Not just recent mess, either. Long-term mess. Mister Fixit built it, circa 1958. He didn't do it very well; the design is... problematic. And he wasn't a detail person. And he had this odd infatuation with plywood walls - I don't even know where to begin with that, I just have to live with it.
So much time has been spend just repairing things. Fixing cracks in plaster walls, restoring missing parts of plaster walls, repairing the ventilation fan and other electrics damage, so much sanding and stripping oh my god... Thursday, I finally was able to prime everything - or almost everything; Friday, I've started adding paint.
Priming everything made a big difference. But I was putting the first colour on the walls and even before I'd done the first small panel, I found myself thinking, suddenly, this room is... cheerful. What the hell? And bigger, too. Lots bigger. All at once. And it's not just me, Layna got home and said the same thing.
This little kitchen has been many things, but never cheerful.
There's still a lot of work to do, but here, some before and afters. Notice particularly difference in ceiling, where you can see it in the before shots vs. the after.
This makes this corner look better than it was, but that's okay:
Southeast Corner, Before
Southeast Corner, Current
Cabinet interiors have been primed and will be painted - but the colour won't change from this. The green remnants - the bottom layer of the original colour - has been matched to an average and will go back to that. The trim will have a lighter version - almost white, but not quite white - of the wall colour.
You can see a little bit of the ceiling's "before" state in this next set.
Southwest Corner, Before
Southwest Corner, Current
I feel like I have to stress: same camera. Almost the same location. Note that the size of the blue square on the wall (which will have a counter in front of it, so will function again as a backspash) doesn't change between photos, which means I'm about in the same place, just the angle is changed a little.
I can't believe how much bigger this feels. Look particularly at the ceiling before and after - that's actually representative.
Part of it is repairing many tiny details. The wall in the before has many tiny points of damage. It still has several after, too, but they're not nearly so noticeable, and there are not so many; they're much improved. Note also this, where the glass-door cabinets interface with the wall:
The room is/was filled with many little things like this. Mister Fixit wasn't much for detail work, and it's really obvious. That little dark spot is a triangular hole that has been there since this kitchen was built - he didn't cut the trim right, and didn't bother to fix it. It's just been a little dark hole since 1958.
I fixed it.
There's another place - I didn't take a photo - underneath the east side of the cabinet, where there appeared to be a bunch of nails and weird things sticking out of the underside of the cabinet. They'd been painted over a few times. I started poking at them.
They were thumbtacks. Big ones, too. Somebody's thumbtack collection, that whoever - and I do not blame this on Mister Fixit, this is someone later - couldn't be bothered to pull out before painting.
I don't have a picture. It's too silly, and not something you'd've seen unless you bent over to look under the cabinet. But it's fixed now.
There's a lot still to do. Everything has to be done by brush, other than a bit of the western wall, either because of texture or lack of room for a roller. It's making everything take three times as long. But this little kitchen?
I was going for sanity. I was hoping for "reasonably efficient." I think it might end up... happy.
eta: Here's another picture showing more of the ceiling and some wall: