Sippican Cottage

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A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

Melamine Innards Is the Name of My Stone Temple Pilots Tribute Band

So the prodigal refrigerator is on the move again. It’ll be the last time, I swear it. I’m weary of shoving it around the kitchen. My wife is tired of waltzing around it.

In order to put this corner to bed once and for all, we’re going to do everything all at once. That’s difficult for most remodelers to accomplish. If you’ve hired pros, the contractors come in sequentially. Each dude does everything he’s hired to do, vacuums out your wallet, and leaves for good. Then the next guy comes in and makes his mess. You’re supposed to put up with the commotion for the entire length of the project. If your general contractor, who might be you, gets the order wrong, some stuff might not ever get done.

But we can do everything, and we will, at least in that corner. We use quick set drywall compound, the kind you mix from powder. We can hit the walls twice with that, and a thin skim with ready-mixed mud to finish. The humidity is low, so it all dries fast enough to sand it. We installed a GFCI plug on that circuit. It’s to the right of the stove. Everything downstream of that plug is protected by it. Once the wall are sanded, we cut in the ceiling, because it’s easier now, and paint the walls.

If you’re wondering, the color we’re using is Benjamin Moore Titanium. It’s a light greenish gray color. It goes well with the black and white scheme. The cabinets and trim aren’t white. They’re a pale warm gray called White Dove. That color got popular back when I was still working in the trades, and has hung in there. No homeowner can ever remember its name, but they all wanted it. “Give me that Dove White,” they’d say. Benjamin Moore should throw in the towel and just call it that. A wise man knows when he’s licked.

When I said everything, I meant everything. We fabricated and installed the casing at the opening to the dining room, and the big mopboards at the floor. They’re all made out of lumberyard pine. If you cut out all the knots, it makes great, inexpensive trim material. You can force this sort of work into a single day, too, if you start early enough. Fabricate the trim, prime it with Kilz alkyd primer, sand it, paint it with water-based alkyd paint two or three times, and nail it up. If you keep a foam brush in a pot of the Advance alkyd paint, you can dip into it any time you have time to put on a coat. The stuff is wonderful, and never skins over like oil-based stuff used to.

Once the trim is in place, you can caulk the seams where it meets the wall, fill the nail holes with glazing putty, and give it one more quick coat. We moved the trash cabinet aside, placed the fridge in its final resting place, and then screwed the cabinet down. We eventually reversed the swing on the refrigerator doors.

Like the imbecile I am, I got ambitious towards the end. We had one extra cabinet shell left over, and I’d be damned if I’d trip over it in the shop for another ten years. We made doors for it, got some more hardware, and put it over the fridge, because why not? It’s too shallow for the reefer under it, which is a beast of a thing, but it’s better than nothing.

Time to finish off all the trim work. I made a half-astragal molding to run around the top of the cabinets. It hides the join at the soffits, and give the other cabinets a head. We made two floating shelves out of a plank of figured hardwood that languished in my basement because it wasn’t all that figured. We’ll stain it and give it a hard coating in a little while. More ambition intervened. The oak table and chairs were looking careworn. We’ll refinish the tabletop with the same stain and hard finish as the shelves. It’ll match the interior of the cabinets, and go well with the floor.

The windows and doors get a proper head casing, built up from four pieces of pine.

We continued work on the pantry, too. We ran some leftover flooring over the back wall, and gave it melamine innards. We put another sheet of melamine on the right-hand wall, with hooks, to hold brooms and mops and aprons and stuff like that there. Interestingly, Melamine Innards is the name of my Stone Temple Pilots tribute band. But I digress. We built out the opening once the interior was done, and it got the same doorframe/headcasing treatment as the other doors.

One final inspection, and it’s time to paint this sucker.

[To be continued. Thanks for reading and commenting and hitting the tip jar and buying my book!]

7 Responses

  1. I have a cabinet over the microwave. DH keeps the red first aid bag up there. “Handy where you need it! ” I am 5’3 he is 5’4 I dunno how he does it, but when I yell out with a kitchen emergency he does get up there pretty quick to retrieve the band-aid! We also have a cabinet over the refrigerator–I can’t even reach the top shelf inside the refigerator. . .

    Your kitchen is looking lovely!

  2. Ah, the Fabled Cabinet over the Refrigerator. Where is hidden mysterious and exotic kitchenware used only by culinary cognoscenti. Went exploring in my FCotR a few months back, and found a bizarre collection of useless ridiculous crap. Hello, Goodwill! Goodbye crap.

  3. That’s a very well put-together kitchen. Definitely deserving of some brownie points from She Who Prepares the Tasty Meals. BUT, I suspect that it outshines at least one other room in the house. So the story will continue…

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