Dan's Kitchen: Edging Towards Completion

Renovation Diary

Freshly-primed casing around the opening to the dining room.
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Name: Dan Bailey
Type of Project: Kitchen remodel
Location: East Boston, Boston, Massachusetts
Type of building: 2nd Floor Condo in a Greek-Revival Row House

The Renovation Diaries are a collaboration with our community in which we feature your step by step renovation progress and provide monetary support towards getting it done in style. See all of our Reno Diaries here.

The kitchen edged closer to completion this week. All that remains now is priming, and painting, and caulking, and more painting. The kitchen is a very small space, but priming and painting every surface in the room is taking longer than I expected. I've reached a paradoxical point in the renovation where I can't wait to see the finished kitchen, but I'm also experiencing some renovation fatigue, making it difficult to maintain motivation.

The newly-painted pantry.
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The last remaining major project of the renovation is the installation of shelves in the pantry closet. During the past few weeks I've been so concerned with finishing the kitchen that I didn't even consider the pantry layout until this week. There's a lot of space in the pantry, and I'd like to use it to store not only food, but also a microwave, cleaning supplies, paper goods, a vacuum, an ironing board, and extra folding chairs for guests. With this in mind, I'm planning to install shelving that's spaced farther apart near the floor and closer together higher up. The shelving will run along the rear wall of the pantry and then wrap around one of the short, side walls where the microwave will be located. I'll leave the opposite side wall open to provide a spot to hang the ironing board and folding chairs. After talking to my contractor, the current plan is to construct the shelves from pine planks supported either by wood cleats or metal brackets. I'd like to use polyurethane to finish the shelves – the clear finish will complement the pine floors and should be more durable and easier to clean than a painted finish. At the beginning of this week I primed and painted the pantry, so we're ready to install the shelves as soon as I finalize the plans and buy materials.

Close-up of the seam between the backsplash and the countertop after caulking.
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Later in the week I caulked the corners of the tile backsplash and the seam between the backsplash and the countertop. I used charcoal caulk to match the grout, and taped off the caulk lines with painter's tape. The painter's tape gave nice, sharp caulk lines, which is especially important when you're using charcoal caulk against white tile.

At the end of the week I began priming the trim in the kitchen. Since the trim is custom, it’s cut from raw, knotty pine. I used Zinsser BIN primer to cover up all of the knots and sap lines and ensure that they won’t bleed through the final coat of paint. BIN is a shellac-based primer. Shellac is a natural resin, and unlike water-based primers, it seals knots and prevents sap and pine resin from leeching into and staining the paint layer.

After a lot of indecision, I also ordered cabinet hardware this week. I chose classic mushroom knobs and plain drawer pulls in an oil-rubbed bronze finish. The dark hardware should contrast nicely with the gray and white cabinetry, and the unadorned style of the knobs and pulls will fit in well with the simple, 19th-century style of the kitchen.

Estimated time for project: 32 weeks
Time remaining: 1 week

Check out the full series (so far) and be sure to join us tomorrow for installment #35 of Dan's Kitchen Renovation.

(Images and diary text: Dan Bailey)

More posts in this series

Renovation Diary: Dan's Kitchen