Hooray…the dining room is just about done! We finished installing the built-in buffet cabinets and countertop – boy, did that require some creativity. Just need to add some crown moulding to the top, and voila…a new, beautiful room that I actually look forward to eating and entertaining in.
Here is what it looked like before we started all the work… Nothing really wrong with the room, but to me it lacked character.
We started by tearing out the baseboards and replacing them with some 1×6 primed pine. Next came the wainscoting installation – a simple board and batten style. We used 1×4 MDF for the vertical styles and header board, and some 1×2 MDF for the top rail. We initially installed the wainscoting directly to the wall, thinking the wall was smooth enough that we could just paint it all white and be done with it. However, once the first coat of paint was applied, I knew we had made a mistake. I went back and floated a mixture of joint compound and water (“skim coat”) in each panel space, creating a perfectly smooth finish. It took forever…and a lot of patience. Lesson learned. Some primer, and more paint, and finally the wainscoting looked like I had envisioned from the start.
The built-in buffet cabinets are Kraftmaid. We installed the base cabinets first, and then installed a pre-fabricated granite countertop. Then it was time for the two wine cabinet units and the wall cabinets in-between.
Like all houses, the walls were a bit crooked, and we tried several times (unsuccessfully) to mount the cabinets from one side to the other…always ending up with cabinets that didn’t meet in the middle or at the end. Finally, we came up with a “custom installation mount” which is a fancy way of saying we took our console table (which happened to be just about the right height) and put it on top of the countertop, and then rested the wall cabinets on top of the console table so we could get them installed all at the same height. I’m sure there was an easier way, but when you have your mind set on doing it yourself, you often have to get very creative.
Now we just need to visit Bev Mo’s 5 cent wine sale to fill out the wine rack! 🙂