Wednesday, July 9, 2014

In the which the Farmhouse Kitchen gets painted cabinets {and wooden countertops}

Here it is; the post some of you have been patiently waiting on. It's posts like these that make me wish I had mad photography skills (like my friend Wendy) but I did my best to show you how awesome my kitchen looks now.

I neglected to take a full set of before photos but I do have just enough to show you how drab and dull my cabinets were. They look so different now. In fact, my sister-in-law was here over the weekend and saw them for the first time. She (mostly jokingly) remarked that she thought she went into the wrong kitchen. It really does look like a totally different room. Enough blathering. I know you really want to see what I'm talking about. So.....
I didn't get them from quite the same angle but hopefully this side by side gives you an idea of the vast improvement. (How do you like my little photobomber?) :)

You may have noticed I had already started tearing off wallpaper and removing hardware in these 2 pictures. I literally decided to paint my cabinets that week and started in immediately. After working awhile, it occurred to me that I should take some before pictures so I snapped these few but unfortunately, it doesn't show some things that we changed. When I started, I was ONLY going to paint the cabinets but then I got the idea to move my stove to the other side of the kitchen (it was tucked in beside the refrigerator and I never like feeling hemmed in while I was cooking) and install a microwave above it. The microwave had always resided on the countertops and hogged precious horizontal surface. Quite some time ago, I had gotten an older GE under-the-cabinet microwave for $40. It was pretty dirty and although I had been assured when I bought it that it worked, I had never tested it.

So anyway, the refrigerator and stove were beside each other with a 10" cabinet between them. The fridge was so big that it stuck out past the doorway trim and bothered me. So, with hubby's approval and help, I set out to improve the layout of the kitchen. I moved the stove straight across the kitchen to where we had torn out a desk soon after we moved here. (My Hoosier had been sitting there.) On either side of the stove, we added cabinets. On the right, we put the 10" cabinet that had been between the stove and fridge. On the left, a cabinet that I had previously rescued from Uncle Cabinet Maker's burn pile. Hubby made that into a pull-out trash can cabinet using a door from one of the upper cabinets that we were no longer using. Above the stove we used a cut-down cabinet and mounted the microwave to it. A friend with electrical experience did the wiring for us. (The microwave works great, by the way.) So. much. better!
 Now on the other side where the stove had been we had a space. I was game to put in some odds and ends from the Habitat ReStore but hubby wanted to build one. Using Uncle's shop, knowledge, and help, he built a 36" base cabinet. We didn't have any more leftover doors/drawers so he used something from Uncle's discard pile. It's noticeably different but similar enough to be okay.
In the space above, we used another cut-down cabinet (When we moved here, it had been on the wall above where the stove currently is sitting.). It has an open area that I use for displaying my Celebrating Home stoneware.
This sweet little butter dish isn't Celebrating Home but I sure love it. I just picked it up at TJMaxx this week. I have been looking and looking for a butter dish that isn't just blah. This one looks so "farmhousey" and it didn't break the bank. I think it was only $5.
Here is full view:
I was planning to reuse the hardware but DH didn't like that it was all knobs so he told me if I could find something I liked under $4, he would buy new. Challenge accepted! I found what I liked but unfortunately, they were NOT under $4 each. So I kept searching different websites until I found one that had them under $4 and free shipping! Score! (At the end of the post, I will provide a link.) I love how they look! We did reuse the hinges and honestly they are not noticeably different from the knobs/pulls.
So now that we did all the changing around, that countertops were an issue. Again, I was willing to just put in some odd pieces from the ReStore to fill in the gaps but hubby wasn't happy with that. Since it was his wallet, I wasn't going to argue with him. ;) We priced new laminate but since we plan to upgrade our flimsy cabinets in the future, we wanted to go a less expensive route this time and do nicer countertops with the new cabinets. We tossed around other ideas and for awhile, DH was seriously considering attempting concrete countertops. He watched lots of YouTube videos and priced forms but ultimately decided it was too risky. The next option (and obviously the one we went with) was wooden countertops. This route cost us around $500 (less than half the laminate quote) but COUNTLESS hours. DH (with Uncle's help) did 95% of the work. Using Uncle's shop, tools, advice, and help, he sawed hard maple lumber into strips, glued them together, sanded them down, etc. I'm not going to go into detail on how he made and installed these but I will just say, he's a perfectionist and the countertops are lovely. I used Minwax dark walnut stain and Waterlox sealer on them.

And a few more shots 'just because':

See how smooth and hard this paint is? HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend!

Top of the refrigerator
And now, I never really addressed what paint I used and how hard the cabinets were to paint. So let's take care of that before I go. After much online research and reading of reviews, I decided to use Insl-X Cabinet Coat Acrylic Satin Enamel. I was able to find it locally at one of our Ace hardware stores that is a Insl-X dealer but I bought their last gallon and she told me they wouldn't be carrying it any longer. So, I HAD to make that gallon do my whole project. I could have bought online and had it tinted (Swiss Coffee) at Lowes or Menards but I didn't really want to risk it not matching. The steps I took to paint the cabinets are as follows:
#1. Remove knobs
#2. Wash cabinets good with TSP and tape off any areas not being painted.
#3. Fill any holes with spackling. Let dry and sand smooth.
#4. Number all the doors and remove. It's nice if you have an area you can set up sawhorses and lay them all out at once. I did it in my workshop and I had to lay them out in 2 batches.
#5. Prime with a stain blocking primer like Kilz or BIN
#6. Paint 2 coats of paint on the cabinet faces and doors/drawers. Because I was trying to conserve paint, I only painted the backs of the doors with one coat of paint.
#7. Let dry and cure the recommended time and re-install.
#8. Put your hardware on and stand back and admire your hard work.

Ok, it's not quite that simple. :) The actual painting is not hard. The hard part is having your kitchen torn up while trying to carry on normal life. Obviously, this is not very detailed instructions. Because this post is getting too long, I will leave it at this. If there are enough questions on the how-to, I will do a separate post and address the questions. For now, I've kept it simple.

The hardware I used is:


If you use these names and do a google search, you can probably find them for a better price if you are buying quantity. Menards also has these in stock of you live near one of them.

This post contains affiliate links.

Linking to:
From the farmhouse,

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Heads up!

Hi everyone!

Just popping in for a quick heads-up. Last week, we finally installed and finished the countertops in the kitchen so early next week, I'm hoping to share pictures here on the blog.

Also, we are VERY close to 200 GFC followers here and almost 300 on Facebook. When we reach both those milestones..... A GIVEAWAY! Woot! So if you know someone with similar interests that might be interested in following along here at The Olde Farmhouse, spread the word.

That's it for now. Stay tuned for the update next week!


From the Farmhouse,

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Charleston Getaway

Last week this time, I was in Charleston, SC celebrating my 10th anniversary with my better half. Even though the locals were complaining about the rain and cold, I thought it felt heavenly compared to NW Ohio. We were there for 3 days (which was not near long enough) and it rained 2 of them. The 3rd day was sunny but only in the 60's.

The weekend prior to Charleston, we as a family traveled to Harrisonburg, VA to my brother's wedding.
My handsome brother and his beautiful bride.

Then from there, our 3 boys went to Maryland with my parents and DH and I started south to Charleston. We arrived at our motel in North Charleston late Sunday afternoon and left Thursday morning. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday we tried to hit some of the highlights of Charleston but with the weather not cooperating, we ended up doing some antiquing. (Which is not a bad thing :) ) I found something for my Etsy shop which I hope to list soon.

Here are some of our pics (not in any particular order):

 Angel Oak Tree above and below DH is standing by the trunk to give you an idea how HUGE it is.

 Monday evening the weather cooperated enough for us to go on a dolphin watching tour. It was very hard to get a still shot but I did get several good videos. Here's one of the few shots that show more than a circle on the water. :) Also, some other 'water' shots.

 Charleston is called the city of churches. Here are 2 of the many we saw. Gorgeous old architecture!

On Tuesday it rained pretty much all day so we went to an old plantation house, Drayton Hall. Drayton Hall is being preserved, not restored. Therefore, there is no running water or electricity. The rooms are huge and grand. I didn't take many pictures because it was cloudy that day and there is only natural light in there but here are a few:

(Sorry this is so grainy!)
The only original plaster ceiling - hand carved!
And a few shots of some of the gorgeous flowers:

And finally, my better half and I:

Our anniversary isn't actually until the end of May so I'm hoping to celebrate again. ;) With at least a dinner out.

Those of you who may still be looking for pics of the kitchen, I haven't forgotten. We still have the countertop to finish and install. We talked about several options for them, one of which was concrete, but we ended up going with wood. DH is making them in Uncle's shop. We hope to have them finished soon.

From the Farmhouse,

Saturday, February 22, 2014

EASY Red Velvet Torte

I have not been sharing much here on the blog lately. Mostly because not much is happening here at the farmhouse except the normal daily things which I'm sure you don't care to hear about. I got my 2 year old potty trained, which to me, is a huge task and one I dread. He still has accidents sometimes but they are few and far between. As with my other 2, he isn't night trained either. For some reason, my boys seem to take awhile for that to develop.

The weather here in NW Ohio has been brutal and some days I feel like all I get done is feed wood into the woodstove (our main source of heat). This week, though, the cold has relented a little and we had some 'balmy' temps in the 40's. That has made for lots of melting snow and flooding. But I'm not complaining; I'm glad to see the snow go! I'm getting anxious for Spring.

And now for the purpose of this post: Red Velvet Torte. I made this cake on Valentines Day but am just now getting it shared. It looks fancy but I assure you, it really is easy. The recipe I got from my mom was chocolate and I wanted something 'Valentiney' so I adapted it to suit me. It was a big hit at our house; really moist and not overly sweet. To make it, you will need:

1 Red Velvet Cake Mix
1 small box chocolate pudding
1 stick butter - melted
1 cup water
1/2 cup milk
4 eggs

Mix all this together until well blended and divide evenly into 2 9" round (or heart-shaped) pans that have been greased and floured. Bake at 325*F for 30 min. or until done. Cool 15 min. then overturn them out onto a plate to completely cool. When cool, carefully slice each cake in half.

***A tip for baking cakes to be flatter on top instead of domed is to bake them at a lower temperature. This allows the center to bake evenly with the sides.

For the frosting, mix in small mixing bowl the following:
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Beat until color lightens then fold in 1 8 oz. container of Cool Whip. Divide frosting into 4 equal parts.

Assemble the torte starting with cake and topping each layer with frosting. For the top layer, you can 'decorate' however you wish. I dusted the cake with powdered sugar then made rosettes around the edge. Chocolate curls or hearts would be neat too.

***A tip for getting the frosting on the layers without smearing a bunch of crumbs into it is to put it in an icing bag (or Ziploc with the corner cut off) and pipe it on beginning with a ring or 2 around the outside edge and filling in the middle in a back and forth motion.

Refrigerate the completed torte if not serving immediately. Also refrigerate any leftovers {if you have any}. :)

from the farmhouse

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hand-Painted Signs~New Etsy Listings

Before Christmas I started working on repurposing two wooden cabinet doors that I had gotten from a garage sale last summer. The lady I bought them from said they were from a local bank that was doing a remodel and just throwing them away. She grabbed them because she didn't want to see them thrown away but didn't really have a plan for them. So she decided to offer them at her garage sale. I found them near the end of the day and she was willing to deal. She sold them to me half price and I brought them home with the intention of making them into signs.

Like I said, I started before Christmas but as I mentioned in my previous post, I got really busy during December and I didn't get them finished. So this week I decided to dust them off and finish them. They are now listed in my shop. I realize the one is 'off-season' but I went ahead and listed it in case someone is looking for decor for the next holiday season.

I used Miss Mustard Seed Milk paint for the door and craft paint for the lettering. I just printed the sign off and transferred it to the sign by tracing the letters over carbon paper. (No Silhouette Cameo needed!)

From the Farmhouse

Monday, December 30, 2013

An Update From the Farmhouse

If you don't follow me on Facebook, you're probably wondering if I've expired. This post will attempt to update you on what I've been up to.

We have a rental house (which is actually the first house hubby and I lived in after we were married) and in November our tenants informed us they were moving at the end of the month. *sad face* We have done very little to the house since we moved out and have allowed tenants to paint if they wish. This time, however, we decided that WE would paint (I've discovered that not everyone knows HOW to paint) and while we were at it, do a few other 'updates'.  Most of the light fixtures were the same ones we bought the house with and honestly, I can't believe I lived with them for over 2 years. They were U.G.L.Y. 80's style lights. Also, the bedroom carpets have needed replaced for a long time. We finally felt like we were at a place financially to do it so they got replaced. It is a 2 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath and the half bath had carpet. YEEE-UCK! We had them lay vinyl in there and it's so. much. nicer. In addition to new flooring, I replaced 5 light fixtures. I changed a bunch of 2-prong outlets to 3-prong ones. I patched holes in walls. I painted trim and walls. I installed trim in the half-bath and replaced a leaking faucet in there. Hubby replaced both toilets (we discovered one had been leaking!) and we raised the rent! :) All of this work took up most of 3 weeks, not counting the 3 days I had the flu :(, and just last week, I handed the keys over to our new tenants.

So that pretty much shot the month of December and Christmas was upon me before I had time to prepare. We had traveled to Maryland over Thanksgiving and had Christmas with my family then. Christmas Day was spent with hubby's family and trying to dodge the flu bug that was going around. Thankfully, only 1 son got it. I did zero decorating for Christmas and 2 days after Christmas, it dawned on me that I still had some fall decor up. It's been bare basics around here and I'm looking forward to having more time in January to focus on things around here and do a few projects before we start our next 'big' project.

Recently, we had an amazing opportunity to buy a house and property (separate pieces) for a super price. The house is small and needs curb appeal but the inside of the house doesn't need much. It is a 3 bedroom/1 bath and the bedrooms are very small. To make it more re-salable, we are looking into making it into a 2 bedroom, 2 bath. But first we have to get rid of the squatter. :( We were told at closing that the tenant was moved out but we never went and made sure this was the case. Lesson learned. We closed for the house on December 9 but were so busy with the rental that we didn't have time to go check out the other place. On Christmas Day, we took our key and went (with some of hubby's family) to check it out. We had a not nice surprise in the form of the door screwed shut and a note saying the premises were still occupied by ___________ and if we entered without his permission, he would press charges for breaking and entering. (Pretty sure he can't do that since he is there illegally!) Anyway, our key did not let us in and now we have to go through the eviction process of removing him since he obviously doesn't plan to move on his own. :( That will be at least a month so in that waiting time, I'm hoping to work on some things around here. Hubby mostly has my 'new' shop ready to move into so I want to start on that this week.

Hopefully this gives you an idea what I've been up to and why I've sorely neglected my blog the last month. I'll leave you with our 'Christmas' picture and wishes for a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

from the farmhouse,