Try hanging small wire baskets inside your lower cupboards to hold sponges, gloves, and liquid dish detergent. This way your sink and counters stay clean, but the things you need are still within reach when you need them. Cost: nothing, if you have any extra baskets laying around. And they don't have to be metal, of course. And if they are ugly baskets, you can just spray paint them. Easy as pie. :-)
Update the sink and hardware. You wouldn't believe how many cheap beautiful sinks and hardware I've seen at antique stores!! I haven't done this, but it can't be THAT hard. I'll find the instructions if anyone is interested.
Cost: $7 and up, and lots of elbow grease
Remember: "cleanies" hang things! Mount a magnetic strip to the wall for knives; just make sure it is out of reach of little hands. I think I'll hang mine inside a cupboard (out of sight, out of mind for the littles.) You can even add decoupaged paper over the board...looks pretty and still does the job. Or make one yourself, using large, strong magnets. Yes, you CAN do it. Cost: a few bucks, if you buy the magnets and do it yourself. Decoupage a door that leads into/ out of your kitchen. You know what they say about making a grand entrance, right?
Last, but not least, there IS a way to paint over Laminate counter tops and/or vinyl floors!! This is quicker, easier, and cheaper than trying to recover with tile. Although I do love me some nice tile!
Materials to Buy
- Trisodium phosphate (TSP) cleaner
- Painter’s tape
- Foam paint rollers
- Tinted bonding primer
- Water-based paint
Tools to Gather
- Wood glue
- Drop cloths
Step 1: Prepare the surface.
Glue down any portions of laminate that might have come loose from the substrate. Clean the surface with TSP (trisodium phosphate) cleaner, following the manufacturer’s directions.
Step 2: Protect other surfaces.
Cover what you don’t want to paint with low-tack painter’s tape and drop cloths.
Step 3: Select primer.
Choose a quality bonding primer. Have the store tint the primer to suit the color of the base coat to come.
Step 4: Roll on primer.
Use a foam roller to apply the primer. Let dry according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Step 5: Roll on the base coat.
Use a foam roller to apply the base coat of color; let dry.
Step 6: Add a design.
Draw your design on the counter top. Protect areas you don’t want to paint with low-tack painter’s tape, and then use a foam roller or a brush to apply the contrasting color or colors for the design. You can also use stencils or stamps, or create a design freehand. (For lettering, such as the “his” and “hers” in this bathroom, use a stencil.) Let dry and remove the tape.
Step 7: Apply clear sealer.
Protect your handiwork with three or four coats of clear water-based polyurethane, letting each coat dry before applying another.