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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Easy Open Shelving in the Kitchen

Easy Open Shelving in the Kitchen - Charleston Crafted

We’re crazy about openness in our house right now. We’ve had walls taken down, turned two medicine cabinets into open shelving, turned a cabinet into open shelving on the end of our island, and now we’ve added some decor-holding open shelving on the end of our kitchen upper cabinets!

You may have seen us live on Facebook when we did this project, but here’s the final product. When we extended the lower cabinets on the wall with this DIY tilt-out trash can, the cabinets no longer lined up. We needed something to make the upper cabinets look more complete. We settle on adding some open shelving to display decor.

Easy Open Shelving in the Kitchen - Charleston Crafted

We thought at first that we would get a round, flat piece of wood and cut it into quarters to attach to the wall. After going to Lowe’s and seeing how much that cost, plus what we would need to bracket it and the labor time it was going to take us to cut, paint and hang those, we walked around a bit more until we found these for only $10 each and said #worthit.

Easy Open Shelving in the Kitchen - Charleston Crafted

These corner shelves are super easy to install. You use the hardware they come with to attach two brackets level to the two sides of the corner and then attach the shelf with the dowels it comes with. Each one takes about five minutes to install.

Easy Open Shelving in the Kitchen - Charleston Crafted

Easy Open Shelving in the Kitchen - Charleston Crafted

Easy Open Shelving in the Kitchen - Charleston Crafted

Easy Open Shelving in the Kitchen - Charleston Crafted

Easy Open Shelving in the Kitchen - Charleston Crafted

We decorated them with some blue items to tie to our color scheme in the other rooms and added beautiful fresh picked flowers to bring that pop of color.

Easy Open Shelving in the Kitchen - Charleston Crafted

Our kitchen is coming along!

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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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What We Keep On Our Kitchen Counters

What We Keep On Our Kitchen Counters - Charleston Crafted

I recently read a fun post on the Chris Loves Julia blog – what we keep out on our kitchen counters. I found this so interesting and thought that it would be fun to share our own version!

What We Keep On Our Kitchen Counters - Charleston Crafted

As you know we are in the middle of a kitchen renovation. But, what we keep on our counters now is most likely what is going to stay there.

What We Keep On Our Kitchen Counters - Charleston Crafted

By the sink we have a jug of hand soap and a drying rack, as well as a fun sponge holder. I would love to get a more attractive drying rack – any suggestions?

What We Keep On Our Kitchen Counters - Charleston Crafted

Next to the sink we have our blender and mixer. We use these multiple times a week. There wasn’t space for them when we put the coffee maker and the toaster in the pantry, but they look OK right here. We used to keep cutting boards here but moved them to the open shelving. We also have a knife block that we keep out.

What We Keep On Our Kitchen Counters - Charleston Crafted

On the other side of the stove we keep this Le Creuset of large spoons. We also have the matching salt crock, a pepper grinder, and our olive oil and balsamic. Those jars are from West Elm and the tile was a sample from Tile Bar. I am really really loving keeping our salt, pepper, and oil right next to the stove. Our island sort of blocks the path from the stove to the pantry (total first world problem) and so this really saves a few steps when I want to get oil heating on the stove as I chop an onion or something like that.

I love having these things at hand and I want to know what you keep out on your counter!

 

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Turning a Cabinet into a Pull Out Trash Can

Turning a Cabinet into a Pull Out Trash Can - Charleston Crafted

Last week, we told you about how we turned one of our old upper cabinets into open shelving on the end of our kitchen island. That was mostly to make our island bigger and add to our aesthetics. Today’s transformation is 100% for functionality. We turned the second cabinet into a pull out trash can!

Turning a Cabinet into a Pull Out Trash Can - Charleston Crafted

We’ve been having a problem lately with CiCi getting into our trash can. Even though it’s locked. Even though it’s attached to the cabinet with a hook. Ugghh. I digress. So, we needed a hidden trash can. I started building this the same way we did the open shelving, by cutting off the top, cutting the rest down to size and reattaching the top to the main section with wood glue and caulk.

Turning a Cabinet into an Open Bookshelf - Charleston Crafted

Turning a Cabinet into an Open Bookshelf - Charleston Crafted

For this, I had to build the recessed base again, but I extended it out further this time and didn’t add decorative legs because we just wanted it to look like the rest of the cabinets. Again, I had to use a flat board to wedge between the new base and the cabinet in order to make up for the gap.

We needed a way to pull the trash can out. We looked into sliding bases, but these are built to put your trash can in long ways and slide out with the thinner side first. We had to use the wide side out because we were using a cabinet. So, we decided to do a tilt out style. We bought one piece of oak board to match the rest of the cabinets and cut it into two pieces. The front piece was 1/8″ smaller on all four sides than the gap we had on the front of the cabinet so that it would pull in and out. Then, I cut another board the same width and 10″ deep, which is slightly shorter than the depth of the cabinet. Then I attached them with two screws and two triangular cuts of 2x4s to form the door and base that the trash can would sit on.

Turning a Cabinet into a Pull Out Trash Can - Charleston Crafted

Turning a Cabinet into a Pull Out Trash Can - Charleston Crafted

The last step to building the door was adding a bit of trim to the outside, also to match the rest of the cabinets. This piece was literally something that the previous owners had left in the garage, so it was great to be able to find a use for it.

Turning a Cabinet into a Pull Out Trash Can - Charleston Crafted

Turning a Cabinet into a Pull Out Trash Can - Charleston Crafted

Finally came the hardware. The door tilts out using two hinges on the bottom and two chains to keep it from going too far out.

Turning a Cabinet into a Pull Out Trash Can - Charleston Crafted

Turning a Cabinet into a Pull Out Trash Can - Charleston Crafted

We painted the pull out trash can white to match what we were painting all the other cabinets and added a pull handle.

Turning a Cabinet into a Pull Out Trash Can - Charleston Crafted

Turning a Cabinet into a Pull Out Trash Can - Charleston Crafted

Turning a Cabinet into a Pull Out Trash Can - Charleston Crafted

In the end, we’re so happy with it! It looks fantastic and we were able to turn two old cabinets into two useful additions to our kitchen. Now we just need to get our new counters on so that we can see the whole thing come together!

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