Mar 20, 2012

5 DIY projects for rainy March weekends.

When you  need to perk up your home but want to stay on a budget, try one of these great project ideas.  Often, you have items that you can use in garages, basements, attics and even spare rooms, or you can purchase used items at garage sales and thrift shop, often for $10 or less.  Paint and supplies are easy to obtain.  If you don't feel confident with tools, hardware stores will often help.

1) With flat screen televisions under $100, your old TV cabinet may be an eyesore or unused.  A bit of paint, some new hardware, and a new shelf, transformed this one into a cottage curio that is a new focal point. Two-toned pieces work well but don't make them too trendy unless you love to re-finish. Covering grainy wood is best started by applying a heavy duty primer coat and sanding before and between the color coats. 

2) My mother-in-law gave my husband this same table. Since I don't have a retro style home, it was an eyesore for me,  A two color paint finish, accessorized to match, and the table becomes a perfect decorative element. Handy with appliques? Use scrap wallpaper to cover one of the surfaces for a smooth but colorful finish.

3) Most of us have old bookcases. For a long time, I used the old oak one from post-college days in the garage. Even an IKEA piece can be transformed.  This one was painted and hand-made doors were fashioned from 1 x 4 lumber. Cutting lumber to size is where a hardware store can help. 

4) Updating a dresser is one of the simplest pieces to re-do.  This one was painted, stenciled and the top drawers were replaced with baskets in the colors of the stencil.  Adding bun feet and painting the old hardware completed the transformation.  If you want a feminine look from a boxy piece,do add feet, try a glass pull or knob, and even consider a wooden applique for large doors and drawers. To make a fussy piece more modern, remove embellishments and consider applying mirrors on the face.

5) This home office or craft center can be created in any size closet that you can feel comfortable sitting in.  Here, the rod and shelf were removed, Ben Moore 879 White Opulence was painted on the back wall, and three shelves, painted in Decorators White, were installed.The chair was repurposed from a salvage shop and painted the same as the shelves. A lip was added to the lowest shelf to create a counter ledge. Removing the sliding door and replacing with bi-fold doors made the entire width of the closet accessible. The chair tucks under the new desk when the office is closed!