Renovation Diaries: Kitchen Part 2 | Motivation and Clarity

At my weekly Al-Anon rallies we recite the Serenity Prayer at the beginning and end of each hour. The prayer reminds me that I must not waste energy on things I cannot control; and that I can direct my energy towards something more positive. Something that I can create, and grow, and nurture

I call it a rally because we support each other in a purpose. Rally, defined, means a group of people gathered together for a common cause or a target issue. In this case, our target is alcohol and how it’s made our lives unmanageable.

My life is unmanageable to take on by myself. And so I go to meetings. But, I also have other tools to gain clarity and calm. One is the garden and growing food for my family. Another is tearing the shit out of my house and building it back up again. There’s nothing like taking a sledgehammer or a pry bar to a wall or cabinet and ripping that SOB off its base. Drywall definitely gives a lot more than wood paneling. But drywall doesn’t usually come off in one piece. And the bigger the piece, the more satisfying the effort.

And so with destruction in mind, I made a promise to myself for the next four weekends to work on one of the biggest eyesore areas of the house, one for each weekend. This weekend was the kitchen. Week number two is the dining room, three is the living room and four is the backyard. Why four weekends? Because grandma is coming. And it’s a mad dash to do.all.the.things.

for the kitchen, I identified three big things that I want done on a $35 budget (because that’s how much I have in gift certificates from Lowe’s) and things I have already collected over time from salvaged things, freecycle, and estate sales:

1. Finish sanding and painting the lower cabinets,
2. Finish mudding and sanding the “window wall” so we can put up the backsplash, paint, and put up the open shelves and,
3. Strip the linoleum clean.

We got about half of it done this weekend. The paint on all 9 drawers takes a long time to cure. This has to happen so it doesn’t stick and peel between coats. And so it doesn’t ding or scratch during reinstallation. I’ve had to completely re-sand a project because I peeled of paint before it had completely dried and cured.

So I got all 9 drawers sanded and most of them painted. I opted for 3 coats on the drawers for my comfort. We used Valspar interior/exterior latex paint. As of Sunday evening, there are 3 drawers back in the cabinet, 3 curing/drying, and 3 waiting for a final coat that I’ll do tomorrow after work. The window wall (“To the windows! To the walls!”) has more mud but My Mechanic says he has to sand and do a top coat before he is satisfied. He is a total perfectionist when it comes to drywall and carpentry.

So, unfortunately there are no kitchen porn photos to share. But here are 6 of my drawers all lined up and waiting for more coats of paint. They’re not even naked. Sorry.


Painted kitchen drawers
The window wall
My mayhem of a kitchen
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