Cabinets and Countertops Upgrade-One Room Challenge Week 3

April 20, 2022

Hi! I'm Nicole

Fearless DIY. Sharing building project tutorials and interior design tips. Let’s build something beautiful together. For more projects, design tips and behind the scenes, follow me @designtobuild.nicole

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Ahhhhhhhh! So much to share this 3rd week of The One Room Challenge!

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This post is sponsored by The Cabinet Door Store and Amerock Cabinet Hardware. All opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands we truly love.

The kitchen makeover has moved from full on demo-mode to “I’m starting to see a kitchen take shape”. And I love it!! The new cabinets are in and the countertops are finished. You guys won’t believe the before and afters of these countertops! It is truly incredible! But first let’s take a quick look once again at the before shot of the kitchen….

Kitchen before the modern kitchen makeover plan

As I mentioned before, my big goal was removing that peninsula that juts out. It made the kitchen feel so crowded and closed in. I went back and forth on whether or not to tackle this…wondering if it was getting in way over my head. But I have the most awesome neighbor in the world and he offered to help me tackle it! Once the cut was made in my countertop, I knew I was all in! Not turning back now….

Man using a circular saw to cut countertop

Why didn’t we just remove all of the countertops? I’m trying to keep my costs down as much as possible with this project. We all know kitchen renos can be crazy expensive! So, my plan was to keep our existing countertops and add a new cheap countertop, butted up against the old one, for the new layout of the cabinets/sink. Then I would refinish all of the countertops, giving them a marbled look. But I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ll share the transformation in just a bit. But first it has to look really bad before it looks good….

Kitchen demo. Sink removed

Man looking over kitchen demo project

The new footprint for the layout of the cabinets/sink is taking shape….

Plumbing exposed with cabinets removed

We have our sink again. That was rough. Haha! And, notice the contrasting countertops?

Black sink with plumbing exposed and open cabinets

To say I was a bit nervous about how this was all going to work out, is an understatement. I had visions (and nightmares) of having to spend thousands and thousands of dollars to have a professional come in and recreate the entire space. It was nerve-racking! But when I started to see it take shape, I began to breathe again. Starting with the countertops. This, obviously, was not the look I was going for. :)

Countertop cut with mismatched surfaces

With a little Bondo and sanding, I was able to mold these two countertops together. Here’s a look before I sanded….

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Countertop with Bondo applied

And, after I sanded….

Countertop sanded and smooth

Not too bad! Of course, that’s still not the look I’m going for. We’re getting there, I promise. :) But first, look at all of that open space! Yes! This is what I’ve wanted, practically since the day we moved into our home, 15 years ago.

Wide angle view of kitchen with cabinets doors missing

I decided to tackle the cabinets before finishing up the countertops. I knew I would be walking all over them, while adding the toppers to my existing cabinets, and wasn’t quite ready to finish them yet. To give the ceiling more depth and the cabinets more of a finished look, I added toppers all the way around. (Blogpost coming this summer, on how I did this)….

Girl adding toppers to kitchen cabinets

Kitchen cabinets white with toppers added

Almost done…

Wide view of kitchen with lots of tools on countertops

Just need to add the trim…

Kitchen view with a green ladder in the middle

And paint…But first, my new cabinet doors and drawer fronts from The Cabinet Door Store arrived and were ready to be installed! (Full blogpost on the cabinet door installation here). Out with the old dated cabinet doors….

Kitchen cabinets with black hardware and toppers to the ceiling

and in with these beautiful Shaker Style doors….

White kitchen cabinets with no hardware


All installed just in time for the “frosting” to arrive. What’s the “frosting,” you may be asking? The hardware!

Champagne Bronze Amerock Hardware

But before “frosting” the cabinets with these beauties! (Do you know the movie reference? Haha!) I couldn’t wait any longer to finish these countertops. One more look at the before…

Kitchen with a bar peninsula jetting out

And here they are now….

Marble finished countertops with epoxy

Isn’t that transformation incredible!? Wondering what the Bondo spot looks like?

Countertop with marble finish and glossy look

Can’t even tell these are two different countertops. Or that there’s Bondo under the epoxy and paint. Here’s a quick look at the process. (But I do have a full blogpost on how to do this, here. And I’ll be releasing another one this summer on this project too.)….

First step: Primer….

Countertops primed for marble finish technique

Second step: Paint on the veining…

White countertops with veining painted on

Soften it up…

Painted countertops with veining

Add the epoxy and watch it shine!

Marble finished countertops with epoxy

Let’s add the hardware…

Cabinets with gold hardware

Amazing how this beautiful hardware from Amerock  changes the entire look of the kitchen! It truly gives it that finished look!


Kitchen cabinets white with gold hardware

Kitchen cabinets white with gold hardware

With so much more to come, that about wraps up week three of the One Room Challenge.

What’s on the agenda for next week?

**New tile backsplash

**New center island build

Can’t wait to share it all with you and how far this kitchen has come! But if you want to catch it all in real time, be sure to hop over to my Instagram stories!




Until next week,

Happy Building, Friend!!

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1 Comment

  1. Nancy Jordan

    Wow Nicole,

    The kitchen is just so beautiful, totally new look and a gorgeaus look at that. You do such an amazing job on everything!!




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