Kitchen Facelift “Faux Style”

First of all, it sorta goes without saying, I’m obviously not a very good blogger.  I want to be.  The concept sounds fun.  But rarely do I find myself with time – or make time – to sit down at the computer without a specific task at hand that must be accomplished.  That said, our house has been in MAJOR transition mode of the past few months, so I should have plenty to blog about.

We discovered a few months ago that our subfloors had water damage – some a considerable amount.  So since the end of July we have been ripping up flooring, cutting out the old subfloors, reinsulating and then putting new subfloors down room by room.  I say we, but for the most part, I mean my hubby and some servant-hearted men from our church.  But I helped some.  Meanwhile, I’ve made the most of the chaos that has been our home lately and taken the time to repaint, rearrange, and redecorate.  It’s kept me sane…and busy.

On to the Kitchen Facelift…

A bit of background.  I’ve been giving my kitchen a gradual makeover for about 2 years.  First I did a temporary facelift on the countertops with granite looking contact paper.  I was really pretty pleased with it. It cleaned nicely, held up pretty well, looked as real as laminate and was a super affordable temporary solution – $14!

Last spring I restained the cabinets with General Finishes Gel Stain in mahogany.  It was very time-consuming and the kitchen was in disarray for about a week, but it wasn’t difficult.  For a bit of time and around $60 it made a HUGE difference in the look of the kitchen!

I also spray painted my existing hardware.  I just touched up a couple drawer pulls this week, but overall they’ve held up pretty well too.


Now on to the current makeover….

I am calling this a “Faux Style” facelift because I used faux brick and faux stainless steel paint.  A professional designer would probably cringe, but I think it looks pretty good and it was affordable!  🙂

Faux Brick Backsplash

Amid the repainting, I took down a couple sheets of faux brick paneling (8′ x 4′) that had been behind the wood stove (which we eliminated).  I liked the potential of the brick panels, just not their location or their previous state.  So my mind began dreaming of new ways to repurpose them.  After many hours on Pinterest and a few back and forths, I settled on a white-washed brick backsplash.  I looked at lots of pictures and fell in love.

If you don’t happen to have a couple of spare faux brick panels laying around, Pinterest told me that you could buy them at Lowes (and the like) for $20ish.  I didn’t look.  I had some already!

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I had two panels and after doing lots of measurements and math in my head, I discovered that was sufficient.  I actually thought I could get what I needed out of one panel.  And I technically could have, but the bricks wouldn’t have lined up.  So that would not have been very pretty.  So if you are purchasing paneling buy more than you think you will need.  I used one and a half sheets to get everything lined up right (and correct a few errors I made).

My biggest recommendations for cutting the brick are to measure, measure again and then maybe once more.  Try to be as precise as possible.  Also, cut one panel at a time and work your way around the backsplash.  In hindsight, this seems like common sense, but I didn’t start out doing it this way.  I started by just cutting a few strips at the height I needed and the bricks didn’t line up like I thought they would, so I had to redo some.  My recommendation would be to cut your first section, make sure it fits, then lay it on the floor next the panel you plan to cut next to line it up and figure out exactly where to cut your next piece.  That is what I ended up doing and it worked well!

In general, I am okay with power tools, but things with spinning blades frighten me – I sorta want to keep my fingers.  So this is only my second project using a circular saw.  I made a few mistakes, but I did okay, I think.  And I still have all my fingers and limbs!  Yay!  Since our house is still a work zone (still have just subfloors in the main areas) and we’ve grown accustomed to cleaning up saw dust, I did most of the work on this project inside.  It’s cold outside!  But, I will say, these cardboard like panels, produced quite a mess of dust.  So if your house is actually put together, I would probably go outside.

Once I got all the pieces cut and fit, the next step was painting.  This step was pretty fast and painless.  I read several tutorials on white-washing faux brick, but once I got started I had to find what worked for me with the paint I was using.  I decided to use Rustoleum’s white gloss latex paint.  I picked gloss because it seemed like it would wipe down easier.  We will see.  I thinned the paint to 50/50 paint and water.  Then I just painted it on the panels.  Several blogs I read said they wiped it off, some with a wet rag, some with a dry rag.  I found the paint I was using seeped into the paneling quite a bit, so after some trial and error I decided not to wipe it off at all and actually did a couple coats. Because the paint was thinned and seeped in I still acheived the white-washed look I wanted and you can see some color variation in the bricks.  The paint I used was labeled white, but I think it has a bit of a gray tint, which I was happy with.

I used subfloor glue to fasten them to the wall (we had plenty on hand).  It seemed to work well.  If your panels are cut fairly secure then you should not need any other way to support them while they dry if they are resting on the counter.  I just pushed mine on and they stayed.  The panel behind the stove is not supported by anything so I put a couple screws in it which I later covered with gap filler.  I also used the same gap filler to smooth over the seams and fill in a few spots where I messed up on my cutting.  The great thing about the white-wash technic is it is very forgiving, so I didn’t paint over the filler or anything (it was white and blended in).

Faux Stainless Countertops

2015-11-14 18.20.05Time will tell if this trick worked, but for now, I have pretty countertops that cost me about $10.  I used stainless steel colored appliance spray paint by Rustoleum.  It claims to be wipeable, water-resistant and ultra hard enamel, so if those claims hold true, I am in luck!  The cans say they cover 15-18 sq ft and I think that is actually pretty accurate.  My counters took about two and a half cans.

I read lots of reviews before using this paint and several reviewers warned against using it indoors.  I decided to try it.  I opened lots of windows and used an air mover (high powered fan) to make sure the fumes went out the nearest window and fresh air came inside.  The smell reminded me of a nail salon.  I wouldn’t call it pleasant by any means.  I used a drop cloth and some painters tape to cover the cabinets, but I didn’t have a major issue with overspray.  Some reviewers said they found traces of the paint 20 feet away.  I didn’t find that to be the case.  But again, I currently just have subfloors in my kitchen, so I wasn’t that worried.  The paint does leave some stainless colored dust nearby, but I found it to clean up easily.  If you decide to paint the counters inside make sure you can achieve good ventilation and protect surfaces that you are concerned about.  I’d move any nearby rugs, curtains or other fabrics that can’t be easily washed.

As far as prep, well, I cannot really tell you.  This was my second attempt at painting my countertops.  The first attempt was faux granite.  It worked, but I didn’t like it like I thought I would.  So I had already used a primer on the counters for that.  I just used the stainless steel enamel over what I had done with no additional prep.  It is made to stick on glossy surfaces, so it seems plausible that you wouldn’t have to prime, but your guess is as good as mine.  I’d say if in doubt, use a primer that is made for glossy surfaces.

Here is again!

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Finishing Touches…

Since I has some stainless steel paint left over I did some other finishing touches, including painting outlet and light switch covers.  I also painted my kitchen faucet.  It was already stainless, but this paint has a bit more of a shimmer to it and looks a little fancier, so I think a coat of paint really jazzed up the faucet!  I also didn’t bother to tape off my sink.  I didn’t strive to cover it with paint, but some paint did get on it and it sorta made it blend into the counters, without a full covering.  It may or may not stay, which is fine either way.

2015-11-14 17.48.17I recently added the island.  I suppose in keeping with the theme you could call it a “faux island” because I converted a dresser we already had to the island for a little extra storage and work space.  I painted it and added the stainless enamel to the top and to the hardware.  I also did a little distressing, which don’t show up too much in these pictures.

Another change you may or may not have noticed from the pictures – I relocated my microwave cabinet.  I just took down a couple cabinets and swapped them.

What turned me on to the joys of appliance paint was a couple weeks ago when I bought a can of white appliance paint to turn my stove from a two-tone to solid white.

Here’s one more set of before and after shots all together….

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Disclaimer: I am not in any way a professional and this is merely a hobby of mine.  I cannot guarantee the results others might have with any of the projects in this or any other tutorial I post.  As always, please use caution and be wise when working with tools, paints, glues, etc.!   Have fun!

From Built-in to Murphy Bed: DIY Wall Bed with Shelves

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Disclaimer:  This is a tutorial on how I took a built-in shelf in my daughter’s room and transformed it into a murphy bed.  Now, I realize that most anyone who might read this post probably doesn’t have a built-in that they can slightly modify and make into a murphy bed, but hopefully this will inspire some with ideas for their own built-in + murphy bed.  I don’t have a tutorial for the built-ins, because I didn’t build it, but with some 1X12 boards, a similar shelf unit could be built to fit your room and hold your bed!  I hope this helps someone, at least a little.  🙂

Also, I really didn’t know this project would turn into a blog post, so I apologize that there are not a lot of step-by-step pictures and some of the ones I have aren’t great quality.  Most of these pictures were pictures I took on my phone and texted to Megan to show her my progress.

Before we get started, here are a few things you need to know about me:

  1. My husband, Ryan, and I have two small children – a girl and a boy.
  2. My house is small and I am always trying to find ways to maximize the space.  It’s sort of an obsession.  Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail miserably.  My husband can attest that I am constantly rearranging furniture, etc., to try and make things “work” just a little better – and probably also to solve an underlying need for change.
  3. Another detail about my life is that my parents and my in-laws both live far away, so having a guestroom of sorts is a necessity.  However, we only have 3 bedrooms and no other space to utilize for this.
  4. Even if I have money to spend, I pretty much always try to spend as little as possible on every project.  This is probably somewhat because I am a bit of a tightwad, I mean thrifty, but I also think trying to find the cheapest (preferably free) method of doing things is part of the challenge and the fun for me.  So that said, most of my tutorials will reflect this.  That doesn’t mean my way is necessarily the easiest or best, but it is often the cheapest that I could come up with.  I do occasionally vary from this and I will spend money if it is deemed necessary, but if it can be done for cheap, that’s usually the path I take.
  5. I also often have a “if there’s a will there is a way” mentality and as my mother can attest, I’m a bit strong willed.  So there is usually a will.  🙂

Okay, so now that you know those things, this post will probably make a bit more sense.  Most recently, my daughter’s room has served as the guestroom when we have overnight company and she either sleeps in our room or her brother’s room.  We have an extra queen-sized bed, so I moved it into her bedroom a while ago and she had been using it as her bed.  She was mostly okay with this, but the bed took up nearly half of her floor space and little girls need room to play.  So I started thinking of a solution.

I spent lots of time searching pinterest, of course!  I considered a futon, ee0257d038acd1a6b858cee8211211c0which seemed like the easiest solution, but I wanted a queen-sized, so it didn’t seem to be the cheapest.  Plus, we already had the queen bed.  I considered a loft bed, but wasn’t so sure about the idea of a queen-sized loft bed or the practicality of adults occasionally sleeping on it.  So then I was pretty set on the idea of a murphy’s bed.  I looked at lots of DIY ideas, but most that I found were neither easy nor cheap.  Then I came across this and it got me thinking…

Here is the source if you’d like to check out theirs!


So, why did this post strike such a cord with me, while others did not?  Two reasons:

  1. This bed is surrounded by built-ins.  Guess what!?  My girl already had a built-in shelf in her room.  Could it be used as the structure for the bed to fold into?  Hmm…
  2. Another big plus, this bed is not made with the pricey mechanism that many of the murphy beds use.  Instead it uses piano hinges.  Guess what!?  I already had some of those!  Yay!

So I was sold!  Now I was just a little nervous about pitching the idea to my hubby, because this wasn’t my run of the mill, rearrange the furniture or paint a dresser type of project.  But, he liked the idea too!  Yay!

built-in shelf

The original built-in shelf was mounted on the window wall.  There was a set of shelves on each side with a large opening in the middle.  Obviously, I could not build the murphy bed in front of the window and the opening was not big enough, so this project would require some modifications.  You get a Throw Back picture, because believe it or not, the only reasonable “before” picture I can find was from WAY back when we were working on decorating the nursery.  I was not into the DIY scene at the time and her room has had countless changes since then, but the shelf is the same.  🙂

I took several measurements of the preexisting shelf, the mattress and the wall that I wanted to build the murphy bed against.  From those measurements I drew up some plans.  I decided for the best fit I would cut the preexisting shelf down a little bit to make the top shelf usable.  I also discovered that if I attached the bed horizontally, instead of vertically, the fit along the wall would be PERFECT!  Yay!

I deattached the shelf from the original wall and took the shelf apart where I needed too.  Then I had my hubby make a few cuts to adjust the height of the shelf to where I wanted.  After the shelf was down from its original location, I had to repaint the room, because the shelf was there before we painted, so we hadn’t painted behind it.

Then it was time to reassemble.  Because my shelf was already built, this step really was not hard.  I just reattached the shelf to the new wall with screws.  I used corner brackets to attach the shelf to the back wall.  Previously, it was just attached to the side walls and I don’t think it was even in the studs, but since the shelf was becoming a murphy bed compartment, I knew it needed a lot more stability.

Here’s some pics, but they are rough.

built-in shelf to murphy bed 4  built-in shelf to murphy bed 2  built-in shelf to murphy bed 1  built-in shelf to murphy bed 3

Once it was attached, I took a break…for about two weeks.  I moved the mattress into the opening, used some stretchy cords to secure it so it didn’t fall over and threw a blanket over it to hide the mattress.  Time passed.

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Making the bed frame (which is also the compartment door).

I kept going back and forth on how to build the actual bed frame/door.  The most common and obvious answer was to buy plywood, but true to my nature, I really wanted to repurpose rather than buy and build something new.  So, what did I do?  I started taking apart the box springs.  I didn’t need it anymore and I didn’t really want to send it to a landfill, so what if I could reuse it or at least reuse part of it?

I wasn’t 100% sure what was inside of that thing, but the fabric along the bottom tore off fairly easily.  Then I was able to pull the rest off, leaving the fabric padding that went along the sides and top still attached as one piece (I didn’t know it at the time, but I later discovered this could be reused too).

Next I started disassembling the actual box springs.  This is where the “if there is a will there is a way” motto came into play.  I have to admit taking this thing apart was extremely monotonous.  There was a lot of pins in there that had to be removed, then each spring had to be twisted to get it loose.  It was a hot day, so I rethought whether it was really worth it a few times.  But I was determined, so I persisted and I got it apart!

I didn’t take enough pictures of this part, but as you can sort of tell, there is a wooden frame on the bottom, a whole bunch of springs and then a metal grid on top.  Once all the springs were tediously pried off of the wood with a hammer and a screw driver and then twisted off of the metal frame, I was left with the two grids.  You can see the fabric I removed in the background.disassembling a box spring mattress

Once I got it apart I was determined not to buy any other materials to build the bed frame.  This was partially for “thrifty” reasons, but also, because I knew that if I could reuse these grids it would be lighter than if I used solid pieces of wood, such as plywood.  I wanted it to be sturdy and safe, but I wanted to add as little weight (ie. wood) as possible.  I’m a pretty petite girl and one of the disadvantages of using the piano hinges instead of the murphy bed mechanisms, is that you have to be able to support all of the weight of the bed when you lift it up and down.  I think the mechanisms have some sort of tension springs that help with this (but, again, they are pricey).

After I had dismantled the box spring, I spray painted the wooden grid.  Then once it was dry I placed it upside down, then I took a purple blanket that I already had and laid it down over the wood (this was basically a curtain to conceal all the other layers).  Then I got an idea!  If I used thebuilt-in shelf to murphy bed 13 fabric I had removed that covered the top and sides of the box spring, it would create a “pocket” for the mattress to fit into.  This would keep the mattress secure without adding any more wood to the frame (no additional weight).  Perfect!  Then I laid the metal grid from the box springs down inside of the pocket.  Once I had these four layers stacked together, I took the “C” shaped pins (not sure what they are called – sorry) that I had removed when disassembling the box spring and grabbed my hammer.  I used the pins to attach the four layers together.  They went in without too much trouble and made the base feel secure.  Bed frame complete!

IMG_0695You may notice in the picture above that there is another layer on top of the metal grid.  This was also hidden inside of the box springs, so I tossed it in to protect the mattress from the metal grid.  It’s not attached to anything, just laying there.  Then the mattress goes inside.  If you add a fitted sheet on top, tucking it over both the mattress and the “pocket” then the mattress is secured to the bed frame and won’t shift when you raise and lower the bed.  Even if the bed is

Attaching the bed frame to the built-ins.

Sorry, but I don’t have any pictures of this part.

I measured the opening in the built-ins one more time and then cut a 1×12 (which I already had) to fit along the bottom of the opening where I would later mount the hinges that hold the bed.  I had gone back and forth about what height to make the bed off of the ground, but I had some 4x4s and also had a frame my dad had built several years ago out of 2x4s to go under the box springs and raise the bed (I didn’t have a bed frame), so rather than “reinvent the wheel” I decided to make this the height.

I laid some 4x4s on the floor and then laid the 1X12 on top of it.  I attached the 1×12 both to the 4x4s and also to the wall with corner brackets.  Notice if your mattress is deeper than the 1X12, you may need to modify this a bit.  This “shelf” where the hinges will be mounted needs to be at least as deep as the mattress, so that the mattress can fold up inside of it.  Once the “shelf” was installed I used three piano hinges (I think they were 18″ each) to attached the bed frame to the 1X12.

IMG_0686I ordered a couple straight loop latches that I installed to keep the bed in place.  The ones that I ordered were 3″.  A little bit longer would have probably been a bit better.  But these seem to hold the bed securely.  So I’ll probably keep them, unless I come across some really cool decorative latches that are affordable!

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Please ignore the partially removed linoleum on her bedroom floor. That is a project for another day! Hopefully soon…

I never ran across any ideas for legs that I loved, so at least for now, I have decided to use the frames that my dad had previously build.  The advantage to these (other than that I already had them), is that I feel they make the bed very secure.  The disadvantage is that they require separate storage (they don’t fold up inside the bed).  For now I am just storing them in the closet of her room.  There is adequate room to do that and we don’t have to put the bed down that often, so I am fine with it, but I may come up with something else someday.  We will see.  If you are going to be using the murphy bed on a nightly basis, this is probably not ideal.

So there you have it!

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This is where my sweet girl sleeps, so we don't pull the murphy bed up and down unless we have company sleeping crib bumber pad into toddler quiltover.  One of my awesome aunts made her quilt from the fabric of her crib bumper pad!  I love it!
This is where my sweet girl sleeps, so we don’t pull the murphy bed up and down unless we have company sleeping over. One of my awesome aunts made her quilt from the fabric of her crib bumper pad! I love it!