Here are the kitchen remodel details and cost breakdown of our inexpensive DIY makeover that turned a dated 80’s space into a modern farmhouse kitchen.
You know what’s almost as exciting as having a revamped kitchen? Reading all the comments that you guys left on the Kitchen Reveal article! A big thank you for all your sweet comments – they really are the highlight of this blogging adventure.
So after leaving you hanging a bit since that reveal post (I bet you just could hardly think of anything else, huh?) I’m finally putting down in writing all the little details you might be interested in, including the final tally of what this little redo cost us. (Spoiler: you won’t believe how little for such a dramatic difference!)
I have to say that when we finally did the math, even we were surprised at the total. I guess this is what happens when you take years to finish, ha!
Fair warning: this is a long article – I guess I can go on about details. Affiliate links are provided, as well.
Kitchen Remodel Details
Of course we’ve got to start with the butcher block counters. They are the cornerstone of the whole redo – and the thing that pushed it a year later than we planned when Ikea was out of stock. (This post talks about that and lists all the little projects we tackled in the first stages of this redo.)
Why wood counters?
Before I talk about the Ikea counters, I should address why we wanted wood counters, since a lot of people ask us. I can boil it down to these reasons:
- I love the look and warmth of them – and I think Brian does, too, but I don’t want to speak totally for him.
- They are relatively inexpensive – about the same as laminate on the cost scale, but infinitely better looking and I love that it’s something real.
- It’s in the realm of our limited DIY skills.
- They are timeless. Unlike the nasty harvest-y gold tile we removed.
- They don’t have grout. I hate grout. I don’t know how anyone who bakes a lot (think flour all over the counters) gets all that grout clean. It’s smooth all the way for me.
- I can touch up gouges and marks easily, unlike laminate.
What about the upkeep?
We get the most questions about this, I think. We chose to finish our oak counters with a water-based polyurethane coating (see more about this here). No, it’s not food-grade, but we don’t eat off the counters, cut on the counters, or very rarely even set food on them, so it’s not an issue for us.
The bigger issue for us was the monthly, bi-monthly, or even yearly reapplying of other types of finishes. We’re honest with ourselves and we just wouldn’t do it consistently and didn’t want one more to-do thing on our list. We like that the poly coating (coupled with the clear caulking around the sink and edges) makes them fairly water-tight.
And we have lived with wood counters before – we installed them in our Portland bungalow when we remodeled that kitchen and lived with it for three years without doing anything other than wiping them down as way of upkeep.
By then there was a little wear in the finish next to the sink so before we put it up for sale I sanded the area lightly and added a few more layers of finish. Good as new. You can’t do that with a burned or worn laminate counter and while you can chip out a tile and replace it (if you saved an original one), it’s trickier. So let’s add that to the list of reasons I like wood.
Ikea’s wood counters
However, this was our first experience with Ikea’s solid oak butcher block counters. In our former kitchen we used simple pine boards a friend helped us sandwich together, since there was no Ikea in Oregon at that time.
We installed a beech Ikea counter in our bathroom at the cottage and were planning the same counter for the kitchen. But Ikea had trouble keeping them in stock at our Portland store and after waiting a year (we’re two hours away, so can’t just run up there), we went with the more expensive Numerar solid oak counters. They come in three wood options, but they only had oak in stock. (Update: Ikea doesn’t carry either of these counter choices anymore. Here are the counter options now. One is a solid oak and one is a veneer over particle board, so read carefully.)
Unfortunately, we did not like working with the oak. It was heavy (really, really, heavy) so was hard to maneuver, position, and generally do what you have to do when trying to fit counters. And it was pretty hard cutting them. Brian bought a special saw which helped, but they were a bear – so much that he created a video to help anyone else wanting to cut solid wood Ikea counters.
Cost For Counters:
- Butcher block counters = $630 (2 8-ft + 2 6-ft pieces)
- Wood Conditioner, Special Walnut Wood Stain, water-based polyurethane finish, satin + supplies = $43 (here’s an update a few years later about the finish)
- 7.25, 40 tooth circular saw blade for oak = $35 (obviously Amazon’s the better price here, a-hem)
Total = $708
The Sink & Faucet
Stainless Steel Single Sink
This may be my favorite part of the redo – the big single stainless steel sink. Which is surprising because of course I wanted a big white farmhouse sink.
I love, love, love the look of white sinks against wood. But I lived with a white sink for three years in our bungalow and when you cook and garden and preserve things – a lot – it’s just hard to keep white sinks looking good. Or clean, for that matter.
With stainless, a simple wipe-down and it looks good again. So – hello stainless sink.
Surprise, surprise, I LOVE everything about it – it makes the kitchen work so much better, I can’t believe it! Lots of dishes stack easily, huge pots fit, and there’s tons of room to wash vegetables.
But the pièce de résistance? The custom rack in the bottom. Best $30 spent. Ever.
Have one or two dishes to dry? They set on the rack. Washing potatoes? No need to cause puddles on the counter, just set them on the rack. Nothing touches the wet bottom, so it works for so many things. I also bought the fancier drain and basket – and it’s deep with a little bail handle to empty when you need to which makes it probably the easiest basket I’ve ever used.
I bought the sink online from Mr. Direct. It was stinking cheap and I was afraid that you’d get what you pay for. The reviews were 50-50 (typical, huh?) of people loving it or hating it. Here’s the truth – there’s nothing else out there even close in price, so I took a chance.
And, in fact, the first sink we received was bent on one corner and had two major scratches in the sink. But they were SUPER friendly and easy to work with and I simply gave the first sink to the UPS man when he delivered the new sink. Easy. And that sink was perfect. It’s heavy duty steel and seems like a much more expensive sink. I’d order again from them in a heartbeat.
The Bridge Faucet
Since I couldn’t get a farmhouse sink, I settled for a farmhouse bridge faucet. Amazon again came through for me on this. It’s a Pegasus Lyndhurst faucet and I kind of thought this was a lesser quality brand, but this baby is far and above anything we’ve ever owned before (which, admittedly, is not saying a whole lot, ha!).
The faucet itself is heavy, and made with brass fittings. We tell everyone to try out the sprayer – it probably weighs a pound, I kid you not. No plastic sprayer here – this thing is made to last. Update: the sprayer hose started leaking after 4 years – a simple call to the company and we were sent a whole new sprayer!
Sink & Faucet Cost:
- Sink, rack, & drain basket = $133 (tip: go to Mr. Direct website to order rack and basket)
- Faucet = $111 (yes, this link is more expensive now…)
Total = $244
I love this area now which I call it the butler’s pantry as a little joke for our cottage. But it pretty much describes what we use it for and it’s not in the working triangle of the kitchen with only 18″ counters. We think some previous owner had cut out the rectangle in the deep skirt of the upper cabinets to fit a huge microwave (anyone remember those?) and it definitely took away the charm of the area.
Brian used a jigsaw to cut scrolls in the ends and the straight part to the other side. He was not happy with the results at first, but it was nothing that a little fill, sand, and paint couldn’t hide! Good thing we’re not perfectionists around here. #cottagelife
I think it turned out great- I love it!
Molding pieces to cover the openings in the bottom cabinets, which you can see in the before picture here.
Total = $10
The Slide-In Range
Some of our friends wondered why we kept the old stove. Well, it works. It’s a quality Jenn-Air stove and it goes with our other appliances.
It did have a weird, ugly back on it (that easily screwed off -see the before shot here), which made it look like a stand-alone range when it’s actually a slide-in. The range had been added to the kitchen later – I think it’s a 90s model – so the old tile counters didn’t go to the edge. Food and water would routinely make it’s way down the gaps. Yuck.
It’s now a full-fledged slide-in range sitting on top of the counter. Can I get a high-five? SO nice.
Cleaning tip: I read online that Bar Keeper’s Friend worked on older, heat-stained stainless stove tops, so I spent an hour cleaning all the nooks and crannies. And it works!
Then I ordered new, correct burner pans online and, voila! It’s like we do have a new stove.
Total = $26
The other major part of this redo was adding a beadboard panelling backsplash up to the cabinets to coordinate with our bathrooms and laundry room as well. I think it helps bring a house together when materials are repeated throughout.
When we retrofitted the cabinet over the stove to fit the microwave, we were left with a smaller cabinet that the doors didn’t fit anymore. I was fine using it as a shelf, but seeing the electrical outlet we added and the cord was not fine.
Brian made the false back pictured above out of leftover beadboard and screen molding that we can simply set in place. In order to be able to remove it (it’s a pretty tight fit), he added the little screw-in hook to pull it out. Yeah, he’s a keeper.
- Beadboard panelling
- corner and flat screen moldings to edge it
- wood filler
Total = $115
Ah, painting the cabinets. Not my favorite part, since I had to do it twice, though the end product is nice. My one tip? Make sure the store really did mix up your color right. This set us back a couple of weeks and probably added a couple of gray hairs for me.
But I do have to say – foam rollers all the way! They really do make the paint job much smoother than brushes alone. I cut in the corners with a brush and then rolled all the flat edges and all the bases. Foam rocks!
Total = $47
A few more kitchen remodel details I love:
- I’ve organized oils and such next to the stove with a thrift store tray for awhile, but only recently added the little bowls for kosher salt and coarse ground pepper. Let me just say, oh my goodness – such a small thing makes cooking that much easier! I never knew – no more shaking trying to get the seasonings out or having the container fog up with steam. Try it and see what I mean!
- The awkward space next to the cabinet with the bread box under it has always stumped me. This is what you see from the front door though, so I wanted it to look less kitchen-y. I added a tiered cupcake/dessert stand and was happy how it fills the space nicely, looks great from the door and is actually useful for holding our fruits and vegetables. No more bowls taking up room on the counter – awesome!
- I used one yard of black and cream ticking to make a new sink skirt (cost = $8). Some people wonder about a sink skirt (I did think about putting the doors back on), but I find it easy to grab the compost bucket or throw something in the trash without having to open a door. Plus they’re easily washable. So a skirt it is – and that it looks so cute is just an added bonus!
- The lids on our dry goods storage jars (old restaurant pickle jars, by the way) have always been green, but they clashed with the sugar container green when I put them together on the butler’s pantry area. Since I had added the chalkboard tags a while ago, I repainted the lids black to coordinate. Nice, huh? Little things often work to bring things together.
One last thing- Brian replaced all the old off-white electrical outlets with white ones before we added the new white covers. Goodness! Such a small thing (cost = about $10 in material and a couple hours work) for such a huge payoff. We haven’t always taken the time to do this (our bathrooms, a-hem), and it’s a thing that really finishes off a remodel well.
And the grand total for our DIY kitchen remodel is…
(I’m adding $1 for the pendant shade I revamped, in case you take the time to add it up!)
Can you believe we have such an awesome kitchen for less than $1,200?! And the double blessing is God’s provision – we paid with cash we saved up from extra jobs we took on in the past couple of years, so no debt either. Yay!!
Whew, if you’ve stuck with me this long – thank you – tell me, what is your favorite part of our redone kitchen? Anything you can use for your own kitchens?
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links and by clicking on them you help support AOC at no extra cost to you – thanks so much! Plus you can trust I’ll only share what I love. (You can always read our entire disclosure page here.)
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