Kitchen Renovation, Part 1 of Many

We bought a new house in Fayetteville, GA back in March. However, it took until early August before I could actually join my husband down in Georgia, so I have had a considerable amount of time to mull over the many exciting projects a new home brings. Top of the list: the kitchen. 

Kitchen as viewed on the MLS

The house is not actually new, it's just new to us. It was built in the mid 1980s, and the kitchen is way, way out of date with its formica countertops and plywood site built cabinets, so it's one of the first places to begin.

I decided to keep the cabinets themselves, as they are reasonably sturdy, and it seemed like a waste to trash them. Also, if I ripped out the cabinets, then it would be a total redo, which is out of budget range. However, the cabinet doors had suffered much. The original hardware had at some point been replaced with some very strange looking brushed nickel pulls that reminded me of crimped dough. 

Surprise! Routed detail hidden by the heavy moulding

Also, the original cabinet doors had a routed detail which was regrettable, which the previous owners had then covered in a moulding strip not suitable for a cabinet door, making them even more weirdly unattractive. So I decided to get rid of the doors themselves and replace them with very simple doors of MDF. That's the long term projection, but let's not get ahead of the story.

First to go was the hardware. I took down all the doors, and donated the hardware to a Habitat for Humanity Restore. In case you are unfamiliar with them, they take donations of all kinds of left over building materials, which also means you can go there and buy all sorts of building materials on the cheap which is especially good if you have a small project and you are willing to be creative and a little flexible.

While I was still trying to sell out home in NC, my husband moved some things into the open cabinets, so I started a shuffle thing as soon as I started working on them. I began with the lower cabinets under the stovetop unit. The insides of the cabinets were finished with a mixture of dust and grease, but were otherwise just plywood.

Spooky unfinished interior of the kitchen cabinets

I don't understand cabinets whose interiors are unfinished, but since this is my second home of mid 80s vintage, I guess they felt like it was the normal thing to do since both were done this way. They form a deep, musty cavern into which things get sucked, like the lid to that pot you use twice a year, making it impossible to find anything. White became the choice for the cabinet interiors.

After a thorough scrubbing, I primed everything in Valspar Stainblocking Bonding Primer Sealer [more to come on that] which is an awesome product, then I painted the cabinet interiors in Sherwin Williams ProClassic Interior Latex Acrylic Semi Gloss Extra White, which I hated [more to come on that as well]. It took a couple of coats, but I am feeling good about the start I am getting on these cabinets.

I also laid in a strip of Duck Brand non adhesive shelf liner. Now the interior of the cabinets it brighter and much cleaner.