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Eco-Friendly Kitchen Makeover

We love our little home but it has a few things that we’d like to change.  One was our kitchen.

My husband is a general contractor and we love watching DIY, HGTV, Planet Green (there are some great green building shows!) and like things.  One thing that I cringe at is how much waste goes along with most renovations.  Thankfully my husband is amazing (okay, so I’m biased!) and he recycles and keeps and reuses as much as he can from his job.

When it came to our own kitchen, we didn’t want to go crazy with cost and we certainly wanted to keep it as eco-friendly as possible.  We decided that a coat of paint would do the job, kind of!

Here you see our kitchen BEFORE.  The cabinets are dark and while you can’t tell it from this picture, they were the only thing in our home with that wood tone.  They really stood out, and not in a good way.

We decided to go with white cabinets to brighten up the room.  Here’s our supplies list!
1 can of white no voc primer
1 can of white low voc semi-gloss (easy to clean) paint
trim (he added this to the ends of the cabinets to give them a little more detail)
moulding (for detail up top)
hinges (old ones were brass & matched nothing – they will go to the Habitat ReStore)
We also bought an over the range microwave to give us some more counter space (and appeal to future buyers).  It was always a shuffle to fill plates an prepare dinner with no room by the stove.  Our old microwave will also be getting a new home 🙂
We only had about $100 in materials, excluding the microwave.
We washed the cabinets down with some gentle soap and water.  My husband took of the doors, hinges, knows and pulls.  He gave everything a couple coats of primer and a few coats of paint (what we bought was plenty).

It took a few days to get all of the coats done and to allow time to dry.  We also needed time to install the microwave and paint and put up all of the new trim/moulding.

The moulding required a saw, but he had it all measured up and cut out in no time.

Here’s the result!  We love it 🙂

I know that remodeling in general isn’t the most eco-friendly thing but sometimes you need a change.  We were able to get a completely new look for very little investment and environmental impact.

If we had gone the typical route (which was totally out of the question!) there would have been new cabinets (more materials), disposal of our old cabinets (what a waste!) and getting everything from there to here, then here to there and who knows how many chemicals in the new products and process.

All in all I think it was a great success.  We love our ‘new’ updated kitchen.  It’s much brighter and welcoming.  The finish is easy to clean and we couldn’t be happier with it.  I hope that this is helpful to anyone who might be considering a kitchen renovation.  With a little help, old and unloved can turn into new and adored 🙂

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