Bathroom Renovation: Demo Day

It was winter in MN and I’d had a full pot of coffee to keep warm on that January morning. I had no intentions of doing anything that day other than surfing Pinterest and having a Netflix marathon. That’s a perfect recipe for what was about to happen…


I had given my bathroom an updo last summer, but it wasn’t really me and still felt dated. If I were going to flip my home, which I’m always thinking about, this bathroom would not pass as having been truly updated. The floor to ceiling tile had to go. I didn’t have a plan, other than getting rid of everything so that I had a fresh canvas to work with. I had to get down to the studs.


I had to get the closet, the vanity, and the mirror all out of there…

I swung my hammer over and over. I unhooked the plumbing and was left sitting on the toilet (as a chair) staring at a huge mess. I was also staring into my bedroom through the 2nd doorway. By the end of the day, I was wondering what the hell I had just done. I was so exhausted, but not too exhausted to have a brilliant idea! I had to move that doorway.

Top 3 reasons to move a doorway:

  1. You are visible from the street (through the bedroom window) when you’re sitting on the toilet.
  2. You are visible from the street (through the bedroom window) when you’re stepping out of the shower.
  3. The door swings open, into the bathroom space, leaving just 1 inch between the door and the toilet.


This is what the pass-through door from my bedroom into the bathroom looked like from inside my bedroom. The brown door was where the doorway was. Note: that door was a curbside find. I tried to make it a sliding barn door with plumbers pipe. It was fine, but made an awful screeching noise when you would slide it open or closed. The new doorway is going to be over to the other side of my bathroom and will make so much more sense!


Remember the part about me not having a plan when I all of a sudden demolished my bathroom? I was beginning to realize that I needed one, and electrical was going to be where I needed to start.



Faux Wood Garage Door and Front Door

The weather has started to warm up in Minnesota! It was so warm a few weekends ago that I had to get out and start giving my house a little up-do. The curb appeal was horrible and a little bit embarrassing. I was so pumped for what I was about to do that I was the first one waiting in the Home Depot parking lot on a Saturday morning.

Here is what I bought:


I had read a blog post on how to paint your steel front door to look like wood. I didn’t find any posts that mentioned how to paint your garage door to match, but how hard could it be to just do the same thing on a much larger door?

I started by painting my front door the orange paint color.


I used my regular paint brush for the paint. I never tape anything off because I used to be a “professional” painter in my college years. I’ve also never had luck with tape. There are always areas that bleed and need repair once the paint dries and the tape is removed. Instead, I just keep a damp paper towel and a butter knife, just in case I need wipe a tiny area off, while the paint is still wet.

The next step was to apply the stain! You can see in this picture that it’s better, but not very impressive. It was a pretty warm day, and my door faces south, so the stain dried within a few hours.


The second coat was much more exciting!


I left it for the evening and came back with one final coat of stain. I also followed a tip that I found on a different blog post. Because this door isn’t really wood, there aren’t any lines where a natural wood door would have seams. To create seams and to give it a true faux wood-look, apply painters tape to areas that would have a seam.


Don’t forget to spiff up your wreath while you’re at it! I added battery operated string lights that I found from the dollar section at Target and a “t” for our last name.

omg, love!


Now, for the true test…does this application also work on garage doors?!?! Yes!

Because it was one of the first days of warm weather in MN, everybody in the neighborhood is out for a walk. I was sure that they all thought I was the new weird neighbor as I started applying the orange paint. Because this is paint and primer in one, I only needed to do one coat. I started with the bottom panel and worked my way up. To get into the creases, just open your garage door a little bit at a time.


My neighbor directly across the street came home as I was nearly finished with the orange and hollered across the street that she liked the orange. Mmmm, hmmmm. Sure she did. I told her it wasn’t staying orange and that I was going to stain it to make it look like wood and she gave me one of those slow up and down head nods with a confused smile.


I wasn’t loving what it looked like after one coat of stain. I was also really anxious as each new person was out walking their dog – watching what I was doing. You can see in the bottom right corner in this picture that I was going over the stain for a second time, trying to darken it to see what it would look like.


There isn’t a magic trick to getting this to look like wood. I didn’t even let the first coat of stain dry before applying the second coat. You might want to re-stir your stain if the color has settled to the bottom of the can. It was starting to get dark outside when I was finishing up my second coat of stain because it was going to start raining soon. I still had one panel left but I was able to get it done! I started the garage door around 11am and finished the second coat about 5 hours later. *The rain didn’t affect the garage door at all.

It rained for another 6 days. I wanted to put another coat of stain on SO bad. It was a little bit too orange still and I wanted to try mixing my go-to hickory-colored gel stain with the walnut stain…


YASSSS! I used a different paint brush for each stain and applied a super tiny amount of hickory to my brush, gently feathering it on areas that I wanted to have darkened. While it was still wet, I followed up with the liquid walnut stain over the top of it. The liquid stain helped to blend the gel stain around giving it a more natural look. You can see the two lower panels that have the hickory stain added…


I only did one tiny square at a time with this darkening technique because it was pretty warm out (the garage panels were warm/hot). If you do more than one square, the gel stain will dry too quickly for the walnut stain to swoosh it around. This process took about 2 1/2 hours but was exactly what I needed.


Below is the transformation from start to finish! ❤


Painting the Foyer Doors

I don’t know if I should actually be calling this a foyer. The word seems a bit fancy for my small entry way, but you get what I’m talking about.

I’ve finished the staircases and the railings and banisters and I was left with white trim butting up to the old oak trim. The thought of starting to paint the trim white was daunting because it literally never ends. Once you start painting your trim, you’re lead through every single room in your home before it’s done. Yikes!

Well, here goes nothing.

I have 2 doors and a closet in my foyer. I’ll post about the closet separately. My doors weren’t awful, or at least I didn’t think they were. I don’t have a super great shot of them before, but you can kind of see them here.


I make a habit of checking out the “oops” paint when I’m at the hardware store. It’s typically around $2 for a small can of paint that was somehow mixed incorrectly and the color wasn’t what it was supposed to be so it gets set on a shelf with others oops paints at a discounted price. I had purchased a dark brown a while back and decided that it was perfect for my foyer doors.

I’m not certain that there really needs to be a method for how to paint a door, but I followed what I’ve read about and painted around the rectangles first. You can see in this picture that I had also started painting the oak trim white. At this point, you may be thinking to yourself that you’ve made a huge mistake. Just keep going. It will get better!



Apologies for the dark picture. The doors and trim are done! It’s hard to see, but when I was painting the trim white, I noticed that the slice of wall between the trim is cantaloupe-colored. I guess the previous home owner forgot to paint that area and I hadn’t noticed it until now. :/


Th chocolate colored doors and white trim is so much better! I really like the way that they match the staircases now.