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Where did this all begin? Well, it started with demo and paint, but it began when G and I realized something: We wanted to pay off the house before we started remodeling it. I know. It's a Big Hairy Goal (BHG), but it made us feel like we could breathe for the first time in years. A bit of background (but first, if you're just here for the kitchen reno info, scroll to below the picture to get started!) - we are firm believers in no debt, and only have payments on our house. Everything else, we save for and pay in cash. That includes cars, big renovations, you name it, it's saved for then paid for. With that in mind, it was going to be years of saving to do even one project. In the mean time, we were living with what we had, which was okay, but not awesome. It felt like we were financially trapped, always scraping to get even one thing done. Then, out of nowhere, G and I had the same thought: if the house is paid for, we can do everything we want to in months, not years. It was like a breath of fresh air. Finally, freedom.

It should take us around 7 years to pay off the house if we buckle down and focus, so in the mean time, we agreed to a few small projects I could tackle solo: small facelifts/renovations in the bathroom (see how that turned out in the related posts suggestions!), and the kitchen. After some planning and prep, we determined the kitchen could be done for around $1500, and I got to work!


Step one was the demo phase. Our flooring was already just subfloor, and I was re-using the existing cabinets in their current locations, so the only real demo was tearing off the old partial tile backsplash, taking down the old light fixtures, and removing the old sink. I left the sink for removal right before doing the countertops so we could keep using the kitchen as long as possible, but I quickly tore out the other things.

Once everything was removed, I began with painting the walls and ceiling. I wanted the room to feel really fresh and open, so we went white white white. The walls, trim, and windows are Sherwin Williams Pure White, and the ceiling is the same, but in a ceiling paint. I wasn't particularly careful with anything while painting aside from the windows since everything was going to be primed white then only the lower cabinets would be painted a different color. The floor was being covered later with new flooring, and the countertops were being redone, so I didn't have to worry about messes. If you're curious about my painting tips, visit this post from the bathroom reno where I share what I've learned.

My one tip for demo is go slowly. It can be temping - and cathartic! - to just tear into it, but you need to be aware that you don't damage anything you'd need to repair later. For me, that meant slowly removing the tile backsplash so I didn't have to repair the plaster wall behind, and slowly, gently, carefully removing the sink so I didn't damage the tiles below since I was using them as the base for my new countertops.

Before/during demo

After we finished painting the ceiling and walls, I had our neighbor help install the new lights (they're nothing fancy - bought specifically to disappear into the ceiling since they are oddly placed) and phase one was finished!


The next step was removing the cabinet doors and drawer faces so I could begin on the countertops. They were hands down the biggest, scariest, most involved project. It was dramatic and crazy, but the results are amazing! I'll break them down over 2-3 posts for you, just in case you want to try your hand at epoxy countertops too! That's all for today!


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