On Monday we finally started with the mini kitchen reno: a micro-concrete overlay on the countertops, including a waterfall edge/surround on one of the cabinets, a shelf (also micro-concrete) for the other side of the pass through and a new faucet and sink.
As always, day 1 (more like afternoon 1) was all about prep work. We started by removing everything from the countertops and setting them on top of our dining table or wherever we could. So of course everything was a mess by second one. The next step was to pry the molding that bridges the gap between the countertop and the wall… easier said than done! We used a flat screwdriver and a small spatula to try and remove at least one of the edges. It took a while, but once we removed one edge the rest was a lot easier.
We also had to remove the existing sink and trace out the hole for the new one, which was a bit bigger. We haven’t lost almost any counter space, but the sink feels bigger because of the squared edges and its depth. Since the existing countertops are laminate, we were able to make the hole bigger with a jigsaw.
Then, we turned our attention to the cabinet surround / waterfall edge. I wanted the countertops to have a wraparound effect on the shorter cabinet, so we had to wrap it with wood so we could overlay the micro concrete. We used lumber we had on hand for this and simply screwed it from the top onto the cabinet (so no, you can’t move this cabinet any more).
We also had to cut a piece of lumber (to be covered with micro concrete too) for the right side of the wall that’s empty above… we’ll be adding a shelf. Before we logged off for the day, we covered all the bottom cabinets with paper, removed the doors of the shorter wrapped around cabinet and covered that as well. I cut a piece of paper for each cabinet so we’re still able to open them if we need to. Not that we’re doing much cooking this week, obviously. We thought it wouldn’t be necessary to cover the floors but boy, were we wrong. So we covered them up as well before it was too late (as soon as we started applying the micro concrete and realized that it was better to simply cover them up).
Lastly, we scrubbed the countertops until they were squeaky clean (or as clean as we could make them). You don’t want any grease or dirt on your surface before you apply the micro concrete. Then we covered the narrow countertop (the one that’s actually made of painted wood instead of laminate) with a fiber glass mesh / netting thingy. Since wood can warp, the micro concrete could get cracks on it, so they recommend a layer of this netting between the wood and micro concrete:
We simply cut it to size and placed it on top, no glue or anything. As soon as we began applying the micro concrete it stuck into place.
Prep work can be boring, but it’s always a good idea to take the time and do it right if you want great results. And since we’ve already applied a couple of coats we’ve already started seeing the fruits of our labor! Hopefully we’ll be done in time for the weekend since we’re having people over and right now our place looks like a bomb went off in there. The joys of DIYing in a small apartment… the mess can’t be contained to a single room.