Fresh Look for a French Country Secretary

Thank goodness for paint. Many pieces of furniture destined for the landfill have been saved by those of us who love to rescue such things, thanks to the miracle of paint. And once rescued, our treasures can be painted and re-painted as our homes change, our color pallets change or we move to a different home altogether. Such is the case in this post where my second-hand secretary got a new lease on life for the second time.

I paid $45 for this beauty at my local Habitat Restore several years ago. It was a little tattered, and the fretwork was so damaged that it couldn’t be saved. It also had a few pieces that needed to be re-glued, but ohhhhh how I loved this piece of furniture!

French Country Secretary/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.wordpress.com

It was a clear choice for me to paint it black after I originally brought it home since it was going to live next to my black kitchen table. I loved how sophisticated and formal it looked. Here’s the piece after I painted it black. It was beautiful!

 French Country Secretary/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.wordpress.com

Now we fast forward. I moved to a different home where I wanted to create a more relaxed atmosphere, and after several months of indecision, and switching to a curb-find kitchen table that I painted white, I decided the time had come for the secretary to become white too. If I hated it, I could always paint it black again. Right?

I love stripes when it comes to interior design. Stripes on walls, stripes on furniture and stripes on upholstery just make my heart sing! So my makeover had to involve stripes. I love the calmness of French Country design, and I wanted something subtle for this piece of furniture.  My goal was to remove it from its just-another-painted-secretary status.

I painted it White Duck by Sherwin Williams, but I wanted to leave the interior black for contrast for my white dishes. There was a chance this piece might end up in my bedroom at some point, and my bedroom furniture is also White Duck. That made the main color choice an easy one.

French Country Secretary/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.wordpress.com

Now for the stripes. Grain sack stripes are my new-found love, so I searched the internet for dimensions that would be appropriate, although there are different styles of this type of stripe. I had zero luck finding measurements, so I played around with some printer paper and tape to come up with stripes that felt right to me.  So for those of you who would like a guide, I ended up using a 2″ stripe down the center, a 3/4″ space on both sides of the large stripe, and then I decided on 1/2″ stripes on the outer edges. Here are my samples—neither of which I used, but you get the idea.

French Country Secretary/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.wordpress.com

I wanted to add some stenciling in addition to the stripes, and since I didn’t want to experiment with a design directly on the secretary, I made a mock-up out of cardboard. First I cut the cardboard to the size of the area of the desk I was wanting to paint, and then I painted it White Duck. I then drew the lines for my stripes.

French Country Secretary/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.wordpress.com

I needed three different shades of a similar color for my design, so I chose light, medium and dark colors from my SW Color-to-go samples. If I had used only one color for all three areas, some of the areas would have disappeared where parts of the design overlapped. You’ll see what I mean in a minute.

French Country Secretary/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.wordpress.com

I painted the stripes on my cardboard with the medium shade (SW Agreeable Gray) without taping them off, but when I painted the actual furniture, I used green frog tape to get nice, straight lines with no bleed-through. I must admit when my skeptical self first heard about frog tape, I thought it was just a gimmick to get people to spend more money since it’s pretty pricey. But after using it, I highly recommend it because it’s much better for striping than regular blue painter’s tape.

French Country Secretary/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.wordpress.com

I then started stenciling. I only wanted to use certain parts of the stencils, so I put tape over the parts I didn’t want transferred. I used the lightest shade for the vines (SW Worldly Gray).

French Country Secretary/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.wordpress.com

French Country Secretary/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.wordpress.com

So here’s what I had after adding my first stencil.

French Country Secretary/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.wordpress.com

And for the second stencil that I purchased at Michael’s, I used the darkest color (SW Anew Gray). This step makes it more obvious why I couldn’t use just one color for this project. You can see in the next photo, how my stencil overlaps my stripes. If I had stenciled the letters in the same color as the stripes, the letters would have disappeared.

French Country Secretary/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.wordpress.com

French Country Secretary/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.wordpress.com

After I finished, I taped the cardboard sample to the desk to see if everything looked the way I wanted it to. Yep. Good to go!

French Country Secretary/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.wordpress.com

Now I was ready! I repeated all these steps again, but on the actual piece of furniture this time.

 French Country Secretary/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.wordpress.com

 French Country Secretary/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.wordpress.com

I loved this piece painted black, but it’s more appropriately painted white in the less formal style of my current home.

 French Country Secretary/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.wordpress.com

 French Country Secretary/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.wordpress.com

Unfortunately, the decorative painting doesn’t show up too well in the photographs taken from farther away, but I hope you can see well enough in the close ups to get the idea.

 French Country Secretary/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.wordpress.com

 French Country Secretary/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.wordpress.com

 French Country Secretary/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL.wordpress.com

It’s amazing how changing the color of this piece from black to white brightens up the space. I also re-painted an armoire from black to white at the same time I painted the secretary, but haven’t jazzed it up just yet. More about that one later…

This post was written by Tracy Evans who is a Journeyman Painter and Certified Home Stager/Redesigner. If you enjoy gardening, you may want to pay a visit to her gardening blog at MyUrbanGardenOasis.Wordpress.com.

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How to Fix a Warped Cabinet Floor

How to Fix a Warped Cabinet Floor

I’m guessing most of you DIYers out there are familiar with the idea of installing self-stick floor tiles on the floors of kitchen cabinets—usually inside the cabinet under the kitchen sink. That’s a space that can get pretty gruesome over time.

I had been wanting to tackle this in my current home, but my cabinet floor was warped. I’m guessing the kitchen sink had a leak when the previous owners lived here. When I laid a level across it, I could see a dip of almost a full inch at its lowest point, and I knew the tiles wouldn’t adhere to a surface that dipped like a cereal bowl.

I decided since I couldn’t install the tiles, I would cover the cabinet floor with non-stick shelf paper. Not one of my better ideas. It quickly became just as ugly as it was before I tried to spruce it up. Plus the shelf paper wasn’t a solution for the warped floor. You can’t really see the dip in this picture, but here’s a before picture anyway just for kicks. You’ll just have to trust me that it was nasty under there.

How to Fix a Warped Cabinet Floor/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

So one day, a light bulb actually appeared over my head in one of those little white clouds. (Not kidding.) I had an idea. I decided to search through my stash of scrap wood for some skinny pieces to fill in the divot. Then I could cover the scraps with a thin sheet of plywood, and then I could cover the plywood with those fabulous self-stick linoleum tiles.

Since there was a divider in the center of the front of the cabinet where the doors close (you can see this in the above photo), there was no way to install a single sheet of plywood big enough to cover the whole floor. But I just happened to have two pieces of plywood that I could cut down to fit through the two cabinet door openings, and could piece them together to cover the cabinet floor.

Here’s a picture of the darker small scraps on the floor of the cabinet that are placed in the dip. I just kept layering pieces in the low part until it was level with the rest of the floor. Then I laid a piece of plywood that I cut to fit, over the top of the scraps (on the left side in the photo). The other piece I used to finish the floor is the darker piece that is leaned up against the side of the cabinet on the right in the photo. I used 3/8″ plywood that I had leftover from another project for both the scraps that are filling the dip, and for the actual “sub-floor” placed on top of the scraps.

How to Fix a Warped Cabinet Floor/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Next I laid down the second piece of plywood to complete the cabinet floor. The colors of the two pieces didn’t match because one of them was stained and one of them wasn’t, but they were going to be covered with tiles, so no biggie.

How to Fix a Warped Cabinet Floor/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I had to tack down the plywood in a few places since the pieces were a little wonky from being stored in my garage.

 How to Fix a Warped Cabinet Floor/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

How to Fix a Warped Cabinet Floor/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Here’s my new mini “sub-floor”, so nice and flat now! I was pretty happy at this point because I could see this was actually going to work.

 How to Fix a Warped Cabinet Floor/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Here are the amazing, kick-butt self-stick linoleum tiles that I bought for $2.00 at a garage sale this past summer. In case you’re not familiar with this type of flooring, think of each square as a sticker on steroids. You just peel a sheet off the back to reveal the sticky back side of the tile, and simply press it into place.

How to Fix a Warped Cabinet Floor/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I had no prior experience with these tiles, and was pleasantly surprised at how easy they were to cut using a utility knife against a straight edge. I laid the tiles on a scrap piece of wood while cutting so as not to cut directly against my floor. I started in the front/center of the “floor” and worked my way back.

How to Fix a Warped Cabinet Floor/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Here’s my finished project. My hope is that if there’s ever a leak in the sink again, that these tiles will protect the floor somewhat. The tiles, with their slick finish will also be easy to clean.

How to Fix a Warped Cabinet Floor/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

How to Fix a Warped Cabinet Floor/HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

It’s so nice to have a clean area under the kitchen sink. The bathroom vanities are next on the list!

This post was written by Tracy Evans who is a Certified Home Stager, Certified Redesigner and Journeyman Painter servicing the Central Illinois area. Feel free to visit her website at www.HelpAtHomeStaging.com to view her portfolio for more before and after pictures of her projects. And if you enjoy gardening, you may want to visit her gardening blog at MyUrbanGardenOasis.

How to Make a Simple Custom Stencil

When I agreed to make one of those super-cool flags out of an old pallet for my friend, Sam, I knew I was going to need a stencil in the shape of a star. I also knew the chances of me finding one the perfect size and shape for my project were pretty much zero. So I got creative and made one myself for free. Here’s how.

The first step is to go to Google Images or another search engine, and find a shape of whatever you’re looking for. I decided for the flag pallet I wanted a classic, simple star shape. I found one I liked, and then copied and pasted it to an open page so I could edit it.

How to Make a Simple Custom Stencil / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I played with the cropping until I got the star the size I wanted, and printed it. Or not. I was highly disappointed when I went to my printer, only to discover it spit out a blank piece of paper. But where there’a a will, there’s a way.

Since I was too impatient to start my search for another star on another site, I decided to trace the image right off my computer screen by covering the star with a post-it note. The outline showed through the paper beautifully.

How to Make a Simple Custom Stencil / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Then I ever-so-gently traced the star with an ink pen. You could also use a pencil, but I would caution against a felt-tip pen or sharpie since the ink could bleed through onto your computer screen. Now that would be very bad.

How to Make a Simple Custom Stencil / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

How to Make a Simple Custom Stencil / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Next I went into my recycle bin, and found some light-weight cardboard. (Gotta love Pop Tarts.) A soft-drink carton or cereal box would work too.

How to Make a Simple Custom Stencil / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I then cut around the star with a sharp craft knife, being sure to press hard enough to cut all the way through the cardboard underneath. Be sure to protect your table so you don’t cut into it. That would be bad too.

How to Make a Simple Custom Stencil / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

How to Make a Simple Custom Stencil / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Then you remove the cut-out from your cardboard.

How to Make a Simple Custom Stencil / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

And there’s the stencil! (This picture is of the back side of the Pop Tart box.)

How to Make a Simple Custom Stencil / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

How to Make a Simple Custom Stencil / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

How to Make a Simple Custom Stencil / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

How to Make a Simple Custom Stencil / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

How to Make a Simple Custom Stencil / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

This is a great way to create a custom stencil that’s specific to your project. The internet has many shapes that can be copied. And since stenciling requires a relatively dry brush, the cardboard will last a very long time. I’ve had stencils I’ve made for past projects that were literally used hundreds of times. Happy stenciling!

(If you would like to see how you can make your own flag pallet, click here.)

This post was written by Tracy Evans who is a Certified Home Stager, Certified Redesigner and Journeyman Painter servicing the Central Illinois area. Feel free to visit her website at www.HelpAtHomeStaging.com to view her portfolio for more before and after pictures of her projects. And if you enjoy gardening, you may want to visit her gardening blog at MyUrbanGardenOasis.

American Flag Pallet

American Flag Pallet

When my friend, Sam asked if I would make her an American Flag pallet, I was happy to comply. Not only because she’s been my friend since kindergarten, but also because of what she’s been through personally.

Sam’s son, LCPL Retired Jared Poppe, lost both of his legs while serving in Afghanistan on June 7, 2011 at the age of 21. He deserves more recognition for his incredible sacrifice than I can possibly give him here, as does Sam for all she went through as a military mom who nearly lost her son. Nonetheless, I would like to dedicate this post to Jared, to Sam and to all of our dedicated troops and their families.

Here’s Jared after recovering from his injuries.

American Flag Pallet / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

American Flag Pallet / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Needless to say, this project is a very special one.

If you’ve spent any time on Facebook or Pinterest, you’ve probably seen a host of creative uses for old pallets. I’ll be the first to admit this fabulous idea isn’t mine, but I’d like to share my version of a flag pallet anyway. Here it is…

American Flag Pallet / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Fortunately, I have access to an endless supply of pallets that are headed for the dumpster because of my job as a painter. You pallet-loving DIYers may be thinking, “Boy she’s lucky to have super-duper access to all those pallets! She could make tons of flags, sell them and become a millionaire.” Negative.

It’s not easy to find a pallet that has slats running in the right direction for the flag stripes, and many of the pallets are too big to fit in my little 1994 Maxima work-mobile (a.k.a. Maxine). Guess I won’t be rich any time soon.

After days of keeping an eye on the mounting stacks of pallets, I found a nearly-perfect one. Maxine could handle it, and the slats were running the right direction! (Hear angels singing, “Hallelujah”.)

American Flag Pallet / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

It was a little bit too square for a flag shape, so I decided to cut some slats off the bottom to make it more rectangular. Sam suggested cutting off two of the slats so it would have seven red stripes like an actual flag. Kudos to you, Sam for being politically correct with our flag. Removing two slats was perfect.

I didn’t like the idea of having gaps between the slats, so I recycled the slats I removed from the bottom by cutting them to fit behind the spaces. Since I didn’t have enough wood for all the gaps, I used some baseboard I found curbside.

American Flag Pallet / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Here’s where the cut slats were going to be placed. This is the back of the pallet.

American Flag Pallet / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Since the flag was going to be heavily distressed, it didn’t require a persnickety paint job, and the edges of the cut up boards didn’t need to be painted because they weren’t going to show.

American Flag Pallet / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Next I painted the edges of the slats white.

American Flag Pallet / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Then the red paint went on the face only of the pallet slats. Again, I didn’t put the paint on heavily, and left some of the rough areas without paint on them.

American Flag Pallet / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

American Flag Pallet / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Here you can see the white edges of the red slats.

American Flag Pallet / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

This is what it looked like after removing the tape.

American Flag Pallet / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Next came the blue. The colors were bright at first, but I toned them down later with a coating of stain.

American Flag Pallet / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 American Flag Pallet / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I made my own stencil using a star shape I found on the internet (see how to make a custom stencil here).

American Flag Pallet / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

American Flag Pallet / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

American Flag Pallet / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

American Flag Pallet / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Next I sanded some of the white paint off the slats that were cut to fit the back of the pallet, and applied stain to age them.

American Flag Pallet / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

After the white slats were distressed, I flipped the pallet over and screwed them on the back to cover the gaps.

American Flag Pallet / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

American Flag Pallet / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Next, I covered the rest of the flag with a walnut stain to further distress it after removing bits of paint here and there with sandpaper. I also stained the sides of the palette to make it look more finished.

I liked the idea of having both red and white stripes, rather than just red stripes and open spaces.

American Flag Pallet / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

And there you have it!

American Flag Pallet / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

The paint colors were all from Sherwin Williams; Agreeable Gray (for the white), Fired Brick (for the red) and Downpour (for the blue).

American Flag Pallet / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Once again, a heartfelt thank you to Jared, and to the countless men and women who serve this country.

American Flag Pallet / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

American Flag Pallet / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

American Flag Pallet / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

This post was written by Tracy Evans who is a Certified Home Stager, Certified Redesigner and Journeyman Painter servicing the Central Illinois area. Feel free to visit her website at www.HelpAtHomeStaging.com to view her portfolio for more before and after pictures of her projects. And if you enjoy gardening, you may want to visit her gardening blog at MyUrbanGardenOasis.

Baby Changing Table Turned Coffee Table

Baby Changing Table Turned Coffee Table / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

It happened again. I was minding my own business on my way home from running errands with my dog, Buster, and there it was. A baby changing table was on the curb, practically jumping up and down saying, “Take me home! Rescue me from landfill hell!” How could I refuse such a plea?

Baby Changing Table Turned Coffee Table / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I’d been searching for quite some time for something I could use for a coffee table in my family room. You might be wondering why I didn’t just go out and buy one like most normal people. Reason number one—I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself normal, and reason number two—my family room is too “cozy” for a full-sized coffee table.

I’d been trying to get creative on this one. I was thinking a neat piano bench or maybe a sofa table cut down to size would better suit my space. But my curbside Guardian Angel, put me in the right place at the right time, and a baby changing table it is!

I loved the idea of a coffee table for this particular piece because it had a drawer and a lower shelf for storage. Those of you who are fellow small-space dwellers, know how important storage of any kind is, and I rarely snatch anything that doesn’t have storage in it, on it, or under it.

This was an easy transformation. I just cut the legs off with my $5.00 garage sale jig saw, and that’s all there was to it as far as structural alterations.

Baby Changing Table Turned Coffee Table / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Of course, I fully intend to use the remaining pieces at some point.

Baby Changing Table Turned Coffee Table / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I painted my new old coffee table black with my favorite premixed black paint from Sherwin Williams. It’s an interior/exterior paint that adheres to pretty much anything.

 Baby Changing Table Turned Coffee Table / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

We had our first warm day on the weekend I planned this project, so I was able to paint outside.

Baby Changing Table Turned Coffee Table / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

The holes where the screws were inserted didn’t have plugs in them, so I searched my plug stash and happened to have the exact size I needed. The plugs look infinitely better than the holes did.

Baby Changing Table Turned Coffee Table / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Next, I looked through my drawer of miscellaneous hardware that I’d collected from various garage sales and old furniture projects, and my heart skipped a beat. I found these cute little danglies that were the perfect drawer pulls for my new coffee table. I decided to paint a small section of the hardware black to tie it in better with the table. Here’s a photo of one of the danglies before I painted it, and another one after painting.

 Baby Changing Table Turned Coffee Table / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 Baby Changing Table Turned Coffee Table / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Here are my before and afters. You just gotta love free stuff!

 Baby Changing Table Turned Coffee Table / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Baby Changing Table Turned Coffee Table / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I’m considering covering a cushion with some fabric to put on the top so that my new treasure could also be used as an ottoman. If and when I do, I’ll post a new photo. But for now, I’m loving it the way it is.

To see photos of other curbside finds I’ve refurbished, click here.

This post was written by Tracy Evans who is a Certified Home Stager, Certified Redesigner and Journeyman Painter servicing the Central Illinois area. Feel free to visit her website at www.HelpAtHomeStaging.com to view her portfolio for more before and after pictures of her projects. And if you enjoy gardening, you may want to visit her gardening blog at MyUrbanGardenOasis.

Update Fireplace Doors With Spray Paint

Fireplace update

Is your fireplace looking outdated because of its old, brass fireplace doors? If you’ve got about $10.00 to spare, you can update them with a can of heat-resistant spray paint.

Here’s a brass screen that’s about to get a makeover.

Update Fireplace Doors With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

This homeowner, who was doing an overall fireplace makeover, had already picked out a new $300 screen when we decided to spray her old one instead. I’m sorry to say that I’ve sprayed enough mirrors, picture frames and furniture, that I alone could be responsible for that ginormous hole in the ozone layer. But I’ve also rescued many treasures from the landfill, so I’m calling it even.

Here’s the paint I used. This High Heat spray paint by Rustoleum has a gorgeous matte finish. Rustoleum also makes a product called High Heat Ultra, but some on-line research revealed that the sheen on the Ultra is a semi-gloss, and our preference was to have a matte finish.

Update Fireplace Doors With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Before spraying, I taped off both sides of the glass, the magnets that hold the door shut and the black doors designed to stop those pesky embers from popping out. I decided to go the if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it route with the inside black doors since they were already black and in good shape.

Update Fireplace Doors With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Update Fireplace Doors With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Update Fireplace Doors With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

After taping everything off, I lightly sanded with a 220 grit sandpaper to roughen up the surface. Sanding allows the paint to adhere better. Then I wiped off any resulting sanding dust because paint won’t stick to dust. (My house is certainly safe then.) I wouldn’t recommend using sandpaper with a grit under 200, or it can leave scratches on the metal that will show through the finish paint.

 Update Fireplace Doors With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I set the screen on top of some old paint cans before spraying so the screen wouldn’t stick to my plastic that was protecting the floor.

I opened the fireplace doors, and checked for areas that needed to be sprayed behind them so I wouldn’t have any missed areas of unpainted brass showing when the doors were opened.

Update Fireplace Doors With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

When spraying, I held the can at least 8 inches away from the screen, and never, ever started to spray while holding the can in one spot. Spraying paint with a can that’s not moving at a pretty good clip allows drips and sags to rear their ugly little heads.

I started to spray with the can held a few inches to the left of the screen, sprayed across the surface of the screen, and then continued to spray past the screen before stopping the spray. So before and after passing the screen with the paint, I was spraying into the air on both ends. If you stop the can at the end of the screen, and don’t go past it before stopping, that tiny nano-second where the can stops moving and the spray is still spraying will leave a what? A drip. That’s right.

After each coat, I held the can upside down, and sprayed it to clear the valve of paint, so the nozzle wouldn’t clog. If your paint dries inside the nozzle, you may be throwing half a can of paint away. It’s especially important do this when you finish a project completely, and will be storing your paint for another project.

If you can’t see through your paint on the first coat or two, you’re putting it on too heavy, and it’s not going to dry properly. Most spray paints will require re-coating within an hour or after 24 to 48 hours. (Never did understand why, but rules are rules.) So every hour, I applied another coat. It took me four or five thin coats to completely cover all the brass.

After the screen was completely dry, I carefully removed the tape. Sometimes it’s necessary to score with a knife where the painted tape meets a project so that dried paint doesn’t peel off with the tape. Another way to avoid pulling dried paint off of a project is to pull the tape off against itself instead of pulling the tape towards yourself (perpendicular to the sprayed item).

Here’s a close up of the matte finish. I read reviews that said this paint in the matte finish looks more gray than black, but I’m seeing nothing but a stunning, black, matte finish.

Update Fireplace Doors With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Here are the before and after photos. It looks great against the newly whitewashed brick. (Refer to post, “How to Whitewash a Fireplace” to see how.) And this homeowner just saved herself $300!

Update Fireplace Doors With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Update Fireplace Doors With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Update Fireplace Doors With Spray Paint / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

This post was written by Tracy Evans who is a Certified Home Stager, Certified Redesigner and Journeyman Painter servicing the Central Illinois area. Feel free to visit her website at www.HelpAtHomeStaging.com to view her portfolio for more before and after pictures of her projects. And if you enjoy gardening, you may want to visit her gardening blog at MyUrbanGardenOasis.

Creating Kitchen Storage for Pot Lids

Diy Kitchen pot lid storage

Every human on the planet should have a kitchen with designated storage for pot lids. I am not amused by a game of kitchen Jenga every time I need a lid. Unfortunately, the only place for me to store my lids is in a heap on top of my skillets, and it makes me grumpy when I need the pan on the very bottom.

But I’m happy to report that I’m done with all that. I have the world’s tiniest kitchen, as was recently confirmed by the man who delivered my new fridge. You know it’s small when the fridge man says so, but I love my kitchen. Even in my cozy cooking space, I managed to find a couple of clever ways to store lids more efficiently. If I can find room, you certainly can too.

My storage solution started with this old hymnal rack that I purchased many years ago. It had been stored in a closet for quite some time, but I’d always loved it, and just couldn’t bring myself to part with it. If you don’t happen to have a spare hymnal rack lying around, don’t despair–I’ll show you how to make one in this post.

This rack was too long for the end of my cabinet, so I removed the screws and a couple of nails, disassembled it, cut the wood pieces to the correct length and re-assembled it. I love distressed pieces, so I painted it to match my cabinets (See previous post “Yes You Can Paint Your Oak Kitchen Cabinets“), distressed it, added a couple of hooks and installed it on my end cabinet.

That took care of three of my lids and my often-used colander and steamer. I loved the idea so much that I decided to make my own rack, patterned after the original one. I decided I could mount it inside my cabinet door where my pots are stored. Genius.

Creating Kitchen Storage for Pot Lids / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Out to the garage I went for scraps. I found these in my stash, so this rack was 100% free for me to make. And even better, I didn’t have to make a trip out in the frigid, God-forsaken, bone chilling tundra of Central Illinois. It’s been a rough winter, folks.

Creating Kitchen Storage for Pot Lids / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I started with the side support pieces, marking where I needed to chisel out a spot for my bottom piece that the lids would sit on. It probably wouldn’t be necessary to chisel a groove in the side pieces if you don’t have access to a chisel or a router, but I did it because the original hymnal rack was constructed that way, and I know it offers a little more support. And more importantly, I’ve been anxiously waiting for a project where I can use my new chisels!

Creating Kitchen Storage for Pot Lids / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Please allow me to show off my set of chisels that I scored at an estate sale. I’m loving the leather pouch they came in. Most people would want to show off a new house or car. Not me. I wanna show off my pouch full of chisels.

 Creating Kitchen Storage for Pot Lids / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I cut slits on my pieces with my band saw to make it easier to chisel out the centers.

  Creating Kitchen Storage for Pot Lids / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Now I chisel! (Insert Tim Allen’s gorilla noise here.)

 Creating Kitchen Storage for Pot Lids / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 Creating Kitchen Storage for Pot Lids / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 Creating Kitchen Storage for Pot Lids / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Here’s a side view of the piece I’m using for the sides. It’s similar in shape to the original, but this design made more sense for the inside of a cupboard door.

 Creating Kitchen Storage for Pot Lids / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Next, I slid the bottom piece into the side pieces, nailed it in on both ends, and then cut and screwed in the front pieces, making sure the lid handles didn’t interfere with their placement. The bottom piece that the lids will rest on was a scrap piece of lattice.

Creating Kitchen Storage for Pot Lids / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Creating Kitchen Storage for Pot Lids / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

The two front pieces that hold the lids in, were salvaged from one of those accordion-type clothes drying racks that I broke when I ran over it with my car. It was an unfortunate accident, but I saved all the non-pulverized pieces and have used several of them. My kids think I’m a hoarder. I think I’m smart.

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 Creating Kitchen Storage for Pot Lids / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I realize this is not very attractive at the moment, but once I fill in gaps and imperfections with spackle, prime, paint, and install, it becomes one stylin’, state of the art, organizational masterpiece.

 Creating Kitchen Storage for Pot Lids / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

 Creating Kitchen Storage for Pot Lids / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I made sure I used screws short enough that I couldn’t pop them through the cabinet door, which would be highly disappointing, and that I was screwing through the thicker frame of the cabinet. I also made sure that the side pieces of the rack weren’t going to interfere with the door closing. I added an “L” bracket under the bottom piece for extra support.

Creating Kitchen Storage for Pot Lids / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Creating Kitchen Storage for Pot Lids / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I bought these screws at a garage sale, and these are the best screws I’ve ever used. Even I don’t have to pre-drill larger pieces of wood using these. I did, however, pre-drill the holes on this project since the wood was so thin and the cabinets are oak, both of which have a tendency to split.

Creating Kitchen Storage for Pot Lids / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Here are my before and afters. This is a little slice of lid-storage heaven!

Creating Kitchen Storage for Pot Lids / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

Creating Kitchen Storage for Pot Lids / HomeStagingBloomingtonIL

I did these projects in an evening, and the most time-consuming part was waiting for the paint to dry. The two racks combined have given me storage for five lids which makes a huge difference in my emotional well-being. I now only have two remaining lids that stack neatly inside my skillets. No more kitchen Jenga at my house!

For other kitchen storage ideas, visit my posts, “How to Build a Simple Kitchen Cabinet for Open Display” and “Organize My Kitchen Pantry With What?!” and “DIY Rolling Pantry Tucks Into Space by Fridge“.

This post was written by Tracy Evans who is a Certified Home Stager, Certified Redesigner and Journeyman Painter servicing the Central Illinois area. Feel free to visit her website at www.HelpAtHomeStaging.com to view her portfolio for more before and after pictures of her projects. And if you enjoy gardening, you may want to visit her gardening blog at MyUrbanGardenOasis.