Finishing Touch(es)


Okay, so we’ve been making progress. Lights are hung, floors have been laid, toe-kick moldings installed. Now all that’s left to do is… a lot. All of the finishing touches.

Katie and I realized pretty quickly that we work really well under pressure. So we set a goal for ourselves by sending out an invite to several friends to come on over and enjoy a Labor Day BBQ at our place. We thought this would be perfect! It would kick us into high gear and would be our big kitchen reveal.

Then, Friday evening it dawned on me just how much we had to do before Monday’s fast approaching shin-dig.


Alright, not looking too bad, right? I mean, it’s come a long way since this:

Kitchen Before

But we still had a ton of work to do to check the box off on the kitchen. Here was our impending list of to-dos that I dreaded looking at every day:

  • Install crown molding
  • Install upper cabinet base molding
  • Install window frames
  • Install backsplash (YIKKKKKES!)
  • Grout
  • Lay base molding around kitchen
  • Caulk
  • Plug in range hood

This is when I began thinking our “kitchen reveal” idea was a bit ludicrous. Oh, and speaking of Luda… all the tile work you’re about to read about made my arms feel like they should have been looking like this… but they don’t.

So we hit the list. Each item one by one. I somehow decided to start with the most difficult – bika-wika-backsplash.

This was my first time doing any sort of tile work so I did quite a bit of research before hand. One product that kept coming up as having phenomenal reviews was SimpleMat.


Let me tell you right now, this product is freaking awesome. All we had to do was cut the sizes and strips we needed…


…place them on the wall and press them on with a grout float tool to make sure they adhered to the wall.

IMG_4259 IMG_4261 IMG_4264

Then you peel the fronts off one section at a time and stick your tiles on.


Sure it took awhile. About 8 hours total but in one day (Friday) I had all of the tile up on the wall.


Next step was grouting.

We bought this warm grey grout from Lowes and mixed it with the grout booster solution so that we wouldn’t need to seal it after the fact.


Mixed it for about 5 minutes and began applying. Give or take an hour later and we were in pretty dern good shape. Katie and I weren’t able to get a ‘during grouting’ pic due to the fact that our hands were literally covered in grout. But here’s a look a the finished product to the left of the range. Oh yeah. and if you notice I’m knocking that last item off the list right now too. Caulk!


The other finishing touches are a bit less interesting but lets just say I installed the cabinet above the fridge (which sucked but was nothing really to post about) so stay tuned for the next post which will be the big reveal with good-ol-fashinoed before and after pictures and all that jazz! Hope you guys have enjoyed the journey and adventure thus far. I can tell you that we’ve hated loved it!

Ah! So excited to have a finished first floor of our house for fall! PS – have a mentioned that fall is the start of the Christmas season in the Donnelly household? So pumped.

2 Comments on “Finishing Touch(es)

    • Hah! It gets even worse when he lets you know when you’re doing something wrong. Lots of loud, annoying, semi-elongated meows. Heard a lot of those.

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