dueling DIY: clash of the kitchens

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Yup. This project has been going on long enough. And since last year’s Staircase Showdown with Kit was excellent for getting me off my lazy ass bones to make over the front entryway, I’m invoking its motivational powers once again. If you missed it the first time, the gist is pretty simple:  a blog friend and I talked some smack, squared off, and both redid the same part of our house. We then posted about it each week as a way to stay on task (since we both had trouble finishing a project, the extra oomph from knowing the other person would be posting their weekly progress whether we accomplished anything or not made us press on). Nothing like a little friendly competition, right?

Friendly. Riiiiiight.

This Dueling DIY project is actually starting a little early, believe it or not, since the intent was to wait until the dining room for another battle project (which I’m still going to do), but after Carrie from Brick City Love reached out to me about how long her kitchen renovation was taking (we’re talkin’ 2012, folks), I figured there was plenty reason for us to give it a shot. Also because Carrie was surprisingly convincing when she sent me a picture of her holding a nail gun like she’s one of Charlie’s Angels. And a look on her face like she smells fear. Oh, it’s on, my friend.

dueling DIY kitchen

We’re both (somewhat) midway through these projects already, and both desperately need them finished in order to move on. Not being able to cook in your own house (and watching the dust collect on the stove) is very unappetizing. So, I drafted up a little logo for us and we’re on our way!

kitchen cabinets

Like last time, I’m going to start by looking  at the list of what must be done before I can call this kitchen livable. That’s the goal. Not perfect, but done. And while that may seem like breaking the rules at first glance, it’s still a very long list, and I am very skilled at procrastinating with all of it:

  • installing backsplash tile – the mastic (groan), the fighting gravity (ugh), and the grouting (I hope I’m drunk for this part; it’s the only way I’ll make it through)
  • secret project involving my nail gun (I can’t wait to show you this one)
  • kitchen organization (you mean you shouldn’t store your dishes in the living room? Huh.)
  • re-hanging cabinet doors (no, Sarah, putting the door in front of the cabinet it’s supposed to be hanging from is not the same thing)
  • installing hardware on the doors
  • removing two godawful layers of wallpaper (oh yes, the ugly is multi-ply this time)
  • patching the walls (after I go nuts and just start tearing at drywall to get the wallpaper off), then painting them
  • adding molding to the upper cabinets
  • hopefully no plumbing nightmares to deal with

Eh, that’s good enough for the list, but as you might already be aware, smack talk is the funniest part. So, Carrie, know this:  I’m not afraid. And unlike you, I have running water already. Yeah, I said it. What?

(P.S. Don’t forget, each week we’d love it if you shared your own kitchen progress pictures, so consider this a call to action each Wednesday. Leave your links in the comments!)

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    1. Still no. I have to have the day off work to go by there. Planned on doing it the day the plumbing happened. And then the plumbing happened. :) Hoping next Friday.

  1. Okay, Sistah, Bring it! I’m going to play along because like you, I have a kitchen project that is taking far too long. You can see my year long progress at http://www.froufrugal.com/2013/12/a-year-in-the-life-of-a-kitchen/.

    I will meet your To Do List and raise it by: prep, prime and paint board and batten. Fill holes in crown, caulk and paint; paint ceiling; make new light fixture and hang it up; fix electrical outlet in peninsula; reattach trim on peninsula; epoxy seal counters and caulk; color match mortar on brick wall and seal; prime, fill holes, paint cupboards; build radiator cover by stove; patch, prime and paint walls; build new shelf unit; build microwave stand; build new garbage can area.

    So, take that! I’m happy to follow along and see how far I get. I’m off to finish my light and skim coat the wall.

  2. Would you ever consider the tile adhesion sheets or tile mat? It helps fight gravity AND will save you mixing time. Just a word of caution, trim carefully. OOOOH – I can come over and help ;) !!!

    1. Yeah, I’ve used them before (SheKnows laundry room project). They work great, they’re just SUPER expensive compared to regular mastic. Plus, when it’s stuck, you don’t have wiggle room to move the tile like you do with regular adhesive. So there’s just a tradeoff that’s doesn’t really sway me in the direction of the mat version.

      1. Derp. I forgot. And yeah, NO wiggle room. Gotta get it trimmed and done once and that’s your only chance! :)

  3. Sarah, you really should consider Bondera tile matset. It is mastic-less!! I bought enough to do my kitchen backsplash from the Blue store but then for some reason (I already forgot) we decided to go with beadboard. It’s a rental of my son’s and we are helping him fix it up. I heard rave reviews about how great it works and was really psyched to use it but it was not to be and I returned all of it. Bondera’s website says Blue still carries it so maybe it was just my store. Anyway, good luck!

  4. It’s going to look amazing! I’m going to have to go ahead and jump in here as well and finish our kitchen! We’ve been steadily working on it for a YEAR. :/ But countertops come in 1.5 weeks! YAY.

    Also, I feel like we should duel in our backyards…

    1. Wow. That backyard makeover is a whole big thing I’ll have to get to again at some point. I might take you up on that someday :)

      1. Hahah. The backyard thing is way way down the list. :) We’ll just think of ideas right now. While we finish the stupid kitchens.

  5. Thanks for doing another one of these!!
    I found your site through a pinterest challenge with YHL, your dueling DIY led me to DIYDiva, and now another! Thanks for a great find!

  6. Could you use thinset instead of mastic? Its messier, and has to be mixed, but it isn’t nearly as headache inducing.

  7. We were in the floor covering business for 20+ years, one weekend we came up and installed new flooring in my grandmother’s home. We had linoleum left over, we used that piece as the back splash and I added a frame around it using baseboard painted the color of tiny squares in the vinyl. She always told me how easy it was to clean. I never thought about using flooring as a back splash but I do now…I tell friends to pick out the tile, or vinyl they like and I’ll slap it on the wall. I really like reading the projects you do and I am just starting to update my kitchen. I was thinking of red, white with a little black…any ideas or tips about using red as a color for counter tops or partial wall? Any ideas are greatly appreciated.