Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Appliance Arrival

Hi all! Just popping in briefly to provide an update on our kitchen progress. Things are coming along nicely. I got the cabinets painted, reassembled and restocked in time for the appliances to arrive yesterday. We were especially worried about the fridge, but each appliance slid into place just fine. {Relief!} This coming week I'm going to paint the other section of cabinets. The light we ordered for above the sink has shipped, so we're looking forward to installing that…and we still need to pick out a replacement for the fluorescent light. {Then there's microwave installation, the flooring, backsplash and counters, toe kick installation…} Baby steps! For now we're just glad to have a somewhat stocked & functional kitchen again!

We're taking a break from the kitchen today & heading over to Andrew's cousin's to watch the ball drop tonight. 2014 has been a really productive year! Thanks for reading our blog and for all of your positive feedback. I'm excited to continue DIYing in 2015, and wish everyone a happy & healthy New Year! 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Kitchen. (Alternate title: A War Zone)

This is what our kitchen used to look like:

The appliances came with the house, and they are mismatched. We always said the first thing that broke would give us reason to buy a new matching set. A month ago the dishwasher stopped working, so we stuck to our guns and picked out a new fridge, stove, range and microwave. They'll be delivered in two days.

Before the new stuff arrives, I decided to fulfill my longtime goal of painting the cabinets & adding some bead board accents. The cabinetry is in perfect shape, so we can't justify pitching it. A little paint goes a long way. I'm using the same primer & paint combo as the fireplace. I frequently have paint in my hair these days, but it's worth it. Here are some progress shots:

We labeled the doors and hardware for easy reinstall later.

I listened to the Serial podcast while I worked. So addicting!

Check out the covered up sink. Things are in shambles!

We picked out a new pedant light for over the sink, and we have to make a shelf above the stove for the microwave. Andrew has to do some electrical work there that I secretly hope takes place in my absence.

Once the cabinets have been completed, we'll be able to pick out a new countertop and add backsplash. Not sure about the counters yet, something stone but not granite…? {And we'll be paying professionals to measure, cut & install it} The backsplash will be subway tile, which we can do ourselves. Oh, and remember the Pergo? It's still hanging around. We'll be putting that in the kitchen, too.

Thanks for checking up on us. I'll keep you all posted on the final transformation!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Couple's Hobby Canvas

I was commissioned to paint this canvas back in September. It was to be given as a Christmas gift, hence the late post! The vision behind this project was to create a collection of the couple's favorite hobbies. Painted with a cream background, burgundy, hunter green & gray lettering, the result is an outdoorsy-themed tribute to a fun & active couple. I hope they got a kick out of it!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Fireplace Facelift

This is how we gave our builder-grade oak fireplace an amazing facelift for under $200:
  1. Plan. Measure from the mantle to the ceiling for the 4 vertical beams. Take 1 horizontal measurement for the top. 
  2. Purchase. Take your measurements to the hardware store and buy your wood. I got plain oak 1x3 beams at Lowe's for $10-$15/each. {Truthfully, I did this backwards. I bought my wood and then measured when I got back home. It was an impulse buy that paid off!}
  3. Prep. Throw down a drop cloth. Cut your wood pieces to size and nail them into place. Andrew did this with the air nailer. I patched the indentations with wood filler. Now prime - I used Valspar Bonding Primer {You don't even need to sand!}
  4. Paint. Tape off & get to work. I gave the fireplace two coats of "Dove White" satin finish.

The paint instantly transformed things. I did it on my day off while Andrew was at work. When he came home, he was impressed. To spice things up, we wanted to add AirStone to the fireplace surround. AirStone comes in three colors. We chose Stone Creek which is a mixture of light & dark grays, and applied it directly on to the existing tile surround.

This part was the most difficult portion of the project. The stone pieces come in various rectangular and squared off sizes, and the box states that you can cut them to size easily with a hack saw. No sweat. Well, it was actually A LOT OF SWEAT. Poor Andrew. I was the foreman of this job and gave him the pieces with measured notches on them, and he had to do the cutting. He probably needs a new rotator cuff now.

Once the stones were cut to size, I used the adhesive cement and applied the pieces. We ended up having to buy two boxes at $26/each. {One box covers 6 sq. feet} We used one entirely & just a few from the other box. I guess we can save the extra and maybe find a purpose for it somewhere down the line.

We are really pleased with the final facelift, and how much character it adds to the family room. Even though the stone was harder to cut than we originally thought it would be, we were still able to get this project done relatively quickly. I wanted the fireplace to be finished in time for Christmas, and we achieved that goal. The paint worked really well, so I plan to take it around the house and paint all of the oak trim, window casings & stair banisters. Which I'm sure will take an eternity…

Thanks for reading about our latest project!

PS: Wondering what happened to the mirror that used to hang over the mantle? We relocated it to our bedroom. It now hangs above our bed and we think it looks top-notch.