Category: House and Home

My Thrifty Momma Ramblings Blog is Home!

I finally finished moving to WordPress late last night. I still had lots of tweaks to do to the theme before I posted this update. I apologize for not being around much this past week, but between moving the blog and school, I was overwhelmed. I still have a few minor tweaks I want to make to the blog, but this is pretty much it for now. The tweaks now might be some color changes to a few fonts. Later I do plan to add a header and background, but I am burnt for the moment.

What does everyone think of the new blog?

I really loved the fun and bright colors. The header and background are transparent so I need to tweak it later in photoshop. I am just not in the mood to mess with it anymore this weekend. I have a small holiday coming up so I will work on it then. I get three days off from school and looking forward to that small break.

I have a fun giveaway starting soon so keep checking back! The giveaway will give me a chance to show off the new blog.

Keep checking back for more exciting giveaways and other news. I am so excited about being on WordPress, and I have plans to make Thrifty Momma Ramblings more exciting for all my readers. I really missed posting this past week.

Moving My Blog

movingblogtowordpressI finally took the plunge, and will be movingĀ  my blog Thrifty Momma Ramblings to WordPress this week. I am so excited and nervous about the move. It will take me a few days to have the blog designed the way I like it. You might see the blog design change a bit this week into week. I am having it professionally moved as it’s a big undertaking. I just do not know enough about coding and such to move the blog myself without screwing something up and stressing myself out. I found a wonderful service that will do it for me plus set it all up for me for a very low price.

Once the move is complete, then I will let everyone in on the great service I found. I will be very busy for the next few days, and my next post will be on my brand new shiny site! I just wanted to update you guys as I’m not leaving, but just moving to make the blog better than ever. I have a great giveaway scheduled for the end of the week that you won’t want to miss.

Give Your Furniture a Makeover

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Last May I posted about remodeling my house. We painted almost every room in the house, put down new vinyl floors, painted kitchen cabinets, fixed cracks above the door frames, and put in a new bathroom sink and toilet. I bought new furniture for our bedroom which I got on clearance. We only had nightstands, and we needed a dresser. I wanted a nice set of matching furniture for our bedroom. When it came time to redo our son’s bedroom, we didn’t want to buy him all new furniture. He has lots of shelving in his closet so he doesn’t need a dresser. He already had a couple of mismatched pieces of furniture in his room. He had an entertainment center and a nightstand. They were still in great condition but in dire need of a makeover.

We watch a lot of remodeling shows on DIY and HGTV channels. My husband had already completed the kitchen cabinet hardware project (you can read about it here). The obvious solution to our problem was to paint the furniture. It was going to be a lot of work with sanding, priming, and then painting. I already did that with the kitchen cabinets and was not in the mood to do another big painting project. My husband had a brilliant idea to solve our problem. He decided to spray paint the furniture. We already had the black satin spray paint from the kitchen hardware project. My son’s room was gray with diamond plated outlet covers. Hubby thought black furniture would compliment the room nicely. He was exactly correct. I told you we watch a lot of remodeling shows on tv.

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The spray paint had primer already mixed in so no need for another step. He did rough up the nightstand with a 120 sanding block. Then he wiped it down thoroughly. He used a satin black finish which brought out beautiful details of the piece. He used two coats which dried very quickly outside. It was a very sunny day with little humidity which helps it to dry faster. The one mistake we made was not using a clear coat protector afterwards. The nightstand has a few chips as you can see in the pictures. I am going to wait until spring to add another light coat and then apply a clear protector coat. To further protect the top of the nightstand I had a glass top cut by the local glass shop. It cost me $12 plus tax. I think it adds a nice touch to the nightstand. I also did the same thing to my nightstands and my bathroom vanity. It’s a built-in vanity to the wall. I spent around $80 for all four items. It makes cleaning so much easier and protects the pieces more from water stains.

glasstopThe project was very easy and inexpensive. I paid around $15 for two cans of spray paint to makeover the entertainment stand and nightstand. I didn’t take pictures of the entertainment stand, but it looks just as nice. Hubby also spray painted the drawer pull a nice silver which gives it a wow factor. It was just a plain brass color. We already had the silver spray paint color. I am planning to do the same thing for my living room end table and entertainment center. I promise to do more of a step by step with pictures for those pieces. This project extends the life of furniture you already own. Why spend more money when you can just give your furniture a makeover. Do you have any furniture you would like to makeover? I would love to read about it.

Paint- It’s Cheap and Comes in a Can

paintremodelingkitchencabinetsinexpensivesavemoneyfrugalgreenIt’s called paint- it’s cheap and comes in a can.” This has to be one of the best quotes I’ve heard while watching a tv show. I really wished I could remember which show I was watching, but this is exactly how I feel about paint. Paint is a wonderful inexpensive way to spruce up just about anything. I didn’t want to replace my kitchen cabinets since they are actual wood and not cheap particle board. The cabinets are in excellent condition but just needed a facelift. To paint or not to paint was the question. I really wanted the kitchen to be brighter and stained wood darkens spaces. In the end, I decided to paint them. Below are the steps that I took and some pictures. (Oh quick note, that picture was drawn by my husband. I asked if he could draw me a paint bucket with brush for this post. I outlined it in paint, but will eventually figure out how to actually paint in photoshop. I think he did a fabulous job!)

How I Transformed My Kitchen Cabinets
I must have looked up almost a hundred articles and websites looking for information on properly painting previously stained cabinets. The problem is so much of the information, even from the “experts”, varies by technique and even properly cleaning or degreasing the doors. I decided to use a no rinse TSP cleaner. Then I did lightly sand the doors since the stain was pretty old and faded. After I wiped them down with a clean tack cloth, I have knotty pine wood so I used a shellac primer in a spray can just on the knots. The knots vanished after I primed the doors with a regular primer.

Finally I did use 3 coats of white Kitchen and Bath enamel paint. It is a little more expensive than a semi-gloss, but it’s made for specifically for a high humidity. I used a paint brush and not a sprayer. I didn’t know how to use a sprayer and I definitely was not willing to experiment. I used a very high quality paint brush made to eliminate brush strokes. I have to admit it came out great. I can barely see any strokes, and I am very happy with the results. The whole process of cleaning, sanding, and painting took me about 2-3 days. I had 16 doors so I had to paint eight one day and paint the remaining eight the next day. I did let the doors dry for about 4-5 days. I was a little paranoid. Most experts recommend at least three days. I know many people would not use a white, but I have found it very easy to keep the cabinets clean. I just wipe them a couple of times a week after I do the dishes. The best part is my kitchen is much brighter, even with the lights off.

Spray Paint- Who Knew?

I really wanted to replace the door handles, but we couldn’t find new handles to match up as the old ones are hung differently than today. I cleaned them, but couldn’t get all the rust out. My brilliant husband suggested we just spray paint them. We got a flat satin black and one with the primer already mixed in. It cost us about $8 with tax and it worked perfectly. The handles look brand new again! I am thrilled with the results, and it was much cheaper than buying 20 new handles. The total project cost us $90! That includes all the paint, primer, brushes, and sandpaper. I did get some discounts with coupons that I was mailed. I think that saved me about $12-15. I have brand new cabinets and handles for under $100! We did splurge on the better paint, but I think it was worth every penny. I think a picture is worth a thousand words…literally!

oldkitchencabinetsremodeledkitchencabinetsinexpensivespraypaint

My Renovation Reality

Yes just like the show, house repairs are unexpected and extremely time consuming. Our renovations are coming to an end inside the house thank goodness. I don’t think I ever want to look at another paint brush again. Ok so just a bit of an exaggeration, but I am happy to step back from remodeling for a few months. I plan on doing a few posts about time saving tips that I learned and just show off our projects. I’m extremely pleased with how my house has turned out so far. We saved a lot of money by tackling many things ourselves like patching drywall, caulking trim, painting, and lots of comparison shopping. I’m waiting for it to cool down (say October) before I tackle any outside projects. I want to caulk and weatherstrip my windows to further reduce my electric bills. I still have a couple of small projects to finish up, but I admit that I’m procrastinating as I’m burnt out.

TMR Frugal Living Tip #79- Use Card to Scrape Paint off Wood!

paint-scraper

Today’s frugal living tip is use old credit or debit card when removing paint off wood floors. It could also be an old gift card and some people have used CD’s to scrape. I found the old card to be much easier and didn’t scratch my wood floors as they are not finished but waxed.

You should really use a drop cloth when painting. But if you forget then this technique works well.

So I I really like to use Citrasolve cleaner. Spray a small amount and then use the card to scrape the paint gently.

I find the Citrasolve smells great and polished my wood floors making them look new again. I did try Goof Off, but it didn’t smell nearly as nice. It also didn’t work well at removing the paint. I had to really rub to get any paint up. I gave up and switched to the Citrasolve, and all those paint marks were cleaning up easily.

The credit card was great at removing tiny and big paint drops. I then used a damp sponge mop with warm soapy water to wipe up the Citrasolve.

In the future, I can say I will use a drop cloth when I paint my rooms.

House Remodeling Projects

I can’t believe I haven’t posted in so long. I was going to start another blog about my weight loss journey, but that hasn’t happened yet. I will say the main reason I haven’t posted in so long is I’ve been remodeling my house. We are in the midst of multiple house projects including painting, new floors, plastering drywall, ripping out old and trying to make new items fit. We also had our house leveled, which is great, but now many of our doors have to be shaved or door latches readjusted so doors will shut again. I’m also kicking myself for not doing some before/after pictures. I’m cutting out old drywall around door cracks. My husband wasn’t sure if I could handle fixing all of the crumbling drywall above the tub where we ripped out an old cabinet. I have proved him wrong, and you can’t even tell there were big chunks of drywall missing exposing the wood beneath it. All I can say is the internet, google, and youtube are your friends in diy projects like this.

On the flip side, I have also spent countless hours planning and shopping. I do enjoy all the shopping, but I don’t always enjoy making all the decisions. I can be extremely indecisive plus I love getting a bargain. When I would find something I liked, then I would worry that I could get a better deal somewhere else. I solved that problem by downloading a free app to my iphone to price compare called Shop Savvy. It also lists all the local & online stores with the cheapest price listed first. That cool app has saved me time plus I know if I’m getting a good deal or not. I love technology.

The other reason I haven’t done any blogging is I’m still trying to get my son all the help he needs. That has been an ongoing struggle with the school and doctor. The doctor finally came to the conclusion that my son does struggle with major anxiety along with the autism. The doctor thinks he has more Asperger’s syndrome coupled with anxiety plus the Sensory Disorder. Trying to find a good balance of medications to help him has been very hard. He was having lots of trouble in school at the beginning of the year. He had three different teachers in a matter of two months. Not good for a child who resists any change especially in his routine. That has been a fight at the school along with fighting with the doctor my son needed to be put on an anti-depressant. I hate medicating him, but I knew in my heart he needed to be put on one. Right after Christmas, the doctor agreed with me and was put on Zoloft. He has been doing so much better. He is now making straight A’s again, and I’m curious to see how he did on the ileap. His teacher thinks he did extremely well.

With the summer coming, I’m looking to make some big changes with his diet like I did with mine. I have been struggling some with my weight loss for the last several months. I gain a couple and then lose them. I will save that for another post. All in all, life has been very hectic so I tend to forget about the blog when I get very busy with other projects. I am excited to share pictures and my experience with these projects. I have to share here since my husband refuses to go on Renovation Realities with me. I know we would have the highest rated show ever since I do have a bit of a temper. Ok, so that is a tad of an understatement I admit. I am a bit of a perfectionist so it’s better that I’m doing most of this work myself. I do enjoy having an ipod on this phone since I love to sing while I’m plastering and sanding.