Let’s finish this pantry, shall we?! Well…kind of. The pantry is
signed, sealed, delivered done, fully organized and functional. But after going through all the photos and photo editing and whatnot, I was left with 30+ pics of “finishing and organizing the pantry”. Uh…long blog post say what?! And since I value sleep these days (seriously…can’t get enough of it) and don’t want to be up all night blogging, I’m breaking the post up into two parts. Today, we’re talking about the finishing touches (a little painting and little hardware…nice little pantry post) and tomorrow we’re talking about organizing it! But I couldn’t resist a full monty shot of the before and after of the whole pantry project:
So…much…better! The haphazard collection of mismatched furniture no more! But anyway, the pantry finishing touches. When we last left off, we had just finished installing the pull out shelves. And the pantry looked like this:
We intended to put our microwave, who has taken up precious counter space the last four years, above the refrigerator. We feared that it would be a little awkward to have a microwave so high, but we powered through. After all, I’m 5’9″ and Colby clocks in at a whopping 6’5″ so at least we would have no trouble reaching it without the aid of a step stool or ladder. But before we could move the microwave, we needed an above the fridge shelf, since we didn’t want to set the microwave directly on top of the refrigerator. We wanted more of a finished, built-in look. To make this shelf, we started by installing the shelf supports which are 1″ x 3/4″ pieces of pine screwed into the pantry sides.
And then created the microwave shelf by first cutting down two pieces of scrap particle board (leftover from building the pantry sides), using another piece of pine to cover the gap between the two particle board pieces, screwing it all together from the bottom side.
We dry fitted the shelf in place since nothing is more frustrating than building something, painting it, and then realizing it doesn’t fit (been there…done that…lessons learned). Thankfully it fit better than your favorite skinny jeans after eating paleo for a few months and training for that 15K.
Not only did I take the time to pre-paint the shelf before installing, but also all the trim pieces for the pantry. The trim pieces helped hide all the rough, unfinished ends and gave the pantry that chunky, custom built look we were going for.
Next up, the shelf attack. Remember when they looked like this?!
The ends were a bit on the unfinished side. All it took to polish up the ends was attaching some pre-stained and polyed fronts. They’re just tacked on right now with a bit of wood glue and a couple of nails but you can bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there’ll be sun…I mean…that we secured those shelf fronts in with screws.
The final finishing step was my favorite, adding the hardware. It took us FORRRREVVVVVERRRRR to find the right hardware. For the record….that’s “forever” like the Sandlot forever. Makes more sense now, right?! It’s also how we say goodbye to Goose when we leave him while grocery shopping on the weekends. We’re all like “bye Goose, FORRREVVVVVERRRRR”. Poor Goose.
For the hardware, we couldn’t use traditional drawer pulls since we needed the handles to screw in from the front and not the back. So then we thought about window sash pulls for drawer handles. But that was a fail since they looked so dinky on our freshly finished, chunky wood drawers. Enter the screen door handle. We picked up five of them for $2.99 each at Lowes along with some longer screws. We wanted the screws to not only attach the drawer handle to the drawer front but also be long enough to drill right into the drawer itself for extra drawer from security and stability.
Boom…drawer handles officially attached…Friday I’m in love!
This may have been the point during the pantry project that I mindlessly pulled each drawer open…and closed…open…and closed…open…and closed…and asked them where they had been all my life. I mean…I’m not getting any younger over here. And not being able to easily access the flour during cookie making is definitely adding years to my complexion. I mean, night cream only does so much.
Oh yeah, and then we created a chalkboard wall and started boxing out the beam in the kitchen. But more on those projects later. This is a pantry post and we certainly don’t want to bite the pantry’s moment, even if it does taste good. It’s been a wild ride in our kitchen these days with some awesome projects in the hopper. I can’t wait to share more with you! All in good time dear readers…all in good time.
I couldn’t resist sharing the finished AND organized pantry, so here’s the Pinterest worthy shot of how it’s looking real time.
The paint had barely dried on the trim before I was up to my eyeballs in flour and sugar organizing all our baking supplies. Actually, Colby was the one up to his eyeballs in flour since I totally, 100%, accidentally (I swear) spilled a bag of flour on his head while he was kneeling down by the cabinets fixing a toe kick. Whoops! Good thing he loves me! And that good thing for the laundry fairy!
So come back tomorrow for all the nitty gritty of how we organized our pantry, which has turned into a full on baking pantry. I’ll even show you the not-so-Pinterest worthy befores of how we were storing our baking supplies. If you want to feel good about your kitchen organization, no matter how bad you think it is, our before organizing shots should do the trick.
Pssst…All I have to say tonight is, is it spring yet?! I don’t know about you guys but I am DYING for spring to get here, more importantly summer. Did you all survive snowpocalypse?! Anyone else start planning their garden this weekend while being snowed in?!
That’s right, we’re going places we have never been before. We’re blazing a trail, bushwhacking it if you wish, and taking our Etsy office door from doorknob-less:
To officially doorknob-ed:
Yes, that’s right. Tonight, we’re learning how to install a doorknob where no doorknob has been before. This step is long overdue. What’s it been, three? Four months since we installed the door? Loooooong overdue! To recap the little door slab saga we first learned a little door lingo and then prepped the raw door slab for hanging and finally installed it. And today is the culminating day in our shameless money saving trick of purchasing a door slab and installing/trimming it ourselves instead of purchasing a pre-hung door. No joke, it has saved us at least $100…probably more.
But onto the doorknob installation process. It was simple…especially for me since my roll was to hang out, look pretty and snap pictures. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it. Colby did most of the grunt work. Oh…except I passed him things like the wrong doorknob…twice. But installation was a snap thanks to this handy Irwin doorknob installation kit. You can pick it up at your local hardware store for around $15.
You just center the jig in the middle of the door, or more specifically in the middle of the rail (or place it 44″ from the top of the door since according to my door salesman husband, that’s pretty standard). And then do you see the yellow button and measurements underneath it?
That’s the only other adjustment you have to make. You have to set the “Back Set” on the jig for your door. All doors have either a 2-3/8″ or 2-3/4″ back set. Our door, and most interior doors, have a 2-3/8″ back set. What is a back set you say? Glad you asked! It’s the distance between the edge of the door and the center of the doorknob.
With the jig in place, Colby attached the larger hole saw that came with the kit to his drill and bored out the doorknob hole, first cutting in from the front and then cutting in from the back. You don’t want to cut right through from one side since the face of the door will start to splinter as the hole saw breaks through.
The hole saw cutting continued with the smaller hole saw cutting through for the bolt.
This left two holes for doorknob installation.
The next step was to route out the edge of the door for the bolt plate. Again, the Irwin kit included a little jig AND the router bit to do this. It was as simple as attaching the jig, lining it up with the screw holes left behind from where you screwed the first jig into the door. Then you just attach the router bit to a Dremel or other rotary tool (or to a fast spinning drill but that’s not necessarily the best idea as it’s hard to control and drills are typically slower than rotary tools) and route out the marked spaces. Then, remove the jig and chisel out the middle part.
Same process goes for routing out the strike plate on the door jam. Just mark where the strike plate needs to go, attach the jig, route it out and chisel away.
You also need to drill out the hole for the doorknob bolt to slide into. Colby did this using a spade bit, which left a little too much wood in the hole (the spade bit wasn’t quite the right shape) and later needed chiseling out to be functional.
Oh yes, and I can’t forget….Goose “helped”.
Goose doesn’t like to be left out of home improvement projects…or anything. He really needs to be right in the middle of whatever we’re doing….literally. He was mad at us during doorknob installation since Colby was blocking his route to the window for scoping out neighborhood squirrels.
With everything cut, routed, and chiseled the only step left was actually adding the doorknobs to the door. We picked up two doorknobs, since our master bedroom door has been sans doorknob for oh…three years now. So home came both a locking doorknob and a regular doorknob.
We played a little doorknob roulette and decided to add a locking doorknob to the bathroom, the bathroom doorknob moved to the master bedroom, and the new hall/closet doorknob was installed in the Etsy office. Here’s the visual proof that yes, indeed we FINALLY installed a doorknob on our bedroom door. Look for the blue moon, folks!
In total, the whole project cost us about $30 ($15 for the installation kit and about $6-$7 for each doorknob). Time-wise, it probably should have taken 30 minutes or so, but took much longer thanks to a series of installing things backwards or installing the wrong doorknob (Colby was having an “off” day…maybe he should blame that time of the month…always works for me). Another long overdue task complete, a gazillion more to go. Ahhhh…progress!
Pssst…What long overdue projects are you all checking off your lists these days? Doorknob installation? We can’t be the only ones who put off installing them! I’m pretty sure adding outlet covers might be my next long-overdue-task to tackle. Doh!
Once upon a time we had a yellow bathroom with cute little labeled towel hooks. Then, one day, the big bad Goose came along. And he huffed and he puffed and he pulled those towels down.
Until he ripped out a couple hooks (only one of those hooks is still properly secured). For some reason, Goose has a nasty habit of pulling down our bath towels and proceeding to roll in them. It’s the same move that he pulls when he’s busy rolling in dog turds (sometimes his own) and dead snakes. It’s a real charming quality of his (she says sarcastically). So it didn’t take very long for Goose to pull down enough towels that the towel hooks started coming out of the wall, bringing bits of sheet rock down them them.
But I can’t blame the wonkiness of the towel hook labels on the dog. That’s my bad. No…not really. More like poor luck. For some reason, they just won’t stay straight. Maybe it’s because we only used one nail to secure each hook label to the wall?! In retrospect, we probably should have used two nails. Anyway, towards the end of the yellow bathroom’s tenure, we were pretty much over the towel hooks and labels and we were ready for a change. So after we finished patching the old hook holes and painting our bathroom minty green, we were ready to give the space the hook up (see what I did there?!).
We actually wanted to install two sets of hooks in our bathroom. One set of hooks to replace our old towel hooks underneath the built in shelves. And another hook on that little, sliver of a wall between the vanity and the shower. We’ve never had a hook there and thought it would be a good spot to hang shower-in-progress towels.
So the other day while I was cruising the School House Antiques Mall in Brewer, I came across a couple of items that would fit the bathroom hook bill. First up, an old hat rack.
It’s accordion style meaning that you can expand it and contract it for different heights and widths. I couldn’t resist it at a price of $12. Although I wasn’t a fan of the color, which is nothing a can of spray paint couldn’t fix.
At another booth in the School House Antiques Mall, I came across this black, cast iron hook for $7 and promptly added it to my shopping basket with the intention of making it our shower towel hook. No more towels draped over the shower curtain rod! Yippee!
It’s one of those triple, swiveling hooks and I have been jonesing over all the colorful versions of them on Etsy for quite some time. But who says I couldn’t spray paint my own triple swivel hook?!
After a long winter with a serious lack of spray painting, I was going through withdrawals (curse you spray paint fumes and your addictiveness!) so it was time to break out a can. It was the first pseudo nice weekend here in Maine and just barely warm enough to spray paint things outside. So I set up my painting station, whipped out a can of spray paint (leftover from another project), and officially declared spray painting season open!
Before painting I gave the hat rack a quick scuff job with some sand paper. Then it was just a matter of layering on about five super thin and even coats of spray primer/paint in one. I let the hooks dry for a few days, making sure they dried completely and the finish hardened up (since they would probably be exposed to a decent amount of wet towel moisture). Then it was installation time. And true to form, Colby whipped out the laser level to make sure we installed the hat rack turned towel rack, straight. He’s such a stickler for levelness.
Colby leveled while I properly positioned the towel rack on the wall. I held it in place while Colby simply nailed the hat rack directly into a couple of studs (the other use for the laser level/stud finder).
That was one of the problems with the old towel hooks, we didn’t install them to studs and just used sheet rock anchors. Under normal circumstances (as in if Goose didn’t exist in our home), the hooks would have held just fine. But after daily wear and tear from the pooch tearing down our towels, the anchors just couldn’t hold up the hooks anymore. Good thing our dog is cute! Sheesh!
Next it was time to install the triple swivel hooks. This one was a bit different. The hook had two holes in it meant for a pair of screws but didn’t come with screws. During spray painting, I hadn’t thought about picking out a pair of screws from the workshop and spray painting them too, you know, to match. Nope…completely forgot. I blame the paint fumes! Turns out that Lowes stocks all kinds of colored screw heads. So during an emergency “I’m out of Etsy shop supplies because those darn stands keep selling out” trip to Lowes, we also picked up some white headed screws (not to be confused with those white heads of your teenage years).
Then it was just a matter of picking the right spot for the hook, eyeballing its vertical/horizontal spacing, and screwing it to the wall. Easy as pie (mmm…pie).
Here’s the after shot of the bathroom with the new hooks installed (I know…you can BARELY see them…but they’re there if you squint really hard).
It’s a subtle change to the space visually but has a GINORMOUS impact on the functionality of our bathroom. Although breaking the three year draping-the-towel-over-the-shower-curtain-rod habit is HARD! But if that’s the worst of my habits, I’ll take it.
So we’re inching ever so closer to having a done bathroom! It feels so weird…especially where we were sporting a plywood vanity for oh…three years! And because I can’t resist checking things off the to-do list, here’s where we stand on our bathroom list:
Find a dresser/buffet to convert into a bathroom vanity(we found a buffet on Craigslist for $75) Hack up said dresser and paint it(vanity hacking post here and here during installation; the vanity is painted Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore which you can read about here) Demo out the old “temporary” vanity that had been in our bathroom for nearly three years and patch the sheetrock(vanity demo go boom…note…Colby challenge me to spoof the KFC “Game Day Bucket Go Boom commercial in every post…challenge accepted) Prime and paint the bathroom wall a cool, minty color(we painted the bathroom Mantis Green by Benjamin Moore)
- Add bead board above the built-in shelves and paint the bead board and the shelves glossy white (for shame that we haven’t yet painted the bathroom built-ins…it’s been three years!)
Build a first aid cabinet for the space above the toilet paper holder(we didn’t build it though…we found it…for six bucks…here’s the post)
- Organize, organize, organize!
Build shelves for the blank wall space beside the vanity
- Build another shelf, maybe one out of driftwood, to hang over the back of the toilet
Find or DIY some interesting towel hooks
- Finish off the space by hanging a little art and accessorizing here and there (I’m sensing some Etsy art I’ve been drooling over in our future!)
- Patch the cracked ceiling (kind of broke it while working in the attic) and paint it
- Replace the light fixture with something fun and less boob-light-like
Oh so close to done done. But I’m starting to feel the itch to move on to another space for a little while. And I’ve got a big switcheroo planned for the not so distant future. We’re talking a flopping the craft room with the guest room so the craft room becomes the guest room and the craft room (and Etsy shop office) moves into the guest room space. Still with me? Good. Stay tuned for details.
Pssst…How about you guys? Have you been adding any finishing touches to a space lately? Or do you also get the “itch” to move onto something else when you’ve been working on one thing for too long?
Ding dong the
witch is dead vanity is done.
And all it took was two solid weekends of priming and painting. I wish I was kidding. And of course, in true Angie fashion, I anticipated total painting time of about four hours max…wrong! More like four hours max just to prime the body of the thing! Isn’t that always the case? Please tell me I’m not the only one who way underestimates the amount of time it takes to finish a project? Bueller? Bueller?
Anywho, let’s get to the how we did it portion of the program. It all started with a good ol’ fashion sand job. The vanity was super shiny so I gave her a good sand down with the orbital sander and some medium grit paper to take the shine away and scuff up the finish so the paint would adhere to it better.
I’ve got my serious face on in that one. It only comes out for official business like sanding and ice cream eating.
My paint of choice for the project…Zinsser primer combined with Benjamin Moore Semi-Gloss Regal Select paint in Gray Owl. Which, by the way, I’m totally digging the subtle gray color.
Side note…I’ve totally become a big, big, BIG fan of Benjamin Moore paint. This was my second go around using the stuff for furniture painting and it was a huge upgrade from my usual Valspar choice. It’s more durable, finishes smoother, and doesn’t have a tacky feel that I usually get with Valspar semi-gloss (which never seems to go away even two years post painting).
After sanding the vanity down, I gave her a good little priming. I didn’t HAVE to prime the vanity since the paint was a paint/primer in one. But primer is cheap, paint is more expensive, I was using a light colored paint, so I primed for security reasons.
And then covered the vanity in two coats of Gray Owl paint in a semi-gloss. And here is where we get into the why-this-took-so-long-to-paint part. One…there were a lot of intricate parts to the vanity that made painting difficult. And two…it was just about 10 degrees too cold outside to take the piece outside and use the paint sprayer on it. Curses. I almost braved the 48 degree temps to save some time but knew I would end up having to redo the finish, using more time in the long run, since it was so cold out. So I resorted to painting the piece of furniture with a brush and two painting tricks: a craft brush works wonders in getting into nooks and crannies and when in need of a stubby brush for tight spaces, just have your husband chop the handle off a long handled brush with his saw. It saved a trip to the store for a stubby brush! Genius!
I layered on two coats of paint on the body of the vanity along with the two upper drawers, two doors, and one larger, bottom drawer. I even managed to follow the painting instructions on the can (look for the blue moon folks cuz that never happens) and waited the proper 3+ hours for the paint to dry between coats along with waiting a week or so for the paint to harden up and cure before reassembling the whole thing.
After waiting for the appropriate amount of dry time, I couldn’t wait to put the whole thing back together again and check out my handiwork. I was like a kid at Christmas playing with my new toys. But instead of Christmas, it was a Monday and instead of toys it was hardware from Target.
Speaking of hardware, I had been drooling over all the gorgeous hardware at Anthropologie for weeks in anticipation of the bathroom vanity makeover. But at $8-$14 apiece, and needing 8 pieces, I wasn’t about to drop $64 – $112 in cabinet hardware. So during a “quick trip” to Target that turned into an aimless meandering of the aisles (it happens…happens all too often) I came across some beautiful Threshold hardware. And at $14.99 for a four pack, I could pick up enough hardware for the cabinet (8 knobs) for $28 (after using my Target card for a 5% discount). Sold!
The porcelain style knobs with the brushed nickle surround was a perfect tie into our bathroom since all our fixtures are brushed nickle and the white can be found throughout the space on the mirror, trim, and bead board.
So let’s talk about the doors on the cabinet a little bit. I powered through and painted them, but we’re about 98% certain that we’ll end up replacing them.
It’s hard to tell in the pictures, but they’re warped, heavily dinged up, and despite repeated alterations will not close for the love of Goose! In the famous words of Cher (Clueless Cher…not Sonny & Cher), “it’s a total Monet”. You know…it looks good from far away but when you get close up it’s a total mess.
The drawers on the other hand, are amazingly awesome. I’m already scheming up organizational plans for the top drawers. I’m thinking Colby gets one for all his man stuff and I can have the other for girly things like nail polish and razor blades. Isn’t that what great marriages are built on? Separate bathroom vanity storage?
But we can’t quite call the Craigslist buffet turned bathroom vanity project complete just yet because…duh…it’s still in our kitchen. Our next step is to hoof it upstairs, which we’re both so dreading because it’s heavy and our staircase takes a tight turn at the top. Then there’s installing, hooking the pipes back up, installing the sink and faucet and then (my personal favorite) making it all pretty and setting it up. Fingers crossed the vanity survives the trek upstairs! Or more importantly…fingers crossed WE survive the vanity’s trek upstairs. She is a heifer and will crush you!
Pssst…What have you guys been painting up lately? Any favorite painting projects? Or do you have a favorite paint brand? Any other Benjamin Moore lovers out there?
Tonight’s project is quick and dirty, kind of like…wait….I’m not gonna go there…not tonight. That’s more like a late night Saturday night post and not a late for a Thursday work night as I’m blogging away and really dreading to wake up and go to the office on Friday morning post. So anyway…we hung some of Colby’s guitars in the living room. Tah-dah!
Colby’s guitars were hanging out in the closet in the dining room. It’s the closet that we just closed up courtesy of a china hutch as a hidden closet door. But having the guitars living in the closet wasn’t really the optimal place for them for a couple reasons. One…they were difficult to get to, especially before we caster-ized the china hutch. And two…they were hanging in the closet using lawn and garden hooks. Not necessarily ideal for guitars.
Knowing that we wanted to hang the guitars in the living room, Colby went online and found a store that sold these meant-to-hold-guitar hooks. They came from Seismic Music and you can purchase them here for $12.18 each.
Hanging them was easy. Since the guitars are something we don’t want to come crashing to the floor and we don’t necessarily trust our old plaster walls, we started by finding the studs in the wall where the guitars would be hanging. Thankfully there were three evenly placed studs for the three guitar hooks.
Then it was a matter of screwing the guitar hangers into the wall and hanging the guitars.
The guitar hangers are such a BIG improvement over the lawn and garden hooks that we were using before. They cradle the guitar perfectly, without fear of damaging, and the hooks even swivel to accommodate different guitar head shapes.
But alas, we only had room on the wall for three guitars but there are five guitars in total. Colby had a pair of guitar stands hanging out in the basement so we plopped two of the guitars in the stand so all of them could come out of the closet and be one
gay happy little guitar family.
It makes it a little guitar overload there in the corner so I’m already rethinking storing the two on the floor elsewhere. Would it be weird to hang the other two on the wall behind the couch? Contemplating…contemplating. But for now it works and gets the guitars out in the open so Colby can play them more. Already guitar playing is up 378% and the happiness level of my man has increased two-fold. Now, if only I could get him to spend that money I gave him for singing lessons ON singing lessons, it would make for one happy
wife house! I kid, I kid…he’s a pretty good singer. He at least makes up for my tone-deafness by 214%.
Pssst…Woot woot weekend here we come! What’s on my weekend to do list…oh you know, a little Home Depot a little Bed Bath and Beyond, I don’t know if we’re gonna have enough time! Name that movie and you win a prize…errrrrr…a giant kudos from moi! Happy (almost) weekend everyone! What’s on your weekend to do list?