For what it's worth: Home Renovation Number One

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Home Renovation Number One

This home make over was a labor of love that when completed helped us sell our house after 2 days listed on the market.  It was an amazing experience and quite a whirl wind of activity once it went up for sale.  Not only did it sell quickly, but the buyer was a cash contract so we had to move in 2 weeks!  We purchased a 1956 fixer upper that is already a challenging project.  Keep an eye out (or check this list) for the 1956 Fixer Upper - Home Renovation projects. )

If I can do can too!
The retirement plan has been in my head for 10 years.  I remember the day I sat at my desk and calculated my age plus years of service to see when it would be possible.  I was pleasantly surprised at how soon it could be.  Over the years as the plan looked more and more realistic I knew we needed to ready our home for sale.  Last summer I set a  plan to have our home for almost four decades ready for someone else to love and be loved in.  Some of the products used are listed in case you are wondering what I used, I do not work for or promote the products.  The project is room by room beginning with the most recent upgrades at the top.

Update the office/extra bedroom

A friend helped me  remove a barnwood wall and paint the office/2nd bedroom a beige color.  Hubs purchased new bifold closet doors and installed them after painting a clean white.  That only took two days, yea!

The master bedroom was a dusty rose color that had to be primed with a color blocker before going white.  I have drooled over the shades of white rooms in magazines and on Pinterest forever.  Now, at least as long as we stay here, I have that romantic white bedroom I wished for.  Later his week, or maybe next week... I'll tackle the master closet.

Update The Kitchen

I decided to re arrange the plan and start the kitchen today. The prep work will take several days because of the visits with the grands and great grand. The first thing to do was to clean out the plastic container cabinet and junk drawer. I did get a little ahead of myself and sanded the end next to the door but I didn't go any further because I need to empty all the lower cabinets and remove the doors. Don't want any little guys getting into stuff they shouldn't! And I almost forgot to take a "Before" picture!
The "Before" (1976) kitchen.
 I will tell you it was worse, orange cabinets and blinds were replaced sometime in the 80's!

The old brass hardware was cleaned with a vinegar bath, then with soapy water.  After a clear rinse and drying I used a piece of Styrofoam to hold the handles up while a base of hammered nickle spray paint was applied. (the mounting screws are pushed into the Styrofoam) A very light coat of bright silver was randomly sprayed over the nickle to make them appear less grey.

The contrast with the floors is SO much better!
We have finished the kitchen cabinet stain and painted the vent a hood. The sanding has taken a lot of time, but emptying and packing away the cabinet contents took a lot of time too!

Add accent lighting in the kitchen

While hubs is off hunting, I decided to install rope lighting across the shelf above the sink counter and over the top of the upper cabinets.  It went pretty well.  I purchased a 16' rope light from Walmart for $14 and a power bar with on/off switch for about $9.  Bargain!  I also purchased a 1 1/2" hole drill bit at Home Depot and got some basic instructions on using it from a very helpful employee there.  I straightened out the rope light to make it easier to work into place then used the new hole bit on the top of the corner cabinet to feed the power cord through.  The corner cabinet where I chose to put the cord through is too dark to see inside, so I used this opportunity to thread a little of the rope light down the inside of that cabinet.  I love the new light in there.  There was space in the back corner to fit the cord down through the two shelves and exit through the second hole I cut in the bottom of the cabinet near an outlet.  I attached a power strip with an on/off switch to the bottom of the cabinet so all you see is a few inches of the cord attached to the outlet.  I am already enjoying the ambiance of the night lighting. Additional photo's on the DIY Rope lighting like a girl here.

Painting Doors for instant update inexpensively

The family voted to paint the back door/window combination to match the lower paneling in the den. I had a time matching the color as I could not find the paint chip.  After three tries and learning that light really affects how color looks, hubs located a piece of the baseboard he painted when installing that a couple months ago. Home Depot used their fabulous color matching machine and no more head ache!  I finally finished painting it this weekend while hubs was away on a hunting trip.   
I put the paint brushes down for a couple of weeks to spend some precious time with my mom.  While there I worked on some projects for her.  For her 80th birthday last summer we started repainting the house trim.  It is finally finished.  We're experiencing some extreme heat here in Texas this year, so I had to rise with the sun and work in short bursts till it was done.  It only took three days and mom was very happy it is done.  Me too!  Phew!  She also wanted a built in cabinet inside one of her bathrooms painted.  Done!  I love doing stuff for my mom and the time we had together was special.  I'm looking forward to the next projects she needs done during our next visit.

We've been waiting for Terminix to complete their inspection before painting, but today the ceiling will be painted whether he comes or not. (post script-good news, no termites!) The dated old wallpaper border has been removed using the same Zinsser DIF gel wallpaper stripper I used in the guest bath.  (I loved the product as it sped the job up to less than an hours work for me!)  A few repairs are done using DAP Ultra-Thin Drywall Joint Tape and some spackling paste.  After all these years some spots had dried out and loosened from the ceiling.  I removed the damaged pieces with a box cutter, pressed the joint tape over the spot and covered with spackling paste.  The spackling dried, was lightly sanded and a coat of primer was painted over it.  If I'd realized how simple it is, I'd have done it years ago!

New faucet in the kitchen major rewards

Meanwhile hubs installed a new kitchen faucet for me.  It turned out to be a much harder job than we anticipated.  The old faucet was severely corroded underneath and it took a lot of hubby muscle to remove it.  It is finally done and looks modern and nice.  Thanks hubby.

And, since working on the sink require cleaning underneath, I took the opportunity to purge and organize.  

Love the little door basket hubs made to hold foils and the rolling pin.

Brighten The Small Master Bathroom

It's a tiny bathroom, so I expected it to go quickly. First job, paint the medicine cabinet mirror white. This proved to be a pretty quick and easy job. I used press and seal wax paper to cover the mirror and because I was painting the walls I simply spray painted it without concern for over spray. I spray painted the inside medicine cabinet area while I was at it. See the details here.

The ceilings were already painted in rainy day blue with white clouds.  I like them because they make this small bathroom with no windows feel a little less claustrophobic.

The Guest Bath Gets Elegant Make Over


I'm very excited about the bathroom remodel.  Hubs removed the dated glass sliding doors from the tub and I found a guy who repaired a gaping rusted hole in the tub to look like new.

"Before"  Down comes the wallpaper boarder.

All the decorations removed, I finished the painting a couple of weekends ago.  We did some traveling last week but I did get some painting done during the evenings after work this week. I went the extra mile and painted the ceiling and a good portion of myself... 

I tried a product that was a peel and stick rubber strip instead of caulking around the tub.  Don't bother with that stuff, it doesn't stay stuck after a few days.  I removed the extremely dated mirrored medicine cabinet and a large mirror mounted behind the door.   Now I'm working on the crisp white moulding around the ceiling and floor boards which I hope to complete by next weekend.  Oh, and I tried a technique I saw on HGTV to paint the hardware on the pendant lights.  It was not as easy as it sounded.  After loosening the ceiling medallions you place a box around the fixture up to the ceiling and spray paint inside the box.  It worked pretty well to contain the over spray, but keeping the box in place while you work was a bit tricky. I think I'll switch gears and just use a brush to paint them.

I finished painting the pendant light hardware using a paint brush.  The brighter silver metallic looks much nicer than the old bronzed color.  The new wider, bolder floor moulding was definitely the right move.  Moulding around the ceiling is done.  Funny thing about guessing when you buy...not the best idea.  I had to make a trip back to Lowe's to buy two short pieces to finish.  I should have measured before purchasing the moulding the first time.
The bathroom is done and put back together.  The fresh water fishing theme has been changed to display some old collections.  A rusty lantern, cowboy hat, retro table fan, old end table, and a sweet statue from my husbands Aunt.
Over the weekend my daughter in law encourages me to re stain the cabinets.  A short trip to Home Depot, we checked out some cabinetry on display and chose an expresso brown stain.  We sanded the cabinet and stained it then spray painted the hardware silver.  I love the color so much I decided to stain the little table and wall shelf to match.  It was a good decision.  Now it is truly finished and I love it!

I picked up this mirror at Walmart for $30.

The Guest Bedroom make over

I started at the far end of the house in the third bedroom. I completely emptied the closet and almost everything else out of the room. The walls were stripped of high school posters, nail and tack holes filled and a mocha coffee color painted on the walls. Hubs installed beautiful crown molding and together we painted the ugly brown doors and the new molding a bright white. I learned I could install new flooring at a project I did for my mom's 80th birthday and used the new found knowledge to change the flooring to match the laminate flooring we already had professionally installed in the living and kitchen areas. It is a vinyl plank product I purchased at Home Depot. I totally love the stuff and the room turned out fabulous.
We moved to the hallway and continued the bright white moulding and doors.  
The rest of the room is revealed here...

Yucky floors from the 70's
New crown molding, new curtains, new paint, new flooring


  1. Wow, call me impressed! Everything looks so good. I love the work you did on the cabinet and the table. That laminate flooring will be much easier on the hands and knees ;-)

  2. You really planned ahead and went right to these projects once you had the time!! It looks great!!! REALLY Great! Sarah

  3. Great job putting your plan in action. I bet that is a rewarding feeling. Thanks for sharing at Throwback Thursday!



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