Tuesday, April 19, 2016

One Step at a Time: Kitchen Edition, Counter Productive

Big doin's this week, y'all! We finally finished numbers 8 and 11 on the original list! And have kept at it on number 6 and begun number 9.


Two weeks ago

Three and a half years ago... not much different than 10 or 11 weeks ago.

1. Refinishing the counter.

That's right, folks! The everlovin' counter is refinished and reinstalled! HOT DAMN!

Look at 'er dark shininess! Hoo boy! EXCLAMATION POINT.

2. Replacing the sink and faucet.

Boy howdy! Is that one sexay sink or what? You didn't even know there was such as thing as a sexay kitchen sink, did you? Well, now you do because you've laid your eyes on this baby!

And here she is with the wire racks she came with installed. So cute!

You guys. Seriously. We can put deep pots and buckets and such just right in there! Without moving around the faucet and swooping in at an angle or anything. This sink is so deep - 9" verses the last sink's 6", so luxurious, so... swoooooooon. And I just want to say here that I have been super impressed with the Vigo sink AND faucet from the moment I started unwrapping the very thorough and well-designed packaging. They're both so heavy and well-made with thoughtful and thorough design details. Sigh.

And look at this genius drain basket thingy! It will not just accidently seat into the drain and start filling up your sink with crumb-filled water! You have to actively push it down to stop the drain. I have always ended up either putting the basket in the cupboard, putting it in the drain upside down, or taking it half apart so it would not plug the drain and thought "Do people even use these things? There has got to be a better way!" Well there is and now I have it!

3. Refinishing the cabinets.

Yup, just keepin' on keepin' on with this part for the last couple of weeks. I completed the addition of the crown moulding on the last two sections, got lots more painted, some bit less than that glazed and varnished. Part of what I completed was a section I had kind of forgotten about... the toe kick areas. But it's done now and is there all kinds of dog hair imbibed in it? You bet there is! Feels good and now that the counter is on and lookin' so good, I have a new fire under my butt to get the the finish line.

We added a hook to the end of the cabinets by the mudroom door. Eric now hangs his work bag here - instead of the door knob.


Like so many screws around this place, many-to-most of the hinge screws for the cabinet doors had stripped heads. So I went to get new ones... like 120 new ones. Of course that was way more than they had in those little drawers at the hardware store and way too much to pay at that rate, so they special ordered boxes of them for me. Like 5 weeks ago. It took 2 weeks to get them and they were the wrong size. Then they ordered the right size and as of this writing I am still waiting. I bought a few to get the uppers' doors back on way back when, but now I'm stashing completed doors all over the kitchen and living room. Ultimately, it's not a huge deal, but I think having those reinstalled would go a long, long way towards minimizing the chaos surrounding this project which is one of the most frustrating parts. Not to mention keeping the sawdust and dog hair out of the cabinets.


The rest of the exteriors of the cabinets were primed and painted with 2 coats since these photos were taken on Wednesday morning. The push is really on so I can get that tile backsplash installed!

4. Installing the backsplash.

I picked up the tile, mastic, grout, etc. on Tuesday! I was going to rent a tile saw, but Renaissance Handyman Nick has one he offered to lend me. YAHOO!

I wanted to get the cabinet that will adjoin the backsplash at least primed and painted as well as the lower parts of the carcass completed and a good ways towards cured before I get to that, so I busted my bum on that so I could spend the weekend installing tiles!

This little section of backsplash by the fridge went pretty quickly with just a few straight cuts.

On Saturday, I got the first course laid above the entire main counter area and up to the bottom of the upper cabinets on either side of the stove.

If the first 51 individual pieces of tile installed, only 8 did not need cutting. If you've ever installed tile, you know that cutting is the most time consuming part - so a mere 40 square feet or so took me about 9 or 10 hours over to days. I guess that's what you get when you use bigger tiles to do a backsplash. I hope that the large tiles have the opposite effect on grouting time.

What's a little bit more faux bois going to hurt?

B. Unrelated to the kitchen remodeling project.

Betty completed the first week of her chemotherapy. The Thursday ultrasound of her chest showed The the fluid associated with the tumor is gone and that while the tumor is the same size, there might be more craters in it. So she has her second round of IV chemotherapy and is continuing with the prednisone at the original dosage. Her breathing has improved a lot, her attitude has stayed good, her chemotherapy-related toots have diminished; and we're working on keeping all the water dishes fresh & full and keeping her weight on. That story.

An example of why we and they can't have nice things.

The original list of the order I thought the projects will happen. Line through for complete items, italics for additions. I'll let myself do partial line throughs for partial completion, because it's good for my morale.

1. Light fixtures
2. Remove corner shelf in order to...
3. Remove wallpaper and repair walls (& ceiling) as necessary, get temp solution for backsplash
4. Paint walls above cabinets, around wood stove, paint laundry/bath hallway.
5. Cabinet repair, move, modify
6. Refinish cabinets
8. Level, repair, and refinish counter tops
11. New sink and faucet and the counter modifications that go with it.
10. Replace outlets, switches, plates.
9. Install backsplash, probably tile
7. Maybe try to do something with that terrible brick veneer wood stove surround?
12. New refrigerator surface to replace old new refrigerator surface.
13. Build a door of some sort for that too-big hole for the microwave & deal with the inside.


  1. Go Betty! And oh oh OH how I hear ya re: sink drainer baskety thingee.

    1. Betty says, "thanks!" And yeah, why do the standard models suck so much?

  2. It looks so great, especially the counter and that sexay, sexay sink. How about a small, vertical pull out shelf for spices and such in the too big microwave hole?

    1. Thank you! That's a good idea about the spices. I'll have to keep that in the file!


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