We Did It Ourselves

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There’s a certain sense of pride that comes with tackling a project on our own. Whether we’re using YouTube videos to learn how to fix a hole in the drywall or letting our imaginations go wild as we refinish an old dresser we picked up at a yard sale, DIY projects are an excellent way to challenge ourselves and maybe save a few pennies. But the best part is getting to point to our repaired wall or sharp-looking dresser or reupholstered chair and say, “I did that.” Here are a few recent DIYs from MWM readers and staff.

Revived hutch & antique sideboard

“The first piece is a combination hutch/china cabinet by Ethan Allen. It has beautiful leaded glass doors but was a very dark oak (not pictured) and needed to be revived. The finished product is done in a stunning grayish blue with a cream interior on the top.”

“The second piece is an antique sideboard manufactured by Sterling Furniture Company in Greensboro, North Carolina. The veneer on the top and sides of this piece was badly damaged by water, so I removed it, sanded it down and gave it a new look using a honey gold/mustard yellow color with some light distressing. I also removed the bars on the doors and inserted a satin nickel mosaic-cut aluminum to give it a farmhouse feel.”

Meredith Schwerdt, Falmouth (Meredith also just opened a small home decor shop in Westbrook called Pumpkin Seed Designs)

Painted kitchen cabinets

We’ve all seen enough ‘before and afters’ to know how a few coats of paint can dramatically change the look and feel of a room—kitchen cabinets perhaps chief among them. From the moment I bought my home in South Portland, I was determined to paint the outdated cabinets in my kitchen. It took me nearly a decade to get around to it, but I finally took a long weekend last fall to dedicate to the project. The prep work takes the most time—cleaning, sanding and priming—but I’d learned that if you want it done right, you have to take the time to prep. Maintaining patience was the hardest part, but I’m supremely pleased with how the cabinets turned out and how much brighter my kitchen is.”

Shannon Bryan, editor, Maine Women Magazine

Accent wall & typographic-inspired table

“Over two years ago, I bought a two-bedroom condo in Old Orchard Beach that had been rented out for 15 years by the previous owner. It desperately needed some love. And color. Over the course of two months, I gave this space a facelift that more reflected my personality and artistic ability. While all my DIY projects hold a special place in my heart (you know that spot that’s like ‘hell yeah I made that!’), but two in particular stand out.”

“One is my herringbone-inspired accent wall, which was truly a labor of love, but is incredibly satisfying to see the finished product everyday. I painted the navy blue first, taped off all the lines, painted the green and spent some time touching up the lines after I ripped off all the tape. The other is my typographic-inspired table, which was created out of an old shoe organizer I bought off Craigslist. My grandfather built the other legs and top. I planned out the design on my computer, tile printed it out and traced it all onto the table. Then it was just matter of painting it all and assembling the table.”

Taylor Roberge, designer, Maine Women Magazine

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