Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Kitchen remodel: Before and after

This is no DIY blog, but our kitchen remodel is finally finished and I feel the need to document the process and share before and after pictures.  The pictures are not of the highest quality, but you get the idea.


We sanded, deglossed, and painted the cabinets and shelves.  At first I picked a white that had a little too much yellow in it.  After one coat was on I biked to Home Depot to new paint (Decorator's White).  I debated leaving it the yellow-ish color, but I made the switch.  It looks much better now that is a more true white.


We pulled off the yellow laminate and then followed these instructions for making concrete counters.  If I could do it over again I would have either stained the counters a darker grey (maybe even all the way to black) or gone a completely different direction.  Even so, it is such a huge improvement over what it used to be.  Bonus: it cost less than $100.


After weeks of discussions over what tile to pick, we finally agreed on a traditional black and white pattern.  It is not what I had originally envisioned, but we both like it and it looks good in our space.

Other Updates

We installed new hardware, a new faucet, and put a new coat of epoxy on the range hood.

Unrelated to this remodel, but here are two of my favorite kitchen projects Neil completed soon after we moved in: built-in spice rack and custom pot rack


These are rough numbers since I don't have the receipts in front of me, but I tried to over rather than underestimate when in doubt.  We used Ebates and Cardpool to get discounts online, shopped at the local Habitat ReStore when we could, and used some items we had around the house from previous projects.  Here's the breakdown:

Counters (concrete, sandpaper, sealer): 100
Cabinets (sandpaper, deglosser, one can of primer two cans of paint, hardware, paint brushes): 150
Tile (tile, grout, sealer, thinset, tools): 270
Faucet: 200*
Miscellaneous (epoxy for hood, new outlet covers, caulk x2): 30
Total: $750 (or less)

Not bad for a complete kitchen makeover! 

*In retrospect, we should have not have spent so much on the faucet.  It was almost a third of our total cost, which seems crazy.  A week after we got it, Neil and I both looked at each other and said, "Can you believe we spent that much on a faucet?!"  It was out of character for us.  I will say it is so much nicer to wash dishes using the new faucet with all of its fancy features.  Was it worth $200?  Not sure.  But I am sure we are enjoying it.


We started this project at the beginning of June and finally finished it up at the end of September.  Neither of us thought it would take so long, but that is the way of DIY projects.  The low-point happened when Neil wasn't able to get the sink reinstalled before HP and I returned from a trip to Missouri.  Five days of washing dishes in the bathroom sink was five days too long.

I am proud to report that we cooked meals at home throughout the whole process.  Sometimes our meals were prepared without a sink and with the stove in the middle of room, but we made it work, because who can afford take-out for months on end?

Next Project

The bathroom.  We demoed the walls this weekend and ordered all of our supplies.  In fact, some of the tile arrived at our doorstep while I was writing this post.  There is significantly more urgency to complete this project since we are without a shower until it is finished.  Neil can shower at work and HP can bathe in the kitchen sink.  I, however, am imposing on the hospitality of some friends in the neighborhood, showering at the Y, and/or going longer than usual between showers.

I will be one happy lady when all of the major house projects are complete.  Maybe by the end of the year?  That's the dream, anyway.


  1. Looks so great! And I can't wait to see what y'all do in the bathroom.

    Also this cracked me up: "I, however, am imposing on the hospitality of some friends in the neighborhood, showering at the Y, and/or going longer than usual between showers."

    I go a really long time between showers anyway. :)

  2. I am so impressed with the final project. I believe a big glass of wine is in order! Cheers.

  3. It looks great, and I'm totally impressed that you did all that for so little money! We just replaced our kitchen faucet as well, and I was shocked at how expensive they are!

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