Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Granite Troubles

Since I didn't splurge on new cabinets I wanted to go all out for the counter top material.  The old laminate would have to go.  In fact it was bubbling up in some spots.

I thought about Quartz.  The Silestone and Ceasarstone counters were modern, uniform and what I thought I wanted.  However, after speaking with some real estate people, they told me what buyers in the Syracuse, NY area want is granite.

Since I was not sure how long we would be in this house, I decided the wise move would be to pick a granite.

The challenge was finding a granite that was uniform, without the typical 'blotchiness'.  I found this was quite impossible.  Also, I wanted a light granite, even white.  Again, hard to find.  I ended up finding a granite (in NJ) called 'River White'.  It really is gray, but has white in it and no browns.  That was important.

So the exciting installation day came and it looked great, BUT,  after the installers left the one and only seam caught my eye:

 This looked terrible!  The color tones do not match up.
 The above photo is the River White and where the gray vein comes in.
 This is the River White on a whiter section.

I couldn't live with the contrast at the seam.  I called the fabricator.  They ended up ordering another slab up from NJ.  I went in to the shop and tried to pick a spot where the match would be better.  These granite guys have a tough job with the matching.  It's very difficult to get a good match at the seams, especially if there is a limited supply of the material.

The granite people agreed to cut another piece so that matching might be better.  I'm crossing my fingers......  The installation of the new piece is tomorrow.

Kitchen Reno in progress.....

I started to paint the kitchen cabinets.  It involves a tedious process that I've found here and here.  My version includes:

1. Sanding down the cabinets and roughing them up to get the glossy-ness off of them

2. Wiping the dust down with a damp cloth and letting the wood dry

3. Prime with an alcohol based primer made by Zinzer - It's called Bin and comes in a red and white paint can.  Beware because this stuff smells!  The advantage to it is that it dries and can be re-coated within 45 minutes!

4. Sand down with about 100 grit sand paper or sand sponge.

5. Since my cabinets were oak and the stain was very much ingrained in the cabinets, prime again.

6. Wait 45 minutes and sand again.

7. Put 2 coats of the final paint using Benjamin Moore 'Impervo' Latex based paint.  This stuff is great for cabinets and dries with a very hard finish.  The color I used is BM 'White Dove' or is it 'Dove White'?  It is not a stark white, but it is not creamy white either.  I love it and used it throughout the trim of my house also.  The BM 'Impervo' is also is not too glossy which I like for cabinets.  Wait a few hours between coats.

 There is a big difference already!  The incredible power of paint!
Do you see those spray marks on the section of the island that is to be removed?  I cheated.  This was a very tedious job so after painting several cabinets, I decided to hire out the rest to a painter.  They came in, taped the floor off and sprayed.  It took them 3 days and they were done.  I know I spent a bit more to have them come in (OK, almost $1000 more), but it would have taken me a month to finish.

Next up is the final reveal, so stay tuned!

My Kitchen Renovation!

 So here is my very first post.  We bought this house 6 months ago and I knew the very first thing to be changed is the kitchen.  I'm not digging the brown cabinets.  Or the island light that looks like it belongs over a pool table.  And did you see that brick wall back there.  It's actually half brick and it was a 'designed feature'.  Sorry, not my taste.
 This is the future built in desk area.  Looks a little sad right now.
 Overall shot of the kitchen viewed from the family room.  (Above)
This kitchen is also in desperate need of lighting.  It only has that one island light and some under cabinet lighting right now.

The plan is:
1. Paint, paint, paint the cabinets white!
2. Take out half the cabinets at the island to create island seating for the kiddos
3. Change the microwave, oven, dishwasher
4. Change the counter tops
5. Change lighting fixture
6. Remove brick wall
7. Paint wall and trim
and here's the kicker - -
8. Stay within a reasonable budget.  Can it be done??  Stay tuned........