Thursday, June 27, 2013

Alex Bedroom Update

The small bedroom came out really nice. Here is an updated picture after Tony added some finishing touches.

Sneek Peak - Kitchen Counter Tops

I will have a feature post soon on the trials and tribulations of our Re-Laminating adventure sometime soon. The good news is the kitchen counters are done. We hope to have the Back-Splash completed tonight.

Monday, June 17, 2013


I apologize in advance for not having more or better pictures. I just have not had time. but all the doors are painted and hung and it looks better than I had hoped. The new paint and hardware really made a big difference.

I am going to do an updated room by room soon and will post the kitchen pics then.

Now it is on to the counter tops. We decided to go with re-laminating them. The original plan was just to laminate over the existing counter top. That plan sunk when I discovered that the little metal trim that followed the back of the counter top could not be removed without removing the old counter top. UGH.

So all the old laminate has been removed that can be removed without taking out the sink.  And yes my Main-Man-Stanley was hard at work getting up that old and worn laminate.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Laundry Center - Before and After

We removed the wall and base cabinet that was crowding the door and replaced them with a partition. The partition is just made of left over paneling painted gray. While it doesn't look like it in the picture, it is the same color as the wall. We used magnetic tape to hold it against the washer/dryer combo. A piece of edge trim on the paneling completes the look.

This hardly cost anything and does a nice job of covering the gap between the wall and the washer/dryer. It is also nice that it can be easily removed if we need access.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Now You See It - Now You Don't

I have been trying to figure out what was the best way to partition off the hot-water tank in the bathroom. I found my answer when I visited the Lima ReStore this last weekend.

The store was having an anniversary sale – BUY ONE GET ONE FREE - Or any second item of equal or lesser value. I found two doors that match that were brand new and were only 2 feet wide. PERFECT. They were marked $30 each. Two for the price of one sounded like a bargain to me. The only issue was they both had been bored for doorknobs.  No worries as I am sure I can cover those.

When I get to the checkout I find out that there is also a special on interior doors --- 50% OFF. So now I get TWO Doors for $15. Can’t beat that deal. I did find that I could of got the same doors without the doorknob holes from Lowes for about $20 each.  It’s still not a bad find/deal and I am very happy with my completed project.

The hardware (L Brackets, Screws and Covers) cost me about as much as the doors did. So other than paint this partition cost me about $30.

Living Room - Before and After



Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Good Friends, Good Food, Good Times

I found this website that has a nice kitchen decal that we might use on the valance above the sink.

While it is not the same font, this photo edit gives you a pretty good idea how it would look in our kitchen.

Occupied Remodel Revistied

When we first started this little project, my son Tony was going to move in as soon as we got the bathroom functional. He moved in with us instead and waited until we were a little further along in the process. That was in April.

Since then I have learned to appreciate working in an un-occupied environment versus working in one while occupied.   It’s not bad but I miss the freedom of coming and going as I please and not worrying about any messes.  Not to mention the added factor of having to work around furniture and personal belongings.

Having my son as a tenant has given me a little more freedom than if I was just renting to a stranger. It would be a lot more difficult to finish this remodel  if I were renting to a non-family-member.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Brad Gun - Love This New Tool

My wife Lisa actually bought this little jewel of a tool to re-attach trim at our house. I was worried about the bargain price but just like the reviewer in the above video I have had no issues. It works great and I would highly recommend this product. We have used it throughout the entire remodel on all the baseboard and door trim. My only regret is that I didn't own one of these sooner.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Four Doors To Go

Tony and I got quite a bit done tonight. I got the four painted doors hung and Tony got the four bottom soon to be painted doors hung. He had to cut down the two under the sink to get them to fit properly. Oh and as an added bonus Tony was able to cut down a shelf board I got on sale for $1.99 to replace the panel above the two doors under the sink.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Kitchen, Kitchen, Kitchen

A few new pictures showing the slow but steady progress we are making on the kitchen. the electric range side is complete, just need to touch up the paint, re-laminate the counter tops and add the fake tile backsplash above the counters.

We are using the same sheet vinyl we used in the bathroom for shelf-liner for the lower shelves. Looks and works pretty sweet.  You can see it installed under the sink.

Finally got the corner base cabinet by the fridge and under the sink primed and painted.  As you can see on the refrigerator side we are mounting the doors with the new hardware before we paint them.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Kitchen Cabinet Refurbish - 101

Okay, when I decided to paint the old kitchen cabinets white, I certainly didn't know what all I was in for. They are coming out looking pretty good and I am glad I got to train on these old beat up cabinets. I thought I would share some of the things I have learned so far.

The biggest issue was the cabinet doors had adjusted over time to the settling of the house -- the doors refused to hang correctly after we installed the new hinges.  This was a royal pain because I had already painted the doors. The paint job got pretty scuffed up with all the rough handling and sawing adjustments to get them to  hang properly.

Lesson 1 - From now on I will install all the hardware first. Then install the doors and make any necessary adjustments. When the doors are all hanging good -- take them down and paint them.

I am hoping this experience will help with the second set of cabinets - the ones under the sink and on the refrigerator side.

Lesson 2 - If you want a really smooth finish be prepared to earn it by sanding your butt off. I still have quite a bit of butt left so you can figure we didn't do much sanding.

Lesson 3 - It is much easier to hang doors if you have HELP. Doors are awkward to hold in place while trying to install them.  Having an extra pair of hands and eyes can save you a lot of grief.

Lesson 4 - Even on sale, cabinet hardware is expensive. This kitchen had 18 doors and 8 drawers -- That's a lot of knobs, pulls and hinges.

Lesson 5 - A rushed paint job is a bad paint job. Enough Said.

Lesson 6 - An 1/8th of an inch means something. It doesn't look like much, but if your measurement is off just this much it is enough to throw your cabinet doors out of whack, make that door pull look crooked or make it impossible to attach the pull. Precision is key to a good install.

Lesson 7 - Taking the time to make a jig or template for your hinges, knobs and pulls will payoff big time. Do Not Skip This Step unless you want to live with crooked pull/knobs or have to take the time to fill the hole/sand/prime/paint and re-drill. 

Lesson 8 - For a nice smooth finish use a Paint Conditioner, Foam Roller and sand in-between coats.

Lesson 9 - Take your time and expect to be without your cabinets for a week or two. Ours is going to take about four weeks. This is not a project you will be able to finish in one weekend.

Lesson 10 - DO NOT EXPECT PERFECTION. Our cabinets are going to look way better than they did before, but are far from perfect.

Bonus Lesson - It pays to scrub/clean before you paint even if you are going to sand them down.  Unless of course you plan on sanding them down to bare wood. I had some type of stain bleed through the primer on one of the doors even though I had sanded the shine off the finish.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Kitchen Cabinet Revised Punch List for June

Kitchen Window / Sink Side - DONE

Refrigerator Side - DONE

Electric Range Side - DONE

Laundry Center Side - DONE

Updated 6/16/13

Revised Punch List - June 1

Living Room - DONE 

  • Install Closet Door Curtain
  • Door Trim
  • Partition for Hot Water Tank
  • Replace Electrical Outlet and Cover
Small Bedroom - DONE 

  • Install Back-splash
  • Paint/Refinish Cabinets
  • Replace Laminate on Counter tops
  • Partition for Laundry Center
  • Door Transition to Porch
Sun Porch
  • Remove Old Cabinets
  • Fix Ceiling
  • Clean Windows, Walls and Floor
  • Fix Screen Door
  • Paint Floor
  • Lighting
  • Window Treatments ????
Curb Appeal
  • Fix Concrete Step
  • Paint Rod iron Black
  • Paint Concrete Stoop Pad and Steps
  • Front Flower Beds  (Edging, Mulch, Plants)
  • Edge Driveway
  • Add Gravel
  • House Number (Stoop Gable, Mailbox)
  • Touch Up Front Windows (Clean/Paint)
  • On going - Mow/Trim Lawn

I hope to have the kitchen completed by the end of June. 30 days sounds like a lot of time but I am returning back to a normal life and plan on only working an evening or two through the week and Sunday after church on the weekends.

I have other interest other than remodeling that I have put on hold while I concentrate on getting the little house ready for my son. I will start back to running three day's a week in June and then pick it up a notch starting in July as I start training for my second 1/2 marathon. Not to mention all the DIY projects that have been stacking up at my own house.

So far it has been fun and quite the learning experience. I am looking forward to tackling the outside and hopefully improve our curb appeal.