While we were searching for a townhouse to buy, it was hard to wrap our interests around several of the ones we saw, whether it was a tiny kitchen, a large area but laid out in a way that most of it was unusable, or remodeled but in a way that didn’t suit our taste. When it came down to what it was we were both looking for we settled on pretty basic criteria: 2-3 bedroom since we needed an office because we both do a great deal of work at home, quiet neighborhood that was a reasonable driving distance to work, something well kept and if remodeled, done very well. THE ONE ended up being an un-remodeled unit BUT extremely well maintained so there wouldn’t be any rush or need to spend money up front after the purchase and most importantly had plenty of potential, because I knew no matter how hard we searched, there wasn’t going to be anything that fit what our ‘dream home’ would look like… initially. Which brings us to our first major project!
B and I are so eager to take a sledgehammer to this kitchen and start from scratch (mostly because I already know exactly how we’re going to redesign the entire thing and partially because we’re both pretty handy and love a challenge) but since we JUST bought the place and after the packing, unpacking, building furniture etc, we decided we should give ourselves a break and probably just live with the current kitchen and wait till spring or early summer of next year to start the renovation.
We made it through a few months of it being a time-warp to the 80s and finally I suggested that we give the kitchen a little facelift. B was open to the idea and after I did some research and digging through the internet, I told him that I bet I can put together a plan that will cost us only $200 to make this dull-dated kitchen look like it belonged in present day… and it was a success!
The process took several days and a lot of exhausting work but it’s made such a difference in the overall feel of our home. I started out with deep cleaning the entire kitchen and the appliances (always make sure you wear gloves when dealing with harsh cleaning chemicals and make sure you’ve got good airflow and in the house). After everything was clean and dried, B sealed and filled several imperfections in the existing countertop. When all of the filler was dried, sanded then primed the surface. For a quick minute I fell in love with the way the countertops looked matte black but that was only the beginning.
Armed with a tiny 2inch piece of sponge and some paints, I spent the next 6.5 hours stippling layers of paint in 4 different colours to give the counter dimension and that ‘stone’ look. After letting each layer dry and making sure every bit of the countertops, sides and corners were all covered, I sealed the countertops with several layers of a heavy-duty gloss clear coat. The clear coat protects the work I did as well as gives the counters a smooth surface that food and dirt can be easily wiped off of. While it can’t withstand having hot pots and pans on it without a trivet since the base is laminate, its pretty tough and with the heavy amount of cooking and compulsive kitchen cleaning I do, its holding up swimmingly! (All of the paint supplies for the countertops came out to $80)
Next purchase was the hardware. (^ Oh and here’s a closeup of the countertop surface after it was completed) I had scouted out hardware from the hardware store and even saw some at Ikea that were almost exactly the same… the lowest price I could find for solid stainless steel hardware was probably in the $5 a piece range each which would have cost us $100 for all 20 which isn’t bad but I was determined to do better… thank goodness for the internet, Amazon and 2-day shipping, I found these babies for $17 for 10 pieces! Comparing them to the ones we’ve seen everywhere else, they’re the same weight, design and sizing. Also being stainless steel, there wasn’t much difference as far as quality goes since they are all resistant to tarnish and rust. Anywho, we needed 20 to cover all of our cabinets, drawers and even the faux drawers in the kitchen by the sink, which came out to $34!
Last was the paint. We went with the highest quality paint we could find at the hardware store (since you should never ever skimp on paint… cut corners on some things if you have to but paint… just trust me) in a semi gloss so that we could easily wipe the cabinets if needed but nothing super shiny since we wanted to keep everything somewhat muted and soft. (Originally I was planning for black cabinets and B had mentioned possibly doing white cabinets… settled on gray since the rest of our house is following the theme haha) The entire cabinet painting project only took one can of paint, which we didn’t even completely go through, and only ran us $35…so that brings us to a total of $149… Rounded up to about $200 in costs if you add in the extra supplies we bought to sand the cabinets and tape everything off.
Check out the before and after! Such a huge difference a little bit of paint and fresh hardware can make!
I had such a blast working on this project and can’t wait to do some more around the house. We’re thinking about tackling our bathrooms as our next projects.