I remember when we closed on our home 3.5 years ago feeling so darn excited but also pretty overwhelmed because we had a ton of projects ahead of us that felt necessary to tackle in order to love this house. (Anyone remember the bright green living room accent wall and master bath?) We bought it knowing that we had some work to do, but now we really had to do it!
DIY Home Projects
Though the projects felt tedious at times, for the most part I really enjoyed learning how to do so much around the house. In an odd way, fixing up this house felt somewhat like my job; Jamie was working long hours or deployed, I was home with the kid(s) (we added one while living here), and designing and working on this house felt like a way I could contribute and add value to our home the cheapest way I could – with my time (a lot of time!) and paint. Many, many, many gallons of paint.
I started painting our master bathroom the first full day the house was ours, so most of the painting projects were completed within the first year, meaning they’ve been done for a while. Because hindsight is always 20/20, I thought it would be a neat idea to share with you how these DIY projects have held up throughout the last few years and what I would do the same or different if doing them again.
Interior white trim
We originally hired a professional to do this job but ended up deciding to due the job ourselves due to his wonky scheduling issues. He only completed one room, but this worked in my favor because I got to learn and see exactly how a professional was doing it. I use his same concepts and ended up doing the trim throughout our home myself (here’s a post from when I first started). I can say with 100% confidence that this project was worth it because the trim has remained beautiful and barely scathed despite constantly being knocked into and rough wear that trim usually receives. I went around and a did a few touch-ups before listing our home, and there were very, very few. You can read my entire post here about how to paint trim.
Exterior white trim and black shutters
We completed this job about 18 months ago, and through every season it’s remained perfect. Zero chipping or fading. I would use the same paint to do our exterior again and again. Here‘s a look at the before and after and a list of everything we used.
Exterior door paint
I’ve had to touch up this paint twice – once when a dog scratched the back door and again when our front door wreath blew around and scratched it. Exterior doors receive a lot of wear and tear, so I’m not sure I would use this exact paint again. The color is just so beautiful though and I love how it pops against the rest of the neutrals. You can see the post here.
Chalk painted bathroom vanity
This was my first time doing chalk paint on cabinets, and in hindsight I did an accidental lazy wax job. I just kind of swiped it on instead of really rubbing it in and doing a couple of coats. After about a year I started noticing a few areas that were subtly beginning to chip. I repainted those areas and went back over the entire vanity with a much better waxing. Now, it’s perfect. Zero chipping and it feels phenomenal to the touch. Here’s the full post. It’s been a mega popular one!
Chalk painted kitchen cabinets
I was so nervous that all the work we put into the cabinets wouldn’t last. I know they’ve only been completed for five months, but they’re in phenomenal shape despite a lot more wear and tear than I realized our kitchen cabinets received (white shows everything). We use a magic eraser on any scuff marks or spots, and they swipe right off. We also clean them with lysol wipes, which works beautifully. Three (or four?) coats of wax paid off! Here’s the full post.
Interior metal doors
Love the paint we used on the interior of our metal exterior doors. Held up beautifully after 2.5 years. More info here! Highly recommend.
Latex painted bathroom vanity
This is the bathroom vanity that’s required the least (zero!) maintenance. I didn’t do any sanding or waxing, just two quick coats. I haven’t had to do a single bit of touch-up on it. Granted, this is our powder room, so it’s not used as often and it doesn’t have extra moisture from a shower, but I wouldn’t hesitate to use latex paint again for a vanity. Here’s the full reveal post.
Sherwin Williams Cashmere paint vs. Home Depot Glidden paint
For the first few rooms that I painted, I used “the good stuff” – Sherwin William’s “Cashmere” – that my sister and brother-in-law highly recommended (they’d also just finished painting several rooms in their house). I loved this paint because it was thick enough that none of it dripped off of my roller or down the wall. None. It was also thin enough though that a little bit went a long way. This is excellent paint. Two problems with this paint though. Number 1, it’s $40+ a gallon. That adds up when you’re painting an entire house. Whoa. Number two, they don’t sell the cashmere paint in anything smaller than a gallon, so if you need just a little bit more, you’re going to be out the $40+ getting a whole gallon. I once tried to get the same color but just in a non-cashmere paint, and the difference definitely showed.
Because the cashmere was getting so expensive, I decided to give Home Depot’s Glidden line a whirl. It’s half the price, so that’s flipping amazing when you have a lot of walls to do. The color is beautiful, and I can guarantee you that you will 100% not be able to tell which rooms I painted with the Cashmere and which were with the inexpensive Glidden. The one big problem that I ran into with the Glidden is that it’s drippier. I’ll be honest – I don’t even use a drop cloth when I paint. If you’re not messy with the Cashmere, you absolutely don’t have to have a drop cloth. With the Glidden, I found that it was a little runnier on the walls and sloshed around a little bit on my roller when applied to the wall.
So it all depends on your budget. The walls are going to turn out looking the same, but how you get to the end result will be different. The cashmere paint is easy and you’ll barely need a second coat. The Glidden is thinner, a little messier, and you need two full coats. But Glidden is literally half the price. So, up to you. 🙂 I would personally go with the Glidden again and use the load of savings to improve other areas of my home since the walls are going to end up looking the same in the end.
Ah, this thing has held up so beautifully. Here’s the full office reveal.
The mantel paint and black paint (over the brass) has held up beautifully. No issues, no touch up, still looks incredible.
About a year ago I got a wild hair and decided to spontaneously paint the outdated tile, so I just used the trim paint that I had on hand. Two coats did the trick. I didn’t think through this very well because the fireplace soot makes that area pretty dirty. Nothing that can’t be cleaned up of course, but frequently cleaning that area (which isn’t waxed because wax is flammable) has caused the white place to not look quite as fresh as it did. I ended up doing a one-coat touch up on the tile portion before we listed the house, and now it looks perfect. I just know that in a year or two it may need another coat if the fireplace is used and making it dirty. I like for projects to be done once and done right, and I’m not sure painting that tile was the best idea. Here’s the original fireplace reveal post.
Everyone who knows me knows that I am 100% a perfectionist when it comes to my projects around the house. I have always known that someone else is going to call this house theirs one day, and I didn’t want anyone frustrated that the precious owners took shortcuts to make the house look good. That’s not me. I honestly did not take short cuts, and because of that, the work has lasted. I have somewhat of a tutorial for each of these projects linked above, so feel free to check out how I did them, or don’t hesitate to send me an email if you need some additional advice or guidance. I field emails ALL the time about painting trim, so I promise I don’t mind. I know that job in particular is a doozy!
Have a great weekend, friends! Jamie and I are off on a little getaway until Tuesday, and we are so pumped. Jamie said last night “I just can’t wait to be on the airplane with you and have total peace and quiet.” YES.
See ya Monday!
PS: You can see our full house tour here.
Hi! I’m a proud Army wife and mom to two little girls (ages 1 and 4), and I love sharing our lives with you. I blog all about motherhood, our time in the military, our travels, our meals, my fitness journey, my fashion favorites, and so much more. I truly enjoy sharing it all! I can’t get enough of birthday cake ice cream, weekend sunrise runs, or making my girls belly-laugh. I write almost daily about my family’s lives, and though I like to keep things light, I also share the messy parts too. Welcome! So glad to have you around. I’m active on Facebook and Instagram and would love to communicate with you there!