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My Kitchen Renovation: The Beginning

March 3, 2008

Being covered head to hand in oil-based primer is not nearly as hot as it may sound.

Yesterday saw the start of the mini-renovation of my kitchen (henceforth to be referred to as MKR for My Kitchen Renovation or Mini Kitchen Renovation). I call it “mini” because all labor will be of the free variety; those that have donated time in lieu of gifts at last summer’s birthday or those that are related to me by either blood or marriage. Also, things will not so much be replaced as “updated”.

Cut to: The oil-based primer that is currently residing in my hair, under my fingernails, and splattered from my knuckles to my elbows. Apparently oil-based primer does not remove itself from one’s body without the use of such lovely chemicals as turpentine, lye or gasoline. Not having any of those staples in my house (the blasphemy!), I was forced to go to work today looking like I got a ride with some day laborers. Hot.

The entire MKR will entail:

-Painting of the walls
-Painting of the cabinets
-Creating glass doors for some of the cabinets
-Tiling of both the sink and stove-side back splashes
-Removal of the Formica counter tops
-Installing tiled counter tops
-Removal of the linoleum floor
-Installing a tiled floor
-Installation of overhead, accent and task lighting
-Installation of some additional shelving/storage
-Replacing the sink and faucet
-Adding shiny, pretty hardware to the cabinets
-And whatever else we can convince my Dad that he can do with some strange power tool

Yesterday, the entire family came over to see the start of MKR. My brother and my dad sanded down the cabinets (and yes inhaling wood dust will cause you to snot it out for the next 24-hours) and my mom and I primed them. This is all necessary so the latex paint we apply will actually stick to the crap-ass wood. Note: This step is necessary for painting all wood cabinets, crap-ass or not. And don’t let this little short paragraph about this step fool you. It is a PAIN IN THE ASS to sand and prime cabinets. Woody snot notwithstanding.

While I was busy splattering myself in the face with primer (and inhaling tiny particles of wood), my brother-in-law was quickly tallying up more and more quirky “features” unique to owning a condo built in the 1940’s. Like, how ’bout the fact that I have two kitchen ceilings? One finished ceiling about 7′ 9″ high, and another finished ceiling about 8′ 3″ high. Yeah. One ceiling on top (or below) another ceiling. It seems that in the haste to update these “modern-day apartment homes” back in the day, they just threw up a quick, lower ceiling so they could install fluorescent lighting in the kitchens. (Important to mention here that the original walls are plaster and impossible to nail, even drill through and they probably chose to install the new ceiling because that was easier than trying to mount the lighting directly to the plaster. Also important to mention that I have double walls throughout my place as well, one set plaster, one set sheet rock. Double walls, double ceiling. Joy.)

So MKR Day 1:
(COMPLETED) Sanding of the cabinets
(COMPLETED) Priming of the cabinets
(HOMEWORK FOR DAD) Repairing bad drawers and cabinet doors

MKR Day 2 is this Sunday, on slate is priming the walls (with latex primer) and painting them in WildFlower Honey. So stay tuned…

Here is a before pic:

And another one with me and Buggie in it (you can see the floors in this one).


6 Comments leave one →
  1. AUA permalink
    March 4, 2008 5:08 pm

    Did you have to disassemble the cabinet doors to sand everything or did you just work around the hardware?

  2. March 4, 2008 5:23 pm

    AUA – If you look closely in the pics, you can see that my cabinets didn’t have handles or knobs to start with…just the hinges. But yes we removed the doors, and then removed the hinges from the doors. We left the runners for the drawers in place and just got all up in there painting around them…hence the white freckles I am sporting.

    We sanded ’em down with a Black & Decker Mouse, 120 grit paper. Just enough to rough up the finish so the primer would take.

  3. AUA permalink
    March 5, 2008 9:09 am

    I find it reassuring that the concept excites me. I wish I owned so I could renovate something! 😀

    Leaving the runners in place totally makes sense since there is so little that shows of them on a regular basis.

  4. March 11, 2008 8:54 am

    Sooooooo, how is it coming??? Are you still covered and fun spots?

  5. March 11, 2008 9:51 am

    Just remember who fixed your bathroom sink..

  6. March 13, 2008 12:25 pm

    we redid our kitchen last year. good lord what a pain!!

    good luck

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