Pinterest Fail: Spray Painting a Filing Cabinet

There’s a good reason I only took one photo of this sad, pathetic project. Pinterest usually doesn’t lead me astray but every once in a while I hit a dud. While this project sounds great in theory, it’s actually a huge wallet buster and dare I even mention the fumigation.

Here is the standard tutorial I followed:

File down rust, clean with soap and water, remove hardware, spray with standard rust oleum base coat, spray with color coat, let dry, reassemble and your done.

Firstly, I couldn’t remove the hardware. This is a newer filing cabinet I found at Salvation Army and I didn’t have the right sized tool. The painting started out fine until I got halfway through applying the base coat. I used an entire can of spray paint and the results where patchy and unattractive. I blew it off thinking it’s base coat, no one will know and now the color coat should go on evenly. Wrong!

The picture above is halfway through a can of the green spray paint and only the sides you can see have been painted. It’s stripy and patchy and barely covers the white base coat. It looks like I’ve never spray painted anything a day in my life. Try as I might, no matter how I held the can or the distance with which I sprayed that’s the result I kept getting. Sam helped me move the cabinet several times trying to account for the wind to no avail.

After thirty minutes I had a headache from the fumes even though I took breaks and tried my best not to breath it in. After an hour and a half I gave up. I don’t know how anyone got their cabinets to look even without going through 2-3 cans of spray paint. I have two filing cabinets to paint so I could go ahead and double the amount spray paint and time invested.

The reason so many tutorials suggest spray paint is because acrylic paint bonds better to metal. The problem is most acrylic paints made for metal come as spray paint. Spray paint limits your color selection and it’s noxious. There was the slightest breeze yesterday and half my spray paint blew away before it ever touched the metal. That’s a huge waste of money.

After some brain storming I remembered I had a similar color of sample paint in a bucket in the garage so on an impulse I brushed a little on and oh my what a difference! I think the perfect balance here is to slap on a can of spray paint base coat for adhesion and then roll or brush on the top color coat. It takes way less paint, way less time, and the coverage is even.

When I get them both done I’ll post them here so you can see the finished result. I hope you found this helpful!

Take Away: Painting a filing cabinet is still a great idea, I just wouldn’t use spray paint.

Maegan

Master Bedroom Closet Mini Renovation

I have been waiting so long to share this tour with you all. The renovations were minor but the overall effect is spectacular! I get so excited every time I walk into our closet, now. This is my closet? No way! It is so beautiful to look at I purposely leave the closet door open! I’ve also started using it more like a real walk in closet by getting dressed in the closet–it’s way faster and more convenient. Sam is also a huge fan of the new layout and excited he no longer has to fight his way through the pillows strewn over the floor. I always feel satisfied and proud of my work when Sam gets excited about the end result of a project. I know I not created something beautiful but also functional. I’m linking the post I wrote on how I decluttered our closet before I redesigned the layout and organized our clothes. BONUS: I’m also listing the five ways to instantly give your closet a face-lift at the end of this post. This is not an affiliated post and there are no affiliate links in this post. All products and opinions are my own and bought with my own money.

Here is the before:img_0028img_0029img_0030

And here is the after:acs_0509acs_0510acs_0529 My total renovation cost for this project was fifty-two dollars. Most everything I purchased was on sale or I used coupon. We already owned the lumber, paint, wooden dowel, acrylic magazine holder(this one is similar), chair, sheepskin rug, and art(thrifted). The total project if you owned none of the supplies but, did have you own power tools, screws, and paint brushes, would be about $150+ (not including the accessories). Here’s the breakdown: $20-$30 for lumber, $4-$7 a piece for shelf brackets depending on size, $15 for a quart of paint, $18 for hat hooks if bought full price, $8 for a 6ft 1 1/4in wooden dowel rod, $15 for an acrylic magazine holder, 60 hangers for $30, 10 for $8 plastic slimline hangersacs_0515acs_0522

As you can see the ‘before’ closet was a jumbled mess. The mismatched hangers and random pillows and other accouterments strewn across the floor lent itself to a haphazard feel. As I considered the closet’s overall design I realized that Sam’s clothes needed to be hanging where mine currently hung and vise versa. I was also wasting a lot of dead space with the dresser and small ‘shoe shelf’ which didn’t even begin to hold half of my shoes. There was also an odd nook on the other side of the door I was never sure with what I should do. I’d also been organizing my purses in shoe boxes on the shelf above my clothes and it had never stayed tidy.acs_0512acs_0525

The first thing I did was declutter our closet. I then swapped Sam and I’s sides of the closet so my maxi dresses wouldn’t be dragging the floor and Sam could store his things on the shorter shelf. I decided to move all the clothes down the closet so when you open the door and step inside we would greeted by white open space. With the clothes moved to the other side of the closet I replaced the hangers. Just swapping out the mismatched, bulky, plastic hangers for identical slimline hangers made a huge difference. I quickly realized that I didn’t have enough hangers the first go around and it ended up taking sixty hangers–which was shocking–for my clothes alone. We lucked out and had enough white velvet slimline hangers for Sam’s dress pants but we had to buy more to replace the rest. Sam’s hangers were very cheap($2 a 10 pack) because he doesn’t like the non-slip hangers for his shirts so we found some plastic ones at Walmart!acs_0511acs_0517

To maximize space I added a bottom rod beneath my tops for jeans and dress pants. If you saw my Instastories, the original bottom closet rod brackets were hung too far to the left and were old. We bought two inexpensive brackets to replace the old ones and repositioned them to hang directly below the top shelf brackets. Since this is a rental, I stuck to the same closet bracket style that already existed–though I would have loved to rip them out and replace them with modern and stylish brackets. I want our apartment complex to appreciate the upgrade–not charge me for it whenever we move out.

Next, I worked on the shoe shelves. I measured my tallest pair of heels and added an extra inch in height to determined how many shelves I could get from floor to the shelf above the closet rod. I also measured my tallest riding boots and allotted space for them on the floor. I painted and Sam cut and hung the shelves. This is my favorite part of the entire closet!acs_0524acs_0523

The purse shelves gave me the most trouble. I didn’t think I could fit boutique style purse shelves in our closet. I originally wanted a little command station but decided to give it up in favor of purse shelves. We had some left over wood from another project that just happened to be the perfect depth. I painted them and Sam hung them and the ended working perfectly! Now, I have room up top to add even more purses! I can hear the leather of Sam’s wallet squeaking as he death-grips it. I have a very small hat collection that I was keeping on Styrofoam mannequin heads–which was cumbersome–and the blank spot on the back wall seemed like the perfect place for them. The hooks I bought were a little too big but for $3 each they are getting the job done. Now I think the mannequins look chic and add character. acs_0514acs_0513

Lastly, I felt the space needed an bit of personality and a place to sit and put shoes on. I already owned the sheepskin and chair–some of these items were haphazardly stuffed in a corner of our loft. The floral art was something I thrifted recently and was so so excited to give it a permanent home!

Overall, I think the closet mini-reno turned out beautifully! Its such a functional space now AND it’s beautiful to look at! There are a few things I still want to work on in this space. I still want to add an extra shelf on Sam’s side of the closet to extend the storage, install a milk glass light fixture, and swap the storage boxes out for ones that are 12×12. Overall, it turned out wonderfully and I’m very proud.acs_0526acs_0517

Here are the five things you can do right now to give your closet a major face-lift:

1. Declutter your closet — the best thing you can do is donate all those clothes you don’t wear so you can see the things you actually love to wear. I wrote all about declutteringnmy own closet here so you don’t have to figure it out.

2. Matching hangers — matching hangers streamline the closet and creates a cohesive, and dare I say, custom look for not a lot of work or cash.

3. Hang clothes by color– hang all red tops together, hang all red dresses and skirts together(separately from tops), etc. then hang all clothes by type in rainbow order. This streamlines the closet and makes getting dressed quicker and more fun.

4. Invest in hooks — hats, belts, scarves–get those things off the floor and out of the clothing space by hanging them on hooks along the wall

5. Add something personal — a monogram, a piece of art, your favorite perfume, pink hangers, find a way to make your space look and feel like you!

I hope you loved this post! I want to see your closet makeovers! Link them in the comments below so I can check them out!

Maegan

P.S. Here are some bonus blooper photos of Lemon! Have a great week!

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Mid-century Coastal Nursery/Bedroom Tour

Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Changing table, Dresser as a Chaning table, Nursery Interior Design, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue NEven though Baby E is gone, I am still excited to share our nursery tour today. I jumped so many design and foster care inspection hurdles to get this room ready and not only am I happy with the end result but I’m so grateful to have had a baby to use it. I put a lot of hard work into incorporating a nursery in our bedroom without it feeling juvenile. According to the state I had to fit a crib and changing table in a bedroom that already contained a king size bed, an eight foot dresser, and two night stands. Because we rent I could not change the carpet, ceiling fan, the color of the trim, or doors. I also could not remove or change the blinds. This is a HUGE post so grab a coffee or a glass of wine and settle in. Let’s do this!

BEFORE:IMG_1875Our room was pretty sad looking. The paint in this photo was from the first apartment we ever lived in ten years ago. I am not kidding. It’s a semi-gloss finish(first time paint buyers remorse) and it’s shiny and tacky looking–like patent leather. Just no. Obviously, nothing is working together and it’s very dark and dreary–our lamps don’t even match. Our bedroom needed lots of help.

AFTER:Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Nursery Interior Design, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue NurseryMaegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Nursery Interior Design, Modern Nursery Design, Changing tableMaegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Green Jenny Lind Crib, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue NurserySo much better, right?! I wanted our room to tell a story each time I walked in or lay down at night. I was born next to the ocean and it is one of the happiest places on the earth for me. Some of my happiest memories from my entire life are vacationing at the beach with my family. When I lay down at night I wanted to be surrounded and transported to the beach but I did not want it to feel hokey or campy. I wanted it to hint at the beach and leave room for my imagination to fill in the blanks. I also needed a gender neutral theme for the ‘baby’ side of the room and ‘beach’ landed squarely between both baby and grownup. I drew my color pallet from the large art piece hanging over the changing table. It’s just a print but it’s one of the first pieces of art I ever bought and I’m so proud that I still love it to this day.Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Coastal Nursery, Vintage Blue Mason Jar, ShellsI started with paint. We rent and therefore the walls have been repainted a thousand times and are covered with inches of uneven texture. I needed a color that would not accentuate the texture like the tacky, semigloss, dark blue I had painted them. I also had to take into consideration the ugly tan carpet. I wanted to chose a paint color that would draw attention away from the carpet and complement its undertone–not an easy feat. I vacillated over paint color more than any other design aspect. I was very worried that the green undertones of the paint might be nauseating, but this color ended up being so versatile and calming. It leans more blue if you add blue accents and it leans green if you add green accents. It’s one of those truly neutral colors in that it isn’t too warm and isn’t too cool–and it’s not grey. It reminds me of sea foam or misty mornings on the beach. Of all the choices I made this was the most transformative, most dramatic, most effective, and CHEAPEST ‘renovation’ I made to the entire room. The new paint color also helped the ugly carpet disappear. The dark blue color from before exaggerated the carpet but the light blue green draws the eye up and away. Now the carpet I can’t change is more like a accent to the wall–like sand in a sea-glass bottle. Wall color is Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams.Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Reading Noook, Nursery Interior Design, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue NurseryNext I had to figure out where I was going to squeeze a full size crib into our room.  I spent a lot of time digging through Pinterest looking  for ideas on how to incorporate a crib into a master bedroom. Most ideas revolved around picking a corner of the room and letting the baby have that space but that just didn’t work for our room. There were no corners to designate to a baby space because they were almost all taken by windows and doors. I wracked my brain for weeks trying to figure out a good solution. One evening, while Sam and I were sitting on the couch watching TV, I decided to sketch the room out on a piece of notebook paper and draw different layouts. I realized after my first sketch that every room I’d seen the ‘baby in the bedroom’ space designed for was very square with only one or two doors and a single window. Our space is a long rectangle with three doors and two windows. No wonder I was having issues!Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Green Jenny Lind Crib, Book Mobile, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue Nursery I was playing around with my sketch when I got the idea to draw a diagonal line down the room to define the space. The furniture instantly clicked into place. The crib fit snugly against the shorter wall between the closet and bathroom doors with plenty of room for our king sized bed against the opposite wall–though I had to give up my bedside table. I converted our dresser to accommodate the changing pad and slid it against the wall between the windows. The space above the dresser was empty so I designed some shelves and had Sam hang them off center making that wall the focal point of the room. It was the perfect solution. Now there was ample room for the crib and unobstructed paths between the bed and all the doors and windows. The crib is a vintage find I got from a family friend and it has an interesting little story. I got this crib months before Sam and I decided to pursue adoption through foster care. That crib is really special to me because I bought it in faith that I would one day have a baby to put in it. I was so nervous I wouldn’t be able to use it once we began the certification process because whatever crib you use has to pass government codes and the environmental inspection. I was so relieved that we were able to use it! It was already painted the minty pastel green when I got it, and I had planned to paint over it, but after assembling it against the new wall color I left it alone.Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, White Washed Shelves, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue NurseryMaegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Changing table, Dresser as a Chaning table, Nursery Interior Design, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue NThe shelves above the dresser we made out of 2×8 pine from Lowe’s which I hand sanded and whitewashed with Sherwin Williams Extra White paint. I chose to whitewash the shelves because it gave me another texture and design element to play with–a sort of drift wood look. It played to my beach theme and whitewashing made the shelves look visibly lighter. Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Reading Nook and Jenny Lind Crib, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue NurseryI had a little corner leftover with nothing in it and I wanted every part of the space to be usable. There wasn’t enough room for a rocking chair so I decided to make a child sized reading nook. We could have gotten a child up to eighteen months old who really could have used a quiet corner of the house to ‘read’ and use their imagination. Books are so important to me. My own childhood was filled with books and endlessly being read to. I still adore books–I’m an aspiring author–and I really felt a space for books needed to be incorporated into our design. I vacillated over whether to buy picture frame ledges from IKEA or build them myself. It came down to aesthetic, really. I wanted shelves that had texture and natural wood–plus building them cost me nothing. Sam found some plans online(search picture frame DIY for a million options) and we used the left over scrap pine from another project. I sanded them down and stained them with Minwax Classic Gray 271 (left over from staining the headboard) and then white washed them slightly with Sherwin Williams Extra White (which I also had left over from another project). I decided to stain them first because I wanted to add another depth of color and contrast as opposed to the very light shelving above the dresser. I used this tutorial as my guide. Whitewashing is a learning process so I recommend getting a small piece of similar scrap wood and practicing on it before tackling your project.Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Coastal Shelves, White Washed Shelves, , Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue NurseryMaegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, White Bedding, Nursery Interior Design, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue NurseryThe headboard is a very heavy piece of paneling from the inside of an old elevator that I refinished and hung with a french cleat. It’s actually the same headboard in the before picture. And, technically Sam added the french cleat. This is one of the projects I’m most proud of because it took a lot of work and planning. I ended up having to start over because of unsavory advise from someone working in a big box lumber store, but it turned out much better than I could have imagined. I already had the white linen duvet cover and I knew I wanted to keep with the white bedding because it is cooler to sleep in(we live in the south y’all) and very spa like. Once I added the faux down duvet insert the bed became very light and airy to look at.Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Nursery Interior Design, Modern Nursey Book Mobile,Let’s talk about the mobile. I made this mobile myself–yes, I really did. I knew I wanted a mobile over the crib but I honestly couldn’t find anything I liked that didn’t scream ‘baby’. I came across the idea on Pinterest(a girl’s best friend) and instantly knew this would be perfect. I love books because they can transport you to other times and places, and you get to experience what it’s like to be a different person. But I also love books because they have messages and those messages can be empowering, edifying, and resiliently hopeful. I wanted a child to be able to look up and see that there is a life just for them that extends far beyond foster care. There is hope. Initially, I wanted to use a Bible–there is no other book filled with more hope– but Sam couldn’t come to terms with me tearing a Bible up this way. I think it would have been beautiful–also very controversial–and I didn’t want ‘controversy’ hanging over our placement’s crib. There is enough literal controversy in a foster child’s life they don’t need metaphorical controversy hanging over their heads too. So, I chose the hardback version of the Chronicle’s of Narnia by C.S. Lewis which I snapped up from a local Half Price Books. The pages hanging from the book’s spine are from ‘The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe’. I didn’t have a guide or tutorial I just sort of made it up as I went along and for a first go it turned out beautifully. As I was cutting the pages out of the book’s spine I asked out loud for C.S. Lewis to forgive me for tearing up his work. I also sent a silent prayer asking God to pass the message along in case he was too busy up there in Heaven and didn’t hear me. I added the little wooden stars because it needed a little more length with some fishing line and hot glue. I think once it’s no longer needed as a crib mobile I will remove the stars and hang it in my office.Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, White Washed Shelves, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue NurseryInitially, we didn’t have a light on the changing table but after several weeks of blinding each other in the middle of the night with the overhead light I broke off and bought a lamp. The most time consuming part of this entire room was styling the shelves above the dresser. It took months. The top shelf actually came together in like five minutes. It was the bottom shelf that really gave me a headache. The vintage glass mason jar–which is filled with shells and sand-dollars from Sam’s very first trip to the beach and our first trip as a married couple–was the only object that actually made it to the end of all the edits I made. Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Nursery Interior Design, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design

There is still a lot left to be done to the adult side of the room. I’m still looking for the right art to hang above the bed as well as a bedside table that better matches the aesthetic of the space. And there is still the dilemma of what to hang on the long wall against the bathroom door. The bedding could also use some color and updating. But that’s the joy of design your own space–in my opinion–because you get to decide as you go along and what ultimately ends up in your space is curated to be 100% you. Thank y’all so much for coming over for a tour. It really means the world to me that y’all have followed our journey as foster parents. You’re continued interest and support means the world to me.

Furniture: Crib/Vintage, Dresser/Cason’s Mercantile, Headboard/DIY

Decor: Changing Table Lamp/Target, Bedside Lamp/Target, Wall Art/ Etsy, Crib Art/Hobby Lobby, Crib Mirror/Vintage Find, Sea Urchin Spines/Target, Changing Table Tray/Hobby Lobby, Coral Art/Target, Book Shelf Art/Urban Outfitters, Oval Frame/Hobby Lobby, Indigo Art/Jennifer Parry Dodge, Wooden Ship/Michael’s, Cream Vase/Target, White Basket/Target, Grass Basket/Target/ Changing Pad Cover/Buy Buy Baby, Crib Sheet/Target, Green Squirrel/Anthropologie

If I forgot something please let me know!   XX — Maegan