The Kitchen Makeover Reveal - FINALLY...

Oh my word, I feel like this is the world's LONGEST project on the face of the earth and I know I am not alone in tackling said project because I follow a few other bloggers that have done it and they have a few words to say too **smile.  Let's just say I am so glad we did it, I never want to do it again.  My advice to the next person is to price out having the doors professionally sprayed.  The cabinet guts part was not so bad to do ourselves. 
The Before:

**We do not keep our trash on the counter, I nearly forgot to take before pictures, hence one drawer already missing...I am not sure why the trash is there.  I will blame it on someone else.
The Prep - removing all the hardware, door fronts, and anything too close to the edge of the cabinet that we did not want painted.  This was actually a great excercise because I cleaned all of the insides (that chore didn't even make the baby nesting list) and decluttered.  I got rid of a 3rd set of wine glasses - not sure I needed 36 wine glasses - don't ask me, I went crazy with the scanner during my registry.
We left all the necessities in the cabinets that I would need to use for the next "few" days or so I thought...
We then made little stands for the cabinets out of 2x4's, 5 gallon jugs, ladders and saw horses.  I had read that tip on a blog and it worked famously.  Scott also tried to protect the floor with newspaper but the first time we opened the garage door they all flew everywhere and we didn't waste our time fixing it, so if you are picky, tape it down.
And then we started deglossing.  We chose not to sand all the cabinets.  We sanded the ones that were above the stove because there was a lot more buildup of grease.  We used a hand-held belt sander with some 220 grit sand paper.  If I had to do it again I would have sanded them all with that sander, wipe them down clean and then deglossed - but just my post-doing it opinion.
 We followed the directions on the deglosser very carefully and applied one coat the first night and the applied the 2nd coat just 30 minutes before applying the first coat of primer.  We got the deglosser in the paint section at Menards and used cheese cloth (lint free cloth) to apply.  We went through several packages of cloth and a few pairs of good gloves.  Also make sure to have some fans going so you don't get high/loopy from the fumes.  I then started applying a high grade primer from Sherwin Williams, just 30 minutes after the deglosser was applied. (that 30 minutes was key if you didn't catch it before - for some reason it must be extra tacky at that point - tacky...hahaha!)
So I did 2 coats of primer, let dry for several hours and flipped all of the cabinets (this is where it got t.e.d.i.o.u.s), you know what is coming, right?  Lots of paint and wait and flip and wait.  Meanwhile, we deglossed and sanded some areas where more grease was in the kitchen.  We then, just 30 minutes after deglosser was applied, applied the first coat of paint.  We used a foam roller designed for cabinet/furniture painting (also found in the paint section of Menard's for like $6-8 bucks).  The finish was much better and less stroky than the brush.
Oh and I love to not tape (I know, gasp away) and use a tapered finish brush on edges, some people don't like living on the edge like that so you tape what you need to, to feel's your jam kitchen, do what you like.
So now we had the 2 coats of primer applied to the cabinet studs, both sides of the cabinets, and we were ready for paint.  2 coats of paint applied with a roller again (change the roller out).  We stored our rollers in the fridge wrapped in tin foil and clearly marked "primer", etc.  Then you don't waste as many rollers.
Okay so I lied I taped a few spots where my trusty assistants wanted me too (little did they know I was painting the walls so a little white paint wouldn't matter).  We chose not to paint the inside of our cabinets for a few reasons.  Most white cabinets have the same interiors as our oak puppies do and we were not sure how durable (even with poly) they would be with constant dishes going in and out.  I don't mind the look so I left it, whoever buys the house (no it is not on the market), I hope it is not a deal breaker!
Last step was applying 3 thin coats of poly (read thin, it is very drippy).  You must apply with a brush, the roller will create air bubbles (luckily I didn't learn that by experience).  I did learn that it is very drippy so we did use a sponge brush on the edges to prevent us going back and wiping after every coat.  We always started with the cabinet backs for each layer so that the fronts would be last and unblemished.
The poly makes it very hard and durable (read - I have already washed my cabinets and they stood the test).  You need to let the odors release before bringing them in the house.  Once again good ventilation is key.  We left them outside for 3 days (this about killed me, they were technically done but I couldn't reinstall). We kept all the windows open and tried to keep the kids out of the area for a good 24 hours for the cabinet gut part.  Be careful of bugs, for some reason they are attracted to this stuff and then they die from the fumes and get stuck - SO ANNOYING.  I have 1 bug as a momento(I will never tell where).  We did have to sand a few edges where the poly got goopy so don't feel bad if you need to sand some spots.
Okay so our timeline was about a week and it was pretty much - eat, sleep and paint,  It could not have been done any faster because of all the paint, wait, and flip business.  I also had lots of help from my inlaws in the kid watching department and basically every nap and bedtime was spent painting.  We planned it out with pen and paper so we would know exactly what to do each free moment.  I wanted this done, like there was no tomorrow.  I don't deal well with chaos...ask my hubby, by the end of the week, I was nearly off my rocker.  I was never SO happy to return everything to its rightful home.  I did make sure to wash all the hardware to degrease them.  I didn't realize how much gunk gets on those things.  
 Once I recovered from my paint-induced carpel tunnel and in a moment of "Vera's 1st birthday is in a week and I want the kitchen to be done", I decided to paint the kitchen a grey and make my own curtains (never.doing.that.again).  Have you ever made 2 patterned panel curtains, that was a lot of math/science in getting those to match up.  I did save some major moola by making my own because I knew exactly what I wanted and only places like Crate and Barrel and West Elm had them at like $95+ a pop and I was having a hard time swallowing that cost.  I used hem tape and will eventually sew them (but no one's birthday is for a few months so I have time ;).
I will say it is 95% done because I want to get some yellow and teal accessories and we still need to do the crown molding but other than that we will stamp this project "DONE". 
And tada...don't point out any flaws, just say "wow!" okay?

We were going to replace the countertops but the more we hear about the market, we would not recoup the money so the next buyer gets laminate...sorry!  And we are still debating to redo the backsplash with white subway tile but I am 99% sure that will be staying too.  We think it looks just fine.  If it was our forever house, it might be a different story.  For the same reason, we left the cabinet hardware and white appliances, we know people get all giddy about the silver kind.
And there you have it our kitchen remodel - and how did the budget breakdown go?
Paint - $100 (1 gallon primer and 1 gallon tinted paint) Sherwin Williams
Deglosser, cheesecloth and gloves - $30
Foam rollers, replacement pads, and throw away trays - $20
Paint brushes - $0, we already had
Poly (water based, semi-gloss finish - 1 gallon) - $15
Curtain fabric $60 (1/2 price sale at Hancock Fabrics - 6 yards)
stitch witchery hem tape $6
Wall paint color (only took 1 coat of the good Sherwin Williams kitchen paint) - on sale 40% off - $40
Total so far: $271
Still to do:
Add accessories $50
Crown molding $75
Additional $125 cost
For a total of $396
(which I think is AH-mazing for a total kitchen makeover but that is just me)
I promise to bring you pictures of the project when it is 100% complete but I make no promises of when that might be...