Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Kitchen Facelift

I am just about 6 months pregnant, and as one would assume, we have been working pretty hard at getting a certain room in our house ready for Charley as most soon-to-be parents do. If you guessed that certain room to be the nursery, I would have to tell you that you're wrong. We have been working on the kitchen. (And when  say "we", I mainly mean "he". I just supply the ideas and he does the handiwork.)

We have lived in this home for about 4 years, and somehow never found the time or the ideas to put a decent kitchen together. But, as soon as I was excited about starting on a nursery, all of a sudden the kitchen got bumped way up on the priority list ahead of the nursery. I'm a procrastinator anyways, so I obliged because ultimately I'm getting two rooms complete for the price of one!

The first step you should take when doing a kitchen facelift, is to take before pictures. Otherwise, you get stuck looking through 3.5 years worth of pictures trying to find a "before" picture without drunk people in it or cute little blonde girls. Of course they are cute, but I'm trying to get a picture of the cabinets, counter tops, decor, etc. So, for your benefit, I cut up some pictures and made a "before" picture unlike one you've ever seen.

kitchen before

A - Behind those cuties is the left wall of the kitchen that had a frame collage on it and our old paint color of ivoryish.
B - This shows the back right corner of the kitchen - where the curtain is over a sliding glass door, the white fridge, black dishwasher and island in the center. You can see the ugly colored cabinets and the white laminate countertops too.
C - In this picture (where I was capturing Tuna being naughty), you can see the right wall, with the sink and more cabinet/countertop views. I always struggled with what to put over the sink, and here I had some stained glass thingy that was too small for the space.
D - This is the front wall where the ivory stove and black microwave reside.
E - Another island picture (in the midst of a fall decor take down) and you can see the broken-off piece of laminate on the side.
F - This little cove off of the left wall has three doors like a game show. Behind doors number 1, 2, and 3 are a bathroom, pantry and laundry room. (This picture is also showing the old, old paint color.)

Okay, so that was where we were before. That was painful.

The only things we had done already pre-facelift were replacing the floor (you can see the difference between pictures E and F), painting twice (once the orange, then the off-white), and purchasing the black microwave and dishwasher. We were just buying appliances as we had the cash as we didn't want to use credit.

And another important item to note - this is only a temporary house. We definitely will not be here for the long haul as it is only a two bedroom townhouse and we are definitely outgrowing it. With that being said, and with the state of the current housing market, a huge kitchen remodel would not have been smart. We wouldn't see that money back when it came time to sell this place, and so we decided on just doing a kitchen facelift.

Another reason this came about unexpectedly - the 2 non-black appliances sort of fell into our laps. A friend sold them to us for $250 (the fridge and the stove together) and finally, we had 4 matching appliances. The very next day, we listed the white fridge and ivory stove on Craigslist for $100 each and they were gone within an hour. So, for the net total of $50, we finally had appliances that we liked. This lit the fire under us to make the rest of the kitchen look good.

First up, the cabinets. I loathed the color of them, and they just scream "buyers basic" to me. It's comparable to mid-wash jeans. Not nice looking like a nice dark pair, but not chic enough like a light colored pair could be. Just blah and they needed to change. Have I mentioned John used to be a painter? Major points for him.

Sanding and staining a darker color would have been way too daunting. Painting them a fun color like turquoise or red would have been really fun, but wouldn't have flowed with the rest of the house. We decided on white, and that was that.

John primed, painted, and sealed. We added hardware which they were lacking before and that made a world of a difference. My job? Pick the paint color and use the drill to remove hinges from the cabinet doors. See! I'm not a complete waste of facelifting space!



Countertops were next. There aren't too many options for countertops. You can do granite ($$$), you can tile granite (not as expensive but tiles are not my #1 choice since they'd be harder to clean on the grout lines), you can just replace the laminate, or there are a couple of newer options involving essentially painting your countertops. Have I mentioned before that John used to be a painter?

There were 2 "paint" options available. One was the Rust-Oleum Countertop Transformation kit, and then a second option we found was the Giani Granite Paint kit. One was around $300, the other $80. All things aside, we went with the cheaper option, Giani.

John never even watched the instructional DVD...what an over achiever.
First step was to prime your counter tops with a black primer. I'm a "finished-product" person, so it's hard for me to watch these beginning steps.

Then, after letting that dry overnight, you use a sponge and three different colors to mimic the look of granite. This part I was not at home for or I would have been a micro manager since I can't see past the steps to the finished product. When I got home I was beyond impressed.
It could easily fool me! Who woulda guessed that was all done with paint!
At some point among all of this, we purchased a new faucet to replace the buyer's basic chrome one we currently had. I was shocked at how much a stupid kitchen faucet could cost, but ultimately we decided on a stainless steel goose neck spout that was as cheap as we could find. Looks good, works good, and still within our budget.


Finally, it was time for me to pick a paint color. At first I was being all boring and leading toward a tan/brown color, but then quickly realized that the brown countertops, brown floors and the tan/brown walls would be a bit bland and way too much. Then, at a yard sale I found these two decorative plates for $1 each that had a brick-red color to them, and I had a vision.


Yellow walls, with brick red accents. And that is how the wall color was decided! Again, John did the work here, but it only took him a few hours + commercial breaks during the NASCAR race.

Now, this is the only unfinished part. But, my impatience got the best of me and I'm sharing before I'm completely finished. We have hung a couple of things up, but there are lots of bare walls that still need decor and they will fill up in time. I'll reshare again later.

The biggest thing to me though, was finally having something over the sink that I liked. I found an old window at another yard sale for $1 that was just the right size. It needed paint, and I saw an idea on another blog that I wanted to try as well. It involved turning the window panes into a mirror, and I thought that was just what this window needed.

I bought the mirror spray paint at Michael's for $9, the red color for the frame in a sample size at Home Depot for $2.94, and then John took over this project too. What?! He's a professional! It'd just be silly for me to do it instead!

It's not as reflective as a typical mirror is, but I think that works even better for our use. It's sort of foggy and rustic-ish, and I love it.

See....reflective, but not as reflective as a regular mirror.

I also hung another little coffee sign by our coffee pot that I also got at a yard sale (surprise, surprise) for $1. But so far, that is all the decor that has gone up. I have a closet full of other things to be hung, and a Pinterest board filling up of other ideas that are in the making.

And finally, for those of you that skip all the wordage and just go straight for the pictures (coughJohncough) here are our after pictures.


The little game show cove....and, I swear the yellow is not that yellow in person!

Again...the yellow is not that yellow...blame it on my lack of photography skills!
The grand total for this facelift:

Wall Paint                     $24.44
Cabinet Paint                $50.00
Cabinet Knobs              $34.00
Door Knobs                  $41.88   (also replaced the three doorknobs in the "game show cove")
Window                         $1.00
Mirror Paint                    $9.73
Window Paint                 $2.94
Plates                            $2.00     (not hung yet, but the inspiration plates)
Coffee Sign                    $1.00
Countertop Kit             $75.72
Faucet                          $88.00
Appliances                    $50.00    (net, $250 price, less $200 we sold the old ones for)
TOTAL                       $380.71

I'm happy, and my wallet is happy too. Can't really ask for more than that, right?


The Beane's said...

Wow! It looks great! Love the countertop idea!

Missy said...

Wow that looks awesome! You are so thrifty with your money, I need lessons! I am all about not spending top dollar but wanting to get a nice finished product!

The Mrs. said...

This is awesome! I would have never thought you could paint countertops! And the savings on the total project...even better!

'HoulaMom said...

Wow, that really looks great! We just saw an ad over the weekend for the countertop paint and were wondering how it looked. Your kitchen looks like you guys put a lot of money into it!

Amelia said...

Nice job! It looks great (and so do you, by the way)!