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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Horizontal to Vertical

As promised, I'm continuing on with the step by step process of creating our she shed. These posts are from some of the work we did in September and October to catch up my blog.

While the plastering guy Paul was here, we had to work on other projects and stay out of his way. Then we had to wait three days for the plaster to cure and dry before we could prime it and paint it!

During those days, we worked on two projects, here is the first one:

Remember back when we first bought the house, Steve closed up the doorway to the laundry room from the dining room?

He created a new doorway leading from the kitchen into the laundry room. While he was doing that process, he had to remove a piece of kitchen cabinetry that was horizontally across that section of the wall. This was the original piece of horizontal cabinet that would have went over a stove.

I had him stash that piece of cabinetry away in the garage because I had an idea of what to do with it. He didn't think it was such a good idea (at first) so it got put on the back burner for a while.

Now that we had a couple days to twiddle our thumbs, I suggested it was time we try it out.

We took that piece of horizontal cabinetry, and actually turned it into a piece of vertical cabinetry!

Steve moved the center shelf over to the left about 8 in and secured it firmly back into place. I had some matching paint mixed up at the local hardware store after bringing in a little leftover piece of shelving to do a color match. So I am able to touch up any of the evidence of the shelf being moved over once it gets installed to the wall.

Why did we move the shelf over? Because I had this creative idea of making this portion of the cabinet into a tall wine rack!

I had originally owned three of these wrought iron wine racks. Since I had this idea in my mind, I have kept my eyes out for buying some more at various thrift shops or rummage sales. I know I could buy them brand new at Target for $24 a pair, but I would rather pick them up here and there for a buck or two. I am always The Bargain Hunter! Finally I had accumulated seven of them, which was just the right amount for what I planned to fill this whole space.

When we were camping two months ago, we had happened to stop at the Menards in Escanaba while we were buying a new pressure relief valve for the motorhome. On their clearance rack was a hunk of matching countertop that matched what we have in our kitchen. It was marked down to $20 and then an additional 11% off. So for about 18 bucks and then maybe another $10 worth of thrift shop wine racks, I had all of the materials needed to complete my project!

Now here's where the project was going to go.

On the opposite wall of our kitchen there was an awkward space on the wall where a refrigerator may have originally been. But we now have a large 2-door stainless steel refrigerator that's located in another spot of the kitchen on the other side of the island. So this awkward space needed something, anything, to not make it look so funny with the overhead cabinet and a blank wall underneath.

Lo and behold, this became the new location for the vertical piece of cabinetry. We mounted it tight to the wall after cutting away a little bit of the baseboard and trim.

It lined up just perfectly tight to the edge of the electrical outlet on the wall. We needed that outlet because the top surface of this wine rack is going to be our new coffee bar!

We have a tall coffee maker from Cuisinart that not only makes delicious coffee, it also grinds the beans fresh for us each morning. I especially like this particular coffee maker because the carafe is insulated stainless steel and keeps the coffee warm all day. We don't have to keep a burner on all day or keep the coffee maker plugged in. The only problem is, it's too tall to fit underneath the regular cabinets on our countertop.

So either we leave it hanging over onto the sink, or instead we've been having to take out each day and set it out on the island to use it, and then stow away afterwards. Otherwise it's in the way of meal prep or while cooking on the stove.

Now with the extra room available on top of this wine rack, this is the perfect spot for our coffee bar. We leveled it out and mounted it into place. He made a top surface to attach the countertop to, and I added the wine racks (after giving them a fresh coat of matte black paint) before the countertop went on. He also made some little shelves on the left, to hold booze bottles and a slide out tray for corkscrews, bottle openers and corks.

Next, Steve cut out a section of the countertop from that big bargain piece and covered the newly cut side with the edging trim from the original piece. He carefully removed the edging by using his oscillating tool with a putty knife blade and took it off in one piece without cracking it. Then using Grab It Adhesive, he was able to seal it onto the newly cut edge.

Steve carefully sealed around the edges of the countertop with caulking and stood back to admire his work.  He agreed, it turned out a lot better than he had originally thought.

(we donated the leftover countertop to the ReStore)

We added a little silver battery operated push light to the underside of the overhead cabinet. We can see down inside of the coffee maker when adding the water and beans in the early morning darkness.

I liked the idea that we re-purposed a piece of original old cabinetry, rather than just throwing it out. By looking at it from a different angle, and turning it from horizontal to vertical, we now have a wine rack / coffee bar! 

Our silly daughter Erin and soninlaw Waylen were near Trader Joes in Milwaukee a few weeks ago. They stocked us up with a couple cases of Two Buck Chuck wine (Charles Shaw).  We live 150 miles from the nearest Trader Joes so this is a real treat for us!  Plus it filled the rack up.  Also, the dog treat canister found a good spot on the coffee bar too.


One of the other projects I mentioned was something that Steve worked on outside of the she shed.  While Paul was busy working inside doing the plastering, Steve was working on something else.

After working on the french windows in June, he had stacked the old sections of wall that we had removed to install the french windows.  We knew he needed to save those sections for this upcoming project.

Steve was carefully removing pieces of the original cedar shake siding from these leftover sections. He was cutting each little piece down to exactly fill in any of the gaps of damaged cedar siding on the exterior of the she shed.

All of these little missing gaps 
needed to filled back in 
with pieces of siding. 

The corners were especially hard and had the most damage. This home had multiple renters in and out over the years, with lots of children. The exterior had taken quite a beating.

He painstakingly was taking each little piece off without cracking it. He was busy marking, cutting, and then carefully sliding them into place and nailing them down. If you've ever done siding, you know it's hard to replace pieces when the entire wall is already complete. He was able to work in each little piece and make it appear as if there was never a repair made at all.

Steve did a wonderful job with each little section and carefully repaired all of the corner joints.  This was a time consuming job, but he wanted it done before the winter months set in. The little rodents from the field needed to be sealed out of any entrance into the house.

 I went around with fresh paint 
and touched them all up.

It doesn't even look like it have been damaged at all 
when we were done with the project!

I am so glad that we kept things "original" rather than just ripping off the old cedar shakes. It lends to the cuteness of the little attached building.  If this buys us a few more years of exterior protection before we can afford to reside the entire house (with lap board fibered cement siding) we can save on our meager budget and still make things look nice. 

My next blog post is going to be about the painting once the plaster had dried.

Stay tuned!


  1. This is all very interesting. Thank you. You are a perfect team. Nice job.

    1. Awwww thanks. I am glad he can do it, and glad that I can help!

  2. I love yur vertical cabinet and you cant go wrong with "Two Buck Chuck'----Taking something old and making something new is certainly a gift and you definitely know how to do it. Whenever you get back to making socks I could use a new pair. The last ones you made me and Don are now 10 years old---Keep up the good work and I look forward to the next blog

    1. Just email me at pfundt@gmail.com with your color choice and shoe sizes. I just got my machine unpacked last night to whip up a pair for my brother.

  3. the wine wrack/coffee bar is a great addition to the kitchen. Nothing beats recycled materials. And of course the repair outside is perfect. You and Steve had really made some great improvements on the house already.


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