Quick kitchen spruce up

A couple weeks ago I was glumly staring at the filthy walls in our kitchen. We don’t want to put much effort and time into fixing up the kitchen since the whole thing will be gutted in a couple more years. Still, living with the previous tenant’s splattered stains and wall grime for the past 3 1/2 years has been kind of a downer. There is also a desperate shortage of storage in the kitchen.

Suddenly I had a burst of inspiration: cover up the grim with some cheap paint and repurpose some of the unused space with more storage. I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner. The cheap paint turned out to be a gallon of mis-mixed green paint from the hardware store. For the cheap storage, Ikea came to the rescue.

Since there aren’t any working outlets in the kitchen, the oven had turned into a flat surface for food storage and a box for my cast iron pots. This wasn’t a really good use for the space. We took out the oven, ripped out the tape they had again used to ineffectually stop mice, installed a thin piece of wood to solve any mice problems, caulked, and painted it all. The four baskets in the Ikea cabinet were required so our dogs couldn’t get into anything. I’m not sure what to do with all this new space as it is so exciting.

Our house isn’t square though, so things didn’t go smoothly. We ended up having to remove a piece of trim and cut out a section of drywall to fit the Ikea cabinet. This isn’t a big deal, because this wall will eventually get moved out a few feet anyway (the fridge will wind up in this spot later). That also meant we couldn’t slide it all the way back so there is a big gap behind it.

We also got a super cheap storage box to hang over the canning jar rack. It basically holds everything that was sitting on the old oven and items that were on the counter. Ikea was about to close when we got there so I forgot to get doors for it. Really, with our messy kitchen, it doesn’t matter. One cool thing about the picture below is the new drywall Lee added around the top of the masonry chimney (which used to stop about 6″ short of the ceiling). You could see petrified mice stick out of the rubble of the missing blocks before we sealed it up and painted it. Yeah, really gross.

These two storage pieces cleaned up a lot of my counters, so now I have more space to work. It’s amazing!

Lee says that since I spruced up the kitchen I should take the duct tape off the broken window pane and replace it with clear tape. He also thinks I should paint the window trim. You can still see the previous tenant’s slap dash job of painting it. Edging was too much work for them, as was taking down the curtains which must have been there once. I don’t think I will paint them though, because it seems like it would be a pain to paint all those muntins if we are just going to replace them. Who knows. Maybe I will get around to it.

The extremely stained and nasty looking non-working dishwasher became my new cast iron pot holder. You can’t pretty up everything.

One area I didn’t deal with is the space behind the sink. I can’t get it clean and the warped piece of moldy trim is just so nasty. Maybe I can think of a cheap way to improve this too.

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14 Responses to Quick kitchen spruce up

  1. Snowbrush says:

    It’s a small thing to replace a window. I think I still have some glaziers’ points, so all you would need would be a piece of glass and some window putty.

    • lee says:

      We probably should replace the glass properly. I hadn’t really thought about it, since the whole window is coming out eventually.

  2. ..nice work! I am always amazed at what happens when I do something about the things I have been wanting to do something about! hehe..and it is amazing what a coat of paint will do! looks svelt!!

    • lee says:

      Yes, we often finally do some small job we have been putting off and then spend a week saying, “Why didn’t we do this sooner?”

  3. Bill Gauch says:

    I agree about the glass. Replace it. It’s easy and cheap. The piece of glass would probably cost less than $5. It’s not tough to cut with a glass cutter, but a trip to an actual hardware store or glass shop will get it cut to your specs. You basically just gouge out the old glazing, remove the old points, and remove the broken glass. Clean up the wood of any glazing under the window, put the glass in, put the points in to hold the glass and then put a rope of glazing around the glass. Use a putty knife to smooth it to a nice angled finish. Even without experience, it will probably take no more than 15 minutes.

    • lee says:

      Okay, two votes for new glass. I’ll have to do it, especially if Snowbrush already has the points and experience at this. We plan to reuse all these house windows in a greenhouse one day, so having the glass fixed is a good idea either way.

  4. It makes me so happy that part of what you consider “sprucing up” is replacing duct tape with clear tape. You really are my kind of people.

    And if you figure out what to do with that area behind the sink, let me know. Mine looks exactly like yours.

    • lee says:

      Well as a temporary solution … and you can see through clear tape. ­čÖé

      And I’m glad we aren’t the only one with the scary sink problem!

  5. Love. We are in the same boat. I always joke if ever finish the house, we will have to move, because we’ll be bored…

    • lee says:

      This is definitely true of us. If we finish the house, I’ll have to start remodeling the barn as I won’t know what to do with all these idle tools.

  6. Ann says:

    Nice job…well done. It’s hard to get up the energy to face-lift something you know is going to be torn out, but it does make a big difference in how tolerable things are. (This coming from a person who is considering painting their plywood floors because after TEN YEARS they’re getting grody, so I’m probably not the best reference LOL…just sayin’).

    The inside of the dishwasher is WAAAAY beyond my comfort level though LOL. Where’s my toothbrush and some bleach LOL? I wanna got to town and buff that baby to a shine you can see yourself in – either that or rip the damn thing out and toss it to the curb and build some quick shelves in the interim.

    I can see that the wood trim runs the length of the counter. I’d rip it all off – clean up the back splash with a coat of paint, add a bead of silicone, and call it a day. No point in throwing more money at it that that.

    And do glaze that window – it will make a big difference and you can add one more skill to your already impressive skill-set.

    • lee says:

      Robin has talked about painting our plywood floors, but so far I’ve held her off. They really don’t weather the best though, and even after mopping them it’s hard to call them clean looking.

      Yes, the dishwasher disturbs us all. We really should pull it out, but I’m afraid of the mice situation we might find and don’t want to deal with the plumbing. None of the valves in our house look like they will work.

      That sounds like good advice for the trim. I had thought about replacing it with some PVC trim, but if laminate comes together okay at that point a clear bed of silicon would be sufficient. And that’s three votes for new window glazing!

  7. Woody says:

    There are several shops in our area that recycle kitchen counters/cabinets/appliances. I have picked up a new dishwasher and a rangehood for a rental house we used to have for fifty bucks!

    The window would bug the crap outta me. That’s just the way I’m wired.

    • lee says:

      There are a couple shops like that in our area too. The kitchen doesn’t have any power though, so the lack of wiring would be the first problem.

      There are so many things wrong with our house, that one broken window doesn’t even register on my radar at the moment. The main porch window was a piece of black plastic-covered plywood for the first two years. (It was only plastic when we bought the house.) That one actually bothered me.

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