Tuesday, May 3, 2016

One Step at a Time: Kitchen Edition, It Does Go On, Doesn't It?

The last little fiddly bits seem like they take ages, especially when they are parts of different projects within the project. And then the fact that we keep adding "little" projects makes it seem like we've ages to go.

Two weeks ago.

Four weeks ago and now that the original list is longer, probably not halfway. Oof.

1. Installing the backsplash.

I picked up brown caulk and installed it on Wednesday. This completes number 9 on the original list (below). HOT DAMN!

2. Refinishing the cabinets.

The last pieces of the carcass were varnished early in the week! To celebrate, I put up some decor using the picture rail hooks and cord. It was unduly exciting to get Dale the Jackalope back in his rightful place and joined by my cool new birthday resin antlers!

I admit, it's a little bit of a thrill to put to use my idea of using picture rail to add a crown to the upper cabinets. And a little bit of a thrill to get out and use the particular picture rail hooks I found which are just right.

The last four doors, all for the corner pantry, are done and ready to go up when the dagburn hinge screws get here. I do not believe it is the fault of my local lumber yard that this has taken so long, but I do wonder how the ever-loving hell a hardware distributor can not just freaking distribute hardware. Hardware that has specifically been requested. The rep doesn't even have to come out to get the commission - it's been called in. Why do they not want easy money?

No, this does not mean that my hinge screws came it. It means that the little doors above the fridge and microwave are being held temporarily in place by the magnetic closures.
You can see I've removed the faux bois "skin" and the handles on the fridge in preparation for #12 on the original list (below).

The last four drawers are well on their way and the interior of the corner pantry is next up. I am not looking forward to emptying it and stashing dry good in boxes that we'll have to keep dogs from sniffing around. But I am looking forward to being able to see better inside the pantry and all the other cabinets are now better organized just from having taken things out and put them back in, so hopefully that'll happen with this one, too.

3. Doing something to that terrible brick veneer wood stove surround.

First, the wood rail at the top came off. We'll replace it with something a little more finished-looking and level. Not only were the lag screws drilled at varying distances from the center of the shelf, they were lag screws used for finish carpentry AND it seems whoever installed them was making up for the way-too-short screws that "held up" a couple of the upper cabinets. These suckers practically went into the laundry room on the other side of that wall!

Note that whoever installed this little shelf/cap didn't even make a fresh cut to get rid of the mill stamp on the end of the lumber, let alone sand it at all.

Second, reattaching the loose "bricks" and re "mortaring" the loose or missing "mortar." The last owners seemed to think that the "mortar" around the "bricks" is what attached them to the wall so to "fix" loose "bricks" they just added more caulk tube mortar. So yeah. At some point in the next few years we're hoping to replace our wood stove with something slightly smaller, with a window in the door and a built-in fan. At that point, we'll redesign the whole hearth area and hopefully use something less textured - i.e. less dust collecting - probably some kind of slab material

Third, make a sample to determine how exactly I'm going to make these red bricks look like some not-red bricks that I found online and pinned on my "Homefront: Kitchen Revamp" pinboard. But that'll be next week.


When searching for something else related to wood stoves online, I happened upon stove paint - not the appliance paint you get at the home center or hardware store - and now we're thinking we want to paint the wood stove. After reading the instructions for the paint, I am thinking that I need to do that before I refinish the bricks. Sigh.

B. Unrelated to the kitchen project.

The mass in Betty's chest had not diminished after 3 weeks of chemotherapy. This was a likely outcome, because the tumor is benign and therefore slow-growing. So we are discontinuing chemotherapy. Because the fluid has stayed off, we are continuing with the prednisone and in two weeks she'll get another sonogram to see if the fluid is kept off by the prednisone.

She seems to be feeling pretty well. Other than some side effects of the prednisone and the occasional slightly-to-moderately labored breathing, she is acting pretty normally - just a smidgen more leisurely.

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 in backsplash.
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.
14. Replace outlets, switches, plates by wood stove.
15. Paint wood stove and stovepipe. 


  1. Holy cow, I envy that you can even do all that stuff! It's looking fabulous! Kisses to Miss Betty!

  2. You had me excited for a second on the fridge, then I thought......hmmmmm that's kind of "quiet " for a Tara fridge.

    1. Wait. You were excited about a plain, white fridge?


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