Kitchen Pass Through Project – Part I

When we moved into our house over 2 years ago, we knew that at some point we wanted to remove the half wall that separated our living room from our dining room.

The problem was, we were pretty sure that its a load bearing wall and we really didn’t want to find out the hard way. So for two years it has sat there looking like it does. Being used as a bench, a road for hot wheels, and a shelf for storage. 
Now the time has come to finally do something with it. After searching through our favorite project site (Pinterest) we decided to move our Island into the space occupied by the wall, add a bench and new table, and have a new seating area!
Here is our inspiration for the space. 
http://www.decorpad.com/designers/Oxford-Development
We started out by tearing off the drywall. This to me was the scariest part because you never really know what you are dealing with until the drywall comes off. 
Case in point, I was assuming the electrical cable was going to be running along the wall and could then easily move the outlet into the island. But nope! It was run up through the floor. 🙁
I also managed to flip the breaker when knocking the sheetrock off. Apparently the sheetrock loosened the outlet and allowed it to come undone. That caused a short in the line and the breaker to flip. Oops!

In order to the the wire over to the far side of the island, I proceeded to drill some small holes near the wall and got the electrical wire to come up through that.

We also removed the carpet and laminate flooring where the island would eventually sit.

After some dry fitting, we moved the island into its permanent home and ran the electrical line up into it.  The guy at Lowes that helped me find the fittings I needed thought I was crazy going with the setup that I wanted. But with four kids, I always prefer to overdue the safety a bit to ensure that everyone is not exposed to anything that they should not be.

I had just enough wire to get to the outlet and even had to flip it upside down in order to make it work. But work it does!

For some ideas on space, we proceeded to move our dining room table and bench into the kitchen and it has stayed there since. We already love the functionality that this has brought into our home.  For the longest time, if we wanted to eat in the kitchen, we had to do it at the island which in turn would only seat 2 people. The rest would have to stand. And even though the dining room is close enough, sometimes you just dont feel like making the move to such a formal space. 
The pics below depict the island in its new home (without the top).  Part II will showcase the building out of the side columns. Now things are going to get exciting!

Cabinet Door Chalkboard Tutorial

Pinterest if full of posts from people using cabinet doors to make chalkboards. This post is no different but I thought I’d show you how I did mine! 

I knew that for Christmas, I wanted to be able to give out something that I had made that I knew people would like. We, coincidentally, had quite a few of these cabinet doors in the garage from the kitchen we purchased off of Craigslist a few years back.  That is where Pinterest came in handy and this project first took shape. 
I started out by filling in any holes that I knew I wouldn’t be reusing for knobs later on.  When the putty was dry, I proceeded to give the doors a good sanding and cleaning before painting. I, then, applied one coat of black paint to give some contract to the distressing process.  
After letting that first coat of black paint dry, I gave it a few coats of my primary color. This is the same color I used on our nursery dresser. You will notice in the pictures that I didn’t bother to paint over the middle of the door because that will be painted with chalkboard paint anyway.  Why waste paint if I don’t need to, right?

After two coats of the blue, I proceeded with the chalkboard paint. This was my first time using this paint so I opted to roll it on with a foam roller. I wanted the finish to be as smooth as possible and I knew a brush just wouldn’t give me the look I was going for. The roller worked perfectly.
With two coats of chalkboard paint on and dry, I started with my favorite part: distressing. I sanded the edges and tops a bit and then used glazed to really bring out the contrasting colors and textures. 
The final step was to drill some holes for the knobs and attach. Since these were Christmas presents, the knobs were picked out with each gift receiver in mind. This made a great way to customize each gift for the person receiving it. 🙂

I was really happy with how they turned out and I know that everyone that received one, really enjoyed their uniqueness as well. 

Craigslist Dresser Makeover

I love shopping Craigslist but I usually don’t buy most of the stuff that I want too. If the price isn’t too high, I tend to not want to drive all over to pick stuff up. I don’t have a truck or a trailer so most often, it takes me two trips to get things home in our SUV.  
So when I came across the two pieces below for $25 and the location happening to be 1 mile from our home, I couldn’t pass it up. I emailed the guy immediately and picked up the pieces not long after.  Both pieces for $25 bucks! Actually, the dresser for $25 and he threw the unmatching nightstand in for free. 
In the original condition, the pieces were in good shape. The dresser was 100% real wood but was missing a handle. The nightstand was half wood/ MDF and had some water damage to the top that was usually hidden by a glass top. 

Since winter was setting in fast, I opted to not do my usual 5 coat/color routine and instead, simply sanded and went straight for the primary paint.  After a good sanding to help the paint adhere, I grabbed some left over paint from our kitchen cabinets (Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation) and went to work. 

Don’t mind my messy garage.

I did three coats of this color, followed by a good amount of distressing and glaze.  Distressing has to be my most favorite part. 🙂

The hardware that I used was left over from the kitchen cabinets that I did happen to also get on  Craigslist a few years back. They looked good in their native color and condition so I just had to drill new holes in the drawers and attach them.

I was pretty happy with how they turned out. As a bonus, I was able to sell this set for $125. In the end, it was a nice little profit. 🙂

Messy Door Jamb – Update

I just realized that I got so wrapped up in our Board and Batten project that I forgot to update the Door Jamb replacement job that I did!  As stated earlier, I had to do this repair because the previous owners had used wood putty to cover an old metal plate and that plate was starting to show through. I was worried that it would cut someone coming into the house. The plate also pushed the trim out away from the wall which made it harder for me to finish the trim painting like I wanted too.

This is how the door looked with the main latch plate removed. It looks like they hand chiseled the hole larger at some point in time. To the right, you can see the plate that I was talking about earlier. Its pretty clear to see why I wanted it gone.

I started out by cutting out the entire section, door knob and deadbolt included. 
I then cut a board to fit and drilled out spots for the deadbolt and door latch plates, drilled it into place and mudded over the seams. 
The final step was to paint the patch as well as the rest of the trim. In this photo, you can see the seam pretty well. That is because I used a hammer to try and knock the latch plate into the wood a bit. I didn’t realize at the time, it would break my seam up. I have since fixed it and repainted and its no longer noticeable. 
I am really happy with the way it turned out and it looks so much better than it did before. I realize that security was compromised a bit by the patch but we also have a solid storm door that is also always locked. 

Slow Progress

Slowly making some progress on our coat wall. Purchased 2’x4′ sheets of MDF at Home Depot so its taking a bit longer to put up and I have to actually cut each piece before I nail it to the wall. I’m also applying some wall compound to the edges in order to help with the painting process. I really hope to have all the wood up by the end of the weekend.

Growing Project List

It seems that every time I turn around or go on Pinterest, I find another project that I want to start. The problem with that is it makes it really hard to concentrate on the project at hand. Case in point, I have been looking at ways to redo the arches that go into our toy room (officially its a den). I have already painted them from the drab honey oak to the white but I feel like they are missing that visual appeal that makes people say “Wow!”.

In order to transform them, I would have to remove the freshly painted trim that I just completed. A project that took me no less than 10+ hours to complete. 🙁  For now I am going to shelve that idea though. They are done and they look nice. Plus, I have about a dozen other projects to get done first. 🙂
Here is a list of projects that I have in mind in no random order. Not all of these will get done:
  1. Finish painting all trim on main floor
  2. Paint window trim
  3. Front door
    1. Trim
    2. Paint
  4. Stairs
    1. Remove carpet
    2. Stain stairs
    3. Paint balusters
    4. Stain handrail
  5. Flooring
    1. Hardwood (vinyl) upstairs
    2. Hardwood (vinyl) main floor
    3. Basement (vinyl) 
  6. 1/2 bath on main floor
  7. Kitchen countertop and backsplash
  8. Fireplace retile and paint
  9. Demolish gazebo and use wood to make more raised gardens
  10. Hall closet converted to pantry/hall closet
  11. Outdoor shed for lawn and garden tools
I am getting tired but anxious just looking at this list!

SketchUp Addiction

A friend recently introduced me to SketchUp and I cannot stop using it!. What an amazing (and free for personal use) tool for the DIYer. One of my biggest hurdles when coming up with a new project is how to best design it so that I know what its going to look like ahead of time as well as the ability to show my wife my ideas. I know that I am not very good at explaining ideas and I am even worse at drawing but with SketchUp all of my problems are solved!

Below are a few things that I kicked out in about 10 minutes each. As I continue to practice, I am finding that I can create these quick and cleaner. They aren’t to scale but I really don’t care. Its more for the visual anyway.

The first one is a coat wall that Ashley and I have talked about for awhile and the second one is an idea I had to update the look of a few archways that we have on the main floor.

Messy Door Jamb

Now that I am painting all of our Honey Oak Trim white, I decided that I should fix a little issue we have with the trim around our front door. The trim next next to the door latch was sticking out about a 1/4″ from the rest. This was caused by the previous owners doing some sort of DIY fix that involved bending metal and wood putty. I am not sure the reason for it but it was in serious need of repair and even a little dangerous as some of the metal was poking through the wood putty.

The picture below depicts what it looked like under the latch housing that I removed.  I am still confused by what their plan was. I am currently working on cutting this section out. I will then put in some new trim and latch plates. Hopefully once its all patched and painted, no one will be able to see tell the difference. It cannot be any worse that it was.

I am also going to try and move the plates back a little bit to allow for a more snug fit against the door moldings. There gets to be a bit of a draft coming through the door.

****** Update this project – here *******