Kitchen Planning

Monday, February 6, 2012

A few weeks ago, I let the cat out of the bag about our ugly kitchen. This week, we're preparing to rid ourselves of the ugly, once and for all.

We're preparing to demo.

We knew we would be hosting my in-laws at our house the first weekend of February, and had plans to have my family over for Super Bowl. As a result, we held off on doing anything--and enjoyed our last few weeks with a normal life--until now. Instead, we held ourselves over by doing a lot of research and shopping.

As I mentioned, we're planning to paint the cabinets white. Do you know how many different shades of white there are? It's ridiculous. We have a bunch of white samples taped up on our cabinets right now, and at this point, I think we're just going to blindly pick one. We've narrowed it down to five, and I just don't think there is enough difference between any of them to continue debating it any further. It's white; how can we go wrong?
We've never purchased Benjamin Moore paint before, but everything we've been reading has recommended Benjamin Moore's Advance paint for cabinets. Last weekend, we ventured out to a local paint store to talk to the experts about painting our cabinets, get pricing for the paint and primer so we'd know what to expect, and grab the aforementioned white paint samples. Nora had a grand ol' time collecting the little paint sample jars from the racks and putting them in her own configuration on the floor.
Although a bit premature (this will be one of the last steps in our kitchen makeover), we did some shopping for backsplash tile, too. We bought a bunch of options and took them home to look at them in our kitchen, with our countertops. The above is our current favorite, and it also happens to be the most expensive mosaic tile that we looked at. My mom always says that she has champagne taste on a beer budget, and I suppose I take after her in that department. Sheesh. (And, for the record, it's definitely Michael's favorite, too.)

Although our countertops are laminate, they are relatively new and in good shape, so we're planning to keep them for a while. We've looked into other options, and holy hell, countertops are expensive. So, here's hoping that we can safely remove our countertops and put them back on without any damage, because that's $1600+ that we don't really want to spend right now.
One thing that we can't wait to replace (aside from the z-brick, because that's obviously the worst offender) is our kitchen faucet. Apparently the previous owners replaced it just a couple of years ago, but it's one of the really cheap, plain, builder-grade type ones. We replaced our faucet at the condo with one of the nice designer ones in 2010, and wondered why we hadn't done it when we moved in in 2005. It's one of those things that doesn't seem like it could possibly make that big a difference, but then it does.

We spent some time in the fixture aisle at Home Depot last week, and after narrowing it down to three very similar Delta faucets, we're pretty sure we're going with the one pictured above. It just so happens to be the cheapest least expensive of the three, which isn't saying much, since they're all pricey. Cha-ching!
We've also ordered our paint sprayer for the cabinets. After some research and talking to the professionals, we've decided to go with the Wagner HVLP Conversion Gun. The nice thing about this guy is that it can be attached to an air compressor, so you don't need to buy a fancy-pants turbine or paint system.

We wanted to go with HVLP for a few reasons: 1) We read that it was best for small jobs like cabinets, because the spray can be narrowed down to a very small radius for the details, or dialed up for a more broad spray for larger surface areas like the backs of the doors; 2) Because the spray can be narrowed so much, there is significantly less overspray (read: getting paint on everything around you!) than with other models; 3) We heard that it's the easiest to use for beginners, since the spray is slower than with some of the other types of guns; and 4) I had seen a few success stories for beginners like us painting cabinets with it (check out Jenny and her amazing kitchen transformation).

There are some cheaper HVLP guns out there--some even available at Home Depot--but we talked to an employee there and he said that they've received a lot of complaints about those models. With something like this, we decided to stick with something that had been recommended by professionals, and had worked for DIYers like us. Fingers crossed.

So, that's where we are in our preparation to make over our kitchen. This week, we're going to work on all of the pre-demo stuff. Removing all cabinet doors and drawer fronts, taking down the upper cabinets, our over-the-range microwave, etc. We are going to do our best to set up a makeshift kitchen in our dining room so things don't get tremendously out of hand. I'll hopefully have some pics of progress to share throughout the week.

I'm so excited.

And nervous. I have a pit in my stomach.

But mostly I'm excited.


caren February 6, 2012 at 6:23 PM  

That glass tile you picked out is the exact same accent tile we have in our upstairs bathroom (that used to be blue everything with the seashell sink to boot). I absolutely LOVE it. Once in a while its nice to splurge and have what you really want. Especially when its something you have to look at every single day. I hope you use it because I'd love to see how it looks in another setting.

Kari February 6, 2012 at 8:01 PM  

You'll be fine!! And the glass mosaic? I love it! If you do it yourself, make sure to use white mastic to put the tile up. If you use the standard gray thinset it will discolor the tiles. :) Sorry-I work in flooring and work A LOT with tile. I'm a walking book of knowledge about things like this. :) If you have any questions, you can always ask!

Vanessa February 7, 2012 at 5:55 AM  

I LOVE the mosaic tiles! I think the whole thing will look really fresh and modern and lovely! Oh I DREAM about replacing our kitchen cabinets! How exciting that you will soon have a 'new' kitchen!

Elisha February 7, 2012 at 6:08 PM  

The glass mosaic will be totally worth it! FYI - My husband and I try to avoid paying HD and Lowe's prices where possible... Amazon has the same faucet for $182 (w/ free shipping of course!) It's only a savings of $14, but hey, it can help you offset the tile cost :)

Heather February 7, 2012 at 9:03 PM  

@Caren--I would love to see it in another setting, too! E-mail me a bathroom pic if you can. :) We're trying to decide if we want to do the whole backsplash with just the mosaic, or if we want to use the mosaic as an accent and use some other, bigger tiles above and below it. We are leaning toward just using 100% mosaic, but we're a little nervous about it!

@Kari--Great tip, thank you. I didn't know that. We can still use any color mortar we want, though, right?

@Vanessa--PAINT THEM! It's the way to refresh a kitchen on a budget. Or so I've been told. :) We'll soon find out.

@Elisha--Thanks for the tip! That's something I wouldn't normally think to shop for on Amazon. We actually have a 10% off coupon to use, so we'll end up getting like a $19 discount, so it'll be better to get it from HD. Normally, I'd be all over the cheaper prices on Amazon!

Anonymous,  February 8, 2012 at 5:32 AM  

If you are considering buying, building, or remodeling your home you may be asking whether or not you should invest in a utility sink.

Emily February 8, 2012 at 8:09 AM  

check into tile stores too. Our new backsplash is still hanging out in our living room, but we only spent about 15% more than HD and the quality is much nicer (we are only using glass for trim though)

Becky February 8, 2012 at 11:02 AM  

I LOVED getting a new faucet when we redid our kitchen. We got a Delta one that is touch sensitive and it is by far my favorite purchase!

We were looking at the Mosiac glass backsplash too and couldn't stomach the price or the look of it all over our kitchen. We then found some really great designs to incorporate it into a tile design so that it was more inexpensive.

We were originally quoted with Benjamin Moore paint but after our research, we decided to go with Sherwin Williams and our contractor agreed. SW wasn't as expensive but still had really high quality product and our contractor told us separately that he was using less BM paint in his jobs because it was becoming more runny than before. Just wanted to pass that on.

Good luck!

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