Saturday, March 16, 2013

Kitchen Remodel

Today I was able to get the kitchen all back together so the cabinet renovation is now complete. When I started this project my plan was to have it all done by the time our friend came in for a visit and he gets here next week so I timed it pretty right. I had several people asking if I would post a timeline of sorts for the project so this is it. 

The kitchen started off looking like this. I painted it red a few years ago and now hate it which really sucks because the ceiling on one side is probably 16 foot and a real pain in the ass to do. Our house is not big but we like it that way. It's easier to clean and we figured we could really make it look nice for less money. Heather and I both hate oak but we didn't necessarily wanna do new cabinets entirely so we started looking at our options. We found a cabinet transformation kit from Rustoleum and decided to go that route.

This is a huge job but you can do this to pretty much any furniture. We previously did this to a nightstand, dresser and our bathroom vanity and really liked how it came out. The first step involves removing everything. I threw out all the hardware and set up some saw horses and plywood in the garage so I'd have a place to work on the doors and drawers. Once everything is apart you do the first step which involves using a chemical and Scotchbrite pads to de-gloss the surfaces. It basically removes all dirt, oil and just enough of the finish to rough things up. This step is hard only because it hurts the finger tips to scrub that hard for that long.

Next you take the bonding coat and start putting it on. We went with espresso for the color but there are quite a few options to choose from. This is a pretty quick process but you need to be careful to really follow the grain and not apply too much or it will look sloppy in the corners. The hardest part was the actual cabinet doors (mainly the corners where this coat can pool up). You also need to be careful that the coat doesn't run.

Originally I used small finishing nails to elevate the cabinet doors but I didn't like it. I ended up painting each piece on a stool before putting it back on the plywood to dry. After one coat you wait 12 hours and do this step again.

Next up is a the glazing. This is actually an optional step. It's almost like a stain. Very runny. You just quickly brush it on (again being careful to follow the grain) and then immediately wipe it off with the provided lint free rags. This step gives the furniture a bit more depth and character. This dries for 6-8 hours. Then you get to the last step which is the top coat. The top coat is probably the most difficult step of the whole process. It's a clear substance that truly looks like glaze from a donut. I constantly referred to this step as glaze. It's almost like painting light glue all over the furniture. It is very important to not cover the same area twice as this mucks up the finish. It's also very important to cover everything though as this is what really protects the furniture and makes cleaning easier. A lot of people really complain about this step but it's not THAT bad.

Here are some finished shots from one side of the kitchen after I had installed new hinges and handles.

Here it is today after putting it all back together. The section under the sink is the last section I did. I was dreading it because of the Lazy Susan's but they weren't too bad.

Next up is counter tops (still trying to decide between granite, stainless, concrete, etc.), sink and faucet, and new paint. Also on the list is a new stainless dishwasher after this ugly white one gives up the ghost. I just have a real hard time replacing an appliance like this when it works fine.

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