Major Impact that isn’t PAINT!!!

When you think of changing a room, some may automatically go to new paint or furniture. Painting can completely change the feel of a room in a very cost effective way. Although, this is not the only way to change the feel of a room. I did not truly appreciate the impact of our last project until it was finished.

From the moment we moved into our home, I hated the closet doors in each bedroom. They were original, wood doors. Aside from looking like garbage, they felt cheap. I mentioned to my husband I would love new closet doors, but his first reaction was “there is nothing wrong with them, we have other things we need to do that take priority right now”. He was absolutely right, so I left it alone. As time went on, they actually started to breakdown. My husband fixed them countless times but eventually it got to the point they were beyond repair.

So… after more than 3 years my dream was coming true! NEW CLOSET DOORS! Wahoo!! Off to the home improvement store we go. Browsing the endless options, some where just SO pretty. I looked at the prices, not too bad. To do 3 bedrooms, it was going to cost just over $300. Reasonable, right? This is when the fun really began…

After giving the gentleman that was helping us the measurements for the frames he kindly informed us, “Sorry guys, this will be a custom order. Your door frames are no longer builders standard sizing.” Say WHAT?! That evil word just kept repeating in my head…. CUSTOM… CUSTOM… CUSTOM!!! You know what that means…. $$$$$!

I was not a happy camper. Now that replacing our closet doors had become a ‘need’ rather than a ‘want’, we didn’t really have a choice. We discussed what would look best in the space and add the most value to the rooms, then placed our order. When the closet doors arrived, I was actually SO excited! Who would have thought new closet doors would make me so happy!? I certainly didn’t.

My husband is amazing, actually. He took a week off to work around the house and the closet doors became his first project. Anyone who has installed closet doors knows they are not easy, with so many small parts and requiring exact measuring it is a very time consuming project. It took him an entire day to install all 3, fusing around with each door. (I am kinda glad I was working! ūüėČ lol) When I came home and looked at the final result, I could not believe the difference it made. I absolutely LOVE them, giving each room a totally different feel.

You may be asking what the final bill was since it was custom. Well, the price doubled. The standard sizes started at $300 and our bill was around $600. Yes, the cost was significantly more for this project but completely worth it. The closet doors look amazing!









(Excuse the mess!!)









Part 4: Working with what you have! REVEAL!

Working with what you have in your possession is not always the easy route to take. Often refinishing the pieces you have can be very time-consuming, when purchasing a bed frame or side table would just be easier. I can assure you if you are on a budget, working with what you have will always be cheaper!

As a reminder, this is what our spare room looked like before…


My Inspiration Board looked like this…

Spare Room Inspiration Board

DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!! …. The finished product!


The room looks so fresh and clean! Can you believe the room cost me $182.00??!!

Let me break it down for you:

РPaint, Stain & Supplies $80

– Curtains $49

– Pillow $10

– Shelf $20

– Lamp $23

Now, you might be asking, “What about the bedding!?” My husband and I received¬†the bedding as a wedding gift. If the bedding was not available to me, I would have used another option I already owned but painted the room a different colour. The major transformation¬†came from staining the bed frame, re-finishing the side table and painting the walls, all of which are low in cost. This project took me HOURS to complete, much longer than I care to admit but in the end turned out great!


Part 3: Working with what you have!

With the bed frame coming along nicely, I decided to tackle the side table. The structure of the side table was really good with quality wood. I considered staining the side table the same shade as the bed frame, however I knew I was painting the dresser white. In order to tie in my white accent color, the side table was a good way to add another element of my overall concept.


I started by lightly sanding the side table. I decided to use Benjamin Moore Cabinet paint. Even though, you are not required to sand the furniture you are painting when using this product it never hurts. The paint will always stick to a sanded or rough surface better than finished/clean surface.


Using this product requires a lot of time. The coats go on very thin but the finished product shows quality. Other products apply thicker, leaving a more “caked on” finish product. I waited about 12 hours between each coats.


After applying 4 coats of paint, I decided to replace the handle with a glass knob. I purchased the glass knob from Home Depot for $5.50.

Drum roll please…


I am absolutely in love with this side table and how it turned out. Yes, I know you are probably thinking, “It is only a side table, really you LOVE it?!” As a matter of fact, I truly do. It is fresh, clean and feminine. The table goes so well with my overall concept for the spare room it was intended for.


Part 2: Working with what you have!

When it comes to home renovations, the reality is most of us do not have unlimited funds. We see the beautiful rooms displayed in decorating magazines and wish we had the bank account to support what it takes to get “the look”. For our last spare room I definitely did not have the funds to support what I wanted to do, I really needed to work with what I had. My creativity was put to the test in many ways, both conceptually and physically.

In my mind, I could see my vision and what I wanted the end result to look like. I find it helpful to create an Inspiration Board, which¬†provides a visual of what you are thinking. In addition, I find it particularly helpful to ensure you keep “on track” with your concept. When you stay on track, you stay on budget (typically).

Spare Room Inspiration Board

To get the dramatic change I was looking for I decided to re-finish the furniture in the room. The pieces had good “bones”, meaning the quality of the furniture was solid with modern lines.


To the dismay of some, I decided to stain the bed frame but paint the side table and dresser (not shown). Some are completely against the idea of painting real, quality wood. For the most part I agree, however in this case painting the side table and the dresser made more sense.

To start, I lightly sanded all pieces. I found working with a gel stain significantly more “user-friendly”. Wipe stains (a pure liquid) are not easy to¬†work with, as you need to¬†apply quickly to achieve an even application. Gel stains allow for a slower, more precise application. Wipe stains make errors more obvious.


To apply the stain, I used a microfiber cloth. I cut the cloth in small strips so it was easier to work with.


For the shade I was aiming for, the bed frame required 2 coats of stain. The can indicates you may apply additional coats after 6 hours, however for the best results I would recommend 24-48 hours between coats.


I would highly recommend applying the stain in a well ventilated¬†area. It may seem obvious, however the gel stains advertise to be more “odorless” than wipe stains. I found the smell to still be extremely strong.

To be continued…


Working with what you have!

58761_433892078605_7817852_nYou may look at this photo and think, “it isn’t THAT bad!” Truth be told, our last spare room wasn’t terrible but definitely not to the same standard as the rest of our house. I really wanted this room to have a fresh look because I felt it was dark and boring. My husband liked how the room was, not having any interest in changing it. So, you can imagine his reaction when I started to bring out paint samples and idea boards. Suddenly, my small budget¬†became almost nonexistent, hearing “there is nothing wrong with the room the way it is, why waste any money on it?!” I suddenly had flashbacks to my childhood, experiencing what my mother has had to endure¬†from my father for more than 30 years. *Sigh* Did I marry my father?! I truly did not have a good response and settled for, “Babe, I just want it to look pretty too…” Being the ‘mans man’ he is, it was the very last response he wanted to hear.

I decided to work with what I had. It was time to redo the furniture. If I wanted the dramatic change I was looking for something needed a complete overhaul! The bed frame, side table and dresser were being re-finished. I decided to break the news to my husband that this bedroom “face lift” was happening (whether he liked it or not!) by asking him to take a part and carry the extremely heavy bed frame to the garage, followed by¬†a smile, kiss and a big thank you!

To add a little more chaos to the mix, I decided to do this a week before Christmas. Yes, that is correct, one week. I am aware you are thinking I am crazy, which I am. I love being creative, I become completely obsessed with my projects. My husband gave me one deadline, I had to have the bed frame finished before New Years Eve, being we were hosting a house party and required additional sleeping accommodations.

I sat in my garage staring¬†at the multiple pieces of furniture¬†before me. My husband asked me if I knew what I was doing, which I obviously responded with a confident “Of course!!” Had I ever¬†re-finished furniture? No. Did I have a clue what I was doing? Of course not. The only thought that went through my mind was, “Well girl, you better get started because you have a long road ahead of you!!”


To be continued…