Friday, April 22, 2016

April Showers and Kitchen Re-do

All lined and ready for doors

Slowly and surely, this tired, old kitchen is getting a long overdue makeover.  The light wood cabinets with large chrome knobs and chrome trimmed laminate counters were all part of a modern kitchen of the 50s.  At some point in the 90s, someone replaced the gas cooktop and wallpapered the walls, which are now a lovely shade of green.

The cabinets had this shabby-ness to them with the varnish on the doors coming off and the oversized chrome knobs rusting.  After a long deliberation about color, the cabinets finally have been painted an off white.  The doors and drawers came off and out for sanding and painting.  Hardware was removed.  Upon first moving in, new knobs matched the newly installed brushed faucet.  The faucet has since ceased operating properly.  The new one is now polished chrome.  The knobs no longer match.

At first, chrome pulls and knobs were bought.  They just didn’t do it for the kitchen despite matching the new faucet.  Besides, off white and chrome seems so boring.  After finding the coolest drawer pulls in black, black hardware was a must.  The knob options in black…  There was nothing wrong with the current knobs except the satin nickel finish.  A can of spray paint and a large box fixed that.  The painted black knobs look gorgeous.

While the doors were still off, the battle with contact paper began.  Turns out the cabinets are odd.  Lots of little cuts had to be made because nothing can be square and easy.  And measuring became a challenge.  Different measurements were taken depending on which part of the shelf was being measured.  My brother and I broke down into fits of laughter while measuring the last cabinet.  The contact paper itself did not want to work with me or stick for that matter.  At one point, I wanted to rip the lining to shreds in frustration.  But coolness prevailed.  And the paper lined the shelf well.

A day later, hardware installation began.  New black hinges were bought to match the knobs and pulls.  Those hinges are sitting in the box waiting to go back to the store.  Why?  It seems that the new hinges don’t fit on the old cabinets.  At first, the old holes on the doors did not line up with the new hinges.  After drilling new holes for the hinges, the doors will not sit flush against the cabinet facing.  No one wants to spend forever traipsing all over specialty stores (or online) looking for hinges that will fit.  The solution?  Buy another can of black spray paint.

Today it rains.  No painting.  The doors to the kitchen remain closed.  The dog and cats do not like their kitchen exile.  In the morning, Soba follows me downstairs.  I go into the kitchen to start coffee.  He sits outside the door, pounding to be allowed in with me.  When I emerge, mug in hand, he trots (yes, this cat trots) by my side to the office.  It’s cute until he tries to sit in the chair with me.  At least he doesn’t try to drink my coffee.

The hinges will take about a day or so to paint, depending on how many coats are needed and two days to cure.  They will look amazing.  They have that modern 50s aesthetic repeated elsewhere in the kitchen.  In the meantime, other kitchen related things can be done.  Such as resurfacing the countertop without removing the chrome trim.

I can’t wait to fully use the kitchen again.  Or to see the top of the dining room table again.  Or be able to keep the doors open again.  The nice weather craves meandering through the house.  And I crave freshly baked cookies.  The delay infuriates when completion nears.  However, it also allows for kitchen project contemplation and perhaps for better options to blossom.