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Burning the Midnight Oil

May 12th, 2012

Mr Chiots and I were up late working on the kitchen. A few months ago we purchased some butcher block for the counters and finally had some time this weekend to tackle this project.

Here’s what our kitchen looked like yesterday morning:

Don’t let the photos fool you, the laminate countertops were in pretty shabby condition. Since our home has an open floor plan, there’s no hiding it.

We started this project after dinner last night, tackling the demolition of the old countertops first. We tried to salvage them, but in the end we had to cut through them to get them off. There was no way they were going to fit it through the door.

I like to take advantage of projects like this to do some serious cleaning, especially in those nooks and crannies, like the area under the stove. I don’t think I’ve pulled out the stove since we installed the hardwood floors 5 years ago. I found a good amount of cat hair, a few furry mice (the cat toy variety), coffee beans, and a few milk rings (also cat toys). I was actually surprised there wasn’t more under here.

I’ve always dreamed of having soapstone counters, but for now butcher block will do. This project wasn’t very expensive and it will make a world of difference. Stay tuned for photos of the finshed product, no doubt they’ll be featured in the non-toxic kitchen cleaning post coming up soon.

What’s your dream kitchen counter surface?

22 Comments to “Burning the Midnight Oil”
  1. Sue from Ky. on May 12, 2012 at 6:18 am

    When we designed our new house after the fire of 07, the cabinet makers wife got our countertop colors mixed up,so we have a drab pale colored counter top. Pop offered to redo it for me, but too many other projects have taken presidence. We don’t entertain like we once did, so I’m not fretting over the change right now. Can’t wait to see your new tops.

    Reply to Sue from Ky.'s comment

  2. Allison on May 12, 2012 at 7:05 am

    I can’t wait to see the finished project :) By the time you guys are done with all your projects, everything will be so nice you won’t want to move! LOL

    Reply to Allison's comment

    • Susy on May 12, 2012 at 7:36 am

      We were just talking about why we didn’t do the countertops earlier. We’ll happy when all these updates make our house sell quickly, that’s really the goal is to remove all those things that need done to make someone buy our house instead of the one down the street.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. Teresa on May 12, 2012 at 8:20 am

    We did the exact same thing here, only installed flooring in almost all of the house right before we listed. I think it made all the difference for people going through the house. We’re currently in-contract and are closing this coming Friday.

    Reply to Teresa's comment

  4. daisy on May 12, 2012 at 8:28 am

    I’m so over the granite that everyone installs. I’d love to have something natural, but not well-versed on the options. We are going to be putting our house on the market, but can’t afford to replace the counters right now.

    It’s gonna look great, Susy! Can’t wait for the after photos!

    Reply to daisy's comment

  5. amy on May 12, 2012 at 8:53 am

    I do not know how you are going to stand being able to move…lol. All of these projects you are accomplishing and then they look so lovely afterwards! Cannot wait to see the finished kitchen photos.

    Reply to amy's comment

  6. Denimflyz on May 12, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Susy, I “love” your kitchen. Love the overhead lighting. Hopefully, some day. My kitchen is a typical modular kitchen, but I have to make do.
    Your butcher block will look stunning with those cabinets, I can see it.
    Have a wonderful, peaceful, productive weekend.

    Reply to Denimflyz's comment

    • Susy on May 12, 2012 at 12:35 pm

      Our kitchen was the typical kitchen too, with contractor grade cabinets from the hardware store. We routed the edge of the doors with a nice router bit, we made moulding to install on the top & bottom and painting everything in black. It makes the world of difference and makes the cabinets look custom. We also swapped out the hinged and added door hardware. Can’t wait to see how the countertops tie it all together.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  7. Annie on May 12, 2012 at 10:01 am

    I poured concrete countertops in my bath and kitchen when I built my house. I love it!
    I think the butcherblock should look great in yours too.

    Reply to Annie's comment

  8. itchbay on May 12, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Oh, I soooo wish I could say this was a timely post. But, alas, our kitchen remodel is still about a year away. *sigh*

    But, we do have a butcher block cabinet top in the house, only we’ve converted it to a desk for our office. It’s wonderful. And I’ve been going back and forth about whether I want the same top in our new kitchen, or some kind of recycled composite.

    Also, please please please post something about how hygienic is really is. My MIL won’t let go of her fear about wood countertops harboring germs. :)

    Reply to itchbay's comment

    • Susy on May 12, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      Actually plastic and other things are much less hygienic than wood. At least with wooden countertops you can sand them down and add some fresh finish to get rid of scratches and cuts unlike plastic ones.

      I’m much more concerned about bits of toxic plastic in and around my food than I am about germs.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  9. whit on May 12, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Awaiting after pictures with baited breath. :)

    Isn’t it a shame to have to do this amount of work in order to leave your house? I have a painting a rec room and a few other projects awaiting my attention at our old house before listing. Ugh!

    Happy counter-fitting, :)

    Reply to whit's comment

  10. Sherri on May 12, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Ooohhhh…. wood counters would be lovely :)

    Reply to Sherri's comment

  11. andrea on May 12, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Soapstone! I’ve wanted it forever and we put it in 6 years ago during our kitchen remodel. Haven’t regretted it even one day. In fact, we love it more than ever. Sounds like the perfect thing for your next kitchen!

    Reply to andrea's comment

    • Susy on May 12, 2012 at 9:59 pm

      Good to know that someone has had a good experience with it, I don’t know anyone that has soapstone. Can’t wait to someday have it in my kitchen.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  12. elizabeth on May 12, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    I noticed you have a stainless oven. Do you have any tips for cleaning stainless appliances? My appliances get streaks and stains and smudges and I must not be cleaning them right.

    Reply to elizabeth's comment

  13. Maybelline on May 13, 2012 at 12:54 am

    I think we must be related. So many similarities really. Soapstone is my favorite. It has been since junior high science class.

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

  14. Kathi Cook on May 13, 2012 at 7:20 am

    We also wanted soapstone in our partial kitchen remodel. Instead we went a slightly cheaper route with honed granite (black with some white veining) that looks very much like soapstone. People always assume it is soapstone. I have a friend with poured conctrete counter tops and they are wonderful too. I think the butcher block will look great in your kitchen.

    Reply to Kathi Cook's comment

  15. Jennelle on May 14, 2012 at 11:01 am

    I LOVE the black cabinets. I have been mulling over redoing my kitchen for a while. It needs it badly, but I’m saving up for it. I am definitely leaning toward painted cabinets rather than natural wood. I’ll bet yours will look fantastic with those butcher block counters!

    Reply to Jennelle's comment

  16. Marcia on May 14, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    I dream of quartz counter-tops. I work with pastry and cook with chocolate quite a bit so it`s for more than the esthetic aspect.

    Reply to Marcia's comment

  17. Valeria Giudici on May 15, 2012 at 6:35 am

    Zinc!!!! Like the old bar countertop!!! Maybe with a white Shabby Chic Kitchen…..

    Reply to Valeria Giudici's comment

  18. abby on May 16, 2012 at 1:00 am

    Can’t wait to see. My dream counter tops, actually, are butcher block. One of these days our kitchen will reach the top of the priority list.

    Reply to abby's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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