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    I know, I know, it’s October, I should share the Calendar girl.  But why don’t we talk about my kitchen reno instead?  Because I’m still not over how happy I am with how the entire thing turned out!

    We re-did the floors, countertop, backsplash and undermount sink in our kitchen back in 2012.  It was our first big home reno project and I was content to leave it for a time after that, knowing that eventually I would get to the cabinets.  I kept looking at options for refacing as we had these really dated carvings in our doors,  but new cabinet doors seemed to run between $100 and $150 per door, so that was ruled out rather quickly.  I’m glad it took the amount of time (in years!) that it did – because it wasn’t until earlier this year that I finally discovered beadboard!

    Frank and I joined my brother in law for breakfast one bright sunny Saturday morning and happened to walk by a cabinet specialty store.  In the window I could see one of the staged kitchens with the perfect beadboard edged finish I was after.  Finally that was it.  I went home, measured our cabinet faces and made a trip to Home Depot.  Although initially skeptical, the boys must have been drawn into my enthusiasm because we did all the cutting of cabinet faces over the August long weekend.  Several meals and workouts (and okay, showers) were skipped in the completion of this project.  And I would not have had it any other way.

    First steps included sourcing out beadboard, figuring out what to use for edging (it’s called standard hardboard all other women of the world – and one single ten dollar sheet trimmed my entire kitchen), choosing hardware and most important – figuring out what kind of paint would work best.  I had nightmarish visions of obviously painted wooden doors.  We can all remember those from someone’s kitchen in our childhood, right?  Enter melamine paint.  Has a really nice finish.  Feels like glue while painting with it.  And everything it touches gets really sticky.

    Here is an accurate snap-shot depiction of my August long weekend project.  This is me, probably late afternoon after we’ve been cutting boards since 9AM.  I suffer from a serious lack of time awareness when I’m focused on a goal.  The second photo was unpainted beadboard and trimmed standard hardboard – and a rough idea of what the finished pieces would look like.



    Cutting faces and edges was a solid 8 hour day in itself, and I was left to stare at cut and stacked peices for one week before I could get to starting on painting.  That paired up nicely with an early saturday morning taking off cabinet doors while Frank slept peacefully upstairs.

    Early FrankenSteph had a firm belief in a bright and colourful house.  Our kitchen was this colour of red for three years.  I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to it, but sensed it needed to grow up a little.  Here are two quick progress shots of the before and after of the base of the cabinets and what we’d be reattaching the doors to.

    Luckily, my brother in law was working out of town and happens to have a serious woodworking hobby.  He had the perfect workshop set up in his basement for us to use as painting station.  These babies took several coats before we were satisfied with the finished pieces, and took up a serious amount of room – perfect for a temporarily empty house!


    Lucky he lives close by!  Several trips (sometimes in a day!) were made back and forth to check on painting progress.  Once all the beadboard and trim was painted, we had to bring over the original cabinet doors as well to paint the back and sides.  Again, I had visions of painted white cabinets of years past haunting my vision, but pressed on.

    Okay, okay – onto the big reveal: Before and After photos:


    What do you think?? New hardware on the doors, handles on the drawers, neutral colour to match the rest of the house and (the bottom picture is a little dark) a red lantern on the counter to keep a spot of colour in place.

    This last photo is a little grainy, but I wanted to show the one back wall – we kept it red but moved to a darker tone, which was actually matched to a set of pictures we have hanging in the opposite corner (not photographed).  I should also mention the final cost!  Early research showed new cabinet doors would run about $100 – $150 per door.  We had fifteen doors to replace, before addressing drawers.  This estimate did not include labour or additional materials, painting and patching of the old cabinets behind.  My grand total? $550 for the entire project.  That’s beadboard, standard hardboard, new kitchen hardware, melamine paint and two gallons of paint for the other walls in the kitchen.  Some people will argue about the man hours but I don’t regret those – they were an excellent learning curve and I’d be confident to do this all over again in another house.

    So there it is!  I still smile every time I walk into the kitchen now.  It feels brighter and bigger, and I am officially running out of things to change in our home.  Time to start saving for the next one 🙂

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