Apr 30 2013

In the planning stages of redoing our kitchen

Our current kitchen, sorta. But now, visually add chipped counters. Oh, and random counter top clutter.

There’s nothing like a baby on the way to make house projects seem way urgent, amirite?

Our eyesore of a kitchen has been on our to-fix list pretty much since we bought the house in 2011.

The cheap white laminate counters were stain magnets and icky, so we tried the Giani Granite paint, thinking that hey if we could get a good solution for $100 it would be worth a shot. Well, our counter paint didn’t cure worth a darn and is peeling all over the place. Ok then!

Despite the failed experiment, I am glad we went that route. For one thing, we thought we might want a darker, patterned counter. Turns out, that’s NOT what we want for the long-term. It hides messes a little too well, and I accidentally touch little drops of jelly or applesauce or things that splattered on the counter but went unnoticed during clean-up. Ugh. I think for our kitchen, a lighter palate is what we want.

We haven’t gotten around to painting the walls yet, because we wanted a color that will go well with our new counters. Still, I think it would be worth at least priming them in a light color asap while we look at color samples for other things.

Our wish list includes:

  • New light fixtures for above the island and table (and I want to do this FIRST so that I can have a better sense of how the light will look. Then I can make a more informed decision on paint colors).
  • Paint the walls. Toning it down supermuch. Bye, bold red. Thinking something light and neutral.
  • New cabinets. This wasn’t in the original plan, but as we’ve been here and used the thermafoil cabinets regularly, we’ve seen that these just will not hold up. We’d like cabinets that are taller than the current 30″ and are made with better materials than sawdust+glue with a sticker on it.
  • Counters. I would love solid surface counters and I hope we can swing it. If not, a nicer grade laminate ought to suffice. Not loving granite, so it’s between those two.
  • New sink (perhaps undermount, or even a solid surface one so it’s all integrated)
  • New faucet. Something taller than what we have now
  • Maybe tile backsplash?

I’ve obtained quotes from kitchen companies, and ow ow ow the price! It would be great if I could just give a company my wish list and have them go to town on it, and have it not cost a small fortune. But alas. They want a small fortune.

So, the light fixtures we’ll buy ourselves and maybe pay an electrician to install, or maybe DIY…I dunno. Electricity sort of scares me, even though I know how to use the circuit breaker.

We will paint. And paint and paint. The ceiling, the walls will need primed and painted a lot, likely, and the trim since there’s red drips on that.

The cabinets? Yeah I dunno about installing cabinets. Shane did the one in our laundry room, but it was one. I’m trying to find a good deal on cabinets. I have seen some great prices online, but I’m sort of unsure about buying from an online retailer. I know we can hire someone to do the actual installation. Maybe we can handle at least part of the demo to save money there. We might use some of those cabinets in our garage for storage, and the rest of them in decent shape we can donate to Habitat for Humanity.

I wish we had the kind of cabinets that we could just paint, and they would look great. But these are the kind that would not take to paint well at all. And oddly enough, I’m sort of considering white cabinets again. I like the overall effect. We may still go a stained wood route, but I dunno.

Would love to hear from someone who has purchased cabinets from an online retailer — either RTA or pre-assembled. The price is just shockingly less, but it’s like…is that one of those too good to be true sort of things? Or are they just cutting out overhead? I’d hate to spend $2-3k on cabinets, and have them not work out and then have to spend gobs more on top of that to have a functional kitchen.

I’ve obtained a few quotes on counters, and it looks like my best bet is from a solid surface counter fabricator in the city. No overhead, so the price is better. Their price includes a sink.

We can probably in theory install back splash tile ourselves. Yeah? I guess?

My husband really doesn’t have a lot of free time to devote to kitchen labor, and we don’t want him to take time off of work to do it. Would rather save those days for an actual vacation, or for when the baby comes. So we’d like to strike a good balance of projects we can handle ourselves, with saving money and not spending an obscene amount, and with getting the kitchen we want.



3 Responses to “In the planning stages of redoing our kitchen”

  1. You can so totally do this!!! My husband and I redid our first kitchen with no previous experience. The most important thing about hanging cabinets is to make sure they are level, and attached to studs. The only thing I would NOT DIY is the counter tops. Young House Love blog has some awesome tutorials on tiling the backsplash. Have you looked at prefab cabinets at the big box stores? They have affordable options as well, and you can see exactly what you are getting. Good luck!! Looking forward to the reveal. I know it will be great!!

  2. Your cabinets looks good to me, but perhaps I’m not seeing them they way you see them. About 6 years ago we tore out our old kitchen and redid the whole thing. New flooring, new lights (and a ceiling fan which I’m really pleased with). Hubby also moved our double ovens to a different wall which ended up giving me gobs of counter space. He is a really handy guy and not afraid to tackle anything if it saves us money. And; according to him, doing wiring is way easier than plumbing any day. I did pay to have someone else install my new countertop but it was included in the price of the counter. Best decision of my life.

  3. There are places where the white is chipping and you can see the brown particle board underneath. Ugly! And there are other areas where it’s starting to happen. It’s only a matter of time before it all falls apart, so we figured it’s worth changing the cabinets now since we have to change the counters too. :/

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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