I had so many comments regarding our framed (and stained!) mirror frame, that I knew it was time to show you how we stained our oak cabinets from the beginning. Here is my post about our mirror.
We started and completed this project in August. After a lot of research about gel stain, I went ahead and ordered General Finishes in Java via Amazon. Next month will mark 3 years we have been in our home. When we first moved in, every. single. room. in the house was painted except our master bedroom and bathroom. The reason was the color was ok, and I was more focused on getting the other rooms fixed up because they were top on my priority list. I knew I could live with it for a little while, because it really wasn't all THAT bad, but last Summer I was done with it. So we repainted our bedroom and added a new chair rail, then moved into the bathroom.
Our bathroom is decently sized so I was eager to paint and buy new hardware.
Here is a look at it before.
Very boring and very outdated. Adam and I came up with a game plan and decided what we wanted to do.
1. Paint 2. Stain 3. New hardware 4. New faucets 5. New light fixture
Notice the old, gold light fixture, bare mirror, oak cabinets, and pony tail holders on the knobs to keep Landon out.
Just keepin it real. ;)
I knew I wanted a blue paint color for the walls but wasn't sure of the shade until I came across a shower curtain I liked. It took me a while, but I finally found it on Kohls website. I was not interested in spending $40 on it though, so I looked on overstock.com and found it for $20.00-score!
We purchased the paint and painted every night once the kids were in bed at 8:00. We could have finished this whole project a lot sooner than we did, but we only worked on it at night for an hour or two at a time before we wanted to go to bed.
After the painting was completed, we started the staining process. Because we were using gel stain, sanding was barely required. Everything I read stressed not to spend a lot of time on sanding. Just enough to get the shiny, top coat off. So in the above picture, we spent maybe 5 minutes sanding it. (If you use the "wet" stain as I call it, a lot of sanding is required. Wipe on. Wipe off. I wasn't interested in that so that is why we went the gel stain route.)
Of course, you have to prep the area first. I went to Dollar General and bought the brown packing paper to put down on the floors.
Then Adam used painters tape to tape the wall and underneath the marble top.
Then, we applied our first coat of stain. Blogs I read suggested either a foam brush or a men's sock to apply the stain with. The sock was a genius idea. We put a plastic glove on first, then put on the sock. Because it was a mans sock, it was long so it also protected our arms from stain as well.
Everything I read said you might have a mini stroke after you put on your 1st coat of stain.
The looks of this is definitely stroke worthy. But, I knew not to freak out because of all the reading I did about this. I saw tons of before and after pictures so I was a believer! We went to bed after our first coat and didn't touch it until the next night. It's important to let each coat dry for 24 hours.
The second coat was much better than the first, but I have to be honest because I started to think, "Oh crap. I don't think ours is going to turn out like the ones I saw on Pinterest!"
The 3rd night of staining was our last, and as soon as I started wiping on the stain, it was instant gratification! The look was so smooth, so thick looking. No more streaks, and barely any wood grain shows. (The reason you can't really see any of the wood grain is due to the Java color we chose. It is that dark.)
On the 4th night, we applied a coat of Polyacrylic. Poly is the top coat and its clear and shiny. It basically seals the stain in the wood and protects it. We did 2 coats of this. After we were certain it was dry, Adam put our new knobs on.
I could not believe how easy this staining process was. You have to have some patience, because it is very important to allow 24 hours in drying time between each coat of stain. We chose to go with the "sock method" when applying the stain verus the foam brushes. We did use the foam brushes to get in the tiny corners, though. I do need to say that after you use your sock for the night, you have to throw it away. It cannot be re-used. So buy a big bag of socks! Use a sock to apply the poly, too.
I wanted to show you this picture, too.
The cabinet to the right was also stained to match the vanity. I can't find any "after" pictures of it though. We took the towel rack down and put up individual towel holders. You see the white shower rod? It was in perfect shape so I spray painted it to match our new light fixture and to match better with our new stained wood. After I spray painted that, I quickly learned why people fall in love with a can of spray paint. You can do SO much with it! So, I proceeded to spray paint our hand towel rings, toilet paper holder, and air vent. Everything was in perfect condition, and if you know me, you know I'm frugal! So what better way to save money than to spray paint it.
In the below picture, you can see the curtain rod and towel rings are spray painted. That was back in August and they are still in perfect condition!
After everything is said and done, take a step back and be in "awe" of your new master piece!
Who knew a little stain and a fresh coat of paint could make such a difference.
We are starting this process in our kitchen this weekend! We have lots of cabinets with doors and drawers to stain, so it will take us a while. I can't stand for things to look "out of order" so I know I will have to get over it for a few weeks while we complete this task! (ahhh!)
I'll keep you updated along the way!