Monday, February 28, 2011

Knock! Knock!

As I am in the demo process of my foyer, I have spent way too many hours removing hunter green wallpaper.   I usually get bored mid-project so I like to take a short hiatus to get re-motivated.  If I can do a quick project which instant gratification, my energy is renewed!

So, I have decided to focus on my doors in the upstairs foyer.   They all fit perfectly and close tightly so I do not want to replace them.  BUT, they are U-G-L-Y!.  I have three bedroom doors and a smaller linen closet door.  The bathroom door is a new glass door so thankfully that one is done.  Ok, it still needs a doorknob!

I am going to attempt a makeover this week.  Right now, they are hollow core wood grain doors.  Two are original brown and two are painted white.  I am going to attempt to make them look like a 3 panel mission style door.  Even though my style is Traditional with a capital T, I love the clean lines of this look.  New hinges and doorknobs coming up!   Do you have any idea how hard it is to find door hardware in polished chrome?  This is my inspiration pic - here we go!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Countertops - Up Close Pictures

I know some of you asked for an up close picture of the counters.  Because they are just so gosh darn shiny, it is almost impossible to get a picture which shows an accurate representation.  Here are my less than stellar attempts.  I hope you can get an idea of what they look like from at least one of these.  The camera flash really makes them look busy.   The silver is very muted and subtle. 

This picture sort of shows the glitter a little bit.  I would say this one is the most spot on!  Hope these help!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Countertops - Answers to some questions.

Ok - first of all - THANK YOU!  The comments have been so sweet that I am blown away.  I am so new to this blogging thing and I have to admit prior to today, my followers consisted of my sisters and a few friends.  Now I have REAL PEOPLE!  Persons I don't even know who are interested in what I have to say - its crazy awesome.  LMAO!  I have blog friends and it is wonderful.  Thank you for making this so fun!

Secondly - I have no idea really what I am doing.  So, with that being said, if you want to put the pics and information on your blogs, etc then go right ahead.  Someone asked me to post on their blog - if you tell me HOW to do that, I will be more than happy to comply.  I feel like such a blog dork and I totally need you blog experts to help me along.  Thank you! 

Now to the questions and comments....

Most of the information I had ascertained was from Google.  The site that gave me the final oomph to just dive in and get started was  The pictures and discussions on that website were awesome.  I was on that website everyday throughout every step of the process.  It was like my support group.  :-)

1.  The Blow Torch!  I was ok with the whole process until I read that I needed a blow torch to hold over the bubbles that wold come up through the poly within the first hour of pouring.  WHAT?  I bought a blow torch for $10 and I used it only because it was really cool!  The bubbles were really not an issue for me.  Yes, that was part of the $115 cost.  Think of the bubbles like when you are making pancakes - they bubble up and you need to pop them with heat so they don't dry in the finish.  You simply turn it on and move it slowly a few inches above the surface where bubbles may appear.  If you see bubbles you simply move the blow torch over it until it pops.  You do not want to touch the bubble because if you leave a mark, you won't have the smooth as glass finish.  One woman posted that while her Envirotek was wet,  her cat jumped up on the counter and then ran through the house.  She had to start all over again.  Be careful!

2.  Edges/Backsplash!  Yes, these are a little tricky.  When you pour, you want to pour in the middle of the counter and spread the solution to the corners and the edges.  You have a good 10 minutes to move it around before it starts to set.  Make sure every piece of the countertop is covered and then go back and level.  Slowly move it out to the edges and keep applying and re-applying.  After about 15 minutes, it will begin to set.  As long as the edges are covered, they will shine.  Just make sure you didn't miss any spots.  IF you get drips on the bottom of the edge, try to wipe when wet.  If not, you simply have to file them off when they have dried.

The backsplashes are a little more difficult.  Again make sure you pour on the ledge and then let it run down the front.  Make sure all surfaces are covered.  It will pool at the bottom where it meets the counter.  Take the throw-away paint brush sponges - I found for thi task, the wide ones worked the best.  Just keep bringing the up the liquid from the pool and brush it up onto the backsplash.  It will take a while for it to stick and once it gets tacky you are good.  Keep your area size manageable. 

Think of your kitchen now.  Do you really stand there and examine every square inch of your counters?  No.  And once this is done, you still won't.  Mine are not perfect and yet I can hardly notice a spot which was a little thinner or where I poured over a clump of glitter.  By the time you get back to normalcy in the kitchen, as long as you covered every part of the countertop - you won't even think about any glitches.  You will be so thrilled with result that an imperfection here and there will be just fine.  Hope this helps!  Good luck!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ambush Makeover: My Formica Countertops!

My UGLY formica countertops were just SCREAMING for an Ambush Makeover!  But since I could not take them on a plane to the Today Show so Kathie Lee and Hoda could work their magic, ultimately, the responsibility fell to me!  Yikes!  I removed the purple, green and plaid wallpaper - actually it wasn't as bad as you might think.  The border was blue and purple and green hydrangeas so it really was quite lovely.  I was on a green and black and white damask kick so I figured - why not?  Once I got the walls and ceiling painted, the countertops stuck out like a sore thumb.   I didn't want to get new formica and I certainly could not afford granite - what is a girl to do when faced with a conundrum of epic proportions?  GOOGLE! 

 Here is what I was faced with:  Not completely horrible but I am totally thinking Nate Berkus would be brought to tears.

Well I came upon this group of people at who had PAINTED their formica to look like granite.  Yes, I said painted!  I was VERY apprehensive about undertaking such a drastic measure;  however, as I looked at the leprechaun green color complete with honey pine trim and shiny brass knobs which only added to their "splendor",  I thought how much worse can it be?!?  So, I began researching (I always research) and picked out a "granite" color I think I would like to try.  Alas, I was ready!   As if by magic - here is the result!  Drumroll please....  CrAzY, right?  Yes - it is that amazing and unbelievable! 


Ok, so you can see the before and after pictures, but what about the dreaded "in-between"??  LOL  The cost was about $115 for all the countertops and I still have one box left for the backsplashes. 

Firstly, I removed the wood backsplash and washed down the countertops so they were very clean.  Then I simply used a small sponge roller and painted on a white primer which I made gray by mixing in black paint.  Then the hard part came.  I covered the cabinets and everything in sight courtesy of the Chicago Tribune!  I then had the brainiac idea that I would use stone texture spray paint!  NEGATORY!  It was awful.  It worked for others but not for me.  So I had to sand that off and begin again.  I simply bought a quart of rustoleum flat black paint and it was wonderful.  But I still wanted some bling!  So I purchased a can of metallic silver paint and a sea sponge and simply had some fun.  I sponged on the silver and then sponged on the black over it and repeated this process until I had a granite look with a little bit of pop!  Then, I took the Martha Stewart black glitter and sprinkled it everywhere while the paint was still a little tacky.  How awesome did this look - I was really getting excited that this just might work!  Fingers crossed!

Gray primer just rolled on.
Spray painting in the kitchen... BAD IDEA! 
Just sponging on silver metallic paint - its almost impossible to mess up!

Then came the step which had me a little nervous.  The final poly coat.  I researched this quite extensively to make sure these chemicals could be around food and anything breathing.  I am very conscious about my chemicals and such due to my cancers.  Everything I read about Envirotex was wonderful.  No problems and no risks.  So I bought a few boxes at HOBBY LOBBY with my 40% off coupon and was ready to go! 

Envirotex and Martha Stewart Black Onyx Glitter - it's like sugar dust!

I put plastic over the cabinets and cardboard on the floor.  I mixed the two bottles and poured it on. Use disposable buckets and sponge brushes - you will throw everything away - even your clothes because it is so sticky.   It was actually kinda fun to move it around and then simply let it dry.  I had my blowtorch ready to burst the little bubbles that can form and I only had to use it on a few.  It was gorgeous and I knew it was still wet but I had no idea it look almost the same when completely dry and hard as a rock!  I could not imagine so little effort and money could make SUCH a difference!  I WISH I had thousands for real granite but I don't!  So this totally works for me!  I love it and I still have to do my backsplashes but I know it can only get better!

Always cover cabinets - especially WHITE cabinets! 

Finally finished at 3 o'clock in the morning.  Takes about 24 hours to dry and about 3 days to completely set.

 Here are two more sets of BEFORE n AFTER pictures.  This is the smaller counter which is the one with which I started because I thought it would be easier to experiment on being contained.  (Actually, this area is not readily seen, so if it was a train wreck, it wouldn't have been AS noticeable!)   :-) 

I know there are two missing handles - I am still working on the hardware although I like these a lot!

I switched out the faucet and hardware for bright chrome and painted the wood trim to match the cabinet. 

 Try it!  Do it!  You won't regret it!  And you will be so proud of yourself when it turns out spectacular and people think it is real granite!  That is the best part!  :-)    It is like anything and needs to be cared for.  You cannot put hot pots on it and it can scratch but you simply have to use cutting boards and trivets like you would with real granite to protect it from stains, etc. If the scratches are deep you can always cover them with another coat.   Good luck!  

*** UPDATE AUGUST 2014 ***

I have since changed the color and a bunch of other things but the counters have remained the same.  To see updated pictures of this work in progress, click HERE!   Thanks!
***    ***    ***    ***    ***    ***    ***    ***    ***


This project was completed in the Fall of 2008 and the counters have help up remarkably well.   There is no change in the acrylic top coat - no yellowing or wearing away.  I am currently re-painting and sprucing up the kitchen so current pictures of the counters can be found by clicking here.

** Here are two additional posts regarding the counters.   Hope these help! **

Answers to additional questions can be found by clicking here.

Additional up-close pictures can be found by clicking here.

 Thanks for stopping by!  

Domestically Speaking

Roomspiration Blog Hop

Roomspiration - Kitchens

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Lilly Pulitzer Spring 2011

The Lilly Pulitzer Spring 2011 catalog arrived today and WOW!  Every page is better than the next.  If you cannot get your hands on one, go to to check out the new collection.  Oh a girl can dream!

Spring is coming.....

Well the 28+ inches of snow are all but gone here in Chicago and so naturally my thoughts turn to Spring.  Saw this gorgeous ruffle trench in the Steinmart flyer - I absolutely love it!  Can you imagine it with black pants, little Audrey flats and a black turtleneck?  Saw similiar ones for sale for close to $300!  Yikes!  I think $39.99 with a President's Day coupon will be perfect!