Category Archives: DIY

DIY Kitchen Backsplash

We’ve lived in our house for one year and five months. That’s 17 months without a backsplash in the kitchen. I knew from the beginning what I wanted to do, it was just a matter of you know, doing it. Thanks, Baby Ford, for giving me a ridiculous sense of motivation for all things nesting/house-related so I finally started (and finished) this project! I love the look of anything reclaimed, especially whitewashed, distressed reclaimed things. I love our white kitchen, and I knew I wanted to do some kind of reclaimed backsplash in there to carry that theme into the kitchen.

I decided on using ceiling tiles. I found these faux tin tiles on (very similar… I don’t see the exact one right now) and thought they were perfect as the background of my backsplash. I loved this rubbed bronze color, knowing I would paint, then distress the tiles so that this color showed through a bit.


So, then the process began. I lay out yards of plastic drop cloth outside and started spray painting. And spray painting. And spray painting. I think it took four bottles- I just remember I kept having to go back to Lowe’s over and over again for more spray paint. Also, it kept raining, which delayed this process, and also, bugs are stupid- I can’t tell you how many gnats I had to flick out my wet paint.


Finally, the coverage was good enough and once they dried (for at least 24 hours) I went at them with a medium-grit sanding block on the raised details. This gave me an awesome weathered look that I loved.


Installation was really easy, mainly because I didn’t do it! Trevor took over that part, but I watched, and it was really easy. The worst part of it was measuring where the outlets were and cutting those out. It took about two-and-a-half hours to install the whole thing. We used Liquid Nails Foam Panel Adhesive to stick the panels to the wall, and that worked amazingly well.

Here’s a before/progress shot or two:


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Now, here’s the finished product.

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I love it so much, and I am kicking myself for waiting so long to do this project! It made such a huge difference in this space. It was also VERY budget friendly at under $200 for the entire project. Oh, we also re-did our little kitchen eating nook. We intend to build a built-in banquette seating area eventually, and with that in mind, we only bought two chairs for our table, thinking we’d have bench seating built-in soon. Well, projects take time, and we’re having another baby, so yeah. So, we bought a new, bigger table (Wal-Mart for only $164! It’s surprisingly sturdy and really pretty) and a super cute bench (World Market). I’m all about a new look on a budget!4


The boys love their new nook area- I say “their” because they’ve laid claim to it! They’re always doing play-doh, eating a snack or something over here. I feel like with these new additions, our kitchen is finally feeling finished. We’re so happy with how everything turned out!

Frame Filler- Free Bible Verse Printable

I am busy rounding up pictures for my giant stack of new IKEA frames from our trip last weekend. I. LOVE. IKEA. Let it be known. I am likely going to expand our hallway gallery wall to the wall across the hallway that’s totally blank.

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I like to mix up my media and use something besides photographs. I really like to have God’s word all over the walls of our home, and there are some great art options out there featuring Bible verses. However, I am cheap, and I prefer my art to be free. Is that too much to ask? I use design software all the live-long day for work, so I figured, I’ll just make my own stuff. So I did! Here’s the first of several (same print, three colors), and I thought “maybe I”ll share this with those awesome blog friends of mine.” So I am. Just click on the pictures below to pull up a .pdf to save and print them yourself. They’re all formatted as 8×10. Feel free to pin and share, as well. Happy Saturday!

Free Printable Bible Verse from My Coffee is Cold in blue- Romans 15:13 Free Printable Bible Verse from My Coffee is Cold in purple- Romans 15:13 Free Printable Bible Verse from My Coffee is Cold in pink- Romans 15:13


Free Printable Bible Verse Romans 15:13 from My Coffee is Cold in three colors


Can It

Okay, “Canister It” would probably be a better title, but that’s not really a phrase, now is it? A couple weeks ago it was really, really hot here. Because in case you didn’t know, South Carolina is situated at the intersection of the tip of a volcano, the equator and the surface of the sun. So, that’s not actually true, but it is seriously flipping hot here. Anyway, it was really hot, so every bug on the planet decided to try to infiltrate our comfy air-conditioned house- namely a bunch of teeny tiny ants. I hate ants. Not as much as I hate spiders or ::gag:: roaches, but they’re third on my “Bugs I Loathe” list.

I was not very happy when my pretty, newly DIY’d kitchen was overrun with ants, but I killed them all and felt better. Until I discovered that they had weaseled their way into our sugar canister. We had stainless steel canisters with little acrylic “windows” and I guess someone left the window open because, well, yeah. So seeing as how bugs could get into my stuff, I wasn’t feeling all that secure in my baking supply storage. I knew I wanted some fun glass canisters to open things up visually on the counter, so I went to my FAVORITE place on the planet: World Market. Be still my bleeding wallet.

One problem: they didn’t have a matching set that was big enough. I like to be able to put my big ‘ole measuring cups in my canisters and their sets of matching canisters were really scrawny. So, I decided to go in a different direction. Instead of purchasing a matching set, I went with a very eclectic look and bought three different canisters and just tied them together by putting a chalkboard label (also from World Market) on each one so they looked cohesive.

Here’s the final product:

I did discover that writing on the chalkboard labels with chalk doesn’t actually work all that well, at least not if you want to be able to read what you write. Seeing as how I am kinda partial to legibility, I wrote on my labels with a Metallic Sharpie, instead. This way, the chalk doesn’t wipe off every time you touch the jar AND you can read the descriptions. It’s a good thing, all around.

I’m kind of obsessed with them, I think they’re so much fun! Another upside is that this was really cheap. I think $25ish for everything, including the labels. And did you notice? The sugar jar opening is now encased in metal. There will be no sugar-thieves this time!

Okay, now I have to figure out what else needs a chalkboard label. I vote: everything.

The power of paint (and some other stuff)

With our little forray into DIY/ home improvement in the kitchen, came a few other projects around the house. One of which that has made a gigantic difference was painting our living room. It’s been the same color since we moved into our house and painted (Valspar’s Cafe AuLait Ole). I was totally over it.

Don’t be jealous of our AWESOME early 90s gold and crystal ceiling fan. I know it’s so hard, but try to hold back the envy, just for a minute.

Could it have been any more brown and blah? We used to have a red couch down here but got new furniture a couple years ago, then I switched our curtains for dropcloth panels to make it more neutral, and I think it went a little past neutral and right on into snooze-ville.

Did you spot tiny adorable one year-old Knox? Don’t you want a close-up?

OH MY GOSH. This kills me.

One more because I can’t help it. Bah!! He’s so stinking cute playing in the recycling!

Anyway, back to the matter-at-hand. We carried the same blue from the kitchen (Valspar’s Glass Tile) into the living room to make it feel like one big, cohesive space, which really opened up the downstairs and helped it to feel not so chopped up. I absolutely love it!

Oh, and we replaced the hideous ceiling fan with a new, modern one that is so much nicer!

This is where the living room and kitchen, now seamlessly, meet…

Of course, curtain-a-holic that I am, I had to change those and picked out these awesome “Farrah” panels from Target in “rust.” I special ordered the extra long ones about six months ago…. and they discontinued them. Glorious. Don’t you love when that happens? So, being that I was already obsessed with this color and pattern and could not forget about them, I ended up buying the 84″ and still have to let the hems out and re-hem them (thank goodness for a very generous seam allowance!), but just ignore the fact that they’re currently hanging two inches above the baseboard, mmkay? Thanks. :)

I am mildly obsessed with the whole blue/orange color combo (hence Brody and Knox’s rooms) and figured, what the heck, my whole house might as well match, right? I think it’s so much fun to pair complementary colors that don’t exactly “match” but they “go” (in the words of Stacy and Clinton from “What Not to Wear”). The dining room will eventually get painted the same rusty color to carry the theme throughout the whole first floor.

What do y’all think? Doesn’t it make you tired just thinking about painting?? I loathe painting, but I love the results when it’s all finished! Have you done any seemingly endless home improvement projects lately?

Linking up with:

TDC Before and After

Kitchen: Accomplished!

After several months of hard work, it’s finally finished, and we could not be more thrilled! A lot of time and effort went into revamping our little kitchen into a more beautiful and practical workspace. I can honestly say for the first time ever that  I LOVE MY KITCHEN! Everything was DIY other than our new granite countertops, which we had professionally installed. Let’s do a quick look back at our old kitchen.

Here’s the WAY before (circa 2007 when we bought the house):

And just slightly before (circa 2012 right before we started this little makeover):

Now, without, further ado, here is the after:

Well, there you have it! One newly DIY’d kitchen. We did so much to this space, it’s hard to even remember what all went into it. We definitely had a LOT of help from the grandparents with babysitting on weekends so we could get things done in here- without them, there is no way it would have been feasible to do so much with two babies! Here is what went into this kitchen:

– Demolishing old upper cabinet over the sink
– Ripping out the white laminate countertops (woo hoo!)
– Removing cabinet doors and hardware
– Repainting all the peeling/flaking cabinetry (still white, but a warmer white “Swiss Coffee” in semi-gloss by Behr)
– New brushed nickel hinges to replace the gold-hinges-spraypainted-white that looked horrible (The Knob Shop $40)
– New chunkier drawer pulls (we used the same cabinet pulls we had replaced after we bought the house) (The Knob Shop $10)
– New granite countertops in “Gallo Ornamental” for the majority of the kitchen. This is the one thing we did not do ourselves. I don’t know how to cut rock, so I figured that was a good thing to bring in outside help for (Stone Interiors– $1300)
– New undermount sinks instead of one clunky corner sink (Stone Interiors- $300)
– New gorgeous vintage-style faucet and sprayer (By Premier via Amazon) ($140)- this faucet is insanely nice. I was unsure since we got a pretty good deal on it, but it’s super heavy and of very good quality. I highly recommend it!
– Butcher block peninsula top (Numerar in Beech from Ikea $300 for block and shipping) which required cutting down, sanding, staining (Minwax Dark Walnut) and sealing with Waterlox ($35) to make it food safe over the stain
– Beadboard backsplash (Lowes $80 for four panels)
– Painting the beadboard “Swiss Coffee.” For the record, Painting beadboard=awful. You have to use a brush for all the crevices, and in the end, you might as well just paint the whole darn thing with a brush. It took me eight full hours to paint beadboard and the cabinetry/trim in the kitchen. My hand really hurt after that.
– Lots of new trim for the beadboard backsplash (Lowes- $50ish)
– Caulking, caulking, caulking. Oh my gosh, the caulking. Every single spot the beadboard or trim touched anything had to be caulked over.
– Open shelving- constructed from 12” x 4′ boards from Lowes ($30) and four metal brackets (Lowes $36). I bought four different brackets to decide between, and in the end, we felt most comfortable with the metal ones.
– New wall color in kitchen and living room (pics of that to come later!) in “Glass Tile” by Valspar
– Re-painted trim of our chalkboard to match the cabinetry

I think that’s everything… that was a lot of work, but it was well worth all of the late nights and elbow grease that we put into it. We spent about $3,500 on this upgrade- it’s hard to know exactly how much since we made endless trips to Home Depot and Lowe’s for little things like paint brushes and caulk, but I rounded up! All that remains to be done in this room are new dark wood floors which will be put in either at the end of this year or the beginning of 2013. I can’t wait for that to happen, but in the meantime, we are going to enjoy the fruits of our labor!  I will definitely keep accessorizing and messing with the shelf configuration, but for now, I am content to just rest and look at it. I am definitely in love with our new kitchen! What do you think??

Linking up with:

TDC Before and After

Between Naps on the Porch

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