Wednesday, February 18, 2015

How to clean a Butcher Block and make it look AMAZING Again!

 I'm really, really thankful for my awesome kitchen island. It was a process to get it looking amazing again, but wow, so worth the time and effort! Just look at the before and afters!

 The wood cutting board on top was well used. With large families, everyone had (literally) left their mark. So I researched and found out there was indeed a way to make her shine again. Here we go.

 First- Let's do some deep cleaning. Most of you know I don't like harsh chemicals and toxic this and that. I truly believe we can clean just like our grandmothers did years ago and their methods will work just as well or better than anything you'll find at the store.

To deep clean this piece of butcher block wood, I poured sea salt and squeezed lemon over it to make a paste.
 You can use a scouring pad or sponge to scrub the board, but I literally used the lemon itself as a sponge.

 I left it on for 3-4 hours.  It dries to a course texture like below. I saw that all the stains didn't come up, so I wiped off the salt/lemon with my 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water and let it dry completely. My step two was to start over with the lemon and salt mixture and leave it on overnight this time.

I rinsed it in the morning and dried it with paper towels. Stains- gone. It worked!
(Make sure your butcher block is completely dried before moving onto each step.)

Second- remove residual odors and stains. Make a paste using baking soda and water. I use this very paste mixture to clean my laminate counters that easily stain. Baking soda is your friend. You should have a Costco size bag in your home that's used frequently.

 Scrub ... and scrub some more. The baking soda on the wood doesn't smell great, but trust me, it's working.

 After a good scrub, start wiping off the paste with water and wipe with paper towels.

Let the board dry completely, over night even if you can keep your family from using it before the last few steps. 

 Third- Kill the bacteria! Some people will say to use a mixture of bleach and water for this next step, but vinegar and water or hydrogen peroxided and water will work just as well. I used my 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water, and sprayed it generously onto my butcher block. I always have a spray bottle readily available of half water/half vinegar as my all purpose cleaner. We use it on just about everything here in Lewisville.
If you are going to use bleach, use 1 tsp bleach with 4 cups of water.  50/50 hydrogen peroxide and water if that's your choice.

Leave the mixture on for a few minutes and wipe it off with paper towels. Again, let the block dry completely before moving on to the next step.

 Fourth and Final step- condition, protect, and beautify the block! As a DIYer, I'm used to working with protective coatings for wood, but you can't use any kind of poly on this wood and allow your food to come into contact with it. So, butcher blocks simply require a $2 bottle of mineral oil. Make sure it is food grade mineral oil; it must say USP. I found my bottle at the grocery store with other laxative items ... because, you know.

 Slather the oil on with a paper towel or rag and let it sit over night. If there is an area where the wood didn't drink in the the oil, wipe it it up in the morning.
It will look shiny and beautiful again, but wipe it clean one last time with water and paper towels.

I'm amazed at the results. 

Love, love, love it!

 I wanted my block to look nice, but to be honest with you, I doubt I'll be directly cutting and prepping food directly on my block. I know I could now, but that's not how we do things here. Cutting boards on top of my butcher block will be used. Weird, I know.

Your butcher block should be cleaned daily with hot soapy water if you're using it as a true food prep area, but don't soak your wood in water. I use my 50/50 solution on it each night even though we don't cut food directly on it.
If you happen to cut meat on your block, make sure you are using the bleach or hydrogen peroxide solution right after use to prevent bacteria growth.
As far as oiling goes, do it once a month to keep it looking fabulous.

Hope this helps!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Tardis...Blue Kitchen Island

Have I ever told you how small my kitchen is? We have little to no kitchen counter space and for about a year I have been on the hunt for a kitchen island. So why has it taken me so long if I'm desperate for counter space? I didn't want to pay an arm and a leg, and I wasn't sure how long we would be renting this house. But it has come down to need. We really, really need more counter space!
So, enter this little gem given to me for free from my friend, Lee! Thanks, Lee!

 She's a DIYer like me, and she replaced this island for a gem of her own from Craigslist. When I got it home, it looked like this. Before-

 This little kitchen island is going to help a TON! A TON! I thought about keeping it as is, but my kitchen is so plain and has very little color in it. I decided to give the island a paint job for a pop of color in my plain, old, boring, dull kitchen.

 First, I primer the island with my all time fave primer- Zinsser

I found a small test jar of paint called Hotel St. Francis Spirit Blue by Valspar for just $3. I love, love this paint from Lowes. It was so easy to work with and the color is just gorgeous. Plus, $3 for a test jar is always so much better than a $15 quart of paint that might freeze in your garage. Oh wait, that just happens to me.

When I put on the first coat of paint, I wasn't sure about the color. I asked one of my kids and her response was this, " I like it, Mom. It's like the Tardis color."  No, it's nothing like the Tardis. I refuse to believe I picked a Tardis blue color.
Because we live in a tiny house, I wanted to have the option of moving my island out of the way and  around the kitchen from time to time. I purchased these swivel casters from Lowes, screwed them into a 1x4 cut to size, and attached them to the bottom of the island with longer wood screws.
 I sound pretty handy don't I, but it was actually Mr. Lewisville who did most of the work with the castors.
Once the castors were on, I applied a second coat of paint, then a third where needed. The paint is really thin, but again, very easy to work with.

Child number two came around as I was finishing the second coat. I asked her thoughts on the color. Not kidding, her reply, "Wow, Tardis blue. I like." Aargh. My family is a fan of the show. Me? Not so much, but I was really liking this color, even if it has been dubbed Tardis Blue.

 I also cleaned up the butcher block...
but I decided to write a post on that alone because the results are amazing. So that post on how to clean and restore an old butcher block will come on Thursday- fyi.

 I also decided to splurge a little and get all new hardware. Love the new hardware! (From Lowes by the way)

And here it is, all done and looking GOOD! We all love it. It has been a huge help to us. Pulling it in close when we're cooking and moving it out of the way when we're not is really the best part- awesome.
 Love. Love. Love it!


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Valentines Banners for you

Lewisville Love started a few years ago when I decided to start sharing my journey of all things DIY. Coming up with a name for a blog is actually a difficult task. Will it stick? Will people like it? Will I want to change it after a year?

For me, I wanted a name that would reflect my love for my family, my decision to stay home, and most of all my love for Christ. How do you put all that in a name?
Well, you can't, but I tried. Lewisville is my home. It's our family name and the name of our city ironically.

We move around often, but wherever we land, that's Lewisville. Wherever my family is, that's Lewisville. Wherever we're making a mess, painting a wall, eating as a family, that's Lewisville. Lewisville will always be the place my kids will find hugs and kisses, an encouraging word, and the greatest tickle fight of all time followed by a loaded nurf gun battle. It's the place my husband and I pray, hope, and dream together. That's Lewisville.

I launched Lewisville Love on Valentines Day, so to continue with the tradition of all things LOVE, here are a few more Valentine ideas you can take for your (enter name here) -ville Love.

The Banners! I designed these banners last year.

The banner words are Patient, Kind, Rejoices in Truth, Bears all things, Hopes all things, Believes all things, Endures all things, Love, and Never Fails.

The words are taken from I Corinthians. 13, also known as the Love chapter.

 I just printed, cut with special scissors, and taped them onto string.

Here's the banner for you to print.

This year, I'll be putting up these cuties.
They're a little different, but the words are the same.
You can print this banner too.
For another quick and easy Valentine family idea, you can make a heart shaped cake. You'll need a round and square cake pan and your favorite recipe.
Want more Valentine ideas? Go HERE. There are quick and easy decorating ideas, candy/card giving ideas for school kids, and other mushy, lovey, gooey goodness.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Free Basic Budget Forms

Hello all! I am so enjoying getting my life a little more organized for the year. I told you all on my New Year's post that I "resolved" to BE BETTER! That means a lot of things, but ultimately it means get it together here in Lewisville. Things are going well, too!

First, I posted about getting my schedule in order, so I created these (pretty) monthly calendars. You can download those HERE.

I also created these weekly schedules. These have been a big help. BIG. Life seems organized, at least from my perspective. You can download those weekly schedules HERE.

And now it's time to get the next area of my life organized. These budget printables will be put in the same binder as those calendars and schedules. I created these simple budget forms for Lewisville, and they've been modified for you to download and print.

They don't include every single category you may be spending on a monthly basis, but these forms cover the basics.

Our family has a separate category just for the kids-sports, music, and school. We also have a pets and vets category, and thankfully, we don't have debt so those categories are deleted for our personal budget.

To print my basic budget forms click HERE.

We go over the budget once at the beginning but I pay bills twice a month since we're paid twice a month.
I didn't include retirement or medical since those are taken out of our checks automatically, but that should be considered in your personal budget somewhere.

For detailed forms, meaning everything you can think of to spend money on, you can download and print these from Dave Ramsey.
I like to have everything on one page and one of the benefits of living on one income is that our budget is simple.
Loving the more organized life!


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Buffet Turned T.V. Stand for HIM

Can I tell you a story? It all started one day when I was checking out the "free" section on craigslist. I go there every once and a while hoping to find something that could be of use here in Lewisville. I have found some gems, but nothing compares to this buffet...turned T.V. stand.

 Of course, it didn't look like this when I pick it up. This beautiful piece of furniture was just about to be thrown in a dumpster. It was a left over from a church rummage sale, but no one wanted it. A woman took it home and posted it on craigslist hoping someone would take it. She didn't have time to work on it, but recognized the craftsmanship and beauty of the piece. That's where I come in.

One glorious morning, I'm drinking my coffee and decide to scroll through that free section. When I saw the buffet, I practically choked, but had sense enough to grab my phone and text her asap. Praying. Hoping. Please still be available. She text back, and I was on my way to pick it up. It was a short 5 minutes away from my home! By the way, I did take all the precautions I talk about in my How to buy and sell on Craigslist post. Read. Stay safe.

I brought it home sometime last spring. She was in my garage for a few days, then I brought her in because I really needed a kitchen island of some sort. We have absolutely no counter space in our kitchen, which is not good for a family of five. This would help, and it did for months and months and months. We used her "as is" when she first came to our house. Here's the before.

Nice bones but major scratches.

And the years of neglect really showed.

It's a very dark piece, and I just wasn't sure where to start.

At first, I planned to re-do it and maybe sell it on Craigslist, but then I had this thought.

The buffet was to big to use as an "island" and it just wasn't that kind of piece. But this dresser we were using as our T.V. stand was too small also. It needed to be replaced with some kind of piece that could house the receiver, DVR, DVD, and all those kinds of things. Light bulb!

I love my shabby chic dresser, but I never intended it to be used this way. And the equipment stacked on the side wasn't pretty either. So I went to work.

I HAND sanded the buffet with 100 grit sand paper first, then smooth it out with 220 grit. A lot of old smells came out. I worked in my kitchen for a few hours a day since it was freezing outside.

Progress. Maybe the wood could be stained again. Maybe it could be brought back to life without painting the whole thing.
 I used English Chestnut by Minwax to stain the top and detailed trim. That curvy piece in the middle came off, and the piece got two coats of primer.


I use Zinsser primer for my pieces that will get used every day. 
And here's where my story takes a turn. I really wanted the base color to be grey, a silver/metallic grey with a bit of an antique look on the side. Here's the problem when it comes to DIY in the Denver area: Paint can and will freeze if stored in the garage and thus become useless. My paint was frozen and no amount of different thawing methods was going to help. So I decided to mix my own paint. I was going for greyish/blue.

I ended up with more of a light blue, but my husband really liked it. That settles that. It got two coats of my custom color blend. The staining was done. The painting was finished, and the entire piece got a coat of polycrylic.

 The pictures don't do it justice. It's really gorgeous.

And the new home...bye, bye little dresser.
I decided to clean and spraypaint the old hardware in oil rubbed bronze for now. That will get replaced though because we want a more contemporary look. Love the results and the function it gives us.
Not bad for Free!