Before and After: Elegant DIY Kitchen.

There are many benefits to remodeling your kitchen yourself. The result will be exactly the way you want, and you don’t have to pay for the work. And you can see in advance how others coped with this task.

The kitchen renovation took Christian and Tori two months. They were in no hurry, they worked mostly on their own, only occasionally resorting to the help of professionals. The result shows that the American couple did a very good job, and the new look of the space is indistinguishable from the work of professionals.

Work moment

The new kitchen would have appeared sooner, but there were some hiccups. They had just finished painting the cabinets and the next step was to install the sink. But it was delivered several days later than expected.

First of all, it was necessary to install the sink, and then measure the required height at which the work surface should be located. On the day the sink was installed, the owners of the house agreed to meet with the surveyors. The latter, alas, arrived only a week later and realized that more material was needed for the work. It wasn’t until the material arrived another week later that Tori and Christian were able to agree on an installation date.


Problem of choice

After installing the countertop, Tori and her husband got to work on countertop lighting, which the kitchen desperately needed. As a result, they practically stopped using overhead lights in the new kitchen.

The hardest part was deciding what kind of lighting it should be. This took almost as much time as its subsequent installation. Finally they decided.

There will be light

Christian spent a brutally hot day in Alabama in the attic, laying cables. I had to cut out an extra piece of drywall on the wall to install a triple switch instead of a double one. Before installation, they did not forget about another important step – turning off the electricity. Otherwise, who would then enjoy the result?

Handmade apron

And now it’s time for a kitchen apron. This was Christian and Tori’s first time tiling a surface themselves, and it turned out really well. Of course, it took some time to learn how to lay tiles correctly. In addition, the shape of the tile chosen was not the simplest. Just square tiles might have looked good, but the couple didn’t take the easy way out.

The tiles were packed in sheets measuring about nine hundredths of a square meter. To check whether any part of the sheet needed to be cut or broken, they applied it to the wall. Then they applied tile adhesive only to the part where they were going to lay the tiles. To fit the tiles just right, they needed step-by-step instructions from the Internet and time.

I had to cut the tiles many times in the process of creating the backsplash. It took two days to cut out all the tiles and glue them to the wall.

The next step was grouting the tile joints, which took two working nights. The color chosen for the grout was asphalt (the photo below shows the very beginning of the process). This was followed by sealing the seams.

Creating a center

Tori was most worried about creating a bar counter – the central element of the kitchen. They purchased a blank for the cutting table top for $150. A good friend of the couple helped do some carpentry work and gave them a friendly workshop and taught them a thing or two.

The men spent Saturday morning practicing on cardboard to create the perfect shape for the top of the bar. They ended up joining the two parts of the future counter surface together using wood glue and plywood joint strip. Before allowing the material to dry, we made sure that everything was fastened together and lay perfectly flat.

Final stage

It took about an hour to transform the top of the bar into a single piece. To polish it, I had to go to the city. Sanding was carried out without the help of a router to give the tabletop a handmade look.

Tori applied dark walnut wood stain to the top of the bar, followed by three coats of polyurethane. Polyurethane was chosen rather than tung oil. The couple knew they would use the bar more as a table than as a work surface. And they wanted to make sure that there were no traces of the mugs.

As a result, only a trace of a job well done remains!

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