How to Remove Old Laminate Countertops & Backsplash Without Damaging the Cabinets

How to Remove Old Laminate Countertops & Backsplash Without Damaging the Cabinets - Charleston Crafted

We have been preparing for our new counter tops this week (follow me on Instagram stories for live updates!). We will be back with all of the details about our new counter tops next week, but today I wanted to talk about our old laminate counter tops. Our installers offered us a $150 discount if we removed them ourselves, so you know that we decided to give it the old DIY try. We already painted our old cabinets so we wanted to be sure that we did not damage them!

How to Remove Old Laminate Countertops & Backsplash Without Damaging the Cabinets - Charleston Crafted

We had a few steps in our laminate counter top removal process.

How to Remove Old Laminate Countertops & Backsplash Without Damaging the Cabinets - Charleston Crafted

How to Remove Old Laminate Countertops & Backsplash Without Damaging the Cabinets - Charleston Crafted

Removing the Laminate Counters

How to Remove Old Laminate Countertops & Backsplash Without Damaging the Cabinets - Charleston Crafted

How to Remove Old Laminate Countertops & Backsplash Without Damaging the Cabinets - Charleston Crafted

How to Remove Old Laminate Countertops & Backsplash Without Damaging the Cabinets - Charleston Crafted

Removing the actual countertops was super simple. They are just screwed in place. If you look inside the cabinet up at the underside of the counter, we had small plastic diagonal pieces in each corner. These had one screw in them. I used a drill to remove the screws and then the countertops lifted right off – warning – they are heavy!

Removing the Laminate “Backsplash”

It took us a little while to figure out what the heck we were doing here so if you are reading this you will be ahead of us.

It helps if you understand this – it appears that our backspash was a 1×4 piece of wood screwed into the wall and then covered with plastic.

How to Remove Old Laminate Countertops & Backsplash Without Damaging the Cabinets - Charleston Crafted

How to Remove Old Laminate Countertops & Backsplash Without Damaging the Cabinets - Charleston Crafted

So, put your crowbar (or removal tool of choice) in the front seam of the laminate NOT on the seam with the wall. Hopefully this photo makes sense.

How to Remove Old Laminate Countertops & Backsplash Without Damaging the Cabinets - Charleston Crafted

Remove just the plastic covering. Now you should see a board with screws. Un-screw them and pop them off the wall. You may need to use a knife to break the seal if it is stuck on with paint around the edges.

Removing the Sink & Faucet

The last step was to remove the sink. We purchased a new sink, faucet, and garbage disposal, so these all had to go. The sink itself had six brackets holding it in place that just needed one screw removed to come away. Then we had to disconnect all the stuff attached to it. First, we disconnected the disposal, which is as simple as using a screwdriver to give one half twist at the top and it pops off. Then we had to disconnect the drain pipe on the other side so that now the sink was free. The last step is to disconnect the two water lines from the faucet. Make sure to turn off the water first. We actually had to shut off the main water line as well because the connections in this old house don’t completely stop water from pouring out. Then we just pulled the whole thing out as one.

How to Remove Old Laminate Countertops & Backsplash Without Damaging the Cabinets - Charleston Crafted

How to Remove Old Laminate Countertops & Backsplash Without Damaging the Cabinets - Charleston Crafted

I am SO HAPPY to say bye bye to these countertops and can’t wait to share the new ones with you!

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$100 Half Bathroom Update: Paint and an Updated Light Fixture

Painting the half bath Sherwin Williams Watery - Charleston Crafted

Hey guys, welcome back to our $100 half bathroom makeover. We will be sharing updates every Wednesday for the month of March and also are linking up with some other wonderful bloggers at the bottom of each post.

Last week, we shared our design plan for the half bathroom. As a reminder, this is right off the kitchen and our only downstairs bathroom.

Half Bathroom Before - Charleston Crafted

After an Instagram stories poll, I decided to paint the space Watery by Sherwin Williams in an eggshell finish! It’s the same color as our front door and our kitchen island, and I love how it ties the space together. It’s a bright color, but I think that it works in a space this small.

Painting the half bath Sherwin Williams Watery - Charleston Crafted

We taped off and painted the space and painted it on Thursday night. It was so small that it was an easy week night project, though we did use a FULL quart of paint. I always need more paint than I think I will. We painted up to about 2″ from the ceiling since we will be running crown molding in here. We paid $$$ to have these ceilings done so I didn’t want to risk getting paint on them!

Updating a light fixture with spray paint - charleston crafted


In addition to painting, we also got to work replacing the fixtures with ORB ones. We decided to spray paint the existing toilet paper holder and toilet flusher to save budget (to be pictured next week as they aren’t up yet). We also already have an ORB faucet so we will be installing that hopefully in the next couple of days. Here is the pineapple towel ring that I used, swiped from my Etsy inventory. I used brass screws but will touch them up with orb paint. shocker 🙂

How to Update a light fixture with spray paint - charleston crafted

I also decided that I wanted an ORB light fixture. All of our kitchen light fixtures are already ORB so it will help tie the spaces together. However, with the $100 budget, there was no room for a new fixture. Instead, I grabbed the above mentioned can of ORB spray paint. We actually painted it directly on the wall since we were going to paint anyways. So much easier! We also swapped out the existing 90’s glass shades for the seeded glass ones just like we did upstairs. A lot of our light fixtures have seeded glass so it was all about tying the spaces together. Pretty good for under $10 total!

I am in a wedding this weekend (yay!) so we will see how much work I get done on this project. My goal is to have the faucet in, the newly ORBed fixtures mounted, and the mirror done for next week’s update.

Wish me luck & pop over to check out the other $100 room updates:

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What We Learned Painting Our Kitchen Cabinets

Over the past 2 weekends, we have been slowly painting our kitchen cabinets. As you know, painting old cabinets that are in good shape is a great way to save money compared to buying all new cabinets. There was nothing wrong with ours and we liked the existing layout enough (with the addition of a pull out trashcan and an open shelving unit) that painting was perfect for us. Here’s how we painted the cabinets and some lessons that we learned along the way.

What We Learned Painting Our Kitchen Cabinets - Charleston Crafted

What We Learned Painting Our Kitchen Cabinets - Charleston Crafted

We actually painted our bathroom vanities last fall as a test for this project. We wanted to see how hard it was to do and how durable that finish was. Like then, we used Valspar Cabinet Enamel paint. We were pleased with the painting process and also how they held up, so we used the exact same method for these cabinets.

What We Learned Painting Our Kitchen Cabinets - Charleston Crafted

To prep, we unscrewed all hardware and removed the doors and hinges. I then used the Orbit Sander on each door and on the box of the cabinets. The goal of sanding is to remove the glossy protective finish and make it easier for paint to stick. After sanding, be sure to wipe everything down with a rag.

What We Learned Painting Our Kitchen Cabinets - Charleston Crafted

The next step was to paint. I love using a high density foam mini roller for the smoothest possible finish. The thing with this paint is that it takes a lot of coats – it took me 6 to be exact. But, it was worth it for the smooth finish in the end.

What We Learned Painting Our Kitchen Cabinets - Charleston Crafted

What We Learned Painting Our Kitchen Cabinets - Charleston Crafted

Our island is Sherwin Williams Watery (like our front door) and the rest of the cabinets were white color matched to our trim. My life tip that Sean never wants to follow: always buy more paint than you think that you need. A quart is almost never enough for anything. Ahem. We used 1 quart of Watery (like, every drop) and almost 2 quarts of the white (should have got a gallon).

The hardware is also via Amazon. Shocker! I got these door knobs and these drawer pulls. I actually asked for them for Christmas because I am that much of a nerd, but I love that they come in 10 packs for economical reasons and because we now have a few spare that we can use on furniture around the house to tie the spaces together.

What We Learned Painting Our Kitchen Cabinets - Charleston Crafted

What We Learned Painting Our Kitchen Cabinets - Charleston Crafted

So far, how am I feeling about it? A big part of me wishes that I had painted them all Watery. I love love love the color and just think that it is so me. However, I know that our countertops and our backsplash will bring in a lot more color – so I will reserve judgement until those are in place. And if I still want Watery then, I’ll just take them off the hinges and do it again.

Have you painted your cabinets? How did you like the results?

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Replace an Attic Pull String with a Hook

Replace an Attic Pull String with a Hook - Charleston Crafted

It’s the little things, right? The little things really make a house and give the final touches. But the little things can also make you say WTF when you see them. Case in point, the first thing you see at the top of our stairs is a long, knotted, dangling string coming down from our attic.  So, we wanted to replace an attic pull string with a hook to give it a sleeker finish.

Replace an Attic Pull String with a Hook - Charleston Crafted

This project was super easy and took less than five minutes. First, we cut out the pull string. Turns out, they were using a rusted, bent nail to hold the pull in place.

Replace an Attic Pull String with a Hook - Charleston Crafted

Replace an Attic Pull String with a Hook - Charleston Crafted

Replace an Attic Pull String with a Hook - Charleston Crafted

Replace an Attic Pull String with a Hook - Charleston Crafted

Then, we used a 3 inch eye hook to push through the hole and secured it with a washer and nut on the inside.

Replace an Attic Pull String with a Hook - Charleston Crafted

Replace an Attic Pull String with a Hook - Charleston Crafted

Replace an Attic Pull String with a Hook - Charleston Crafted

The last step was to make something to pull it down with. We bought a three foot long dowel and simply screwed a hook into the end of it. That works as an extension to reach up, hook the eye, and pull down.

Replace an Attic Pull String with a Hook - Charleston Crafted

Replace an Attic Pull String with a Hook - Charleston Crafted

We tapped in a nail in the teeny tiny space between the laundry room door and the wall on the inside of the laundry room and just hang the dowel from that. It’s out of the way and no one can see it. The eye hook is so much cleaner looking than that ugly string hanging down. This was a $5, 5 minute project that really makes a difference!

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Why We Didn’t DIY Our Kitchen Floors & How To Save Money on Lowe’s Installation

How to save money on Lowe's floor installation - Charleston Crafted

Our kitchen makeover is totally under swing and last week we got our floors re-done. Some people that I talked to were surprised that we didn’t DIY them. I wanted to share the before and afters and tell you why we didn’t DIY them and give you some awesome tips for saving money on flooring installation done by Lowes!

How to save money on Lowe's floor installation - Charleston Crafted

We bought our house in July and the previous owners replaced all of the flooring except the kitchen. The rest of the downstairs is a Pergo laminate flooring. We love the color and texture of it. Since we are trying to run the same materials in our whole first floor to make it feel larger and more cohesive, I definitely wanted to run these same floors into our kitchen.

Why didn’t we DIY them? It might sound kind of strange but we didn’t want to DIY them because it was such a small space. If it was our whole first floor it would be worth it to rent the equipment and learn the technique to lay the floors. For this small space, it just didn’t seem worth it to us.

Secondly, we really didn’t want to touch the tile removal. It was all 1990’s tile and we are on a concrete slab. We felt super un-confident about removing it and getting it smooth. I knew from the sound of the project that it would end up falling on Sean and it seemed like a big project for one guy.

How did the process go? We went to the flooring counter at Lowes. We gave them some information and they sent a woman out to come measure (using a fancy laser beam) the next week. Those numbers gave us a specific quote.

Make sure that you ask for an itemized quote. We saw the below items that we knew that we could DIY:

  • Move all furniture from the space- $40
  • Disconnect fridge water line- $35
  • Move fridge and stove from space- $75
  • Remove and reattach the toilet- $70
  • Remove and reattach the quarter round- $140
  • Delivery fee (from local Lowe’s)- $80

TOTAL SAVINGS: $440

After that, we went to the flooring counter again, had them adjust the quote to take off the things we wanted to DIY, and then paid for the order in full. In the end, all we opted to pay for was the tile removal and laminate install. A couple of days later an installer called us to schedule the install. It ended up being about 3 weeks out.

A week later, we went by Lowes and picked up all of the flooring. The installer told us to let it acclimate inside the house for a few days so we just stacked it in the front room.

The weekend before the install, we removed the floor molding and the toilet. The quarter round was very easy to remove using a pry bar and a hammer.

The night before the install we moved the fridge and the stove. We plugged the fridge in in the dining room so we didn’t lose any food.

How to save money on Lowe's floor installation - Charleston Crafted

How to save money on Lowe's floor installation - Charleston Crafted

The contractors removed the old flooring and installed the new flooring in less than six hours. It was really loud (especially removing the tile) but it was over quickly and they did a great job doing everything and cleaning up all of the mess.

How to save money on Lowe's floor installation - Charleston Crafted

After they were done, we still had to replace the fridge and stove and also re-hang the quarter round. We were actually able to re-use 75% of the old quarter round which saved us $80 in pieces that we were able to return (they were $4 for each 8 foot piece).

How to save money on Lowe's floor installation - Charleston Crafted

How to save money on Lowe's floor installation - Charleston Crafted

We love love love having our laminate floor in the whole first floor of our house now. By DIYing a few things, we were able to have the projected professionally done on a budget.

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