My Home Gardening Pro Tips

Now, when I say pro, I mean take this with a grain of salt, but I do think I know more than the average joe. This summer is the third summer I am growing my own vegetables. I started growing my own plants one summer when I was working on an entomology team studying organic pest control methods. I learned so so much about agriculture that summer that it sparked something in me that I had never known I was so passionate about and my garden obsession was born!

Since then I’ve learned so much about our food supply chain, GMO’s, farming culture, but today we’re just going to stick to talking about your home garden. Even though home gardens are small, they can be just as tricky as big scale farming. These are my tips and tricks for growing the best home garden you’ve ever had!


1. Grow what you need

The first step to growing an amazing garden is planning what you want to grow. I do this by first writing down everything I would normally eat that I could grow (don’t be intimidated if this list is long). Once the list is complete, look up how hard it is to grow some of the things you love to eat. For example, tomatoes are pretty simple, but can be high maintenance. Potatoes and leafy greens are SUPER EASY! Herbs can get complicated. Vine vegtables are super easy, berries are never a good place to start….

Now pick what you know you and your family can eat. If you’re a family of 1-2, I would pick maybe 5-6 things, unless you REALLY eat a lot of vegetables and fruits.3-4 you can pick maybe 7-10 things.

2. Pots or Planter

Now you have to decide how you want to plant your garden. I live in a rental property with a small outdoor space so my entire garden is in pots of some kind. If you don’t want to plant directly in the ground that’s fine, but I recommend a raised planter box if you have deer/pests.

3. Soil, not dirt

I would say soil conditions are 3/4 of the battle with growing anything. Soil can be so weird and especially on the east coast, your soil is usually clay or sand based, which both suck. Even if you want to plant your garden in your backyard, I would get some good organic vegetable soil to put down first. If you have compost, mix about 1 part of compost with 3 parts soil for anywhere your planting. If you don’t have it, I would either buy garden specific soil or get potting mix and buy a vegetable/garden fertalizer to add to the potting mix. This will not only help your plants grow bigger and stronger, but also a little faster.

4. Know what you’re capable of

When I say this, I basically mean seeds or plants? Do you want to be patient and start your plants from seed or just buy the starter plants? It’s up to you! If this is your first go at gardening, I would go with the starter plants. If you like a little bit of a challenge and are willing to wait till a little later in the season to get the fruits of your labor, then try the seeds! I will warn you, I hate starting herbs from seeds so just buy those as starter plants!

With seeds, you will also have to start them in smaller planters inside. I grow my transplants in old yogurt cups that I poked holes in and I get my seeds from Seed Savers (a great small business).

5. Plant based off water and sun needs

Plants need full sun, partial sun, wet soil, damp soil, well drained soil, etc. To make your life easier, plant like with like. If you have herbs that all need full sun and your tomatoes need full sun, then plant them all in the same area/pot. If you are planting mint let him be by himself (he will murder all your other plants/herbs). Don’t be afraid to section off your garden with flowers to bring pollinators into the area as well!

If you’re doing your garden in pots, plant based off spacing so you’re not overcrowding your pots. In my experience, 2 types of plants per pot is plenty!

6. Quality over quantity

I personally believe organic is the way to go, but you can grow however your heart desires! Just remember the more you take care of your plants, the more they’ll produce for you. Remember to water them, fertilize them if necessary, and keep pests off them as needed (linking my natural pesticide spray)


Remember to give yourself grace when first starting out. I have killed tons of plants and I have grown lots of beautiful ones. You’ll have bumps in the road, but hopefully this will help you avoid some!

Cheers!

All my favorite gardening products linked here!

http://liketk.it/2OdQ3

Earth Day 2020

Earth day is everyday for me. As a conservation scientist, I constantly have the state of the planet on my mind. I know we all look at the planet we live on differently. We appreciate different aspects of the planet and we do different things to contribute to the health of the environment.

Today is the 50th celebration of Earth day as a national holiday and in honor of this, I’m going to be sharing 50 (yes 50!) things you can do to help the enviroment and protect this beautiful Earth we live on!

  1. buy groceries with less packaging
  2. don’t put your produce in produce bags at the grocery store
  3. bring your own reusable grocery bags
  4. reusable water bottle
  5. store your leftovers in glass containers
  6. use reusable beeswax cling wrap
  7. metal straws
  8. reusable silicone storage bags instead of Ziplocks
  9. buy food from your local farmers markets
  10. buy food that is in season in your area
  11. cut red meat out of your diet
  12. substitute one meal a week for a vegetarian meal
  13. use as little electricity as possible
  14. properly recycle your batteries and ink cartridges
  15. buy from thrift stores
  16. donate your torn/non useful clothes to a textile recycler
  17. always donate old, quality clothes
  18. buy clothes on poshmark
  19. buy from sustainable clothing brands
  20. don’t buy greenwashed products
  21. try to buy organic as much as possible
  22. grow your own veggies/fruits
  23. buy clean beauty products
  24. don’t use plastic based floss or toothpaste
  25. buy containerless beauty products (like shampoo bars!)
  26. use natural material toothbrushes
  27. try to unclog your drain manually before dumping chemicals down it
  28. use natural cleaning supplies
  29. buy compostable cleaning wipes
  30. use rags instead of paper towels and just wash them
  31. use public transport as much as possible
  32. walk places as much as possible
  33. bring your own cup to get coffee
  34. travel less on planes
  35. consume less dairy
  36. get books from the library instead of buying them everytime
  37. compost your uneaten food
  38. collect rainwater to water your plants
  39. stop using K-cups and get a reusable one
  40. dye our stained, old clothes so you can keep wearing them
  41. use less water from your faucets
  42. hang your clothes to dry
  43. meal plan to reduce food waste
  44. donate to a food kitchen
  45. can/freeze food (especially if you grew or bought too much)
  46. go paperless for your bank, credit card, insurance, bills, etc
  47. pick up trash outside (yes the stuff that’s not yours)
  48. recycle your plastic bags from the store
  49. use energy efficent light bulbs
  50. properly recycle your old cell phones and chargers

I was actually kind of shocked how easy it was for me to think of 50 things, but honestly it took a long time for me to learn many of these. My advice to you guys on this Earth day is do what you can, learn as much as you can, and be mindful that we only get one lifetime on this one planet. We need to make the best decisions possible for us and generations to come.

Cheers.

Affordable Fall and Halloween Decor

I know a lot of people love the start of the holiday season aka Halloween, but also lots of you guys told me you skip out on the Halloween decor because it’s too tedious to decorate for fall, then Halloween, and then fall again for thanksgiving. Today I wanted to show you guys how you can mix in your Halloween decor into your fall and easily remove it without spending lots of money or time doing this!

Honestly, I love Halloween. I have this weird spooky side, which is so odd because I am afraid of literally everything (can’t even watch the Harry Potter movies) but I love The Addam’s Family and witches; it’s really quite the balance. To make sure I stay in the fall spirit, but get my fair dose of Halloween, I mix in my decor and find good stuff cheap.

Walmart

I got lots of good decor to mix in at Walmart this year. I usually don’t like the cheap, cheesy stuff, but if you can do it well, then I say go for it. This year I decided to stick to a color scheme (bright orange, black, and white) that helped me incorporate Halloween decor without making it look tacky.

From Walmart, I got the “do not enter” tape for our door, the skeleton hand coming out of my small mum, and the spides and spider web. All of it was less than $15 together.

Target

Target was great to pick up some small stuff, I also love all of the fun decor they make like Halloween telephones and talking heads, but those can be a bit pricey. I tend to stick to the dollar section in the front of the store. You’ll find great, cheap pieces that look really nice and just add a little something extra to your house.

From Target, I got the pumpkins on a string under my mantel for $3, the plaid small pumpkins I placed around my home for $3 apiece, and the Trick or Treat basket for $10.

Sidebar: I didn’t grow up in a neighborhood so I never got to pass out candy to anyone, so I am very excited to do that for the first time in my life this year and it’s the only reason I bought the trick or treat basket.

Michaels

If you don’t get coupons from Michaels, what are you doing?! They’re coupons make their stuff so cheap it’s insane! They will have great doorbuster deals and you can usually find a coupon to take an extra 20% off your purchase. They’re great for fall florals like the ones on my mantel and in my fall vase, but also for little knick nacks that you can toss in to add some Halloween spirit and just easily remove after it’s over.

Other Places to Shop

-Amazon

Amazon is a great option to get lots of pumpkins. They have big bags of small pumpkins for cheap, but also you can find lots of great stuff in their Holiday decor tab. Plus it gets to you fast if you’re last minute which is awesome!

-The Dollar Store

I got a few things from here this year, but their selection varies based on your area. It’s always worth stopping in and taking a peak to grab some things for only a dollar.

-Hobby Lobby

Sadly I don’t have a Hobby Lobby near me, but they also do lots of great deals and coupons on their decor. Very similar to Michaels.

-At Home

I saw another blogger go to At Home and get some skeletons and giant spiders for her house. They have some cool pieces if you want some larger items.

Even if you don’t like Haloween, I hope you guys can use this to find some great fall decor that doesn’t break the bank. Sometimes decorating can get really out of hand and we can spend way too much money on things we use for two months out of the year. And don’t forget to check out my old post on how I made my BOO sign for my porch!

Cheers!

DIY Outdoor Fall and Halloween Decor

Over the last year or so, I saw that porch signs have been a real trend. Up until this year, I didn’t have a porch to decorate so per usual, I got overly excited and went all out for fall. I love me some good fall decor, but often I’m walking through a store or a craft fair and see how expensive the fall decor is, and I just think, “Well I’m too cheap to buy it so I’ll just make it!”

What I love about a DIY sign is it’s totally customizable to you. I made mine all orange, grey, and black because that’s the “theme” I went with for this fall/Halloween season, but that doesn’t mean you have to do that! You could paint on the letters instead of buying them, you could change out the background or even lay the sign down instead of doing it vertically. You guys can get so creative with this or you can just do what I did. It’s super simple and will save you from paying $60 for a sign.

Tools you will need:

-Circular saw (you can do it with a hand saw or you can get them precut at home depot to the measurements below)

-Power Drill

-Power sandpaper (you can just use 120-220 grit sandpaper as well)

Other supplies:

-Outdoor paint (I buy Rustoleum Brand)

-Wood Glue (always get Gorilla Glue)

-Painters tape

-Wood Letters

-Thick cardstock

-Wood putty

-3-inch screws

-2, 2 by 4’s (you could do this with 1 by 4’s also, but I wanted my sign pretty heavy so it wouldn’t blow away in the wind)

Step 1: Cut the wood to length

If you get 2, 2 by 4’s, you should cut them into,

-2, 10 1/2inch long pieces

-3, 4ft long pieces

Step 2: Sand

Sand down all the surfaces of the wood to give yourself a nice surface to paint and so the edges of your sign are smooth

Step 3: Paint all the pieces

Before you glue them together, you should paint all the pieces the color you choose. I spray painted mine white because the spray paint was cheap. It took about 3 cans of spray paint to give them all a good coat

Step 4: Attach pieces together

For this step, you will want to coat the insides of 2 of the 3 long pieces with wood glue. Once coated with glue, push them together to form a 2 board piece. Then, take one of the shorter pieces and place the edge about 3 inches down from the top of the long piece perpendicular, aligning the edge of the pieces to make a T. Screw in the horizontal pieces into each of the boards, while someone else holds the 2 vertical boards together. Do this again on with the other side of the board, 3 inches from the bottom.

Cover the inside edge of the remaining free piece of 4ft wood with wood glue and place on the other side of the 2 pieces that are already screwed together so it looks like you now have a full board. While someone holds all 3 pieces together, screw the final piece together through the short piece of wood.

Turn the boards onto their side and check if any wood glue got pushed out. If it did, clean it up with a wet paper towel. Allow the boards to sit and dry for at least 2 hours.

Step 5: Wood Putty the screws

Take some wood putty and place it over each of the 6 screws you inserted to keep the board together (Don’t worry if you put on too much. Don’t skimp out). Allow the wood putty to dry. Sand it down so it’s flat with the rest of your board and touch up with some paint so no one will see.

Step 6: DECORATE!

To decorate the BOO side, I made a checkered pattern with painters tape. I then sprayed gray and let it dry. Once completely dry, I covered the preexisting checkered pattern with tape to create a new checkered pattern (Just cover the lines that have painted squares). Then I prayed the second checkered pattern black. When you peel it off, you get a funky checkered board.

For the other side, I tried cutting a leaf stencil out of wax paper so it wouldn’t stick to the board (normal paper will when you paint over it). It was too flimsy, so I cut it out of a coupon we got in the mail and it worked much better. Just make sure you don’t lay it over any wet paint and weigh it down so you get a nice, clean image. You could also use this method to get letters on your board, but I wanted 3D ones so my board would pop.

Finally, I got my wood letters. I ordered the FALL ones from AMAZON and got the BOO from Home Depot. Michaels also has a great selection of letters also if you’re looking for 3D ones. They were all about $3 apiece.

We spray painted the letters and once they were dry, glued them on with wood glue, one side at a time. Once the one side was dry, we flipped the board over and did the other side.

THAT’S IT! It was a multiday process because we had to let paint and glue dry and all the things, but honestly, it wasn’t hard at all. It is quite heavy so it won’t blow away and it’s exactly what I wanted. I got to do it perfectly for my aesthetic and it saved me money in the end.

All in all, this sign cost me about $25, but I had a lot of the tools and supplies already. Pretty much all of the cost was in the wood and letters for me because I had everything else. Like I said earlier, you don’t need everything to do this project. You can customize, get creative, and make it your own. I will definitely be making another one for the winter/Christmas season. I hope you guys make one yourself too!

Cheers!

Consignment vs Thrifting

I get asked a lot about how I find good pieces thrifting or why I even bother to go. I think there’s this misconception from social media that every time I go thrifting, I find amazing pieces or every used piece I have is thrifted.

Honestly, I go to the thrift store and consignment store… a ton. I probably go once a week to a few different locations. This works out well for me mainly because of the location. My house is super close to a GoodWill and Evolution Consignment, but also there’s another giant thrift store right near my Costco so I always just pop in. If I didn’t have these so close to me, I don’t think I would go as often and going to the stores often is the key to finding great things.

The good pieces at thrift stores don’t sit long because they really are a dime a dozen. When it comes to cosigning, this is much easier to find some gems. The biggest difference between the two is the items you’ll find and the prices.

To start, thrifting usually consists of a lot of junk. You will have to spend time digging through it to find the good piece. The pricing is very straight forward and everything is usually really cheap. The problem with this is that you have to dig so it takes time. If you get overwhelmed when you can’t find what you’re looking for, looking for things during this process may be a bit overwhelming for you. If you’re like me and love to casually peruse the aisles looking for charming treasures you definitely don’t need, this will be a great time.

Consigning is almost always better for finding stuff you’re looking for, but it’s also much more confusing. Consignment stores can also look like they’re filled with junk, but they’re run similarly to antique stores in a way (a whole other ballgame). There are vendors who come into the store and pay for a space to sell their things. The vendors then control their prices and how things roll.

There are normally 2 ways pricing can go. The vendor can either come in and mark a price that’s on a tag and that’s that (left photo) or they can do a date tag (right photo). The first option requires the vendor to come in more to adjust prices based off what is selling and what isn’t. Vendors like to do this so you think they won’t drop the price ever, but they will if it sits on the shelf for a long time. The second option is very hands-off. The vendor sets dates and corresponding prices. If the item is still in the store by that date, the price drops. The table with this tag on it is currently $1,050 and then the price will drop again on October first.

One thing you have to be careful within consignment stores is if the pricing is good or not. The vendors set the prices and sometimes the item isn’t worth that much. For example, the table that the price tag is from is used, in good condition, but nothing fancy. It is definitely not worth $1300 and hence it has sat in the store for MONTHS! Those green glasses, the vendor wanted $20 for a set of 4 or $39 for a set of 9. I thought that was pretty reasonable considering they’re in great shape, but you can find glassware like that pretty often.

p.s this table is what they wanted $1300 for… like what?!

Consignment stores will also have a good mix of old and new. Thrift stores do as well, but it’s rare you find really cool antique pieces in a thrift store. The things in a thrift store usually need a little tender loving care, so you just have to decide what kind of effort your willing to put in.

Both thrifting and consigning can save you tons of money and are great for the environment. Don’t let the stigma of “used” keep you from finding some awesome things. Everything from both places can be washed, disinfected, scrubbed, painted, whatever it needs to feel new to you. Giving pieces from here new life is honestly rewarding and fun. I hope you guys give it a try soon!

Cheers!

The Rules of Renting

Renting can seem pretty simple from the start. You look through rentals, find one you like, pay your rent and bills every month and done, right? Landlords and rental companies LOVE to take advantage of unsuspecting people. They hope you’ll sign a contract unprepared and then you’re screwed when something goes wrong. I saw this first hand when I moved into my first rental my sophomore year of college. Since then, I have had a mess of issues, which most of you saw unfold on my stories this week. Today, I want to share my tips on how to protect yourself and save yourself money and stress with rentals.

1. Check every box before you sign a lease

Everything starts when you are looking for a place to rent. Don’t feel weird asking lots of questions or taking your time and being nosey in a home/apartment. You are going to sign a contract to live in this place for a long time, you want to make sure everything checks out. You should always always always tour a place and see what’s going on first hand. When you go through the place, flush the toilets, turn on the sinks, open all the doors, turn on all the lights, open cabinets, open the fridge, pull down the blinds, do all the things. If you don’t check if these things work to your standards, you may be in for a headache when you first move in (like we are now). If you find an issue, you can bring it up and if the landlord doesn’t say it will be fixed by move in, then move on.

You should also ask lots of questions and write down the answers you get. You can ask how well the house heats/cools. Ask if there are flooding issues. Ask about trash pickup, utilities, and so much more. A good list of things to ask should consist of

-If I find damage to the house when I move in, who is responsible for that and how will it get fixed?

-Who do I contact if I have issues with the place?

-How fast do they normally fix things?

-Is there a cleaning fee when I move out?

-Am i responsible for maintaining the landscaping (i.e bushes, trees, large plants if the place has them)?

-Do I pay for trash?

-What companies are your utilities through?

-Is the place already wired for wifi?

2. Read every inch of the lease

A lease is no joke. When you sign that document, you sign away things you may not expect and there are major consequences of breaking a lease on both sides. For example, my sophomore year of college, my apartment complex decided they wanted to renovate one of their buildings over the summer months. To do this, they told everyone in our building they could either terminate their lease early or they could move into the other building for the summer.

By doing this, they broke the terms of the initial lease, and the rest of the document was subsequently void as well. Instead of just going along with this, this particular complex handled this situation by forcing everyone in the apartment to sign an addendum to the lease stating that we agreed to this or we lost remote key access to our rooms (this is very illegal).

John and I were the only people living there who thought this was wrong and we subsequently ended up suing them and settling for a free month of rent.

The point of this is that the company assumed all the college kids were dumb and would just sign a piece of paper and go about their lives. They took advantage of the hundreds of people who lived in that building just to make a buck.

Leases can have things in them that seem pointless, but you have to read over every line to see what is covered and what is not. My one lease stated that if I died as a result of something going wrong with my apartment complex, that my family could not sue my apartment management…..

If you’re confused about what is covered in the lease, ask someone else to read it over with you, even me! Know what you’re getting into, because you could waste a lot of money on a bad lease agreement.

3. Take photos when you move in

When you move in, before you ever move a box into the place, photograph and videotape every square inch of that place. It may seem excessive, but if something drastic happens, you will be thankful you have evidence that it was not your fault and you will save so much time and money.

4. Be a good renter

If you treat your landlord right, they usually will treat you right back. If you pay your bills and take care of the property, they will usually be understanding when things happen or will work well with you when things need done.

5. Be willing to fight the fight

You have to be willing to know when something is wrong and when you deserve compensation for it. If the place you live in is not up to the lease agreement, unlivable, or has inconvenienced your ability to live in the house, you have a right to get compensated. You and your landlord signed a document agreeing that you would be able to live in that space. If work needs to be done and you have to stay in a hotel or can’t use part of the house and it is inconveniencing you, you should have a right to ask for compensation in a lower rent. You pay to live in a home and when that is not happening, you shouldn’t be paying for it.

If you want to hear more about how to approach this topic with your landlord, watch my Insta for more details on how to handle this *it will be saved as a story highlight*

Renting is just as rough as home ownership. Things get messy and problems pop up, but that’s life. If we all know how to navigate it better, we can make the best of the situation and hopefully have a safe, comfortable place to call home.

Hope this was helpful for you guys!

Cheers!

My Budget Backyard

The thing I was most excited about when we moved from an apartment to a house was having our own outdoor space. We had shared outdoor spaces at our previous apartments, but I wanted a place to have dinner, bonfires, and entertain.

Our backyard is tiny, but it’s perfect for us so of course the first thing I wanted to get completed when we moved was our backyard! As usual, I was not about to drop $1000 on furnishing this space and making it cozy and fun so I found some great tricks to make this space functional without being pricey.

To start, I found that the best place to get outdoor furniture is hardware stores! I found the best deals and the best quality at The Home Depot! I also checked out Walmart, Target, Wayfair, At Home, Bed Bath and Beyond, and IKEA. The other thing I found was I was trying to furnish a backyard at a great time! There are tons of sales on outdoor furniture a lot and right now is a GREAT time to save money. All the stores are trying to move out inventory to make space for their fall and Halloween decor so you can get some great end of summer sales! I think this is great because I live in the “south” (it’s the DMV it’s not the south) so it won’t get really really cold here for another few months. Even though summer is over, I will still get lots of use out of my outdoor space for the year regardless of the mosquito infestation in my yard.

Other great times of the year for this stuff to go on sale are

-Memorial Day

-Fourth of July

-beginning of the summer season

Initially, I wanted a really big table for everyone to share at, but then I realized that was not practical. Even though we have a big deck, I didn’t want it to feel crowded. We still want to put a grill on the deck and have space to move so we opted for a 4 person table instead of 6 or 8. I also wanted to make sure there was plenty of light so I bought a light up umbrella from Amazon so it will charge on solar power and we will have lots of light at the table without having to hang things from the fence in our yard (that is our neighbors and not ours).

All of our furniture was bought from Home Depot and everything to style the table was bought from HomeGoods. I will link everything for you guys at the bottom of this post, but with coupons and some sales going on, everything pictured cost us around $300!

Overall, I’m so happy with the way it turned out! Yes it’s small, but it’s so perfect for my friends to come over or to enjoy a nice dinner outside or for me to kick their butts at KanJam! It fits well and it was super affordable! If you need styling tips on how to shop for things at HomeGoods (because sometimes it’s a train wreck) make sure to check out my Instagram stories in the coming weeks!

Cheers!

Side note: not everything I bought is available online and most of the deals are in store only so check your local stores for the best deals!

$40 Desk Makeover

Moving is something that is almost inevitable for all of us and it’s so expensive, especially furniture. My last place came furnished so we moved and had no furniture essentials like a bed, couch, or kitchen table. Furnishing a house or any place is expensive, but it is so easy to get cheap furniture that you will love!

So far, we have all of our beds from our homes and the one piece of furniture we bought was a desk for our office. I bought this desk from the Salvation Army for $40. It is stinking heavy and it had a bunch of scratches and marks along the top, but that did not deter me.

Redoing furniture is so simple and if you’re willing to take a day and put some work in, you can save tons of money.

For this desk, we purchased

-Bear Premium Plus paint from Home Depot in the shade Atlantic Pear

-A hook and loop sander to make the sanding go much faster

-A set of 3 sized paint brushes from Purty (my favorite name ever)

-A small paint roller meant for cabinets

-a canvas drop cloth

-60 grit sand paper

-new hardware for the desk

-polyurethane for the top of the desk

Now I need to disclose John and I have never redone furniture before TOGETHER on our own, which is why we had to purchase all of these things. Normally we would steal all of this from our Dad’s or have them buy it. I have redone furniture in my past, but we needed to buy all of our own materials to start. It’s a big initial investment, but long term, it will save us tons of money because we are redoing this desk, our kitchen table, 2 bedroom side tables, and a coffee table, but it’s totally worth it.

To start, we took all the hardware off the desk(the handles and knobs and a lock for one of the drawers) and took all of the drawers out. Once all that was done, we used the automatic sander to strip down most of the wood on the desk surface until the wood looked “foggy”. (This is really good to look at in the video because it looks foggy after you wipe the dust away.) This is super important because it will help the paint stick to the furniture and then you won’t have to do so many coats.

When you sand, if you are going to stain instead of paint, you want to make sure you sand with the wood grain or it will look very strange. I also recommend doing this for painting, but it’s not totally necessary.

Once this is done, you will also want to fill in any deep gouges with wood putty. We (luckily) got all of ours out with sanding so we skipped this step.

Now that the desk is ready to paint, start with the top desk surface and paint all in one direction. I choose to paint in the direction of the wood grain, but it really didn’t matter because the paint was going to cover it completely.

Take your time on the top because it’s going to be the most noticeable. I went over the top A TON and tried to notice every little detail to make sure it was perfect.

After the top side is done, then I moved on to the front face of the desk, but you can pick whichever you choose. When you start a side, start from the top and work your way down to clean up drips. Use the roller brush for large, flat surfaces and the hand brushes for smaller cracks and crevasses.

Make sure to do all sides all the way to the floor and slightly into the edges of where the drawers sit just incase they show. Once you finish the desk, you do the same thing for the front faces of the drawers.

After your first coat, I recommend going over it at least one more time. If you get the same type of paint we did, you shouldn’t need a third coat unless you’re really meticulous (which I am not, I’m quite lazy).

Let the desk sit and dry overnight and then polyurethane the top. To do this, we first taped off the edge with painters tape to make sure we just did the top flat surface, but you can do the whole top as well. We just did one coat to protect against normal damage or water marks and to also give a nice surface to write on. After 2 hours, we removed the tape carefully and let it sit to dry more. After a few hours of drying (about 6), we moved the bad boy upstairs!

We finished it off by adding new hardware I bought partially from HomeGoods and partially from Home Depot, but that was all! In all, the desk did cost us about $150 with everything we had to buy, but we have tons of paint leftover and now we have everything we need to redo our next piece of furniture!

We will most likely be doing some side tables next and because we have leftover paint and handles, they’re going to cost us about $55 a piece!

All in all it took us about 3 hours of sanding and painting and then about 20 minutes trying to get it up our stairs (did I mention it’s crazy heavy?!?!)

This was a great way for us to not only save money on furnishing our rental, but also to have a custom piece of furniture that we love! Putting in the effort will allow you to have exactly what you want and save money and what’s better than that?!

There will definitely be more home decor coming to the blog and make sure to follow me on Instagram to watch my stories of how our rental is coming along!

Cheers!