Kitchen counters and sink part one: The nickel tour

Oh. Em. Gee, y’all. Did you SEE my kitchen counters when I started looking at this challenge last year? It was NOT PRETTY. No. I mean it was NOT PRETTY. Here. Let me show you.

kitchen before 1

Now do you believe me? My kitchen was many varied and inglorious kinds of A HOT MESS. Now, understand that where my kitchen was THAT DAY and where my kitchen is RIGHT NOW was not a one-day or a one-week project. It’s been a one-year excursion into Crazyville. They declared me sheriff. Then they elected me mayor. That’s right. I am Kate, Orthodox Single Mom, and Mayor of Crazyville. Welcome to my kitchen. Have a cup of….well, better to bring your own!

Last February, you may remember, I lost my beloved Labrador, Mandy Mae. In the few days after her death, I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t really eat. I couldn’t really function. So I did what any sane, rational mayor of Crazyville would do. I tore apart my kitchen. I was so tired of looking at the busted cabinets and the janky countertop, the FLAT WHITE PAINTED backsplash, and the just DREARY GROSSNESS of the kitchen. So I CHANGED IT.

This was my countertop before the mourning period:

countertop1This was, of course, on a super-CLEAN kitchen day. Obviously. Y’all SAW the example picture at the top right? I needed an intervention there.

This countertop was not dirty. It was stained. Stained and beat up and missing chunks of….is that formica? Who knows? WHO CARES? It was JANKY.

So, I got out some wood putty and plastic putty, and filled in all the holes and scratches. I sanded that down flat, and covered it with two coats of steel grey Kilz primer. Then, I ran to Hobby Lobby and bought a couple of bottles of cheap acrylic craft paint. I pulled out some metallic silver paint that I had (from painting the backsplash when the flat white became completely unbearable in 2013). I dabbed the metallic paint and the acrylics onto the countertop in random non-patterns with paper towels. When it was dry, I poured epoxy resin over it, and I HAD A COUNTERTOP!

backsplash1Then it was time to address the backsplash. I have this crazy obsession with decoupaging ALL THE THINGS, so I figured I could, well, decoupage all the things. Back to Hobby Lobby. I got some cool scrap book paper. I cut pictures out of old cookbooks that I got at the thrift store, and I printed out some pictures of Northern Ireland and Old New Orleans. Then I decoupaged all the things. Seriously. My backsplash is scrapbook paper, photographs, cookbook pages, and tons of mod podge covered in several layers of acrylic sealer and then epoxy resin.

backsplash2And the cabinets! My broken cabinets! I spent a couple of months salvaging cabinetry from other houses in the neighborhood that were redoing their kitchens. Finding the original cabinetry was important to me, because, while I hated the look of my cabinets, I LOVE the history of this ancient, tiny, dingy little house and the village. Since the kitchens were very cookie-cutter, finding enough pieces of the right size was really easy. I replaced a few cabinet doors. Then I painted the whole thing white. Except the very tops. I can’t reach them even on my ladder. Ten and a half months later, I am still waiting for a tall person to come help me for half an hour. HALF AN HOUR, TALL PEOPLE. THAT’S ALL I NEED!!!

kitchen during1And that brings us to March 2014. There was some more painting. I painted the kitchen table. I painted the cabinets behind my pantry (not shown here. That’s another week. Also, I totally just did that today.) I got new-to-me chairs, but I haven’t painted those yet. My man-human installed my dishwasher (after I’d been waiting to get it installed by the maintenance guy for seriously four months!). Y’all. I have a man-human. Y’ALL!! I HAVE A DISHWASHER!!!!!!!! (In case you missed the memo, it was installed by my man-human.)

And, in addition to all the pretty changes, I ALSO let my kitchen basically go to hell in a fruit basket. Except not. Because I didn’t have a fruit basket until yesterday. Actually, it was the fruit basket that sparked my mad cleaning spree of yesterday. It was a gift from the world’s greatest niece and nephew. I have NEVER HAD ONE BEFORE. But that’s later. There was a hot mess up in my kitchen all over again. I’ve been off my game since surgery #1, and my kitchen suffered the consequences. So, it was TIME. Clearly, Taylor, I cannot live without you another moment. It is TIME for some serious decluttering and organizing!

Next post: planning the first weekly challenge.


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