Sep 8, 2010

Our Next Project: The Kitchen

Originally I thought we'd be done with the kitchen by August.  This was of course before reality set in and I realized that having a place to shower and a place to sleep would take much longer than I imagined.  My goal for the summer was a finished bathroom, a place to cook and a bedroom that fit our furniture.  I wanted to unpack all of our kitchen stuff as soon as possible after moving in.  Hah!  How naive I was all those weeks ago!  We were able to do some deconstruction (we removed the wallpaper, the cabinet doors & shelves and sanded the cabinets) the first weeks of home ownership and then... well nothing.  We just lived in the chaos with 90% of our kitchen still packed.

Over the weekend we finally restarted the kitchen project.  This is our biggest, scariest project to date.

The stove and oven are only a few years old, so they are staying.  Everything else needs some serious revitalization or replacement in order to make this kitchen livable.  We're keeping but painting the cabinets for now - they are 50 years old, stained and quite worn but real wood.   The kitchen sink has lost all its enamel and is very stained.  The sink faucet is so low I can't wash big pots.  The laminate counters are stained and cracked - anything spilled leaks into the cabinet below.  The cabinet hardware is rusted.

The pressure is on because we are also on the clock for this project - once we start we can't stop.  As anyone who has ever redone their kitchen already knows, the hardest part about this renovation is that we temporarily lose our kitchen, even if we're keeping the appliances and cabinets.  We have to disengage the stove and the sink - which means no cooking and doing all our dishes in the nasty utility sink in the basement until we're finished.

Here's a detailed plan of what we'll be doing in the kitchen over the next few weeks:
  • Paint the tired kitchen cabinets a bright creamy white, inside and out
  • Polyurethane the kitchen cabinets for extra protection
  • Replace the cabinet knobs and drawer pulls (fill in current holes and drill new ones)
  • Replace the worn-out counter tops with butcher block
  • Replace the backsplash with white subway tile leftover from the bathroom
  • Replace the crumbling plaster walls behind the current back splash with green board
  • Salvage and degrease the vent hood over the stove
  • Replace the stained white sink with a new stainless one
  • Replace the too-low kitchen faucet with a taller faucet so I can wash large pans 
  • Replace country-style sconce with a utilitarian spot light
  • Repair damaged plaster walls and ceiling
  • Paint kitchen walls
  • Scrape and repaint windows
  • Add new curtain hardware and window treatments

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