Tag Archives: varnish

Kitchen Countertop Adventures

So I had left off previously talking about the new counter-top we were working on for the trailer. I can’t say that it is all complete, but we have made some progress.

We decided to put an epoxy finish over the wood to give it a nice shiny, protective coating. This has turned out to be a little tricky. I am, however, getting ahead of myself.

We started off with the prep work. I took the counter out to our truck shelter which is acting as our work shop. Out there, Kat applied the stain and varnish to it.

Once that was done, I propped it up to it was all as level as I could get it. I taped all of the edges to prevent spill-over and I also prepared a sheet to cover it after we finished the pour.

If you’re wondering what the big log in the middle is for, that’s to hold up the cover sheet so it doesn’t touch the counter.

So, let the pouring begin!

We learned quite a few things doing this. First, epoxy likes it to be warm. The warmer, the quicker it will cure. Secondly, humidity is bad. This will encourage bubbles in your epoxy and that’s not a good thing.

Kat and I did this together because the epoxy starts to setup pretty quickly after you mix it. We managed to complete the pouring in short order. Fortunately, the counter-top isn’t that big.

Once the pour was completed, I spent some time trying to get rid of some of the bubbles, but that didn’t go so well. According to the instructions, gently exhaling on them should make them burst as it supposedly reacts with the CO2 from your breath. Well, I did a lot of blowing and the bubbles didn’t pop at all.

I also couldn’t spend forever working on this because it was starting to set, and also bugs kept falling in it. We did fish some big ones out and eventually I just covered it.

I used an old shower curtain for the cover, which worked really well. After that we let it sit for a long time, over a week.

When we finally went in to look at it, it was all nice and shiny, but there were a few bugs sticking out of it and lots of bubbles. Also, the tape didn’t work quite as well as we had hoped and there were a lot of drips down the sides that we had to shave off.

Here you can see Kat in her bug hat removing the tape.

I took some time and dug out the bugs I could find, as well as many of the bubbles. Then I did a filler coat on top of that. It has since dried, but I plan to do one more final thin coat as that last one came out a bit rough.

I did some searching online and found one website that said the most ideal setup for doing epoxy is in a vacuum. Not having a vacuum chamber readily available, we went with what we had. Hopefully, after this third coat, it will look nice. I’ll let you know how it goes after we get that done.

Advertisements

Kitchen cabinet saga, part 2

Keep your hats on, this is going to get exciting!

Continuing off from the previous post, we have made significant strides in completing our kitchen cabinet. As you can see in this first picture, we have TWO whole drawers installed!

KitchenCabinet_Part2_01

What’s that you say? Yes, the staining faery got her hands on them and now the drawers are stained. But let’s not stop there, let’s see if we can go for all three drawers…

KitchenCabinet_Part2_02

Yes, we can. Look at that. In case you are wondering, that top drawer is stained as well, it’s just that Kat decided not to use the dark red for parts that weren’t going to be seen.

So, we have three drawers installed, what’s next? Making it look nice, that’s what. It’s time to make the front facing pieces. These are the decorative outer layer that everyone will see when then come into the trailer. If you remember from the last post, I bought some red oak veneer on press board for this purpose.

I won’t bore you with the details of cutting out the pieces, as there was enough of that in the last post. However, I was digging around in a box of stuff my Dad had given me and I found a roll of this stuff.

KitchenCabinet_Part2_03

For those unfamiliar with cabinetry, that is wooden edging that you iron on to cover the ugly inner press board looking parts. In case you want to know what that looks like, here it is.

KitchenCabinet_Part2_04

The roll I had was pine, so it doesn’t precisely match the red oak, but we weren’t going to be fussy. It was great that I found the roll in the first place.

I had to borrow a friend’s iron to do the job, but I have to say it went pretty well. You really want to go over it several times with the iron to make certain that the glue melted and has made a good bond with the edge of the board. If you press on it, it shouldn’t bounce back. That’s the rule I used, anyway.

Here is a picture of a finished corner.

KitchenCabinet_Part2_05

Now doesn’t that look a lot nicer than the innards of the press board? I thought you might agree.

I also have a picture of the front face piece for the top drawer, with completed edging.

KitchenCabinet_Part2_06

After putting edging on all of the drawer faces and cabinet doors, they were all shipped over to the staining and varnishing department to make it look even more awesome. How awesome, you say? Well, here is a picture of one of the drawers with its finished face on.

KitchenCabinet_Part2_07

Pretty snazzy, eh? Kat did an amazing job with the staining and varnishing. It looks even better in person.

Here is that same drawer, now back in its place.

KitchenCabinet_Part2_08

The other two drawers now look naked compared to the one on the bottom. We better fix that.

KitchenCabinet_Part2_09

There’s no stopping there either. We did the cupboard doors too.

KitchenCabinet_Part2_10

That was just after I installed the doors and they needed some adjustment, as you may be able to tell as the one on the right looks a little crooked.

Here you can see the cabinet with the cupboard doors open, along with the top drawer pulled out partially.

KitchenCabinet_Part2_11

For the final frosting, we even put handles on everything. It’s a bit like making a cake: the innards of the cabinet are the cake part, the facing is the frosting and the handles are the decorative frosting roses 🙂

KitchenCabinet_Part2_12

By this point I had also fiddled around with the fine settings on the cupboard doors so they fit nicely now. I have to say, this turned out awesome. Yes, there were a few mistakes made, but nothing super bad and nothing that caused any injuries or extra expenses. Hooray for us!

It’s not quite one hundred percent done yet. I still have two sliding shelves to put in the big interior, but I wanted to get the cupboard doors in first to make sure I left enough room on the sides so the sliding shelf won’t hit the hinges or edge of the door. It shouldn’t be too much longer. We’ve already started filling the drawers and it’s making our life just that much easier.

Kat and I are already looking towards the next major project too. Never a dull moment here, that’s for sure.