Wednesday, January 4, 2012

3 Money Saving Projects and a Basement Update

It has been a little more than a week and my basement reno is still not quite finished.  It kind of took on a life of its own and what was going to be a little face lift turned more into a major over-haul.  There were a few snafus that slowed me down... starting with the fact the color I bought [2 gallons of] was horrid and even worse the polyurethane I bought to go on my cabinets turned them from a beautiful white to full on banana yellow!!  Please learn from my mistake...ONLY USE AN ACRYLIC BASED POLY WHEN PAINTING OVER WHITE.  More on this topic and how I remedied it in a later post!  Then, of course my husband came home and got involved and we now have beautiful new floors down here and I won't complain about that at all!!  Thankfully the basement is about 99% complete now and I am only lacking a couple baskets to feel good enough about it to post it on the blog.

Today, I am going to show you 3 projects I did down here that saved me tons of money!  Who doesn't like that?

1.  Spray painted refrigerator.
What?  That's right!  I spray painted our little under bar fridge that was bought in 1980 and had the brown wood grain color to prove it!
I figured I didn't have anything to lose and if turned out horrid I would just go buy another one.  I taped up the handles, primed with Kilz, and then hit it with Krylon Fusion spray paint in Metallic Shimmer (2 coats). Easy as pie and less than an hour project including dry times!  I think it was 100% worth it and no one had any idea it was spray painted.   We are talking $5 rather than going to spend $150 on a new one!  Good stuff!

2.  Repurposed Goodwill Lamp and Walmart Shade. 
This was $5!!!!  Yes!!  They actually had a few to chose from but I wanted one that could take up a good bit of visual space on a big side table.  I was drawn to this lamp from Ballard Design, but the $169 price tag seemed completely unrealistic to me!
Pretty huh!  Here is a link if you don't feel like doing it yourself.

For the lamp base I first checked to make sure it worked before I did any work to it!  Wrap up the hardware with painters tape and next give it a quick wipe down a a coat of Kilz primer.  I would normally spray paint the whole thing but I didn't have any bright white and was sitting beside a big can of Super White Benjamin Moore trim paint.  I did two coats of that and then hit it with a coat of Rustoleum High Lustre Lacquer. 

The shade was just a little trickier but not much!  I found a $14.99 drum shade at Walmart.  I had a scrap of fabric left over from pillow making and used the plastic protective covering from the lamp shade as a template, traced it onto my fabric, and cut that out leaving an extra 1/4 inch or so around all the edges.  Next, just pin the fabric onto the shade, cut off any excess, and slowly glue (I used hot glue) the top edges all the way around. Lastly cut two lengths of matching ribbon to hide your raw edges and glue those down.  It turned out pretty close to perfect... close enough for me anyway!  One thing I learned is to line up the seams of your new cover with the existing seem on the lampshade.  Otherwise, when the lamp is on you will see both seams. 

I'm kind of in love with it and my total price including the $14.99 Walmart lamp shade was still under $30.  A far cry from the $169 price tag on the Ballard Design gourd lamp!!

3.  Gallery Wall. 
I have been pinning tons of gallery walls on Pinterest!  But, to price all new frames, mats, etc was gonna be a little ridiculous.  So, I gathered up tons of existing frames and a few other pictures and mirrors from around my house and got out... you guessed it... the spray paint!  I wanted to stick to the green, black and white so all I did was lay out my design and decide which frames to paint!  I even painted some mats and it worked beautifully!  Hopefully the glass pops out of your frames (some of mine didn't) which makes it very easy work.  Spray prime, spray paint, hang.  Easy as that!  I am left with a cohesive gallery wall that I think highlights the pictures which is exactly what I wanted!
There you go... 3 incredibly easy money saving projects that absolutely anyone can do!
Full room reveal this week sometime!



  1. Super cute lamp shade and your gallery wall has inspired me to try to do the same on our basement wood paneling wall -- I have paint matched to a set of baskets but unfortunately it's in a can, not spray paint, so it will be a bit more tedious but I love the effect. Need to print out some black & white photos! :-)

  2. My green paint on the frames was in a can too! It actually ended up not being as bad as I thought... I put it off forever! As long as the glass will pop out of the frame its fast and easy.


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