It’s a Wrap

Prepping this kitchen is pure and unadulterated torture.  Don’t let our perma-smiles fool you.  Kitchen renovating is not for the weak of heart.  Can anyone do it?  Probably.  It’s not a skill thing.  I liken it to having a baby…anyone can jump into that pool with two feet, and after a long getting ready period filled with possible discomfort, long hours, and sleepless nights, you then have a bundle of joy that you are paranoid about ruining.  I might even name our baby when it’s done.  And give it a birth certificate.  And you can count on too many photos. 

Speaking of photos, let me explain some things before I show pics. 

CABINETS:  When we originally started this phase of the kitchen reno, we were gonna paint the cabinets.  and the walls.  not the trim.  not redo the tile.  Well, when we started sanding the space we found out that some of the cabinets are really nice and some not real wood.  So that meant oil-based primer.  We figured that in order to really get the toughest painted finish out there, we would use oil based primer to really block the stains and for easiest & fastest coverage.  The only thing was…we didn’t want to put oil based paint in our sprayer…so that meant either hand doing it…or getting spray cans.  We opted for the easier.

TILE:  Our tile was gonna be phase 3 of this kitchen…you know…after-the-baby-was-born-phase-three.  But when we realized that we had to remove some to put in the hood…it became phase 2.  Some folks asked why we didn’t demo the tile before painting the cabinets…well, because 1.  the insulation would be falling out everywhere while we painted, B. the tile doesn’t cover any of the cabinets so it doesn’t mean we’ll have to repaint, IV.  we were prepared to paint…we weren’t prepared to pick out tile and replace drywall.  Plus, we are not attempting to salvage this tile…so it doesn’t matter if it gets overspray paint on it.  Let’s just pray that when it comes time to demo it, it goes smoothly. 

WALLS:  I still have no idea what color we are painting on the walls.  And for twopointohnanoseconds I thought we were gonna tape them off and not have to repaint.  So ignore the fact that I started taping them off in these pics.  I was a dummy.

On to the photos…

After we sanded in the kitchen, it was a mess…so Will and I cleaned it up.  I cleaned the floors and the cabinets so they were ready for paint.  Eliminating dust is crucial for a good paint job.  And so is wearing your husbands flipflops when your feet have swelled outta yours :)

The other thing we had to fix was the wooden wall surround that goes next to the fridge.  It was pulling away from the trim.  So Jer drilled in a couple L brackets to keep it in place.   

Then came time to cover the floors.  I found the easiest way to cover hardware floors is with loads of Frog Tape and brown paper.  Here’s how I do it:  I cut the roll of brown paper to the right length (about an inch short of reaching the wall)… 

Then I whip out the tape.  Frog Tape is really the best.  And this is coming from someone really lazy who hates touch ups and scraping stray paint where it’s supposed to be a crisp clean line…so you know it’s true.  I’m too lazy to lie.

I put the tape directly on the floor where I want my clean line.  Then I rub it with something flat and hard…like a library card…(it’s pressure activating…like a good foot massage…you don’t wanna just squirt the lotion on em and call it a day…rubbing is crucial)…

Then you put your paper down flat and put another length of Frog Tape to hold it down and cover any little gaps.

Pretty much the same process with wrapping up countertops.  You have to do the perimeter (and underneath where it meets the cabinets!) with Frog Tape first…

Then put your paper down with more tape holding it in place and covering any gaps.  Borrow your two year olds craft scissors if neccessary :)

When we started the countertops, I realized pretty quickly that I would rather just have the faucets removed rather than go through the tedious process of taping them… so my darling boys got to work.   Will is management obviously.

I love the hand on the belly.  Kinda like he’s saying, “I got  your back dad”…or possibly “I with you…I have no idea why mom is so crazy”.

Some folks asked why we were getting rid of the faucets.  Plain and simple…I don’t like them.   Second point for the win…they leak.

Exhibit A…

They were probably fixable…but why invest time fixing something we don’t like anyway, right?  So we pulled out all the parts and put the bag in the donate pile. 

Other folks were asking us why we were not digging the tile.  Well for one, it was not installed the way I would choose.  The first row of tile was cut across the top to make it straight.  Usually you put the cut edge toward the countertop.  So thats pet peeve numero one.

The second issue is that at some point there was some need for regrouting…which Napoleon did…in a different color.  Check out the bright white grout near the outlet.  Yup.  Sticks out like Michael Jackson’s socks.

Last…there were weird areas of dark gray dirt.  It was like the person who installed the tile had the countertop still dirty with dust and just smooshed it into the grout.  I scrubbed and scrubbed.  But to no avail.   Plus, there are still obvious areas of discoloration because of grease and smoke…I’ve tried every kinda cleaner out there…and I think it was sealed into the porous tile.  ERG.   So all of those things made me wanna just tear it out. 

After the countertops and floors were finally safe and sound, it was time to do the insides of the cabinets.

Two lines of Frog Tape on each edge…and then we put in ‘trap doors’.   Basically it’s just a piece of cardboard cut to fit inside the cabinet and block overspray.  We scored the bottom so we could squeeze it in and then used the little Frog Tape handle to pull it closed.  When there were shelves on the inside (like the upper cabinets next to the fridge), those just held the cardboard in place…but when there were no shelves, we reached our arm up the trap door and taped it to stay.

We also used the tape and paper to cover all the appliances (except the fridge which we moved into the living room)…

There she blows…classy, huh?

And the lights also got covered.  The big one we called Frankenlight.

The pendants were easy.  And yes, the tape works great for covering cords…

So that wrapped up an entire Thursday and Friday.  I was so glad the next day would be Saturday because that meant I could climb up on the ladder (equally terrifying and exciting) to finish the windows.

Jeremy and I got up early the next day to finish up…

Of course…

Oh and Will got in on the action…I love his little mouth in this shot…

And he got a little balance bike action in before the plastic went back up on the doorways…


 Here’s a better picture of Frankenlight…scary, huh?!

So for the most part, the kitchen was done.  Jeremy had admitted that my hoarding of cardboard boxes was invaluable in this very particular and rare situation (he wanted to make sure I clarified that)…and that the room was almost ready for primer.

Cardboard was also used to cover the new vent hood. 

(Pssst…we heard everyone’s concern over the vent duct tape…and since this area is completely accessible, we plan on conducting an experiment.  We are gonna open the doors to over the hood every month to monitor the condition.  We’ll see how long it takes for the duct tape to dry out, peel or melt.  It’ll add scientific joy into my otherwise boring life).  

I simply am showing this photo to show my impressive handiwork wrapping the dishwasher.  And yes, there are dirty dishes in there.

For the windows we used cardboard, paper and tape.  My favorite part was cutting the arched windows outta cardboard…it was my inner geek coming out :)   The rest of the room was completely ready too..


So that’s where we stand…a whole lotta brown.  and green.  I’m just thankful that part is OVER.   Next up – primer (a la spraypaint for the cabinets) and paint for the trim.   

Operation Heart of the Home Past Posts:




This is a sponsored post brought to you by FrogTape. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience – which means I would use Frog Tape even if they didn’t know me and I am sick of sitting on the hardwood floor :)



  1. says

    That is SO much prep work! Good for you guys for taking the time to make sure you’re doing things right. I can’t wait to see the finished cabinets, I just know they’re going to be beautiful!

    • says

      It doesn’t have a chain or pedals…and no training wheels either. It’s simply for balance. We love it because Jer is a mountain/road bike maniac and we can’t wait till Will can join us in the fun :)
      xo – kb

  2. says

    i can’t wait to see the finished product!! * keep it up. sorry you have to do more than you wanted at the same ‘phase’ may God work that budget (and preg energy!) and bring it together.

    * ok, i can wait. i know that I’M not doing it, and that things in real life (done well) take time. good luck.

  3. says

    I feel for you guys… especially you being 30+ weeks pregnant during all of this!! I’m currently painting the cabinets in the house we’re moving to, and I was actually thinking of you as I primed them… I’m 12 weeks pregnant and only have 21 cabinet doors. From what I can remember you have 50+…. WHOA!! You go girl! I would have given up I believe! Can’t wait to see the finished product :)

  4. Sheila says

    Wow! That’s a ton of prep work, but well worth it. Can’t wait to see the results!!

    PS – Highlight of my day right here because I can totally see my own boyfriend making a similar comment: “Jeremy had admitted that my hoarding of cardboard boxes was invaluable in this very particular and rare situation (he wanted to make sure I clarified that)” Thank you for that!

  5. says

    I am impressed with your patience! How long did it take you to get all of that cardboarded, brown-papered, and frog-taped over?! I would have given up…but then again, your projects turn out way better than mine, so that’s probably why!

    I can’t wait to see the finished product!

  6. Jessie says

    OMG! Looking good! I like the breakdown you gave us – with all the links of the progress thus far! I missed some of the action in the past, so it is nice to see how it is all coming together.

    Can’t wait to see more!

  7. Kristi says

    Holy prep work! My sister is very precise and likes writing perfect block letters and has the patience to make scrapbooks. I think I should enlist her help when we’re in the prep stages of our kitchen redo! Good for you for having the patience to do it right the first time. I’m 27 weeks pregnant and we closed Monday on a 100 year old house. Luckily all of the major stuff is done but our Napoleons did some of the worst painting I’ve ever seen. The prep work is really intimidating but I know it will be worth it in the end!

  8. says

    Another hint for using the Frog tape: Apply it, then moisten the joint edge with a damp cloth. That activates the “glue”, creating the bond ahead of time. I found that the Frog tape works well along the side edges of doors/windows/cabinets, but not as well along baseboards. I still like the caulk idea the best along baseboards.

  9. says

    looks like you have taken a long time in preparation for the actual work. I hope you have not forgotten any piece of flooring ,tile and countertop uncovered

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