Build Update: Lisa falls in love with a butcher block and leaves Colin

Wow, it really feels like we’re nearing the finish line. We have walls now and the real makings of a kitchen including a butcher block that turned my world upside down. We’re garnering more interest around the warehouse too so you know it’s legit. 

Lower Cabinets: Last time we left you, we had a framework for our cabinets. Well, now we have actual cabinets! We cut all the cabinet faces, sanded the edges, mounted the hinges and hardware, assembled everything together…. and then took it all apart again so I could start painting. As of this writing, all cabinet faces have received three coats of both paint and polyurethane. Now, they just await their big install.

Drawers: What’s a kitchen without drawers? Well, we’ve got ’em! Three of them to be exact. Handmade, piece by piece. We used spare aluminum from the shop for the bottom of our drawers – super sturdy, light, thin, and free!

Wall Panels: Flashback to late January: I was so excited to have furring strips because that meant walls were coming. Well, almost a month later and that time has finally come. Typical. Our panels are white bead board and I don’t know if they’ll be my best friend or worst enemy. On one hand, having walls makes Vaniel truly feel like a home and they add a brightness factor. On the other hand, during cutting and installation, we realized how prone they are to scuffing. BUT, Colin’s dad gave me a fancy tip: toothpaste. Mildly abrasive, rub a little on there, and by God, it took the scratches right off. Note to Colin: Costco run. Toothpaste. Stat.

Butcher block: AHHHHHH my new favorite thing! We thought our blue paint was lickable, we didn’t even know what lickable was. This acadia butcher block is DELECTABLE. It was nice to look at before we conditioned it, but after just one treatment, it became a beautiful butterfly (before and after picture on the right). The colors are so luscious and vivid. Of course, before we started conditioning, it needed to be trimmed, fit, and cored (for our sink and stovetop). But enough words, pictures!

Bench-building: Oh yeh, and we started making and painting a bench. I’ll be able to see my butcher block while sitting on it. 

What’s next? Making sure everything is hooked up properly in the kitchen, setting up our plumbing, final mounting of the cabinets, fine-tuning wall edges, assembling the bench, and more… but not *too* much more. 🙂

Author: Lisa

Over one year in van life and loving it. Hiker, rock climber, novice mountain biker, and professional napper. Official “documenter” of our time with Vaniel. Favorite podcast: Stuff You Should Know.

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