Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Kitchen Redo - Order of projects

abasketabasket Registered User Posts: 19,528 Senior Member
I've been contemplating a kitchen facelift for awhile. My budget is limited. I don't have an exact amount but I need to be cost conscious. Appliances are all new within the last couple of years so those don't need to be replaced.

I need to contemplate if we might do any ourselves and/or which jobs to hire out (probably most!) Here is what I'd ideally like to accomplish:
Refinish or paint cabinets (I have LOTS)
Replace backsplash
Replace sink
Replace countertops
Paint wall space (not much of it due to mostly cabinets)
Potentially replace floor

In what order would these things typically happen? The floor isn't in bad shape and could wait but would that disturb the process? Everything else is an all or nothing I feel.

Appreciate any input.

Replies to: Kitchen Redo - Order of projects

  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 20,386 Senior Member
    My thoughts but I'm not a contractor:

    Replace sink, countertops and backsplash at the same time - this will also make a big impact


    Refinish or paint cabinets

    Paint walls - easiest and you could do this yourself
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 76,073 Senior Member
    edited February 2018
    Do the cabinets first....then the counters. We were advised to work from the top down. So after that, I’d have the walls painted. Some folks would paint the walls and ceiling first.


    @coralbrook is our resident expert!!
  • abasketabasket Registered User Posts: 19,528 Senior Member
    The cabinet refinishing is a MUST - they look awful!
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 20,386 Senior Member
    I'd just worry that if you did cabinets first that they might get marred with the other steps.
  • SybyllaSybylla Registered User Posts: 3,410 Senior Member
    I assume a big kitchen with repainting cupboards is going to kill your will to live. Have you ever tried it? Most repaint jobs are horribly executed because the prep is hard work. Are you considering having them done or is this DIY?
  • collage1collage1 Registered User Posts: 1,738 Senior Member
    I will agree to take great care when painting wood cabinets. We had stained cabinets from the factory purchased 19 years ago and had someone come in and paint them. He did not know what he was doing (apparently going from stain to paint is particularly tricky) and we had to hire another painter to fix what he did. They look much better but still don't look all that great. I'm sorry I didn't go with dh's advice and just restain.

    I agree with @doschicos that I would stain/paint the cabinets after the new countertop is in as I'd worry they could get marred too.
  • conmamaconmama Registered User Posts: 4,319 Senior Member
    edited February 2018
    I did a kitchen redo and replaced everything except the cabinets (we even did new ceiling and lighting). I had no contractor, I hired everything out to individual companies. You work from the ceiling down. In your case, that means the cabinets first. We also had ours refinished, and they came out very nice. In order:

    Cabinets...it’s messy

    Backsplash and counters


    Paint the walls

  • jym626jym626 Registered User Posts: 57,368 Senior Member
    When we redid the kitchen, we did the counters before painting. We refinished the floors last (covered everything with plastic sheeting).
  • greenwitchgreenwitch Registered User Posts: 8,646 Senior Member
    I repainted cabinets once. It is a huge job. It was difficult even to remove the doors from the hinges (put a rubber band between the screwdriver and the screw). You have to empty all the cabinets, remove the doors and drawers, prep, and paint. Prep was just a light sanding for what I had. Painting wasn't too bad once we got rolling. Rehanging the doors can be a challenge too, especially if you have multiple old screw holes. Make sure you number each door and matching cabinet.

    I'm glad I did it but I didn't have a huge kitchen. Your floor can be done last. I agree that countertop, sink, and backsplash should be done together.
  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner Registered User Posts: 38,640 Senior Member
    If you do the cabinets first, the gorillas that will come to replace the countertops will scratch and ding the cabinets, guaranteed. Leave that until after the countertop replacement.
  • abasketabasket Registered User Posts: 19,528 Senior Member
    We would not paint the cabinets ourselves - we are not fools!

    The choices are either have someone paint them - honestly it scares me to paint them because once it's done, it's done - and seriously we have LOTS of cabinets - I worry about chips and such even if done well.

    The other choice is for us to lightly sand and re-varnish them. They are a light maple/pine (???) - like blonde. The people who lived her before and installed them were HEAVY smokers. The smoke and our attempts over the years to clean the yellowing has slowly killed the finish. We know it would take a while -we would do a section of the cabinets at a time - at least try that first before going any other direction. We are experienced with refinishing furniture and have done TONS of sanding, varnishing in our lifetime. Would be easy to "touch up" any nicks on varnish as opposed to paint.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 76,073 Senior Member
    edited February 2018
    I have a friend who hired someone to paint her cabinets. She said...it wasn’t much different in cost than getting them refaced. The person did four coats of whatever. This was after doing something to prepare the varnished cabinets for the paint coats.

    It took days...but it looked fabulous.

    She said...if she had to do it again...she would have had the cabinets refaced.
  • abasketabasket Registered User Posts: 19,528 Senior Member
    As I said, budget is a concern - I have 30 cabinet doors and 18 drawers. I'm just drowning in conflict about what to do!
  • SybyllaSybylla Registered User Posts: 3,410 Senior Member
    If you just refinish the wood, a unit at a time would be really doable. As you are experienced already you know the level of prep and if you do it yourselves you have no reason to strip the whole kitchen in one go. IMO it would be better to do one door and see if you are happy with a refinish first. Do you feel compelled to varnish over a refinish?
  • abasketabasket Registered User Posts: 19,528 Senior Member
    Definitely would do a trial door first. No harm there (and can't really look worse IMO!) You would have to put some finish over a sanded cabinet door, no?
This discussion has been closed.