D.I.Y. Updates/How Did That Hold Up?

DIY Updates! Ever wonder how things on A Beautiful Mess have held up over the years? Over the years, many of you have asked questions about how projects held up over time. Most of our projects go up on the blog soon after we complete them, so we don't always know. 

Today I'm here to share some of our favorite projects that have held up great and some regrets that we would do differently if we had a time machine. Ready or not? 

Counter topConcrete Countertop DIY. This was one of the most physically difficult projects we've had on ABM (tons of hand sanding, so lots of "elbow grease" needed), but it's SUPER inexpensive and looks great in person.

After 10 months we're thrilled to report that our countertop is holding up perfectly. So much so that we're planning to do it again in another space soon. It's beautiful, sturdy, and unbeatable for the price. 

Washer dryer makeover (with electrical tape!)Washer and Dryer Makeover. It's been almost a year since I decorated my washer and dryer with electrical tape. I am happy to report that they still look exactly the same! Since electrical tape is durable and water-resistant, I can still wipe the appliances. I still like the look of them and plan to keep them for years to come, but I also like that they're removable if I ever change my mind. 

Fabric lined shelvesFabric-Lined Shelves. We did this project a little over a year ago, and it's still in my bedroom today. One of the corners of fabric fell down a little (an easy fix with more rubber cement), and so I tried pulling it off (just to make sure it truly is removable after all this time), and it worked great. I would definitely do this project again, and it's super renter-friendly. 

Guest room cartGuest Room Cart. I wanted to mention this cart not because of how it held up (it's fine) but because it's been so incredibly useful. It really makes our guests feel welcome. 

Instax wallDIY Instax Wallpaper. This one has good and bad things about it. Here's my honest review! Does it work– Yes. It's easy (can be installed in a day) and cheap (mine cost $130 for a giant wall). Buttttt…. I got tired of how busy the pattern was. It's been up in my home for close to two years now, and I'm ready for a change. And now I have to pull 100 staples from my wall. 

If I had that aforementioned time machine, I would go back and change a few things. I would absolutely do this project again, BUT I would choose a smaller wall next time and use thicker cardstock (the 80 pound cardstock began to warp a little bit over time). 

Handwriting wallSimilarly, I painted over my handwriting statement wall after just one year (and have regretted it ever since!). I definitely miss it. After photographing it for the blog and then later for our book, I was ready for a change. Bold statement walls can be hard to live with. They're busy. With that said, they're also incredibly photogenic and beautiful. If I've learned anything from this house, it's how truly indecisive I am. 

If you like this look but don't want to commit to a giant wall, I suggest making the painting version

Painted tilesPainted Tiles. I wondered how these would hold up after a winter in the elements. After last winter, there were a few worn off spots. They could have used a fresh coat of paint, but it didn't bother me and I didn't repaint them (maybe next year). 

I would definitely do this again. I used porch paint and, honestly, it's exactly like painting your house or porch. It will need some maintenance, but it's totally worth it. We've hosted several back yard parties since I painted these tiles, and it's something people always compliment in our space. No regrets! 

DIY dining room tableDIY Dining Room Table. I can't say enough about how happy I am with this table. In the first few months after we moved into our home, we spent so much money. Moving is really expensive, and it was great to save thousands of dollars by making our own table that seats eight people. We've enjoyed it for more than two years now, and I would highly recommend this project to anyone who is on the fence. It's so worth the investment of time and supplies. 

Laura built the very same table in her home! She's still loving it too and she just painted hers white to contrast more with her floors. I laughed because I've been toying with the idea of painting mine too. Anyway– this project is highly recommended along with Emma's Honeycomb table (depending on the size and shape of your room. Hers also looks just as good today as the day she completed it! 

Yellow painted chairsPainted Chairs. These were an awesome solution to buy me some time before shopping for a matching set. After about a year of daily use, they were in need of a touch up coat of paint. I really liked these chairs and have used this oil-based Rust-Oleum paint for several other projects including my bar cart. It's great stuff! 

MudroomMudroom Organization. This was EASY, and two years later I haven't changed it at all and still love it. Sometimes the simple, functional projects are the best! 

Linoleum tile DIYProbably the most bummin' D.I.Y. of our year, when it comes to how it aged, was this linoleum floor. It was SO pretty at first, but after just a few months of heavy traffic, many of the corners broke. 

Time machine? Yeah– if we could go back in time, we'd use real tile. Not linoleum. It could work in a very low traffic room, but in our busy workshop, it didn't do so well. Not a huge loss, though, since it was super inexpensive. 

Make your own rugWe've made quite a few rugs that held up as good, or better, than retail store rugs. This rag rug has been in our studio kitchen all year. This rope rug is super durable (but also more difficult to make than the rag rug).  

A lesson I've learned with (big) D.I.Y. projects is that what you get out of it is usually pretty equal to what you put in. When I invest more time and effort into projects, I usually get a better result that I end up loving for longer. When I rush though decor projects, I tend to get tired of them more quickly.

What are you curious about? Scan through our D.I.Y. posts and let us know what you are curious about! We're here to help. We'd love to give you honest feedback about any of our older projects. And if you have stories from your own D.I.Y. experiences, we'd love to hear them! xx. Elsie 

  • Ok So I’m super curious about the table Emma had before the honeycomb table. It was cool, but seemed like such a bad idea because it looked hard to keep clean – it seemed like food would fall into the cracks easily.

  • What a great post! I drooled over all of these projects and plan on trying a few myself! You really are amazing 🙂

  • I love that you did a follow-up post with all of your DIY’s! It’s great to hear what oyu loved about them, or which ones you wish you could have redone, and also… I cannot WAIT to get my own space to decorate, agh. Every time I read your DIY home posts, I just want to get creative but we’re house-sitting for someone for six months, so I can’t do anything because their house is already fully decorated.
    Anyway! You guys have done some gorgeous projects! I always look forward to your posts!

  • Thank you for this post! I always wonder about how well things hold up. I like being productive and creating things for my home, but get super discouraged when they break down too quickly. I’d love to see more posts like this in the future so I know which projects are definitely worth the effort and which ones you’ve learned from.

    Thanks again!

  • Really, really love this post. So interesting seeing how well DIYs hold up, they always seem such a good idea at the time but can be hit or miss for durability. Glad to see the majority of yours have held up and would love to see more posts like this in the coming years 🙂 Xx

  • I would have liked this post more if it had side by side then and now images of the projects but it’s great to see updates like this all the same 🙂

  • I really love seeing how things have turned out! It’s also a great reminder of all the awesome DIY’s I want to do (that cement counter has my name all over it once I get my own house and out of an apartment!)


  • I really enjoyed this post. Most of the time i only reat parts of your posts, and look at the pictures. But this was very usefull information you don’t often get, concerning a diy

  • This is such a nice idea for a post, as it´s nice to see how all your awesome ideas look like after a while and how you like and use them after a year or so.
    What I also like is that you make things you really use and not just create them so that your readers have something to look at.

  • I love the frankness of this post. I read this blog from Brussels everyday, i love your spirit, creativity , etc… but today i love your frankness. Everything is not easy and not always a wonderfull result with the time… We need to know this too. 🙂

  • Great post! As cool as they look, I always thought the Instax & handwriting walls would be a bit much and would be better suited to a smaller space.
    The guest room cart is definitely something I have to try!


  • Ahh I love that you revisited these! And those yellow cabinets are such a statement. Did you guys paint them yourselves? I’m so curious about refinishing cabinets.

  • Great info! Thanks for sharing the good and the bad with us 🙂 My favorite is still the statement wall. I think I may have to try it.


  • Wow the best idea for a post ever. It is soo good to know how the projects turned out after some time has passed, and have some insight of the possible downsides.

  • This is such a brilliant post! I’m always a little scared of making spur-of-the-moment DIY decisions, but I’m so very tempted to paint a stair runner this weekend now (if I manage to go get all the stuff I need)!

    I absolutely love the concrete worktops by the way! =)

    Lil x | www.lingyeungb.com

  • Absolutely love this addition of “where are they now-diy version!” You guys have so many projects on my list to do that it’s really helpful to know what projects you might not do again, or would do differently with more knowledge. Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts on projects, I look forward to many more projects and updates in the future!

  • Thank you for the updates! I am planning my kitchen remodel and your black and white vinyl floor has been on my design board as my one and only since you posted it. Thanks for posting an update before I did this in my kitchen! I’m still going to use it in the laundry room though, but I’ll look into something else for the kitchen. Thanks!

  • I fell in love with the white dot diy curtains, and when I moved into a new place I leapt at the chance to make them… but grossly underestimated how time consuming it would be! I think it’s the only time I’ve cursed you guys for inspiring me!

    It was all worth it in the end and they’ve held up REALLY well, but maybe some genuine expectations on how long it takes would help users prioritise projects (or not bite off more than they can chew?).

    Love the work! Keep it up xx

  • thanks for the update elsie!

    i have been thinking about trying out the fabric lined drawers in my kitchen…still debating fabric vs contact paper since it is in the kitchen.

  • A sort of unrelated question…How do you go about choosing a hardware finish and knowing when to mix and when to match?? I am always torn between brushed nickel & wrought iron looks! I see a few examples of mixing hardware in this post, so thought I would ask!!

  • Hi Angela! I uploaded an image for you to see some of the slight paint wear on my vinyl chair. I think maybe I should’ve done a better primer on the chair, instead of a a paint+primer spray. If I were to do it over again, I think I would lightly sand the vinyl to rough it up a bit (with something like 300-400 grit), then use a high quality primer before then using paint. Here is the image: http://imgur.com/T2kExMM

  • This is wonderfully helpful and informative! I hope you do more of these! I am SO happy to hear about the counter top. At first I was worried that you were going to say that it’s not working out, because I really want to do that as soon as we’re not renting, but I’m glad I was wrong!!

  • Yes! I get that, definitely didn’t have the time to take all new photos but I will keep that in mind for next time! 🙂
    xx- Elsie

  • Hi Katie,
    Thanks so much!

    I really don’t think very many bloggers are trying to pretend everything is perfect, BUT I do understand why it can seem that way when everything presented is beautifully staged, posed and photoshopped. I get it! It’s a very hand balance to strike, as a blogger. We don’t ever want people to think that we’re fake or perfect, but we also want to show our best work. It’s tough. I’m glad posts like this help!

    Thanks so much for reading!
    xx- Elsie

  • Hi Cammy,
    Yeah- I kinda regret that one, but oh well! 🙂 After photographing the book last year I was just in the mood to change everything. It was definitely a fun idea, though, and I miss it sometimes. 😀

  • Hi Jordan,
    Yea- I understand your concerns! I felt the same before we tried all this stuff, so I’m glad we could test them out for you. 🙂

    xx- Elsie

  • Hi Cat,
    I’m not handy either so I totally relate. I’m glad I have so many handy people in my life to help! 🙂

    Thanks for reading!
    xx- Elsie

  • Hi Stephanie,
    Emma says her bench is still going strong in her bedroom!

    I still use the fabric lined dressers in our bedroom. The fabric is purely for looks and didn’t change the function of the dresser at all (some people commented that it would be hard to open the drawers, but it’s the same as always). Since the fabric doesn’t rub on the dresser at all it’s still in perfect condition. 🙂

    The frosted glass is also still exactly the same as day one. It’s here at the office and it looks great. Since that door was in a slightly awkward spot I’m sure the next home owners will appreciate that update.

    Not sure about Katie’s dollhouse. :))

    Thanks for reading! Elsie

  • Hi Julie!

    Do you mean the new mint one in my office? It’s the only couch I have from Joybird. I’ve only had it for about a month now, but I absolutely love it. It’s a very cute shape! If I was getting it for my home I probably would have gone with gray, but the mint was perfect for my office.

    xx! Elsie

  • SO excited about your new rug, Sandy!
    I’d love to see a photo of it! Share it on instagram #mybeautifulmess if you have a chance!

    xx- Elsie

  • This was a fantastic post! Love the idea and usefulness of this type of post. Great read. Thanks!

  • Great post! I’m such a sucker for home decor, some of these pieces are lovely 🙂 x


  • this is amazing! I love how upfront you are about how things have been holding up =) I love that!

  • This post is so appreciated! Thanks!

    I have a question about the gold moon wall DIY (https://abeautifulmess.com/2014/01/gold-moon-wall.html)
    which I’ve been dying to try but because I’m a renter, can’t.

    Is there any material you would recommend painting this on if painting directly on the wall isn’t an option? I was thinking canvas but it might be tricky to find large circle-shaped stretched canvas. Any other materials you could recommend?

    Many thanks!

  • I think I am going to try the fabric lining on my kitchen cabinets (once I take off the doors) to brighten the space up a bit. I also can’t wait to try the mudroom organizer. I *need* that in my life.

    Thanks for the update! I don’t often get to see reflections on how things went and appreciate the honest take on it. You all seriously rock my socks off. 🙂

  • Really interesting to read! I often wonder how some projects turn out – the cement counter in particular is one I regularly think about, as I really don’t like our current counter top!

  • Such a great post…have seen such posts in young house love…glad you guys are doing it too…really helps readers to decide on going for a project.. guest bar cart and yellow chairs are my fav… that mud room is just perfect as it is..


  • lovely ideas, I especially like the washer and dryer one, so cute 🙂


  • Hi Roselie!
    You could make a giant tapestry (it doesn’t have to be a circle, just a big square with the moon painted on would work) or you could paint it on a giant canvas or foam core board that you paint the color of your wall with the moon on top. Hope that helps!

    Laura 🙂

  • thank you for sharing this! the thing i love most about you guys is that you are honest and open about your life as bloggers instead of pretending “everything is perfect and beautiful all the time”!

  • I was so sad to read that you painted over your handwriting statement wall. You inspired me to do something similar in my craft room. I painted song lyrics on the wall and one year later I still love it. Although, I may not have felt the same if it were in my bedroom

  • This is such a great post!! I always wonder how DIY projects will last, especially ones where you have to invest a lot of time/money into something, you don’t want it to crumble after a few months. Thanks!


  • Your DIY projects are amazing! I’d miss that wall too! My favorite in terms of functionality is the guest cart, genius!


  • Awesome!
    Yes- some people thought it was washi tape (that definitely would not hold up on an appliance like this that gets touched and wiped often) but the electrical tape works awesome!

    Hope you get a chance to try it in your home.
    xx- Elsie

  • Hi Kristiana,
    Cool! I will do another one in a year or so!
    xx- Elsie

  • Thank so much! I totally agree.
    I just wish you could see them in person. 😀
    xx- Elsie

  • Hi Alexa!
    Yes, One thing I’ve learned over time is that the more time/money/planning I invest in my projects the longer I tend to keep them (and for the most part, the better they hold up!). I still like inexpensive for-fun projects too, though… just for different purposes!

    So excited that you’re planning to try our projects. Please send us photos in instagram if you end up making them!
    xx- Elsie

  • Thanks so much for sharing! Glad to hear most things are holding up! Huzzah!
    Xx from the Girl in the Houndstooth Coat

  • This was absolutely fascinating to read! Thank you for being so honest about your experiences. I wish I was more handy so I could make some of the bigger projects like the dining room table!


  • Fantastic update. It really pushes us keep way or another when deciding whether to take on a project if we know how long it will last

  • This post is awesome. It’s great that you guys are so honest and transparent about how your Diy’s hold up! love it 😀

  • Thank you so much for this post! I have been really considering building your dining room table DIY, but was a but skeptical that it would really last without cracking, staining or sagging. Great to know it is still going strong!

  • love seeing this side of the diy post… it’s great to know a head of time if these projects last long! great job guys! in love with all these projects and have received so much inspiration for my new home from happy handmade home!!

  • Love this post. I’d really love to see more stuff like this.
    It’s great to know most things held up at least 🙂


  • awesome!! always wondered about those concrete counters.

    I’m curious about…
    emmah’s diy bedside bench. going back would you have chosen to add the extra bracing to the bench to make it more sturdy??
    the fabric lined dresser drawers and the frosted glass window.
    I’m also really interested in the dollhouse Katie made last year at christmas…how did this hold up to a year of play??

  • This is so cool! I’m always curious about the longevity of DIY projects. This is giving me some encouragement to try a few things for my own apartment!

  • I love this post! It’s filled with all the D.I.Y projects that made me fall in love with ABM, especially the dining room table and handwriting wall. Happy Tuesday 🙂

  • I just completed (yesterday!) a rope rug inspired by Laura’s beautiful post. It turned out better than i imagined it would, and I love it. Thank goodness for her advice on how to prevent and correct waving. This was a challenge on my last three rows. Thanks!!

  • Awesome idea for a post–you should keep doing updates on how past projects hold up. Sounds like most of them were big successes. Especially the table!

  • I’m so glad you put the tape on your washer and dryer project on this list! I found that DIY the other day and wondered how it was holding up! Our laundry room (or, rather, closet) isn’t he most fun spot in the house so I’d been toying with the idea of doing that project! Glad to know it’s held up!

  • Great post. I always wonder about longevity when I’m truly considering investing in a project. I’ve been curious about the vinyl chair makeover from June. It hasn’t been that long since the post, but I wonder how long painted vinyl looks good.

  • I LOVE this post! I’m always so curious as to how well things have lasted. It’s always the fear when you DIY. So glad to see that most things are still going strong. You should definitely do another post like this in the future 🙂

    Kris | www.love-loft-life.com

  • Thank you so much!!! I’m always so curious to hear how things look over time, and I so appreciate it when a blog is transparent about it like this!

  • This is SUCH a good idea for a post. I’m always curious as to what projects stand the test of time in your own homes, and which you get sick of or just don’t work out.

  • I am in love with this post because I often wonder “but how will that look after life has happened to it?” So glad to hear 98% of your projects lasted – it can be so frustrating to do a project and watch life slowly ruin it for you. (Ok, that sounds a touch dramatic, ha.)

    I am most excited that the concrete counters and tables have lasted so well. I definitely want to try those when I own a home.

    Thanks for this kind of post for us practical-minded crafters.


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