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How We Updated a Kitchen in 6 days for Under $900: Part 1

Did you think you misread the title of this post...surely I mean 6 MONTHS, but nope, 6 days!

Let me start by saying, we would not have finished without the hard work, fearlessness and determination of my adorable sister-in-law! She freaking rocked it! Nor could we have got as much done with out my Aunt keeping my little ones occupied. And of course, this wouldn't have happened at all if my mother in law hadn't trusted (most) of my design choices!

Here's the obligatory before's:



As you can see it was dark, cramped and outdated (a 90's manufactured home to be exact!)

We have been talking about giving it a face lift for when our husband's asked if they could go hunting for a week in North Idaho, I would only agree to let them if my sister in law agreed to tackle the kitchen while they were gone! (I do some of my best work when I'm trying not to miss my husband!).

Initially we were JUST going to paint cabinets and possibly tackle the counters, knowing we couldn't go too crazy given the time frame.

( or so I thought...)

Day 1:

We spent most of the first day gathering supplies and catching up, but when my sister in law walked through the door in the evening, one of the first things she said was,"I think we can get the first coat of paint on these cabinets tonight!!"

So it began!

pulling out peninsula

We got a coat of paint on the cabinets and were standing back admiring all our hard work, when my sister in law decided to try pulling up a carpet tack strip between the kitchen and dining room that we had been injuring ourselves on for 5 years. We discovered the linoleum went under the carpet enough to allow us to square off the carpet and rip out the peninsula! That darn peninsula had always caused a major bottleneck in the kitchen when my mother in law hosted dinners, so being able to lose it was a huge win!

Pulled out peninsula

Obviously, with the peninsula gone, we were pretty much committed to finding something to put in its place. I figured a pantry cabinet or a base cabinet with a hutch would work best so we could just hide the awkward window without having to try and patch a big hole.

Day 2: 

Painting cabinet doors (Behr Swiss Coffee)

I got a coat of paint on the cabinet doors and then we headed to town in search of a cabinet to replace the peninsula. We searched everywhere in town for anything we thought could work, including the reStore, Home Depot, Traders, and I even searched Craigslist. We finally tracked down two unfinished pantry cabinets at a Lowe's in Coeur d'Alene (45 min drive away) and planned to get them the next day.

Rust-Oleum Countertop paint

Before heading to bed that night, we did two coats of Rust -Oleum Countertop Paint. It's a one step product that you roll on with a high density roller. Of the 16 colors it can be tinted too, ours ended up a combo of Putty and Earth due to slight disagreement on what would look best. In the end the color was perfect! Make sure you read the directions on this product as it does take 3 days to dry completely!!!

Day 3: 
I sound like a broken record, but day 3 was more coats of paint on the cabinetry and then we were headed off to get the pantry cabinets that were being held for us at Lowe's. As it happened a person with a pantry unit on Craigslist got back to me so we decided to take a chance and head to Spokane to check it out since, hello! - $60 vs. $400! The lady did mention I should "have my husband" bring a drill because it was still installed and we would have to remove it. Little did she know it would be a car full of women showing up! Thankfully, it was easy enough to unscrew it from the wall, but then we realized getting it out of the kitchen was a whole other story! Somehow my sister in law and the homeowner manage to get the cabinet out and loaded on the trailer! Phew!

Getting it home posed a few other problems....namely that the trailer came undone twice!

FYI: when pulling a trailer make sure the person who loans it to you puts the safety pin in... eh...em...Mr. Taylor.

Day 4:
Somewhere in the midst of the chaos we got the hair brained idea that we needed to pretty up the floor before installing the new pantry cabinet. So off to town we went again (did I mention its a 30 min drive from my mother in laws into Sandpoint?) in search of a vinyl floor tiles. We knew that at under $1 sqft, they would be affordable and easy to lay.

installing the vinyl flooring

Once the floors where partially in, I installed the pantry unit.

Pantry unit installed

That night we also convinced my mother in law to splurge on a back splash since she hadn't needed to spend the money on the pantry cabinets (there may or may not have been multiple margaritas involved...)

Day 5: 
I spent the day adding more coats of paint (those faux wood cabinets were a pain!), finishing up the floor and then I met my mother-in-law in town to pick out a back splash. We chose these Faux Tin Tiles because 
  1. they are awesome! (my blogger friend +Jen Migonis used it in her Kitchen and it was also recently used on +HGTV s Flipping the Block by Amanda and Curtis )
  2. they are light weight (remember we are dealing with a manufactured home) 
  3. They just glue to the wall and easily cut with a razor blade - ease of installation for the win!!
The tiles were a bit of a splurge at $20 each, but we only needed 9 to complete the back splash!
The rest of the night was spent hanging cabinet doors and installing the back splash.

Faux tin tile

We finally called it a night around 1 am on day 6...

Day 6:
We were trying to wrap up loose ends on the kitchen, finishing back splash, installing a transition from the new floor to the carpet and caulking when wouldn't you know it, the men folk came pulling in before noon!!! My sister and I thought we would have the whole day to bring the room together, but the one time we wanted to surprise the guys with all we had done (remember they thought we were just painting cabinets) they showed up early! 

If I could have captured the looks on their faces when they walked through the door!


They were completely speechless!

Best of all we put them to work installing light fixtures as punishment for ruining our surprise! (they would've kept hunting had they known we were going to put them to work!!!) 

Want to see the results of all our hard work? 

Come back tomorrow...I just couldn't fit it all in one post! Sorry!!


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