Monday, April 9, 2018

Glitter Countertop Tutorial

I was inspired by the glitter grout I found for the floor tile and decided to create my own glitter counter top with glitter and acrylic epoxy. 

The first step was to assemble the base cabinet and measure for the top. I chose marine-grade plywood for the base of the counter. It is a bit more expensive, but this is a bathroom counter. I also selected PVC trim for the backsplash and edge trim. 

Next, I centered the sink template on the plywood and taped it in place. If I were to do it again, I might have used a repositionable adhesive spray instead. I drilled holes at the quarter points just inside the circle and used them to insert the jigsaw while I cut the circle. 

The trim was glued and nailed to the edges of the plywood. I set the sink in place so that I could set the top of the edge trim at the same height as the sink. The plywood was sealed with a coat of primer. I had some of the Original Formula Killz leftover from the hutch, so I used that. I just wanted to be sure that the plywood was sealed. 

Once the primer was dry, I set the sink in place. When I was satisfied with the fit of the sink, I affixed it in place with a caulk/sealant designed for the purpose.

I mixed the two-part acrylic epoxy according to the package directions then stirred in black and silver craft glitter at about 2 parts silver. I didn't measure the glitter, but I made sure that the glitter was fairly densely distributed in the epoxy. with the countertop level, I poured the first layer of epoxy approximately 1/4" thick. The picture above is a close up of the first layer and as you can see, the heavy hand with the glitter left the surface rough. I also wanted to give it some depth as well, so I mixed the second layer with less than half the amount of glitter as the first layer and poured that about 1/8" thick. Finally, I poured another 1/8" thick layer of the epoxy with no glitter for a nice smooth surface. The top of the acrylic came up to the top of the edge trim and the top of the sink.

The finished top came out even better than I had pictured it. It has sparkle and depth and it is easy to keep clean. 

Once it was installed against the white subway tile, it really stands out. The best part is that it is so pretty that I won't let it get cluttered. It is a very modern touch to an otherwise classic bathroom. I wanted to add some glam and glitz without making it gaudy. Perhaps some consider it is, but it is my bathroom and I love it. 

Come back next time while I walk you through the demolition.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

The Bathroom Before

The problem with remodeling the bathroom when you only have one is that you only have one. I have been putting off this remodel for years. I kept saying that I was going to do it while the boys were away at camp. It was always something; I didn't have the money or I had to work overtime to get the money. One year, I had norovirus and while I did spend the week in the bathroom, I wasn't remodeling. Then I ended up chaperoning at camp for one or all of the boys. 

This time, I planned ahead. I purchased all of the materials ahead, pre-built the countertop and cabinet, and planned on having the boys stay at Grandma and Papa's house for the week. Mostly, it worked out, but much like the dining room, it took longer than I planned and I still have a punch list. 

This bathroom was last renovated fully in the late 1970's as you can tell by the green tub peeking out from under the shower curtain and the faux marble shell sink (complete with cigarette burns!). The old mirror was framed in a gaudy gold colored plastic with matching tacky lights on either side. The toilet was green like the tub. the floor tile.. oh that was the real gem! They were green and blue marbled glossy and oh so groovy. The wall tile wasn't terrible; off-white with tan "freckles" which was evidently a popular tile at the time. During that remodel, the old claw-foot tub was removed and a shower was added above the new tub - which was installed through the wall of the adjacent bedroom. There were also doors on the shower that were removed when my grandparents' mobility began to decrease.

Since that remodel, some of the tiles began to fall off of the shower wall and the wooden window frame, which was never intended to be in the shower began to rot. My brother, who was living here at the time, opened up the wall, made some repairs, added insulation and then glued a textured fiberglass paneling over it. 

When I moved in, I was pregnant with my oldest (he's about to turn 17) and I was doing a bit of nesting. I got on my hands and knees and scrubbed that bathroom floor and that was when I discovered something disturbing. the back of the toilet was about an inch lower than the front. I went in the basement and looked from below. The floor around the toilet was rotten. Dad kicked me out of the house and took out the toilet and the floor. He patched the subfloor and left me to set the new tile. and came back for the toilet installation. I had never tiled before and I was in a hurry, so I ended up using the wrong product. The grout cracked, tiles came loose and I didn't fix it because I was always going to remodel it "next summer" but I just slapped on a coat of paint and called it a day. I didn't do anything else in there. at some point, the lights in the mirror stopped working, so we removed it and dad put in an overhead light. I hung two different mirrors over the hole in the wall. They both got broken and I gave up. It was also the one room that survived the fire. The only thing that changed was the window. 

so, yeah, this was so very long overdue.

Make sure you follow my blog so you don't miss my next post where I show you how I made my gorgeous glitter countertop!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Room Recap - Dining Room

As promised,  here is the round up of before, during, and after photos of the room remodel. 

First up is the hutch, which I talked about in a bit more detail in my previous post.

Grandma's maple table was sanded, then painted in the same Tiffany blue as the back of the hutch. It is a bit much on its own but absolutely perfect with a white lace tablecloth. The spiderweb lace tablecloth didn't look too bad on Halloween either!


I love my good china, but we eat dinner in here every night, so I was thrilled to find a set of Corelle dishes that matched the room perfectly. I was incredibly lucky to spot some matching glasses at the Dollar Tree too! I never would have thought to look there, but there they were! I think I could probably use some placemats though. Maybe in the silver?

Of course, we can't sit at the table and eat dinner without chairs! Each of the 6 chairs had to be sanded and painted with several coats of white gloss spray paint and clear sealer. The only problem was that we also needed to use those chairs, but since we had 6 chairs and 4 of us, I tried to do two at a time. I ran out of paint and warm weather, so I have to sand and paint one of them and two more need a couple more coats and sealer. I went with the spray paint simply because it was easier to do. the chairs have lots of surfaces and no shortage of nooks and crannies. If I had a paint sprayer, I would have used that but it didn't seem like this project was worth the investment and I don't have any other projects for it in the works. As you see, I painted them outside where the ventilation and overspray weren't an issue. I sprayed them right on the grass the first time but ended up with grass stuck to the legs, so I went for the tarp on the rest. 

I had previously purchased some puzzle piece picture frames in assorted colors for the room. I hadn't hung them because I didn't have pictures for them. Then I decided to remodel and they didn't match. Still, I liked them and I liked the idea of puzzle pieces since the boys are autistic. I hated all of their school pictures. It never really captured them. I put off family portraits because of the divorce and because of the autism. Finally, I had the idea of having the photos taken in the style of a local band photo shoot where they look off into the distance with disdain on some abandoned railroad tracks. They came out even better than I had imagined. Now I just had to hang them up, so the picture frames got a coat of silver spray paint. I used the same paint on the curtain rod, candle holder, and chandelier - which is currently in a time out until I decide how I want to hang it. They ended up in two groupings, once over the fireplace and one on the wall opposing the window. I am painting more inexpensive frames to make a gallery wall on that wall. The wall decal above it was another happy find at the Dollar Tree. 

The mantle got a fresh coat of paint, large and small holes were patched. The large patch on the left was due to an autistic meltdown and the many small dings on the right were from tossing logs into the log rack for the fireplace. I loathe painted brick, so the brick and stone remain untouched and I have no regrets. I picked up a new set of glass doors for the opening. I went with black so it wouldn't draw too much attention. The ex-broke the old ones in a drug-fueled manic rage. They were replaced with a cheap screen that I have always hated. I was not sad to see it go. To combat the dings from firewood, I added MDF beadboard paneling. I installed it on both sides of the fireplace for symmetry and to make the fireplace more of a focal point. I capped it with a trim piece made just for that purpose. Crystal candlesticks with silver candles completed the look once the picture frame was hung. 


Finishing touches included switch plates that pick up the rope details from the glass replacement doorknobs that I got for the bedrooms and bathroom - which are visible from the dining room. I also picked up some rope and tied monkey fist tiebacks for the curtains. The curtains are also a work in progress. I found a very nice silver and Tiffany blue fabric that would be perfect and mom offered to make the curtains. I'm still waiting, so more to come when the punch list is done.


As I mentioned, the punch list still has a few things on it and as I am working on other rooms, things get shifted, and materials are stored where I can stick them. But, here is the room overall as it is now.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Two years later...

I had such high hopes and motivation in the beginning, but life has a funny habit of getting in the way
of our plans. As the separation and divorce have dragged on, it has worn on me and on the children.
Emotions have run high and low and all over the place. I felt like I was living in crisis mode; sticking
one finger in the dam and another leak springs up. The dining room took a back seat. I was "too busy".

I hadn't yet figured out how healing remodeling truly is. As I have said before, the redecorating has
really helped me figure out who I am, what I want, and what I like. It just took a lot longer to not just
figure it out, but to find my confidence as well. Once I finally got some momentum going, things really
got cooking! Then, I painted the hutch...

Looks nice, right? well, what you can't see here is that my grandmother oild this piece every Saturday.
for DECADES! all of that oil did a nice job of preserving it while it was neglected, but it also bled through
the primer (Killz 2 latex primer) and through about 4 coats of paint. My son decided to pick at the paint in
a fit of anxiety and ended up peeling through all of the layers - including primer! Once he realized what
he did, he panicked thinking I would be mad. He was a bit surprised when I told him to go ahead and
peel as much as he could/wanted. We ended up peeling about 90 percent of it off and I got the rest with
a heat gun and plastic putty knife. Then, there it sat. for at least a year. It even became a workbench
when I was remodeling the bathroom (spoiler alert!). THe bathroom project gave me the confidence I
needed to approach this hutch again. This time, I was armed with the Original Killz oil based primer and
the results were exactly what I was hoping for.

And here it is! The finished piece all set with my teacup collection and freshly polished silver tea service.
If you are really observant, you'll see that I moved it a couple of times too. It is back where it started and
I'm happy with the final decision.

I still have a few finishing touches that haven't gotten checked off of the punch list yet. I also found
another project to add to my list hiding in my workshop. Next time, join me for a Room Recap and maybe
I can get those last few projects done.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Dining in

The house is a WWII era Cape Cod. The original floor boards were stamped "Victory White Oak". Over the years, there have been additions and updates and as I a mentioned in my previous post, a complete renovation 10 years ago after a fire.

We stripped the walls to the studs, replaced floors and windows and we also opened up the staircase to the second floor. As you can see below, the fireplace was once a window. The bay window on the front of the house was also a later addition to the house. This room was also the Living Room for most of its existence. I set up a folding table in there for Easter brunch one year and realized that it really wanted to be a dining room, so I went with it.

Ater 10 years, toddlers to teens, and autism times 3, our lovely dining room has really taken a beating. literally. So, regardless of the damage, regardless of my eggs, it is time for a new look. After spending what was probably too much time on Pinterest, I came up with the following vision for the room. Actually, credit for the color scheme goes to my 13yo son! 

The big holes in the walls are fixed, but I've still got the small ones to patch and I was impatient to get painting, so I started with the furniture. The hutch and table were my grandmother's. The chairs are also mid-century hand-me-downs. Grammy found the hutch in a barn somewhere and he had it long before I came around. I don't know anything about it beyond that. at least one of my children decided to teethe on one corner (WHY did it put the high chair there?!) and the laminate on the bottom of the sides is peeling. I suppose I could have done something with the laminate, but I did sand out the gnaw marks! The table is a lovely, well made and well loved solid maple piece. It was hard to bring myself to paint it, but I can always strip it and stain it in the future. The chairs will get spray paint simply because it is easier that way. The hutch will be similar to the one above. The table will be the Tiffany blue and the chairs white. Everything will get a few coats of Polycrylic for durability.

After I took these, I started sanding and priming. Stay tuned for the finished pieces! Then we can tackle the walls, lighting ... and maybe do something with that floor! 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Try All The Eggs

Remember the movie Runaway Bride? The reporter (Richard Gere) keeps asking all of the jilted grooms how the Runaway Bride likes her eggs. All of them reply that she likes her eggs the same way that he does. She has no idea what she likes or what she wants. She mold herself to what the man wants and what he likes. She doesn't even know what kind of eggs she likes.

Eventually, she tries them all and discovers what it is that she truly desires. She discovers who she is.

At 40 years old, I am now, finally, trying all of the eggs. I met my husband the night before my 18th birthday. We were engaged about a year and a half later. Now, 3 children and 17 years later, we are filing for separation as we begin to negotiate the divorce.

I won't get into the personal details. They aren't really important in this context. What you need to know is that he is a recovering addict with more than 7 years clean and all three of our sons have Autism. Somewhere in all of that care-taking, I forgot to taste the eggs and I can't even remember how I liked them before we met.

I have become so much of "us" that I lost my "me". As I approach the single life, I am trying to taste the eggs, but there are so many! Where do I begin? Well, if you are familiar with Autism or addiction, then you know how that can lead to destruction - and I'm not talking about feelings, I'm talking about broken china and holes in the walls. Now imagine what all of them together can do. Add to that, me, the care-taker living so many years in crisis mode. Things don't really get fixed in crisis mode. Things never get better in crisis mode. If you look around my house, you will see just that.

The first eggs I will be tasting will be my home - and that is the part that I want to share with you here. Room by room I am reclaiming the space. With my sons at my side, learning home improvement skills, we will tackle one room and one project at a time. You see what it looks like now, my vision for the space, and my progress.

This isn't the first time we've done a renovation. That was more "we" than I care to discuss. There were many cooks stirring the soup and there was no room for me in the kitchen. It was as his addiction was peaking and I was barely surviving. You can read about that remodel here here here , here, here, here, here, and here. It has been a while, we are due regardless of the destruction.

First up will the dining room beginning in my next post. That was the room with the fireplace in the posts above.

Glitter Countertop Tutorial

I was inspired by the glitter grout I found for the floor tile and decided to create my own glitter counter top with glitter and acrylic ep...