BEFORE & AFTER: Nautical Theme Wooden Play Sink

Happy Labor Day! Why is it that the day when you’re supposed to be lazy and it’s acceptable to gorge on junk and be a zombie, we crazy DIY’ers are the ones who worked harder than we have in a long time? LOL! I know I can’t be the only one!

We pressure washed our really gross patio, and I.CANNOT.BELIEVE.HOW.TOTALLY.AWESOME it turned out! (Stay turned for that “Get Your Outdoors Fall Ready” post in a few weeks…..). So what did you get in to? Get any cool projects done?

Well, this one I actually finished a few days ago, and I am STOKED to finally show you!

Okay, remember a few weeks ago I posted this ugly thing that I picked up from the thrift store?


Well, here’s how it turned out!


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I strongly feel that boys can play with sinks and kitchens, too, right?


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It’s actually a slight miracle that I pulled it off and like it so much, because I was >THISCLOSE< to scrapping the whole project!

But I’m sooo glad I hung in there.


Who the Heck Paints Furniture in Red and Blue?!

….unless of course it’s 4th of July….Or you’re Serena Appiah and you like to do something you’ve never seen before. LOL

Well, the inspiration for the “red” and “blue” came from some girl’s outfit that I saw about 8 months ago at a family naming ceremony. I’m sitting there sipping my wine and in walks this girl wearing these brilliant blue pants and blood red shirt. AHA! Inspiration!! I discreetly snapped a pic of it, but for some reason, I can’t find the pic to show you. Grrr………

When I discovered this awesome Annie Sloan Emperor’s Silk, I knew this would be the red that would bring my inspiration to reality! Mixed with Napoleonic Blue, and I’ve got a recipe for major cuteness.

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This kid’s sink was a bit more “expensive” than a similar wooden play kitchen makeover  that I did a few months ago for only $2.50, but heck–$7.00 is still a phat price!

First thing I did was remove the years of nasty stickers that accumulated, with my awesome HomeRight Heat Pro Deluxe II heat gun. That thing is awesome.


Then I sanded it down a bit. I normally don’t sand, but this surface needed it.

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But I’m not kidding when I say that I almost scrapped this project when I first painted it and saw it looked sorta like……PAPA SMURF….but a little darker. LOL


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What to Do When You Lose Your Creative Streak

By all means, consult your Daddy. Otherwise known as GOOGLE, who basically owns you :) I knew it needed some “oompf” so I Googled “red” and “blue” and suddenly, I kept seeing these nautical-themed outfits. I realized that I could do a nautical theme and totally rock this piece! I don’t think I have seen a nautical theme kid’s furniture. So…why not??

So I pulled out my Silhouette Cameo which cuts vinyl that you can use to make stencils very easily (amongst many other cool tricks I have yet to discover, LOL). Click HERE to buy the Silhouette Cameo

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Next, I cut out some anchors to use as stencils on the front.



The stencil worked really great! You just have to be mindful to get it on there properly.



….because if you don’t….

the vinyl ends up a warped piece of crap you can’t use :) And vinyl ain’t cheap! It sticks to itself like you wouldn’t believe!



No Time For Perfection!

Next, I outlined the anchor in red. Sorry, I didn’t get pics of it, but I basically just free-handed it. I wasn’t too happy with the free-hand results, but you know what?? I’m not perfect. And I’m not going to pretend that my projects are, either. In fact, I wanted this piece to be a little “DIRTY” and not-quite-so-precise.

I decided to add white paint trim all along the edges on top, and then use dark wax to muddy it up a bit. Who needs crisp perfection? Not I!

I showed a friend of mine preliminary pics of the project, and she had the nerve to point out faults! (Did I mention she’s not crafty ONE BIT??).

‘Nuff said. Keep it movin’…..



I really wanted to pull in some rope somewhere, so I decided to just add a little bit to the side, to hold a DIY dish towel.


These are the little nails I used.


Next, I decided I would DIY a little dish cloth to hang from the rope. So I pulled out my trusty Silhouette Cameo again and cut out a sailboat to use as a stencil. Then I stenciled some boats onto a scrap piece of cloth.



Last, but not least, I painted the handles a cleaner red (not shown), and painted the plastic sink bucket that goes inside the sink. It was pretty worn.

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Overall, I would say it was DEFINITELY a successful project!

What do you think?!?!?!

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And all I had were Trader Joe’s Black Beans! HAHAHA. No worries…I”m going to be stocking up on “play food” for my boys :)

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I guess someone lost interest….. LOL

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Here’s another look:

Nautical Theme Play Sink Collage

And this weekend my boys made me breakfast….BEANS and CHEERIOS. hahaha

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And who cares if the two projects don’t match? When you’ve got 3 cute little boys (even a tall, skinny 7-year old….) playing “cooking” with Cheerios, nothing else seems to matter :)

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Kids wooden nautical play kitchen


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My 7-year-old must like it because he asked me, “Mommy, you’re not going to SELL it, are you?”

So what do you guys think?!?! Do you like it?







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About the Author ()

Hey there, I'm Serena, a 38-year-old working mom of 3 young boys who can't get enough DIY! If you actually made it to the bottom of this post to read this, it means you're really enjoy my blog. That means SO much. If I can inspire just one person through my passion and energy for DIY, then I'm fulfilling my life's purpose. Thanks for joining me, and I hope you'll subscribe so we can keep in touch! ~Serena

Comments (56)

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  1. Kathy says:

    FYI – You can use contact paper to cut your stencil!! So much cheaper!!!

    Cute project!! I always LOVE to see your stuff!!

  2. Splendor says:

    Very cute. I love kitchen play areas. Kids really seem to gravitate toward them.

  3. Karen says:

    Cute project! Cuter kids! Some little girls will scoop those ‘cookin’ little boys right up!

  4. Lisa Gresham says:

    So cute!! Your so talented!!! Wanna be u!! I follow u each day and enjoy so much your funny sense of humor. BTW, don’t let friends steer you wrong. I have one just like it. She doesn’t have a crafty finger in her bod but tells me where I screw up all the time. lol I would love to have the Cameo machine but way too pricey. But with me just ordering 2 new stencils it could pay for itself. Not sure if I am smart enough to figure it out though…… Thanks again for making our world a little better, the cheap way. Or should I say the thrifty way… Love to u

    • Lisa, your comment is sooooooo nice! *blush blush*. It means a LOT to me :) Thank you for being a reader and supporting my passion for blogging and creating on a small budget :) And in case you missed it, other people have commented that you can use contact paper for stencils. I think that’s a good idea for a cheap solution. The Cameo is pricey. If you’re looking for something easy and quick and very precise, then go with the Cameo. And you are DEFINITELY smart enough to figure it out! I was lost when I started using it. And I STILL don’t know how to do nearly a quarter of all stuff it can do! LOL

  5. Tracy G says:

    That looks like it came from pottery barn kids! I love it!!! Oliver and Owen will take one thank you! :)

    • Awww….I think baby K is the one that lends to the Pottery Barn feel! He’s such a little model. LOL. And yes, Oliver and Owen can come by any time to play with it! As a matter of fact, we’re in need of a play date with Sherray and Ian!

  6. It looks so awesome. I like that you went with a different than normal theme. I get tired of all kids toys looking the same.

    • Yeah, that’s the thing–maybe I just don’t notice, but I really haven’t seen any nautical theme stuff for boys. It just seemed like a perfect “solution” to my crazy red and blue inspiration. LOL. Thank you for commenting!!

  7. Tk says:

    Great insight on this project. I really like the color selection. Thank you so much for the before and after.

  8. Erinn S says:

    I have always wanted to feel brave enough to restore a piece like that! Looks like a Cameo makes this much easier!

    • Erinn, my advice is to just do it and let the inspiration come as you work on it. I never really know how I want a piece to look until I am in the midst of it. Go ahead and give it a try! :) And yes, the Cameo is such a great tool. I admit it’s not cheap. But when you want an exact cut-out, it’s the next best thing since sliced bread. LOL Thanks for your comment!

  9. Heather says:

    I LOVE it!!! I love nautical themes, and you did this just perfectly! :)

    • Thank you, girl! You know, I never really considered nautical themes before, but the combo of red and blue and white, it can be pretty crisp! I think I have found a new love :) Thanks for commenting!!!

  10. Wow, you did a really beautiful job. It looks fantastic.

  11. This is terrific and I love how you gave it a theme – super idea!! It does help that you have cute kids doing the demo for the pictures too 😉

    Love your new blog heading as well!


    • LOL you should hear me, “Okay, boys, Mommy’s gotta take pics! Hold still!” And all they want to do is play. LOL. And thanks so much!! I’m glad that you like the new heading! I think it’s a lot fresher :)

  12. Pam D. says:

    Fantastic project and yes boys NEED to play kitchen/house. I was a pre-school teacher and I have 4 boys/1 girl and the boys should always be encouraged to get in that kitchen and play,lol. Oh and you can use contact paper for stencils,works great and much cheaper(I have a cricut) so fun LOL.

    • My husband is a fantastic cook! His mom taught him and all his brothers. Now for myself….I’m embarrassed to admit that I can mess up BOILED WATER. True story there. LOL. But yes, boys should be encouraged to cook. They have to know how to take care of themselves! Thanks for commenting, Pam!!!

  13. margaret walker says:

    I have a booth in a flea market and shop regularly at thrift stores sometimes you have to have a little imagination to make some things sellable. I love what you have done with every thing you are one super creative lady with furniture and babies. My husband says why don’t you buy stuff you don’t have to work on. H e does not understand that is the fun part

    • Ooooh, Margaret, I think we’re married to the same man! LOL. Hubby doesn’t understand me buying old stuff, either. Even after he sees what I can do with it, he still “tsks” when I come home with a new old piece. LOL!

  14. That turned out SOOO freaking cute. The stencils totally make it. Papa Smurf would be proud.

  15. Helen Tolliver says:

    I love it! You are so talented! I love to see all your projects!

  16. Kris Whitted says:

    Love love love! And YES MOHs can play with kitchen toys too! I see that you use the silhouette cameo. Do you prefer this over the Cricut? I have been looking at them but not sure.

  17. Leslie says:

    So fun! Great job sticking with it and coming up with a cute idea!

  18. Jan Shore says:

    Very clever project. I honestly could not imagine what you would do with it! Great vision!

  19. Nikki Thomas says:

    Very creative….I need to get one of those heat guns. I have two bedroom doors full of old vintage stickers and I’ve tried everything to get them off.

  20. elaine says:

    i think it looks great! and it’s a fabulous idea to teach your boys the way around a kitchen at an early age! LOL

  21. Denise says:

    Serena…your children are cute but your littlest pictured there is a cutie patootie. Great project. You are good. I have someone coming over today to price out some of my projects. Ha! Thanks for doing the link parties on haven. Wish more people participated. But at least I have the opp to get to know you more! Have a fab week.

  22. Trisha D. says:

    Wow what a transformation! Such a cute idea, really digging the nautical theme.

    P.S. Boys too can enjoy a play kitchen. They’ve gotta lean to become aspiring chefs too :)

  23. That is AMAZING! Great job with that. I love how you can use the Silhouette for so many things beyond srapbooking.

  24. Anna Ibarra says:

    This came out so cute, and boyish looking but can go either way. Is this your second children’s stove? I remember the one also being done very cute.
    And, I also agree boys should play with stoves, my did with my daughter. Also the makings of a future chef! 😉

  25. Vanessa says:

    This turned out great. I love it and what a great deal too.


  26. Georgetta says:

    I just love your ideas.

  27. Noreen says:

    Absolutely adorable and the nautical theme is perfect. Just a little sad that my 23 and 21 year olds wouldn’t fully appreciate such fun stuff anymore :(. Seems like yesterday they would be thrilled to have such a cool item!! I guess I could make one that is really a cabinet for a beer keg :).

  28. Lou says:

    Hate it how you say “for boys”
    Cause this is 2013 Im fighting for Equality and you’re Raising your children that Boys and girls are diffrent and cant have the same things
    The 50’s called and want their DISCRIMINATION Back

  29. Diane says:

    That is absolutely adorable. (And you were very polite to the person who wrote the nasty comment. Blogs aren’t places for nastiness :-)

  30. Becka says:

    What a lucky find! You turned it into something beautiful wow very nice!

  31. Colleeen Busch says:

    What an amazing transformation. I love it!!! You did fantastic work.

  32. Michelle F. says:

    Awww that looks so cute. I love the nautical theme.

  33. Allisha says:

    Love this, you did a great job!

    What color is the blue paint?

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