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Tag: DIY Kitchen Island

Kitchen Makeover Update: One Year Later

One of the biggest projects to date that I tackled was my kitchen makeover.  I can’t believe it’s been a year, but this time last Summer, I was finishing up the final details and sharing it with you.

Since that time, I’ve been flooded with questions (and many kind comments – thank you), and thought a One-Year-Followup post including answers + an update a year later would be interesting and helpful for those thinking of tackling something similar.

There were alot of details and updates that went into the entire Kitchen Makeover, resulting in quite a few posts to explain all the steps.
Here they are:

Since this is a followup post, let’s start with some of the reader questions that I received related to…

painting the cabinets

From Shani:
it is beautifully done! i painted my cabinets in my previous house, and found that if i hit the cabinets hard (with a pot handle etc) that the paint you find that to be the case? great job!

From Kyra:
Did you use primer on all of the cabinets ? I would think you would want to use primer everywhere? DId you sand the cabinets first? You don’t mention it but I would think you’d want to.

From Julie:
Looks great!!! Did you not use a primer on these..or did you tint the primer? Also did you sand these first?How is the paint holding up?

I absolutely used Primer and wouldn’t do any project like this, without! Primer is key to a great finish and a long-lasting result.  To start off, I gave the cabinets a light sanding, then applied one coat of Kilz Primer. When using the Kilz Primer, sanding isn’t really needed, but I did it anyway to remove the sheen from the cabinet face.  Plus the Kilz Primer is great for blocking the wood grain and stain from showing through.

Once dry about 24 hours later (the paint can says wait 7 days for it to fully cure, but I didn’t), I applied 2 coats (in some areas 3 coats) of Benjamin Moore Aura Paint. Their Aura paint is a primer + paint in one, but I still felt that it was important to use the Kilz primer first.


From Stachia:
What color and brand of paint did you use for your kitchen cabinets?

The paint color that I used for the cabinets was Benjamin Moore Berkshire Beige in a semi-gloss finish using their Aura Paint line (primer and paint in one).  A semi-gloss finish is important to use on cabinetry and/or furniture so the surface can easily be cleaned and/or wiped off.

updating the countertops

From Amy:
Just one question, does the countertop have bumps, or does it just appear that way in the photo?

My Response:
With the Rust-Oleum kit, the countertop is slightly bumpy to imitate the look of a natural stone surface. It’s not overly bumpy, but also not completely smooth.

From sl:
I would love to do this to my kitchen countertop. Yours look GREAT!!! I am still trying to convince my hubby. Did you put the color chip on the backsplash and edges? Is so was it hard to get them in these spots? Is not, does it look odd without color chips? Thanks for any info you can share.

My Response:
Yes, I did put the chips on the countertop edge and backsplash. With the tool that is provided, it sprays the chips all over and will cover the vertical surfaces. If there are spots that don’t get covered, you can throw chips on them, which will adhere because the adhesive is very sticky. All surfaces of the counter, absolutely needed to be covered with the chips or you won’t achieve the quality needed to hold up.

From Marti:
Could you please elaborate on your comment that the chips must cover all areas or the quality needed to hold up won’t be achieved. Do you mean that the chips facilitate the hardening process, and without them, full hardening won’t occur? Also, did you notice any odor at any stage in the process? I have an allergy to paint. Many thanks.

My Response:
When you are at the point of adding the “chips”, you want cover the entire countertop surface – the more, the better. After the chips are added, the next day you put on the sealer (top protective coat). If the countertop is not covered enough with the chips, your old countertop color will show through. The chips DO NOT facilitate the hardening process, but the chips are essentially the color that changes the countertop. So the first coat is the glue, second is the chips a.k.a. “color”, and the last coat is the protective seal. There was very little odor throughout the process. I was very worried about this with having two young kids, but it really wasn’t an issue. Honestly, we ended up going out for meals during the process since the kitchen was OFF LIMITS!

From Kristin:
Hi there! You mentioned the peeling of the top coat when the tape isn’t properly removed. We just did these countertops this weekend and had one spot where it did that. What did you use to fix the area??? On another note I would totally agree that the difficulty level is at a 2. It was SO easy and the instructions were great. The scoring of the tape, though, really is vital.

My Response:
If part of the countertop peels after you’ve applied the “chips” and sealer,  the instructions say to go through the entire process again for that specific spot.

Overall the process of the Rustoleum Transformations Kit was not difficult and the instructions were very thorough.  Included is a comprehensive video that is a must to watch! We took the weekend to work on the project, but it didn’t take all day.  Also, thankfully there wasn’t ANY ODOR – big checkmark 😉

I received quite a few questions and comments about the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations Kit.  I have not had the pleasure of using the product, so I really can’t comment, BUT some readers that used the white or lighter colors had a bad experience with it yellowing.  Has this happened to you?

tiling over laminate

I guess my tutorial on this part of the makeover was easy to follow (or no one liked it – hehe) because I didn’t receive one single question.  Anyway, with tiling over the 3″ high laminate backsplash, the kitchen really has a custom and unique look.  Often seen in typical kitchens, is a 3″ high backsplash to match the countertop which is sealed at the joint so no water or liquid will leak behind the base cabinets.  Great concept, but very ordinary and not really interesting.  Because we were “painting” over our existing countertops, there was no way to remove the laminate backsplash, so I just tiled right over it!  It was easy and there was nothing different or special than tiling any other surface.

adding decorative brackets

By introducing the decorative brackets, the kitchen has a sophisticated aesthetic with interesting architectural details.  Before, there was one long row of cabinets, but now the brackets add an unexpected element.

Update One Year Later

Now that I’ve highlighted a few of the popular questions from the makeover, it’s time for me to share some images and updates a year later.

Thankfully the cabinets have REALLY held up well over the past year.  We’re a family of four, with two young kids, so the kitchen is used ALOT!  It has received so much wear and tear, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the cabinets.

Unfortunately, I wish I could say that about the countertop.  Within the first few weeks of using the Transformations Kit, the newly “painted” surface started to scratch, show spots and wear.  That being said, I am still happy with the overall look and how much the kitchen changed by using the Rustoleum product.  I’m often asked, “Is the product worth it?  Is it more of a temporary fix?”… well that’s difficult to answer.  It comes down to your budget and how long you plan on living with the kitchen.  The product is around $250-$300 (the last time I saw it at HD or Lowes), which is pricey, but at the same time we didn’t want to invest in a more expensive countertop.  Honestly, looking back knowing the imperfections today, I’m still glad we chose this product.  A bigger, more $$$ kitchen makeover might be ahead of us in 3-5+ years and until then, the updates we made are just fine (and actually more than fine). So my roundabout answer is, if you have the money and plan on keeping the countertops for 5-10+ years, go with another surface, but if you’re on a budget and/or want a quick and on-budget solution, the Rustoleum Transformations Kit is a great idea.

Here are some images of the kitchen that I just took yesterday.

I’d like to stress that even though I’m an in-real-life designer, my home is not staged and looks like most everyone elses.  The kitchen is often the most messiest place in our home and before cleaning it up to shoot some pics, this is what it looked like…

You can see the multiple DIY projects that I’m in the midst of.

Does your kitchen look like this ever?

Thankfully a few minutes later I got it all cleaned up and this is what it looks like a year after the makeover…

These are some of the scratches and wear marks on the countertop.

And this is a stain (completely my fault) where I dropped super glue.

And like I said, the cabinets have held up GREAT, but there are touch-ups that will be needed here and there.  For instance, the shelves on the open cabinet get alot of wear multiple times a day when I take out and put back the baskets.

But there really is no reason to complain, because this Benjamin Moore paint was easy to apply and has held up SO well.

These pictures were just taken yesterday and I haven’t made any paint touch ups since the day they were painted a year ago.

And this quote – a favorite of mine -sits on the window sill by the kitchen sink and keeps me in check many moments throughout the day.

So that’s the makeover update one year later.

Are there questions that you have that I haven’t answered?  If so, Ask Me, and I’ll add them to the post.