one room challenge week 5 update

Happy hump day, buddies!  How is it Week FIVE of the One Room Challenge (ORC), already?!

If you haven’t stopped by before, the ORC is a 6 week “design challenge,” where 20 featured designers and hundreds of guest participants support each other to makeover one room in their homes in just 6 weeks (but really 5, because the Week 1 and Week 6 blog posts “bookend” the 5 weeks of work, if that makes sense).  The challenge is hosted by Calling It Home and House Beautiful, and you can check out all of the amazing room transformations over at the One Room Challenge page!  We here at Fiddle Leaf Interiors (or more affectionately known as Casa del Ochoa) are renovating our KITCHEN!

You can catch up on our progress thus far here:

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4

You can also read my ORC Preparation blog post HERE!

Week 5 has been a BIG week! Our kitchen is finally beginning to resemble a real, functioning kitchen again!  We got the DIY concrete countertops completed (we used two Ardex Feather Finish 10 lbs Bags of concrete) and sealed, and our new AMAZING farmhouse sink and black faucet installed! We have running water again, but I will say that we may need to replace the garbage disposal.  We actually installed a brand new one, but it seems to be making an odd noise, so we may purchase a different brand and go from there!  We also got our Industrial Pipe Towel Bar installed, and my matching pipe paper towel holder assembled!  I didn’t get as much cleaning or paint touch up done as I would have liked, but that’s okay, we still have a few days to go 🙂

**This post may contain affiliate links – see my Disclosure for more information**

one room challenge

Week 5 Progress Update:

Here is what our kitchen looks like CURRENTLY:

one room challenge week 5 progress update

It is literally transforming before our eyes!

And to remind you, just for fun, here is the before:

kitchen renovation

Brown, boring, & builder grade (my least favorite “B’s”

So much change this week! I can’t wait for the last big project – the backsplash! That will really tie it all together and give it a little more of an upscale feel – and of course, make it whiter and brighter!

But back to this week.  The main things we accomplished in the past 7 days are:

  • Remove old sink (if you try to do this and your sink is GLUED into place with liquid nails, stick with me below for my mini tutorial this week on how to get that baby out)!
  • DIY concrete countertops
  • Seal concrete countertops (I used Omega Concrete Countertop Sealer – it is a bit pricey, especially when you factor in the shipping cost, but it was honestly the BEST thing I found out there in terms of stats on stain/water resistance/finish/overall durability – I’ll of course keep y’all updated on how it holds up)!
  • Install new farmhouse sink/faucet/etc
  • Hook up/change plumbing below sink to accommodate new one basin sink (we used to have a two basin sink)
  • Begin cleaning (and by cleaning, I mean SCRUBBING our ceiling – ugh – this is what happens when you san concrete in a small space and don’t tarp off your ceiling!)
  • Assemble bar stools
  • Install towel bar
  • Assemble paper towel holder
  • Begin styling! (YAY! – the funnest part)!

And of course, here are some photos of the process and how all of those things changed the look of our kitchen from last week!

Taking our old sink out was a B*TCH! Sorry – but it seriously was, because they GLUED it down with liquid nails – totally unnecessary! But more on that in my tutorial later.

DIY concrete overlay countertops

Before tackling the DIY concrete counters, be sure to tape off EVERYTHING you don’t want to get dirty! I highly recommend covering your ceiling too if you can!

DIY concrete countertops

Here are the tools we used to spread the concrete – the 2′ tape knife was a GAME CHANGER. GET IT.

We used a paint mixer that you attach to your drill to mix the concrete into a bucket.

DIY concrete overlay countertops

Spreading the first coat! It was a learning process for sure. I’ll share all my tips and tricks for these counters in a future blog post!

Make sure to sand between coats – and CLEAN after you sand! Fair warning, it is SUPER messy – dust will be everywhere and you WILL look like Pig Pen from Charlie Brown!

DIY concrete overlay countertops

We did 3 coats/layers of concrete, and thus 3 rounds of sanding. Here is what it looked like after all of that!

Here is the sealer we used – it is two parts, A & B. It’s a bit of a chemistry experiment mixing them together in the appropriate ratio and then diluting with water, but once you get the hang of it it’s super easy!  I’ll let you guys know more about the sealing process in my detailed tutorial post on these counters, but I will tell you that this sealer was amazing to put on – it was so forgiving and NO streak marks left behind!

Next was the sink – we installed the faucet & air gap before we dropped it in.

how to drop in a cast iron above mount sink.

Now here is where the magic happened! My husband was wandering the pipe aisle at Home Depot, looking confused, when this kind man approached him and told him NOT to buy the pipes he was holding because, well, they were no bueno. They got to talking, and come to find out he is a licensed general contractor. When my husband asked him if he had any tips for dropping in an insanely heavy sink with only two people, he instead offered to COME HELP.  He was at our house for like 3 hours y’all, and taught my husband and I so much that we NEVER would have known without him. If there was ever a time for the #blessed hashtag, THIS is it!

And here is the sink fully installed!! (You can see the new towel bar too, which my husband hates, oops!) Can y’all please drop a comment and tell him he is CRAY and that the towel bar is GREAT?! k.thanks. 😀

I also got the barstools assembled and we LOVE them! You can find the same ones HERE!  We bought them on Wayfair but I just checked Amazon and they are so much cheaper (so that’s where I linked you to!); I wish I would have checked Amazon before ordering!  Anyway, while the first one took a bit of time because you learn as you go in terms of assembly, once I knew what I was doing it took me 20 minutes flat (by myself) to put together the second one!

And here is another view of the kitchen as a whole!

And the other side of the room!

DIY faux barn wood door

And you know how I love our new faux weathered/paneled doors, so here is another look, because why not?! 🙂

And that my friends, concludes Week 5.  ONE WEEK TO GO. I really can’t believe it.  And also am struggling to comprehend how we’ll finish everything, but we’ve managed to stay on track thus far, so I’m sure we’ll manage!

Speaking of staying on track, here is how we are doing with my original timeline:


Week 5: Remove old sink and move major appliances (if not already done above); Finish DIY concrete countertops; Start DIY subway tile backsplash; Begin working on rearranging plumbing below sink to fit new one basin sink

Week 6: Finish DIY subway tile backsplash; Install new sink and plumbing fixtures; Switch out switches/faceplates; Install under cabinet lighting; Install corbels; Style and photograph!


So I’d say we are doing pretty great!  A few things we need to do that are not on this list include cleaning, re-installing the appliances (microwave and stove), and paint touch ups.  But overall, I’d say we are doing great.  Now I just need to muster ALL my strength to make it through the next 7 days! Wish us luck!

Be sure to also check out all the other amazing bloggers and their Week 5 updates HERE!  But, before you do, scroll on to read my How To Tutorial on how to remove a sink that is GLUED to your countertops with liquid nails!:


How to Remove a Glued Down Kitchen Sink:

To be fair, while we were doing this, we CRACKED our granite countertops.  But, this is how we learned how to do this the RIGHT way very quickly.  Lucky for us, we were covering our counters with concrete.  If you are trying to save yours, consider this How To, but also consider hiring a professional to tackle this project.  I don’t want to be responsible for anyone’s counters being ruined!

Also, Home Depot and Lowe’s both have GREAT tutorials on the sink removal process.  Because of that, I am not going to reinvent the wheel.  I am mostly here to tell you what to do when you get to the step that more or less says “cut away the old caulking with a utility knife, and then pop out your sink,” and then your sink WILL NOT pop out.  Everything was going along swimmingly until we got to this step, and then we realized the sink was glued down with COPIUS amounts of Liquid Nails, which was totally unnecessary.  But, considering all the other shoddy jobs we found in this kitchen (and our entire house), I am really not surprised.

At first we just tried putting some putty knives under the lip of the sink and hammering them in to find one weak spot.  We finally found a spot at the corner that we could get some leverage under, and we PULLED HARD.


We cracked the granite.  Yup.  Who knew that could even happen?! Or at least just with some force used on to pull out a stupid kitchen sink?!  Oh well!

So that’s when we stopped, Googled it up, and found a product called Goof Off.  (Follow instructions on can, always work in well ventilated areas, and do NOT use if pregnant!)  Hubby had to made a trip to Home Depot for it, but it worked like a CHARM.

We sprayed it around the entire edge of the sink, and then let it sit for a few minutes.

We then wedged in chisels, flathead screwdrivers, and putty knives under the sink lip all the way around.

We then hammered the main larger/stronger/flat tool (I honestly don’t know what it’s called) under the sink lip, and did this all the way around as well, just to loosed the glue/caulk.

Just using one round of the goof off and this method allowed us to break free the entire front and sides of the sink, with really little effort!  The back was a bit tricker though, so we sprayed one more round of the Goof Off, waited a couple minutes, and then the sink literally popped right off – voila!  Honestly, that Goof Off doesn’t goof off (see what I did there)? 😉

Now just learn from us and use Goof Off the FIRST go around.  IF you do, you MIGHT be able to avoid cracking your existing countertops like we did!

Boo – sad day!

Again though, if you have any doubt about this – HIRE A PROFESSIONAL!


And that concludes Week 5 my friends!

Don’t forget to check out all the amazing guest bloggers HERE, as well as all the featured designers of the One Room Challenge HERE! And, as always, if you want LIVE updates from the Casa del Ochoa kitchen renovation, head over to my Instagram and watch my latest stories!  The most recent happenings of our kitchen renovation are also saved in my highlighted stories for your viewing pleasure!

Enjoy buddies, and I’ll see you next week for Week 6 of the ORC – THE BIG REVEAL!!!



P.S. Approximate man hours worked so far: 258!


one room challenge