Kitchen, re-done

After six years in Macomb, and work which we’ve done in bits and pieces, I spent the past week or so doing nothing but kitchen renovation. I’m all for gradual work, but it was easier for everyone to just push hard and get this done.

Here are a couple pictures which show what the kitchen used to look like: green walls, wood trim painted white, leaky tile counters, and an ugly, ugly, ugly linoleum floor.

Madelyn ready to go outside, Dec 2006, old kitchen

Madelyn playing with cookbooks, Aug 2006, old kitchen

Leaky counters, July 2008

Now, it looks like this:

Kitchen done: stove and cabinets

Kitchen done: sink and windows

Though we don’t like the cabinets that much, Erin and I decided the new-cabinets-granite-counters-means-second-mortgage route wasn’t a good idea. Regardless, I’m very happy with our updates: stripping the trim and reconditioning the wood (Erin did that last spring), lots of new plaster and drywall, a fresh coat of paint which isn’t deathly green, under-counter lighting, new windows, new countertops, a new sink, and most of all a tile floor. We hired Hank Chipman to set the tile when were in Michigan recently. It’s sooooo much better: beautiful, much more solid, and it feels and looks clean. No matter how much we scrubbed that old linoleum, it just looked and felt awful. Not anymore!

Erin and I cleaned the heck out of the fridge, too, since we had to take the door off to get it in and out of the kitchen. After all that, time for a glass of the Duchesse.

The Duchesse, in our 'new' kitchen

More photos &c. after the jump.

Stripping the window and door frames. We had the door dipped at a local restoration house.

Stripping windows

Older colors visible on this door; we didn’t have to put up with the neon green, just the light green. Soon this door gets dipped and moved to the girls’ side of the house.

Old colors

Last summer, when we had the new counters installed, I replaced the porcelain-coated double sink with a simple stainless single bowl. Much better; scratches &c. just don’t matter.

New sink

I also replumbed under the sink, fixing a few major problems.


New fan and new windows. I think I’m done installing fans and otherwise futzing around in the attic. I hope so. The windows are Pellas, like the other replacement windows we installed.

New fan, new windows

Like our kitchen in Gainesville, this one is out of square, which meant I had to measure everything in multiple ways. This baseboard is 34 inches long and more than 1/2″ out of square, as the quarter-round shows.

Out of square

A new microwave. The old one (which died) was better. This one is cheaply made. Ah well.

New microwave

There was some track lighting with its switch on the cord. I replaced that with an in-outlet switch. I also rewired the over-counter outlets so all are GFCI-protected.

Fixed switch

I ripped out the linoleum to make Hank’s job easier. At first, I wanted to try to restore the hardwood. But it soon became apparent how far gone it was; water damage was everywhere. Hank had to cut out and replace quite a bit.

Kitchen de-linoleumed

Here’s a good look at the new tile, Hank’s excellent work. Note also the brown kick plate which replaces the ugly black I tore out.

Tile and kick plate closeup

Behind the stove, major plaster cracking issues because of an outlet installed carelessly long ago: the lath was broken and cracks abounded. I cut out the worst of it and patched up the rest.

Drywall repair behind stove

I also custom-made a lot of baseboards, quarter round, and other trim to replace some which was heavily damaged. (Can’t buy 1935 sizes at Ace!) The stain colors I used aren’t a perfect match, but close enough.

Custom made trim

All this work took a lot of tools.

Pile o tools

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