Wallpaper & Water

In every project we've taken on since buying this house, we've run into two problems. Water damage and wallpaper that was painted over. The kitchen, of course, is no exception.

The renovation has been very slow go since Christmas due to a sudden pick up in work for The Builder. While we appreciate the overtime monetarily, the timing is far from ideal. 

Today I asked The Builder (on his one day off) if would mind finishing up the painting in the bay window area so I could at least get the curtains up and feel like I'm making some progress. He reluctantly agreed, because painting would only take an hour or two, and then we could watch football playoffs. A win-win.

So he was prepping around the windows this morning, and discovered that the entire area around the windows was wallpapered and painted over

OK, a minor inconvenience, but not as bad as it could be, we've definitely had worse.

The original home builders wallpapered directly over the drywall. No primer, nothing. So most of this came out in big long strips, which made it very easy to peel off. For once. There were some small areas that someone did peel at one point in time, but gave up. Those sections were heavily textured (like in our master bathroom) but we've learned to make quick work of that with a sander. So not so bad.

Again, traces of the old, 80's wallpaper. You may recall that we've estimated that the kitchen has gone through at least four color rehabs since it was built.  Every single color was painted over the wallpaper. The Builder said he thinks it's probably at about 10 coats of paint. Ugh.

Still, just happy that this section doesn't involve any water damage, like the sink area.

Or so I thought....

So when pealing the last of the wallpaper from the baseboards, the drywall started crumbling. After removing the baseboard, this is what we came across.

It's not terrible. It's also all dry, so it's not recent. From what we can best guess, the window leaked at some point and water traced in and down wall into the baseboard. When the initial kitchen renovation was done, they filled a small hole, then painted over everything. But we didn't really want to do a patch job when there's a wide amount of damage. So The Builder spent the rest of the afternoon cutting out the drywall from under the middle and right windows, and replacing it, as well as sanding down the rough texture on the last wall.

We also decided to go ahead and replace the broken and stained faux wood blinds. We're replacing them with exactly what was there as the whole house has these blinds. The window over the sink will eventually have one as well. I like privacy the kitchen window not having any blinds has always bugged me. 

So we ended today with patching in the new drywall and the bay window area primed and ready for mud a texture. 

Counter Tops....

If there were any doubts about replacing our cabinets in the future, take a quick look at this:

All along I thought the wood grain was something similar to contact paper.  I was wrong.  It's more like rice paper, it is SO thin. 

Not that there was ever really a doubt. This kitchen has the worst cabinets of any kitchen I have ever been in. Clearly this wasn't an area the builder or the original home owners wanted to spend any money in. That's OK thought, it's my diamond in the rough and it's going to be lovely when I'm finished, even with just the soft reno.

This faux wood grain is on the outside of all the cabinets. You can see at the bottom of the panel that it's completely rotted out. Goodbye ugly and gross cabinet!

Yesterday we set the new counter on the replaced sink cabinet. We wanted an idea of how it was going to look with the wall and cabinet paint colors. I'm super excited as it looks as good in person as I was picturing it in my head.  This quick photo doesn't begin to do it justice. I think what I like best is the warm grey tones warmed up the kitchen. 

Today we did a dry fit with the new sink:
We haven't taken the protective shrink wrap off yet. Can you see how much deeper the new sink is? Even though it's not the farm sink I'm pining for, this is going to be much more practical for our family. 

At the moment The Builder is prepping the two corner pieces of the new counter tops:
K, not an exciting photo. But those bolts are key to getting the counter leveled properly, which is super important. Once the glue dries (we used Locktite Wood Liquid Nails) the counter will be ready to install. Since we're still living with the small two foot section the right of the stove as our only counter space, the whole family is now anxious for this counter to be installed. Also it means we can move on to fixing all the doors for the lower cabinets and get things put back in place. My house looks like a war zone between all the Christmas stuff that is still out and the boxes of kitchen stuff from the lower cabinets. Living in a reno zone is never fun, but I didn't contemplate reno zone AND Christmas stuff prior to demoing the kitchen. 

By the end of today, I figure we'll be 50% finished with the renovation project. We still need to fix a few of the lower cabinet doors, prime and paint them, install the new hinges, and then move on to the upper cabinets. But we're not expecting any water damage issues, so that portion should go fairly quick!