Monday, May 09, 2005

The Age of Aquarius is Ending

Kitchen progress
Originally uploaded by AviatorDave.
In our kitchen, anyway. Friday afternoon I began one of the projects I planned when I bought this house four years ago; to do away with the Very Brady Kitchen.

I began by stripping off the funky, brown-and-burnt-orange, flower-and-bamboo (!) wallpaper that was lurking on the walls. I hardly needed the wallpaper removal solvent; the stuff practically disintegrated when I began tugging at it. When I was down to bare wallboard, I found that there were several repairs needed, so I went to work with spackle and blade.

While the repairs cured, I started painting out the red-with-black-mortar, amazingly-faux brick that covers two of the walls. (I have posted some before pictures, lest you think I am embellishing on the awfulness of this decor.) This dungeon theme was applied painstakingly, brick-by-fake-brick with epoxy glue onto the bare sheetrock, so there was no way to remove it short of a sledgehammer. The brickesque surface is taking forever, as the paint has to be teased down into all of the mortar lines with a 2" brush, and the ersatz bricks soak it up like Old Milwaukee at a frat party.

By Saturday night, I had one side of the fake brick done and most of the kitchen dressed and ready for paint. I'm doing the brick in semigloss white, which looks good so far and makes the brick look substantially less faux. The remaining walls will be a cheery pale yellow, "Summer Sun" I think, and then we will decide what to do with the cabinets. The lurid orange formica backsplash (sorry, hope you haven't just eaten) will have to go, but we haven't decided whether to paint the cabinets, or leave them for now and just replace 'em all later. They are not of any great quality, plywood and particle board, but we're saving up for more important stuff (wedding, honeymoon) at the moment. This is a low-budget, emergency decor adjustment, not a major renovation.

I'll post updates as work progresses. Those who are studying design trends of the Nixon era, or the morbidly curious, may inquire about the powder room or - gulp - the carpeting in the third bedroom. Gay males with diagnosed heart conditions may be asked to sign a waiver.