When we started looking at homes to buy I was hooked on all of the pinterest ideas. I wanted a farm like essence with a twist of fun, modernization, and lots of Morgan Hall spirit. Interesting right? I wanted the barn door in my den (see it here!!!) and a hammock swing to hang in our office (coming soon!) I wanted to DIY most everything that we possibly could.
Anyways, while house hunting the first thing I would always do is basically re-do a room. I would take it and make it into what I pictured it being. It’s the planner in me. But when my wonderful husband and I sat down to discuss our budget for home DIY projects I was a little unsure if we would be able to do everything I wanted. Because we all know as a woman when we want something we typically want it right then and there.
However, because we chose to literally DIY everything we have saved a TON of money and still have been able to do just about everything we want. The kitchen was my first mission to complete.
There will be tons of pictures and descriptions on how we did everything in this post and no I did not take pictures of everything step by step because I just totally forgot so it will all be lumped together here. Also all of these pictures are on my iphone and I know that I will never be a fashion, food, or home blogger because I’m lazy and don’t feel like getting my nice camera together to take pics that are all fancy shmancy (at this time, maybe one day).
I want you to know this is what I was starting with. Nothing horrible but definitely not my favorite. I wanted a brighter kitchen that brought in more light and didn’t make me feel like I was living in the dark ages. The only thing I liked about this kitchen was the hardware on the cabinets. I love those and we saved a ton of money by just reusing those.
The first thing that we did was the cabinets. I had read everywhere online that this was no task for the first time DIYer and I said CHALLENGE ACCEPTED WORLD. We took all the cabinet doors off and labeled them as well as bagged the hardware (this was huge people) and then got to work on sanding everything so that we could paint the cabinets.
The cabinets had a really dark wood stain on them so we actually had to use a paint stripper to get that off before we sanded them. This added about an extra day to our process but actually was a lot better and faster sanding with smoother finish.
I decided (literally at the last minute in our first big Lowe’s trip) that I wanted to do a white top cabinet with a dark bottom cabinet. I thought it would look awesome and I wanted to just go for it and be bold.
After sanding the cabinets we primed them. I primed the cabinets with Kilz oil primer and it was fan-freaking tastic. After priming the cabinets I went over them one more time with some sand paper just to get any fuzzy’s off and make sure it was a smooth top.
I ended up doing three coats on the cabinets after the primer. I used the color Iconic White by Sherwin Williams for the top cabinets. For the bottom coats I used a sample color (which I will figure out the name of eventually but I don’t remember at this moment!) amount and did three coats and I love how they turned out (total price for paint: $45).
Once the layers of paint had dried we put all the cabinets back on with the same hardware for the handles (seriously I love those rustic handles).
After finishing the cabinets the next thing that we decided had to be fixed was those darn lights in the middle. Not to mention, at the height that they are in the above picture Matt would hit his head on them every time he would walk near them. Thanks to my super handy super studly husband, he was able to figure out how to raise these lights and we set off for our 124123 trip to Lowes to buy some different shades for these lights.
We were able to save SO much money by just buying these shades and using the current light system that was already installed. These shades were $18/each and a new light fixture was triple that price for just one of the three sets we would need. We also bought some thomas edison looking light bulbs that are SO cool (total light price including bulbs: $75)
The last big projects that I wanted to do in our kitchen was paint the walls (obvi) and put in our own backsplash. Matt and I divided up the project and decided he should do most of the backsplash and I would paint.
I made the mistake of not using a primer on these gosh darn yellow walls so after trying 3 paint shades and realizing that they were all turning my walls blue, purple, or some weird funky color I finally got a white color to turn off grey for the most part which will do for now.
(Shelves were already there- love them- that table we got from Habitat for Humanity for $120 and Matt stained it a super dark color to make it look much fancier. This cost a total of $140). The area where our table is now used to have this crazy cabinet thing that was taking up SO much room. My father-in-law and Matt actually took it out and I’m so glad to have an actual table in that area now!
I didn’t take many “during” backsplash pictures because it was a HUGE project that was pretty messy. Basically we bought the tile ($90 for the amount of sq/ft we were covering in our kitchen) grout, cement, and all the devices for that ($50ish) and got to work. First Matt had to sand the walls and then lay the cement. After that we had to carefully lay all the pieces for the tile and then cover with grout!
There are still things we need to do in this room. Matt is going to build me a bench for our kitchen table (swoon), we have to bring in our other kitchen chairs that we have stained today. We have to probably change the color of the walls (again) and I need to touch up a few areas that had some lazy painting going on, but overall we will just continue to make it a work in progress.
It was SO fun to DIY this room with Matt! We saved TONS of money by doing this stuff on our own and yes it was mega hard and yes we only finished this much of it because we literally didn’t have internet for almost a month and there was nothing else to do buuuut it was worth every second and every blood sweat and tear that went into it.
I’m sure in 10 years or so I’ll completely re-do everything (like blow out some walls and put in some doors no biggie I’m already planning my next big kitchen reno) but for now this little spot is everything I could have wanted and more.