Original Kitchen

It has been a little over a year since we bought our major fixer upper.  We bought it thinking we could update it in no time since everything looked just to be a cosmetic fix.

Rookie mistake!

This house has been a comedy of errors.  We have had electrical issues, septic issues, children issues, and life issues!

Original Kitchen 2

Slowly but surely, however, we are getting things done!

This Saturday we decided that the all dreaded chore of painting the kitchen cabinets was up on the list.  We had a quote from a person my husband knew to have them done last year for just $400.  That never panned out so we have been living with dark, gross, 30 year old dirt layer on them, cabinets!

We started the very painstaking task of emptying all of our cabinets of their items and realized that we have way too much stuff and way too little time to use it all!

Tip:   If you are going to do this one day, start saving boxes to put your items in.  We did not and used laundry baskets and trash bags.  Boxes would have made the process faster and safer!

Ready to Paint

We gathered our energy and said a prayer that with 3 kids underfoot, we could get it all done in one day!

We have lofty dreams in this house!

Once everything was empty,  we used a cleaning spray and lacquer thinner just to get the dirt and grime off of the cabinets.  Especially around the stove.  Oh my gosh they were disgusting!  But we knew that the paint would not stick, or would peel almost immediately if we did not get this done and done well!

Tip:  We probably should have lightly sanded the cabinets at this time to assure a better adhesive of the paint and prevent future chipping.  We skipped this in the interest of time.

By this time we were done with this, the kids were losing interest in watching Mommy and Daddy work so we called in some friends who happily – begrudgingly – took them for the afternoon!  On the way home, we stopped and bought 3 gallons of paint for $75.

Once home, it was time to get the drill – yea Mama knows how to work one of those – and start removing some cabinet doors!  I did this while my husband set up the sawhorses and paint sprayer in the back yard.

Much to my surprise, we had way more than I ever anticipated!  The kitchen always looked so small to me!  It was a tedious process.  Remove door, remove hardware, stack next to the wall.  Over and over until all 37 doors and drawers were removed.

The Hubs Hard at Work

Tip:  When removing the hardware, if you are saving it, take a moment to screw the screws that go with each knob into the back of them before putting them in a baggie.  It makes it easier to reassemble later!

When the last door was removed, it was time to start taping off the kitchen and wrapping the appliances so my husband could spray the cabinets instead of hand painting them.


But it is a necessary step for sure! And doing this step well will save a lot of time later!

We learned, however, after the fact, that the kitchen was not the best place to use a sprayer.  My husband could not get far enough away from the cabinets for an even coat and so we got a lot of drips and uneven coverage.  Plus, oh my gosh, the paint particles magically performed osmosis and made their way through our plastic barriers to the rest of the house.  Resting on my computer, my photos on the wall, and anything else in their way!

Tip:  When using a sprayer, make sure you are protected head to toe with a paint suit and mask to prevent inhalation of the particles!

But I have to say, even with all of that, and having to go around and re-hand paint every place that the paint ran, the cabinets did not look any worse for the wear for our rookie – lazy – mistake!

While my husband kept working, I left to rescue my friends from my kids, came back with McDonald’s and plopped them in front of a movie and got back to work!

As I sat hand painting the cabinet bases, my husband started bringing doors in.

They looked so good!

About this time, some neighbors of ours and their 16 month old son dropped in!  Impressed with the massive job that we tackled, they jumped right in to help!

We love them!

With 4 of us working, we managed to get all of the hinges and knobs back on the doors and the doors back on the cabinets!

We stepped back, at midnight, and drank in our success!  The kitchen looks AMAZING!!  It looks like a new kitchen!

New Kitchen 2

My choices of black granite counter tops a year ago, along with my glass back splash that my husband never understood why I picked, finally show their glory against the glistening white cabinets!  The island that my husband built from scratch wood and an old butcher block top a few months ago stood out finally and adds texture and another classic dimension to the room!

As we fell into bed at 2am, having put at least the fragile things back in the cabinets, we theoretically patted ourselves on the back!  And we knew that our hard work and $75 had not only made us a lot happier with this house, but also added thousands in value in just one day!

And that made everything all worth it!

How do you think we did?