Saturday, April 16, 2011

The "Before" Kitchen

What is the current state of our home?  In the immortal words of Bill Murray in Ghostbusters: "Dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!"  We are doing what I've been calling a "light kitchen refresh".  So far there hasn't been anything light or refreshing about this job.  But it does sound so much more pleasant than "doing an insane amount of work just to get some freshly painted cabinets and a new countertop."  Right?  However, it's going to be great when its done and we're jumping in with both feet.  

The plan is new countertop, newly painted cabinets, new wall color, and new sink.  The countertop plan is to cover our existing forest green laminate counter (1992 called, it wants it's countertop back,) in zinc sheet.  Zinc is the material of every single bartop in France, it is naturally anti-bacterial and it develops a dark grey patina over time.  Think 1920's speakeasy style.  It is also extremely cheap (think $150 for the whole kitchen) and can go down right on top of existing countertops, making it a super low barrier-to-entry choice for people who don't want to replace the whole shebang.  We're hoping it will look super cute and retro, especially when paired with our new/old white farmhouse sink from the Restore!  For the bargain price of $30, we picked up a cast iron vintage sink.  It isn't apron-front, but it does have one single enormous bowl, which I am looking forward to.  I could wash a whole turkey in there.  (Turkeys, look out!)  Check it:
The kitchen cabinets have been looking a little dingy for quite a while now, and they were a grey color that we felt like would clash with the grey metal of the counters, so we're painting those white.  The walls are also going to be painted, a color which is so far TBD.

SO, the overall kitchen before looked like this:
The cabinets/counters looked like this:

 Hey forest green, heeey.
The most often asked question is "is the beadboard staying?"  Yes, Virginia, the beadboard is staying.  I don't love it, (or at least would paint it white) but my husband is a woodworker and he's really attached to it.  What can I say, marriage is about compromise.  I figure I'll focus my laser-beam-of-death on the forest green counters for now and worry about the beadboard later.

Last weekend we started tearing stuff up.  The old sink came out (yippee!) and we made supports for the new one.  The "during" shot looks something like this:
We also prepped the counter for the zinc, which required a (very frustrating) amount of puttying, and the husband neatly added a half-round so the countertop will have a retro bullnose edge rather than a modern-looking square edge.  The bullnose looked like this:

This required yet more puttying and sanding.  OMG, puttyandsandputtyandsandputtyandsand.  This cycle rolls on and on.  And on.

OK, so this week we got the zinc cut and bent.  Today, the progress looks like this!
Zinc cut and laid, and sink hole cut!  The sink is just dropped in there for the moment, it isn't caulked or bedded in.  (Check out all my new profesh lingo!  Apparently when you seat something in putty it's called "bedding" it.  Kinky.)  But doesn't it already look better?  All right, just to keep it real, the rest of the kitchen looks like this:

Not all is sunshine and roses.  But progress IS happening.  The painting of the cabinets is all my job (while the hubs is off doing plumbing and counters and other things.)  Problem is, I'm not super Type-A.  I'm trying hard, I spent several hours sanding everything nicely, but this morning's painting resulted in streaks from the brush. The brush that This Old House recommended as the only way to paint cabinets.  I think they are full of it.  I think maybe a smooth roller or sponge brush might be the way to go.  My friend Miss Anna stopped by and rendered her professional opinion which was that my only recourse would be to wait till the current doors and drawers are dry, then do a light sand and then a final smooth coat with something-that-is-not-a-brush.  So currently the cabinet doors and drawers are drying:

With hopes for a better tomorrow.  Fingers crossed!  Meanwhile, the renovation truck slowly lumbers on, Easter is next week so I'm hoping to put the Humpty Dumpty of our kitchen back together by then!  Send me good vibes, people, I think we might need them.

1 comment:

  1. Rockin' and Rollin'! Looks great - I kindof like the beadboard, it adds a cool texture and unique look to everything. Makes your fun kitchen tools *pop*. Is it a bad idea to use spray paint on the cabinets? Or is it just that you can't get good colors in spray paint? Good luck!