Friday, August 21, 2015

Renovation Reveal: Kitchen and Powder Room + I need your opinions!

Earlier this week I shared the results of our renovation for our living room, which I am so happy with. It is so nice to finally live in a place that feels like home (Although I really did my best to make our apartment "homey" before we moved into this house).

Anyway, the other part of our renovation happened in our kitchen. We love our new home, but it is definitely the "left in the 80s" house on the block. In an attempt to get out of debt faster, we are trying to complete labor-intensive and inexpensive projects to get the biggest bang for our buck out of this place.

So after lots of elbow grease, we finally got these results

Our kitchen wasn't THAT BAD when we bought it. But it was definitely not very awe-inspiring either. The oak cabinets were not only dated, but they were age-stained and the microwave hung too low, meaning we knew we had to replace the cabinets above it.

This was a HUGE project that really tested the limits of our endurance.

It involved:
-Sealing, priming, sanding, and painting cabinets -- $300
-Replacing the cabinet above the microwave with a shorter cabinet, as the microwave was hanging too low over the stove -- $60
-Replacing all hinges and drawer slides with modern, inside-hanging, soft-close versions -- $280
-Putting hardware on all the doors and drawers -- $70
-Purchasing tools including a paint sprayer, special drill bits, caulk, and other hardware -- $350
-Custom blinds  ($250 for 8 blinds in entire house) -- $30 for 1 blind in the kitchen
-Painted walls Sherwin Williams Sea Salt -- $50
Total: $1,140

 It's a big chunk of change, but it is so much cheaper than new cabinets, and it really changed the look of our kitchen
We still have to replace the slippery tile flooring, which will probably need to wait until next year, and the 80s light fixtures, but we are content with our progress so far.

Let me take some time, though, to warn you: THIS WAS A VERY LABOR INTENSIVE PROJECT.

Pinterest makes it look so easy and cheap, but honestly I think if I had to do it all over again we may have hired a professional to do the painting. It is such labor intensive and tedious work, mostly because oak is an open-grain wood. That means it soaks up paint and the grain of the wood shows through very strongly. In order to achieve even somewhat of a smooth finish we had to do 7 coats with sanding between every coat (and wiped down with tack cloth between every coat):

- 1 coat liquid deglosser applied with scotch pads
- 2 coats of Minawax sanding sealer to help seal the wood
- 2 coats wood primer from Sherwin Williams
- 2 coats paint in Sherwin Williams Alabaster

We attempted to finish the project before moving in, but that totally didn't happen with our 12 month old newly-walking little girl running around. So when we moved in, the kitchen looked like this
The word you are looking for is STRESSFUL!

Living without a kitchen for nearly a lmonth was so difficult and stressful. It made me thankful we attempted to finish as much as we coud before moving in.

Finally we got the kitchen looking like this
Installing the doors and drawers took a long time because of the new hinges and drawer slides, but the results are perfect.

I am so happy we did this project, but I am even happier that it is over!

Powder Room
The powder room between our newly renovated living room and kitchen needed a bit of a facelift as well, and it ended up being a rather simple project.


-Painted the walls Sherwin Williams Drizzle -- $25
-Replaced the mirror with one found at World Marker -- $100
Total: $125

You may notice that this room isn't finished yet. The vanity needs some love (yes, that is an accidental swipe of wall paint on the front of it... oops).

Do you think we should:
A) Paint it white to match the kitchen cabinets
B) Stain it a darker brown
C) Replace it altogether 

Let me know what you think in the comments!


  1. I would paint it white! It would look very nice with the wall color and match the kitchen.

  2. Have you tried gently scraping/rubbing the spot of paint off with a wet paper towel and your fingernail? If it won't come off, my vote is painting white!

  3. I really enjoyed this post. My husband and I want to reface our kitchen cabinets, and our plan is to do the painting ourselves. After reading how much work was involved with your painting project, we may look into hiring someone to save us the trouble!

  4. Your kitchen looks great. It seems like you had good bones to start with... which is always nice! Our kitchen is more than 40 years old and did not have good bones when we bought our house 13 years ago. I always hated the cabinets and wanted to paint them for years. My hubby kept talking me out of it. Finally, in the middle of a major emotional crisis, I took the plunge because I figured I had nothing to lose. I was shocked by how very easy and inexpensive it was. I am sorry we waited so long to do it and would do it all again in a heart beat. I used a no sand product that you wipe on with a rag. I think our entire project cost about $100 with new hardware, paint and wainscot on the island.

    I am sending links to our before and after posts.

    1. I just went and read your posts and your kitchen turned out amazingly! I wish our cabinets had been that easy to paint, but the oak really has a difficult wood to deal with. I also was a little jealous that the insides of your cabinets looked so nice still! The insides of ours were worse than the outsides and we decided to paint those, which ended up taking a ton of our time. I don't regret the decision now, but it would have been nice if it werent necessary

  5. One of the things that kept me from doing it sooner was I thought it might not look professional or that it wouldn't hold up well. Not a person comes in our home who doesn't comment on how much they love our cabinets. In fact two years ago our friends bought an old house and redid the kitchen and made their cabinets to match ours. And five years later, even in this massive family where the kitchen gets a killer workout every day the cabinets look as good as new.

  6. Wow! Looks great. I really can't believe you managed to do all that with a baby. I refinished an old desk once...and it took me forever. So I believe you on the labor intensive part!

  7. WOW! It all looks so amazing! I just loves the colors you chose. They're so pretty and relaxing. :)

    We repainted our kitchen cabinets before we moved into our house. They were this awful 70's, orange color. The hardware was really pretty though. Kinda old farmhouse like. So we kept all of it, and painted the cabinets white.You are right, it is VERY labor intensive. But well worth it. :D

    And I would say paint the cabinet white. I have thing for white cabinets. :D


I love to fellowship with others and hear what they have to say. I would ask, however, that you be mindful of what you write and try to be uplifting and respectful. Thank you for sharing!