Hey everyone! Sorry for the lack of posts lately. It’s been a whirlwind. A few months ago we made the decision to rid our house of golden honey oak. Well, not exactly rid it, refinish it. I have nothing against honey oak, but in our house it was like everything else when we bought the house: tired, dirty, scratched, broken, stained, and in need of some serious love. When we moved in we had to refinish almost everything, with the exception of the woodwork. I thought it wood work, pun intended. After all the fixed walls, fresh paint, new flooring, new light fixtures, new hardware, new major appliances, new roof, etc. I thought this one major thing we could make work. After living here for over a year, I just couldn’t live with it anymore.
This is a project I have tried to put off and just live with and love the oak for what it is, but in this case it was just the final thing untouched and with everything else in the house new and updated, it just seemed silly not to do it. Especially in the kitchen. The cabinets were awful when we moved in, but my aunt scrubbed them and if there is one person in the world who can get anything, and I mean ANYTHING clean, it is my aunt. So you can imagine the joy I felt when she offered to take on this massive task. But, towards the end she started to say that some of it just wouldn’t come off. It looked a million times better so I thought it would be fine. Over time, they just looked so old and tired so of course, let the pinteresting/research begin.
Now as with most major projects you can’t just dive in and get it done. Major thought/planning is involved. Did we just want to do the kitchen? No way. If we were to do the kitchen, the color change would look ridiculous with the huge honey oak 6 panel doors and all the trim. So we would be doing those too. Well, the kitchen cabinets are a big deal and definitely not something we will be able to afford to replace any time soon. Bottom line, I cannot screw this up.
We decided to start with our bathroom vanity, because, well it’s less expensive than the kitchen cabinets so worst case scenario I absolutely destroy it, less of a big deal. No one sees it except for us, so that was a major bonus too. We decided to use Java Gel Stain, because I love espresso cabinets. Being in real estate I see A LOT of kitchens and I am always drawn towards the beautiful luster of a rich dark finish. Gel Stain seemed easy to work with and it wasn’t a huge deal if you didn’t sand all the way down to bare wood.
Here’s the bathroom vanity when we first looked at the house:
You definitely notice the dirt first, but there’s the vanity. It doesn’t look that bad next to everything else.
I will soon be writing a very detailed post on how we did this. Everyone does it a little different, and I’m sure there are a lot of “right” ways. We were very happy with our results and felt that the vanity turned turned out great. We were a little more thorough than some, but more on that later.
Here’s what it looked like after the first coat. I’ll admit, I kind of panicked. It looked super light and uneven and I had to run to the computer and make sure we hadn’t ruined our vanity, but if it looks like this, you’re doing it RIGHT! 3 coats were definitely needed, and it WILL even out perfectly.
And here is the finished product! We also added cabinet hardware, which I think makes a HUGE difference in finishing it off. The pictures make it look pretty dark, but it’s a beautiful espresso and when the light shines on it it’s almost cherry. It’s beautiful.
We couldn’t be happier with how it turned out! It really transforms this bathroom. Can’t wait to show you the kitchen!