If the kitchen walls could talk

Ya’ll ready for some mundane wall talk?

Back in April of 2014, when I demo’ed the tile floor to make way for new walnut hardwood, I got a little feverish and pulled down all the dry wall, removed the soffit to expose the ugliest radiator pipes, and demanded that my husband remove all the drywall/plaster/lath from the ceiling. After washing off the debris and horror of what I had just done, I was left with this:

It's the only 'Before" photo I could find!
It’s the only ‘Before” photo I could find!


Cracking yellow plaster walls, ugly radiator pipes and insight to how my 100 year old house is being held up (which gives me night terrors that the house is going to collapse, some things just shouldn’t be seen (it’s structurally sound, my anxiety knows no bounds))

After the house being jacked up, new flooring installed and part of the wall was removed, I started tiling the walls above the baseboards and skim coating/patching the remaining walls. I got two coats of durabond 90 on the walls, and abandoned it. I didn’t finish the cuts in my tile job, either. tile wainscotting

The cabinets were installed, and because nothing in old houses are plumb, the cabinets didn’t fit. So the contractor removed part of the drywall, and installed the cabinet. I was not at home at the time, and by the time it got to this point in the project, I pretty much loathed the contractor and wanted him to get the hell out of my house, finished or not.

So. It all sat like this, until, I announced that I would continue working on it. Erm, back in December.

On a whim one day whilst I was working at home, I got up and finished all my cuts for the tile on the wall, and grouted. I hadn’t started on the backsplash yet.

I removed the rest of the 1/2″ drywall down to the top of the base cabinet. I changed the light switch receptacle for a shallow one, since the wall cavity was less than 3″. shallow light receptical

Of course, even my 1/4″ thick drywall didn’t fit between the  upper cabinet and the middle stud. I could have cut the drywall to butt up against the cabinet, and not go behind it, but then it wouldn’t have any support behind it. I made a make shift cleat but using a spare piece of wood and screwing it into the stud, so the drywall could attach to it. Kind of hard to explain, and I’m sure not the professional method. 007

But! It worked. Moving on.

After all the seams in the new drywall and joints between the plaster and drywall were dried, began the sanding. Since I was not very skilled or meticulous about skim coating, all the wall surfaces needed to be sanded. Ooft.008

My husband helped me tape up plastic on most of the cabinets and doorways. It still crept everywhere. Natch. 011

My momma didn’t raise no fool. I used a palm sander on the walls and 80 grit sand paper to smooth everything out. It took me about an hour and a half, and a lot of climbing up and down a ladder. Talk about dustayyyyy. 010

After everything was cleaned up, I use the word ‘clean’ loosely in this household, it was time for priming the walls.

I decided to use my new gallon of Zinsser Oil Based Primer. I had never used it for such a large surface, but guys, it handled its shit. I may always use it on walls that have had a lot of patching. Yeah, you end up throwing the roller away, but I only used a 1/4 of the gallon, where latex may have been 1/2-3/4 can. I did follow up on the walls with a second coat of latex primer as well. 012 013

So much better, right?

Since I was already on a week long bender, high as a kite on paint fumes, I figured that I might as well paint the vinyl windows while I was at it.

I removed the latches (and spray painted them gold), and gave the window a super thorough cleaning with acetone. Meticulously taped everything off and cut little squares to size of painter’s plastic.Spray painting vinyl windows

I used Krylon Fusion in Gloss black. The inside stop had previously been painted black (see above above pictures), and after the vinyl part of the window was black, it felt like way too much black. I am very good at creating more work for myself, I taped it all off again, primed and painted about 5 coats of white on. I like how it turned out, and will probably continue to paint the upstairs vinyl windows, too. Painting Vinyl windows Painting Vinyl windows

Christmas happened, and I took a kitchen break to enjoy time with family.

I got back to it, by tiling the little cabinet nook back splash. Let me tell you, even inside in the basement and with hot water put in the wet saw, it is COLD to get sprayed with the water. Let alone the fact that it sprays into your lap, leaving the sensation that you’ve just peed yourself. gloss subway tile - the tile shop

I had removed the window apron before the tiling and cabinet installation. I didn’t want to make a lot of cuts on the tile or have the tile be thicker than the apron,, so I used all full tiles for 2′, putting that underneath the window apron. I shimmed out the area and put the window apron back on, after cutting it in two pieces to allow the peninsula cabinet to be flush with the wall. 023 025 026

It left some noticeable gaps along the side of the window, and the tile wasn’t capped off. 027

I went to the lumber yard about bought a basic profile, pre-primed pine chair rail. I think I put it upside down? Idk. I liked it better this way, and feel it mimics the baseboard nicely.

Everything got patched, caulked and painted.The Tile Shop Gloss subway tiles

All the trim got a fresh coat of Sherwin-Williams Floor and Porch paint in Snowbound 7004, and the walls were painted Benjamin Moore Dark Harbor, mixed in the Aura line and 25% darker. I haven’t used the Aura paint before, and I’m not sure if it’s the paint itself or how much goddamn pigment was in that can, it covered beautifully!Sherwin Williams Snowbound 7004 Benjamin Moore Dark Harbor Aura

I was dragging my feet on updating about the kitchen, because I feel disappointed that it still doesn’t look DONE. That might or might not have something to do with the fact that there isn’t a finished ceiling. No, it can’t be that simple of an explanation. I am way deep and complex, guys.

Somehow this post got over 1000 words, damn. I’ll continue in the next post with more updates.