Home Improvement for Dummies

So a couple of weeks ago, I decided to spend my “free weekend” doing what any other rational person would. I hired a babysitter to watch my kids and sweat my face off completely reno-ing the downstairs.  Then when they’d go to bed I’d keep working till like 10:00 at night and I could barely move from exhaustion. I know, I’m a freak.

My awesome hub was out of town and I wanted to surprise him by doing the projects I’d talked about and pinned for so long. He had no idea what I was up to and when I left Lowe’s that Thursday, they were asking if I’d just bought a house.  Yup, two years ago.  We’re just slow on the decorating side.

Basically, I decided to go all “Home Improvement for Dummies,” I raided Lowe’s and just decided to tackle as many projects as I could manage in about 3 days.

I repainted almost all of downstairs and love the colors.  The crappy brown paint that was on the walls before was a cheap attempt by the sellers to stop scaring off potential buyers with their ugly mustard yellow walls. It was NOT pretty.  Cheap paint means peeling and greasy walls. They were in desperate need of some satin paint to hide the greasy hand prints and the crayon art my little graffiti artist left (Allie).

project reno

bedroom redo (elephant gray) * sanding some chairs, nbd * spray painting a mirror to match the formal and brighten it up * Airstone aka magic love

The table used to be my mom’s. She used it as a work table in her loft. We use it as a kitchen table and it’s been “well loved” which means it looks like crap now.  I sanded it down and painted it white (along with the chairs from above).  That little project left me with lovely white “highlights” because FYI oil paint doesn’t wash out of hair. Between crawling around to primer the furniture and crawling around to paint it, I got a bit messy. And I’m a messy person to begin with.

Kitchen Redo

This was my favorite project. AIRSTONE. If you haven’t heard of it, they sell it at Lowe’s. It looks just like rock but it’s super light, like an air stone. Duh. It’s not super cheap but it’s very easy to work with and rock is all the rage in homes right now.  Or something.  Let me just say that it’s worth the money.

The only tools you need are a hacksaw, some muscles, and most important is a rag and a bucket of with water to clean up the mess.

To prep, I completely wiped down the tiles with TSP cleaner (or any heavy duty cleaner). I’m pretty sure you don’t have to but I had some leftover and figured it wouldn’t hurt. To apply, you line it up and just apply special putty to make the stones stick to the surface. The only thing I recommend is be sure to clean off the putty while it’s wet. I didn’t do that and now have to figure out how to get my mess cleaned up.

I knelt outside on the patio and took a hacksaw to the stones to make some of them fit.  Then I got creative and started just rubbing the edges on the cement directly when I just needed a quick bit taken off.  Good job by me.

The difference between our 1990s pink tile and the stone is night and day. I love it.  If you have questions about using it, let me know. I’ve deemed myself an expert.

fireplace reno


The living room.

It just felt really dark.  I lightened things up with a creamy gray (but more on the bright side) color paint and also picked up a brighter color white rug. You can’t really tell because I was pretty much exhausted and didn’t really think when taking pictures, but it seems so much brighter. Especially when the blinds are actually open.

So yeah! That’s what I was up to. Now to finish the clean up and put the final touches on. It only took 2 years to get the work done, maybe it’ll only take a couple months to finish it up.

new walls



11 thoughts on “Home Improvement for Dummies

  1. Crazy awesome! I don’t think I would have completed one of those projects in a weekend. You do have to stop to eat, sleep, etc. at some point!!! Nice job; love the fireplace.

    • I did sleep, because man was I tired! Thanks so much! The fireplace did come out pretty neat and completely changed the look of the room. xoxo

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