Kitchen Remodel

The kitchen is pretty close to being done (like 99%) and we don’t have any plans on finishing it for at least another month. So, this post is a tiny bit premature, but I just couldn’t wait any longer to show you what we have been working on all summer long.  Although, if you follow me on Instagram, then you have seen some of the progress along the way, so I apologize for the repetitive pictures.

Just to give you some perspective, this was our kitchen the night before the demolition. Next to the oven (on the picture on the right), was a dishwasher that had to get pulled up to the sink in order for it to work. Did you know one of those existed? I didn’t until the day we moved in and I couldn’t get the dishwasher to work….

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It was pretty obvious that we needed an upgrade and we’ve upgraded every other room in the house except for this one. We knew  a kitchen upgrade was going to be pricey, which is why we avoided it. But, then some used cabinets became available to us and with the help of Dave’s aunt, uncle and grandpa, we were able to change those cabinets into something great. Here’s a link to my post about how we transformed our “new” used cabinets.

After all of the work that we’ve done in the house, I still thought that any project that we start would be finished in no time flat. This project wasn’t any different. Shockingly, I was wrong.. The plan was that after 3 days of work, our kitchen would be functional. Functional, to me, meant that it would be practically done. I was in for quite a surprise! Let me start from the beginning…

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First, we needed to demolish our old kitchen. We had the old cabinets and plumbing  ripped out along with the old floor before lunch time on Day 1. After such a productive morning, I was sure we’d have this up and running in no time. But, what I didn’t know was that the demolition is the easy part because then the hard part started. Do you like the salmon colored walls? That was actually the back wall of our cabinets. I had no idea that when I saw the salmon color in the back of cabinet, I was looking at the wall. Interesting construction technique.

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There’s some proof that Dave was hard at work:)

We had to cut out some insulation board for the electrical to be done and since we planned on using drywall, we ended up putting some insulation up the wall first.


After the new dry wall was measured, cut, nailed in place, and mudded, the new floorboard was nailed in place.


Looking better already, right?

By the end of day 3, we were able to get the bottom cabinets in place and after realizing that there was no way we could get in the new countertops, sink, and plumbing because it was too late, this happened:


Yes, we had to dumpster dive for our old sink and the plumbing. There was no way around it, so we went in after it. By this point, I thought I was going to cry (it really is stressful remodeling), but then Dave’s aunt Debbie started to laugh and truly, what else could we do but laugh?  We got the sink and plumbing out of the dumpster and put it on the plywood counter that we would temporarily have.

Here’s how functional we were able to get after Day 3.


We all continued to work into the next weekend, usually with intentions to be done early. However, they almost always ended up being late nights. But, so much got done: An above the range microwave got hung up, along with all of our upper cabinets, the sink and plumbing got put in, a garbage disposal, and a new dishwasher. A real dishwasher. One that I don’t have to slide over to the sink and hook up to the faucet. I feel like I’m living in the lap of luxury now! I can wash my hands at the same time as the dishes are being washed!!!

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{countertops from Menards: Carrara Pearl laminate}

Things were finally moving along in this kitchen and since Dave’s mom and brother’s were coming into town, I wanted to paint the walls and work on the backsplash. I ended up not having time to do the backsplash before they arrived, so, I had them help me.

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{backsplash from Menards: Mohawk Coastal Keystones}

We had two big projects left in this kitchen: put in the floor and move the kitchen doorway. Yes, I said move the doorway. Our new countertop was sticking out into the doorway, so unless I wanted to shred my hip on the corner every time I walked into the kitchen, it needed to be moved. One whole weekend later, the floor was laid and grouted, and the doorway was moved (but the trim needed to be done).

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{Flooring from Meanrds: Snapstone Porcelain floating tile in Beige}

We also wanted to make a smaller floor register, since the older one was hideous and replacement registers would cost us over $200. This new one from Menards cost about $60 since we had to change some of the ducting.

Old Register New Register

I know this is such a long post, but I swear I’m almost done. I’m getting to the tail end, I promise.

We had a vacation coming up so, I told Dave that we had to finish this kitchen, or we weren’t going to Florida. I just couldn’t bear to come home to an unfinished kitchen. We worked from morning until night for 6 out of 7 days. It was a grueling week. We had to re-texturize the wall in the dining room and after some research, I discovered that the texture was made with mudding. I couldn’t figure out exactly which type of texture, but I knew it was close to the “knockdown texture”. I figured I’d give it a go and after it was all done, it looked alright. Not quite what I was hoping it would look like, but I accidentally let the mud dry on too long.

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In order to texturize with mudding, I had to thin it out with water. Then, I slapped it on the wall and let it sit for about 45 min, before I “knocked it down” by leveling it out. But, since I let it sit for too long, it was hard to level it out, so I still have some peaks on the wall. After it was painted though, it doesn’t look too bad.

The trim in the doorway was a little bit more difficult with all the measuring and precise cutting. It ended up taking us 3 days to finish it, especially when there are little people running around vying for our attention or running into freshly painted walls. But, it got done eventually, which is all that matters.

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We did some stuff on our own, but for the most part we had the help of Dave’s aunt Debbie and uncle Larry along with Dave’s grandpa. We felt bad keeping Dave’s aunt and uncle away from their family for so many days, but we really had no idea how we could have finished without their help. We appreciate it more than words can say. A HUGE thank you to them.

This was a big undertaking, but I’m so happy that it is done.

I said that we are 99% done because we still need to build a small cabinet by the dining room doorway to put cookie sheets and cutting boards in. Once that is built in, I have some rubber kick plates that I will adhere, and then we will be FINALLY done!

Here’s some before/after pics of the kitchen to really put things into perspective:

Kitchen B      Mazia