Adventures in Home Updates – The Kitchen

I thought for ease of archiving I would organize these by room or section. My other choice would be purely chronological.

So when this house was remodeled in 2000, they added on to the back of the house doubling the size of the kitchen, adding a bathroom, and doubling the size of the master bedroom. The original back wall is defined by a beam in the kitchen and bathroom. We think they reused the old cabinets in different locations, and to be frank they aren’t fantastic. I’ve long imagined building new ones, but I haven’t had the time or space to do so. The cabinet above the fridge is still in the same state since 2008, like I mentioned in the introduction. They are cheaply made, have subpar doors and fixed shelves. Yeah, I’ve been wanting to make new ones since I started woodworking.

The counters are standard particle board and laminate. The floors are tile, but the white grout was never sealed. There is a lack of storage that was addressed very early on with my first project – the pantry. Speaking of which, this will be painted white to match the cabinets soon.

One of the biggest issues though happened a couple years after we moved in. A roof leak developed, which caused the drywall at the beam to disintegrate and it had to be repaired. During which time, ants invaded this spot and it was a big mess. I repaired the drywall, but not well, and not evenly. I was not well versed in drywall mudding, so the transition points between new and old were very rough and noticeable.

Now several years later, I’ve made an investment in tools and time learning how to fix my mistakes. I re-mudded all the area along where the water came in and I didn’t do a great job, and did several sanded coats. I then repainted the entire kitchen (because the entire brand of paint we used is no longer produced, nor the color). I can see a couple more areas to go back with another light coat of mud and paint, now that the paint has highlighted them for me. I’ve made great progress here, and there is little to tell that this was ever a damaged area – just a bit more to do.

With new mud and new paint, it will be soon time to turn to the cabinets and floor, really the only two things left to be done in the kitchen. I will be modifying what remains of the cabinet above the fridge in some way to make it look like it was meant to be like it is. I removed it (mostly) to fit a taller fridge in when we moved in, but it’s very obvious that this was a bodge. I’m planning to fill in a little bit and perhaps turn it into wine bottle storage. The other thing I plan to do is make new doors and drawers to match what I did with the pantry, a simple Shaker style. This should tie the room together much better. Probably upgrade the drawer slides at the same time, as it wouldn’t be too big of a deal. The ones existing aren’t good. Then the doors and cabinets will get a fresh coat of gloss white paint along with the pantry. The trash/microwave stand will then get a coat of white paint to match and the butcher block top will be refinished.

The floor is the remaining task. It is a beige tile with what was originally a white grout, but they never sealed it. It has become stained almost everywhere, and getting it clean and a universal color is next on the list. I’ve found a good cleaner and a grout stain that I am in currently in process of using. The first section looks pretty good, but I do need a steadier hand when applying. I also need to do large chunks when my kids aren’t around, because it stays wet forever. The dark areas below are where the original grout is a bit cracked and I’ll have to redo entirely, not just cover up. It actually works pretty well.

This kitchen also did not have a vent hood when we moved in, and this was only rectified in the last couple of months. I tapped into the outlet behind the oven and routed power up to a recirculating hood with lighting. I ran new Romex through a stud and up the adjacent stud cavity. We did the glass tile several years ago, and the lines aren’t level because the cabinets aren’t either. I also had to fix the oven at the same time by replacing the spark control module, which was easy but not cheap.

We also had a situation with the kitchen drain having too much accumulated oil residue, and it had to be snaked a couple times, one time including re-running the pipes below the sink. This necessitated ripping out large portions of the wall to do so. That got reasonably fixed this year, I would have done better if I had better access.


I have added a pot rack to the smallest cabinet next to the stove, the only place my wife wanted them. I also added a shelf to hold some coffee paraphernalia. Once the door/drawer fronts are done and the drawer slides upgraded, the kitchen will be done.

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