How to Paint Thermafoil Cabinets

Bathroom before and after text

Do you have old cabinets in your home that are tired but haven’t tried painting because they aren’t wood?

That was the case with our bathroom vanity. I didn’t like our cabinets but didn’t know how to change them – until one day I figured I had nothing to lose and I peeled off the vinyl layer that revealed MDF on the surface below.IMG_7290This was what our bathroom looked like for the first 3 years we lived here. There is no major bathroom renovation happening in the near future so instead, I did a $25 makeover that made a huge improvement and only took a few hours. IMG_7292.jpgSince I had nothing to lose I pulled off the vinyl cover from the cabinets. On the inside edge it was easy to peel the white cover off and then take off the whole front layer in almost one piece.IMG_7293.JPGFirst, I did a base coat of chalk paint, next I mixed up a custom colour to coordinate with the wall colour and vanity countertop. What I used was a combination of chalk paint and wall paint.IMG_7295.jpgIMG_2218.jpgIMG_7296.jpgThe final step was to drill a couple of new holes to accommodate the new hardware that I bought which was where the $25 cost came from.IMG_2178.jpgIMG_2192.jpg

It has been a year and a half since I painted this vanity which gets a lot of use and the paint is durable. Until a major bathroom renovation happens, I am much happier with the way the bathroom looks and you can’t beat the low effort and cost of this project.

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Here is an article from Better Homes & Gardens about different kinds of cabinets to determine which kind you may have.

To paint wood cabinets here is a tutorial using paint:

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Fall ORC – Week 2

It’s Week 2 of the Fall One Room Challenge and just over 1 week away from the new baby’s due date.

Here’s a look at the plan I have for this shared nursery/bedroom – a neutral base with white walls, furniture & bedding; a statement light fixture and colourful accents that can be changed up over time.

Initially, I had planned to colour block the walls with navy on the bottom of the wall to contrast with the white furniture. When my husband saw how dark the navy was, he was completely opposed to this plan so I ended up painting the walls solid white instead. I still think that the navy would have looked good because this is a bright, South facing room but I like the white too.

The furniture and curtains in this room are the original pieces that I used in our very first nursery from our Montreal home. This rocking chair was among the first furniture we bought and I below is the original photo of it from October 2012.

At that time I was expecting our first child and was keen to paint everything with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, that’s where my love of DIY home improvement began. The white paint from 5 years ago has stood up very well as you can see in the photo below. The mirror resting in the photo below is the same one that we have in our powder room.

Goodbye mountain mural nursery wall…


Here’s the plain white room which isn’t too exciting right now. After painting the room I realized that I need to make the doors and trim a brighter white so that there is some slight contrast between them and the walls. By the way, these black door handles are actually shiny brass hiding beneath spray paint. It has been three years since I spray painted these and they’re holding up well here because we don’t use these door handles very often.

 

Week 2 from all of the other participants is linked up through Calling it Home.

Side Tables Refinished

Shibang Designs Autumn

This is the story of two bedside tables turned living room side tables that have been painted and refinished 3 times in the past 3 years but now they are done.
IMG_7122In our last home I painted them to blend in with the wall colours (light grey and dark blue) but this time I did them both the same. I never liked the look of the fake shadows sprayed on the wood veneer top but I had been apprehensive about refinishing it and ruining the top. 
This is how they looked when I first bought them from a secondhand store where they were originally part of a bedroom set. I thought that the shape was interesting and they had an interior shelf and lots of storage space to help keep the living room tidy.

Shibang Designs Side Table RefinishingFinally this summer I just went for it and used a stripper to remove the shiny varnish and stain. It took a lot of scraping and some sanding while being careful not to take off too much material.Refinishing Veneer Progress Then I applied my favourite stain that is a light grey so that the tables are lighter like the rest of the wood tones in our house and sealed it with a matte varnish.

Shibang Designs - Refinished VeneerDoing this quick refinishing project was actually what gave me the experience and some confidence to tackle the large kitchen table that was on Apartment Therapy. If you’re thinking about stripping and refinishing wood for the first time start with something small to get started, it’s not as hard as it may seem.

Side Table Refinished Light Grey Wood & Grey Chalk Paint

At Home: DIY Projects in Our First House


Since having our baby at the end of November I haven’t been doing as much sewing but I have been working away at projects around our new home. This is our first house and we moved in at the beginning of October so I did what I could while pregnant and then once our baby was born I spent a lot of time staring at the walls I desperately wanted to paint.

Browsing Pinterest and blogs inspired me by seeing what other people had done to transform their homes with simple updates that can make a big impact.

Using paint can go a long way. This was what I first started with since it is the focal point of our living room and this combination of oak, dark blue and beige just didn’t work for me.

Before & After Fireplace with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint by Shibang Designs
I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White to do the fireplace. It was so easy to use with no surface preparation needed.
Oak Fireplace Redo with Chalk Paint {Shibang Designs}
 
 
Here it is after one coat of paint and in total I think it took about three coats to get even coverage.
 
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This is a wood scroll that I glued on to add more detail to the woodwork.
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Here is a close up of the finished fireplace which was sealed with the Annie Sloan clear wax. Using the wax was the worst part of doing this project because it has a really strong odour.
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Once the fireplace was painted the dark blue suddenly looked much richer with the contrast against the bright white. I knew that I would paint the fireplace white but I didn’t expect to keep the dark blue wall but that ended up being my favourite accent colour and I have carried it throughout our home. 
 

There are other things that have changed in the before and after picture besides the fireplace but I’ll share that painting in another post.