OMG … The Kitchen, Part 5 (billion)

There will only be one more kitchen post ever.  And it’ll be really short because all we need now is a new stove … because … (drumroll)
it’s finished!!!

We finally got new countertops, sink, and faucet!  We’ve been looking for a while, but not really looking.  So, after Christmas, we went out one Saturday to get quotes.  First up, Stone Center … and well, they had the right color granite on special until the end of January.  So, we hopped on it.  But we had some unexpected projects pop up during the remodel (big, BIG, surprise, right?!?!).

First, we had to have a general contractor out to shim our cabinets.  Being that the house is old, and the previous counters were laminate, we were pretty sure the cabinets were NOT level, which they need to be to install granite.  And, just as we suspected, the cabinets were not level, so the guy came out and leveled them … leaving us with jacked up cabinets, sitting up to 1/4″ higher than our floor with little shims stuck underneath.  It did not look good.  So, we added molding to the baseboards (cutting, sanding, caulking, painting).  Unexpected, but in the end they looked good.

Second, we had to live without counters, sink, water for about 3 weeks.  The contractor demoed everything to shim the cabinets, but the granite takes a couple weeks to prep.  It was not fun.  Lots of wasted paper plates, no dishwasher, hard to cook.  I did a lot of crockpotting with crockpot liners for two weeks.  And, our refrigerator had some not so appetizing food by the time I was able to clean it out and wash the tupperware!  (I could not imagine what this would have been like if you had a family with kids … probably a lot of pizza!)  I did create a make-shift counter with a large board to set the microwave on, which helped a bit.  Beforehand I made some large batches of soup to freeze and eat, which turned out to be a great help as well.

Third, the counters were installed.  They looked great.  New sink, new faucet.

Fourth, the contractor came back the following day to replace all of the plumbing.  We had running water and a working dishwasher again!!  I think that people don’t realize how much they use the kitchen sink until they don’t have one … I know I didn’t.  I mean, just to rinse your hands, glass of water, pour something down the drain, make ice cubes (I know this is not MOST people, but we still make ice!).

BUT … we didn’t have a granite backsplash installed on the counters, so I had a lot of work to do on the backend.   It has taken me 2 weekends to complete … but it’s finished now.  I re-wallpapered the walls using the same beadboard paintable wallpaper that we had in there before the new counters (but without the backsplash, it had to be removed and re-done).  Also, then we had to add a molding piece to seal the counters to the wall.  We did think about a tile backsplash … but our walls are so jacked up it would have taken SO SO SO much work to level them out to get the tiles to lay right.  Plus, with the beadboard & granite, one more texture would have been a lot!

Then, I added a molding backsplash behind the counters.  We ended up with a 4 1/4″ decorative board to paint white and blend in.  It looks great, but took some work.  Installing it was pretty easy … but painting, caulking, sealing the counters, patching, sanding, and re-painting is some work … especially leaning way over the counters when your waist is below counter level (I’m short).  So, basically everything got a fresh coat of caulk and paint (walls, baseboards, door moldings, backsplash).  And, all the work paid off because everything looks great.

Finally, I switched out all of the light switches and outlets.  Previously, they were mostly almond color, and though we had switched out most of the covers, the switches were still blatantly, in-your-face light brown and just looked unfinished.  It’s amazing how something as little as clean, white switches and outlets can transform a space.

And, now, here is the finished project (and some before/during pics for comparison!).

It’s already SO much better to cook in.

Actually it is really just all together better to be in and walk through.

It’s better.

DURING …

my make-shift counter
He was able to leave the counters near the stove, so we had coffee & crockpots!

Wallpapered … not painted
Here you can see the installed wallpaper … top & right side have been painted.  It’s a great invention!
And, I can say the old stuff came off very easily too.

AND FINISHED …

And, for fun & reference … when we first moved in till now …
  

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