Friday, January 4, 2013

Ikea Hack: Paint Those Laminated Shelves

ikea hack painted laminate shelving

I've been wanting to paint our old shelving unit for years now and I finally did it! I actually finished it late last winter right before my mother-in-law got sick and I'm FINALLY getting around to writing about it. This is an old shelving unit that we got at Ikea almost 20 years ago. It was totally 90s with an orangey beech color veneer on it. I think this unit is the precursor to the Expedit shelving unit that Ikea carries today but I don't know for sure (addendum 2/20/13: Thanks to someone who was able to correctly identify these as Ikea's Akrobat shelving!) All I know is that it's old and outdated and we still have it.

I sometimes have a hard time parting with furniture for some reason, even ugly furniture. It feels a tad wasteful when we have a perfectly functional unit; maybe I'm too cheap budget-conscious to spend money on something when it's not broken. It's not even a high quality piece, but when we were young and first married, that's what we could afford. Since we plan on moving in the next 2-3 years, I want this to last until then and buy something nicer when we know what space we'll be in but for now, I was tired of looking this thing. I say if you're tired of it, paint it!  I once shared this philosophy with a girlfriend who responded by saying, "Can I paint my husband?" HA!

Here's what it looked like before I painted it:

ikea hack painted laminate shelving

Not very pretty, but it does the job of holding our stereo equipment (hellooo, double cassette player alert - the stereo really should be updated too) and knickknacks, and the hidden storage is great for all my candles, vases, extra wine glasses, and CDs. Actually, it looks a little better in this picture than it does in real life. Go figure! This piece is actually two shelving units that are side-by-side.

When I first decided to paint this, I thought of painting it white. I also considered a really deep dark brown color, but I think I was so tired of that orangey wood veneer color that I just wanted it to blend in more with the walls so I went with a light sandy beige. I didn't want it to be boring though, so I added a stencil to the doors (more on that later) and painted the back an aqua color. I also added feet (or are they short legs? Call them what you like) and I think that really updated it too.

Here's how I painted this old thing:
  • First I removed the doors and hardware. The finished piece will look a lot better in the long run if you take the time to do this step rather than trying to paint with everything still on there. I also removed the back of the shelving unit since I wanted to paint it a different color.
  • Next I sanded the shelving unit and doors. It doesn't need much sanding, just enough to give the primer something to grab on to. I used both an orbital sander for the big pieces and sand paper for the inside corners and it took me maybe 10 minutes. You don't want to take too much off because it's laminate. Just a really light sanding is all that's needed. Some primers even state that you don't need to sand ahead of time but I like to just to be on the safe side. Next, wipe all the surfaces down thoroughly to remove the dust. I used a tack cloth.
  • Fill any holes that you want to fill at this point using a paintable wood filler or spackle. There were holes along each of the sides of the unit for the adjustable shelves that I didn't really think about, but they really stood out after I put on the primer. I went ahead and filled them at this point and re-primed over those spots just for good measure, but you should fill any holes you want to fill before you prime:
ikea hack painted laminate shelving
  • Prime all the surfaces that you want to paint with an oil based primer. I've used both water and oil based primers and I think the paint job lasts a lot longer and is much more durable with an oil based primer. You can paint over an oil based primer with latex paint which is exactly what I did. I used Zinsser Cover Stain oil based primer since that's what I had on hand. It's not that hard to work with - you can either use a disposable brush that you can throw out afterward or use a paintbrush that's compatible with oil-based paint and clean up using mineral spirits.
  • Let primer dry according to manufacturer directions. 
  • Paint at least two coats of latex or oil based paint in your choice of color and let dry in between coats according to manufacturer directions. The paint color I chose was a custom color of leftover latex paint that I made using the wall color lightened up with a little white.
  • After painting the last coat, I let the paint dry for a full week. I have found through trial and error that if I don't let the paint cure, I get a lot more chips and peeling. Plus I got busy so didn't get around to painting the final coat of sealant for another week. :)
  • Stencil doors. See details below on how I created the pattern for these doors. Let dry.
  • Add a coat of sealant. I used Minwax water-based Polycrylic clear satin and let it dry for another week before I put anything on it. So far, it has held up really well except for one spot that I totally dinged hard on top.
I mentioned that I removed the back and painted it separately with a light aqua color. I used the same process of priming, painting, and protecting on these pieces as well. Sorry I don't have a color name for this one either since I mixed three leftover paint colors together in my little tupperware container to make it:
ikea hack painted laminate shelving

I added short legs to the unit using leftover 2x2 wood (which is really 1 1/2" x 1 1/2", go figure) I spotted in the garage. My husband cut 8 pieces that were each 2 1/2" in length and attached them to the bottom using L brackets and construction adhesive, like this:
ikea hack painted laminate shelving
*After adding the legs, I found that the cabinet sagged a little towards the center. We remedied that by putting a block on the floor under the center of each unit to lift it back up. 

Creating the "Stenciling" on the Doors:
I wanted to do something interesting to the doors like a stencil but after looking, I couldn't find one that I wanted to use. One day I found this Trina Turk pillow online at Zinc Door and my world changed:
ikea hack painted laminate shelving
Trina Turk pillow at Zinc Door
Ooh, I LOVE the geometric pattern and bright happy color on this pillow and would have totally bought it if it wasn't ninety dollars. My first thought was, "I wonder if I could make that?" Then I got to looking at the pattern and thought, "I could totally do that on the doors!" So I did, using tape. It seems a little complicated with all the steps I'm about to explain, but it's pretty straightforward and mostly requires time and patience to get everything lined up. Here's how to create that same pattern on a square door after I primed and painted them:
ikea hack painted laminate shelving

1. Using 1" wide painter's tape, tape the edge of the door on all four sides, keeping the edge of the tape aligned with the edge of the door. I love FrogTape for a job like this. It's a little more expensive than the regular blue painter's tape, but I find I don't get any paint seepage with this tape and it doesn't peel off any paint when removing. Other painter's tape will probably work just fine as long as you really press the edges down well.
2. Tape a second row of tape the same way as you did the first.
3. Now do it again making a third row of tape. Now you have three rows of tape all the same width thanks to the consistent width of the tape. You're using the width of the tape as your stencil pattern guide.
4 & 5. Remove the second row of tape. You may need to use a box cutter to trim off any little tail pieces of tape before removing the tape, gently cutting so as not to gouge your wood. You won't need a lot of pressure to cut through it.
6. Repeat steps 1-3 as you move inward towards the center until you have filled in the center with tape. Remove that middle row of tape creating a boxed stripe pattern. Leave the center filled in with tape.
7. To create the gaps in the middle row (where the arrows in pic #7 are), I marked the center of each side and placed another piece of tape across the center to use as my guideline. Then I cut the pieces out using a box cutter and a ruler. Be really careful to use just enough pressure to cut through the tape - you don't want to gouge your wood. Now press down on all your tape pieces so paint doesn't seep under the tape.
8. Paint a contrasting paint over the entire piece. I used white. You might need a second coat depending on how opaque you want it. I ended up painting a second coat. Remove tape and voila! A clean, crisp geometric pattern. use your imagination with this method. You can do stripes or other boxed patterns as well.

Finally, I added the doors back on the unit and added the backside back on, then added new door knobs that I got at Hobby Lobby for $2 each. It's like sand and sea meets a little geometric modern. I like it!

Here it is with all our stuff back on it. The old stereo went back on it (that was a requirement by the hubs until we get a new one ::hangs head in dramatic shame::) but I moved it to the corner where the chair mostly hides the stereo and speaker:
ikea hack paint laminated shelving

Since I already had the paint and wood for the legs, the total cost for this project was about $10 for the knobs and the L brackets for the legs. Now I can live with this for a few more years until we move. Love that!


Link parties!
Tatertots & Jello, I Should Be Mopping the Floor, A Pinch of Joy, Twigg Studio, A Lived In Home, Setting For Four, Coastal Charm, Home Stories A to Z, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Today's Creative Blog, The Dedicated House, Chef In Training, Sugar Bee Crafts, If It's Not Baroque (her very first party, go join in!), The NY Melrose Family, Savvy Southern Style, DIY By Design, Elizabeth & Co., Handy Man Crafty Woman, Homework, The Kurtz Corner, House of Hepworths, We Are That Family, Shabby Creek Cottage, Redoux, The Shabby Nest, Chic on a Shoestring Budget, Finding Fabulous, Liz Marie Blog, The Answer is Chocolate, The Taylor House, Do Small Thing with Love

75 comments:

  1. Very cute visiting you via TT&J party.....
    Deana from CountryMommaCooks

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  2. Wow, this makeover is fabulous! Absolutely amazing transformation!!

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  3. This looks amazing! I love DIY redesigns. Very inspiring!

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    1. Thanks Raquel. I love DIY redesigns too. Its fun to turn something old into something "new" again. Sharon

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Kim! Always enjoy your posts too. Sharon

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  5. New follower~ Love your transformation! I think your stencil choice was perfect!

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    1. Oh thank you Cindy, I appreciate you following! Sharon

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  6. Love this! Great job! You would never know that was laminate!
    Kim

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  7. Wow that is lovely! Glad you pinned all of this because I am now inspired. Ellen

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    1. Oh I'm glad Ellen, thank you for taking the time to comment. Take care! Sharon

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  8. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this! You should consider keeping it after you move. Beautiful job!

    -Pricilla
    http://www.pricillajdesigns.com

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    1. Aw thank you Pricilla. I just might since I like it so much better now! Sharon

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  9. Sharon! I love it. Heck with buying a new one. I have a bunch of furniture that needs painting around here. So, if you ever want to take a trip ;-). Like you I have a hard time getting rid of things too, and we are planning a move by summer so I hate to do something drastic until then.

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    1. HA! Seriously, if I ever found myself in NC I'd totally look you up! :) Thanks for stopping by Denyse! Sharon

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  10. Sharon you did a great job! Wow! You are so creative. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

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  11. What an amazing hop! I'm always inspired by women like you :)
    <3, Mel
    beautytribune.com

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    1. Oh thank you Mel, that's so nice of you to say. Take care, Sharon

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  12. WOW Sharon! You are super talented. Seriously! I'm impressed! I think you found your calling. I'm seriously to lazy to do something like this. I wish I wasn't, but I am. That cabinet is totally transformed. I love how you added the stencil pattern and the legs, you should seriously open up a place that refurbishes furniture or put together some videos on your blog. Yes, you totally video your next project. People like me, need help and your super sweet and friendly personality would shine through. Ok, so get working on a video girl! Zoe and I are working on pulling some more videos together this spring. We were going to work on it over the break, but we got lazy. I also love the cozy and fresh feel of your house. So, I saw that you're moving? Are you moving to another house locally or planning on heading back to Hawaii? Please tell! Have a great Sunday and GO SEAHAWKS! xoxo, Jackie

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    1. Ok, so I have some grammatical errors in the above comment. I meant to say that you should totally video your next DIY project.

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    2. I've never thought of doing a video before! Maybe I'll do that one of these days, thanks for that suggestion. I'll have to figure out how to do that though. Maybe you can send Zoe up her to help me with that. HA!
      We do plan on moving in a few years locally. Our dream would be to move to Hawaii but in reality our family is all here now and I'd miss them too much. Over the years we've talked about moving back down to CA like San Diego(we lived in L.A. area andOrange county when we were first married), but Rick's not too keen on that. I find the older I get, the more I want sunshine and warmth What we'd love to do is be snowbirds and spend half our time in Hawaii, half our time here. So either we wait until we retire or we hit the lottery! We want to downsize so we can start saving more for that dream. I still vote for the lottery. :)
      The Seahawks game was exciting to watch, we actually yelled at the TV at times! They won! Talk soon, xoxo Sharon

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  13. That's really awesome! I love the husband quip too ;)

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    1. Thank you, and glad you caught that! Still makes me laugh. :) Sharon

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  14. Stopping by and following from the blog hop. That is my philosophy as well. Just made over my daughter's bedroom with "recycled" furniture. www.cheermamadrama.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Chrishelle. I love making used stuff seem new again! I'll check your blog out, I love to see recycled furniture projects! Sharon

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  15. These are amazing! I would love to have you come link up to my Get Social Sunday party and follow along. Such a great idea for other bloggers to see!
    http://alivedinhome.blogspot.com/2013/01/get-social-sunday.html

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  16. These look wonderful! I love the colors you chose for this project. The design on the front of the cabinets it perfect for them!

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    1. Thank you Jessica, and thanks for stopping by. :) Sharon

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  17. whoa. i mean, whoa. they look like completely new units, and my gosh, you made getting that pattern look easy! thanks!

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    1. Thank you! I was hoping to explain that pattern well enough so someone else could replicate it. Thanks for stopping by! Sharon

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  18. I really love this and I love an Ikea Hack. I would love it if you link up at my new party.

    http://www.ifitsnotbaroquedesignblog.blogspot.com/2013/01/my-first-ever-link-party.html

    Great job!

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    1. Hope your first linky party was a success! Sharon

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  19. Wow! What a transformation!! It looks so beautiful now! Now I'm eyeing all the pieces of furniture I don't like and trying to imagine them transformed... :) Great job!!

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    1. Thank you Jenny, glad you stopped by! Sharon

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  20. Absolutley love it!! The stencils are great!

    Jenna @ rainonatinroof.com

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  21. The pops of colour behind really makes it doesnt it. You did a great job on the pattern too that would've taken a lot of patience and time to get right. I know when I painted stripes on my wall most of the time was spent measuring the lines and taping it straight! Well worth it though :)

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    1. It definitely takes both patience and time to line up the tape. You're so right when you say that most of the time was in taping and figuring out which pieces to remove and how to align it all. Thanks so much for commenting. Sharon

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  22. Wow! I am very impressed! You did an super amazing job! Just Wow! It looks like a whole new piece of furniture! Totally lovin' your stencil.

    So, does your double cassette player have high speed dubbing? ;)

    Julie

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    1. Ha! I'm thinking the 8 track is going to be the next big comeback. :)

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting Julie, I really appreciate that. Have a great day! Sharon

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  23. What an improvement! No more boring simulated woodgrain. Your link at House of Hepworth's immediately caught my eye. Thanks for the great inspiration!

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, that makes me feel good that it was eye catching. :) Take care, Sharon

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  24. aw!!!i really love this transformation especially your own stencil-made covered doors :) love, love it!

    stopping by through mop it up monday!

    huggies***
    rea
    http://homefor4sweethome.blogspot.com/

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  25. You did a fantastic job! The feet (or legs!) make it look like a completely different piece. I LOVE the aqua and geometric pattern. It is so cool that you were inspired by a pillow. I love it! Thank you for sharing with us. I'm pinning this!

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    1. Thanks so much! I love when things can inspire completely different creations and glad you appreciated that too. Thanks for dropping by! Sharon

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  26. What a brilliant transformation - the colors are just gorgeous - would never believe it was the same piece of furniture!
    Great job :)
    ( visiting from ISBMTF )
    Hugs,
    Suzan

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment. I'm really happy how it turned out and glad I don't have to get rid of it now. Thanks for visiting from the link party, appreciate it! Sharon

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  27. I just saw this on Apartment Therapy. You did a great job. I just stenciled one of my old IKEA cabinets with the same stencil pattern! http://www.herecomesthesunblog.net/2013/01/media-cabinet-makeover-with-royal.html

    Do you know if the Miniwax sealer that you used will turn a piece of white furniture yellow? I would like to put a sealer on mine to prevent chipping and have heard that it can make white paint yellow.

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    1. Thank you Kelly! Email sent but I wanted to answer here too in case someone was looking for the answer: The can says, "When applying minwax polycrylic over light colored oil based stains, latex and oil based paints and wall covering, slight ambering may occur, therefore always spot test on an inconspicuous area and let dry to ensure satisfactory results." I have read on other sites that it has not caused yellowing, and on the white part of this cabinet with the stencils, it looks fine but I would advise testing it on your piece first like minwax advises. By the way, your hack is beautiful! LOVE IT!

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  28. Wow - great Ikea Hack! Love how beautiful it turned out! Thanks for linking up to It's Party Time...I would love to feature you tomorrow in my It's Party Time Features post, however the link you added doesn't link to my post - would you mind adding this link ?
    http://www.settingforfour.com/2013/01/its-party-time-1-6-2013-linky-party-and.html
    (just shoot me an email after please)
    Thanks so much and thank you again for sharing your awesome creativity at It's Party Time!!!

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    1. Thank you Heather, that is exciting! I just sent you an email. Sharon

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  29. These turned out amazing!! Just wanted to stop by and let you know you've been featured! :) http://www.thekurtzcorner.com/2013/01/tuesday-tutorials-link-party-no-56.html

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  30. Hi I found you on the Blog hop. Now following you. Please stop by and say hi when you get a minute. have a great week. :) Please check out my new Weekly Goals Blog hop. You can find it here. http://lenettacarnes.blogspot.com/2013/01/weekly-goals-linkup.html#more Would love it if you would link up with me.

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  31. Hey Sharon. I am featuring this on my blog from the first link party. Thanks for all your help in bringing attention to the party. The 2nd party starts today around 3 pm (eastern time). I really hope you can link up again. Thanks again Sharon.

    http://www.ifitsnotbaroquedesignblog.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks Lauren, that's so exciting! Congrats on your first party. I just tweeted it so hopefully you'll get more people joining in. Take care, Sharon

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  32. Absolutely BRILLIANT!!! I love this! I've always been so afraid to sand and paint Ikea furniture but if it looks anything like this, I must give it a try!

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    1. Thank you Danielle! You've got nothing to lose and I bet it would turn out great. :) Sharon

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  33. Such a huge difference! Stopping by from Talent Show Tuesday.

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  34. I am stopping by from Whimsy Wednesday...and I stumbled upon this AMAZNG post. I am pinning this immediately! The taping and painting turned out really cool!
    I wanted to invite you to a link party I am hosting right now...a link party for OLD posts. You know, those things we posted when only our moms and husbands were reading our blogs...or is that just me?? Anyway, let's get some more traffic and pins out of those posts!
    Hope to see you there!
    http://www.dosmallthingswithlove.com/2013/02/and-oldie-but-goodie-link-party-5-and.html
    Nancy

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    1. Haha! That's cute. I'll come over and visit. Thanks for the invite! Sharon

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  35. I love your girlfriend's question about painting her husband. If only it was that easy. Hahaha. All joking aside, I admire this upcycle. Excellent explanation .

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    1. Thank you, and you made me chuckle again remembering that story. :) Sharon

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  36. What a transformation.That is amazing!!!!!!!!!!! Nice job (Y)

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  37. You did a wonderful job reviving these shelving units – I have some cheap units in my living room that have lasted years. Since we have to be budget conscious and also abide by the saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t replace it”, I think I’ll spend the next few weekends filling in all the kinks and repainting them. They definitely need a makeover. Good work on yours!

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I love hearing from you! If your name is linked to an email address, I will respond via email but if it's not ("no-reply commenter"), I'll reply here on the blog. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment!