Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Kitchen Remodel

Happy Tuesday! I promised you I'd give you the details of our kitchen remodel, so today is the day that I come through on that promise! My hubby and I had a very full January and February this year. We tied the knot, took a wonderful honeymoon and then came home and basically threw ourselves into a kitchen remodel. I'm not sure why we decided this was the time for major home renovations, but regardless, we took the plunge. First, for a basic breakdown:

Helpful blogs that I referred to when updating the kitchen:

Supplies we purchased or used:
frog tape
exacto knife
4 2 x4's
electric sander (100 grit, 150 grit and 60 grit paper)
regular sand paper
2 saw horses
1 gallon Valspar semi gloss interior paint (color is called Papparazzi)
polycrylic- high gloss finish- water based
three sponge brushes
two cabinet rollers and paint trays
1 gallon of interior primer- Valspar brand
two regular bristle brushes
tons of paper towels
drop cloths
409 cleaner 
shark vac

money spent:
granite: $1,200
granite installation: $1,200 plus $240 for removal of old laminate
subway tiles: $110
subway tiles installation: $420
cabinet supplies (paint, primer, brushes, rollers, trays, drop cloths, tape, sand paper, polycrylic): $93
sink and installation: 175 plus 185
Grand total: $3,623.00
 Now, for some before photos:

Our first step was to hire a contractor for our back splash and counter tops. We did our research and shopped around. We didn't go with the lowest bid, we went with our instincts and chose the company who'd give us the best quality service. We also purchased our granite directly from a granite supplier, which has a couple of benefits: 1) it cuts out the middle man, which saves $$$ and 2) we got to keep the left over granite, so we have plenty left to re-do our master bathroom down the line, or sell it and get some money back!  Here's what the kitchen looked like at that point:

We are really happy with our granite choice. We think it has tons of variation and lots of interesting veins, lines and spots! The color is called "White Fantasy" but I am not sure that is a universal name for this stone. I wasn't able to find any other granite yards with anything called "White Fantasy" or with anything that looked similar at all.

At this stage, I was feeling a little skeptical of our back splash decision. I knew that subway tile was what I wanted, but we spent alot of time debating between a bright white tile, a soft ivory color and the darker neutral we ended up choosing. The color we chose is called Urban Putty 0161 by Rittenhouse. At this stage I was afraid the back splash color was very dull and too similar to our wall color, but I decided to just wait to see it all finished before making up my mind. Now that the professionals had finished their job, the real fun began! Here is the breakdown on how we refinished our kitchen cabinets:

Cabinet painting process:
Step 1:select a paint color 
Step 2:remove hardware and put into labeled baggies
Step 3:label doors using frog tape (this ended up being unnecessary)
Step 4:lay doors out in garage in two rows
Step 5:remove stuff from inside cabinets 
Step 6:sand everything using an electric sander
Step 7:sand edges and crevices by hand
Step 8:clean thoroughly using 409 and paper towels
Step 9:prime using bristle brush
Step 10:light sanding and cleaning
Step 11:coat 1 using roller
Step 12:light sanding and cleaning
Step 13:coat 2 using roller
Step 14:light sanding and cleaning
Step 15:touch up coat/coat 3 (we didn't need a full third coat everywhere)
Step 16:light sanding and cleaning
Step 17:Allow for plenty of dry time between coats
Step 18:apply clear polycrylic coat with sponge brush
Step 19:put doors back up 
Step 20:put knobs back on
Step 21:put rubber bumpers on inside corners of doors
Step 22:touch up spots that got dinged while being put back together
It literally took us days to decide which paint color to choose. Can you even tell the difference in this picture?! (FYI- We ended up going with the one on the right door because we thought it would match our appliances better).

Once we'd taken down the doors we realized that we were going to have to empty out all the cabinets to keep everything from getting too dusty.

Here's a peek of our dining room table loaded down with stuff from inside our cabinets!

After the kitchen was all cleared out, it was time to sand:

And prime:

And paint:

You'll notice we did all the steps for the top cabinets first before we even started on the bottom ones. This made it a little easier to handle the mess, because it was done in sections. Finally after about 4 weeks of work (keep in mind we both have full time jobs, so most work was done in the evenings or on weekends), our kitchen was put back together. We decided to use the same knobs that we already had to save money, but we still plan to distress them to give them an aged feel. They are currently a solid black color and I really like the way they pop against the white cabinets. We're also still planning to paint the walls, but we're having a hard time deciding on a color. Here are the after photos:

What do you guys think? Was it worth all the work? We sure think it was. Let me know if you have any ideas on wall colors because were torn between a light blue and a coffee color. Of course, if you've got any questions, I'll do my best to answer them! Thanks!



  1. Love the kitchen!! I think a brown would look nice, almost like a medium shade of tan. If that makes any sense... I keep staring at my lamp shade... It's a pretty medium tan:) I hope that helps!

    1. Thanks Valerie! I think we are starting to lean that way too. We have a medium brown dish towel that we keep holding up to the wall! Maybe I'll take it with me to the store so I can color match it!

  2. Hi Jesse, I just found your blog. I LOVE white cabinets. Your kitchen looks awesome!

    1. Hi Jennie! Welcome to my home, I'm so glad you found me! Thank you for the nice comment! We are still so happy with the way our cabinets turned out, and I'm happy to report that the paint has been very durable! No dings or scratches yet!

  3. Great makeover! We are in the process of re-doing our kitchen as well. It's not for the faint of heart!

    1. Thank you! Good luck with your kitchen! It will be beautiful!

  4. Wow...you guys did a great job! Your new kitchen looks great. Just reading all of those cabinet painting steps exhausted me! The color subway tile you chose is perfect!

    1. Thanks! It was pretty exhausting and time consuming but totally worth it in the end! I really love the white! :) And I'm glad you like our subway tile, sometimes I still wonder if we made the right choice!

    2. I love it. Your subway tile Rocks. I would like a shade of turquoise on your walls to perk up your room.


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