Cabinet Doors? Done

Almost.  I’ve got some touch up painting to do, but I’ll explain that later.  On Saturday, Ben built eight cabinet doors including two glass frames.  Details to come later, but you can bet I filled the doors right away.  Sunday morning I sanded those babies down and filled a few areas again.  While impatiently tapping my fingers waiting for filler to dry, I dreamed about installed cabinet doors.  A few hours later, I gave the doors a final sanding and started painting with my two in one Behr paint.  Love that I don’t have to prime.

I don’t know why, but Behr paint seems to dry faster than any other brand.  Which is good news for me because I got two coats of paint on the fronts of the cabinets on Sunday.  Then I flipped ’em over on Monday and gave the backs two more coats.  Tuesday morning, I flipped back to the front for one more coat.

Once that coat dried, I hauled the doors up to the kitchen and propped them in place.  You know, just to get a feel of what they would look like.  Because I’m impatient like that.

That’s when I discovered a problem.  The two glass door frames were about 1/8 inch wider than their lower counterparts.

Ben happened to come home to get his wallet during this and I pointed out the problem.

When Ben got home that afternoon, I politely asked begged, pleaded, and whined for him to install the cabinet doors.  He ripped down the glass door frames to make everything even and flush.  Then he started with the install of the fridge and bar doors.  To install the hidden hinges, Ben measured and marked his the hole locations.  He carefully drilled into the frames to hollow out a hole to recess the hinge in.

I admit, I was holding my breath while watching this.  Ben is skilled (as you all know) but I imagined him drilling too far or popping a screw through the front.  Luckily, everything went smoothly, other than one screw head breaking off.  Then he popped the hinge in, used a square to keep it straight and put 3/4 inch screws in to hold it in place.

Handy Sammy was over for dinner, so he held the door up for Ben to hang.  I’m too short, I can’t reach.  Okay, I’m not that short, but it is nice to pawn a job off on an unsuspecting guest.

We didn’t want the wood cabinet frames to split, so Ben used a small drill bit to make a pilot hole, followed by a 1 1/4 inch screw in each hinge to hold the door in place.  After the two bar and two fridge cabinets, Ben called it quits for the night and took a shower.  While I was in the shower, Ben did a little more work.  I walked out to see two door knobs in the fridge cabinets.

Speaking of the knobs, I had a little trouble deciding on the placement.  Like Goldilocks, one was too low; centered in the bottom corner.

Another was too high; the outer edge of the knob above the bottom edge detail.

But one was juuuust right.  And Ben agreed.  Centered width wise on the edge detail, but also centered on the cross edge.

Fortunately for me, this made measuring a cinch.  I just lined my ruler up with the raised detail and marked 1 1/4 inch from the edge (because our banding is 2 1/2 inches wide).

Yesterday afternoon, Ben finished installing the doors.  Where’d the microwave go?  Oh, it’s hidden behind a cabinet door.  Sneaky us.

And now you can’t see our pile of mail or the toaster.  But you can see our pretty dishes!

Add a few sparkly knobs and we’re done.  Wait, we’re not.  I’ve got to paint the crown moulding, those MDF brown trim pieces we’ve added, repaint the edges of the glass frames, and, oh yeah.  Get glass!  Notice the lack of glare?  Ben thinks we should leave the doors glass-less so we always have clean and clear glass that’s under control (not to be confused with the face cleanser).

And I’ve already made this a long post, so why not make it a little longer, all in the name of eye candy?  Oooooh, shiiiny.

I did realize why the knobs were so cheap, though.  Some of the bolts are bent.  Nothing Ben and a little man muscle can’t fix.

Edit:  Here are the pictures I promised to add.  I’ll have to touch up the paint on the glass frames.

And, here’s something I really love.  Ben bought soft close hinges.  No more slamming doors.

We’ve got tons more storage on the bar side, too.  So far, the only thing inside is Ben’s food dehydrator.

We used three hinges on these heavy guys.

Once we get the glass in the frames we’ll have a full cabinet building post.  I’m just excited we’ve covered the gaping holes and you can’t see our junk.  Before, it was like we left our zipper down, but no one told us.  Well, we figured it out.

One more thing checked off our to do list, one step closer to a finished kitchen, but it’s finally starting to look finished.  Just a little more sanding, priming, and painting…  Of course then we’ve got organizing and little building projects to do, but nothing that has to be done.

What do you think?  What’s your favorite part?  Who’s excited to see some paint on those walls?

Fill the Cabinets

Yesterday I got to do something I’ve wanted to do for nearly four months.  Get all of our dishes out of the guest bedroom closet and into their permanent homes in the kitchen cabinets.  Yes, I was nerdy excited to put things away.  What can I say, organizing is the jam to my peanut butter.

You can see in this post we already had our main dishes in the cabinets.  But you’ll also notice we had a few unpainted shelves.

I finally got my arse in gear and primed and painted said shelves.  Which means I had a place to set the dishes.  Before I started putting dishes in the cabinets, I hauled everything out of the guest bedroom and set it on the counters to assess the situation.

My process of arranging the dishes is very similar to arranging a bookshelf.  Most often used items are easiest to reach, which for shorties like myself is the bottom shelf.  Least used things up at the top.  That means you, gravy boat.

Of course I couldn’t just toss things in there.  Nope, I didn’t want a block of white ceramic and then another chunk of clear glass.  I made sure to mix glass with ceramics on the same shelf and staggered going up.

Don’t be fooled.  I moved things around several times until I landed on the right spacing (gotta maximize) and layout.

Everything from the stack of plates up will have glass door fronts, but we’ll cover the ugly mail and toaster up with a solid door front.

But that little elephant there?  Yeah, he came from the Dollar Tree.  It’s a cute little bank for Ben to toss his change in instead of leaving it on the counter.  E often asks to “pet el-phant?”    After petting it a few times, he walks off and carries on with his day.  When we get the big kitchen projects out-of-the-way, we’ll build dividers to separate the mail and cover the electrical box.  Gotta get some doors first.

Who else likes to organize cabinets?  I know I’m not the only one.  How do you prioritize your dishes?  Do you have a cute bank?

Paint it Up, Paint it In

Let me begin.  I came to win.  Battle me that’s a sin.  I won’t tear the sack up.  Punk you’d better back up.

That’s right, I got some painting done in a few painting sessions last week and over the weekend.  I thought of House of Pain the entire time, especially when I told E he’d better back up.  He has a tendency to lean against the cabinets (or climb in them), getting wet paint on his hands.  That’s what we get for having an open floor plan.

Anyway, back to the painting.  The bar cabinets in the living got a coat of Behr’s Vermont Cream Two in One paint, the same paint we used for the upper cabinets in the kitchen.

True to my nature, I was in a hurry to get the cabinets painted and did a few things backwards.  Like painting before I had filled and sanded the screws in the sheet rock.  It wasn’t a big deal though, I just got a head start on the cabinet painting.

I decided on white because it matches the entertainment center cabinets and the white below the chair rail in the rest of the living room.  (And your votes pointed to white)  For better flow, we agreed to paint the wall part white to mimic the chair rail.  The real truth?  I’m the one painting and I was lazy and didn’t wait to dig out the gray paint and tape off the cabinets.  So everything got a nice coat of white.

If you’re wondering what the boys do during my painting sessions, see exhibit a:

While I’m talking to them, they play in the living room, make a giant mess.  The kitchen doesn’t get as much action, but you can see I’ve neglected put off cleaning until cabinet painting has come to a close.

After one coat of paint on the cabinets, I broke down and filled the screw holes.  I let everything dry, sanded smooth, filled any holes again.  Let it dry, sanded smooth, vacuumed up the dust and painted another coat of white paint on the cabinets and wall.  Then again.  And yet again.

I was so excited to pull up the tape.  And that’s where I got a little annoyed.  I used Frog Tape along the edges, which did limit paint seepage.  But the Behr paint is so thick and dried quickly (which can be good) which made it impossible to pull the tape up while the paint was wet.  So little chunks of paint peeled off the cabinet right along with the tape.  I guess I’ll have to remember that and peel the tape off one small section at a time.

Enough of my whining though.  Did you notice Ben installed the shelves in the cabinets?  And do you see how nicely the bar stools pop against the white wall?

But that’s not all the painting I finished.  No siree.  I painted the half wall and the white chair rail walls around the back door.

No more Frankenwall.

It’s nice to see that wall a solid color again.  No more nicks, nail holes, or mismatched trim.  Plenty more trim painting to do, but I’m waiting until Ben sands and paints the ceiling.  Then I’ll have the pleasure of painting what feels like miles of crown moulding and casement.  Sometimes painting in phases is annoying; cleaning up each time can get old, but it also has benefits.  By limiting myself to small areas, I can get painting done quickly (often during nap time) and I don’t have to keep the boys away from the entire house.

Do you like to get all your painting done in one go?  Or do you work in small sections like I do?  Did you do any painting this weekend?  Install any shelves?  Maybe you sat on the couch and watched the football games?  Cough Ben cough.  Okay, he didn’t watch the entire game, he did install the shelves and started sanding the ceiling and walls.

Oscar the Grout

We’re already shared our crown moulding progress.  Now that we’ve installed and grouted the marble subway tile kitchen back splash, we’re ready to share the details.  Ben likes to use pre-mixed mastic for small jobs like this.  Our tiles are relatively small (3 by 6 inches), so a 1/4 inch notch trowel worked perfectly.  For the most seamless look possible, we used 1/16 inch spacers.  Ben borrowed a wet saw from work to get the job done.  Before grouting the tile, we waited a week to give the tile adequate time to set up.

We had white unsanded grout left over from our bathrooms, so we used what we had.

Before mixing the grout, I taped off the cabinets and counters.  Grouting is a messy job and we wanted to protect everything as much as possible.  Then Ben mixed up some grout in a large stainless steel bowl.  Like nearly everything mixed material in home improvement, you want the grout to have the consistency of peanut butter.

Using a foam float, Ben applied the grout, smooshing it in the cracks and wiping the extra off quickly after.

Be careful not to wipe off too much, though.

For the tighter strips along the window, Ben used his fingers to push the grout in the cracks.  After finishing up the wall, Ben sponged most of the grout off the tile surfaces and the window trim.

Next up, the stove side tile.  Again, the float was too wide to get this tile, so Ben applied it with his hands.

And now waiting for the grout to set up.

Here she is, all grouted and lookin’ pretty.

Here’s my favorite shot, showing almost every kitchen detail:

Everything except the awful soap color.  Why does Palmolive make their soap glow in the dark green?

Any suggestions for pretty dish soap?  Hand soap is easy enough to find.  I like that this pump holds two different kinds, but I’d like something prettier.  But doesn’t the grout make everything look so much better?  And finished?  And preeeety?

Cap and Crown

As I mentioned yesterday, we spent most of our weekend relaxing, but we did slide a little kitchen work in there.  Ben installed the crown moulding in the kitchen on Saturday.  We didn’t want to pull the good crown from the dining room, so Ben cut a small piece to fill the gap between the old crown and the new cabinet.  Then he wrapped around to cover the cabinet:

Remember the gap above the marble back splash?  Before Ben could put crown up, he nailed a filler strip in place.

Then tacked the trim to the filler strip, keeping it flush with the ceiling while covering the gap and a little more of the marble tile.

See how nice that finishes the tile off and makes everything seamless?  Love it!  (And, that’s a peek at the grouted back splash).

To match the other cabinet, we wrapped the trim around the upper cabinets.

For some reason, the small back entrance and stairwell never got crown moulding.

Problem solved.  After a few coats of the same blue paint from the stairs and dining room, everything will flow together.

One of the reasons we chose the vent hood we have is because we wanted the rest of the kitchen to shine.  To make the fan as un-noticeable as possible, we agreed (after some debating) to carry the same trim around the vent hood.

I considered adding different trim and painting the box white, something kind of like this.

But Ben persisted that this was the best way to go.  I have to say, I agree.  White paint on the trim and blue in the middle will give this side a splash of color, too.

Now we need to caulk the cracks and joints, sand everything smooth and slap some primer/paint combo and we’re done.  With the trim.

What kind of vent hood do you have (or like)?  Sleek stainless?  Painted white?

P.S.  I used my new camera to take these pictures.  On my desktop, the pictures look fine, but on my laptop, a strange gradation/solarized thing happens.  Is anyone else seeing this?

P.P.S.  A few more readers took the survey (thank you!!) and I got a few requests to share some Photoshop action.  Consider a post in the works!  Oh, and to the surveyor(?) looking for bookshelf decorating, check out this post, or this one, this one, and this one.