Kitchen Demo


December 3, 2013 by stpaulhaus

Update: Check out Part II here

We hadn’t planned to renovate the kitchen right away, but one thing led to another and allsofasudden…


Sorry, horrible phone pic.

With the help of my brother and sister-in-law the uppers came down within an afternoon of work, and the lowers came out a couple days later.  Adrian did most of the demo while I was at work.


Sadly, the majority of the cabinets could not be salvaged. I am 100 percent all for saving/salvaging/reusing/donating old items from remodels, however their was no feasible way we could save them.

1) the cabinets were stick built in place.  They did not have backs on them (which is common in older cabinets) so they basically feel apart when we removed them.

2) they were nailed together with 100 nails, as well as nailed to the mounting board on the wall. It was extremely difficult to remove without causing damage to the cabinets.

3) the cabinets were not plumb, and by not plumb I mean extremely not plumb…to the point of then you opened a door it swung open in full force.  Its a good thing I have excellent reflexes because the first time I opened them I nearly died. I am not positive, but think it was a style of some sort in the 1950 (weird).  I did find this photo on Houzz of the mid-century modern kitchen that has the slanted cabinets.

Please note that the doors in that kitchen slide open and closed so there really wouldn’t be cabinet doors flying around giving people concussions.

DSC_0619 DSC_0617

On this one you can really see the slantiness of those old cabinets:


If these were 1980 oak cabinets that were screwed to the wall instead of nailed with 1 million nails then there would have been no question about salvaging all of them, but unfortunately that was just not the case here.  Curse me if you want.

On a positive note, some of the cabinets were saved (the ones that weren’t slanty), and I am planning on using the drawers for a fun little project later. I am thinking about something like this:


(click here to check it out for yourself)

I feel better knowing that not all of the materials will meet a terrible fate.

The wallpaper was removed with a wallpaper steamer (best invention ever!)…I managed to only steam burn the shit out of myself once which was nice. I worked on this a little bit at a time for about 4 days.


After the wallpaper was removed, I started in on scrapping and removing loose paint and plaster from the walls.  Overall the walls were in OK shape, however there is one large crack on this wall which will need to be reinforced with adhesive and mud:


…I’ll let you know how that goes.

The majority of the walls will be covered with cabinets or tile backsplash so I will give most of my attention to the areas I know would be visible.

The terrible, terrible dropped ceiling came out really easy:





That piece of cardboard was covering a large hole in the wall above the dropped ceiling.  Nice.

Then there was this piece of awesomeness:


Yep. Total no where near code scary electrical business going on here.  Apparently this tiny kitchen needed several florescent light bars everywhere and this was the easiest way to do it.  I do not understand.

It is kind of cool to see where the original cabinets were…


and that green frog tape is my makeshift cabinets 🙂

We had our flooring guy from Pete’s Hardwood come out and he said that it really isn’t salvageable at this point and the better option would be to replace the floor. Bummer.  We are planning to have them replaced with new hardwood.

Right now we are in the middle to picking out everything including the cabinets, appliances, tile, floors, paint, etc and I will give you an update soon with all our plans so far.


Lucky for us we have another full kitchen upstairs that we can use temporarily while this one of out of commisson 🙂  I knew buying a duplex was a good idea.

5 thoughts on “Kitchen Demo

  1. Erin says:

    Wow! Lots of progress – and yes, such a good thing that you have another kitchen! I can’t remember – what is your plan for that other kitchen after this one is done?

  2. i just love how handy you are! it took us 5 days to fix our sink. oye.

  3. […] There really wasn’t supposed to be a part II, but then we I decided we needed to add more work and misery to our lives and tear the place down to the studs.  (see part I here) […]

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