In the Kitchen,  Remodeling

Cooking Up a Kitchen

The first project on our new home, the biggest one we tackled inside, was getting our kitchen up and running.

First thing, we removed the tile countertops and backsplash, old stove, all of the cabinet doors, and one of the upper cabinets. My step-dad helped Larry remove the tile, with safety in mind – ear, eye and nose protection.

Larry & Dave removing tile

The cabinet we removed was cute with its little shelf at the end, but it was too low to have a stove under it, and didn’t fit the look we were going for in the kitchen. (It will show up later in the laundry room Making Laundry Fun* ).

Cabinet that will make a return later

We replaced the cabinet with new ones we purchased at Home Depot.

Three separate pieces, primed for paint

I was going to remove this whole cabinet/shelf area (on the left), but my mom convinced me to reconsider. It’s a pretty cool part of the kitchen now, so I’m glad we left it there. It originally had cabinet doors on the very top and weird little dividers on the bottom shelf (maybe for mail sorting?). There were drawers in the little openings shown here – they’ll make a return.

Cookbook & Desk Area, next to pantry

We had to install metal brackets on the long counter, since we were extending it lengthwise and making it wider to accommodate bar stool seating.

Brackets necessary to support weight of granite

The granite countertops were purchased and installed through Home Depot’s program. The granite sink was purchased at Amazon and installed by the same company who put in the countertops.

These guys did a great job

So, here’s where we went against the grain (pun intended) and made our cabinets different than anything we’d seen. We decided to paint the cabinet boxes and have finished wood doors and drawer fronts, instead of the other way around.

Larry masked everything off and put up plastic to keep paint from going into the rest of the house.

Lots of paper, plastic and tape!

Then he suited up…

Ready to go!

and sprayed. Here’s where his autobody/painting experience came in handy! We used Kelly Moore DuraPoxy paint, and it has held up very well.

Larry likes his Graco Magnum paint sprayer

We really wanted hickory cabinets, but they were way out of our price range. So, we decided to order finish-grade ash wood doors and drawer fronts, and stain everything hickory.

We ordered the doors and drawer fronts online through We were so excited the day we received a whole pallet! There were 46 doors and 15 drawer fronts total.

Door and drawer front delivery

We were able to work on about 12 doors at a time in the shop. We (mostly Larry) stained them with Minwax Gel Stain in Hickory, cleared them with Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane in Clear Satin, sanded the clear with steel wool, then applied the final coat. Tedious and time-consuming, but so worth it.

Doors in process

Larry moved outlets, filled holes, and textured where the tile backsplash had been, then we painted the walls and ceiling with Behr paint from Home Depot. Several evenings were spent installing cabinet doors, drawers, and knobs and pulls (all oil-rubbed bronze, purchased at Amazon).

We love these cup drawer pulls

We installed the appliances, all purchased at Home Depot. The old oven/microwave combo was replaced with double ovens, and the new microwave/vent hood was placed over the new stove.

The light fixtures were purchased online at

We like the schoolhouse look of these lights

That cabinet my mom convinced us to keep? It’s now a really great area for recipe cards and cookbooks. You didn’t see the cute little drawers in the before photo – I’d already removed them for painting. We now use the drawers for our favorite recipes, which I printed and laminated. The drawer labels were made using the Cricut cutting system and adhesive-backed vinyl.

From demolition list to one of my favorite spots

The desk holds our family calendar, phone, and Alexa Show; it’s the information hub of the whole house.

Recipe books are kind of a problem – I want them all!

Slide-a-Shelf drawers, purchased through Amazon, were added under the stove, under the bar, and in the pantry. These are a real back-saver for use in deep cabinets like ours. I’d show you a picture, but they aren’t fit for viewing – we have them stuffed to the brim!

We decorated, and added some lighting at the top molding of the cabinets (LED strip lights with remote control) and underneath them (puck lights with remote control), and the kitchen was done.

The cooking/baking area, pantry & fridge
The dishwasher, sink and bar area

Whew – just looking back exhausts us! We’re going to rest awhile, then we’ll be back to share another room.

Thanks for visiting!



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