should probably wax it afterward because otherwise it would be a very flat, almost chalky texture. It’s known to make distressing easy, if you’re into that. And, they said, one quart goes a long way.

I had to try it—I thought if this beast could become a beauty with this paint, it was worth the price of admission.

So here’s my piece (minus drawers) after two coats of Annie Sloan chalk paint in Chateau Grey—I’d applied them both the night before. I personally thought it was too streaky with only one coat but it covered crazy, crazy well considering the condition and color of the piece and no sanding or priming. I’m a belieber now. Seriously. And after two coats, I still had over a half a can left!

I did distress it lightly with some 140 grit sandpaper–first time ever. It was pretty easy!

I LOVE THIS LITTLE DETAIL AND THOUGHT THE DISTRESSING WOULD HIGHLIGHT IT.

Now here is where things got a little ugly: waxing. It was twenty degrees the morning I hauled this out on the deck to wax it. The Annie Sloan Chalk Paint peeps recommend you buy their wax but I was a. skeptical and b. really skeptical and c. trying to stick to my DIY cheap theme and so I thought, “HA HA! I don’t need no fancy Annie Sloan wax for….twenny five dollah! I can get a sideboard for twenty five dollah! I will buy Minwax at Lowe’s for TEN dollah and save $15 dollah! for beer/shoes/Cheerios.”

Par-tayyy!

Except it wasn’t. I wasn’t sure if it was because it was TWENTY freaking degrees. (Dumbarse couldn’t have gone all DIY in August? I had to start this shizz in December?). The wax was hard, crumbly, not pliable. I thought I’d just “Wax on, wax off!” ala Mr. Miyagi. Apparently, I ain’t no Karate Kid. I knew it had been going too smoothy–and the kicker? It started to SNOW and I could not haul this thing in my house because the wax is SOO STANKY and would have for sure given 7 year old some kind of asthma attack. As an added bonus, I had major bed head, was clad in polka dot pajama pants, and we finally got new next door neighbors and they were moving in just as I was fighting with a yellow wax can, sputtering and yelling at a green sideboard on my deck, which happens to face their house.

“Welcome to the neighborhood!”

I haven’t seen them since.

Anyway, lesson learned on the wax. I threw a hat and legit pants on, screeched to Lowe’s and bought the cheapest buffer they had for $30 bones and went over the piece and it was like silk. But next time I have a rough piece like this, I won’t hesitate to spring for the fancypancy wax.

Anyway, enough of all this! I wanted to take you through the process in case you are on a budget and want something pretty and shiny!

Here she is now:

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

 

OH! Here’s a close up of the new bling knobs I got at Hobby Lobby (Hob to the Lob–where have you been all my life?!!)

THEY WERE SERIOUSLY LIKE $3 EACH. OMG!

 

And check this out:

AFTER I SCHLEPPED THEM HOME, I COULDN'T BELIEVE HOW MUCH THE SHAPE MIMICKED THE SHAPE OF MY FAVE ASPECT OF THE PIECE! I HAVE NO IDEA IF THAT WAS SUBCONSCIOUS OR A HAPPY ACCIDENT!

 

I think my new beauty will have a long and happy life here.

OOOH, MOOD LIGHTING! THANKS TO THE TARJAY LAMPS I SNATCHED OFF MY DRESSER!

Sorry for the long post, Muffintoppers! I know some of you might not be into DIYing and want to just stick to the funny biz, so I’m thinking of starting a little fun DIY blog on the side. I figure if I can do it, ANYONE can. I have some other projects up my sleeve. I’d love to hear what you guys think. Should I go for it?

Update:

Wait! A reader told me I forgot to tally what I spent on the whole shebang;

sideboard: $25

gas to get sideboard: I dunno. I stink at keeping track of stuff like that.

hubs not getting stabbed in a hayloft: Free. That makes the trip to get sideboard, and finding out where the nudist park is, a free joyride.

paint: $40

wax: $10 (but I can use it again–when hell freezes over or my new neighbors work up the courage to speak to me!)

buffer machine thingy: $30 (But I can use it again! To get hubs ready for the nudist park! Too much? I’m kidding, people!)

Hobby Lobby bling knobs: $6

So let’s see….25 plus free plus 40 plus 10 plus 30 plus 6 carry the 1 = $111? Yup. $111. Dude, you can’t get furniture at Tarjay for that! I’ll take it!