1950's Kitchen Makeover

Christina Burdette
by Christina Burdette
We looked for a home that was pretty much untouched from the 50's so we could give the home it's glory. We didn't want a bad remodel from the 80's removing perfectly great on-site custom built cabinets original to the home & replacing with box cabinets using cheap product. This was the before...plastic tile back splash (yes I said plastic & falling off), original stained plywood cabinets scratched, scummy and some damage, countertop edging & top damaged.
We started by removing all the doors and sanding them completely with an orbital sander. Repaired damage with wood putty and then painted with 3 coats Valspar Paint plus Primer (no need to prime first) Ultra White for top and Gray for the base cabinets, sanding in-between with 300 grit paper.
We removed the original flat plywood door and replaced it with the old door that went outside to the porch (previous owner's dog scratched it up), sanded it, painted it white and put in new frosted tempered glass ($60). I white-washed butcher block countertops from Menards (mixed white oil based paint w/mineral spirits to create a stain) & then sprayed them outside with Minwax Helmsman Satin Oil Based Indoor/Outdoor Spar Urethane (you will love the finish) lightly sand in between coats (3) with 300 grit paper. Water will bead up & not absorb; you will be pleased with the finish (best kept secret). Tile is 4'' x 12" subway with glass/natural stone accent. Got 3 different handle sizes for a more custom feel (ordered online from myknobs.com because our local stores didn't carry what I wanted).
Sink is Stainless Steel Zero Radius. We ordered the mahogany cutting board and strainer for the sink.
Faucet is from Lowes (American Standard). It has a strong magnet to keep the end in tact. Very important or it will not stay in place very well.
We took out an old window with an AC unit and replaced with Pella slider w/blinds
This was the other side of the kitchen.
We used an old redwood deck to create open cabinets and shelves
I dumpster dived at work and pulled out chrome commercial refrigerator shelves and made a pot rack
Did an overhang on the end for a bar stool

We love our new kitchen. We spent around $2200 for the entire project. That included adding a dishwasher that never existed (Bosch).
I know this is a kitchen blog but wanted to share the new deck we just finished. This is from the dining room.
The Deck is the same level as the house and flows nicely
Hope your house projects are going great! Thanks for checking out ours!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 13 questions
  • Gra10520417 Gra10520417 on Sep 14, 2016
    I know that sometimes oil based poly will yellow. Have you had a problem with this?
  • Sophie Grace Sophie Grace on Sep 25, 2016
    I have the same plastic tile in my kitchen 4 feet up the walls and also the backs plash they come off easy but how did you get the glue off the wall
  • Bet1483274 Bet1483274 on Oct 06, 2016
    Can you tell me about the kitchen flooring - the manufacturer and style name.
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2 of 49 comments
  • Sarah Sarah on Oct 05, 2016
    Hey I would like to know how you installed your dishwasher in a space that wasn't designed for one. My husband and I just bought a house that has no space for a dishwasher but we thought we might could put one in place of a couple cabinets. But not sure how without completely destroying the beautiful custom made cabinets. All advice is welcomed! 😊
  • Christina Burdette Christina Burdette on Oct 05, 2016
    There was a space for a trash can on the sink side and the other side was a narrow drawer and cabinet. My husband used a small hand saw (like a coping saw) and cut out the framing. As long as you are careful, you should be fine. Then you can sand and either restain or paint, whichever is applicable. We had to hire an electrician to run the outlet to the dishwasher as well as add a garbage disposal. We put the disposal plug inside the cabinet under the sink. My husband did the plumbing. We love it! Wish you well on your project!