Kitchen Makeover on a Small Budget

Let’s begin the journey of my ktichen makeover. Just follow the flashing lights on the floor as I lead you down the isle to the hee… hahhh, sit back and relax as I share with you a few minutes here the two week journey that I took with my kitchen. The kitchen just wasn’t usable or even inviting; cramped and not enjoyable at all to spend time in!

I was so glad to get rid of the old fashion looking plywood cupboard doors. No I didn’t go out and buy new ones, remember budget here. My uncle and I stripped all the years of paint off them and added a think trim that gives them more depth. I spent about $30 on the trim. The cupboards and doors were then painted white and the walls got a beautiful butter yellow color.

I ripped out the ugly fake brick patterned lino and sanded the hardwood floors that were underneath. After staining the floor with a mahogany stain to match the rest of the house floors, I put on a couple good coats of Minwax polyurenthane for the finish. So much nicer to walk on, not to mention keep clean.

With the help of my wonderful 72 year young uncle, who is recovering from Cancer Treatment, we cut a nice big hole in the wall dividing the dining room from the kitchen for my new pass bar. That was an interesting experience for me. I have helped my dad with renos and construction in the past but this was my first job where I was doing the work with the help of someone else.

My uncle started to cut the hole in the dining room wall with his utility knife and didn’t believe me when I told him “Careful Uncle Ernie, that use to be an exterior wall and is a lot tougher than you may think. It isn’t made of jiprock, it is gyps mud over wood.” he said “nahhh, I can cut it with this no problem.” hee hee after an hour of him cutting with the utility knife and only getting about 3 inches, he sat down huffing and puffing, “Get my jigsaw” was all he said to me. I quietly handed it to him, smiling and not saying anything. I had a proper blade in it already for him. He cut the rest of the wall breaking the blade making us run to get more.

After we finished the cutting we took all the ship-lap off the studs. Then we went around into the kitchen to work on the wall from that side. My uncle sat and supervised while I cut and exposing the studs.

I could hear him mumble every once, ” I can’t believe that they left the exterior wall up like this”. I just kept working and cleaning up the rest of my mess before tackling the studs. My uncle cut half way through 3 spots of the studs with his jigsaw before I took over. I had to cut by hand the rest of the way through the studs as the jigsaw blade wasn’t long enough to go through the studs.

I was pleasantly surprised that it only took me an hour to do the job by hand, I figured it would take a lot longer.

After the studs were removed and the mess cleaned up we stopped for the day to rest. The next morning we went to the hardware store to get wiring and such for the next stage. We got back to the kitchen to tackle the one wire that needed to be moved from the centre of the wall to the side. If you don’t have someone who knows about wiring working with you, I would strongly suggest not trying this step on your own.

It was easier than I had thought, with my uncle’s 35 years of experience. The wire was from the original part of the house pre40s. We were able to move it over the side of the pass bar window. I added a new plug-in in the kitchen above where the counter was going to be. It was easy! I don’t like wiring but this time I did it without curling my hair. Once the wiring was cleaned up and added, we framed in the pass bar hole getting it ready for my new pass bar top and trim that my parents were bringing from Bella Coola.

My Dad built me a beautiful butcher block counter top to fit the original cupboards opposite to the new counter and pass bar. He brought uppers from the cabin that they were cleaning up to use as my shelves under my new counter top. He put it on a 2 inch kicker and we took the doors off. I wanted to create an airy, open feel in the kitchen. This worked! I painted the unit white and we put the new counter top on that we picked up at Rona for $75. I then had the interesting job of finishing the ends of the counter with “endcaps” using my iron and lots of patience as I filed away the excess material. The counter looks amazing, like it was meant to be on that wall. The added opening for my beautiful pass bar between the dining room and kitchen makes both rooms feel bigger, brighter and more pleasant to be in.

With all the paint, material, new counter top, wiring, plug fixture, etc. I am thrilled to say I didn’t go over my budget limit of $500. I have a new amazing space to work in without breaking the bank.

I have spent loads of time in my new kitchen enjoying the energy, environment and more creative space. People come by and their favorite place to hang out is at the pass bar looking into the kitchen. I might have to get a stool or two to tuck under the counter end so that they have a nice place to sit.

By Laura