Blog, Lifestyle

Tropical Built-In Bar Makeover

Aloha, fabulous readers! Today I wanted to share with you my super easy makeover of our original 1950’s built-in bar in the basement lounge. Recently Lick Paint reached out to me and asked if I would join their VIP Decorator team, as they launch their product in the US, and I was ecstatic for the opportunity! Lick strives to help people decorate their homes more easily and are sustainability focused, which is a huge plus in my book. I strive to use as much second-hand or vintage pieces in my designs as possible, because so many fabulous pieces are already out there, but that’s harder to do when it comes to paint and wall coverings. Lick uses as many recyclable sources as they can for creating their product and plants a tree for every roll of wallpaper sold. Yay for fun decorating, that still has the environment in mind!

Back to the bar…we love that we have many cool original features in our 1950s home, but this bar was a sore spot for my decorating tastes. I have a love-hate relationship with all the knotty pine paneling in our home. I love seeing it on our walls on the main floor, it looks great with our colorful art and furniture. But the knotty pine cabinets in the kitchen and on the built-in bar look old school in a bad way, in my opinion. It mostly has to do with the cast-iron hardware that harkens back to colonial times, and I’m not a fan. I really wanted to replace the hinges with a different vintage style, but I knew after removing these hinges and handles that I would be filling lots of holes and sanding/re-staining all the wood, since the hardware would leave an aged outline on the cabinets. And since this project was supposed to be a simple and quick makeover, I needed to keep the hardware.

My solution was the magical product Rub’n Buff! This product is SO easy to apply and pretty much instantly dries. It doesn’t get gunked up on your hinges like paint would, and reviews say it doesn’t wear off easy. So I’ll be using this product a lot more in the future. I even used it on the white tile band of the built-in bar, and it applied and dried instantly on the ceramic. The gold on the hardware and tile band gave it a glam look and also blended the dated style more in the background, so the wallpaper could be the main feature.

Next up was laying down the peel and stick gold tile. I wanted something with a little glitz, without overshadowing the wallpaper, and this gold tile fit the bill. Also, I pretty much choose to add gold wherever possible (My mom calls me a Magpie for a reason). It was pretty easy to trim and apply, but I did mess up on one section and it was a pain to rip up (very, very strong adhesive backing), so keep that in mind if you use this product. Also, I thought the five sheets included in the package would be enough, but I needed half a sheet more to finish, so I had to order more.

Next up was adding the tropical wallpaper gifted from Lick! I didn’t want to deal with figuring out how to smoothly apply it to textured wood panels, so I decided to just use tape to adhere it to the wall. I needed it to be as thinly applied as possible, so I could slide it behind the shelf brackets, so this was the best and easiest solution. All I had to do was measure my back wall panel, cut my first piece to size, and then stick on with several areas of tape. Once the first panel was on, I matched up the pattern, measured, and cut myself a second piece to be taped up. After it was attached, I just used a box knife to trim any excess off at the corners.

The final addition to this super easy project was adding a battery operated light on the ceiling, since this built-in doesn’t have a light and gets super dark. I normally use a little pineapple neon light, if you can tell from the photos. However, I wanted a normal white light to use in the future. I got this cheap puck light, which works great, but it needed some pizazz. I applied black painters tape all the way around and tucked the edges in with an Exacto blade. Perfect!

And after a little styling, the built-in bar was complete! We are still building a sit-down bar in the main part of the basement, but this little nook is great for display of our fun tiki pieces and has great storage for all of our liquor. Stay tuned for more projects I’ll be using with my Lick wallpaper and some fun pink paint from them as well!

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