Before & After: Lisa DIY Kitchen Rehab

Before & After: Lisa DIY Kitchen Rehab

Jason Loper
May 6, 2011

My post, Before & After: Brightening Up the Kitchen Cabinets, inspired a loyal Apartment Therapy reader to point me toward her own kitchen rehab. Just wait until you see what Lisa was able to do with this very dated kitchen ...

When Lisa directed me to her flickr photostream and I saw this amazing kitchen transformation, I knew I had to share it! After getting more details from Lisa on the rehab, I'm even more impressed. Not only was the majority of the project DIY, Lisa also sourced many of the materials from her local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Lisa explains:

"We didn't really have a budget, but the rule was that we couldn't put anything on credit. The whole kitchen transformation happened over a long period (a little over 1 year) in phases, and was all diy except for the electrical upgrade. The first thing we did was put down the new flooring (Dupont Chess laminate flooring) and got a new laminate countertop (Wilsonart Galactic Black), since we determined those two things to be the biggest eye sores. We also replaced the shallow sink that came with the place with a deeper sink.

We found a goldmine of long glass Kraftmaid cabinet doors at the Restore and bought the whole lot. We pulled the glass out of the frames and routed out our original upper cabinet doors to fit the glass in. We were also able to use two more of the glass doors on our pantry. After the counters were installed, we put up and grouted the backsplash (got tile on ebay). I wish I had done that part before we put up the new counter, but, eh, live & learn. We liked it so much we bought some more tiles and extended the backsplash to the stove side of the kitchen too. Our stove was a cute Philco electric stove, but we had a gas connection and really missed cooking on gas. We had been keeping an eye on Craigslist for a 42" vintage gas stove, but couldn't find anything listed for less than 1k, which is probably reasonable but we are cheapskates and a half. Finally spotted a crazy stainless Frigidaire gas stove (lovingly dubbed "the beast") that was an insanely low price with matching microwave, which we quickly snatched up. Now we had added so many appliances at this point that an electrical upgrade was necessary. And we had to contract it out. Boo! So we had an electrician put in the new box, then we connected everything ourselves, which kept the cost down.

We made a built-in pantry out of an old double oven cabinet. We trimmed it out, added a shelf and some pullout bins (from a cut down ikea Antonius unit), then slapped a couple of glass doors on the front. We bought a 5-gal jug of Valspar white glossy interior paint. $50 and you don't have to wait for it to be mixed! We just figured if we hated it we could write it off as primed and paint over it. When it was all done, I freaked at the lack of color. I had a half-gallon of Stonington Grey (BM) paint left and painted the upper cab doors in it. I wanted to keep the bottom white to match the "integrated" dishwasher that we gutted the left side of our bottom cabs to install. I freaked a bit more and pulled out some teal fabric, stapled it to foamboard and inserted it on the back of the cabinets. I figured I could change the color out if we wanted a "change" later on down the road."

Lisa concludes, "Our kitchen remodel is basically brought to you by our local Restore. We found that white dishwasher, all of the lighting, the kitchen sink, glass doors, and the shell for our "pantry" there. We love that place! I don't have exact totals, but my conservative estimate is that we spent $3500 all inclusive but the electrical upgrade. The electrical added another $2600."

Bravo, Lisa! And thanks for sharing. Your kitchen rehab is an inspiration!

Images: Lisa

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