Are They Green Yet? Are They Green Yet?

That (and variations on that theme) has become the single most-asked question I get lately.  “When are you going to paint your cabinets?” “Are your cabinets next?” “How long until you paint your cabinets?”

I swear, it’s like I’m on a long road trip with small children.  “Are we there yet?”  “Are we there yet?”


Awww…I’m just kiddin’ around with y’all.  Kind of.  :-D

I’m as anxious as the rest of you to see paint on those cabinets.  But no…sadly, they’re not green yet.

I went into the kitchen on Saturday morning, ready to get started with the prep work on the cabinets so that I could get started painting, and I realized that I still had one pretty big project that needed to be done before I could even think of working on the cabinets.  It was a dreaded project — a project that I’ve been putting off as long as I could.

The ceiling.

Until this weekend, the ceiling still looked like this…

ceiling drywall 1

Let me just say that, in my humble but accurate opinion, there is no worse home improvement project than taping, mudding and sanding a ceiling.

It’s the sanding that gets me.

I absolutely have to wear a mask over my nose and mouth or I’ll fill my lungs with dust.  So a mask is absolutely necessary.  On top of that, I pretty much have to wear goggles or I’ll spend most of the time with my head down, tears streaming down my face, as I’m trying to get dust out of my eyes.  But as soon as I put the mask plus the goggles on, I feel like I’m going to suffocate.  I can’t stand to have that much of my face covered.  (I could never go scuba diving.  Just the thought of it makes me panic.)

But somehow I managed.  And survived.  I only wore the goggles about half the time.  The other half, I just put up with the tears streaming down my face and pressed on towards the finish line.

I taped, mudded, sanded, mudded again, sanded again, primed, and painted.  And I did finish…at 10:30 last night.  Then I got up at 6:30 this morning to put the trim kits on the recessed lights just so I could really feel that sense of completion.

ceiling drywall 2

It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough.  :)

What’s not good enough, and in fact, is very frustrating is that two of the trim kits didn’t cover the cut outs completely.  So after all of that work, I still have some repairs to do.  You can see what I mean on the light in the top right corner of this picture.

ceiling drywall 3

I know it’s an easy fix, but it’s frustrating nonetheless.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  This is the last room in which I will be doing any drywall work.  From here on out, I’m hiring the pros to do that job.  What took me all weekend to do, they could have had finished in a couple of hours.  And they probably wouldn’t have charged me very much to do it.

But the good news is that now, after three months, I’m finally able to install my new light fixture!  You know the one — the light fixture that Matt bought for me.  The light fixture that started this whole kitchen remodel in the first place.  :-D

That’s going to be first on my “to do” list today, just because I can.  And just because I’m ready to see something pretty and finished in that room.

I guess officially, it will be the third “pretty and finished” thing to go into the room.  The floors are done, but they’ve been covered so I can’t really enjoy them at the moment.  And my countertops are finished, but at the moment they’re covered with a thick layer of drywall dust.  But let me just say…

ceiling drywall 4

I’ve only had them a week, but I love them.  I’ve dropped things on them, dripped drywall mud and paint on them, stood on them, scraped stuff off of them, and they still look perfect.  After living with butcherblock countertops for six years, and kind of having to baby those countertops, it’s so nice to have countertops now that are so hard wearing and can stand up to just about anything.

In other news…

THE PLUMBER IS COMING!!!!  He’ll be here either today or tomorrow, and y’all, I can’t remember the last time I felt so excited about something.  Not only will we finally have a kitchen sink after not having one for three months, but we’ll also have a garbage disposal and a dishwasher.  We haven’t had those things in nine months!!!

It’s gonna be a good week.  I’ll have running water in my kitchen.  I’ll be able to wash those dishes that are piled up in my bathtub.  I’ll finally (hopefully) see some green on those cabinets.  And I’ll finally have my pretty new light in my kitchen.

Yep…a good week, indeed.  :)

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  1. Susan B says

    That ceiling looks fantastic. You did an incredible job!

    My hub never lets me hire out the dry wall, the only thing is — I do all the sanding, and look like I took a shower in the dust. However he is great at the mudding and tapping.

  2. Lisa says

    You really did do a fantastic job! And I will check back in later today to see if you painted the cabinets yet. I mean (Freudian slip) I will check in to see the light fixture!!!!!

  3. Sheila F says

    The ceiling looks great! I also hate mudding drywall, but I have several rooms and a ceiling to complete. (Just patches but still.) I am excited to see the light also, and your faucet. This is such a treat!

  4. jane says

    You are making such wonderful progress! I love your countertops and everything else you have finished! Congrats!

  5. Jaclyn says

    Way to go Girl! It is so wonderful & inspiring to watch your transformation. Thank you for always sharing :)

  6. Heather says

    Everything you touch turns to gold!
    You should be so very proud of what you do! Your kitchen is stunning!

  7. Stacey Brown says

    you are a freaking rock star!!! I am amazed at your seemingly never-ending talents and supply of energy! My sister and I both are following your progress and every time we get together we talk about Kristi’s progress!!

    • Carla says

      Your post made me LOL because my sister and I are also following Kristi’s progress. And we also discuss her AMAZING talents every time we get together!

  8. Julie says

    I know it’s already been said, but it bears repeating: your ceiling looks wonderful! Great job!

    It’s been several hours since you did the trim kits, so…are they green yet??? Just kidding! :-)

  9. Joelle Smith says

    I eagerly check your blog every day. Your kitchen remodel is absolutely fabulous! The ceiling just gives more of a teaser toward the finished project. Keep up the good work, you are a trooper, and your ceiling is great looking!

  10. Dorth says

    The reason everyone is asking about the painting of the cabinets is because of the color. Most of us aren’t brave enough to put green in our kitchen. We’re all waiting to see if it looks as beautiful as some of those pictures you showed us in your decision making process. We’re all holding our breaths.

  11. Gilmer Gal says

    How much loooooongerrrrrrrr????? (sorry, I couldn’t help myself). You are so close to doing the fun stuff. The kitchen looks awesome and it is going to be so exciting to see it all come together.

  12. Barbara H. says

    Your kitchen has come so far! I know it will be wonderful to have the sink, dishwasher and disposal installed and working. Congratulations!

  13. Karla says

    Bless your dear heart. I think you have done a fabulous job on the ceiling and have come a long way in this project.

    What is needed to make a fix around the ceiling pot light? I would have no idea on what to do if that happened to me.

    Everything is moving along nicely. If you look at your checklist, you can see all that you have accomplished! The hardest tasks (in my opinion) are pretty much complete. Painting is the next and then adding all the details (knobs, lights, etc.) is actually the fun part of putting it all together.

    Keep up the great work and give yourself a pat on the back for the hard work you’ve done so far!

    • says

      Since the spaces around my lights are so small, I’m just going to shove some drywall mud in the space, let it dry, and sand it smooth. I might have to do it two or three times before it’s smooth. Then I can prime and paint. If the gaps were larger, I would use drywall tape to cover the gap, and then mud over it.

  14. Jan says

    Oh!!! I’m so excited for you!!! I have to admit, we are just like a bunch of anxious kids in a car. Sorry about that but you are so amazing at getting things done licketty-split. I guess we think you have nothing else to do with your day except work non-stop until you have another ‘prize’ to throw our way.

    I’m stuck with clearing out things I no longer need (after dragging it here after my move last fall) since we didn’t edit enough before moving. Although I gave away lots of furniture, I need to go through my school stuff (I’m a teacher) on my 3rd day of summer holidays. I’ve checked with the local women’s shelter and they’re happy to get all my brand new, unused art supplies for the kids there. Yeah!!! It’s a win-win situation.

    Now I’m going to be checking back all day to see that light fixture hanging from the ceiling!!!

  15. MaryAnne Looby says

    Jessze Louise! I do not know how you do that drywall stuff and so it so perfectly! You really are great at it. It is not an easy thing to do. The ceiling looks fabulous. Can’t wait for the piece de resistance to go up, it will be worth all the effort. And as you say, the hard, skut, crappy work is behind you. I have a suggestion for boo boo’s at the trim kits. We had the same proplem, which Is why I know. You can purchase wider rims to cover the holes. Also if you were to change them out, you might want to consider using a burnished brass like your light from Matt. The trim kits,now come in various finishes. It is just a thought, although an added expense and trip to HD or, just go on line where you would have a larger choice and order them. When they come you could put them up. I have become an online shopper, even if we pickup in the store. It makes it so much easier, you see who has what merchandise, you can compare prices and amazons shipping isn’t too bad, zappos, if they carry them have free shipping both ways, HD and Lowes are reasonable as is Walmart. I also use Vandykes restorers for all things metal and trim. They are amazing and have everything. I was able to match drawer pulls for a white mahogany chest from the 1930’s. We also got all our register covers there when we built the house. Too bad you can’t reach out to everyone asking about the cabinets. I grew up in a family with seven kids and the ‘are we there yet’ question was enough to make my Dad go nuts! He devised a plan so he and my mom could have a conversation in the front seat in peace and quiet. When we started we were told that the trip would take 5 lifesavers. (he divided the miles by 5) We were given a lifesaver when we started and at the next divised mile marker we were given another and so on and so on until we got the 5th one and we knew that we were close. Too bad you can’t tell your readers it will take 5 lifesavers! Since I am sure by the end of day 5 you will be well into painted cabinets. Once again, the ceiling looks fabulous, can’t wait to see the light. as always,Blessings

      • MaryAnne Looby says

        @Linda, yes he was a genius when it came to keeping us under control. He’s gone now, nine years, would have been 99 this past Flag Day. @ Carla, so glad you have checked out Vandykes Restorers. It is a great place, been around for ages, but used mostly by rehabbers. I think more and more people will start to discover them. Great customer service too!

    • Carla says

      How is it that I have never heard of Vandykes? Thank you so much for sharing! I just checked it out and I now have a new favorite website!

    • says

      That Lifesaver idea is ingenious! :-D

      I love Vandykes. I don’t think I’ve bought anything from there (yet), but for some reason, they send me their catalog every once in a while. So fun to browse.

  16. Guerrina says

    Awesome finishing on the kitchen ceiling – I, too, hate dealing with ceilings. Looking forward to seeing the “Matt Light” up!

  17. Chris says

    Even without painting your cabinets, your kitchen is going to look so much more finished with that light fixture and all of your appliances in (and working!). Way to go, Kristi! I’ve been sharing some of the things you’ve done with this kitchen as we have an early 1970s modified galley kitchen (complete with mirror backsplash) to redo at SOME point in time.

  18. Kirsten says

    You have done a fantastic job!!!!! I stumbled upon your blog a few months ago and have enjoyed it every bit since then!!! I share your progress with my husband, I believe it makes him feel better that his wife is not the only woman in the world who is willing to attack their home with DIY projects. My process is also a bit similar to yours, I follow my own rules :-)
    Cant wait to continue watching your kitchen progress!!!

  19. Sue says

    Your ceiling looks great! Its a nasty, dirty job and I agree that if you can afford it, hire it done from now on. We redid a couple of ceilings and I told my husband that I was tired of not being able to breathe or see and if we did more, someone else would be hired to do it. Amazingly, he agreed! : )

    Can’t wait to see that ceiling fixture in place, as I’m sure it will anchor the whole room.

    How exciting to get your sink, disposal and dishwasher hooked up and running! That will make your life so much easier.

    Please don’t stress about getting this kitchen done. Do whatever your energy level tells you you can! The green will get on the cupboards when YOU say it gets put on and not a minute sooner! (Can you tell I’ve travelled with small children before? tee hee hee)

  20. C.B. McDuff says

    HOLY MOLY!!!!
    You are friggin’ AMAZING!!! Like seriously! I’ve turned my friends onto this amazing lady that can build and fix ANYTHING – just watch and see what she has accomplished in her kitchen (with help of some family members)!!! And though it SEEMS like it had been a LONG time for you,,,,many contractors would still hold you up and gotten things done when they got it done. You MAY have saved a month of time, in the finish but just LOOK at what you get to show for it all!!

    YOU DID THIS!!!!

    I couldn’t be more proud if you were my own sister!!!!

    I’ll leave it at that – because more than the green on the cabinets,,,I’m looking forward to the SINK!!! :-D

    The lady above was right on the larger light kits – and they make really pretty ones for not too much more,,,that give the lights more character! We used a Dark kit that resembled wrought iron and repainted them to match our kitchen trim (black w/silver highlights) and they made the ceiling lights match perfectly with the kitchen island light, and table lights. But again,,,its all you – just thought that I’d reiterate that they look nice up there, over plain white.

    Congrats my lady decorator friend — you deserve MORE than a medal for this room,,,and it ain’t even finished yet!!

    A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. !!!

  21. Genelle McDaniel says

    There was a time (a while back) when I thought your living room was going to be the prettiest room in your house. But your kitchen is turning out just beautiful. I really hope that plumber makes it tomorrow because I really want to see that sink in. You, who thinks she doesn’t like to cook, may have a hard time leaving your kitchen. Your so talented, and smart, and determined, and whatever adjectives we can think of.

    Yes, I know not to end a sentence with a preposition, but I’m just too stunned to use proper English.

  22. Barbie B says

    The ceiling, touch-up and/or repairs or not, look awesome! Your kitchen is going to be SO pretty….I’ll be patient and watch for your posts.

  23. Sherry says

    Are we there yet? Are we there yet? LOL. Just kidding.
    The ceiling looks amazing and already the kitchen looks awesome. Every step you take it looks better and better. I’m so excited for each post.

  24. Debbie says

    What a wonderful job on the ceiling! Now you know you could always install drywall for a living. (Just kidding – I know how you hated doing it.) Question,( and I apologize profusely if it was already asked and answered but I searched your site and couldn’t find the answer) where did you get the light fixture? Home Depot? A lighting store? Where? I love it and would like to buy one for my upstairs foyer. Thanks!

  25. Elisabeth says

    Seriously, Kristi, you should have made this into a TV series!! It is just soooo exciting watching your work!! I’m always delighted when the emails from your blog appear in my inbox!!! You have no idea!

    Well done with the ceiling! I’m intrigued as to how patching up the too large light holes will be an easy thing to fix. I’m hoping you can do a small pictorial demo/explanation, please? It’s all looking so fantastic!!!

    • says

      Since the gaps on my lights are so small/narrow, I’m just going to shove some drywall mud up there, let it dry, and then sand it. I might have to do that two or three times before it’s smooth, but once I can sand it smooth, I’ll prime and paint. If the gaps were bigger, I’d use drywall tape to cover over the gap, and then mud over that.

  26. says

    Wow! I’ve loved following along with your kitchen remodel. The countertops turned out great and I’m VERY impressed with your mud/sanding skills! I attempted to patch a small area on one of our ceilings once and I couldn’t get the spot smooth. It was terrible! Looking forward to the rest of your progress!

  27. designdreamer says

    Good for you Kristi! I’m cheering you on! Excited to see the light up.

    Maybe drywall work isn’t too expensive in your neck of the woods, but my DD and SIL were going to have a built-in nook made into an (drawing a blank here as to what to call it) (I’m sure you’ve seen them, cubby holes built into a wall KIND OF like a bookshelf?) entertainment center made of drywall, and built-in. Sheesh good think I’m not a technical writer! Now that’s a bit more involved than what you’re doing, but they were going to charge in the thousands. They didn’t get to it, and now they recently sold their first house, and bought a new one, and haven’t even been married 2 years yet!! But I’m happy for them. They bought at the right time (initially), and now too since interest rates are still so low.

  28. JudyMae says

    I can’t imagine that anyone would expect you to have worked any faster than you have worked. I think you have been working at lightening speed and am just absolutely amazed at how much you have completed. And it all looks so good, too. I must admit that I can hardly wait to see that light fixture that Matt gave you hanging in your new kitchen. What a nice gift – he is s very thoughtful guy.

  29. Gina says

    OK friend…just how are you going to fix that extra big hole for your recessed light? I have the same problem!! Actually we are replacing some from many years ago and the holes were bigger then. We can’t find a trim that is big enough to fit the hole :( So for months I have had this ugly recessed light in the kitchen. Keep up the inspiring are amazing!

    • says

      I’m just filling the spaces with drywall mud, but I only have small/thin gaps. So are yours cut too big all the way around? If I’m understanding it right, it sounds like you could cut a thin circle of MDF or plywood, cut kind of like a donut with a hole in the middle, to cover the gap. Once it’s painted the ceiling color, it would just blend in, and even give an extra layer of detail. If you want to go a step further, you could even use a router to add a pretty edge detail on the outer edge of the ring. Anyway, make the ring big enough so that the outer edge covers the gap (plus some), and so that the inner ring (the donut hole) is the right size for a trim kit to fit. Would that work? Or maybe I’ve misunderstood your situation completely. :-D

  30. Mitzi says

    You’re in the home stretch, but still lots of work to accomplish. I hope these last steps go quickly so you can enjoy the fruits of your labors! Amazing job so far on everything. I’ve said it before, but you are inspiring! I think we need to get Kristi fan club tshirts printed. I envision a superman logo with power tools around the shield, and a big A2D in the center. I’d buy.

  31. MaryAnne Looby says

    Good Morning Kristi, Just wanted to offer some words of encouragement as you approach the kitchen finish line………..WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE,….. I HAVE A SINK, I DO NOT CARE! …………. GREEN,GREEN IT’S GREEN THEY SAY ON THE FAR SIDE OF THE HILL; GREEN,GREEN I’M STAYING RIGHT HERE, WHERE THE CABINETS WILL GIVE ME MY FILL!!!!! Just my excitement getting the better of me! Blessings

  32. says

    I think the ceiling looks awesome! Definitely an improvement from unfinished drywall :) And it’s great that you’re getting your plumbing! The kitchen is coming together beautifully! Can’t wait to see those green cabinets.

  33. says

    What a wonderful job on the ceiling it looks awesome! The countertops turned out great and I’m VERY impressed with your mud/sanding skills! Every step you take it looks better and better. I am so excited for each post. You have done a fantastic job. Thanks for sharing this.

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