My Grown-up House

$6 Countertop Makeover

Posted by on Jun 5, 2012 in Feature, My Grown-up House | 1 comment

As a renter, I often look around at things in my house and long to be able to change them as I wish. I wish I could paint the rooms all kinds of different colors or cover the cabinets in chalkboard paint, but I can’t. Another thing I thought I couldn’t change was the ugly stained countertops in my bathroom.

Bathroom counter before

I guess it’s not that bad, but as you can see, it’s chipped and a little scratched and stains really easily. I thought it was something I had to live with until I found out that they make Con-tact paper that looks like granite! How freaking awesome is that!? And they carry it at my local Wal-Mart. So, the next time I went grocery shopping, I picked up a roll for less than $6.00.

I have always loved contact paper. I remember covering all sorts of things in it when I was a kid, but I was very worried that the contact paper would look really trashy on the countertop. But when I spread it out, I decided that it looks just as good as the faux granite formica countertops. So, I recruited my sticker-master husband to install it for me. And just look at what an awesome job he did!


It really does look amazing, sooo much better than it did before.


In this close-up, you can see the overlaps, but it’s hardly noticeable unless you’re really looking for it. The best part is that our new countertop is totally removable so when we move, we can just peel it off.


I was also concerned with the Con-tact paper’s durability. So far, it’s held up great. I had to staple the bottom to keep it from peeling off the rough wood underneath, but we’ve been using the sink for 2 weeks now without any peeling. And if it does end up getting worn out, I still have plenty left over so we can cover it again.

I had so much left over, in fact, that I decided the countertop in Lex’s room could use a facelift, too.


The color of it looks really great in there, too. I love that there’s finally a nicer contrast than white and off-white now.


And I did this one all by myself! Ok, so there were a few more air bubbles, and maybe a wrinkle or two, but it still looks good.

And that’s it! New-looking countertops in two rooms for less than $6.

Now I can’t wait to get my hands on some chalkboard Con-tact paper

Update 9/20/12: It’s been over 3 months now, and the Con-tact paper is still going strong. The only issue is that someone got something on it that took the print off of the paper, leaving a white spot. I think it was acetone, so you’ll want to be careful with the type of cleaners you use. I’ve been using Clorox wipes or all-purpose spray. Other than that, it’s been great!

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My Grown-up House {Lex’s Room}

Posted by on Oct 13, 2011 in Feature, My Grown-up House | 0 comments

This is the second post in my series “My Grown-up House.”

The first room I’m making over belongs to my sweet baby Lex. When we first moved in, his room needed the most work. It had a lot of issues but also a lot of potential.

Don’t you just love these windows?
See the icky fake wood paneling?
  Lots of built-in storage, which is great.

See what I mean? Lots of work but lots of potential. I pleaded with my landlord to let me paint over the paneling. Being the awesome guy that he is, he agreed, as long as I painted it the same color as the rest of the house. Enhance the look of your home by adding accessories to your iron door. He even provided the primer and the paint! After several weeks of painting while very pregnant and with help from friends, the kids and the husband, we finally got it done. Ta-da!

And yes, I also repainted the trim and built-ins. It was a big fat pain in the butt but completely necessary. Unfortunately, I made a rookie mistake and bought the cheapest possible paint. It was way too thin and I ended up doing three coats even after priming! And the worst part is that the tape pulled some big chunks off when I was removing it, and you can tell that it’s not going to hold up very well to wear and tear. I may end up having to sand and repaint all the trim again, but I really really hope not.

I saw some beautiful rugs for sale yesterday and I got one for Lex’s room that goes great with the new painted walls. Overall, I think it turned out pretty great. One thing I’ve heard over and over from decorating shows is that paint gives you the biggest bang for your buck. I think this little transformation proves that quite well.

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My Grown-up House

Posted by on Sep 20, 2011 in Feature, My Grown-up House | 1 comment


It may seem strange to say, but I feel myself slowly realizing that I am, in fact, a grown up. With a real house and family of my own and a car and everything. It’s strange because until recently I have always looked at certain things and said to myself “Someday…”  As in, “Someday I will have a house of my own with a yard and I can do all this cool stuff.” And someday is here, has been here for a little while now. So I think I’m going to start concentrating on making my home the way I have dreamed it would be.

Most of my craft efforts have been focused on making gifts for other people. While I love doing that, it occurred to me that I can also make things for myself and my home (duh!). I have started doing some actual decorating from scratch with Lex’s room and am very pleased with it so far. I think my first order of business will be to finish his room up. Here are some pictures of it when we first moved in.

When we first looked at the place, I fell in love with all these windows! Aren’t they great? I’ve done a lot with his room, but I’ll save those pictures for another post.

The rest of my house is another story. See, most of my furniture is inherited and is kind of a hodge podge of different styles and woods. Likewise, most of my decorative pieces have been acquired piecemeal over the years with no real design in mind. As I look around, I see things I have had since high school and I’m thinking it’s time for a change. It’s time for some design. Here’s a look at my living room when we first moved in.

There have been some changes (like getting rid of that sad chair), but it’s still very similar.

So, I’ve decided to start a new series called “My Grown-up House.” I am going to room-by-room redecorating on a very small budget. I’m basically going to be transitioning from a college apartment to a more grown-up, cohesive space.

There are still other somedays like “Someday when I own my own house…” or “Someday when Lex is bigger…” but I can still wait for those.

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