Posts Tagged ‘renovation’

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make me pretty – zinc countertop diy

April 15, 2015

Only one thing from the original kitchen survived the renovation. The bottom of this built in seemed like it could be reworked and my plan involved a little paint and a zinc countertop.

Here is that corner before:

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And after (it’s still waiting tile and trim):

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I ordered all the supplies from rotometals. They had a little sample pack with small squares of zinc, all different thicknesses. They also sent samples of their different chemicals to change the color of the zinc. I found it very helpful to see and feel the samples before ordering.

The zinc sheet came rolled up so the first thing I did was unroll it let it sit for a while to flatten back out.

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Then I cut a small sample piece to practice on. I practiced wrapping it around the edges. (The smaller piece was so much easier to work with than the big piece!)

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Next I cut the zinc sheet down to the correct size for my countertop, leaving enough to wrap around the edges and secure underneath. I used some basic tin snips I picked up at the hardware store and it was surprisingly easy to cut through. Make sure you wear some serious gloves when handling the cut metal – it’s very sharp!

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Next I used clamps to secure the metal where I wanted it while I bent the long edge that would go against the wall when the cabinet was installed. I put a piece of scrap wood between the metal and the clamps so that the clamp wouldn’t leave a mark on the zinc.

First I just used my hands and pressed the metal to make a crease and start to fold it over. Then I used a rubber mallet and hit the corner edge of the countertop to make the corner sharper.

This is an imperfect process and I ended up with some bonk marks but I wanted it to look sort of old and rustic so I was ok with that. You can also rent a machine call a break that makes perfect folds in metal. But my method also provided a free workout. I was exhausted at the end of this day!

After I finished bending that first side, I took of the metal and covered the countertop with liquid nails. I squirted it around and then spread it out to make a nice even layer.

I put a lot of heavy books on top and left it to dry overnight.

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After the glue dried over night I flipped the hole thing over and secured the edge with screws. I made some little holes with a hammer and nail first so I wasn’t trying to screw through the metal.

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Then I bent the other three sides and secured them with nails. I had to cut little squares out at the corners for the metal to fold correctly.

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I didn’t take any pictures of the next step, sorry, but it was one of the most frustrating diy experiences I’ve had in a while. I had to solder the corners and I have zero metal working experience.

I had ordered the solder from rotometals – what they recommended to use with the zinc sheets but the coil was too thick for my solder iron to melt. I didn’t realize this at first I just thought I was the worlds worst solderer. Anyway, a friend helped me figure out that I needed some thinner solder and it got slightly easier. I ended up putting up too much metal and then filing a lot off. No matter how much I worked it my corners ended up chunky.

Anyway, after the frustration, came the super fun part! I got to paint on this chemical solution to antique the metal. This is much more in my comfort zone!

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I brushed the antiquing solution all over the metal and let it sit for a couple minutes. Then I wiped it off. It left the zinc really dark, like black. I wasn’t really expecting such a dramatic change from one quick coat.

I tried to remove some of the black with steal wool but it was very slow going. Then I remembered people saying the if you didn’t seal the zinc that certain things would remove the antique finish – like citrus juice.

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So I got some lime juice out of the fridge and rubbed it on. It worked perfectly. It took away some of the finish but not all of it. This is starting to look more like I had imagined it.

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I sprayed two coat of sealer, also from rotometals, once I was happy with the finish. And here are some more finished pictures:

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make me pretty – kitchen looking like a kitchen again

April 10, 2015

Our kitchen is starting to come together and I am so excited. This will be the last post before the big reveal but I wanted to show you that we now have walls and a ceiling:

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And a floor with radiant heat underneath:

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We Even have cabinets!

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We have gotten lots of things in giant boxes:

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And we have had the giant dumpsters of trash taken away:

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We have drank lots of the delicious beer our contractor brews:

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We got a sparkly countertop delivered:

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And sealed butcher block:

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It has been a bit of a marathon but we are almost done! Really, the dishwasher and cooktop are going in today! I still need to show you the custom island and my zinc covered countertop DIY but enough sneak peaks for today. We are all exhausted, especially our awesome contractor.

And this is what Ollie thinks about it all:

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make me pretty – my kitchen is a big black hole!

February 25, 2015

When we bought our new house one of the things we liked about it most was the potential of the kitchen. The kitchen itself was very small but connected to it was a strange den like space and amazing breakfast nook full of windows. We wanted to combine these three space into one big, wonderful kitchen.

We had pulled up really gross carpet when we moved in and found old cork tiles covered in black tar adhesive. We had them tested for asbestos and it the test came back negative, so we have just been living with them till we could start the renovation. I also pulled down some faux grass cloth wallpaper. I can imagine that this place was pretty styling in the 60s!
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It was decided that we would have to pull up the floor to see what was causing it to be so unlevel. Then it was decided that we should take down the plaster walls to put in new electrical and why not take out the ceiling while we are at it. So right now our kitchen in a big black hole. I know it will all get put back together and be wonderful but this part is pretty scary.
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IMG_7383.JPGOne good thing about this renovation is we figured out where our hot water heater is! They put it in the corner of the kitchen cabinets under the countertop! So we bought a bigger one and moved it to the mud room.

I know these pictures of destruction are not very exciting so I will leave you with this beauty! We are going to be combining some vintage pieces with new cabinets. I found this beast of a pantry at Class and Trash. I working on fixing her up with a new “old” paint job and new hardware. Can’t wait to show you the after!

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And if you are in RVA and looking for a contractor, I can’t recommend ours enough – RVA Fixer! He showed up for the first day of demo in 9″ of snow! He seems to really love his work and is enthusiastic about all of my crazy ideas. Plus he has plenty of good ideas of his own. If you are into design and don’t want something cookie cutter, Russell is your man!

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make me pretty – our attic adventure

January 25, 2013

Leave it to me to take on a major house project while super pregnant. Will I ever learn my lesson? I really wanted to renovate our attic and turn it into a playroom for the kids. Of course I thought it would be really fast and not cost a lot of money. I know, so naive!

Oh well, it’s going to be super cool and hopefully it will be done before the baby arrives. You’ve got 7 weeks Steve!

Our attic was completely unfinished and really only the front third is usable people space. The roof slowly slopes down so by the time you get to the back of the house there is only about one foot of space. So we are turning the very front into a play room, it has two windows and a not super tall adult can stand at the peak of the ceiling. Then next sloping 1/3 of attic space will be for storage and the very back will be walled off with an access door.

Here is the attic before we got started:

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So far we have put in plywood floors, fixed up the windows, added insulation, run electricity and added lighting and put in some sliding doors to separate the kid space from the storage space.

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A friend who builds custom wine cellars (Classic Cellar Design) hooked us up with some cool old barn wood he had left over from a job and we are using it to panel the walls.

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20130125-170156.jpgI thought we could build a loft type ladder to get up to the attic but I didn’t really take into account how tall our ceilings are – the ladder is super steep. So we ordered a spiral staircase. I kind of can’t believe I’m going to live in a house with a spiral stair case – I thought they were so cool when I was kid!

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the big reveal – bathroom makeover

June 7, 2012

Our bathroom is finally done! Let me just give you a little reminder of how hideous it was before:

So we gutted the whole room, pushed part of a wall back, took out a radiator, fixed pipes, put up drywall then tile. Then I painted and painted and painted. And here is how it all turned out:

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I had dreamed up this chevron pattern bathtub surround after seeing this awesome picture of a wood floor on Pinterest. My friend Steve, who helped us with the renovation, helped me put it all together. We used a piece of plywood and then attached “hobby wood” (thin wood strips they sell at Lowes) in the pattern I wanted. I went to two salvage yards looking for some reclaimed wood to use but I just couldn’t find anything that was affordable and right for the project. I almost bought an old door to use instead but I am glad I went with the chevron pattern. I love how it turned out.

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The hardest part of this whole project was picking out the tile. Our bathroom was so 70’s before I was terrified of picking something that would look totally dated in 5 years. I was also afraid of color after living with the avocado green and yellow for so long. So I decided to go with classic, neutral tile and add color on the walls and on the vanity – those things will be easy to re-paint when I get bored. I went to The Tile Shop to get my supplies and they were awesome. They really cater to the DIYer and even have free classes that teach you how to tile yourself. They helped me figure out how much to buy of everything and what kind of grout, etc.

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I am totally in love. It is such a clean, relaxing space. The only down side, the rest of my house looks like crap in comparison!

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make me pretty – our bathroom, part 1

March 21, 2012

We are in the middle of a bathroom renovation. It is taking a long time. We did it to ourselves – we have friends helping us and they are doing a really good job, and the price is right but we have to work around their schedules. So four weeks in they say it will probably be another week till we can start tiling. I just want to take a bath in my new bathtub!

But there have been complications, of course. An old house, two layers of tile, an un-level floor, crazy plumbing. So the pictures I am about to show you are not super pretty but any of you who have lived through a renovation will recognize this stage of joy! When the room goes from a giant pile of rubble into a room again. You can start to see how it is all going to come together and it is exciting!

Here’s a link to the before pictures if you missed all the green and yellow loveliness!

This is the granite we picked for our vanity counter top.

Look at all of these buttons! We have so many things to control. Things we have never had before, like a vent and a heater!

And, super bonus, we are also adding a closet into the master bedroom that was formerly closetless. A closet in our bedroom, amazing!

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make me pretty – our 70’s bathroom

January 23, 2012

When we bought our house we new it was a fixer upper. The first thing to go? The carpet upstairs and the blue flower linoleum in the kitchen. But six years later we are still living with our horrible 70’s bathroom. I’m talking avocado green tub and yellow tile almost to the ceiling. And there is no vent so we have a bit of a moisture problem and therefore a mold problem. We actually had a mushroom grow out of the wall between two tiles. I have to try and find that picture!

So when we refinanced our house a while ago we took out a little money to tackle the bathroom. Then Emerson was born and once I had started to recover from that I realized I was paralyzed with fear. Have you ever been to a tile store? There are way too many options. I wanted something that I wouldn’t get sick of but I wanted it to be interesting too.

After many months of research, pinterest and online shopping I finally have a plan. I also have a bathtub sitting in my garage waiting for the renovation to begin next month. We are having a friend help us but we will be doing a lot of the work ourselves so it should be interesting.

Here is our bathroom now. I really hate putting these pictures up here. It really is that bad!

Under the yellow tile I found the original white subway tile but it is in pretty bad shape.

And here is my vision for our future bathroom:

I really want it to be classic yet modern and kind of cool. I don’t want to pick anything that is going to date it. So I am keeping all the tile black and white and I’m going to add color by painting the vanity green. I can always go back and re-paint the vanity if I get bored. That will be a lot easier than replacing tile.

So let me know what you think. Have any bathroom renovation words of wisdom for me?