Review: Dutch Boy Refresh Paint

I was given two gallons of paint by Dutch Boy to review their new Dutch Boy Refresh Paint. I knew immediately that I wanted to do the bathroom. Unfortunately, I was not immediately able to actually paint the space though… in fact, it too me over two months to get around to it. Let’s just use the preggo excuse here too… yep, I’m getting a lot of mileage out of that one.

But, I finally did it and I showed you a sneak peak on Monday of the bathroom that went from this:

Dutch Boy Refresh Paint Review

Sorry, this is the best picture that I have that shows the horrible purple and grey diamond motif.
It was so abhorrent to me that I couldn’t bear taking real before pictures.

to this:
Dutch Boy Refresh Paint Review
I’ve been thinking long and hard about this review. It’s hard to review a product when most of the features are not yet noticeable. So I’m just going to run through the Key Features that the paint promises and talk about what I can.

Key Features

  • Exceptional Hide and Durability – The durability will have to be determined. I will try to remember to do an update post in about a year to let you know if it’s actually durable.

As far as the hide, I’m gonna have to call it like I see it on this one. Granted, I was covering dark purple paint with white, so you gotta give them a mulligan, but I did two coats of Zinsser primer before using the “self-priming” Refresh paint and I still had to do two full coats of white refresh paint. I was really hoping to get away with just one. After the first coat of pain, I could still see some purple coming through.

  • Gives mildew-resistant coating – I used it in the bathroom, so this’ll be included in the next update.
  • Zero VOC† / Greenguard® Indoor Air Quality Certified – Yay!!! loved this. There was essentially no odor and I was able to paint this room without using a mask. This isn’t just important for pregnant people, but for people with small children in their home.
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Reduces Household odors with Arm & Hammer odor eliminating technology

I’m counting on this one and again, I’ll update you in six months. I used this paint in both the nursery and the “baby’s bathroom” because this is where I’ll be washing out those cloth diapers that I’m planning on using. I think this feature is really cool though. Dutch Boy put Arm & Hammer in the actual paint, so odors in the room are supposed to be absorbed into the walls and trapped there.
So in my opinion, if this one feature of this paint works, then it’s worth using it in every bathroom, kitchen and nursery in the house (which I did use this in the nursery as well). I mean, let’s be real… nurseries have some very interesting odors going on.

So, all in all, it was a paint. The colors were true, which is a big thing for me,it applied easily and it had excellent coverage. For example, with one gallon of the Ultra white I covered:

  • 2 coats on the upper walls
  • 1 coat on the beadboard
  • 1 coat on the trim in bathroom and nursery
  • 2 coat on the window in the bathroom and the nursery
  • 1 coat on the cabinets

I really kept thinking that I was going to run out, so I was impressed when I finished and had a little leftover. But all in all, this is a paint that will need to be tested over time to really tell if it stands up to all of it’s promises.

Review: Frog Tape versus Scotch Blue

Happy Monday! Hope you all had a great weekend.

This is in no way a sponsored post for either Frog Tape or Scotch Blue. When I was putting the stripes up in the bathroom, I used A LOT of tape. If you’re interested in the actual tutorial, this is a good place to start: How to Paint Perfect Stripes on Wall by Centsational Girl It was very helpful to me and I may be prejudiced, but I think my stripes are pretty great:

Frog Tape versus Scotch Blue
I will say that putting up the tape was a two person job. John held the laser level in place while I put up the tape along the line. Our laser level had a way to mount it, but it used pins and I didn’t want a billion little whole in my wall.

OK, so back to the Frog Tape versus Scotch Blue with Edge Lock. I used mostly Frog Tape because that’s what I had on hand, but I did use plenty of Scotch Blue to get a good idea of both.

Frog Tape versus Scotch Blue
In this particular picture, you only see a little of the Scotch Blue but there was a lot more used in other areas.

Putting up the tape: Scotch Blue wins this category hands down. In clung better on the first swipe than Frog Tape did. With Frog Tape, we found we needed to go over the tape multiple times before it really stuck, even then while I was painting it was peeling up in spots.

This is where the importance of “sealing the lines” comes in. Once your tape is up, cover the lines in your base coat color. That way, if there is any bleed, then the color that bleeds is the color that’s already painted, not the color that is your accent or stripe color.

Frog Tape versus Scotch Blue
Crisp Lines: I really couldn’t tell a difference between the two. Both had equally crisp lines as long as they didn’t pull off paint (see below).

Removing the Tape: This is where Frog Tape won by a mile in my opinion. Frog Tape pulled off cleanly and required very little to no touch up afterwards. Scotch Blue not only pulled of TONS of paint, which makes for lots of touch-ups, but it also didn’t really want to come off at all. We had to use a knife and cut along the edge of the tape to help it come off. When you used about 700,000 feet of tape, this is not ideal. This is an example of the Scotch Blue removal process:

Frog Tape versus Scotch Blue
You can see some bleeding at the top, but that’s probably user error. The big problem is the HUGE patch of paint that peeled off along with the tape and that was after using the knife on the edge.

In John’s words: “This blue one really sucks. Don’t buy it again.”

I consider him a pretty impartial judge, so in our house, Frog Tape rules from here on out in spite of the issues of it initially not sticking. I guess we’d rather have it not stick enough than to stick too much?

Rustic Fall Party {Rehearsal Dinner}

So remember how I spent the whole summer planning a rehearsal dinner for my brother-in-law and new sister-in-law? And remember how pretty it was and how great it turned out? Oh, you don’t remember anything about it? That’s because I didn’t take a SINGLE picture that night!!! #bloggerfail

Thankfully, Kathy Powell of Moore Photography came to my rescue in a big way. She is an incredibly talented photographer based in South Carolina and took better pictures that night than I could have ever attempted anyway. If you need a photographer in the southeast, everyone was so pleased with her. Super easy to work with.

Anyway, now I can show you how the actual party turned out!

The dinner was held at an awesome historic carriage house in Columbia, South Carolina and it was the perfect fall night. I’m not going to jumble everything up with a lot of words, just know that great people + beautiful weather + boiled peanuts = good party. Smile
Rustic Fall PartyRustic Fall PartyRustic Fall PartyRustic Fall Party

Rustic Fall PartyRustic Fall PartyRustic Fall PartyRustic Fall PartyRustic Fall PartyRustic Fall PartyRustic Fall PartyRustic Fall Party

Striped Bathroom Reveal

This room has been complete for two weeks, but I finally cleaned it and took pictures, which is always the step that takes me the longest. I LOVE how this bathroom turned out. It’s EXACTLY what I had pictures in my head from the stripes to the towels to the shower curtain. It’s great for future kiddos that will be the primary users but also works for adults when guests come and use it.

Bathroom Makeover
Let’s just remind you of where this bathroom started… It had really great bones. We didn’t need to change any fixtures and I liked the beadboard on the walls. But… I HATED the paint job…

Bathroom Makeover
So the biggest project in here was covering the purple paint with grey diamonds. More on that process HERE.

Bathroom MakeoverBathroom Makeover
I made the shower curtain and I love it. I found the fabric on and knew that it was the inspiration for this bathroom.

Bathroom MakeoverBathroom MakeoverBathroom Makeover
I found the fun towels and round bathmats at Target. The towels were only $4.99 each! That ended up evening itself out with the monogramming, so it was good that I got a good deal. I love the pop of lime against the blue.

This room just feels so much brighter and happier now.


Today I am thankful for so many gifts that the Lord has bestowed upon me. I am humbled by the incredibly blessed life that I lead. Here are just a few of those things:

1. The gift of salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross

2. My sweet husband. John, who is absolutely the world to me.

3. This little one… I can’t wait to meet you in just a few more months!

Sweet Face
4. My sweet family. So excited to spend some quality time with them this week.

5. My wonderful encouraging readers… that’s you! I truly consider each of you a friend and look forward to every email and comment you send me. Thank you!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving full of family and friends and all the things you are thankful for.

Painted Fireplace

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Mother’s Day! I need to take a minute to brag on my Momma. She’s such an incredibly thoughtful woman. She’s been my example, my best friend, advisor and support system for as long as I can remember. Throughout this entire moving process, she’s been alongside for the fun parts (house shopping) and the really not fun parts (packing and painting).

This past week, she’s gone so far above and beyond a role as a mother and a friend. She came over almost every day and helped with something. She brought us food. She helped paint… and the list goes on and on. Most importantly, she was a huge encouragement when I was frustrated or feeling like things were moving WAY more slowly than they should be. Which, let’s be honest, they were… but she helped me look past it and move forward.

Together, we conquered a big project that would have taken hours to do by myself. There was actually a lot of debate on this project as well. Apparently, my house causes a lot of that… the sectional, the fireplace, the cabinets, the desk. I’m sure I’ll tell you about each of those projects in time. Right now, it’s the fireplace. To paint or not to paint? We had a lot of votes for both sides. Apparently, people feel very strongly on this issue one way or the other. The debate was settled while I was painting the trim. I got a lot of it on the brick, so it was pretty much decided.

We’ve only done one coat so far, so it’s not officially complete. I’ll show you pictures again once I get it complete and decorated. However, I wanted to brag on Mom, I wanted to show you and DecorChick! is hosting a link party tomorrow. I really wanted to have something to contribute. Here it is:

I forgot to take a really good before picture of the fireplace before.
My incredible mother!
So after all that debate, I love it! It’s so much brighter. I also need to give a huge shout out to my husband who painstakingly installed our beautiful new fan. We desperately needed it in there. Since the fireplace makeover only took 2 gallons of Valspar Signature Paint in Linen White (which is also the color of all the trim). So our fabuless fireplace makeover cost $60. Not bad for huge impact, huh?
Happy Mothers Day to my wonderful Mother and too all the other mothers out there!

Brighten and Lighten – The Transformation!

So you’re going to get 10 for the price of one today. We’ve finally finished up the kitchen, so I get to show you where ALL (and I do mean all) our time has gone over the past few weeks. I’ll walk you through some of those projects tomorrow, but for now, just the fun before and after pictures. 🙂

I’ve been talking a lot about brightening up both the kitchen and the family room. Both spaces were so dark, even in the middle of the day. So I’ve been using all the tools in my arsenal (and stealing a few from other people’s as well) to brighten up both spaces.

I’ve added some serious lighting fixtures:

Check out my $12 lamp from TJ Maxx! Gotta love that store. The fixture had broken off, but a little super glue and 30 seconds took care of that. I knew that linen-like shade would look good against the grass cloth.


So I spent the $$$ that I saved from the other lamp on a GORGEOUS floor lamp from Bassett. Now to be fair, I did get it at 30% off when I bought the couch, but it’s still not an especially good deal. However, I loved it, it’s perfect for the spot and totally worth every penny.
Finally, the biggest change in lighting has to be the pendant lights that my sweet Daddy spent HOURS on. Here’s a reminder of what the kitchen looked like from the living room before:



Then we took down the cabinets and it became this:

Then, after painting the cabinets and removing the popcorn (still not over that little surprise), Daddy and John had to wire the space for lights (which basically meant ripping multiple holes in the wall). Then they put up the pendants, but they were took long and would hang in the way. So my Dad bought a tap-and-die kit to cut the poles down and then re-thread the inside (why that’s called tap-and-die, I really have no idea). Not an easy or quick process. Still, it makes such a HUGE difference:

Here’s another view…


We ‘ll talk about that process of painting the cabinets at another time. Let’s just say IT WAS NOT FUN. Replacing that hideous fluorescent light was a good decision, which some people advised against.  The “new” fixture came from the family room where we hung the new ceiling fan… so it was FREE! Not too shabby.
Now, I know this has been a long post, but there’s been so many projects in this space that it’s just going to take a bit of time…
I really need to brag on my wonderful husband for a minute. We had this weird desk in the corner of the kitchen.
It seems to be a 80’s thing because a lot of houses from this time period have them. However, it’s very strangely positioned and I’d never use it. But we didn’t know what to do with that space. We threw around a bunch of different ideas, but John came up with the idea to make it an area for my baking supplies. So he raised the desk to counter height (about 6″), added a new outlet, and cut out two of the old cabinets from the divider:
and put them under the old desk.
Seriously, how cute is he and how great do my new cabinets look?
 Now, I know I make that sound like a simple process, but it wasn’t.  He had to cut them off of the original structure and build a box for them to sit on… he did a lot to make this work for me.
When all was said and done, I now have a perfectly sized baking center under all my cookbooks. I LOVE IT! It’s really one of my favorite things about the kitchen (along with the pendants… I do love those pendants).
I still have to add the cabinet hardware and touch them up, but overall, I’m happy to be in a functional kitchen again. What do you think of the kitchen transformation?

Don’t Ever Paint Your Cabinets

Let’s start with a little advice. If you get it into your head, like I did, that you want to paint your cabinets, here are a few tips:

  1. Don’t do it.
  2. See #1
Seriously, I’m not playing around… if there is any other option that is left unexplored, then explore it before you paint your cabinets. However, if painting your cabinets is your lifelong dream, then who am I to stand in the way? Maybe my experience will help you not make the same mistakes.
I saw a commercial and a few good reviews of Rustoleum’s Cabinet Transformations kits. It boasts no sanding, no stripping and no priming. Plus, it comes will everything you need, so mid-way through my project I wouldn’t have to make another trip to Lowe’s.
My lazy self thought “oh perfect! a simple solution!” HA! My mother always calls me “a marketer’s dream,” which let’s face it… I am. I’m a sucker for an infomercial.

I proceed to measure my cabinets and based on the online tool, I estimated that I needed one 1 large kit and 1 small kit. In fact, that ended up being way too much. I didn’t even open the small kit and of course, they are non-refundable, so there’s $80 bucks wasted. Of course, I could still use it to refinish something else in my house. I probably will at some point when I forget what a horrible experience this was.

If I were to start the whole thing over, I would go with the way Stacy did it on her blog Not Just a Housewife. Unfortunately, I read her blog about 5 days after starting my process. 🙁 She spray painted the whole thing and it looks amazing. Follow her lead, not mine.

Step #1: Deglossing
This step is supposed to prepare the surface by cleaning and roughing it up a bit.

Tip #1: wear gloves!

Tip #2: Don’t let your gloves get holes in them.
Tip #3: Don’t plan to workout on the day you do this. This will tone your arms faster than any machine could.
Here’s me while deglossing:


But this is how I really felt:
All in all, this step took me about 4 hours over the coarse of two evenings.
Step #2: Bond Coat

The bond coat is a creative name for the special type of paint that bonds to the surface that your painting. It is also tinted to one of the many color options from the box. I had read in my reviews that you could actually have them tint it any color, but Lowe’s wouldn’t do that for me.

Tip #1: Paint 2 coats on the backs of cabinets and then 2 coast on the front, instead of flipping them over between each coat.
Tip #2: Use brush strokes in the direction of the wood grain. See page 9 in this users guide: Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations Instructions
This step takes a long time. They suggest 2-3 hours to dry between each coat. Since I was doing this after work, that means I could only do one coat per day. Plus, you have to do 2 coats on the fronts and 2 coast on the backs of the doors, which is technically 4 days.
So many doors…
Step #3: Repainting
I painted all the trim in the family room and living room Benjamin Moore’s Linen White. So i choose the Linen cabinet color, figure it would be close enough. It wasn’t. Therefore:
After two coats of bond coat, I did a third coat of my linen white so that it matched my trim and everything else. Rustoleum definitely does not recommend this and I may not have as long of lasting results because of it. I’ll let you know in a couple of years.
This step took two days since I did a coat on the backs and a coat on the fronts and let them dry for 2-4 hours between.
#4: Protective Coat
This is where I really met with issues. This stuff is like water it’s so thin. It drips everywhere. Rustoleum suggests painting the backs and then the fronts, which is what I did. If I could do it over, I would do the protective coat on the backs, then hang the doors and then do the protective coat on the fronts.
This step took another 2 days. In the end, it took me 10 days of actual work, but I wasn’t able to paint for 10 days in a row, so it was really like 13 beginning to end.
  • I love the finished look.
  • The kit actually did have everything I needed other than paint brushes.
  • Not everyone has the perfect set-up for a major project like this. They want the doors laid on in a non-ventilated, sun-less, dust-free space. I don’t have any rooms that fit that description… my garage was currently storage for boxes and covered in dust from sawing, so Plan B was the unfurnished sunroom. A sunroom is (as the name implies) not sun-less, but it was the closest I had. Very few people have a space like what they are asking for. It’s probably why I have dust on my finished doors and now have to do touch-ups to cover it up.
  • They advertise this as a weekend project, but it’s definitely not because of how many coats must go on the doors with 2 hours in between. I have this wierd habit of sleeping at nights (even on the weekends).
  • The protective coat is very difficult to work with. It goes on cloudy but dries clear. However, if you allow a drip to dry on the surface, then the drip is slightly yellowish and not clear.
This was a little bit of a bummer of a blog. So I’ll end on the oh-so-happy note that I’m going on vacation tomorrow!!!

Ceiling Tile Mirrors

I’m so excited about the craft that I get to show you today! I almost wrote this blog last night but we had someone coming to look at the washer/dryer that we posted on CraigsList. He bought them! So excited to get rid of them and have an extra $200 for more decorating in the bank.

I was completely stumped by what to put on this HUGE wall behind my sectional. Everything that I looked at was dwarfed by the size of this wall.

It definitely needed something. Well, remember this awesome piece of ceiling tile that I purchased at the Tobacco Barn on my shopping trip? It was regularly $120 but it was on sale for $40. It came out of an old warehouse that burned down and it was still covered in soot.

I originally considered hanging it as is, but it just looked a little frumpy up there, but it was almost the right size. Plus, I still really wanted some kind of mirror to go up there to reflect back the light from the windows. So, I had my sweet husband cut them into two squares and cut the centers out.

Here’s what they looked like after:


Plus, I just so happened to have some extra mirrors sitting around. They came out of the guest bathroom when the previous owners updated it. They were simple builders grade mirrors. I took them to the glass cutters and for $10 had two 18×18 mirrors. Perfect!

We hung them on the wall with a mirror hanging kit that we picked up from Home Depot for $5.

After we hung the mirrors, we hung the frames around them with simple nails.


That’s it! Two custom mirrors that measure 24×24 each for $55 total.


I love the way the metal has different shades to it from age. The bronze part really picks up the color from the sofa.


 Now, I have these two extra pieces of tile that came out of the center.

I thought about hanging them on either side of the mirrors, but it looked a little TOO symmetrical, ya know? I’ve also thought about hanging them somewhere else in the room as simple wall art. What do you think?

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