Kitchen Floor Progress (Plus A “To Do” List Update)

Well, this is the weekend I had hoped to have my kitchen remodel completely finished.  I’ll be honest.  I don’t think I’ll make it.  I’m not being a pessimist, just a realist.  My “to do” list is still quite long, and it seems like I keep finding little things that need to be added to the list.  And all of those little finishing details take quite a bit of time.

But even still, I’m going to give it my absolute best try and see just how close I can come.  Even if I have a few unfinished items on my list come Monday, I can assure you there won’t be many.

My big project yesterday was the kitchen floor.  I’ve been procrastinating on this one, especially the areas around the furniture feet on the two finished walls of cabinets.  But I finally did it, and it wasn’t really that bad!  I did the toekick on the peninsula first just to get a feel for what would be needed.

kitchen red oak hardwood floor sanded - 2

I used Klean Strip paint stripper, brushed on with a paint brush, and left it on for about 10 minutes.  Then scraped off the majority of the poyurethane and paint.  Then I added one more coat of stripper, and this time instead of scraping, I used small a wire (brass) brush to really get down into the grain of the wood.  Then I wiped that up with a paper towel soaked with Klean Strip Paint Stripper After Wash.  This stuff was a real time saver.  It really cut right through the remaining stripper and paint sludge.

kitchen red oak hardwood floor sanded - 1

I do have a couple of areas on the cabinets that will require some touch ups where I accidentally touched it with my chemical-covered glove or scraper, but those won’t be a problem.  I’ll also still need to do some detail sanding under the toekick, which I’ll probably do with my Dremel MultiMax since I’m pretty sure that’s the only thing I have that will fit under there.  If it doesn’t fit, then I’ll just have to sand by hand.  But you can see on this next picture that the area just under the toekick is still a bit lighter in color than the rest of the floor.  You can see the darker shadow line, and then just a couple of inches beyond that, it gets lighter again.  That’s a very thin film of paint that I couldn’t get off with the chemicals.  Sanding is the only way to get that off.

kitchen red oak hardwood floor sanded - 3

The small area in the doorway is one of only two areas remaining that I still need to sand.  And don’t worry about the floor in the music room.  It’ll clean up just fine.  And in the event that there are scratches that need fixing, remember that the ease of repair is why I chose to use Waterlox on my floor.  🙂

kitchen red oak hardwood floor sanded - 4

The other area that still needs to be sanded is the refrigerator cabinet.

kitchen red oak hardwood floor sanded - 5

So tonight, I should be ready to put the first coat of Waterlox on before I go to bed.  If I do one coat tonight, one tomorrow night, and one on Sunday night, the floor will be finished by Monday.

So here’s a look at my “to do” list as I head into what I had hoped to be my final weekend of work on my kitchen.

Wall of tile:

  1. Install the rest of the tiles around the perimeter
  2. Clean the grout lines and grout the wall
  3. Caulk around the edges
  4. Install trim at the top of the wall
  5. Install baseboard
  6. Clean film off of tiles

Refrigerator wall:

  1. Grout tile around the doorway
  2. Caulk around the tiles
  3. Install the stove
  4. Replace the trim on the cabinets that had to be removed to tile  🙁
  5. Switch the door swing on the refrigerator
  6. Touch up the ceiling paint along the crown moulding
  7. Install and paint the trim around the door
  8. Install trim at the top of the tiled wall
  9. Install baseboards
  10. Install undercabinet lighting
  11. Wire vent hood with a plug (currently has no plug and has to be hardwired)
  12. Clean overspray from inside of cabinets
  13. Make and install corbels on upper cabinets
  14. Outlet and switch covers

Wall of cabinets:

  1. Order shelf pins and install glass shelves
  2. Clean overspray from inside of cabinets
  3. Touch up ceiling paint along crown moulding
  4. Install undercabinet lighting
  5. Make and install corbels on upper cabinets

Peninsula and surrounding partial walls:

  1. Install tile on the wall
  2. Grout the tile
  3. Caulk around the edges of the tile
  4. Install trim at the top of the wall
  5. Install trim around the doorway/opening
  6. Remake four large drawer fronts (in progress!)
  7. Make and install the furniture feet on the cabinets
  8. Install trim on the cabinets
  9. Prime, paint and polyurethane the cabinets
  10. Gold leaf the large drawers and cabinet doors
  11. Install baseboard on left wall
  12. Caulk around sink
  13. Outlet and switch covers


  1. Sand and Waterlox the floor (in progress!)
  2. Seal grout


I’m going to try as hard as I can, but I’m pretty sure the only way I’d get that done in three days is if I had a couple of other people helping me through the weekend.  So many of those things are very simple, but even the very simple tasks add up to hours and hours of work.  So we’ll see how close I get on Monday!  🙂

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  1. Can’t wait to see the Waterlox floors! Question: How do you keep your pretty little kitty from walking on the floor when you put down the Waterlox?

    1. bah ha ha ha… yes…inquiring minds want to know. 😉 lol don’t want a redo of the countertops fiasco. 😉 <3

    2. The cats slept in my office last night with the door closed. And the dog slept in Matt’s game room with the door closed. 🙂 I didn’t want to wake up this morning with any little footprints across my kitchen floor.

  2. Fantastic progress and it all looks so wonderful. Love the kitty photobomb. I have a tri-colored calico, too, so it’s sweet to see yours in the photos.

  3. If not by Monday, then for sure early next week! It’s all the little final details that take the time, plus the drying time for the floors. But most of them can be done in one day, except for the peninsula cabinets and drawers. Did you decide what sort of trim you will be using between the tile and the ceiling? Everything’s looking really great, and the end is in sight!

    Onward and Upward!

    1. I think I’m just going to use lattice. Sounds strange, but I really don’t want anything that will draw attention, like a crown moulding. I just want it to fade away, so I want something very simple. I had already been considering lattice, and then yesterday my mom was over and we were talking about things that still needed to be done. She asked me about what I was going to use, and I said I hadn’t decided yet. Then she said, “I think you need something very simple and thin, like a piece of lattice.” 🙂 Must be meant to be!

    2. I think lattice will be perfect. Its shape will repeat the running bond pattern of the tiles on the top part of the wall, and allow you to cut it at a slight angle on the top to fit the ceiling while keeping the bottom parallel to the lines in the tiles. Painted a gloss white, it will blend right in and allow the other elements to be the focus.

  4. I really look forward to reading your blog. I seldom comment but I you are one amazing and talented woman!! I love watching your projects come to life.
    May I offer a suggestion?. I would like to see you leave the floor without the stripes. The wood is so pretty and you already have a lot of different things happening in the kitchen.

    1. Girl, I so wish I lived within a couple of hours drive. I’d be there in a heartbeat ready take care of tasks as assigned – whether it be sanding, caulking, grouting, dusting, hammering or cleaning everything to get it ready for it’s photo debut. It’s going to be fabulous!

      1. That is sad. I really loved the stripes. Especially after the cabinets were in and painted. It was so unique and interesting.

        But I wouldn’t want to redo them again, either.

  5. Kristi, don’t knock yourself out trying to get it all done. Do what you think are the important things and go from there. I just saw someone on this old house show a woman how to strip a hardwood floor. He used the Dremelmax to get right up next to the toeplate. The only place he could not use it was under the front of the fridge. Even though he had jacked it up he didn’t have enough room so he just used a hand scrapper. Fortunately you can move your fridge. It does look like you will have a lot of dusting off and wiping down of everything once all is done. Take your time. You know that old saying…haste makes waste….and we would not want the waste to be a body party or part of your creative mind, LOL. Take your time, the pro’s don’t pull these jobs off overnight and they have huge crews and strong guys. Take your time so you can enjoy the process. Chances are this may be the complete kitchen remake you do, so you should bask in the glory of every bit of it. It has been an exciting journey and we are all so fortunate that you have taken us along for the ride. Relax, enjoy and Blessings

  6. Those who make the rules can change the rules. Working under the gun to get everything done by Monday will be so stressful. (At least it would be for me). The deadline was arbitrary I think, no big family dinner planned or anything other than your own desire to get it finished ASAP. Sure would hate to see you come so far and then end up with a heart attack or something due to stress. Why not take a great big breath, let it out slowly and tell yourself that next Monday will be just fine. There is no doubt at all that you could do it by then and you could really enjoy crossing items off the list without constantly stressing about the things still on it.

  7. Setting goals is important. Changing goals is also important. You have done a fantastic job! So I say on your HOUSEIVERSARY just get dinner together. Pull up your table and chairs. Set a pretty table and celebrate your accomplishments with you dear hubby. You have done so much in a year! Celebrate!

  8. Progress is progress – even though it’s taking longer than planned, you are doing it RIGHT – better to have everything completed as you like it, not according to a timeline. Love to see your design choices:)

  9. Have you looked in the mirror lately? Because I’m wondering if you can see the big “S” that must be on your chest? Or the red cape that must be on your back? Because from far, far away, where I get observe your progress, it’s obvious to me that you are Superwoman no matter when the kitchen actually gets done!!! Beautiful, amazing work, as always!

  10. Lowe’s, Home Depot and Ace Hardware all sell shelf pins of different sizes and design. You may not need to order them.

    I love what you are doing and can appreciate all your hard work.

  11. Everything is looking good. Your lists are getting shorter and shorter, for sure. Hang in there, I’m sure the end of this room project will be here in a week or less.

  12. Relax and TRY to enjoy. You are probably going to live with this kitchen for years. In the long run, a few extra days will not make a difference. So try to relax. 🙂

  13. So you don’t finish by Monday. I have never seen a contractor who finished a project when they said they would. Jobs have a way of taking longer than we think.

  14. As someone who is self employed, the best part of the job is getting to call the shots! You don’t have to follow anyone’s timeline, and you get to set your schedule! So take your time, enjoy the process and remember, you’re not bossy, you ARE the boss! Looking fantastic, and we all can’t wait to see the finished project! Carry on Warrior!

  15. Hi Kristi, thought I would let you know, just saw a “spoon mirror” similar to yours on Joss & Main. It is really stunning. It says it is iron so it must have been cast in a mold but it is finished in a beautiful antiqued and burnished gold. The petals are the reverse of what you did. The bowl is face down as opposed to face up. Really a great idea. The have it on sale for $114. and change. Thought you might want to take a look. I don’t know how to find things and post them somewhere else. Maybe someday I will take a computer class! Blessings

  16. I don’t know if anyone else commented about this. You do get a lot of comments.

    But I was wondering. It has been a while since you sprayed your cabinets. And I noticed that cleaning the overspray is still on your to do list.
    Is it still coming off easy? I have done that before myself and it wiped off easy at first. But when I went back later to remove other areas. It had set and I had to used mineral spirits and a scrubber (plastic). To get the overspray off. If I had done it all when it was fresh. It would have come off with zero effort.

    Hope I am not being repetitive or naggy. I love your site and would love, love, love to do what you do. (We currently rent). But I always have furniture projects and I love getting inspiration from you and your commitment to never give up.

    Thanks and keep it up.