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Renovating an 80's Kitchen on a Budget

14 years ago

It started with a microwave, and ended with a cabinet refacing, new lighting, and a granite countertop installation. The goal: get this 1980's Pocono kitchen refurbed for under $3,000.

We decided we needed to ditch our counter top microwave, and install an over-range model. Once it was in place, we realized just how horrible our yellowed laminate cabinets looked, and started to notice the water-swollen areas of the vast expanse of beige formica countertop. Our major restriction, aside from budget, was the large amount of almond 4x4 wall tile that we just couldn't afford to rip out and replace.


Without realizing we were heading into a complete refurb, we started by raising our over-range cabinets, and installing a stainless microwave.


This is was our concept plan for the refurb. Originally, we thought we would be installing a replacement laminate countertop.


Our first snag was dealing with the cabinet over the range, which had been damaged by years of exposure to cooking steam.


That problem was neatly (and frugally) solved with a sheath of brushed aluminum.


We've decided that the heavy wood framed light has got to go, and we need to add lighting over the peninsula. We'll miss our hanging baskets, though.


Our existing black dishwasher (with faux walnut trim!) gets the aluminum panel treatment. A little lacquer thinner makes history of the faux wood.


A new halogen light (on a dimmer) is installed over the peninsula. The existing fixtures have been replaced with more streamlined florescent fixtures with a satin nickel finish. We've decided to paint the cabinet faces a rich semi-gloss black (Behr Ultra Premium, Broadway)


For cabinet doors, we've decided on RTF Thermofoil. The doors will be in a maple finish, the drawers will be a reddish pear. We're also residing the cabinets with RTF covered plywood.


The countertop, originally planned as laminate, is now going to be Sensa Caledonia Granite.


Rather than extend the 4" backsplash behind the range, we've opted to use stone tile with a grey grout.


The finished product! The walls have been painted with a soft grey (Behr Ultra Premium Burnished Metal in eggshell). A wooden trim strip has been installed above the granite backsplash to take up gaps from the original tilework.


The ceiling gets a finish of Behr Venetian Plaster, untinted and unburnished.


We've had two holes drilled for the fixtures on the undermount sink, to accommodate the faucet and the filtered water spigot.


To make the cabinets over the refrigerator more easily accessible, we've hinged them from the center stile.


That's it! Final cost of the refresh came in at under $3500.


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