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Old 09-16-2010, 08:22 PM   #1
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Hi everyone, My name is Derek and I'm from Massachusetts. My wife and I purchased our first home a little over a year ago. It was a foreclosure and even though it was the nicest foreclosure we found, it was in need of help. Our first appraisal actually listed the house as "unlivable" because of the condition of the kitchen. You can see the pics below. I'll also start showcasing some project's we've taken on in the last year.

The house


Here's the kitchen after we closed. I had already torn out the countertop & sink in preparation of a face lift As you can see it's very dirty. All this made the kitchen "unlivable" and our first bank denied the loan. We eventually did get the house.


First thing to do was make room for a dishwasher. So we demo'd the floor a bit and slid the end base cabinet down to make room for the new dishwasher. Then we installed new laminate counters (on a tight budget from lowes) and new sink and faucet.




After some paint and new appliances (whirlpool gold) it started looking like a kitchen. As you can see in the pic, we had to raise the cabinets above the microwave to make room for it. At this point we are still missing a drawer (previous owners took it with them).


The kitchen got us through the summer, but soon after the wife started getting sick of the honey oak cabinets. And no matter how many times we cleaned them, some areas still looked dirty. So we decided to refinish them using a method she found online.

We took off all the doors and drawer fronts and sanded them all down. We first used a de-glosser to take off the shine and get them ready for sanding. Then using an orbital sander and elbow grease, we started at 120 grit to remove all the poly and get down to mostly fresh wood. Then ended at 220 grit.



Once they were all sanded we cleaned everything with mineral spirits and it was time to refinish. For that we used Valspar clear mixing glaze mixed with brown benjamin moore paint at a ratio of 4 parts glaze to 1 part paint. We applied 2 coats of the paint/glaze mix and then 2 coats of semi-gloss poly. Also installed new handles and new hinges. Here was the result.



So that's the kitchen project. I'm currently in the process of making a drawer to replace the missing one (i'll post pics when done). And if anyone noticed that base cabinets extend further to the left than the top cabinets (do to adding dishwasher)...I had been attempting to make a wine cabinet. However, our basement flooded a few months ago and all my progress was destroyed by 3 inches of water in the basement.

If anyone has questions on the refinishing or anything you see in the pictures, please feel free to ask.
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Old 09-16-2010, 08:48 PM   #2
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Nice job !!
Me...so far 2 houses...2 kitchens & zero cabinets that could be salvaged/repainted

My last house was unliveable....by people
It had thousands of house guests I had to evict
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Old 09-16-2010, 09:22 PM   #3
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I'd do something else with that cabinet above the micro. Sorry to be critical but it just looks odd like that. A smaller cabinet or a couple of open shelves are two ideas that come to mind.

Also the deglosser before sanding was unnecessary. Deglosser is used to prepare a high-gloss surface for repainting, not sanding.
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:49 AM   #4
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Wow, that looks great. I actually don't mind the look of the cabinet above the microwave. Maybe you could make some kind of scrolling wood work to bring the corner down.

Great job so far!
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Old 09-17-2010, 08:21 AM   #5
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Looks good. I would change out the cabinet over Micro before you sell though. Also if you're not sensitive to the chemicals, use a low odor paint & varnish remover if you ever take on such a sanding project again. You'll save a lot of time, sandpaper, and elbow grease.
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Old 09-17-2010, 09:56 AM   #6
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I appreciate all the comments. As for the cabinet above the microwave, it wasn't my first choice, however, I don't mind it that much. I did start adding crown molding to the tops of the cabinets which helps a little. I though about getting rid of the cabinet for open shelving, but the cabinet conceals the exhaust duct.

This kitchen face lift was intended to be short term. Our plan is to completely remodel the kitchen (not including appliances) within the next few years. So we looked to spend as little as possible to make the kitchen livable and as presentable as possible. That's also why we installed inexpensive laminate counters. I didn't want to splurge on a solid surface counter just to change the layout down the road.
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Old 09-17-2010, 10:06 AM   #7
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Nice job! Want to come do mine now? lol

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Old 09-18-2010, 02:24 PM   #8
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This is what the bathroom looked like when we first closed. Even though it doesn't look too bad in the picture, the bathroom was pretty gross. Luckily the tub/shower (although dirty) was in good condition. As was the floor.


We were on a very tight budget since we just dropped a lot of money on closing costs. We had about $500 to spend on the bathroom total. First thing to do was replace the toilet. I really wanted a Kohler/American Standard dual flush toilet but it wasn't in the budget. So we opted for a Glacier Bay 1.28 GPF model that was on sale for $98. After the toilet was installed we demolished the old vanity and prepped for paint.


While were cleaning the bathroom and the tub, we noticed that every time we used the water, there was a small wet spot on the basement floor right below the rub. I did some investigating and realized there was a leak at the shower valve in the wall. I could of replaced just the guts of the valve, but I figured I'd just replace the entire thing. So I opened up the wall behind the tub and swapped out the valve. Took me all friggin day since it was my first time attempting plumbing, but I eventually got it. And the new valve trim looked awesome. I also decided to use a Grohe low flow shower head.


Before painted we had to remove the wallpaper border and then we primed where it had been. then we painted the room the same color as out bedroom.
We purchased a new vanity with a granite top and undermount sink. A Moen water sense faucer, new light fixtures, mirror, or new vent grill.





After it was all said and done, we went a bit over budget because of the shower valve replacement. But now we have an operational bathroom with no leaks. Plus since all the fixtures were low flow, we'll be saving on our water bill also.
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Old 09-20-2010, 01:00 PM   #9
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Nice! I had a similar vanity in my old apt, always like those.
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Old 09-20-2010, 08:51 PM   #10
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Could you please provide the exact color and brand of the paint you used for the kitchen? I'm going to repaint some of my rooms probably next year and I've been looking for a bit of a faint olive color. The color you used looks like a similar color I might want to use

I also REALLY like the way your cabinets turned out. I would like some more deetails on that as well if you dont mind. I believe that the cabinets I have are not solid wood... would the technique of using paint the way you did work on this type of cabinet? Thanks in advance and great work!
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Old 09-25-2010, 07:21 PM   #11
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the green paint in the kitchen is Harrisburg Green, Benjamin Moore Regal Eggshell.

the link below is the source we used to reglaze the kitchen cabinets. The only thing we did differently was the amount of coats. We only did two coats rather than the three suggested in the how-to. We lucked out and had a cabinet that was going to be thrown away to practice on.
http://www.anythingpretty.com/2009/1...honey-oak.html
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