Kitchen Cabinets Finale

 

So in my last post, I walked you guys through the complete overhaul of the kitchen cabinets when my mom and I painted them white. It T R U L Y changed the entire look of the kitchen and had me wishing I had done them earlier.

But when we finished, we still had giant hole in the cabinets from where we had removed the built-in oven and didn’t have doors to cover it up.

I wanted to include pictures of the old oven, the giant spot and what our kitchen looked like for about 3 months so that you can really appreciate the process.

We had planned to create a pantry where the oven used to be and re-use doors from when we cut out the cabinets under the old cooktop stove. Andrew talked to a friend from church  and he said he could make us doors (from scratch) and that it would be easier than trying to jerry-rig the old doors to fit the spot. So we took him up on the offer and the process began!

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TA-DA!!!!

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Aren’t these doors incredible? They match PERFECTLY! Not only are they beautiful and fit perfectly, they cover up the BEST PART….the HUGE pantry thats inside!

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I was so excited to fill up the pantry with some of the things that have been shoved into other cabinets. I was not excited, however, to have to get out all the painting supplies and go through the whole process again, because everyone knows that dealing with the supplies is the worst part.

So, here we go again.

Step 1: Remove the doors and hardware.

We had Andrew’s friend go ahead and hang the doors and put on the hardware because I was not about to mess these doors up by trying to do it ourselves. Because of that, I did have to go through the process of taking everything off, oh well, way worth the hassle.

Step 2: Use wood filler to fill in holes

The guy who made the doors/pantry had to drill in the shelves, so we had some holes that needed to be filled. I used Elmer’s ProBond wood filler. It was cheap, $2.98, and worked great. Fill in the hole, scrape off the excess, and then sand down when dry.

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Step 3: Sand down the doors and cabinet box.

For this, I used a 220 grit sandpaper and just sanded enough to scuff the the wood up.  After sanding, I washed the doors and cabinet box down with warm water and Dawn soap to remove any sanding residue.  I allowed the doors to dry for about an hour.

Step 4: Prime everything.

I used a good paint brush (I suggest Purdy or Wooster brand) and a small “no lint” roller to apply the primer. I only put on one coat this time since the wood was “naked” and a light color. I allowed the primer to dry for about and hour and flipped the doors over and primed the back of the doors. While I was waiting for one side to dry, I primed the inside of the cabinet box where the new shelves had been installed. They will also need to be painted white.

Step 5: Paint everything-again.

Just like the rest of the doors when we originally painted, I only gave the backs of the cabinet doors one coat.

After allowing to dry for a full day, I flipped the doors over and started painting the fronts of the doors. Just like last time, I had to pay attention to the details and be cautious of drips and runs. I painted a coat on the doors, went inside and painted a coat on the cabinet box.  I allowed about an hour to an hour and a half and started on the second coat on the cabinet doors, again, being careful to not have any drips or runs.

Once the second coat was on, I waited…an entire day.

Step 6: Put the hardware back on.

Make sure the paint is COMPLETELY dry.

Step 7: Hang the doors back up.

OH MY GOODNESS….this pantry is glorious and WOWZA, this kitchen looks fantastic!

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Project note:

I wanted to give you an update on how the cabinets are holding up since we have painted them: everything is awesome!

I was kinda worried that I would be paranoid about touching them or scratching them up, but the paint has held up wonderfully. Yes, they get dirty, especially the ones under my sink because I’m a hot mess when I’m washing dishes, but I just take my dish rag, wet it, and wipe down. SUPER EASY.

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Kitchen |Cabinet| Makeover

Post disclaimer: You are about to see inside my kitchen cabinets. Please do not judge us on our lack of organization or poor food choices. 


 

Being a teacher has it’s perks, one of those perks-SPRING BREAK! A week off from work really is nice for a DIY-er and grad student. However, this spring break I thought I would get ahead with my grad work because I was out of projects to do that could be done quickly and relatively cheaply. Somehow, my mom convinced me that we could knock out a project I have been putting off for two years, painting the kitchen cabinets.

For some reason, the previous owners of our house had decided to paint over the beautiful oak cabinets with what I would call a poop brown. The color was bland and it made the kitchen seem really, really dark. I had been wanting to paint them white to brighten the room up, but had been putting it off because I knew it would be quite the project. However, we had just gotten beautiful stainless steel appliances for Christmas/my birthday and it was hard to see them in such an ugly kitchen.

I felt a slide show really showed the poor state of our kitchen….which, like a lot of the house, was stuck in another decade, and the update to the new appliances. 

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I did a lot of research on what other people have done when painting their cabinets and what type of products are available. Sadly, every single product had numerous good and bad reviews so, I was torn. My mom went with me to Lowes to talk with the paint guy, and I’m pretty sure I knew more than he did, so I still wasn’t sure. A family friend who is a professional painter told us to use an oil based primer and a latex paint…so we followed his advice and got that.

We used Kilz odorless oil-based primer from Lowes that cost $25.98 and Valspar Reserve in semi-gloss white for $44.98.

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I want to make sure I point out that my cabinets were already painted. Because of that, we did not have to worry about sanding down the varnish of the original wood.

Step 1: Remove the doors and hardware.

Step 2: Sand down the doors and cabinet boxes.

For this, we used a 220 grit sandpaper and just sanded enough to scuff the paint up, we did NOT sand all the way down to the old wood.  After sanding, we washed all of the doors and cabinet boxes down with warm water and Dawn soap to remove any grease and grime as well as any sanding residue. We stood them up out on our porch to dry overnight.

Step 3: Prime everything.

We used a good paint brush (I suggest Purdy or Wooster brand) and a small “no lint” roller to apply the primer. We put on two coats, allowing the primer to dry between coats: about 45 minutes to an hour. We started out priming the fronts of the doors, which includes most of the details, and the cabinet boxes. We allowed the two coats to dry overnight.

The following day, we flipped the cabinets over and primed the backs-following the same procedure as before. Except today, after allowing the second coat of primer to dry, we started step 4.

It was also during this stage (while waiting on the primer to dry) that we finally removed the OLDER THAN DIRT wall oven that was an eyesore, not to mention, didn’t work (ok, it worked, just not very well at all). We knew that if we wanted to remove it, now would be the time since we wouldn’t want to get out all the paint stuff again.

We pulled the oven out, Andrew dealt with the electric, and we took that ugly thing to the dumpster. A friend from church who had helped us remove our counter top stove and the cabinets underneath when we put in our new appliances told us he would be willing to help us use the doors we removed to make a new pantry area where the oven used to be. TALK ABOUT SUPER EXCITING!

The first photo below is the old stove top. When we bought the new range in late November, we had to cut out the cabinet underneath. We saved the doors and faux drawers to use later. The second photo really does not do the old wall oven justice on its true ugliness. The third photo shows what the cabinet looked like when the oven was removed- we will use the doors we saved and make a pantry in this spot.

Step 4: Paint everything-1st coat.

We allowed the second coat of primer on the backs to dry and began painting with the actual paint. We used a good paint brush (again, I suggest Purdy or Wooster brand) and a small “no lint” roller. We put one coat on the backs of the cabinets and on the cabinet boxes. We allowed this to dry while we went to dinner and then came back and started on the next step.

Step 5: Caulk to cover up cracks and fill in imperfections.

Once the first coat of semi-gloss paint was on, lots of imperfections begin to show. Cracks between cabinets, old nail/screw holes, etc. I used a molding and trim caulking to fill in those spots. There are lots of fancy tools out there for smoothing caulking, but I’m partial to my finger and a paper towel. Allow the caulk to dry and sand down.

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This is the brand I used, Alex Flex. There are many brands, I’ve just used this for all my projects so it’s my go to when I need to caulk something.

I added some photos of the before and after caulking so you can see the difference this step made. It made the lines and edges of the cabinets look much cleaner—click on the photos to enlarge.

When the caulking is dried and sanded down, you can move onto Step 6.

Step 6: Paint everything-again.

For the sake of time, we only gave the backs of the cabinet doors one coat. They could have used another coat to really boost the shine, but we were running out of days. My thoughts were “No one will see them unless the cabinet is open, so it really doesn’t matter.” However, the two coats of primer and one coat of paint really did a great job covering, so I didn’t feel like I was doing the job half way.

After allowing to dry for a full day, we flipped the cabinets over and started painting the fronts of the doors. We had to be a little more careful of drips and runs, since this side has more of the details in the ridges of the doors. We painted a coat on the doors, went inside and painted a second coat on the cabinet boxes. We also decided to give the ceiling a touch up because it was looking mighty dingy next to my shiny new white cabinet boxes. We allowed about an hour to an hour and a half and started on the second coat on the cabinet doors, again, being careful to not have any drips or runs.

Once the second coat was on, we waited…an entire day.

Step 7: Put the hardware back on.

I always diss the previous owners, because, well you all have seen what the house looked like as we have worked on it, but they did update the cabinet hardware to something we actually liked. This was a big deal because it meant we didn’t have to purchase new hardware. This saved us SO MUCH MONEY, because hardware prices are absurdly expensive.

Step 8: Hang the doors back up and put the drawers back in.

When starting step 7 and 8, make sure the paint is not even the slightest bit tacky. If so, it is better to wait a few more hours to insure the paint is all the way dry so you won’t mess up your hard work putting the kitchen back together.

Step 9: Sit back and revel in the glory of your hard work.

This is for sure the best step! After a week of hard work (and LOTS of waiting) it was wonderful to see the finished project. This has really changed the room completely, and I don’t feel sad when I enter the kitchen anymore.DSC_0192DSC_0191DSC_0189DSC_0185DSC_0180DSC_0187

Our pantry is not finished yet (as you can tell with the big ol’ hole in the cabinets). With it being Easter weekend, we knew our friend would need some extra time to get us penciled in. I will do an update with photos of the new doors and space!

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Side notes:

Having our screened in back porch made this job so much easier than trying to paint in the house. We were able to set everything up out there, which kept the mess outside. This was super important because we had a very unhelpful “helper” who’s tail always seems to wag in the wrong direction. He was able to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine while watching us! DSC_0157.jpg

If you don’t have a porch like we do, I would suggest using your garage or somewhere that is out of the way, because this project took a full week. No, we didn’t work a full week, but with all the wait time between coats, you don’t want to be tripping over this stuff.

Another tip, try to get ALL the doors set out to paint at the same time. This was kind of tricky because we did paint 21 doors, but if you can’t get them all out at the same time, your painting and waiting time will be a lot longer. My advice? Get creative. We ran out of space on the saw horses, so we used 2x4s over my porch furniture and on the floor to make it so we could paint all the doors at the same time.

 

 

 

Gallery Wall

Ok, so hi again, I haven’t blogged in FOR-EV-ER because of time constraints and because we literally have been doing no projects around here. Sadly I have reached the point in the home renovations where the projects that needed a little money and a lot of elbow grease are finished and I am into the phase where the projects need a lot of money and none of my elbow grease.

Today, I thought I would share our gallery wall, that I’m sure will continue to grow, and where we got everything on it because I always hear of people needing prints made or looking for cool art pieces.

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The center photo is a canvas print I ordered from photobucket.com. We have ordered several different sizes of canvas prints from here (and know others who have as well) and they have always turned out great, shipped quickly, and are of wonderful quality. PLUS, this website runs deals ALL THE TIME. I ordered this one, which is an 11 x14 and got it shipped for $25 when they were running a sale.

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The wooden arrow under it was purchased from Hobby Lobby. Nothing special about it, I just thought the wall needed a little more dimension and another material to set it off.

The two prints on the right-hand side were ordered from a favorite Etsy shop of mine called Retro Book Art…check them out here. I have ordered many prints from this shop and I have been SUPER PLEASED with everything I’ve received. I was first introduced to the shop a few years ago when Andrew ordered me a print for Valentine’s Day.

Each “picture” is printed on dictionary paper, which adds another factor to the coolness. I was surprised when looking that the shop offers both Marshall and West Virginia University prints. I ordered an MU and a print with the outline of WV on it. Again, the pieces were well priced and shipped fast!

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On the left-hand side, we have a picture I bought, again, from Hobby Lobby. Nothing too special about it, since it was mass produced, but a good reminder, nonetheless.

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The last piece on our wall, for now, is one of my favorites. I also purchased this from an Etsy shop called Moxie Mermaid, you can check them out here. This shop specializes in water color portraits of houses. You send them a photo of your house and they send you back a hand painted portrait of your home….all for $25!!

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Anyhoo, there you have it. Nothing too special, but definitely some cool pieces that livened up the big ol’ wall in our living room.

Where do you get your custom art pieces?

Bathroom Remodel: Improv Style

I have a problem. I can’t finish a project before starting a new one. We finished the hardwood flooring demo, prep, and install and were finishing up painting doors and trim throughout the house. I planned to paint the doors and trim in the guest bathroom and decided to go ahead and paint them while we had all the painting supplies out (If you have done any amount of painting, you know the biggest hassle is getting the stuff out to start and putting it away when finished).

We took the doors down and got them painted while I painted the door frames and trim (there are 3 different doors in the guest bathroom- door from the hallway, a closet, and a door into a separate room that houses the shower and toilet). While painting the trim, I pulled up a bit of the wallpaper that had come loose to paint under it and the next thing I knew, I had pulled down all the wallpaper.

Andrew was not happy with me since this was on Monday night and we were planning to host our family for lunch the following Sunday to reveal the floors. Now we had to finish painting the trim and doors and deal with a bathroom that was halfway demolished.

Backstory: Our bathroom was livable. It was functional and didn’t look horrible, but it was not good. The wallpaper was old and stained, the grout on the backsplash, well what was left, was gross and cracked. The cabinets screamed 1980’s, the trim and doors didn’t match any of the other wood in our house (even before the floor remodel) and the laminate flooring had seen better days. And we had planned to work on it, just not right now.

I had planned to paint the cabinet in the coming weeks because it would be an easy, 1-2 hour project and planned to tackle the rest (wallpaper removal, paint, grout, caulking, etc.) this summer. But all of that went down the drain when I couldn’t keep myself from taking down all the wallpaper.

Luckily, we were snowed in all week. We got about 12 inches of snow in the course of 3-4 days, which is a lot for our area, and school had been closed the entire week. This gave me the opportunity to finish the bathroom.

I painted the terrible cabinets a nice brownish gray and changed the hardware. I’m not really sure why these cabinets were two-toned. They had been painted this way! Super easy fix either way.(PS: Ignore the blue painter’s tape, I had already taped everything off before I remembered to take a picture)

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2015-02-20 12.16.35I was just joking with a friend today that I spray paint everything, which in reality, is true. The hinges on these cabinets were made specifically for this design of a door and they were brown. I didn’t want brown and could not find a replacement at any of the local hardware stores, so what did I do? I just spray painted them a nice chrome to match the fixtures.

Sadly, I don’t have any pictures of the room before to upload, but you aren’t missing anything….just image textured wallpaper that used to be white and you’ve got it.

Basically I just did what I do best, painted. I did have to repair a few spots that had some wear and tear from well, just being in a bathroom and being covered in wallpaper for 40 years. I started in the smaller section of the bathroom that houses the shower and toilet and moved from there. I decided on a darker brownish-gray to complement the white fixtures, doors, and trim.

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Luckily for us, the previous owners had updated the light fixture as well as the light switch and outlet plates and the towel racks, toilet paper holder, and faucet were all new. Because of that, once I was finished painting, there wasn’t much left to do.

I did re-grout the backsplash and you can read about that adventure here but once that was finished, all that was left was to caulk (everything..tub, toilet, trim, cabinet) and decorate.

I got lucky and found towels that matched perfectly on clearance and a shower curtain at Kohl’s and a nice over-the-toilet shelf from Wal-Mart for $20. My grandmother gave me a set of prints that my great-grandmother had sketched that I was able to use and display along with another one of her other paintings that I already had.

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In the coming weeks I plan to use some left-over moulding to trim the mirror (I just have to convince one of Andrew’s friends that his help is worth a Mexican dinner or something comparable for pay) and eventually tile the floor.

To be honest, when I first started on this project I HATED the countertop and couldn’t wait to replace it, but now seeing it with the updated room, it’s not so bad. It’s funny how remodels can do that.

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Hardwood Flooring Overhaul- Part 4: The Reveal

I’ve been waiting to reveal the finished flooring until we showed our family and FINALLY finished painting the millions of eleven doors to match the new trim.

Honestly the change that these floors have made to the house is crazy. It truly looks like a completely different house. The process was grueling, expensive and stressful but as I sit here and look at everything, I wouldn’t change a thing.

We still have a few things to complete (an area rug to pick out and purchase and some pictures to hang) but we could not be more thrilled with how the floor turned out.

**Click on a photo below to enlarge it and open the gallery**

Happy Anniversary Robin Lane!

Well it’s official, we’ve lived on Robin Lane for exactly one year. We signed the papers and got our keys on February 18, 2014 but did not move in until February 22, 2014. I cannot believe how fast the time has gone by and more importantly, all the projects we have completed

Here’s your look back……

#1 We painted and decorated the dining room

Remember those awesome bamboo vinyl decals? Yeah, who doesn’t? We also put up new draperies and replaced the light fixture. Next up in this room? Replace the sliding glass doors with french doors.

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#2. We painted the master bedroom walls and doors from that terrible corduroy thing the last owners left us with.

I know this photo is not from the same angle, but its the only one that really showcased the awesome paint job before I got my hands on it.

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#3. We removed the off-centered window in the master bedroom by covering it up with a handmade headboard. The only thing left in this room is to fix the closet situation (not enough closet space for two people) and find the perfect mirror to hang over the dresser.

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#4. We replaced every light fixture in the house, literally. The dining room, the upstairs hallway, the downstairs hallway, the entry way, the guest bathroom, the kitchen….here’s just a reminder of what we were working with.

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#5. We painted what we still affectionally call, “The Blue Room” aka, spare bedroom #1.

Oh my goodness, do you remember the disaster that was this room? I still remember the look Andrew and I exchanged when we walked in this room when looking at the house. With a little help from my mom, it turned out nicely. This room really is perfect and doesn’t need any more help from us for the time being, but eventually will have all the trim and doors painted white to match the rest of the house.

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#6. We painted what we still affectionally call “The Yellow Room” aka spare bedroom #2.

Oh those walls! I swear you got a sunburn just standing in that room! This room, much like the other spare bedroom is in pretty good shape. It is furnished, functional, and appears “finished”. I eventually plan to repaint the trim which the last owners had painted FLAT white. *Yuck* It will get the same semi-gloss white we painted the rest of the trim in the house.

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#7. We took down the 80’s-refic wood spindles that “separated” the entry way and living room.

If I had known it would only take the 5 minutes it did to get these things down I would have done it February 22, 2014. We were so worried that the ceiling underneath the wood was not finished, which caused me to not want to take them down just because I didn’t want to deal with the hassle. When we got ready to install the wood floors, I knew if I wanted them down, it had to be now so we could fix the ceiling beforehand. It took Andrew and one of his buddies literally 5 minutes. The ceiling underneath turned out to be finished and all we had to do was a bit of touch up paint! IMG_0486#8. We painted the basement’s wood paneling.

You remember the story, it was supposed to be stained a nice dark brown, but that didn’t work out for me, so instead it got painted the nice cream. It truly brightens the room and I’m happy with the outcome!

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#9. We’ve added a few personal touches to the basement recreation room.

This room is not anywhere close to what I want it to be, yes it is painted and the wall storage units have had a facelift, but I’m not done yet. We had tons of other things to do to make the upstairs of the house feel more homey and haven’t had the money, resources, or time to tackle this room yet. Next up for this room is a complete revamp of the furniture. I plan to purchase a large brown leather sectional and a HUGE television. We also plan to replace the sliding door that goes to the front walk-out with french doors. I’d also like to look into putting an electric fireplace unit in our fireplace so we can use it easily and more frequently.

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#10. Andrew has added his own touches to the downstairs office.

This room was one that didn’t require any work other than decorating. No paining, no floor fix, nothing! The laminate flooring that is in there now works awesome for Andrew’s office chair and he liked the the current paint. He added some of his own favorite things and moved some stuff to put actual office supplies of mine (like paperwork and bills and boring stuff). We do however plan to purchase a new desk, one that is larger for comfort and storage.

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#11. We did a minor master bathroom remodel.

We painted, hung a new mirror, and added a nicer over-the-toilet shelf to make this room look a little more put together. I also repainted the cabinets and replaced the hardware. Next up for this room is a new counter top and tile floors.

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#12. We did a minor guest bathroom remodel-last week actually.

The guest bathroom was functional, but it just looked worn and tired and kind of sad. I started this project last week by accident while painting the trim and doors to match the other trim and doors in the house (we wanted to finish everything up while I still had all the supplies out). I lifted a piece of wallpaper to paint the board under it, and well, suddenly all the wallpaper was gone.  We painted the walls a brownish-gray, put up a new over-the-toilet shelf, and bought a new shower curtain. I also painted the cabinets, because they could not have been worse to look at before.  IMG_0628

#13. We re-grouted the tile backsplash in the guest bathroom.

This was pretty simple and created quite a bang for our buck. In the coming weeks I plan to frame the mirror using leftover molding from the floor install and replace the fan/light. The room eventually will get tiled floor and a new counter top.

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#14. We replaced the outlet covers and light switches from cream to white, to match the new white trim.

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#15. We painted the front door a nice cheery blue.

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#16. We painted all the doors white, replaced all the hardware (handles and hinges) and replaced the old floor molding.IMG_0480

#17. The most impressive and extensive project of the year? We replaced the carpet in the living room, dining room, hallway, and master bedroom with hardwood.

This has been my goal since we moved in and to see it in real life is crazy. It has completely changed the look of the house. It makes it look bigger, cleaner, and more modern. You can read about the week long process here, here, and here.

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So, as you can see, we’ve had a busy year here on Robin Lane and we’ve checked off most of my short term goals. What’s up for us next? I’ve still got quite a few more projects to check off.IMG_0606

 

Hardwood Flooring Overhaul-Part 3: Install

With over 700 sq. feet of installation to complete, in addition to putting up the baseboards, our installer Lenny had us on the books for 4 days, Tuesday, January 26th-Friday, January 30th. He started early on that Tuesday and was able to get the padding put down throughout most of the house as well as get a lot of the living and hallway finished.

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Seeing the wood finally on the floors made all of handwork the week before worth it. Andrew and I had to move some furniture around that night/the next morning so he could start on the bedroom the next day.

The next afternoon when I got home from school, they were finishing up the the bedroom by installing the baseboards so we could go ahead and move the bedroom furniture back in and not have to sleep on the floor somewhere. To say we were THRILLED was an understatement!

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On Thursday, Lenny finished up the dining room and hallway. The amount of work he put into making this floor look complete blew our mind. Under each door frame he had used a drimmel to ensure the flooring laid perfectly under the frame, and since we have 7 doorways in the hallway, this was quite a feat.

On Friday, we had our first “big” snow of the year that resulted in covered and ICY roads. I was on a two-hour delay for school and the news was warning drivers of treacherous conditions. The interstate had experienced some serious accidents that had it closed both directions at one point and I was a little upset because I didn’t figure our flooring would get finished that day. Lenny called me at 7 to ask if he could still come up and finish the install, which we were surprised and thrilled. He came up and finished our entry way, stairs, and the remaining baseboards to complete our project.

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Stay tuned for the final reveal, once I FINALLY finish the never ending project of painting and re-installing the remaining doors!