DIY Sarah

Craft, Decor, Art, Garden, and Dessert

Toe Kicks

It’s been a long winter but we are back to our old tricks. Here is one little project we worked on while it was still very much winter in early March.

We have finally added Toe-Kicks to the Kitchen Cabinets. It’s a little change that makes the room feel so much more finished. For the uninitiated, toe-kicks are the piece of trim that go underneath the cabinets. In this picture from our 1 year anniversary in 2012, you can see how each cabinet has a gap in the toe-space underneath the cabinet. The toe-kick covers those gaps and is painted white to match the cabinets. It also covers any shims you used to level the cabinets.


Wow, the cabinets have been in since December 2012! These toe-kicks were way overdue.

We also built a little cover for under the dishwasher. The toe-kick piece of the dishwasher is black so it needed to be hidden. It looks so much better with this little additional touch.


Here is a detail of the dishwasher cover. We just tacked it onto the dishwasher with hot glue. It will pop off if you tug on it but was just enough hold to keep the cover from falling over.


I should be back to blogging more regularly since the snow is gone and summer is upon us. We have pulled out the Tandem bike but it still isn’t quite warm enough to ride. We’ve made progress on a couple more projects I will be sharing soon. And, it is just about time for an early spring garden post. I’m hoping the cherry trees bloom this weekend!


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Kitchen Crown Molding Part 1

Yay Crown Moldings. It makes such a difference to have this last bit of finish-work done.

Here is the before:

Here is the super-dramatic “when we bought it” before:

And here we are with some initial moldings.

Our process for moldings are:

  1. Pre-prime moldings
  2. Cut and nail into place (more complicated that it sounds…)
  3. Wood fill
  4. Sand
  5. Prime again
  6. Caulk
  7. Paint
  8. Touch-up Paint
  9. Touch Up Ceiling/Wall paint

I’ve found that the second priming after the wood-filler is key to a nice smooth, easy paint job. It really makes the final coat go on so much easier to have a well-primed underlay. I also like to have it well-primed before caulking. It helps to pull the excess caulk off if you have a nice smooth, unabsobant surface.

I mentioned the Cut and Nail as one step but it really is more complicated that that. It’s a 2 person job and this particular molding was hard to work with. It is “shelf” molding not Crown so instead of the back corner being cut off, we had to cut it off ourself.

Here is the profile pre-ripped:

and after we ripped the back corner off it looks roughly like this.

We buy nearly all our moldings from Anderson McQuaid. It’s not 2 miles away from the house and is a full on-side molding mill. It’s a neat place to visit if you’re ever in the area. It’s over by Fresh Pond if you know that area of Cambridge MA.

To rip the Molding, we used our great table saw:

And some great roller stands from Harbor Freight. These are awesome. Cheap, easy, and super useful.

After getting the molding to shape, we cut it to size using the chop-saw. To install it, we used an ingenious little tool – a custom molding holder.


Making one of these really helps to get the molding up and tight into the corners. We made it long enough that we could wedge it into place with a couple scrap blocks of wood.


(Don’t mind the mess: Rudy’s Cup for iced tea, a crooked Bulletin Board I hang receipts, lists, and watercolor paintings on, my Blue Coat on the back of the door. What can I say, we live here! I just can’t get behind cleaning up to work on a project but it would make for better blog pictures. )

After putting up all the moldings it’s time to wood-fill, sand, prime, caulk, and paint. I’m most of the way through the process but I’ll do a final moldings reveal once it’s all done! The Kitchen really is coming together so well.


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  1. 11/8/2014 | 3:00 pm Permalink

    Sarah I love your house so much!! The kitchen looks great!! And I had no idea that custom molding holders existed! That’s such a useful tool!

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Kitchen Backsplash Part 2

A while ago, I posted Backsplash part 1. Today, I’m going to show you part 2: grout.

I mixed up the grout in a milk carton.


I waited as specified in the directions:


And got to grouting.


After wiping off the grout and cleaning off the grout haze, it’s looking great!



After the grout dried, Stefan had fun installing the pot filler.


And once the grout was super duper dry, I caulked the seams.


After cleaning off the counters and giving the kitchen a good cleaning, we are getting pretty close to a finished kitchen!



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  1. 3/21/2014 | 8:07 pm Permalink

    Wow. Looks great

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Backsplash Part 1

I have officially finished phase one of operation backsplash. We went with white subway tile in a herringbone pattern and I LOVE it!


I started in the middle of the stove area and worked out from there.


I did all the easy parts before working on all the complicated cuts.


It starts really coming together. And once I’ve cleaned off all the tool-mess I made, it really looks wonderful.






Finishing up the grout work should only take another day or so. From there we will be able to clean up everything with grout and put up the final piece of window trim. It’s so exciting to see things coming together.


    3 comments already | Leave your own comment

  1. 3/5/2014 | 9:58 pm Permalink

    You’re kitchen is beautiful Sarah!!

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  2. 3/5/2014 | 10:01 pm Permalink

    Gah *your. PS love that you have a pink KitchenAid haha 🙂

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