Friday, May 28, 2010

$100 Kitchen Makeover

Show me the Benjamin! While we have grand plans to gut and remodel the kitchen, we are running low on funds and time. When I approached Mike about my desire, no need, to paint the kitchen, he said absolutely no! When I told him I would only give myself $100 to spend on everything, he still said no, but I could tell I was wearing him down, and eventually he conceded. Although he couldn't understand why I would want to spend anytime on "something that we're just going to tear out." I knew I couldn't live, let alone cook, in the state of the kitchen of present.

Remember this beauty?




So the challenge was to improve functionality, modernize, and visually open up the kitchen with only $100. Easy Peazy. So me and my new friend Benjamin Franklin put our heads together and thought of the completely necessary tasks that needed to be done, (and some of the not so necessary, but oh-so-pretty things too). First, the dark "wood grain" laminate cabinets had to change. Not only are they nauseating, no matter how much I cleaned them, they still had a layer of grime that would not leave (and boy did I clean). What is a girl to do? Paint of course! A nice crisp white really cleaned them up and instantly made the kitchen seem 3 times larger. To be honest, simply painting the cabinets would have made the kitchen bearable for the next year or so while we saved up for our total kitchen remodel, but you know I couldn't stop there.

Next in the path of my paint brush was the dingy yellow painted embossed wallpaper. Removing and remediating whatever mess I found underneath wasn't in the budget or schedule so it was paint to the rescue once more. I chose a bluish-gray that worked with the color palette of the rest of the house and would set off the white cabinets.

The next color change were the counters. After seeing ads for laminate countertop paints I was excited to find out more. During a recent trip to Lowes I joyfully skipped to the paint isle looking for the countertop paint and almost cried when I saw the $250 price tag! Not only was it out of my budget (I could probably buy new laminate for that price!) it was way too involved and required more than 4 coats of various primers and polys. As I slowly retreated back to find Mike (and knowingly receive a "I told you so") a small can of Rust-Oleum Specialty Countertop Coating caught my eye, and for only $20 I almost let out a little burst of excitement. I skipped back to Mike with my own "I told you so!"

The next improvement was almost the sole reason Mike let me even entertain my idea. All the hardware was actually quite nice and must have been updated recently, but was placed in the center of doors. It probably doesn't sound that bad, but even the lower cabinets were in the center. This made it awkward to lean down and open the doors. It also made the point of pulling too close to the hinge, making it actually harder to open everything. By removing the hardware, filling the holes and redrilling them in the corners, this was a free improvement to the overall functionality of the kitchen. With some new hinges the cabinets were better than new.

And now for our most dramatic after to date (drumroll please)...






And for those wondering if I came under budget, let's do a quick breakdown:

Primer: Free (left over from other projects)
White Cabinet Paint: $25
"SW Gray Clouds" Wall Paint: $11
Cabinet Hardware: Free (inherited from previous owners)
Countertop Paint: $20
Hinges: $33

For a grand total of $89!

That leaves me $11 to buy accessories! Now to get my shop on!

33 comments:

  1. WOW! Benjamin Franklin would be proud! Great job.

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  2. Talk about stretching a dollar, your kitchen looks amazing, you go girl!!

    ~Kelly Girl

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  3. Love the finished product! can't wait to see the plans for the NEW kitchen!

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  4. Looks good Mike/Mal. Lots of hard work and it shows.

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  5. Lovely. Bright and airy, just what a kitchen should be!

    I admire your creativity......

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  6. OMG OMG you're on apartment therapy re-nest!!! http://www.re-nest.com/re-nest/kitchen/an-89-kitchen-makeover-our-first-nest-148380

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  7. Oh my gosh this IS MY KITCHEN. The before anyway...you've given me new inspiration that maybe I can do the same.

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  8. I found you on AT. Great work on the kitchen, it looks great!

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  9. That looks great! This may be a dumb question, but when you painted the cabinets, did you sand beforehand or did you prime and paint directly on top? I'd love to do this myself but can't be bothered to sand ALL my fronts. Thanks and keep up the great work!

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  10. Gel - I actually did both, I sanded a little and then primed the cabinets. To be honest, the sanding did very little, and I got a little lazy after doing a couple, so you could probably get away with just priming.

    Thanks for checking in and good luck!

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  11. What a beautiful transformation!

    I would be very interested in how the counter paint holds up. I hope you will post an update about that in the future.

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    1. Please do, I'm so interested as well! I might go for it anyways since there isn't much to lose and by the time it wears off I might actually be able to buy real counters! Great inspiration!

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    2. Littlelops - Thanks for stopping by! Here is my follow-up to the countertop paint about a year after I did it: http://our1stnest.blogspot.com/2011/06/countertop-cover-up.html.

      Like I said in the post, even though it's chipped a scratched in a couple places, I would still do it again, (and probably plan to in a darker color sooner or later). Good luck if you decide to tackle it!

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  12. which counter top paint did you go with?

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  13. amazing transformation...you worked magic!

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  14. yes - tell us about the counter paint. i never knew that was even an option!

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  15. It really is worth it--we did something similar in our kitchen and the payoff is amazing. However, just a word of warning for anyone who thinks this is a fairly quick project. Painting cabinets is very time consuming, even backbreaking if you're painting the interiors too. Think about it--you're not just painting a flat surface like a wall, you're painting grooves, and shelves, and undersides, and hard to reach corners, etc. It's a big project, so plan for the time and look forward to the payoff! Great job Mallory!

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  16. Please tell us more about the countertop paint! I'm dying to know how it works, what's involved, how it holds up, etc.!!!

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  17. I would LOVE to hear more about the countertop paint! Is it holding up well? what was the process?

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  18. Hi there! I found your blog on AT - you were featured on re-nest! WOW! A budget of $100 and still you managed to spend less! That is great!

    P.S. I am your newest follower! :)

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  19. That is an amazing renovation. Great job!

    How does the countertop paint hold up in terms of wear and tear? I'd love to paint my parents' kitchen counters, but it'll be a hard sell for my dad if it won't hold up to frequent use/abuse. Thanks!

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  20. Outstanding. Making a note of Rust-Oleum counter top paint.

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  21. I love your blog! I just bought my first place too but am definitely not as handy as you are.
    I'm wondering how you did the countertop paint? Did you just cover everything with plastic and spray it? Did you remove the sink?
    I'm hoping to do this over the weekend, do u think that's doable? Thanks for any info!!!

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  22. Ditto the wear and tear questions...

    Great little makeover. I have one to tackle also and you have inspired me!

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  23. What an amazing transformation! I followed your link from House*tweaking. I too have ugly cabinets and counters and we are saving up to gut/remodel. How long did it take to paint the cabinets? Did you paint the insides as well? I'm torn between taking the time to paint them just to tear them out in a year or so.
    Was it easy to paint the counters? Is that a stone/granite finish or just flat paint?

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  24. Lora - I'm glad you stopped by!

    The cabinets took some time to paint, probably a week or so. We still had an apartment for the first couple months after we bought our house so it was working after work everyday to get things done. I painted the insides of the cabinets also because they were the same brown as the outside and looked so dark and small, not to mention kinda dirty, (no matter how many times I cleaned them). The counters were pretty easy to paint and I would recommend the Rust-Oleum if you're only planning on keeping them for a year or two since ours are pretty beat up after a year of use. It has a satin finish to it so it's not really shiny like stone or granite.

    I hope this helps! I know for me, even knowing we were tearing everything out, I still am really glad I painted everything. I still hate my kitchen but definitely not as much now!

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  25. Mallory should I assume that you always use cutting boards? The counter painting seems like a great idea, but not sure if it would get in my food? Did you prime them first and then paint them?

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    1. A Pearl in The Making:

      I always use cutting boards and I never really place food directly on my counters, so I don't have any problem with the paint getting in food.

      The system I bought, (Rust-Oleam Specialty Countertop Coating), doesn't use a primer, just paint directly on clean, slightly sanded counters. Since we've beaten ours up pretty badly, I've decided I'm going to repaint them sometime in the next couple months or so, so check back if you want to see all the details!

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  26. I love the way your kitchen turned out! I have the exact same kitchen layout in my house!

    Did you paint the front/door of your dishwasher?
    The front of your dishwasher looked brighter in the After Photos & I was unable to tell if you painted it white or if its simply the lighting/newly painted cabinets that are brightening up the room in the photo. I'm planning to paint my cabinets white, but the front of my dishwasher is this aged cream color that I don't care for & haven't quite figured out what to do about it as of yet...
    I appreciate your blog & input! Keep up the fabulous work!

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    1. Thank you! Would you believe that you're the first person to notice the different dishwasher cover?! I'm going to tell you a secret that will blow your mind...I took the panel off and flipped it over! The front cover was cream and I took it off to see how I would paint/cut a new one, but the back was white so I didn't have to do anything.

      If you have the same type of dishwasher you should try it! If not, I found this epoxy from Rust-Oleum (http://www.rustoleum.com/CBGProduct.asp?pid=161). I've never seen it used, so if you try it definitely let me know, I'd be way too chicken to paint our appliances!

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    2. There are actually magnetic covers you can also use on the appliance, they even come in stainless steel. Here is a link for one for $44 on overstock:

      http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Appliance-Art-Instant-Stainless-Magnetic-Dishwasher-Cover/5677736/product.html?cid=144058&fp=F&TRACK=CSEPG&mr:referralID=68e9eefe-547b-11e1-b7d1-001b2166c62d

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    3. What a great solution!! I think that would have a nicer finish than painting would, and you can switch it out when you want to! Thanks for the link!

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