Over a year ago I had an idea to make an industrial pipe table, sorta like the one below I saw from Anythingology. I thought it would help in the kitchen to have more workspace and storage.
But as much as people say making one saved them a lot of money cause it’s so DIY, it’s not a cheap project! You will save a lot on labor, but materials can end up being a lot. I made a design and then started pricing it out. It looked similar to this one. It would have cost about $300 or more if I couldn’t find any salvaged materials. The floor flanges is what costs a lot at about $9 per piece. The pipes were cheap, and the wood varied in price.
So I gave up that idea!
This past November I had a very brief job at a cabinet store, and the owner allowed me to have a very nice discount on some cabinets. While I by no means was anticipating still spending quite a bit on cabinets, I thought it was a good opportunity to update the kitchen and make it more functional.
The kitchen table in the beginning was a workspace, but had become so cluttered with appliances and extra tools, that I couldn’t even sit anything on it anymore like groceries to unpack. I’ve also begun canning and freezing some now which is easier with more workspace.
The chrome rack was a huge help in storage, but things got dirty fast sitting on the open shelves and it made the kitchen look more cluttered (more than it already was!).
Clearing the Kitchen
The first step in this kitchen redo was to clear the space. This kitchen table had been in here since I was a little kid. I hated to see it go cause it was a great table, but I didn’t have anywhere to put it to keep unless I got rid of my other dining room table. Selling the table also allowed me to clear out space in my shed since the chairs were stored there. On the good hand, I sold it in a day. The shelving unit went in the garage where it was really needed.
Removing the Vinyl
The next step- pulling up the vinyl! The flooring was still doing its job, but had seen its 26 years! It was still in overall good shape, but was just builder grade vinyl and never really matched the look of the kitchen.
Don’t underestimate the work to remove vinyl flooring…I began by pulling off layer #1, which was the plastic vinyl part. How naive I was thinking removing the flooring would be easy and would come up in like one piece… It really tested my patience. I was so tired of it by the end.
It took me about 3 full working days to get this layer off using a small putty knife, back of a hammer, and my hands. This wasn’t easy, but it ended up being the easiest part!
Layer 2 of Removing Vinyl
Next I looked up how to get this paper layer off the concrete floors. I found a video showing the use of an adhesive remover (their brand was Zinsser) and a scraper. Looked easy enough!
Oh you wait!….
The only product I found was Klean Strip Adhesive Remover, $30 at Home Depot. I wasn’t really anticipating it being that much money. They only had a large can and I was reluctant to get it because I didn’t think I would use that much of it and it was so expensive. How wrong I was! I also got a $3.50 window scraper…
The instructions said to put down the product generously, then cover it with plastic and let sit 30 minutes. I got some trash bags and cut them open to use as the plastic. I put the product down and spread it with an old rag. I covered it, then waited…
This product did not work that great. I’d say it worked okay, but there was still A LOT of effort to get the paper off the floor. And you can’t take the plastic off without it drying almost immediately and then it’s useless to try and get the paper off after that. You also can’t do much bigger than a 3 square foot section without it drying too quickly. I eventually found by only letting it sit 20 minutes it didn’t dry out as badly. Dealing with the plastic was a pain.
This part was awful. My wrists hurt, I was tired of the chemical and the stuff drying back up. It took over a week of really hard scrapping to get all the paper off the floor. And that was having help doing over half of it. I didn’t have the strength to scrape the paper off that well. You can’t be stingy with the amount of stripper you put on too, you have to put a lot of it on. I tried to use a little less but put on just enough because I didn’t want to have to buy more. Just go ahead and goop the stuff on because it’ll end up working better. Just know there’s cost in removing vinyl flooring.
Adhesive Remover #2
I ended up having to buy more of the remover anyway. There was still the area under the fridge, in the closet pantry, and under the stove. For this I purchased the CitrusStrip adhesive remover since it was in a small bottle and cheaper. You had to wait longer, but didn’t have to use plastic. This product left a dark stain on the concrete but I don’t think it’s a problem. You probably wouldn’t want to use it if you were staining or just polishing the concrete. The CitrusStrip was also a liquid and smelled strong. The Klean Strip was a gel. It seemed to be slightly more effective as the Klean Strip.
The Floor Scraper
The $3.50 scraper broke after about getting 1/6th of the paper off. My helper scraped off half of the floor with a 1″ putty knife until I bought a slightly bigger and sturdier $8 putty knife. What we needed was probably the $20 floor scrapper, but I decided not to spend that money on something I’ll likely never use again.
We worked on the main part of the kitchen floor first. I then pulled out the fridge and stove to work on that section all at once, from start to end so I wouldn’t have to keep moving the appliances.
While at Lowes getting the second bottle of adhesive removing, I asked an employee at the paint counter about what type of Kilz primer to get. He said the oil type would definitely adhere better if there was anything still left on the floor. In the dining room I had just used the latex Kilz paint and it’s been fine, but it was originally carpet.
He also said if we wanted to get it very clean to get some TSP, trisodium phosphate. TSP is a heavy duty toxic cleaner. While I hated to use MORE chemicals, I decided it would be better to ensure this floor was done right. So then I had to get a mop too.
Layer 3 of Removing Vinyl
We then got alllll the paper layer off in the spots under the fridge and stove and was ready to clean the floor. My helper began cleaning the floor by simply moping over it with the TSP. I then saw there was ANOTHER LAYER of crap on the floor. It showed up white which meant it was glue. So I gathered up some scouring pads and we got to scrubbing. It was awful, another awful third layer. An hour and a half later, the 8 square feet were clean…
I then finished out these spots with 2 coats of Kilz oil primer, two coats of Behr Porch & Patio paint, and a layer of Behr Wet Look Sealer. I had to wait 3 more days for the sealer to dry before moving the appliances back, which meant all microwaved food (which I never buy) and salads for me the whole week! The cheap frozen instant meals are not good.
Cleaning The Floor
It was now 3 weeks into taking care of this floor. I began cleaning the main floor with the TSP, a scrub brush, and a scouring pad. It took an hour to do 2 square feet, so I got about 10 square feet done in one day. I was not a happy camper… especially after what all we had to do to get to this point. My wrists and shoulders were killing me I was having to scrape and scrub so hard.
The next day my helper came over, and he said ‘there has to be a better way! This is ridiculous, we live in 2016! No wonder you weren’t happy yesterday!’ So he found the advice of Bob Villa, who said we needed to use TSP AND sand the crap off the floor. So we got some sandpaper and tried it. Bingo!
Still, the thought of hand sanding the whole floor…ugh!
Power Sanding It
So I bought a power sander for $30 and sand paper for another $5. I made the mistake of getting too fine of sand paper (it was grit 150). I think an 80 paper would have been a lot better and not as time consuming.
We ended up getting the floor done in that weekend. It was still gruesome. Dust everywhere and very noisy, it was hard to tolerate. Word of advice, put everything up in and around the kitchen before you begin, cover the pet’s bowls, and put plastic up over the doors.
I had to wash every single thing and surface in the kitchen including everything inside the cabinets and clean a lot outside the kitchen too. The power sander even had a little bag catchment on it. Make sure to ventilate, use fans, and wear a good dust mask (two of them were $7, don’t get the cheapies!).
We then cleaned up the floor with the TSP and scrubbed anything left by hand.
I was so happy to be done with cleaning the floor. It took over 3 weeks of steady work! I’m never putting vinyl flooring in a house. Who would have guessed the floor would be on there 26 years. They must have used the strongest vinyl glue ever made.
Look for Kitchen Update Part 2 when I go over painting the concrete floors!