Sunday, January 3, 2010

Kitchen Renovation - Detailed

Warning: This post is extremely long, but it's well worth the read!
So how did this...

go to this?
Let's start from the beginning.

I really loved the look of dark wood cabinetry. When I bought this house, though, the cabinets above the stove were different from the cabinets above the sink. The ones above the sink were actually hand made by the first owners.
So I bought new hardware, a gallon of True Walnut paint, and went to town.

The problem? I was a rookie painter and decided to buy flat paint.....

You can't tell that well in this picture, but flat paint is basically impossible to clean. If you do manage to get food (or other things that fall on your cabinetry) off, you will also take off the paint. Had to learn that lesson the hard way....
I hadn't planned on redoing my kitchen. I had gotten so used to my kitchen that I really didn't notice how bad it was. Plus it had always been my favorite room of my house (when the cabinets didn't look terrible...)
Then one day I took a leisurely stroll through Menards (no kids, hehe), and found myself wandering through their set-up kitchens. That's when I fell in love! Beautiful white distressed detailed cabinetry.......that would take me 10 years to afford!

Not one to let a little setback stop me, I poked and prodded in that kitchen for nearly 45 minutes (getting a few giggles from the store ladies as I explained my cheap ways...) trying to figure out if I would be able to make them myself.
Then off to the Building section.
Yep! I sure can build this myself!

So I went home and drew up my plan.
First thing to do: Make a plate rack.
1. Take off the cabinet doors. Save the hardware (just in case!)
2. Mine had a partition in the middle. So I took that out.
3. Prime everything.
4. Add quarter round to the sides if you will be adding another shelf, like mine.
5. Measure the height of your plate rack. Add about 1/2 inch, then cut (you want extra to sit inside the holes you drilled.
6. Use a spade bit the same size as your dowel rods and drill holes where the dowels are to be placed. This is me working hard!
7. I alternated the spacing from the front dowel rods to the back dowel rods so that it would alternate big and little plates. Make sure you are painting as you go! You won't be able to paint anything after all the dowels are glued in! 8. Drill holes mirroring the bottom, on top. Put beads of glue in all the holes, and set the dowels in!
The small shelf made a perfect area for my grilling tools case.

Then, to make the cabinets look more custom, I decided to add a shelf above the plate rack.

Then I mounted it. This picture doesn't have the edge trim on it yet, so it looks terrible still.
See how the plates alternate?
I loved the new space in my cabinets. I wanted more of it!
So I needed to brainstorm ways to get things out of the cabinets (or at least organize them better...)

I came up with a mug rack!

I simply took a 1x4 (soooo cheap!), added trim around the edges, added pretty hooks, and mounted it to the ceiling.

I LOVE doing my own work (and my hubby loves that, too, hehe!), but once in a while, I need his help. My fingers were blistered. I hurt. So I asked him to tighten all the hooks for me.

"Hey Honey, I'm taking pictures to prove that you actually do work around here, haha"

"Shut up..."

hehe ;)

Here's all of that mess....
I decided to leave the backsplash as is, for the end of this post, I'm asking for your advice on whether or not to paint it.
That's what my countertop/stovetop looked like these past few weeks. Were you wondering why I haven't posted any recipes?

So on to the cabinet fronts themselves.
I love the look of glass-front cabinets. I decided to do that on top, and only add decorative trim on the bottoms.

Can you see how gross flat paint gets in a kitchen?! Don't worry, they were thoroughly cleaned and primed.

Haha, this one was actually a bottom cabinet, but I started cutting into it with my jig saw (thinking it was one of the top cabinets) when I realized my fatal mistake. Oops! So I had to patch that bugger up.
Moral: clearly label all your pieces if you do this!

I also wanted to start an herb garden in my window above the sink, so I needed shelves.

I bought 4 cheap wood brackets from Menards and 2 oval plaques from Walmart. I sawed the ovals in half, and began painting.

I'll show you how those turned out in a second.

I thought I was done.

I really wanted my island to function island! It's always been pushed up against the wall. So I took it out, added some stools that I had just sitting around in the basement.

Oopsie! My wine rack needs to be moved then!

Anyone more than an inch taller than me would have taken out all my wine glasses, hehe.
My rugs are drying on the stools in that picture. I had to Rug Doctor the crap out of them.
I REALLY should have Scotch Guarded them right after I bought them! Better late then never!

So let's get to the good stuff!

The entire paint job on the cabinets was inspired by the girls at Shanty2Chic. They do a smoke glaze to age every project that they do. They also distress edges with sandpaper. I LOVE how they do everything, so I wanted a piece of that action! I bought a technique glaze from Menards and tinted it with my True Walnut paint. Cost was around $15 (I believe....)
I used 1 gallon of Country White paint (also around $15).

See how it makes my old pulls pop? I added that trim, also. The total cost for all the cabinet trim was under $15. Dig for deals!

I love adding wooden accents to everything. It makes everything seem more custom.
Corner accents were put in around the built-in above my fridge. They made it look like a frame.
Did you catch a glimpse of the cherub? I found these cute little guys at Goodwill. $3 for the pair. I made them look like pillars holding up the built-in.
and the other...
Another awesome find at Goodwill: This wooden rooster thing. Only $1!
To keep cost down and to keep my kitchen personal, I kept my Mexican pendant light that my sister-in-law gave to me from her trip on her honeymoon. Pretty neat, huh?
I always liked the look of colored glass bottles used as vases on a windowsill. I've never found any that appealed to me. Then my husband started bringing home those free Coke glasses from McDonalds. Can't beat free, right?
I love an uncluttered windowsill <3 Also...I took down the valance on that window. It covered half of the window, and there's no valance out there that's only 3 inches deep. I played with the idea of having a bare window, but my husband vetoed that one. He likes the option of pulling blinds when he wants privacy. My solution was a wooden valance. This one's a bit pricey. $9.99 for an 8 foot, 4 1/2 inch wide Victorian baseboard. Though I did ask if they could cut the board....and the price, hehe. They wouldn't do it. Oh well! I'll use the long scrap for some other project, I'm sure!

See? It conceals the shade!To keep costs down, I kept most of the original hardware. Everything except a new doorknob for my pantry door. The other one was terrible! I liked that this one looks old...
I just want to show off this bicycle I scored at a garage sale about 2 years ago. It was in my kitchen before. I love it!
Okay, back on track.
As you know, I had to cut all the top cabinets. I added trim (just like the bottoms). I took my measurements and had all the glass cut.
$24 for all the glass! If anyone's from around my area, Esser's is the best place to go. He does all my projects. You can't beat his price!
Once the glass was installed, I noticed that I didn't like seeing everything inside. Until the kids are out of my house (and I can free up the space), I decided to frost the windows. $22. Ouch, that price sucks.

After all of this, I decided I still needed more room. I decided on some shelves on the side of my cabinet. It's a great place to store my cookbooks and recipe box.
I WILL be adding these same shelves to the other side of these cabinets, but my daughter's play kitchen is on that side, and you DO NOT touch the princess' kitchen! So in due time...
$30 for those puppies! More than I wanted to pay (I could have made shelves myself), but with the decorative edge, I couldn't pass it up. My mom always said "Do it right the first time or don't do it at all!"
That's my justification on that purchase!
Did you notice the legs in that picture?? That's a great way to add character to your cabinets. It makes it look like free-standing furniture!

And here's the mug rack...

I had the kitchen decorated for the holidays like this. I loved it!
I had a matching centerpiece on the shelf.
So I switched it out for a mantle clock when I started taking down my Christmas decor.
So now that you can see the cabinet/backsplash. Should I keep the backsplash stained (matching the floor) or paint it (to make it look like a hutch)?
Anyways, I told you that I moved my island to where it should be- in the middle of the kitchen.
But then I had to move the wine rack. Since it was being taken down, might as well paint it, right? So I gave it the same treatment as the cabinets, installed puck lights, then used my handy-dandy cricut to make some stencils.
I stamped out F.A.M.I.L.Y on one side...

and F.R.I.E.N.D.S on the other...
Too bad the stools are too tall for the island. Ooopsie!I'll take care of that soon with my new circular saw!

The object of one of my upcoming project: these pots.

You are just going to LOVE what I'm going to do with these!
And of kitchen is complete without fresh flowers in a lovely pitcher!

(sigh) I finally have the kitchen of my dreams. Somewhere to talk with my children about their days. Somewhere to stare out a window on a breezy day and hear the giggles of my kids as they play catch outside. Somewhere to make memories....
Total project cost= about $175! Now who can't afford that?! And if you buy a little every week, it makes this project even more budget-friendly!

Tips on cutting costs
1. Do all the labor yourself. Anyone can use power tools. If you're unsure of something, have an associate at your hardware store go through the process with you.
2. Make a plan. Some of my favorite parts of my kitchen (mug rack, valance, and side shelves, and moving the island) were unexpected, but at least get the skeleton of the project set. It'll save you time (and money!)
3. Shop around. I went to quite a few different places to get what I needed. Some of the wood, I already owned. I scoured Goodwill. Always get the best price!
4. Save exsisting hardware. Unless it's ugly, of course! Hey, hardware is expensive!
5. Shop your house. The stools were actually originally free, given to me by my mother, which she got for free. That's triple-free!
6. Paint goes a long way. Even if you don't have the time (or money...) to do this cheap remodel, a cheap gallon of paint can completely change your kitchen!
7. Most importantly, USE YOUR IMAGINATION! The cherubs being pillars, that's total and complete imagination in the works! Look outside the box!

Stay tuned! I have lots more goodies coming up for you!

-burlap pillow
-pillow accent
-herb garden
-framed jewelry

Shanty 2 Chic


  1. WOW!
    Holy... WOW!
    What a transformation.
    I can't even pick my favorite part.
    I bet you're just loving the kitchen!!!
    GREAT job.
    Can't wait to see the rest of your projects.


  2. Love what you did with your kitchen! I'm totally inspired and can't wait to plan my attack on my own kitchen. I think i would paint your back splash (not that it looks bad as is ;) just think it would look more finished. Can't wait to check out the rest of your blog. thanks for sharing!

  3. Wow, great job!! You inspire me to get back to work. I miss having a kitchen with paint cans and brushes as part of my decor :)

    My opinion on painting the backsplash is "DO IT". I think it would make your floor look more special and it would create the illusion of the whole area being one big built-in.

    Thanks for inspiring me :)

  4. This is totally incredible!!!!!!! You are definately Superwoman! :)
    I would paint the backsplah to make if a hutch, that would be cool!

  5. Just found your blog thru DIY show off. Amazing!!!!

  6. You did an awesome job. Your kitchen looks fantastic. You really made 175 dollars go a long way. Good for you!

  7. You ARE superwoman!!!!

    I want to inject some much needed love into my kitchen this year, so I'll be coming back for tips and ideas!! :D

    Thanks for sharing this beautifulli handmade kitchen!!! BTW, do paint the splashbacks... :)

    Happy New Year to you!!

  8. Soooo...when do you want to come over and get started on MY kitchen!?!?! LOL! :)

    Seriously though...awesome job! Like I said before, I can't wait to see it in person!

  9. WOW!! I love love love it. Definitely a follower now :) I think your backsplash would look really good painted the same way as your cabinets! My hubby and I just bought out 1st home and I have been re doing our kitchen but you have inspired me to do the glass cabinet doors. Just one question.. After you cut the opening and added the trim and got the glass cut to the right size, how did you attach the glass in there with out it falling out?? Does that make sense? Thanks so much!! Can't wait to see the rest of your projects :)

  10. Rachel-
    I used the same stuff that seals in regular windows.
    First--- Dry fit it to make sure it fits properly. I had to sand a little bit.
    Second--- Use hot glue to keep the window in place while you seal it. You don't need this step if your door is laying down (like it SHOULD be) but I already had them hung.
    Third--- use the sealant, edging it with a gloved (I just used a sandwich bag on my hand, lol!). I'm not sure what the sealant is actually called. My step dad had some for me. I know that it looks just like caulk though! So check by all the caulk in the store, maybe it would be there! If not, I'm sure caulk would work just fine for something like this.

    Hope that helps!!
    Happy Renovating!

  11. you and the hubby did a fantastic job.. I love your kitchen. I love the distressed shanty look of the cabinets... I love the shelf touches for more storage, your cute window cubby area, and that adorable hanging wine rack that says friends and family... super cute! you should be so proud!7

  12. P.S. i meant to add that i think the back splash, that i believe is bead board, would be super super cute in black like your brief case and clock that sit above it. It would bring out more of the black you have here and there. You could even distress the black back splash.. either way still great job, love it!

  13. Ooo! I never thought of doing black! How I might have to Photoshop the image in white, then black, just to see what everything would look like!

  14. Holy Moly Girlfriend! You did an AMAZING job. I especially love your wine rack, so stinkin cute! You did A LOT of work, and it looks fabulous! Honestly, how hard was painting the cabinets? I've really really wanted to paint mine, but I'm afraid it's going to be too hard and I'm going to want to quit half way through. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your new kitchen!!

  15. Heidi-
    First off, how's it going? I haven't talked to you in quite a while!
    Anyways, yes...the cabinets were a bit of a pain.
    I chopped the whole reno into little "mini" projects, so that kept me more sane.
    I.E.-Doing one cabinet door a day.
    Another way I stayed on track- write up a strict schedule. I had everything that I needed to do written on a timeline. I even included time for lunches and whatnot, lol.
    But ya know what? The windows are DEFINITELY the worst part! Making sure they don't stick, painting the window while closed, painting while open, etc.

  16. I love the new kitchen! Great use of space, $$$, and accessories! I love the island and hanging wine rack. And! like my own kitchen I've always loved having a window over my sink.

    Great post and the tips at the end are inspiring!

  17. Okay, so I am totally going to do the plate rack thingy, and the shelves on the end of the cabinets, and the glass in the doors. I have to go back through and see what else. Thanks for sharing. It looks fabulous.

    Jennie @ Cinnaberry Suite

  18. You did an AMAZING job!! Kudos to you for doing it yourself, too!! I would love to do something like that with mine. I know how much work goes into soemthing like that, so you done good, girl!! What an inspiration!!!

  19. Wow! I am stunned!! Wonderful work!

  20. WOW that looks amazing!! I was thinking of buying new cabinets but I may just have to give this a try! THANK YOU!

  21. Awesome, awesome, AWESOME transformation - and I can't believe you spent that little! You are so full of inspiring talent...thank you for sharing! You need to link this post to this weeks Make Your Monday on my blog... my readers would LOVE to see this!

  22. Your kitchen is absolutely incredible!!! I'm in LOVE! So I only have one request, I think you should take a picture of your NEW, FABULOUS, DIY kitchen back to your inspiration store to show them. They would trip over their tongues! Also, I vote that you stain the backsplash to match your cabinets. Thanks for sharing!
    God's blessings,
    Sarah :D

  23. Love,Love how your Kitchen turned out! You GO GIRL!!!
    BTW did you ever post pix of what you did with the terracotta pots by your window? I would love to check that out..


  24. I am just now finding this and I am loving all you did in this kitchen. It is beautiful. I am redoing my kitchen also and I adore all your finishing touches. Thanks for sharing this.


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