Kitchen update on a budget |For what it's worth

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Kitchen update on a budget

Updating the kitchen is by far the biggest and most rewarding of the whole home redo I knew it would be and quite affordable.  This is the story of how I did it with paint, sandpaper and time.
DIY update a kitchen on a budget
I started sanding the lower cabinets when
 I remembered I needed to take a before picture.  Here it is.
The dated old wallpaper border had to be removed first using  Zinsser DIF gel wallpaper stripper.  That product really sped the job up to less than an hours work for me.  Yea! The extreme heat and drought we've experienced in Texas the past several years caused the tape and bed tape to dry up in a number of areas along the ceiling and wall joints, so I used Dap Ultra Thin Drywall Joint Tape and some spackling paste to fix it.   I removed the damaged pieces with a box cutter, pressed the joint tape over the spot and covered with spackling past.  The spackling was pink and turned white when it was dry enough to sand and paint a coat of primer over it.  If I'd realized how easy it was, I'd have done it years ago!

I decided to paint the kitchen walls and ceiling the same off white color we used in the guest bathroom.  I like how it flows together and looks like a Starbucks Cappuccino.  Right before I got to the light fixtures I decided to spray paint them silver instead of replacing them.  That was a really quick and easy project.   I removed the glass globes and sprayed metallic silver paint onto the bases.  I gave it enough time to dry and finished painting the ceiling...painting right over the over spray.  Sounds lazy but I prefer to think of it as time management.  :-)  Amazing what a little detail like changing that ugly brass to silver makes.  I kept the bright white pantry and laundry room doors, as well as the baseboards.  They bounce the light from our huge 9' kitchen windows back into the room wonderfully.

The cabinet doors and drawers took several days.  Hubs removed the cabinet doors and lined them up (keeping them in order so we could easily know which doors go where).  The old finish was scraped, sanded and stained with three coats of Minwax PolyShades in the same Espresso Satin used in the guest bathroom.  I love how the near black color gave the kitchen a modern feel.  I salvaged the old cabinet hardware by first cleaning the handles in a vinegar bath then spray painted with a combination of hammered nickle and metallic silver paint.  At first I painted them with the metallic and didn't like how shiny and bright they looked.  I also didn't like the dullness of the hammered nickle by itself.  But I do like using just a little of the nickle to tone down the metallic by holding it farther away from the handles when spraying lightly.  I believe the contrast with the dark cabinets is a keeper.

Once the cabinets were completed the old white vent-a-hood looked awful.  I used the hammered nickle spray paint on a squeaky clean surface and copied the technique used on the cabinet handles in reverse with a light spray of metallic.  That was a project I should have done before painting the cabinets.  It took a lot of newspaper to tape off the counters, ceiling and floors before spraying, but it is done and looks great. (I used spray instead of a brush to avoid the brush strokes showing.)

Hubs installed a new kitchen faucet for me.  It turned out to be a much harder job than we anticipated.  The old faucet was severely corroded underneath and took a lot of hubby muscle to remove it.  Helpful hint *look twice to make sure you have the faucet facing the correct direction before it is tightened down.  Hubs don't like doing it twice... Thanks hubs.

Since working on the sink requires cleaning underneath, I took the opportunity to purge and organize.  Love the little door basket hubs made to hold foils and the rolling pin.

Kitchens are a big project to take on, but totally worth it.  We saved a lot of money salvaging and using the existing cabinetry.  We spent less than $100 on paint, cleaning and painting tools and the new faucet was under $50 on sale.  Maybe I'll see granite counter tops in the future.

You can see the "before" picture and the whole home redo project here.  You can also see how I added rope lighting above the cabinets like a girl here.

link up
Before and After Wednesday #4


  1. I love your darker cabinets and that shelf over the sink. great job!

  2. I really like the dark color too. It helped take the kitchen out of the 70's into the present.

  3. the cabinets look wonderful and I love love love the new faucet! Thanks for linking up with Twirl & Take a Bow!


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