The Foreclosure: Kitchen Episode I

Aside from some cleaning up and a few quick touch-ups outside, the room we decided to really attack first was the kitchen. I don’t know about you, but for me, the kitchen is always one of the biggest selling points.

The kitchen was almost the least colorful room in the house, but what color it did have came from baby blue, textured wall coverings (almost some kind of vinyl?) and ceiling trim and chair rail that was somewhere between mint and lime green. And if that wasn’t enough variety already, the bottom half of the walls were also embellished with a thick layer of faux brick. Faux brick that was on top of a layer of sheets of vinyl tile. The floor was small tiles of, you guessed it – more vinyl!, that were peeling up in several places. The trim for the doorways was pieced together with several 1xs. The bottom cabinets were in shambles/non-existent, while the top ones were actually in surprisingly good shape. They were the only part of the room that made the cut.

ENTER (my favorite) DEMO DAY!

…and the room got WAY uglier.

Fun fact, all three of our houses are over 100 years old, so we are well versed in plaster.

Demo day = a lot of mess and clean up that resulted in many a trash bag in the yard. This required special calls to Advanced Disposal for a once weekly “heavy pick-up”. Our poor porch was also piled high with this and that for several weeks until we finally loaded it up onto our parents’ trailer (sorry neighbors for the eyesore!).

Then came another kind of my favorite days – shopping days! We went to our staple, Lowe’s, along with our local Ace Hardware – Westlake’s, Walmart, and finally the Kirksville Menards’s grand opening sale.

First on our list was cabinets, and Lowe’s is our place to go*. You can buy good quality, unfinished cabinets that are a fraction of the price of finished ones. Even with the gallon of paint you’ll need to finish them up, you’ll still come out ahead, and painting is easy with the right brushes. 👇🏼

My little helper! On the right you can see where S has added spacers between cabinets.

For cabinets you’ll want mini roller brushes like what I am holding. You can get either foam or a synthetic blend. I prefer a blend. From my experience the foam ones tend to slide/skip when rolling. We usually buy value packs of brushes/rollers from Walmart that have these included. Add a few foam craft brushes (also from Walmart, you can get a variety pack for $2-3) like ADH is holding for easy painting in the indentions. When painting for our own home, my absolute favorite is Valspar’s Aspire brand (Westlakes). For a project like this, however, we just headed to Walmart to save a buck. For the cabinets I decided on an “antique white” to start brightening up the space.

Next on our kitchen shopping list was a lighting fixture and a door to go between the kitchen and laundry room. S installed both himself. He had installed two doors (Menards) already, so by this one he was a pro. It helped that this one took significantly less shimming than our front door, but that’s a whole other story. The lighting fixture was one of six we got in a pack for $40 (Lowe’s), a steal if you ask me! The remaining lights went into the hallway and dining room, and we plan to use the others upstairs.

<<*We shop mostly at Moberly Lowe’s solely because of its close proximity, not out of store preference. Because of our frequent shopping, we are Lowe’s members, and we get 10% when using our MyLowe’s card. I would highly recommend if you are in the market for buying much in the home improvement area, but only if you are okay with below sub-par customer service (multiple frustrating experiences both in-store and via telephone). But hey, nobody’s perfect, and it’s hard to beat 10% off.>>

Fast forward through cleanup.. Three quick coats of paint on the cabinets and several sheets of drywall later, things were looking up!

Countertop from Menards, still needs sink opening cut.

Next up was flooring (Menards), singlehandedly done by S. A floating floor of vinyl “planks” – floating being there was no glueing/attaching to the floor below. We went with vinyl for the kitchen so that it could hold up against possible water. It wasn’t quite as easy of an install as some laminate planking we had done before, but still more than simple enough to tackle on your own in a few hours.

My next task in the process was to putty and sand on the drywall. Tape, putty, sand, and re-putty and re-sand. This was done over several trips to the house alone with the baby, and so this step seemed like it would never end! After 3 or 4 rounds of this, I had to remind myself that we are going to rent, not sell, and it didn’t have to be perfect.

S’s lovely floor job, and the beginning of my drywall finishing. I promise that seam looked better later.

WHAT A MESS I MADE SANDING. Dust was everywhere. We saw a tip online to open an exterior door and take our leaf blower to the room, and it was such a HUGE success.

Once this was cleaned up, the room was FINALLY ready for paint!

Can you guess what color I’ve picked??

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I’d love some more conversation below,

Where is your favorite place to buy home improvement supplies?

What room are you most interested in when looking at a potential home?

What’s your biggest house turn-OFF? 👇🏼

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Check back for my next post for updated pictures and what’s left to tackle on room #1!

3 thoughts on “The Foreclosure: Kitchen Episode I

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