July 20, 2021

Transformation Tuesday #34

Happy Transformation Tuesday! Thanks for getting submissions in early. I wanted to get this post prepared ahead of time. I am actually saving a couple for next week, so if you sent one and it's not here yet, it'll be on next week's post!

I gave my fireplace a makeover. First, I started by spray painting the brass/gold 1980s (or maybe even older) fireplace cover black. That looked so good that I painted the pink 1990s tile white. And that looked so good that I stenciled the tile in a vintage gray pattern. End of story. 

- Julie Castaneda-Hicks

In my three season room, I had white bead board and trim installed 15 years ago when we first moved in to our home in Cleveland. Over the years this strange water stain appeared at the bottom of the trim along the floor and it was just ugly. There was no water leak so I don’t know where it was coming from.

Lately, I was just getting tired of looking at it, so I thought it would be a good idea to add shake shingles and paint them gray (the same color as our house). I had no idea how to start, I just knew that I could figure it out and I could do it on my own. The shingles were softer wood and easy to trim to size with a utility knife. I nailed them to the walls and used the same paint from when our house was painted. It took me a couple weekends, but I love how it turned out. I even went ahead and painted the floor white and stenciled!

- Sarah

When we bought our house in 2018 we loved everything about it except the backyard. The patio had loose bricks and was very small, we had weird stairs to nowhere on the hill and nothing but weeds. When we delayed our wedding due to COVID-19 (and then decided to have a simple small backyard ceremony) we used the deposits we got back from the canceled wedding to transform our backyard.

We had to buy a shed (we have no garage and had no place to store all of our yard equipment). We started the transformation by tearing out the old rotted wooden stairs. In order to have the shed built we needed to have the yard leveled. Once that was done and the shed was delivered we had the patio and fire pit installed.

Rather than fight with a backyard of weeds and spotty grass we went for a large patio area. I knew I didn’t want grass on the sloped hill so I edged it out, put down so so so so many flattened cardboard boxes (to hopefully prevent weeds) then had fertilizer and soil delivered to cover the boxes.

I picked out a variety of hostas as I wanted native and low maintenance plantings. After I planted all of them (it took about three days) I mulched the whole area. Then I tilled the remaining grass/weeds and put down grass seed. Finally we had a fence installed (more so to keep our 15 month old corralled). I love how it turned out, and how much labor I put into it! 

Thank you so much for submitting these before and after pics!

Julie, painting the brass black made such a huge difference! And I'm super impressed with the tiles--I've seen a few transformations with tile stencils (including Sarah's below) and it makes me want to tile something, haha. The fireplace looks great!

Sarah, the shake shingles look great! I love that you installed them yourself, despite not having experience doing it before. You did an amazing job. And the flooring is beautiful! Great DIY skills :)

Caitlin, your backyard is jaw-dropping. The patio is AMAZING. I love the patio furniture, too. I can't wait to sit out there with you, hopefully sometime in the near future!

Please keep sending the transformations--it's so nice when I can prepare the post ahead of time. To submit a transformation, just send me a before picture and an after picture at: katie (at) runsforcookies (dot) com. Don't forget to include your name and a description of the transformation!


  1. These are awesome! Good job everyone. Love TT (transformative Tuesday)

  2. Your readers are so talented! Good work.

  3. All of these transformations are stunning! The stenciled floors look amazing and the backyard is gorgeous!

  4. Okay, Julie from the first transformation, talk to me about what paint/stencil you used to do the tile in front of your fireplace. That looks amazing and I'm pretty sure I have those same tiles in my entryway which I would love to paint.
    And that backyard is awesome! It's amazing how different it now looks.


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