Monday, February 17, 2014

A simple project...

This is my kitchen.   I've always had a love/hate relationship with this kitchen.  I hate the white floor.  (Why would anyone put in a white floor when you live in the country?)  I like the counter space, but I dislike the "cabinets."  They aren't real cabinets.  Well, the upper cabinets are real, but the lower ones are a framework with shelves open from one end to the other.  And the corner cabinet by the stove and the one by the dishwasher are so deep and run back in the corners where you can't retrieve anything, or even see anything.  They are cheap, cheap, cheap.  Functional--to a point, but still cheap.(Please ignore the formica on the floor, and the mess.  And keep reading for an explanation of the mess!)

 And, now ignore the half loaf of bread :)  Concentrate instead on the colors and the formica.  While I have plenty of counter space, I've never been crazy about the tile on the edge of the cabinets and the backsplash.  Just not really our colors. I also don't really like the drawer pulls or the knobs, but that's minor.  About a year ago, the formica above the dishwasher and the corner of the cabinet above started popping lose.  The glue had lost it's stick.  We've looked at new countertops, and new cabinets--upper and lower cabinets.  We've priced it all and we've discussed changing the layout.  We just haven't made the commitment to actually take the leap and DO the remodeling or spend the money!
 Right after Christmas, we found some formica on sale at Menards.  We picked out a pattern we liked and bought it and brought it home.  We also bought some tile for the backsplash and some wood for the front edges of the cabinets.  Total spent?  Right around $100--give or take $25.  We figured that when we finally can do the entire kitchen remodel, we can "afford" to waste $100.  AND, honestly, it will be 3-5 years before I see us doing the entire kitchen, so we'll get our money's worth.

We'd recently been to a home show where a rustic bath and kitchen remodeler had a display.  One of the ways he finished cabinet edges was to put wood trim up and distress it, even distressing the formica at the edge of the cabinet.  Both Kev and I really liked the look, so we decided to attempt it ourselves.

Before starting, we discussed what we were going to do with our bar.  (pictured above.)  The counter is deeper than standard countertops.  It's 36" across.  It's a little low for us, and it tends to become a collector of junk.  Since our stock formica didn't come in 36" width,  (and we didn't want to special order it)  we brainstormed for ideas.  Kev's come up with an idea to make a higher shelf on the back side.  We'll piece in the formica on that side, which will be covered and not readily visible. It will hide some of the junk that shows up, and will be higher, which we'd both enjoy. I'm still a wee bit skeptical, but he's pulled off other ideas, so I will just have faith in him!

And, so on Saturday, Kev was restless, and decided to just tear into the kitchen.

We tore off the bar formica first.  Let me tell you, formica is sharp.  I have quite a few cuts on my hands!  We discovered that using my iron loosened up the glue which made it faster and easier to rip the formica off the countertop.  (Didn't do a lot for my iron, it's all scratched now!)  Then Kev cut the formica, and started building his shelf.  He did all the cutting, and I brushed on the contact cement.

Now, I've never done formica myself before. I've just watched some guys at work put in a new counter top on my circulation desk years ago.  I knew they used a lot of shims as they were fitting the formica, because they told me, once those two pieces touched, they were stuck.  There's no repositioning of the formica.  When it's down, it's down.

I asked Kev what he was going to use for shims.  Nothing.  I asked if he's done formica work before.  He say's he has. I suggested we get come cardboard for shims, and he finally did, but we had 3 pieces only and well, long story short, we ruined our formica.  Yep, it stuck where we didn't want to, and we tore the heck out of it trying to get it un-stuck!

So Kev said a few not-so-nice words and had a little temper-tantrum and we moved on to the two smaller counter tops.
They went down easy peasy.  He applied the trim, and I put up the tile backsplash.  (It's a wood grain 6" x 24" tile. Like floor tiles made to look like wood. Very rustic looking and probably very unique.)   In the photo above, he's distressing the wood trim.  I've stained the trim on the end he's not working with.  It looks nice.'s so much darker that we've decided we will need to strip and stain all the cabinets.  Which might be another issue, because the side panels of the cabinets, and the front of the bar is 1/8" cheap plastic looking wood veneer.  I'm going to try to sand and stain it, but if it won't take the stain, we'll move on to plan B.  The upper cabinets should take the stain.  SHOULD...  Who knows, we might have to replace everything before we're finished.

Miss Kat and I are going to Wichita this coming weekend to get a bridesmaid dress for her, so I'll stop by and pick up another piece of Jamocha Granite Laminate for the bar. We need to do it and the long counter top where the sink is. (the first photo.)  I already know I will need to paint again.  I like the green--even if it is much brighter than I'd planned.  It's not really the neon that it looks above!  New paint color will probably be in the yellow/tan scheme.  I also joked with Kev that the countertops would look much nicer with black appliances instead of the white.  But we are NOT switching them out just for cosmetic purposes!

Really, replacing the countertops moved quickly--we'd probably have gotten most of it done if we hadn't ruined that ONE piece. and learn!  We'll get it.  We always do!  And it will look nice.  Promise.

1 comment:

Megan Purinton said...

Bummer! Sorry to hear you ruined the big piece! At least you know to keep chugging away and not let it frustrate you too much. Can't wait to see it done!