Momma’s Kitchen Makeover–More Progress!

Slowly but surely, we are getting there!  We went through a lot of turmoil with the cabinet stain.  Remember, Momma’s kitchen is all original 1960s pine cabinets.  At first we were going to use Minwax Polyshades in Bombay Mahogany, but that looked streaky and picked up every bit of dust and dog fur, so we decided to go with a Minwax Walnut stain.  Heather and I took all of the cabinet doors to her mother’s workshop, where we spent a day sanding the hell out of them.  The following day, we put the first coat of stain on them.  However, despite our rigorous sanding and use of a liquid deglosser, followed by Minwax’s wood conditioner, the stain would not take properly.  The cabinets looked blotchy and terrible.  So Mom decided that regardless of how terrible the Polyshades looked, we were going back to it – this time in a jet black that looks like lacquer.

Fortunately, the black Polyshades looks worlds better than the Bombay Mahogany, though there’s still the issue with dog fur.  Momma vacuums each time before I paint a coat.  I have 14 more doors and 2 drawer to finish; since we have such a small area in which to work (I am NOT painting this shit outside in 90+ degree heat) I’ve only been able to do a little at a time.  My method has been as follows: I paint one coat on the back and allow it to dry for about 6 hours.  After it’s dry, but not yet cured, I use a very fine in-between coat sanding block to smooth out any places I see that look imperfect.  Then I apply another coat of Polyshades and allow it to dry and cure for 24 hours (the longer the better; I believe it takes a week or so to properly cure and be rock hard).

We’re roughly halfway there.  I finally convinced Ma that it would be beneficial to buy all new hinges and hardware – we found identical ones in an oil-rubbed bronze to the age-dulled brass that was already on there at Lowes for around $2/pack.  $50 on new hardware later, Darren and I sat down to remove all the old stuff.  It looks SO much better and has been so much nicer to re-hang.  I have all but two of the upper doors reinstalled, and I have one of the lower doors (it was the tiniest one so it was the one I “tested” at first) and all but one of the drawers done.  Now, however, we’ve run into the problem that we didn’t buy all of our new knobs at once, and Hobby Lobby is having issues with the warehouse in reordering more.  I think we’re going to go to the Nashville store and look for them.  The only reason I remember the specifics for how many doors/drawers we have left to finish is that I am out of knobs, and I counted how many more we would need to buy this morning!

Here are a few sneak peeks of our progress and recent purchases –

The backsplash, which was a ton of fun to install. This was taken right after I grouted it but before I dehazed it. I still need to seal it. Also, the range hood has since been installed, so there is no paneling or wires exposed above.

Corner cabinet with hardware installed. You can see the backsplash from this angle also. Note that the colors aren’t really true to life – the chicken towel hook + the towel are a bright, deep red, not the hot pink they appear to be here. The cabinets really ARE that shiny and look like they’ve been lacquered. Our next step is to prime and paint the paneling, and I am going to trim out the backsplash with a small bit of moulding.

This makes me ridiculously happy. Mom’s spices were disorganized and stacked everywhere for years, and she had several duplicates. We found this double tier lazy susan at Walmart and it fits the new corner “spice cabinet” perfectly. Mom consolidated some spices and threw some old ones out, and now everything is soooo easy to get to. I no longer have to dig! It’s the little things!

We found these wooden canisters earlier today at Hobby Lobby and Mom had to have them. We rang them up separately, each of us using a 40% off coupon on them, so the total wasn’t too bad. Ma thinks she’s going to use them for dog treats! Note that they’re sitting on top of the back of another cabinet door that I have yet to stain.

Pretty sure this is the fabric Ma’s going to use to make new curtains for the dining room. She made the old curtains and they look fabulous, but they are cream and dark green to go with the previous apple theme. We think this goes well with the new dishes and the rest of her chicken accessories. I’m not sure what kind of style of curtain she’s going to make. I’m also not sure if she’s going to use this fabric also for the window above the sink, or if she’s got something else in mind for there. Also, Ma has nice boobs.

Last but not least, today I rescued this from the bowels of Black Widow Land (also known as my Meemaw’s basement). It was a terrifying endeavor in the blackness of the basement, as I requested she turn the lights on only to learn that they were blown and I had to grope around in the spider-filled darkness for this… while the entire time Meemaw regaled me with a story about how she killed one outside yesterday. Fortunately I did not die, but I was skeezed out by the cobwebs that coated it. Anyway, I have plans to build a wooden shadowbox, with this as the hinged lid. It is going to display a gorgeous chicken quilt that my Gran-Gran made and Momma inherited. She didn’t want to display it because it gets dirty and she hates washing it because she feels it degrades a little more each time, so a covered shadow box should be the perfect solution! I am really excited about this little project and am going to draw up plans tonight.

Stay tuned for more updates!  I am hoping to be completely done with the cabinetry by next week, and then we start painting!  And then of course I’ll post something about the shadow box, which I hope to work on really soon!

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