I am finally getting around to organizing this post on updating my 1980’s kitchen. The post has taken longer than the actual update! It is long and picture heavy, so be forewarned. Our home was completed in 1987 and has served us well but several areas are in need of a major update. I keep things a LONG time before changing them, then suddenly they are driving me crazy. Such was the case with the kitchen. I’ll show you the finished project, then go back through some of the steps.
I still would like to replace the barstools but have yet to find what I have in mind. I found three English antique stools in an antique store but I didn’t purchase them because I need four.I also ordered some from Restoration Hardware but when I received them they were overpowering for the space so I returned them. Below is a shot from the other side of the peninsula.
Below is the same view before the re-do.
It was not that dark in the day time, but you get the idea. As you can see in the photo above, I had dark cabinets, dark appliances, and carpet with a rug. I know that carpet in the kitchen causes many people to cringe. I actually like it. If you spill something, you clean it up just like you would any other floor. If you spend a lot of time on your feet in the kitchen, it is very soft and easy on the feet. Out of more than 20 years and many, many meals with lots of children, we never had a stain that didn’t come out and the carpet was only replaced one time after the first 19 years! Nevertheless, the first thing we did was install hardwood floors.
Because I wanted my kids to experience the satisfaction of a DIY project, we installed the flooring during the last week of their Christmas break before they went back to college. I purchased the wider oak flooring from Home Depot and stacked it out of sight in the living room for several weeks before the install to let it acclimate to the humidity level in our home. This is a VERY IMPORTANT step. (The professional installer did not do this at our summer cottage and he got to come back and pull up the floors and install new ones!) Because wood expands and contracts due to humidity, I cannot overstate how important this step is. We began by taking up the carpet from the end of the peninsula to the back door leading to the garage.
The subfloor was in good condition except for one spot under the refrigerator which was quickly replaced with new plywood. I also updated the baseboards, doors, and crown molding with white paint. It took 5 coats, 2 coats of primer and 3 coats of paint to cover the stained wood! That alone made a big difference.
The floor install was very quick and pretty easy. We have an electric miter saw that was used for the cuts and rented a flooring nailer from Home Depot for 24 hours. We laid the flooring out in our
living room staging area by length so that we could quickly choose a board in a comparable length so few cuts were made. The trickiest part was using a table saw to cut a transition strip into the dining room which is slightly lower than the new flooring because we already had hardwood in the front of the house which does not have 2 layers of subflooring. The only way to make them level was to remove one layer of subflooring in the kitchen area and I did not want to do that. I simply used trial and error to get the transition strip and it turned out great. I did hire a professional to finish the floors and was pleased with the outcome.
The next step was the cabinets. I would not recommend that anyone without some DIY experience try this. Not that I am a professional, but I would not want anyone to get injured. I had given a lot of thought to this step before starting so that I would not get hurt but still ended up calling in reinforcement! I don’t have photos but I put supports under the cabinets over the peninsula and started removing them. I was doing fine until I came up on one nail (in addition to many, many screws) that was the size of a railroad spike. I could not get that thing out. I finally called my daddy to come help me. My call went something like this “Get over here quick and help me. I’ve got to get these cabinets torn out of here and hauled out of the house before the husband gets home from work and I am running out of time!!!” Let me clear the air before anyone jumps to conclusions!!! I don’t do anything that I don’t tell my husband about. Seriously. I have had friends who hide their shopping packages in the trunk of the car until the hub is gone to work, etc. I do not condone such activity. I have never wanted to teach my children to lie to their daddy or to their spouse. After 31 years of marriage my husband has total trust in me including my DIY projects and recycles of “junk” from the side of the road. However, he has no vision for my projects. He does not have one DIY bone in his body. Occasionally he provides some manpower to keep the peace and is often my “packmule” as he calls it on a shopping trip but he does not enjoy DIY projects. It is much less stressful for him if he doesn’t have to watch the gory details of a project coming together. Otherwise, he is always supportive and never complains about paying the bill since I am much more budget conscious than he is. Back to the story, Daddy was able to get the giant nail out and the rest is history! Next, I carefully removed the sheetrock soffit and repaired the ceiling. I was able to get the cabinets down without any damage to the countertops or to the floor. I was able to recycle these cabinets. I repurposed one set and put them in the laundry room. You can red about that here. I put the others in the garage.
Removing the upper cabinets really opened up the area. It doesn’t even look like the same house!
After removing the upper cabinets, I started the long and arduous task of painting the cabinets. Because the cabinets were stained inside and out, I wanted to lighten the inside too, so I painted the inside first. It took 4 coats, 2 of primer and 2 of paint. I used a roller to speed things along but it still took a while. I also worked in sections so that I didn’t have to empty every cabinet all at once.
The reality of DIY! Notice the hairdryer clipped to the drawer pull and hanging in front of the open cabinet. I used it to speed along the drying between coats of paint! Because all of the cabinets were structurally sound and I was not changing any of the layout, I chose to keep the cabinets and purchase new doors. The biggest reason I wanted new doors was to be able to use hidden hinges. The way that our original doors were made prevented me from being able to just change the hinges. I ordered the doors online from www.RawDoors.net .(I have never received compensation from any endorsement I have made on this blog. All opinions are mine and mine alone!) I was very happy with my purchase. The doors were well made, the prices were reasonable, the website was easy to use and the turnaround time was quick and the new hinges were included in the price! Just remember, measure 3 times and order once! Once you order them they are yours!
I did have to have one small cabinet made by a local cabinet maker to fill the gap left where the upper peninsula cabinets joined the wall. I ordered a door for this new cabinet to match the others. The local guy was also reasonably priced and quick with my little cabinet.
Because I am keeping the same old grasscloth wallpaper, I was also able to recycle a piece of wallpaper that came from the soffit area that I tore out and covered the new little gap that was left from the tear down area. And yes, I used the molding from the tear out area too.
I used a small sponge roller to paint the doors, all 38 of them! The doors also took a lot of time and several coats, 2 coats of primer, 2 coats of paint, a coat of stain that was quickly wiped off to age them, then a coat of a very thin wash to achieve the look I was going for. A total of 6 coats, on 38 doors!!!
I painted the doors in groups of 5 or 6 and actually by the time I finished 1 coat on all of them, they were usually dry enough that I could start the next coat.
The idea was to leave a little more stain in the cracks to accent the layers.
Because of all of the layers, the doors have an aged look and no two are identical. I also wanted to change the hardware from polished brass to antique bronze. Because I kept the existing drawer fronts, I had to find hardware that fit the existing holes that had been used. I didn’t want to use a wood filler and try to cover the existing holes. Of course, the standard has changed in hardware and the holes were 1/4 inch larger than most are now. I was able to find the correct size pulls online from www.knobs4less.com .Because they were an unusual size, I had to pay a little more for them but it was still considerably less than ordering 13 new drawer fronts.
Because my oven was more than 50 degrees off, I decided to replace it too. And, even though the convection microwave was still in excellent working condition, I was tired of it sitting on the counter and wanted to update to an over the stove model.
Moving the microwave freed up a lot of counter space and I absolutely love my new Samsung stove. You can read about my microwave oven purchase here and you can read about how I saved some money purchasing the other appliances here. As you can imagine, the black dishwasher had to go too!
I LOVE my Bosch dishwasher. It is still in good working condition and I didn’t want to spend the money to replace it. You can read about how I updated it for $50 here.
That was a BIG difference for $50!
I decided to replace my polished chrome faucet with an antique bronze one. I really like the serpentine shape of my old faucet and could only find a replacement of the same shape by shopping online. I think I found it on Amazon.I also replaced the little window lifts with new ones in an antique bronze finish.
Somewhere along the way, I added chalkboard inserts to the pantry doors. You can read about that little project here.
I also painted a little rug to catch water drops from the sink. You can read about that little project here.
Please ignore the fingerprints on the dishwasher! It really doesn’t usually look like that! Keeping fingerprints off the stainless appliances has not been an issue yet.
I added beadboard with the same finish as the cabinets to the bottom of the peninsula on the back side.
While this project involved a lot of work on my part and some costs were involved, the entire project was less than $8000 and that included the appliances. I did not purchase a professional grade 6 burner gas stove because we don’t have access to gas except in a container since we live in the middle of nowhere so I’ve never cooked with gas but the appliances that I chose have served us very well.
I also added under-cabinet lighting that I purchased at Lowe’s. The added lighting gives a lot of bang for the buck too! I chose to keep the existing countertops. They are European hand painted ceramic tiles which were a splurge when I put them in many years ago and I still like them and they are still in very good condition. Maybe I’ll put in granite in 20 more years!
The updated kitchen has certainly provided a breath of fresh air to our much loved and lived in home!
I hope that your are having a wonderful summer! I am looking forward to attending the Haven blogging conference in a few weeks.
Because this was such a big project, I’ll be linking to lots of parties. Click the links to see lots of wonderful inspiration!!
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
Homework Wednesday at Worthing Court
Amaze Me Monday at Dwellings - The Heart of Your Home
What’s It Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants
Tips, Tidbits, and Tutorials at Stone Gable
Hookin Up with House of Hepworths
Grace at Home at Imparting Grace
DIY Before & After Party at Fox Hollow Cottage
(the party listed above is a benefit for Habitat for Humanity!)