Hmmmmmmm Where shall I begin........................... Well in 2005 I purchased my very first home and I was so excited about it. I purchased a foreclosed home and I knew that I wanted to renovate it but I didnt know where to start. It took about 2 months after I closed for me to complete the basic work that needed to be done so I could live in my home. At the time I was living with my brother and he didnt see an urgency for me to leave once I moved to Charlotte.
I painted, put new carpet in the entire home and cleaned the entire house and it was so much work to be done and I was glad I finished it. I will try and locate some before pictures but my home was a mess when I closed. The previous owners tore holes in the walls, carpet was ripped up, the walls were black, it smelled like animals lived in the home but the house spoke to me. I asked one of my neighbors if they knew anyone that did floors and she said her next door neighbor named Jo did them. He came over and gave me an estimate and he charged $800 to rip up all the carpet and padding and put down new carpet and padding in the whole house.
Here is the carpet that he originally installed......
Fast forward its 2011 and I felt like I really wanted a different look. I change my personal look all the time and I felt like I wanted to give my house a new look. So I went to start pricing laminate floors and I found the best deal from Lumber Liquidators . I purchased the Calico cherry laminate floors for $.69 a sq ft and I purchased 390 sq ft. I knew that I didnt need that much but I wanted to make sure I had enough flooring. (I ended up using the entire 390 sq ft of laminate flooring) So I called my handy dandy teenagers (my neighbors) and we started ripping up my carpet and padding. Oh this was a job by itself.
So I attempted to do my own floors and I want to say I did good until it was time to do the closet. That was an epic fail!!! LOL I knew the neighbor behind me has his own construction company so I went to his home and he came out and said he would re-do my entire floor for $110. I told him there was no way that I would pay him that little and I ended up paying him double than what he quoted me. He pulled up the laminate and took his machine and cut the floor boards the correct way. I was very pleased with my floors.
Luis does phenomenal work and he travels everywhere. When I met him he was working on a couple of projects in New Jersey and he lives here in NC. His # is 732-277-7369 for anyone who wants him to renovate or create a new room or a new look for your home. I told Luis that my next project that we can work on would be my kitchen. It took me months to figure out how I wanted to change my layout but I couldnt figure out if I wanted to move my island to create a taller island or remove it all together. Luis and I went back and forth for weeks and he was telling me what I needed to do with the space that I have and I had something else in mind. I finally decided on a plan for my kitchen layout because the way the builder created this kitchen it had no space and it wasnt that functional. It was too crammed for my appliances and the kitchen island had to go.
Once I decided to remove the island I realized that underneath the island there was no laminate floor and OMG I didnt know that!!! I had to pull up my entire kitchen floor and put down a new floor just because I decided to move the island and found out there was no flooring underneath.
I had a delima........ I couldnt put down a new floor in my kitchen without flooring my downstairs bathroom and the downstairs laundry room because then I would have had 3 color floors for downstairs and it wasnt symmetrical. UGH!!!! I went to the Home Depot close to my job and decided on the peel and stick vinyl flooring. Luis told me that I had to use the Vinyl tile glue because the peel and stick really isnt peel and stick. You actually have to use glue to glue it down. So Luis pulled up the floor and then the next day started on the floor.
And here is the after picture.........
Now on to the cabinets......................................... My first vision was to tear down my cabinets and get brand new cabinets but when I started doing some research I found out there was no need for me to remove perfectly good cabinets so I decided to do some cosmetic surgery to my cabinets. Here are the cabinets that I painted white
Since purchasing my home my cabinets were originally a light oak color but since then I painted them white and I ended up stripping them down.
Let me tell you...... The work that it takes stripping cabinets if they have been painted isnt worth it and its so much easier to take down and install new cabinets. It took me almost a week to strip the paint off my cabinets to its original color and it was a lot of work. I mean a LOT of work!!! Caution at your own risk.
So after I stripped them I googled how I would stain them. I found a beautiful stain by Minwax and when I went to stain them OMG it looked aweful!!! I mean it was tacky and it didnt look anything like the Google picture of someone else's work and I felt like I needed to purchase new cabinets because that would be the only thing I could do to achieve the look that I wanted.
I remember calling Value City Furniture years ago when I had my black Pub table and the guy told me to get some Mohawk Flat black because some acetone was spilled on my black wood table. He said that is what they use. So I went to Google and there were no pictures of wood that was sprayed with Mohawk but I trusted what that guy said so I went on my Mohawk search. Google was no help. All the images pulled up the actual picture of the can but no images on what the colors looked like on actual wood and no one thought to spray or TONE cabinets. I found one distributor in Hickory, NC so I drove to Hickory and went to Klingspor. http://www.woodworkingshop.com/hickory/
They sell Mohawk products. The men in there are so helpful and I told them about my kitchen renovation and he said that no one has ever asked about spraying cabinets and they recommended TONER for it. I asked them what was the difference and he said that Stain goes into the wood to create the desired look and Toner will not go into the wood and I didnt need the color to go into the wood so I went with Toner. I purchased 10 cans of Mohawn Rouge color toner and they asked me to text them pictures of my kitchen as soon as I finished so they can see it and tell their customers what I did. I plan on doing that after I finish posting this blog. So I went home and took off my cabinet doors. I used the Mohawk Rough Spray Toner and this is what the Minwax look like and when I say it was tacky, sticky and the color isnt what I was looking for ..... that is an understatement.
Then I sprayed my first coat of Mohawk Tone Finish Toner Rouge
OMG I love this stuff!!! It only took 2 coats and I had my desired look. Of course my neighbors came by to see what I was doing and they said they have never seen or heard of anyone Toning their cabinets!! Whhoooooo Hooooooo ! I set the trend!!!
It took the about 6 hours and I finished spraying my entire cabinets and doors. I actually took my time to do them because I wanted to do them right and I didnt want to go back to do any touch up work. So Luis and I took out the old countertop and I purchased a new Formica Counterop. I needed 15 feet of countertop space. It was around $170 for that much countertop and the supplies. While I was there I opted for a new sink as well. I purchased a new sink for $99 and I liked the fact that I had a stainless steel sprayer. I wanted that to match the sink. I was looking at Microwaves and I wanted an above the stove Microwave. I went to Home Depot but I couldnt justify spending $300+ on a microwave so I went to my favorite online place to get stuff...... CRAIGSLIST! I found a black microwave for $100.00. When I called the guy about it he answered my call 3 days later. He said that he had so many inquiries about it and I was the 4th person to call and no one showed up and I told him that that is exactly what I wanted. He just moved out of his townhome and he renovated that and took down the microwave, lighting fixtures, and other stuff he added to the home and decided to sell it. I previously had a range hood and I didnt have an outlet behind the cabinet doors so I told Luis that I needed to add an outlet in order to install this microwave.
Luis took down the range hood, added an electrical outlet, and installed the microwave. It took him about 2 hours and he was done!!!
Here is my range hood
Here is the installed microwave..................................
We moved the dishwasher right next to the sink and I used Mohawk Black Gloss to spray the dishwasher door. I didnt have to purchase a new dishwasher and I used the gloss to brighten up the look of the door. Once I attached the knobs to the cabinet doors I was finished........ So I thought...............
I have been watching and waiting for Black stoves to go on sale because I dont feel like my stove is symmetrical with the look of my kitchen. Today I was watching the DIY channel and I was inspired to Tone/gloss my stove. Yes Gloss it!!! I already had my Mohawk Black Gloss spray so I tested the bottom of the stove where the door is and it went on oh so smoothly. Also this is made of metal and there isnt any heat that touches it so I dont have to worry about it being heat resistant or flammable. I sprayed the bottom on the stove then it was onto the top of the stove. I decided to use cardboard and spray very slowly and evenly so I dont have to worry about streaks or uneven layering.
I sprayed the sides and front of the stove. I removed the drip pans and the burners as well. I opened the stove and placed the cardboard underneath the pans so the gloss was for the exterior only. Not the interior of the stove. Here is what my stove looked like before........................
And 15 minutes later this is what it looks like now....................
I took Luis to Habitat for Humanity because my next project was my daughters bathroom. This was the first time he was there and I saw this beautiful dining table and a lot of people had their eye on it. It caught my eye as well. I really wanted the table but I already had one. I was afraid that the table would be too big for my kitchen and I thought well just get it so I did.
I asked my Twitter followers if this was a dining room table or a living room table and the consensus said Dining room table. I couldnt figure out what kind of chairs I wanted to go with this table so I went to Garden Ridge (after price shopping Walmart, Ikea, and Old Time Pottery) and purchased 4 Parson leather chairs for $69.99 each. I paid $150 for the table and roughly $290 for the chairs and to be honest it looks like I paid more for the set even though I purchased it separately.
Before the renovation...........................................
Now here is my newly renovated; fully functional kitchen