1- grime and grime and grime and grime under the lip of this ancient counter. soap, toothbrush, and then PAINT.
2- cool old what might have been copper cupboard vent. under 4 layers of paint. scraped and painted.
3- original hardware. who knew a long soak in hot water would get off every speck of paint?
4- some of the hinges were original, some were newer. all went into a slow, hot soak to be uncovered. then matte black paint.
5- flaking, chipping paint, and years of grime. sander, heat gun, new paint.
6- the most expensive item on the list, and one i’d have gladly paid double for- the FLOOR
7- stained grout- besides the water-soak paint stripper, cheapest fix in the kitchen.
8- dirtiest kick plate i’ve seen in my life, no amount of scrub ever got it clean. new quarter round, and paint.
9- for some reason i never fully painted all the baby blue trim into the kitchen (holding out hope it’d be demo’d), and then baby gates really got it hideous. some new trim pieces, and new paint.
10- horrid metal transition piece, and the scum underneath that gave me nightmares. all gone, all clean. super cheap finish to boot!
i’m posting this because… because i didn’t know i could be this… handy. i also didn’t factor in that i’d kind of given up on this space. and that’s just it… it’s SPACE. and in the smallest house ever, it’s very needed. we only went in here to make meals. that’s it. i didn’t linger. i rarely did all the washing up, i didn’t hang around to snack, or think about new things to make, and i’m a lady who loves food. and to eat. i detested this kitchen. and i started to wonder why it was so emotional.
we bought this house 6 years ago. right at the height, before the crash. from the moment we got the keys, we knew we wanted to demo the kitchen. i didn’t even know what that meant. i just knew, from having scoured it’s walls during the first week we lived here, i did not want to eat food made in this room. the lino was mismatched and coming up. the hardware was buried under paint or peeking through layers… it was such a gross, GROSS mess. i was embarrassed of my kitchen. i’m mortified to post pictures. and despite the magic erasers on the cabinet doors, and trying to bleach out EVERYTHING… it just never came clean.
so i started planning a new kitchen. with help from a friend we measured. i got quotes for everything from complete demo, to just cabinets and floor… and since we’re pondering selling, and want to make back what we put in, it was all too expensive. since we might want to sell in the very near future, something had to be done. this was the minimal, and it was a week of my time. that’s with a baby full time, and a toddler part time. two weekends. 1 week. and it is transformed! wondering if you can tackle something like this yourself? you can. and if you feel like i did about this space, you should do it right this minute. i wish i’d done it 5 years ago.
this house was built in 1947. this is part of the original kitchen. i didn’t really photo the other side- it’s a mish-mash of original uppers, and then appliances, including a rolling dishwasher, which i have come to LOVE. everything got a fresh coat of paint- flat on the ceiling, eggshell on the walls, satin on the cabinets- $100. the list of supplies i bought isn’t all that long. i invested in a nicer orbit sander $65, and a larger heat gun $40. matte black spray paint $5. some orange peel surface texture for the one wall that’s at the end of the kitchen $14. the grout paint pen was under $5, and for as hokey as i thought it would look, it looks amazing- it came recommended from our tile guy, through our realtor. i also asked the tile guy if he could re-do the grout, he said the tile was so shot, he wouldn’t really bother. if we stay, i’ll look into a new counter and then subway tile backsplash. the most gratifying portion had to be soaking all that original hardware. i read manhattan nest, and daniel had mentioned in some post about soaking painted hardware low heat, for a couple hours. in less than an hour, the paint was coming off on it’s own. there was some build up of oils (cooking? human? GROSS)- some soap, and they were SHINY. so gratifying. and last but not least, my super cheap, high impact floor. about $.79 a square foot (home depot) i think supplies ran $150, and install was around $750 plus tax- SO WORTH EVERY PENNY. i know VCT isn’t tile, or matching wood, or bamboo… but it’s black, it’s durable, it was pretty inexpensive, it doesn’t show a lot of grime (nice with two kids) and frankly, most important, I LOVE IT.