Rustic IKEA Hack Cabinet Transformation | Pretty Handy Girl

Rustic is not usually a word used to describe IKEA. IKEA is better know for their modern furniture, simple lines, meatballs and funny Swedish words. Today I’m going to change how you perceive IKEA furniture forever! Are you ready for this? Well, hang onto your hästes (Swedish for horses) because you’re going to see a transformation nothing short of amazing! You too can customize your plain jane furniture by adding legs and cladding the exterior with reclaimed picket fence wood.

This tale starts with a hunter green stained IKEA storage chest that I bought for our first apartment and stained myself (can you tell what decade it was? Hint: hunter green, honey pine, throw some burgundy in there and I’m sure you’ll be guessing no more.) It moved from room to room each time we settled into a new home. But, it never really fit in.

ikea chest in guest room

The cabinet was short and not very deep. Plus, it bore the mark of the popular 90’s hunter green. It was ugly. Why didn’t I get rid of it years ago? Maybe I was attached to it because it was the first piece of furniture I ever stained myself. And it brought back fond memories of calling the fire department because I smelled gas. Turns out you aren’t supposed to use an oil-based stain indoors, especially if you have a gas stove. Lesson learned.

Rustic IKEA Hack Cabinet Transformation | Pretty Handy Girl

Fast forward two decades and it’s still hanging around. The other day as I was lamented the fact that our foyer is too small to fit a cute dresser, I found myself looking at this sad little IKEA chest. I picked it up and put it in our foyer. The fit was perfect in the small space behind the front door! But, it was short and let’s not mention the hunter green again. Plus, it just wasn’t cute. And it doesn’t reflect my warm and weathered style. But, you know me, I wasn’t deterred.

I did some mental gymnastics and began to hatch a plan to create a marriage that would last longer than two decades.

Old picket fence pieces

It began with some pieces of old picket fence that I found by a dumpster. They were perfectly chippy and rustic! Luckily the 3M Lead Check results were perfectly negative. I carefully took the fence apart and removed all the nails.

Lead check picket fence paint

Ready to see how I convinced the two polar opposites that they belonged together — rustic and modern — to create a match made in heaven? Let’s explore this couples’ counseling further:

Read more

Painted Bedside Vanity | Pretty Handy Girl

In the quest to makeover our master bedroom and save money, I’ve been painting several pieces of furniture to coordinate with the new bed I built.

One of the pieces I painted was this small desk that doubles as a nightstand. Our bedroom isn’t very large and our master bathroom is even smaller than what can be described as a “master” anything! Doing my hair and makeup in our bathroom isn’t a viable option, especially when both Pretty Handsome Guy and I wake up at the same time. When I saw this little desk at a local thrift store, I grabbed it. Especially because she was only $20!

Painted Bedside Vanity | Pretty Handy Girl

She had lots of age, but not much character.

top-of-wood-vanity

However, she was the perfect size and had just enough storage for a makeup vanity.

With a light sanding, primer and a coat of Benjamin Moore Advance paint, she is now showing her more glamorous side. Read more

Facelift for a Knotty Pine Dresser | Pretty Handy Girl

You know you’ve seen those knotty pine dressers from yesteryear. Their spotlight has faded and they are finding themselves at thrift shops, ReStores or worse yet…at the curb.

Facelift for a Knotty Pine Dresser | Pretty Handy Girl

I’m begging you to let this knotty eyesore back into your home. It doesn’t have to be banished. It’s KNOT her fault she was built from cheap pine. All this dresser needs is a new coat of paint and some beautiful brass knobs and all her flaws and knots will be forgotten.

Facelift for a Knotty Pine Dresser | Pretty Handy Girl

Extra observant points to anyone who realized that this blogger forgot to take a good before picture! She looked very similar to the knotty pine dresser shown above, except she had wooden circle knobs and an unfortunate set of bun feet. I did remove the bun feet from the dresser when I first brought it home. Mama ain’t got no need for buns in this oven (or on my dresser.)

Here are the details on how to refinish a knotty pine dresser and give it a complete makeover!

Materials:

  • Sandpaper
  • BIN primer
  • Damp rag
  • Paint brush
  • Foam paint roller
  • Quart of Benjamin Moore Advance paint (Deep Ocean)
  • Valspar asphaltum glaze
  • Brass hardware (I bought mine from House of Antique Hardware)
  • Drill with bits
  • Screwdriver
  • Level

Instructions:

This tutorial will be fairly brief, if you need more photos and explanation, you can view my previous dresser painting adventure.

Begin by removing all the drawers and knobs. Lightly sand the dresser and drawer fronts. Wipe off any sanding dust. Read more

Seaside Theme Bathroom Refresh #LowesCreator | Pretty Handy Girl

You know those projects that you complete 80% of the room and think to yourself, “This is good for now. I’ll do the rest in a day or two.” Yup, the boy’s bathroom was one such 80 percenter. I finally took the time to finish the last 20 percent of this bathroom makeover by giving it a refresh with some paint and new knobs.

The bathroom used to look like this:

Seaside Theme Bathroom Refresh #LowesCreator | Pretty Handy Girl

But, before that, it looked like this:

I find it comical that I took an underwater themed bathroom and gave it a seaside retreat feel. I guess you could say I pulled this big whopper from within the ocean and laid it out on the beach. LOL.

Let’s break it down now. Here’s how to paint a bathroom vanity so it will withstand the abuse of two young boys: Read more

Make a Tray from a Cabinet Door | Pretty Handy Girl

One of my favorite places to thrift shop is the Habitat ReStore. I mean, where else can you find cool $2 cabinet doors?

Make a Tray from a Cabinet Door | Pretty Handy Girl

This fine cast off door is just screaming to be upcycled into a beautiful tray. Especially when the same thrifting adventure yielded VERY COOL door hardware! Simply combine the two and you have yourself a unique serving tray to give as a gift (or keep for yourself.)

Make a Tray from a Cabinet Door | Pretty Handy Girl

Materials:

  • Cabinet door
  • Door handle or cabinet handle
  • Wood putty
  • Putty knife
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Screwdriver bit
  • Rubber bumpers

Optional: Rub n’ Buff Gold Leaf

The steps are super simple. Read more

Today you have been invited to take a house tour at my friend Holly’s home. Holly is a good friend of mine, so luckily I didn’t have to beg too much for her to let us into her home. But, before we go in I want to tell you a little more about her. She wears many hats. She is a wife and mother of two boys first and foremost. But, she also runs Storywood Designs, a furniture refinishing business and Framed by Storywood, her Etsy Shop. She has a wonderful eye for color and design (which is evident in her furniture pieces and home décor.) When I first walked into her home, I knew I could live there and not have to change a thing.

Holly and her husband bought their 1980 home a few years ago. There were plenty of touches from previous owners that she worked with or covered in a creative way. I scanned the real estate flyer (sorry about the quality) to give you an idea what their house looked like when they bought it. The changes they made are phenomenal and yet they didn’t break the bank to do it.

Are you ready for the tour? Wipe your feet and come on it. Do you like the initial on her door?

She sells them in her Etsy shop!

Here we are in the living room, but this is what the room looked like a mere 3 yrs. ago:

And here is the living room today!

I know armoires are starting to go out of style, but this one is gorgeous with the cut out panels! If she ever tries to get rid of it, I’m grabbing it!

They painted the fireplace white and it really brightens up the room. See, I can appreciate a painted white fireplace, even though I repainted ours to look like brick.


I love all her fall décor. Especially the lit pumpkins on the hearth.


Beside the fireplace are sweet built-in cupboards and cabinets with wood countertops. It adds charm to the small niche.


Now we make our way into her kitchen  — my favorite room and the most stunning transformation. This was the kitchen before:


Get ready to catch your jaw before it hits the floor.





The pendant light adds lots of warmth and texture to the space.


Adding corbels under the upper cabinets was a genius idea for adding instant charm. I am itching to do the same thing to our kitchen cabinets. When I do, you can be sure I’ll share a tutorial.




Holly and her husband made the kitchen table. The wood was whistling for my attention the entire time I was photographing the kitchen. And with lines like this, how could I help but stare?




By removing many of the upper cabinet doors they made the kitchen feel larger and more airy.




Did you see those little decorative tiles? Would you believe that they had hideous country scenes before. Holly simply painted over the scenes and added a stencil! What a smart idea!



Just in case you wondered (because I definitely wanted to know), the base cabinets got a coat of white sage paint by Olympic. (Holly says that Olympic discontinued the color so Lowe’s had to custom mix it in their kitchen and bath enamel paint.) The top cabinets and walls are painted Benjamin Moore Lancaster White.


Setting out a little lamp adds some warmth to this corner of the kitchen.


The breakfast area has built-in benchs on two sides. The pillows make the space feel cozy.



One of Holly’s frames turned into a chalkboard:


Okay, right this way to the dining room.


I really want to display my blue and white china like she has done on this wall.


Adjacent to the dining room is her sitting room. Here is the before picture of that room:


She and I (well mostly Holly) just repainted the room a very neutral gray. I can’t believe what a big difference it made.



The china cabinet is a recent refinishing project that Holly just completed. The distressing on this piece is perfect!


Check out those layers of paint and glaze. Scrumptious!


And the bowed front and curved glass make this cabinet unique.


Speaking of distressing, here is another one of Holly’s tables that she refinished. This little table would make a perfect breakfast table or just a side table. It is for sale right now!

I’m jealous of her talent. Maybe I can convince her to take me as her understudy.


Thank you Holly and family for letting us tour your home. Your hard work really shows in your beautiful home.

I spent the weekend in Norfolk, VA with my two wonderful sisters (Alana and Caitlin) and Alana’s boyfriend, Eddie. We had fun kicking some DIY butt! 

Most of the projects were centered around Alana’s kitchen. The kitchen was remodeled a few years ago, but it was never really finished. Our mission this weekend was try to complete some of those unfinished projects.

One of the tasks we accomplished was installing knobs on the kitchen cabinets. Another was touching up paint on the walls (but that is another post for another day.)

  

Caitlin made a template out of cardboard that made it a snap to install the knobs.

First she measured the corner square on the cabinets. It was 1.5″ square.

Then she made a hole in a piece of cardboard 3/4″ from two edges of the template. This way we knew our hole would be centered in the square every time! And she marked the outside corner with a little arrow.

I lined up the template at the corner of the cabinet, making sure the arrow was pointed at the outside corner. (We used the edge of the raised panel, instead of the actual corner of the cabinet.)

I used my drill to make a mark where the hole would go.

Then I removed the template and slipped a piece of scrap wood behind where the hole was being drilled.

Then I drilled into the cabinet until I felt it enter the scrap wood.

Can you name my facial expression? a) I just got a whiff of old yeasty bread. b) I’m really concentration on my drilling. c) I’m trying not to laugh at my sister taking my picture.

Then Caitlin threaded the bolt through and screwed on the knobs. Perfectly beautiful and those of us with fat fingers and short fingernails can get into the cupboards now.

For your viewing pleasure, I thought you might get a laugh out of one of the outtakes of our  Charlie’s Angels inspired picture. We were doing our best at making a sexy face. Caitlin said  “sexy facial expressions” must not run in the family. Not sure what’s with that fish face I’m sporting. So much for my sexy look.