Home Improvement

Closet doors! (and other things…)

My life feels all sorts of crazy right now. I’ve been playing on a co-ed softball team that started in early April and taking an interior decorating class that started in May. Between my evening obligations, work and the holidays in between (birthdays, Mother’s and Father’s Day, weddings), I feel like I have lost all free time! That is hardly the case, but losing two evenings a week has made me surprisingly less productive. Instead of wanting to get things done in my free time, I want to relax… which is why our door project took from Mother’s Day to Father’s Day to complete!

Even though it took a little (OK, a lot) longer than it should have, I am still so happy we did it. And I am so glad it is finished! French doors versus sliding doors = biggest life improvement EVER.

BEFORE:

AFTER:

FinishedDoors

The doors were a pain to install. The hubby had many choice words during the process. MANY. We learned that we are not professional door hangers, nor do we really enjoy hanging doors. Unfortunately for him, we have another set of doors we need to hang… and I’d also like to replace all of our doors in our upstairs hallway eventually (they are plain, hollow boards with no design in them — boring!). We’ll see if he tries to veto that project haha.

We had to cut the doors down to size, re-glue in the bottoms, cut some more, hang, re-hang, move the hinges when the screws became too loose in the original holes… paint, re-hang, put on handles, put on a magnetic door latch…. yeah. Tedious stuff, folks.

Still, I am pleased as can be that they are finished and there are no more 1980s gold doors in my house anymore. The only remaining mirrored slider will live on in our bedroom, mainly because it’s the only full length mirror we have now. Plus, we probably don’t have enough room for French doors. Hopefully the hubby counts that as a win for himself.

Aside from the door project, I’ve been busy working on a bunch of other things. I’ll be sharing some fun tips from my interior decorating class after it ends this evening. We’ve made some furniture changes in our living room (finallyyyyy). Plus, I’ve been working on a fun graphic design project and have some exciting news in that realm.

Oh, and I made some jam from mulberries I didn’t know I had growing in my yard until last week! And it is delicious!!!! I’ll share that recipe later, too.

Enjoy your weeks!

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Furniture, Thrift Store Finds

Before & After: Navy Dresser

I fell in love with this little beauty the moment I set eyes on it in a thrift store. I had to convince my thrift store buddy of its worth, but me, I saw the vision immediately. The lines are beautiful, the handles are awesome, but the old wood in chipping condition… not so hot.

Dresser Before

I knew when I bought this piece that I wanted to paint it navy. I thought the brassy handles would pop beautifully off of a navy facade. So I used Paint Minerals and some dark navy paint to turn this….

.

… into this!

Navy Dresser Complete

I opted to coat the whole piece in Varathane polyurethane. This isn’t typically recommended for chalk-like paints, but since this dresser will likely have stuff resting on the top I wanted it to hold up well. Now most bloggers will tell you to use polycrylic versus polyurethane when going over paint, but not me. I hate HATE hate polycrylic. I’ve ruined two projects using polycrylic and I don’t intend to ever use it again over paint. Not everyone has this same experience and maybe I’m doing something wrong, but it does not work for me. I definitely recommend using the Varathane brand of polyurethane because it dries beautifully.

Enough of my polyurethane spiel… After everything dried, I put the hardware back on. I love the result. Can’t believe I got this beauty from a thrift store for less than $10!

Craft Projects

Beautified Bar Tray

Have you ever used EnviroTex Lite? I have, and it is awesome. A “pour on high gloss finish,” it makes objects it is poured on look like they covered in glass. Can you see where I’m going with this post? Good 🙂

I picked up an old silver tray at a thrift store (yes, me and my thrift stores… we are in love). Unlike most other trays I’ve seen at thrift stores, this one was long, skinny, rectangular and had wooden handles. I had to have it, especially for a mere $3.92, or something close to that. I thought I’d decoupage the tray, then I had a better idea — the tray would fit perfectly on our bar, so why not line it with bottle caps and pour the EnviroTex Lite on for a fun finish? Perfecto.

Before you ask any questions about the next part of my post, let me say that I don’t drink much beer at all (less than 10 a year, if I had to guess) and I am very sober writing this post. Glad we got that cleared up.

Next, I dug through my stash of bottle caps and picked out the ones I wanted to use in my tray. I have a lot of bottle caps. A lot. In fact, I have an entire fish bowl full of them. It’s impressive really, considering I hardly ever drink beer. But thanks to my kleptomania (yes, I steal bottle caps when I see people drinking a beer with a cool cap) and my friends and family who enjoy beer (that makes them sound like drunkards. They aren’t. No worries!), I had plenty to choose from. Even more impressive is that I was able to pick out 46 unique bottle caps from my collection. Holy cow, this tray was meant to be! Not to mention, the caps fit perfectly in the inset of the tray, leaving about 2 mm on top for the EnviroTex to dry and harden. Score!

Once I had my caps selected, I picked an order for the tray. I swapped things around a few times before I cam up with an arrangement I liked. I went with a color gradient, starting at white and ending with black.

With an arrangement I liked, I removed the caps and set them out in front of the tray, keeping everything in order.

Next, I had to remove the wood handles — those needed some black paint. I unscrewed them from the bottom of the tray.

After the handles were off, I cleaned the tray really well using silver polish. It was pretty grimy. Yuck-o.

Then it was time to secure my caps, which I am so glad I did (to most of them). I’ll skip ahead here for one sec — as I was pouring the EnviroTex onto my caps, the caps I didn’t secure well floated to the top. Whoops! I had to push them down to get out the air bubbles underneath so the EnviroTex could harden.

So secure my bottle caps I did two things: Hot glue and magnets. Some of the bottle caps I chose to use I’d already made into refrigerator magnets. I decided they’d look better in my tray than on my fridge, so I plopped them in and they clung tight to the metal tray. That was awesome because those suckers didn’t move later.

For the other caps with no magnets, I filled them with hot glue then stuck them onto the tray. If you are going to try this, definitely make sure they are stuck on really well or you’ll have some float-away caps, too.

Once all of my caps were secure, I mixed my EnviroTex together, following the directions on the box closely. When ready, I poured it over my caps.

Here’s the cruddy part about my project… each box of EnviroTex was 4 oz., which covers 1 square foot. I have no concept of 1 square foot, so I ordered two boxes thinking I’d only need one. I needed four.

To let the tray dry (for 72 hours… twice haha), I covered it so no dust would settle on top of the tray. My cupcake holder lid did the trick rather nicely.

Needless to say, this project took a little bit longer than I anticipated. It was also a lot more expensive than I ever dreamed it would be (I hate when that happens). But it turned out beautifully, and four layers of EnviroTex Lite and two freshly painted black handles later I had a beautiful tray.

 

 

It looks really nice on our bar, fitting perfectly on the top ledge. It’s a real statement piece and I am so pleased with how it turned out. The hubby loves it, too.

Next time around, I think I’ll use something that isn’t as deep as a bottle cap, that way I won’t need nearly as much EnviroTex as I did for this tray. I might preserve a coin collection!! How cool would that be?

Thanks for stopping by!