Bathroom Revamp – Part 2

Hi again! I just wanted to point out that even though this stain has its “toxic qualities”, it is still a green makeover. Since I am reusing my same cabinet (preventing it from going into the landfill), I am reducing trash, and saving money!

Ok, Ok… I know, you just want to see my DIY handiwork…

Are you on the edge of your seats?? I know all you really want is to see the before and after, so here it is, my bathroom cabinet staining project before & after!

Before & After

Before & After

Now… if you are interested in seeing how it was done, start-to-finish (and how bad it looked before it got to this…), keep reading!

Here are a few before photos…

Cabinet before staining project

Cabinet before staining project

Side of cabinet before project

Side of cabinet before project

My first step was to lay down painter’s paper & use painter’s tape to tape it to the floor, wall, and counter. Then I took all the drawers & doors off.

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I brought the doors and drawers into the basement, where I had laid out card tables, then covered them with a plastic sheet. I washed each door & drawer face with a little bit of original Dawn dish soap & water, rinsed them off, dried them really good and laid them on the plastic covered tables.

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Image-1-2Next I did my first light coat on the cabinet, I started in the bathroom, then did all the drawers & doors in the basement. I wore a pair of vinyl gloves & used an old sock to wipe the stain on the wood. It worked great, but looked awful!! Honestly, if I hadn’t been warned from the other two women’s blogs, I would have been freaking out! Pretty orange, right??

First Coat

First Coat

First Coat

First Coat

First Coat

First Coat

After that I waited 12 hours (probably a little more given the time of day I did the first coat), then came time for the second coat…. looking less orange, and more cherry-ish and possibly more streaky? Ahhhh… freaking out a little bit…

Second Coat

Second Coat

Second Coat

Second Coat

Ok… now we wait 24 hours….then I can do my third (and, according to the other blogs, final coat!)… Looking MUCH more like a deep Georgian Cherry color, but maybe a bit streaky? Well, maybe they will be fine… they need 3 days to dry… so we take Bubs up north for a long weekend… we come home and this is what it looks like….

Third Coat

Third Coat

Third Coat - Are those STREAKS?

Third Coat – Are those STREAKS?

I see some streaks still… FREAK OUT time… What to do, what to do??? Ok… I think to myself “Don’t Panic”, even though I am already panicking…. none of my test doors turned out this way… OMG… what do I do now?? So I decide, I will just do a fourth coat, it can’t hurt, can it?

Fourth Coat

Fourth Coat

Fourth Coat

Fourth Coat

Of course I had to give them 3 more days to dry… but, luckily only the doors and a few drawers needed a fourth coat. They look GREAT now!

Now time to do 2 coats of Polyurethane. I didn’t take pictures, since it looks the same with & without the poly. I did one coat, waited a day, and then did the second coat. I waited a few days after the second coat to put it all back together, just incase somewhere was still slightly wet. Here is the FINAL product!!

Finished!

Finished!

Finished!

Finished!

Finished!

Finished!

Finished!

Finished!

Finished!

Finished!

Doesn’t it look FANTASTIC??!!! I just LOVE the results and now I have MUCH more confidence to do the kitchen! Now to just find the time to do it….

Supply List

1)Painter’s Paper

2)Painter’s Tape

3) Painter’s Pyramids (2 packs)

4) General Finishes Gel Stain in Georgian Cherry

5) Old towels & rags

6) Vinyl gloves (many pairs)

7) Old socks (I think I used 5)

Some things I realized after the fact,

1) I probably was much more nervous staining the cabinet than test doors, so I was going SUPER light with the stain

2) The house may have been too humid for the stain to dry as quickly as I would have liked, causing more streaks

3) Maybe winter really is a better time to do this project, since the heat is on!

4) It really is not HARD work, but it takes a LONG time… all-in-all, it took me 3 weeks… had I not had to do a fourth coat, and wait 3 days (again) for it to dry before applying the poly, it would have been quite a bit less time.

Well, what do you think? Have I inspired you to stain your cabinets?? 🙂

Bathroom Revamp – Part 1

This was our bathroom when we bought our house, pretty plain, and honestly… kind of a pukey color on the wall. I could not wait to redo it!

Bathroom Before Revamp

Bathroom Before Revamp

After we got married I figured it was time to redo it! We had registered for a new shower curtain, new rugs, new towels, and a new bathroom shelf, so our costs would be low for the revamp. It started as a small project (As it seems, all home improvement projects start…), just some paint, new shower curtain rod, load in our wedding gifts…

After paint, shelf, & textiles

After paint, shelf, & textiles

and new faucets, new window blinds… then we thought “How about new mirrors?”… and a new medicine cabinet…The further we got into the revamp, the more ideas AND issues we came across…

New medicine cabinet, blinds & glass shelves

New medicine cabinet, blinds & glass shelves

The faucets we chose (and had already ordered) did not fit our countertop. That’s when we found out that our countertop was cut to fit the cabinet… and the cabinet, that was cut to fit into the bathroom… by this point it was too late to return the faucets… what to do, what to do… well, we decided to order a new Corian countertop, one that was a color we wanted, with the faucet holes in the correct spot, and custom designed to fit our cabinet. When we realized we would be ordering a new countertop, we thought we might as well look at cabinets too… what we found out was they all cost about $500-$1,000 and were no better than the one we already had! We decided to just keep what we had and save the money.

New faucet & countertop

New faucet & countertop

New Corian countertop & mirrors

New Corian countertop & mirrors

Fast forward two years, as I was cruising around Pinterest I found a pin about staining your “builder’s grade” cabinetry with a gel stain. The woman’s blog I found had actually copied another woman’s blog. I read both blog posts and decided I wanted to redo our kitchen cupboards. We had recently had a kitchen cupboard modified to fit our new above-range-microwave, so I had two cabinet doors to play around with. I decided to test out the gel stain. The two blogs both used the Java color stain, so that is what I tried too… here is my Java test door…

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Java Stain

I really liked it, but realized it would be a huge project and with an infant in the house I wasn’t sure I wanted all those chemicals in the air, I figured I would wait until Bubs was older and it was warm enough to do most of the staining outside.

Fast Forward about 6 more months…

Scott & I thought that maybe the Java color was too dark, so I ordered a pint of the Georgian Cherry color. My parents had a left over cabinet door so I tested it on that one… here is my Georgian Cherry test door…

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Georgian Cherry Stain

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Georgian Cherry Stain

WE LOVED the outcome of the Georgian Cherry!! I decided I was ready to do our kitchen… but then I got nervous…. so I opted to stain the bathroom cabinet instead!

Stay tuned….

Trash to Toddler Treasure

Can you believe someone was throwing this out?? Luckily my mom saw it by the curb and “rescued” it! (Now do you see where I get my ideas to reuse things?? LOL) What’s even funnier? Imagining my mom driving up to someone’s house & picking this out of their trash!

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Bubs is one lucky little boy! Nana wanted her only grandson to have a kitchen to play with and what better way to get one than for free!?

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So, when this kitchen showed up at my house, it was pretty disgusting… lucky for Bubs, his Momma is a bit of an OCD cleaner… as I posted before, I prefer to use green cleaners, I like to make my own, and I love to use vinegar to clean with. All of that being said, there are just some things in life that need to be cleaned with bleach. This kitchen is one of those things.

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So while Bubs napped one day, I carried this gross thing into my basement laundry room, then I scrubbed and scrubbed this little kitchen, rinsed it with a wet rag and then carried it outside to hose it down.

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Wow! What an improvement!!

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I dried it off, brought it back into the basement and set it up, so when Bubs woke up from his nap, I could show him his new kitchen. He LOVED it!!!

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I am so glad my mom was able to prevent this “vintage” play kitchen, actually called the Little Tikes Party Kitchen, from going to the landfill! I know Bubs loves his new kitchen and I love that we got it for free ! I think next summer it will go outside for him to play with (which I am assuming is where it came from, since it was THAT dirty!).

Do you have any treasures you found in someone else’s trash?

Hybrid & Electric Cars – Does speed matter when your saving the planet?

Hybrid & Electric cars… they both seem like an AWESOME idea, but man are they ugly?? And slow???…

Of course, over the years they have become better looking, but still… as a woman who has always LOVED cars (thanks to my dad!), the look and speed of hybrids have turned me off. I know, I know… people say, “but you’re GREEN and so is driving a hybrid/electric”, but, honestly… there are just some things I am not willing to compromise on! I am from Michigan, the home of the Motor City, cars are in my BLOOD!!

I am all about saving money on the ever-rising gas prices, but can I still have my speed & style too??

Guess what? Some car manufacturers are listening to green auto enthusiasts, finally!! Check this out…

Porshe 918 Hybrid sets speed record

How about electric cars? I saw this one a few years ago at the Detroit auto show, and now I’ve actually seen some driving around Metro Detroit! Check this electric car out… you will honestly say “Is this REALLY electric?”!

Of course, I can’t afford the $845,000 price tag on the Porshe 918, now the Tesla is a little more realistically priced, starting around $75,000. I mean $75,000 is still a lot of money, but you do get a Federal tax credit for purchasing an electric car, as well as the long term savings from gas prices! Both cars are out of my financial reach, but it just goes to show that the auto industry is listening when us green auto enthusiasts are talking!! Now we need the more affordable car manufacturers to follow suit!

Would you buy a hybrid or electric car?

Got Laundry?

Don’t we all? Laundry seems to be never-ending, especially if you have kids! I am always looking for green ways to do laundry and reduce the amount of chemicals used on our clothing, bedding & towels! Since Bubba was born, I stopped using fabric sheets. They recommend parents of new babies not use them, as they can irritate baby’s delicate skin. I wanted to do a little research of my own, so I went to EWG’s Guide to Cleaning and looked up our dryer sheets… WOW… way to scare a new mom!!

For the most part, I didn’t miss them! EXCEPT when I am washing fleece/fuzzy blankets and sheets! Those dryer sheets always helped reduce the extreme amount of static created by fleece and made our sheets seem softer & more comfy… well the risk isn’t worth it, in my opinion!!

I remembered reading somewhere (I am sorry, I can’t remember where!) that vinegar could be used as a fabric softener… so I decided to give it a go! And guess what? I LOVE it! No vinegar smell, clothes come out softer and less static-y, AND without the use of chemicals!! I use distilled white vinegar and a downy dryer ball…. This is what I do…

Step 1: Grab your dryer ball, here is mine…

Dryer Ball

Step 2: Grab your vinegar, I buy store brands and usually have a few bottles around (since vinegar has MANY uses!)

Vinegar

Step 3: Pour desired amount into dryer ball (I like to fill it to the Extra Large line). Pull the plug to lock vinegar in the ball.

Step 4: Throw the ball into the washer with dirty clothes. Run wash cycle.

Step 5: Take clothes out of washer, throw in dryer, when dried, fold/hang and go about your day!

Easy-peasy! And chemical free!! It works GREAT all around, vinegar can also help reduce the soap residue that stays in fabrics, especially towels!!

Do you have any eco-laundry tips??

*Please comment below, on my blog! Thanks!

Lawn Care

BAD seasonal Allergies & lawn care do NOT mix!

Hubby does most of the lawn care, as I have horrible seasonal allergies. That being said, I still contribute to the lawn care with ideas, some weeding and landscaping. This year I have been stricter about what we put on our lawn, I have always worried about Baby Girl & the lawn chemicals, but now that Bubba crawls in the lawn too, I am even more strict! I looked into Organic weed control, but honestly, it really doesn’t do much, and we had OUT.OF.CONTROL. dandelions this year! We ended up doing the first step of “Scotts Weed & Feed“, that took care of the dandelions, but since we haven’t continued through the steps, we have gotten other weeds in the lawn. At least many of these weeds are green and when freshly mowed, look like grass, so we have just left them alone!

This summer has been an odd one, weather wise, its been extremely hot & humid, then cold & rainy, then back to hot & humid… all that weird weather has seemed to make mushrooms grow… I feel like I live in Alice & Wonderland!

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my backyard

Bubba was VERY interested in the mushrooms, which made me VERY nervous…luckily, Baby Girl leaves them completely alone, so no worries with her. Hubby pulled the mushrooms as soon as he got home from work, that way we didn’t have to worry about them anymore! Let’s hope no more come or I will be looking for Alice!

Do you have any green lawn care tips to share?