Friday, January 22, 2016

DIY Series Kitchen Redo: How to Repair Chipped Laminate

Today's post is a quick tutorial on repairing chipped edges. We are working hard on our Kitchen Redo and one of the biggest projects involved is repainting the kitchen cabinets. We've been posting updates as we go and today's update is a quick fix for a chipped cabinet edge.

My cabinets were in decent shape when we purchased our house, although they are rather cheaply put together and have a thin veneer surface that was beginning to chip in certain areas. There was one edge in particular that needed some repair:

There was chipped veneer at the corner and along the front edge of the cabinet, the laminate had started to pull away.

A quick fix involved wood glue and one of our favorite products, Bondo All Purpose Filler. Bondo is an excellent alternative to wood filler. It is easy to work with and sands down nicely for a smooth, even finish.

For this project, we needed the following items:

Wood Glue (We use Titebond II)
Bondo All Purpose Filler
Paper Plates
Painters Tape

To begin, we first wanted to glue down the loose strip of laminate. We simply pulled back the loose edge, filled it with the Titebond, and pressed the strip down firmly.

Then using a piece of tape, we secured the bottom half of the strip down flat. Tape is used here because the clamp would not fit properly at that particular angle.

For the top edge of the strip, two clamps were used to hold everything in place while the glue dried. Typical dry time is around 30 minutes, but we like to wait at least an hour.

While the glue dried, we started in on the chipped edge. Bondo is a professional strength, all-purpose filler that comes with a hardening cream. Once the hardening cream is mixed in with the putty, you have very little time to apply the mixture to the chipped area before it starts to harden. So timing is key. Make sure you are ready to go with all necessary supplies and steps before mixing!

Simply scoop a small amount of the putty onto your paper plate and add a small amount of cream hardener. Mix with your spatula.

Use the spatula to apply a small amount of the mixture to the area. The spatula is great for smoothing the putty, but a small putty knife works great here too. You want to smooth the mixture over the area, and use your spatula to form a smooth edge. Remember not to use too much, because you will be sanding down the excess putty once dry.

We waited about an hour for the putty to completely dry and then began to sand everything down. Start with a very coarse grit sandpaper, around 60 or 80. The putty should smooth out nicely and once you have removed a good amount, move up to a higher grit to finish. We finished this corner with a medium grit sanding block.

And here is the repaired corner, smooth and ready to paint:

Small repairs are worth the effort and time, especially when working on a DIY home project. If cabinet replacements are not in the budget, a simple and quick fix will go a long way to give a clean, professional look. Let us know what you think in the comments below, and be sure to stay with us here on the blog and on our Facebook page for updates to our DIY Series Kitchen Redo!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

DIY Series Kitchen Redo: How to Paint Cabinet Boxes

Refreshing the look of your kitchen can seem like a very huge and expensive project. But it doesn't have to be. As you know, we're in the middle of a kitchen redo here at Bloom. and we've already posted about painting cabinet interiors, as well as how to paint tile grout. Today's post will focus on painting cabinet boxes.

For my kitchen cabinets, I decided on the popular two-toned look, with white cabinets up top and darker cabinets below. After researching different whites, I decided on Decorator's White by Benjamin Moore for the uppers. The lower cabinet color is still up in the air as of now. I will also have two open-concept cabinet boxes, on either side of my sink, with dark interiors, which will showcase my nice dishes and vintage decor items. Here are few inspiration pics to give you an idea of the look I am going for:

Photo Source: Beautiful Matters Blog
Photo Source: Design Sponge
Photo Source: Design Darling
Here are the cabinets after we painted the interiors, but before we started painting the boxes:

To begin, the cabinet doors were removed from the cabinet boxes. I like to work in sections, so I don't feel overwhelmed and can easily plan out my painting schedule. I started with the cabinets over my sink and counter area, and with Danielle's help, we first wiped away all dirt and grime using a wet rag and dish-soap. It is important to get all surface areas clean, especially where there is grease buildup, so the paint will adhere. After cleaning, we went over each cabinet box with a medium grit sanding block. We also made repairs where needed, including chips in the wood veneer. After we finished sanding the entire surface was wiped down with a slightly damp rag and left to dry.

Time to paint! For this project, we are using one of our favorite products by Benjamin Moore, their Advance line. This paint is perfect for cabinets as it offers a durable finish and is waterborne for easy clean up and maintenance.

Beginning at the top of each box, we used small, angled Purdy brushes to cut into the trim and edges.

We then used small, microplush rollers by Wooster starting at the top and working our way down the boxes and finally, underneath.

Quick Tip: Use foil to line your paint tray. When you're finished, simply pull out and throw away for easy clean up!
This paint dries very quickly and within an hour we were able to add two coats. Here's a shot as we were cutting in the edges and trim:

Here's a shot after 1 coat:

Between each coat, we used medium grit sanding blocks and very gently sanded the surface. After 4 coats the cabinets looked great!

Next, we moved on to the cabinets above my stove and refrigerator area. Same process here: Start at the top and working down and then underneath.

Here they were, with doors removed before painting:

And after a few coats:

I am loving how crisp and clean the paint is making the cabinets look! It is amazing how far a few coats of paint can go! I cannot wait to get started on the cabinet doors! We'll be using the HVLP paint sprayer on the doors and of course, will be posting on that process very soon! There's also hardware to choose for the cabinets, as well as deciding on a wall color and a new light fixture over the many new projects in the works for my Kitchen Redo! Thanks so much for reading and stay tuned for new posts from our DIY Series!


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Bloom's DIY Series Kitchen Redo: Grout Paint Fail.

Ok guys. Major project fail confession time. As you know, I'm currently in the middle of a huge DIY Kitchen Redo project that we've been sharing with you here on the blog. This is the first project in our brand new, first-ever DIY Series. We've already posted the first entry, which involved painting the kitchen cabinet interiors. It was a piece of cake and went as planned. Another project, however, did not.

Have you ever tried painting your tile grout? If you have dirty grout, or are not happy with the current color of your grout, there a few products that will help you refresh and renew tile grout. I've actually used this product before, on a previous DIY project, a cute bathroom renovation I did for Happy Now. That project also went perfectly and was a piece of cake. You can read more about it here. Using the experience I had from that project, I wanted to apply it to a cool idea I had for the grout in my kitchen. I love the look of subway tiles. I find myself constantly scouring Pinterest for beautifully finished kitchen backsplashes and bathroom walls, all covered in what seems to be miles and miles of crisp, clean subway tile. And I've been noticing a few trends that involve a dark grout. I like the contrast between the white tiles and the way the darker grout allows your eyes to notice the shape and pattern that subway provides. I wanted to try to use this inspirational look and apply it to my DIY Kitchen Redo in an affordable and DIY-Friendly manner.

Because my 1950's kitchen already offers a tile backsplash, though it's not a subway pattern and it unfortunately extends to the counters and even down into my cupboard area (whoever thought a tile lip was attractive back then, I can't imagine their reasoning behind it...) I figured I could still get that crisp, modern look by using grout paint to darken my grout. I admit, this was a huge change and involved a lot of risk. But I did not really feel the brevity of my decision until I was well into the project. Let's take a look at the basics:

Here is my kitchen backsplash and counters and weird, overlapping, tile-lip as they stood before my outrageous grout-paint endeavor:

And here a few inspirational pics from Pinterest, so you can get inside the craziness that was my idea:

Photo credit: Door Sixteen
Photo credit: HomeDit
Photo credit: ElleDecor
Grout paint is a fairly easy to use product, the directions are simple and the process involves little more than a clean toothbrush, damp rag and a reasonable block of time to work. The product I work with is called Polyblend's Grout Renew and can be purchased at most home improvement stores. Again, I've used it before and felt comfortable, so I just started working.

Step One: Pour a small amount of the paint onto a paper plate. 
Using a new, clean toothbrush, gently apply a small amount of the paint to the bristles, and remove excess using a circular motion on a clean area of the plate.
Apply the grout paint to the grout using a soft, back-and-forth movement, much like brushing your teeth!
Work in small areas. Wipe away excess paint using a soft, damp cloth. Follow up with a quick paper towel buff.
Here you can see the area where excess paint has been wiped and also where it hasn't. 
All excess paint wiped away.
Danielle was actually painting the cabinet interiors while I was grout painting, so I had another person with me who could offer an honest opinion. At first, we both agreed it was working. But as I continued to work along the backsplash, I just wasn't getting that "Oh my gosh, YES I LOVE THIS" feeling... In fact, I started to silently panic. Danielle encouraged me to continue painting until the entire backsplash was finished so that we would be able to see how everything looked and make a better decision.

So I continued on until all of the grout in the backsplash was completed.

And then we stepped back to look.

And I wasn't in love.

Here are few shots after everything was painted:

The area behind the sink had not been wiped yet because the paint was not sticking as easily here; most likely due to the higher amount of moisture near the sink.

Major disappointment. I honestly think that the size of the grout lines, and uneven texture, paired with the black tile-border I really didn't notice before the grout was darker, gave a very dated feel to the space. It just wasn't the look I was going for.

This is not where the story ends either. Because now that I was unhappy with the results, I had to fix them. And let me tell you, covering a dark grout, with a lighter grout... not so easy.

I was able to take back the color I had purchased, and exchange it for a lighter color. Easy peasy. But getting the light color to cover up all of that dark grout? Nightmare. Here are some pics as of today, after 2 coats:

Still seeing a lot of dark grout paint. But like any DIY project, you have to put in the work to get the results you want. And with any big change, there is risk.

Stay tuned here on the blog and on our Facebook as I work to complete this project and many others in my Kitchen Redo! And as always, be sure to offer your own input and questions in our Comments section!


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Bloom's DIY Series Kitchen Redo: Cabinets

Hello dear readers! We hope you had a fantastic holiday and a wonderful new year celebration and are so pleased to begin 2016 by sharing our very first DIY Series with you all! As you know, Shannon is in the process of updating her 1950's kitchen and we have decided to share the entire project with you here on the blog. You can read more about the inspiration for our first ever DIY Series right here. In the meantime, read on to hear what Shannon has to say about the first step of her kitchen project!

Now that the holidays are over, this project is in full swing. And our first order of business is painting the cabinets. New cabinets can be outrageously expensive. A recent article in Better Homes and Gardens states that "most cabinets range from $500 to $1,500 per cabinet box. Based on an estimated 30 cabinets in an average-size kitchen, you can be looking at a cost of about $15,000-$45,000."

Whoa. I don't know about you, but that is just not in the cards for me. The next best option? Paint. Paint allows for a fresh, updated look without breaking the budget. I did some research and found that one of the best paints on the market for cabinets is a product we at Bloom. are very familiar with: Advance by Benjamin Moore. We have used this paint for so many projects, both for clients and personal pieces and we absolutely love it. Advance is an alkyd, water-borne paint that is incredibly easy to work with and finishes like butter. It's finish is smooth and silky and when applied correctly and with the right brush, there are no brush marks or lines.

For my cabinets, I decided on the popular, two-toned look, with white cabinets up top and darker cabinets beneath. I did this because I love the contrast it provides and also because I have kiddos and a darker color will provide better coverage for stains and normal wear and tear. I also decided to leave the cabinets on either side of my sink open, to show off my best dinnerware and unique vintage finds, and also to make the space feel bigger. I wanted to make a statement and chose a very dark color for the interiors. Today's post will focus on the cabinet interiors. Here's a quick look at how things looked the night before we started working:

Cabinet doors removed, everything taken out and counters below cleaned. 
I am in love with Sherwin Williams' Urbane Bronze. I am seeing this color everywhere lately and I cannot gush about it enough! A very warm, almost brownish, dark-gray with an ever-so-slight gold hue, it is such a cool color! I wanted drama for my open cabinets and this color packs some major drama. I have a lot of white kitchen ware that will pop nicely against the dark tone, as well as a few colorful pieces that will also look very interesting when displayed. I was able to have the color matched at Benjamin Moore with no problems.

To begin, you want to make sure all surface areas are thoroughly cleaned and sanded. Danielle and I wiped down every inch of the interiors and then pulled up the old contact paper on the shelves.

After a thorough sanding, we taped off the areas underneath the shelves where they meet the cabinet walls. We did this because while the cabinet interior walls will be painted in the Urbane Bronze, the shelves will be painted white to offer a nice contrast and to avoid your eyes getting lost in the darker color when looking at the cabinets. Since we'll be adding new contact paper to the tops of each shelf, we only taped off underneath so we would not have to paint over any brush marks down the road.

Once everything was taped, we started painted. We used angled, 2" Purdy brushes and each took on a cabinet box. Working quickly and allowing a little dry time between coats, we finished in about 4 hours.

The color. is. amazing. I love the way it changes ever-so-slightly in different lights. I see more of the bronze undertones in artificial light, and a deep, rich graphite color during the day. And once the shelves are painted with a fresh coat of white, I think they will really pop!

A few pointers:

  • Remember to really clean your cabinets. Especially areas where grease and dirt has built up over time. This will allow the paint to properly adhere to the surface and your finish will last longer.
  • Use a mid-grade sand paper to prep your surface. We used medium-grit sanding blocks for this project. 
  • Use contact paper for shelves. Contact paper provides a long-lasting surface and will hold up much better than paint. And be sure to remove old contact paper BEFORE painting.
  • Use high-quality paint brushes. We prefer Purdy but any good-quality brush will do. Always clean your brush immediately after using. If you're in the middle of painting and need to break for a little while, simply cover your brush with saran-wrap or a plastic bag and place in fridge. 
I am so excited to continue working on my kitchen renovation and to be able to share every step with you! Be sure to stay tuned here on the blog and on our Facebook, for more updates on our DIY Series. And don't forget to comment with any questions or tips from your own DIY renovation projects!