Our Kitchen Facelift

We just spent four weeks laboring over our new kitchen. The house was move-in ready when we bought it but as time went by we started to notice a few things that we would like to have changed. I loved the cupboards from the beginning but there was something about them I didn’t like, and I couldn’t put my finger on it. I thought maybe it needed to be white but I kept second guessing myself. Sam was hesitant about painting the cupboards just because painting is not his favorite, but he went along with it. He came home from work one day and was completely motivated. Honestly, we weren’t even planning to renovate yet. This was truly spontaneous. In fact, we were planning on spending the weekend in Grand Marais. That all went out the window with just one question: “On a scale of 1-10, how much do you like the carpet?” I replied with zero.


He had no idea I felt that strongly about it. See, the people who lived here before us had a dog. There were noticeable stains and I hated looking at them. I didn’t mind the carpet when we first moved in, but as time went by, I started to notice little flaws and my desire to get rid of it started to grow. I mentioned that I would like hardwood instead, but for whatever reason, he wanted to maintain the carpet. He finally saw the light though! After ripping it up, we unveiled the odor that the dog left behind in the padding. We were so glad to be rid of it once and for all. By 2 a.m. we were still ripping the carpet, the padding, and the nails and staples. But we didn’t stop there. We moved on to the kitchen and ripped up 3 layers of flooring! The bottom layer was glued and screwed, there ain’t no way that was comin’ off! But it was flush so that’s all that mattered.


The next day we took a trip to the hardware store, I lost count how many times we went during this project. We got our paint supplies and decided on new flooring for the kitchen, which is the closest match we could find to the living room, we chose Restored Pine. We got two extra boxes of the laminate flooring just in case, because ya never know. For the next three weeks all we did was paint the cupboards. I knew this task would be tedious but we really underestimated how long it would take. We used paint with primer and come to find out, we learned that it’s actually unnecessary and doesn’t do anything at all. If we had gotten primer in addition to the paint, we would’ve saved ourselves time and energy. The wood really soaked up the paint and needed three layers. That is why the doors took so long.


Once the cupboards were finished, we were very tempted to take a break. The whole week we kept going back and forth on different ideas, should we do the floor or should we have fun? Ultimately, Sam wanted to persevere and get it done. He pushed us just a little bit more and I’m so glad for that. It was great bonding time, and that’s not sarcasm J. Working side by side together was a lot of fun. Getting started with the flooring, we wanted a smooth transition from room to room so we decided to run the boards parallel with the hardwood. The thing about this flooring is that it floats. No staples. No glue. Easy peasy. Or so you might think. When laying the first boards down, they tended to want to move. So it made things challenging in the beginning. Most of the time, I had to stand on whatever plank he was working on. Once we (“we” as in he) reached the center line, we started to really see the progress and the planks were easier to work with. Tools were everywhere. The place was in chaos. I tried my hardest to keep track of all the tools and keep them in the same location. Raise your hand if you can relate!


I couldn’t believe it when we were finally done. It felt like this project would never end. All of the hard work we put into our kitchen paid off though. It looks completely different and that we paid a lot of money to replace everything but all we did was make a few changes. Working from the time we woke up to when we went to bed with no breaks made us weary. Yes there were times that we wanted to quit. Yes there were times that we reconsidered our project, but we were past the point of no return. But because we kept pushing just a little bit more, we have a brand new kitchen. I am so happy with how it all turned out. Once it was finished we cleaned up, sat at the table, and gazed at our new kitchen. Now we can truly enjoy a day off without a project looming over us. The only thing left to do is to replace the lighting. But that’s for another day.


Have you done any projects recently?




The Leal’s

5 thoughts on “Our Kitchen Facelift

  1. HOW AWESOME!! Isn’t it crazy how the slightest changes can make such a huge difference? Your living room and kitchen lightened up and seems very welcoming!

    Great job!!


  2. Looks fantastic!! I’m literally in the middle of giving my kitchen a facelift, too! I moved into a 100 year old house and the cabinets, while cool looking, were gnarly gnarly gnarly. It took a week to fully clean, and now I’ve moved into the sanding/deglossing stage. I can’t wait for them to be done! Your post has given me hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel! haha


  3. Pingback: My Review of 2019 – Living with the Leals

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