We are *this close* to having the apartment of horrors renovated and ready to rent. And by we, I mean my dad. Because he did about 99.9% of the work here.
But I did do one thing – paint the kitchen cabinets. And they look quite lovely, if I do say so myself.
Go ahead – pat me on the back. Good girl, you can say. I’ll wait.
There are a lot of things good bloggers do. Things like “create Pinterest-worthy posts” and “edit their writing” and “create a brand.” I do very few of these things. And when I do them, it’s purely by accident.
Another thing great bloggers do is take before pictures. Ha. Ha. Ha.
This is the only picture I took before. And it was after all the (OMG-SO-DISGUSTING-I-COULD-VOM) cabinets and flooring were removed from the premises.
The last renter had taken it upon herself to paint all of the walls. (Without asking.) She also went ahead and painted all the outlets. And some parts of the ceiling. And a few dashes of the trim work. You know, the usual. And she chose bubblegum pink for all the painting. Of course.
The painting was pretty horrid. But the cabinets and flooring were worse. Cleanliness was an issue. As were (unauthorized) pets. Plural.
But I can’t show you any of that. Because I was too busy trying to keep myself from being sick.
I had some comments on the last post about rentals asking why we had to get rid of everything in this house. It was an issue you would have to actually smell to believe. There was no way the odor was coming out of anything. Even cabinets. After ripping everything out of the apartment and airing it out for a week, there was still a lingering stank.
Can you just close your eyes and imagine? (Mostly because I don’t have a scratch and sniff app. Or before photos.)
So, it was horrendous.
Before the cabinets went in, my dad scraped several layers of paint and wallpaper (including on the ceiling) and then painted everything in a nice fresh white (Behr Ultra Pure White, which is my favorite white).
He painted everything besides the ceiling in a semi-gloss finish, which is not something we’d normally do, but it works well for the kitchen in a rental. Easier to wipe and clean, and simple to repaint when needed. Plus we knew I was going to paint the cabinets grey and the white lightens it all up.
Then he added some sheet vinyl to the floor and started installing cabinets.
We chose to purchase the same stock cabinetry we put into the barn. They are the basic oak cabinets you can pick up at any home improvement store (we got them at Menards). They are unoffensive looking, come in standard sizes and inexpensive. Plus, they can be repainted if necessary (unlike the laminate style cabinets which are a pain to repaint).
We actually painted the cabinets in our first rental (which was purchased 6 years ago) and they still look great. So, we have high hopes.
We kept the layout basically the same on this side of the kitchen. The stove and sink in the same place and we were even able to salvage the range hood. But we added a few extra cabinets and uppers for storage.
Then it was paint time.
I really loved the color we painted our barn cabinets and it has held up wonderfully. So we used the same paint for these cabinets – it’s Behr Elephant Skin in a semi-gloss finish. It is really easy to clean and does hide a lot of sins. Plus it’s a nice, neutral grey (it doesn’t read blue or mauve or purple). So this kitchen actually includes two of my five favorite paint colors.
The paint went on beautifully and I only had to touch up after the first coat. I actually finished the entire kitchen in about 3 hours.
But I don’t bother taking any of the doors or drawers out and just painted them in place with a brush, being careful to edge around the hinges and such. This is probably not what a normal person would do, but it works for me and still looks great. (Check out my lazy painting tips for more quick tips.)
I leave all the drawers and doors open for a couple of days to make sure it all dries completely before closing.
We also added a pantry cabinet on the opposite wall where the fridge will be. (Before the fridge was facing the other way, but this will be a much better use of space.) It leaves us with exactly the amount of space needed for a 30 inch fridge so it was meant to be.
I think anyone would appreciate the extra storage.
The kitchen has two large windows so it gets so much great light. I think a bright kitchen is a happy kitchen.
I chose a stock laminate countertop from Menards and it is really quite nice. The colors and style tie into the floors and cabinets.
And here’s a close-up of the cabinets. You can still make out the grain of the wood, but the color makes it look clean and crisp.
Now we just need to add some hardware and buy the appliances and the kitchen can be checked off the list.
I love that this kitchen was relatively economical to remodel, but also quite cute. I think it will make a positive impression on a potential renter.
Would you be able to live with this kitchen?
I’m a Behr DIY Expert. Thank you to Behr for sponsoring this post. As always, I only work with brands I know and love. And thank you for supporting NewlyWoodwards sponsors to help make posts and projects like this possible.