The original plan was to save upgrading our light fixtures until the very last project but clearly I just couldn’t wait. Before we installed our pallet wall I really didn’t mind living with the dining light as is (I honestly barely noticed it) but immediately after finishing the wall I realized it HAD TO GO. It just didn’t fit the style of the room anymore and it really was taking away from the unique, cozy vibe we were going for. Even my husband agreed that the light was wrong for the space which was a pretty big deal since he didn’t see the need to replace it in the first place.
So three days after finishing the wall I order this beauty from West Elm.
I had been eyeing it for the last couple months so when it just happened to go on sale I pounced. Installing it though was an entire different story. Changing out a chandelier seemed a little intimidating. I mean we didn’t even own a real ladder so how were we supposed to reach the light??! The task seemed a little daunting.
Okay so that was dramatic and getting a ladder was pretty simple. We borrowed one from our neighbors. Ha. The actual installation really wasn’t that bad either. First and foremost we shut off the electricity to the light. This project would go downhill fast if one of us got electrocuted within the first 5 minutes.
After that we took the old chandelier down and opened up the new one, making sure everything was prepped and ready to go.
Everything else went pretty smooth. We basically just followed the directions ha. There was one moment of improv. when we hit a stud where we were supposed to use toggle wings. Luckily that was an easy fix and we just used screws instead!
So in the end it really wasn’t that bad. Overall things would have been a lot easier if a) I was two inches taller or b) we had two full size ladders. There were a few moments of me awkwarding standing tip toed on the top of a ladder in order to hold the top plate in place. I’m sure it was really safe. Oh well! It worked and we finished!
The time is finally here!!! My husband and I have wanted to do this project since we first put a deposit down on our house. Besides being an accountant my husband also runs his family’s small manufacturing company which made collecting old pallets extremely easy and the best part, FREE. When we first envisioned this project we didn’t realize we were going to have a small (5”x5”) bulk head across the feature wall. Although I was extremely disappointed at first I ended up loving the overall look of the finished project.
First thing we did was start collecting wood! Make sure you look out for certain stamps though so you can avoid bringing dangerous chemicals into your house. Check out Diyready.com for more information.
Next we (I mean my husband) separated all the pallets, salvaged all the usable wood pieces, and started cleaning and sanding them down. We decided to be cheap so we literally hand sanded everything. First we used a coarse sand paper and then a fine. Somehow this process made me sorer then even my recent AIR classes. Ha. Since most of our boards weren’t as worn as we wanted we decided to get a few different wood stains to help imitate the look. This is where things got a little messy. I ended up with black fingernails for a few days but it was totally worth it! (And for the record I did start out by wearing gloves but they became too much of a hassle so I said F it!)
Now it’s time to prep the wall. Since the boards are weathered, bowed, and also have knots or nail holes we painted the wall a similar color to the wood. That way there wouldn’t be a glaring white line in every single gab or hole once the wall is completed.
After all that groundwork it was finally time to actually put up the wood! Always start at the place that will be most noticeable. For us that is the top! This is because your walls may not fit the perfect amount of pallets so you will want the last piece (or partial piece) to be towards the bottom and out of your immediate sight line. We attached the wood with wood glue and then a few finishing nails into the studs. We also invested in a laser leveler to makes sure we stayed relatively straight throughout the process.
We also had two outlets to address on our wall so we had to buy extenders to pull the plugs out to be flush with the wood.
Overall I am completely in LOVE with our new wall! It really brings so much warmth into our living space. If only someone would pay me to redecorate my house, then this would totally be my dream job.
I have always ALWAYS wanted white cabinets, grey countertops, and a subway tile backsplash with dark grout. When we found out our builder didn’t offer a subway tile option I was devastated. Thank goodness the design company our builder worked with had a white subway tile offering for another builder and was willing to sneak it into our house! Dark grout was unfortunately still not an option though. Luckily for us there is such a thing as grout stain! Hello DIY project number 2!
Now all you will need to stain your grout is stain (obviously,) a rag towel, vinegar, and a small paint brush. If your tile doesn’t have a glossy finish you will need to seal it beforehand or your color will stain the tile as well. Luckily for us, subway tiles are some of the easiest tiles to work with for staining grout. Here is what we did:
First we applied the stain to the grout with a paint brush. When we first started we were trying to be neat and paint as little tile as possible. By the end we were splashing stain everywhere. You don’t realize how out of shape you are until you try to stain your kitchen grout. Ha. By the time we finished painting all the grout my shoulder and back were killing me.
Next let the stain dry for at least 30 minutes. Now don’t freak out. It will look extremely messy and horrible while the stain is still on your tile but just squint your eyes a little and you will see how amazingly awesome your kitchen is starting to look.
Lastly, scrub off the excess stain! Now this takes a little muscle but it goes quicker than the painting process. We used a vinegar and water mixture and a painter’s towel.
Here is what the kitchen looked like before:
And here is what it looks like now:
I must say I like it SOO much better. It just really gives that extra pop of interest to our kitchen and for under $15 it was the cheapest project yet!