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Home Improvement

5 Tips To Paint Furniture At Home

If you are a fan of DIY projects, you may have tried to paint furniture at home or you are giving it a thought. You could be wondering how you can paint your furniture and make it as good as that in a showroom.

Check this out on how you can do just that.

  1. Fill any holes or chipped surfaces

If your furniture has holes, pitted or chipped surfaces, fill it up using wood filler. Any overlap will be sanded down. Scrape the excess filler using a putty knife.

  1. Start by sanding

Many people skip sanding and they go straight to painting which in turn ends up with chipping paint. Sanding is important because it gives the primer somewhere to hold on to which prevents chipping in future. It also removes any lacquer or varnish on the furniture.

Use medium-duty sandpaper, but if the surface has thick varnish, use heavy-duty sandpaper. Be keen on areas where you had applied wood filler to ensure they are flush with the other surface.

If the surface is large, consider using an orbital sander and then finish off the nooks and crannies with a sanding block.

Wipe the residue using a tack cloth.

  1. Apply primer

Apply primer to your furniture and allow it to dry. You can apply up to 3 coats. Allow the previous coat to dry before applying another one.

Use the instructions provided on the can. Once one coat is dry, remove the drips using a sanding block or fine-grit sandpaper, and wipe the residue using a tack cloth.

You can use a paint roller for the even surfaces and a brush for the edges and corners. Better still if you have a spray primer since it is faster and gives an even job.

The primer prevents stains from getting through the paint. Ensure the primer matches the paint. If you intend to use latex paint, then use latex primer and if you want to use oil-based paint, use an oil-based primer.

While it provides better stain blocking and adhesion, an oil-based primer tends to have a strong smell. Therefore, ensure there is good ventilation where you are working.

Paint, paintbrushes

  1. Paint

You can use either oil-based paint or latex paint. If you use latex paint, you can choose from various sheens including satin, oil-based enamel, flat or semi-gloss acrylic latex.

To achieve the best results, you should apply three light coats of paint on the furniture instead of a single heavy one. Give each coat 6 hours to dry before applying the next coat. Ensure to sand any residue or drips between the coats and wipe using a tack cloth.

Paint starting from the top towards the bottom and smooth any paint drips as you go downward.

You can use a spray gun to apply paint to your furniture. Various types exist including cordless spray guns that you can use in areas where there are no power outlets. You can check this out online and find the best spray gun for your needs.

Make sure that the surface does not have any speck of dust or lint before you apply the protective finish.

  1. Apply a protective layer

Apply a protective finish on your furniture. Just apply a thin coat of clear finish and allow it to dry for 72 hours before using the furniture, to prevent it from getting sticky.

You can use matte, semi-gloss, or satin finish depending on your preference.

 

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The Living Room Is Finally Decorated :)

It’s finally finished and I have the living room before and after photos 🙂
It took us longer than we thought it would but we got there in the end! We had a few problems along the way with the wallpaper, both the patterned and plain paper.
The first two sheets of the patterned paper went up quite easily according to Ant. The third sheet proved to be a right pain and we nearly ended up taking it off and starting again.
Each sheet after that needed a bit more preparation than usual to make them stick to the wall.

Running Out Of Paper

When we came to the last wall I realised we weren’t going to have enough paper. This wouldn’t have been a problem if we hadn’t bought it over 2 years ago when we first talked about papering the living room!
We went to B&M to see if it was a standard paper that they kept in stock but of course, it wasn’t. Ant had to find the closest match. Luckily we were painting over it with light grey emulsion anyway so you can’t tell the difference now it’s done 🙂

Anyway, we love the finished result, which is all that matters.

Living Room Before And After Photos

 

Living Room before
Before
living room after
After

 

Living Room before
Before

 

Living Room after
After
living room before
Before

 

living room after
After
Living Room before
Before

 

Living Room after
After

 

Living Room after

Fireplace At Night

fireplace at night

 

fireplace at night

 

 

Coping With Chaos – Redecorating

It’s getting late and we’re just packing away for the day. It’s taking much longer than usual to get this room decorated. We’re getting there very slowly. The chaos is getting to us a bit now. Hopefully, we’ll be able to crack on and get a chunk of it done tomorrow. As it stands we don’t have to go anywhere so we should be able to work on it all day 🙂

Chaos

chaos

Ant’s putting the shelves back up now so tomorrow I’ll be able to get all the books put back. Getting them out of the way will make a huge difference to the room. We’ll be able to get around much easier which means we can get more work done!

Decorating The Living Room

January always makes me want to change, update and organise things and this year is no different. I’ve been wanting to decorate the living room for a while now. I kept putting it off, but this is the year we’re going to do it.
We bought a new three piece suite a few months ago that has a hint of green so that’s going to be our new colour scheme.

Decorating The Living Room

I’ve been window shopping on sites like B&M, The Range and Argos today, looking for inspiration. I created a new Pinterest board to save my favourites and it’s made me eager to get started!

decorating the living room
Click the picture to be taken to my Pinterest board

We picked the keys up to our home on 20th January 2014 which means the magnolia we put on temporarily has been on for 4 years!
The idea was to get everywhere painted with magnolia then update each room as time and money allowed.

We could have decorated the living room before now but to be honest, every time I thought about how much work it’s going to take, it has put me off! I always told myself we’d do it next year whenever the thought entered my head!

This Year Is The Year

I’m not putting it off anymore! I’m going to start shopping soon and hopefully, we’ll have everything we need to do the job around about Easter.
Kaycee’s going on holiday with her friend at Easter and Ella’s going away for a few days with her sister, Kellyann.

It’ll be much easier to get it done if they’re out of the way 🙂

 

Tips to Make Your Kitchen Look Larger

Whether you’ve moved into a new property that needs a little updating or just noticed that your current kitchen needs a little TLC, redecorating can throw up all kinds of design questions. Unless you’re among the lucky minority to have a large kitchen, how exactly can you make your kitchen look and feel bigger than it really is?

make your kitchen look larger

Using little visual tricks and colour psychology will help to give your kitchen a new lease of life that will both modernise and help the room to feel more spacious. Since your kitchen needs to be easy to clean, your main focus should be on the tiles. The tiles can make or break the aesthetic of a room, so these should be your main focus when trying to make a room look bigger.

 

Colours

 

It’s no surprise to learn that darker colours aren’t going to help to make a room look larger. Instead, you want to stick to those neutral and paler shades. The lighter the tile, the more illusion of space you will create. However, don’t feel that you are limited to just white tiles, you can work with any kind of lighter colours, including pastels. The main reason for this is that lighter colours bounce light better than darker colours, eradicating those shadows that can shrink a room. If those natural colours aren’t your thing, grey is incredibly popular right now. A light or dove grey wall tile would work just as well but still gives you a sophisticated colour scheme to work with.

make your kithen look larger

Grout Lines

 

Oftentimes the grouting if overshadowed by the tile itself. We’re so focused on getting the perfect tile that we forget about how it will look with the grouting once properly installed. In smaller kitchens, you want to try and match the grout and tile colour together. If you have a white tile for example and use a black grout, this can make a wall or floor look a little more cluttered than it really is. This is an incredibly fashionable look right now, but only really works in rooms that have the space available. It’s important to be realistic with the room you have so not to ruin the design you’ve carefully planned. Matching your tile and grout colour makes a seamless look with a flawless finish that will help in opening up the room.

 

Finishes

 

When looking for tiles you might not consider the fact that the finish might have some impact on the way a room looks. The best finish you can choose when trying to make a smaller room look larger is a high gloss. The glossy finish bounces light beautifully and therefore helps to make the room feel more spacious. The high gloss finish also makes for easy cleaning with dust and dirt easily being swept away. If a high gloss seems too intimidating, look instead for a satin finish. These tiles have the perfect mix of gloss and matt to give you a tile that has a subtle shine.

make your kitchen look larger
Kitchen House Interior Floor Home Modern Room

Tiling a small kitchen doesn’t have to be difficult. Follow these simple suggestions when looking for your new tiles and you will have a kitchen that looks and feels larger in no time.

 

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5 Gift ideas to get for someone who enjoys home improvement projects

Gifts are always great. They help us bond better with the people we love, by making them feel appreciated. They are also great for developing new relationships!  While many of us are used to flower-like gifts, it can be a tricky affair finding a gift befitting a person who is into home improvement. A bouquet of flowers or a ring definitely won’t cut it with such a person. But don’t worry, as we have compiled for you a list of 5 gifts ideas for such a person. Any of these gift ideas will be perfect for the home improvement enthusiast in your life.

cutting wood with a chansaw - gift ideas for DIY people


  1. The Husqvarna 450 rancher chainsaw

A person who is into home improvement projects most likely loves minor logging, as they try to find the best timber for the job.  That’s why gifting such a person a Husqvarna chainsaw would be much appreciated. In case you are wondering why the Husqvarna 450, well, that’s because it’s not only powerful, but also very safe to work with. It is also small, which makes it quite effective to use around the home. To give you an idea of how good it is, the Husqvarna 450 has received a very positive toolboss review. They don’t just hand out those reviews, which makes this product the perfect gift for a person who is into home improvement.

 


  1. The black and Decker AAW100 Wrench

Most people who are into home improvement are usually DIYers as well.  They love fixing beds, furniture and numerous other stuff around the house. What better gift would you give to such a person other than the Wrench? It’s the perfect do-it-yourself tool!  The AAW100 is so adjustable that it can work with any nuts and bolts around the home. It’s also small, which makes it convenient for you to carry, without giving yourself an extra burden while trying to offer a gift.

 


  1. An Easybloom plant sensor

A person who is into home improvement most likely has a thing for gardening. After all, if you like a nice looking home, then chances are you are into gardens and flowerbeds too. That’s why a home improvement enthusiast would appreciate the Easybloom plant sensor. It is designed to check the environment, and determine which plants best thrive in a given environment. This would save the home improvement person you are looking to gift, time and money that they would otherwise use; hiring soil and climate experts. That’s a cost saving that anyone would appreciate.

close up of a drill bit


  1. A Black and Decker Cordless Drill

A home improvement person most likely finds themselves having to drill screws here and there. They also most probably have to deal with falling screws in the drilling process, which can be a waste of time.  That’s why gifting such a person this drill would be very much appreciated. It’s not only cordless, allowing for versatility, but also has a magnetic tip that holds screws in place. It’s the perfect gift. Besides, it’s quite affordable and won’t leave a dent in your pocket.

 


  1. The Husqvarna Homeowner protective chaps

Home improvement people, especially the DIY type are usually at risk of injuries. That risk is even heightened if they have to work with chainsaws. That’s why it would make sense to think of gifting them a safety pad, like the protective chap. This product is designed to protect from chainsaw injuries by causing the saw to jam if it comes into contact with its fabric. This is one product that will endear you to the person you are looking to gift. That’s because it’s a symbol of care. Who doesn’t love it when they feel cared for?

 

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Upgrades that Make Your Rental a Stand Out

At times, owning rental property can be a headache. In order to get the best return on your investment and stay at the high end of the rental rates, you need to improve your property value. One way to avoid tenant turnover is to invest in the right upgrades. Upgrading your rental unit will entice tenants to stay through multiple lease cycles, and spending a little money now may earn you a higher payoff later. Use these tips to upgrade your property and make your rental a standout.

Curb Appeal

As renters peruse listings, the first impression they’ll receive is from the outside. Don’t forgo a fresh coat of paint, leave up a dilapidated fence, or neglect landscaping. Driveways should be free of potholes and trees and shrubs should be neatly groomed. Make sure there are no overgrown weeds or dying plants. If you’re having a hard time renting out a property, buy some flowers to put outside. The drive-by test is one of the first steps a prospective tenant will make, so complete the basic criteria to stand out with curb appeal.

Upgrades to your house

Flooring

Chances are your previous tenant damaged the carpeting over their span of occupancy, and even a professional cleaning service won’t fix the signs of wear and tear. Having to replace the carpet between renters is expensive and has a negative impact on your annual rate of return. While carpet flooring is appealing to certain renters, especially in bedrooms and during winters, consider upgrading your floors with a new material. Options include laminate, hardwood, bamboo, plank and faux wood. They range in price point, but are sure to add immediate value to the property, and are great for renters with carpet allergies. Whatever you do, be sure to get rid of old vinyl or linoleum flooring in bathrooms and kitchens. It is unsightly, and a major turnoff for potential renters.

Fixtures

Fixtures are an inexpensive upgrade that are sure to increase the appeal of your property. Doors are one of the first things damaged at rental units, and most investors tend to either ignore the damage or touch it up with paint. However, new doors will make your place sparkle and appear refinished. Plus, they’re inexpensive and can be found for roughly $80 at your local hardware store. Other potential fixtures to invest in include ceiling fans, lighting, faucets, door handles, locks, and window blinds. Spending a few extra dollars on higher quality materials will give your rental a polished, pulled-together look, and higher quality brands will provide better durability to withstand normal wear and tear.

Cabinets and Countertops

Owning rental property means staying abreast of the latest trends—especially when it comes to property upgrade trends. Renters are willing to pay more for upgrades, and having sleek, polished countertops will increase value and desirability. There are so many options to choose from when deciding on the finishes for your new countertops. Granite is always a sound choice, but cement and quartz are popular in the higher end markets. Kitchens are among the top features renters will choose from when browsing properties, so make yours a standout with some key renovations. Replace old particle board cabinets that have outlived their usefulness with a more modern and functional option. If buying new cabinetry is not within your budget, consider replacing only the cabinet doors with high-quality, solid wood doors, as well as the hinges and knobs. A fresh coat of paint and some new fixtures can go a long way. Keep in mind that storage space is a hot commodity in the rental market.

kitchen upgrades

Appliances

Appliances are one of the top features a prospective tenant will consider when deciding whether or not to rent a property. In some cases, appliances are equally important as location. If your property has washer/dryer connections, purchasing a set will increase the value of your rental. Old, mismatched, or malfunctioning appliances will not get you top dollar rental rates. Invest in new microwaves, dishwashers, refrigerators, and ovens to add to your property’s appeal. This might seem costly now, but temporary fixes will cost more in the long run. Plus, it’ll save you the hassle of those unending maintenance calls. When purchasing new appliances, be sure they include a warranty.

Doing minimum property maintenance will lead to minimal returns in terms of money and time of tenant occupancy. Next time your rental unit is vacant, go the extra step by making a few simple upgrades to make your rental stand out. Upgrades will make a renter come quicker, pay more, stay longer and take excellent care of the property.

This is a collaborative post

Time For A Change – Updating The Girls’ Room

Time For A Change

 

I’m bored with all the rooms in this house. We’ve been here nearly 4 years and it’s all still magnolia. Except for the shower room. That is now a dark grey and I love it! It’s not a usual colour choice for me, I’m usually more reserved but, I went for it and it paid off! I still hate the old pink bathroom suite though and can’t wait until that’s gone!

I was inspired to start updating the house after reading an e-book that gives you hints and tips for redecorating and renovating by making small changes.

One of the rooms that bug me the most is the girls’ room. They’ve have been complaining a lot just lately about not having enough storage space in there. They have bookcases stuffed full of books, ornaments, and craft kits. There are drawers and a wardrobe for clothes storage as well as a desk for Kaycee to do her homework on and a bed each. It sounds like ample storage but they have too much stuff!
The amount of furniture in the room means it isn’t easy to change things around.

Updating Bedroom

Last week I decided we had to do something about the storage problem. After talking to Ant, we came up with a plan for him to build loft beds with clothes storage and desks underneath. Something like this one but Ant’s going to design them to our needs.

change bedroom - loft bed with wardrobe, desk and storage
I love this idea and have pinned lots of images on Pinterest but with Christmas coming, I didn’t want to start a big expensive project.
With this in mind, I figured we could make lots of small changes now that would have a big impact on the way the girls use the room. It’s a temporary solution until next year but it’s already making a massive difference.

One of the easiest ways to refresh a bedroom and make it feel like new is to change the colour scheme. The curtains and bedding the girls have at the moment are very pink. They’re growing up now so I wanted to pick a more grown up colour scheme.

New Wardrobes, Bed, and Bedding.

The first thing I did was hit eBay to find some cheap, black canvas covered wardrobes. They have a small space for hanging things and lots of shelves. Kaycee’s wooden wardrobe was huge and took up quite a bit of space but the amount of actual storage was rubbish.
We’d taken out Ella’s wardrobe last year so we could fit Kaycee’s desk in when she started secondary school. Ella was then left with two sets of pink plastic drawers for all of her clothes.

homework station makeover challenge

When the wardrobes arrived, we put the first one together and realised that I hadn’t measured properly and they weren’t going to fit in with the two beds we have.
The only solution was to buy new beds so I ordered a cheap set of bunk beds from eBay and waited for them to come.

I didn’t have to wait long! They were dispatched on Saturday and came yesterday (Monday). They’re purple and I love them! I’ve been looking at bedding from Julian Charles. There’s a lovely lilac set which will go perfectly with the beds. They have matching curtains as well which is great. I like the curtains to match the duvets!

Julian Charles bedding with lilac flowers

Painting The Walls

Another cheap and easy way to renovate a room is to paint the walls so our next project is to take them to choose paint. We’ll probably get some wall stickers and new pictures as well to complete the look.

I can’t wait until it’s all finished. I’ll post photos later in the week showing our progress 🙂

 

This is a collaborative post

Bigger Than It Looks: Creating Space In Closet-Sized Bathrooms

 

Creating Space

Let’s face it, we all spend a lot more time and money on (and in) the rest of our houses than we do our bathrooms. How many of us have beautiful living rooms and bedrooms, and tell ourselves that we’ll get round to the bathroom one day, then forget about it for another year? The problem with bathrooms is that they’re functional: they’re ultimately there to serve a purpose. And besides, I’m sure we’re all guilty of thinking that it’s not worth spending too much on doing the bathroom up, seeing as it’ll probably end up getting damp anyway.

But that doesn’t have to be the case. There are loads of ways to make your bathroom into the crowning jewel of your home. If you’re put off by the fact that your bathroom is barely bigger than a closet, the first step to making a difference is obvious. Work a little magic to make the bathroom feel larger than it really is. This might sound impossible (it’s not the TARDIS, after all), but making your bathroom appear larger can be deceptively simple.

bathroom - creating space

Image Source

Fresh paint

To start with, you could rethink your colour scheme! Whilst a dark colour scheme can make your bathroom look stylish and modern, it can also be counterproductive. Painting your bathroom in lighter colours, such as white, pale blue, or light grey, makes it feel a lot more airy and spacious. Darker colours can often make rooms feel claustrophobic, which, in turn, gives makes them actually feel smaller than they really are. Furthermore, a lighter colour scheme can be accentuated by your bathtub, as they are generally white. On this note, if you have a bathtub in a different colour, then try and think about colours that can work with it. For example, a grey bathtub could work well in a light blue room, as the contrast can break up the block of colour.

Light design

Installing brighter lights will really accentuate your new colour scheme. A lot of bathrooms get very little natural light, so a lot of us don’t realise the importance of light in making bathrooms look bigger. Whilst you could go down the cheaper route, and install a brighter light bulb, there are other options. A lot of people prefer installing spotlights in their bathrooms. This allows the lights to be pointed in in different directions, which gives the illusion of space. Furthermore, as you can point the lights where you want, spotlights can be much more practical than a standard light bulb, as you can aim the light where you need it most, making it easier to shave or put on makeup.

loft conversion - creating space

Image Source

Reflection

Most people make do with one or two mirrors in their bathroom. However, when it comes to mirrors, go big or go home! Rather than a small mirror, why not try putting in a full length one? Or, if you can afford to be a bit flash with your cash, then install a huge mirror on one of the walls, rather than tiling it. In a stroke, you’ve made the room feel like it’s twice the size that it really is.

Storage units can also be a boon. Having all your personal grooming products spread out all over the room makes the place look cluttered, untidy, and of course, smaller than it is. By investing in a set of drawers, or a mirror cabinet from Drench, then you can keep all your grooming equipment in one place. This is more practical and frees up a lot of space, allowing your room to look emptier, and accordingly larger. By being clever, and choosing a shelving unit that fits in with the colour scheme, you can make your bathroom look beautiful as well as functional. Mirror cabinets also kill two birds with one stone by combining storage and reflections.

Tiles

If your bathroom is narrow, then you can put in tiles that emphasise the width of the room, rather than the length. So, rather than putting tiles lengthways, which can make your bathroom feel like a tunnel, try putting them horizontally, lending your bathroom the impression of much-needed width. If you’re prone to indecisiveness, you could use removable adhesive tiles to complete the appearance of your bathroom.

So, bathrooms don’t have to be the forgotten room. If you can manage to make yours appear bigger, then you’ll be surprised at the difference that it makes. Once you’ve made a few improvements, you’ll wonder how you ever coped with your old, cramped-feeling bathroom.

bathroom - creating space

Image Source

Revamping Your Kitchen? 5 Ways to Make the Process Easier and Stress-Free

Revamping Your Kitchen

tips for revamping your kitchen

Are you planning on revamping your kitchen? Well, there’ll be nothing nicer than the end result: just think of those sunny mornings, long Sunday afternoons or leisurely evenings cooking for your family, all in the comfort of your brand new kitchen! Here’s how to make the process easier and as stress-free as possible…

1. Nail down your budget

Switching up your kitchen isn’t likely to be cheap. In fact, you can expect to spend at least £3,000 on a basic upgrade, but upwards of £10-20k if you want something of higher quality. Whatever the case (and however much cash you have to play with), it’s important to have a budget in mind. Have a clear idea of where your finances are coming from, and then start gathering quotes from kitchen fitters, builders and anyone your friends and family can recommend to you. Allow some contingency budget (for anything you forget, or any unforeseen work that needs doing) – that way, you’ll be reducing unnecessary stress or a sleepless night later down the line.

revamping your kitchen

2. Gather inspiration (but be realistic)

Next, the fun bit! Start gathering inspirational photos to help you achieve the look you’re going for. Pinterest is a great resource for this, and so is Houzz, but there are plenty of interior design blogs you can read for tips, tricks and home tours if you feel like being nosey. However, make it low-stress by carefully examining each image you’re drawing inspiration from: note down what it is you like about each image in particular (as this will help you to see common threads between designs and styles), and pay attention to the things you can’t replicate in your home. For example, monitor your expectations if you’re lusting after a kitchen in a Manhattan loft but you only have a 1970s semi in the UK: you can replicate some elements, but your kitchen won’t necessarily have the height and grandeur of some of the designs you see online.

3. Write up a plan

Once you have an idea of what you want to do with your kitchen, it’s a good idea to draw a plan. This can be as rough and ready as you like (it doesn’t need to be anywhere as neat as a professional would make it), but it just needs to show where everything is going to go. Have you accounted for extra plug sockets, gas and water supplies, light switches or any other hidden essentials you might not have first thought of? Marking all this stuff up early on will mean you can have it all fitted before your new cabinetry, tiles and worktops go in.

4. Choose your appliances carefully

Your kitchen appliances are some of the hardest-working belongings you’ll own, and as Fisher & Paykel say, your fridge is likely to be the most open door in your house. So, spend plenty of time researching where you’re going to buy your fridge, cooker and other workhorse appliances from. Choose the highest quality you can afford on your budget, and take the opportunity to consider choosing a bigger or ‘fancier’ model with more functions and gadgets – after all, a kitchen revamp is the perfect time to upgrade the quality of your life, as much as the look of your home.

revamping your kitchen

5. Scale back if you need to

Finally, if things aren’t going to plan, you could scale back on your kitchen revamp… For example, rather than refitting your entire kitchen (if that was your original intention), you could make the process a lot less stressful (and an awful lot easier) by simply changing the cabinet doors. This will drastically reduce costs, time and mess, while providing quick and impactful results. Swapping out your existing kitchen handles for something more luxurious too will also change the look and feel of your kitchen, and again, it doesn’t take too much planning, money or time to do.

Armed with these tips and tricks, your kitchen revamp should be stress-free and easy. So, remember to take before and after photos, and enjoy the results!

 This is a collaborative post

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