I am sure that by now you are aware that our house is full of partially completed projects (and certainly plenty of projects that have yet to be started). One project, refinishing the kitchen cabinets, has been plaguing our “To Do” list for months and I am happy to report has finally, officially been crossed off! Although there are still plenty more projects to tackle (in the kitchen alone), we are happy it is done and have started enjoying being in the kitchen. Once a flashback to the 1950’s it is now transforming into a modern country style kitchen.
It all started about a year and a half ago when we received our first city assessment. We were horrified to see that the assessment had dropped $13,000 since the previous year (especially since we’d already “modernized” rooms in the house). Well the 1st reason was clear, the economy overall went down, 2nd the assessor said that since we were in the middle of rebuilding a wall she had to base it on the current state not what the end result would be so we should finish up any projects before the next walk-thru and 3rd the last time the house was majorly renovated was when it was built (and had a finished basement instead of a partially demolished one — read about that here).
So we made a list of projects we wanted to have finished by the time the assessor came back to do another walk-thru and got going. The wall that was under construction was already finished and moving along with further renovations. We made both short and long term plans for the basement (see the project list here) but in the end we decided the kitchen should be our first priority. We began removing the layers of wallpaper, which was rather easy at first since the top layer was already peeling in areas, nevertheless when we got down to the third and final layer the battle began. We had been using a scorer, Dif wallpaper remover gel and scrapers up until this point but after weeks of trying to remove the backing of that final layer we were finally saved by my fathers steamer.( I would recommend a steamer to everyone, we have found it so useful. It not only was a lifesaver with removing the wallpaper, seriously I think we could have died trying to remove it the first way, but it has also come in handy with removing difficult stains around the house.) Once the wallpaper was finally removed and the wall washed and dried we got to painting. It took me a long time to decide what paint color to use (that was the only helpful thing about the length of time it took us to get to this point) but I finally decided on green and eventually we found a shade that suited us. Shortly after the walls were done we got going on the cabinets, we did a little research and found a great product called RustOleum which allowed us to refinish the cabinets ourselves for about $75 (the one nice thing about having a kitchen as small as ours is that we only needed 1 kit to do the all the cabinets and both window frames). We decided on a light shade for the cabinets to give the space a more open & fresh atmosphere, we chose RustOleum’s Linen color without the stain. We planned on the cabinets being completed during our 1 week of vacation so we moved all the contents of the kitchen into our second bedroom (which serves as the pet/workout room) and removed all the cabinet doors, well 3 weeks later we decided enough was enough, we could not live having to wash every dish/utensil before and after every time we ate. We decided that instead of trying to do every door/drawer before moving onto the next step that we would start doing 2-4 doors/ drawers at a time from start to finish. We started with the cabinet doors that hold the dishes and pots and pans and slowly started to move around the kitchen completing them one by one.
We hit a few snags along the way, snag #1 was getting the holes for the door to line up straight, I lost count of the number of times we puttied some of the doors. We were finally saved by a magical inexpensive tool called a cabinet installation template, fancy name I know. Snag #2 was an error on our part to thoroughly check our purchase. To save some money we purchased our pulls at a surplus store and saved at least half on the cost of the door/drawer pulls. There is always a catch however, this one happens to be that they do not sort the pulls rather simply throw them into different bins with no organization what-so-ever. Due to this we accidentally grabbed 18 pulls in one length and 7 pulls that turned out to be 1/4″ shorter. Once we finally realized what we had done it was to late to return them and we figured that now knowing this information it would be a lot easier to proceed. Thankfully due to some awesome placement choices you can’t even tell that there is a size difference. (Guess if you think you know!!!!) It took us a total of 10 months to complete but it’s finally finished and we could not be more thrilled!!!
The next step will be to put up the back-splash which is a green glass and brown stone tile. We have all the supplies and will get going on putting it up once all our dishes are finally all back in place. Eventually we will replace the flooring in every room of the house, but for the moment they are all serving their main purpose.