I’ve been thinking a lot about the floor in the kitchen. And pondering the way that improving one part of a room, suddenly makes other changes become a priority.
The scenario runs something like this: The wallpaper looks outdated, dark and dingy so you remove it. This means you have to patch and paint the walls (and the fireplace, while you’re at it). Suddenly you notice those vertical drapes you have been meaning to take down, so they go next. You put the second coat on the walls. And Bingo! It suddenly becomes painfully obvious how terrible the floor in the kitchen actually is.
Before you painted the walls, you didn’t really notice the floor. Hey, it isn’t so bad, you have seen a lot worse, you thought to yourself before you got rid of the hideous wallpaper and painted. Now, however, it is glaringly obvious.
You wonder to yourself how the same person who put the beautiful hardwood floors in the living room and hall could resort to cheap vinyl tiles in the kitchen and dining area.
Something must be done about it! But, what?
This is when you start googling like crazy! You notice floors everywhere you go, and in everything you look at. What on earth, you ponder, can you do with old fake brick vinyl tiles on a 50 cent budget? Correction: what can you do with damaged old vinyl tiles on a 50 cent budget?
Ripping them up seems like the obvious solution, but I have removed vinyl tiles before and it is by no means easy or quick. And we have no budget for replacing them at the moment.
Cue the light bulb moment: a picture in a magazine of a dark glossy painted floor. Ooooh, that looks so cool. And painted. A picture immediately forms in my head: instead of fake brick vinyl tiles, a glossy floor in the same Abyss color as on the fireplace. Now you are talking!
My first idea: rip up the vinyl tiles and paint the sub-floor. I chat to nice Mr Paint Man in my local paint shop about it while picking up another tin of Glass Slipper to finish the kitchen/dining/living area. ‘Well’ he says ‘you could do that, but if you use our floor and patio paint, you can paint straight over the tiles.’ I do a double-take. ‘Really?’ and ask my two standard painting questions: ‘Will it stick?’ and ‘How will it wear?’. Quickly followed by ‘But what about the damaged bits?’ and ‘Can you tint it to any color I want?’.
Mr Paint Man tells me if I wash the floor with TSP, then wash it again with de-glossing solution the paint will stick. He tells me how it is designed to go on garage and workshop floors. How it has epoxy in it to strengthen it. How they painted it on the laminex counters in their previous shop and it lasted for years. Even with paint tins, etc banging across it all the time. Interesting.
He tells me I can repair the damage to the floor with flexible filler, purchased from any hardware store. And yes, I can have it any color I want. SOLD!
I leave with a tin of Glass Slipper, and one of Floor and Patio paint in Abyss.
Before I can do the floor, though, I have to get the kitchen cabinets done. So after putting the 2nd coat of Glass Slipper on the walls, I clear the kitchen, and set to work removing the doors, hinges and handles.
Having researched the cost of replacing the aged brass 60s style handles and hinges, I decided I liked them enough to be able to live with them. I think they will look ok once the cabinets are painted.
Keeping the hardware also means that I don’t have to patch the holes in the doors, and drill and fit new hardware, which is a massive time-saving bonus. And I need every second I can squeeze at the moment.
Because I am keeping the hardware, I need to be organized about sorting and storing the hinges, handles, screws and bolts, while I work on the doors and frames. Hence my arrangement of tubs and boxes:
A place for everything and everything in its place. Excellent.
Working clockwise around the kitchen, I quickly settle into a routine of remove door, remove hinges, remove handles, stack the doors in order. Top doors in one stack, base doors in another. Repeat 22 times. Yes, this tiny kitchen has 22 doors. Which is why I am keeping the hardware for time being.
Times like these I am extremely grateful for the invention of the electric drill which unscrews, as well as drills holes and screws things in. Magic!
Why remove the doors? I hear you ask. Because it is easier and quicker to take everything off, and paint the doors and cabinet frames separately, rather than trying to work around them in situ.
Here is the kitchen after removing the doors:
And with that, it was time to go home. Another day completed at the new place, and another day closer to moving in.
Tomorrow is a day of rest, but the day after that will be sanding and painting the cabinets and doors, and painting the accent wall in the living room.