Almost done with the Kitchen

I’ve finished up a few more things in the kitchen with help from Thomas and Dan and it is very close to being done. We still need to build the butcher block and add a few little specialty items but it is so close. We have now hit a point that I will NOT be going to the house every day. We will go over on the weekends to finish up the remaining items on the inside of the house then we’ll drop down to about once a month going over to work on the exterior painting. I don’t think it’s quite hit me yet that my more than a full time job from the past 4 months has just ended. As Thomas said to me recently, what am I going to do with all my time now? I am really looking forward to working on some furniture for my booth!

Remember I said mom and Beth did all the shoe molding around the house. Well I had to do the base molding in the kitchen and it caused a minor breakdown when I tried to use this antiquated saw for all my cuts. Virtually impossible to hold a 14 foot piece of trim and make the cuts! Thankfully Thomas rode his bike over to lend me a hand. I really felt like Dan was punishing me for some past sin by making me use this saw.


Look how sad and lonely those cabinets look, they need something fun to cheer them up.IMG_4607

Much happier looking with a turquoise pegboard hanging over them and a spice rack off to the side. It would be even more awesome with all of my vintage kitchenware hanging on it. But since this isn’t actually my kitchen the kids non-vintage kitchenware will have to do.


So that hole above the pegboard…There are actually 2 holes and they were the original vents for some type of massive vent fan. We kept the holes with the hope that we can use the vent for an exhaust fan that some day we plan on purchasing and installing. In the mean time maybe we should cover the holes with something.


The next thing that was hung with much help from Dan was this upper cabinet, it had been saved from the demo but I had decided to take the doors off, paint the inside turquoise and leave it as an open cabinet. I love the way it looks and I can envision all my vintage Pyrex dishes filling it up. But as Beth said, “What are we supposed to put in a cabinet like this?” I won’t share her wildly inappropriate ideas. I suggested mixing bowls or possibly all the snacks that are lined up on the fridge. Or lots of cereal rather Seinfeld-esque. The space under the cabinet is where the chopping block counter will be added as soon as we get home from our trip to Nashville.


It is really fun to have a second space that I can design so whimsically. I have a different vision for my kitchen remodel but I’m glad I got to do this kitchen with so many fun colors. I think it is perfect for Beth, and Daniel doesn’t even notice.


The Kitchen

Also not quite finished, but the kids have started moving in and all their clutter is really taking away from the cuteness of my design, so here are a few pics before they ruin everything. This kitchen is very retro inspired. Beth loves it, of course and Daniel is completely uninterested. What is up with these boys not getting all goo-goo over my fabulous design decisions, they’re all so indifferent, like they don’t even notice?

I still have a butcher block work area to build and a upper cabinet to hang, along with installing the trim, lights, pegboard and tiling the backsplash, argh more tile.. I’m really excited to see the lights get installed I made them myself using 2 vintage metal colanders. The light should make a cool design on the ceiling when lit up.

Here’s the kitchen before:


And here’s what it looks like now:




We actually removed that wall and the dead space up above. That upper cabinet has been painted and will be hung on a different wall. WE wanted to keep that awesome little cubby on the right, it’s a pop through to the hallway, that originally was where a telephone and phonebook would be. Now its just a fun little window you can pop your head through.


This tall cabinet was a custom built in in our other house. I had saved it hoping I could use it somewhere and it seemed like the perfect pantry cabinet for this house. A little paint and distressing and it looks way better thank it did before.


I’m putting white subway tiles up for the backsplash. I kept the awesome vintage yellow formica countertop with stainless steel edging. I love it! It is so cheery.


There are quite a few PInterest inspirations in the house, I joking called it the house that Pinterest built. The painted interior on the cabinets was Pinterest inspired as was the chalkboard paint on the inside of the cupboard doors.


After a thorough cleaning of the cabinets and even painting them we still felt like we wanted to put down shelf liner, I found a really pretty pattern that pretty much followed the blue theme. I really hate installing contact paper!


I love this metal drawer that we just discovered inside this cabinet, it’s the perfect place for potatoes or onions. I was originally planning on putting this cabinet in the basement for the laundry area, but we really needed more kitchen cabinets so I don’t know why I was thinking that.


I love the colors in this kitchen and the best part all the paints were mistints. The yellow on the walls was a diluted version of the dining room. We got a 5 gallon mistint of yellow at Menards for $25, we still have so much yellow even after the dining room and kitchen. The turquoise from the interior of the cabinets and the pale blue on the exterior were also both mistints that were only $5 each! Trying to save money where ever I can.

The bathroom

Well it’s not quite finished but I couldn’t resist showing how cute it is so far. I still need to tile around the tub, put the shelf on the top of the wainscoting and install the trim. Oh an hang the door. It’s not very private right now if you use the toilet since the front door looks right into the bathroom.

Just a reminder, this is where we started:


And this is where we ended up:


The wainscoting is definitely my favorite thing I did in the bathroom. I love that I was able to repurpose our old wood floors from our other house and I love how cool it turned out.


There were 2 lights originally here but they were dated, and not in a good way, and missing parts. I had these lights lying around my back porch, so after some cleaning, painting and rewiring I think they are adorable!


I knew I wanted to put in a pedestal sink because I love the way they look and since there is a huge built in cabinet in the bathroom more storage was unnecessary. I looked for an old pedestal sink but discovered they are several inches shorted than the new sinks. Considering the height of my kids I went with the new sink, which we bought at Home Depot. Then we found one being thrown away during a walk around our neighborhood. We were able to use the basin, but again the pedestal was shorter than the the one we purchased. We also had to switch our the faucet since the old plumbing on the faucet was not cooperating with the new plumbing Dan had installed in the bathroom. So it’s a partially vintage sink.


At the last minute I decided to paint and distress the giant built in cabinet. No matter what I did I could not get the original wood to look clean or nice. It was like the original finish had crackled than been covered with more polyurethane to seal in all the yuckiness. I am so glad I painted it, I love the way it turned out.





With the distressing you can still see the weird texture that was under the paint, but now it just looks cool instead of gross.


Those *&%$# hardwood floors

We sanded and sanded and sanded for 12 hours. Then I spent 3 days putting on polyurethane/ stain mixture (which is quite a bit more labor intensive than just a clear poly), each time it took at least 4 hours. In between coats 2 and 3 I noticed some places that were terribly rough on the floors, rough like 60 grit sandpaper rough. Due to not having a car at the house and being all alone without the proper tools I hand sanded 2 of the rooms. And did I mention it was 90 degrees with no air conditioning or fans.

Then after the 3rd coat and before the 4th and final coat (which was determined by the fact that I was leaving on vacation the following day and the whole reason we did the floors this week was so they could sit and cure while we were on vacation) I found many more rough spots and decided that the floors really needed to be buffed out.

So on the day before vacation I rented a buffer and attempted to buff out the floors, really this is better watched than read about:

Sorry about the screenshot of my arse on this video:

And finally Dan showing me how its done. When I called him and said, “how the $#%^ am I supposed to control this thing!” I’m sure he thought I was just being a wimpy little girl. But he still said he was on his way over to help me. He probably planned to school me on how to get it done. Ha!

The moral of this story, I have no idea… But it sure to hell is not that buffing out floors is an easy job! We used the buffer on Beth’s floor and on the office. In the office it took off a lot of the finish that I had spent 3 days putting down but the floors definitely did feel smoother. Dan returned the buffer and I hand sanded the living room and dining room, hand sanding was a breeze compared to that damn buffer. Then I put on the 4th and final coat, which looked fabulous when it was wet. I’ll have to wait until I return after vacation to really see how it all looks. But no matter what we are done with those damn floors! Of course, I still have that hole in the wall to repair.

Speaking of the hole in the wall, when I returned the unused sanding pads the guy behind the counter asked me how it went. Ha! I explained to him exactly how it went and he said, “Yeah, if ya don’t know what you’re doing it’s impossible to use.” Again feeling like my gender was predisposing me to not being able to use this damn machine, I explained that my husband who used to do construction for a living also couldn’t use this stupid buffer and that he even put a hole in the wall. To which the guy laughed and said, “Yeah, that’s the joke if ya don’t know what you’re doing you’ll put a hole in the wall.”


The cost of hardwood floors

I have this unrealistic view of construction projects where I just imagine that any job we can do ourselves will be affordable. How much can it cost to sand and redo the floors? We rented 3 sanders, a drum sander, vibration sander, and edger. That wasn’t terribly expensive 3 sanders for 1 day $145. The hidden cost is all the incredibly expensive sandpaper that you have to buy. Thankfully you can return any sandpaper that you don’t use, so the final invoice for rental and sandpaper was $670. Holy shit that is the most expensive sandpaper I have ever heard of!

before sanding:IMG_4478


partial sanding: IMG_4504 IMG_4503

Dan using the drum sander:IMG_4502

the vibration sander:IMG_4505

after sanding, you can still see all the stains:IMG_4507 IMG_4509 IMG_4510 IMG_4511 This is Beth’s room, her floors looked the best after sanding. This was the color I wanted to keep by using a white wash or pickling stain, but we weren’t able to do that after all, it was gonna add quite a bit to the cost and add extra time, so we had to nix it.IMG_4513

We originally planned on staining all the floors to make them a very dark wood, hoping that would help cover all the pet statins that were left behind even after 12 hours of sanding. But Home Depot didn’t have and dark stain in stock and after talking to the employee she said that the dark stain would actually make the floor stains stand out even more. I also had read online the dangers of staining floors since it accentuates any screw ups in your sanding job, like when you go across the grain or start and stop in the middle of the room.  We had plenty of spots that we would prefer not to accentuate so we went with a clear polyurethane. 5 gallons of poly cost $170 plus another $15 for applicator pads.

Dan and I worked together putting down the first coat of poly, we originally skipped Beth’s room and just did the office, Daniel’s room, hallway, living room and dining room. For Beth’s room I wanted to keep the floors a lighter white wash or pickled look but after a trial and few mistakes we decided to just go with the same poly as the other rooms.

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A day later I went back to put on my second coat and realized I really did NOT like the color of the floors. They were way too golden and the hundreds of stains looked horrible. So I found a gallon a dark walnut stain out in the garage (left over from the previous hoarder/ owners) and added that to the poly for the second coat. Now I love the floors, it was such an improvement and the stains aren’t nearly as noticeable. Another bonus since we put down a coat of poly first instead of just staining the wood it does not accentuate the mistakes made with the sander.

It is much more difficult to lay the poly/ stain mixture than just the clear poly. Any time you touch the trim you leave a dark smudge and every time you start or stop with the applicator it leaves a line, all that is much more noticeable than it was with the clear. After I finished the first room I thought I was going to quit, it just seemed too difficult. But I took a break to go rent a tiller for the kids to use in the back yard and when I came back the floor I had done dark looked so amazing there was no way I could not do the other floors.

The difference between the natural and the dark:IMG_4533

IMG_4534  IMG_4532 IMG_4531


Tomorrow I’ll go back and do a 3rd coat again with the stain added to the poly. Once I got in my groove I got much better at laying the stain/ poly mixture so it wasn’t quite so overwhelming. I think a big part of the problem is how toxic smelling it all is and I’m trapped in the closed up house with no fresh air. It’s very stinky!

Total cost to redo the hardwood floors in 5 rooms and a hallway: $855 so far, I have more than enough stain and poly to do at least 2 more coats, so I don’t think there will be any additional expenses. My goodness, I certainly hope not, I didn’t budget this much to redo the floors!

Giant Leap

Today was a huge milestone! We brought home a van load and a truck load of tools. Which means work is winding down at the other house. We had to clear stuff out because tomorrow we start sanding all the hardwood floors. We had planned on that being the last thing we did but with a trip to North Carolina coming up in a week we decided to do the floors now so they would have a week to sit undisturbed while we were out of town.

While we’re polyurethaning the floors next week I’ll still have access to the kitchen so I can get the cupboards painted.

Look at all these empty rooms!

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We also decided to pullout the 2 built in workbenches in the work shop. We just can’t stop the water problem in the basement. This area was really wet and I think moldy too. So Thomas very carefully pulled out this workbench.


And Dan not so carefully dismantled this workbench.IMG_4491

This room really needs a scrub down and some paint.IMG_4492 IMG_4493 IMG_4494

Speaking of Dan he couldn’t resist climbing the phone pole and cutting down some unnecessary wires that were going to our house.This does NOT look safe!

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Antique Trucks

I’ve been wanting an old truck for quite awhile now. I can picture myself driving an awesome old rusty truck going to pick up furniture for my booth or towing my vintage trailer (that I also have been wanting for awhile.)

Well my very sweet husband has been looking for a truck for me and he thought he had found the perfect one. So off to Wapakoneta we headed on Sat morning to test drive it and see if it was everything we hoped it would be. Sadly it was a little too rough for me to drive on a regular basis. And I just don’t think we need another project right now. So we’ll keep looking but maybe for something not quite that old.

But, oh my, she is awfully cute!

1950 Dodge Truck

1950 B series pickup truck

3sp manual
First year of column shift and fluid drive transmission
“Pilot-house” rubber mounted cab with rear quarter windows – rare option for 1950

Runs and drives nice.
Not a rust bucket