Thrifty stair railing redo

Hello friends!

Today I wanted to share with you a little project going on around our place. We’re redoing our stair railing!

The newel post, banister, spindles and railing leading upstairs in our home felt a little dated. Since this stair railing is one of the first things you see when you come through the front door of our home, we decided it would be a good idea to update it.

But we knew it was going to be a tricky project … and that has turned out to be true.

This is what the stair rail looked like originally. Meh.

About a year or so ago, I got this brilliant idea to paint it white, which turned out hideous and started to wear off where the handrail gets the most contact. I don’t have any pics of that disaster, so you’ll have to take my word for it.

After that, we really didn’t have much of a choice but to start over, so I scoured Pinterest for ideas that would work for our particular architecture and knee wall situation. I really like this one …

Source

The next move was to figure out how to get it done inexpensively.

I purchased the wrought iron spindles online from Stair Supplies. They have a great selection.

I bought the newel post unfinished off the shelf at Lowe’s for about $100. I had an unfinished banister on hand from a pile of trim I bought at an auction for $2. So that was a huge score!

I stained all the unfinished pieces in a color called Moorish Teak. I also primed and painted the knee wall trim white to match our DIY wainscoting and other trim.

Of course, we had to demo the old railing.

Then big man and little man installed the new newel post.

Here’s where we are right now.

Our plan is to get this thing totally done by Thanksgiving, since the whole fam will be here. Wish us luck!

Have you started any projects in preparation for Thanksgiving?

$40 Craigslist china cabinet redo

Hello friends!

Today I wanted to share with you the makeover I gave to a Craigslist china cabinet I bought for $40 last winter.

My goal was to make it look something like this:

Source

Step 1: Prep the piece for paint

I started by carefully removing the glass from the doors along with all the hinges and other hardware. Then I gave the piece a really good scrub with an abrasive sponge and Rust-Oleum® de-glosser, which comes in the Cabinet Transformations kit. I have several bottles of this stuff on hand leftover from past projects.

Step 2: Apply chalked paint with sprayer

After the furniture was clean and dry, I used a small paint sprayer and sprayed a coat of Rust-Oleum Chalked Paint in Linen White on everything. Actually, it was a mixture of Linen White and Aged Gray, I think, because I didn’t have enough white on hand to cover everything. I just used whatever I had left in the basement.

Step 3: Brush on metallic finish

Next I used a large chalk paint brush to apply a thin coat of metallic paint over everything. I absolutely love the Modern Masters® Metallic Paint Collection and have used these metallic paints on many different projects. I chose Warm Silver for this project.

Step 4: Distress the piece with an orbital sander

After the metallic coat dried, I took an orbital sander and lightly “roughed up” the piece to give it a slightly distressed look.

Step 5: Apply clear enamel to seal the piece, then add hardware

Finally, I sprayed on two coats of Rust-Oleum Satin Clear Enamel to seal the piece and provide durability. I also added some new, aged bronze hardware purchased from Lowe’s.

Done!

Below you can see how the piece complements my 7-foot DIY barn board ‘Gather’ sign.

I decorated the inside of the cabinet using dishes I got at an estate sale years ago. I purchased this entire set of Japanese china (service for 16) for $5!

I picked up this pumpkin at HomeGoods recently.

And, although it’s not in the china cabinet, I wanted to show you the adorable velvet pumpkin sprigs and other fall faux greenery I picked up at Hobby Lobby for the dining room table.

What do you think of the new furniture and decor in the dining room? Have you done any fall DIY projects?

 

This project is linked up at Home Stories AtoZ

Meet the ‘Micro Flip’ (before and after)

Hello friends. I’m happy to report I’ve completed another flip house! #happydance

This one was a little different in that we only did a very small amount of work to the property, to keep it uber-affordable for the buyers, which are dear friends of ours.

We actually had the buyers for the property before we ever bought it ourselves, so it was an interesting set of circumstances.

Now the new family can continue the rehab journey, putting their own stamp on this beautiful home as they see fit.

Meet Micro Flip!

This adorable Craftsman-style home has beautiful space and features, like hardwood flooring throughout (although some is still under the carpets), and some key updates, like vinyl replacement windows and siding. We purchased it through a foreclosure auction site. It was in pretty sad shape, but the bones were good.

Notice the American flag … it’s becoming my signature on all the properties I flip.

Our friends needed to finance the property, but some key things needed to be accomplished to make it through a strict loan process.

We took care of those things, along with a lot of help from the new homeowners. We also added our own stamp on the place by doing a quick cosmetic update in the master bath and kitchen. We had to be VERY cognizant of budget on this one and keep the rehab low key, as affordability was the main factor for the buyers.

Some of the items accomplished at this home included:

  • Replacing frozen/damaged plumbing
  • Changing the front door hardware
  • Power-washing the front of the home
  • Scraping and painting the front porch ceiling
  • Sealing the porch foundation
  • Removing the dilapidated fence in the backyard
  • Jack-hammering out a set of concrete “stairs to nowhere” in the backyard
  • Scraping, patching and painting the master bathroom ceiling and walls
  • Installing new bath and shower hardware
  • Installing a new toilet in the main bathroom
  • Stripping wallpaper, scraping walls and sanding and priming the master closet
  • Priming the walls and fixing the ceiling in one of the bedrooms
  • Scraping and priming the attic walls
  • Updating the kitchen with a fresh coat of paint on the ceiling, walls and cabinetry
  • Installing beadboard molding wallpaper and trim in the kitchen
  • Sanding and refinishing the kitchen floors
  • Repairing the main systems (HVAC, water, electrical, roof, foundation) as necessary, confirming they’re functional and passed inspection
  • Scraping and painting the basement walls
  • Cleaning.

I’m sure I’ve missed something but these were the main squeeze. Now for the before and after pics!

KITCHEN BEFORE

KITCHEN AFTER

Walls are a custom mix of Sherwin Williams Anew Gray and Oatlands Subtle Taupe. Cabinets are Sherwin Williams Keystone Gray. Floors are Kona stain and clear satin finish. We kept the existing countertops and hardware.

The art is mostly from Hobby Lobby (and my basement lol). I sewed a quick set of curtains from inexpensive Hobby Lobby fabric.

The rug is from Target.

MASTER BATHROOM BEFORE

I can’t show you the “before” of the other side of the master bath because it would give you nightmares. #nokidding

Check out the color of that soapy water!

MASTER BATHROOM AFTER

MASTER CLOSET BEFORE

MASTER CLOSET AFTER

And here’s a little peek at the downstairs living and dining rooms. We didn’t really do much but clean in there.

The cool, inspiring thing about this particular project was that the buyers rolled up their sleeves and helped out, so we could keep the selling price affordable for them. It was truly an amazing – albeit exhausting – experience for all of us.

I’m confident this amazing family is now buying a move-in ready home with fantastic equity that is safe, clean and super cute! I look forward to seeing how they put their own stamp on the place.

I was so blessed to be part of such a meaningful project and to help well-deserving, hard-working folks buy their first home together, where they can raise their beautiful children. This is what fuels me! Here’s a pic of us after we got done with everything … all smiles.

Meet the Lewises! (Me on the left, Lewises on the right)

I’m so happy with how things turned out. This certainly wasn’t an easy project (which one has been?) and there were a lot of hurdles to jump, but it was well worth the effort.

Here’s the crazy part … Although there are certainly other expenses associated with a flip (buying/selling costs, holding costs, insurance etc.) I was able to do the work here with under $1,700 in rehab funds. I’ll likely never be able to accomplish something like this again, and the homeowners chipped in as well. We put in some serious sweat equity for a truly successful project that will bless the Lewises for years to come.

What do you think of our “micro flip?”