Inspiration Kitchen Bath
My DIY Kitchen Remodel
Posted by: Brian Cable December 29th, 2012
My wife and I recently moved to a new city and into a new home. The kitchen in the home was the original kitchen from when the house was built in 1989. The cabinets looked extremely worn out with scratches in the wood and the green counter tops were not a color choice my wife or I really enjoyed. The kitchen seemed dark and was not a welcoming place to spend time. I contacted a relative of mine who was a contractor to get a ballpark idea what a basic kitchen remodel would cost. After a short conversation I hung up the phone and knew we did not have the money to hire this out. It was time to do some searching online and figure out how to remodel this kitchen ourselves. I read many do-it-yourself websites and many personal blogs of people who had remodeled their own kitchen.First step was to just remove something, whether it was a cabinet door or just dishes out of a cabinet. We had to get the ball rolling.
The Counter Tops
We also visited many kitchen remodel stores to get prices on counter tops, to which we were shocked at the price. Our counter tops were only 19 feet long but it was going to cost $1,300 for laminate, $3,000 for solid surface, $4,500 for granite, and about $4,000 for concrete. We were not looking to spend that much. My wife had mentioned that her brother had just put in his own concrete counter tops so a quick phone call to him was next on my list. During that discussion he said I would be looking at about $350-$400 in materials to install my own concrete surfaces. We quickly set up a time for him to come help me in our own kitchen. After numerous more searches online, we discovered there are almost endless possibilities for how you can customize them with color, impressions, etc.
A Fresh Look for Old Cabinets
Cabinets seemed a little too expensive to purchase new for the look we wanted so we read a blog about painting our cabinets which recommended stopping by your local paint store for ideas and assistance. We stopped by our local store and what great help they were explaining the step-by-step process of painting the cabinets so they did not look cheap. They recommended the right primer, the paint choice, and how to set up my HVLP spray gun so they had a custom finished look. What a smooth process painting our cabinets was with their help and guidance. While outside spraying my cabinet doors even my neighbor came over to see because he said I was making it look too easy.
Instead of spending thousands of dollars on cabinets or replacing doors we sanded ours down and sprayed them only spending $60 in paint. I also wanted the cabinets to have more of a custom look so we decided we wanted to add a crown molding to the top and a trim molding around the bottom. We felt this gave them a more refined cabinet look and the lower trim molding helped hide the under cabinet lights we added. The under cabinet lights were a breeze to screw in underneath the cabinets and they plug into a central connector that has a touch sensitive switch. No special electrical experience needed, all you need to know how to do is use a screwdriver and how to plug in an extension cord.
The lower cabinet trim was an easy install by cutting the trim at 45 degree angles and nailing it to the bottom of the cabinets that hang on the wall. Now the crown molding on the other hand was an extremely hard task for me since I had never installed it before. I got on Facebook asking for people to explain to me how the easiest way to cut it was. I got lots of advice saying to turn it over and cut backwards. Well my angles still were not coming out right, so a wonderful retired friend saw my post on Facebook and asked if he could come over and help. After about 45 minutes he tells me I picked out a really tough molding to work with, but thanks to his experience he gave me a quick lesson on crown molding and 20 minutes later the kitchen cabinets had custom moldings.
A Bold Backsplash
My wife wanted a backs plash added to the kitchen which was one of the easiest items in the entire remodel. The tiny 1 inch tiles come already attached to a 12 X 12 webbing sheet. Spread some quick glue on the wall and press the tile sheets on the wall. Once they are dry you can spread the grout into the gaps between the tiles in 24 hours. We decided to add a couple rows of stainless steel tiles in the middle of our glass tile backsplash to tie in our stainless steel appliances. This did not add any difficulty because you can just cut the webbed sheets so the stainless steel tiles fit in those gaps. We spent about $150 on the tile for our kitchen which could be much cheaper if you did not pick glass tile like we did.
The Finished Kitchen
My wife is absolutely in love with her new kitchen. She threw two parties at our home as soon as I had completed the remodel. At both parties our kitchen was the topic of conversation the entire night. We never mentioned that we remodeled it, but every person that walked in was in love or envious of the kitchen. It only took about 3 weeks to do and that was working on it when I had spare time. It would have gone much faster, but not a lot of free time with two little daughters running around wanting to play.
We love our kitchen but what we love the most is that we did it ourselves. Yes if we had a bunch of money we could have hired it out, but then we would not have the great stories to go with the beautiful kitchen. Now when people comment on the awesome concrete countertops I can talk about my brother-in-law and I making them ourselves, or if people like the cabinets I can talk about spraying them myself or my wonderful retired friend doing the trim work. I enjoy our deep sink more knowing that my dad used his day off to help me install it. We would love this kitchen even if it was installed professionally, but we love it more because of the stories that go with it and that we did the ENTIRE kitchen for the price of a laminate counter top quoted earlier.
Before and After Photos