This post is a continuation of My DIY Kitchen Remodeling Project – Part 1.
As you learned on it, this kitchen remodeling project was basically a multi-project in which I pretty much used almost every skill I had learned on previous projects until then. On top of it, it also allowed me to learn a few new ones, like some basic carpentry and cabinet work and some electrical work.
As of the end of Part 1, I had removed some laminate and vinyl flooring, replaced it with new porcelain tile flooring, upgraded the lighting by replacing a fluorescent light fixture with some recessed lights, and custom built a new kitchen island using cabinets from Lowes.
It was time to move on to the next task!
REPLACING LAMINATE COUNTERTOPS WITH GRANITE
I may have cheated on this step, days before I even started working on the project, I got quotes and ordered new granite countertops to replace the existing laminate ones. I also ordered an extra piece for the new custom built island. Days later, I got a template done and an install day scheduled.
Right before the installation the countertops looked like this:
During the installation, it was already looking much better. I went with Black Pearl granite, in case you are interested:
As part of the countertops upgrade, I went ahead and ordered a new faucet and under mount sink from Kraus. I chose the Kraus Combo as they seemed to be of good quality, at a better price than buying a sink and faucet separately. On top of it, it came with extras such as the soap dispenser, drains, and even some cleaning towels! I was not disappointed with my decision.
RESTAINING THE EXISTING KITCHEN CABINETS
If you have a good eye, you perhaps noticed that by the time the new countertops were being installed I had already started working on the cabinets. I had already removed some doors and done some sanding on the base cabinet frames. Fortunately, as you may know by now, this was an early-2000s-built house, the cabinets were in great shape inside and out, it was only a matter of being creative to make them look nicer, more modern and even newer.
With the countertops in place, it was time to move forward with the refinishing project. I continued removing all cabinet doors and hardware, I kept the hinges and screws in the cabinets because I didn’t want to lose any of them, the old hardware was put in a bag and I still have it somewhere. I also identified all the doors and drawer’s front panels and organized them in the garage for easier sanding and staining, but before I even got to that step, I filled all the hardware holes (except hinges, of course) with wood putty.
Once all the doors and drawer’s front panels were lightly sanded and cleaned up, it was time to put a coat of stain, I went with the Polyshades one step Stain and Polyurethane. I didn’t know what to expect, but after the first coat, it seemed like it was going to work out.
After the first coat, I went ahead and light-sanded them a bit more, I put a total of two coats on each side of the doors, drawer panels and the frames, it took about a week total, and that’s counting dry times before I could put second coats and move forward.
BACKSPLASH INSTALLATION & FINAL TOUCHES
I didn’t waste my time while waiting for the staining job to be completed, though. In the meantime, I worked on installing a new tile backsplash and replacing the ceiling fan with two pendant lights (Proteus 1 light by Access Lighting), positioned right on top of the island.
For the backsplash I went with the same porcelain tile I used on the floor, except that it was 6” x 6”, I also used the same matching accent tile. However, I customized it a bit by replacing the brown centerpiece with black tile to match the countertop and appliances.
To set them on the wall, I used Omnigrip tile adhesive.
As an extra bonus, I went ahead and replaced the old stove, with a new double-oven one, it made a big difference!. I also installed new cabinet bar pulls, the ones I used may no longer be available, however, these look very similar.
Note: After I completed the project, I realized that the island was too small to seat four. I ended up ordering a longer countertop (74” X 38”) and added an extra two chairs on each end of the island.
Readers, what do you think of the new kitchen? What do you like the most about it? What do you hate? What would you have done differently?
Working on a similar DIY kitchen remodeling project? This is what you need:
- Screwdrivers and hand tools (always useful)
- Sand paper (different grits)
- Masking tape
- Wood filler (putty)
- Wood stain and brushes
- Framing square, tile and tile saw
- Tile spacers (optional, but make the job way easier and accurate)
- V-notched trowel, Omnigrip tile adhesive, Rubber Float, Grout, Sponges, 5-gallon bucket
- Pendant lights and electrical cable (if needed)
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