Saving Money on “Details”

I am obsessed with Restoration Hardware.

I am obsessed with window shopping at Restoration Hardware.

I browse the website and I get all these big ideas and then I say out-loud to nobody in particular “WHO CAN AFFORD THIS?”

Case in point… my obsession with the “Aubrey” pull.  It’s glorious in it’s simplicity.  Not over thought or whatever the drawer pull equivalent to “serif” may be… I am a sans serif kind of girl both in font and drawer pulls it seems.  But apparently, simplicity does not come cheap.  The 4 inch satin nickel variety of the Aubrey is $11 a pop.  And I needed 23 of them.  That ends up costing over $250 just for cabinet pulls.  That’s not going to cut it.

So I went to Google and eventually, I ended up here at Ideal True Value webstore.  The picture they included isn’t the best.  You can tell it has sharper lines than the Aubrey and I was immediately drawn to them.  It’s even cooler in my book.  And their listed price… $1.44 per pull.  $9.56 less per pull than it’d cost at restoration hardware.  So I ordered 23 of them and paid the $8.99 in shipping and handling.  That brought the final cost per up to $1.83.  Still a whole $9.17 less than the fancy ones.  They came within 3 days.  Heaven.

So how do they look?

Kitchen Cabinet Pulls

$1.83/pp Kitchen Cabinet Pulls

The answer?  Glorious.

Listage-

So here’s where we stand on that checklist of ours:

  • Prime, paint, and seal the cabinets. (we opted to not seal)
  • Buy new hardware and add it to the cabinets (duh)
  • Paint the walls and ceiling
  • Re-do the countertop (either paint or re-laminate)
  • Replace the floor
  • Finally finish installing the big light
  • Replace the under cabinet light
  • Find a permanent solution for the trash and recycle bins (on our way!)
  • Make the upper corner shelf open shelving (just have to add the shelves back in – more on that later)
  • Possibly replace the above-window light
  • Add some sort of curtains to the window and the door
  • Strip and repair the doors to the outside and to the basement
  • Paint the doors to the outside and the basement
  • Bright high glass white paint on the trim
  • Create a family command center on the big open wall that includes a calendar, mail center, meal planner, and anything else we may find useful.
  • Decorate.
  • Enjoy.
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The Cabinets are painted!

Painted Cabinets

Painted Cabinets

Hello, gorgeous!  I am so happy this step is done!

There are a ton of posts that outline how to paint cabinets.  In no particular order, here are the one’s we consulted:

  • Young House Love – link
  • Better Homes and Gardens – link
  • This Old House – link
  • Curbly – link

We studied these four tutorials and then came up with our own variation.  I’d say if 1 is just rushing through it and getting it done and 10 is taking every single precaution and step to do it exactly correct, we we’re probably a 5 or a 6.  We learned a lot along the way about how to properly use deglosser and whose better at what jobs when splitting tasks.  Here is the basic rundown of our steps that we utilized:

  1. Remove all the doors and drawer-fronts and all of the hardware from them (like the pulls and hinges).
  2. TSP everything.  Really get that junk clean.
  3. Degloss.  Everything.  For more on what we learned about deglossing – see below.
  4. Fill in all knicks and the holes leftover from the pulls if you won’t be using them again.
  5. Sand.  Everything.  We used a high-grit (a 220 worked well for us) to just smooth everything out evenly.
  6. Wipe everything down really well.  Dust is enemy.  Dog hair is worse than dust.
  7. One thin THIN THIN coat of primer.
  8. Let the primer dry and cure overnight, then a very light sand over thin coat of primer.  Make sure its smooth.
  9. Wipe everything down really well.  Again dust and dog hair are baaad.
  10. Repeat 6-9.
  11. Once you are satisfied that your primer is properly cured (READ THE CAN), move on to painting.
  12. Paint the very first very thin coat.
  13. Follow your paint can on how long to wait until the second coat, then second coat on everything.
  14. Once your second coat is on, we gave it abou 20-24 hours to just sit and cure, then we mounted the doors.
  15. Attach new cabinet pulls/handles/etc.
  16. Enjoy.

So here are my caveats.

Deglosser.

This was our first attempt at using deglosser.  Neither of us had a huge grasp of how deglosser really worked – until now.  For the cabinet doors that we started with, we just wiped it on and 15 minutes later we figured hey it must be done.  Just like the bottle said.  For the first doors we did, we didn’t do anything else.  We just started priming after we wiped post-deglossing.  For the cabinets, and for the second batch of doors we did, we implemented the sanding. HOWEVER, for the remaining cabinet and last door that we did not do with the first batch (this cabinet had been removed and left in the basement and we decided we’d hang it back up – so we just left it til last to do), we deglossed MULTIPLE times.  It turns out, there is a ton of gloss on these, and the more deglosser we use, the better the wood looked.  They ended up looking like bare wood when we were done.  We are actually still working on these remaining cabinets, so I will let you know if theres any difference in appearance in the finish.

Also, I will say that for the ones we did not sand between deglossing and priming, the primer was still a little tacky when we went to paint.  They sat for WEEKS and were still tacky.  I called the Behr hotline and the guy said it was fine.  The doors that were like this have been hanging in the kitchen for a couple of weeks now and I can’t tell the difference between them and the ones that were sanded.

The lesson?  Degloss multiple times THEN sand.  No matter what the bottle says.

Dog hair is the enemy.

I really have no speech on that.. but there are little tiny flecks of dog hair in our finish in some places.  Why?  Because our dogs shed so much we couldn’t control it.  It’s not really obvious unless you shove your face up to the exact spot where there is a piece.  And really theres only like 4 or 5 of them over the entire thing, so it could’ve been worse.

The lesson?  Shave your dogs before doing this.

Now on to what we used.

BEHR Premium Plus 1-Gal. Stain-Blocking Primer and Sealer Interior

BEHR Premium Plus 1-Gal. Stain-Blocking Primer and Sealer Interior

Our cabinets were gross.  We TSP’ed everything twice.  And if anybody has worked with TSP you know that stuff will remove your skin from your bones so dirt is no problem.  But we were still worried the grossness of them would come through the paint.  As a result, I made sure to buy a stain-blocking primer and sealer.  It did the trick.  Follow the directions on the can and if you have any questions, call the 1800 number on the can.  I did and they were awesome and helpful.

 

Behr paint in "Silver Drop"

Behr paint in “Silver Drop”

Even though we initially started out to get a dark grey cabinet, priming changed ur minds.  Weird, I know, but after seeing how bright and sunshiny the kitchen felt with the white primer, we wanted something lighter.  However, everybody painting everything white all of the time no matter what it is has really turned me off from white kitchen cabinets.  Plus, I had my heart set on grey.  So the compromise was a very light grey.  After the first coat, they looked white.  I was nervous.  I doubted how light I went.  But they look grey now and almost spot on to the color sample.  Heavenly.

This is the exact paint we bought – link.  We didn’t buy the paint+primer in once since we already primed.

 

 

Just for fun, lets look at the sidebyside for the before and after painted cabinets:

After painting, before painting

Side by side. After on the left, before on the right.

So here’s where we stand on that checklist of ours:

  • Prime, paint, and seal the cabinets. (we opted to not seal)
  • Buy new hardware and add it to the cabinets (duh)
  • Paint the walls and ceiling
  • Re-do the countertop (either paint or re-laminate)
  • Replace the floor
  • Finally finish installing the big light
  • Replace the under cabinet light
  • Find a permanent solution for the trash and recycle bins (on our way!)
  • Make the upper corner shelf open shelving (just have to add the shelves back in – more on that later)
  • Possibly replace the above-window light
  • Add some sort of curtains to the window and the door
  • Strip and repair the doors to the outside and to the basement
  • Paint the doors to the outside and the basement
  • Bright high glass white paint on the trim
  • Create a family command center on the big open wall that includes a calendar, mail center, meal planner, and anything else we may find useful.
  • Decorate.
  • Enjoy.

Stay tuned!

Let’s Talk Cheap, Temp Flooring

Our Current Kitchen Flooring

Our Current Kitchen Flooring

Look at that awesome floor!  That’s what’s currently in our kitchen.  There is no doubt about it that whoever did the last major reno to this house loved pink.  We have pink countertops, an entire pink bathroom that feels like a ceramic womb, pink floors, pink window ledges, pink walls.  There is no end to the pink.  But for now, lets just focus on that floor.  At a distance, say standing up and just looking at it, it’s ugly, but you can’t tell that it’s actually that filthy until you get down close to it.  Granted this picture is from underneath the fridge.  But you get my point.

So what are we considering?

Well we know for sure we are going to rip out those stick on tiles.  Thanks to the above picture we can see what’s underneath it and no part seems to be “soft” as we walk on it (and trust me I walk heavy) so we should just be able to put the new floor down on top of the existing subfloor.

We also know that we are aiming for “cheap, yet modern and stylish.”  The cheaper the better without compromising the looks too much.  We want this kitchen update to satisfy us for about 5 years and then we hope to gut it and rip out walls and have a much more open floor plan.  So we are not opposed to vinyl or laminate.  However, we are opposed to tile because it hurts the feet. Plus who wants to clean grout?  Not this girl.

These are some options and ideas that I’ve bookmarked and perused.  (For an ongoing and up to the minute look into my brain, follow me on pinterest! http://www.pinterest.com/jessiedrm – nobody pins harder than I do)

First off, I am pretty obsessed with laying the floor in a herringbone pattern.  However, with the options of actual flooring we are considering, I don’t think this is possible based on the size of the planks/tiles vs. the size of our kitchen.  The scale is off.  I am still brainstorming on whether or not this is possible, though, so it’s still in the running.

Herringbone Patterned Floor #1

Herringbone Patterned Floor #1

Herringbone Patterned Floor #2

Herringbone Patterned Floor #2

Originally, the plans were for a grey floor, but now we are unsure.  I also really love Home Depot’s fake cork options.  The end real kitchen update in ~5 years has a planned cork floor in my head, but as of right now, fake cork-look is much more in the budget.   We don’t want wood because the rest of the house is wood and it’d be killer to try to match up.  Plus, it seems like it’d be a lot of work to maintain in a kitchen.  Here are pics and links to the options we’ve been discussing:

TrafficMaster Ceramica 12 in. x 24 in. Coastal Grey Vinyl Tile Flooring (30 sq. ft./case)

TrafficMaster Ceramica 12 in. x 24 in. Coastal Grey Vinyl Tile Flooring (30 sq. ft./case) at Home Depot for $1.69/sq.ft.

Armstrong Imperial Texture 12 in. x 12 in. Classic White Standard Excelon Vinyl Composition Tiles (45-Pack)  for $0.73/sq. ft.

Armstrong Imperial Texture 12 in. x 12 in. Classic White Standard Excelon Vinyl Composition Tiles (45-Pack) for $0.73/sq. ft. – but NOT in this classic/retro checkered pattern, but still patterned in someway

TrafficMaster Allure 6 in. x 36 in. Lisbon Cork Dark Resilient Vinyl Plank Flooring (24 sq. ft./case) for $1.99/sq.ft

TrafficMaster Allure 6 in. x 36 in. Lisbon Cork Dark Resilient Vinyl Plank Flooring (24 sq. ft./case) for $1.99/sq.ft – This is a terrible picture. Who has a bright orange kitchen?

TrafficMaster Allure 6 in. x 36 in. Natural Cork Resilient Vinyl Plank Flooring (24 sq. ft./case) for $1.99/sq.ft.

TrafficMaster Allure 6 in. x 36 in. Natural Cork Resilient Vinyl Plank Flooring (24 sq. ft./case) for $1.99/sq.ft.

TrafficMaster Allure 6 in. x 36 in. Natural Cork Resilient Vinyl Plank Flooring (24 sq. ft./case) for $1.99/sq.ft.

TrafficMaster Allure 6 in. x 36 in. Natural Cork Resilient Vinyl Plank Flooring (24 sq. ft./case) for $1.99/sq.ft.

 

There are also some considerations from Lowe’s, that d0n’t have “room views” —

Cryntel 12" x 12" Ebony Marble Finish Vinyl Tile for $0.88 each

Cryntel 12″ x 12″ Ebony Marble Finish Vinyl Tile for $0.88 each

Style Selections 18"x18" Aspen Gray Stained Concrete for $2.21 each

Style Selections 18″x18″ Aspen Gray Stained Concrete for $2.21 each

Style Selections 12" x 12" Crescendo Marble Gray Marble Finish Luxury Vinyl Tile for $1.13 each

Style Selections 12″ x 12″ Crescendo Marble Gray Marble Finish Luxury Vinyl Tile for $1.13 each

Congoleum 16" x 16" Quartz White Stone Granite Finish Luxury Vinyl Tile at $73.04 each case of 10 tiles

Congoleum 16″ x 16″ Quartz White Stone Granite Finish Luxury Vinyl Tile at $73.04 each case of 10 tiles

Congoleum 16" x 16" Quartz Midnight Granite Finish Luxury Vinyl Tile at $73.04 for a case of 10 tiles

Congoleum 16″ x 16″ Quartz Midnight Granite Finish Luxury Vinyl Tile at $73.04 for a case of 10 tiles

 

As you can see, the choices are wildly variable and we’ve got a long way before we make a decision.  We like to mull over things until we’re sick of thinking about them then we just make some sort of snap decision like it shoulda and coulda been made in 10 minutes lifetimes ago.

So Fresh & So Clean Clean

THE CABINETS ARE PRIMED!

THE CABINETS ARE PRIMED!

Halleludajah.  Yeah I can spell.

Freshly Primed Cabinets

Freshly Primed Cabinets

The doors are done, too, basically.  They’re hanging out in the basement.  We did the cabinets a little differently than the doors and think the bases turned out better, so just to be on the safe side, we intend to tweak our doors a little bit before painting them.  We want to have to do this only once.

 

LIST TIME.

  • Prime, paint, and seal the cabinets.
  • Buy new hardware and add it to the cabinets (duh)
  • Paint the walls and ceiling
  • Re-do the countertop (either paint or re-laminate)
  • Replace the floor
  • Finally finish installing the big light
  • Replace the under cabinet light
  • Find a permanent solution for the trash and recycle bins (on our way!)
  • Make the upper corner shelf open shelving
  • Possibly replace the above-window light
  • Add some sort of curtains to the window and the door
  • Strip and repair the doors to the outside and to the basement
  • Paint the doors to the outside and the basement
  • Bright high glass white paint on the trim
  • Create a family command center on the big open wall that includes a calendar, mail center, meal planner, and anything else we may find useful.
  • Decorate.
  • Enjoy.

 

Big wheels keep on turnin..TURNIN…

Well, that’s unfortunate.

You know when you have the best of intentions… and then BLAM somebody else’s bad decisions throw a wrench in the works.

That’s how we felt when the paint on our basement door and the walls surrounding it began to peel out in giant sheets that we may or may not have decided to wear over our clothes like togas later…(insert that into the “awkward” category).

Paint peeling from basement door

Paint peeling from basement door

After plenty of time with the multitool, a hairdryer, and general malarky, we finally did get that whole nook and most of the doors paint-free.  After peeling off the top layer from the basement door, Kevin took it down and stripped it to the wood.  We had the shave it to finally get it to shut correctly, but alas.. it does!  Things are being added and removed to the to do list.. finally!

So let’s check on that list…

  • Prime, paint, and seal the cabinets.
  • Buy new hardware and add it to the cabinets (duh)
  • Paint the walls and ceiling
  • Re-do the countertop (either paint or re-laminate)
  • Replace the floor
  • Finally finish installing the big light
  • Replace the under cabinet light
  • Find a permanent solution for the trash and recycle bins (on our way!)
  • Make the upper corner shelf open shelving
  • Possibly replace the above-window light
  • Add some sort of curtains to the window and the door
  • Strip and repair the doors to the outside and to the basement
  • Paint the doors to the outside and the basement
  • Bright high glass white paint on the trim
  • Create a family command center on the big open wall that includes a calendar, mail center, meal planner, and anything else we may find useful.
  • Decorate.
  • Enjoy.

A “taste” of what’s to come

I’m so punny.

We interrupt your regularly scheduled kitchen updates for a preview into what I hope is Kevin’s addition to this blog!  He “claims” he’d like to add about his homebrewing to this blog, so to get him started, I uploaded the ridiculous homevideo of us both trying his first batch for the very first time.  Cue awkward dog scenes!

A Quick Preview of Mission: Trash Hiding

Disassembling the awkward corner cabinet

Disassembling the awkward corner cabinet

The end plan to hide the trash involves a very awkward slanted cabinet.  Follow me through this picture.  As you can see we have 4 openings in this cabinet.  The top two on either side look they should be drawers, but nah, that’d be too useful.  Instead, they were just two fold down drawer fronts that opened to one big awkward space.  In the months we’ve lived here, we’ve never used it.  The two huge openings that remain were doors.  They both opened up to one big awkward moveable shelf.  We attempted to store baking sheets and the like in here with disastrous results.  It was annoying and we hated it, basically.  So we popped out the adjustable shelf after we took the doors off and then Kevin got to to town using his oscillating tool to remove the piece of cabinet between the folddown parts and the door.

Removing the permanent shelf

Removing the permanent shelf

You’d think the remaining “permanent” shelf would easily break out, but alas it did not.  So Kevin went at it with the oscillating tool and it eventually snapped out.  No turning back now.

Opened up cabinet

Opened up cabinet

Eventually we arrived at this point – a big wide open cabinet.  The plan is the permanently attach the fold-down fake drawer face and the bottom door both to the middle piece that was formerly attached to the cabinet.  Follow me?  So we will have two larger doors for each side that look the same as before, but each side moves as one solid piece.  We haven’t decided if we want them to tilt out or swing out, but we’re hoping we can find some ovular trash bins that will fit in these spots for our trash and recycle.

 

So here’s where we stand as of this post on our kitchen checklist:

• Prime, paint, and seal the cabinets.
• Buy new hardware and add it to the cabinets (duh)
• Paint the walls and ceiling
• Re-do the countertop (either paint or re-laminate)
• Replace the floor
• Finally finish installing the big light
• Replace the under cabinet light
• Find a permanent solution for the trash and recycle bins (on our way!)
• Make the upper corner shelf open shelving
• Possibly replace the above-window light
• Add some sort of curtains to the window and the door
• Strip and repair the doors to the outside and to the basement
• Paint the doors to the outside and the basement
• Bright high glass white paint on the trim
• Create a family command center on the big open wall that includes a calendar, mail center, meal planner, and anything else we may find useful.
• Decorate.
• Enjoy.

 

We’ve come a long way. ha. ha. ha.