My Kitchen Counter DIY Disaster

The title is a a little misleading as my kitchen counter DIY was not a total and complete disaster. In fact, everyone that enters my kitchen say they love it! But I think they are straight up lying to my face.

Before we even bought this house I knew the counters had to go. I don’t totally hate laminate, but our counters were this terrible blue laminate that I wasn’t feeling. After reading countless blog posts talking about using Ardex concrete feather finish to give your counters a concrete look, I was totally confident my kitchen could look amazing.

Here is what my kitchen looked like before:

 

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I decided to jump headfirst into the project one Friday afternoon and as soon as I put the first goop of concrete on the counter, I knew I had made a terrible mistake. It was really hard to spread out and get it even on my counters. It was IMPOSSIBLE to get it to look right on that little lip on the wall. I kept going hoping it would get easier and it did get a little better after I was more used to it.

After putting the first layer on and letting it dry you have to sand it down. That process is when I realized I had gotten myself into a lot more than I could handle. The mess was insane and I was having a giant panic attack. I didn’t take a whole lot of pics of the process, but here are a few.

 

 

So after three day’s of layering and then sanding, I decided to call it quits on just half the counters. After I sealed it, it actually didn’t look half bad and I thought I would finish the rest of the counters one day when I could handle the mess again.

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I used a super food safe sealer, which looking back was silly. We don’t ever cut directly on the counter, so I could have gone with something less food safe. About three days after our project we started getting huge stains on the counter. Three months later here is what it looks like.

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NOT GOOD. If you have the patience and get the right sealer, I would really recommend this project for a cheap way to update the counters. I am not patient so that was my first mistake going into the project. I also hate create giant messes, and having everything in my kitchen covered in dust was not good for my sanity.

So whats next? We are getting poured concrete counters made right now! The actual stuff, not this fake powder stuff. I’m really excited about it, even though it is not cheap. I’ll keep you updated!

 

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My 2015

2015 was a crazy, crazy year. So much happened in such a short amount of time it seemed silly not to reflect.

I started 2015 feeling a little lost. The winter brought about an unhappiness in my career that I was used to feeling. I was on my third accounting job, and while I enjoy accounting, I still found myself waking up and dreading the day. It had nothing to do with my coworkers, or the company, it had to do with me. Functioning, never mind excelling, at an office job while dealing with my panic disorder and anxiety disorder was getting to be difficult. I don’t openly shout about my panic attacks or anxiety, but I don’t shy away from them either. Sitting in a cubicle all day was torture. I felt trapped and to get through every day required medication and taking it one day at a time. It was impossible to look to the future as I felt like I would never get there. I thought about finding a new job, but I knew the same problems would creep up.

Real estate had always been in the back of my mind. Whenever I was feeling anxious in my job, I would always start back up researching “how to be a real estate agent.” I would do a little reading and then realize it was too scary and too many unknowns. I don’t remember when I finally decided just to go for it, I don’t think I had an “aha” moment, just this thought that began to take over all my other thoughts. A lot of people thought I just pulled real estate agent out of my back pocket, but since I was a little kid I have had an obsession with houses. I used to make my mom bring me to open houses and beg her to buy them so we could move. When taking a graduate real state class, I thought about it again, but I was about to get a masters in tax. A friend left the accounting world for real estate, and after having drinks with her and seeing her happiness, I was¬†determined.

I started to study for the real estate exam and came up with a goal to quit my job in August. The real estate exam was actually super easy, and I got through it much faster than I thought I would. I stayed at my job for as long as a could. I actually decided to turn in notice the night before I actually did, I just couldn’t wait another day. I had my last day of work the first week in April, and I can’t believe I actually went through with it.

I’m so thankful my husband, family and friends were so supportive. I only had a few people tell me to my face I was crazy and making a mistake. ¬†It was crazy. I was giving up on six years of school, a masters degree, and a CPA to go after something that had no guarantee of success. I was giving up a pretty good salary for a 25 year old to go into the world of commissions.

Luckily, I have been successfully and I really owe it to mostly luck, then hard work. I’m so much happier and healthier in this new career. I love the work and I love being able to help people. It can get even more stressful than my previous careers, but I control the stress. My mental health has improved so much, with much less panic attacks. I still experience a lot of anxiety, but that has more to do with everyday life than my career.

We bought a house this year, which was a long journey. I have no regrets on buying a house, even though it’s cost a lot more money than I ever thought. I love our neighborhood, neighbors and can’t imagine how we lived in a tiny apartment before.

My vintage furniture business also saw a lot of growth this year. I think we have finally found our voice and direction. I’m really excited to continue to work on MM Vintage in the new year, and I’m hoping we can get a booth before spring time so we can get our stuff out there on a more permanent basis.

I got to do a fair amount of traveling, which is something that I always put a priority on every year. At the beginning of 2015 I got to nerd out at Harry Potter World. In the summer we spent a week in Mexico, which wile fun, I doubt I’ll ever go back. In September we went to Montreal, which ended up being my favorite place I have ever been.

I’m hoping 2016 can improve on 2015, but I think 2016 will be more about settling. Settling into my real estate career, settling into our house and finding a “normal.” We have a few house projects lined up, including new counter tops. I sold 10 houses in 2015 and hope to sell at least 20 in 2016. We have a few travel plans in the works including a week in Asia, and some time for a wedding in LA. I’m really just hoping for no more shakeups in 2016 as 2015 was the year of new things!

Cheers to 2015!