Today I’m sharing what I think is the most dramatic transformation: the kitchen! I have to make a confession right away though: these pictures are almost two years old. I put all of my energy into the kitchen right away and it has taken me this long to get the rest of the house ready for blogging. Since I took these pictures I’ve gone back and touched up the wall paint and made other minor adjustments.
The kitchen almost convinced me not to put an offer on this house. Kitchens really do sell houses! Fortunately I decided I would be brave enough to try some of the DIY projects I had pinned on Pinterest and they paid off in a big way.
Here is one of the dreadful listing photos:
The rest of the “before” pictures are from the day after I got keys and went in to paint. Yes, they left me a used sponge. I just…
Feast your eyes on those faux-wood counters. Do not be fooled into thinking they’re butcher block or something neat. Those are cheap laminate in wood grain pattern, just like my desk was in grade school. But that shouldn’t be a cause for concern; not when you have websites like unclutterer which continually offer you renovation ideas.
But a little paint goes a long way. So a lot of paint can go even further?
Yes, I painted the counters. And I would do it again (and will be doing it soon!). I used the same paint color (Old Amethyst by Behr) for the walls that you saw in my dining room.
Rustoleum makes an epoxy (paint) specifically for counters (affiliate link). That means it’s designed to 1) adhere to laminate and 2) handle use. It’s more expensive than regular latex paint but it’s worth it to have a finished product that looks nice and can handle daily use. I added 3 coats of a matte polycrylic on top as extra protection.
The benefit of letting two years pass before writing this post is that I can tell you how well the counters have held up! There are a few nicks and scratches from my own heathen misuse (use a cutting board like the adult you are) but otherwise it looks great. I wasn’t ready to buy new counters at the time so paint was a perfect solution.
I DO plan to replace the counters eventually (DEFINITELY before I sell), don’t get me wrong, but $30 worth of paint for a transformation like this? Yep. Definitely a worthwhile temporary step.
The thing I did spend money on immediately? Replacing the appliances. I hadn’t planned to replace the appliances at all (nothing wrong with a white appliance in my book) but the inspection showed there was a carbon monoxide issue with the stove. The fridge didn’t convey with the house and I didn’t want to buy it from the sellers since they were already asking me to buy the laundry machines (which I did) and they wouldn’t pay for any of the repairs.
I also decided to replace the pendant light shades, remove the mounted radio/cd player and cover the phone jack. All of the phone wiring is still in place in case there’s a need for a landline in the future.
The new pendant shades are mercury glass, but most of the time they just look like chrome…I don’t know what, tumblers? It’s not a very warm look or quite the vibe I was going for so I’ll likely replace those too when I find the right thing.
Something I am torn about is the “gingerbread” piece over the sink. I’m not sure if it should stay or go! What do you think? Leave the wood valence or send it packing?
The other thing that needs to be addressed in this kitchen are the cabinets. They’re already painted and the minor dings and chips are getting more obvious over time (not to mention the sloppy painted-over hinges). I’ve consulted a few people who’ve painted their cabinets and been assured I can totally handle it so when the weather cools off a bit I’m going to take the plunge. A fresh coat of paint and clean hardware will go a long way here.
One addition I’ve made since the previous pictures is to hang something special next to my sink. These two carved cutting boards were gifted to me at different times by three of my closest friends – and none of them knew about the other one. I love that!
There are a few other changes I’ve made since these pictures that will end up being an entire blog post on their own, but I hope you’ve enjoyed this first look at the kitchen! I look forward to being able to share more house projects with you soon.
A reminder: If you’d like to know where I got anything in this post or mentioned anywhere else on my blog, you can always visit my Resources page!