Finally got around to scrounging up some "before" pictures of the house and scanned them into my computer. Let's start with the kitchen. This is what it looked like when I bought my house about 4 1/2 years ago:
Hmmm. Where to start? Well, the kitchen cabinets were in great shape. But I was just not loving the color. Oak cabinets are fine, but they just seemed so overwhelming for the space. It was like you were hit in the face with a big piece of oak when you walked into the kitchen.
The flooring was a 8 x 8 white tile. White. Very white. See that black dog in the picture? Yeah, well, at the time there were 2 of those black dogs. Black dog + White tile = not good. So I knew that had to go.
The backsplash actually was quite interesting. I'm not sure where the tile came from, but the tile with the flower design was king of cool. It had a Mexican vibe and was somewhat pretty up close. Now, I love cobalt blue, but only small touches of it. The cobalt on the wall was a bit much for me. So that had to go as well.
So, the first step was the floor. We pulled up all of that white tile which was in the hall, dining room and kitchen. The bedroom and living room had carpet. In went oak hardwood floors.
There's that black dog again! So, after the hardwood floors went in, I tore down the backsplash. Even though I wasn't at a point where I knew what was going to do in its place, I just could not stand it. Next came new countertops, which were a high end laminate. I just couldn't justify spending the money on granite or what have you. It looks beautiful but I knew I wanted to make a lot of changes to the house (and still have a life!) so the budget just didn't allow it. And you know what? Even though they are laminate, I really love them!
With the new countertops came a new sink and faucet. I chose a double sink except that the sink on the right is actually a "mini." It's great for thawing stuff out.
Oh, and see that dishwasher? There was just a cabinet there but a dishwasher was a must, so in it went!
Next came a big decision about the cabinets. Since I could not justify replacing them, I knew they needed a facelift . . . .but what should I do? I thought about new doors but that would have been too expensive. I just couldn't imagine stipping them and staining them a darker color. Too much work! So then I thought I'd paint them. People thought that I might end up regretting that since once I painted them, then that was it! But I thought that would be the best thing to do.
Once the decision was made to paint the cabinets, I had to decide on the color. Or colors, I should say. I figured if I only painted them one color then I would be left with same effect as before--too much of one color. I thought black would be great for the bottom cabinets. For the top cabinets, I finally decided on a cream color.
So began the 3 week or so process of painting the cabinets. First, I removed all of the doors and set up a sort of assembly line in the basement. I used a foam roller so I would get a nice smooth finish with no brush marks. I scuffed them up ever so slightly. Then, I had a gallon of primer tinted a grayish earthy color. I primed all of the doors with 2 coats of primer on each side, allowing them to dry a day in between coats. Then, I found a gallon of "Oops" paint at Home Depot for $5!! It was black! I painted 2 coats again with the black paint. I did the same thing with the bases of all of the bottom cabinets. Next came the fun part--Sanding!! With my palm sander, I scuffed up all the edges to give it a distressed look. I sanded lightly in some areas so the color of the primer showed through and harder in some areas so the actual wood showed through. Here's the bottom cabinets: