Day 9 – 13 of Home Renovations

Welcome back to our home renovation story. This extra long weekend was packed with projects, so get ready for some big updates.

We arrived back at our house on Thursday evening, day 9 of renovations, and began hanging up finished cabinet doors. During the week away from our house, we brought the cabinet doors back to our apartment and finished them. Each door got 2 coats of Zinsser primer, and 2 coats of Sherwin Williams Pro Classic Enamel (1 coat on the backsides). The existing chunky dark metal hardware was replaced with more delicate, brushed nickle hardware. The results were drastic.

At this point, I was jumping for joy at how beautiful these updated cabinets looked. Painting them was a lot of work, but I think it was worth it.

We also replaced the brass hinges with matching brushed nickel ones. The hardware also goes really well with the stainless steel appliances.

Here are some before and after progress photos. The large cabinet doors needed a different kind of hinge, so those haven’t been hung yet, but look at the difference.

On day 10 of renovations we started building up the sunken floor. The difference in height was between standard board sizes, so all the boards had to be ripped down before being placed.

While the floor was being worked on, the cabinet drawers and doors that got left behind got their final painting done. Here is the primer we used for everything. We didn’t sand anything, just cleaned the wood before application. Two coats of primer seemed to be doing the trick of getting a solid color. An awesome tip to make painting clean up fast is using Press & Seal in the paint tray, which lets you use the tray again and again without cleaning it.

The old kitchen island also got primed and painted. It will be reused in the craft room eventually.

Eventually, we would like to do a white subway tile back splash with dark grey grout, but we figured that could be done later.

Floor leveling progress was going well.

It was awesome to see the sunken floor disappearing before my eyes.

By the end of the night, this was how far we got. The rest of the floor will need the plywood to be cut into smaller and irregular shaped pieces.

It’s now day 11 of renovations, and my family arrived late last night. So far today, the sunken floor has been completed! No more awkward stepping down and up to walk through the living room.

One more big project is checked off of our list!

We primed the kitchen island. For the time being, the kitchen is looking very monochromatic, but the island will be painted a dusty sage green once it’s had 2 coats of primer. More color will be added later with decorations, making it easy to change up accent colors.

Our new, larger island has 8 drawers and 2 doors. Without this island, the kitchen only had 3 drawers, and 2 of them are very narrow so they can’t fit a silverware holding tray. We are happy we were able to add more, larger drawers.

Day 12 of renovations brought us beautiful weather to enjoy. The foliage outside is filling in nicely with lush greenery, making our backyard more of a private oasis, which is ideal for us.

We started prepping the window trim for painting, as all the wood trim on this level will be painted white. Eventually, I’d like the whole house to have white trim, but one project at a time, right?. First, each window needed a good wipe down. The window fixtures were labeled and removed. Then, we taped off the glass only, because the walls will be painted after the trim.

We started priming the inner most window parts that could be opened, so they would have adequate time to dry before being closed.

Another project we started was trimming out our boring core doors upstairs. Since all the trim will be painted white eventually, we needed a way to update our doors because a solid, white, flat door isn’t very attractive. This also adds a little more character to our home. I’ll write more about this door update later when they are finished.

Late that night, we were able to finish up the final enamel coating on the kitchen island. We used Sherwin Williams Pro Enamel. Tomorrow, we have a counter top guy coming to measure for our island counter, so I wanted the island to be as complete as possible.

The bar stool is a collaboration of Brian’s and my dad’s. A while back, Brian and I found a similar bar stool at a furniture shop, and we really liked the industrial look of it. The price of it wasn’t in our budget, especially because we were planning a large island with space for 5 bar stools, so we came up with a design and my dad helped Brian weld them together. They aren’t quite complete yet, they will have a ring for your feet to rest on, and the other 4 wooden tops need to be stained and attached. More on this project later.

It’s now our last day at our house for a while. On this 13th day of renovations we got to see what our updated core doors will look like.

I think it’s a huge upgrade from a flat, boring door.

We hung up a few of the large cabinet doors in the kitchen, but we were a few hinges short, so that project will have to be completed next time we come up.

We drilled holes for the island hardware. This will have the same handles as all the other kitchen cabinets.

Here is one of the windows with a single coat of primer complete. It will need one more primer coat before a final coat of enamel.

A few of the doorways (the garage door, the closet by the garage, and the front door) got 2 coats of primer finished as well as a final coat of enamel. I think the door itself may need a new, non-yellowish coat of paint, too.

Finally, some before and after progress photos to show you how much we have accomplished!

The first ones are of the kitchen progress.

The second are of the living room progress.

Other projects that we worked on this weekend were:

  1. 2 coats of primer on all baseboards for this level were done
  2. We set up a drywall guy to come finish off the walls this week
  3. We visited a stone place to get a quote on our fireplace. They are ordering us a couple samples to look at next time we come up.
  4. Bought paint for the master bedroom, nursery, craft room, library wall, kitchen island, baby furniture, and trim
  5. Welded bar stools together
  6. Extended floor vents in living room
  7. Patched drywall
  8. Started to lay down resin paper on the floor, but we will need a different product before we can lay hardwood

So, looking back at my original list of projects, we have accomplished quite a lot.

  1. Tear out all flooring – DONE
  2. Take down “half” walls separating the kitchen and formal dining room from the living room – DONE
  3. Reconfigure the electrical – DONE
  4. Raise the sunken floor – DONE
  5. Raise the fireplace and give it a makeover – half done, stone samples ordered
  6. New hardwood flooring for the whole space – we purchased it, but haven’t installed it yet
  7. Paint the kitchen cabinets, update the hardware – DONE
  8. Replace the kitchen island with a larger island that fits 5 bar stools instead of 2 – DONE
  9. New, bigger island counter (we are thinking quartz) – ordered
  10. Paint all trim white, including windows and stair railings – started, a lot more to paint still
  11. Paint all the walls – will do after trim is done
  12. Library shelves to the ceiling with built in desk for the “study” room – not started yet
  13. Updated light fixtures – not to this point yet

It will be a while before we are back at our house. In the meantime, there are a couple projects that can be done while we are at our apartment. We have an old crib to refinish as well as a dresser that will be in baby’s room, bar stool tops to stain, and a bassinet to make.

In the upcoming weeks, we will have a baby shower and potential maternity photo shoot, so stay tuned.