Home Renovation: Dining Room Makeover

We are still working on our house, so it seems like we are always in a state of construction, but some rooms are totally finished. One of those rooms is our dining room.

This room needed some work, but not as much as our kitchen or bathroom so it wasn’t a total gut.

When we purchased the house, the room looked like this.

The dining room needed a little updating, here's what we did on a budget.

There was wallpaper and border paper around the top half of the room. The closet doors where louvered which made them look more like a bedroom closet than a closet in a living space.

The tile was classic 1980’s white that carried into the kitchen. There was no light fixture, which was fine because we replaced all the lights in the house.

The dining room opens to the family room and backs to the kitchen. For about 15 seconds we discussed opening the wall between the kitchen and the dining room, but I actually like the separation so I’m glad we didn’t do it, at least for now while the kids are still young. I also would have lost all my upper cabinets in the kitchen had we removed the wall, which would have definitely not worked in the kitchen!

What we did:

  • Removed the tile and replaced with hardwood. We chose a dark hand scraped hickory for all the hardwood in the house.
  • Replaced the louvered closet doors with paneled doors.
  • Removed wallpaper and border. (AHHH WALLPAPER!!!!)
  • Painted wainscoting (it was an off-white) the same color as the trim and doors in the rest of the house.
  • Installed a new light fixture.
  • Replaced all receptacles 
  • Painted the air register white

dining_room_after

Products used: 

  • Wainscoting, doors, and trim: Pure White by Sherwin Williams
  • Walls: Front Porch by Sherwin Williams
  • Light fixture: CB2.com

I’m planning on painting my dining room table and probably changing the hutch from an off white to a pure white, but the “bones” of the dining room are completed.

Dining room renovation

I absolutely love this room, it is very sunny and overlooks the pool. Because it opens up to the family room, when we have parties there is tons of space for people to gather, eat, and relax.

dining_room_finished

I just realized that we haven’t painted the knobs on the closet doors yet, whoops! I guess the dining room is almost finished. We didn’t need to replace the closet doors, but I’m so glad we did. It makes a big difference in the room.

Firefly_pendant_from_cb2

This is the firefly pendant from CB2.com. It took me two months to find the right light fixture for this room. All the fixtures I wanted were super expensive and they hung too low. Our dining room ceilings are only eight feet so I had to find a pendant light that was designed for an older home with lower ceilings.

The only problem with the firefly pendant is that it is a pain to install. Because of the flat panel along the ceiling, you have to jam all the wires up into the ceiling in order to make the panel flush. It took my guys about three hours to get it right.

However it was totally worth it because I LOVE IT!

Even though it wasn’t part of the renovation, many folks have asked on Facebook about the furniture in the room. I have a very hard time buying new furniture because I feel like there are so many used “gems” out there.

We did buy the dining room table and chairs new at IKEA. I do not love them, however the table easily seats twelve with the leaves. The table is STORNAS and was around $500. The chairs are KAUSTBY and are $49 each. I’m more impressed with the chairs than the table. The table is pine so it dings very easily. The chairs have held up well considering how many people sit on them every day.

The hutch is something I found used and is painted Annie Sloan Old White and Duck Egg Blue in the insets. It is distressed slightly but not much. Most of the items in the hutch are things my husband picked up during his travels around the world while he was in the Navy.

The dining room has become one of my favorite rooms in the house. We don’t eat in here often, because of the giant island in the kitchen, but we play games, do school, make crafts, and just hang out.

The rest of the house is coming together slowly. One of the things I’ve realized about doing a remodel yourself is that many projects get “mostly” done. Then it becomes livable and you stop caring that it isn’t totally finished. This is probably why I still do not have any backsplash in my kitchen. :-)

We do have a few more rooms finished, so stay tuned for more renovation updates in July.

See all of our renovation projects here.

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Milk Can Makeover

Milk-Can-Makeover-1

By contributing writer Jordon

My mom gave me an old milk can that she had bought at an auction (she knows I love old treasures, as does she). It had seen better days. Sure, I appreciate the natural wear and tear on antiques, but I felt that this milk can needed a little somethin-somethin. After hauling milk back in the 1800’s, I thought it deserved to be cleaned up to hold something beautiful, so I gave my old milk can a makeover and turned it into a planter.

Milk Can Makeover Before and After at The Happy Housewife

Do you have an old milk can that could use a makeover?

Milk Can Makeover Supplies at The Happy Housewife

Supplies Needed

  • Milk can
  • Exterior cream paint (or color of choice)
  • Brown glaze
  • Rustoleum Hammered Paint & Primer spray paint – Rosemary Color (or color of choice)
  • Exterior polyurethane spray paint
  • Painters tape
  • Garbage bag
  • Paint brush
  • Paper towels
  • Planter to fit the mouth of the milk can – My planter was 5.25 inchies high x 6 inches wide x 6 inches deep.
  • Flowers – You only have a 6 inch circumference to work with. I got flowers with height for the back, flowers that drape for the front, and a small flower to fill in the middle.
  • Potting soil

Instructions

1. Put down a drop cloth or piece of plywood to protect your surface from spray paint. I used a piece of plywood in my yard.

2. Place a garbage bag around the bottom part of the milk can and tape it around the rim, just below the lip. (I used packing tape, which is why it’s difficult to see in the picture. It worked, but I recommend using painters tape.)

Milk Can Makeover at The Happy Housewife

It is hard to see the tape line, so I have the little hand pointing to where it is. Just right below the lip there.

3. Spray paint the top of your can with the Rosemary spray paint (or whatever color you choose). You may have to do a few coats to bring out the hammered look, and make sure to get the inside of the mouth. It dries pretty quickly. Make sure it is fully dry and then remove the tape and garbage bag.

4. Paint the bottom of the milk can with the exterior cream paint. Two coats should do it. Rinse your paint brush off and let that dry while you are letting the paint dry.

5. Once both are completely dry, take your paint brush and lightly dab it into the glaze. Then dab it on a paper towel (you do not want to paint it on heavy). Make some sporadic strokes in a 10 x 10 inch area.

It is best to work in small areas so the glaze does not dry, which can make it difficult to blend. Then take another paper towel and wipe your strokes to blend it nicely. Continue this process until you have the desired look.

Milk Can Makeover at The Happy Housewife

6. Wait for the glaze to dry then spray on 2-3 coats of poly, letting each coat dry before applying the other. While you are waiting for the coats to dry, you can work on planting your flowers.

7. Add potting soil to your planter and then add your flowers. Tall flowers in the back, draping ones in the front, and filler in the middle. Place the planter in the mouth of your can and give your flowers a little water.

And there you go! Your milk can has a makeover!

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DIY Hutch Chalk Paint Makeover

Several years ago I saw this hutch on Craig’s List and knew it would be a great versatile piece for my home. I love furniture that can be moved from room to room and serve different purposes. China cabinet one day, school supply cabinet the next, craft cabinet, display case, you know what I mean!

Cherry cabinet before the makeover with Annie Sloan Chalk paint

The hutch was in pretty good shape (which is rare for me to purchase something that looks this good) however, I really liked it so I spent a little more than I normally like to pay for used furniture.

The only major issue was a that piece that had broken off on the bottom cabinet. I actually had the broken piece of wood so I could repair it, but it was lost in the move.

The only major issue was a that piece that had broken off on the bottom cabinet. I actually had the broken piece of wood so I could repair it, but it was lost in the move. Covering the cabinet with paint solved this problem!

I knew I wanted to paint it with Annie Sloan Pure White chalk paint, but it took me almost three years to get to this project!

Hutch painted with Annie Sloan Pure White and a mixture of Florence and Aubusson Blue.

You can buy Annie Sloan brushes, but I’ve found the bristle brushes by Purdy (that are available online, Home Depot or Lowes) do a great job and they cost significantly less.

Here’s one thing I’ve learned about covering cherry with white paint, the cherry bleeds creating a pinkish hue instead of the pure white. When you are not finishing with a dark wax or a distressed look, this really matters.

I’ve covered a few really dark pieces with chalk paint recently and I’ve decided that using one coat of primer means using less coats of the very expensive chalk paint.

cabinet shelves before

By the time I painted the shelves, I had realized there were coverage issues so I did one coat of primer first.

I prefer using spray paint primer because it is so much faster than painting with a brush, but if you are painting inside I do not recommend it! I love the Kilz primer and it is available at Home Depot and Lowes.

I wish I would have primed this whole piece before I started, but I forgot about the bleed issue. I did end up priming the doors and some of the very visible parts of the cabinet, but not the entire thing.

Thankfully I only have one other piece that is this color that I’m thinking of painting because I do not like priming.

I wanted this cabinet to have a “pop” of color and Annie Sloan didn’t have exactly what I wanted.

I ended up buying sample containers of Florence and Aubusson Blue. We tried several different variations of these two colors, but ended up deciding that a 50/50 mix gave me the deep teal color I had seen on Pinterest.

I ended up buying sample containers of Florence and Aubusson Blue. We tried several different variations of these two colors, but ended up deciding that a 50/50 mix gave me the deep teal color I had seen on Pinterest.

As a side note, can I just say that I wish I was rich and could buy every sample container of paint and mix colors to find awesome combinations for my furniture? I had SO MUCH FUN finding the right color for my cabinet, it was like kindergarten all over again! 

Also, if you really want to try chalk paint I highly recommend buying one of the sample containers. They are around $13 which is much less than the $50+ quart container. You can actually paint a small piece of furniture like a side table or bedside table with the sample container. Especially if you want to do a small statement piece with a pop of color, the sample size is perfect!

Due to the cherry stain/ laminate this cabinet need FOUR coats of Annie Sloan Pure White. The places I used the primer needed only two.

The back wall needed two coats of the Florence mixed with Aubusson Blue. Although I probably could have gotten away with one coat.

I ended up buying sample containers of Florence and Aubusson Blue. We tried several different variations of these two colors, but ended up deciding that a 50/50 mix gave me the deep teal color I had seen on Pinterest.

I ended up doing two coats of the clear wax on the majority of the cabinet, but did four coats on the shelves and the places people would be touching frequently.

I bought my wax brush on Amazon for significantly less than I’ve seen elsewhere. This wax brush on Amazon was around $20.

Annie Sloan (or other brand) chalk paint is not cheap, so I try to save where I can when it doesn’t make a difference in quality.

I ended up buying sample containers of Florence and Aubusson Blue. We tried several different variations of these two colors, but ended up deciding that a 50/50 mix gave me the deep teal color I had seen on Pinterest.

I usually paint or change out the hardware when I redo a piece of furniture, but I loved the handles on this cabinet. They were in perfect condition and looked great with the white.

I ended up buying sample containers of Florence and Aubusson Blue. We tried several different variations of these two colors, but ended up deciding that a 50/50 mix gave me the deep teal color I had seen on Pinterest.

I can’t believe how much more I love this cabinet. Right now it is in my kitchen, but I might move it to my living room once we finish the office remodel. I really feel like it could go anywhere in the house and I’m excited about the possibilities.

Before/ After. 

I ended up buying sample containers of Florence and Aubusson Blue. We tried several different variations of these two colors, but ended up deciding that a 50/50 mix gave me the deep teal color I wanted.

I’m addicted (lol) to painted furniture. I know many people love the look of wood, and I do to at times, but I just love how painted furniture looks in my house!

I ended up buying sample containers of Florence and Aubusson Blue. We tried several different variations of these two colors, but ended up deciding that a 50/50 mix gave me the deep teal color I wanted.

What do you prefer? Painted or natural?

 

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DIY Caution Sign for Child Safety

By contributing writer Jordon

Summer break is almost here! I know this because my boys have been counting down the days since Christmas. Summer is great, but I never understood why they call it the “lazy days of summer.” Yes, there are summer vacations, but summer can also be very busy with activities, even more so than the winter. Can I get an amen?!

You know what else gets busier during the summer? The sidewalks and streets. Kids are out and about heading to the park, the pool, or a friends house to play. It got me thinking about making people more aware on my street. There are some who fly down my road, never giving a thought to a child who forgets to look both ways before crossing the street.

Bottom line – people need to be aware, but sometimes they just aren’t.

DIY Caution Sign for Child Safety at The Happy Housewife

So, I decided to make my own Child Safety Caution Sign to put in my yard or better yet, the middle of the street when kids are playing outside. It will help people slow down and possibly even think about it a little more when they are driving elsewhere.

Yes, kids need to be responsible and look both ways when entering a street as well. Putting out a sign like this, does not mean that the street is an open playground and they no longer need to be aware. I feel putting a sign out just helps the situation. Teaching kids safety rules and reminding drivers to slow down is a good mix to me!

You can buy child safety signs at a lot of places, but…you can also make your own, for half the price! The wood I used for my sign was just an old piece of plywood we had. It is nothing pretty, but after slapping some paint on, it began to come around. And getting my kids involved while making it was a great way to start talking about safety.

So saddle up and lets make a Safety Sign!

DIY Caution Sign for Child Safety (Supplies) at The Happy Housewife

Supplies Needed:

  • 48 x 32 inch piece of plywood (old or new, or two pieces 24 x 32)
  • Primer
  • Neon yellow spray paint (this color was only available in spray paint)
  • Red latex or oil based paint
  • Polyurethane
  • Paint brush
  • Foam brush
  • Black Sharpie (big and regular size)
  • Two caution signs
  • Stencils
  • Pencil
  • Hinges
  • Measuring square
  • Electric drill
  • Tacks
  • Small chain (optional)

Instructions:

1. Cut the plywood in half, so the size of each piece is 24 x 32.

2. Prime each piece or plywood on both sides and let dry.

3. Spray paint each piece with neon yellow. You can do both sides or leave the back white. The outside needs at least 3 coats to get good coverage. Allow to dry.

4. Use the measuring square to outline the space for the red border. Use a pencil to make your lines.

DIY Caution Sign for Child Safety (drawing border) at The Happy Housewife

5. Use the foam brush to paint the red boarder. You will need 2 or 3 coats here as well. Allow to dry.

6. Use the measuring square to outline the border with a black Sharpie. I used the big thick Sharpie to do this. Allow the lines to dry.

7. Use the paint brush to apply the polyurethane. You can also use spray polyurethane. I did 2 coats. Allow to dry.

8. While poly is drying, stencil “KIDS” on your caution signs. I did not have enough room to write children, or at least enough room to write children in bold enough letters for drivers to see, so I went with kids.

9. Attach the hinges to connect the two pieces of plywood.

DIY Caution Sign for Child Safety (hinges) at The Happy Housewife

 

10. Attach the caution signs with tacks. You can also use short nails if you have them, but the tacks worked great.

11. If you want, attach the chain underneath and between the two pieces so they do not fold out.

DIY Caution Sign for Child Safety at The Happy Housewife

You have made your very own children safety sign! It wasn’t that bad, was it?

And, you are helping make drivers more aware. But again, putting this sign out does not mean that kids should feel comfortable to just run free without practicing safety. They still need to be aware.

Please remember when you are driving through a neighborhood, to slow down and be aware yourself. Taking just a few extra precautions can really make a difference and help prevent accidents.

Now go out and enjoy your day! :)

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This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.