Well, I finally found my camera, which had been kidnapped by small(er) hands, so I can show a bit of why I've been scarce around Blogland lately.
Here's what's been going on in my kitchen. You can't get much more 1962-remodeled-in-the-80's than this. Man, I'm going to miss those cows.
The first thing to go was the 60's scrollwork on the soffits. (Keep in mind that we bought this house with the intention of selling in a couple of years, so we decided not to invest in replacing the cabinets, at least not yet.). I'm sure the original owners paid good money to have that special, custom feature in their kitchen. I feel bad about that, I really do. But I really need to take it off around the window and the bottom cabinets under the sink, too. One of these days....
Then came the wallpaper. When the wallpaper came off, we were surprised to find out there wasn't sheetrock underneath; it was PANELING. Paneling on the soffits, paneling on the backsplashes. Ugh! What is the deal with old houses and their love affair with paneling? Since they are wood, the painters went ahead and painted EVERYTHING white, including those soffits. I can't believe I don't have a picture of the hospital-like result. But I know you can imagine.
It sounds like such a small thing, but just painting the soffits and backsplashes the wall color (Sherwin Williams Softer Tan in satin finish - I know, I know, it's WAY neutral, but remember my resale mindset) warmed things up quite a bit. The reason it took so long was that I used oil-based paint, which I love for woodwork. It does not show brush strokes, and it stands up to abuse.
I rolled it on with a sponge roller then used a brush to make the finish smooth along the wood grain (sanding lightly between coats, which take 24 hours to dry - see why it took me so long?).
I also painted the sill and backsplash above the sink, which were both the lovely blue of the laminate countertops. Countertops are my next project, along with something interesting for a backsplash. Oh, and a new sink. Oh, and a new stove. But this works for now.
My sister, Rachel Anne, the artist and paint expert swears there are latex paints that will do the same thing, but the woodwork had already been painted in oil. I didn't want to take the extra step of priming (you can't paint latex over oil unless you want to be sweeping up the peels of it in a year or so). So there you have it, with new hardware and faucet, anyway. Wait a minute, let me go straighten that pic on the left...
Above the stove, the laminate went all the way to the cabinets. I used a deglosser (available where you buy paint), then two coats of an oil-based primer, then two coats of the oil-based paint. I used a sponge roller and just left the nap, rather than brushing it like I did on the woodwork. I paint right over the outlets, and then I prime and paint the outlet covers. Just makes everything look more finished.
Oh, and just in case you think we actually live like this, here's a shot of what you see in my kitchen MOST days....Behold the after-school aftermath: fruit smoothies, the bowl where someone made banana bread, sandwiches, and chocolate milk. And if you are really, really, desperate, you can use that can of shave gel and shave your legs. Convenient, huh? Hey, at least it looks like someone might have tried to load up something in the dishwasher. Progress.
And now to the landscape. In summer, my front yard view looks like this:
But here we are, sans corn. See the highway in the background? UGH!!
I put in the first part of my flower bed - a huge semicircle of Majestic Beauty Indian Hawthorn, and a row of Knockout Roses in front of those (the bed is almost 30 feet across). The next leg will be a row of autumn sage, some perennials, and some annuals. Eventually the whole thing will be a "bed," complete with a stone border, but for now, I just need the privacy.
Whew! I think I will go take a nap now!
What are you working on this fall?