Well hello! I'm back with another kitchen renovation progress post -- sorry about all the kitchen posts of late but when I decide to get 'er done, I get 'er done.
Until now…now I'm at the mercy of others and this part kills me. The waiting for contractors when I'm so amped up to get this done makes me twitch, but it's part of the process.
I mentioned last week that the next step was to take down the beadboard backsplash, which would have been pretty easy if it was just beadboard nailed up on the wall. I'm crying a little inside that it wasn't just beadboard nailed up on the wall. Years ago when I installed that backsplash (you can see how I did it here) I tried to take down the black tile first, but it was an absolute mess. Chunks of the wall were coming off, and because I was looking for a relatively quick fix to brighten up our dark kitchen, I ended up gluing it on top of the tile.
It worked great and it was actually pretty easy to remove too -- but the tile was still a pain in the butt:
Many of you recommend just taking the drywall off the wall with the tile. We tried that at first but the tile was so close to both the countertop and the cabinets (at least under the wall of cabinets we still have up), we had to remove the tile first. When I got past the mess I created years ago it actually came off easier than I thought. You can see above that the glue helped out because it held the tile together -- nothing came flying off.
I ended up going pretty basic with tools for the tile removal:
A crowbar and a hammer did the job just fine. It was loud, so I recommend earplugs for sure. Also, eye protection too. We didn't have a lot of flying debris because of the glue but it still happened occasionally.
About half way through we got smart and realized we only needed to knock the bottom tiles off. ;) That way we could cut around the bottom and the top on the areas where the cabinets were removed and we could pull it off in bigger chunks:
Most of the tile came off easier than I thought it would, but it was still a lot of work. Also, even the tiles that came off easily left a mess behind them. There were a lot of spots where chunks were taken off with the tile, so we knew from the start that the drywall would have to be removed everywhere. Keeping the majority of the tile up helped a bit because the drywall came down in bigger pieces -- the tile was holding it together.
I'll be honest, this whole process was not so fun. I mean, I didn't think it was going to be a blast or anything, but if I could do it over again I probably would have just hired it all out. We got to the above photo a couple hours in on the first day and I was a little overwhelmed and decided to call the drywall folks. :)
But they couldn't come out to even give a quote till today so Dad came back the next day and we tackled getting that last section down. We used a level to mark straight lines to cut and used this saw to cut the drywall:
Cutting down was super easy -- cutting horizontally was a pain in the butt. ;) You have to watch for the studs of course, but we made sure not to cut too deep so we didn't touch any wires in the walls.
Two things to mention here -- make sure to turn off your power for the area at the breaker before cutting into your drywall! If you take your time and don't cut too deep, you'll be fine -- but better safe than sorry! Do not cut unless the power is completely off.
Also, other than the basic safety gear, make sure to cover areas you're concerned about -- counters for sure. As I mentioned, we didn't have stuff flying, so our counters were fine. But I did make sure to cover the drain in the sink. You don't want little bits of stuff down your drain or disposal.
We did try using a Dremel attachment to cut the drywall and it worked great, but holy dust. It was a MESS. Unless you have an attachment that sucks up the dust I would not recommend that. We were going to try to hold a shop vac hose up to it, but I'm quite sure even that wouldn't have gotten it all. It was way too much dust so we went with the handheld saw.
Here's that space after we were done pulling the drywall off:
And that's where we stopped. We purchased the drywall but didn't have it in us to try getting it up. I've patched big and small holes before and small ones weren't bad. Bigger ones are a total pain and I so didn't want to tackle it. Had I known I'd be so over it I would have just waited for the professionals to do it all at once.
Sometimes productivity bites you in the butt. ;)
I was just going to screw the drywall in anyway and hire out the taping and mudding. I didn't want to finish up anything just yet because I'm having lights installed on that wall and I knew they'd need to cut into the drywall anyway.
My dream for years has been to add the library-type lights to that wall like these:
I'm obsessed with them. Have been for years! But dangah -- they are so freaking expensive. If you remember, I wanted the same look for our dining room built ins but ran into the same problem there. I ended up going with outdoor lighting and I love it in that room.
I really wanted something different in this space though -- something that sticks out from the wall more:
So yet again, the hunt was on. And yet again, I can't find them for less than $250 each. Argh!! If I was getting one I'd splurge, but I needed three. So I looked and looked and found some that I loved, but they had awful reviews on both ebay and Amazon.
I kept looking and found that those with more of a gooseneck were cheaper. I quite liked those as well so kept digging. Most of the ones I liked were considered outdoor barn lighting, so if you are interested in the same be sure to use those terms. Problem was, most of those are made for…well, barns. ;) They were HUGE. I'm glad I looked at the measurements!
I finally came across these and knew they were the ones:
There is only one more of this particular one now, and this one is a bit smaller but won't be available till October. They still weren't cheap but all three were the cost of one of the swing arm lamps, so I'm feeling good about it.
They look green in the photo to me but they are supposed to be a dark bronze. I figure I can spray them with a high heat paint if needed.
Two will go on the left on either side of the future vent hood and one will go to the right above the future shelves:
At first I wanted one above the window, but we have a header there. I'd like to give the lights a little more room too, as they are about ten inches tall. Adding it above the window would be just a little tight.
I'm VERY excited about them and am really hoping they look as good as I think they will. Those particular lights are rated "dark sky" which are those that shine down instead of out into the space. I think it will be so lovely when the new backsplash is done! They will be placed on their own switch, with a dimmer of course. :) Can't wait!
And since we're waiting for that to get done and I have a few more days of living with the open walls (fun) -- I got to thinking, I could add a little niche above the oven:
Something like this:
Or something bigger like this:
I hope to replace our oven with a slide-in range so we will have plenty of space to add that.
It would be great to have a spot for cooking oils and I think it would just add a nice custom look for not a lot of money. It will be easy to frame out the niche and the added tile work doesn't worry me.
I'm just trying to decide if I'll use it -- do any of you have that little cut out above your range? What do you use it for if so?
There you go, the kitchen progress so far. Not pretty but I like sharing the steps with you along the way! I can see the after in my head and oh man, it's gorgeous. Just have to practice that thing called patience. I'm not great at that when I'm full steam ahead. I'm hoping we can get the lights up and the drywall all patched and finished by early next week. I've changed up my plan a bit and I'm going to start shopping for new countertops tomorrow. Yay! While I wait for those to get installed I'll tackle the vent hood and extending the wall of cabinets to the ceiling. I feel good about my deadline of November at this point -- I'm kind of hoping for a Halloween deadline now. Look at me!
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