Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Putting in the formica countertop and sink

This is the part where I show you how Mr. Maison Decor and I did the changing out of the counter tops and the sink.  If you are considering replacing your laminate counter top  with an upgraded laminate like the new patterns in the 180fx Formica, it is possible to do it yourself.  This photo above shows the finished set-up, but here is how it got that way.  Hopefully this post gives you the answers and solutions you can use doing over your own budget kitchen remodel.
 The plan was to do it on the weekend.  I was lucky enough to convince Mr. MD to start on the project while he was still in his PJs.  He had worked the night shift at the police station and was just getting up around noon~I was DYING to get this counter top and sink installed, and thank my heavens, he is a husband who likes a happy wife.  First order of business was to disconnect the faucet and then unscrew the bolts that hold in the sink.
 That took about 10 minutes and out comes the sink!!
 I just loved this picture of our hands working together on this project.  It is very romantic (to me).  Our wedding rings say it all: For better or for worse and for all home improvement projects, until death do us part.
 Once the sink was out, all we did was unscrew the cabinet from the counter tops and it came right out.
 I scraped away the layer of plaster that built up behind the back splash board.  Our new counter doesn't have a back splash because I don't like the look.  However I want to make sure the surface is smooth before I wallpaper the area with the bead board paper.
 Gotta love a guy in dog PJs that gets the job done.  You can see here that Mr. MD has set the vintage sink directly on top of the cabinets to mark the location of where it will sit when the counter is in place. Make a pencil mark on your cabinet front...
 Now the faux marble slab gets put in position. Luckily it is a pretty good fit.  It looks like heck here, but since I knew to expect that after doing the other area of the kitchen I was not freaked out this time.
 This is the scary part (for me anyway). Drill a big hole in the middle area where the sink bowl will go.
Then mark the size of the bowl and get out the jigsaw and starting at the center hole cut out towards the lines. We did not make a template because our sink did not need an exact size hole cut out. We kind of did our best guessing!! With a tape measure, of course, and those pencil marks on the cabinet underneath.
 Our sink is gonna go in that hole.  Because it has this huge overlapping metal part, our hole did not need to  be perfect.  Now take your sink and see if  you did the figuring right.  That is a scary part too.
 Oh, the other thing that ended up being lucky for us was that the back splash to the sink fit tightly underneath the window apron. That could have been a difficult and messy job cutting that out to fit the sink in~but since we are usually lucky, it went in with just a little persuasion~
 In the form of a rubber mallet! It fit like a glove!  Since we were both going to do the next part I don't have a picture of it, and it was too dangerous to try and use the remote feature on the camera~I needed to focus.  Mr. MD applied a bead of silicone adhesive under the rim of the sink while I held it up like a hinged door.  Then we set it back down and wiped away any that squirted out so there was none showing.
 Well the adhesive part took place later after we removed the sink so I could do the wallpapering behind it.  You can see what a big part this piece of the makeover is.  Of course you could do a white subway tile, but do you realize how fast and easy and inexpensive it is to use bead board wallpaper for a good looking alternative?
 As the wallpapering is going along, you can also see the nasty formica seam that I detest.  Black lines be gone!
 Black line to the left, white paint to the right. It makes the seams disappear.  It really does.
How you do it is to hold your brush on the flat and just tap it against the seam.  Don't try to paint the seam with the tip of the brush or you will want to kill yourself.  ( That is just a guess).  This is so much easier.
Voila~the $75 Craiglist drainboard sink installed in the Formica Calacutta countertop.
Look at those invisible edges~it really has the look of marble.  I have to say I am impressed with this product.
The marble look counters, the mini hutch I made out of a cabinet, an old sink and the bead board wallpaper all created a charming space out of this once dreary room.
 Every time I walk in this kitchen I feel so glad I finally made these small changes~ if you are stuck with a tired and dark kitchen, you can do it too.  Anyone can paint cabinets.  The counter tops were ordered to my measurements at Lowes and delivered one week later to our house.  You will need a helper to lift the counters, but they are manageable.  The sink we found looking around on Craigslist. You might have to hire a plumber to disconnect the faucet and then hook it back up for you, but the rest you can do yourself.  So don't be afraid.  The payoff is big and I guarantee you will be glad you did it.
This is the story of how it all went together~and the price tag was just around $1000 for everything!
A little reminder of how far that $1000 got us.


  1. Wow! What an amazing transformation! You and your hubby did a fabulous job! You should be proud! Happy week!...hugs...Debbie

  2. So glad to see the finished product!! Love that sink!

  3. Does he come home wondering what project you have dreamt up that night? I can only imagine, he must love you a lot Amy, because I see him doing an awful lot of work, you make a great team! You dream these things and he turns them into it!

  4. Love all the changes so feminine
    and pretty great job !!!!!

  5. It's amazing to see the before and after shots of your kitchen. You have really done an outstanding job making it into what it is today. Aren't you glad that your husband was able to do it too? Love those pj's! Ha!

  6. It looks fabulous, Amy. Love how you hid the seams with paint! It's so wonderful that the two of you worked on this together! yay!

  7. It's all so pretty, Amy! I think the best picture to summarize this post is that one of your kitchen window near the bottom.

  8. Fantastic job Amy. Gonna look into a sink like that for my kitchen update!

  9. Hi Amy! I am loving seeing your newly redid kitchen! The sink, the countertops and your decorations - a perfect precious kitchen!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  10. Amy- I am so proud of you-you are a girl after my own heart! You did an amazing job on that countertop and I LOVE your new/old sink! You would never believe it was the same kitchen to look at it! GREAT job! xo Diana

  11. You are so smart with the white paint edge. I was getting worried. It is perfection now.

  12. Oh, that was fun, I read every word...What a transformation, I have some old counter tops, HUM....


  13. I am so glad to have found your blog!! I love French Country..shabby chic and WHITE everything.

    your kitchen is a dream!

    I was so excited to know there is BEAD BOARD wallpaper!! I had no idea..I Adore Bead Board. Thank you...I'm in the midst of a bathroom redo..just took off old wallpaper and wanted to bead I have an option.

    Blessings..oh and by the way..appreciate the Police our family too...
    and whatta man in his PJ's for you..


  14. Ok, i'm just gonna say it, your husband's PJ's made my day... is it me, or is that just funny, with all the beautiful, fascinating renovation, we get to see the guy being the real thing in his doggie pj's... awesome

    and you know what, what ya'll did together... that is romantic

    And thanks for taking the fear factor out of making a change like that. It is so helpful to have a visual on how it all really works!


  15. You created a light, bright, airy, romantic kitchen on a budget! I love the work you do and always look forward to your posts! Beautiful job!!

  16. All of that hard work paid off, it's gorgeous Amy & Mr MD! Well done!

  17. I just LOVE your sink!!! I wonder if I could convince Jim to give up the double bowl... hmmm... something to think about. We will eventually be changing our countertops too. I don't like the backsplash either. You lose a little space with those things, and in a small kitchen, space is very important!

  18. When I saw the picture of the sink going in under the window I thought "how lucky for Amy that it was a fit". Then I read what you wrote about getting lucky and you're awesome was THAT!?! Great job by you and hubs.

  19. First of all, I can't believe that the sink fit perfectly under that window casing!!! I would have had to rip it out, which would have broken the window and when I replaced the window, someone cut the electrical line and the wall would have been opened discover no insulation. And you just slipped it right into place like it was all planned.

    Amazing transformation, awesome sink. Great island too!

  20. What a great job!!! I like your new kitchen's look!!! Anyway I love Mr MAison Decor PJ's most!!! :DD hugs, Flavia

  21. Looks great Amy! I can not believe how that sink fit smack dab under the window moulding?! That would have never happened at our house!

  22. Hi Amy, I love everything you did to your kitchen! It is so much lighter and brighter! Thanks for the tutorial too. I agree, you are so lucky that that sink fitted underneath your window sill, that would have been one heck of a job to cut! It must be a joy to walk into your kitchen now..take care, Maryann

  23. Even though I truly hope I never have to tackle a project like this myself, I read this anyway and learned a lot!! :) You are very brave my friend! I don't think I would have the nerve even if you make it look somewhat easy....

  24. PS -- your under the sink area is FAR less disgraceful than mine!

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  26. I had to pin the picture of your two hands and your wedding quote. So funny & cute. I guess Mr. Maison knew what he was getting himself into.

  27. Lovely job both of you! So glad the painted edge worked out, I thought it might. Just another thought. Perhaps the divine Mr. Maison would install a moulding piece for you at the top of your uppers so it goes right to the ceiling instead of leaving that inch or so gap. It's a little detail but might have big impact in elevating the look for you. (but only if he does it in his p.j's!! xo

  28. I am really happy for you. The kitchen looks completely different. Hard work and vision paid off. It is such a great transformation. You guys should be SO proud!! Really enjoyed the post and the pictures. I'll be sharing this to my fb page. It's an inspiration to other budget DIY'ers ;)

  29. Well OK...I am loving that vintage just makes it for me!!! I wish my husband would do things like that...but alas...he is over me and my changes after 24 years....:( You took that kitchen right into fabulous!

  30. Good Morning Amy...the finished product is and your husband did a great job getting the look you wanted!...hope you are loving it...and such a great idea to paint the formica line...can't even tell now...enjoy your new, beautiful space...we have been painting our kitchen cabinets all week....YIKES! back is killing, Mariaelena

  31. thanks so much for posting about this! we are very tempted to try it in our new kitchen. it looks great. i sent one of your pictures to my mom, next to a picture of real marble from another site, and she could not tell which one was real. so exciting! thanks for sharing your skills and talents!

  32. I would love to know what kind of paint you used on your formica line and if you have had to touch it up much over the years.


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