Saturday, March 17, 2012

Kitchen Ceiling Demolition

First item on the agenda: happy St. Patrick's Day everybody! Pinch pinch and all that stuff.

Second item: that long, strange list of things I need to get done before 50 or so strangers descend on my house this June.

Thing one: do something about the kitchen ceiling.
If you've been with us for a while now you might remember that our kitchen ceiling was a little worse for the wear to begin with.

It had obviously had some water damage and was in need of repair...someday.
Well, last spring, as our toilet and shower upstairs started leaking that someday came sooner than we thought. The result was our year-long bathroom makeover. Part of making over the bathroom meant access to the plumbing which guessed the kitchen ceiling. So we tore down half of the kitchen ceiling last year. Leaving us with this:

Now, let me start by saying that this is not the beginnings of a kitchen remodel. We don't have the time, the money or the sanity frankly to undergo two giant remodels in one year. We have a shiny, new bathroom and that's enough for now. BUT I knew that having half a kitchen ceiling for who knows how long was going to drive me to the edge. Solution?

Tear down the other half. Hey, at least it would be consistent.

We started by removing those old white tiles and some strips of lathing.

Then came the dirtiest part, removing the old lathing and plaster.

Look at 'em go! These pictures are really awful because of the dust that this stuff kicks up. Another eally awful thing? The DUST THIS STUFF KICKS UP. Blech! We're talking in your ears, nose hair and every other place for days.

And here is the kind of finished product:

Not bad. Not bad at all. I especially like the old floor boards that are showing. They were all the way across but because of the water damage on the bathroom side, we had to get rid of some of them. Now for the fun part. Making it look pretty.
You may have noticed that old radiator pipe up there. It used to go to the bathroom radiator. There was another length of the same pipe running down the wall to the basement. Today we're going to saw that pipe very carefully (so as to preserve as much as possible) and use it in the future to create some very simple, cool lighting for the kitchen. I'm also going to paint the entire ceiling like this AMAZING kitchen from my dream house blog, Meet the Shaffers.

I can't wait to see how it all looks when it's finished. Will we leave it like this when we finally remodel the kitchen? Who knows? Maybe. The good thing is, we will spend very little money on this project (free paint coupons from ACE Hardware, salvaging old pipe, etc.) so if we decide to do something different it won't make my stomach turn too much.

I've always been a fan of simple, functional kitchens like this one in the picture. I mean, who says you have to spend a boatload of cash to make your kitchen look presentable? Not me, that's for sure! Well, I'm off to get that free paint I mentioned. Catch you guys later!


  1. I love the open joist look - even without painting it.

  2. Yeah, me too Reuben! I probably would have left it unpainted if the floorboards had still been intact on that other side. They're really pretty. Womp womp! Oh well : /

  3. Ooh, this will make such an enormous difference, I can't wait to see it! And god, yes, the plaster dust. It's horrible. We did some major replastering last year and I swear, it was an absolute dust explosion.

    Are you planning on using a spray gun? If not, I'd recommend it! It'll go 1000x faster and this is just the type of job that's suited to it.

  4. Thanks, Christine! And from one plaster-dust-survivor to another, my sincere admiration. Also, I really want to use a spray gun for this because painting over your head just...well, it sucks.

  5. Ugh plaster dust is awful, awful, awful, but I'm really interested to see how this turns out! I'm also loving the bathroom sink its so unique! I'm hoping to find some handles much like the ones you guys installed for the shower but I'm hitting a lot of road blocks trying to fit the new handles on the old fittings in the wall and finding the plates of the correct size and shape to cover the holes.

  6. Thanks Bradley! We started painting it today so...fingers crossed! We also had a difficult time finding handles like those in the shower. They seem like they should be the easiest thing to find - they're so simple! The ones in our shower were actually already in the house and the ones over the sink, we got at an antique store. I never found them at any places online, unfortunately. As for the old fittings that are in the wall, you can buy different lengths at most hardware stores as well as ones with different numbers of "splines" so that they will fit nicely with your handles. We were very lucky and found those escutcheons at True Value for like $5 each but if your holes are bigger than that...I see your problem. Man, this was a book. Sorry! But thanks for stopping by! Love your blog!

  7. Oh my gosh, good thing I stumbled upon this blog - we've yet to fix the kitchen ceiling after last summers storms. We've got an old drop ceiling too and I'd just like to take the thing out and go with the "exposed" ceiling and paint it white. I'm thinking it will make the kitchen look bigger anyway.

  8. I say go for it, Vinnie! So far, we're loving the way it looks - it really makes the room seem much taller and with our white walls it gives the kitchen a cleaner look! And hey, if anything makes my kitchen look cleaner...I'm all for it : )


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