Kitchens Without Borders OR How Heather and I Remodeled my Kitchen

6 02 2008

Granted, this all took place a few weekends ago, however, due to circumstances beyond my control (some stemming from The Project, some from work and then being sick) I haven’t been able to post until now.
Plus, I was looking for a full-wall picture of the atrocity that was and seeing as I can’t find one, this’ll have to do.


Now, looking past all the gooeyness, you see The Wallpaper. It’s Waverly and in some people’s opinion, it would be silly to take it down. Now, I’ve spent some time looking on the Waverly site, and this is the wallpaper. $28.99 for 5 yards, which if you ask me, is highway robbery. This was the border. Seriously, it looks like someone took an Elf, shook them up and allowed them to spew Christmas Cheer on the walls.

Right, so now, take a lot of the wallpaper and put it 1/3 of the way up the kitchen wall (just the eat-in section), add a honking piece of chair rail, insert the border, and top off with another piece of chair rail. Then, make sure to repeat the border at the top of the wall. In fact, you should go all around the eat-in kitchen with border. And with the leftover wallpaper, put that around the window in the cooking part of the kitchen.
Are your eyes bleeding yet? Imagine coming into that everyday and being so overstimulated that you didn’t want to eat in the kitchen.
Something had to be done.

With Steve in Montreal and about 100 paint chips scattered around the kitchen, Heather and I headed over to Home Depot.
After a delicious dinner of appetizers and beer, we made a pit stop at the grocery store and headed home.
By now, it must have been close to 9, and we decided to plan our attack for the evening
Objective 1) Remove all trim from walls and doors, making sure to tell it who’s boss.
Objective 2) Take sides of the room and begin removing wallpaper, ensuring that we let it know what it can do with itself.
Objective 3) Fill any holes
Objective 4) Prime
Objective 5) Be in bed by a decent hour.
Hands on our hips, concert shirts on, we laughed knowingly at the walls, never wanting to stop to say goodbye.
Heather took the heavily wallpapered side (of which was seen above) and I to took the border.
Paper began flying and we made jokes. I said that we should find out which homeowner put the paper up and I should send them shards. We laughed.
Then we stopped laughing.
Did you know: Some people put wallpaper up to conceal wall issues? ‘s true.
Heather had gotten large chunks of paper off, but in some areas, the hangers used a lot of paste (or dog spit, which has the same adhesive features). Areas say where the dry wall may not have been properly done. Like say, under a window.
With both of us scraping away, we were certain we’ll have it done in no time, regardless of hurdles.
Well, by 2:30(am), I tell Heather that I don’t care that patching and priming was on the list, I’m going to bed. She agrees.

We didn’t sleep in too late and I make Eggales (That’s be a egg with soy sausage and cheese on an english muffin) and coffee and we’re back into the swing of things.
A light bulb goes off in my head as we’re swearing about the wallpaper (still). I heard somewhere that a vinegar/water combo is supposed to release wall paper.
‘s true.
It took the wallpaper off better then the wallpaper remover.
Heather removed these doors from the hinges and I had a field day taking off the old molding.


We get all the wallpaper off, all the holes spackled and sanded and a 2 coats of primer up.
By now, it’s after 3 and I decide that we’re going to 5 de Mayo for lunch. Chips, salsa, lunch specials and margaritas later, we’re ready for a nap. However, we’ve received word that a number of our friends are going out around 11 (pm). We decide that if we can get the half of the kitchen done, we can go out and play.
Painting like crazy women, we get the entire eat-in section done.


Completely done. I even got the new trim around the doors up.


And as promised, we head out around 11(pm) and a large crowd comes back to my house.
The compliments started. “Wow!” “That looks REALLY GOOD. Good job!”
Heather and I filled with a special kind of pride.
Beers, beer pong, vodka tea, vodka tea pong later…

Hung over, we stay in bed until 11:30.
We stumble down the stairs to rehydrate and medicate. Oh, and paint.
A little lower and you’ll see a hungover Stephanie and her previously ugly cooking area.
1985. All over.
The last time I saw that much yellow and brown, it was a pair of polyester pants from a Sears catalog.
After doing a considerable amount of research, all articles said the same things.
To paint tile, you need to wash the tile, sand, re-wash, special prime, paint, re-coat and DO NOT GET EXCESSIVELY WET.
We clear everything from the counters and begin to clean.
Heather’s OCD kicked in and she did an awesome job on the counter tops and sink.
At this point, I would like to openly declare my LOVE for Comet. That stuff got things off my counter that I thought were permanent fixtures. Oh, like when I used the deep fryer the first time and overfilled with oil AND fries, sending a cascade of oil over my counters and cabinets.
I digress. I regress… I will someday come up with a post entitled “Lies my parents told me” in which I will discuss why Comet was never pushed on me, the superiority of certain brands of feminine products and how bags on the side of the road could be filled with puppies and that’s why you don’t run over bags on the side of the road.
Diversion over.
Kitchen sparkling, I head to the basement and get the sander. Because why waste energy sanding when a machine will do it for you? I can tell you why. Because sometime in the 1980’s, my dad procured a sander (which knowing my childhood was probably a garage sale find). While serving a purpose, it shot sparks from the inside, smelled funny and I’m pretty sure it made an uncomfortable noise. Plus, I was hung over as you can see from this picture.


Just didn’t have it in me to deal with the noise as I’m pretty sure that it’s powered by a jet engine. So instead, I held the sander and moved it along the walls. Heather decided that she would sand the walls and we were back on track.
After another washing, we were ready to prime.
Industrial gray is all the rage this season and this primer stunk so bad that it (possibly mixed with the residual hangover) made us question if we should open the windows. However, it worked, so I can’t complain.
Tiny paintbrush in hand, I took to the grout while Heather tackled the actual tiles.


After some Miracle Toast, we were ready to paint.  Note the toaster in the left hand corner.
Giddy with excitement, we pried open “King’s Treasure” and proceeded to take opposite walls. I mainly laid all over the counter top, painting on my tummy, gingerly moving.
Dusk fell and we had the tiles 1-coated.
Elation set in as we looked at what we had done.


My kitchen looks, decent.
Things fit together, being separate, but different. There is definition between the eating section and the cooking section, yet it flowed back and forth.
We re-stocked the counters and I hung the chair rail in the eating section.

chair railAt this point, I realized that our kitchen walls are quite bowed… perhaps that is also why there was so much GD wallpaper up.
I digress.
We finish cleaning up, less the buckets of paint/supplies which I boxed up to take downstairs.

After Heather had gone home, I laid on the sofa and it hit me.
THE WAVE OF PAIN from doing squats and reaching all weekend. Heather wasn’t in much better shape.

A bottle of Tylenol later, I am feeling 100% awesome about my “new” kitchen.
Last weekend I got the second coat of paint on the tiles, only to see that the new quart is slightly more purple then the last coat, so now I’m wondering what to do…




2 responses

7 02 2008

Saturday was kind of like Guns ‘n’ Roses meets Trading Spaces.

We = Rockstarz

11 05 2008
Project #5874: Upstairs Bathroom « please, stop bouncing

[…] of vinegar and water (1:3, ish)for removing wallpaper.  And I know a lot about removing wallpaper; rehashing the kitchen for those of you who missed it. Next thing I need to do is procure this shower curtain from my […]

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