Showing posts with label Greenwich Apartment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Greenwich Apartment. Show all posts

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Kitchen: New Shelves & Chairs

I've finally ticked off two more line-items from my to-do list that I've been dragging my feet on for the last year. In the last month, I have managed to 1) install a couple open shelves with iron brackets for supports and reclaimed, antique, French white oak timber for shelving and 2) totally re-finish three chairs that I got for free a few years back but which had an unattractive orange-toned stain that was in really bad shape from years of wear, along with really unattractive red polyester upholstery.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Living Room: A Viscose Rug & Rug Care Tips

By Georgia Grace Living Room Rug
 As many of you long-time readers will know, I have been oogling rugs for pretty much ever since we moved into this apartment two years ago! I've hemmed and hawed and changed my mind about a zillion times, but in the past year, the object of my desire with respect to rugs crystallized around the idea of a subtly shining silk or viscose (artificial silk, also known as art silk or bamboo silk - not real silk though) rug in a solid colour to anchor the living room and provide softly refined colour and texture.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

How to: Paint & Add Shaker Trim to Kitchen Cabinets



When we moved in, our kitchen looked nothing like this...

It looked like this:


I knew that with some hard work and clever adjustments, it could look amazing. So I set to work on my project of painting and adding trim to all the cabinets and drawers! I've listed all the steps that I took and supplies that I used in detail here, along with suggestions and tips that I would do if I went back and did it all again. There are links to all the materials and tools that I used - I was really satisfied and happy with the performance of everything except the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint which I wouldn't use again, and the job has been holding up beautifully for almost a year now!

If you've been thinking about overhauling your kitchen with something big like trimming your cabinets, or maybe just painting them (which is still a ton of work!) without the trim - I hope this guide helps you figure out a process that works for you and enables you to take the leap of faith and get stuck in! 

Good luck!

Supplies:
- Painter's tape: ScotchBlue Painter's Tape
- Plastic tarp: Husky 9x12 ft. Drop Cloth - 3 Pack
- Tape measure: Stanley PowerLock 25 ft. Tape Measure
- paper and pencil
- sticky notes
- Wood (see instructions on how to determine what dimensions of wood and how to buy it and cut it)
- Table saw or Handyman
- Electric drill: Black & Decker 7.2 Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill/Driver
- Wood glue: Titebond Ultimate Wood Glue OR Spray Adhesive: 3M Hi-Strength 90 Spray Adhesive (I used this, but I'd use wood glue because less mess if I did it again)
- Caulk: DAP Dynaflex Indoor / Outdoor Sealant
- Caulk gun: Workforce 60:25 caulk gun
- Caulk tool: Workforce 3-in-1 caulk tool
- Roller: Wooster 9 in. Sherlock Roller
- Roller Covers: Wooster High Density Roller Covers
- Brush: Wooster Shortcut (the only brush you'll ever need)
- Primer: Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3
- Paint (some type of Latex Interior Satin finish paint with primer and sealer for extra durability)
- Knobs and Pulls: Liberty Modern Cable Cabinet Hardware Ridge Knob & Liberty Hardware Brushed Satin Nickel Dual Mount Cup Pull

1) Cover the floor

Use a plastic or cloth painting tarp, and tape down the edges securely right up against the baseboards of the room using painters tape. I didn't do this, and ended up with paint speckled and droplets all over the floor which was SUCH a pain to clean up afterwards...not worth it!!

2) Measure cabinet & drawer dimensions

Using a tape measure, measure the length and width dimensions of each cabinet or drawer - record the numbers on a notepad or piece of paper to the precision of 16ths of an inch. You may want to assign each cabinet or drawer a number and affix it with a sticky note and piece of tape in order to keep track better.

3) Decide how wide you want your trim to be

I chose 4" width for all the cabinets, and 2" width for the drawers. 

Tip:
- To help you visualize what different widths of trim might look like on your cabinet and drawer fronts, cut out strips of paper that are the widths you're considering using and hold them up to the cabinet or drawer to see what it would look like. 

4) Thickness of the trim

I chose 1/4" thickness, which I think is a good rule of thumb if you're doing Shake trim, since it provides a deep enough rectangle in the middle to look like Shaker style cabinets, but isn't too deep either. 

Tip: 
- Consider whether you have any cabinets in corner positions that would not be able to open all the way with the type of trim you selected. 

I did not consider that one of the cabinets in a corner would not be able to open all the way due to the extra 1/4" thickness on the outside. This isn't such a huge issue, as the cabinet opens most of the way, but it's kind of annoying. And I could have avoided the issue by choosing thinner trim or a different style!



^^^ For flat fronted cabinets, for example, you can go to home depot and buy thin moulding trim that is typically used for paneling, but instead you could have it cut to leave a 2" space between the trim and the edges of the cabinets and affix it to the cabinets using wood glue and finishing nails. Then fill in the indentations made by the nails with wood putty, give it a quick sanding with 220 grit paper, and you're ready to move on to Step #10!

4) Find Wood to Cut Trim From

Go to Home Depot's website, and look up pieces of wood that fit the specifications of your trim...or that you can cut down most efficiently to make pieces of trim the size that you need.

I found that there were only 12" wide x 8' long x 1/4" thick pieces of wood available at my local store. So I ended up having each one cut length-wise into 3 pieces to get pieces that were the 4" width I wanted for my cabinet trim. 

5) Plan Out How You Will Cut Your Wood

This is important to maximize the value of the wood you buy: plan out how many pieces of wood you can get from each board. If the board is 8' (the same as 96") long, plan out which lengths and widths of cabinets and drawers you can divide the board into so that you make sure you're using as much of the complete board as possible. 

Make these calculations until you have accounted for every length and width measurement of the cabinets and drawers. You can draw it out on a piece of paper to help you remember what cuts you need to make when you bring your wood home and mark it for cutting. After you've made these calculations, you should know exactly how many pieces of wood you will need to buy in order to have enough for all your cabinets and drawers.

6) Buy the Wood

Go to Home Depot, and buy wood. As I mentioned, I got 8' long x 12" wide x 1/4" thick boards of some basic plywood (definitely not cabinet grade hardwood - I was going for cheapest, but if you want more of a polished look with longevity and don't mind spending more, I would consider hardwood boards such as poplar (usually the cheapest of the hardwoods) or even a soft wood like pine). 

Don't worry if you can't find pieces of wood that are exactly the width you want - as long as you can find something that's 1 foot long and is evenly divisible by the number of inches that you want the width of your trim to be, you can have the wood cut into strips that fit your specifications perfectly. The one key is to make sure it's the right length (if you planned out your measurements for 8' boards, don't by 10' ones or 6' ones) and the right thickness (in my case, it was 1/4"). 

7) Cut the wood into strips of the correct width



Have someone cut it using the upright saw into strips that are the width that you ultimately want - for me, this meant 4" wide for the cabinets and 2" wide for the drawers. I had this done the first time at Home Depot. At Home Depot it's free - if you hire a handyman or have a woodworking club nearby, you'll have to pay a fee. But it's probably not very expensive!

**DON'T TRY TO CUT YOUR WOOD INTO THE INDIVIDUAL PIECES FOR CABINETS AND DRAWERS YET

8) Mark off cuts to make for individual pieces of wood

Take your pieces of wood home, and use a yardstick to measure off the lengths of the individuals pieces of wood you need to cut. Mark the beginning and end of each section with a pencil. On each section your mark, write the corresponding number of the cabinet or drawer that it is for, and also write the number of inches that it's supposed to be. This just helped me keep track of everything a lot better. 


9) Cut your wood...NOT at Home Depot!
NO. BIG MISTAKE. Don't have your wood cut using the free saw at Home Depot...all of it will be 1/4" off and you'll have to get it cut again somewhere else to even it out. I should know...
This is the right kind of saw to use - a highly precise table saw, not a giant, imprecise industrial one. The cut is much cleaner too. The wood being cut above was actually for the farmhouse table I built, but you get the idea.

Using a table saw, cut your pieces of wood to the lengths that you have measured. If you don't have a table saw, find a handyman and pay him to cut them with a proper table saw. 

DO NOT Have anyone at Home Depot cut your boards that are now the proper thickness and the proper width into the individual lengths that you have measured out for you cabinets and drawers!! I learned this the hard way...the huge industrial quality saw that is used for free cuts at Home Depot is inaccurate by about 1/4". All my pieces were uneven and the wrong lengths.... I ended up taking them to the nearby Woodworkers Club of Norwalk, where the club workers used their highly precise Kapex saw to cut my pieces to the precise lengths which they needed to be.

10) Remove cabinet & drawer fronts and remove hinges from cabinet bases

Using an electric drill, remove all of the screws from your cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Unscrew the screws in the cabinet frame and remove the hinges. KEEP THESE SOMEWHERE SAFE. 

Tip: Store hinges and tiny screws in the cabinet itself or in the drawer
I found that the best place to store the screws and hinges was inside each respective cabinet or drawer. That made it really easy to re-assemble everything and made sure nothing got lost or mixed up! 

Tip: Remove only as many cabinet or drawer fronts as you have space to work with in your work area.

If you have limited space in the kitchen, you may want to only remove a portion of the cabinet and drawer fronts at a time. When you're finished completely with a set, then you can move on to the other portion.



11) Adhere trim to cabinet & drawer fronts



Put your numbered cabinet and fronts on the ground. Find the length and width pieces that correspond to the numbers on the front of your cabinets - for cabinet #1 for example, there should be 4 pieces of wood that say "#1" somewhere on them. This really helps keep everything organized and minimizes confusion! 

Lay the wood pieces on the cabinet in the manner you want to permanently arrange them. If everything measures up and is even, use wood glue or other heavy duty adhesive to adhere the pieces of wood to the cabinet or drawer fronts. Follow the instructions on the adhesive for application method as well as dry time. 

This is one area where a little extra time and patience is worth it in the long run! I used 3M Hi-Strength 90 Spray Adhesive for the plastic laminate cabinet and drawer fronts, and it has held up really well so far and has been a good durable solution. If I could do it again, however, I would have used wood glue, as the spray adhesive was super messy. 


12) Caulk the gaps


Caulking time...all around the inner rectangle, where the trim meets the cabinet
Once your pieces of wood are fully adhered and cured onto the cabinet fronts, it's time to caulk the gaps to seal the space between the cabinet front and trim which will protect your trim from water or grime loosening the adhesive. 

Buy caulk, caulk gun and a caulk tool. Make sure your caulk is an indoor / outdoor sealant...this will provide the protection your cabinets need to make sure your job is durable and lasts for life! I got the DAP Dynaflex Indoor / Outdoor sealant. Follow the instructions, and if you're like me and have never used a caulk gun before, ask someone at Home Depot to show you how to operate it. Caulk all around the inner perimeter of the trim, then use a silicone caulk tool's triangle shaped side to remove the excess caulk. This part is really easy and fun. 

Follow the instructions on dry time for this. I found overnight to be fine. 

13) Prime time


Partially primed cabinet fronts and fully primed cabinet frames
Our next task is priming. I used Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer, and I applied it to each cabinet, front back and edges. Feel free to be rough and sloppy with this - use a roller or brush. Roller gets the larger surfaces done quickly, but a brush is recommended for the grooves around the perimeter where you just caulked and the edges as well. 

The best solution I found for letting the cabinet and drawer front dry after priming was to lay some extra pieces of wood I had against the wall, and lean the drawer fronts against them so that only the bottom edge was touching the ground. I would leave the bottom edge unpainted, and then after several hours, when the top edge was dry, I would flip the cabinets carefully and paint the bottom edge. Make sure you find a way to keep track of what number each cabinet and drawer is...you can't put sticky notes on the cabinet or drawer front itself, so maybe put them right in front of each one. 



Once they are all painted and drying, it's time to prime the bases / frames of your cabinets and drawers. One or two coats should be good. 


14) Painting 



Waiting for Primer or Paint to dry...
Once things start to dry, it's time to begin painting them. I used two kinds of paint: Glidden Duo Satin finish in Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter, and Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White. I highly recommend Satin finish paint for cabinets - it looks fantastic, and the finish has been very durable and highly easy to clean. I do NOT recommend using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Even though the label says you can use it for anything, it's not good for kitchens unless you plan to use a waterproof sealer over top of it, such as Minwax Polycrylic. But that's an extra step and just more work. 

I used Annie Sloan because I had it, it was a good complement color, and I wanted to try it out. If I did it again, I would not use it - I would use another Satin finish paint. I did two or three coats of paint. Let each coat fully dry before adding another. 

*Update as of October 4, 2015: Actually, Semi-Gloss paint is my favourite for cabinets and trim, however, if you want to disguise imperfections in your cabinets (I wanted to disguise the unsanded texture of the wood I used for the shaker trim), then use a lower sheen paint like a Satin finish. I just repainted my cabinets using semi-gloss paint, and I love it! See the new look here.

While your cabinet and drawer fronts are drying, go ahead and paint the base / frame of your cabinets and drawers...two to three coats should be good! 

15) Re-Attach Cabinet & Drawer fronts to Frame
Lower cabinets & drawers done...Upper cabinets in progress - I didn't actually remove them from the hinges because I was too tired and fed up (the screws on the bottom were a 3 hour job because they were practically glued in from accumulation of sticky gunk over the last 40 years...my 60-something-year-old landlord grew up in this house, haha)
Once your cabinet and drawer fronts and frames are dry (after at least 24 hours from your last coat of paint), it's time to finally re-attach them! 

First screw your hinges back onto the frame using your drill. Make sure you do this correctly, otherwise your cabinet won't attach properly, haha. They will let you know if you didn't attach them properly ;) 

Then, hold your cabinet front up, and screw it back in. This is a challenge to do as one person, but it can be done, because I did it all by myself! The key is (if you're weak like me) to hold the cabinet front in one hand, stick the screw on the drill bit before you pick the drill up and then hold the drill in the other hand. Use the drill to screw one screw into the top part of the cabinet and then screw another into the bottom part. Then you don't have to hold the cabinet anymore...and the rest of the job is much easier to finish, since you're not half occupied with supporting the weight of the cabinet.

16) Optional: Repeat Steps 10-15 for Whatever Cabinets or Drawers You Have Left


Finished!! One day I will add knobs...
But I actually cheated with the upper cabinets - since it literally took HOURS to do the simple job of unscrewing the bottom cabinets from the hinges and unscrewing the hinges from the frames, I just left them screwed in and did steps 11-15 with them attached! 

If you do this, then the spray adhesive will be better than the wood glue, as it bonds and dried more quickly and doesn't slide around. If you used wood glue, you should probably use c-clamps to hold the trim in place so it doesn't sliiiiiide on down the cabinets and make a mess before it dries!

17) Buy Hardware & Mark Holes

After all your cabinets and drawers are completely re-attached, you can either be like me (I was too cheap to buy knobs...eventually I'll get around to it), or you can buy some knobs and pulls that you like from Home Depot or wherever. Liberty has some really inexpensive but highly attractive looking 10 pieces sets...those are really good value. Also Liberty Hardware has great cup pulls and individual knobs in a ton of really nice finishes.  Or buy whatever you like. 

Use a flat ruler (measuring tape will not be precise because of the bit on the end that sticks up) and measure out a point where you would like to put your knobs. Maybe 2" from the vertical edge of the cabinet and 3" up from the bottom edge. Something like that - then you should make a very precise pointed mark at the intersection of the two lines that you have drawn . This is key, because I've seen some DIY jobs where the knobs are kind of all different heights slightly, and it looks really horrible and sloppy. So getting it right is important.

18) Drill Holes & Attach Hardware

Get your drill, and using a drill bit that is the same width as the screws on your knobs, drill a hole through the cabinet or drawer (make sure you don't drill through the cabinet frame). 

Then it should just be a matter of placing your knobs or pulls over the holes and securing them from the inside of the cabinet or drawer with the nut and washer they came with.

19) Enjoy!

Sit back, admire your hard work, give yourself a great big pat on the back, grin like a cheshire cat, and enjoy!


Now for the befores and afters:
**For my most recent kitchen update, see here**

From this...


To this...


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Monday, April 21, 2014

Plans: Kitchen


While we don't exactly need to GET much in the way of the kitchen, we do need to DO a lot! 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Plans: Living Room


Ever since we signed our lease, I have been compulsively planning all of the changes / acquisitions that we need (/ I want haha) to make our new place livable! To see how the room looks as of March 7, 2015, click here!

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