24 February 2012

Condo Upgrades

Here's a few of my latest condo updates.

Bathroom Sink

The countertops in both of my bathrooms were very outdated (like everything else in my condo). It was built in the early 80s and not much has been changed since then.

The first thing I updated was the master bathroom countertop. I painted it with Rustoleum’s Countertop paint in Taupe. It worked well... but it had to be applied with a smooth paint roller rather than a paintbrush... which made painting the corners a bit difficult. I didn't care because I knew I would be painting over it with other paints and sponges and wanted a messier look anyway. I thought it was worth mentioning though... for anyone who is considering painting with it.

I should also mention that the paint is highly toxic. My bathroom countertop isn't something I can really move and take outside. So I opened up every window in the house in an attempt to ventilate it while I was painting. The open windows barely made a difference because the smell was SO strong, and I ended up with a terrible headache. If you decide to use it on your countertops, make sure to buy one of those masks. And, open every window in your house.... on a very breezy day.

After painting the countertop with Rustoleum and allowing it to dry, I painted over it with Behr’s Ultra Pure Antique White semi-gloss indoor paint with a sponge brush. Once the white paint dried, I used a sponge brush and painted over that with a third paint color, Benjamin Moore's Lenox Tan. I saw this technique done on Good Morning America, and it’s used to create the look of marble or granite. On the show, they used a kit specifically made for that purpose (but I didn’t use the kit because it was too expensive for my busted budget). The countertop on GMA looked WAY more realistic than mine turned out, but I’m still okay with it. I haven't coated it with Poly yet, so I'm hoping it will look more finished and have that glossy look after I do that. 

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture before I painted the base Rustoleum paint, so you missed out on the 80s countertop.

Bathroom gray cabinet

I fell in love with this gray rustic cabinet / towel rack at Homegoods. 


I started working on my dresser forever ago. When I inherited them from my parents two years ago, they were the most hideous things I'd ever seen. I’m not a fan of lighter wood shades to begin with and the corners of the dresser had this gaudy, brass hardware. The first thing I did was pry that horrible hardware off, sand down the corners, fill the holes left from the hardware with wood putty, and sand it down. The drawer handles were made of that same gaudy brass, so I switched those out with updated handles from Lowe’s. That was the moment I realized just how much a little tweaking (like changing drawer handles) can transform a piece of furniture. I was AMAZed at how much better it already looked.

About a year later, I decided to paint my room gray and my dresser white and began the painting process last summer. I sanded the dresser down and primed it at that time too. But ever since I primed it, it's been sitting in my room... looking all kinds of shabby with no drawer handles. I finally painted last weekend and think it looks great!   

Bedroom wall

I had such high hopes when I painted my bedroom gray. Unfortunately, the woman who mixed the paint did a horrible job. It was really diluted and did not transfer well AT ALL. By this time, I'd already painted my entire condo, and I was incredibly tired of painting... so I left it the way it was.

Now that I'm updating other things in the condo, I felt it was time to fix the walls too. I purchased Martha Stewart’s Terra Cotta Specialty Finish in Gravel to fix the problem. Painting these walls is going to take a lot of time. I plan to paint it a little bit at the time so I don’t get burnt out on it. The container says you can apply it with either a palette or a brush. I tried the brush on one area and the palette on another area to compare the two, and the palette area looked much better. The area where I used the brush was spotty and didn’t have great coverage. Unfortunately, the palette application uses much more of the finish and takes twice as long to apply (not to mention the work out my arm gets in the process). So, yeah… I anticipate this project taking quite a bit of time to complete.

In addition to the updates I just mentioned, I finally purchased a new TV for my living room. My old TV (a 29” inch) did just fine in my last apartment because the living room wasn’t nearly as big as my new one. The TV I just purchased is a 46” Samsung LCD, and it was love at first sight. I never knew what I was missing! Plus, now that I have a new TV in my living room, I was able to move my old TV to my bedroom. It was so nice being lazy in bed as I watched TV over the weekend. I also splurged on a Wii and enjoyed kicking some butt in Wii Bowling too! 

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