Redoing Kitchen Cabinets For Less Than $200

When we really started to use and take a close look at our cabinets we realized that they were really poorly repainted at some point. The people who painted them had used some sort of spray paint and didn’t take the time to do it correctly. You could tell from the drips on the face and sides of the cabinets and because of the fact that the hinges were completely painted over [you’re not supposed to do that!]


We knew that we wanted to replace the quirky (also sort-of tacky) little leaf knobs that were on the cabinets with actual cabinet pulls anyway, so we made the decision to take them all down, sand off the drip marks, repaint and put back up with new hardware.

Sounds easy enough, right? Think again. This proved to be one of the longest projects for us to complete. Mostly because there are so many steps and you have to wait in-between most of them.

Step 1: Taking the cabinets down

First thing we had to do was get the cabinet doors off of the cabinets themselves. Because someone had painted over the hinges this was much harder than it should have been. We literally had to chisel the paint out of the screws and once we got the screws off we had to pry the hinges from the cabinets with knives. It was ridiculous. This is why you shouldn’t take shortcuts and do it the easy way!

Step 2: Cleaning them up

Then we had to chisel the hinges from the cabinet faces. This also took a bunch of time because we have 13 cabinet doors. 13 cabinets X 2 hinges each = 26 hinges to chisel. No bueno.

Then, because we were changing from knobs to pulls we had to fill the existing holes with wood filler. Then wait for that to dry.

Step 3: Sanding

Let me start by saying this – sand outside if you can. Dust will literally get in every spot that air touches if you don’t. For us it was really cold outside and we got impatient so we went ahead sanding in the sunroom thinking that it would just get dusty in there…HAHA. Dust. Got. Everywhere.

The next day we sanded the spots where we put the wood filler down by hand. I started to really look at the cabinets from the back and that’s when I had the greatest idea ever (if I do say so myself). I cabinet-holesnoticed that the inside of the cabinet doors were way prettier and more modern than the actual face of the cabinets. They looked just like modern shaker cabinets while the intentional side looked like cabinets from 1989 (because they were).

Because the hinges were not inset on that side we were able to make the decision to flip the cabinets inside out! I think this made the biggest difference….and it was completely free!

THEN knowing that we were going to flip them, we had to sand and fill all of the spots where the existing hinges attached to the inside of the cabinets. (See left)


Step 4: Painting

After that we also decided we wanted to change the paint color.We wanted it to look a little bit less like primer (bright white) and more like a creamy white color that would go well with the brown butcher block of the island. I chose Alabaster White by Sherwin Williams. It was not yellow, not gray, just a creamy milky white. This also meant that we now had to paint the cabinet bases so that they would match. So I painted all of the bases from top to bottom.

Then came the time to paint the actual doors. Let me just say that painting a cabinet door really stinks. You have to paint the whole bottom and little skinny sides and then wait for it to dry, flip it over and paint the other side. Then you have to do it again with the second coat. All 13 freakin’ doors. It was cold outside, so for the 2 days that it took me to do this our living room was filled with a huge drop cloth and cabinet doors. We had to constantly watch Wyatt to make sure paw print accents didn’t find their way onto them. 🙂


Step 5: Install Hardware

LASTLY we put the hardware on. Goodman didn’t trust me to do this because the drilling had to be really precise so that the pulls would fit correctly and not be crooked or anything like that.

We put the hinges on first in this case because there were already holes in the base and we purchased the same kind of hinges so that we wouldn’t have to sand and fill and paint and all that on the base of the cabinets.

After putting the doors on the hinges we needed to put the actual pulls on. So, we measured how far from the bottom of the cabinet we wanted the pull to be and then added the distance from the end of the pull to where the screw goes in the pull at the bottom and marked that on every cabinet. After the hardware, we were done!

I’m going to take some better pictures and update the post but here are some pictures of the upper cabinets from my iPhone!





The last thing we did was cut the old wavy wood piece that was above the sink. Goodman thought it’d look good with a curve to match the curves on our appliances. I think it looks great!


Overall I think the whole long process really was worth all of the steps and the time! What do you think?

P.S. We are ALMOST done with the kitchen!  We need to get new countertops, a backsplash, move the microwave into the island (when we finish the electric in the island) and we will be pretty much done! I’ll be doing a post about the island soon and then eventually one for the whole kitchen itself. Stay tuned 🙂


Total Cost

$174 plus the tools we had on hand. See details below:

Quart of Sherwin Williams Ovation Semi-Gloss Paint in Alabaster White: $24, 10-Pack 3-inch Center-to-Center Satin Nickel Bar Cabinet Pulls: $110,  Mini Foam Cabinet Roller: $5, 20 Double Pack Hinges found on Amazon: $35. On hand Materials: Wood Filler, Sander and Sandpaper, Drop Cloth, Angled Paint Brush.

How to Pay Less and Get the Appliances You Really Want

For some reason, all the blogs I’ve read never really talk about the appliances. Some renovators ignore them and then have pretty countertops and backsplashes but unattractive and outdated appliances. Some show these beautiful kitchens with top-of-the-line appliances but fail to mention that the gorgeous range you’re looking at cost them $5,500.
The point I’m trying to make is that appliances are a big deal and they shouldn’t be forgotten during a kitchen renovation. They are the reason you have a kitchen. You use them everyday. They should be functional but they can also be really pretty.
OUR goal was to get some pretty stainless steel appliances on a pretty little budget.


What do you really need?

Lay out some of the things you need out of your appliances. The most important thing to determine up-front is the size. You can’t get that big, wide, french door fridge if you don’t have room for it in the kitchen.
Don’t forget to measure the height, width between cabinets, width between the shoe moulding on the floor (if your fridge will be incased), and the depth. When we started, I had no idea that some refrigerators are much deeper than others.
Once you have the measurements down, think about what is most important to you – the range? DO you have to have gas? Do you have to have the knobs on the front? MUST you have a double door fridge, or could you settle for the freezer on the bottom/top?
For us, the fridge was the most important appliance and it having double doors with an ice/water dispenser on the front was really essential for how we wanted to use it. The only other important things were that we wanted stainless and we needed a gas range because that’s what the hookup was in the house.


Do your research

We started with consumer reports. Functionality and durability were our main focuses on this hunt because we didn’t want to have to buy these babies again anytime soon. After getting some good research in, we decided that the best bang for our buck would be to go with Kenmore appliances – which are only sold through Sears.


In looking up the nearest Sears location, I realized that there is this cool place called the Sears Outlet. Essentially, it’s this place that misfit Sears appliances go and are sold for way less than retail. Some are returned because the buyers didn’t like them when they were delivered, some are there because the delivery guys dinged them up a little, some have replacement parts, etc. It’s essentially like going into the sale bin at the semi-annual sale at VS. There are a lot of duds – like that bright purple cheetah print bra (what in the hell can you actually wear that under?!) but then there are some gems like that super comfy t-shirt bra that is perfectly new and half off. You have to have a good eye and ask a ton of questions, but if you find one, take the sticker off of that sucker or someone else could steal it!


So, we went to the Sears Outlet and found a two-door refrigerator that was stainless, had an ice and water dispenser on the front (Goodman was really adamant on that one) and that had a teeeeeennyy tiny little mark on the right side. (Seriously, it was like 2 inches max.) We knew that the scratch would be covered by the cabinets the fridge would be up against so YAY! We got the fridge for HALF OFF retail and absolutely nothing else was wrong with it.




Match it up

After that we knew that we wanted the matching range and dishwasher so that they all had the same handles and such. It just-so-happens that Black Friday was upon us, so we went to the nearest Sears and picked out which ones we wanted, and then waited to purchase them online on Black Friday. This also saved us about a grand (appliances are expensive y’all).


Schedule the delivery

Don’t try to deliver and install yourself. It’s cheaper, yes, but not worth it. If you were to mess it up (which is very likely – these things are huge and very fragile) it’s on you. If THEY mess it up, you get a new one fo’ free. And if they install it… it will be done correctly. You don’t want to mess with water, gas, and electric lines at the same time. Not a good idea.


Admire those huge chunks of metal

I could go on and on about how great I feel with our good deals and how grateful I am to finally have a dishwasher. Gone are the days of hand washing!!! (Well almost) But I’ll leave this one here! After you’ve got them, don’t regret anything. Be happy about the choice you made!


A final word

Do whatever research you can online before you go into a store and deal with a salesman. Those guys are put on earth to up-sell you, so don’t be fooled.
Don’t forget to have fun with it! Goodman and I had fun debating over which functions were more important to us and drooling over high-end quadruple-door refrigerators.  G would stand with the doors open, admiring all the space that potential food could fill and say “In our retirement house babe – this one is going in there.” 😃