Saturday, July 02, 2005

Inspiration runs...

I've been on a makeover mission of sorts these days. I'm sick of it looking completely cluttered all of the time, and I think if I see another "Coke" thing, I'll throw my guts up! Well, I got a wild hair last Friday and decided I'd redo my kitchen! Where that came from, I have no idea! So off to Wal-mart it was for some rugs, paint, and fabric. I picked out some cheap neutral colored rugs and a soft burlap sort of fabric in natural tones, then I got an oatmeal colored paint to tie it all together. Saturday I spent the day painting t he walls - not realizing of course that the trim would look like shit - ah, another thing to add to the list...

So, Sunday, I spent the day playing with fabric. I made a couple skirts for the rolling carts on the side of the stove and the refrigerator. I grossly over estimated the yardage, but the curtains are adorable, and now I just have to figure out some use for the other 2 yards of fabric! I also made a valance to go over the kitchen window. The fabric lets a good bit of light through, and it has a nice fringed selvedge edge, so it made less work for me. The cart skirts have grosgrain ribbon ties that hold them on the carts, I just casually knotted them and cut the ends at an angle. They started to fray pretty badly and I dicovered if you run a cigarette lighter carefully along the edge, it melts the Grosgrain just enough to finish the edge.

After some minor rearrangement and hanging the curtains/skirts, I decided that I HATED the green laminate countertop. So all of last week, I scoured the internet reading anything and everything I could about painting laminate/formica. I went to Home Depot and got a small laminate sample in the same formica as my counter and came home to experiment with it. I put 2 coats of laytex Kilz on it, and did a granite looking faux finish with tan/brown/ivory. Afterward, I added one coat of Polycrilic laytex top coat. I let the chip dry for a couple days then put it on my keychain and proceeded to shake the shit out of my keys at every oportunity. The people on the hiway must've thought I was nuts shaking my keys violently for the ENTIRE ride home! :D

Last night (friday) Glenda came over to help me get the countertop ready. We sanded with 80 grit sand paper just until the finish dulled - maybe 15-20 minutes over a 10 ft piece. We prefered hand sanding as opposed to using an electric sander, just seems to give more control. Then we applied 3 coats of Kilz (using a brush and a small sponge roller). Afterward we used a coat of semigloss wall paint that I had leftover from painting the kitchen. All in all between sanding, waiting for coats to dry & recoating it took about 4 hours. We nicked the Kilz a couple times with our fingernails and were worried that we'd have a problem with paint, but with a little extra care and overnight drying, we were okay to put the faux finish on this morning.

This morning I got up and made a pot of coffee in the plant stand - ya know, when you have no counter space, you improvise! Anyway, mixed up a glaze with equal parts glazing medium, water and paint. Then, I sponged a coat of spiced tan on the counter. It's about the color of the lightest shade in my oak cabinets. Glenda came over and we added a coat of brown - the color of the darkest grain in the cabinets. After half an hour, we did a sponge glaze coat of oatmeal which matches the wall color. I've added 2 coats of Polycrylic to the counter so far and have a fan oscilating to help it dry. I'm going to try sanding a bit between coats because at this point there are a few obvious brush strokes in the finished coat. One or two more coats and I should be at a point where I can let it cure for about 24 hours then put my kitchen back together. Which will be NICE!

Oh, in addition to the curtains, paint, countertop, and curtain, I also altered an old Coke poster to look like a piece of plaster hanging on the wall. After I finished, I wasn't crazy about the Coke logo, so I covered it with a photoshopped Cosmopolitan recipe. Not sure if I LOVE it, but it'll do for now. I also found a shelf at Michael's for 10 bucks in the unfinished wood stuff. I painted the shelf to match the wall color and then hung it above the Cosmopolitan piece to put interesting liquor bottle and such on. Now, I just need a brilliant pretentious phrase to paint on the wall above the den and I'll be set. I was recently directed to a website (via a message board that I frequent - that sells decals to put on the wall, but I'm CHEAP, so I think I might be able to just freehand something, just have to think of the right phrase.

Now, if I can just get to cleaning or repainting the trim in the kitchen, refinishing the living room floor, a mural in my studio, a new wall color on the den, rearranging my bedroom, some "curtains" for my entertainment center, planting some day lillies that my boss gave me two weeks ago, cleaning out my shed and a whole host of other things I desperately "need" to do, I'll be in business... Not sure how long this inspired motivated, creative explosion is going to last, but at this point, I'm just having a BLAST riding the wave! Hope to have kitchen before/after photos posted soon.


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