Friday, January 31, 2014

DIY kitchen makeover part 2

As I mentioned in Part 1 painting the existing cabinets was the way to go for us. I hummed and ahhed for a while about painting (white) vs. staining them dark. I opted to go light as the kitchen area is quite compact and so can be a little dark.   

Finished kitchen
Now before I get into the nuts and bolts of the job let me just tell you, it wasn't that bad. Yup, you read me right, painting the kitchen cabinets wasn't as painful as I had anticipated. I broke it down into jobs I could do in a couple hours either in the mornings whilst the girls were at school or in the evenings.  Having said that painting the cabinets was only really a half of the job of renovating the kitchen. As with every job the list of snags is endless.

Here is a list of the jobs, each of which took between 1-3 hours. I tried to do something everyday, however small, just to keep momentum going.  I think it was about a month from start to finish.

1.  Remove existing hardware and take off cabinet doors.  Label the doors so you know what goes where.

2.  Empty out cupboards. Pack away all non essential items (you're not gonna be baking cakes over the next few weeks)

3.  Clean cabinets. The nice guys at BM recommend good old TSP solution.

4.  Clean doors & draws

Before cleaning

Scrape out crud whilst cleaning
5.  Fill any holes with wood filler. Caulk any joints (e.g. between top of cupboards and ceiling)

6.  Sand cupboards with medium grit (180) sand paper.

7.  Sand cupboard doors.

8.  Wipe doors with tack cloth. Apply one coat of primer (I used Benjamin Moore Fresh Start Primer). Always paint the back of the doors first just in case they mark when you turn them over.

Use a brush over any indents/grooves then a foam roller

Don't forget to prime & paint the sides.  I bought a load of these painters pyramid's to rest the doors on. Well worth the money.

After one coat of primer
9.  Wipe cupboards with tack cloth. Apply one coat of primer.
  • NB: the guy at BM said I only needed one coat of primer & one of the Advance (satin finish) paint. In retrospect I would do 2 coats of primer to get a better coverage.
10.  Lightly sand doors (fine grit, 220 paper) & wipe with a tack cloth.  Apply first coat of paint.

11.  Lightly sand cupboards (fine grit, 220 paper) & wipe with a tack cloth.  Apply first coat of paint.

12.  Wait at least 24 hours before applying second coat to doors & cupboards.  The finish was pretty good after one coat. Where I had used the brush was ever so noticeable which is why I did further coats. 

13.  I did a third coat on the doors for good luck & because I had enough left.

14.  Leave well alone for at least 3 days; the longer the better for your paint to 'cure'.

15.  Attach doors to frames, much easier and quicker if there are two of you.

16.  Attach handles.  I made myself a template for the drill holes from card stock to save myself measuring each one. It really saved time, and stress!

The bar handles were from Glidrite via Ebay. They are solid stainless steel and half the price of the exact same handle from big box stores.  Again I shopped around online for the hinges and found the best deal at  It really is worth a little bit of time to shop around online; I saved over 100 bucks on the handles and hinges.

17.  After a week stock up the cupboards.

18.  Stand back and admire your work!

Love my tumble weed!

Other changes
  • Replaced the glass slider which leads out to the garden.  Luckily we have great handy friends who helped us; that is one heavy door!  
  • Several months ago we ripped down the central bank of cupboards above the island. Wow, what a difference that made. Light now streams into the kitchen and you can actually see from one end of the room to the other without having to bend down.
  • A ceiling mounted extractor hood is now in place. I choose this one by because of price and size.  As with all DIY projects its never straight forward; Mr. had to cut the central column of the hood to get the height right (the ceiling is lower in the kitchen). Any excuse to get out the power tools.......

  • Will put in the same LED recessed spot lights as we used in the dining area. Unfortunately the 'well' in the ceiling is structural (why??); to remove it would have required ripping out the ceiling and replacing all the rafters.  We copied our friends 2 doors down who have the same feature and highlighted it with a hidden rope light. It gives off an ambient light and does make the ceiling seem a little higher.
  • Open shelving replaces the cupboard next to the sink. We used Ekby Jarpen/Bjarnum from Ikea as they can be cut to the desired length and the brackets fitted neatly into the notch in the granite left from by the cupboard :)

I'm very proud of my succulents grown from cuttings!
  • Added pull out inserts to the pantry cupboard.  

2 deep draws and 2 wire baskets. Both from Ikea. Contrary to popular believe you can get Ikea inserts to fit regular cabinets!  This is now home to all our dry goods; the pull outs mean you use every inch of space.

The all important before and after...

So there you have it. Large exhale of breath, the kitchen is done!

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