We bought this home and it had "good bones" but it was sadly outdated. I wanted my kitchen to be bright and airy and welcoming. There was awful flowery wallpaper and the "wood" cabinets weren't actually real wood except for the door frames. I decided on bright white for the cabinets and those Formica counter tops had to go, so I painted everything. The cooktop was also quite old so it had to go, too. I had a very small budget and no help so I did what all good DIYers do, jumped in with both feet.
Time: 2 Weeks Cost: $100 Difficulty: Medium
I started with the counter tops and walls. After sanding and cleaning, I painted a base of dark grey on the counter tops and a very light grey on the walls. Just the difference of that was stunning. And yes, I painted right over the top of the wallpaper, which is laminated to the walls in that factory and very hard to remove. There is a bit of texture to the wallpaper which shows beneath the paint and adds a nice contrast. I then replaced the old cooktop with a newer style ceramic cook top. I also painted the dishwasher and exhaust hood black.
Next, I began to tackle the cabinets. I wanted to see how one would look so I I just stated on the end. I removed the doors (remembering to write in pencil on the inside so I knew where they all came from), did some sanding and cleaning, used some deglosser and started painting.
When I was sure it was what I wanted, the doors started coming off. Slowly over the next 2 weeks I painted and replaced doors, drawers and hardware.
Soon my dream kitchen began to take shape.
It was now time to finish the counter tops. I wanted a granite look without the big price tag. I chose the colors I wanted and, using sea sponges and some trial and error, began to transform them.
Here and there I also added tiny bits of glitter. Not too much and only scattered about, but it gave it the same glint in certain light and at certain angles that you see in stone counter tops.
If I had to do it over again I would certainly do this before I changed out the cooktop, but live and learn. Since I had to add more coats to the walls, I wasn't too concerned about the bits of paint I got on the walls.
I taped around the sink instead of removing it and it worked fine. I also decided to leave the breakfast nook countertop the solid grey color. I liked the definition and contrast it created. It made it feel more like the breakfast nook was it's own area.
It came out better that I had ever hoped. When I was please with it, I ended by adding a few coats of polyurethane for strength and protection.
There was no built in microwave, so I removed the shelving about the oven and found a built-in convection microwave that fit perfectly. Now my kitchen was complete and just what I wanted it to be.