.... without spending a ridiculous amount!
After 5 years of renting out our house, we finally moved back into the house that we own!
Our tenants lived there longer than we did and it was…. um, very well-lived in *uncomfy face*. The house was built in 2011 where dark floor, dark cabinets, and beige walls were it.
We moved back to our house the Summer of 2020 in the middle of the pandemic. We moved from Singapore so our things weren’t going to be at our house for another month or so. So why not get some renovations done?!
Oh… cuz renovating your house is really freaking expensive.
While we were overseas, we had a contractor do few things done to the house because it was in really bad condition:
- New Kitchen Countertops
- Replace Kitchen Sink (because it fell)
- Replace Bathroom/Laundry Room Linoleum
- New Paint on the Bottom Floor
…and holy crap, that was really expensive.
When first we moved overseas, we sold and donated a lot of our furniture because we had it from college/pre-marriage/kids ruined it.
An international move paired with buying a car…and new furniture for the house…and replacing the granite and floors…and feeding and taking care of kids? We really didn’t have a lot of money to give our house the TLC it desperately needed.
Things That Needed TLC:
- Kitchen Cabinets
- ALL of the walls upstairs
this is our kitchen before -- dark wood cabinets with square silver knobs, beige granite, beige walls, beige backsplash
Did you know that getting your kitchen cabinets done cost $3,000?
And hiring a painter to paint your upstairs interior walls was the same?!
We didn’t have a casual $6,000 laying around.
So we sucked it up and did it all ourselves.
Sidenote: Jay and I are NOT DIY people. We don’t enjoy making things. We don’t find pleasure in building furniture. We don’t love climbing ladders, drilling stuff, hammering stuff, measuring stuff, or taping stuff off.
So we purchased a bunch of paint and other stuff and got to work.
Here is all that we did:
- Paint all upstairs interior walls
- Paint bathrooms
- Make guest/kids bathroom more efficient
- Paint kitchen cabinets
- Paint kitchen backsplash
1 Gallon + 5 Gallon Bucket of Sherman Williams Gossamer Veil with Eggshell Finish - $40 for 1-Gallon Bucket, $170 for 5-Gallon Bucket
1 Gallon of Sherman Williams Peppercorn with Eggshell Finish - $40
1 Gallon of Behr Premium Plus Ultra Satin Finish in Pure White - $30
1 Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations Kit in Pure White - $75
1 Homax Tough as Tile Epoxy Kit - $40
Kitchen Cabinet Knobs - $3 x 16 = $48
Floating Shelf for Bathroom - $25
Row of Hooks for Bathroom - $25
Paint Roller Cover 2-pack - $11
Paint Roller Handle - $4
Shorty Brush - $6 x 2 = $12
Paint Tray - $9
Paint Liners - $6
Shower Curtain - $20
Shower Organizer - $25
Drop Cloth - $12
Plastic Tarp - $7
2 Pack Painters Tape - $7
Total: ~ $606
Our walls were already a flat dark beige. The 1 Gallon + 5 Gallon bucket of Gossamer Veil (a cool, light beige) covered 3 bedrooms, a bonus room, a small full bathroom, and the master bedroom — each getting two coats of paint (one room got 3 coats because it was a dark blue).
The 1 Gallon of Peppercorn was used for two accent walls which took three coats.
Paint Roller Handle
1 Gallon + 5 Gallon of Gossamer Veil
1 Gallon of Peppercorn (accent wall)
Do one room at a time.
With a Phillips Head and/or Flat Head Screw Driver, take off all outlet and light switch covers.
Lay down tarp, grab your ladder, put on a podcast, and get to work.
I like to work from top to bottom and move left to right… like you’re reading a book. I didn’t tape any windows, ceilings, or baseboards. The Shorty Brush helps you be really precise by the edges (however, I got careless after day 3 of painting so I got some paint on the ceiling — whoops). Do the edges with the shorty brush first, then paint roll.
I painted by myself so by the time I got to the end of the room and had a snack, the first coat dried already and I could start again.
The bedrooms took one day to paint, the bonus room took 3 days to paint, and the master bedroom took two days to paint.
Two rooms have the Peppercorn accent wall and those were both painted in one day. I painted one wall using the same work flow (taking off all the outlet and light switch covers, painting edges first, then rolling the paint on, working from top to bottom and left to right) then taking ALLLL the supplies to the other room and doing the same three times.
Sidenote: since I was painting every single day I stored my paint brush and roller in plastic bags to keep the paint on them wet.
Peppercorn accent wall with Gossamer Veil walls and Pure White cabinets
This was a quick afternoon project that maybe took 4 hours? I zhuzhed up the kids bathroom with a fresh coat of paint, a bathroom organizer, a floating shelf, a new shower curtain, and swapping out the single towel rod for a row of hooks. It obviously looks like this bathroom belongs to children, but it doesn’t scream “day care bathroom”… like it did before.
Paint Roller Handle
1 Gallon of Gossamer Veil
Row of Hooks
The first thing I did was clean the toilet and the area around the toilet and the baseboards. Nothing grosser than getting down on your hands and knees to paint behind the toilet and you’re kneeling in your child’s dried pee. Ew.
I took off the old curtain, the light switch, outlet cover, and towel rod. Since it was a small space, I used the shorty brush to get all the edges and the space behind the toilet first. Then, I rolled the paint on. I did two coats of paint.
While everything was drying, I cleaned up the brushes, put all the bathroom rugs back, put the new shower curtain up and installed the shower organizer.
When the walls were dry and Jay came back from work, I had him help me put up the floating shelf and drill the row of hooks into the wall while I put the outlet and lights switch cover back on.
this project took a few hours in the afternoon! super easy!
The kitchen was a project. Oof. I took a lot of direction from Meg from Meg O on the Go who painted her kitchen cabinets and backsplash. She was a bit more meticulous than we were because we were a week in a half into painting and this was the last project and we were OVER IT.
Meg took a few weeks to finish her kitchen while we did ours in three days. We barely taped anything down or covered anything. It still turned out pretty nice! just don’t look too close at our cabinets HAH!
If you use the Cabinet Transformations Kit, you need to get it tinted in the store… even if you chose the Pure White.
1 Gallon of Behr Premium Plus Ultra Satin Finish in Pure White
1 Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations Kit in Pure White
1 Homax Tough as Tile Brush On Epoxy Kit
Kitchen Cabinet Knobs
2 Pack Painters Tape
The night before, we took hot water and dish soap and scrubbed all the doors, drawers, and cabinets — because its a kitchen and there was A LOT of grease/oil on everything. On Day 1, we took all the cabinet doors and drawers off. Since we didn’t have our furniture yet and we didn’t want to paint outside in the dead of summer, we laid down plastic tarp and used the floor of our Master Bedroom as a work space. We took off all the knobs and brought them to a scrap metal facility. We didn’t bother taking the hinges off. I know. I know. Judge me — We were so sick of screwing/unscrewing/painting that we only wanted to do the bare minimum at this point. HAH.
After we took off all the doors and drawers, we began the deglossing process. There was a lot of deglosser, so we did two rounds of deglosser. We did all the doors and drawers upstairs first. We degassed the front first, flipped it and did the other side, then did the cabinets in the kitchen downstairs.
After we deglossed, we started painting. There were two containers of Pure White Bond Coat. According to the directions, only two coats are needed and there were enough to cover the front, back, edges, and cabinet frames. And that was a lie because our Dark Espresso Cabinets needed FOUR.
We elevated our cabinet drawers and doors on solo cups. We applied the Pure White Bond Coat to the front and edges of the doors and drawers. Then we went downstairs and painted the cabinet frames. By the time we were done painting the frame, the doors and drawers were dry so all we did was flip and repeat.
We waited about 4 hours and then got to work again with another coat of Bond Coat following the same work flow — Front and Edges of the cabinet doors and drawers, go downstairs and paint the frame, then go back upstairs and paint the backs of the doors and drawers.
two coats of bond coat and two coats of the Behr paint to transform our cabinets
The next day, we got started early in the morning with the same work flow — front and edges of the doors and drawers, paint the frames downstairs, then flip and paint the backs of the doors and drawers. We finished all the Bond Coat midway into our third coat which is why you need to get the Behr Paint in Pure White if you’re painting really dark cabinets like ours.
We waited 3 hours after the Behr application to do the last application of the white.
We did NOT apply the decorative glaze because according to the picture, it turned the gorgeous pure white into a really light blush/gray color. Ew. No Thanks.
Right after dinner, we applied the Protective Top Coat. The top coat needed to dry for 12 hours before installing.
We let everything dry for like 14 hours. We installed the new hardware and then put all the doors and drawers back on and relaxed because OMG my back hurt from painting on the floor.
we have stainless steel appliances, so we added gold knobs -- i love a mixed metal moment!
We relaxed the majority of Day 3 and 4. Right before bed, we prepped EVERYTHING to do paint the backsplash. We cleaned the backsplash according to the Homax Brush on Epoxy Kit. We used soap and hot water to de-grease from all the cooking. Then we used SOS Brillo Pad to degrease some more. We used the cleaning solution that came with the kit and wiped the entire backsplash with isopropyl alcohol.
Since epoxy is kind of scary, we actually took the time to tape and cover our appliances and our newly painted cabinets. We took off all the outlet covers and brought a fan down to help circulate the air.
Since I was pregnant at the time, Jay did all of the work painting the backsplash. Since everything was already prepped, all he had to do was paint. The epoxy STINKS. So we made sure everyone was upstairs, we had the kitchen vent going, two windows open, and a fan on.
The thing with epoxy is you need to finish everything in ONE DAY. Jay started the first coat of epoxy at around 7AM, let it cure for four hours, put the second coat of epoxy, let it cure for four hours, then applied the third and final coat.
SO MUCH BRIGHTER!
And that’s how we revamped our house without spending A TON of money!
Was it worth it? If it meant saving $6,000…. absolutely.
Was there suffering? mmm… not really.
Am I going to have my own DIY show because I enjoyed this project so much? HAIL NO.
I’m creative, yes… but I am NOT handy or patient for something like this. So if I can take on this project and survive, you definitely can!
A few things to note:
Our kitchen was usable while we were painting. We just made sure to be very diligent about cooking — no bacon, oils, or boiling stuff. We pretty much made salads, ready to bake pizzas, oven dinners, or microwave dinners.
On the epoxy day, the kitchen was NOT usable — so we did cereal for breakfast and ate out for lunch and dinner.
Our kids were running around the house while we got all this done. Our parents were in town so they helped keep an eye on the kids. We made a barricade with coolers and boxes so they weren’t able to go in the kitchen. We closed the door to our room so they wouldn’t mess with the cabinet doors and drawers. On epoxy day, we kept them upstairs and away from the kitchen. You could still smell the epoxy, but it wasn’t as strong.
....if you decide to take on zuzshing up your home...