Friday, January 29, 2010

Kitchen Remodel - Part IX

Alright, here's where it gets downright exciting. Well, for us anyways. On MLK Day, I had the day off work. So, naturally, I spent the day doing home improvement. It was time to finally tackle the pesky kitchen cabinet doors with a paintbrush!

Before the painting commenced, though, Tom had a job I had designated him to do. Since our cabinets are seriously fossils, if not antiques (roughly 40-50 years old we are guessing..), they were a little worn down and beaten up. For the most part, the new hinges we were going to install would fix everything. But the drawers were a different story. Of the 4 drawers we have in our kitchen, 3 of them were broken. So Tom grabbed a flashlight and went Sherlock Holmes on them.

Anyways, after tightening a few screws, hammering in a few new ones, hammering the tracks and wheels for good measure, and a little WD-40, they were as good as... well, let's just say they worked. Since we had thought they were a lost cause to begin with, yes - we DID do the happy dance when we pulled on them and they came sliding out!

Isn't that hardware just purdy?!
After those were all fixed, it was time to let the painting begin!

First I created a work area, ensuring that I had appropriate lighting and enough space to move around in.

After spreading around trash bags, newspaper, and a canvas dropcloth to ensure floors didn't get paint on them, I proceeded to remove all the old hardware from the doors (before taking the doors down from the cabinets, I had inspected them to see if I needed to label where they were located for rehanging later. Luckily, every single door is a different size - and each had holes to show which side of the cabinet they went on.)

Luckily for us, there was no finish left on the doors - it had worn off over the past 50 years. So I skipped the sanding and proceeded to the next step: cleaning. I used a TSP substitute solution to get off any more grit and grime that was left on the doors (there had been quite a bit when we bought the house! Ew.).

Next came the hard work and the time intensive part. It took me 4 hours to put on one coat of paint on all the doors. So, I painted... one coat of primer... two coats of paint = 12 hours. Of course there were a few doors that needed a 4th coat - go figure. My advice: if you are painting old wood, go with two coats of primer for less bleed-through. Ah, live and learn.

So after 4 days of painting (starting after work until 10pm every night), these babies were dry and ready to be rehung!

Of course, we ran into an obstacle: the doors were completely stuck to the newspaper/dropcloth, and when we tried to pry them off, the paint came off. Oops.

So, we took a razor and scored along the sides of the cabinet, where we wanted the door to come off of the newspaper/dropcloth. This worked really well, and we ended up with mostly really clean lines of paint on the sides of the doors (and no drips from painting with this method).
Of course, we were left with a bit of newspaper on the backs of the doors...

... but nobody's gonna see the inside of the doors... right?
So, since hardware has changed in the past 40-or-so years, we bought the closest hinges we could find that were similar to our old ones. However, Tom still had to drill some new holes...

which he did... very, very carefully.

Then we just screwed in the new knobs and drawer pulls, and ta-da! Our new kitchen cabinets.
But before I do the big reveal, let's jump back in time (in March) of what our kitchen looked like the day we bought it:

Kitchen Before:

And our Kitchen Now:

It's really quite amazing. Painting the cabinets worked wonders and changed the whole feeling and personality of our kitchen! We love it, and are still in awe at how different our kitchen is now. It's like we have a whole new one.


  1. The cabinets look amazing. Thanks for visiting. Have a great day!

  2. I absolutely love the kitchen! It looks nothing like it did when we were there, except for the beautiful floor, of course. The colors looks so good with the floor, and really make your appliances look top dollar, and rightly so! Can't wait to see what the granite tile counters will do for the over all feel and look of the kitchen. What have you decided to do above the fridge?
    The new pendant light really shows up now with the lighter colors. As does the new fan and light. Very clean, crisp lines to it all.
    The wine rack above the microwave will be a nice touch, and easy to do. You guys have done an amazing job on your old fossil. My hat's off to both of you. And Barley's very important job as overseer is not to be forgotten. =)
    Mom C.

  3. Thanks so much for the wonderful comments! I'm glad you guys like the kitchen as much as we do. We can't wait to see the final result!

    Mom (aka, Debbie) - above the fridge we are going to put in a open cubby, where one day hopefully we can put our cookbooks.

    Thanks! :)
    - Chelsea

  4. Great job, kids!
    Dad C

  5. Your mom and I think you should paint the inside of the doors,,I think the kitchen looks great! Dad C

  6. Thanks, Dad. :) Yes, we will probably paint them sooner or later... but they work for now! We are currently starting on the living room, and then we will start the kitchen countertops over Tom's spring break.

  7. I found you over at RMS! Your kitchen is looking awesome!

  8. Isn't it fantastic what a difference some paint can do for cabinets in a kitchen? I just heart when individuals use the paint option over purchasing all new... it gives it such a warm feel, and transforms the space on such a small budget! Hats off to you guys!

  9. Thanks! It was a pain to do, but turned out great! :)

  10. Wow! It looks great! You give me hope that I can buy an old home (which is my dream) and not have to completely gut the kitchen right away - and that it can look fantastic while you wait for the kitchen of your dreams! Great, great job!

  11. Thanks so much, Sarah! It makes me feel good to know that I can give a little hope to some people about their own possible future projects. ;) Thanks for stopping by!
    - Chelsea

  12. I love love love white cabinets!! Looks fantastic!

  13. i know this is an old project, but it looks SO good that I had to leave a comment! I can't believe how amazing the kitchen looks and all the work that you guys put into it. we are trying to decide what to do with our kitchen right now so I've been checking out what you guys did. you and tom are incredible!! love it!

  14. Thanks so much, Anne! Our kitchen has certainly been a true labor of love! Our goal was to completely transform the space while keeping the kitchen's in-character with the rest of the house (so it doesn't look out of place), on a serious budget. I'm glad you guys like it! Feel free to ask us any questions about what we did, too. I can't wait to see what you guys decide to do on yours!



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