Before and After

Silver Leaf Paint: The Easy Way To Get The Look Of Silver Leaf!

Posted on Mar 10, 2014

mirror finished bathroom remodel product


 Master Bathroom Mirror Makeover

One thing I knew would be so important for our bathroom remodel was to have a nice large mirror over the bathtub.  A mirror would appear to enlarge the space and reflect light, both important for a small master bath.  Besides, they’re so pretty!  The trick was finding the right size and shape mirror in the right color.  Luckily, after a lot of searching for both, I found the right mirror and the right paint to get to that right color.

The secret to sanity when remodeling an old home is accept that standard sized items aren’t going to fit in your non-standard size house when it comes to replacing things.  My house was built 57 years a go and not one thing has been a standard size.  So when we remodeled the bathroom, I wasn’t surprised to find not one standard mirror size was going to work. A quest to consignment stores to find a mirror of the right size , shape and color was the answer.  When finding all three proves frustratingly impossible I found it easiest to settle for the right size and shape. I am an expert at using spray paint!


Wood frame with tape

The original finish on the mirror is fine, but not what I was looking for. I love the detailed texture and the size was perfect!


After a lot of searching I finally found a great looking mirror at a decent price with a nice size frame in the right size and shape for over my tub at a consignment shop, but it came in brown.  Knowing I wouldn’t find a better fit, I bought it planing to do a quick spray paint job to get it just right. Lord knows I’m no stranger to spray paint. So I set out to find a perfect soft, silvery finish that would make my new mirror just right for over the tub.

I started at a big box store for silver spray paint.  How hard could it be? There was not one decent silver color.  Ugh. I checked my local hardware store…same thing.  Then I headed to the local craft store- again every silver color was awful! I wandered over to the silver-leafing area and realized I love the look of silver leaf, but the process of multiple steps over such a large piece was out of my price and patience range. OK, really out of my patience range! So you can imagine my delight when I found silver leaf paint!


Liquid Leaf bottle


It doesn’t look exactly like silver leaf, but it is far and away better than any can of spray paint I could find!  It was super easy and I absolutely love the results!


4 East Steps to Refinishing With Silver Leaf paint.

1. Make sure all surfaces are clean and grease free.

2. Use a liquid sanding product to make the surface more ready to accept paint and remove any sealant.  A quick, light wipe is all you need. Dry off if necessary.

3. Tape off the mirror so you get nice, clean edges.  I covered the rest of the mirror with paper towels that I moved around as I worked.




4. Use a brush to apply.  I did it in one coat and went back to do touch ups.  The paint splatters a little (lots of little droplets) and dries really fast.  I like the texture they can add.


splatter silver leaf


That’s it! You’re done.


Silver mirror painted


It took me about an hour to clean and paint a 4’x5′ mirror. It dried beautifully and looks spectacular in my bathroom! I would use that silver leaf paint again in an instant.  Even with the steam from my baths, the paint has held up beautifully.


Master bathroom remodel tub


The finished product again.  I couldn’t be happier with my new mirror!

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with any of the stores or products mentioned in this post.  Of any kind. At all.  Heck, I don’t even have ads!

Should you choose to do a project like this please remember to always follow the directions on the label of any paint and paint stripping products:0)




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Master Bathroom Remodel: A Tiny Space Gets a Masterful New Look

Posted on Mar 2, 2014

Master bath before

 Master Bathroom Remodel: Before (Above)


Remember when I said we bought a fixer-upper?  Well, I wasn’t kidding.  We’ve been working away at it and we’re finally done with phase 1, the master bedroom and bathroom makeover. As part of the redo we did a master bathroom remodel of a tiny bathroom which had one small sink, a shower with a tiny window, a toilet, and a closet. Yes….A full closet in the bathroom.  (?!?)

In order to make it more usable we incorporated a small hallway that lead to the two small bedrooms into the bathroom and removed the closet.  Once we did that we had a clean foot print of the bathroom to work with. Unfortunately, the water heater couldn’t be moved so we were stuck with and odd protruding corner, but it was a small price to pay for a better bathroom. 

Of all the rooms in the chopped up, poorly mishmash-ed multi-renovation nightmare house, none were suitable for a master.  So we ended up taking the two front bedrooms and bathroom, and turning them in to the master suite with an on-suite bath, walk in closet and washer/dryer area. I loved all the windows across the front of the two rooms (the front porch is outside and there’s handy door to the side yard which is great for letting out the dogs in the middle of the night without having to get out of bed!).  The light in the room is lovely in the morning and in the afternoon, and it’s cool in the middle of the day since its on the Northeast east side of the house. It was the perfect choice for a master suite. Of course, that meant there were issues.  The two rooms had ceilings going two different directions.  One was an original room and one was part of an add on so it had the newer slanted ceiling.  And, of course, that meant the old one had to be torn out since who’s going to turn down a higher ceiling? But that’s another post!

Now, I don’t know about you, but I am a bath girl.  I love taking baths.  Especially on a cold afternoon, there’s nothing like a relaxing soak, and with all the work we are doing ourselves, a nice hot soak is just the ticket to revitalize sore muscles.  So when I planned for the bathroom, I knew it had to have a tub.  Lucky for me The Mister knew it too.   So even though we were working with a small space, a tub was a must.  We obviously also needed a shower, toilet, sinks (two sinks is the sectret to a long and happy marriage) and some storage.  And, since we live close to the beach, a door to the side yard for easy clean up access was another must.  Then, for ventilation, a small window that can be opened to let out the steam had to be included.  Right.  Tub, shower, toilet, double vanity, storage, window, and a door in that tiny bathroom…

Well, with a lot of planning and the use of Auto CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) software, we were able to get it all in.   One thing you learn when you buy an old house its that things are never ideal.  When you buy a brand new home, all the spaces have been planned and proper distances are allowed and things like windows and doors are amply alloted for.  When you buy a fixer, especially an old one that has been remodeled in many different decades, things are often no longer ideal.  This is an important lesson for those of us who like to remodel.  And sometimes a hard pill to swallow.  But when you have limited resources,  you have to make the best decisions you can for the situation you’re presented with.  That’s what we did.


Here are the results of our Master Bathroom Remodel:


To start, the door had to go on the outside wall where the shower was.  The shower got moved to the opposite corner of the bathroom behind the entry door.  This is one of those non-ideal situations, but it works.


before and after master shower


Above left: the closet has been cut and the new wall, pushed into the old hallway, has been built. The blue box is for the new light switches. Above right: The door is closed and the finished shower, which is behind the door when it’s opened, is open and airy with frame-less glass.

The sink console has two sinks so I don’t have to look at the mister’s face trimmings and he doesn’t have to see my makeup splatters.  It was a great Craig’s List find from a bathroom warehouse company.  The counter top marble had be damaged so they were selling it, sinks included, for $200!!!  Yeah, a little epoxy and it’s invisible.  The added bonus was that the console was designed to look like furniture so it had feet.  The Mister and I are tall, so we simply swapped out the shorter feet for longer ones we found at Lowes.  It fits us perfectly now!  For vanity mirrors, we chose recessed medicine cabinets that are taller than average to gain more space.

Sink before during during


Above left: The bathroom as we found it when we moved in, one sink and the world’s shortest toilet! Above middle: The wall separating the bathroom from the hall has been revoved as has the old light fixture, mirror and framed shower. Above right: The sink wall is stripped to the studs and the new double sink console awaits new feet and an installation.


master bathroom sink console after


Above: the double sink console, sconces and rlarge recessed medicine cabinet mirrors give our small bathroom big appeal!

The claw foot tub is a 5 footer, even though I’m very tall.  It works great because it has the slanted back.  I never overheat because I can have either my torso or my feet out and it’s nice and deep.  (WARNING: if you like slipper tubs pay attention to where the drain overflow hole is.  My old tub only allowed 6″ of water before it hit the overflow, even though the tall back of the tub was almost 30″.  Not cool!)


Tub corner before during and after master bath reodo


Above: It’s hard to believe this is all the same corner! Left: We took out the closet and (middle) put in my lovely tub. The first picture (left) shows the closet wall being removed. The middle picture shows the tile done on the floors and walls and the tub and fixtures in with blue tape to determine where to drill the holes to hang the mirror.  When you’re drilling into tile you don’t want to drill twice! The last picture (right) is the finished product.  That dark corner from the left it unrecognizable as the same space!

We decided to wrap the entire shower/tub area in the same large scale subway tiles for continuity .  The flooring in the shower is the same as the floor for the same reason.  I love the frame-less glass shower doors!  They are so easy to keep up with a simple squeegee.

 Shower collage master bathroom remodel


Making the most of space is a must in a small bathroom.  A built-in niche in the shower (upper right) provides shampoo storage. The same tile in the shower and on the floor make the room look bigger by not chopping up the space (lower right)  The finished product (left).


shower in master bathroom remodel after


Below: The door is only 2′ wide and is a leftover from a friend’s remodel, but is perfect for getting to a shower after a day at the beach without having to track sand through the whole house.  A simple window panel on a swinging curtain arm allows light and privacy with easy. The small window lets steam out and a breeze in and a king size pillow case on ringed clips works great as a curtain. That’s teddy photo-bombing the picture.




A beautiful piece from Restoration Hardware that we brought with us from the old house sits between the sink console and the door to the master bedroom.  It’s pretty and provides valuable added storage space (below).


Storage in Master bathroom remodel


Once the fixtures were in in it was play time!  What’s the saying?  Accessories are the jewelry of a room?  I wanted to keep it simple so to keep the space from feeling cramped so all of the walls are white and all of the metals are silver, and mostly chrome for shine. Three Restoration Hardware sconces create balance and light the vanity mirrors.  For contrast, a small, round, large-framed mirror from Home Goods ($20!) reflects light that comes in through the window and door.  A lovely maiden hair fern in a decorative urn (a favorite family piece) provides the only color.


Mirror, sconce fern


A consignment store mirror with some silver leaf paint was just the thing for over the bath to help the room look bigger and be brighter.  A simple modern/glam chandelier is the piece d’resistance for over the tub. I love my new bathroom!


Master bathroom remodel tub


Our old house had a bathroom bigger than most living rooms and I hated it.  It took for ever to clean and was never cozy.  I loved the finishes and the view, but I felt like a slave to it.  With a smaller bathroom I could afford really nice finishes, make it very functional, and still add the touches that make it feel cozy without being cramped.  I no longer have a dreaded “cleaning day” for this bathroom.  Instead, I can clean the whole thing in under 10 minutes and be done!  Ahhh.  For us this remodeled master bathroom is pefect!



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Outdoor Living Easy DIY Concrete Stain

Posted on Feb 20, 2014

Concrete stain before and after

A DIY Outdoor Living Upscale.

As you know if you read my profile, The Mister and I bought a major fixer-upper a couple of years ago.  We have been madly cleaning, hauling, weeding, etc., etc.  It’s been a lot of work. The only redeeming quality to the house was the front porch. It’s a small porch, but charming and comfortable, out of the elements with a lovely view for watching the world go by.  We often have coffee or an adult beverage there on the weekends or after a long day.  The only drawback to the front porch was the state of the concrete.  It had been stained twice with two different colors that had long since worn thin. So we decided it was time for a DIY concrete stain project to reseal the front porch since it’s a quick and easy (as well as relatively affordable) way to spruce up tired concrete.


Concrete stain half done with can


Our porch wasn’t just worn thin. One Halloween I tried a trick I saw on Pinterest with that glow-in-the-dark liquid that comes in glow sticks.  The photo showed eerily glowing liquid oozing down a driveway. So clever and creative! I poured some down the fronts of our steps like I had seen on the post.  Bad idea.  The liquid ate through whatever stain was left where I poured it by the next morning. Lesson learned: no matter what you see on Pinterest, do not cut glow sticks open! Not only was our concrete worn thin, now it had weird drippy marks down the front of the steps.  Not a good look.


Concrete stain before


It bugged me forever to come home to that awful looking porch, but with so many other more important improvements to make, we just finally got around to re-staining the porch.  Without equivocation I can say it was the quickest, easiest, most rewarding project we have done!  I was a bit reluctant at first because of the potential need to etch or whatever they say the multi-step process needs to be. In our case, it was a matter of a quick sanding and the application of the stain.


Concrete stain with Rustoleum can


The first coat goes on quickly and is very transparent. By the third coat, a rich, deep patina develops.


First coat

First coat


Concrete stain coat 3

Third coat.


Ta da! The finished stained concrete.

Concrete stained stairs


Probably the most time consuming part was trying to match what was already there since the original color looked great with the stacked stone walls.  Finding the wrong color was really easy!  I’ll save you the gory details and get right to what worked.

Here’s the Concrete Staining Process

1. Find the right color:  If you’re trying to match what’s already there, the only way to do it is to get a bunch of samples until you find one that is closest. Most concrete stains come in very limited colors so you may have to look outside the limited pallets. Paint, concrete stain, wood stain, whatever type of product doesn’t matter. Take your perfect sample to Dunn Edwards because they can color match solid (versus transparent) stains.  I found a wood stain color from a different paint company that was closest to our color and they nailed it!  Bingo!

2.  Start with a clean surface: We pressure washed our front porch to make sure all loose debris and dirt were gone for the most uniform application.

3. Sand the surface.  The Mister used and electric hand sander to rough up the concrete surface so the stain would sink in.  This is where some surfaces, especially if they have been sealed, need to be etched. Check with your local paint store to find out if you can bypass the etching process or test a small area (after it’s been sanded) with the stain.  If the stain soaks in, you’re good to go.

4. Be sure to clean the sanded areas. We pressure washed again and let the concrete dry.

5. Apply the stain to a small area at a time, adding as many coats as needed for the desired effect. The mister simply used a brush and applied a heavy coat of stain to about 1/3 of the porch at a time.  He let the stain sink in and then applied two more coats, allowing for dry time in between.

 6. Finish in small sections. We broke the front porch into three sections plus the stairs.

It is impossible to overstate how happy we are with the finished product!  It is such a pleasure to come home to a front porch that is clean and welcoming instead of an eyesore.  I could say I wish we’d done it sooner, but then I might have poured the glow stick goo on my beautiful newly stained concrete and messed it all up. So I guess waiting was better.

Since we re-stained the porch, it has become a little slice of heaven in a very big. overwhelming, not-so-good-looking project. Now when we sit on the front porch to watch the sunset we get to relax rather than be stressed by an the ugliness of an eyesore… and pretend that the whole house is done:0)

If you have a concrete area that is an eyesore, give concrete stain a try.  Then you’ll have your own little slice of heaven.




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