Friday, January 25, 2013

the kitchen of our dreams - phase 1

On Monday, I shared with you the vanity that I transformed with gel stain.  I did the same thing with our kitchen cabinets, and I am in L.O.V.E.

Just like in the bathroom, our kitchen was all builder-grade oak, and it was not my favorite thing in the world.  To get the full scoop on how to use the gel stain, check out the tutorial here.  Here are some pictures of the process, starting with the old cabinets.  They were in really good shape, and they were not horrible by any stretch of the imagination, but just not our cup of tea.
 First, I started on the top cabinets, which if I could go back in time, I would have done all the cabinets at the same time and just taken a few days to get it done.  But, overall the process took me about a week and a half, so not too bad.  I removed the doors and shelves that were in the way of where I needed to stain, and sanded everything as I removed them.
I just kept each cabinet's screws in their respective cabinet.
Then, went on the first coat. 
I failed at taking pictures, apparently, so this picture shows the top cabinets with all three coats, and the bottom with the first coat.  I had the most luck when I was staining with a foam brush, rather than a rag.
P.S. If you're curious why that one cabinet is still oak, it's because we plan to take it down and replace it with actual open shelving.  Didn't feel like wasting any gel stain on that guy. This is coat 2 on the bottom.
Are you ready to see how beautiful this turned out?! I actually cried tears of joy the night the poly dried, and we put all the doors back on, with hardware.
Well, hello there, beautiful new hardware.
And, of course we need some beautiful before and afters that you can pin, since you love me! :)
So, how much did phase 1 of the kitchen makeover cost us?  Well, for about $56, we purchased the gel stain and poly. Keep in mind, we did all these cabinets, the bathroom vanity, and the banister (which I will be sharing soon), with just this quart of stain, and about 1/3 of the quart of poly.

Then, we purchased these special buy packs with 6 of the door handles for $12.88, so just the handles we used in the kitchen were about $30.  The extra pack is for the other bathrooms.
The cup pulls were the most expensive, but we love the impact.  At $5 each, we spent $45 on our drawer hardware.
So, for about $130.00, we made a huge change to our kitchen, and I'd like to think (and hope!) that we added value to the house by upgrading them from the builder-grade oak.  We also plan to have a few more phases that include adding the open shelving, updating the floors, updating the counters, and someday, *hopefully* updating the appliances.

Update: Check out the new open shelving here.

I hope you love this transformation as much as we do, because we are absolutely ecstatic.  We are one step closer to the kitchen of our dreams, and it was so easy, and pretty stinkin' affordable.

39 comments:

  1. Wow Erin! You two did an awesome job! Love the deep, rich color! I also love the drawer pulls and handles, classic looking. Keep up the super work!!

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  2. Wow Erin! The two of you did a super job! Love the deep, rich color on the cabinets! Also love the drawer pulls and cabinet handles. Keep it up and your project will be done sooner than you think!

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  3. I just realized the note about approval, apologies!
    I do have a question. Way back up in photo #3, I am noticing there are no shelves in your cabinets, where are they? The edging on the shelving should be very easy to stain as well.

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    1. We decided to not stain the inside of the cabinets, so the we removed the shelves so I didn't accidentally stain them.

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  4. Looks great! Makes me thinking about painting versus staining our kitchen.

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    1. Thank you! The gel stain was incredibly easy to use, and very little sanding was involved!

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  6. Looks wonderful! I used the gel stain on our bathroom cabinets, so easy and makes such a huge difference!

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  7. Hi Erin ... what a world of difference. Looks like you painted them. We have nice, custom made oak cabinets, but no plans to paint ... but the way you stained is tempting but would have to consider how dark it would make our kitchen.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Blessings,
    Audrey Z.
    Timeless Treasures

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  8. wow i love that you used all the same things like towel and pot on stove and you did not gussy it all up so the impact can be seen and wow what an impact xx

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  9. Gorgeous job you did!!~ I have never heard of that product. They look so good! I saw your post on blogtalk and thought I would come over and welcome you:) I know it is hard to get going and meet new friends. At the risk of touting myself I thought I would let you know here, that I host a weekly newbie party every Monday. It has been going on for about two years now. It is NOT a heavy traffic driver nor a link and leave party. Keep in mind everyone linking there are too genuinely looking for new friendships and readers. Give it a whirl sometime...I can tell you I would not be doing the party for two years now if I did not see some valid and strong foundations being made.

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    1. Thank you, thank you! I will check it out!!

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  10. Erin, your kitchen is darling! Welcome to Hometalk, btw. :)

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    1. Thank you for the invite! Everyone has been so welcoming!

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  11. Just beautiful! One day I will attack my kitchen.... I have a sea of orange wood... ugh! You did an amazing job!
    Blessings,
    Lori

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  12. Erin - That is amazing!!! I have to go back a read your tutorial. It looks great - but I totally would have thought that you painted it!
    I saw you on Hometalk, and will be following now!!!

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  13. How many coats total did you use of the gel stain? What did you use to apply the poly coat?

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    1. I used three coats of gel stain, applied with a form brush. I also used a foam brush to apply three coats of poly.

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  14. Love the darker color. We went from light to dark in our kitchen too and I love it.

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  15. Where did you get the pulls from? I've been looking for a pack just like that! Currently staining my kitchen cabinets with the java gel stain. I'm excited for the outcome!

    -Jacqueline

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    1. Hi Jacqueline! We got all the hardware at Home Depot. They don't have these exact packs now, but something almost identical that is $9.99 for 6! Crazy cheap! Good luck with the stain; it's my favorite!

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  16. Where did you get the pack of pulls from? Looks great!

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  17. I'm considering doing this to some honey oak cabinets in our house and am going for a dark brown (but not black) finish. Do your cabinets look more dark brown or are they definitely more black looking?

    Thank you :)

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    1. Ours look darker during the day than they do at night. However, I think they always look dark brown because they have the warmth of a brown vs. the cool, harsh look of black. Does that make sense?

      Also, General finishes does have some lighter tones that are beautiful, if you're concerned about them being too dark.

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  18. Beautiful! I'm in the process of doing my bathroom as a practice run. I've seen so many ways to do this, but they all seem to turn out well. Did you sand a little to remove the shiny finish, or did you go deeper?

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    1. I did sand a little bit, but not too much (about a minute on each side of each door). 6 months later, they are holding up so well!

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  19. Erin,

    Were the end panels of your kitchen cabinets a melamine (printed paper)panel? I'm thinking about using the Java Gel Stain from General Finishes on our honey oak kitchen cabinets, but have one exposed end panel that is a melamine panel. Not sure on whether it's possible to stain this? Would appreciate knowing your opinion:)

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    1. The end of my cabinets were just wood, but more like a veneer than the wood of the fronts. I would suggest adding something like beadboard to the end of the cabinet and staining that. But, you could always test the melamine since it wouldn't take a ton of gel stain, and go from there.

      Good luck with your project!

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  20. Do you like the wood trim in your house next to the gel stained cabinets? I am thinking of doing this in my kitchen but afraid with all the wood trim in my whole house along with wood laminate floors in the kitchen....didn't know if that would be too much contrast even if I did an antique walnut...

    Anyways, yours look GREAT! Good job!

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  21. We actually ended up painting all the trim white, because I didn't like the oak. We plan to add laminate in a lighter tone to this room.

    Thank you for reading!

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  22. This is beautiful! I just got done doing my bathroom cabinets thanks to you! Quick question, do you gel stain both sides of the cabinet doors? I'm trying to decide...

    Thanks!

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    1. That's so great! Yes, I did gel stain both sides and I'm glad I did. Depending on the doors, you may even be able to stain them with them attached. Good luck!!

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  23. Lovely! Where did you find the grl stain?

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    1. Thank you! We purchased the gel stain on Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/General-Finishes-GEL-JAVA-QT/dp/B001DSY50Y

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  24. Looks great! I'm in the process of gel staining mine. Did you paint the underneath part of the upper cabinets or leave them light? Thanks.

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  25. Hi Callie! Thank you! At first I didn't stain them underneath, but then it really bothered me so I stained them dark.

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  26. By chance did you sand the cabinets before staining them or simply stained over the existing finish?

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    1. I sanded them lightly (about a minute per side). Here's my full tutorial here: http://www.magentaandlime.net/2013/01/gel-stained-vanity.html

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