Doctorate Housewife

What my degree in IPE didn't teach me about baking, DIY, fitness, and life…

Get to know me – 2011 DIY Memories II

This “Get to know me” post (from now on GTNM) is about the projects I took on in and around the kitchen over the last year. Most, if not all these things were completely new to me. In fact in 2011, faced with my complete inexperience and lack of home improvement knowledge, I took my first DIY class (Klusen voor Klungels – DIY for klutzes. Yes I took it in Dutch, also a step out of my comfort zone). The lesson I learned: do a bit of research online, check out a couple of youtube videos, ask for advice, but then JUMP IN. You never know what you can accomplish. Here’s some of the things I tried…

We had our kitchen redone in 2010, but a lot of things were left unfinished. I was feeling brave and I decided to take them on. First I had to rebuild the wall under the window.

Then I had to cover the metal support beam that we had put in when we knocked down a wall (Don’t worry the removing of the wall and the putting up of the beam were done by professionals).

In the process of painting the kitchen I also peeled the wallpaper in the dining room and wc and painted them with the help of my wonderful friend De.


Once the painting was done, I caulked around the cabinets (another first) and put up a stainless steel backsplash.

and a final touch…

My confidence bolstered by my 2011 successes, I have some fun kitchen plans for 2012 including putting up wall organisation, adding extra shelves to the cabinets, putting in a built-in microwave, and taking two more DIY courses. My new blogger’s resolution: to remember to take pictures and share it all with you =)

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6 comments on “Get to know me – 2011 DIY Memories II

  1. penniesandpfennige
    March 4, 2012

    Wow! I spend a lot of time trying to build things at home, but I am always disappointed by my tools. What sorts of things do you have to get all of this done?

    • doctoratehousewife
      March 4, 2012

      Thanks! I’m still a newbie to a lot of this DIY stuff and a lot of my tools are old things Hubby or I had from before we got married (mostly a set of screwdrivers, a hammer, and an old wrench). I did buy myself a new drill this year (a Bosch PSB 18 LI2), which I really like. For wallpaper removal I’ve tried all sorts of things, but I find my mom’s old trick of vinegar and water in a spray bottle used liberally + scraper works best (if slowly). For rebuilding the wall, I used a simple large space polyfiller (the hardware store staff were great on finding which one to use). This is going to sound silly, but I’ve been disappointed with a lot of my tools too. I bought a couple of things that promised to make tasks “a breeze”, but found that determination and elbow grease are the best things in my toolbox. Now when I have a project, I go for the simplest tools possible, check with my hardware store, and then buy generic. Have you found anything you really like?

      • penniesandpfennige
        March 4, 2012

        Yes, we did the same on our wallpaper, it works a treat! My favourite tool is the heat pistol, which was under 20 euros, and great for stripping old paint off wood. Many of the tools we use are my fiance’s, some of them still from the former East Germany, but it’s amazing how effective they are after all this time. What I really want is an electric jigsaw! If you’re interested, there are a few posts on my blog about how we renovated our flat.

      • doctoratehousewife
        March 4, 2012

        Thanks – the heat pistol sounds like a great idea! I look forward to reading your posts =)

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