DIY Projects Continue: Paint & Lighting


I lost track of how many gallons of paint I purchase for my recent DIY project, but I’m thinking it was about 20 to cover every wall and ceiling. After I completed our kitchen and bathroom cabinet transformation last fall, the paint throughout the house needed redone. We just marked 11 years in our home and we were lucky enough to be able to move right in since all of the paint at that time was fresh and a perfect color to our liking.

Fast forward throughout those 11 years to color fading, along with wrestling by the hubby and dog who fells into the walls, and this home needed a paint refresh.

New color on the left - Behr Smokestack - versus the old.

New color on the left – Behr Smokestack – versus the old on right.

We picked the colors last spring when I started my painting project in our master bedroom. My goal – keep the paint consistent and as neutral as much as possible throughout and then accent with color. The new color – Behr Smokestack – the perfect taupe color with some gray undertones that blended perfected with the carpet – another home project!

However, one bathroom into my paint job and I realized just how badly the ceilings also needed paint. Honestly, I don’t think they were actually white! I pride myself in keeping a clean house, but those ceilings were either gray or dirty. (I’m going with the gray.)


The wall color completely transformed our space changing from a yellowish tan to a fresh smoky taupe. But the mess also followed me. For weeks we lived in a plastic draped home cover every piece of furniture, flooring and cabinets. When I finished with the base color I even added a couple of punch walls with burnt orange and espresso brown.





And then I called in an electrician. If we were going to paint the ceilings, now was the perfect time to get rid of the dated kitchen lighting. Out with the old track lighting and in with new recessed LED lights that brought our beautiful kitchen up to spec. The difference is extraordinary that I can’t believe we waited so long. We also updated our dining room and flyer lights, as well as the bathrooms to get rid of the builder grade Hollywood vanity style.



bath-1With that, this recent DIY project is complete. I’m OK if I don’t see a paint brush for another 10 years. Now to enjoy our home for the holidays.


A New Kitchen

before and after

We’ve lived in our home for 10 years now and still consider our nest a perfect fit for our lives. Throughout the past decade we’ve done a few upgrades to make the home our own as any typical homeowner does. The yard has probably seen the biggest transformation as most people know I love to garden. I think the hubby cringes now every time I return from the local nursery¬† as I’m typically toting new plants and vegetables for the garden that we “must” have!

Within the last couple of years we’ve dug a little deeper than the backyard flower beds inside our home. The most dramatic had been the upgrade of our carpet. We had finally had enough of the builder-grade cream carpet that had seen its better days through the constant traffic of our big chocolate lab. Out with the old and in with the new. It was a transformation that certainly took time getting use to, but we absolutely love the warmth of the carpet throughout our home.

With the carpet we also switched out all of the old brass hardware. It certainly wasn’t a style we ever desired, but it was exciting to see how the rooms transformed with the brushed nickel touches.

This spring we switched out the dated white ceiling fixtures for modern brushed nickel lights and dark wood fan blades. We still have a few lighting elements to change out, but that will have to wait for the next round of improvements.

And now the latest home upgrade.

It was throughout the past five weeks that I spent endless hours late into the night completely the transformation of our kitchen and bathroom cabinets. While the builder-grade oak cabinets were good at one time, they needed a new life.

For months I’ve followed blogs and researched options to change the color of our cabinets without the expense of new ones. Then I found the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation kit. In 4 steps it will take your lifeless cabinets and transform them into a brand new look. Let me remind you though – this is NOT A WEEKEND PROJECT! It literally took me five weeks of some sort of coat every day but two. I figured I needed at least that off.

I didn’t really know what to expect and how it would look, so I opted to start in the master bathroom. That way if it looked just awful we could close the door and hide it from our guests.

But it didn’t look awful. I was amazed at how well the kit worked.

As for supplies you’ll need a few good brushes to make this transformation complete. You’ll also want to get a role of plastic to put under the doors. I converted my kitchen table and island into painting areas and covered them in table pads and plastic to protect them. Since you’ll be flipping the doors to do both sides, you’ll also want some type of prop for the corners. I found stoppers and then also a pack of rubber corner protectors that come in a pack. The kit comes with the rest of the supplies needed.

Before you get started remove all of the hardware as it will certainly help to get a clean look.

Step 1: Deglosser.

This step is a must if you want your cabinets to turn out. It completely cleans them all up and preps them for the layers of paint and glaze you’re about to add. This step was pretty easy as I just scrubbed, whipped clean and then let dry.

cabinets 4

Step 2: Base coat.

The Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation kit comes in two main options – a light and dark kit. And within each there are tons of color options. The hardest part is deciding off of a tiny picture on the side of a box. You’ll need to have the base kit tinted at the store. Hopefully you’ll get it right because after that there are no returns! Two coats of the base color with drying time in between and I was set to move forward.

cabinets 3

Step 3: Glaze.

So they list this step as optional. While I know everyone has their own preference, the base color is so one dimensional that I can’t imagine not using it. The glaze completely brings out the wood grains and adds life to the cabinets. I will note that you’ll probably want only one person to do the glaze because there is an art to brushing it on in the right direction and desired amount to get the effect you’re after. I went heavier with the glaze which I love, but it took way longer to dry. Most of the time I left the glaze to dry for 36 to 48 hours before the final step.

Step 4: Top Coat Sealer

The final step in this process is to seal everything with the top coat protector. It gives it a matte finish and seals is all up tight. This step dries fast so you have to work quickly as once it gets tacky there is no moving it. It also forms bubbles easily and drips so you need to be on the lookout.

cabinets 1


  1. Add hardware in my case. We never had hardware on any of our cabinets, so adding it made a world of difference.
  2. While we didn’t plan to upgrade appliances at the start of the project, once I got further along we realized our dated white appliances had to go. But so worth it to us!

Total cost of the cabinets: $110 for the product. $40 in hardware. Time – don’t ask!

The new look is amazing and we’re so happy with how it turned out. Transformation complete!




Connect With Me

Welcome to my journey! I'm a wife, dog lover, gardener, outdoor enthusiast and cook, but I keep busy during the day as a communications, marketing and social media professional.
Looking Back
Blog Categories