Simple Side Table Makeover with Spray Paint

Simple Side Table Makeover with Spray Paint - Charleston Crafted

Today I have a super simple furniture makeover for you. When we moved, we had all of our boxes unpacked within a week. All of them except this one. This box has been J Chilling in our guest room, serving as a side table, for 9 months.

Side table has been on my thrift store list this whole time but I had a hard time finding one.  I wanted one tall enough for this bed (it’s awkwardly tall), with open shelving for books (these are “beach books” we like to have on hand for guests). And I wanted to spend less than $10. Super cheap because, really I don’t know what direction this room is going to go in. I don’t have a design or really purpose goal at the moment but I expect that it will get a makeover in the next 12 months. No need to spend $$ on something that we won’t be keeping for long. Thrifted = cheap and sustainable so it was a win win.

I finally found this dresser on a random Wednesday Goodwill trip (follow my Insta-Stories because I love going live when I am there!) It had cool bamboo detailing, a big drawer, the right height, and 2 open shelves for books. Bingo.

Simple Side Table Makeover with Spray Paint - Charleston Crafted

The big downer was that it’s super fake wood and really plastic-y. Like I said, not a long term investment. So, I knew that it would not sand well and that I couldn’t save the wood tone. White it was!

I usually paint furniture with a brush, but decided to do this one with spray paint. The main reason for that was the amount of detail – faux bamboo and woven details – on the front of the table and the fact that it wouldn’t sand well.

Simple Side Table Makeover with Spray Paint - Charleston Crafted

To spray paint furniture without sanding, especially particle board furniture, start with a deglosser. Use a rag to apply it all over the piece & it acts to break down anything on the surface and help the paint to adhere better.

Then, apply spray paint. Work in a ventilated area and cover anything you want to keep clean. Here are my best spray paint tips.

Simple Side Table Makeover with Spray Paint - Charleston Crafted

 

I let the whole thing cure for 3 days to really be sure that the finish was dry. Then, we moved it into the guest bedroom. It is perfect for what we need it for. I love the bamboo details, I love that it hold books, it is the perfect height, and I love that it was inexpensive!

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Our Favorite Books So Far This Year

Our Favorite Books So Far This Year - Charleston Crafted

Sean & I both set lofty reading goals for 2017 and we are both… very behind. Oops! But, we have read some awesome books, and really wanted to share our favorite books so far this year.

Our Favorite Books So Far This Year - Charleston Crafted

The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney – a woman moves into a very peculiar house and learns about the legacy of a deceased woman who lived there previously. Their lives become almost entertained, and the mystery will keep you on the edge of your seat. 

Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham – If you love Gilmore Girls, this is a must read. Audio book it for best results (Lauren reads it!) Her life is sweet & funny and there is loads of behinds the scenes details!

A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay – the story of an art restorer and her journey finding love. It sounds cheesy, and maybe it is, but it was fun to follow her whirlwind romance and to get some insight into the world of art restoration.

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett- This is an excellent book that spans decades going back and forth, telling the tale of four kids who are brought together when their parents have an affair and get married. Their trials and tribulations as kids carry with them to adulthood as they focus on taking care of their aging parents.
The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan- A bomb explodes in India in a market and two kids are among the dead. This book focuses different chapters on their parents, their friend who survived the blast, and the bombers themselves. A very interesting look at how a bombing can have so many ripple effects for decades.
Hyacinth: the average girl by Mereda Hart Farynyk- This book was written by a friend of mine and is her debut novel. It’s a Hunger Games in that citizens are silent or oblivious to the government rule, but the main character comes to find out that there might be more to her and her world than she realized.
What have you been reading & loving lately?
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How To Save Money on Large Purchases at Lowes or Home Depot

How To Save Money on Large Purchases at Lowes or Home Depot - Charleston Crafted

When you move, a lot of times you have big upfront expenses. For example, you might need a new washer and dryer or refrigerator. You might need to put in new flooring or buy ten gallons of paint. Whatever it is, you probably will be making a large purchase at Lowes or Home Depot. We personally had to purchase a washer and dryer as soon as we moved in and had just put all of our money into a down payment. Luckily, I was able to save 10% on our first big purchases, without opening a credit card!

How did I save so much money? By buying gift cards and coupons on eBay. I get that it sounds sketchy, but I promise that it is legit. I did this and have instructed other friends to do the same, and I have never heard of anyone having a negative experience.

How To Save Money on Large Purchases at Lowes or Home Depot - Charleston Crafted

All you need to do is search ebay for coupons. For example, there are tons of sets of 3 Lowes 10% off coupons for $3.25 total! Assuming that your three purchases would total to at least $33, that is all savings!

For Home Depot, I often see 10 10% off coupons for $10. That is a fantastic deal!

Either way, be sure to check expiration dates. They can’t sell expired coupons or cards (and you have the protection of eBay who will always back you up if they did) but some of them have a pretty quick turn around. Just keep that in mind if you are planning out in advance!

Another option is to buy discounted gift cards. Lowes and Home Depot are both all over eBay. Those usually have no expiration date!

You usually cannot combine coupons but CAN use a coupon + a (discounted!) gift card for maximum savings.

Also, don’t forget to use Ebates for bonus cash back at eBay!

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ORC: How to Design a Closet Organization System in Microsoft Excel

ORC: How to Design a Closet Organization System in Microsoft Excel - Charleston Crafted

Hello and welcome back to the One Room Challenge! We are so excited to be pairing up with a TON of other bloggers to be making over a room in six weeks. We are making over our walk in closet (and the accompanying linen closet!) and are so excited for it!

For the why and the design plan, check out week one here!

Now, I wanted to share with you the incredibly nerdy way that I designed this closet system. Our previous closets in the condo I just designed on paper based on the IKEA system of drawers that I wanted to use. This time I knew that I wanted something 100% custom, so I had to get in there and design it myself.

I am an analyst and I am very type A so I decided to design my closet using Microsoft Excel. The first thing that you need to do is get some measurements. Measure and write down:

  • The height from floor to ceiling
  • The width from wall to wall
  • The height needed for each section of clothing – IE dresses, shirts, pant. Here is what I used:
    • Maxi dress: 68″
    • Ladies tops: 34″
    • Ladies bottoms: 22″
    • Dresses: 46″
    • Mens shirts: 33″
    • Mens pants: 36″
  • The width of each item that you currently own (roughly). IE if you own 36″ wide of dresses you will need to design differently than if you own 6″ of dresses.

ORC: How to Design a Closet Organization System in Microsoft Excel - Charleston Crafted

Now open an Excel document. You want to select all, right click, and choose Column Width. Set this to 1. Repeat with the Row Height. Each cell corresponds to one inch.

(Start in cell B2 if you want the black border.) Select the area to be the number of inches wide that your closet is by the number of inches tall. Use your Borders tool to add a thick black border around your selection. This is your closet wall. I skipped one row and column in before doing this so I could make a border of 1 cell of black filled cells to make the border even thicker.

Nos start playing! use your upper, lower, left, and right borders to create lines to separate your space into the appropriate widths and heights. I played around with a few layouts.

ORC: How to Design a Closet Organization System in Microsoft Excel - Charleston Crafted

At first, I wanted to mimic our condo closet as much as possible. I wanted drawers down the middle. However I quickly realized how much that limited our hanging space.

ORC: How to Design a Closet Organization System in Microsoft Excel - Charleston Crafted

I tried to minimize the drawers to have more hanging space. We talked about it a bit and decided that since our master bedroom is so big, we have plenty of space for drawer storage out there. We actually already have 3 dressers (our side tables are campaign dressers!) so we wanted to focus entirely on hanging storage in this space.

ORC: How to Design a Closet Organization System in Microsoft Excel - Charleston Crafted

My last change was to just keep my stuff on one side and Sean’s on the other. It’s just simpler that way!

ORC: How to Design a Closet Organization System in Microsoft Excel - Charleston Crafted

I was finally pleased with the design and printed it out to bring home. Sean was able to use these measurements to make shopping and cut lists for the build. I definitely recommend using Excel to design your closet organization system!

 

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When to splurge on tools and when to save

When to splurge on tools and when to save - Charleston Crafted

When you’re a new homeowner, you don’t have a ton of money after you close on the home, but you also often need to do some improvements on your house. If you’ve never lived in a house before, like me, you might not have had a ton of tools to work with. When on a budget, it’s important to get an idea of when to splurge on tools and when to save.

I’ve written before about what tools you should have in your first tool box, what the best saws are for a new homeowner and what the essential yard tools are, but didn’t talk too much about which ones to buy and when. It can be a daunting thing to look at a $350 saw or a $150 drill or a $500 lawnmower, but do you need those? Often times, no, but here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding when to splurge on tools and when to save.

When to splurge on tools and when to save - Charleston Crafted

  • How often are you going to use it? – If the answer is “I’m going to use it all the time,” then you probably want to spend a little more money. I love the drill I have. The first drill I had had low torque, couldn’t drill deep into things and the battery died all the time. It was cheap and chinsy and a waste of money. The 20 volt Porter Cable drill I have now is awesome. It’s powerful, the battery is great, and I never have any problems. I literally use my drill almost every single day for one thing or another, so this is where I wanted to spend some money.
  • How unique is this tool? – This question is in line with the first one because if the answer is that the tool is very unique, you likely aren’t going to use it that often, and if you aren’t going to use it that often, it might be better to spend less or borrow. For instance, I borrowed my neighbor’s brad nailer and air compression unit when we hung crown molding. At the time, the cheapest nail gun I could find was on sale for $199. I didn’t really want to spend an extra $200 on our crown molding project for that tool when I didn’t think I’d have much use for it after. I also borrowed another neighbor’s electric pole saw to cut down a limb on one of our trees. I’m not going to need to cut down that many limbs, so why spend a couple hundred bucks when my friendly neighbor offered me his?
  • What scale do you need this tool? – I asked myself this question when I was shopping for a miter saw. I use my miter saw all the time, but I had never used one before and didn’t know how much I’d need it. One thing I did know was that they ranged in price from $150-500 and I didn’t need some massive piece of equipment in my small garage. I ended up going with a 7 1/4 inch blade miter saw that I thought would fit my needs. I splurged a bit and got one with a miter and bevel and a slide, but I saved by getting a smaller blade and one that didn’t have extendable arms for leveling. I decided I didn’t need that big of a scale of tool, so I opted for one that better suited my needs.
  • How long is this going to last? – Know that if you buy a cheaper tool, it will likely not last as long. The price reflects the quality. If you need something now, but don’t have the ability to fund a big purchase, consider buying a lower quality version and save up for a while to buy the next one. This question also applies to hand-me-downs. I got a bunch of yard tools when my dad moved, including his lawn mower. It’s so old that I used it when I was a kid to mow the grass. But it works. It has no problems, it’s just not fancy. I’m going to take care of this mower for as long as it will last, and then I’ll buy a new one.

Think you need a tool and don’t want to pay full price? We have found that pawn shops actually have a great tool selection at a bargain price. Some big box tool stores like Lowes or Home Depot also offer daily or weekly tool rental for large items.

Every tool purchase is going to be a big one. You don’t always need to splurge for the best and brightest tool on the shelf, but you also don’t want to necessarily get the crappy cheap one either. Know your budget, know what you’re going to use it for and how often and make the decision that is best for you. If you are debating something, please feel free to drop a comment below and I’m happy to give my opinion on your next purchase!

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