Saturday, December 22, 2012

Alehouse Amber Counter Top

IMG_3312 by BaubCat
IMG_3312, a photo by BaubCat on Flickr.
Today the counter top fabricator came to make the template for our recycled glass counter tops. Later in the day we drove up to his shop to inspect the two slabs that will be used.
I love these Vetrazzo counter tops even more now that I've seen the full slabs. The small sample pieces or online photos just don't do it justice. Certain pieces of the glass chips have so much sparkle & add such depth. I can't wait for them to be installed in a few glad I splurged on my eco friendly counters.

Alehouse Amber by Vetrazzo

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Installing Kitchen Cabinets

Installing Upper Cabinets by b-a-boop
Installing Upper Cabinets, a photo by b-a-boop on Flickr.
Those beautiful Bamboo cabinets are finally getting installed. At first it was a bit of a shock seeing the large open room & my new floor getting covered over by the cabinet carcasses. Made the room start feeling crowded. But after enough of them got placed, the design started to come together and I'm getting psyched. Can't wait till the doors & handles get put on.
The installation videos make it seem like a quick easy job, but to do a quality job, it takes a lot of leveling, shimming and interconnecting of the cabinets. It didn't go quite as quick as even my contractor expected, probably because he's as much of a perfectionist as I am...and of course his helpers are us amateurs & he's always taking time explaining every step to us. So far it's looking great!

Finished Floor Installed

Finished Floor Pattern by b-a-boop
Finished Floor Pattern, a photo by b-a-boop on Flickr.
We finally got my floor design installed (my mid century modern inspired pattern). The marmoleum click was relatively easy to install, a typical floating floor. The most difficult part was accounting for the expansion gap at all the different trim locations. It took a bit of thinking to accomodate those gaps & still keep the design lined up with the entries & cabinets before we started. You can find a few more photos on my flickr photostream.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Choosing Paint Colors

Why is it that every color on a paint chip looks so pretty but when you put it on the wall it sometimes makes you want to puke. I had such a hard time choosing the paint color for the kitchen.

The ceiling paint gave me a bit of trouble…I found the perfect paint color swatch, but the sample paint didn’t come out matching it, so I ended up going back for a sample of the next darker shade & mixed the two together. That came close to what I wanted, so it worked out fine.

For the walls I wanted green to match the glass bottle chips in the recycled glass counter top. We’re also putting in glass backsplash tiles that are a very pale shade of green, somewhere in the sage range. My first pick was from a paint card that had a green matching the bottles. I just picked one of the lighter shades on the strip. I painted it on a scrap piece of drywall (since the walls weren’t done yet). It ended up looking just like that green drywall they sell and I hated it. So next I went for something with more blue in it, an aqua shade, painted that one on the wall & it was way too bright. I then collected 2 more greens in olive & sage hues. I liked the sage, but my husband said it was too close to the tile color with no contrast. He suggested I find something in between the last two. So then I found the ‘Lemongrass’ swatch. It’s one of Martha Stewart’s colors. Hubby was happy with it, so the walls are finally painted. I love the color, but I’m still unsure how the glass backsplash will look against it. Time will tell. Just glad the room is finally painted.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Concrete Beam Repair

One wall in our kitchen is a concrete support wall so it was the only one we didn’t knock out all the plaster on. It was also the one most out of plumb; the room measures more than an inch wider at the ceiling than at the floor. There were some problems with the plaster surface over the concrete and we could feel some hollow gaps in between the 2 layers. That meant scraping the wall down, which lead to big chunks of the plaster falling off, all the way down to the rough concrete surface. Another repair not anticipated at the beginning of the renovation. 
Our contractor kept mentioning the steps we would be using to make the repair, but we were working on the other walls and when he left me on my own for a few days, I attempted the repair on my own. To fill those gaps back in bonding agent was needed to adhere the joint compound to the rough concrete. The concrete must first be clean & all loose particles removed. Then you coat the concrete with the bonding agent at full strength. Once it is tacky, but quickly before it dries, use an admix of bonding agent & joint compound and cover the raw concrete. You don’t try to fill the whole gap, but just cover the raw concrete. Once that dries then the next pass of joint compound will stick to the 1st coat.
Since the worst spots were at the corner joint, we needed to create a form on the underside of the beam to give a smooth edge to fill up to. My husband formed it up for me and I spread a very thick layer of compound across the wall and into those deep recesses. We had to let it dry for a day & a half before we removed the plywood form & even then, the underside of the mud was still damp and I even cut out a few big drips. Our contractor returned and decided to bring us a bag of durabond which is a dry mix of joint compound which is a bit more firm than the premixed stuff. Wish I had had it for the first layers; it was firmer & easier to work with. He had me add a few more layers of it to level out the corner as much as possible before adding the corner bead. Since the beam is solid, the plastic corner bead can’t be stapled into it, so I had to use the metal reinforced paper tape. Working again by myself, I smoothed on a layer of compound and climbed up ladders on each end of the beam to place the tape so that the bottom edge was level before I folded it under across the bottom side. There was of course a gap on the underside in the center that needed to be filled with joint compound too, but I’m pleased how well it came out. Now it just needs a few coats on each ace to smooth everything out nice & flat like the rest of the walls.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Inside Corners / Outside Corners

After putting up the new drywall in our kitchen, we had to form inside corners up three walls and between the 3 new walls & the ceiling. We also had to form outside corners on the window frame, the pass-thru and the hallway entrance. There was also an outside corner on the concrete beam above the brick wall, but that repair will be part of another post. 

some materials used
outside corners on window are in, inside corners on wall/ceiling need to be done, a gap at top of wall was pre-filled

The outside corners were the easier of the two. We used plastic corner beads that are stapled onto the dry and smoothed over with the joint compound. The toughest part of that was cutting and mitering the corners so that all the openings were square.

corner bead on window, sill needs work so top edge wasn't bedded
outside corner of pass-thru done
close up of pass-thru
outside corner on hallway entry
On the inside corners we used paper tape reinforced with metal strips. To install it you need to measure out a piece the proper length, spread out a layer of joint compound over each side of the corner (being sure not to put it on too thick, except in areas where the seams are really out of square). You then fold the tape down the center & place the tape into the corner keeping it as square & level as possible. Use the trowel to press it smoothly down into your layer of joint compound and then add another layer of joint compound over the top to bed it in securely. The toughest one of those joints was the 14’ long joint on the ceiling, there was a substantial amount of space (almost an inch) in the middle of the ceiling that needed to be filed in. Luckily my husband & I were able to work on that together and he devised way to project a line along the wall for us to follow to keep the tape level across the length of the wall. Once the joint is dry, and then comes the hard part of leveling out the dips in the walls and ceiling to meet your nice new sharp corners. It took quite a few passes on the ceiling to fill in that valley, especially a pain when having to go up & down the ladder so many times.
inside corners done

Happy Thanksgiving

Well here it is the biggest cooking day of the year and we still don't have our new kitchen. Our temporary facilities just don't cut it. So luckily my mom invited us up to her house for dinner, so we'll be "getting out of Dodge" for a few days. Hope everyone has a nice holiday & fills up on plenty of great food. 

Temporary kitchen, sink's out in the laundry room, fridge is just out of view, only have microwave & electric skillet to cook on

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bamboo Cabinets Ready for Assembly

The beautiful bamboo kitchen cabinets have finally arrived. They are now stacked up in two rooms in the house waiting for us to finish the walls & floor so we can assemble them and install them.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Decor

After putting up with the big green monster (dumpster) in my front yard for a few months now, I decided it needed some decoration for the holiday. We went out & purchased a skeleton & a few dollar store goodies and some red paint. My husband found a piece of black rope & made a noose and now the dumpster is creepier than ever.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Still Floating the Drywall

I had no idea what a long process this would be to get the walls level. The old wood studs in our kitchen were quite uneven, so if you place a level across the drywall sheets, there are recesses in areas as big as ¼” that need to be filled in. I’ve been putting on joint compound almost every day for over a week & I’m still nowhere near done. Looking at it, the changes are so subtle it looks like I’m slacking, but my achy neck & shoulders tell me otherwise. Yesterday my contractor came out and showed me how to use the hawk & trowel for the large sections of walls we need to skim coat. He did about 80% of the one wall & I tried a few passes. After he left, about 10 minutes into my 1st attempt on my own, I got a cramp in the palm of my hand. My hand barely fits around the grip of the trowel. Anyway I worked through the pain and attempted two more spots before I went back to the mud pan & 10” trowel for filling in spots on the ceiling where we patched in drywall. I just didn’t have enough confidence working with the hawk & trowel over my head, probably would have ended up with more mud in my hair than on the ceiling.
Old plaster wall we skim coated

My first attempt with the hawk & trowel
Ceiling patch before
Detail of ceiling after filling gap when instaling the corner bead

Ceiling after anothe layer of fill

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Last Minute Recycled Gift Bag

Finally a crafty post instead of a reconstruction one.

We got a last minute invitation to a birthday party for our friend's son. I managed to squeeze in some shopping time for a present, but when I looked through my stash, I had no wrapping paper or bags fit for a 6 year old. Most of my craft supplies, glues sticks, glues, etc. are all packed away in storage while we're doing our home renovation, so I couldn't make my usual upcycled gift bag. But if you save enough junk like I do, you can always find something usable. Another of my friends (who's received a few of my recycled calendar gift bags) now hands me down her calendars at the end of the year & I found one stashed in the bookshelf. I also had a Williams Senoma shopping bag. I just cut out 2 cute pages from the calendar & taped them on the bag. Since the sides of the bag said down them, I cut a strip of some used wrapping paper that said 'Happy Birthday' and taped over that too. Quick, easy & pretty cute to boot!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Powering Through the Old Floor

Well besides finishing up some mud on the drywall today, I spent my time with the hammer & chisel breaking away the bit of old floor adjacent to the brick wall. There's another section at the front of the wall that I tried hand sawing away (the grain is the opposite direction) but the oak floor was too hard for me to power through. Now I need a masseuse.

The Walls Are Back Up

Well we've gotten the kitchen walls back up. Who knew it took so many screws to mount drywall (besides the contractors). I was totally useless with the screwdrivers, so the guys had to handle all that. But I did tape all the joints and help mud them, still have the inside corner beads to do and leveling out the walls & ceiling.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Out with the Old, In with the New

So glad to say good bye to all the old, unsafe fire hazards that were part of the original 1947 wiring in our house, including the ungrounded cloth insulated wire, original meter box that was in the laundry room & that fuse panel mounted behind the kitchen cabinet.

And look at our shiny new weather head outside and some new outlet boxes, switches etc. We even added some new pendant lights at the front entrance.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...