How to Mix Oil Based Gel Stain Colors Using Layers

Pictured: General Finishes gel stain in java

Oil-based gel stains are great for achieving beautiful hand-rubbed finishes, and their thickness keeps them from dripping, running, or spilling. They might come in a bunch of beautiful colors, but what if you’re still feeling limited? All you have to do is choose any two colors you want, then layer them to create your own custom look! Here’s how to finish a piece of furniture by layering different colors of General Finishes gel stains.

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How to Distress General Finishes Milk Paints

persian blue distressed milk paint general finishes

A standard application of milk paint looks great, but what if you want to get more creative? In this post, I’m going to cover two types of distressing you can use to achieve creative, interesting results with your General Finishes (GF) Milk paints (for more info on how to apply GF milk paints and how they differ from traditional milk paints, check out my previous post).

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4 Ways to Reuse Old Drawers

Repurposing old home items for new uses is a great way to give new life to something worn down that you’d normally toss. Cabinet or dresser drawers that are in need of replacing can find a new use in other parts of your home. Whether it’s your old furniture or you want to pick up old furniture at a garage sale, there are ways to make the most of what seems like junk. For cabinets, remove the drawer slides and you’re all set! On the other hand, side mount drawer slides and other non-bottom mount styles could be left on for added character. Consider using the slides as an accent to paint or to attach other pieces to. From there, you can stain the drawer to cover wear and tear, or paint a brand new color. Start by deciding how you’d like to reuse the drawer and then the color as well as styling decisions will follow!

From Drawer to… Wall Mounted Mirror

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What is Edgebanding?

edgebanding

Whether you are a carpentry pro and want to tackle making your own furniture or just a homeowner looking to enhance the appearance of your existing furniture, edgebanding can help get the job done.

Edgebanding can come in a variety of formats, including the popular peel-and-stick kind. This is especially easy for those who are doing a woodworking project themselves and want to get the project done quickly and easily. Other types require primer, glue, hot melt adhesives or a household iron.

Edgebanding comes in a variety of sizes and finishes to match with your existing furniture or carpentry needs. It is available in a variety of materials as well, with popular options including wood, wood veneer, PVC and acrylic. It typically is sold in rolls at hardware stores and is available in different thicknesses to match your home project. You can find edgebanding to match perfectly with your furniture's color, grain and wood type. It's easy to change the entire look of your furniture by applying edgebanding to it- you can take a simple plywood table and turn it into a rich maple with the help of this product.

Edgebanding is often used to cover the exposed sides of lower quality materials like plywood, PVC or particle board. By replacing these surfaces with wood edgebanding, it gives the piece of furniture or item a higher quality appearance. People who make their own furniture also often use this product.

When applying edgebanding, there are a few things to take into consideration. First, you should make sure that the surface you are applying it to is clean and smooth. Any dust, moisture or residue needs to be cleaned off so that the strips will stick properly. Next, always start with a larger piece- this way, you can cut it down to fit perfectly as needed. Lastly, after the edgebanding is applied, carefully trim or sand the surface. The material is very delicate, so be careful to use a fine sandpaper and to not be too rough to damage the material.

If you are going to be using edgebanding often (especially at the professional level), it may be smart to invest in some proper machinery. Edgebanding machines and edge trimmers are just two examples of products that can speed up the process and make it easier as well.

Reuse Your Old Cabinet Doors

After remodeling your kitchen cabinets, you will probably have a large amount of debris left over. Instead of throwing away your old cabinet doors, save them! There are so many easy and affordable ways to repurpose and reuse your old kitchen cabinet doors. Here are a few ideas we found online with links to the project so you can even do it yourself.

DIY serving tray (source)

Use an old cabinet door as a lovely serving tray. Simply prime and pant the door- add a lovely design if you want like the one shown above- and you”re done. Adding drawer pulls will add an elegant look and also serve as handles for easy carrying.



 cabinet door displays()

Use your old cabinet doors as a way to display your favorite pieces of art.  Spruce up any bare wall space by hanging up your old cabinet doors. There are so many options here- you can add your favorite photo to the center, create your own piece of art using craft supplies or add items such as vases for a 3-D effect. The possibilities are endless when you use an old cabinet door as a frame.




cabinet door headboard

(source)

You probably wouldn”t think of using an old kitchen staple and turning it into a bedroom item you”ll use each and every night, but this easy headboard tutorial will show you otherwise. It adds a regal look to your bedroom and is surprisingly easy and cheap to complete (it only costs about $15!)




cabinet door chalkboard(source)

Take an old cabinet door and paint the center with chalkboard paint, leaving the raised or recessed outside panels as a decorative border. You can add monograms or text to the panels to personalize this as a gift, or just leave it plain. These make great housewarming gifts and are a fun way to display what”s for dinner, the shopping list, or even to use as a greeting for house guests. If you”re not into using chalk, try applying a magnetic paint instead for a cute magnetic memo board to hang in any room.




DIY coat hanger

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Make a cute coat hanger with an old cabinet door, some hooks and a fresh coat of paint. This is perfect for entryways, closets, or even in your bedroom as a place to hand purses or jewelry. Experiment with different sizes and types of hooks as well as patterns and designs with the paint.

Tips for Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets

Altering the appearance of your cabinets is one of the easiest ways to change the look of your kitchen. Since installing brand new cabinets would cost a pretty penny, painting them is a more affordable option with equally great results- if done the right way. With a little help from the hardware store and some extra time on the weekends, you can get the job done and show off the new look of your kitchen.

First, you need to plan. Browse photos online and visit your local hardware store to get inspiration for paint colors. If you can, bring home paint swatches or small samples to see what you like best. Make sure that you keep in mind the color of your kitchen walls, appliances and hardware finishes. Research prices so you are prepared to budget accordingly and always be prepared for mix-ups or messes.

The next step is to prep your cabinets for painting. First, you should remove the doors, drawers and hardware. Then you should clean your cabinets with a cleaning liquid (soap and water may just do the trick) to get rid of any grease stains, dirt or food particles. Any noticeable or large dents or scratches should be filled in so you have an even surface to work with. For a smooth and even finish, sanding is required. Choose the proper type of sandpaper (medium to fine grit) and sand away. Wipe the cabinet doors clean of dust or other debris and then apply one coat of primer as a base.

Now it’s time to actually paint your cabinets. Using a high-quality brush for the best results, apply two layers of a semi-gloss paint. Gloss paint offers greater protection and will hold up well. There are a variety of other paints to choose from including acrylic (water-based) or alkyd (oil-based) options. Purchase high-quality paint for the best results. A better quality brush with avoid uneven strokes and brush marks and will prevent pesky brush hairs from being noticeably stuck in your paint. It’s important to let the paint dry completely before attempting to put the cabinets back onto your wall. This will prevent them from sticking to the cabinet box and therefore ruining your hard work.

Lastly, make sure your hinges and hardware match your new color of cabinets. Even if it’s just a simple cleaning, you can transform the look of your cabinets with clean hardware. You may want to switch out your old knobs to something new that matches better with your painted cabinets. If you want to stick to your old hardware, you’ll need to screw or attach it back onto your cabinets.

The Best Home Remodeling & Improvement Blogs

Over the years, the internet has changed the way home remodeling works. There are so many more resources available for homeowners, contractors and interior decorators than ever before. In addition to using Pinterest or iPhone apps for your home remodel, there are also a large variety of blogs out there. Here are a few blogs you should be reading for inspiration, tutorials and resources when remodeling your home.

Remodelaholic (http://www.remodelaholic.com) – One of the most popular remodeling blogs out there, Remodelaholic is written and run by a couple who love everything and anything DIY. Not only do they produce high-quality content, but they also take user submissions as well. Over the span of the blog, they have successfully remodeled three separate houses, sharing their ups and downs along the way.

Apartment Therapy (http://www.apartmenttherapy.com) – Their motto is, “Saving the world, one room at a time”, and they do just that. Apartment Therapy sets out to “help people make their homes more beautiful, organized and healthy by connecting them to a wealth of resources, ideas and community online”. This blog is known for its beautiful images and wide variety of topics (including everything from outdoors to style).

Ikea Hackers (http://www.ikeahackers.net) – This blog features tutorials of how to modify and repurpose Ikea products. The blog takes reader submissions and always has original content due to the popularity of Ikea furniture. This is a great space for creative people to come together and share their ideas and get inspiration for their own furniture remodel.

Young House Love (http://www.younghouselove.com) – Another reader favorite, this blog focuses on a couple’s journey of remodeling their first home together. Complete with DIYs, personal stories and plenty of before-and-after shots, this blog is full of useful resources and inspiration for any home remodel on a budget.

Charles and Hudson (http://charlesandhudson.com) – Charles and Hudson features articles that focus on the quality, design and innovation in the world of home improvement. The blog’s popular categories include DIY, design, tools and outdoor articles. If you’re looking for something that focuses less on the interior design and more on the construction, this is the blog for you.

Should You Replace or Reface Your Cabinets?

If you’re looking to change the appearance of your kitchen or bathroom, one of the easiest ways is to alter your cabinets. Completely replacing your cabinets can be a costly and long process, but provides you with an entirely new look. Refacing your cabinets is a less expensive and easier way to give them a new look, but doesn’t always deliver the results you want. Factors such as your budget, time constraints and décor ideas are important to figure out before choosing an option.

Refacing Cabinets

Refacing your cabinets is the process of changing the doors of the cabinets and leaving the cabinet box as is. Refining the exterior is also commonly associated with the process of refacing. Refacing cabinets includes applying stains, glazes and paints to alter the color, sanding the doors to give the surface a new texture, or replacing the door with a different style (such as shaker style doors or recessed panel doors).

Refacing cabinets is a cheaper alternative since you are only changing the door, usually for aesthetic purposes. It also can be done by yourself, so you save money that you would usually spend on a contractor or carpenter.

Replacing Cabinets

Replacing your cabinets means you take out the old and bring in the new. You can change up the structure, size and type of wood that you are going to use for your cabinet. This allows you to change the overall structure and look of your space, whereas refacing just changes the look of the door fronts. This is a great option for those who want a big change or have cabinets that are in very poor condition.

When choosing to replace your cabinets in their entirely, it’s important to do your research. Shop around for different deals with companies, research the different wood types and pay attention to trends and décor ideas for inspiration. Replacing cabinets can be costly and time-consuming, so you want to make sure you get the best deal you can.