A tale of 4 doors | dealing with Aniline

What? you don't know about the organic compound Aniline?! #chemistrymuch

LOL Same. So, here's a long story on how we met! Let's go!

There were 4 original (heart eyes!) doors upstairs, all closet doors.

Side note: WHY couldn't the bedroom doors be original too???! The previous owners hoarded EVERYTHING, but decided to toss the original doors? Makes no sense. Anyways...


We had these 4 doors, which had chipped paint/scuff marks/pink paint? IDK what, but they needed help. Since I was re-painting all the trim upstairs white anyways, I figured they could use a fresh coat. We tossed them in the garage when we sanded the floors last April, and I've finally re-installed them all inside. Why do little projects like this take SO long, I asked myself for 6 months.

So, to refinish, first I washed the doors down with TSP... I needed to refill the bucket after each door because OMG what was even on them. Then I lightly sanded them down a bit - just to get the big gouges off. I wasn't going to go full on paint-stripper-sand-paint them all since the actual wood of the doors are a little beat up regardless of what the paint is doing #charm?

I ALWAYS do 2 coats of primer and 2 coats of paint. As I was rounding the corner of my 3rd coat I started to tackle the hardware. Layers of paint were coated on them. I wanted to strip the paint off and spray them with ORB to eventually match the new hardware upstairs.

I began by using a paint stripper. I've used it before and it KINDA works...but it was taking forever.  3 coats of stripper and a week later I said uncle. I originally didn't just take off the hardware because of all the paint on the screws. The screws were in VERY rough shape so I knew unscrewing them all was going to not be a fun task. One afternoon I grabbed 5 different flat head screws and went to work. About 30 minutes later (20 minutes too long IMHO), they were all stripped.



SO! How did I get the paint off? A crock pot! Soapy hot water will loosen the paint and it peels RIGHT OFF. Since I don't really want to eat anything in a crock pot that has had paint in it, I used a few of those crock pot liners while I left them in there. WORKED LIKE A CHARM.






Next up: spray paint!

Here's where things got FUN...

When the knobs were taken off the doors, some of the paint around them peeled off with it. So I primed those areas, and started painting over them and then OMG LOOK WHAT HAPPENED.



Enter: three months of pulling my hair out from pink bleeding through.

WHYYYY (spoiler, ima 'bout to tell ya)

So, APPARENTLY doors have been 'dyed' in the past. How do I know this? The depths of the internet. Literally the page at the bottom of the internet bucket. Aniline is the culprit. This is the chemical that is bleeding through. I found a chat forum where a woman ran into this, she ended up stripping the entire door, bleaching the wood, priming (oil), and painting. That worked for her.

That sounded like something I didn't want to do, at all.

So I went to Sherwin Williams, with paint in my hair and fire in my eyes and showed them photos of the doors. Now, prior to going I had already tried everything in my arsenal. I tried water based primer, oil based primer, sanding down to the wood and re-priming (it just made it spread!!).

Back to Sherwin Williams, first, homegirl sent me home with this:


And was like "Nothing can't be blocked with this stuff" Then my doors were like TRY ME GIRL.


So I went back, near complete melt down at this point. Hoping she just gives me a torch to burn these doors to the ground. Instead she hands me this and was like, "my thoughts are prayers are with you, girl."

IT WORKED! Finally, yeesh. 


NO MORE PINK! 2 coats of the toughest primer in the WORLD, followed by 2 coats of oil based primer followed by 2 coats of paint and omg why doors whyyyyy. 


Then, FINALLY, I was able to re-install the knobs and rehang the doors.


Don't you just love projects that should only really take one week and end up taking 6 months of your life away?! But, am I glad I persevered? HECK YES, Look at those beautiful things.


THE BATHROOM | our first finished room!

YOU GUYS! We did it! We finished ONE ROOM IN THE HOUSE. It only took us 9 months but we did it! I mean, the WHOLE nine months wasn't working on this specific room obviously...thankfully...

So (my favorite part) let's take a walk down memory lane ONE LAST TIME (i promise)...




EVERYTHING was blue, most things had water damage, and a few things were just not functional (looking at you shower head). We knew this place had some maj issues judging by the hole in the kitchen ceiling below. So, we (and by we I mean fasha and Dan) ripped it alllllll out.



 We, unfortunately, had to replace most of the subfloor. If there is ever a job from this project I would prefer not to do again, it's replacing subfloor. Just not my jam, ya know.


^and yes, the toilet is being held up by shimmying subfloor under it...we are professionals here I PROMISE.

Next came the tub and tile, love that hex tile with the subway in the shower!


Then we installed a little wall treatment to hide the repercussions of taking the wall tile off...



After that all we needed were the finishing touches...install the heater, put up some art/shelves, etc.etc.etc and BOOM we're done!







Not QUITE the same angle, but a little before and after of the space for ya: 



This was the first 'gut to finished' room I've ever done, and MAN did we learn alot! Mainly, baby steps. When things felt overwhelming just take one small project at a time...which is probably why it's taken so long to finish! Sources on where we got everything below:

Vanity: Wayfair
Mirror: The Cottage
Sconce: Home Depot
Tile: The Tile Shop (floor), Home Depot (Shower)
Towel Hooks: Anthropologie (on sale now!)
Towel Bar & Shelf: Bed Bath & Beyond




HNY! | 2018 house goals

Happy New Year everyone! There are two things I love doing the first few weeks of a new year, looking back on the last year, and PLANNING for the next! And boy do we have a year ahead of us! So let's take a quick look on THE highlight from this past year!


OBVIOUSLY it was the purchase of this hot mess. We have been working the better part of this year to make it more livable-ish, WHILE living in it. Here are a few posts on what we have done so far!



And so. much. more. Radiators got painted, walls and trim got painted, doors were refinished, garage doors were (finally!) added to our garage, the garage and driveway were power washed, insulation was added to our attic (frozen pipes over the holidays!!!)...we were busy.



BUT! We are SO excited for this year, adding some FINISHED spaces to our house, starting next week with our FINISHED bathroom upstairs. Our first in the house and man it feels good to check that box off.

We have been talking a lot about our house goals for this year, some our bank account agrees with, some are stretch goals that we are hoping for. Here is where we are at!

  • Organize our closets upstairs, and PURGE (already started, such a game changer)
  • Finish the 2 spare bedrooms up stairs: remove wall paper, skim coat walls, paint, add quarter round, paint trim, re-hang closet doors... yadda yadda yadda. 
  • THE KITCHEN! We both have a strong passion to finish this kitchen. It's kinda funny how used to it we've become...things on the kitchen list right away? FLOORS. Then cabinet doors, counter tops etc. etc. etc.
  • The year of landscaping! If Dan get's his way, he is going to bulldoze the entire lawn and make it the flattest lawn there ever was. Homeboy can't stand lawn lumps. If I have my way, whatever we do back there will involve a chicken coop :) 
  • NEW WINDOWS! The windows in the entire house are...not the best. Especially upstairs. We are getting those replaced this year (all 12 of them!) to FINALLY completely finish the upstairs. The main floor windows are the original windows, we are hoping to fix the few panes that are broken and keep those in place. 
  • Air Conditioning?! We have noodled this for the past year. I work from home, and honestly there were only a handful of nights last year that were muggy. The house has some huge windows and great cross breeze...but we are thinking it might still need AC (resale?). We have a guy ready to go if we pull the trigger. Since we have radiators, we will install the AC in the attic and vent down into the bedrooms. From there, we can vent through closets into the main floor...for those who are curious :)
LOFTY goals, but if last year's productivity is any indication of what we are capable of...we should be able to get there :) 

Question for YOU! What do you want to see more of on here? step by step DIY? Updates on projects? Life outside of renovations?! Comment below and let me know - i'd love to hear from you!

ALSO! Did you know you can subscribe by e-mail? Every time I hit submit, an e-mail will be sent to your inbox...TECHNOLOGY. Enter your e-mail to the right (up at the top by my mug) and hit submit - BOOM.