The people we bought our house from had done some work to the kitchen. I appreciated this but never felt like the flow worked really well. The refrigerator was right inside the doorway to the kitchen on the left with a wall cabinet on the right. This made for a cramped, tight squeeze. Here’s a pic to show what I mean.
The counters were granite but they were tiles not a a slab. The grout was really dirty and the tiles showed every smudge.
The cabinets themselves were in pretty good shape and replacing them wasn’t in our budget. However, the paint was chipping and peeling in many spots.
The one thing we really needed was more storage. With a family of 8, I was really missing having a pantry. I started brainstorming to think of ways we could reconfigure the kitchen ourselves on a small budget. Here are a few more pics to show what we started with. Please excuse the messy cabinets. We had already removed a lot of the doors to paint.
We finally decided that we would cut out an opening in the wall that the fridge was on and frame in a box for the fridge to recess into. We would removes the bar and extend the the wall out a bit and create a pantry next to the refrigerator. This would give me an additional 3 feet of floor space which would allow for an island to make up for the lost counter space. We decided to paint the cabinets and create faux butcher block counters using the same table tops from Lowes that we used in our bathroom remodel. I really liked the backsplash so we wanted to keep that.
I started by sanding down the cabinets and doors. This was a royal pain but we felt it was necessary. We used the electric sander on the door and drawer fronts and I did the cabinet bases by hand with good old sandpaper. Thankfully, my oldest was around to help 🙂
We decided to splurge and purchase a paint sprayer to paint the cabinet doors. We bought the HomeRight C800766 Finish Max Fine Finish Sprayer and I highly recommend it! It was a lifesaver and I wish we had gotten one years ago! It made it so much easier and it will come in handy when we re-stain the deck in the spring!
I decided on a blueish gray color. I didn’t want anything too dark but the off white that the cabinets had been was too light, It showed every little speck and splatter.
WhileIi worked on that, my awesome hubby started on the wall cutout. First he tore off the older countertops and pulled up the bar. We saved one of the cabinets to re-use as our island base.
He then started knocking out the hole for the new addition.
This is when it tarted to get a little chaotic.
While he worked on the framing, I started on the island. As I said, we used one of the old cabinets as a base. I screwed a wood base onto the top of the cabinet with about a foot hang over on each side. I still wanted a place for the little kids to sit so I made sure there was enough of an overhang for a stool on each end of the island.
We put a piece of cement board on top of that as a base for tile. Since the butcher block is not super heat resistant, I wanted a counter that I I could put hot dishes on and tile was an easy, economical choice. We chose 12×25 tiles to reduce the number of grout lines.
My hubby is amazing and he worked on the kitchen every free minute he had. By the end of day 3, he had the new addition framed, dry walled and painted. He made shelves for the pantry out of strips of wood and plywood. At 3 feet by 2 1/2 feet, the pantry gives me so much storage!
I took on the faux butcher block counters. We again used the pre-cut table tops from Lowes. We paid about $85 for the tops and another $15 for trim pieces. MUCH cheaper than new granite or even laminate. I wanted them darker so I stained them a dark walnut color.
After much research, we decided to use a regular clear coat on the top of the counters. Some sites said to use a “food safe” sealer but I found a lot of info saying that as long as you aren’t cutting on the counters (which we don’t plan on doing), regular clear coat was fine. I ended up putting on 4 coats.
I wanted new oil rubbed bronze hardware to go with the wood so I sold our old hardware and found a GREAT deal online on hinges and pulls. I got 15 Cabinet Pulls, 6 Cabinet Cup Pulls and 16 hinges for $52! If you’ve priced hardware lately, you know what a deal this was! The cup pulls alone were $3.99 a piece at Lowes. We changed out the hardware, glued down the new counters and installed a folding door on the new pantry. After a lot of hard work and aching muscles, we were done. Here’s the finished product!
I absolutely LOVE it! Recessing the refrigerator made a huge difference. It feels so much bigger and I have a ton of new storage. The corner with the fridge is no longer crowded.
The counters turned out really nice and they are so much easier to clean.
I’m also really happy with how the island turned out. I used remnants of a few pallets we had left over from our pallet wall project as well of pieces of plywood cut into strips.
Since I took these pictures, I painted the bar stools a burgundy color. It adds a nice pop of color to the kitchen.
My brother made this wall cling for above the pantry.
Here are a few more pics.
Forgot to mention, we did a temp patch of the floors using stained plywood cut into strips. We plan on replacing the floors eventually so we didn’t want to spend a lot of money on something that would get torn back up. It actually blends in better now that I have clear coated it. The dining area feels so much bigger with the island gone.
The only thing we want to do is take out the yucky florescent light and replace it with a small ceiling fan with light.
In all we spent about $590 total, including: paint, hardware, tile, grout, wood, drywall, nails, stain, tabletops for counter, pantry door, and misc odds and ends. Not bad for a kitchen redo!
This post ended up being really long! If you stuck it out, thanks!
Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda