Jul 17, 2011

Kitchen makeover, part 1: Before

I would LOVE to have a brand new kitchen with the latest appliances.  Alas, budget did not permit.  So we made do with what we have, and tried to improve it as much as possible. 

When we moved in, the kitchen looked like this:
When we've got the key: we are slowly replacing them appliances.

With previous owner's stuff: how do you like 'em wood?
They liked 'em wood lacquered and orange.
And I just HAVE to share this picture of the fridge nook wall:
What didn't kill me, made me stronger:  I steamed the wallpaper off in the middle of summer.

Before moving out, the previous owner must have let their dogs pee all over the cabinets, because they are disgustingly smelly and sticky!  And I'm talking rotting-fish kind of smell.  And melted-candy sort of sticky.  They must also liked deep-frying foods, as evidenced by the ever-present grease stains on and around the stove and on the ceiling (how, I ask you, does one get grease stains on the freaking ceiling???).

I almost threw up a few times during the process of cleaning up, since whatever different chemical cleaners we used did a very good job releasing the smells embedded in the kitchen.  But, none of them was able to really get rid of  the general ickiness.  We finally resorted this ultimate strip-all, clean-all, max-power stripping agent:

JASCO!  T has a love-hate relationship with this guy.  It cleans up everything, but oh, the fumes!  The painful heat when it touches your skin (have baking soda nearby)!  And the learning curve and numerous do-overs because we didn't put a thick enough layer (stripping is hard!  That's what she said!)!  After a few weeks, we finally got down to the bare wood (that's what she said again!):

Frames, insides, shelves, and doors.  I'm just showing the biggest cabinet here.  (See we had the fridge nook wall mudded after the wallpaper was removed.)

Then, we painted.  And we painted.  And we painted some more...

On to a glimpse of the painted cabinets and the hardware fiasco!

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