It’s Almost Done!

Yes, I know, Makeover Monday has failed to post according to the regular schedule. No, I haven’t stopped this popular category of Glorious Surrender. I am waiting for the BIG REVEAL.

You might recall the original kitchen in our house.



We worked hard to turn this lemon into lemonade through the miracles of chalk paint and “tile” stickers. This transformation lasted a few years.


We would have kept its simple update had the insides of the cabinetry been in good shape.  The interior of the lowers were mostly rotted from water damage. We never dreamed we would ever be able to replace the entire kitchen, but when offered an amazing deal on new cabinets – we called in back-up.


So stayed tuned for a Makeover Monday Vlog post showing the reno in fast forward, taking you from demo to decorated.





$50 Dining Room Table

Our old table wasn’t a great fit of our new(er) house. I’ve been on the look out for a great deal on a round table. I found this little beauty on kijiji for $50.


I sanded it, and the two leaves that came with the table, down to bare wood.

I stained the table top walnut to match the other finishes in our open concept main floor. Isn’t it great when you have leftover product from previous projects that fit the current one? I gave it one coat of Varathane, but will likely give it an additional coat at a later date.

I mixed up a homemade chalk paint recipe using latex paint, plaster of paris, and water.

Lastly, I distressed the base with a fine sandpaper. The table without the leaves is large enough for our family, but we will need the additional surface area for guests. Not too shabby for a $50 kijiji find.


I’m also thrilled that our old table has been repurposed as a desk for my husband. It is a beautiful table that I definitely wanted to keep.


Barn Board Kitchen Island Top

When I first started this project, I planned to hire it out. It seemed too hard, too complicated. But, at the encouragement of my uncle (big shout-out to Uncle Mike) and with a tutorial from my brother (big shout-out to Trevor), I decided to take my best swing. If I swung and missed, it was barn board. It could always be sanded down again – right?

First, I located some nice, thick boards. A friend cut them to size, and I stacked them on our pool ladder and hosed off the worst of the debris.


Then, I scrubbed them clean and set them in the sun to dry. I finally had a reason to be grateful for the CRAZY heatwave that hit Ontario!

I arranged the boards the way I envisioned them on our island. At this point, I stopped and admired them for quite awhile.


I sanded them smooth with a belt sander lent from a kind neighbour (thanks, John!) and stained them walnut (to compliment our floors). I hauled them in one by one and placed them on the top of the MDF currently serving as a temporary island top. (It’s been ‘temporary’ for over a year now)

The boards were not all the same thickness, so I flipped them over and built up the lower boards with wood. I used metal bars to attach the boards to one another for increased support.

I CAREFULLY flipped the now-connected boards back over. I used my hubby’s air nailer and added trim around the raw board edges and MDF to create a finished edge. I sanded the trim, so it matched the curves of the barn board, leaving a “living edge” of raw wood at the front. I used 1 inch trim underneath the living edge to cover the MDF. I sanded down any high spots and stained one more time.

At this point, I LOVED how it looked. I scoured the WEB looking for ANYONE who would tell me it was okay to keep untreated barn board as a countertop. I didn’t want to add a protective coat and sacrifice the raw look. However, after reading pages and pages of online advice, I decided the ability to clean the island trumped beauty. And, I wanted to seal up that wood in case there was anything terrible hiding inside. I also feared the raw wood would absorb stains. With three kids, spills are bound to happen!

I used Epoxy for the first time and was terrified that I would mess it up. It ended up being relatively easy to use (just like my brother promised). One coat of epoxy is like 50 coats of a regular top coat. I figured, if I had to coat this thing, it was getting coated GOOD. I always use a cutting board, a matt, or parchment paper, so I wasn’t concerned about the Epoxy as a final top layer.


Now the island top was complete, but it clashed with the cabinet. The almost-black cabinets looked quite nice with the white top and quite ugly with the walnut. Sigh. Out came the paintbrush.

In the end, it was about two weeks of hard work. The worst was sanding outside in the midst of a heatwave. I really love our new island top.


DIY easy shelves and letter decor

Step one is pretty easy. Cut your MDF trim and your corner piece the same length. Using a product like No More Nails, glue the corner piece to the bottom edge of the MDF. Clamp and dry.


Once it is dry, remove the clamps and sand the shelf. I didn’t bother to paint the shelf because I wanted a distressed look.


Decide what word you would like to spell and purchase the letters. There are many different styles of wooden letters available for purchase.

We referenced John 15:5.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

We made two shelves. On the second shelf, we decided to spell the keyword abide.


We stained the letters in a walnut finish.


We sat the shelves on a bookcase, but alternatively, they are easily hung on the wall.