The kitchen

The kitchen floor was pretty messy. It had been covered in Lino for a good part of the last half century and the glue that gripped this was well and truly stuck. I tried most things to remove this:

  • Heatgun- effective to a point- this took the majority of the glue off as it softened it and I scraped it off- it stuck to the scraper and had to be scraped off- making it a time consuming job.
  • Chemical glue remover- waste of time and money- this did very little for me and my sticky problem
  • Peanut butter- this breaks down the enzymes in the glue causing the bond with the floor to loosen. This was genius- I bought several jars of very cheap stuff and still have some in the pantry (unopened of course). The only issue with this is that my dogs love peanut butter so as I spread it on the floor, they thought me really generous with the treats and licked it off faster than I could put it on.

Dogs removed, more peanut butter and a lot of scraping, and a week later my floor was ready to sand. My first ever go at using an industrial belt sander and circular edging sander. I highly recommend ear protectors and gel gloves for the edging sander. I didn’t want to strip all the character out of the floor- the history of the house is really important to us (honestly it’s not an excuse to do less work) so I left some markings on the floor- especially around the doors where many many farmers’ boots had trodden over the last couple of hundred years. Anyway- that was the least fun way to spend a bank holiday weekend, but we were pretty pleased with the floor- which instantly brightened the room.


I used a couple of coats of Fiddes hard wax oil to protect the floor. This paints on and dries in about 4-6 hours. I left the first coat overnight and worked my way out of the room on the second coat and went to Sheffield to visit my daughter while the second coat dried. It looks great- but not overdone.

After looking at the cost of a new kitchen and comparing this with our meagre budget for the whole house, we decided that we really, really wanted a free standing kitchen. I bought two old oak cupboards from Ian at Flipping Furniture in Selby, and an oak worktop online- I wanted planked oak to run the full length of the worktop and opted for rustic oak to keep the price down- it’s really not as rustic as you’d think.

I sourced a gorgeous Belfast sink with drainer from EBay and a stainless steel table that came out of a pizza restaurant’s kitchen- by now I had spent £350 on the kitchen- we had a free standing oven- a factory second- a tiny scuff on the stainless steel had made this imperfect AEG stainless double oven and induction hob half price- I love a bargain and was pretty sure I could have scuffed a new one to look like this within a day anyway. Shockingly we paid full price and added a slimline Kenwood dishwasher to the kitchen- I’d never had a kitchen big enough for a dishwasher before so pushed the boat out- a decision I do not regret- if you don’t have a dishwasher, get one- it saves time, and saves messy dishes cluttering up your kitchen, as well as being way more sociable after a meal where everyone can load their own dishes in and get on with life. I bought a very cool stainless pre owned  fridge freezer from eBay for less than £100 and we were done. So, with appliances, new (to me) items, and a table, dresser and sideboard we already had, as well as floor sanding and waxing (Fiddes wax oil isn’t the cheapest but you have to spend a little on some things- I really don’t want to do this job too often) I reckon we had spent around £1500 on the entire kitchen.

We had by now decided on a solid fuel Rayburn to do our central heating- this took weeks of going round in circles. We wanted to avoid oil because of the environmental impact of using a fuel that isn’t sustainable, but mainly because the price of oil fluctuates so much and we have been over a barrel with this before. We looked at what seemed like every solid fuel Rayburn and Esse for sale in the entire country. We were torn between a new and pre owned article- new we could guarantee would work well, but could not really afford. Whereas pre owned we really had no idea whether it would work or not but we could afford. In the end I think we got so fed up of looking that we bought the next one that came along. I only had one stipulation for the colour- it must not be greeen, I don’t like green Rayburns. In the end we got so fed up of looking we bought the next one that came along- and it happened to be green. I rekindled my love of green Rayburns, painted the walls with Dulux putting green in readiness for our new arrival and we got a great fella, Jack, to pick it up from South Wales and deliver it to us in East Riding of Yorkshire.

The finishing touches went in and we’re pretty pleased with our cosy kitchen- which will be even cosier whe we have heating- please let the Rayburn be fully functional!