Oh, what a difference a day can make! And, if you add them up, a week later, things are quite transformed. When we last spoke, the husband and I had just finished probably the latest and hardest night we’ve had since my younger son was born over ten years ago. Let me remind you what the kitchen looked like at the end of that crazy night.
The next day, the professional plasterer came in and spent the whole day squirreled away in that kitchen. He made a whole lot of noise and kicked up a lot of dust. At the end of that first day, the kitchen looked like this.
All the bad plaster was covered up by drywall. And look at that soffit! You would never know there was a pipe hiding behind it. He wasn’t done after that day, though. The next day, he came back and did this.
Seriously, I was really amazed. I never imagined that these walls would ever look this good after staring at their sad state for over three weeks. I thought he would just smooth over the drywall seams and patch the damaged plaster.
It was like we had totally new and fresh walls. The thing that is important about DIY work is knowing when to call in a professional. We could never have made the walls look this good and compared to the electrician, the plasterer was really cheap. So far, I think this is the best money we have spent on this renovation.
The plaster needed to cure for at least three days before painting, so the husband got busy assembling some cabinets.
While he did that, I was busy still trying to pick a countertop. By the middle of last week, we had narrowed our choices down to soapstone and marble. Yes, I know, we are definitely not in the mainstream here with our preferences. Here’s what happened: We really thought at the start of this process that we would go with an engineered stone, such as silestone or ceasarstone. They are durable and easy to take care of. However, the more we looked at them, the less we liked them. They are basically chopped up pieces of rock all glued together and then polished. That sounded like a lot of packaging to us and we started going off the idea. So, we decided to go natural and the next logical thing to look at was granite.
Oh, there are a lot of granite choices out there and I liked some of them, but many of them seemed fairly boring to me. The ones I really liked were really complex and did not seem to fit the style of our house and kitchen. Wandering around the warehouses, the husband and I were really drawn to marbles. They were classic and varied without being wild. I also liked the idea of a light colored counter because our kitchen has very little natural light, so I wanted something that might brighten things up.
However, since the beginning of the renovation project, the husband has been advocating for soapstone. Have you heard of it? It’s the countertop surface that your high school or college chemistry lab probably had. The reason why is because soapstone is inert. It won’t react with anything. This is not the case with most other natural stones, especially marble. Marble and granite will stain and some will react with acids to create what is called etching. I did a lot of reading about this and even tried it on some samples I brought home from the warehouse. There was no question that the marble would etch with even just a short contact with lemon juice or a piece of fruit. The soapstone remained unchanged. The piece of granite I had was fine as well, but it was sealed. This brings me to the next thing about choosing countertops.
Granite and marble are typically sealed to help keep them from staining and etching. Soapstone does not need to be. We liked the idea of choosing a completely natural product, one that did not have to be altered in order to fit into our cooking lifestyle. The one drawback to soapstone is that it is softer than marble and granite.
The sample we brought home could easily be scratched with just my fingernail. However, not all soapstones are that soft. Some are quite hard, such as this one.
In the end, we decided to go with soapstone, even though it was darker than I would have liked. I never found a granite I loved and I think that living with the marble and its etching would have stressed me out. With the soapstone, I won’t be afraid of staining it and any scratches are easily buffed out (or so I am told). It doesn’t require any sealing at all and comes in several interesting shades.
Once the countertop was picked and reserved, we could finally pick a paint color and move on, yay!
Since our countertop ended up on the dark side, we decided to go as light as possible for the walls and picked a blue to bring out more of the blue/gray tones in the stone.
Hopefully, the two will work well together. We’ll find out when the counters are installed, which will not be for awhile yet. First, we’ve got to get some cabinets installed.