Category Archives: Refinishing
Refinishing of furniture and other pieces.
I’m so excited to be able to not only finally share our kitchen remodel with you, but to also just be D-O-N-E!! I I think that the progression from concept to completion went very smoothly with only a few tweaks (tile and range hood) in the overall original design. I’m also very sure that I will want my cabinets in any future home setup like this, with open cabinetry below closed cabinetry, it just works so well for all of us and no extra dusting required!
So here is where we started (that’s the home inspector at the island), my hubby took photos of the house as he was inspecting it. What we have is a nice, open, good sized kitchen just not exactly what we wanted.
The first stage for us was replacing the can lights for pendant lights, new fridge, microwave, sink, faucet, dishwasher and updating and painting the island.
Stage two was the easiest and quickest, installing marble subway tile backsplash…
It remained like this for just over 2 years, but I always knew that painting the cabinets was next…
The third stage was to update and paint the butlers pantry, it was also my “test” for the kitchen cabinet paint color (Benjamin Moore White Dove).
Then FINALLY the last stage, raising the original cabinets to the ceiling, making new open cabinets to install below, adding decorative molding, installing more tile above stove and sink window, installing new range hood and adding a decorative cabinet above stove and fridge and painting all of the cabinets and installing new hardware… WHEW that was a mouthful and I’m pretty sure a run-on sentence!!
I hand painted (with a combination of foam roller and soft bristle brush) with Benjamin Moore’s Advance paint line all of the cabinet boxes and trim, but I spray painted the doors in the garage. I always follow the same routine, clean the cabinets with Formula 409, fill imperfections, lightly sand, wipe down with tack cloth, spray prime, sand, clean, spray paint color and repeat as many times as necessary. I sprayed 4 coats on each door side, letting them sit for 24 in between each coat and a week before I flipped them from the back to the front (always paint the back first). The final finish looks great!
The molding I added is the same we added to the island and helps disguise where the 2 cabinets are connected.
So much easier to access glassware and everyday dishes now!
We love our new hood, it works so much better than the microwave vent and because it is mounted much higher than the microwave was it helps open that space up.
My one small decorated area…
The wall color in the kitchen is Benjamin Moore Chelsea Grey.
Some before and after comparisons for you…
Well that’s it! No more phases left to do, whew!!!
Thanks so much for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed this walk-thru of our kitchen renovation!
Other kitchen renovation posts:
So you may know we went through a kitchen cabinet overhaul where we raised the original cabinets to the ceiling and added an additional open cabinet to the bottom of the original cabinets…
This setup works extremely well for the way we want our kitchen to function! The everyday dishes and glasses are in the open shelving area where they are quickly and easily put away and retrieved. The original raised cabinets are now setup for basically anything that doesn’t fall into the everyday category. However my 5’5” frame can only reach the first shelf in the old cabinets now so this is the main issue that was taken into consideration when I was re-organizing the shelves.
This most likely might sound a tad anal retentive, but I started with a list (because who doesn’t love a good list) of the different categories of items I had to organize, for example…
wine glasses (why do I have so many… OMG I am such a lush )
“Fancy” water glasses
Misc. drinking cups
Anyway, you get the point… I think I had about 15 line items that I needed to deal with and rather than start to randomly put the items away and then decide I needed to move them or that I forgot something I created a very crude cabinet diagram and worked on placement of the items by numbering each line item and then placing that number on the cabinet they were to go in. It took a little more upfront time, but when I went to put everything away the job went very smoothly.
Just some of our many, many wineglasses… also all of our china fit on the top 2 corner cabinet shelves, you know the shelves you always loose stuff in anyway!!!
I mean the cabinets almost look bare, maybe I need more ice cream bowls…
This entire area (top and bottom cabinets) is dedicated to drinks, coffee, soda stream, tea etc.
Our one display area in the kitchen, which I love and hopefully I won’t have to clean too often…
And look we even have the new range hood installed!
I can’t even tell you how much I love my new ceramic knife holder from Williams & Sonoma… it is super cool with its Kapoosh insert and I think it looks way better than the traditional wood knife block!
By the way remember the time I totally broke the glass stove top to pieces…
Well come to find out you can just replace the glass, which my hubby and I did as it is totally a DIY job. Yes, I would have LOVED to have purchased a new top, but finding one that fit the exact dimensions of the granite opening proved to be impossible very difficult. The Jenn-Air glass replacement top I bought online and it cost just a tad over $300, about 1/4 of what I would have had to spend to replace it.
I organized the cabinets based more on how often I would need to use the item more so then where I would use it. So for example all of my china and extra wine glasses went way up on the uppermost shelves. Where it would make sense for most people to have their casserole dishes near the oven (where ours were originally) I put ours in one of the base cabinets near the island because we use them quite frequently. I still have quite a few empty shelves, but everything is put away and I have only had to get the step stool out once in 3 weeks so I think the setup is working great so far!
As far as finishing the kitchen I just started spray painting the cabinet doors so once done the kitchen will be finished… whew hew!!! I took a few weeks off, some due to weather, but quite a bit due to procrastination on my part… but I’m getting it done now and if I never have to paint another set of kitchen cabinets I will consider myself a lucky girl!!
Thanks for stopping by!!!
Well here is the final post on these cabinets… I shared with you part of my process in post 1 and how we added molding and feet in post 2, but now they are finally complete and I can share with you the final results!
Just to refresh your memory this is what we started with…
And we ended up with these!!!
Super smooth paint finish, using Benjamin Moore’s White Dove paint color and spraying the door and drawer fronts.
I replaced the hideous patterned glass in the doors with custom cut mirrors. I love how mush light they reflect back into the kitchen! They cost $50 for both and I installed them the same way the original glass was installed.
The additional molding added just enough detail on the sides.
I couldn’t be happier with the hardware I chose. They are graphite in color, even though they look a little ORB in the pictures, they truly are more like a very dark grey finish in person.
They are a tad difficult to install because the back plates are actually separate from the handle, but I’m digging the more industrial vibe and how the color picks up on the color in the granite. If you’re interested in them you can find them here.
This crisp, clean, modernized feel of the cabinets really updates the look of the whole space so now I’m excited to get the rest of the kitchen cabinets done!‘
This project took W-A-Y longer than it should have, but most of that was my “fault” as I was in no hurry to make it a priority. I also made very sure to allow the appropriate amount of time between paint coats. I really hate painting cabinets, but I would do it again and again because I know how much I love the final results! To do it right takes time and patience, but when done correctly the paint job should last for a very long time.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Adding feet and decorative molding to the butler’s pantry cabinets was a pretty straightforward and easy project. We started off with these cabinets.
I removed the shoe molding from the kick plate and we dry fit a 4” piece of poplar wood which is very smooth and solid. We chose to use solid wood instead of MDF because we were routering the top and MDF doesn’t look as crisp/sharp as real wood does when routered in my opinion.
I also installed one of the doors back on temporarily to ensure that it would fit once the molding was attached… I don’t always think ahead, but when I do I sure as shit am happy about it in the end! So the door fit and we were back on to the next step…
Using SmartDraw I designed the exact cutout I wanted for the feet. We did consider adding 4 feet (one for each set of cabinets) but in the end opted for just 2 which I am so glad we did!
My Super Awesome Hubby used the jigsaw to cutout the design and the router to add a nice ogee edge to the top. Since the wood is placed against about 1.5” of cabinet face all I needed to do was nail it directly into the face, very sturdy and simple. I then filled in all of the nail holes and a long dent I didn’t see when we bought the piece, I use spackling for this process rather than wood filler as it is quick to dry and sands very easily.
I also added a small chair rail backer piece of molding to the sides of both of the top and bottom cabinets. Just used some Loctite and 1.5” nails and it’s not going anywhere.
Once everything is filled, sanded and caulked we can move on to priming and painting!
I’m almost finished with the the door and drawer fronts, hope to share the finished product with you soon!
Thanks as always for stopping by!
Our poor kitchen table has seen so much abuse love since we purchased it 13 years ago. It’s been the center of most of our family activities in three homes now and it has withstood all that we did to it.
Our beloved table was made by a Virginia based company, Hoskins Creek Table Company, and is 8ft long but only 33” wide. We bought such a long table to accommodate our girls and all of the friends they might bring home, believe it or not we fit 17 kids here one time! However, it was also our everyday family eating space, craft table, sewing table, homework table and even one time I caught a VERY bad Weimaraner sunning himself on it!
Here we are at our home in Montpelier, VA, celebrating the first of many birthdays that our table will see, it was only a few months old at this point and had yet to see any real abuse.
I know for a FACT when we moved into house number two in Short Pump, VA this table had dog claw marks on it (thanks to the aforementioned Weimaraner), glitter that wouldn’t come off (my bad) and more than a few blemishes from random acts. Still, it looked like a wonderfully worn table and we all loved it! This was the last birthday celebrated in this home before we moved to Kentucky and you can see the abuse clearly!
Here is the table once we were mostly settled in our Louisville, KY home. In order to keep the table we did have to “loose” one of the ends in order to maintain the flow from one room to the next, but the table fit well enough. If I’m being honest a smaller (probably round) table would have worked much better, but I just can’t bear to let this table and all of it’s memories go!
So here we are in 2015 and I am ready to change up the table, nothing drastic, just lighter colors and some new chairs. Our youngest daughter is 13 and way past the destructive stage, our Weimaraner who loved to sun himself on it passed away long ago and it’s just the three of us here now as the two older girls are either in college or have joined the working world. Anyway, most of the time we sit at the kitchen island to eat our meals and the poor table gets very little use these days.
So here it is with it’s fresh new update guaranteed to last for another 13 years!
First we removed the old wax finish and lightly sanded the table to remove some of the scratches, mainly the dog claw marks and the annoying blemishes.
The final grit we used on the sander was 220 which gives the table a perfectly smooth feel.
We then oiled the surface with Natural Watco Oil which allows the beauty of the wood to shine through. The final result is a table top that is about half as dark as the original finish.
After the oil had to time to do its thing we then waxed the surface with clear wax and buffed it to a beautiful sheen!
The combination of the oil and wax has restored the natural beauty and durability to this Southern Yellow Pine.
You can still see dents, marks and small scratches as evidence that this table has history, but gone are the glitter and truly ugly spots on the table.
For the base I painted it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old Ochre, did some light distressing, sealed it with clear wax and buffed it to a soft sheen. I really like the lighter feel of the table with this combination.
One of the other things I adore about this table is the “old world” craftsmanship that was used to build it. Wood peg joinery on the legs and old style nails to attach the top to the base really adds to the overall character of the piece.
I have all of the new chairs for this table primed and the seats reupholstered I just need to spray the final paint coat on them and they’ll be ready to go! Everything should be done just in time for Thanksgiving…
I will say that I’m so happy that we were able to keep this table and with just a little bit of work update it to fit our style today. Hopefully one day this table will be passed down to one of our girls who will enjoy watching her kids craft, play, eat and grow up using the same table she did as a child… the thought makes me well up with tears…
Thanks for stopping by!
Until next time!
These hideous lovely Thonet chairs are circa 1986, not quite vintage, but not far from being vintage either. If you’re curious the chairs were made by Shelby Williams Industries which purchased Thonet Industries U.S.A in the mid 80’s and continued to make the iconic bentwood chairs. I know these are pretty ugly, but I bought them for $10 a piece which I thought was a steal! Pictured below are the 6 I originally purchased, the seller wanted to keep 2 of the set of 8 for some reason, but I was able to go back and buy the other 2 because 8 really worked better at my table than 6… it was super nice of her to sell them to me, but I will tell you her husband was “thrilled to get rid of the ugly chairs”!
All of the chairs were structurally sound and very sturdy, but not exactly the look I wanted. So I set about making them a better fit for our family.
I started with removing the fabric from the chair backs. The seats were just plywood covered fabric that were easily removed by unscrewing a couple of screws from underneath.
I used my needle nosed pliers to grab hold of the piping and by pulling it away I was able to remove 99% of the staples holding the front fabric the frame… by the way please use gloves doing this kind of work, it will save your hands for sure!
Underneath of the fabric is batten covered foam easily removed by just pulling on it.
Behind the foam is cardboard which is stapled onto the frame, I just pulled that off but most of the staples didn’t come off with it unfortunately.
Behind the cardboard is the back of the fabric, again I used my pliers to remove the back and most of the staples.
At that point I had an open back chair, which looked so light and airy I was pretty sure that was the way I wanted to keep it, the problem was the bottom back stringer rod, it looked weird and needed to go. I used my jig saw to cut the stringer off and then used a flexible fine toothed handsaw to cut as close to the wood as possible.
And this is what I ended up with, a wood frame with a grove running all around the back and a couple of handfuls of staples to remove.
As a small side note I purchased these Kobalt 4.5” pliers a few years ago, they make removing staples so much easier and they cost about $6. This was the tool I used to remove all of the carpet pad staples from the upstairs subfloor so we could install the hardwood floors. It would be a great addition to your toolbox!
Next I used my pliers to remove any staples that still remained.
Then I mixed my wood filler, below is my favorite 2 part wood filler, it is awesome for filling large holes and rebuilding parts of furniture. The down side is that you must work fast as it starts to dry in about 5 minutes, but that is also the upside of the product. You can carve it with a knife after just a few minutes of applying it and you can sand it in about 30 minutes. It’s pretty stinky and you most certainly want to wear gloves, but it’s a fantastic product!
I basically globbed (very technical term) the wood filler in the holes and then sanded the areas down with 120 grit sandpaper on my mouse sander. I would usually use my orbital sander, but for this application the mouse sander was easier to control and rotate back and forth to maintain the round shape of the wood.
I then inspected each area and added a second coat of filler where necessary and repeated the sanding process as well. This is an example of what most of the areas looked like once everything was filled and sanded.
Before priming each chair I took a piece of 150 grit sandpaper and lightly hand sanded the rest of the chair. I then cleaned the chairs with a paper towel and Formula 409. My plan is to paint these chairs a shade of grey, so I chose to prime them with grey spray paint.
I’m still trying to decide what color to paint them and I’ve picked up several swatches of fabric but none of them is just right, so the chairs will not be finished for a little while yet. However, they’ll need to be finished by Thanksgiving because I already sold the chairs we were using (oops!) at least this “problem” will keep me motivated to finish them!
Also, I would like to point out that each chair took me about 30 minutes to get to this primed point. I can guarantee you that if I had chosen to reupholster the seat backs it would have taken me at least 3 times as long. So even though this looks like a lot of work it was less work and expense than if I had reupholstered them, plus I like them this way so much more!
Hopefully I’ll find some fabric soon, any suggestions you may have for fabric choices are always welcome!! Thanks as always for stopping by…
Until next time!
Well, believe it or not we have parts of our master bathroom & closet remodel complete! They are just a very small part of the total renovation, but hey I will take what I can get! So basically the dormer window areas are 100% complete, these are the two windows over the garage area as shown below. The window on the right is in the closet and the one on the left is in the bathroom.
These are the original plans my Hubby drew up before we moved in, you can see the dormer areas effectually created a 8ft long “hall” in each of the rooms. It was a lot of wasted and unused space, plus they really bothered the heck out of me.
Let me start with the bathroom window makeover as it was especially annoying to me… I mean who puts a window seat down an 8ft. long bathroom hall. Just stupid and serves no purpose whatsoever. Would you sit here? What reason would you have to sit here? I just don’t get it…
See what I mean? Obviously we removed the brown wallpaper (again people, why?!) and removed the stupid window seat (and the door to nowhere). You see, I had a plan for this space… and it’s going to be mine… all MINE!!! (can you read that sentence in a sinister tone, not sure how to make that come across just right in print )
While I couldn’t make the “hall” any shorter without affecting the amount of space in the closet (nope, not making the closet smaller)I could however make the destination worth the “trip”! First we installed a floating vanity top. Nothing fancy, just smooth plywood with a 1×2 plywood face on the front edge. It is attached to wood cleats which are attached to the studs in the walls for extra support. Then I painted the wood the same color and sheen as the window trim (BM Decorators White Semi-Gloss) . This area is going to be my makeup/getting ready space. Also, you can barely see it, but my Super Awesome Hubby installed an electrical outlet on the left (smart right?) and a junction box for a sconce on the right.
We also cut a big ‘ole hole in the wall on the right for a built-in area to house the laundry basket (this dormer is right across from the shower so it’s a very convenient space as well).
Here is the “box” almost complete, I will have a how-to on this project that I will be posting soon for those interested.
Now for the finished project… my vanity area! Look at all this wonderful light I get in here!
I recovered the vanity stool and made the valance using the same fabric. I also spray painted the stool blue, it was originally black and just really didn’t have the “feel” I was going for. I do so love it blue and with the sheepskin rug draped over it, it feels and looks luxurious.
You’re also getting a sneak peek at the Board and Batten I installed. It’s only in the bathroom and it was a HUGE pain in the ass project but it really adds so much to the room. Plus the new engineered flooring that has made me so happy as well!
What do you think about my swing arm light? It’s perfect for getting additional light just where I need it and then I swing it back up against the wall and out of the way! Plus the color is divine…
Here the finished nook for the laundry basket. I was originally planning on adding a shelf in there above the basket, but I put that on hold because I want to wait and see how I use the basket before committing to the shelf idea… but it looks like I’ll have plenty of room for one if I want it.
So now onto the closet dormer area.
Here is the sad BEFORE, again 8ft long wasted space, we really couldn’t utilize this space at all.
Here is the “hall” now greatly diminished, by 4ft. to be exact, you can see the original footprint of the walls painted on the subfloor. Look at how much light floods into the closet now!
This is just after the drywall crew came in and did their thing. Yup, we made use of the rest of that unused knee wall space, on both sides!
These niches are about 2ft deep each and make the most of not only the unused space in the knee walls but of the (now) little hall.
But did we stop there, oh no we did not! My Super Awesome Hubby (SAH) made and installed fabulous pull out drawers. They have full extension, under mount slides that are also soft close. Listen, these slides were not cheap at $20 a pair, but they will hold up to 75lbs. per pair and they open and close as smooth as silk… they were worth the extra expense in my opinion.
Plenty of room for shoes & purses!
I even have some empty shelves to fill
I also wanted some low profile handles for the drawers (I was concerned about jabbing myself on the handles, yes I factor in my clumsiness when decorating) and had settled on the idea of leather pulls. I couldn’t find anything that I really liked or if I really liked them they were $$$$ (of course right?!) so I decided to make them. All 16 of these pulls cost me $57 to make (not including the special end punch) and I absolutely adore them! I dyed the leather hot pink to match the drawer liner and they’re a pretty close match if I do say so myself. FYI all of the materials I purchased from Tandy Leather and are readily available online or in the store if you’re interested.
The other dilemma I had was what to do with the bottom of drawers. I knew I was going to have shoes in them and I wanted the shelves to remain in good shape, but I also wanted to do something fun, you know jazz it up a bit! My final solution was vinyl fabric, yes I said vinyl, this hot pink vinyl fabric was less than $8 a yard and I only needed about 3 yards. So not only was it more economical than contact paper, but it feels and looks like leather and lays in such a way that I didn’t even need to attach it in any way to the drawer bottom, it’s just laying in there all nice and purdy…
Did I mention that my SAH also added an outlet in the dormer? I’m going to eventually use the space for charging my phone & iPad. I had originally planned for a floating wood shelf here, but when we did a dry fit for it I didn’t like the way the shelf blocked the light from the window. So I found this great glass shelf online, it will hold more weight than I will ever need to have there (over 50lbs.) it really helps complete the space and gives me some room for jewelry, display items and maybe even a plant!
My one and only Derby hat and a sun hat adorn the right side while on the left is a wonderful mushroom watercolor my very talented oldest daughter painted me for Mother’s Day.
So these dormer window areas went from bothersome to beauties and I cannot be happier with both the way they look, but also with the way they function!
As always thanks for stopping by, I’d love to hear what you think about the spaces!
Until next time!
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It truly has been a long 5 months working on our master bath renovation. Luckily we had another bathroom close to us that we have taken over during this renovation, not to worry the bathroom “belongs” to our middle daughter who is away at college in Virginia 99% of the time so no one is really being put out. However, it’s still been a long renovation, but since we’re doing it ourselves and mostly on available weekends progress has been s-l-o-w.
So here’s a little glimpse into where we stand so far…
We have gotten all of the tile up and grouting will be happening soon.
(The shower curb will be covered with the same marble we use on the vanity tops which is why you still see the waterproof membrane.)
We had a few weekends of flooring installation… this flooring is a 7” wide plank engineered wood flooring with 2.5mm oak layer on top (which means it can be refinished at least twice if need be). We opted to nail it down, but it can be glued, floated or nailed if you want. It has a wire brushed, hand scraped finish to it so I am hoping it will show less wear. The flooring extends from the upstairs hall, through the master bedroom, bathroom and closet and we freaking LOVE it!
My list of things to finish is far to long to type, lets just say it’s extensive… but Lieutenant Dan I have floors!!
More glorious uninterrupted floors on my side of the closet, I cannot wait to see how good the molding looks after we get it installed!
We’re still cutting trim etc. in the bathroom, but we have organized everything on one side of the closet… still this is way better than trudging up and down the stairs a gazillion times. The down side to this is that the dust pretty much is EVERYWHERE!
The vanities are ready to be put in place, we have to cut the water off to install them so we wanted to wait and install both vanities and the toilet at the same time to be slightly more efficient. Once they’re in place we can get the countertop guys to come over and get the template for the marble for the tops and the shower curb!
Below is one of my favorite areas in the bathroom, my little vanity “nook”, it’s the dormer window area that we have added electricity and a floating table top to. Also, on the right hand side of this “hall” will be a built-in area for the laundry basket with a shelf above it for whatever.
It’s was originally a very awkward space… trust me… (*update: I posted a picture on my Instagram account Sunday of the board and batten in progress here, check it out on the sidebar if you’re curious)
Look at all of the light I get, plus we have 3 large shade trees in the front yard that dapple the light and add to the privacy.
This is what it looked like before, an 8ft. long “hall” to a window seat… now please tell me who the hell would sit on that seat? It was so weird! The hobbit door on the left was what they described as a luggage room, it was weird too… it may have even been haunted…
So that’s pretty much where we’re at with the renovations so far. The very next things on the list the hubby and I will be tackling together are grouting, trim installed in water closet, toilet and vanities installed. I myself will be filling nail holes and caulking until I never want to caulk again… fun times at home!
If you have any questions or comments you’d like to share please do, I get to them WAY faster than I get to writing my posts. And if you happen live in the Louisville, KY area and want to help me caulk let me know, I’ll make us some Mojito’s and we can play some groovy 80’s cardio music … UGH…