An OMGosh Kitchen Makeover Story

What does $175, some DIY motivation and this kitchen (before) do?

You won’t believe it. $175? Really? Brittany from Superwoman IS Superwoman. Here is her post:

Kitchen Renovation – Detailed

Warning: This post is extremely long, but it’s well worth the read!
So how did this…

go to this?

Let’s start from the beginning.

I really loved the look of dark wood cabinetry. When I bought this house, though, the cabinets above the stove were different from the cabinets above the sink. The ones above the sink were actually hand made by the first owners.
So I bought new hardware, a gallon of True Walnut paint, and went to town.

The problem? I was a rookie painter and decided to buy flat paint…..

You can’t tell that well in this picture, but flat paint is basically impossible to clean. If you do manage to get food (or other things that fall on your cabinetry) off, you will also take off the paint. Had to learn that lesson the hard way….

I hadn’t planned on redoing my kitchen. I had gotten so used to my kitchen that I really didn’t notice how bad it was. Plus it had always been my favorite room of my house (when the cabinets didn’t look terrible…)
Then one day I took a leisurely stroll through Menards (no kids, hehe), and found myself wandering through their set-up kitchens. That’s when I fell in love! Beautiful white distressed detailed cabinetry…….that would take me 10 years to afford!

Not one to let a little setback stop me, I poked and prodded in that kitchen for nearly 45 minutes (getting a few giggles from the store ladies as I explained my cheap ways…) trying to figure out if I would be able to make them myself.

Then off to the Building section.
Yep! I sure can build this myself!
So I went home and drew up my plan.
First thing to do: Make a plate rack.
1. Take off the cabinet doors. Save the hardware (just in case!)
2. Mine had a partition in the middle. So I took that out.
3. Prime everything.

4. Add quarter round to the sides if you will be adding another shelf, like mine.
5. Measure the height of your plate rack. Add about 1/2 inch, then cut (you want extra to sit inside the holes you drilled.

6. Use a spade bit the same size as your dowel rods and drill holes where the dowels are to be placed. This is me working hard!

7. I alternated the spacing from the front dowel rods to the back dowel rods so that it would alternate big and little plates. Make sure you are painting as you go! You won’t be able to paint anything after all the dowels are glued in! 8. Drill holes mirroring the bottom, on top. Put beads of glue in all the holes, and set the dowels in!
The small shelf made a perfect area for my grilling tools case.

Then, to make the cabinets look more custom, I decided to add a shelf above the plate rack.

Then I mounted it. This picture doesn’t have the edge trim on it yet, so it looks terrible still.
See how the plates alternate?
I loved the new space in my cabinets. I wanted more of it!
So I needed to brainstorm ways to get things out of the cabinets (or at least organize them better…)

I came up with a mug rack!

I simply took a 1×4 (soooo cheap!), added trim around the edges, added pretty hooks, and mounted it to the ceiling.

I LOVE doing my own work (and my hubby loves that, too, hehe!), but once in a while, I need his help. My fingers were blistered. I hurt. So I asked him to tighten all the hooks for me.

“Hey Honey, I’m taking pictures to prove that you actually do work around here, haha”

“Shut up…”

hehe 😉

Here’s all of that mess….

I decided to leave the backsplash as is, for now….at the end of this post, I’m asking for your advice on whether or not to paint it.
That’s what my countertop/stovetop looked like these past few weeks. Were you wondering why I haven’t posted any recipes?

So on to the cabinet fronts themselves.
I love the look of glass-front cabinets. I decided to do that on top, and only add decorative trim on the bottoms.

Can you see how gross flat paint gets in a kitchen?! Don’t worry, they were thoroughly cleaned and primed.

Haha, this one was actually a bottom cabinet, but I started cutting into it with my jig saw (thinking it was one of the top cabinets) when I realized my fatal mistake. Oops! So I had to patch that bugger up.
Moral: clearly label all your pieces if you do this!

I also wanted to start an herb garden in my window above the sink, so I needed shelves.

I bought 5 cheap wood brackets from Menards and 2 oval plaques from Walmart. I sawed the ovals in half, and began painting.

I’ll show you how those turned out in a second.

I thought I was done.

I really wanted my island to function as….well…an island! It’s always been pushed up against the wall. So I took it out, added some stools that I had just sitting around in the basement.

Oopsie! My wine rack needs to be moved then!

Anyone more than an inch taller than me would have taken out all my wine glasses, hehe.
My rugs are drying on the stools in that picture. I had to Rug Doctor the crap out of them.
I REALLY should have Scotch Guarded them right after I bought them! Better late then never!

So let’s get to the good stuff!

The entire paint job on the cabinets was inspired by the girls at Shanty2Chic. They do a smoke glaze to age every project that they do. They also distress edges with sandpaper. I LOVE how they do everything, so I wanted a piece of that action! I bought a technique glaze from Menards and tinted
it with my True Walnut paint. Cost was around $15 (I believe….)

I used 1 gallon of Country White paint (also around $15).

See how it makes my old pulls pop? I added that trim, also. The total cost for all the cabinet trim was under $15. Dig for deals!

I love adding wooden accents to everything. It makes everything seem more custom.
Corner accents were put in around the built-in above my fridge. They made it look like a frame.
Did you catch a glimpse of the cherub? I found these cute little guys at Goodwill. $3 for the pair. I made them look like pillars holding up the built-in.
and the other…
Another awesome find at Goodwill: This wooden rooster thing. Only $1!
To keep cost down and to keep my kitchen personal, I kept my Mexican pendant light that my sister-in-law gave to me from her trip on her honeymoon. Pretty neat, huh?
I always liked the look of colored glass bottles used as vases on a windowsill. I’ve never found any that appealed to me. Then my husband started bringing home those free Coke glasses from McDonalds. Can’t beat free, right?
I love an uncluttered windowsill <3>
Also…I took down the valance on that window. It covered half of the window, and there’s no valance out there that’s only 3 inches deep.

I played with the idea of having a bare window, but my husband vetoed that one. He likes the option of pulling blinds when he wants privacy.

My solution was a wooden valance. This one’s a bit pricey. $9.99 for an 8 foot, 4 1/2 inch wide Victorian baseboard. Though I did ask if they could cut the board….and the price, hehe. They wouldn’t do it. Oh well! I’ll use the long scrap for some other project, I’m sure!

See? It conceals the shade!To keep costs down, I kept most of the original hardware. Everything except a new doorknob for my pantry door. The other one was terrible! I liked that this one looks old…
I just want to show off this bicycle I scored at a garage sale about 2 years ago. It was in my kitchen before. I love it!
Okay, back on track.
As you know, I had to cut all the top cabinets. I added trim (just like the bottoms). I took my measurements and had all the glass cut.
$24 for all the glass! If anyone’s from around my area, Esser’s is the best place to go. He does all my projects. You can’t beat his price!
Once the glass was installed, I noticed that I didn’t like seeing everything inside. Until the kids are out of my house (and I can free up the space), I decided to frost the windows. $22. Ouch, that price sucks.

After all of this, I decid
ed I still needed more room. I decided on some shelves on the side of my cabinet. It’s a great place to store my cookbooks and recipe box.

I WILL be adding these same shelves to the other side of these cabinets, but my daughter’s play kitchen is on that side, and you DO NOT touch the princess’ kitchen! So in due time…
$30 for those puppies! More than I wanted to pay (I could have made shelves myself), but with the decorative edge, I couldn’t pass it up. My mom always said “Do it right the first time or don’t do it at all!”
That’s my justification on that purchase!
Did you notice the legs in that picture?? That’s a great way to add character to your cabinets. It makes it look like free-standing furniture!

And here’s the mug rack…

I had the kitchen decorated for the holidays like this. I loved it!
I had a matching centerpiece on the shelf.
So I switched it out for a mantle clock when I started taking down my Christmas decor.
So now that you can see the cabinet/backsplash. Should I keep the backsplash stained (matching the floor) or paint it (to make it look like a hutch)?
Anyways, I told you that I moved my island to where it should be- in the middle of the kitchen.
But then I had to move the wine rack. Since it was being taken down, might as well paint it, right? So I gave it the same treatment as the cabinets, installed puck lights, then used my handy-dandy cricut to make some stencils.
I stamped out F.A.M.I.L.Y on one side…

and F.R.I.E.N.D.S on the other…
Too bad the stools are too tall for the island. Ooopsie!I’ll take care of that soon with my new circular saw!

The object of one of my upcoming project: these pots.

You are just going to LOVE what I’m going to do with these!
And of course….no kitchen is complete without fresh flowers in a lovely pitcher!

(sigh) I finally have the kitchen of my dreams. Somewhere to talk with my children about their days. Somewhere to stare out a window on a breezy day and hear the giggles of my kids as they play catch outside. Somewhere to make memories….

Total project cost= about $175! Now who can’t afford that?! And if you buy a little every week, it makes this project even more budget-friendly!

Tips on cutting costs


1. Do all the labor yourself. Anyone can use power tools. If you’re unsure of something, have an associate at your hardware store go through the process with you.

2. Make a plan. Some of my favorite parts of my kitchen (mug rack, valance, and side shelves, and moving the island) were unexpected, but at least get the skeleton of the project set. It’ll save you time (and money!)

3. Shop around. I went to quite a few different places to get what I needed. Some of the wood, I already owned. I scoured Goodwill. Always get the best price!

4. Save exsisting hardware. Unless it’s ugly, of course! Hey, hardware is expensive!

5. Shop your house. The stools were actually originally free, given to me by my mother, which she got for free. That’s triple-free!

6. Paint goes a long way. Even if you don’t have the time (or money…) to do this cheap remodel, a cheap gallon of paint can completely change your kitchen!

7. Most importantly, USE YOUR IMAGINATION! The cherubs being pillars, that’s total and complete imagination in the works! Look outside the box!

Wow, Brittany! You are amazing. I can’t get over how beautiful your kitchen is with only $175 invested. I can’t believe the huge difference you were able to accomplish. You are one DIY-talented, skilled, creative Superwoman. Thank you so much for sharing!

This post is brought to you by CK Direct who can help improve your kitchen using plastic wall cladding.

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