Before and After Dresser

Sometimes the best things in life are free.

About 2 years ago we needed a dresser for the downstairs guest room.  (AKA: The Blue Room.)  Per usual, I had a pretty clear image in my head of what I wanted the dresser to look like.  And then one day lo and behold, I spotted it with a free sign at the end of one of my neighbor’s driveways! I zipped back up the street to find Shawn to help me haul it home.  Shawn was skeptical at first.  It was after-all, a brown metal dresser with kelly green ceramic pulls. According to the previous owner, “Gregg with two Gs,” his wife got it years ago out of a mental hospital that was shuttering its doors.  So you know, not exactly what Shawn thought we’d be using.  But you have to look beyond the current condition and see the possibilities.

After a little primer, white paint, and gold spray paint, all of which we already had in the garage, the dresser was ready for its new home.

Before (minus the drawer pulls) 



The Blue Room


Total Cost: $0.00

  1. Borrowing next door neighbor’s Volvo station wagon so we wouldn’t have to strap it to the roof of the Jetta.
  2. Elbow grease to scrub and clean.
  3. Time to prime, sand and paint. (And sand and paint, sand and paint, sand and paint! The key to painting furniture is light coats of paint with fine sanding in between coats.)

Thanks Gregg!!



Goodbye Fake Brick Floor

This weekend we said goodbye to the kitchen’s dark, 1980’s fake brick patterned vinyl floor.

We’d always planned to put tile in the kitchen. And though we tiled both the downstairs and upstairs bathrooms the kitchen was going to be a horse of a different color. Not because of size, but it has a sloped floor that would need to be leveled and the baseboard radiator would need to be raised to accommodate the added height of the floor post cement board and tile. Though we could have managed the leveling bit, moving radiator pipes was out of our depth so we put down rugs and ignored the floor we hated. Sometime this winter, in addition to being super ugly, the floor also started deteriorating under the area the dog bowls live (thanks drippy-drooly Marvin for the constant water slosh.)

So off to Lowes/Home Depot we trecked to see if there was an alternative solution. Read: cheaper than hiring someone to move pipes. We discovered a new-ish product, vinyl click and lock floors. Installation sounded easy-peasy (cut with a mat knife!) and it was only $1.99 a square foot. We’d found a cheap and seemingly pain free solution to our dated and now crumbling floors.


Starting the project. Please note use of quilting ruler and rotary cutter.  We use my quilting tools for a lot of house projects – wall paper, painting stripes, flooring, the list goes on.

TrafficMASTER describes the floor as, “Highly durable, water-resistant flooring that is great for use in basements, kitchens, bathrooms and high traffic areas. The floating floor installs over most existing surfaces including concrete, wood and vinyl with no floor preparation or adhesives required.” It was super easy to install. I’ll let you know about the durability and water resistance once we’ve had boxers drinking water on it this summer.

The slight twist to this floor is rather than actually clicking and locking, it has super sticky “grip strips” you line up at a 45 degree angle and then adhere to one another. It’s as if laminate click and lock floors had a baby with old school peel and stick tiles.

Like all of our projects, it wasn’t as simple as just putting down the floor and calling it a day. When the lovely brick floor was installed they used black 4 inch rubber coved moulding under the toe kick and around the outside of the cabinets. (Why?!?) So before installing the new flooring that black nonsense had to be ripped out. Unfortunately, it left behind 30 year old construction adhesive.

Since the long-term plan is to paint the cabinets white, because all ugly/dated things look better painted white, we added new baseboard moulding to the bottom of the cabinets to hide the sins of those before us. Eventually it will all “blend into oblivion.” (Shout out to Melinda and all SMU theatre students that had to take an 8AM makeup class on Saturday mornings their freshman year!) Additionally, we added shoe moulding to the existing baseboard moulding in the remainder of the room to hide the required 1/4 inch gap between the flooring and the wall.

Before and After

Like most house tweaks and upgrades, after we did it we could not believe we waited this long to make the change because it made a huge difference. We put this in thinking it would be a short term solution, but so far I like it so much it might just hang around a while. I regret not taking a better and more styled “After” photo. Blogging rookie mistake. I’ll take better pictures this coming weekend. (Though Shawn’s ‘post-floor-installation-whiskey’ can be seen on the counter in the after picture and that makes me laugh.)

I look forward to sharing the kitchen again once the cabinets are painted white (and the counter tops are replaced, a farmhouse sink is added, the electric stove is replaced with gas, backsplash is installed, and….)

PS: If you didn’t read the title to this post to the tune of Elton John’s, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” I am not sure we can be friends.