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Resurfacing marble at home -- can be done

posted by: sayde on 05.02.2011 at 06:02 pm in Kitchens Forum

Our marble slabs were originally polished when they were received by the fabricator. Those who read previous threads know that when we received them they were horribly botched -- uneven rough patches and very visible swipe marks. Looked like acid was used, and a very poor job of it.

I had been wary of choosing marble because of the possibility of etching. Now, we were confronted with marble that had been unevenly and severely etched all over, and we had to decide how to proceed.

We did recover some funds from the fabricator.

And then DH rehoned the marble himself. He used 5 inch diameter 320 grit Abranet pads on an orbital sander. He followed by going over the surface with pumice. It took about an hour for the first pass and then we went over some of the areas again. The marble became silky smooth and even, while retaining the matte honed appearance. We finished with two coats of sealer.

I'm posting because I was one of many who feared getting marble in the first place because of the etching. There is no doubt that it will etch in future, but I wanted to share that it can be resurfaced.

I love the Danby marble. I feel much less worried going forward seeing how it can be brought back to a perfect smooth honed surface. Just wanted to share this with others who want marble but are concerned about etching.


clipped on: 05.02.2011 at 06:50 pm    last updated on: 05.02.2011 at 06:50 pm

finished! Vintage Cream in the City

posted by: shanghaimom on 05.01.2010 at 09:14 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hi all,

We are finally finished with our kitchen remodel of our 1889 home. I have been a daily (truthfully, sometimes HOURLY) lurker and sporadic poster for almost two years. There is NO WAY I could have planned this remodel without the help of GW--We were living in China for over 5 years and I had to do all of my planning from there. This meant NO MAGAZINES, nor could I visit showrooms and see anything in person. Every time I had a question, I seemed to be able to find a thread about it. Not to mention all of the inspirational photos!!! I was so afraid of missing an important tidbit! (We were 13 hours ahead there, so I could easily miss a thread as it fell off onto pages two, three, four...)

Anyway, many thanks to all of the great TKO people who contribute to this forum.

Photos first! Details at the end. (o:




pass-thru detail

cabinetry--local custom painted in BM Bone White oil-based enamel
walls-- BM Ballet White
counters--Zodiaq quartz Mystic Black (kind of a charcoal color)
pulls--Amerock Revitalize in Burnished Bronze
sink--Ticor zero-radius SS508
faucet--Kohler Vinnata in Vibrant Polished Nickel
range-36" Bertazzoni Heritage Series in Anthracite
hood- Vent-A-Hood NPH9-136
backsplash- 3" hexagonal Calcatta marble
pendants--Hinckley Knickerbocker (these are on clearance all over for a song right now...)
windows--Marvin double-hung cottage style


clipped on: 05.01.2011 at 11:58 am    last updated on: 05.01.2011 at 12:26 pm

RE: finished! Vintage Cream in the City (Follow-Up #68)

posted by: shanghaimom on 05.03.2010 at 01:27 pm in Kitchens Forum

oldhousegal, Gosh,do everything you can to keep the back stairway!! We are SO glad we did, although our builder thought we were nuts to give up all that cabinet, counter and floor space which were so limited to begin with. We almost never use our front stairs now and it really adds to the old-house quirkiness that makes them interesting. I removed tens of layers of paint from the hinges on that door (and two others) and found these!! I think the door adds a lot of character to the kitchen.Photobucket


clipped on: 05.01.2011 at 11:54 am    last updated on: 05.01.2011 at 11:54 am

Marble gets edge--more kitchen progress pictures

posted by: sandn on 04.28.2011 at 03:47 pm in Kitchens Forum

Back in January, we asked this forum to help us choose an edge for our our marble counter top. And of course you very helpfully did. There's a link to my original post at the bottom of this post.
Just as you helped us with our decision to choose soapstone over stainless for our perimeter counters, the kitchen forum emboldened us to try an unusual edge on the marble for our island. And when I say try, I mean try for the next 40 or so years, since it's not every day one replaces a marble counter.
We did choose the eased square edge over a setback inverted ogee. And, we love it. Here are some pictures:

Here's the island counter being installed over a plywood substrate. You can see the built-up edge quite clearly. Unlike the soapstone, which took two men a full day to install, the marble (with no seams and no sinks) went in in under an hour).

Please don't panic; we aren't going to have a crazy two-toned island. I'm in the process of painting all of our beautiful custom cabinetry by hand. The gray is primer. The black, actually called off-black, is a Farrow and Ball paint in estate eggshell. I volunteered for the job (much to the delight of my cabinetmaker and mirth of N, and I may be in indentured servitude to my kitchen for the rest of my life).

Another edge shot. Again, what's gray will be black, off-black.

Here's the marble. What you can't really see in these pictures is the subtle but unmistakable coffee coloured veining that runs throughout the white body of the marble. It picks up and is emphasized by the other ivory tones in the room.

And another shot of the marble. In this photo you can see the recess under the bar top, which makes the lower part of the island extra deep and gives us a place to store dishes and hide two recessed outlets.
I wrote a blog post in a little more detail you could read here: "Soapstone wins and Marble gets its edge"
If you click on the original post link below, you can see the slab we had our island counter cut from. In our excitement at getting our soapstone counters installed, we only remembered at the 11th hour to specify to the marble fabricators how we wanted the slab cut. Luckily we weren't too late.
Thanks, all, for your help.
More to come.

Here is a link that might be useful: Marble edge dilemma: advice would be very nice


clipped on: 04.29.2011 at 02:49 pm    last updated on: 04.29.2011 at 02:12 pm

Marble edge dilemma: advice would be very nice

posted by: sandn on 01.28.2011 at 06:26 pm in Kitchens Forum

This is a long post (pictures, though), so I hope you'll bear with me. We have only a couple of weeks to choose the marble slab and edge profile for our two level island counter (perimeter counters will be stainless).

We have a slab tagged:

It's called Calacatta carrara--a perfect name for anyone vacillating between the two stones. This slab is light with quite a bit of creamy veining (not very visible in the photo) along with the gray--a good match for our other finishes, which all tend to creamy off white plus stainless.

Here's the dilemma: all of the marble slabs (with the exception of a couple of carrara marbles) in the area are 2cm (3/4"), which is a little thin to use without a built up edge. We don't want to see the seam of a built-up square edge (especially evident on light coloured marbles), and the thicker mitred edge is a bit too modern looking for our kitchen. We were hoping to find a thicker slab so we could stick with a simple edge, but it's just not available here and now. We are in a Victorian though, so a bit of ornament would not be out of place. This is the stepped out ogee edge of our bathroom vanity, which gives purpose to the built-up edge:

However, our island design means the upper, more visible countertop is an L shape (see images below)

which means the edge really eats in to the counter space, especially on the short side of the L.
My big question to all you wonderful forum members, is what do you think of the same built up ogee turned upside down, like this?

It is a more neo-classical, rather than Victorian look, and possibly a little more formal, but it would give a little extra width to the counter.
If one of you has an edge like this, on a granite or marble counter, I would love to see a photo.
I have been searching for examples, without luck, except for the kitchen of the Kips Bay show house which seems to feature a bullnose over a set back ogee. Links to the show house below. To my eye, the bullnose makes the counter look a little delicate.

Our cabinet maker has also offered to put a piece of built-up wood moulding under a single thickness piece of marble to give it more visual heft without quite as much expense as the built-up edge.

What are your opinions or experiences? I'd love to hear your ideas. We do have some precedent for the ogee edge in our house. Here's a close up of our original window trim (refinished and stained in this photo):

We don't live in a rustic French country house, or a modern condo. We're in an old Victorian city house, with plenty of grace notes. Perhaps we should just embrace it. Our style is fairly eclectic. We are trying to incorporate contemporary luxuries while paying some hommage to the history of our house. If you've read this far, thank you. We'd love to hear your advice.

Here is a link that might be useful: kips bay 2010 show house kitchen


clipped on: 04.28.2011 at 03:04 pm    last updated on: 04.28.2011 at 03:04 pm

Soapstone installation today--first glimpse

posted by: sandn on 03.23.2011 at 01:19 pm in Kitchens Forum

We've been very neglectful about posting any progress pictures of our kitchen installation thus far, but today I can't resist. Our cabinetmakers have been here for the past two and a half weeks installing the kitchen cabinets, and I will post more details about that soon. But today our perimeter counters are being installed. We had a major debate a little while ago about whether to choose stainless or soapstone for our perimeter counters (see link to that thread below). And, thanks in no small part to all of your valuable opinions, soapstone won out. Despite the snow storm raging outside, our intrepid installers have arrived and are busily installing our soapstone perimeter counters. The first piece they placed is so beautiful I had to post a photo. This is the first piece of stone, not yet oiled, just damp from the snow. We love the caramel veining. Now I think I understand why people fall so deeply in love with their soapstone counters. More photos to follow this evening or tomorrow.

p.s. Our cabinets are only primed. They will be painted, by hand, in the coming weeks.

For March 23, the weather really is something:

Here is a link that might be useful: soapstone vs stainless thread


clipped on: 04.28.2011 at 03:41 pm    last updated on: 04.28.2011 at 03:41 pm

The Missing Element: Water--kitchen faucets are in and so are we

posted by: sandn on 04.04.2011 at 04:23 pm in Kitchens Forum

We'd been exiled from the kitchen for almost a month as our cabinetry and counter tops were installed and were eager (if not desperate) to move back in to the kitchen. So, although there are many details still to come before we can call this renovation complete, as soon as the water--arguably the most essential kitchen element--was hooked up, we jumped at the chance to move back in. We will be posting more photos of the overall room soon, but for now we want to show off our faucets. We loved the look of bridge faucets, but in the end we decided we would prefer the practicality of a single lever on the main sink. We also know that many of you swear by your pull-out faucets, but we decided on a side spray. Our small corner sink has a smaller, similar faucet, but with two handles, and a tiny drinking water faucet that will be soon be connected to a filtration system (Doulton). If any of you have that system, we'd love to know what you think of it and which filter cartridges you use. We vacillated between finishes and after purchasing the faucets originally in chrome, we later returned them in exchange for polished nickel, which is really beautiful with the stainless in the room and with the and nickel pulls and window hardware.
Here are the faucets (from every possible angle). I hope you'll excuse our enthusiasm (and the water spots on the sinks).


clipped on: 04.28.2011 at 03:40 pm    last updated on: 04.28.2011 at 03:40 pm

Stainless Steel vs. Soapstone--Who wins?

posted by: sandn on 02.04.2011 at 04:23 pm in Kitchens Forum

We thought we had our finish choices all wrapped up, but we've been having misgivings...thinking that our neutral palette is maybe a little washed out. Can you help us choose our perimeter counters? We have several bids in hand and the price is virtually identical, but should we go for stainless or soapstone? Our cabinets go in on the week of the 14th, so we're right down to the wire.

Here's our palette (for the most part, and some more pictures follow below):

Floor: porcelain tile(very pale off white, like pale limestone)
Countertops island: Calacatta carrara marble (that small sample is similar)
Faucets and cabinet hardware: polished nickel
Appliances: stainless (and black--the Wolf range cooktop is all black iron grills and black enamel)
Backsplash: subway tile "alabaster"
Pendants: antique silver and glass
Walls: F&B shaded white / grayed down yellow brick
Mouldings: original wood, stripped and re-stained pale
Perimeter countertops: Soapstone or stainless????????????? That is the question.

From the beginning of our renovation, we thought we would have perimeter counters made of stainless steel for its sheer durability. But seeing some of the gorgeous soapstone in the kitchens on this forum, and elsewhere, we are beginning to feel the need for some contrast. Plus we've scratched and even dented the stainless counters in our temporary kitchen, and even though the scratches can be buffed out, with effort, our stainless never really looks gorgeous to us, just highly functional (unlike Theresse's, which looks beautiful and has us thinking we'd be crazy to do anything else).
I don't have a soapstone sample, so I stuck the cast iron skillet in the picture as a substitute, to indicate the contrast (which probably wouldn't be quite so dramatic with actual soapstone).

Here's our wall-mounted kitchen fireplace:

And our pendants (one of three, plus a glimpse of the brick in the dining area part of the kitchen):

And our shorebird carvings (purchased in Quebec this summer). It may seem crazy, but they'll sit in our kitchen windows and we love their look and their colours, so they do have influence.

I blogged about our dilemma in a bit more detail (you can visit at the link below), but I'm sure we'll get the best advice right here.

Here is a link that might be useful: stainless steel or soapstone


clipped on: 04.28.2011 at 03:38 pm    last updated on: 04.28.2011 at 03:38 pm

Finally - Final Kitchen Pictures

posted by: lucretzia on 09.26.2010 at 10:25 pm in Kitchens Forum

Sorry but many other competing activities my time so I finally have had a chance to get DH to upload the pictures of the completed kitchen.

Product details...
* Cabinets - Inset painted maple (Oxford Cabinet Shop)
* Backslash - 1"x2" quartzite (Walker Zanger)
* Counters - PA Green soapstone
* Floor - 12"x24" porcelain (Mediterranean Tile & Marble)
* Appliances - Bluestar 48" range, KitchenAid 36" refrigerator, Bosch dishwasher, Prestige 48" 1200 CFM hood insert (Reno's)
* Faucets - Rohl Country (Grande Central)

A huge thanks to everyone on the forum who spent the time to look at my ideas, provide great feedback, and calm me down when I thought the project would never end up right.

Final 1

Final 1

Final 1

Final 1

Final 1

Final 1

Final 1

Final 1

Final 1

Final 1

More Pictures


clipped on: 02.07.2011 at 11:10 am    last updated on: 02.07.2011 at 11:10 am

Finished (almost) White Kitchen- PHEW!

posted by: dotcomgone on 01.19.2010 at 04:48 pm in Kitchens Forum

Thanks to everyone on Gardenweb for their wealth of information. While I haven't posted often, I have utilized this site daily to find information and inspiration. Thank you for taking your time to share your kitchen ideas so that others can benefit from your experiences.

We are almost done. Just a kitchen table, island stools, desk area chair and accessories to go. Our project started in June and was substantially complete a few days before Christmas.

Unfortunately, I don't have before photos handy and used my iphone to snap these shots. Sorry for the quality. Our old kitchen was L shaped as well, a galley style with eating area. We had white 80's cabinets (solid door) with soffits. Counters were white square tile. Our worst feature was the powder room in the kitchen space and window that faced into our neighbors house (current range wall.) We expanded our kitchen by pushing out the range wall. Other than that we had to work within the space. Our main goals were moving the powder room out of the kitchen, storage, fitting in an island and eating area and respecting the age of our home (1906).

I am happy to share any details if anyone is interested.

Thanks again to all esp. those who helped me through a mini-marble crisis.










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clipped on: 01.26.2011 at 11:42 pm    last updated on: 01.26.2011 at 11:43 pm