Kitchen Renovation Update: Decisions have been made!

A little update on my (minor) kitchen reno…

I found some interesting ideas while making a pit stop @ Home Depot AND Lowe’s yesterday.  After lots of thought, I’ve made some decisions!  I LOVE the idea of painting my kitchen cabinets black as I posted the other day, but am relunctant because the current countertop is a dark greenish laminate (it sounds worse than it is) and I don’t want to invest a huge amount into it (since ONE DAY, I hope to do a BIG reno)!!  Since I am on a TIGHT BUDGET and don’t want to invest too much money for a short fix, I have tried to thoroughly think through the whole process before taking action!  

{Cabinet Options}
Rusto-leum Cabinet Transformations has a 4 step process ~ (1) Deglosser, (2) Bond Coat, (3) Decorative Glaze, (4) Protective Top Coat. This treatment completely strips the current application (stain or paint), which allows you to skip the sanding process and priming process.  This application also gives you the option to add a decorative glaze.  One box is $80 and covers 100 sq. ft / 40 linear feet (an average kitchen would need 2 boxes)
Minwax has a product call Express Color, which you wipe on with a cloth.  Great product for a small piece of furniture, but not a kitchen transformation.

One of my readers suggested using a Gel Stain to darken the cabinets without taking the huge step of painting them.  I thought this idea was genius!  The cabinets are actually in good condition and the style is livable, so this is what I am leaning toward.


So on to the decision for the countertops.  I’m a bit stuck… Of course granite would be lovely and hopefully we’ll eventually go that route (when we do our BIG reno ONE DAY) I’m thinking of painting the laminate countertops.  Did you know you could do that??  You CAN!!  

{Idea 1}
Lowe’s has a product called Modern Masters, which transforms the countertops using a 3 step process ~ (1) adhesive base coat, (2) Decorative Color Chips, (3) Protective Top Coat.  What I’m not sold on is the color chips….not really my cup of tea.  Watch this You Tube video to see actual steps. The cost of the materials is about $250.
{Idea 2}

Lowe’s has another product by Rust-oleum called Countertop Coating.  Basically it’s a one step process of 2 coats of ‘painting’ your countertops with this product.  The drawback, the surface will have a monochrome, painted look.  It might ‘look’ okay, but I’m not sure.  I’m leaning towards this idea, BUT want to try a sample first. The cost of one can is $20+/- (an average kitchen would be about 2 cans ~ read the back for more details)

{Idea 3}

Another idea opposed to painting the countertop surface is to resurface the existing laminate with new laminate.  Laminate is available in an array of colors and textures, and can truly liven and transform a space! This idea is nice for a permanent solution since it’s time consuming and labor intensive. Read More.

Take a look at some of these helpful and informational videos on changing/updating your laminate countertops:

How to paint countertops (using the Rust-oleum Countertop Coating shown above
How to paint over a laminate surface 

{Kitchen Conclusion}

Cabinets: We’re going to use a Gel Stain with a walnut finish to cut down on the ‘orangey’ oak color.  They won’t be black, but they will be darker :)
Countertops: We’ve decided on Idea #2.  One because of the cost (less than $40) and two because it’s a fairly easy (hopefully ~ I’ll probably regret saying this) process.  Unfortunately though, from my research, the smell is very BAD so the countertop painting will have to wait till Spring/Summer when the windows can be open for proper ventilation.  With two young kids, there is NO WAY we can do this process in the Winter!
Toe Kick: Remove the laminate and install 4 x 4 or 4 x 12 tile
Window: Add new valance ~ stay tuned to see this transformation coming in a few weeks!
Upper (lonely) Cabinet: The one upper cabinet that is by itself will have the door removed and I’ll get baskets for storage (again, crossing my fingers that this will workwe shall see)
Cabinet Hardware: DONE…take a peak

Thanks for being my sounding board on this (minor) Kitchen Transformation!
Do you have plans to update your kitchen in 2011?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Bonnie@Creative Decorating says

    I ended up painting my counter tops without buying the counter top product because I would have needed at least two. This way, I used paint I had and it only cost me $16 for the quart of polycrilic. I had also read that there were issues that the counter top product tends to chip off. Your kitchen will be so nice and will definitely serve it's purpose until you are ready for the big remodel!! You have such great ideas!

  2. Jeff and Melissa says

    We are definitely doing at least some work on our kitchen in 2011. Can't wait to see how your counter top project works out to see if we should borrow your method!

  3. emarie says

    Sounds like a plan! I also noticed that all of the lovely pics of black cabinets were paired with lighter counter tops, and figured you would want to tackle that project as well. Good luck!

  4. Jenna @ SAS Interiors - Simple. Affordable. Stylish. says

    Bonnie ~ Good to know. I had a feeling you could use ANY paint, then use a top coat of polycrilic…thanks for confirming!

    Melissa ~ This countertop project is alot to take on, so we shall see how it goes. Unfortunately though, it'll have to wait till Spring/Summer because of the bad (and probably toxic) smells!

    emarie ~ countertops…of course. You know me well!

  5. Anonymous says

    Grossmas has reasonable prices for granite counter tops, do u have a circular saw, tape and a hose, cut them yourself, have a drill? go to Lowes, HD buy a diamond drill bit. drill your faucet holes…to scary, for a small fee most headstone companies will drill out your sink and faucet holes for you. Or like me, put a want ad on craigs list for carrera marble slabs, cost me $175.00 for the slabs and delivery, 50.00 for the bit and a handyman. A man that use to do demolition had them stored in his shed for years until he read my want ad on CL. Got quote from a granite company for the exact kitchen counter tops, $5,700.00 before edges, delivery tax, cuts etc…Black cabinets and spa blue walls always look so pretty. They say blue isnt so great for a kitchen, makes you not want to eat…that might not be a bad thing…Good Luck!