Almost Finished - Stained cabinets/Green Granite

annac54March 25, 2012

After almost a year, our simple "facelift" is 95% done. We need to install the backsplash on one more wall, re-install the undercabinet lighting, and touch up paint, molding, etc. It's basically done and functional, so I figured I would post it.

First of all, I would like to thank all of you here on GW. Even though I did not post much for advice, many, many of our questions were answered through the thoughtful and kind guidance given to others who had the same concerns as we did. There was a whole world of things we hadn't even thought about, and things were much easier because you all shared your knowledge and experience with us who visit this forum. THANK YOU!

The last 3 houses we have lived in had builder's kitchens with white tile countertops and golden oak (in two) and natural maple (current) cabinets. After 22+ of basically the same thing, we were ready for a change. When the white range died, we replaced it with SS and got a new SS fridge to go with it. After we got it home, DH was not happy with the look of the gray "monolith", so decided to figure out a way to enclose it.

Our natural maple cabinets had yellowed considerably, but were in good shape, so we decided to do some alterations to them, refinish, and install new doors. One set of double cabinets on the right side of the refrigerator was removed and replaced with a new single uppper and lower. The refrigerator moved over to the right and a new enclosure for fridge and cabinets above and to the left were made. We couldn't recess the fridge any further because behind the fridge is the main bearing wall, and the stairwell and pantry are behind it. The cabinet and OTR microwave above the stove were replaced with a range hood. The lower cabinets on both sides of the stove were converted to drawers and a new cabinet with a trash pullout was built for the area to the left of the dishwasher, which also extended the countertop area. New crown molding and beaded molding were added to the top and bottom of the upper cabinets, and new panels added to the end of the island.

The cabinet rework was done by a contractor. We had another contracter in to do the refinishing. To make a long story a little shorter, he really botched the job and didn't want to fix it. Luckily, we had not paid him, and he hadn't done the doors yet. DH ended up taking all the cabinets out of the kitchen and sanding them down to remove the bad finish. We then re-installed them and got another cabinet finisher to do the job.

When the finishing was done, the original cabinet builder decided he was too busy to come in and install the doors/drawers/hardware, so we agreed that DH would do it and the contractor would not receive the balance of what we owed. After that, DH decided to install the range hood and backsplash himself. If you've ever done any of this yourself, you know it always takes longer than you hope to get it done.

Anyway, we are happy with it. A whole kitchen of new cabinets wasn't in the budget, so this is the next best thing. If we ever do this again, we'll have a much better plan in place before we start.

Cabinets - existing maple with new doors/custom stain

Range - GE Cafe

Refrigerator - LG 4-door French door

Dishwasher - Kitchen Aid

Range hood - Wolf

Coutertops - Seafoam green granite

Backsplash - Honed crema marfil 3 x 6 subway tile

Sink - Kraus 60/40 SS

Faucet - Delta Leyland

Floor - existing ceramic tile

Cabinet hardware - Schaub "French Farm" knobs, "Arcadia" pulls

Before:

New fridge cabinet:

After:

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cat_mom

Oh my goodness--hard to believe those are the same cabs, let alone the same kitchen! It looks absolutely beautiful! I wish you many years of enjoyment in your new kitchen!!!!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 3:50PM
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dianalo

My jaw dropped when I saw the "after" pix! That is amazing how you were able to save your cabs and have them turn out so different.
The entire kitchen is lovely and the counters really complete the look ;)
Your dh deserves a well cooked meal, either in this kitchen or out!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 3:58PM
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badgergal

Congratulations on a job well done! It looks fantastic. Love the granite. The backsplash compliments it very nicely. It may have taken longer than you thought it would but it was definitely worth it. Now sit back, relax and enjoy!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 3:58PM
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taggie

Wow, what a transformation! It's so very warm and elegant looking now. GREAT job!!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 3:59PM
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shelayne

Wow! I cannot believe those are the same cabinets--the stain is so rich, it completely transforms them! Beautiful kitchen!

Congratulations!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 4:35PM
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tea4all

Beautiful stain color. And I love your granite too! Nice job!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 4:39PM
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bessebo53

What a tremendous transformation in your kitchen! It went from blah to classy. It's hard to believe it's the same room. The granite is beautiful and I also love the backsplash. I agree with the others that it is hard to believe that those are the same cabinets!

Best,
Bob

LifeinKitchen.com

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 4:49PM
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flwrs_n_co

Beautiful transformation! Your seafoam granite is the perfect compliment to your richly stained cabinets. Love the doors you chose. And you have wonderful natural light coming in that big window. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 4:52PM
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lisa_a

Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow! I'm astounded at how well your re-worked cabinets look. Their new stain really makes your tile floors pop. They were hardly noticeable before. In fact, if you hadn't noted that the flooring was the existing tiles, I would have thought you had laid a new floor. Love your granite, too.

Very nicely done. Sorry about the headaches you met along the way but good for you for persevering and creating such a lovely kitchen.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 5:21PM
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mabeldingeldine_gw

Super job, it looks great. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 5:41PM
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gsciencechick

Beautiful use of your existing cabinets! The granite is spectacular!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 7:07PM
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clarygrace

An incredible job...nicely done! The cabinet stain and the countertops are a match made in heaven! They denote an easy elegance that is most pleasing!
Enjoy for many years to come!
Cheers!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 7:11PM
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annac54

Thanks everyone for the nice feedback. I really love the countertops and don't miss the white tile for a second. Loving the drawers by the stove (should have put in more), the sink and faucet, the range hood, really everything.

I did some of the work, researched and agonized over materials, and lived with the mess, but the reall kudos go to my DH. He's worked his tail off on this project and gone the extra mile to have everything done right. The cabinets were the biggest headache, and we probably would have gone another route after the finishing fiasco, except we already had the new doors and weren't willing to scrap them and start over with a new plan. Our backup plan in case the refinishing went bad a second time was to paint them, but I'm glad it worked out as they are. For now, we're enjoying it and are happy it's finally winding down.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 7:11PM
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chiefy

That is a STUNNING transformation. Gorgeous!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 7:29PM
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Linda

Gorgeous! It is so rich looking! Sorry you had such a hassle, but you sure have a talented DH and the results are amazing!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 7:35PM
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rhome410

Some great 'bones' to start with, but an amazing eye and vision, and tremendous amount of work well done to make this wonderful transformation!!! Both tiles (floor and backsplash), and the counters go great together, set off wonderfully by the new cabinet color. The enclosure around the fridge and the better range hood brings it up another notch. Wonderful, wonderful!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 10:54PM
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marti8a

Your kitchen is awesome! I am currently stripping and refinishing my cabinets and I hope they turn out half as good as yours. I am really encouraged by seeing how gorgeous yours is. Wonderful job!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 11:09PM
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hosenemesis

Wow- nice counter tops!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 3:06AM
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total_remodel

My best friend is thinking of doing exactly what you did with your cabinets but was worried about the results. I will share your success with her for inspiration. Looks awesome!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 3:13AM
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ellendi

I do remember one of your posts! I like how you finished off the left wall backsplash, I remember that was an issue for you.
I don't usually ask about budget, but I am very curious to know a ball park figure of what this cost. It just goes to show that you don't always have to do a complete renovation to get this quality.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 8:27AM
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sprtphntc

WOW!!!! absolutely gorgeous, so warm, rich and inviting!!!
you guys did a great job, now relax and enjoy!!
Congrats!!!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 8:49AM
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gardenamy

WOW oh WOW...I can't believe those cabinets! Love the granite. Congratulations on a job....very well done!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 8:51AM
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likewhatyoudo

When I got to the first after picture I had to go back up to see the before pictures I couldn't believe it was the same space! Awesome job! This will give many people the inspiration to "facelift" there space into a new kitchen. Enjoy...

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 9:02AM
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annac54

@ total_remodel: Tell your friend to research refinishing carefully. Some types of wood (like maple) are harder to stain than others. In our case, we quoted 3 people on doing the refinishing (the cabinet construction portion was done by a cabinetmaker who doesn't like to do finishing). We were comfortable with the first guy we chose. We knew maple doesn't usually take stain evenly (blotches), and he told us how he planned to deal with it. He did a sample door for us to approve the color. We thought we were good to go, but unfortunately that wasn't the case. The color he applied to the cabinets was way darker than what we agreed on, and was very streaky. In addition, for some reason, he did not finish sand the cabinet frames, and the surfaces were very rough. Thank goodness he hadn't done the new doors we bought. He thought everything was fine, we disagreed, but he didn't want to do anything to fix it. We hadn't paid him anything, and at that point did not want an angry contractor in our house while we were gone, and we also thought at this point that he didn't have the technical expertise to fix it. I'm pretty sure he tried to just gel-stain them when he was supposed to apply stain and 4 layers of clear coat. So we parted company.

DH re-stripped the cabinets (harder this time because of the dark stain) and re-installed them. He did not want to apply the new finish himself due to time, equipment needed, and lack of actual finishing experience. We got new quotes from 7 different contractors, and questioned them extensively on the methods they were planning on using. The two low bidders wanted us to install the doors and they would just spray them in place (hinges and all), so obviously we didn't choose them. The two middle priced guys were not quite as bad, but they really thought we should paint them instead. The last 3 bidders had slightly different methods of dealing with evening out the stain color, and probably any of them would have done a good job. The guy we chose specialized in refinishing and restoration, and he is really the other hero (after DH) responsible for the cabinets looking so nice. I can't tell you how nice it was to work with him.

Anyway, the point of this is to thoroughly research what you want to do and maybe have a backup plan in case, in spite of all your efforts, things don't go as planned. As I mentioned before, our backup plan if the second stain attempt failed, was white paint.

Hope your friends remodel goes well.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 9:21PM
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EATREALFOOD

very very nice. You did a fantastic job. I really like the backsplash with that color granite. :) Getting the right color/sheen to match the backsplash to the granite must have been difficult.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 9:50PM
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annac54

ellendi, a ballpark figure would be around $21K. We got the appliances on sale, and found the range hood on ebay. It took a while to find the right granite, and we finally found nice slabs for a great price at a small stoneyard. The sink, faucet, and cabinet hardware were all ordered online.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 1:46AM
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mmhmmgood

What a great example of a beautiful update to a kitchen using existing cabinets! Glad you didn't have to back up your back up. I love a white kitchen but it would have been a completely different look and I'm really digging the look you have.
Congrats on a job well done, hope you're loving your kitchen!
mmhmm

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 2:00AM
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ellendi

Thanks form the info Anna

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 10:20AM
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pricklypearcactus

What an amazing transformation and husband! How do you like your GE Cafe range?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 10:34AM
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annac54

pricklypear: The GE Cafe is fine. The shallow lower drawer is really a 2nd oven, so it comes in handy for casseroles, etc that need a different temp when the main oven is being used for something else. The center oval burner I think is a little underpowered. If you are using the griddle/grill, you need to give it enough time to heat up the metal before you cook on it. Overall, no complaints. If we had put in new cabinets, I would have probably made room for a 36" range. However, this one works fine for the vast majority of the cooking I do.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 3:29PM
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debrak_2008

Your kitchen is making me consider sea foam green granite. Everything goes together so well. Really nice. Hope you are ejoying it.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 8:09AM
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hobokenkitchen

What a difference - congratulations!!

How wide is your island?
Thanks! : )

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 9:44AM
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AnnaA

What a beautiful transformation! Absolutely love the green granite, and the expanse of counter space.

Congrats on being (almost) done!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 10:19AM
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sanjuangirl

Congratulations on a gorgeous vision realized! I'm redoing my maple cabinets and have worried over the issues that you've succeeded in overcoming. Makes me feel a bit braver! Love the color combinations; it's rich, warm and invitingly elegant. It's so great that your DH was willing and able to do the work, mine keeps telling me that we don't need a redo.
Enjoy!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 10:39AM
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CEFreeman

That is a jaw dropper!
I cannot believe those builder grade cabinets became designer magazine kitchen!

Your granite is making me also reconsider granite. I love the green!
Now. Does your backsplash have green in it? Or is it just my monitor resolution. I'm not really hip to back splashes, but yours is making me think about it. Could I ask where you got the gorgeous tile?

You've done a magnificent job.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 4:12PM
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annac54

Thanks again everyone for the nice comments. The last of the backsplash tile is now in, so all that's left is to touch up the drywall and paint.

Hoboken, the island countertop is 39 x 74 (cabinets are a little smaller of course).

Debrak, we love our seafoam green, but keep in mind that there are variations of color and pattern in any stone. We had to hunt around a bit for slabs that had the right color that we wanted. In the process, we discovered several other green granites that were lovely also.

If you search this forum, you should find kitchens that have made beautiful use of other green materials such as Rainforest, Jurassic, Costa Esmerelda, Minsk Green, Tropical, etc. If you haven't already, go visit a stoneyard and see the slabs in person. Whatever color or material you are looking for, photographs or small samples just don't show the beauty of the patterns and color of the stone.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 4:46PM
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KBSpider

Gorgeous granite! The whole kitchen came out fantastic! Strangely enough, I was just out today looking at refrigerators, but came upon the GE Cafe, and am seriously considering it. However, some of the reviews I read complained about the fan being really loud when the oven was on, regardless of whether standard or convection was being used. Can you speak to that aspect? Also, do the vents on top really affect the back burners if you're trying to use them while also using the oven?

Sorry to fixate on the range when there are so many other wonderful aspects to your kitchen - but I appreciate any insights you can give.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 10:50PM
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susanlynn2012

What color stain did you go with? I love the new rich color so much! I love the new granite, the new range hood (I have a GE Cafe Gas Oven and I love it!), and the overall beautiful look of your kitchen with the amazing transformation. You were blessed to have solid wood to begin with that was not oak and no soffits and cabinets to the ceiling. Your husband and the last guy you hired did a great job with your vision. Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 12:43AM
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susanlynn2012

P.S. I love how you added the end panels on the island that are gorgeous!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 12:44AM
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annac54

CEF, the backsplash tile is crema marfil honed marble. It doesn't have green in it, but you might be seeing some reflected off the counter. We bought it from Cool Tiles (link below), however, after we got it I found something very similar at HD. I'm sure there are other manufacturers/distributors out there also. The problem we had was that the tile was shipped from FL and we are in CA. It was not packed well, and the shipper probably didn't help. It took 3 tries to get us the correct amount of tile unbroken. The price on that website has gone up since we ordered ours. Also, with natural stone tile, there are variations in the material so some may not be aesthetically useable. You need to keep that in mind when ordering unless you can sort through the boxes of tile before buying it. I like it, but it was a bit of a pain.

KBS, the fan on the GE range does go on when in regular bake mode, but only at higher temperatures, 425 or 450. so, and yes, it's a bit annoying. I haven't noticed any problem with the vents and back burners. As I've said before, the range is OK. Our old one died, and I had a friend who liked hers, so we got the GE without doing a whole lot of research. We didn't plan on spending a ton of money, and the "remodel" wasn't even on our radar at that point. I might buy it again, but I would check out the other options a lot more carefully first.

Lynn, the contractor who refinished the cabinets does a lot of restoration work and mixes his own stains. He worked for several hours at his shop one weekend with me doing samples to finalize the color.

Overall, we're very happy with everything.

Here is a link that might be useful: marble tile

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 4:14PM
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Linelle

Anna, I love your backsplash. The color variation in the tile is just enough to make them interesting without being overly busy.

I've always loved green counters. They go so well with your cabinet color.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 9:15PM
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KBSpider

Thanks for the additional comments on the stove Anna; I appreciate it! Congrats again on a superb job - it really looks great!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 10:37PM
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gr8daygw

That is a wonderful makeover. It looks great! I bet you love it now that all of the hard work is behind you. I didn't know you could stain maple that dark, that gives me hope!
My beautiful formerly NOT orange kitchen cabinets have got to go but I can't bring myself to paint them because the grain is really beautiful in these particular cabs we have. I'd do a stain in a NY minute if it turned out like that!

Thanks for sharing, it's really beautiful and looks like a show house model!!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 4:00PM
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Kevin

Great job on this! I just installed sea foam green granite and my cabinets are roughly the same color. I've been looking for backsplash ideas and I LOVE yours. Is this what you have: http://www.amazon.com/Crema-Marfil-Subway-Marble-Tumbled/dp/B001XWD3G2

Yours looks like it has a hint of green or is that just being picked up from the granite?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2015 at 7:41AM
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susanlynn2012

I love the blacksplash Kevin!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2015 at 8:09AM
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