Bright White Fireplace Makeover

The house we live in was built in 2001. Not exactly ancient, but just old enough to look dated. When we moved in, one of the things that really bugged me was the beige tile in the bathrooms and around the fireplace. You can read my previous post on how we tackled updating the bathroom floors. The fire place is the focal point when you walk in. I knew it needed a little something extra to spruce it up.

Thank goodness for Pinterest! It's the 'been there, done that' of all things DIY related. It is also good for when you get a harebrained idea like, "I wonder if I could paint the fireplace tile"? Sure enough, you can! Thankfully, Heather from Setting for Four wrote a nice detailed blog about it. I followed her instructions to a T and it turned out fabulous! I even had enough white tile paint left to pass along to my neighbor so she could update her fireplace.

Friends, the moral of this short story is you don't always need a huge budget to accomplish updating your home. There are tons of small things you can do over time with a little elbow grease and some creativity. 


Easy Update for an Oak Banister

Stained Banister


Friends, I hope you've all had a lovely week so far. My hope is that were you inspired last week by the previous post to tackle your grout, and now you have bright and shiny bathroom floors. Let's jump in and talk about another 'dirt cheap' update for your home which is the banister. Prior to the year 2000, it seems like a lot of homes were made with oak banisters, oak cabinets, oak floors.  A whole lot of orangey oak throughout the house. I realize it may not be feasible to change all of the oak, but this update will definitely break up the monotony of it throughout your home. 

When I was originally contemplating changing the banister, I thought about painting it all white, or maybe just black, but then I decided that I wanted to keep the texture of the wood. I came across this awesome how-to post from Naptime Decorator and jumped right in and purchased the Java Gel Stain from Amazon. I bought a half pint and had plenty left over. This project took about a day and a half to complete (once you factor in drying times). And the best part was the minimal amount of sanding I had to do! 

I wish I had taken a 'before' picture, so you could see the orangey oak. But like I said, I jumped right in. I was so excited to tackle this project and I still get giddy when I walk by and see the beautiful results. The General Finishes Java Gel Stain is so easy to work with. I look forward to using in on future home and furniture projects!

Frugal (And Simple) DIY Update for Tile


Hello Friends. I'm not sure if you are in same boat as me, but every single house we have ever rented or purchased has had it's fair share of offensive eyesores. We've seen it all, wallpaper with the matching top border, electric blue carpet, salmon pink kitchen counter tops...and that's just to name a few.  

The house we currently live in was built circa 2001.  Luckily, there wasn't any wallpaper to battle, but most of the fixtures and flooring looked dated. With that being said, I spent all of our extra pennies and dimes on lots and lots of light fixtures and a few new furniture pieces. That left me having to get creative with updating everything else.

In the next few blog posts, I'll share some dirt cheap ways to update some areas of your home. You'll be surprise how these small changes can make a BIG difference!

Before, blah, blah, beige!

Before, blah, blah, beige!

The first one I want to chat about is the bathroom. The tile was beige with light brownish grout - bleh! It wasn't the WORST thing ever, but I had lofty dreams of a sparkly white bathroom (like the ones you see in the unicorn land of Pinterest).

I found this product at Lowes and decided to give it a go. The directions on the bottle are pretty straight forward, so I won't bore you with those details.  To be honest, I didn't think brightening the grout would make THAT big of a difference, but it did! When the grout color is darker than the tile, your eyes our drawn to it and not the tile. See how much vivid the tile colors are after the grout is brightened?

When you decide to start this project, my personal recommendation is popping the cork on your favorite wine and putting on your favorite guilty pleasure music. Currently, mine rotates between 80's ballads and gangster rap. 

Ta-da! This is the finished project!

Ta-da! This is the finished project!

It is a night and day difference, (in my unbiased opinion).  Yes, the beige is still there, but I have to stare much harder to see it now. If you decide to take on this project, I wish you luck and hope you love the results like I did! And in case you were wondering, I've had a few small touch-ups since first applied several months ago, but it has held up well.