Pantry Door Redux

Happy summer, Creating Krista lovers!  We’re in the thick of it this July (literally – you can feel the thickness of the air) and have been working on quite a few projects this month.  With our bathroom renovation slowly underway and a couple of kitchen tweaks in progress, I thought it was time for an in-depth update: the never-ending kitchen renovation.

As you know, last summer, Dan and I worked with a contractor to redesign and renovate our kitchen.  While we absolutely love the changes, including a few small DIY moves on our part, I still hesitate to call the space completely done.  Since last year, we’ve installed a new light fixture and made our own kitchen window roman shade.

This spring, we bought a brand new refrigerator, which is a big step forward in filling the empty space above our old fridge.  Dan spent quite a bit of time researching such a big purchase, and we ultimately went with a french door Samsung counter-depth fridge, which we got on sale at Home Depot.

There aren’t a ton of bells and whistles, but I definitely appreciate the front door water filter and the special easy access shelves.

As for our own projects, I have been dying to give our second kitchen pantry, next to our glass cabinet, a makeover. One pantry was completely redone in the renovation, but our second pantry has been looking pretty sad.  I don’t love bi-fold doors in general, but a flat front bi-fold door is even less appealing to me, especially when compared to the paneled doors on all of our cabinets.  We decided that it was time to make a door upgrade.

Dan and I grabbed this 6-panel, solid core, pine wood door from Home Depot for a little under $100.  We wanted to go with the wood feel that the rest of our cabinets have, as opposed to buying an already-white, composite wood door.  This just meant a little bit more elbow grease for me in terms of painting.

Thankfully, I have one of my favorite tools to fall back on: the Wagner Control Spray Max paint sprayer.  I’ve talked about it ad nauseum and have used it for quite a few projects now: painting a windowframe and a desk chair, to name a few.  The painting process is relatively cathartic for me, especially because this paint sprayer makes each coat go on really smoothly and easily. For the paint, we happened to have a flat white paint and primer (from Benjamin Moore I believe) s0 we used it in the sprayer.  I won’t go into detail about prepping the sprayer – it’s all in this post.  We did prep the entire driveway by putting down plastic dropcloths and propped the door up on two sawhorses.  To be honest, this project took quite a few coats of paint, more than I expected.  I spent a full weekend painting, then waiting for it to dry, and painting again.  I did three coats on each side of the door.  Once that was done, it was time for assembly and alignment!

The door came with all of the pieces necessary to assemble it along its track in the pantry closet.  The top piece shown here is a pin hinge, and the bottom piece is the roller that fits neatly into the track for the door.

Here’s the bottom of the door.  This piece holds the door in place and allows the rest of the door to move on its hinge.

Here’s Dan attaching the new track simply by screwing it into place.  We removed the old bifold door and its track shortly before we put in this new door.

This picture shows where the former door bracket was (you can see the outline in the dust).  We replaced that with the new bracket for the door on the bottom.

Here, you’ll see the door with the top hinge in place.  It bounces right off the spring to open and close easily. While this all looks fine and dandy, we actually had a pretty big problem: the door didn’t fit inside the door frame!

To this day, Dan and I are still not sure how we missed it, but the door was actually too big for our pantry opening.  Dan measured the spot on the pantry frame where the door would fit and cut out a chunk of the trim using an oscillating multi-tool.  After that, he also cut off 1/16 inch of the door using his table saw in the garage.  Both of these changes helped to ensure that the door actually fit.  Phew!

After we hung the door, I decided to do some painting touch ups.  Aside from just a few spots here and there that needed repainting, I realized that we didn’t get any paint on the hinges of the door or the outside edge.  I got to work with just a few coats of the flat white paint we used in the paint sprayer.

I used a sponge brush to keep things fairly simple.  It covered the full size of the door hinge without requiring too many strokes of paint.  I did this for the inside of the door as well as the outside edge and used an even smaller paint brush to cover the wood inside the metal hinges.

Lastly, we added the door hardware.  Thankfully, Dan had the foresight to purchase an extra cabinet knob when we bought our original set of kitchen cabinets, so it was very simple to match with the rest of the kitchen.

July 10 Blog-20

Isn’t it glorious?  It’s amazing what a fresh door can do to an (almost) complete space.  Next, we’ll be working on how to revamp the shelves on the inside of the pantry.  That, and a new and exciting project called… the dining table.  I’m excited to share what’s in store in the coming months!


Demo Day

I’m back!

It’s been a great February, with lots of time to relax, reflect, and get my focus together as we move into the spring.  I’ve been spending a lot of time on my own and learning to lighten up on myself.  Dare I say: it’s been working! I truly think that personal development is always a work in progress, but I’m definitely feeling more relaxed and more supportive of myself these days.  A wise friend recently told me that I’d do better if I remove “should” from my vocabulary (SO TRUE) because it’s a word ridden with guilt and unnecessary pressure.  I love the advice and I’m sticking to it.

Now let’s move on to more active and exciting updates… it’s DEMO DAY!!!!

Remember the basement bathroom project we put on hold a few weeks ago?  You know, with the cracked tile and outdated fixtures? Well, last weekend we got back to it and showed a sneak peek on Instagram and Facebook.  It was time to get our hands dirty (well, mostly Dan’s – I was playing photographer) and start tearing up the crumbling tile floor.

With any demolition project, it’s important to be safe first.  We both wore old clothes, goggles, and close-toed shoes.  Dan also wore gloves for the majority of this project.  Before we even did any demo, we made sure we had all of the tools we needed, garbage bags, and a plastic tarp to catch our debris.  Here’s the step by step process for demo-ing our bathroom.

First, Dan removed the trim pieces along the base of the bathroom floor.  We left the pieces behind the toilet and the sink, since we still had to remove both of those items before the trim could come out.

Next, we started the toilet removal process. We drained it first, which involved turning the water off, flushing as much water out of the tank as we could, and using an old rag to soak up as much water and squeeze out as much as possible. We did the same for the toilet bowl to empty out the bowl.  This was a bit of a process, but it was worth it in the end by lightening up the load to carry as well as being safe and water-free.

Dan removed the toilet tank first by unscrewing three bolts that were holding the tank to the base. Again, this made it lighter and easier to manage. Then, he removed the base of the toilet with two bolts.  We laid these pieces on a plastic tarp outside the bathroom.

Next, we removed the sink.  As always, we had to turn off the water before starting the process.  The sink bowl portion was caulked to the wall, so Dan pried it apart from the wall using a pry bar.  Next, he disconnected the drain plumbing from the wall.  Dan also had to break the grout away from the pedestal base, so he used a cold chisel to separate the two pieces.

We realized at this point that we had forgotten to disconnect the water line, so Dan did that carefully, so as not to knock over the pedestal (this should have been done before the pedestal was removed).  We removed the sink from the bathroom and took off the rest of the trim.

Then we finally started to remove the tile.  We started with the platform because there were a lot of tiles that were cracked and unattached, so they were easy to remove by hand.  Then we saw that the tile had been laid directly onto plywood, which was actually a serious construction mistake.

In bathrooms, the tile is supposed to be laid onto cement board or some other material that’s suitable for getting wet.  Since the tile was directly laid on top of wood, the wood was completely rotten as well as the framing beneath it, which also happened to be covered in a layer of mold (see below).

Once we saw the mold, we made sure to put our respirators on and turned on the bathroom fan before continuing to rip everything out.  For most of the tile removal, Dan was able to lift the pieces off by hand and use a hammer to get rid of some of the harder pieces.  Dan then disassembled the framing beneath the tiles, which were all moldy, rotten 2x6s of wood (he was able to break them in half easily with one hand).  This was the entire process for the platform on which the toilet was built.

We’re still in the process of finishing the demo completely, and we have to remove the rest of the tile from the main floor of the bathroom.  After that, it’s time to rebuild the wooden platform and make it safe for future use.  The wall repair will come next, and then the repainting and redecorating!  It looks like spring cleaning will take on a whole new meaning for us.  What have you been up to this winter?  Any indoor projects on the horizon?  I can’t wait to start working outside again… 70 degrees, here we come!