My finished white kitchen ($8k budget)

noellabelleMay 23, 2011

My kitchen is done, with tons of thanks to everyone at this site! I had never been here before my kitchen remodel, and google kept leading me here with every question I could throw at it. Then I found lots of wonderful help, advice, and hand holding as I went through this process.

The kitchen is 10' x 18', and our condo was built in about 1987.

Before:

Our only previous seating in the kitchen was a kid's table.

Cabinet Paint - SW Alabaster

Trim Paint - SW extra white

Wall Paint - SW Sea Salt (looked green/gray after the first coat, before thankfully ending up in a soft aqua)

Counters - Valley White Granite (also called River White, and maybe White Spring)

Floor - Bellawood 3/4" Red Oak

Vintage Cherry Hutch - craigslist

Island - craigslist

Backsplash - white cheapy Lowes subway tiles

Dishwasher - kenmore (already had)

Range - Electrolux EW30DF65GS duel fuel from craigslist

Refrigerator - Bosch Linea Series B22CS50SN from Sears Outlet

Hood - Zephyr Breeze II Series AK1200

Microwave - GE Profile Spacemaker II PEM31

undercabinet lighting - xenon task light strips from Pegasus

I was all set to go with jet mist or another dark/black granite, and I just fell in love with the valley white slab when I went to the stone yards. I'm so happy with my choice, and I love the sparkly depth in it.

I was a little afraid it would be too much white (polished at that) with the counters, backsplash, and cabinets, but I think that they all work well together.

love my vintage cherry hutch - so much better than my old baker's rack

I was going to buy an unfinished bookcase and paint it to match the cabinetry, but I went cheap & easy, using an IKEA bookcase instead. I attempted to add some molding around the microwave to make it look sort of built in.

The bird pictures that inspired the color scheme of the room

I never thought I'd have a range as nice as this. I love cooking with gas now! The little retangular things on the wall are the old molding pieces that used to be in the middle of the cabinet doors. I painted them with chalk paint, and now I write my dinner plans there.

I've got a little tiger in the background...the dragon is taking a nap right now : )

Closer view of my granite

This picture shows how much the under cabinet lights brighten up the space.

Thanks for looking and all your help during this process!

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blfenton

Wow - what a great job. The granite was a good choice because it pulls everything together in your space. It really stands out - love it. Your little island is so cute and adds a neat touch to the space.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 2:50PM
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chicagoans

Your kitchen is a great inspiration to everyone who thinks they can't do much on a budget. It looks fantastic! I can see why you fell in love with that granite - it's lovely.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 2:56PM
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breezygirl

What a great job! I'm impressed with the creative use of the old cab ornamentations. The granite is lovely in your room.

I have a sample cab door in SW Alabaster sitting in front of me. It helps to see how beautiful your cabs look in that color. Sea Salt sure is nice too.

Congrats on being done!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 3:02PM
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remodelfla

Your cabs look awesome with that beautiful granite. I'm so glad you're happy with your granite choice... I think it makes the room!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 4:05PM
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na_praha

Congratulations on a wonderful job done on a really narrow budget. That granite is gorgeous! You must be loving living and cooking in your new space.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 4:31PM
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kristinekr

What a transformation! The granite looks really good with the cabinets, and the cabinets turned out great. I really like the roman shade. The kitchen looks so crisp and cheery now.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 4:47PM
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brianadarnell

Wow! What a beautiful kitchen transformation! Love all the choices. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 4:56PM
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Adrienne2011

Hey - I think that maybe I remember this kitchen island, from when you asked a question about it maybe a month ago. Or I could be wrong. But those cup pulls and the knobs and the island seem familiar. Nice job! The granite looks good.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 5:16PM
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kitchenaddict

hi noel...

Charming...I love what you did with the extra cabinet piece..extremely clever.

Beautiful granite too!

KA:)

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 5:23PM
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rosie

Very nice, Noellabelle! I'm in love with your granite. And your little recipe boards--that's a real little copier.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 5:27PM
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Pevo

The granite does pull it all together and I love the towel rack at the end of the base cabinet. Great job! Enjoy your new space.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 6:08PM
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kadydid

What? You did that for 8K??? Amazing!! Its so charming, I love it! I love white kitchens though. Dh won the coin toss when it came to ours, white or dark. He picked dark, so I am a bit jealous!!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 6:24PM
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kmmh

It looks great!
and I love what you did with the molding around the microwave!
Enjoy!!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 6:28PM
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gsciencechick

Congrats! Everything looks fantastic! You got some great deals on the appliances; they look amazing in your space.

Sea Salt is a beautiful color and compliments the granite well.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 6:31PM
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dutchaccent

Hi,

Your new kitchen looks fabulous. You did a great job painting and the granite counters are gorgeous. It all looks wonderful together!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 6:32PM
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xand83

Great job! I really love your sink wall, just so clean and spacious.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 6:38PM
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oldhouse1_gw

Wow, the difference is like night and day. What a pleasure it must be working in such a bright, yet warm kitchen. You've done a wonderful job. I hope it gives you many years of enjoyment.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 6:42PM
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Fori is not pleased

Great job! I'm glad you saved a few of those...things in the middle of your cabinets, whatever they are! They look much better in their new position.

It would have looked good with the dark granite. But THIS is so much better! I would have been afraid of too much white, too, but this paid off.

I'm just impressed that you turned that into this with such a reasonable budget. Very very very desirable!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 6:42PM
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lazydaisynot

What a beautiful job. I love the granite and your color scheme. Enjoy your great new kitchen!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 6:52PM
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aliris19

What a nice job! I agree, not at all too white, and that's from someone who isn't 'white-oriented'. I think because the whites are of a different texture and shade, and mostly because you have those very contrasting use of bright colors in there tying it all together; it just really works and doesn't even look "white" (a compliment from me). Just bright and cheery and clean!

I bet this lightens your step! It should... well done.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 7:59PM
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theresse

For that budget? Don't get me wrong - $8k is a lot to my husband and me - but it's so pretty and it all looks like it would have cost more. Good job!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 8:13PM
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ironcook

hi noellabelle...

i thought your kitchen looked wonderful in your updates, but wow, you made it just fabulous! :)

you have all the perfect notes... the lightness of a white kitchen, the warmth of the wood floors, and the cheer of your red accents paired with the sea salt walls. and that granite it's just beautiful. i just love your kitchen.

i especially like your window treatment, too!

what a smart way to get your microwave off a counter; very clever to trim it out a bookcase.

oh and that range was such a cragislist winner!

you really did a great job. it must make you so pleased and happy to be in your kitchen now. thanks so much for sharing it. :)

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 8:45PM
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flwrs_n_co

Lovely transformation! Love the light oak floor with your "new" cabs and granite, but what gives it a warm feeling is the Sea Salt, red accents, and cherry hutch. Very, very nice finishing touches! You did a terrific job of completely transforming your kitchen AND stayed within your budget! Enjoy!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 9:23PM
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AngAx

Looks awesome - love the color combo. You got lot of bang for your buck, great job!!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 9:50PM
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rjr220

I was looking at your pictures, wondering how you did all that for 8K when I finally realized that you reused your cabs -- it is amazing what taking off funky trim and paint will do! What a beautiful transformation -- love the granite and your creativity!

Bon Appetit!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 10:00PM
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motherof3sons

Very, very nice. The counters are GORGEOUS!!!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 10:14PM
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sara_the_brit_z6_ct

Outstanding!!!!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 10:23PM
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beckysharp

Wonderful and inspiring budget. The cabinets look amazing -- I also like the way you kept the center pieces -- and the hutch and birds throughout are terrific touches.

Becky

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 11:56PM
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sparklekitty

What a great eye for detail you have. You are super thrify, but it doesn't look thrifty ad I agree with your love of river white granite. I have a piece of it in my yard from when we were looking - stunning. What an unsung hero it is.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 7:33AM
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elba1

I agree with what everyone else said - great transformation - enjoy!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 7:57AM
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dianalo

I love that you got all this done for $8k! It came out wonderfully ;) Great job!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 9:38AM
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htracey

I LOVE your countertops, and your budget is very similar to mine. Can I ask how much of your budget the counters took?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 10:22AM
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sayde

Very bright, pretty and comfortable -- an amazing transformation! You accomplished an enormous feat within your budget -- congratulations!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 10:45AM
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noellabelle

Thanks so much, everyone! Like I said before, I would have never had anywhere close to as nice of a kitchen without this site.

Here's the tutorial I used to make the faux roman shade. I debated with myself if that fabric would work or not, and since I had already ordered I figured the worst that could happen is I would hate it and need to try something else. It ended up working really well in the space, imo. I decided to not try to make a functional one, and I just left my old roller shade behind it since it's only closed at night. I may eventually replace that with wood blinds, but it's not really an issue now.

http://www.centsationalgirl.com/2010/06/diy-fixed-flat-fold-roman-shade/

Here's the tutorial for chalkboard paint, which is just basically adding unsanded grout to latex or craft paint, and I guestimated my measurements.

http://attemptingaloha.blogspot.com/2011/02/how-to-make-your-own-chalkboard-paint.html

Yep, I've definitely posted about my island before! When I got it, it was cream, and I was debating about painting it gray or staining the top. I've gotten used to it, I guess, and I don't have plans to change it any time soon.

My granite, was fairly reasonable, for here at least. The lowest possible price around here in CT is $60 a sq ft. I was pleasantly surprised that my favorite one was $65. It ended up being about $2300 total for the counters. I'm almost surprised it isn't used more, since it's not as expensive as what I've heard quartzite goes for and it is kind of similar to a marble look.

I just found this pic I had taken after painting the boxes. I took a couple month painting break before tackling the doors, and the grain looked even more pronounced than before. That really solidified that even though my paint job isn't perfect, I love it so much better than before!

When we did the cabinets, we installed hidden European hinges and soft close thingies, so that helped the function of them as well. We want to put soft close drawer slides in too; hopefully we'll have enough steam left to do that soon.

One way this renovation has been unexpected is that "home stuff" has now become an obsession with my 5 year old dd, who has autism. She plays with all those little wood molding center pieces, and she's always trying to attach them back up on the cabinet doors! She loves looking at all our our renovation pictures, and looking at the different stages of the project. And now she wants "daddy to go to Home Depot and put a wood floor in her bedroom". I wasn't going into this thinking that we would develop similar hobbies (her previous obsession was the bottom of everyone's shoes, so I'll definitely take decorating over that!)

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 10:47AM
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melissastar

Wow, what a terrific job. Really does show what creativity and hard work can do. And I love the Sea Salt color. I seem to be painting everything in my house some version or another of green. That's a particularly nice one.

Congratulations and enjoy!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 10:56AM
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boxerpups

meraviglioso!!!!!
(glorius or beautiful in Italian)

The subway tiles are amazing. It is hard to believe
you did not spend more. The granite,the paint, the new
hardware and the beautiful floors create an amazing
transformation.
Cheers to you.
~boxer

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 11:15AM
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WannBeHome

Holy smokes this blows me away! I love when a space can look this fabulous and didn't cost first year college tuition! I have been planning on redoing my kitchen...the cabs definitely need some paint. I fell so in love with the carerra marble but I love your granite and will now look for it. Thanks so much for the inspiration!!

What did you do to help fill in the grain of the cabinets? Do you mind telling me your process and products you used?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 12:12PM
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Marg2

Beautiful granite, inspired wall color choice. Love it. Looks so bright and clean.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 12:17PM
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lisa_a

Nicely done! Your granite is gorgeous. I love that you drew your inspiration from the bird prints (love your Roman shade). Great re-use of the dated cabinet center panels - very clever.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 12:23PM
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bellajourney

Wow! Amazing transformation! I love it! (I'm totally partial to white cabinets and am working on a white kitchen reno too.) I was looking to see who you used to replace your cabinet doors when I realized that all you had to do was remove the ornament in the center and paint them. Fabulous! The colors, the granite - everything is lovely! And on such a modest budget too! Well done!! :)

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 1:25PM
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noellabelle

Thanks!

I love how the subway tile turned out too. I looked at more expensive ones, but I just didn't find anything that blew me away. I thought it would look okay with the ones I used, but it exceeded my expectations once they were up and I'm so happy with my pick! One thing that I did do was that I had some of those tile samples, and I used them to help me pick my cabinet paint.

I used the tutorial linked below to paint the cabinets. It was a lot of work and I got pretty burnt out doing it. I started in August of last year, and didn't get the doors back on until right before Christmas.

Filling the grain was a pain. I started out with regular wood putty. I did the drawers with that, and it took about 6 or 7 times of filling, sanding, filling, sanding, etc.

I found a different product for the doors. It was elmers wood filler I think...it comes in a bigger tub than the normal putty tubes. I watered it down a little and used that to fill in the grain. It went quicker than the other way.

Doing it again, I would have probably not worried about the grain as much. I didn't mind it much from the beginning, it was dh that pushed for them to be smoother. And I might have used an oil based primer, staying with the water based paint. And I would have definitely used some kind of paint extender (floteral or something like that?) that I just recently learned about.

Here is a link that might be useful: Painting cabinets

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 8:39AM
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WannBeHome

Thank you, I can't wait to get started!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 2:28PM
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ginny20

You are very creative and have great taste, IMO. Those talents, combined with your hard work and persistence, gave you a beautiful kitchen. You did a fantastic job. My hat is off to you.

Oh- and I think River White granite is wonderful for white cupboards!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 9:16PM
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sara7764

Stunning job on a budget! I still cannot believe that was only $8000! Your story is an example to ALL those who look to buy homes and say...UGH! I have to remodel the kitchen and it will cost us.....! Painting the cabinets, the backsplash, the new floor and the granite just make it really nice. The smart shopping on craigslist....priceless. Many years of happy cooking in the kitchen.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 3:35PM
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rbpdx

I notice you have the touch20 faucet. How is it holding up?? :) Love the white kitchen!!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 9:34PM
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susanlynn2012

NoellaBelle, you did an amazing job and I can't believe it only cost you $8,000! I wish you lived near me since I would pay you to do my cabinets. I am now considering the SW Alabaster along with the BM Cloud White and maybe I will have two of my doors painted to decide or get some primed wood to paint and not just painted foam boards. I have the same range hood and I love it since the halogen lights are so bright, I can reach the lights and the fan and it works great at taking out odors. Thank you for sharing.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 9:52PM
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susanlynn2012

P.S., I also love your counters! I love the appliances chosen and the new floors. I love the location of your microwave as I am very petite and that would be a perfect location for me. Congratulations on a beautiful kitchen that stayed within budget but looks like it cost so much more!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 10:01PM
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p.ball2

Wow, 8k amazing!
I love your granite!
Well done, enjoy it!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 9:39AM
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ailene54

Looks wonderful! Isn't it a great feeling when your able to get a "new kitchen" on a low budget!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 9:51AM
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noellabelle

I still love the touch faucet, and so do my kids. I notice that my daughter tries to tap every faucet she uses, even the automatic on ones. It works wonderfully, and was a fun little gadget to lure my husband into easily going along with a more expensive faucet than a "regular" one! : )

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 12:29PM
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susanlynn2012

Noellabella, Thank you again for sharing your pictures since after this tax season, I will finally be ready to finish my kitchen. I got sick last year and had an operation so I had to hold off on my kitchen plans. I love everything you have done in your kitchen and your faucet sounds perfect! So glad your autistic daughter loves it and you sound like a wonderful mother to your daughter.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 12:35PM
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Erp6

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I am currently redoing my 1968 kitchen with white cabinet, and hardwood flooring, but I am now stuck on counter top and paint color. This surely give me the inspiration that I needed, I was thinking that I have to match the counters to the floor. I first happened on this site when I was trying to get a gas range and ended up with an NXR two years ago and got stuck. Now that I continuing, this is my go to site for everything, I even registered this time around. Again, thank you for sharing your pictures to show the befores and afters without me having to lean my head to get a good angle. This site is a god-send and thanks to all the posters. Have a blessed day!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 2:50PM
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Erp6

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I am currently redoing my 1968 kitchen with white cabinet, and hardwood flooring, but I am now stuck on counter top and paint color. This surely give me the inspiration that I needed, I was thinking that I have to match the counters to the floor. I first happened on this site when I was trying to get a gas range and ended up with an NXR two years ago and got stuck. Now that I continuing, this is my go to site for everything, I even registered this time around. Again, thank you for sharing your pictures to show the befores and afters without me having to lean my head to get a good angle. This site is a god-send and thanks to all the posters. Have a blessed day!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 2:51PM
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Linelle

Awesome! I love everything about your kitchen. I did a modest reno in a small kitchen and your budget beat me a couple of times over. I adore your counters.

I also appreciate that you're unafraid to display things on your counter. I think it only adds to the warmth of your kitchen.

Good job!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 5:28PM
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lazy_gardens

What a simple little kitchen ... it all "just works".

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 10:25PM
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Etera

Beautiful! We also chose Alabaster for our cabinets and a different color (sw Bright White) for our trim work. At times I wonder if I should have matched the trim work to the cabinet color. But seeing your layering of whites makes me feel good about our choice. Well done.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 10:25PM
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SaraKat

it's perfect!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 10:32PM
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AboutToGetDusty

Soooo beautiful! What a wonderful transformation as others have said. Enjoy your gorgeous new space! This should be in a magazine for amazing budget kitchen renos!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 10:37AM
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susanlynn2012

NoellaBelle, I can't seem to find what gloss finish you used and which SW paint you used. I do love the Alabaster white shade for cabinets in your kitchen. As soon as tax season ends, I will revisit my kitchen renovation. So far I only have changed out the fluorescent blinking light and have 6 recessed lights in the ceiling. The rest I have on hold as I want to do everything else at the same time.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 2:09PM
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go_figure01

WoW! What an inspiration.
Looks fabulous!
Enjoy your new space!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 2:23PM
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noellabelle

Thanks everyone! We still enjoy it so much!

Lynn, I got the pro classic waterbased enamel, I believe in gloss. I would pick semi-gloss if I had to pick again...but the higher the gloss, the supposedly easier they are to clean. Best of luck to you as you begin your renovation!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 3:21PM
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legallin

Hard to believe you accomplished that much of a transformation on that budget! your new kitchen is gorgeous! Wow!!! Enjoy!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 8:06PM
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susanlynn2012

Noellebelle, I love the gloss! I do not like the Matt look. Thanks for letting me know. I love your kitchen which is a big inspiration to me.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 8:49PM
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CEFreeman

Noellabella, I click my car starter at my front door when I'm tired. At least it gives me a laugh at the end of the day!

I wanted to tell you how fun and cheerful your kitchen looks.

I've recently been bitten by the painting bug. Even to the point of taking my first day off for myself since I went to the dentist 8 months ago. I took an ASCP class and am excited. I've got over 150lf of cabinetry to paint, let alone some God-awful furniture that takes on new life after paint.

Have fun with this and love it. Your kitchen is fabulous!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 10:25PM
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