Tuesday, May 17, 2016

One Step at a Time: Kitchen Edition, The Tedium Continues

The continuing storrrrrrry of a quack who's gone to the dogs. 

I mean, the continuing storrrrrrry of a DIY kitchen remodeling project.

[skipping the triple panorama action on this one and putting in a National Forest panorama instead]

I wish I knew how to capture how the yellow blossoms of the balsams go on and on as far as you can see into the forest. The second most prominent wildflower right now are the lupines.
Note: the fence is actually straight, it's that neato panorama feature!

1. Refinishing the cabinets.

YAAAAAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! The last of the cabinet refinishing is complete (#6 on the original list)! All I had left was the interior of the corner pantry and despite the dread of dealing with unloading and reloading the contents, I did it.

I'm working on a plan to adjust with how the microwave shelf works. Regardless of how that goes, that unpainted spot won't show. It's my inclination to paint it anyway, BUT I am OUT of the primer and alllllmost out of the paint. Probably going to pick up another quart of each, but I wanted to be sure to have enough paint to cover the new shelf.

Now if only the doors were reinstalled because the special order hinge screws had arrived. A girl can dream.

2. Dealing with that weird (dumb) drywall/exposed beam/pantry door frame mess.

This isn't on the list, because I thought after I re-textured and painted that last wall in the hallway I would continue to ignore it. But it turns out that I can't ignore it.


It also turns out that I didn't find any kind of adequate solution in the building hardware section at the home center. Or any of the other sections I tried. This is going to take some thinking.

~~ Instead of a photo of the fix, I will insert an exasperated sigh here. ~~

3. Replace switches an outlets by wood stove (plus the hallway).

Yet again, highlighting the as yet refinished and awful brick veneer.

The terrible brick veneer is on tap to be painted and glazed in mostly greys, so I went with grey switches. I know there are folks who want all the switches/outlets/plates in the house to match each other, but I like them to blend with the surface they're on if I can with the occasional exception for a novelty or decorative plate. The downstairs is nearly complete!

To my eyes, it already looks better to have these updated switches that are all clean and in the new grey color. Eric doesn't see it yet. Maybe my brain just convinces me that I see a difference to justify the frustration and torn up hands of actually doing the project. Maybe Eric just doesn't have my vision. 

Another not-fun, seemingly small project. But well worth it for the result in my opinion.


I have probably ranted about this before, but DAMN IT! Whoever wired this house when it was being built saved something like $5 over the whole project by leaving the least amount of wire possible in the boxes for outlets and switches. Even one more inch/box would make all the difference for replacing these outlets and switches. As if that weren't frustrating enough (and truly it is WAY more frustrating than "enough"), whoever wired this house when it was being built also cut the ground wires extra short. In the case of the light switches they apparently weren't required to be grounded in 1976. Ok. Whatever. BUT they also cut them extra short for the outlets, that indeed were grounded. BUT this means that in some cases there is not enough wire to turn the outlets right side up! Or what we consider right side up. [insert cuss-laden name-calling here]

Of course, they didn't have the grey screw-less plates in stock at the store, so I had to order them online. And of course, I'm too cheap to pay for shipping for this kind of thing and had them shipped to the store. And of course, that means it took about two weeks to get them. The truth is that it doesn't matter that much, because I am not installing them until all the other stuff to do with the wood stove area is done. I just feel better when things are more certain; it's nice to know that as soon as I am ready the materials are here and ready for me.

4. Paint wood stove and stovepipe.

I finally called stovepaint.com to ask my questions and having received satisfactory answers I ordered a quart of the stuff in metallic charcoal. It's due Friday this week at Eric's office where it cost 1/3 less to ship.

L. Unrelated to the kitchen project.

The lilacs are early this year, along with everything else.

Like the balsam (and at least a dozen other types of wildflowers) which have been up for a couple weeks.

And the pine pollen. Crap.

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
12. New refrigerator surface to replace old new refrigerator surface.
16. Replace light switch and plate in hallway.
14. Replace outlets, switches, plates by wood stove.
15. Paint wood stove and stovepipe. 
7. Maybe try to do something with that terrible brick veneer wood stove surround?
13. Build a door of some sort for that too-big hole for the microwave & deal with the inside.


  1. Man, I need a nap after just reading about all you do, you are one busy bee (and a perfectionist, I like that about you). I'm with you on the lilacs, I have a mason jar full of them on a kitchen ledge right now, I love how even just walking by releases the fragrance.

    1. I have let many little things slide on this, Peggy. Sigh/whatever. I just swapped out for fresh lilacs yesterday afternoon and the scent renewed, too.

  2. Or perhaps Eric just doesn't care enough about the light switches. I know rocker switches are the way to go but honestly, I just don't care if they're toggle or rocker. It's a meh to me. But yes, the new grey ones do look better.
    LOVE when all the flowers are in bloom and lilac smells so good. A must to bring in the house.

  3. He cares, he just didn't see it as a big-enough change at the point it was at the time. My years as a decorative painter spending hours developing and days implementing decorative finishes that sometimes clients would just slap a bright white rectangle on making the mundane outlet or light switch the highlight of the costly custom finished wall is what makes having the least obtrusive switches, outlets, and plates important to me. All that said, I rarely notice anyone else's unless they're elaborate, filthy, dangerous-looking, or if they've obviously put a lot of effort and/or money into interior design and just entirely missed that part of it.


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