Before and Afters Triangle House

Wood Work

Happy New Year to you all! Hope you’re staying warm in this fridgid weather here on the Eastern seaboard. I miss you Summer! Come back!!! Yuri and I have been working to finish our kitchen through the holidays. I’d say it’s 95% finished. Just a couple more touches and I’ll show you the completed project! One of the many projects we’ve finished is the butcher block countertop for our peninsula. We had a temporary ikea butcher block we purchased for cheap off Craigslist just so the plumber could pass his inspection.

So my vision of what I wanted for the peninsula was to have a wonderful waterfall countertop. I love the sleek modern look. No matter what type of material you use, it always maintains that modern edge.


Comon’ Yuri! We can do that! I also wanted to have a sitting area with stools for informal eating and hang out space. We measured the amount of wood we needed and off we went to spend. Again, we are using butcher blocks from Ikea but better in quality. We purchased 3 pieces of the solid HAMMARP Oak butcher block. The downfall of Ikea butcher block is they do not come wide enough to cover the base cabinets and extra space for a seating area. We though of fusing two butcher blocks together and sanding to make it look like one, but we thought over time the seam might show itself and we’d be out spending on another countertop. Then I thought, why don’t we just make a kind of “breakfast bar”. It’ll just be one countertop on top of the other. It won’t be as high as a typical breakfast bar. We still had enough to do the waterfall and “breakfast bar” with the 3 pieces.

Yuri measured and cut each piece of wood to its’ required size according to where it’ll be positioned. The cuts were very easy to do but had to be perfect. I was a little nervous as he drove that blade into the blocks. One centimeter off and that’s a wrap! The waterfall would be a washout.

Cutting counter…carefully!
Sink cut out

All cuts were perfect! Even the sink cut was fairly cut and dry….for Yuri that is. I didn’t cut diddley. My job came next. I lightly sanded all five pieces with my trusty hand held. 150 grit sandpaper was good enough as it was the only lighter grit pack I had at the moment. Then I cleaned each one with mineral spirits and a clean rag. Even though it was odorless, I still wear my mask because you never know what you’re inhaling in our ingredientless product country.

Cleaning dust and debris

In the next stage, I did a lot of homework on what is the best sealer/protector to use on butcher block countertops considering water resistance, food safety, non-yellowing and reapplication time. I looked at mineral oil, polyurethane, Watco and a couple other products. I found one that as used as a marine sealer. Yuri and the girls are water mess makers so I definitely need something that resists water. I decided to go with Waterlox. It’s a mix of tung oil, resin and mineral spirits. It penetrates and protects the wood without the plastic urethane look and as they say, you get what you pay for. It’s one of the pricer sealers but it’s a winner! The best part is, it didn’t yellow my butcher block too much! It comes in 4 sheens: matte, satin, medium and gloss. It’s required to apply the medium sheen first then followed by a sheen of your choice. I liked the look of the medium sheen so that’s the only one I stuck with. Let me tell ya, our basement pretty much looks like a hoarders dream but I managed to spread out all of the pieces for sealing. Four coats later with 24 hours drying time (no sanding in-between coats), we began to assemble our waterfall butcher block countertop.

Applying Waterlox in cluttered basement
Assembled into one piece
Installing faucet
Side view and two bottom views (Yuri and Poochie)

After we got it all assembled, I applied one more coat of Waterlox and then we had to wait 7 days before any normal use. So we covered it with red rosen paper and kept off. I love my new butcher block! No one will be cutting on this counter. It’s not that kind of butcher block. Hopefully I won’t have to recoat for a couple of years…if I can keep my sweet sloppies from soaking up the place.

BEFORE (Temporary countertop):


Another small wood project I assigned myself to is a bench seat my mother-in-law purchased for Zolies room. We had been looking for one because it provides a nice sitting area and more importantly a space to hide all her little tinker toys, dolls and games. We found one at this awesome thrift shop in Souderton, PA called Care and Share Thrift Shoppes. It’s actually a thrift mall! One shop for furniture and home goods, one for clothes, another for home goods and anything else you can think of, a book shop and an outlet shop. They have very nice things, not Goodwill quality. So she got this solid wood bench in perfect condition for the grandbaby.

The only thing was, the wood color didn’t compliment her bedroom colors. It was a little too orangey. So, as if another project was needed, I decided to white wash the wood. White washing is the process of applying watered down paint to a surface getting a washed out/antique look. So here’s what I did to achieve the white washed look.

  1. Lightly sanded entire bench with a 150 grit sanding block.
  2. Cleaned 2x’s with TSP cleaner.
  3. Took off hardware and sanded to prep for spray painting.
  4. Mixed 1 part water to 1 part white satin paint. Mix well.
  5. Applied mixture to bench using a wide clean brush, going with the grain.
  6. Wait about 3 minutes and wipe off excess paint.
  7. Spray painted hardware black.
  8. Sprayed Polyurethane sealer to entire bench 2x’s with drying times between.

Now if you’re doing a large piece, you’ll want to do steps 5 & 6 in sections. That’s it! Now she has a beautiful and functional toy bench seat accented with pillows.



I will be returning to Care and Share Thrift! There’s nothing better than solid wood sturdy furniture and a good SCORE!

Next time we’ll look at some kitchen backsplash changes. Last time on Casapalooza our kitchen looked like this:

No backsplash, no hood, very plain. That’s all about to change! See ya…stay toasty!

How do you like the white washed technique? A pretty rustic look or look at that mess (not your style)!?







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