my kitchen intervention (before & during)

Thanks for being patient with me in getting to this post.  I know  I teased with a few pictures then never came back.  So here I am.  My kitchen remodel was mostly cosmetic.  My budget was small.

Here’s what we did:

  • ripped out one wall of wall cabinets (and the soffit above them) and replaced with open shelves
  • removed 4″ granite backsplash and replaced it with 1×4 tongue and groove pine wall paneling, which we painted white
  • painted all of the cabinets to match (as it was half my kitchen was clear coated maple and the other half was green stained maple… not sure whose bright idea that was,  but it looked ridiculous.  I’m all for an accent color on an island, or a china cabinet, but this look was not cool)
  • added lights (recessed can lights and undercabinet lights in the bottom open shelf)
  • new roman shades for windows

Please note: my kitchen is teeny tiny. You can stand at the fridge and touch the dishwasher and the range. I am grateful for my kitchen, but it is tiny.  The objective with the open shelves was to brighten up the space and create more storage. The kitchen before was dark and depressing.  We did not upgrade the appliances, our current ones work fine.  If someone wanted to donate new appliances I’d gladly accept.

My countertops are 2cm Uba Tuba.  Not what I would have picked, but again I am grateful for them… so I worked with them.  If someone wants to donate 3cm honed carrara countertops I’ll gladly accept.

My cabinet door style was fine so we chose to paint them.  We removed the doors and drawer fronts and had my local cabinet shop spray them (lacquer finish) and then my favorite painters (Bryan & Bobby!) painted the base cabinets with a high quality satin finish oil-based paint (it was Sherwin Williams paint).  I was leery that the doors wouldn’t match the base cabinets, but it was a risk I was willing to take.  The doors and drawer fronts take a lot of abuse, so I wanted them in the hard lacquer finish. They matched perfectly.

I’m just showing the before and during photos today, will post the after photos tomorrow.

Here’s a floor plan of my kitchen:


I can’t believe I am showing you this disaster.  The doors were off for two weeks.  Sloaney was mobile (walking!) and had a blast with the doors off.


One day the wall cabinets came down… it was looking better already!

during - cabinets down

Then the soffit came out and the recessed can lights went in.

engineer hard work

A little sheetrock work by my resident engineer… (please note that it was probably after midnight when I took this picture).

new lights are in

Do you know what this did to me for two weeks?  It caused serious heart palpitations.  What a disaster.  The doors and drawers were still at the cabinet shop being painted…

clear maple on fridge side

Ahhh, much better.  Doors and drawers are back home, painted in their new color. Granite backsplash ripped with a crowbar by me.

during doors back

Other side of the kitchen doors and drawers are back on too.  Oh happy day.


The color I ultimately decided on was not that different from the green stain that was already on half of the cabinets in my kitchen.  I like green.  I painted samples on cardboard and looked at it for a few days.  I finally chose the deeper color Sherwin Williams SW6187 “Rosemary”.  It’s a gray green… as the name suggests, it looks just like rosemary.

deciding on color

Turning off the comments… I can’t imagine you will have anything nice to say about these before shots. ;) Will allow them on tomorrow’s post with the after photographs!