LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Hillbilly Granite

I come by my DIYerism honestly (hey, I just invented a word!). My Daddy was in the U.S. Army and read his issues of Popular Mechanics voraciously, and I’ve watched him do countless projects over his lifetime. Even at 92, he has a pretty serious workbench in his garage and will putter out there on one thing or another.

On our Slope County ranch, we accomplished most projects on our own.  I belonged to 4-H. My brothers and the Pearson boys and I built pretty impressive forts with scrap lumber at both of our places. When carpet squares were a new thing, my Mom bought some and set me loose in the bathroom. When we installed new windows on the farmhouse, Mom had me paint them. You get the idea here.

This week, I tackled a project in my kitchen I’ve been contemplating for years: my “hillbilly granite” project. Both Jim and I have pretty much hated the old white linoleum from the moment we first laid eyes on it, but doing anything about it hadn’t risen to the top of “the list.” While we joke about getting a new kitchen if one of the large front yard trees fall on the roof, that hasn’t yet happened. Installing granite just wasn’t going to happen, either.

So, I headed for one of my favorite Bismarck stores, Menards. (We also frequent Lowes and Ace Hardware, by the way.  Lowe’s is nearby.)

I especially like the “Easy” part of the description. Sure…

I set up a temporary coffee pot/toaster/microwave station and informed my house partner that minimal cooking would take place for the next week or so (after the top coat goes on 48 hours of no touching and seven days of “light use,” and I’m going to err on the side of seven days of no touching).

Then, I did the prep and went to work. The sanding part was easy, but when it came time to paint, I had to steel myself and push on through and cross my fingers that there was enough in one kit to cover all of the areas.

Last winter, I installed the new hardware, a gift from my brother, who works at the Virginia Beach Home Depot.

Next up will be to spray paint the stove hood black and wait for the dishwasher and fridge to die. (I’m sure Jim will joke about spray painting those, but I won’t go there.) The rest of the new light switch and outlet covers go on later this week.

We are very pleased with the result, and now it is time to head for the Striefel cabin at Crooked Lake for the July 4th holiday, to sit back in a lawn chair and let the project cure.

Leave a Reply