Honey Oak to Java – It Really Works!

The main bathroom is a bit confusing to me in my new house. While it would be the one guests would go to, it is also the one that seems to be the master bathroom as it has a large whirlpool tub in it. I’d rather there be a nice normal tub/shower combo in here but I’m trying to work with what I have. This room is full of brass and that will be changed but first, I want to change up the cabinetry. Here’s a look at the builder grade Honey Oak cabinets when I bought the house:


I found a “fix” for transforming them into a dark espresso type cabinet, which I thought would look really good in here. Let me tell you, it’s a little scary to consider doing this to your cabinetry for the first time. I’d read enough successful stories on it that I decided to jump in head first and do it! I used the General Finishes Java gel stain since I’d heard that is the only kind that truly works. The first coat had me wondering if this would ever work, even though I’d read that everyone else felt the same when they saw that first coat, too! Here’s the horror pictures:




But, the second coats of stain really made me breathe more steadily again:



And the finished cabinetry after the third coat, touch-ups and the polyurethane coats:


The hardware and hinges were all brass and I did paint all of those a nice nickel color. The faucets, door knob and light fixtures in here will be nickel later, too, but those photos will come later as those things aren’t done as of yet. BUT, here’s how the finished cabinetry looks with the painted hardware:



Again, please ignore the walls, faucets and carpet. I am SO LOVING the transformation and am very glad I did it! You never know until you try! :)



Published in: on November 5, 2014 at 10:08 am  Comments (2)  
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Living Room Renovated!

My new living room is ready! The carpet, pad and old foam pad that was glued down to the hardwood was removed, the wall heater was removed, the wallpaper and  was removed, the front door was replaced (more on that later), the walls/trim were painted, the floors were sanded, stained  and sealed, AND a new ceiling fixture was installed where there had never been one in the past.

Remember the living room before?


The new ceiling fan (walls were still unpainted here):


This is how the floor looked after the carpet, pad and glued pad (old foam carpet?) was removed:


Because of the stains, I needed to use a darker tone to help blend everything so I used a dark walnut on there even though I really would have liked a lighter stain. You can see the stains in this photo better and also how the color looked;


And a full view photo when I had all the stain on. I did put it on with a cloth…I should have listened to my Daddy and wore knee pads by the way!! But the good thing about doing it the way I did was that I able to control the stain and blending in with the stains on the floor…it worked!


But it’s just so much darker than I wanted it to be. Thankfully though, I know a true MAGICIAN when it comes to floors!  I’m fortunate to have a friend who is a floor finishing expert. Mrs. Doris Richardson is THE BEST at what she does! Mrs. Doris took one look at them and knew what to do. She mixed another stain with it, did some treatments on it of some sort (that’s where the magic happened??) and the end result was a richer yet somehow lighter tone….and it’s gorgeous!


Can you see those beautiful tones? Mrs. Doris sure did a GREAT job! If you are in this area, please contact me if you find yourself in the need of her services and I’m happy to give you her number. She definitely does NOT disappoint!!!!

I’m so happy with how this room has turned out!! I painted the walls Antique White and the trim Gloss Bright White. I’m excited about it being ready and am happy to show you all the end results (the wall heater sheet rock was in process here but everything else was complete) :


How exciting!!! It’s changed SO much!



Published in: on November 2, 2014 at 8:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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Master Bedroom – Check!

Bet y’all were beginning to think I was only going to show you the demo of my house, didn’t you? Well I kind of had a deal with my oldest nephew that I wouldn’t post any “after” pictures until he’d seen it. And, he wanted me to be near finished before he looked at it. He had seen the “before” in person and last night, he saw the “current”. He couldn’t believe it! BUT what that means is that now I can post pictures. :)  Bear in mind, there is no furniture in the house yet but you’ll see the (mostly) finished room.

This post is going to be the Master Bedroom. Here’s the before of the ceiling and ceiling fan:



I didn’t take a photo of the before and after of the closet but this during photo can tell you the change of the older yellow paint to the clean white paint:


Check out the after photo of the ceiling and ceiling fan…I painted the brass portions of the ceiling fan black.


For the Master Bedroom walls, I wanted a darker tone. Being self-employed, I sometimes find myself up very late working. We artist types have to follow the creativity whenever it strikes! I used a pre-mixed color of Glidden paint called Warm Caramel and am really happy with how it turned out. It’s very striking against the white gloss trim paint I used, too. Here’s an after:


I’ll have more photos later on that don’t have my step stool spotlighted but it gives you an idea of what’s happened in here. The old wall heater in here is gone and the carpet has been cleaned. I changed the door knobs from brass to silver (not done yet when this photo was taken). The only things I won’t be doing right now that I’ve planned to do is remove the mirrored closet doors with the brass trim and paint the brass a different color and replace the old door with a new interior door. My shop will be getting very busy soon so I’m running out of time! :)



Published in: on October 26, 2014 at 7:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Sweet Lona Surprise

I was so fortunate to have two realtors to work with who were THE BEST I could ever have hoped for during the home buying process. My realtor, Mykie Anderson, is a dear friend of mine who I met back when I lived in Milan, Tennessee. The listing agent for my house was Lona Pierce and she became a wonderful friend during this process and getting my first home in my hometown!

One day, back when I first started working on the house, I was up on a ladder painting the ceiling cut-ins in the master bedroom. There was a knock at the door. I ran over to see who it was and it was the FedEx guy with a package for me. Hmmm I wasn’t expecting anything at this new address but lo and behold, I found out it was a welcome gift from Ms. Lona! I should have taken the time to arrange these a bit better in the box, but look at this delightful gift!! And, by the way, how could I wait when these yummy treats were waiting to be tasted??? It’s a wonder I could think straight!



How delightfully thoughtful and sweet was this unexpected gift?? I felt she and I had a friendship that was quick to develop and I truly believe her to be a wonderful person!! By the way, Shari’s Berries are wonderful! They arrived very fresh and in excellent condition despite the August Tennessee heat!

I know that I will proudly and confidently refer any Lexington referrals to Lona and any Milan referrals to Mykie. It’s wonderful to know good, kind, caring people who truly make a difference in our lives. If you are looking to purchase or sell a home in either of these areas, please contact either of them or let me know and I’ll get you in touch with them. They didn’t ask me to do this and they have no idea I am doing this, so this is a completely unsolicited post.

I won’t leave Mykie out, either, on the thoughtfulness! She gave me a precious gift on the day we closed on my house and I’ll post that later on after I get moved and have a good place for it. :)

I feel truly blessed during this process, that it all worked out the way it was supposed to work out for everyone involved. Even the sweet lady who I purchased my new house from is now a friend of mine on Facebook and is watching the transformation on here, too. We’ve shared messages back and forth about the house and she’s been so incredibly helpful, too! I truly want the best for everyone I ever come in contact with and I mean that with all my heart.



Bathroom/Laundry Room

This house has a bathroom and laundry room in one. I believed this room was a conversion at some point in the past because bathrooms this size and just a laundry area at all is very rare. There are a few other clues too, such as the walls are some sort of plastic and will move if you push it with a finger in spots. I’ll remind you of what the bathroom looked like the day I bought the house:

770 N Broad Street Lexington, TN 38351 For Sale - REMAX - Google Chrome 852014 55959 PM.bmp

I started trying to remove the wallpaper and realized it wasn’t coming off. This room was trouble – I just knew it. And, it was…and still is LOL!!

With the walls down, there’s an old tongue and groove wide plank surface underneath. It looks like this room was perhaps a storage area located at the back of the carport. Maybe for garden tools and such? I’m just not sure. But I’m thankful to have the laundry area as well as the second bathroom. Initially, I thought this was a Master Bath since it was attached to a bedroom but alas that bedroom is a bit smaller than the other.

Here’s how it’s looking:




Sooooo I really don’t like the tile in here but I like the grout color (white) even less. Over time, it has gotten sort of a pinkish haze to sections of the grout which was once white. Also, it wasn’t laid under the vanity as you can see in the last picture. For now, I’m going to keep the tile and vanity, though. I think I can work with both since the sink is in such good condition and, really, the tiles are also. Wow – the flooring under the vanity is definitely a 50s floor, isn’t it? :)



Published in: on October 12, 2014 at 7:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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