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Major Kitchen Overhaul: Island, Cabinets, Floor, Windows, Etc.

07 February 2011

Major Kitchen Overhaul: 
Island, Cabinets, Floor, Windows, Etc.
contributed by Pink Satin Sashes

These kitchens shots were taken the day we looked at the house with the kids. It was our second viewing before we made our offer.

I have lived in many houses but this was owned by a bachelor and let me tell you the inside of those cupboards were the worst I had ever seen.  BLACK thick grease and grime. Gross.
Around the sink it was warped and rotten. It was like rolling hills.

Nice green artisitc flair with those horrid aluminum windows.

Ok so this is a long post.  I thought it would be inconsistent of me to not share this with you all considering I aired all my dirty laundry with you already...so you might as well see the kitchen to where it is today.  I still have stuff to do but I might as well let you see now or you might wait forever.

Windows we purchased at Demxx for 65 bucks a set.

A counter I got for 50 bucks at the Ladysmith Trading Co.  It is from 1904. The store was going out of business and the 80 year old son of the original propietor and owner was closing shop.

I had to convert the end as it was just sliced right off on one end...this was the second project I did for my kitchen.  The top was covered with gummy tar.  This was my first attempt at building anything for the exception of the window above the sink.

The first coat of paint. Original insides.  100 year old fir top....it is like working with petrified wood...and does not sand easily.

You can just see the other end where I had to chop off underneath the top, to build on and extend the bottom and put shelves in.

Found sink....Juliet eating.  Very cool story. I will have to post it again.

My first cabinet.  I made it to carry the sink.  We chose to make our own cabinets because we had to accomodate this massive iron sink.  And I wanted wood striped inside my cabinets so they had to be made by hand.....my hands.

Another cabinet.  That cabinet is about 5 or more ft long. I think.  I can't remember but it is big.

This is it outside being sanded and painted.  I did the construction of it in the yard and then had it hauled up on the deck to paint...that friggin thing weighs a ton, and I have decided to crawl inside it if there is ever an earthquake....I put tons of screws, nails and glue in it.....it is not moving.

The ceiling my Mr. Paint installed.  Along with the electrical and the lighting.  The wood is tongue and groove pine boards.  I think they are 6 inch ? maybe 5? or 4? Gee I cannot recall and I don't want to dig around for a tape measure and go measure it for you all....but I think it is 6.

Okay here there is electrical installed........we had so many fights about that dang electrical.   My Mr. Paint was being a stubborn dork.  He didn't want to shut down the breaker and he kept shocking the heck out of himself.  He was frustrated beyond anything I have ever seen, except for doing the plumbing of that horrid sink.  It took him 3 whole days to figure out how to plumb that sink.  It was not the bottom plumbing but how to deal with the taps BEHIND the back rise of the sink..and how to get it to fit into the wall so that the sink could be flush with the back wall.  HOW can you plumb it, with the blow torch when it is inside the wall?  So he had to pre -fit all the fittings and then run the pipes behind the cabinet, and then water test them....I think he had to remove that stupid set up a couple of times because he is not a plumber by trade and we had some leaks.  Plus we ordered the faucet online.  We ordered it according to the openings for the taps....well we made a mistake and the faucet was too small.  So we ordered a bigger set.  Well wouldn't you know that the spout was so large it hung beyond and over the sink edge!!!  We took the larger fittings for the taps and added it to the first spout.  So it all worked in the end.  That is until the ceramic handles cracked and fell off.  I wasn't worried because we had another set of them.  Well last month I went and dug them out and the fittings are too different fittings and my handles do not fit.  So now I have to order another set. Which I will not order ceramic ones again...I will do the nickel plated ones....

An after shot of the island.  The doors on this piece were made from and old door that I cut down the middle of the panes of squares.  This was the begining of my  hinge hating, although it would be a full year before I realized HOW MUCH I hated them.   Just so you know one of those doors fell off 3 days ago..I was pushing the island and leaned in with my knee and pushed the door inside the island. They only were little hinges and I will mount bigger ones because the door itself ripped.  Luckily I have another door I can chop up.

See in this shot  you can see the end of the island I built, kind of.  No doors on the cabinets yet...we lived a whole winter like this.  All of this was done in one summer. Notice the nasty floor where the 5 layers of lino was...and is was nasty with ripped floor boards and nails galore.

This summer I started making the cabinet doors.  These cabinet doors were SQUARE.  My cabinet openings were NOT square.  I learned a really important thing.   Being square is where it is at. Don't let anyone tell you different!!!

I see Frank, the nail gun...gee it has been a few months since I looked at you. I might even miss you old friend.

I have never made cabinet doors before but thought it would be easy.  We had a table top router.  But that things scared the crap out of me...and what I thought was an easy task, was not.  We were lousy at it.  I said to hubby we have to go to plan B like EVERYTHING else.  So I spent a day fiddling around with wood trying to figure out a plan.  I did and used the table saw to do it...I don't even have the vocabulary to explain what I did.

I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hinges.  It took me hours, and hour, and hours, to hinge these stupid friggin doors. It did not help that the cabinet openings were not square!  So I had to fiddle faddle around with strips of really thin wood to add here and there ....I don't even want to explain what I did, but the hinges themselves it must have taken me 2-3 hours to hang them, not to mention the stupid push thing inside the cupboard doors to keep them shut....frig I hate those.  I just wanted to cry my head off with frustration.  Something that seemed like it was going to be a breeze took the longest. I am not joking about the time it took either.

Wainscotting panel up.  Mr. Paint bolting in the steel rail that will hold up the cabinets.

This is a good shot of the window.  It used to be an old aluminum window.  We removed it.  We went to Demxx and picked out an old window that had the same pattern as a door that is original to the house.  I turned the windows on their sides and built a frame around them. That was the first thing I ever made in my life.  Finding old window hinges and mounting them was a frustrating thing to do also.  It probably took me a week to make them.  I had to chisel out the grooves for the hinges, and make the bottom exterior of the window slant down so the rain would run off, while keeping the frame on the inside straight.

These are the windows I used to make the cabinets from.  I had purchased them about 3 years prior before we even owned this house. By destiny they were the same pattern of the doors original to this house. I had a purpose back when I bought them to make them into cabinets.  I just did not know that they would be my kitchen cabinets.

It took days to scrape the paint off. I also had to remove the putty which was horridly painstaking.  I have pictures of that mess to but I am sure you can all imagine. Again something that I thought would be easy turned out to be tediously difficult. And for the record that chisel slipped many times giving me nasty cuts!

Here they are in the shop. They have 3-4 coats of Benjamin Moore satin oil based paint on them.  I would wait a day inbetween coats.

The glass I picked out, reminds me of european stained glass.  I chose the red so it would go with the other colours of stained glass in the house.  If  I get bored of it I can add any other colour I want later.  My neighbor had done her own leaded glass windows in her home. She gave me a quick glass cutting tutorial and her tools and away I went.  I had big slabs of glass, and thankfully only had one error, in cutting it.  It was a small boo boo thank goodness and did not affect the use of the glass , meaning I did not run out of glass.

Here they have all been cut, and placed inside to see what they looked like.

The cutting only took me about 4-5 hours.  I then siliconed them in place and then caulked around  the inside of the panes. (on a different day)

The upper cabinets being made, and the middle two window panes in process.  Because they were upper windows that slid up and down I had to fill in the sides, so I could put hinges there. I PL7000 or something,with pieces of doweling. Then I added filler and voila'. Ya as if it was that easy..there was left over rope inside there that I had to remove first without slicing off my digits.

Upper cabinet.

This was so sad.  After they were mounted I noticed that the lines in the panel were slightly off. It drove me crazy.  So I had to remove them.....let me tell you I was not skimpy on nail gun shooty things and caulking....it was a killer to remove.

See you can see those horrid hinges again. The little buggers!  I spent two whole days hanging those bloody things. Don't even ask. After removing the doors because I thought I mounted the hinges backwards, and then hanging them again with no improvement on there swinging ability, I put them back the way I had them to begin with.  Then I had the brilliant thought to add some DW-40 and by golly that is what was wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The dang hinges were just sticky!!!!! I hate hinges!

You have no idea how hard it was to have to wreck your own work... but in the end it was worth it.

This is where we put in the cottage windows.

We lived like this over the winter.  WE were exhausted and broke.

Just a little prep work before I could paint the floor.....I had to sand this down and do it again twice before I could paint.


Painting the floor... make note that if you do this with oil porch and floor, do what the manufacturer says.  Paint thin light coats....not big, gloopy ones like me that don't dry properly.

This spring when I can open my doors and windows I am going to do another coat. I need to do my edges in the door openings and just fix some spots that I had made due to my impatience...other than that I am really pleased witht he floor. I used Benjamin Moore Porch and Floor Oil based paint.
And if your kitties decide to run through it and leave prints all the way down the hall you have to remove that paint QUICK off their little paws.

I built the wall separating the eating area with the stove. Hubby redirected the heating vent. This area still needs base boards and trim. I will do it when I fix the chop saw.

My after shot at christmas.

This is mess on a good day.  You can kind of see the shelves on the island here.

The nasty floor before it was painted.

These were hand carved corbels. I have no recollection now of where I got them but I think it was a garage sale.  I paid 5 bucks for the pair.

Two coats of paint and then I sprayed them with stuff I can't remember at the moment....then two more coats.

Here is my idea using stir sticks to hide a gap.  We had cut the hole for the vent a year before, and when we got the stove lined up with it....well I don't know we measured and measured but for some reason it was not right and I had to hide the gap.

The back wall behind this fan and stove is crooked like a dogs hind leg.  You would never know it but I balled my head off one Sunday trying to make the window above the sink flush with , oh geez , frigging , lets just say the window to the left and the window to the right were about 1.5 inches off on a slant...

The whole back wall is off.  I had to shave the back of the cabinets to get them to sit flush with each other.... I added the posts around the stove to make up for the difference so each piece of panelling wood appear like it is all flush....do you get it?  Don't even try.
All I know is, it made everything dang out of square.
This house was moved forward on this land and put on a new foundation so that being it is 119 years old now, nothing is square.

In this picture you can see a seam that has shrunk. I would do this over and make it differently, but at the time I was bumbling around making it up as I went....so I wil have to refill the seam and hope it doesn't do that again.

See this old cabinet? Well, I made that into a hanging wall cabinet. I added trim and shelves and a door from another old cabinet sitting around.

The plain cabinet mounted.

Added the trim and shelves and little drawers.

A vintage curtain hangs in the cabinet made of organza with little velvet flowers.

I refinished this cabinet for the bottom.  I store cereal and stuff in it.

Tumbled marble.

Mr Paint did all the tiling. He likes that.  While I was doing the kitchen he and my sons were doing the last side of the exterior.  He and they ripped off the old stucco to reveal the old siding.  It is in pretty rough shape as it is facing south .  It was a long and scary project.  I was just imagining them falling off the 2.5 story scaffolding. It is a wonder he is not dead.  From electrocution or falling.

The crown around the top of the vent is coming down and being replaced with one that fits.  We have had issues with our chop saw, and we got some dude to cut this one for us and waited 3 wks and he cut it too short.  So I hung it anyhow... the top piece ah what a cool story.

I was thinking I wanted something just like that to mount up there.  I could not find anything on a strict budget, and did not want to order something on line.  I was driving down the road following signs to a garage sale that I did not find.  Someone had a pile of stuff layed out for free. This was in that pile...it is originally a thing you mount to the side of a house to hang your hose on!!!  I unscrewed the part you hang the hose on and was left with this beauty. Can you believe it???? That good guy in the sky knows just what I need and it is not the first time something like this has happened to me.

It was a little bent so I went to bend it back and it snapped in half.!  It is Pl 2000 in place and caulked and you could never tell.  I added the stuff around the bottom because one day I am going to paint a letter in that spot.  Or maybe a number or whatever.

Stupid hinges I hate you...YOU look great but I still hate you.  The little corbels in the shelves are handmade by an artisan gingerbread  carver....he is also a hoarder of his carvings and antique wooden salvage...I will go back and get more for other projects.

See that skinny doorless cabinet below the coffee maker?  I have to make a door for that.

I am going to remove the amber glass out of this door and replace it with the same glass in my cabinets....I hate that colour.

I still have to add crown at the top and paint and caulk....
and that is about it...

I decided that if my pictures of the after were not perfect I was not going to worry about it, because you will probably see my kitchen again in "perfect" form...so whatever.  

If I could have forseen into the future the months, hours, minutes and seconds of this painful project I would not ever have attempted it.  But I was completely ignorant of how hard this would be. 
Not only hard to figure out, but hard on my body.  Oh there were days I could hardly move.  The bruises down the right side of my leg constantly.  I have no idea why only one side.  I did get some really questioning stares while wearing shorts out shopping.... cuz the bruises were doozies. Finally Mr. Paint told me to cover up because he didn't want people to think he was beating me.  Ya, only on the right side.

I look at my kitchen now and would change a few things. I would change the birch counter tops. I would change the tile to subway.  But you know compromise is big.



Anonymous,  February 7, 2011 at 8:13 AM  

I love your new kitchen. You folks did an amazing job. We remodel too, so I know how much work it is. It is just spectacular.

Have a good Monday!

Alicia February 7, 2011 at 8:17 AM  

Wow! Your kitchen is absolutely beautiful! I can't believe you did all the work yourselves - I'm exhausted just reading about it!

I love the glass in the upper cabinet doors and the ceiling is divine. Just perfect.

brookie February 7, 2011 at 8:35 AM  

THE SINK THE SINK THE SINK. I am in love with the sink. Adore it. It takes a great deal of guts to paint the floor and it turned out wonderful. Great work. Bright and crisp. Great work and great images.

Pattie February 7, 2011 at 9:21 AM  

I just LOVE what you did to that kitchen!!!!!
It's exactly what I would like in mine! We have an old farmhouse and the kitchen is huge. Thanks for sharing! 8>)

Shelia February 7, 2011 at 9:51 AM  

What a wonderful job on this kitchen! What a difference! It's lovely!
be a sweetie,
shelia ;)

Suki February 7, 2011 at 10:31 AM  

Holy cow! That looks amazing! I am amazed at how much hard work and dedication you put into it. I love that sink! I'd love to see more pictures of it.

chelsea February 7, 2011 at 10:38 AM  

This is spectacular. Each part just gets better and better. The finished project looks amazing and I really like that you shared how hard the process was, and that you did this from found materials, it just makes the fantastic finished project even more amazing. What a unique, and personal, end result. Kudos!

youwannawhat February 7, 2011 at 10:47 AM  

I can't believe all your hard work....honestly. It is an incrediable transformation. Pat you and Mr. Paint on your backs! We have added an addition on our house (still not done) and remodelled the front of the existing house 'we' being mostly my husband. I know the work involved...and the dust...and the expense. Fabulous job! I salut you!

Love the Decor! February 7, 2011 at 10:52 AM  

Oh My goodness, simply amazing!!
Nice work. We are in the midst of a mini remodel and it is making me crazy. I think you are a saint to make it through such a long wonderful project!!

Katy February 7, 2011 at 11:24 AM  

My grandmother had that exact sink...we kept it and stored it in my dad's workshop, so I'm hoping to use it one day. But after reading your account of trying to plumb that thing, I am having second thoughts.
It is an AWESOME kitchen, but the amount of work is incredible! I am so tired for you, and I hate those stupid hinges too! :)

Anonymous,  February 7, 2011 at 12:13 PM  

That must have been a giant PINTA but it is absolutely beautiful!

Shelly February 7, 2011 at 4:53 PM  

This is the most beautiful kitchen. My dream. I love it. You did a great job, but I believe it was a pain. Great great job.

That One Girl February 7, 2011 at 8:11 PM  

It's beautiful!! I wish I had the bone structure in my house to do something like that! What we want to eventually do is tear out the windows in our kitchen, and build a dining area onto it, and then turn our dining area into a den/office type area by taking out the sliding glass door, replacing it with a large bay window (possibly??), and put the sliding glass door in the new dining area and build a deck on the back. There are a TON of things that I want to do with this house. I just hope that I can have the patients to wait the year and a half to be out of debt enough to start working on it! :-P

Anne Magee February 7, 2011 at 9:02 PM  

This kitchen is so amazingly beautiful! You must be so proud of all of your hard work! Love the details of the colored glass and the wall color!

Shay February 15, 2011 at 9:43 PM  

Wow, your kitchen is beautiful, I hope ours is someday, we found a sink almost exactly like yours in the old smokehouse out back and are excited to use it. Lucky or unlucky for us our kitchen is a blank canvas with the exception of a corner pantry that was put in in the 1920's. Hopefully we don't run into some of the same issues with faucets. Can't wait till ours is done.

Deborah March March 26, 2011 at 1:52 PM  

OH-MY-GOODNESS! What a spectacular transformation!! Swooning in Nova Scotia!!

L April 20, 2011 at 9:49 PM  

I love everything about your kitchen...oh my gosh, you did an amazing job with your own hands & hearts...so much thought & attention to detail.. yet so homey, comfortable & soothing, a beautiful cottage kitchen. So inspiring! Thanks for posting!

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