Another Kitchen Wall – it’s even more complicated

As we continue to work our way towards finishing the walls in the kitchen – it’s time to paint something!

I’m using the same paint as the sunroom walls. Sherwin Williams Egret White. The two offices on this floor have color on the walls, but the main living rooms are all done in a very neutral pallet – that’s because I have a lot of art that goes in these spaces and I like the walls that don’t get art to have a tone on tone texture. I’m trying to let shadow lines not color add the detail. I hope this works out.

The paneled wall gets two coats of the color paint and then two coats of water based Varathane polyurethane in a satin finish. The water base is used as it doesn’t yellow over time. The clear coat changes the color and texture, giving the walls a very smooth finish.

Of course, the plants are still there, but they’ll move outside soon – probably as soon as I finish the room.

As I work my way around the kitchen walls I have run into a legacy problem.

When I started the first floor bathroom renovation, I worked hours and hours to try and straighten out the common wall with the kitchen and first floor bathroom.

It looked like this after I noodled and fiddled and made it workable on the inside. I built the recessed medicine cabinet with a mirror for the back – I didn’t want a stray nail or screw to come through from the other side.

This is the other side of that wall. My plan was to add a half wall of panel and finish the upper section with paint. Once I got the banding temporarily in place I realized the wall was pretty wonky. Time for plan ‘B’.

I decided to build the wall in one piece instead of attaching each individual piece. This will give me a straighter finished wall – I hope. I used Kreg screws and glue to attach the top and bottom bands as well as the three cross pieces. I then cut glued and nailed the plywood panels in place.

The panel is 54″ tall and a little over 8′ long. The cutouts for the light switches and framing around the air vent are in place. The recessed TV mount is fully articulated and wired.

The cutout for the receptacle is in and the whole assembly is polyurethane glued in place. Screws were used to attach the banding and braces in place to apply pressure to the wall. Sections of the wall were a no-go for nails or screws because of vent pipes and that recessed medicine cabinet.

And now I have to figure out this storage area that is above the basement stairs. Another puzzle to figure out.This space is 34″ deep and 36″ tall and 8′ long.

The top of the wall is painted a flat black enamel. This will help the TV blend in to the space – hopefully. This section is painted now so the pre-painted wood banding that goes around this area can be installed for a clean look.

Hang in there – something will happen, as soon as I figure this out.

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The Kitchen Wall – it’s Complicated

We’re finally getting around to finishing the last few walls in the kitchen. And as usual, they can’t be just smooth drywall. Nope let’s make more work for ourselves, shall we?

As usual, I start with some sticks – this is the bottom band.

Since the floor will be covered with 3/4″ oak, I’ve spaced the bottom band up close to the required space.

The top band was then attached to the wall.

In typical MisAdventures fashion, the actual design is finalized with some sticks leaned up against the wall.

You could just attach the wood sticks to the wall – but we’re looking for a more authentic look. I’ve rabbeted the banding and cross pieces to accept the the thin wood wall panel. These are 5mm birch plywood.

So the first two pieces are in and we just continue down the wall.

This is the corner that enters into the sun room.The window casing and skirting is about to be added.

All the windows have sill guards that help prevent any water infiltration. The metal straps attach to the bottom of the window and bridge the sill guards to keep from putting holes in the sills.

The apron for the window is glued to the bottom of the sill and clamped.

We keep moving along the wall – the 27′ long wall takes 5 4X8 plywood sheets.

I used the window to reference placement of the boards and cross banding.

I decided to make a frame from one of the original 2X4’s I removed during the renovation. I’m planning a chalk board here. I have added a recessed receptacle to add a light – as if there’s not enough light in the kitchen.

I had added these marble sills on the two smaller windows back in 2010 – that was 3 kitchen designs ago. I probably would have used wood sills now, but we’ll keep these.

We’ll keep working in here for awhile. Stick around, we might get a kitchen one day.

 

 

 

Looking Up – the Kitchen Ceiling

I was perusing my favorite blogs the other day and was reading about my friend Dan’s project over at With The Barretts showing his great (and fast) renovation. In this post he includes a couple of photos of his kitchen ceiling – as well as his nearly completed Kitchen – and his new floors and everything else they’ve got done in the same amount of time it has taken me to renovate one room. Oh, well – what can I say.

But I do Have a Kitchen Ceiling

1-feet-upYou saw my stripped – to – the – walls kitchen over my lucky shoes in a previous post. And my wife likes to keep these plants alive during the winter by having me put them in the kitchen as well. More crap to fall over.

2-ceiling-paintedAnd I too have new floors – they’re just still in large piles. That makes maneuvering to paint the ceiling and install the lights just a little more challenging. But I was able to prime and paint the new dry-walled ceilings without falling off the ladder again. That’s the same ladder that put me in a wheelchair for half of 2013. Bad ladder.

2-ceiling-speakerI added a couple of stereo speakers in the ceiling as well for the TV or ambient music.

4-schoolhouse-lightsNow I know most kitchens have pendant lights that hang down – usually over the island or counters. I have pendant lights too – they’re just really short.

5-ceiling-lights-onand they don’t hang over anything. I placed school house lights that follow the path of the walkway. There’s 5 of them that are centered between the wall and the center island and spaced over the 27′ long kitchen. You could see that if I was like Dan and had my kitchen island in place – which I do not. Visualize, people.

6-ceiling-lightsBeing the obsessive, layer – the – light kinda guy, I have 22 lights in the Kitchen. The ones on the left are general lighting LEDs. The center group are pin spots that will shine directly on the natural quartzite tops.The island is 14′ long, so I have 7 lights for this section. And finally the schoolhouse lights.

Is it bright, you say? Well – yes.

But at my age you need lighting like a surgical theater to keep knife mishaps to a minimum.

There’s always dimmers. Grab your sunglasses and stick around. I might have another ‘bright’ idea.

January Recap – Three Stories

The blog post has been pretty quiet around the Misadventures project – not because of lack of activity, but because it’s still not to the pretty stages yet. I have projects in the basement, 1st floor and second floor too – hence the blog title.

First the basement stuff.

1 steam shower framingThe steam shower framing is done. The sloped ceiling is framed and all the plumbing is in. All this has to be finished before the walls get spray foam.

2 structured wiringOf course to make it more complicated and expensive I’ve run Cat5e and coax everywhere. It home-runs back to this structured wire cabinet in the basement.

3 wire laddersI use ladders and bar clamps to hold the wire spools while I pull the wires from one floor to the next. Some are in conduits and some are not. Extra lines are run for stuff I didn’t think about.

4 kitchen cabinet layoutIn the kitchen I’m finally getting around to mocking up some layouts. I need to know where to run lighting and speaker controls as well as gas lines and all the other things that go into the kitchen. It’s a modified galley that allows traffic to avoid the cooking area. More on this in later posts.

5 master bathroom wall layoutUpstairs I’m laying out the bathroom window wall in my traditional freestyle design technique – lay some sticks against the wall. Good enough.

6 window jamb detail1st the window jambs are made and the corners are routed to make a stronger straighter corner.

7 window casing layoutThe side casings are added and the top is measured and cut.

8 window casing pocket screwsThe ‘U’ shaped casing is glued and  pocket screwed together on the back to make a nice tight joint. The bottom will have a marble sill.

9 wall detail startA preliminary fitting is made with 3/4″ pine. I didn’t use poplar here because I want some grain to show through the final finish.

10 wall detail not usedMy original idea was to continue the banding to mimic the doors. One thinner top band and one thicker lower band. But it made the room look too squatty, so I pitched this idea and the lumber I already cut. Another design faux pas.

11 wall panel cutsThe wood panels are cut for the field areas. Sometimes people use the drywall as the field, but I want a finish that shows the wood grain, so I used a 1/4″ birch ply panel.

12 wall finishedThe panel and battens in place. The white tub sits in front of this window so I wanted some contrast in this white room.

13 wall paintedI painted the wall with BM Shaker Gray with a Pearl finish. The paint color matched the grey veining in the porcelain tile border. The paint was thinned 5:1 with water and then hand sanded lightly to show some of the grain and texture. The wall was then roller painted with Verathane waterbase satin diamond clear to get a smooth finish with a little sheen.

So a little progress on the pretty side, not much, but I promise I’ll get to that in the next few months.

 

 

Blog Envy – a counter top story.

OK. I’ve pretty well had it with my fellow bloggers.

Every day I read countless posts about your new wall paint and/or wallpaper removal. I hear of your agonizing deliberations over floor tile and curtain fabric.

Frankly I’ve had enough!

Well, really – I’m just a tad envious. I love looking at your blogs – liking them and commenting on some – well, OK – a lot of them. After all, you’re my main source for stolen design ideas. Being unable to work on my renovation for the past three months due to my ladder accident, I have lived vicariously through your triumphs and failures. But reading about your latest design ideas or seeing your beloved before & after photos – well, it leaves me feeling – well – a little inadequate.

What’s a guy to do? My posts are so far (except for one bathroom) little more than stud walls and plywood floors – holes made and cabinets without doors. I’ll get it done, but I wanna join the blogs with the pretty stuff.

So I’m pulling out the only pretty thing I’ve got so far for the kitchen – the counter tops.

This was a story in itself. I feel so sorry for my wife. She’s married to one obsessive dude. The quest for counter tops was a year + ordeal. I wanted something more in line with marble, but with a more durable surface like granite. I have this thing for natural counter tops, so that left the man-made stuff out of consideration. Looking around the web and every design site I could find I settled on a material called Quartzite (link below). Not to be confused with quartz counter materials, those are made from quartz stone and resins to make a really nice counter top. Great material – but as stated above, I have a thing for natural stone counters. I checked in our town, and with every fabricator (this was in 2011) no one ever heard of Quartzite (they all kept insisting I meant Quartz – the man made stuff). I knew a few road trips where in my future.

So the quest began – fortunately (or unfortunately from my wife’s perspective) we live at the very bottom of Indiana – across the Ohio River from western Kentucky. This location is perfect to get to the larger cities that might have some Quartzite. From home, Louisville is 2 hours away – Nashville 3 – St. Louis is three and a half. Chicago? Why just a quick 6 hours away!

Gas up the car – we’ve gotta look at some counters.

Needless to say it wasn’t pretty. We made trips to all of the above – multiple times to multiple stone warehouses. Some were clueless, some knew exactly what I was talking about! See honey? It really does exist! I swear I have the most relaxed wife. She just doesn’t care that much about looks. (Could this be why she married me?) Give her a stove that works and a roof that doesn’t leak – and she’s fine. Not many women like that – I bet. But we sure don’t argue over design ideas – and that’s a good thing.

Finally on our second trip to Chicago I found it! The quartzite mother load!

And in the rows upon rows of slabs I found this.

Do you come here often? I want you to come home with me. If I was in a bar – I’d be buying this hot slab drinks all night long.

counter-1Only one problem – she’s taken. As were her two friends – Married! – all reserved by the same big time Chicago designer. Got any more? Nope.

Crap.

So back home we went – well, we had to make a couple of stops at fancy fashion related stores for Francia. I guy’s gotta sacrifice, right?

A week later we got a call – the slabs I was lusting after were getting a divorce. Yep, they were breaking up with that big time designer because his clients were just unsure – and the hold date was up.

Do you want a slab? “I’ll take two” I said. Well, you need to come up in the next day and select the two you want and pay for them – or we will put them back in the bar (I added the last part). “Can’t we just pick them by the photos?” No.

So I told my wife that night that I just wanted to – you know casually take a trip the next day – you know, just to get away from work and spend a little time together.

“Where do you want to go?” she asked. Um, I don’t know…how about Chicago? I like that little Thai restaurant – we could go for a late lunch.

Six hours for lunch? I know, pretty lame – but she went with me anyways. Sometimes guys are so transparent.

So the end of the story we got the slab above and this one too.

counter-2It’s called Bellavita Quartzite

Bellavita QuartziteIt says so right there. You can get lots of Quartzites and learn what the heck it is from these guys.

MGSI Marble & Granite Supply of Illinois

The slabs are in town, sitting in our fabricators lot for the past year – and it looks like it will be there till 2014, but I’m determined to have them laying horizontal in my kitchen one day.

Don’t worry girls – I’m not a one night stand – I want a long term relationship.

Enjoy your week.

Steep Bungalow Stairs part 2 or Homage to Victora Elizabeth Barnes’ Kitchen Chimney

Sometimes you know you travel in a parallel universe.

As I toil alone on this renovation, I often think that I am the singular soul on this planet that must bear this remodeling burden. But no, as I read through some of my favorite blogs I see that others are (self) inflicted with the same challenges. And it brings comfort – not a lot but some….

If you have some time, please peruse this recent post by Victoria Elizabeth Barnes.

Now where were we?

Stair HeaderThe steel angle header is wrapped with drywall. You can see the header rests on the stair side walls that are load bearing to support the floor joists.

Stair with handrailI found a better picture of how the original stair was configured with the handrail being blocked by the door opening. This, by the way is not legal – code wise.

Now we’ll take a detour of sorts. This is the Homage to Victoria.

Let’s demo a chimney

Kitchen chimneyHere is the obstacle on the other side of the stair we’ll be ripping out. Now is a good time to get this 2′ X 2′ dude out of our future kitchen.

Chimney demo startSo here I’ve started the demo upstairs. Removal is pretty easy – one brick at a time. The square tile thing in the middle is the flue tile. These dogs are pretty heavy. This is a 28′ run of chimney, so I gotta get my ‘A’ game goin’ here.

upstairs demo finishedSecond floor chimney gone! You can see the 45 degree angle staircase in the background. We’ll fix that puppy – you’ll see. And just a glimpse of the 450 pound cast iron Bateau bathtub is sitting there waiting to be placed in the master bath.

Kitchen chimney demoNow down to the first floor kitchen side. Of course before we got to this point, I had finished this with nice new smooth drywall. Oh, the pangs of ‘freestyle’ home renovation.

chimney wallpaperI did find remnants of some original wall paper. I’ve found a few fragments around the house. I must say they were pretty bright and very stylized in 1935.

kitchen chimney demo finished I wish I had all those nifty buckets that Victoria had at her disposal. When she said it was an awesome experience – she was so right! If you have an unused chimney laying around – go take a whack at it – you too will be amazed.

Do you notice that little mini-sledge on the pile of old mortar? That’s all you need to bring one of these guys down. That and a lot of 5 gallon buckets.

Basement chimney demo startSo now down to the basement.

Basement chimney demo finishedAnd now it’s all gone!

Kitchen chimney removedNow with the chimney removed, we can redesign the kitchen for the third time.

The removal took about 22 hours over four days working alone. Not as bad as I though.

Chimney brick stackedBut that included cleaning the remaining brick and stacking them behind the garage for a future project. What is wrong with me?
Next year I’ll be 60.

Man, I gotta start drinking non-caffeinated diet coke.

Next post will have the beginning of the staircase redesign.