Friday, May 21

Cabinet Therapy

We seem to be weekend warriors like many homeowners. I always have big ambitions while sitting at work thinking I'll get off and drive over to the house and work on the cabinets or painting. For some reason it never turns out that way. It looks like Aaron and his father will be working on the floor today while I'm at work so it'll be nice to see the progress taking shape in the Kitchen.

I really want to have this kitchen functioning by the time we are fully moved in, in about a month. It'll be a close one but I think we can pull most of it off. I've acquired a bunch of random pieces of furniture from my dad, mostly some end tables and wall shelving. All which need refinished in some way, so I'll be working on those during rainy days. I'm trying decide on color schemes for each room, I bought a lot of samples, all earthy tones, so I'll have to start testing those on the walls and get some opinions.

Yesterday, we did go over to the house for a few hours to start the cabinet re-staining process. We used a really fine grade of steel wool to go over the cabinets with, then we applied a stripper (in thick layers with a medium sized paint brush) on the fronts of the cabinets, and finally we used a plastic paint scraper to peel away the shiny finish that covered the tops of the cabinets.

We laid all of the cabinets on their backs and went over the faces with the steel wool and stripper below.

The stripper is a pretty strong chemical so I would recommend gloves and a well ventilated room, We did this in the garage with the doors and windows open. After we used the steel wool and applied the stripper we went over the cabinets a couple of times with the stripper to keep the cabinets wet enough to absorb the chemical. You don't want to let it dry on the cabinets, it will tough to scrape the finish away.

After about two coats and touching up a few spots on the cabinets that didn't look like they were beginning to peel we started scraping away the finish. Surprisingly it came up in strips which made it really each to peel way. You can see how it started to bubble up and peel away, we let the chemical stripper sit on the cabinets for about a half hour, when we could tell it was ready to go.

We will probably go over the cabinets one more time with the stripper to see if we can get anything else to peel off, next we'll start sanding the tops and finally we can stain!

I also wanted to mention that I will be working on the flower boxes this weekend. I mentioned them in one of my other posts but I figured I'd snap a few pictures to show how great these boxes are. I'm not sure what color I'm going to paint them yet but I want to get them painted and planted this weekend :)

Wednesday, May 12

Cooking Comfort

I saw this in Home magazine while I was in the waiting room last week for Aaron's surgery. Lucky for me that had a ton of these type of magazines which just so happen to be my favorite. I'm not sure if these seem like an old person item or not but I love cooking and it would be great to have something comfortable to stand on, especially since I am always barefoot.

They have a ton of different sizes, colors, and patterns. I think I might have to get one of these once we get the kitchen finished up. Kitchen Comfort

Cabinet Stain

We had orginially started out using a Minwax stain that we used on a table I found on the side of the road :) that Aaron refinished for me, such a great guy! The stain was called dark chestnut but it wasn't coming out much darker than the original cabinets and if we're going to put all this time into refinishing them we want a more drastic change.

The Antique Walnut, shown in the picture, is the stain we chose so hopefully this will be the one.

 It's going to take a lot of time to refinish the cabinets since they have a glaze over them. The color right now is in between the Pecan and Old Maple colors above. The color isn't terrible but it's just not us. I'll have more details of the process soon.

On Saturday we went over to the house. I used a hot air gun (great idea!) and a scraper to remove the glue from the old backplash off the wall. The hot air gun works wonders on glue (and paint, so i'm told). You can buy them at any home improvement store. It took a couple hours but look at the difference it made! The walls are still in pretty bad shape but once we get them cleaned and the holes patched up we can paint! I'm going to test swatches soon, we're staying in the brown family for the kitchen, we love our Coffee :)

Aaron demonstrating his one-legged ability in home reno'ing.

One more thing I discovered out back growing amongst the patch of mint...

Can someone tell me what kind of flower this is? It's huge and beautfiul and there were quite a few of them growing.

Monday, May 3

A few weekend fixes

We didn't have an enormous amount of time this weekend to work on the house. The weather was absolutely beautiful though, probably a bit warm for some people. On Saturday we attended Aaron's cousin's wedding and by the time we got home late Saturday afternoon we decided grilling out with the neighbors was a better idea than working on the house. So on Sunday with the help of Aaron's parents we moved four loads of stuff over to the house, mainly things we won't need in the next month or so and piled it into the guest room and the basement. I'm thrilled with how large the guest rooms are, even with all of the things we moved the main guest room still has plenty of room for lots more things.

Aaron and Dave worked to square up the plumbing in the kitchen so that one of these days we can turn the water back on and they also cleaned the gutters around the house. The big beautiful trees we have in the front yard aren't helping with the water flow.

Gutter Cleaning

While the boys were doing those things, Deb and I were out front cutting down some of the vegetation that was protruding the walkway up to the front door. Eventually all of the shrubs will be coming out so we can put in more attractive greenery.

You can see the before pictures in my first blog post, all of the original pictures of the house were taken then. I can't figure out why there is one dark stone on the face of the house, I didn't notice it before...but I don't think I like it.

We will be getting new shutters for the front to replace the one's that are on the house and to add to the windows that don't have any. An added feature are the stones that stick out underneath the window. Planter boxes were built and can be mounted to the house, I can't wait to put some pretty flowers in them!

Aaron took the white laminate off the planter boxes, once they are painted or restained they should look really nice.

Just a couple random shots: the first is looking down the street, trees line the street which looks really pretty now so I can't imagine what it will look like in the fall. The second is a picture of one of the hundreds of spearmint plants we have growing out back of the house (mint icecream and mojitos I think so...)

Currently the kitchen is at a stand still, we have striped it down to the wall and floor and are waiting for the tile to come in. Aaron is having his knee surgery this week so I'm not sure when we'll be able to get the tile in but hopefully I'll have a progress report on that in the next week or two.