The Den of Slack

Victorianna kitchen *almost* done

So I said in my last post that this would be the grande finale for the Victorianna’s kitchen. It’s not — I still have to finish the stove, and I might have torn up the hardwood floor for no good reason. (Oops.) I’ll leave you in suspense about that until it’s fixed, but for now, here’s the *almost* grand finale!

When I made the backsplash, I made the part under the hood to fit snugly between the upper cabinets.

Once the cabinets were painted it needed to be sanded down at the sides in order to fit. I did this until it fit well again — but then found that the uppers on the right (which are connected to the fridge cabinet) weren’t pushed all the way back into the corner, so I’d actually sanded too much. During sanding I also messed up the spacing of the tiles so they were no longer even with the row below them.

So I redid that piece. Luckily I had enough tiles left. I started with the center and side columns to make sure they lined up.

Once again, I left the bottom tiles hanging slightly over the edge to cover the seam.

When that piece was finished, I glued on the large panel. I had already glued on the one under the sink, so this panel needed to slide into place. I didn’t want to smear glue on the wallpaper so I put the glue directly on the wall, and then slid in the panel over it.

Some glue did spooge out the bottom, and I just wiped it off with a tissue. That will be covered by the cabinets so it doesn’t matter if I got a little glue on the wallpaper down there.

Next I glued in the small panel. Even with the tiles overlapping, you can see the seam here.

I filled in those holes with white grout on the tip of a toothpick.

At this point I was ready to add crown molding. I didn’t want it to compete with the (different) crown at the top of the cabinets, so I’d planned to use a smaller cove molding here, but this ceiling is a little warped and it didn’t look good. Regular crown molding hides the gaps better.

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Victorianna kitchen window

When I first started working on the Victorianna — four years ago! — I bought a pack of Grandt Line windows planning to use one in the kitchen.

It wasn’t as deep as the plywood wall + siding. I always figured I could do something with strip wood to make up the extra space.

Well, when it came time to finish the window I spent an afternoon messing around with strip wood, and I couldn’t come up with anything that would play nicely with the window *and* the backsplash. It didn’t help that the window is deep inside the room and I can’t see it straight on. I was starting to get frustrated (and a sore neck!) trying to figure out something that would work.

Houseworks windows are slightly deeper than the plywood wall + siding, but don’t come in this size. (The closest is this square window but it was slightly too small.) I previously cut a Houseworks window in half to make a piano window for the dining room, and decided to do the same thing in the kitchen.

I don’t remember exactly how I did this before (hey, it was four years ago!), but I know I used the miter box to cut the window down. I tried that this time and totally mangled a window. Then I remembered a trick I’ve heard about putting the window in the microwave to soften the glue. I put a window on a plate and nuked it for 10 seconds. When I took it out, it fell apart in my hands. For once that was a good thing!

With the pieces separated, it was easy to cut down the sides to the correct height and then put the window back together.

I applied glue and set the window in the hole to hold it square while it dried.

This protrudes about 1/16″ into the room, the same depth of the backsplash board.

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A shiny black countertop

In my real life kitchen, I picked out the countertop first and then spent a crazy amount of time finding backsplash tiles that would go well with it. I ended up with tiles in the same color family as the countertop, but a few shades lighter.

I wanted to do something similar in the Victorianna so I started by painting a green stone-like countertop, using the dry brush technique I’ve used in other kitchens.

Short version: it looked bad! The backsplash is busy and I didn’t have the right shades of green to paint something that looked good against it. I didn’t even take a picture. I covered up the green with a watery coat of Bleached Linen (the same paint I’m using for the cabinets) and put it aside for another day.

I looked online at pictures of white kitchens with green backsplashes and saw a lot of black countertops. It wouldn’t have occurred to me to try black, but why not? The nice thing about paint is you can cover it up. (And I usually have to a few times before I get a countertop right!)

For years I had a little bottle of black craft paint that came out nice and dark on the first coat. When that ran out last year I bought a bottle of Craft Smart paint that’s much more watery. It always takes several coats for full coverage. The middle piece in the picture below is after one coat of black — I didn’t like the brush strokes. So I tried sponging it on with a sponge brush instead. That plus the white base coat came out looking stone-like, as you can see in the piece on the right.

After sponging on one coat of black, I let the pieces dry and then sponged on another coat of black. Here’s the result.

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