DIY Condo Kitchen

Thanks to Pinterest! Thanks to unemployment! Thanks to my parents for watching our son during the first few weeks. Our 2 bedroom condo was empty upon move-in. I wanted to repaint all of the kitchen cabinets before moving in. 80’s Linoleum and Melamine.. Here is a picture of before:

First, I labeled each cabinet before taking it apart. As I was painting, I ended up taking the number tags and putting them on the hinges of the doors (I didn’t remove the hinges. I didn’t really care about the inside of the cabinet doors).

Then, I used deglosser: 5538bf1a-4b74-4ca4-a2ea-618733a93345_1000

Then 2 coats of primer:b3289206-5840-4c57-a0c9-a6157044d3dd_1000

Followed by 2 coats of white paint!4895394b-96c0-48cd-85b0-6e49b5255399_1000


During the times when things were drying, I was CLEANING. It took 2 days to clean the oven. Another day to clean the fridge and dishwasher. I was also painting the countertops.

I tried to use one of the Rust-O-Leum kits, and found that the quality and cost was not favorable in comparison to the above products, particularly the Behr paint! You can instantly see and feel the smoother coverage.

Tools that I used:

Some things I learned:
1. It is much easier to paint with some type of stands to hold up the cabinets. Also, if possible, paint the cabinet doors in a garage or something.
2. PROTECT the work area. Use painter’s tape. Cover with plastic. Do all of this thoroughly in the beginning. (I totally did NOT do this and regret it)
3. Take off the doors/panels on hinges that won’t require you to have to adjust the frames/hinges when you put them back on. There is an art to balancing out doors. It took me a day to get them back on “evenly”.
4. Work is MUCH faster with the roller. Paint brush for edges and things. When using the paint brush, brush in 1 direction.
5. PROTECT yourself! GLOVES, wear a suit if you can. I didn’t do either. I was inconsistent with the gloves too. I’m a pretty messy painter, so I lost a lot of clothes during this whole process. Also, 3 weeks after everything was “done,” I got all these itchy rashes on my arms and hands because of all the products I was using.
6. PACE yourself. This type of work requires a lot of using the same muscles over and over again. I totally had temporary carpal tunnel because I was overworking these muscles that my body was just not used to using. It’s like training to run a marathon. You can’t just go all out and run the whole marathon without training your muscles steadily without ending up in the emergency room.

Then, came the counters, the backsplash, the floors, ……………….

I painted the countertops. I got 3 colors of paint that I randomly selected and mixed at Home Depot. I also got those chips that they sell for garage floors to make them look like granite. I first painted, then put chips. I used whatever materials I had on hand. I used painter’s cloths bunched up, sponges, pieces of sponges, splatter from paintbrushes. I was pretty free in my process. Messy too. Then, I covered with epoxy.



Notice the MESS. I was throwing garbage in the center of the plastic in the kitchen. Totally unplanned. I was also doing too many things at once. I put the cabinet faces up too early. I was at the same time, working on the backsplash.

I used this product instead of mastic:
**I think it may have been easier to just use Acrylpro. It took forever to get these simple mats up. But, they are still holding up very well, so maybe it’s ok.**

These are the tiles:
**I should have been more careful and used better tile spacers. I used these:
But in retrospect, I should have used something longer and easier to pull out of the spaces. I am seriously an idiot when it comes to straight lines.**

I used 2 different types of pre-mixed grout. This one below, FusionPro, was worth the extra money. It definitely was easier, smoother, and better looking after:ebfe82fb-1324-49fe-914f-3bbe155dbeea_1000

MORE to come…

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