DIY flat wood doors to Beautiful designer doors! (for under $10!)

So let me be clear, although my house is not really old (built in 2003) it DOES come with a  lot of outdated touches. For instance, the hollow wood (can we even call these real wood?) doors with tacky gold knobs. I’ve decided that I was tired of staring at these ugly old things, and after a year and a half of tolerating their unwelcomeness in my home, I finally did something about it! As stated in previous blogs, I’m a penny pincher, so replacing 5 doors just wasn’t in my budget. Rather, I was able to knock the cost down to under $10 per door! (ALL materials– some left overs too!) You don’t need to be a handy-man to tackle this simple DIY, and you really don’t even need to be a painter or acquire any such skills. The steps are fairly simple, and if you have the patience- you won’t regret it! The outcome is outstanding, and more than I could have hoped (for the sake of not dealing with the EYESORE of icky brown “wood” flat doors anymore). So let’s get to it.

Materials:
-Wood trim from any home improvement store (the sell several different textures, widths, designs, etc.) — just pick the one that speaks to you! ($1.70 a piece- we need 12)
-Wood SUPER glue (We got this at the home improvement store as well, the FAST setting, thick glue for wood! ($4.00)
-Painters tape ($3.00)
-Sandpaper (We used 120 grit) ($1.00)
-White semi-gloss paint and primer in 1 (OR any other color you want your new doors!) ($21 a gallon — we ONLY used 1/4 of a gallon! SO much left over paint for other DIY’s!)
– brushes/rollers (we had them already– nothing fancy either)
Total cost: $49.40 — that comes out to $9.88 a door!)
Total time:
One day (Most likely faster/easier if you don’t have a toddler!)

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Excuse the unbearable lighting, it was nighttime when I started and early morning when I finished! Because, when is else a busy mom supposed to complete her spontaneous DIY’s?
This is just ONE of five doors that I re-did (as you can tell by the tape and unpainted door in the after pic). I was just too excited to wait to snap a picture of this gorgeous view! NO MORE UGLY DOORS- WOO! Anyways.
After I collected all my materials and eagerly made my way back home, I started as SOON as my toddler was off to bed. I began by sanding– the worst part! For me, at least. I sanded and sanded and sanded, and then I washed my doors and trim with soapy water! After the wash and sand, I dried them VERY well. And now… the fun stuff!

TRIM! 🙂 I began measuring my wood trim exactly how long I wanted each piece, based off the size squares I chose. I honestly picked a random size that seemed to fit for my door, but most doors are different sizes- so that may differ for each person. My wood trim looked like this:

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It had some texture and dimension to it, which I liked! But to each his own and you can pick whatever suits you best. I measured each stick to make a square, and used a hacksaw to cut each end at an angle, so that when the pieces are put together, they make a square. I repeated this same process for the rectangle. Then, I did this 4 more times for each one of my doors.

After all your wood trim is cut, it’s time to glue and tape!

This is something you may need another person to help you with, just to properly ensure that your squares are even on each door! I placed one stick at a time, marking on my door with a pencil where I wanted it to go, then squirting a line of glue all the way down each piece, and then placing it on the door. One the piece was placed, I used a small piece of painters tape to hold it in place! I repeated this process for each stick, on each door. It should look something like the unpainted door in this picture:
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Don’t mind the adorable diaper-only small person attempting to paint the door. As I was waiting for the glue to cure on the trim, I decided it would be a good time to wash a few dishes. In my peripherals I saw my little toddler run to the doors (WITH my wet paint tray still out– I know, rookie mistake!) but for some reason it didn’t register. Once the light bulb went off, I immediately RAN to these doors to see what she could possibly be doing! Painting my carpet? Herself? The floors? Oh jeez. And yet, I turned the corner to see my sparkling cherub trying to help mommy, she had grabbed the paint brush and proceeded to paint the door for me– all by her 2-year-old independent self. How sweet! 🙂

Back to the doors!

Once the trim is glued and cured, it’s time to remove your door knobs, tape  around the trim of your doors so you don’t paint your walls- and paint those doors!
I used linen white, but any color that suits you best will work! I also had to do 2 coats, but the end result is amazing.

By this point you’ll be oogling over your gorgeous new doors, and perhaps take a selfie with them! But wait, there’s one more crucial part to this DIY. The “jewelry” for your fresh new doors– the knobs! So I looked everywhere for affordable, fashionable, modern knobs… but for 5 doors, it was going to cost me a minimum of $70… how about no! So, I did what I usually do with anything I want to update… PAINT THEM! I used Rust-oleum brass paint, but the oil rubbed bronze or black was next on my list! For the knobs, you need to lightly sand them (120 grit) and then wash them thoroughly. Mine looked like this BEFORE: image[6].jpeg

After a few coats of spray paint (I did NOT primer, I didn’t want streaks or drips!) they look like BRAND new knobs! And modern, at that!

 

I stare at these doors often, and I’m so glad I finally tackled this project! Affordable, stylish, and EASY! Enjoy y’all!!

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xox

Jayleigh

 

$20 “Granite” counters

No, this isn’t a joke– these counters literally cost $20 or less, depending on the size of your counter space! This is BY FAR, my absolute favorite DIY that I’ve done. In fact, I adore it so incredibly much that aside from painting my own counters, I’ve painted one of our friend’s counters, too. Although it is time consuming (I mean…you can’t rush perfection, right?!), it is absolutely, 100% totally and completely worth it. And while you also can’t put incredibly hot things on these counters like you can the “real deal” granite counter tops, they’re still an amazingly affordable, fashionable, chic alternative. So with all of that being said… let’s get started.

Begin by picking out the type of “granite” you want in your kitchen. These pictures are not of my kitchen, but they are my work! My kitchen will be posted in a later DIY blog, because we remodeled the entire thing and it deserves a more in depth breakdown 🙂 (my kitchen is my sanctuary, FYI). For our kitchen, as well as my friend’s kitchen, we went with a dark granite. Our paint colors were black, dark brown, dark gray, tan, cognac and cream. Don’t let our preference limit you, though, the granite options are literally endless! Just give a quick internet search of “granite counters” and you will be presented with hundreds– even thousands of beautiful options of all colors and patterns. The acrylic paint cost me 50 cents a bottle (can you say BARGAIN!!), and one or two bottles of each really is all you’ll need (unless you’re covering more than 9 feet of counter space). I bought my paint at Wal-Mart in the craft section. You’ll also need sea sponges, which I also bought at Wal-Mart in the craft section, but like the paints- you can pick these up at any craft store. For the remaining supplies, you’ll probably have to take a trip to the home improvement store! You’ll need 200 grit sand paper, any kind of primer (a small can will do), a mini roller foam brush (you need 2 foam roller refills), and a can of Minwax polycrylic (medium size can, depending on how much shine you desire on your counters).

The first thing you want to do after gathering all of your supplies is tape off your wall, sink, or any other areas connected to your counters that you don’t want to get paint on. I used blue painters tape. Next, you’ll need to clean your counters. Rid all of the clutter, dishes, bills and miscellaneous items off (is it just me, or aren’t these things normal countertop décor?!). Once your counters are cleared and cleaned (I just used soap and water), it’s prime time! Literally, though, it’s time to prime. Use the mini foam roller to spread an even, flat, THIN layer of primer onto your counter tops. Let it dry. 🙂

When the primer is dry, take a sheet of 200 grit sand paper and lightly sand the counters to get them even and flat. This step isn’t completely necessary, but it helps make them exceptionally smooth.

Wipe the excess dust off the counters, and you’re ready to paint! Let it be known, that there truly is no special technique to painting these counters. You’ll literally pick a sea sponge, dip it in paint, and dab away. You’ll probably end up “dabbing” on your counters thousands of times, but it goes by quickly! Alternate colors, mix colors, and switch sides of your sponge frequently! Remember, real granite is not a consistent pattern. Every inch of granite is different, and that’s what you want to achieve with your counter tops.

As you’re painting you’ll notice areas that need more of a specific color, less of another colors, more shape/direction/finesse, etc. I wasn’t kidding when I said you’ll probably dab thousands of spots onto your counters! Just be sure to put on your favorite music or TV show to help the time pass! (Or, play nothing and enjoy the peace and quiet! Quiet is something that rarely happens around here, LOL).

Although it’s not completely  necessary to let each layer of colors dry before applying another color, some people prefer to do this to prevent mixing different paints. Personally, I like the way the paints look when they mix! This is totally your choice and preference.

Once your counters are where you want them (hours and hours, later!) be sure to sand them again, to ensure that they’re flat and there aren’t any large chunks of paint anywhere. We want these counters to be smooth!

At this point, they should look exactly how you want them — without the shine (yet!). If you’re satisfied, then it’s time to add the polycrylic. Some people like to polish their counters off with polyurethane, but I did my research and read that it can “dinge” or “crack” over time, and I really did not want to take that chance– so I stuck with the polycrylic.
IMPORTANT– make sure your paint is COMPLETELY dry before applying the polycrylic, it WILL bleed your colors if they aren’t completely dry, and then your hard work is ruined 😦 (I know this from experience, trust me!). Spread the polycrylic layers on very thin, and use the foam roller. You’ll want to do thin layers to prevent imprints from your brush, I did 8 different layers on my counters. Be sure to let each layer dry, too! The shinier you want them, the more layers you’ll need to apply.

Once your desired shine is achieved, you’re finished! 🙂 And probably totally in love with your new (and WAY improved) counters! But remember, to better protect these sweet new tops, try to wait at least 3 days before using them! Tempting, I know, but don’t let all your hard work go to waste. I waited 3 days to use mine, and then 3 weeks to REALLY use to (putting pans, coffee mugs, etc. on them) just to ensure that the polycrylic was completely set.

 

As you can see in the photos, I added several random dark spots to make the counters look more realistic and legitimate, which I was EXTREMELY pleased with the outcome. From a distance, NO ONE can tell that they aren’t real. I frequently get compliments about my counters, and I never hesitate t0 let anyone just how cost effective they really are! 🙂

Note: as previously stated, these are the counters I painted for my friend! I did paint my own, but I will blog my kitchen in a later post (it deserves it’s own attention, of course!).

 

Good luck and happy DIY-ing!!
xox
Jayleigh

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My $7.50 wreath

So, we all know that I’m all about saving that $$. Cute wreaths can cost anywhere from $30-$80 around here, and I’m sorry– but that’s just not in my budget for front door décor! Given that I made this in November, I wanted a cute wreath with a holiday feel. However, this wreath is so dang cute that I plan to keep it up year round! 🙂 To begin, I bought an 8 inch foam circle from the Dollar store (for of course- $1). I also bought 4 bundles of their flowers of my choosing, costing me $4. I then used a roll of thick tweed that I had lying around the house (I got this at the craft store for around $2). I had all my essentials, grabbed my trusty hot glue gun and I was ready to go! I began by pulling the stems off of each flower that I wanted to use, and sticking them into the foam with a dollop of hot glue on the bottom of each one. Fast forward ten minutes, and all my flowers were where I wanted them (I made sure to leave a gap for the tweed). I started by wrapping the tweed with gluing one end and then continually wrapping it around until it was covering the length of my desire (make sure to continually glue along the way– keeping the layers tight together!). That is basically it! I made a loop at the top of the wreath so I could hang it on the door, and embellished it with a 50 cent “H” that I bought at Joann’s (50% off Holiday Décor sale). How easy, cute, and cheap!

Foam circle = $1.00
Flowers= $4.00
Tweed= $2.00
“H” décor=  $0.50
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$7.50! 🙂

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