Before, During, Progress, Kitchen, etc.

As I gather up my half-assed pictures of the kitchen reno at every step I have realized a few things. They all boil down to one thing: I need to take better pictures.  For starters, I am not the best photographer.  But there’s also the fact that I never bothered to clean off the countertop for any of the pics.  It’s always full of chaos.  In fact, I don’t even have a picture of the full kitchen post painting the countertops.  God only knows why.  So, to the best that I’ve equipped myself, here’s three pictures of our kitchen along the way, with a quick cap of what changed in between.

Progress Shots

Progress Shots

I seriously need to work on my photography skillz.

Our kitchen to do list looks like this now with this update–

  • 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)
  • Re-redo the countertop again (surprise surprise!)
  •  
  • Finally finish installing the big light (it needs a sealing gasket thing installed, but we couldn’t find it for awhile lol)
  • 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)
  • Paint the new open shelving in the corner (still have to paint the actual shelves + maybe a pattern in the background + hang the shelves)
  • 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 gloss white paint on the trim and doors
  • 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.
  • Add a light in the little nook where the doors are?
  • Decorate.
  • Enjoy.

So here’s where we are now…

Completed Kitchen Floor

Completed Kitchen Floor

So happy with this finished step!

Advertisements

More Painting…Obviously

I finally got around to painting the interior of our now open corner shelf.  I used the wall paint and cabinet paint to make it look like framed shelves on the wall. Let me just show you the picture…

Open Shelving

Open Shelving

I still have to paint the shelves and get them mounted in there.  I haven’t done that yet because I want to put a lip on the front of the shelves to make them a little more substantial looking.  Also, I want to paint a pattern in the green – I think.  I have a small sample of the green that is in a different finish (our walls are satin finish & the sample is not…yeah I don’t know what it is).  The pattern would therefore be very subtle.  Actually, to tell you the truth, it may not even be a big enough difference to show up.  Ha.  Whoops.  I’ll see what happens when I do it.

But its painted!  Let’s focus on that achievement.  We’re obviously slow over here.

Update:

  • 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)
  • Re-redo the countertop again (surprise surprise!)
  • Replace the floor
  • Finally finish installing the big light (it needs a sealing gasket thing installed, but we couldn’t find it for awhile lol)
  • 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)
  • Paint the new open shelving in the corner (still have to paint the actual shelves + maybe a pattern in the background + hang the shelves)
  • 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 gloss white paint on the trim and doors
  • 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.
  • Add a light in the little nook where the doors are?
  • Decorate.
  • Enjoy.

 

Gross Grout

5 people read my blog on a regular basis.  Five.  I spell it out so you know that’s not a typo.  You, one of the five.  So it’s really silly that I type this like it’s some sort of big shot blog, but I like to cover my bases.  With that said, nobody paid me for this post or any other (seriously though, where do I sign up for that?  Cash money.)   Not a dime is made from this blog.  I actually make negative money when you think about the time I put into it means time I am not getting paid for my actual real job.

Rejuvenate White Grout Restorer Marker Pens

Rejuvenate White Grout Restorer Marker Pens

You may have heard me say the word gross..or disgusting.. or dirty before in reference to our house and specifically in reference to our kitchen.  We love our little first home.  It gets more perfect everyday.  However, it really was filthy when we moved in and some things refuse to come clean.  Like the white grout in our kitchen.  So one day early on after moving in I was in our Second Home (Depot) and discovered these bad boys right here.

They’re about $6 for two of them and I love them.  I should tell you I ruined the first one.  Completely utterly destroyed it trying to grasp a technique that works well.  If you have ever used a paint marker, you know something about these.  In fact, I can’t specifically say these aren’t just paint markers marketed for a specific purpose.  I don’t have any inclination of what makes them special to use on grout.  But I bought them and love them and would totally buy them again.

Let me tell you about some tips I picked up while ruining the first marker.

The package says to press in the tip to get the paint flow.  Yes, that’s a great idea.  But a bad idea is to press it into the grout to get the paint to flow.  That will eventually destroy the tip and you will end up like I did with a 3/4 of the way full marker and no tip to use it with.  Luckily I had enough with my second pen and I never ruined it, but learn from me just in case you have much more grout than I do.

I eventually worked out a system.  It consists of finding something that you can stick the pen into when you are using it to store it point down.  Mine was a fancy trivet thing that I don’t use as a trivet.  It has a little hole in it that the capped marker fit perfectly in.

Got your trivet like thing?  Great.  Now, start by cleaning your grout.  Always clean everything.  It sucks, just do it.  I hate cleaning and I did it so you can manage.

Once you’re clean and dry (and so is your grout), then get your pen and some sort of rag you don’t mind ruining.  I happen to have a gigantic pack of lint free cloths that we bought when we painted the cabinets, so I used one of those.

Grab your pen and shake it like a salt shaker shake it like a salt shaker shake it like a salt shaker (I know not a single other line from that song).  Once you are convinced your paint is flowing well, press the tip into the rag gently.  I’d say gently as if you were popping a pimple (just keeping it real) or squeezing a grape, but not like you hate the pen or it threw a drink in your face or perhaps works for Fox News.   You’ll see the paint start flowing out on your cloth.

Once you can visibly see the paint, run the marker gently (don’t press too hard – just hard enough) over the grout either until the paint stops flowing or you’ve done about a square foot of grout.  You don’t want to do too much painting at once because if it dries, you can’t get it off.  As far as running the marker over the grout, I found that dragging it down the tile so that the fibers in the tip weren’t pushed against themselves worked best. To say it another way, if you look at that picture of the hand holding the pen in the product picture – holding the marker like that, drag down, DON’T PUSH UP – NEVER UP, so as to maintain the pen tip.

Now you’ve got your square foot of paint done or however much you just did (hey maybe you don’t listen and you just read random blogs to not follow their advice), put your marker cap back on and place it in your little trivet hole so that the ink can follow gravity towards the tip.  Take your throwaway towel and wipe off the paint that got everywhere but your grout.  I found that if I put light pressure on the rag and just ran it on the grout lines, the paint genuinely stuck to the grout but came off of everything else.  Every once in awhile, I had to focus in and really detail get the paint off the tile. Generally tho, the quick wipe was all I need.

Once you get the paint off the tile, pick the pen up again and give it a couple shakes and then run it over more grout.  You may need to press the tip into the rag every once in awhile, but once I got into the rhythm  I really did not do that often.  I found letting it rest tip down while I cleaned up the excess paint was the most helpful at keeping the process rolling.

Also, I am 27 years old and I still can’t spell rhythm.  Thank god for spell check.

So here’s the side by side I snapped while I was doing the worst part (directly above the st0ve).  The black thing to the top of the pic is our exhaust fan.  The grey is the cabinet to the upper right of the stove.  And just in case I have to point it out, the gross orange is how the grout started out before the paint and the white is the after.  It’s not perfect brand new looking white in these really awful parts like the area in the picture, but I think it still looks pretty incredible.

Grout Side by Side

Grout Side by Side

Not bad for $6 and a couple hours of work.  Granted it’s work that some people would find tedious.  But I think the after makes it gratifying.  I don’t know if I have any parks & recs fans out there in the 5 of you that read this, but if not, really get on that.  Its incredible.  Anyhow, there’s a scene where they have to stuff envelopes and Jerry finds out he’s really relaxed by mundane repetitious tasks.  Me too, Jerry, me too.

I still have a small part of the grout to do in the back corner behind the sink. I just can’t reach it comfortably.  So when we take the sink out (again) to redo the countertops (again), I am going to pop myself up in the sink-hole and get that back part.  Why endure the back and neck pain to do it before then?

So all in all, I seriously seriously recommend these pens.  It’s really gratifying and worth the time.  It’s very easy.  Very affordable.  Just do it!

I’d add the kitchen list & update it.. but this was never on the list so.. bonus! ha

 

 

Green with Envy

Kevin Cleaning Up

So it’s bright green.  To be specific, it’s Behr’s ultra premium super duper paint & primer in one color matched to new grass green by Glidden.  If people are interested (I totally sure you are not), I can go get the formula off of the paint can.  I love it.  It’s really cheerful and there’s not a whole lot of wall in here anyway.  The giant wall behind Kevin is going to be home to the family “command center” – so you are not going to see a whole lot of green there either.  That probably won’t get done until 2013 in reality though.  But we both love the green.

Checklistmania:

  • 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)
  • Re-redo the countertop again (surprise surprise!)
  • Replace the floor
  • Finally finish installing the big light (it needs a sealing gasket thing installed, but we couldn’t find it for awhile lol)
  • 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)
  • Paint the new open shelving in the corner
  • 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 gloss white paint on the trim and doors
  • 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.
  • Add a light in the little nook where the doors are?
  • Decorate.
  • Enjoy.

Ceiling Changes

The initial plan (as you can see here by the paint samples on the ceiling) was to paint the walls and the ceiling in the kitchen the same color.  We used the technique in our bathroom reno (here) to make the space feel taller and bigger.  However, we ended up choosing a bright (I say cheerful) shade of green and felt that having it on the ceiling would be too much.  Also, a white ceiling will help our dark kitchen appear even brighter than ever.   So on the white ceiling paint went.

Kevin Painting the Ceiling

Here’s Kevin cutting in the paint in the little nook.  The door in front of him is the door to our patio and the unpainted door behind him is the door to the basement.  The kitchen floor actually steps down in this little two-door nook, so thats why Kevin is doing the cutting in here.  I can’t reach – even on the step stool – and I don’t do ladders.  So everywhere else it was business as usual – me cutting in and Kevin rolling.  We didn’t bother taping off because the walls were the next to be painted.  We were just extra careful to not get any paint on the cabinets or countertops (we covered those up) and we taped off the big ceiling light.

Here’s a before & after.  Look at all that reflecting light! Yum!

Before & After Ceiling Paint

Before & After Ceiling Paint

So yesterday’s post didn’t update the checklist, so lets have at that.

  • 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)
  • Re-do the countertop AGAIN (surprise!)
  • 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 gloss 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.

It’s coming along.. and needed some updating now that we have to re-redo the countertops.  Progress is progress!

Rustoleum Countertop Paint

I read up a lot on Rustoleum countertop paint.  I hated the idea of it.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  I loved the idea of slapping paint down on a countertop that is pink and dirty and disgusting and it suddenly looking lacquered and beautiful and flawless.  I hated the idea that it didn’t live up to its promises like a high school boy.  Every thing I read said either you needed to seal it or it’d let you down in a heart beat.  Buttttttt sometimes people…sometimes I… don’t listen.  Kevin & I went back and forth on it for a few weeks (probably longer) and had initially said no, we aren’t going to waste our time, let’s just re-laminate them.  But we got to looking at prices of laminate and delivery costs.  We determined we couldn’t just buy a cheap countertop because of the awkward corner sink area.  We’d have to rip off the old laminate and put down a new sheet on top of it.  We’d have to buy a gigantic sheet so there wasn’t a seam.  It started to seem like a whole lot of work and money to drop on laminate.  So we decided, hey for $20 this countertop paint can’t really be a complete waste of time.  So what if it only lasted 6 months?  In that time we could save up and come up with a different idea for the countertops.

The bad news?   It lasted just days before it got dinged up.  The good news?  Even with how dinged up it is, it was still “good enough” that we got rid of the pink dirt and came up with a better idea (but more on that later).

It’s now December.  We actually painted these countertops in early September.  Over 2 months ago.  So I feel like 2 months is a good “use time” that I can give you a fair review of my thoughts.

Let’s start with how we did it.

 

Countertop Painting

 

 

So yeah.. that’s it.  Seriously there isn’t much to it.  Just move quick and try not to pass out from the smell.. Actually do as I say not as I do and wear face masks n’at ’cause that stuff smells like you are swimming in nail polish.  Which every time I mentioned that Kevin said, “well thats basically what it is.”  I get it, Kevin.

So what’s my beef with the countertop paint?

It’s cure time is ridiculously long.  Yes, I know the can says just a few days, but they lie.  We painted this on a Wednesday evening & got up Thursday and left town until Sunday.  We didn’t touch it until Monday evening.  So it cured LONGER than the minimum.  And it chipped as soon as we sat something down on it.  Kevin brewed coffee & sat it down on the countertop & it left a ring here it had melted the paint.  We don’t drink super hot civil lawsuit degree coffee.  It’s just standard heat.  It melted the paint.  Then the rest of the chips came from less-than-standard things… like accidentally dropping a wrench and some other tools in random places.  It chipped it up like crazy.  Then a few weeks later, we sat a chicken on a platter on it and spun the platter to carve and it left a huge scratch in the paint.

HOWEVER – after that first month or so, the paint stopped chipping so badly.  I’d say if you could let this stuff cure for 6+ weeks before touching it, it may just work the way its supposed to work.  I don’t know who has the luxury of not using their kitchen for 6+ weeks, but if that’s you, then this $20 paint should work great for you.

With that said..We haven’t had much problems with it since the chipping stopped a few weeks ago.  It looks crappy now because we did so much damage (I’ll post pictures of that later probably) early on.  So we started brainstorming other ways to redo the countertop.  I’m not sharing just because I don’t want people to try to talk me out of it (I am looking at you, Billionaire).

 

 

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!

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.