Before & After: Getting Rid of An Outdated Yellow “Hacienda” Kitchen


When Dana and David bought their home, it had wonky oak builder-grade cabinets in the kitchen, dingy wall paint, and — perhaps most importantly — a lot of shades of yellow. The previous owners were going for “hacienda” and the pseudo-Spanish style just wasn’t working for its new residents. All the other rooms in the house were updated first, and the kitchen was the last one standing — mainly because Dana and David knew it was a BIG job.

Dana wanted a clean, modern, traditional styled home with a few vintage twists. Even though there’s more black in the space, it feels larger and brighter than before. Nice details, like the fridge surround and molding on the upper cabinets, make everything feel polished and professional, even though it was a total DIY job.

Dana and David did 95% of the work themselves, only calling on others for advice and to help them out of a jam (namely, Dana’s hurt back) when floor tiling needed to get done. It took them about six months of weekends, on and off, to complete the kitchen renovation. There were a few scares along the way, including potential asbestos in one of the four(!) layers of flooring they found underneath the old tile. (There wasn’t, thankfully.)

At the end of the day, it cost them $7,000, which is well under the average cost of a kitchen renovation. If they were to do it again, there’s little Dana and David would change: maybe hire someone else to spray paint the many layers of paint it took to cover the old yellow wood. Says Dana:

Every project takes about 5x the amount of time you think it’s going to take. For example: I imagined painting the cabinets would be a quick and easy weekend job. No! First you have to take-off the cabinets, then you’ve got to sand them, then strip them, then primer paint them, then add five more dang coats of paint on top of that. Same with the flooring. I never imagined we would be prying up that many layers of linoleum!

Resources

  • Black Hex Tile from Wayfair
  • Wall color is Dolphin Fin by Behr
  • Shelf Brackets from Etsy

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