Kitchen Update!

Monday, January 30, 2017

An update in other household categories?  Yep!

The kitchen!  Granted there's not much new in here but I opted to squeak this between the whole house humidifier story parts (here and here) because I think you oughtta know.

The kitchen cabinet paint is holding up amazingly well.  What was that....oh, a year and some change ago.  Yeah, totally recommend that Rustoleum kit,* for sure.  Not a single scratch, ding, chip, no nothin'; it looks great.  Even when crazy riled up Finn goes flying in there claws and teeth a-blazin'.  All good!

Now that I've said it though...right?!

I do find that a wipe of a sponge and water doesn't keep the surface looking clean; using a hardwood floor cleaner* does the best.  Is it right?  Should I not?  I dunno but that's what works for me.

Dog slobber splash blocker?  Still rockin', still savin' the wall from an overabundance of slobber splashes.  And stylishly too I might add.

But finally, and mainly, I got the shelf up over the drawers.  And yes.  Yes.  Yes.

It took a while to locate some shelf brackets that were ridiculously awesome and not yawn-inducing, but I found them.  More cash than I hoped was spent but they're unique and cool and hey it's the kitchen, I'll see them a zillion times a day every day.

Boy did I work-over the web.  As usual.

Perusing Etsy, I was snooping for ideas on brackets I could make or, well, or maybe buy too.  That's when I came across Timber Forge Woodworks.*

And aw man, they had these seriously cool steel I-beam brackets.*  Insane, right?!

If I knew how to weld, or kept up with it after my one and only lesson, and then well, had access to a welder and metal working tools and steel, I could have heh made them myself but lo, no such luck.

The listing is for two at twelve inches long but!, they do custom orders so I inquired about three at six inches.  While yes, these surely tested my spending limit, I resolved that hey, this is the kitchen we're talking about, the brackets need to be special.

And special they are, oh my goodness.

steel shelf bracket
Agog, drool, awesomeness!
Super nice folks all right and quite thrilled to do a custom order.  They make some darn cool stuff; I highly suggest at minimum a survey of their goods.

Love the brackets, love.  They prompt thoughts of my dad every time I look at them.

The brackets are weighty because well, steel.  They insist the brackets be mounted with a stud behind which made for, mmm, not even spacing across the wall.  I am utterly shocked Mike hasn't mentioned it.  Or, if he has noticed, he's being kind by not pointing and laughing.

butcher block counter shelf
Can't really tell from this angle that the spacing is all off.  Like really not spaced well at all.
I mean, if I were truly nuts, I would have opened up the wall in an evenly spaced middle locale and snuck in some 2x's where needed but, I suppose I'm not that nuts, nor OCD enough (though I do appreciate things aligned properly), nor did I have enough leftover paint, nor felt up for major wall surgery.

So they're not evenly spaced but it's relatively close enough.  Oh ok, no it's not.  I'm just trying to ignore the spacing, ok?

As the brackets are weighty and the remaining butcher block sliver for the shelf is also weighty, I used those gnarly WallDog screws.*  Ain't nothin' goin' nowhere.

Grrrr, WallDog screws, grrrr!
Used the trusty level to perfectly align the shelf with the counter below it.  Yeah baby.
butcher block shelf steel ibeam bracket
Super neat, right?!
The shelf allowed me that ol' storage trick of screwing lids to the underside hence the majority of our spices and seasonings are now afloat under there.  The jars and lids came from Fillmore Container; shipping was stupid pricey but, hey, they were exactly what I wanted.

chalkboard sticker glass jar
Awww, aren't they adorable?!
Again, I goofed on the overall spacing, mainly because I was too lazy to do math; and again, I'm utterly shocked Mike has not said word one about it.  (He will now, sigh.)  It wouldn't be hard to fix -- just do the math, take down the one side and redo it.  Ahem.

Pre-drilling the cap holes, two per lid.  Make sure you clean it way the heck out of metal filings.
Mmm, we'll see how much it bugs me.

It does.  I'm waiting to see how long before I get too tweaked then redo it.

I made a lil' jig of sorts so the jars would end up in the same exact spot, the same distance apart, each  and every time.  A small piece of 1/4" plywood and a hole saw and bam, nearly perfect jig.  I say nearly as the hole needed to be about an 1/8" larger.  Ah well, I made it work.

See, the lip of the lid was larger so I couldn't screw the lid on then pull the jig off.  Had to pilot in the screws, take the lid and jig off, then screw the lid on.  Here I used 1" wood screws but went with 1/2" as the 1" were too much.
A few jars went up and I wasn't feelin' it.

Clamp the jig next to the previous lid and voila, evenly spaced!
Something was awry.  Yeah, the jars were too far forward.  Soooo, even after I had already gotten several up, they came down, I spun the jig around, and started over.

You can kinda see some jars quite forward on the left, the end of a bracket, then the jars moved back on the right.
Turns out, lo, who knows how, wow, happy accident, the jars ended up aligning perfectly with the ends of the brackets.  Mike was thoroughly and suitably impressed, going on about it for a good ten minutes.

under counter spice storage rack
Whoa ho ho, happy accident alignment perfection!
I used little chalkboard stickers* on the jars which I found at Joann Fabrics.  Originally I used plain old chalk to write the names of the contents on there but that smeared off merely by looking at it.  I ended up getting this chalk marker* which is not as fine point as I was hoping and a wee fussy but works nonetheless.

chalkboard marker
Chalk marker.  Yep.
Lastly we had some bottles of liquid stuff, ya know, soy sauce, Worcestershire, etc. looking all mismatched and visually distracting and messy.  I swung through the uber fun restaurant supply store and picked up olive oil bottles.*

spice storage
Ahhhh, no sloppy mishmash of various bottles and labels.  

Only problem was that the tops were open.  Evaporation.  Mmm, I was sad.  So all the tips got wrapped in plastic wrap.  Bleech, what a sloppy crappy look.  But!  After a recent stop at the Chicago Habitat ReStore, problem solved.

How?  Heh.  I kid you not:  Rubbermaid End Caps.*  Ya know, for wire shelving?  They fit perfectly on the bottle tips.  And!  They're tidy, uniform, visually clean.  Heh.  Who knew?!  What a score for a buck.  I bought two little baggies as I suspect ahem, a certain someone in this household will misplace them.

Heh, Mike found this highly entertaining, my outside the box thinking.
So now that the shelf is up, the spices and such suspended underneath, I was able to mostly free up a drawer and nearly a whole cabinet.  Nice, right?!  Thumbs way up!

under counter spice storage butcher block shelf glass jar chalkboard
Ta-da!  The wall is complete!  Yay!!!  Yay!!!!  Hi Finn!
In kitchen related, there's that spiffy pantry.  And man, I am SO glad we opted to turn that bizarre useless space into a pantry.  I really have zero idea what the nutso flipper had in mind for the oddball room.

But the pantry floor is great.  I do get many a question on how it's holding up, has it buckled, has it shifted, popped, cracked, anything.  And nope, it hasn't.  Some grout has fallen in but that's about it.

Pantry floor today.  Still need to get some quarter round in there to finish off.
Likely because there's nothing underneath it.  By that I mean, yeah, nothing.  Or so I suspect.  It's raised above a former stair into the basement, an extension of the house, part of a former back stair or patio.  You can see how the flipper artfully covered over the door with siding here.  Regardless, it stays temperate year 'round.

Part of why the controversial wine racks work so well in there too, the even keel cool, keeping our temporarily stored wine organized and out of foot traffic way.

But it has bode well for the floor.  My only regret?  Using oil based polyurethane on it.  Why?  The yellowing.

Makes me sadder?  If I opted to sand it, that would take the cool patina of the wood with it too.  Doin' the one palm up, one hand lower, shift thing here.  Then again, getting a floor sander in there.....

Sigh, the pantry floor, always reminds me of Hailey.  It does but lately it seems most memories of that time are blocked or suspended.  Or far too vivid.

But, ahem, well, all in all, things are moving along and holding up on the way.

Well, the Week of Becky is upon us, ah yet again.  Sigh.  This year it started early with a yummy trip to Lockdown and my first ever Blackhawks game.  Iiiiii can't say I know much about hockey, well, that'd be absolutely nothing, but it was a fun evening with my sweetheart.

Mike will be off for a week (YAY!!); we'll see what gets done around the house as we have plans peppered throughout (hopefully not nothing) and of course the nation is throwing a major party on my day-of again.

But I'll be back shortly with part three of the humidifier story!

*The Rustoleum Kitchen Cabinet Transformations kit, hardwood floor cleaner, WallDog screws, chalkboard stickers, chalk marker, olive oil bottles,  are Amazon affiliate links.  The Timber Forge Woodworks and I-beam brackets are Etsy affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.


  1. you could sand the floor and then age the wood to redo it.
    here's a link on how to age pallet wood...

    1. Thanks for all the great tips, John -- definitely something to consider if my patience wears out on the yellowing poly for sure. Thanks!


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