Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. -- Carl Sandburg
There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

April 9, 2013

Galley refurb

My galley faucet broke so I needed a new one.  The one that came with the van was the usual small faucet with handles on each side that many RVs have.  I never liked it and it was starting to leak some anyway.  I've been wishing I had a good kitchen faucet.  After looking at the RV faucets, I decided there isn't any real reason to get one made specifically for RVs.  I like the oil rubbed bronze style.  I found this one at Home Depot for several dollars less than a similar RV faucet.  It has a pull-out head and can be mounted in a single hole - something nice for the limited space on the counter.  This will allow me to fill a bucket on the counter or the second dishpan for rinse water.  And since I decided to use the single hole mount, I got a top fill soap dispenser so it doesn't go flying as I'm driving.

The old faucet was surprisingly easy to remove.  I was afraid the access would be very difficult but the short counter width and small sink made it not bad at all.  I could reach under and unscrew the plastic bolts.  Once the old faucet was removed, it revealed a standard size center hole that had a thin film of the counter top covering it and two smaller than standard holes for the water lines.  I don't know why they do this sort of thing.  I don't much like the counter material but I don't want to replace until I get around to refinishing and probably remaking the cabinets.  It is crappy particle board covered with a thin plastic finish.

I've also been wanting a ferrous back splash that would hold a magnet and to have it go all the way across the galley counter.  I had been thinking of getting stainless steel tiles but came across a bit of information that some tin ceiling tiles are made of ferrous metal.  A bit of searching showed that Home Depot carries several metal ones in 2'x2' and 2'x4' of various designs.  They are described as unfinished steel.

Home Depot's web site said my local store had one each of each design.  I went down there to find out that they have none, not even a sample to see.  They recommended that I order one and deliver it to the store.  I could then see it and test it to be sure that it can hold a magnet.  If it didn't, then I could just return it right there and not be out any money at all since I don't have to pay for shipping when delivered to the store.  The only catch was when it arrived, they got confused because they didn't have any in stock and then had to spend a long time searching for the box that their email told me was shipped.  While their procedures and stock tracking were abysmal, the clerks were persistent and pleasant in finding it for me.  It did indeed hold a magnet and is quite pretty.

I got the 2'x4' Unfinished steel panel in 6" square pattern for less than $30.  I got the Rustoleum spray paint in hammered copper and oil rubbed bronze to finish it.  I also got some spray primer.  I used a bi-metal blade in my oscillating saw to make the few cuts I needed to fit the top to my upper cabinets after taping the cuts with masking tape.  The edges are quite sharp so I filed them to take off the very sharp bits.  I first sprayed the primer on the back of the panel.  Since it is ferrous metal, all edges need to be finished to prevent future rust.  I then experimented with the paint to see if I liked how it looked.  After the primer was good and dry, I sprayed a coat of urethane varnish.

The finish was a couple coats of the hammered copper paint to make a solid cover.  Then after it was dry, I did a light spray of the bronze paint in a variegated random pattern so a good deal of the copper showed thru.  After that was dry, I sprayed about 4 light coats of the varnish to provide a good strong finish.  It took me a couple of weeks to get the finish on because there were few days where the outside temperature got above 50F which is the minimum temperature to use the paint.

I decided to also paint all the cabinet knobs in the bronze color rather than the silver they came as. I also sprayed the screws.  To mount the back splash, I first ran a narrow bead of clear silicon caulk between the counter and the vinyl wall covering.  I didn't need to remove any of the wall covering.  Once the panel was in place, I drilled little holes to screw it to the wall with stainless steel screws that I had sprayed with the paint.  I put a little clear silicon caulk on a bit of the threads to seal the hole and prevent rust.  Finally, I ran another bead of the caulk at the base of the panel and the counter to make it water proof.


  1. Hi ya Mary... nice stuff! makes me tired... but good on you... so much to do around here ...glad to see you post!

    It's really late right now and I scanned your post ... I know nothing about that anyway... but I need to learn ... so will really read it in the morning

    suppoed to be a stormy old day ... so I can catch up a bit on m'blog reading.

  2. Thanks. We are having summer suddenly but it is supposed to get a little cooler tomorrow.

  3. just read some more... yer quite the handy person! I wish I enjoyed doing stuff like that but I don't.

    Just saw your comment on Cyn's blog ... I know you have told me you have foot problems .. but what kind? is it like Cyn's or di you fall... CRS ...

    jeeeez I hope you can get it fixed. that would be terrible bad awful not to be able to foot mobile! my old sciatic nerve drives me nuts ... especially on like a Home Depot floor ~ walking around for an hour or so from one end to the other.

    garden center to restroom to building materials and so forth... I can spend a great deal of time there ... planning and scheming. ;)

  4. I've got a sore tendon on the outside arch that is better but tendons take quite a lot time to heal. I sure hope it isn't going to be like Cyn's foot!

  5. well ouch! I hope it's not either ... she's really had a time with foot ... starts to heal a bit then climbs on top of Ellie's roof!

    I guess you wrap it up? like a sports injury? waiting on tornadoes to pass ... the air is just awful ... weighs five tons per square inch ...

    1. Tornadoes are scary. Glad we seldom get them here. Yes, wrap it for compression and keep the foot from bending at that joint. And wait. We had a hot day here in the upper 80s but not too humid. Good day for painting and most importantly, having it dry fast.

    2. Ahem...I see ya'll talking about me! ;)
      Mary, have you seen a doctor over this? I was really surprised yesterday to learn that I have a ganglion cyst, which probably contributed to the tarsal tunnel to return.

    3. No. Their first string attack is all stuff I can't do - NSAID, cortizone shots, etc. Been down that road before. It is getting a lot better with the stiff insole I have to keep the foot from bending and I know that tendons take a couple of months to heal. If it doesn't improve, I'll go.


We love comments. Thanks for giving us your thoughts.