Door Makeover

It’s been a busy weekend at our household. I have this 5 page list of things that I want to get done before we sell this house {at least we hope to sell it}. We’ve done a lot to the house over the past year and half and now it’s just some little odds and ends that unfortunately, take up more than just a few minutes to finish.

This weekend, I wanted to get our front and back doors painted. After talking with my friend, Sara, I bought the Big Top color by Dutch Boy for the outside color and I planned on leaving the inside white for the front door and the current stain on the back door.

Here’s what I was working with: {back door & front door}

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I don’t know how we made it as long as we did with these hideous doors. Granted, we sanded these down, but they needed some work. I’m guessing, as is with the rest of the house, the doors are original. If you look close, there is a spot where the skeleton key would go. There a plate that goes over that now, which Dave spray painted it to match our new hardware.

We first primed the doors and I got the kiddos to give me a hand.

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The primer dries pretty quickly, so I was able to get my first coat of orange on my doors.


I was still able to see the green peeking through, so I knew another coat will be in order.

As I was putting the second coat on, I remembered why I didn’t ever want to paint a color in the red family. It takes a million and one coats for it to look good. But alas, I already started and I really liked the way it was turning out. Second coat on…


Still having some green coming through. I figured one more coat will do. Mind you, I was running back and forth between the front and back door painting each coat on. When the doors weren’t dry enough to put a coat on, I started painting the back of the front door white. Third coat on…


Did you noticed that it’s dark out now? I started this at 10am! By midnight, we felt the doors were dry enough to put on our new locks and hardware to match.

The next day, I started taping up the back door windows so that I can frost them. I bought a can of frost in the spray paint area at Menards and my plan was to frost the majority of the window but to leave some unfrosted so that some sun can come in.

Here’s the back door:


{Ignore that screen door, It’ll be replaced by the weekend:)}

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As you can see by the third picture, you can see out the window still, but not too much. I taped each window pane with 1/2in painters tape and then I sprayed 3 layers of frost on each pane to get this look.

I tested out this frost method on the back door first because I wanted to make sure I had enough privacy if I had this look on the front door. But, I felt like it was too much open window for the front door since there are 9 window panes.

I opted to just outline around all 9 of the window panes instead of doing each one individually. I also put 3 layers of frost on each pane.

Here it is….

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Here’s how our front entrance look like with our wrought iron patio:


I plan on putting some sort of welcome sign out front, but I haven’t located the right one yet. Not too bad for a weekend:)

Kitchen Remodel

The kitchen is pretty close to being done (like 99%) and we don’t have any plans on finishing it for at least another month. So, this post is a tiny bit premature, but I just couldn’t wait any longer to show you what we have been working on all summer long.  Although, if you follow me on Instagram, then you have seen some of the progress along the way, so I apologize for the repetitive pictures.

Just to give you some perspective, this was our kitchen the night before the demolition. Next to the oven (on the picture on the right), was a dishwasher that had to get pulled up to the sink in order for it to work. Did you know one of those existed? I didn’t until the day we moved in and I couldn’t get the dishwasher to work….

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It was pretty obvious that we needed an upgrade and we’ve upgraded every other room in the house except for this one. We knew  a kitchen upgrade was going to be pricey, which is why we avoided it. But, then some used cabinets became available to us and with the help of Dave’s aunt, uncle and grandpa, we were able to change those cabinets into something great. Here’s a link to my post about how we transformed our “new” used cabinets.

After all of the work that we’ve done in the house, I still thought that any project that we start would be finished in no time flat. This project wasn’t any different. Shockingly, I was wrong.. The plan was that after 3 days of work, our kitchen would be functional. Functional, to me, meant that it would be practically done. I was in for quite a surprise! Let me start from the beginning…

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First, we needed to demolish our old kitchen. We had the old cabinets and plumbing  ripped out along with the old floor before lunch time on Day 1. After such a productive morning, I was sure we’d have this up and running in no time. But, what I didn’t know was that the demolition is the easy part because then the hard part started. Do you like the salmon colored walls? That was actually the back wall of our cabinets. I had no idea that when I saw the salmon color in the back of cabinet, I was looking at the wall. Interesting construction technique.

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There’s some proof that Dave was hard at work:)

We had to cut out some insulation board for the electrical to be done and since we planned on using drywall, we ended up putting some insulation up the wall first.


After the new dry wall was measured, cut, nailed in place, and mudded, the new floorboard was nailed in place.


Looking better already, right?

By the end of day 3, we were able to get the bottom cabinets in place and after realizing that there was no way we could get in the new countertops, sink, and plumbing because it was too late, this happened:


Yes, we had to dumpster dive for our old sink and the plumbing. There was no way around it, so we went in after it. By this point, I thought I was going to cry (it really is stressful remodeling), but then Dave’s aunt Debbie started to laugh and truly, what else could we do but laugh?  We got the sink and plumbing out of the dumpster and put it on the plywood counter that we would temporarily have.

Here’s how functional we were able to get after Day 3.


We all continued to work into the next weekend, usually with intentions to be done early. However, they almost always ended up being late nights. But, so much got done: An above the range microwave got hung up, along with all of our upper cabinets, the sink and plumbing got put in, a garbage disposal, and a new dishwasher. A real dishwasher. One that I don’t have to slide over to the sink and hook up to the faucet. I feel like I’m living in the lap of luxury now! I can wash my hands at the same time as the dishes are being washed!!!

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{countertops from Menards: Carrara Pearl laminate}

Things were finally moving along in this kitchen and since Dave’s mom and brother’s were coming into town, I wanted to paint the walls and work on the backsplash. I ended up not having time to do the backsplash before they arrived, so, I had them help me.

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{backsplash from Menards: Mohawk Coastal Keystones}

We had two big projects left in this kitchen: put in the floor and move the kitchen doorway. Yes, I said move the doorway. Our new countertop was sticking out into the doorway, so unless I wanted to shred my hip on the corner every time I walked into the kitchen, it needed to be moved. One whole weekend later, the floor was laid and grouted, and the doorway was moved (but the trim needed to be done).

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{Flooring from Meanrds: Snapstone Porcelain floating tile in Beige}

We also wanted to make a smaller floor register, since the older one was hideous and replacement registers would cost us over $200. This new one from Menards cost about $60 since we had to change some of the ducting.

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I know this is such a long post, but I swear I’m almost done. I’m getting to the tail end, I promise.

We had a vacation coming up so, I told Dave that we had to finish this kitchen, or we weren’t going to Florida. I just couldn’t bear to come home to an unfinished kitchen. We worked from morning until night for 6 out of 7 days. It was a grueling week. We had to re-texturize the wall in the dining room and after some research, I discovered that the texture was made with mudding. I couldn’t figure out exactly which type of texture, but I knew it was close to the “knockdown texture”. I figured I’d give it a go and after it was all done, it looked alright. Not quite what I was hoping it would look like, but I accidentally let the mud dry on too long.

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In order to texturize with mudding, I had to thin it out with water. Then, I slapped it on the wall and let it sit for about 45 min, before I “knocked it down” by leveling it out. But, since I let it sit for too long, it was hard to level it out, so I still have some peaks on the wall. After it was painted though, it doesn’t look too bad.

The trim in the doorway was a little bit more difficult with all the measuring and precise cutting. It ended up taking us 3 days to finish it, especially when there are little people running around vying for our attention or running into freshly painted walls. But, it got done eventually, which is all that matters.

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We did some stuff on our own, but for the most part we had the help of Dave’s aunt Debbie and uncle Larry along with Dave’s grandpa. We felt bad keeping Dave’s aunt and uncle away from their family for so many days, but we really had no idea how we could have finished without their help. We appreciate it more than words can say. A HUGE thank you to them.

This was a big undertaking, but I’m so happy that it is done.

I said that we are 99% done because we still need to build a small cabinet by the dining room doorway to put cookie sheets and cutting boards in. Once that is built in, I have some rubber kick plates that I will adhere, and then we will be FINALLY done!

Here’s some before/after pics of the kitchen to really put things into perspective:

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Our Cabinet Makeover



This weekend was beautiful, wasn’t it? Exactly what mothers deserve; a reprieve from the cold, harsh Winter/Spring. A moment to watch the kids run around on the green, plush grass after bubbles and listen to them scream with delight when the water hits them from their squirt guns. I loved looking at the wide smiles on their slightly reddened faces when they would run up to me to tell me how much fun they are having. It was a GREAT Mother’s Day.

Since it was such a warm, mostly dry weekend, we headed over to Dave’s grandparents house on Saturday to begin the  staining process of our almost new kitchen cabinets with the help of Dave’s aunt and uncle.

We began by first taking off all of the cabinet doors and removing the hardware (hinges and handles).


Look closely and you will see Dave’s grandpa supervising:)

Then, with a bucket full of soapy water, we scrubbed the grease off of them (inside and out) before we roughed them up with 220 grit sandpaper. Since they were already used cabinets, they had a previous finish on them that needed to get sanded off in order for the stain to soak into the wood. While we were washing and sanding them, we would point out any issues, such as loose drawers, exposed nails, etc., to Dave’s grandpa and uncle to fix before we would start staining them



Dave working hard sanding down the doors.

The stain we picked out was Minwax Polyshades in Bombay Mahogany. However, after trying it out on a few cabinets, we noticed that they were drying streaky, regardless of how we applied the stain. Back to Menards we went to get a separate stain and polyurethane. I wanted to get a rich, dark red color, so we decided to try the Minwax Red Mahogany and a water based Minwax semi-gloss polyurethane. I had a hard time picking out the stain because the samples at the store are on unfinished wood and it doesn’t tell me what our cabinets would look like since there is still a stain on them. It worked out well and I loved the way the cabinets turned out.


I had no idea how easy it is to stain wood! Way easier than applying the stain and polyurethane in one. Here is what we did: two of us grabbed rags and dipped them into the stain (while wearing gloves to prevent our hands from staining) and applied a thin coat of stain to the wood going with the grain. After allowing the stain to saturate into the wood for about 5 min, two other people wiped off the stain with a clean rag, while we already moved on to the next set of cabinets. We had an assembly line going:) It worked out great and before we knew it, we had them all stained.



Here’s a picture showing the contrast of the original cabinet (on the bottom) to a drawer that we stained (on the top). We ended up only putting on one coat of stain since we really liked how it turned out.


We still had to flip the doors over and stain the inside of them, but we lost daylight before the fronts were dry. We decided to move everything back into the garage and call it a night. This afternoon, we headed back to continue working on the cabinets and since the stain dried without a big change in color, we decided to not add another coat of stain. Instead, we got another assembly line going to put on the water based polyurethane.

Once again, I was surprised how easily this went on. I’ve read about how careful you have to be with polyurethane so that it goes on evenly without bubbles and streaks, etc. But, we had no issues whatsoever. I’m not sure if it’s because it was the water based version or what it was exactly, but I’m thrilled that there were no problems.

There was rain on the way this evening, so we were on a time crunch and therefore, unable to stain the inside of the cabinet doors. Instead, Dave’s aunt and uncle polyurethaned the cabinets while Dave and I would move each piece into the garage when it was done. Afterward, we loaded up the cabinet doors into various vehicles and got them over to Dave’s aunt and uncles house, since they plan on finishing the  staining of the inside of the doors as well as putting on another coat of the polyurethane. We got done in the knick of time as the rain poured down on us!

The tentative plan is to start the demolishing of our kitchen on the Friday evening or Saturday morning of Memorial Day weekend since we’ll have 3 days to get as much done as we can. I’m so excited!!!!! I can’t wait to see how these cabinets will end up looking in our kitchen.

Although it wasn’t this big, relaxing weekend, it was great to have these cabinets mostly done. Also, we got to spend time with family 🙂 Overall, it was a wonderful weekend.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend, as well. A special Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, Teresa and my mother-in-law, Therese, as well as my sisters, family and friends. Love you all!