The longest DIY

I’m not even talking about the CISSP exam prep, but that is taking a seriously long time too. Either way, whether I finish the book or not, I’m taking the exam by the end of next month. While trying to schedule the exam, I spent over 30 minutes on the phone waiting for a human to answer, who told me I called the wrong number, but was nice enough to send me on the way to the right person. After that wait, I was told to email a generic email and wait/hold my breath/pray that someone will answer the email. You would think this company would have a better plan in place for people to take an exam (especially when they collect $600 when they do!).

But I digress…

I’ve been painfully slow on this DIY. Most of it is not my fault though. We are working on possibly selling the house (barring I can find a job – hire me please!). In the mean time, I’m working on some quick updates to make the house extra marketable. So far, I’ve painted a ceiling, cleaned up and repainted the fireplace, and have started the wonderful job of de-cluttering.

I’ve been wanting to paint the cabinets in the master bath white for some time, because I like white cabinets and then it would match our other bathroom renovation.IMG_3130


I think it turned out pretty well so we wanted to go ahead and do the same to the Master: paint the cabinets, add hardware, change out the shower faucet, and frame the mirror.

We also decided to change out the medicine cabinet in the Master bath. It was too small and was too 80’s oak for me. This part of the project has definitely been the easiest so far. Thanks IKEA!



The longest DIY part has been the main cabinets…and it’s mostly been because of weather. First it was too hot to paint. Temperatures during the day surpassed 100 and with the dew points, the heat index stretched into the 120 degree mark. I was able to sneak in a day or two in the morning or evening to spray a side or two, but it was going to take an excruciatingly long time. Then, although we got a much needed break from the heat, we got rain. And a lot of it. And it hasn’t stopped yet.

Next problem: I painted the main cabinet and towel storage cabinet with a wonderful high gloss cabinet paint in Ultra White by Behr. I spray painted the doors in a gloss by Rustoleum. I didn’t realize how much more white the Ultra White was  until I was ready to put the cabinet doors up. They almost looked gray. I felt like Clark W. Griswold when he found out instead of a bonus check, he got a one -year subscription to the Jelly of the Month Club.

So I went to the store and bought three more spray cans of paint in hopes that one would be more white than the other. I did find one, another Rustoleum actually, that was more white and will do as a redo for the small cabinet doors. The tall doors for the towel storage cabinet will have to be hand painted unfortunately as they’re directly in light and noticeable any other way. So once I can get a dry day, I’ll be able to finish this project.


You gotta love Contact paper



I’ll post some finished pictures once that happens.

Until then, it’s washing trim, packing boxes, and studying for this damn exam.


















DIY floating shelf/desk

I haven’t posted a DIY for a while. We’ve been toying with the idea of moving so I’ve been in this hold of projects. Do I take on anymore big projects if we move? I feel like it wouldn’t be worth it. We repainted the exterior of the house, completely renovated the kitchen, replaced the flooring in half the house, painted the cabinets, framed the mirror and replaced the shower fixtures in the guest bath. I painted every wall in the house as well, so all in all, a lot has been done. I think we are to the point, where the only things I’d want to do before we listed the house would be replace a couple older fans, fix up the fence and get the fireplace working again (it was capped when it was a rental). Continue reading “DIY floating shelf/desk”

Guest bathroom redo on the cheap

I’d love to eventually rip out the cabinets, retile the floor and walls, and put in new lighting in the bathroom. But considering we’ve already spent quite a lot in a kitchen remodel and flooring, and will be repainting the exterior in the next month, an overall remodel of the guest bath isn’t viable. Plus, I don’t know if I want to go through all of that stress right now.

Instead, we added a new shower head and handle, painted the cabinets, added hardware, and framed the mirror to give the bathroom a fresher look: all around $200 (including some plumbing fixes to stop a drip). I started out by cleaning the cabinets well, then priming them, even though I’d be using a paint with primer. At first I used a brush and latex paint, but between the humidity and streaks, I just wasn’t getting it quite to my liking, so once they finally dried (somewhat), I spray painted the doors with a gloss spray paint. That got rid of streaks and gave it a more even tone. During the drying times, the hubs cut the frame out and we framed the mirror. (Word of advice: make sure you get straight boards. Makes it much easier to tack on with adhesive. Ours were slightly bowed and were a b**tch to get to lay down on the mirror correctly).

The hubs did the dirty plumbing work as well. He replaced a leaky cartridge so it would stop dripping, replaced the old handle, as well as replaced the old,cheap shower head with a much prettier one (you can kind of see the old one and the new one below). Then, once the cabinet doors dried (finally), we added hardware and new rubber bumpers to the backs of the doors. I also added contact paper (not photographed) in the drawers to add a more finished touch.


I don’t have much for before pictures (I always forget that part), but found one that at least would give you an idea of the transformation. We really like the outcome. The hubs admitted to me that he originally didn’t like the mint that I’d painted the bathroom, but after we painted the cabinets white, he said it softened the mint and now he loves it. Amazing what some paint can do for you.

Cabinets off!
Unframed mirror

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Next project will most likely be the exterior of the house, but we’re still waiting for the prep crew to schedule a time to prep. We’ve had so much rain in the Austin area (downtown actually flooded!), so exterior painters city-wide are backed up with jobs. No big deal though. I want to do some research on painting techniques for the outside of a home, before I start painting willy nilly.