It Took a Year to Get It Right, But Finally This Makeover Is Complete

Welcome to the 497th Metamorphosis Monday!

Thanks so much for all your wonderful comments on Saturday’s post. It was so heartwarming and encouraging to read your comments and stories! You shared so many of the same thoughts I have and I truly appreciate each and every comment.

I was so surprised by how many of you had actually had the opportunity to visit A Classy Flea in person! I know a lot of folks mentioned they had hoped to visit and were disappointed that it closed before they had the opportunity.


I’ll be visiting the Marietta Antique Market sometime soon since that’s where several of the dealers who were in A Classy Flea moved. I’ll try to take photos while I’m there to share in a post sometime soon. I’m looking forward to checking it out.

I guess the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus of Ephesus, got it right when he said, “The only thing that is constant is Change. There really is no way to fight it, is there? We just have to adapt and be thankful for the memories. Easier said than done sometimes, I know!


Basement Door Makeover Has Finally Been Completed Properly!

I have a small Before and After to share for this week’s Metamorphosis Monday. It’s not an especially exciting Before and After but it definitely made me happy seeing it finally completed correctly.

Last summer I replaced the door going down to the basement. The old door was badly damaged on the basement side by the previous homeowner’s dog. I had installed a kitty/pet door in that same door when I first moved in since we had three cats back then. Now that all my furbabies have sadly passed on, it was time to replace the door with a new one.



When I was having the deck refinished last summer, I had the same painting company doing that work, also take care of the staining and finishing of the new basement door. The process got off to a rocky start because it turned out the guy they had doing the staining, had never done that type work before. Arggg!

The painting company sent out another more-experienced painter and he did his best to undo the previous guy’s work and stain the door where it would match the surrounding wood paneling as much as possible. He had his work cut out for him, it’s very hard to fix a botched stain job.

He did a good job and it was looking a whole lot better until he applied the final two sealing finishes. They (the painting company and the guy who did the work) insisted they had used a low-luster, satin finish for the protective coat, but in real life, it looked very high-gloss. Not even semi-gloss…it looked HIGH gloss and didn’t match with the sheen of the surrounding wood paneling at all.

The photo below is from last year when the work was done. Unfortunately, it’s not showing up in the photo very well, but believe me–in person the door had a very high-gloss shine that did not look good with the surrounding walls, which have more of a satin sheen/finish. Look at the area around the doorknob, you may be able to see the high-gloss shine there.

At the time the work was done, despite expressing my disappointment with how high-gloss shiny the door looked and how it didn’t match the walls, they insisted it was the best they could do. They had no other answers. I hoped the gloss factor would die down a bit with the passage of time, but unfortunately, it has not.

Door Stained to match Judges Paneling, Paneled Walls


Recently I had to have the painting company back out to do some warranty touch-up work on one the decks they had painted last summer. While here, the warranty guy asked if there was anything else he needed to address. I mentioned the door knowing that it was probably a complete waste of time to bring it up since they had no answers to the high-gloss problem the year before. I was stunned when he said that Minwax, the brand they had used before, had just this past year come out with a “matte” finish. I asked if it could be applied directly over the current finish that looked like a high-gloss finish, and he said, yes.

So this past week they put two new coats of finish on the door and it is much, much better. So hard to show it in pictures but the finish on the door is much closer to the soft satin-like sheen of the paneling now.

Minwax Polycrylic Finish in Matte Finish


If you look at that area near the doorknob, you’ll notice there’s not near as much shine now as there was before.

Door Refinished with Minwax Matte Polycrylic Finish


I think this is the product he used. I forgot to get a photo of the can when he was here doing the work, but he said it was the Minwax “matte” finish and that Minwax had just come out with this year. Isn’t it odd that they would just now come out with a matte finish? What have people been using all the years before when they didn’t want a shiny gloss finish? Ummm.

Okay, I just looked online and there are reviews for this product on Amazon HERE dating all the way back to 2015, so I think he was wrong about it not being available last year, unless he used something totally different. I think I’ll give them a call today and ask since this has me really curious. I’ll update this post if I find out it was something different that he used, but I know he said it was the Minwax matte finish.


Though this was just a minor update, I’m so happy to finally have the basement door matching the finish of the surrounding walls so much better now. That hallway is normally pretty dark, it’s a short hallway between the living room and the kitchen, so the light isn’t normally on. But I’m so glad that the door matches now for those times when the light does get turned on.

Did you work on any fun or exciting projects this past week? I’m looking forward to checking out all the great Before and Afters for this week’s Met Monday!

Minwax Polycrylic Finish in Matte Finish


Looking forward to all the great Before and Afters for this week’s Metamorphosis Monday!

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Metamorphosis Monday

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  1. You must be thrilled to have that project completed. While not a “big thing”, it must have been continually irksome as you passed the door every day and noticed the different finish. It would have driven me batty. So glad it’s resolved!

    • Helen, you are so right! Every time I turned on the light and saw that super shiny door, drove me nuts! lol It’s such a relief to have it looking like the rest of the paneling/woodwork now.

  2. The difference in sheens would have irked me too, since it highlighted that the door was not original.

    • What’s funny is the stain work in the end actually turned out better than that on the original door. Once they put an experienced painter on it, he did a great job matching the stain to the paneling. Yeah, the difference in the sheen was terrible, can’t believe they found a solution. I was afraid it would have to remain like that forever.

  3. Susan; I am glad that you got the problem solved as I know it would have bothered me as well though do find it surprising that the application of a ‘clear matte’ finish over the gloss was the solution, so shall definitely store it in my memory bank as an easy fix. -Brenda-
    P.S.: For yourself and readers that may have previously painted surfaces done in an alkyd (oil based) paint often found on woodwork, doors, and window frames. Do NOT paint over the surfaces with an acrylic (water base) paint unless you either a) strip the old paint off as deglossing is not as effective OR b) prime them before hand using a product like Kilz or Zinssers Bulls Eye regardless if your new (water base) paint contains a primer and is a high end one. Reason; to avoid eventual chipping/peeling/cracking. From my own personal experience, the extra time and/or cost will pay off in the long run.

    • I know, so surprising you could put a matte on top of a high gloss look since you can’t normally do that with paint. Maybe the “satin” finish they used before was water-based or something…not sure.

  4. Good morning Susan, yes, the door looks a lot better than it did in the first picture, thank goodness he asked if there was anything else. My husband and I went to his folks this weekend and helped with finishing a deck area, putting in dirt, stones and stepping stones. Looks really nice now. Have a great week!

  5. Celeste Breen says

    Glad you were able to get this fixed. Over the past month or so my husband has been working on redoing the wood parts from our swing on the front porch. The finish had cracked and was peeling. The painter who painted the outside of out house, sold him a kit with the necessary finishing items. After multiple sandings and coats of stain and varnish, the swing looks like new. I have a couple of pillows coming from Target to put on it. Next up is refinishing a table and a couple of rockers on the porch.

    • Wow, my hat is off to your hubby! I know a lot of folks would have just tossed it out and bought another one. Bet it will last now for many, many years! Hope your pillows come soon…the finishing touch! 🙂

  6. HA!
    Susan, I knew you still had to dot the i’s and cross the t’s! 🙂
    I love this saying and I immediately thought of you (and me, a little) lol when I found it somewhere on internet and I looked up for its meaning! 🙂
    So glad they had that new product for your door!
    I bet you’ll sleep better, now. I know, I’d! 🙂
    (My husband and my son never understand when I complain about something that doesn’t look “good” enough to me, they say it’s practical, I say I miss a second “p” which stands for perfect and they suggest I should stop watching Monk! lol)
    Susan, the only “project” I’ve worked on this past week was to try to cope with these unusual high temperatures we are currently having here, as no a/c in our home and no wind or rain (and sometimes even no sun!) in sight! Sigh!

    • Ha! I’ve used that saying more than once over the years, definitely a good one! 🙂

      Ugh, that weather sounds rough. It gets hot and muggy here, but we have central A/C so it’s not a problem. I feel bad that you guys are having to endure that. Do you have several fans going in the house to circulate the air? Drink lots of ice water so you can cool from the inside out. That helps me a lot when I’m out and about in the heat.

  7. I can so procrastinate on getting my never-ending honey do list done because I don’t have a honey to do the list. But I finally found my go to guy who seems to be able to fix anything. Here in Mexico it’s inexpensive but this gentleman and his sons are unbelievable. That shower head that spews water all over my glass shower doors has been replaced! Amazing how one gets used to inconveniences or annoying things that you don’t realize until they’re fixed. Now the basin in my built-in fountain on the wall on my back garden will be repaired along with the growing list I’m creating. What a relief!

    • I need someone like that. I know a guy that does that type of work but he’s never available, always too busy doing major renovations. Wish I could find someone who is really good and has time for those smaller jobs.
      I know it feels great to see those things getting done, Ginger. It really preys on my mind when I have a long list of little things like that…that need to be completed.

  8. The door looks a lot better then it did. Thank you also for hosting every week!

  9. Your door looks great and your warranty man did a very good job! It’s so nice to be able to scratch household products off the list. Sorry about your Classy Flea. I don’t handle change very well. I am always so thrilled to find a favorite shop or restaurant still in existence!

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

    • I know, I feel the same way! I couldn’t believe when Toys R Us closed recently…so many fond memories of shopping there at Christmastime and for birthdays.

  10. That paneling is so pretty. I love the warm tone and I’m glad for you that it is finally to your liking. It’s funny how certain people *ahem-I-may-be-0ne* can be uncomfortable about some detail that others will see as minor – or even non-existent. 😀

    And I loved seeing that angle in your house! I’ve not seen it before and it puts the floor plan in perspective in my head. 🙂

    • Pam and Susan, I was thinking the same thing re floor plan. Pam, it certainly is funny how one (me) can notice things and another one (husband) finds them to be just fine!!!

    • Oh yeah, I always notice stuff like that! It’s a curse! lol

      I just kept backing up when I took that picture, trying to capture as much of the paneling and show it all at a distance for a better view of how it all “matched.” I don’t think I’ve ever had a reason to take a photo at that odd angle before. lol
      Yeah, it’s just a typical layout with the dining room and “formal” living room on the front of the house, and the den/living room and kitchen on the back. If I open the front door and the door from the living room onto the porch, it’s a direct shot from the front door through to the porch, a little like a “shotgun” house.

  11. Susan, you are so right. We work so hard for the perfect look and that imperfection would have bothered me every time I passed it.
    You need to give us a whole tour of the house for an update. How many rooms do you have?
    For some reason I am not getting your email anymore. I don’t have hotmail or google.

  12. I knew the dining room was to the left as you enter, and the ‘someday library’ to the right, with the living room straight ahead. And I knew the kitchen was behind the dining room, so I had a vague-ish idea, but seeing that funny little angle made things make sense. 😀 What I didn’t realize is that you can walk a straight shot from the front door back to the porch. 😮 Anyway, it’s just a little thing but it was fun to see. I love that judge’s paneling so much. My husband and I have always said if we ever build, we’ll build a library with beautiful paneling like that.

  13. Bobbi Duncan says

    The door now matches beautifully to your judge’s paneling–know you’re relieved about that! The matte sheen is good to know about for when we have the newel posts and railings to our staircases replaced. Thanks for the tip. Hugs!

  14. Thanks so much for hosting!!

  15. Katherine says

    Susan, I feel sorry for you having such trouble with that basement door! That’s the door they cut too short, isn’t it? I’ll be curious to find out what the company says when you ask about the matte finish being available several years ago. I have come across so many people working in the big box type hardware stores who don’t know the answer to something so they just lie. It’s led me to do as many projects as possible myself. Keep us posted!

    • Yup, the company who installed it did that, so it had to be replaced at their expense.
      The painting company is separate from them, found them listed in one of the Home Advisor books…but I don’t plan to use them again. Every time I use them, there are big problems. They eventually fix them, but I’d rather not have so many issues from the start.
      Thanks, Katherine! Glad it’s finally looking better. 🙂

  16. May I ask what you put on your floors that makes them shine?
    Mine need a makeover!

    • I honestly don’t put anything on them…just vacuum them. If they look like they need it, I will lightly damp mop with just water, but then wipe it right up with a towel. I don’t like putting anything on my hardwood floors. I’ve heard you can use vinegar in the water, but I don’t like risking it. My hardwood flooring guy once told me that the best thing you can do for hardwood flooring is to vacuum or sweep it often because it’s dirt/grit that ruins the finish and dulls them.

  17. Boy, really glad I got to go back and read this…that Min Wax might just “do the trick” on the dashboard my hubs is making for the old car!!! Your door looks fantastic…really like it!! Patience is not a virtue I have…franki

  18. Hi again Susan,

    The door looks wonderful! Your house is a dream. Colonial Homes — my favorite in the 80’s and early 90’s! We don’t have too much of that kind of architecture here in Texas and I miss it, having grown up in New England.

    I wanted to post a “duh” kind of comment on stain finishes that new workers sometimes don’t know. Or maybe even the guy selling it to you.
    Same goes for paint finishes:

    High gloss, semi, eggshell and matte refer to how much gloss is in the mix based on the container size. (Duh.) It will always quickly float to the top, with stain more than paint — stain that has the urethane finish already mixed in. So if it hasn’t been shaken or mixed really well and very recently, what you end up with is a high gloss finish, no matter what mix you’ve purchased.

    Stains also have a sediment that settles to the bottom and needs to be churned up — if it’s been sitting on a shelf too long, even the paint shaker at the store won’t loosen all of it. So I always pour stain into a dollar store aluminum broiler pan, get that sediment out of the can, and give it all a really good stir. I keep it in the pan until the project is finished, and stir it really well each time. I’ll do the same with paint if it’s only a quart.

    Don’t mean to sound preachy — forgive me! Just a lesson learned over the years that might be helpful. Along with “watch workers like a hawk…” 😉

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