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Sep 26, 2013

Kitchen Makeover Reveal

I'm embarrassed to admit that it's taken a year to finish our kitchen makeover. If you go back and read my first post on it, I was so excited and expected to be finished in about two weeks. I guess the joke was on me.

But it's done! And it's fabulous! Well, as fabulous as a tiny kitchen with no window and a small budget can be.

kitchen cabinets white paint

The timetable ended up being something like this:

October - sand upper doors in preparation for staining dark brown. Sanding off green factory stain is hard.
November & December - do absolutely nothing. Host Christmas dinner with no cabinet doors. Classy.
January & February - sand a few more doors. It's too cold out!
March - realize stain won't all come off and change plans from staining cabinets to painting them white.
April - paint doors a little at a time, with a marathon on Easter weekend.
May - install doors and hardware, sand and paint drawers.
June - go on vacation & don't think about kitchen.
July - buy new refrigerator, try to burn kitchen down the next day (my bad).
August - try to figure out what to do with backsplash - tile? paint? tile & get new countertops? just leave it and live with it? Flip-flop back and forth.
September - paint backsplash to match cabinets because we can't find tile to match the countertop and a new one is too expensive.

So, needless to say, getting the kitchen done wasn't exactly a high priority for us this year.

Let me show you the before shot:

kitchen before

This is about 2 years ago. You can see that we had yellow walls, green cabinets, and orange tile. Margarita, anyone? It didn't really bother us that much until we painted the walls. The living room, dining room, and kitchen are open-concept, so if you paint one you have to paint them all. The wall colour we chose was Benjamin Moore's Ranchwood. It's a taupe colour that looks slightly green in our house. We love the colour, but it definitely clashed with the kitchen cupboards.

benjamin moore ranchwood

I'll make a long story short (you can read more about it here and here) by saying that I decided to sand all of the cabinets bare and then stain them a dark espresso shade. I even did some tests on a spare piece of toe kick trim.

stain test board

After weeks of sanding and not getting very far I was starting to lose faith. I had been strongly opposed to painting the cabinets white - one, because everyone else is doing it, and two, because I wanted to see the wood grain. But I had to be realistic and admit that sanding/staining wasn't going to happen. Since the countertops are so dark and there is no window in the room, it really did need to be lightened up.

So full steam ahead with the white paint. We used Benjamin Moore Fresh Start Primer (two coats) and Benjamin Moore Advance paint in pearl finish (3 coats). They dry slowly, giving them time to self-level and produce a nice, flat surface. We didn't have them tinted, just used them straight out of the can. For reference, the BM Advance's white is slightly more yellow than the Behr Premium Plus Ultra paint & primer's white.

benjamin moore paint and primer

I would set up 2 or 3 doors at a time in the dining room, paint them in the morning before work, flip them when I got home and paint the other side, then start all over again the next day. It took nearly a week to do each set.

kitchen cabinets white paint

We sped up the process a bit by taking 15 doors to Tom's work and painting them over the Easter weekend. I'm not sure we slept at all that weekend, trying to hit those minimum drying times.

We chose door hardware from the Threshold line at Target. The handles have a nautical feel with the raised detail giving the look of a boat cleat. We bought matching cup pulls for the drawers, also from Target.

white cabinets brushed nickel handles

white cabinets brushed nickel cup pulls

The final item on the kitchen to-do list was the backsplash. It isn't tiled, or merely painted, I think the previous owners used plaster and a stencil to make a faux tile pattern. It was painted yellow with a darker glaze on top. We were really stumped on what to do because removing it would probably mean drywalling again, but can you tile over such an uneven surface?

When we were at the tile store picking out tile for the bathroom, we looked at tile for the kitchen as well. Even with the help of the sales staff, we came to the conclusion that no tile (except white subway tile which Tom didn't like at all) was going to match the dark countertop. We spent a week entertaining the idea of putting in a new one, but Tom wanted an undermount sink and you can't do that with laminate, so it was going to be pricey. Putting that kind of money into this kitchen just isn't worth it.

kitchen cabinets white paint

So one night while Tom was out I painted it white. This is where I found out the difference between the Behr white and the Benjamin Moore white. I could definitely notice the difference and it just looked odd, like the cabinets were dirty. Luckily, we had just enough cabinet paint left over to do one coat. You can still see the "tile" detail on the backsplash, but it's subtle now.

painted backsplash before and after

We also replaced the appliances. Not all at once, because it took us just as long to pick out a stove and refrigerator as it does everything else. We replaced the dishwasher soon after we moved in, then the stove last spring, the microwave at Christmas, and finally the refrigerator in July. The stove is a GE from Home Depot and the refrigerator is an LG from Lowe's.

kitchen cabinets white paint

We installed under-cabinet lighting from Ikea to brighten the room even more. These lights are neat in that they come in sets of four that snap together, so you can configure them however you want. We put three pieces along the longer counters and one under the cabinets on each side of the stove. We swapped out the standard plug for a flat plug, and Tom added an on/off switch so they're easier to, well, turn on and off.

kitchen cabinets white paint

Here is one more before and after so you can get the full effect:

kitchen makeover before and after

And the view from the other side with the pantry and mini dining room.

kitchen cabinets white paint

I'm so glad we went with the white! It just blows my mind how much better everything looks, and how much brighter it is.

kitchen cabinets white paint

kitchen cabinets white paint

kitchen cabinets white paint






27 comments:

Barb said...

That IS a fabulous kitchen now! Well done! =)

Angela Conley said...

White kitchens should be a must for those with no windows and/or small space. Yours is a great example of how much it can transform a kitchen! It looks great now and so light and bright! I bet that new frig is fun too! Great job!

Barb said...

I love the way it turned out! It's so light and bright now. I'm still amazed at what a difference a little bit of paint and new hardware can do.

Barb said...

I love the redo!! It looks so good!

Barb said...

It looks amazing!! Stopping by from Someday Crafts and your newest follower!


xo, amy | www.theblissfulbee.com

Barb said...

I love your kitchen makeover! We are about to do the same to our kitchen in our new house but we are painting over oak cabinets. I'm looking forward to seeing the final result! Coming by from the Salt Tree Social. New follower here!


Emily www.lovepastatoolbelt.com

Barb said...

Absolutely beautiful. I have a really nice new kitchen, but I'm still jealous of yours. Wow!

Barb said...

I am in love with your makeover! I love how bright it is!! You did an amazing job! Thanks for sharing with us at Thursdays Temptation. I am featuring this at tonight's link party!
Jill

Barb said...

Thanks, Jill!

Barb said...

Thanks, Jill. I took a peek at your website - love what you do! (And yay, Canada!)

Barb said...

Thanks, Emily. I look forward to seeing what you do!

Barb said...

Thanks, Amy!

Barb said...

Thank you!

Barb said...

Thank you!

Barb said...

Fun isn't it? Fortunately, When you host a party, I think the host is the only one that notices how bad the kitchen looks!

Barb said...

Thank you!

Barb said...

Thanks!

Barb said...

Wow! What an absolutely fabulous makeover. Are you sure it's the same kitchen and you are not just trying to pull the wool over our eyes? LOL Kitchens are always a lot of hard work, but they are worth it, as they are the heart of the home. Great work, Barb.

Barb said...

Thank you so much!

Barb said...

Barb, Where did you get your under cabinet lighting? I want to add it to my kitchen, but they are so expensive.

Barb said...

Hi Mel,

The lighting is from Ikea - it's the Dioder line - http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/20119418/

They are about $30 per set of 4 strips. We used two sets to do all of the cabinets in the kitchen. They are pretty easy to install - my husband did it all himself - including adding an on/off switch that mounts to the backsplash.

Barb said...

Thank you - it was a long time coming!

Barb said...

Wow! Beautiful. So much lighter and brighter and happier feeling! I love how it came out!

Barb said...

It looks great. We in the process of redoing our kitchen. Started...2 months ago, I think. I'm losing my mind! Half of it is still ripped out and we host Thanksgiving in two months lol.

Barb said...

BEAUTIFUL job. It looks great!! I'd love if you'd link up to The DIY'ers! http://homecomingmn.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-diyers-31.html

Barb said...

It's fabulous! Talk about a complete overhaul. Although it took you almost a year, you totally nailed it, Barb. Your kitchen looks brighter and happier, congrats. =) Arthur @ http://contractorexpress.com/about_contractors_long_island.php

Barb said...

Thank you! It definitely has made us happier!

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