Yeah, ok, I've never run a marathon, but at least that is exactly what renovation feels like. We're currently at something like mile 24. Accomplishments to date: new countertops, new sink and PAINTED cabinets! (This last one is a miracle of truly epic proportions.) Accomplishments to go: painting the walls, fixing and painting the trim. I wanted to wait to write this post until we had flopped over the finish line, but it looks like we're going to be hobbling along for a bit, so I figured I should celebrate our accomplishments so far.
Check it out, our "new" kitchen!
Yee haw! OK, the knobs are still hideous, but we're working on it. Check out that beauteous countertop and the gigundas sink! As I'm fond of saying, you could wash a turkey or a two-year-old in it.
Full confession, I really failed on my portion of this renovation. The manfriend was going to do the scary carpentry/plumbing/countertop shaping and I was going to do the painting. How hard can it be, right? Yeeeeah, if you saw my last post, you know that it was not a cakewalk. After my fourth attempt, my far more anal-retentive marital partner took over and started from scratch. In two very light and very careful coats, he turned out passable cabinets. I made Easter brunch. Whatever, when in doubt, play to your skills. (Because he knows how important Easter brunch is to me, that exemplary piece of manflesh stayed up all night on Easter eve painting and putting the kitchen back together so there would be a finished kitchen when the guests arrived. That, my friends, is true love.)
OK, so you've heard about the process of painting the cabinets. In a less nightmarish vein, the zinc counters were surprisingly easy to install. First we bought the zinc from rotometals.com ($200 for the whole kitchen's worth, woot!) It comes in a big roll. We laid it out to loosen any set and tried to get it as flat as possible. As previously covered, the husband made a support for the sink and put a bullnose edge on the front of the counter. We measured out how big the countertop pieces should be including the backsplash, cut the sheet with shears, and bent the backsplash into shape with a piece of wood and a hammer. (Had we used a plastic mallet, we would have done better, small hammer marks can be seen in the backsplash, but it just adds character, right?) We wrestled the zinc sheet into the kitchen, set it on the floor, laid a thick layer of construction adhesive down on the counter (I got to use the adhesive gun, super fun,) squeegeed the adhesive out flat, put the countertop on and sat on it till it adhered. Just kidding, we weighted it down with buckets of water and cinder blocks. After curing overnight, we (ok, really the handy husband) bent over the bullnose in the front, secured it with galvanized nails and we called it a game! We repeated this process with the end piece on the far side of the stove, and on the short L next to the fridge and we were done. Truly, that part of the renovation was easy as pie. We had some hiccups, in one spot the adhesive wasn't thick enough and the counter didn't adhere all the way (you can "pop" it in and out.) But overall, I think they turned out awesome and they're already developing patina. We didn't do anything to finish them, in a couple weeks we might do a light sand and a coat of beeswax to try and get the patina a little more even. I think it looks especially good with the white sink:
Beauteous! Shall we do a before and after? Oh let's do.
We're still crawling towards the finish line. The window trim in this kitchen is a disaster. We have succeeded in picking out a paint color ("Porcelain Skin" by Behr, a light warm apricot/peach color, all the yellows we debated looked too eggy with the wood beadboard), but the time to tape and paint has not arrived. I have a full week planned next week and then I'm going on a two-week vacation to Croatia so it may just have to wait till the end of May! Ugh. Again, limping sloooowly towards that elusive finish line, but we'll get there. Meanwhile, I'm gonna go wash something. :)