painted kitchen floor update

I’m long overdue for a kitchen floor update so here it is.  It’s been about a year and eight months since we painted our kitchen floor.  This is how it looked then:

kitchen varnished

As we’re approaching the two-year mark, the paint is still there but it’s definitely not as shiny.  As I’m looking at the picture below, I realized it might be hard to tell.  It really held up nicely.


The floor is plywood so it is showing some dents on it.  Plywood is really soft compare to hardwood floor so it’s showing grooves from Monster and Sugar’s nails, or from us dragging furniture around on it.

Also, white floor definitely shows dirt more easily.  I basically have to clean the floor daily, especially with Monster and Sugar shedding all over the place.

Overall, the floor held up better than expected.  I’m glad we went with this temporary floor treatment.  We’re not planning on replacing the floor any time soon, but we do recognize that this isn’t a permanent solution.

You can read more about how we painted and cared for our kitchen floor here, here, and here.

ceramic rabbit knobs.

A while back, we picked up a few knobs from Anthropologie for the kitchen cabinets.  I wrote about it here. And I’ve been thinking about the white ceramic rabbit knobs we saw there.  I had wanted to use the rabbit knobs for the cabinets above the washer and dryer.  But after mulling over these knobs:


I decided to switch them out and go with the white ceramic rabbit knobs for all the kitchen cabinets.


I went online to place the order and to my horror, Anthropologie no longer carry the item.  So I called the nearest store to check if they had any in stock.  They didn’t.  To my surprise, the very helpful staff offered to check their online stock (which apparently is different from their online retail site) and they had some left!  Hooray!  She ordered them for me and here they are!


Shipped right to our door!


And I got right down to business.


The easiest install ever.


Here it is again.  Before:




Here’s another before:

kitchen knob before

And another after:


What do you think? Whimsical, right?  Now, what to do about these?



We Got A Keurig Mini Brewer!

I saw this Kohl’s ad a few weeks ago and the color options immediately hooked me.  The Keurig Mini brewer is on sale for $99.99 and you get a $20 mail in rebate.  So that’s 80 dollars!! I’ve been wanting a Keurig because it’s so convenient but I couldn’t get over how wasteful those little k-cup filters are.  After seeing this ad, KT did a quick online search and found that there are reusable k-cups!

I was thrilled that my biggest objection to a Keurig was resolved.  However, I still wasn’t sure I was ready to  spend 80 dollars to replace a perfectly good coffee maker.  I told KT I’ll think about it some more.

A week later, I found this flyer in our mailing.  It’s a Keurig rebate form!  The rebate amount depends on which brewer system is purchased.  For the Keurig Mini, it’s a 20 dollar rebate.

Now, I did consider that this might be the same rebate that Kohl’s is offering.  But if it’s not, it would be another 20 dollars off, bringing the price down to 60 dollars.  I can really get on board with that.

As I was sitting on this, I was also receiving emails from Kohl’s with their generous coupons.  I recently received a 20% off coupon and it did not exclude sales items.  So that means it is 20% off $100 with coupon, bringing it down to $80.  Then with the 20 dollars rebate from Keurig, it brings the price down even more to $60.  Finally, if the other rebate from Kohl’s is not the same as this rebate from Keurig, then that’s a final price of $40!  Even if I can’t do two rebates, $60 is still pretty awesome.

KT and I head to Kohl’s for a late Friday night shopping adventure.  I know I said what attracted me the Kohl’s ad was all the beautiful color options but I decided on white.  I figured I wouldn’t want to change out all our colorful appliances if I wanted to change the color of our kitchen.  And even if I did decide to go with a color other than white, I wouldn’t know what to choose.  I love the teal.  The yellow was growing on me the longer I stared at it.  And I love the bold statement from the red.  So white it is.

We use the 20% off coupon so purchase price was $79.99 plus tax.

Then we got the Rebate Form from Kohl’s.

I compared the mailing address for both rebate forms and determined that they are in fact, one and the same.  =/  Oh well.  Again, $60 dollars is still pretty awesome.

Pretty right??

Weekend #21 – Shopping for Knobs

I love shopping at World Market, as you can tell from my posts here and here.  But the selection of knobs there are actually very limited.  At least at the locations I’ve been to around here.  I’ve been looking for knobs for the kitchen cabinets ever since we finished redoing the cabinets.  Luckily, I found a very large selection online at Anthropologies website and have been wanting to go check it out in store for months now.

This past weekend, we were at the Americana to run some errands.  It wasn’t until I was standing in front of the store that I realized I was standing in front of Anthropologies!!  I couldn’t get in there fast enough.  Holey Moley Macaronni, I was in knob heaven.

I thought this rabbit one is really charming.  I think I’m going to use them on the cabinets over the washer and dryer.  Maybe.  There are too many to choose from.

I also thought these timers are so cool.  Very retro right?  It will go very nicely with the retro stove I have in my parallel reality kitchen.

And check out this door knocker.  I just might hang this up in the backyard for the heck of it.

For the kitchen cabinets, I decided on these very simple, elegant glass knobs.  The color is more of a coral pink than a girly pink.  I think it’ll give our very black and white kitchen a softer touch without making it too feminine.  The single color, glass knobs also make them feel airy enough for our tiny kitchen.  I love all of the patterned and colorful knobs but it would have been overpowering for our small space.

Before the knobs:

With knobs:

And a close up:

It was simple enough to install.  It took me about ten minutes to install four knobs as I waited for KT to get ready for dinner.  Drilled some holes, screwed in the knobs, and added some washers at the backsides to hold them all in place.  Ta-da!

What Not To Do On Your Paint Floor

Not long after we finished our beautiful kitchen floor, we had a couple unfortunate accidents.

#1 – Do Not Put Cleaning Products On Your Floor

Now that the kitchen floor was done, I was gung-ho about putting everything away in the cabinets.  I took out all the cleaning products and had them sitting on the kitchen floor in front of the stove so I can organize them.  One day I came home after work to find that a heavy duty oven degreaser was knocked over and a small puddle of the degreaser had leaked onto my precious floor.  I quickly wiped it up but it was too late.

Here’s an up-close shot

After some chest pounding, hair pulling, wailing “WHY???” -okay I didn’t really do that, but I sure felt like that inside, I sucked it in and pulled out my supplies to do some damage control.  The degreaser have basically ate through the varnish (poly) and my desperate wiping of the mess got the exposed paint a little dirty.  I used my stencil brush to apply three layers of the same paint I originally used on the floor, then four coats of poly.  In hind sight, I should have used the primer as well to better cover up the dirty white paint.

How does it look?  A little better?

After this incident, I realized duh! I used a deglosser/degreaser to get the varnish off the kitchen cabinets to prep it for painting.  Of course a heavy duty degreaser will eat through the poly on the floor.  So I pulled out the can of poly to find instructions on how to care for the floor.  No instructions. O_o.  Seriously?

A couple nights later, one of the furry babies had an accident (#2).  At least they went by the back door, which also means, on the kitchen floor.  I discovered it at five in the morning.  In my sleepy haze, I told myself no heavy duty cleaner but a gentle organic all purpose cleaner should be fine.  I sprayed on the organic cleaner, wiped it up and went back to sleep.

The next morning, I discovered an orange stain.    It was either from the accident or from the cleaning product.  Both is very probable. At least it didn’t eat through the poly this time.

This time I went online to search the web for instructions on how to care for this poly finish we used to protect our floor.  We went to the manufacturer’s website.  Not so easy to navigate.  It took some googling to get me to the Q&A and this is what it said:

How do I care for or maintain my floor after I’ve finished it?
Wait until your floor has dried and “cured,” before you use any cleaning 

products on it. This usually takes a week. Then the best way to care for your 
floor is to damp mop, as needed, with warm water and mild dish soap, or use a 
solution of vinegar and warm water. Both VARATHANE Professional Floor Finish® 
and VARATHANE Diamond Floor Finish® provide excellent resistance to water and 
household chemicals. However, you should avoid ammonia-based cleaners, and try 
to prevent water from pooling or standing on the floor for a very long time

I think I’m just going to stick to water and vinegar.  This is actually a good thing since I’ve been telling KT for the better part of the year that I’m moving us towards a more organic home.  We actually stocked up a huge bottle of vinegar and baking soda back in June when we first started our renovations.

Although this finish have been great for being scratch resistant (I have trouble trimming Monster and Sugar’s nails), I am constantly paranoid that any liquid that may drip or spill on our floor will destroy the finish.

#2 – Do Not Put Any Metal Material On the Poly Finished Floor

I put a clean can of paint on the kitchen floor and this is what happened…  By clean, I mean the can was clean, there was nothing dripping down the side of it, etc.

We put the babies water bowl on the kitchen floor and this is what happen…

So scratch resistant but not metal resistant, rust resistant?  Not sure, but I’m not putting any more metal material on our floor.

For those of you considering using the Finish I posted about here, keep in mind that you might have a series of unfortunate events until you figure out what you can and can’t put on these floors.  I’ll update this if anything else happens.  I hope nothing else will happen – keeping my fingers crossed.


Weekend #9 – OC Fair!! and the Kitchen Floor.

On weekend #9, we took a break from working 7 days a week, 15+ hours a day, to enjoy our annual trip to the OC Fair.  And oh boy did we pick a scorching hot weekend to go.  =)So what did we do all week to allow us this short reprieve from home improvement?  The Kitchen Floor.After work, all week before weekend #9, we’ve been busy unpacking.  I also have been able to carve in some time whenever I get home from my 9 to 5 grind before Kim, to work on the Kitchen Floor.Following the instructions from, I first put down painter’s tape to outline the borders.

kitchen tape2
kitchen tape

I thought this looks pretty cool already and I wanted to throw up my hands and say DONE.  But I continued to the next step.  I painted over the tape with the same white paint on the floor.  This is important because the black paint I’m using for the border won’t bleed under the blue tape.  I wish I’ve known this cool tip when I was painting walls.

kitchen remove tape
kitchen tape border
KT helped me remove the blue tape right after I painted the black border.  We didn’t want to give the paint a chance to dry.  If it did, then removing the tape will also pull up the paint around the tape.  We, unfortunately, had a lot of experience with that as well.
kitchen painted border2
kitchen painted border
After giving the paint sufficient time to dry, I started stenciling.  It wasn’t love at first sight.  I wasn’t sure if I liked the stencil on our beautiful white floors with crisp black borders. So I repeated the stencil a few more times so I can get a better idea of how it looks on our floor. 
kitchen stencil painted
It just wasn’t working for me.  I solicited KT’s opinion and he wasn’t excited about it either.  We thought it looked too busy for such a small space.  We much prefer the simple clean lines on the otherwise blank floor.  But here’s our dilemma…  we put in so much time and effort to make this stencil, it seems like such a pity to not use it.  We decided to let it sit for a while.
Mom, Lauren, and Susan dropped by after the OC Fair on Sunday.  They all prefer the floor without the stencil.  Susan did make a great suggestion: Just stencil a small area to define the dining area.  KT and I considered it for a while, trying to figure out how big of an area that would be and whether or not we’ll need to add borders, etc.
At the end, we decided to ditch the stencil.  As consolation, we agreed to use the stencil for something else in the future so all that effort won’t go to waste.  Sometimes it’s hard for us to ditch an idea that we thought was brilliant.  I often find myself so caught up with an ideology that I disregard the reality.  We had a vision of how great it looks in our “mind’s eyes” (HAHA – I love F*R*I*E*N*D*S) but I’m glad we were able to let it go.  In reality, our floor looks great, IMHO.
Jumping ahead, after weekend #9, I painted over the stencil and we started painting the polyurethane over the entire floor.  We used the brand Varathane.  We went with Gloss because we wanted the shine.  One a side note, an employee in the paint department told us that this sealer is for stained wood.  I double checked the directions on the can and it is safe to say she’s incorrect.  This can be used for stained or painted wood.

The direction also said to used a paint brush or a foam roller.  We didn’t have a foam roller so we went ahead and tried it with the same roller we used to apply the paint on the floor.  Not. A. Good. Idea.  It was like we were reliving the nightmare of applying the poly on the kitchen cabinet.  There were bubbles and it felt rough.

I gave KT a break and decided to paint the floor with my nifty paint brush. Yea, I said “my nifty paint brush.”  After ruining so many expensive Purdy paint brushes, I claimed two new ones that I take very very good care of.  Surprisingly, it only took me between an hour and fifteen to an hour and a half to paint a coat of poly on the entire kitchen floor with a paint brush.

After putting down the minimum of four coats of poly, I considered myself done.  Hip hip hooray!  Big Smile.  Celebration Dance.  (We still had to give the final coat a three day cure time before we can have the kitchen back for normal use).

kitchen finished floor

kitchen before floor (1)

Can you see the shine? =)

kitchen varnished

We can’t stop staring.  We’re in love.  With the floor.  And each other of course.

DIY Stencil

After shopping around for a stencil to use on our floor, I realized how expensive stencils can cost.  Especially for the really nice wall stencils.  Even though this whole process of moving has been a DIY challenge, it still takes me a while to consider the possibility of making something myself.  So after struggling to find a cost effective stencil that meets our need, it finally occurred to me that I can make my own stencil. 

I picked out four of these plastic pocket folders I had lying around. 

I cut off the front of the folder and kept the 8 1/2 by 11 back piece of the folder.  Taking all four 8 1/2 by 11 pieces, I taped them together to make one big piece of plastic. 

KT and I picked out a stencil we liked online.  I copied it over to Microsoft Word, did some cutting and scaling, and printed out four copies.  I lined up all four copies so that the edges will match up and taped it together. 

I taped the design securely under the plastic so I can trace the it with a sharper onto the plastic.

After tracing the stencil design onto the plastic, remove the paper and cut the outline of the stencil on the plastic with an exacto knife.

Cutting out the stencil took me a solid five hours to do. And I only cut out the right side of the stencil.  Since it seems like cutting out the stencil will take longer than actually stenciling, we decided to just stencil with half of the stencil and not bother cutting out the other half. 

Happy Stenciling!

Weekend #7 – Painting the… floor?

We actually stayed here a few nights during the week so we can work on the floor after work.  After 20+ hours of KT sanding the floor (apparently, this wasn’t as quick and easy as we had thought), we filled some holes with Elmer wood filler.  We gave it some time to dry, then we sanded it smooth and primed the floor on Sunday afternoon.  I used a paint brush to get all the edges and corners and KT used a roller to paint the rest of the floor.  It was the easiest paint job compared to everything else so far. 

Sanded Floor:

First Coat of Primer:

We had a quick dinner, and went back to prime the floor a second time. As you can see from the picture above, you can still see the grain on the plywood after one coat of primer.  After the second coat of paint, it looks very even.  It was a quick drying primer with awesome coverage.  I totally recommend it.

We used this:

Second Coat of Primer:

As we were priming the floor, I realized how much I liked the white floor.  Since I’ve been wanting to do the stenciling in black, a white background would work perfectly.  I don’t know why it took me so long to put it together.  We went from a black background with grey stenciling to a white background and black stenciling.  It couldn’t be more perfect. 

We rushed off to Lowes to buy white paint as the primer dries. 

We used this paint as recommended from

Once we got back, we were able to put down the first coat of the white paint.  So excited!!  We finished about 9:30PM. 

I came back on Tuesday after work to put down the second coat of the white paint.  =)  I don’t think we really needed it after two coats of primer and a coat of paint already, but I did it for good measure.

Weekend #6 – Kitchen Floor Demolition

I’ve been really eager to start on the kitchen floor.  I thought we would finally have an easy weekend pulling up the sheet vinyl off the floor.  I started pulling it up at one end while KT was at the other end fixing up the mess we made with the plywood two weekends before.


Luckily the glue was really old so the vinyl came up pretty easily in most areas.  The areas where the glue was still holding the vinyl to the plywood floor required a little more technique and time.   We didn’t remove the baseboards, so we had to be diligent in pulling the vinyl from under the baseboard without leaving any behind.

Pulling up the vinyl

It doesn’t look too bad.  There’s a few spots here and there that requires a little bit more scraping to get off the glue and vinyl residue.

No more vinyl

KT started sanding and scraping the floor and I went to finish touching up the paint around the new lights we installed in the bathroom and hall.

Still sanding….  So I went to paint the rest of the baseboards and door trims. 

and sanding…  we decided we’ll camp out here for a few nights with the doggies to get the floor done. 

Weekend #5 – Hooray, the Cabinets are DONE!

Finally, the cabinets are done!! 

We hung the cabinet doors back on the cabinets.  =)  I still have to pick out the knobs and handles for these doors and drawers. 

Here’s the Before:

Here’s the After:

So, after all this has been said and done, we learned why it was so important to get all the grease off the cabinets.  At first, we thought it was just because the paint needs a clean surface to stick to, to prevent chipping and peeling, etc.  As we were examining the doors, we discovered that the residual grease that we had missed has bled through the paint.  Tried as we may with the degreaser, deglosser, and the sanding, we were unable to get all  the grease off the doors.  The hardest areas were the grooves and edges.  Luckily, they’re not too noticeable.  Overall, this was a great makeover, don’t you think?