Yesterday I blogged about the overall cabin renovation, but today I thought I would go into the details for the kitchen. As I mentioned before, the cabin sustained water damage throughout, which prompted the renovation. One thing led to another....
We started this project by removing all the old musty carpet throughout. Then we completely gutted the kitchen area, being careful to save all the cabinetry, because we planned to reuse/repurpose all that was possible for the new cabinets.
The ceiling of the entire cabin was styrofoam tiles, that are not available anymore. This was a tricky task because the original overhead light was a diasaster and we wanted to add the pendant lights over the island...it was several hours of very gently removing and rearranging those tiles so we wouldn't have to replace the entire ceiling.
Now for the countertops, we opted for concrete because the price was right. Our concrete bags were around $5.80 per bag and we used about 10 for the entire kitchen. We had never done this before, so we did our research online and made a few mistakes but in the end it worked out...Above you can see the mold we built with 2x4's for support on the bottom, melamine boards 1.5 inches deep to make the mold on the top and plastic at the bottom(which is actually the top). The white square in the middle is the opening for the stove top. As we filled the mold with concrete, we addded some wire and rebar for support. Unfortunately, when we tried to move this particular portion(after it completely dried), it cracked and had to be repaired once installed, which wasn't that big of a deal. It did add some additional time.
The countertops weren't that hard, but it was pretty physically demanding. We opted to do them outside because of the concrete sink. I looked into purchasing a farmhouse sink, but that would have taken up almost half of the overall reno budget - so we made one.
Here is the island, all of these sections had to be sanded then I added a feather light concrete layer (very thin), to fill in any holes, then I sanded again.
Here's a look at the sink (from the bottom).
And the sink from the top. We used a PVC pipe in the correct size as the drain cover hole and one in a smaller size for the facet opening.
Because the sink had curved corners, I couldn't use a trowel to add the feather light layer, but had to use my hands. Then I had to sand by hand.
While the concrete was curring, about 48 hours but because we were working on this on weekends only, it had a full week to dry. Because of the weight of the countertops and sink, we had to build the cabinets with enough support to handle them. Here you can see our base, using 2x4's.
The following weekend, I added hypoxy over all the concrete surfaces. It dries fast, about 20 minutes, I was able to do three coats fairly quickly.
Here is the area we had to path because it cracked when we moved it - I don't think anyone could tell it was patched. Then it was time for the subway tiles and the one item we purchase brand new, the range hood. I like that it ties in the corrugated steel from the island. We ordered it off of Amazon for $170. The subway tiles were around $60 for the tile, grout and adhesive. We had the tile cutter from the bathroom sink project.
The longest process of the project was then trying to customize the old cabinets and drawers into the new design. This was a hairpulling/teeth grinding exercise in patience! My husband persevered and finished, then I got to painting the white and spray painted the original knobs a darker color to coincide with the galvanized pipe from the shelves. I had several antique pulls for the drawers that add a nice touch. I was adamant that I did not want the microwave on my beautiful new countertops or shelves, so we build a shelf between the drawers to accomodate. It is a little low but I love that it is out of the way.