As much as I love cooking, I have really loved redecorating parts of our new house! In the fall of 2019, our family moved from Appleton to Wrightstown when we bought a 90’s style ranch. Along with the massive amounts of leaves, trees, and basement amazingness… this house came with the highest amount of Golden Oak everything I had ever seen. All of the wood was a golden orange. Kitchen cabinets, window trim, door trim, bathroom cabinets, and all of the 12 interior doors. It makes my eye literally twitch thinking about it. On top of the obviously aged, yet real oak, the walls were dingy and painted a shade of greige that has since lost its luster. As a result, the brownest room received a makeover first, including Homemade Countertops with a neat Epoxy design.
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This post was originally published on January 7, 2021
Updated on March 1, 2022
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Why we did a renovation so soon
Our new house came with the perk of having a second bathroom. With 6 people, this was a must-have on our list. We didn’t even consider any houses that were under two full bathrooms. But the joke was on us because we actually bought the first house we looked at. I am serious, we were crazy. And by we, I mean I. When we were looking at this house Tyler was not convinced. He, and our realtor, wanted us to look at more houses before “settling” for what I felt was the obvious choice. From the moment I walked in through the door, which my dad had to literally push me through, I felt this pang in my heart…
I was home. It physically took my breath away. We were all smitten after the second viewing! Within the first 24 hours after signing the papers, and after our first night sleeping on our mattresses on the floor, each of our three sons said the home felt like it was always ours; that it felt more like a home than the one we had lived in for the last ten years. It was magical. And Tyler found out we actually DID have a walk-in master closet!
Along with posting about recipes, I would love to take you on a journey through our renovating, remodeling, additions, tree removal, gravel shoveling, and updates of our 3-bedroom 2-bathroom ranch with all of the trees into a 5-bedroom 3-bathroom ranch with an amazing backyard.
Even though there is a deck in this picture, that deck no longer exists. In summer of 2021, we had help from family and friends, and a lot of elbow grease, in completing a poured and stamped concrete patio! Check it out by clicking the link below.
Golden Oak every place you look
Our first year was fraught with many trials, wins, illness, pain, homeschooling (ahem- “crisis-schooling“), lockdown, overwork, trees, runaway animals, sleepless nights, teething toddlers, and mold. Oh, the mold! I might spare you the pictures of the mold in the bathroom that we had found. Maybe.
One thing I do miss from our old home is the kitchen. It was so pretty, and nice, and new; and now my kitchen is grimy, outdated, and golden oak. I am not a fan. But God is a fan of teaching me patience- which I sorely lack- and I am resounded to live with the brass fixtures until it is time to redo the kitchen. If it were up to me, it would be painted by tomorrow. I am serious.
There is a piece of my brain that did not fully develop impulse control. I like to say “YES” to all of the chocolate. And candy, cookies, and pretzels. Sometimes it is the best part of me, and sometimes it is the worst. Our kitten Ethel is proof of this! One of our neighbors posted a mewing kitten outside of her home, has horrible allergies and asked someone to come get it. Consequently, we got her. See? How could I resist!?
Epoxy Countertop project begins!
So, come along with me on a journey with food and recipes, kids and pets, remodeling and construction! I am so excited to be sharing our lives with each of you. And I promise to keep politics out of this blog. Really. No one needs that kind of negativity in their lives in 2021.
Our first project was a redo of the hallway bathroom. The walls were brown. The ceiling was brown. The doors, cabinet, countertop and even the sink and shower, were all shades of brown. It was nasty. And it had a smell, a sour smell that no amount of bleach and floor cleaner could kill. The previous owner had installed a handicap accessible toilet, so they were tall and long. Not good for a 3-year-old who was still toilet training. When the old toilet came off, it revealed the source of the smell. Mold, y’all, it was mold. We ended up having to rip out the entire laminate flooring (honestly not a big loss) down to the subfloor and cleaning it, painting a mold-resistant layer on the subfloor, and redoing the rest of the room.
I feel like this image is not an accurate representation of the actual amount of brown in the room. I mean, you cannot even see the ceiling! It was just so much brown. We ended up removing the countertop and redoing one in a really awesome style.
Making the Countertop
One of our friends had started doing Epoxy Countertops, and we wanted to give it a try. Tyler made the countertop, trim, and mirror frame out of MDF and used a tool to router the edges. This step did take quite a bit of time, as he literally made this piece to fit the exact space on the vanity. The Countertop was custom built down to the rostered sink rim and trim around the mirror.
After the countertop was primed, Tyler used spray paint to give a base coat of grey and blues like a vein. The main reason for using a blue vein was to give the Epoxy Countertop a look of depth and tone. Doing this also helped to make the countertop design not look flat.
Almost ready for pouring! We set the countertop on blocks to keep it completely off of the table as the Epoxy is unforgiving when stuck. We also had plastic on the floor and tried to vacuum dust out of the space for days prior to this Epoxy pour, as any and all dust would be visible in the epoxy as it dries.
What Epoxy Countertops Brand did we use?
Doing the epoxy was so fast, I did not have the time needed to take pictures while we were doing the pour. We used Stone Coat Countertops for our Epoxy and their recommended steps. We loved watching videos and chose to make the bathroom into a Carrara Marble design with grey, blue, and gold veins. Truly one of a kind! Since we have last used their products there have been a lot of changes to their products available.
Moulding and Trim
Tyler made the crown molding and also the trim that encases the lights and mirror out of MDF. He used a router and made all of the pieces fit like a beautiful puzzle. During the countertop pour, we also had to work on the pieces and make them look like they were all cut out of one Marble slab. The main tool Tyler used for this trim was his Bosch Router. This was the first project on the house and this Router has been used over a dozen times since. If you need a great tool for home projects, this one comes hightly recommended by Tyler and I.
Waterfall Epoxy Countertops design
This is the inside edge of the sink basin. It was so much fun making these waterfall edges. We used spray paint for all of the colors, and also gold and grey accents.
Once the Epoxy Countertop was cured and completely dry, Tyler went to work gluing the undermount sink to the finished countertop! This step was nerve-racking as there was very little working time as the glue dried quite fast.
Extra Epoxy Countertop Bathroom Projects
In the bathroom, the vanity and doors also had a makeover. We sanded the golden oak stain off, then stained them all a chocolate brown. This process included two layers of polyurethane over the top as a topcoat. This was my first-time using stain, and it went easier than expected.
Epoxy Countertop Dry Fit
After the sink basin was dried in place properly, Tyler brought it in for a dry fit. Doing so helped to make sure the fit was correct. However, the countertop fit like a glove and no modifications were needed.
Installing the mirror with the side trim and crown molding to hold the mirror was extra tricky! The mirror is not glued to the wall, but literally resting on the MDF molding Tyler made. Tyler designed the pieces to look like it was all cut out of one piece of Carrara Marble.
Chevron Wall Art
After the bathroom was painted, and the gross brown was gone, I made a stencil and designed this wall behind the toilet to look like a hand painted chevron wallpaper. Using cardboard, I measured out what the spacing would need to be and then cut slices and made a template. With the stencil, I used a pencil and made likes where the brushstrokes will go. Using a thin paintbrush, I painted over the pencil lines, and voila! On the other hand, I could have bought this one for $19.00, but instead made mine for $0.00. Being frugal is the best!
Tyler even put up some shelving so we could display some fanciness. Thanks to Heather, Kim and Emily from 3 of a Kind for the AMAZING sighs and plant! Check out their website below. Not only do they do crafts, but they also have bows, gifts, handcrafted decorations and more. We are so proud with how the entire bathroom came together. From the new flooring to the trim and Epoxy Countertop, the entire bathroom is new and fresh.
A few of our favorite things
This Bosch Router is the easiest Router to use for your home project routing needs. As I am not a tool pro, I will leave you to click the link and learning from people smarter than me. Trust me, I cannot explain this tool, unless it is a recipe.