Counter productive is actually counter productive in describing the progress we’ve made with the counters this weekend. In fact, we have every countertop installed. Of course with wood jokes a plenty. My favorites, “Don’t hit me with your wood” said to Ben while holding the door open for him. And Ben asking me if I like his wood. Yes, yes I do. Vincent even made an unintentional dirty joke telling Ben he “kissed his back door” while waiting to open the door for him. Bahaha. It’s a good thing he has no clue what he said.
I wish I could say the counter cutting and installation was quick and simple. In actuality, Ben spent the better part of yesterday (and a few hours on Saturday) working to get er done. It would have taken a million times longer if Ben hadn’t had the slabs sanded at the cabinet shop on Tuesday. Speaking of the cabinet shop, Ben picked up the piece for the bar top on Wednesday. Have a look.
With phase one complete, Ben started phase two, cutting the pieces to size. I took the picture above after Ben had started cutting the bar top, but you can really see the difference of grain. Because Ben is so awesome, he was able to get the bar top in on Saturday night.
You can bet we wasted no time oiling that baby up. And it’s amazing how different Sappelle looks with a coat of oil.
I love how much character the oil brings out. And how rich the tone is.
There are a few knots, which look great and add tons of character.
The cuts around the post are snug, which is perfect because some of it will be visible even after installing the trim.
And here she is now, patiently awaiting bar stools to complete the look.
Ben worried most about the 45 degree angle he had to cut for the peninsula seam. He cut the long side, brought it in to check the angle.
Luckily, it was perfect, so he brought in the adjoining piece.
He secured the small piece next to the sink first using silicone caulking along the sink seam. This piece was the first to go in because we wanted the line against the sink to be straight. If we had installed the larger piece of the peninsula first, it could have shifted the smaller slab. Ben did have a slight problem when screwing it in. Bubinga is a hard wood, which is the reason we chose it for our counters. Because it is so dense, a few screws snapped off. To help this, Ben drilled pilot holes with the wood in place, going through the cabinet top and into the counter. I had the task of standing on a slightly bowed seam to keep the joints flush.
(Don’t mock my Flintstones feet.) While I was up there, I thought I’d give you a never before seen and probably never will see again angle of the kitchen, with living room and front door beyond. We hadn’t finished the pieces by the range.
Ben moved onto install the rest of the tops. The piece above the dishwasher went in the same as the angled chunk to the left.
With the two pieces securely in their new home, we worked to fill the slight gap.
We wanted the filler to be as close of a match as possible, to keep the seam from being noticed. The guy at the cabinet shop told Ben they usually make their filler out of sawdust and super glue. We spread some glue into the crack (haha) and sprinkled saw dust over the top, pressing in place.
While it was still wet, we started scraping the excess off and lightly sanded it.
Still not happy with it, so I mixed wood glue and more sawdust in a container until it had a peanut butter like consistency.
A few other pieces had small cracks where the wood had split while drying. We tested the glue/sawdust mixture here. Once it’s sanded down, it should blend in nicely.
So, folks at home. If you need a special colored wood filler, try making your own.
We’re still waiting for filler to dry, which we’ll sand and may have to give another coat before we can oil the tops. The only piece that didn’t have any areas to fill was this one on the left side of the stove. Pretty, huh?
But we couldn’t wait until the rest were ready for oil. Just like the bar top, the oil enhanced so much of the grain and darkened up the color. The wood absorbed the oil differently. I think the darker areas are softer, so they drink the oil up quicker.
Once absorbed completely, the finish is even and pretty. I couldn’t resist putting a few marble tiles against it.
The colors of the counters and bar top are very similar, despite coming from two different species of trees.
This was a huge item crossed off the to do list.
Install the new dishwasher.
- Sand the ceiling and walls smooth
Build the five remaining drawers we’ve waited on(we needed to see how things were in place before we could build one drawer in the dining room, the trash can pull out, and the under the sink drawer) Fill, sand, prime and paint said drawers Install every drawer, 16 total Buy the wood for the counters. Haul the wood slabs to a cabinet shop to have them sand both sides smooth Cut the wood to fit and install the counters
- Hang the upper cabinets
Add decorative face trim to all cabinets for a smooth, pretty, even front Fill, sand, prime, and paint all cabinet faces
- Build the drawer and cabinet fronts, including two glass front doors
- More filling, sanding, priming, and painting of the cabinet fronts
- Install the drawer fronts and hardware pulls
- Prime and paint the kitchen and living room. Probably the dining room too.
- Add lights: sconces, recessed light halos, and the rope lighting
- Trim out the posts and door frames
- Add crown molding to the top of the cabinets
- Decide whether we want to add decorative trim to the vent hood or paint it to match the wall color
- Install the pretty new marble tile backsplash
- Put everything back in place and enjoy