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  • Writer's pictureSusan Byers

Catching Up

So much for posting every week--sorry! But I have been a very busy lady for the last couple of weeks, working with my honey on getting the floor into the camper while the weather cooperates and finishing a project at a daughter's house.

First, we got everything we could out of the RV--or, at least, out of the main room: tools, bits of wood and trim, cabinet doors, etc.. Then we finished prepping the floor, which took a couple of half-days. Finally, we started laying the new floor--but that's fodder for another blog. Here's a sneak peek (notice those fun angles and cut-arounds):

Then I spent several days--in two shifts--at my daughter's house (2 hours and 15 minutes away NOT in rush hour, but somehow, I usually end up leaving or arriving during rush hour--or there's an accident) finishing up a pony wall (a half wall) between her kitchen and dining area ('cause I HATE seeing kitchen mess when I'm eating). Even though it's not really a "second chance" kind of thing, I thought I'd share it with you.

Here's how the original peninsula looked when we peeled off the back skin:

The floor is ceramic, and I was not excited to try to drill through it to fasten down the pony wall, so I just screwed the frame as securely as I could to the cabinets and side wall (okay, I probably should have used construction adhesive, but what if I messed up and had to undo it?).

Then I put on a back skin of luan mahogany (in hindsight, I wish I'd used MDF board instead for a smoother finish ... live and learn).

That was done several weeks ago, but last weekend, I finally got back to finish the details that would make it look nice. Of course, nothing is ever as easy as it looks ... and dumb me, I neglected to take progress pictures, because I hadn't intended to put this on the blog. Again, live and learn!

Now, if you're interested in the details of what I did, keep reading; if not, just skip the next paragraph or two.

I used a 1x4 inch board on the side to cover the frame and allow enough depth for sheet rock and tile later. Because my measurements for the frame were a tad off, I had to chisel out a deep slot where the board overlaps the countertop (causing one of many trips to Home Depot, this time for chisels because the one I would have used was still at the camper ... as was my measuring tape!) So that ate up a couple of hours. I used 1x4s stacked on top of 1x3s behind the baseboard as well--because OF COURSE the baseboard was 3 1/4 inches--wider than the 1x3 but not as wide as 1x4. By using the 1x3 on the bottom, the seam with the 1x4 is covered (this took me awhile to figger out ... playing with 8 foot pieces and trying not to knock anything over). The rest of the trim out is just 1x3 boards nailed to studs and cabinet frame. Finally, I filled in nail holes and gaps, and sanded lightly, then painted three coats of white. And it's amazing what a difference paint makes!

The next step was leveling the top of the frame with little pieces of shims (oh, WHY didn't I take pictures!?!?) and adding the top--a 1x6 inch oak board I had stained to match the cabinets. A filler pencil made quick work of hiding nail holes. Finally, I cut trim and nailed it on--I love my compressor and nail guns, and, of course, the miter saw I inherited from Dad, which has made all of this possible. The top and trim hid a multitude of little mistakes ... but what you don't know, won't affect your opinion of the finished product!

Next time I go down, I'll give it a couple of coats of poly (NOT the water-based kind; it needs to stand up to a lot of abuse). I'll also put the sheet rock on the kitchen side and teach my daughter how to tile a backsplash (I learned how to tile on my first house, many years ago. Also how to repair or replace subfloor, assemble and install kitchen cabinets, build and laminate a countertop, and do minor plumbing ... because I was poor, but it had to get done--and if dinner was a peanut butter sandwich at 10 instead of meat-and-two-veg at 7, so what?).

Dang! It looks like I almost knew what I was doing! The best part is, I know my dad would be proud of the project I did for his granddaughter with his tools and the skills he taught me. However, my husband is now suggesting hiring me out ...

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