Finishing Up

** Side Story: I was inspired to write this post because sister had a post she started in our shared document called “Procrastination.” The title was the only thing written. Procrastination indeed.

It seems that the cycle of DIY in my house goes something like this:

  1. plan to start a project, buy all materials we think we need
  2. wait at least one month before actually starting the project
  3. start project, realize it isn’t as hard or complicated as we thought
  4. complete project to point where life isn’t impacted by project being unfinished
  5. wait 3-6 months, think about completing project
  6. actually complete project at some distant future point.

It’s a system that is well practiced here. We routinely get excited about a project and buy all the materials, and then let them sit in the basement until we actually get around to starting the project. We also routinely omit completely or forget about the finishing step. Which is why a lot of my ongoing projects are never “finished.”

Well, I’ve had about enough, and it starts in the Kitchen.

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Our kitchen was a great renovation. It took a considerably short period of time, we were able to get the things we needed complete and we now have plenty of room in the kitchen for all of our things. But technically, it’s still unfinished. We’ve been using the “unfinished” kitchen for several months now, and I’ve decided to FINALLY cross the last things off the list.

Unfinished detail #1: our backsplash.

So this is my bad. When Andrew and I went to install the backsplash, I never really thought about how to finish the ends. So it ended up looking like this. FOR ALL ETERNITY.

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The tile we used didn’t have a special finishing piece that we could buy, and I wasn’t crazy about the other options (wood trim, metal stripping). NOTE TO SELF: only consider tile you can find finishing pieces to in the future. At one point we did buy metal stripping, it’s still in the basement. The most difficult parts about this project are the vertical sides that don’t end in a corner. these ended up having those crooked little half circles. Clearly we need to finish the backsplash better.

After hemming and hawing for what feels like for-ev-er (and in fact has been 9 months), I decided to just use strips of the tile itself to finish off the edges. I thought that the top edge of the tile looked the most clean, so I cut strips and glued them in place. There were 4 places I needed to fix. Instead of going through the laborious process of removing and replacing tile, I just added a new strip on the vertical spots with some caulk adhesive. There was one spot that needed to have the tiles popped off. I then used a premixed grout to fill in the spots that needed it.

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 Then I simply taped and caulked. I did have some trouble keeping the caulk off of the round tiles, but it really was just a test in patience. Protip: using a we paper towel is extremely helpful.

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You can see all the places that needed finishing in this panorama:

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 In all, finishing up the tile took MAYBE 2 full hours spaced out into 20 minute intervals over 3 days. Totally do-able, and completely shameful that I didn’t get to it sooner.

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Unfinished detail #2: Baseboards. Well, one baseboard in particular. We had to cut this particular baseboard shorter because of the drawer cabinets. I prepped and sanded the wall, and then NOTHING. Unpainted portion of wall for 9 months. It wasn’t even that bad, and only took 20 minutes of actual time to caulk and paint the baseboard and wall. What a slacker. Also, no pictures because baseboards are boring, and the aforementioned slacking.

So that’s it. The kitchen reno is complete. It only took an entire year, nbd.

P.S. The kitchen renovation does not include the back door (seen in the panorama picture), which I was never part of the original plan and this way, I can call the kitchen project officially complete!

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