You Won’t Believe It – It’s My Kitchen Cabinets Reveal

Yes my friends, you read the title correctly! My kitchen cabinets are DONE! Had you given up on me? For those of  you stopping by for the first time, I started my kitchen cabinet transformation almost three months ago. Meaning that this reveal has been a long time coming. I knew it would take awhile, but did not anticipate it taking this long. I thought a couple of weeks at the most. Whew, this was a project {to say the least}. As usual, I knew exactly what I wanted the finished project to look like, but it took a lot of reading, inquiring, trials and errors to get these cabinets the way they are now. I won’t lie, it was not an easy task. We hit a lot of speed bumps along the way where things didn’t work as we had planned which caused major delays. Are you ready to see? Of course you are!


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If there was anything in the house that made me doubt our purchase, it was the kitchen. Oh the kitchen! There was nothing, not one thing, that I liked about this room. It was everything I wasn’t looking for during our search for a new home. But it was a great layout and it had some serious potential. Luckily I have an eye for these things and I was able to overlook the ugliness not so great features of this kitchen in order to see the kitchen I could create. 
So here it is, our kitchen circa 2007 
{these pics were taken during inspection using a point and shoot, so excuse the crappiness}
Dislikes {umm, everything}:
  • White linoleum counter tops. I had once lived in an apartment with white linoleum counters and swore it would never happen again. Well here we were, once again, with white linoleum. Hubby promised granite – at some point- so I agreed to live with it {for 10 months too long}.
  • White appliances. I used to really like white appliances, but now I preferred stainless steel.
  • The big, bright fluorescent light on the ceiling. I am not a fan of overhead lights, particularly bright fluorescent ones.
  • The Pergo laminate flooring. It sounded hollow when we walked on it and it looked as if someone had ice skated over it. In other words, scratched.
  • I didn’t love the raised bar. I really wanted an island or large counter workspace. Plus I felt it closed off the room.
  • The color. Now there’s nothing wrong with yellow, I just didn’t want it in my kitchen. But paint doesn’t scare me. It’s an easy fix.
  • Two-tone, gold and white cabinet hardware and gold switch plates so shiny you could use them as mirrors.

 

Need I say more?
The kitchen remodel was complete in November 2007 {about one year after moving into the house}. Let me remind you that all the renovations were done by hubby and me, with the exception of the counter tops. It was not something either of us had done before, we learned along the way. Here’s what we did:

  • Granite! Good-bye white linoleum, hello Santa Cecilia granite!
  • Stainless appliances, all of them.
  • A new, hanging light fixture. This took some work because there was a large rectangular hole in the ceiling when “Big Fluorescent” was removed. Hubby had to patch it up with drywall and spackle and then of course, paint.
  • Beautiful Teak hardwoods.
  • Did you notice the raised bar is gone? Best idea EVER! After removing the laminate in prep for the granite installation {tip: HUGE money saver if you remove it yourself}, hubby cut off the drywall used for the raised bar so that it was level with the counter top. The granite covered all imperfections and is supported {because the solid slab is so heavy} with a corbel* and four stair posts.
  • On the walls: we painted the walls with Ralph Lauren Tangier Island & Country Cork, added beadboard under the bar and travertine tile backsplash under the cabinets.
  • We changed the cabinet hardware to nickel-finish knobs and pulls.
  • Nickel finish switch plates replaced the gold.
Everything was just how I wanted it, except the cabinets. Unfortunately, new kitchen cabinets were not an option for us. If I wanted a different look, I would have to do it myself. I kept putting this project off because I knew that it would be a lot of work. Finally, on March 9, 2011, I started my kitchen cabinet transformation. {No Turning Back Now}. The dishes came out, the doors came off and I was ready to go! 
I plan on doing an in-depth tutorial on painting the cabinets, including supplies, what to do and not to do, etc. But for now, in a nutshell, here are the steps for re-finishing the cabinets:
  • Remove cabinet hardware and doors. Clean all surfaces to remove grease and grime. 
  • Sand surfaces well to rough up the finish.
  • Prime. 
  • Lightly sand to smooth any brush strokes or drips.
  • Paint 2-3 coats, allowing to dry 24 hours and lightly sanding in between coats.
  • Apply and wipe off glaze to give an “antique look.”
On top of the painting, we also added glass doors, replaced the cabinet above the microwave with a decorative box and shelf that touched the ceiling and changed the cabinet hardware. 

 

Like I said, this was by no means an easy project. Many times throughout the process I cursed and hollered that I would NEVER do this again. But now that I’m finished, I would do again in a heartbeat! I absolutely love how my new cabinets look! The room looks so much bigger and brighter and the and the accents like the antiquing, new hardware, glass doors and box with molding really bring the whole look together.
Now it’s perfect! Except that I would still like a Viking range, double ovens and a Sub Zero fridge someday! I am so happy with all of the changes we have made. And what I love best is that we did it all ourselves and saved TONS of money!

 


Now, you must head over to Nap Time Crafters to cast your vote for the final round in this season of American Crafter. I’m up against some very talented ladies so EVERY vote counts! Voting starts now and runs until Sunday at midnight (MST). Pretty, pretty please help a girl out! 




Good luck to Lolly Jane and Sassy Sites! You all have such great ideas and have been tough to compete against!

Update Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets Day X- I’ve Stopped Counting

Yes, it’s been so long that I’ve stopped keeping track of the number of days this cabinet transformation is eating up. But, I do have some good news for you! 
Ladies and gents, after nearly two months, the cabinet doors are finished! And not just finished, but back in the kitchen and on the cabinets where they belong! 
In case you have forgotten {I don’t blame you if you have, really, it’s been almost two months}, I’ll remind you of the steps to get these cabinets to where they are today. Oh, and by the way, just ’cause the doors are up, doesn’t mean they are finished. Boo! But, I really think I can see the light! Okay, so back to the steps.
The cabinets were cleaned
They were sanded
They were primed
They were sanded again, painted, sanded, painted, sanded and painted. 
And that is what has taken so long. the doors needed three coats of paint and some serious sanding in between. We have been quite busy and the weather has not been cooperative which has really given us limited time to work on each coat of paint. But once the paint was finished, this next step was a piece of cake!
The first, Mocha Translucent Glaze, is going to give you a very light brown, almost amber finish. The second, Antique Glaze, is much darker and almost black. I mixed the two but used more of the dark color. You’ll mix two parts glaze with one part water. I used a sponge brush to apply the glaze.
Working quickly, apply the glaze using up and down strokes, you know, like Karate Kid. Depending how dark you want your glaze finish, will determine how much to apply. 
I used the glaze sparingly on the wood faces, but liberally in the crevices. 
After you’ve applied the glaze use a soft cloth to wipe off the glaze. 
**Tip: If after you have wiped down your cabinets you feel you have used too much glaze, use a damp cloth to remove it. You can always go back and add more.
And that’s it! Very simple and quick! I did this in one day! 
But like I said, I’m not finished. Hubby still has to put together the box and shelf to go above the microwave and we have a few trim pieces to add around the lower cabinets. 
We also need to have glass put in these cabinet doors.
And have to go get the new hardware, but I’ve already picked it out, so that will be easy! 
Okay, I’ll show you. It looks like this. . .
It’s antique bronze. I LOVE them!! And they look so good with the glaze. Now imagine these on these. . .

{don’t worry, those two doors were put on after the photo!}
So we are almost there! I can’t wait to show you the big reveal! 
Until then. . . 

Update Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets Day 25

I wanted to have this posted yesterday {since I have been sending updates on the kitchen on Sundays}, but after spending the entire weekend outside in the beautiful sunshine working my butt off to get these cabinets finished, I was pooped! I sat on the couch after dinner and had no motivation to do anything but relax! So I apologize for it being a day late. That being said. . .
We made huge progress this weekend!!!

Now don’t get too excited. We aren’t finished. But the weather was cooperative and we were able to work both days on the cabinet doors that have been sitting in the garage since this post. So let me show you what we did this weekend.

My wonderful hubby sanded down that nasty oil based primer.  Now, let me explain to you why I wish I would have used latex primer and why I will NEVER use oil based again.

First of all, it’s nasty. Seriously, look at the layer of paint it leaves on your hands. And trust me, it doesn’t come off easily. 

Second and third, it is very hard to work with. It goes on very thick and dries very quickly, leaving very little time to smooth out brush strokes. I know oil based is supposed to be more durable {which is what you need in the kitchen}, BUT look how much we had to sand off just to get the smooth finish back! I mean, we may have not used any primer at all! This was true with the boxes on the wall also. And because we had to sand most of the primer off, we had to put three coats on the boxes and I’m assuming will have to do the same with the doors.
 *We did somehow miss priming one cabinet which we just noticed the other day. To save ourselves the mess and clean up of the oil based primer we used regular latex primer that we had in our garage. It went on so smoothly and only needed a light sanding.
Shoulda, coulda, woulda. 

But we finally got to put a coat of paint on all the cabinet doors and the shelves for the two cabinets we are putting glass doors in.

{A reminder in case you forgot}
So anyway, at the end of the weekend, this is what we accomplished:

One coat on both sides of the doors. No more maple cabinets!! Don’t they look good? A little sanding and two more coats of paint and we can put these babies back where they belong! By the way, this is only half of the cabinets! The entire garage floor is covered with doors!
Stay tuned. . .
{Are you tired of hearing that yet? Really, I see the light at the end of the tunnel!}

Update Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets Day 18

YIKES! Has it really been 18 days since I started this project?! Really? 
Well, I am a little embarrassed to report that not much has been done since my post last weekend. Major setback this weekend thanks to rainy weather. I had really wanted to take the cabinet doors outside to sand them {remember, they still have only been primed} and at least get one or two coats of paint on them. But dang if it didn’t rain all weekend. Well, it wasn’t a total waste. Actually, hubby has been working really hard on creating the new piece to go over the existing cabinet above the microwave. As with everything else, it’s taking a little longer than expected, but turning out even better than expected! In case you need a reminder, here is where we left off last Sunday.

Demolition! Cutting the molding off the existing cabinet in order to change. . .


 this. . . 

to this.
(courtesy Google Sketchup)

So here is what hubby has been up to. And really, besides the design {which was me}, I have to give all credit to hubby for this part.

One giant piece of hardwood plywood is measured,

cut into three pieces,

and fit over the existing cabinet.

Then just to be sure everything was where we I wanted it, he made a template. After everything was perfect, the boards were removed and painted.

When the boards were replaced we realized that there was a lot of open spaces and gaps that made it look unfinished and disconnected to the original cabinets. It was obvious that it was an addition.

So back to the big board {luckily we had a big board} to cut a few more pieces to help the new box “fit in.”
And as we speak, these pieces are drying in the garage. 
So it wasn’t a total loss this weekend. But I sure wish I could get my doors back on my cabinets! 
Stay tuned. . .

Update Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets Day 11

As many of you know, we are currently working on painting our kitchen cabinets. It’s been way longer than I expected since my last update. But, things have been moving much slower than anticipated. This is partly because we had a set back with the primer and partly because I took a  day {maybe two} off.  I will not lie to you, this project is not easy! I was tired, stressed and I even got a little bored with it and I needed a break! 

I have a love/hate relationship with this project. I knew it was not going to be easy, nor would it be quick, but I guess I just didn’t know how much work it would actually be. So, I hate that my kitchen has been turned upside down for almost two weeks. I hate oil based primer. I hate this project! But, here is what I love. . .

the color!
It looks so good and the doors aren’t even on yet!
In case you missed this post I’ll give you a summary of what we have done so far. 
Removed doors, drawers and hardware.
Washed thoroughly with T.S.P.
Filled hardware holes and roughed up the finish with sand paper.
Primed all surfaces with oil-based primer.
Hubby was sanding the boxes {part attached to wall} of cabinets while I wrote my last post {March 12}. I thought I’d have the first coat of paint on by lunchtime the next day. WRONG! The oil based primer was so thick that, even after sanding, there were brush strokes and roller marks. So instead of painting, I spent the morning sanding the primer, again. Major set back! So after sanding it smooth, there was no longer a thick layer of primer. This is when I started hating the project and worrying how it would turn out. 

But on a good note, I did get a coat of paint on the cabinets that evening. We chose Valspar Signature Series Swiss Coffee in a semi-gloss finish. The color is slightly off-white. Hopefully since the paint had primer built in, it will make up for the primer we sanded off! We now have 2 coats on the boxes and drawers my friends!! And the best part? I was able to put my dishes back on the shelves and have a functioning kitchen again!

So you notice the top left cabinets are still shelfless and that I painted the insides. I’m adding glass doors to these two. Not sure how we are going to do it yet, but we will figure it out.
 And maybe you noticed that the cabinet above the microwave isn’t really painted. We are also making some changes to it. 

There’s hubby doing a little demolition. 
The molding is off! 
Okay, I’ll give you a sneak peak {courtesy of Google Sketchup} of what we are doing. 
Ta-da! 
And who is building this? My talented hubby of course! Except his will look better!
So there you have it. We have the boxes and drawers finished while the doors sit in the garage, fully primed {not sanded}. But hey, I have my kitchen back and I can see that this project is going give us positive results. 
Stay tuned. . .

Update: Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets Day 3

So we are three days into refinishing the kitchen cabinets and I feel like we have accomplished a lot. However, there is still a long way to go before our makeover is complete. To be honest, this is a lot of work. I’m not going to lie and say this is an easy, fun project. It is NOT! In fact, several times today this thought crossed my mind. 
“Why am I doing this?!”
{Because you love a challenge and it’s going to make your kitchen look fantastic!}
Okay, so the last update you saw that I had emptied all of my cabinets and hubby removed the doors. Originally I had planned on finishing the top cabinets before starting on the bottom, but decided against this because I realized I’d have double the clean-up. Much more efficient to do it all at once! So I emptied the bottom cabinets and hubby took off those doors as well.
Now so far, it hasn’t been that difficult. Sure it took a day to empty the cabinets and my dining room looks like a thrift store display of dishes, but really very little if an elbow grease has been involved. But all that was about to change. . . 
Step one in prepping cabinets for painting:  Cleaning the surfaces. 
Kitchen cabinets get pretty grimy from all the cooking that goes on in the kitchen. To cut through all the grease and grime, I used what most of the DIY tutorials recommended, T.S.P.
TSP-PF TSP-PF All Purpose Cleaner
You can find it in the paint department at Lowe’s or any home improvement store. I used the powder form which you mix with hot water. It’s odorless but be sure to wear gloves and open windows due to the chemicals! 
I used a sponge to wipe down the cabinets, {boy were they dirty, look at that water} a wet cloth to rinse, and a lint-free cloth to dry.

Step two in prepping cabinets for painting: Fill holes, dings and dents.

After washing and drying all the drawers and cabinets, we used wood putty to fill in the holes from the old hardware since I am getting new hardware. The wood putty can also be used to fill in any scratches, dings or dents. Then we called it a night.

Bright and early this morning we were up and ready to go. Oh, and my amazing brother-in-law and sister-in-law gave up a beautiful Saturday to help us.

Step three in prepping cabinets for painting: Scour the surfaces.

First chore of the morning, sanding, sanding and more sanding. Unfortunately my birthday present, the Skil mouse sander, didn’t work like I had hoped, so I ended up doing it by hand. I took on the doors and drawers outside while my sister-in-law tackled the boxes inside. The men hung out with the kiddos. {What’s wrong with this picture?}

After hours of sanding {seriously, it took a couple hours}, we wiped the cabinets clean with these amazing little cloths recommended to me by the gal at Sherwin Williams. Tack cloth is like a magnet, it sucks the dust particles right off the wood!

Finally we are ready to pop the top on the primer!

Step four in prepping cabinets for painting: Primer

After going back and forth for days, I decided to go with oil based primer. It’s much more durable over time and it helps seal the stained wood better than a water based primer. I used both a sponge roller and angled brush.

Ilke primed the boxes. {I didn’t paint the inside of all the cabinets, just this one because I am replacing the doors with glass.}

I primed the doors and drawers.

And my little guys painted some too. {These are doors we have decided not to replace. Stay tuned to see what we do in their place.}

I’m happy to say that all cabinets are primed and I’m done for the day!

I’m exhausted, sitting on the couch, updating this blog while my sweet hubby is in the kitchen sanding the primed cabinets in preparation for painting tomorrow! I see the end in sight.
Until then. . .

No Turning Back Now!

Well, today I officially began my kitchen cabinet transformation. I have been planning on doing this for a long time and have also been putting it off for a long time. Friday I finally bought the supplies and Sunday I announced to my readers in this post that change was “a comin.'” So, today I finally took the bit the bullet and started a project that SCARES ME TO DEATH! I mean really, this is a pretty big deal! If I screw up, I’ll either have to
a – Remove the paint, sand the cabinets, and start all over again. 
or 
b – Replace all my cabinets. 
Well, since b is not an option because of the cost (which is why I’m refinishing, not replacing to begin with), I would have to go with a which would be a HUGE pain in the ass but. So I’m a big bag of nerves right now and will be until this project is finished. But if the end product turns out the way I want it to, I will be tickled pink. So anyway, may I present to you day one of the cabinet transformation.

The doors are off and shelves are removed of the upper cabinets! I have a lot of cabinets so I’ve decided to begin with the upper cabinets first and do the lower cabinets after. Where are all those dishes you ask?
Well, my dining room table currently houses all my serving pieces, dinnerware and glassware. Speaking of glassware, do you think my collection is a little excessive? 
OK here I go. No turning back now! 
Stay tuned. . .

Making a House Our Home: Kitchen Remodel

Well, here is the first post in my series of “Making a House Our Home.” In case you missed my introduction yesterday, click here
If there was anything in the house that made me doubt our purchase, it was the kitchen. Oh the kitchen! There was nothing, not one thing, that I liked about this room. It was everything I wasn’t looking for during our search for a new home. But it was a great layout and it had some serious potential. Luckily I have an eye for these things and I was able to overlook the ugliness not so great features of this kitchen in order to see the kitchen I could create. 
So here it is, our kitchen circa 2007.
Dislikes:
1. White linoleum counter tops. I had once lived in an apartment with white linoleum counters and swore it would never happen again. Well here we were, once again, with white linoleum. Hubby promised granite – at some point- so I agreed to live with it {for 10 months too long}.
2. White appliances. I used to really like white appliances, honestly. But now I wanted stainless steel.
3. The big, bright fluorescent light on the ceiling. I am not a fan of overhead lights, particularly bright fluorescent ones. 
4. The Pergo laminate flooring. It sounded hollow when we walked on it and it looked as if someone had ice skated over it. In other words, scratched.
5. I didn’t love the raised bar. I really wanted an island or large counter workspace. Plus I felt it closed off the room.
6. The color. Don’t get defensive, there’s nothing wrong with yellow, it just wasn’t the color I had wanted for my kitchen. But paint doesn’t scare me. It’s an easy fix.

{That’s Mr. inspector man on the left, handsome hubby on the right.} 
7. Two-tone, gold and white cabinet hardware. Need I say more? {Sorry, really had to crop this one to show the hideous detail.}
8. Gold switch plates. So shiny I could see my reflection. {Again, seriously cropped.}

I know, yikes, right?!
Ready to see what we did?


1. Granite! Good-bye white linoleum, hello Santa Cecilia granite!
2. Stainless appliances, all of them.
3. A new, hanging light fixture. This took some work because there was a large rectangular hole in the ceiling when “Big Fluorescent” was removed. Hubby had to patch it up with drywall and spackle and then of course, paint. 
4. Beautiful Teak hardwoods.
5. Did you notice the raised bar is gone? Best idea EVER! After removing the laminate in prep for the granite installation {tip: HUGE money saver if you remove it yourself}, hubby cut off the drywall used for the raised bar so that it was level with the counter top. The granite covered all imperfections and is supported {because the solid slab is so heavy} with a corbel* and four stair posts.
*a corbel is that pretty piece of molding in the middle of the bar stools that costs a FORTUNE! $50 for that thing! I tell you, if I could whittle wood . . .
6. On the walls: we painted the walls with Ralph Lauren Country Cork, added beadboard under the bar and hubby tiled the backsplash with travertine tiles under the cabinets.
7. We changed the cabinet hardware to nickel-finish knobs and pulls.
8. Nickel finish switch plates replaced the gold.
The view from in the kitchen.
I cannot say it enough, leveling the bar was the best thing we did to this kitchen! I love how open it is to the breakfast room and family room. Not to mention it made the kitchen seem so much bigger and added tons of counter space. This modification made our kitchen perfect for entertaining!
This bar is now one huge space, great for entertaining.
The view from the breakfast room. A better look at the teak floors, bead board and stair posts.
Just in case you forgot, let me show you before and after. 

                              Dislike                                                                         Love
                                Dislike                                                                             Love

The kitchen remodel was complete in November 2007. Let me remind you that all the renovations were done by hubby and me, with the exception of the counter tops. It was not something either of us had done before, we learned along the way. The one other renovation I have wanted to do since is to paint the cabinets white to match the bead board under the bar. The reason it hasn’t been done, I’m terrified I’ll screw it up. Well, my friends, I have finally decided to do it! I went to Lowe’s the other day and bought the supplies I needed to start. Hubby is going to remove the doors tomorrow. Wish me luck! I’ll keep you posted!