Our Kitchen Makeover: Part 1

By Bruce Johnson

Now that our kitchen makeover is complete, I revisited my photo album, beginning with this “Before” shot showing our lack of counter space, our non-functional sliding glass door, the worn out appliances, and an out-dated tile back-splash. Both being frugal, Leigh Ann and I decided to cut costs by saving the cherry kitchen cabinets and the ceramic tile floor, putting our emphasis on higher quality windows and a new door, plus more counter space. To see a review of the steps we went through, just take a look here.

The first step was to remove one set of the upper cabinets and the old window in preparation for a trio of new windows in the exterior wall. The windows we ordered are designed to be more energy efficient and will give us a better view of our back yard.

Next the Adams and Adams Construction crew removed the appliances and started chipping off the tile back-splash.

Outside, the pile of debris started growing on our flagstone patio. The crew assigned me to be Cleanup Leader, mostly to keep me out of their way.

Before long the old sliding glass door and window were gone and the new framing was starting to appear.

With the new windows in place and the exterior insulation installed and taped, the crew turned their attention back to the indoors.

Meanwhile, the electrician had jumped in to run his wiring and mount the switch boxes and outlets while the walls were still open. The plumbers did the same for the drain and water pipes.

Next came the interior insulation and the new wallboard. Quick Tip: Always keep a vacuum nearby and use it often. This will prevent dirt and dust from spreading to the rest of the house! (Guess whose job that was!)

With the additional cherry base cabinets already on hand, the crew started creating Leigh Ann’s new peninsula. When they weren’t around, I took the opportunity to refresh and protect the existing cabinets using Minwax® Wood Cabinet Cleaner, followed by a coat of Minwax® Wipe-On Poly.

The new granite countertops were going to take a few weeks, so we used pieces of wallboard as temporary countertops so Leigh Ann and I could at least use part of the kitchen while we waited.

Next Week:  countertops, appliances, and the tile back-splash.

Until then,

Thanks for stopping by!


About Bruce Johnson

Author-craftsman Bruce Johnson has introduced millions of do-it-yourselfers, craftspeople and antique collectors to the world of wood finishing and antique restoration. As the official spokesperson for Minwax®, the leading manufacturer of wood finishing and wood care products, Bruce motivates people to take the initiative to beautify their surroundings. Through his many books, magazine articles and columns, as well as frequent appearances on national television talk shows, Johnson is recognized as an authority in the do-it-yourself community. Appearing on PBS, HGTV, The Discovery Channel, and currently hosting “DIY Woodworking” and “Build A Log Cabin”, on the DIY cable network, Johnson has brought the illustrious craft of wood finishing to the forefront of the American home. An expert in wood refinishing, antique restoration, and home improvement, Bruce has published more than a dozen books on these topics, including Fifty Simple Ways To Save Your House, The Wood Finisher, The Weekend Refinisher, and The Official Identification and Price Guide to the Arts and Crafts Movement. For more than 20-years, he penned an antique refinishing advice column, "Knock on Wood," which ran in dozens of antique/collectibles publications. Currently, he writes a column on Arts & Crafts for Style 1900 magazine. A rare combination of craftsman and journalist, Johnson began his career as a high school English teacher, but left teaching to set up his "Knock on Wood Antique Repair & Restoration" shop. He spent the next 10 years as a full-time professional refinisher, but eventually returned to writing. Yet, Johnson says, he won't ever be without a workbench and a couple of refinishing projects down in the basement. Johnson is also the founder and director of the Arts and Crafts Conference and Antique Show held every February in Asheville, North Carolina, at the Grove Park Inn. The conference, which includes the largest Arts and Crafts antiques show, attracts more than 1500 Arts and Crafts collectors each year to its many seminars, tours, demonstrations and exhibits. Johnson is proud to have played a role in reviving interest in designers like Gustav Stickley, who founded the Arts and Crafts movement. His latest book, “Grove Park Inn Arts & Crafts Furniture,” was awarded the 2009 Thomas Wolfe Literary Award. These furnishings are treasured by such collectors as Steven Spielberg and Bruce Willis, among many others.

One comment on “Our Kitchen Makeover: Part 1

  1. larry peavler

    I made a kitchen counter top using hardwood flooring and I wanted to know what to seal it with

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