Undersink Makeover

by Daisy

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I follow a Swedish design/diy blog called Chez Larsson.  I think Deanna is amazed anew every time I mention that I follow a bunch of design blogs because I’m not exactly a stylista.  No shock there, I’m sure.

The main thing that keeps me tuned to this particular blog is Benita Larsson’s commitment to perfection.  It’s something I admire and get a charge out of even if I don’t practice it myself.  My ability to see what needs doing in my own home has been sharpened partly by watching Benita as she transforms her house into the haven she has envisioned it to be. Her befores and afters are inspiring, and I’m sure have been a big contributor to some of my latest projects around the house.

I wanted to show you one I’ve taken before and after shots of.  It’s my kitchen undersink area.  I’ve hated the way mine was for a long time, and one night recently I took the bull by the horns and Benita’d it (apologies to Ms. Larsson).

Here is the area under my kitchen sink BEFORE:

Like it?  LOTS of after potential, right?  To be fair to it, my house is 75 years old.  It is a good old girl, and this floor was moments before covered with a respectable amount of contact paper.

The surface you see is a thin layer of veneer.  It’s glued down to boards beneath it and is partially coming away from those boards, but only a little bit.  I decided to let the veneer remain, but to cover it up with another thin board.  So the new floor would sit flat, I removed the piece of wood in the center back which had been covering up a gap in the plaster.

Since I had it laying around, I used whiteboard, a type of panel board teachers often use for dry erase boards in classrooms.  It’s slick and easy to clean and of course, factory-painted.  I cut out a pattern to match the space and took the pattern to my shop where I traced around it and cut out the whiteboard.

It fit perfectly, and fortunately was flexible enough so I could squeeze it under the pipes below the sink by bending it just a bit.  Then in case of any future leaks and to neaten it up, I used white waterproof caulk all around the perimeter and to fill in the gap revealed by removing the strip of wood.

Already a vast improvement.

I finished it by painting the walls a coat of semi-gloss white.

Then I stared and stared and stared at it for an unhealthy length of time.  I basked in it. I may have heard a distant angel chorus.

Of course, now I can see the cabinets are due for a new paint job.  Such is the hazard of painting one thing next to unpainted things.












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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Colleen September 10, 2012 at 11:46 am

It’s looks so nice and new! I would be tempted to put my prettiest china in that there cupboard. (Maybe not.) I can’t wait to see what you do put back under the sink and how you organize it. I hope that post is on the horizon!

Jacquelyn September 10, 2012 at 11:59 am

Wow! Your before picture looks just like my under sink cupboard, if I were to clean it. I’m totally gonna do this, it looks great! Thanks for sharing this.

Maggie September 10, 2012 at 11:57 pm

Nice one! I love Benita too 🙂

Portia McCracken September 11, 2012 at 6:37 am

Perfection is fine for some, but I prefer wabi-sabi. It’s closer to the real world and, for me, far more comforting.

Pat @ Elegantly, Gluten-Free September 11, 2012 at 7:15 am

Your before and after is inspiring me to think that something is possible with my undersink cabinet. There is hope!

Daisy September 11, 2012 at 7:20 am

Oh, my yes. My wabi-sabi is closer to “unfit for human habitation” though, so I need something to overshoot for to get me into the ballpark.

beth September 16, 2012 at 1:32 am

I wanted to see it filled with beautiful boxes and things to sort your undersink ‘stuff’! Having these has helped me immensely under my own sink!

Daisy September 16, 2012 at 1:22 pm

beth–Yes, I just don’t have a lot under there. Just my kitchen garbage can, wisk broom/dustpan and a bin with only a couple of things in it since I don’t use commercial cleaners. Not very exciting, unfortunately. I guess on the plus side, I don’t need a ton of organization without a ton of stuff.

Rebecca February 24, 2013 at 6:43 am

Wonderful job I need to do something very similar,at least clean out under there and get rid of the items I haven’t and won’t ever use again… such in inspiration you are….

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