Sunday, November 27, 2016

Kitchen Remodel Post #2 - Painting the Cabinets


Because I don't have enough to do (sarcasm), I am attempting to get my minor remodel of the kitchen finished while the bathroom is going through a complete gut job. It is a minor remodel because it is mainly the counter top and back splash that is getting replaced. I have really nice cabinets but they are ugly, and when I moved the refrigerator to the other side, it left an empty space on the wall. The plan is to get new cabinets built to fill that spot and paint the rest of them to freshen them up.

Here is the "before" picture if you missed it  -
The left side of the picture shows where the new cabinets will go, where that trash can and microwave cart are now.

Creating new cabinets from scratch is tough when you have custom cabinets like mine, especially if you try to match the door style. We decided to remove the doors from the cabinets on both sides of the sink and replace those with glass doors. That way, the carpenter can use the door fronts from one of the original cabinets, and the new glass doors will not need to match. (I have ordered the frames for those, but still need to find the glass)
Doors and shelves removed to get ready for painting
Since we can't match the grain or the stain, and frankly I am not loving it anyway, I am going to paint the cabinets instead. The upper cabinets will be white and the lower ones will be a soft gray because that will break it up a bit visually. Also, the quartz counter top I picked out is white with gray flecks going through it.
First off, let me get this out there... I HATE painting cabinets! I did it at my old house and it literally took me 6 months to get them finished. The process is especially difficult if you have a varnish on them that has to be removed first using a stripper, and then you have to put on 2 coats of primer, 2 coats of paint, and 2 coats of varnish. (Not to mention if you choose to sand them between paint layers like you are supposed to.)
Thankfully, technology has improved since I painted those old cabinets over 10 years ago, and now I about 5 steps less to do. I am using a new Valspar paint they designed for cabinets and a high bonding primer for surfaces that have a sheen that would make paint not stick. First you have to clean them with TSP and water, which has been around since the dawn of time. I used TSP without the phosphate so that it doesn't pollute my garden when I dump it out. Unless you have a very dirty cabinet with a lot of grease buildup, 1 wash and 1 rinse should work. You have to let them dry completely before moving on to the painting.
New wonderful technology in paint to save my sanity!

This is them ready to get the primer coat on them... the primer is like thick pudding when you stir it. And even though it dries in 1 hour, you have to wait 24 hours before painting over it.
Primer is on and drying
After the primer dries for 1 day you can paint with the Valspar cabinet enamel. Now, this paint it pricey so I substituted standard, high gloss white for the inside of the cabinets, and will use this for the exteriors only. I did test samples of it before I went and bought the whole gallon just to make sure it was as good as it claimed to be. After about a week of drying the test samples were as smooth as if I had sprayed them on professionally, and none of the grain showed through which is difficult for cabinets like these. (that was with a cheap primer and two coats of paint)
Shelves drying

Paint is drying
For comparison, here is the finished cabinet next to the original one...
Now - these have only 1 coat on them because once again, you have to let everything dry a really long time with this paint. It takes 24 hours before you can reapply, and then 3 days for full drying. I am going to wait to apply the second coat until I get the new glass doors, so that I can match them up better. I have to say though, that even with 1 coat they look amazing! Shiny and almost like new! 
This paint is about 2 times the cost of normal paint, but it is saving me a lot of time and effort and frankly the results are impressive so far.

(I am NOT compensated in anyway by Valspar or Lowes. I just want to let everyone know when I find a good (or bad) product to save you time.)

Next weekend, I will keep plugging along. I have to wait for the two new cabinets and paint them before the counter top can go in. It will be the same quartz in both the kitchen and bathroom. I think that it is a basic enough quartz that it will look good in both areas.


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving - Nov. 24th, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

I am very thankful for all of my family and friends, my job and my health. I think we have
a lot to be thankful for today, even with the current tension around the country, and the world. We have each other, and we have to remember that is what is the most important. No one expects everyone to agree on everything, everyday, every time. It is just won't happen. As long as we remember those on the other side of our disagreements are humans with families, and feelings, and we respect their opinion as equal to ours, we will be okay. We should not be fighting  each other and destroying property because we didn't get our way. We should be looking to the future and trying to improve that for everyone. 

I love this country and wouldn't live anywhere else. Remember that today is not forever and the future can be changed but not by violence. All people should be tolerated and respected, no matter what color, religion or political opinion.  

In researching our family genealogy I have found that a lot of my ancestors came here to flee religious persecution. They were Quakers, Catholics and Mennonites, and were driven from their home country because of what they believed. They came here to America and created new settlements where they could continue their way of life in peace. There is room here for everyone and we need to accept those that are different.. without them, America will not move forward and will stagnate.

Have a great day! 


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Master Bathroom Remodel - Nov 2016 (Post 2)


My favorite part of any project is the demolition day festivities! I get almost as excited as a kid on Christmas when I am allowed to tear things apart. To save a little money on this remodel, Nick and I did a lot of demo so the contractor wouldn't have to do it and charge me.
It took us the better part of a day to get it done and then haul away the mess. 

Nick Tearing out the counter top
 Tools of the trade in demo!

Yes - this is me taking out the shower panels

Vanity and counter top are gone!

Nick working on the wall with the pocket door!

Shower walls, toilet and door are all out!

And there is part of the mess to clean up

Here is what it looks like now with the new wall between the bathroom framed up. This is where the sliding glass barn door will go that I bought from Home Depot. Barn Door

The closet is gone and now that area will be a huge vanity with two sinks and a linen closet in the corner area. You can see in the picture below that the window will be in the middle of the two sinks with a drawer between.

The fact that this is actually moving along after months of trying to get someone to help is fantastic!


Master Bathroom Remodel - Nov 2016 (Post 1)


It have finally started! The master bathroom remodel is underway and I am very excited! The master bathroom has always been ugly with its two shower heads and pink tile, but it was functional. Until this year when finally both shower heads have stopped working, one will not turn on and the other will not shut off completely. The struggle has been whether to do it myself and just replace things where they are, or to do a complete remodel. For me, it became obvious that we needed to fix the layout as well and that a minor update wasn't going to work. 
Finding a contractor has been the hardest part of the deal so far, because with the homes that were burnt from the Butte fire, all the good ones are very busy. And I only work with contractors who have worked with someone I know, so referral basis only.

So lets get started with the before pictures! 
The bathroom is open to the bedroom, there isn't a door to separate the two spaces except for a broken pocket door shutting off the toilet. And there is a closet at the far end that was an afterthought it seems since the door opening wasn't correct for the size of the door.
No door - all open to the bathroom

Pocket door hiding the toilet and shower

Shower with two shower heads..and the door railing you had to duck under!
Pink Tile with a white design element and blue carpet.
The blue cultured marble was used here as well as the hall bath with the vanity and shower both made out of it.

The plan was to extend the vanity into the closet to make a 2 sink vanity instead of 1 - and to rip out everything and make it nice. 

Up Next - DEMO DAY!