Well, here we are! It’s week three of the One Room Challenge for Spring 2019, and I’m getting nervous about the timeline of my kitchen renovation. In week one, I showed off the before, in week two, I installed all the cabinet frames and faces, and now we’re moving towards the ‘finishing’ part of the renovation (or at least that’s what I like to tell myself while I cry looking at my to-do list).
If you’re new here, welcome! I’m Catherine Ballard, the author of DIY Without Fear. I have a deep love for power tools and pillows and spend way too much time at the home improvement store. Thanks for stopping by!
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This week has a fun story. If you call
speaking sharply gently communicating to your spouse while children are screaming the kids play peacefully fun.
(We’re fine! It was just a tense few moments)
What am I talking about, you ask? This gorgeous sink. That was super on sale….and so the story begins.
The Tale of the Sink That Was ‘On Sale’
Once upon a time, there was a girl. She loved power tools and sawdust, and the lovely family she and her prince charming had created. Their home was lovely, but there was one problem. Her kitchen was falling apart.
The girl’s sink had been leaking for 20+ years, and the cabinets beneath were rotting. She and the prince vowed to fix it, so they saved their pennies. The girl vowed to never again have a sink that leaked, and found the best affordable undermount sink and faucet combination in all the land. If only she had known…
During Ye Olde One Room Challenge of Spring 2019, they started the renovation. The kitchen was carefully demolished, and slowly put back together. Then, one day, it was time to install the sink.
It was that day that the girl realized her undermount sink plan was cursed. She planned to route the laminate countertop from beneath and epoxy the sink into place, but her nightmares of a rotting kitchen made her question her plan.
So the prince whisked her and their two children off to the home improvement castle down the road. They found a beautiful, deep, single basin sink on sale and purchased it. The girl and her prince brought home their treasure and prepared the kitchen to install it.
And that’s where the fairy tale ended. See…the sink wasn’t ‘on sale’. It was damaged. It was an open box. Did anyone at the store mention that? Nope. Did the receipt say anything about it? Nope. Did I notice until after trying to install it? Nope.
Here’s the issue. The sink didn’t come with a template (which should have been sign #1 that I should have returned it), so I made my own. No big deal – just measure a few things, cut it out of cardboard, measure again, etc.
I triple checked all my measurements, cut the hole in the countertop, but it JUST. WOULDN’T. GO. IN. We later found out that was because the top left corner was bent, but at that point, there was nothing we could do since it had already partially clipped into place and wasn’t coming out.
When you’re installing a sink as a drop in, you have to use silicone to seal the edges, otherwise, your kitchen starts to rot after 20+ years of water damage (sound familiar?). There was silicone EVERYWHERE while we were trying to wrangle this beast into place.
So is this blog post about how to install a sink? HAHAHAHAHA. nope. It’s about managing your expectations with DIY and learning how to remove silicone caulk from countertops, brand new sinks, hair, nails, skin…the list is pretty endless, actually.
Sorry that I don’t have any pictures of the silicone massacre…I was too busy stress breathing to remember where my camera was.
Here’s the end of the sink story – we wrestled it into place, caulked the absolute daylights out of it, and called it a day. It’s a functional sink that is still a HUGE improvement over our old one. My DIY gurus (Mom and Dad) reminded me that if this is the biggest thing that goes wrong in our renovation, that’s a GREAT thing.
How to Remove Silicone Caulk From…Everything.
If you ever find yourself in the same predicament I did, where your whole body is somehow covered in slimy, uber-sticky silicone caulk, I encourage you to avoid all of the ways I failed in trying to remove it:
- Natural dish soap? Might as well have just been water. No effect.
- Dawn dish soap (the kind they use to save wildlife with during oil spills)? No effect.
- 91% Isopropyl alcohol? Minor help, but I couldn’t keep it on my hands long enough to really do anything.
- Scraping my entire epidermis off – worked pretty well.
After I was clean enough to drive, I went to the store and picked up a few more things to try.
- Pure Acetone – worked pretty well, but this stuff scares me to use on our countertops since it’s also what I use to dissolve my fake nails when I’m too cheap to have them professionally removed.
- Goo Gone – worked once it was dry, but really only to loosen it. Left a shiny residue that I had to clean up.
- Denatured Alcohol – the holy grail of removing silicone caulk.
The Sink Fully Installed
So, big dramatic story aside, I’m still in love. It’s beautiful, and checks everything on my wish list:
- Single basin so I have lots of room for large pots and pans
- One faucet hole so it’s easier to clean
- Single drain so the garbage disposal is always available
- Modern, clean look
And this big caulk dam on the side? I’m okay with it. It was a learning process, and it doesn’t affect the functionality of the sink at all. If it was on the other side (where most of the countertop is), I probably would replace it, but time is precious around here and mama doesn’t have time to re-do everything when there’s still SO MUCH TO BE DONE.
Installing The Faucet
Guys…if I could tell you to RUN to Amazon to buy this faucet, I would. But they don’t have brick and mortar stores so I’ll just give you a link. It was incredibly affordable, a breeze to install, and packaged like it cost 5x what it actually did.
It has a retractable sprayer, single lever that controls both hot and cold, weighted recoil system to make sure the sprayer goes back easily, and…well I just love it. I can’t wait to turn it on for the first time (we still have to hook up all the plumbing, since I didn’t have the energy to be under the sink this week after fighting with silicone)
Something that went really well this week was installing all the hardware on the lower cabinets. Thanks to a little trick that I shared in Fearless Weekly (my email newsletter), they were all measured, marked, drilled, and installed in under an hour with no mistakes. If you want in on those tips, just sign up right here!
I love how they turned out. The extra long handles are a way to make the kitchen look a lot more expensive than it really is. Can you believe that hardware was $5.50 each? Handles that long usually go for $20-$30, if not more.
There’s still so much to do. I’m heading back to the home improvement store this afternoon to pick up paint for the pantry door and new window treatments, and when we get home I’m installing toe kicks. Hopefully I can get it all done by the reveal date!
One Room Challenge Spring 2019 Week 3 Kitchen Progress Check-In
Install brand new cabinetry(mostly done, except for the uppers) Organize every drawer, shelf, and cubby(mostly done)
- Tile a new backsplash all the way to the ceiling
Install an under mount sink with our laminate countertops(HAHAHAHAHAHAHA) Install gorgeous cabinet pulls(Done!)
- Paint the pantry door a fun color/replace it with a glass one?
- Build a custom range hood
- Trim out the doorways into the kitchen
- Install under-cabinet lighting
- Install new window coverings
- Hang steel open shelving for our dishes
- Replace the pass-through with some bookshelves on each side, while still maintaining the openness I love
- Trim out the windows
- 10,000 other things that I want to include along the way
PS: Wanna catch up on the rest of the renovation? You can check out the other weeks here: