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As I write this post, I’m not 100% certain when my tile will arrive, but I know it’s supposed to be here sometime this week. If all goes well, I could start tiling the backsplash as soon as this weekend! Hooray! (And Carrie, just a head’s up… that post is going to kick booty. I’m pretty flipping excited about it.)

dueling DIY kitchen

In the meantime, today’s Dueling DIY update includes something I loathe:  painting door trim.

Normally, paint is awesome. It provides nearly instantaneous visual payback for my effort. Nearly. Because painting all of this 1980’s trim white has been something that I only seem to find enough patience to do about half a door. Or half a coat. Because about four coats per trim/door is required. So, I lose patience and quit. It’s the worst. It takes way too long. And my house is then full of places that are splotchy. It’s not on purpose… it’s just lazy. I sometimes just paint a piece of trim when I want to begin cleaning off a paint brush (it gets rid of the excess that would otherwise get washed down the sink).

And that’s how I get to the point of having two pantry doors that look like this. After, well, four years in this house, I kinda need to finish doing that. #slackerprojects

I’ve begun with my pantry in an attempt to gain momentum. Kitchen updated = house slightly more updated in general. At least, that’s the idea. There are four doors accessible in the kitchen: two pantries (which is just odd, but I use one for food and another for random kitchen crap that I really just need to throw away, which will be about 5 seconds after hitting publish on this post), the laundry room door, and the garage entry door. The larger pantry is positioned under the stairs, while the one on the right is a narrow little cubby (and as I’m writing this post, can’t help but wonder if it would look far better as more of a built-in than a closed second pantry!).

After a short trip to Habitat Restore last Saturday (big thank-you to Sarah for all of your help picking these out!), I took these home with me:

Which prompted me to do this:

And this:

And now I’m simply pushing through the priming and painting process (the doors were painted ages ago save for a few spots I didn’t feel like taping to finish, but the trim surrounding them has just remained ugly). I know that when they’re done, they’ll look about a million times better than they did just a day ago. Just as soon as I get through the last coat (after also caulking the gaps – dark trim hides a multitude of holes and other issues, which like to expose themselves like mean little trolls as soon as I start thinking I’m being all productive and actually getting somewhere).

Now, if only that wallpaper were a bit more cooperative, this wall would be nearly finished! Head over to Carrie’s blog to see her progress (and I’m still envious of that brick wall).

And now, your updates too! Don’t forget to link on your post.

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  1. I’m really curious as to why you didn’t strip the wallpaper in the entire kitchen before you even began the remodel. Every time I see a great paint update I worry it will be ruined somehow when you strip the wallpaper.

    1. It could damage the sides of the trim that are connected to the wall slightly, but after removing all of the other rooms in this house so far & repairing them, I’m not too worried. If need be, I’ll just swipe another coat along the edge of the trim. I have completely different plans for the far wall that may not even require removing the wallpaper at all. I’ll definitely keep you in the loop if it winds up ruining the paint job!

    1. My vocabulary has definitely expanded since starting this blog, ha! Cocking, frass, etc. Wonder what new word or phrase I’ll add to my lexicon next.

    1. Hmm, that’s not a bad guess! All I know is that the former owner used it as a separate pantry for her cake baking supplies. Based on this house’s original state when I moved in, I wouldn’t have eaten ANYthing baked in this kitchen. Nooope.

  2. I’m so anxious to never see that wallpaper again. I mean, freal. Who thought it was a good idea in the first place?

    1. It cracks me up that someone else is that tired of my wallpaper! The main thing holding me back is that I need to have a set of tweezers downstairs and that magic mix of boredom and determination to attack this small wall. It’s harder than you think. Though maybe that’s what I’ll spend this evening doing. Ha!

      1. Oh no, I totally understand how hard it is… I removed 30? year old contact paper from the interiors of our cabinets… with my fingernails. Too bad Charlie doesn’t have opposable thumbs to help…

  3. Love all the white woodwork! Hate the wallpaper! If I could, I’d buy a plane ticket, fly out and take it off for you! LOL I think your kitchen is going to be amazing!

  4. This would totally be my pace of working on things, then a marathon session to finally get something done. That tiny pantry is kinda cute, but kinda weird, too. My first thought was, “can you knock out that wall and make one big pantry?” Then you’d have to do bi-fold doors or something.

    I think your idea of built-ins would be great! You could even make the lower shelves into drawers.

    1. I suppose that’s possible, though the inside would look pretty weird since the smaller pantry is not as deep as the other. But yeah, I agree with you that it can be utilized better!

  5. Ohhh, that wallpaper. We have layer upon layer all under paint. Yeah, our house is a treat but there are so many other great things about our 1960’s tri-level–seriously! I hate builder grade trim and worse is brown trim. I definately say no door on the small cabinet. Add a piece of wood trim accross the front of each shelf to beef it up a bit and perhaps “pull” the shelf out visually, then get some baskets and very cool. Too many doors not a good thing. We have the house of doors my husband says. Oh, and so glad you got the new knobs! We changed out all of the main level to black (all parts–hinges too!) and did black and glass upstairs. It drove my husband crazy–the long handle in gold and tarnished. And a PS…can you get with me on the email I sent re. the mailing address problem. I am dying here! I can’t use this but you can!!!! Thanks :)

  6. It’s coming along! We had horrible walpaper like that in this crappy little rental that my grandmpa owned….I just painted over it. It was like a giant wallpaper bandaid! :)

  7. Been there done that with my last house. Seven – six panel doors and five closet bi-fold doors plus all the trim and everything needed primer and two coats of paint. I feel your pain.

    I’d leave the door off the small closet and widen the opening. Maybe trim it out with pine or square off the edges with sheetrock. It’s all looking good. An elephant is best eaten in small bites.

  8. wow i would have a hard time not demolishing that middle section and making one big wall of pantry..

    1. The one under the stairs is much deeper and has an angled ceiling whereas the shallower one doesn’t, which would make shaping the walls inside a larger combined pantry much more difficult. I can see its benefits for sure, but I can also see myself questioning if it would be worth the effort frustration-wise if I got stuck trying to shape those angles.

  9. I suffer from the same problem as you… I call it HATS. Half-assed trim syndrome. There is no rhyme or reason for it but as we speak, there are two different spots in the house that are half wood/half white. Sigh. I’ll get motivated soon, FOR SURE.

  10. When we are talking just about cosmetic fixes it is not a big deal. But a home renovation by yourself is a tough job even for me and I aim to be a strong woman :)

    1. Don’t see how that would work on this wall. There isn’t an empty wall space to slide the door to sit when I want it open.

  11. Yea you’re right. I can see that wouldn’t work. A pocket door may have worked but you really ahve to plan ahead for them. Ted