Monday, November 26, 2012


When we had the kitchen done we loved pretty much everything... except the cupboard and drawer knobs.  I'd ordered a rich, darkish oak, but when they arrived they were very pale and we've never quite shaken the suspicion that the supplier palmed us off with beech, which is a much cheaper timber.  We've managed with them for a year because they worked perfectly well and weren't broken, but they did look a little strange with the rest of the kitchen.

So I was delighted to find the website of Wooden Knobs & Handles recently.  They're relatively local, and they make all their knobs to order from a range of beautiful timbers, in a huge variety of shapes and sizes.  I chose walnut, ordered half a hundredweight since there's a lot of cupboards and drawers, and they turned up within days.  We swapped them out over the weekend and they look really smart, and it didn't even cost very much.  A great way to get a cheap make-over.

While we were at it, we decided to re-oil the wooden worktops.  You're supposed to do it every month or so, but we've had so much going on that it's kept slipping our minds and they had started to suffer.  Dave hauled everything off every worktop - microwave, toaster, kettle, loads of storage jars and general junk - sanded them down where they needed it, and applied a couple of coats of Danish Oil.  Then we opened the window to get the stink of fish and varnish out, and settled back to wait for it to dry.

And waited.

And waited....

By the time six o'clock came round and I needed to start cooking the evening meal, the worktops were still too sticky to put anything down on them.  That meant I had nowhere to prepare anything, chop veg, peel spuds; nowhere to put utensils during cooking; and nowhere to serve out the meal.  We considered juggling things in mid-air, or preparing everything in the dining room (which was already full of all the stuff we'd moved out of the kitchen), and in the end we realised it wasn't possible.  So the local Chinese take-away came to the rescue... and then we found we couldn't even do the washing up!

Mercifully everything has dried overnight so I've spent the morning putting the kitchen back together, and the worktops do look stunning.  Memo to self, though - don't expect two coats of Danish Oil to dry quickly in the winter.

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