New Life for a Little Tikes House

The other day I was coming back home from a run when I came across a Little Tikes house thrown out by the curb. It had definitely seen better days and was even missing the roof but I was still interested in its potential. Even though our daughters are a little big for a playhouse of that size, our son would definitely be interested in it. The problem was, it was pink and white.

I got home and proceeded to tell my Mother-in-Law what I found and she suggested I go back and get it. One problem, I dont dumpster dive. I have seen many great things sitting on the side of the road but I have always felt bad about grabbing them, even though I know they are destined for the dump anyway. Well my Mother-in-Law had no problems with going up to the front door and asking them if we could have it, and she did. 🙂

Here is how it looked when we first got it.

House Before

After we figured out how it all needed to be assembled, we proceeded to tear it all down and give it a really good scrubbing. This thing was dirty!

After it was all clean, Ashley and I went onto Pinterest to try and find some color inspiration. We finally decided on a Nutmeg for the walls, a Colonial Red for the door, chairs, and outside flower pots, and Flat Black for the sink and table. All colors were RustOleum Ultra Cover 2X.  A note of caution, if you get this stuff at Wal-Mart, it does not have the Primer + Paint option and it also doesnt not specifically say it will work on plastic. The first cans I got at Wal-Mart. The second coat, I got the paint at Home Depot and right on the can it said will work with Plastic and had the Primer already added. The stuff from Home Depot covered much, much better.

I ended up using 5 cans of the Nutmeg and 1 can each of the Red and Black. I think had I gotten the Home Depot paint the first round, I could have covered the walls with 3 cans and been done.

The final product turned out great. Even though it doesnt have a roof, you cannot beat getting the house for free and only spending $40 bucks on paint!

Distressed Dresser Project

I have been wanting to distress a piece of furniture for awhile now. We have several pieces in our home that we purchased already distressed but the process always intimidated me.  After getting this gorgeous dresser from Ashley’s folks I decided to give it a try. Oh, did I mention that this dresser actually belonged to Ashley’s Grandma? No pressure to not screw it up!

I wanted to get this project done rather quickly but I also wanted to make sure I did a good job. I started out by doing a real light sanding over the entire dresser. I followed this up with a coat of my favorite primer: Zinsser Water based

After the primer dried, I again went over the entire dresser with some 220 grit sandpaper. Not a huge sanding but enough to knock down any bumps and runs in the paint. After the priming process I covered the dresser in a black paint that I had lying around the garage. The point of these layers is to allow different colors to shine through at the end when I start to really sand it down and distress it.

After the black paint was dry, the real fun began. I was a bit nervous to begin the blue color because I didn’t know how it would go over the black. I could see me doing 4 coats before I finally got the color I wanted. I started out using a foam roller but quickly realized that it wasn’t getting the coverage I wanted. I wanted brush strokes that the glaze could adhere to and enhance. A foam roller’s finish is just too smooth for that look.

The paint I used for the blue is Behr Premium Plus in Interior Flat. I think it might easily be my favorite paint. It went over the black easily and with only two coats! I am currently working on another project using a different style of paint and after 3 coats, my black is still showing through!

After two coats of the blue, the real fun was to begin. This was also the moment of truth. I could easily screw up the last week’s worth of painting with a quick rub of my sanding block in the wrong spot! I ran upstairs to check out the other pieces of  distressed furniture we purchased and it looked like they just sanded randomly but in spots that would be susceptible to wear and tear.  So that is what I did too.

I began by sanding down edges and then did a few strategic spots on the top, front, and sides. After awhile, my nerves settled down and I really began to have fun with it. After the sanding was completed, I brushed the entire dresser down with some glaze I had left over from a Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation kit that I had. A quick wipe down with some cheese cloth to take off the extra glaze and I was done!

Ashley and I originally were going to replace all of the original hardware with new pieces but because of the varying hole pattern on each drawer and some custom “key” holes, we decided to just repaint the old hardware with some Rustoleum aged bronze spray paint.

After everything was painted and dry, we brought the dresser upstairs (with the help of a great neighbor) and staged it into the new nursery (which is also going to be a project post soon).

The finished product looks amazing, especially in the nursery, and I think I have found a new DIY love. Distressing furniture is fast, easy, and really hard to screw up which makes it perfect for me! I am not the best painter.

Here is a full visual recap of the process.

Project featured below!

I was featured on Remodelaholic

Cozy Couple Makeover

I told Ashley a few months back that if she ever came across a Cozy Couple at a garage sale, that she needed to buy it. After seeing all of the Cozy Couple makeovers on Pinterest, I knew that I wanted to do the same thing for our kids. Imagine my excitement when she calls me at work one day and says she found one!

Now that I had the Cozy Coupe, I needed a theme. I have seen Batman, lowrider, and custom colored Coupe’s but I wanted something different. Something original. Right now our little man is into Superman so I figured that would be a safe bet.

So “B” and I started the unassembly process.

We first took pictures of everything to make sure we knew how to put it back together when finished. I have found out with past projects, this is very important. In the day of digital cameras and cell phone cameras, this is very easy to do and well worth the extra time.
After disassembly, I began the painting process.  I used Krylon’s “Fusion for Plastic”.

This paint is specifically designed for painting plastic but I was not impressed. Even after waiting the “7-day” chip proof duration, my paint immediately began to flake off in spots. It says no sanding or priming required. I am not sure if it would have helped though.

Before I painted, I pulled off all of the stickers except for the dashboard. The headlights and taillights were going to be custom but the dashboard I wanted to keep original. So I did my best to cover it with painters tape and then prayed that when I was done and pulling the tape off, the sticker wouldnt come too.

The new headlights are made from reflective tape and the tail lights are from reflector signs. The taillights didnt fit the “opening” that the previous stickers occupied so I covered them with painters tape and used a hole saw to carefully reduce them in size.

After the 7 day “waiting” period, I put everything back together. “B” came down the next morning and was blow away. I know this because he rounded the corner in the living room and said “WHOA!” He spent the rest of the morning sitting in it, eating, watching TV, and driving around the house. Success!

Before and After

Finished product

Island Project – Preview

Just a little teaser picture to show you that work has, in fact, started on the kitchen island. I am taking my time and doing a little bit every night in an attempt to not get too overwhelmed. So far I am really happy with the progress.

Below is my list of things to do:

  • Remove Countertop
  • Move two drawers from back to front
  • Fill in the toe kick space
  • Fill in void where the back cabinet doors were.
  • Wrap three sides in beadboard
  • Install border
  • Install baseboard trim
  • Install new countertop
  • Install countertop braces
  • Prime
  • Paint
  • Antique

That should about do it. Sounds simple right?