Rental Apartment Kitchen Updo!

12 Materials

My girlfriend renovated her kitchen and watching it transform her space so dramatically I thought why not do something with mine!
This is the before! The cupboards are from the 70's. The laminate on the doors was warping on the edges. Old hardware and a lovely (tongue in cheek) butcher block laminate counter top. I have lived with this for 11 years and was really tired of it.
With my sister's help we added 2"wide by 1/2" moulding from Home Depot to create a shaker style cabinet doors. The molding cost was $49 for 10 x 8' sticks which was just enough! First we sanded all the surfaces and wiped them down, measured and cut each piece with a dry fit before gluing in place. We used PL200 glue, clamped them in place and left them to dry overnight. Checked them a few times in the first hour to make sure they hadn't moved and adjusted if required. We caulked the inside edges and allowed to dry.
I then painted the cupboard doors inside and out with Dulux Vintage Wedding (white) water borne alkyd paint, This paint went on beautifully and created a durable, scrubbable eggshell finish after two coats. I chose this paint as I have a friend in the business and got a great deal.
For the backsplash I purchased peel and stick tiles from Aurora on Amazon. ca. Three packs of 8 tiles to make sure I had enough and with some leftover in case I wanted to do more. Total cost $150
These were a little tricky to install because of all the small tiles on the overlap edge to get them to fit. Once I got going it got easier. They are very tacky and after 6 weeks they are not lifting at all. I bought some modern door pulls on sale at Lowes Canada. I love the new look!
On to the counter tops.
Now I have to admit I was quite nervous about the counters. The laminate was in good shape but ugly to me. First a good wash down to degrease and then I sanded the sheen off the laminate and wiped down to remove the dust. Next I primed with Dulux water borne alkyd primer.
I caulked between the backsplash and counter first and let dry. Then I painted a grey alkyd one coat as the base. I had decided to try a faux marble and wasn't sure about how to do it. After watching several videos online I got up the nerve to start. Because the white primer and the grey were both water borne alkyds they could be used together. I took a brush and painted large irregular lines on the diagonal across the counter front to back. Then I took a large sea sponge and started dabbing and blending the colours together. I let the first coat dry, stepped back and looked at what more needed to be done. I took my sponge and dabbed paint on it and then added more mottled areas in both the grey and the white where I thought it needed it. I also took a fine artist brush and drew some veins in both the white and the grey. Then I took the sponge again and softened the veins! Finally a couple of coats of polyacrylic to seal the surface. We always use cutting boards so as not to harm the counter surface.
Voila! This is how it turned out!
Installed some under cabinet LED lighting by Sunbeam I bought at Costco.
Looks pretty good!
I painted all the walls a soft grey. I had enough tile leftover to do a row on the window wall so I added that.
Finally I thought the cream floor tiles looked a little off with all the white and grey so I saw a design for a carpet I liked and decided to make a floor cloth to brighten up the kitchen. That will be another post.
Before and After!
Costs breakdown:
artika for living backsplash tiles $150.00
paint - Dulux $150.61
home depot trim caulk glue sander $164.81
cabinet pulls $76.84
Costco lighting $40.00
canvas for floorcloth $20.00
incidentals $80.00

Total cost $682.26
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 42 questions
  • Dorothy Haggard
    on Mar 1, 2019

    Did you use the the size trim on the drawers as you did the cabinet doors?

  • Carol
    on Mar 2, 2019

    That looks fantastic! You did good girl! Thanks for sharing, love the rug where did you get it?

  • Giovanna
    on Mar 2, 2019

    Hi how you did the rug floor

Join the conversation

2 of 483 comments
  • Tamara Pickett
    on Apr 20, 2019

    I love your kitchen makeover. I really love the faux marble countertop. It’s absolutely beautiful. It actually looks like it could pass as real marble.

  • Mis33972201
    on May 15, 2019

    A very impressive professional looking makeover! The cabinets now look current, interesting and in good condition (at least on the surface). The floor rug and valance are a great addition and the valance makes the kitchen look wider and more lively! The landlord should take note and have this done to all of the kitchens on his/her property.

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