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My Kitchen Update: 6 Months Later & FAQs

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It has been 6 months since I originally revealed my "80's to Awesome" kitchen makeover and have been fielding dozens of questions about my "new" kitchen, which is by far the most popular post on this blog.  I thought I would take this chance to let you know how everything is holding up, and answers the questions I seem to get over and over.

So, many people want to know how the paint looks, if it is suffering wear and tear or anything like that.  The answer is: FANTASTIC.  Honestly, I don't have a single chip or scratch on any of the painted cabinets.  The finish wipes down beautifully and the only signs of wear and tear have been on the hinges. I actually tried to shoot images of the cabinets today, but they look exactly the same as the "after" photos the day I finished the remodel.

I would do it again in a heartbeat.  I have ZERO complaints about the long term wear and tear or the look of any part of the remodel.

Other FAQ's:
How did you actually PAINT the cabinets? What technique did you use?  
My complete step-by-step cabinet painting tutorial is here.

What wall color is that?  
It is Laura Ashley Gold 3 (by Veldspar: LA709) I actually didn't paint the walls.. it is the color the original owners used. It is a little gold for me, but with my new kitchen I don't mind it.  It looks better now that the cabinets aren't oak.

What cabinet color is that?
Manchester Tan by Benjamin Moore.  It is NOT white, but in fact, cream.  The finish is "Pearl" (a specialty Ben Moore Finish only available in their high end paint lines) and it is NOT sealed with any polyurethane.  It has held up and cleans up beautifully.

How did you keep this entire remodel under $5000 including appliances, fixtures, backsplash, lighting,  countertops etc?
The appliances were a Black Friday deal (back in 2011) The deal was (in addition to a super low BF price) if I bought 3 Bosch Appliances, the store would throw in the mirowave free.. so I bought the dishwasher, fridge and stove. I also got a $500 rebate from Bosch for buying 3 appliances in the same line. The total cost (after the sale and rebate) was $2400 for all four appliances. ($1800 for Fridge, $400 for stove, $200 for dishwasher, and a free Microwave.) I then got an additional rebate for $400 for upgrading from my old non-energy star fridge and dishwasher ($200/each) which made the entire transaction $2000.   Lastly, I sold my old stove on Craigslist for $200, and donated the others to charity, which made my final out of pocket cost: $1800. It pays to shop on black friday!

All my lighting fixtures all came off the shelf from Home Depot.  I splurged for LED can/recessed lighting, but I love the result. It was worth the extra 20-30$ per can for the bright pure white light in the small 2 inch cans. The molding on the ceiling if very popular, but it is really there to hide the textured ceiling damage from removing the old box light.  I love it now, it gets TONS of compliments in real life.

The kitchen faucet is Price Pfister, a mid-range faucet and I have been thrilled with it.   I did all the electrical and plumbing work myself which saved me a ton of money. 

The pencil tile was a super great deal at Costco.  Once again, I installed it myself (using the Bondera system) and saved a lot of money.

These were replaced by the previous owner when we purchased the house.  They aren't included in the $5000.  They would have been and additional $2-3000.  Here is what the kitchen looked like the day we moved in (after the tile was gone) and then again after the makeover.  

How big is your kitchen? How wide is that island? Can I fit an island in my tiny kitchen?
My kitchen is 12 feet wide (wall to wall) and the cabinets/fridge extend out about 11 feet (there is exactly 8 feet between the front of the lower cabinets and the front of the fridge door) The island is 2 feet wide by about 4 feet long.  In fact, is just one lower cabinet base box, with a countertop on top and 2 rounded shelves on the exposed end.  It is VERY SMALL, but leaves plenty of space to work around it and I can't imagine the kitchen without it.  

Do you want to come to my house and help me do my kitchen?  (My favorite question!) 
Unfortunately, I am a little busy with a soon-to-be newborn on my hands, BUT never fear! If you would love the look of new kitchen cabinets, but don't want to paint them or even do-it-yourself, Home Depot does offer 3 great options.  I personally LOVE Home Depot, they are my go-to home improvement big-box store and a lot of the supplies I used for my kitchen transformation came from them.  Definitely check them out.

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  1. I am in the middle of redoing my kitchen right now..Painting over the oak...We have your old light fixture so I love your idea and light replacements..Still trying to decide what to do there!YOur kitchen is super cute. I can't wait to show mine off someday soon!

  2. You inspired me to complete the same job in my kitchen. I have a few more cabinets but it is holding up well. Love it, thanks for making me feel that I could do it.

  3. Your kitchen remodel is what led me to your blog in the first place. I rent now, but when I saw the pics of your kitchen I thought, "If this woman can do this by herself, what else can she do? I have to check out her blog!" And I've been following you ever since. I love doing things myself and you really inspire me.
    Now - where are those pregnancy photos!?! :)

  4. I found your blog while looking up ideas for old brass fixtures. I absolutely LOVE that you do so much of the labor yourself. That kind of info always gives me more confidence. I want to do everything myself if I possibly can.

  5. Kim, your kitchen remodeling is great! The white cabinets look much better. I’m glad you choose Bondera Tile MatSet to work it. It’s much easier than tiling with any other product. You did a great job in choosing pencil tiles; they fit perfectly with the rest of the kitchen.

    I look forward to seeing your next home improvement projects, Kim!

  6. Blogging with a newborn isn't the easiest thing in the world, let alone diving into home improvement projects, is it? Hope you find your way back.

  7. Wow the kitchen looks great! And the new cabinets compliment the countertops so well, both in white and black!!

  8. Hi, darn, I was hoping you knew the brand/color/etc for the countertops because I really like them. Your "after" picture is my inspiration for my soon-to-be kitchen (which has great light cabinets but will want new counters, floors). Any chance you do know the info on the counters?

  9. I am almost 100% sure it came from Home Depot (in stock) since all the other upgrades in my house the previous owner put in, came from there.


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