My kitchen renovations – part 3

The kitchen renovations have taken longer than we thought. The initial demolition was surprisingly quick, so the next bit was a bit of a shock. Perhaps naiively we expected that once the old tiles and kitchen were removed that we would be able to start installing the new kitchen straight away. We were wrong. Firstly, the wall which had been damaged in removing the tiles completely caved in between the bathroom and the kitchen!

Photo 08-07-2014 14 22 27

Photo 08-07-2014 16 31 34

The pictures above show my view from the kitchen, straight into the bathroom. Those are the bathroom taps you can see floating in midair! I would have panicked more but the builder seemed quite calm about the whole thing so I left him to it!

Secondly, We had to wait until our original (another story to come) builder had re-built the wall and put new plasterboard up before we could even think about installing cabinets – a process that took much much longer than expected, we had to wait almost a week until we even got to this point (one of the reasons he is now an ex-builder):

Photo 10-07-2014 18 51 41

And then another full week before we got to here (you can see all the pencil lines where we’d started to draw the kitchen plans onto the walls):

Photo 15-07-2014 18 39 40

Now, plasterboard up, I thought we were ready to go and could start installing. But it turns out we’d forgotten some fairly major things.

  1. That the tiles had damaged more places than just where the new plasterboard was.
  2. We hadn’t factored in the pipework before we’d designed the kitchen and the sink and oven were both now in the wrong place.
  3. We hadn’t factored in the plug sockets when we’d had the wall rebuilt, so work was duplicated as we asked the builder to move sockets he’d already installed and patch the gaps (see the new socket for the washing machine above).

But, none of these things was irreparable. We realised that we couldn’t paint over the plasterboard that had been exposed when we removed the tiles (see the brown patch in the photo above? that stuff), particularly because where we’d removed the lining paper the rest of the wall sat a few millimetres further out, leaving a noticeable ridge in the wall. We decided our best bet was to try and even out the wall wit a thin layer of plaster. We’ve never done any building work before, let alone plastering, so this was both exciting and terrifying.

We bought some ready-mixed plaster and a couple of tools and started applying it. I wasn’t particularly good at application but Mr Harriet was amazing! You have to keep a lot of pressure on the trowel as you apply to make it flat, and it dries so quickly it’s easy to leave marks in. He knew when to stop messing with his and it turned out great, but since I tried to even out every imperfection mine was a mess of swirls and it was really uneven.

Photo 15-07-2014 18 39 49

Photo 15-07-2014 23 34 40

Photo 16-07-2014 17 49 35

It’s a bit like applying a really big area of filler, with the same idea of keeping the trowel wet etc. Once we left this to dry we painted the ceiling (without taping around the gross florescent light, that will be changed once I work out how!) and finally understood why that paint that goes on pink but dries white is so useful when the next day we walked in and saw loads of yellow patches that I missed, but that was quickly rectified!

We then painted the rest of the walls in the same colour I’m using on most of the house, Moonlight from Homebase’s House of Colour range (I wrote more about my paint choices here.) and finally, we were ready for some cabinets…

I’ll post the (hopefully) final update next week.

Love, xxx

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