Sooooo, we’ve been mucking around all summer with a kitchen remodel. We’ve been poking around for like a year looking at painted oak cabinets, but it’s a big change, and an expensive one. But we’ve had these old 70’s style golden oak cabinets in our kitchen for a decade and they weren’t very nice.
This is where I should show the fabulous “before” pictures, but I didn’t really take any. At least not any good ones! But here’s what they originally looked like. They had these awful huge handles on them that the homeowner had GLUED on with the strongest glue in the world!
Then add in boring beige Formica countertops with oak edges, and a plain, white electric stove, and old Harvest Gold fridge and it wasn’t a very nice looking kitchen. So we’ve been gradually making changes. Such as a new fridge to replace our 25+ year old one. We got the cool “preview door” model that we LOVE. Our stove is now a gorgeous black gas model that is such an improvement. We tried the closed cook top model first – definitely NOT a winner in our book!
We’ve replaced the ugly Formica countertops with a gorgeous grey speckled granite version – we just LOVE IT! It makes such a difference. We even replaced our old white porcelain sink (a bugger to clean!) with a new stainless steel one with an awesome faucet our friend gave us.
And we decided to go with the painted oak cabinets in pale grey with white boxes and black hardware. What a fabulous choice for us. It did take us a loooong time – like just about every kitchen remodel, but the finished product was well worth the sacrifices.
Painted Oak Cabinets
We did have them professionally painted. That was the main part of the hold-up was the delay in getting bids from multiple painters. One guy left us on the hook for 5 weeks and then wanted another week, so we fired him. We went with Perfection Painting and they did a great job for us.
The best part is that after having our stuff in boxes for nearly 8 weeks, we realized that we need SO much less stuff. We got rid of about 4 huge boxes of kitchen stuff to charity, so now our cabinets are all rearranged and MUCH less cluttered. And after seeing the great countertops, we pulled a LOT of stuff off our counters – genius move! Both of those were nice changes for all of us.
We had them spray the doors and then we decided to have them paint the boxes by hand. It didn’t seem worth it to mask off everything for spraying the boxes. They did scuff them up really well and cleaned them to remove dirt and old lacquer. We’ve heard some horror stories about painted oak cabinets, but everything seems to have gone really smoothly so far. And we have a 5-year guarantee on the work. The hardest part was getting those dang handles off! We had to pay a woodworker $500 to carefully remove them and then putty and sand the cabinets to hide any signs of damage.
We’ve still go a few projects we are saving for in upcoming months. We were not able to afford to paint the pantry and desk area on the other side of the kitchen. It’s a separate area, so it doesn’t look too bad, but it’s a constant reminder of what the OLD cabinets looked like. That’s first on the list. We also need to redo the flooring. Our original glossy white tile was so slippery and dangerous when wet. We nearly took a fall numerous times, so we covered it up with a thin vinyl flooring, but it just doesn’t look right. That’s on the list at some point.
We’re also doing something cool with the backsplash. My husband is a welder, so he’s going to take some thin steel and buff it up with a grinder to give it a cool swirl pattern. They did this recently on a food truck and it looked awesome. It will have a clear code to protect it and make it easy to clean. Once we do that, I’m campaigning for under the cabinet lighting to show it off!
One of the reasons we bought this house was because it has a HUGE dining room with room for at least a dozen people. We used to have big parties all the time, but we haven’t entertained in a very long time, partly because I was embarrassed by my grungy-looking kitchen. Now we are planning a big party for my birthday in October, so our friends can enjoy our new kitchen with us!