Down the Load

Operation Heart of the Home : Cabinet Door edition…

I am not gonna lie…redoing a kitchen while 30 weeks pregnant and with a two year old in the midst of photography season with a spouse that is home and awake only two hours each night is excruciatingly slow.  Oh and did I mention that sometimes I just freeze up?  No literally.  Because of the sciatica pain, I have a dozen daily freeze-ups.  The pain is so severe in my bootie, back and legs that literally I am stuck in a position…not able to move a muscle or shift in any way.  Will thinks it’s funny.  Like I am doing the robot-dance.  I on the other hand find myself taking FOREVER to do the simplest task…so you can imagine that this robot is uber slow at working on a kitchen reno.  Feel free to skip these posts if the process is too slow…it’s just the pace at what we can do while still doing fun stuff like eating and sleeping. 

So last we chatted, Jeremy spurred on the kitchen process by removing the upper cabinet over the stove. 


And while he did that, I decided that I could take down the doors and remove the hardware from them to prep them for…well…prepwork. 

Most of the doors were really simple to remove.  I just used a phillips head screwdriver and started taking off the doors and drawer fronts.

Lovely me in my jammies, no makeup and complete with crazy hair and belly rolls.  Keepin’ it real.  You are lucky I am wearing a bra.  And not my bathrobe like in this post

And after I got them all down and took off the hardware, our kitchen looked way crazy and cluttered.  I could never live with fully open shelving.  I need my doors.  They hide my shame.

In the morning, I decided that I had to do some Will-prep.  Note…he is probably not your average two year old when it comes to messing with stuff.  He knows that he’ll get put in time-out if he even touches a cabinet door…so with all these doors gone, I was hesitant to let him in there.

All of our glass stuff is up high, so that definitely helped. 

All of our cleaning supplies we keep under the sink…and he is only allowed in there when he ‘helps’ do the dishes.  He’s allowed to get one of our dishwasher tablets out for me to unwrap and then he gets to put it in the dishwasher.  But other cleaning supplies?  Um no.  So that was the first thing I cleaned out.  I figured that gambling wasn’t something I was up for…so I took one of those giant plastic storage bins and loaded it up with all the cleaning items and locked the top on. 

The rest of the kitchen we simply walked around together (is it still walking when Mommy can shuffle at the speed of a snail?) and talked about how we don’t touch anything inside the cabinets. 

By the time we got to the end, he was over it (and more interested in the bag of popcorn). 

I think I must have said “No touching these pots” and “No touching these bowls” and “No touching this black thingie” a million times.  So far, the message must have stuck.  I don’t put anything past him though.  I’ll let you know if he decides he’s in charge of the small appliances.  

Out of 56 doors and drawer fronts total, I was able to remove 51 of them.  Apparently 5 of them are either glued or nailed on.  We figured that those five we would be able to paint in place. Not ideal but the idea of repairing or replacing them wasn’t in the cards for us.

I did my best to keep all the hardware sorted too.  I was worried that we would screw up (haha…punny!) the different size screws or lose one crucial hinge…so I just used gallon size bags for the majority of stuff and laid the cup pulls on a cookie sheet to keep them from banging one another.

I did find one door with a maker’s info sticker…I guess if we ever need to find the exact same ones, this would definitely help.

We also found a finish characteristics sticker.  It was funny to us that it said “There are inherent characteristics of the finish, and the aging process adds to the unique appearance of the cabinetry.”  Same applies to humans :)

So in the end, it only took us one evening to take them all down and remove all the hardware.  Seems like a tiny task huh?  Yeah…I think that is just fore-shadowing of this kitchen process.  It’s oh so glamorous.




  1. says

    “I need my doors. They hide my shame.” – You and me both sister!

    I would love to be all trendy and have gorgeous floating shelves, but then I might have to dust. I can’t have all that.

    You never cease to amaze me, if I was 30 weeks pregnant and in any sort of pain I would be curled up in bed. Here you are DIY’ing like crazy. Love you for it!

    Keep up the good work :)

  2. says

    Oh my goodness this is so exciting! I think refinishing/painting cabinets is one of the biggest impacts on a kitchen update. I cannot wait to see all of your progress and glad for you that taking all the doors and hardware down didn’t take too long. Good luck!

  3. says

    FIFTY SIX! Holy cow, that is a lot of work. I am totally impressed. Can you use your nifty little sprayer thing to do them? Or will this be by hand?

    • says

      At first we were planning by hand…but now the plan is to spray them. I just don’t have the energy to do it all by hand and Jeremy doesn’t have the time…so thankfully we had that tool! I’ll let you know how it turns out when we actually tackle it.
      xo – kb

  4. says

    I’m hitting my 33rd week of pregnancy tomorrow but luckily my sciatica went away, but I really feel your pain. Hope it eases up on you too. Now, I would never been able to redo kitchen cabinets at this time in my pregnancy, so all cudos to you, really! I’m at the point in my pregnancy that if I drop something on the floor I either let the cats eat it, wait for the hubby to come and pick it up (if he’s home), or pick it up with my toes… gross but true when you bend down and realize that you either gonna burp or your pants are going to rip apart. :) Good luck on everything.

    • says

      haha…I feel ya! And I am so glad to hear that it went away for you! I am praying that it happens for me but I’m okay with just sticking it out these next ten weeks. I figure that I’ll be so used to it that labor will feel like a normal Tuesday :)
      xo – kb

  5. Tad says

    Katie- What does one need with 246 plate? I know you like to entertain, but have you used any of the plates at the bottom of the stack since you moved in the new house? I’m only kidding, but you asked for it when you revealed what’s in the cabinets:)
    Oh yeah, Jer and his Whey protein reminds me of the Southpark episode “Beefcake”:)

    • says

      Well Tad, when you only do dishes once every third day and you eat six or seven meals a day times two plus three for Jeremy, it adds up. Believe it or not, I have used all my dishes at least once in the last year…including china. I like my hoarding. Don’t judge :) I am kinda like a man with his toys :)
      xo – kb

  6. Stacy says

    Yay! Very exciting. I am in the middle of doing mine as well. But I only have 22 panels to do and decided to just do sections at a time. Not ideal but wanted to be sure of the color first and then only had so much space to lay out the doors while drying. It is fun to watch you progress and you will likely finish before me even with your waddling self and adventurous 2 year old. God speed to us both!

  7. says

    Don’t worry about the pace, we all know this is real life! I was actually thinking about you today wondering how on earth you’re taking on a kitchen redo while pregnant! I admire your guts, lady. :) Keep at it, it’ll be done someday!

  8. says

    Its looking fab. What colour are you going to paint? The only thing I love about my whole 2 exposed shelves is that I can put things there and remember where they are. But Im about to rearrange my kitchen. Not sure I can actually call it nesting because Im forever moving thingsl.

  9. says

    I too need some doors, LOL
    I just saw this pix today and for whatever reason it sorta reminded me of your “future” kitchen-

    It will be grand when you are finished.

    My late hubby and I redid a kitchen in our then home in TX a number of years back.
    We had half the number of cabinets/drawers that you guys have, and even then we bought a sprayer! It was so worth it to spray the ugly old oak with a deep cherry/coffee color mix…I loved it. We added light tumbled marble counter tops and back splash and did venetian plaster and wainscoting in white to finish it off. My renters love it too.

    BTW-Thirty weeks! Where did THAT time go?
    I feel like I should be knitting or quilting or something !

    • says

      What a gorgeous kitchen! I hope mine turns out half that nice! And yours sounds amazing too! You have some darn lucky renters!
      And I know…time is flying by! We haven’t even started thinking of a nursery or what not…we jsut have soo so much going on.
      xo – kb

      • Maggie says

        The great thing about babies is they dont really “need” a nursery…not for a while anyways. You already have everything you actually need for the little one because its all left over from Will. Im sure you feel a lot of pressure to complete a nursery before the baby comes…and we do want to see it :o)…but dont stress and take your time.

  10. mypatsyann says

    We are just finishing this project in our kitchen…. Long, but so worth it. I actually like (faint, subtle) brush strokes on the wood, so I brushed on the primer and had them sprayed with the finish paint. They came out just the way I like them… so pleased!
    Now to find hardware. I really like yours.

  11. says

    When you put your kitchen back together consider moving all your cleaning stuff up high. I used to keep in all under the sink, but we gutted and rebuilt our kitchen and I decided to move all ‘no touch’ items to unreachable locations and all the ‘okay to touch’ stuff down low. Now Little Man can ‘help’ me put away or get out things I need and I don’t worry about what he might touch (he knows not to, but temptation is a mighty thing!!). The other bonus is that my undersink area is super clean now! Just a bin for returnable bottles. Oh, and I never have to bend over for cleaning stuff!

    • says

      Yeah…I definitely need to revise that plan because I know Will is one of the few that would not mess with it. Little Baby might give in to the temptation!
      xo – kb

  12. says

    Love the bra comment. I like to hide my shame behind kitchen cabinets as well! Aristokraft makes a great cabinet!
    Your kitchen is going to look spectacular!!!

  13. Nancy says

    You are ambitious!! Totally unrelated question for you. How do you like your stainless steel appliances? Would you buy them again? We’ll be renovating our kitchen soon and I was thinking stainless steel, but people keep talking about the dreaded fingerprints so I’m taking a poll. Taking a poll as in asking you. Thankyouverymuch.

    • says

      Haha…yes…I love my stainless steel. But you know that they make finger-print-less satin steel or something like that…it might the best of both worlds if you hate any little smudges or print marks :)
      xo – kb

  14. Elizabeth says

    Sciatica is horrible! I had it really bad years ago when I used to be a waitress, so I feel your pain. The best way to relieve the pain is to lay on your back on the floor, bring one bent knee up towards your stomach, and turn your leg to either side (hope this makes sense).

    Also, LOVE the kitchen progress so far!

    • says

      What if you can’t lay on your back. like physically?
      I tried a ton of diffferent stretches via YouTube…but so far, nothing relaxes it. With Will I never had this…so you can imagine my surprise! I will never question a pregnant girl’s comfort level again!
      xo – kb

      • says

        Sciatica is robot-inducing pain. I had it with kid#2 and found the best relief came by “sitting” on one of those giant massage wands..yes, for massages, not “massages ;)”. I bought mine at the local CVS (or I’m sure Walmart carries them). Its a little embarassing to purchase, but seriously, sweet heaven to have the pain be eased away.

        ps- Love all of your projects and your blog is awesome- thank you!

        • says

          haha…I tried to lean back on a neck massager but it didn’t really help. It actually felt really comfortable to ride the John Deere lawn mower but I don’t know how smart it is to ride it in the rain :)
          xo – kb

  15. says

    Bless your heart! I had sciatica issues in college from drafting with one knee tucked under me, but it really kicked in the last trimester of my first pregnancy. Oh , the way I hobbled. It is so awful. If you can find the pressure point in your hip and just push against it with your knuckle or fingertips, you will feel the release as the nerve goes back into place and immediate relief.

    Good luck, I have so much empathy for sciatica pain- ugh!

    Can’t wait to see the cabinets by the way! (Sorry if I sound like the crazy lady with the health tips, but this tip literally changed my life. I used to lose so much sleep with pain).

    • says

      Is it in your hip or your butt? And I hear ya on the loss of sleep…I wake up and wish I had just worked instead…at least I would feel like something got done!
      xo -kb

      • says

        Aboove your butt, where it kind of (ha!) flattens out, usually. I know it sounds bizarre, but it is a pressure point, you just have to push on it until you find the right spot. I hope it works, it is seriously amazing when you feel the relief!

  16. Janetl says

    Stop…posts like these always stress me out for some reason. I want to come visit so I can help you clean and cook…so you can rest. :) I couldn’t handle major projects in the middle of a pregnancy. Major props.

    • says

      aww you are too sweet Janetl, I would totally take you up on that but I probably would crack you up with my robotic moves…not allowing for much to get done :)
      xo – kb

  17. says

    You put me to shame! Both of my kids will be in school full day starting next week so I will have all the time in the world yet I am afraid to tackle painting my cabinets! I am so impressed with your determination! I totally understand that sciatic pain. I had it the last month or so with both of my kids and it would just freeze me in my tracks. Can’t wait to see your kitchen!

  18. Andrea says

    Painting cabinets is horrible! Oof, I remember doing that at my house and we had 50 some odd doors too. And I got all psycho and painted the inside of the cabinets. WHY?!?! Good luck and gods speed. I believe!

  19. Nikki S says

    Can’t wait to see the final product!

    Do you have a good chiropractor? If not, ask around and find one because they can really, really help with sciatica! Feel better!

  20. Gia says

    Hi Katie! I’m 36 1/2 weeks pregnant with my 2nd baby (also have a 2 year old at home) and I’ve been dealing with sciatica pain for weeks. It’s just awful, isn’t it? I’ve been seeing the chiropractor regularly, which has helped, but I feel the most pain when I lay down to sleep at night. It literally starts in my butt, wraps around to my groin and goes all the way down my legs.

    I have my husband rubbing my butt regularly (haha!), but I don’t know how much its helping. What has helped is putting ice on my lower back for 20 minutes, when I lay down at night and I take 1 tylenol if it the pain is excruciating . I didn’t take any medicine while pregnant with my first, but when its really bad, I have no choice but to try and get comfortable this time around. I didn’t experience this with my first pregnancy either and I have to say it was an unpleasant surprise.

    Good luck and try the ice! I have less than 3 weeks to go to scheduled c-section and feel like I’ve done nothing to get ready for the new baby. How different it is the 2nd time around! I hope you get some relief soon!

  21. Georgia says

    Wow! Just dealing with pain while pregnant and mom to a toddler would be enough for me.. but then I would agree that the excitement of being in a renewed kitchen can make it all so different.

    I don’t know what’s on the other side of the kitchen, i.e. where you normally stand to take these photos, but maybe there is somewhere space to put a biiiig cabinet to store most things you store in the wall cabinets (keep it locked for exploring toddlers ;) and get rid of them altogether.
    Open space, half the painting, better? workflow, but you will need space and a cabinet of course…

    All the best and I am sure I will love whatever you do!

  22. Blythe Spitsbergen says

    I remember ripping out my old kitchen 3 weeks before my first one was due. Actually, we were lucky enough to have a contractor do the ripping out. BUT…he took everything out of the kitchen on Wednesday. On Thursday morning at 4am, my water broke THREE WEEKS EARLY. So, no kitchen for the first month of my baby girl’s life.

    It’s a good thing breastfeeding doesn’t require a sink or counters or cupboards!!

    Good luck!! Keep on keepin’ on……

    • says

      haha…yeah! Good thing, right?! We have done nothing to prep for this baby so hopefully he will stay put till we grab some diapers :)
      xo – kb

  23. Stephanie says

    I feel for you with the siatica. I had it when I was pregnant with my first, but not my second. So weird. I was never able to get any relief while pregnant. There where just some days here and there that were not quite as horrible, but the pain was always there. It did finally go away after she was born, but it took a couple of months to get totally back to normal. I hope it does go away for you soon!

  24. Emily says

    I had the sciatica with my second pregnancy too, I couldn’t lay down flat on my back wihtout intense pain- so the typical exercises to stretch it out just did not work – I did some preggo yoga and walked a lot and that seemed to help a bit. It still hasn’t gone totally away (and my Fiona is now over two- actually I think she and Will are about the same age, she was born on April 23, 2010) I do a lot of computer work at my job, so it doesn’t help! But God bless you for renovating your kitchen in the midst of pregnancy! I’m sure it will turn out fantastic!

    • says

      ergh…it doesn’t go away?! Did you ever go to the chiropracter? I have been thinking about that…but don’t know if it’ll help :)
      xo – kb

      • Emily says

        I haven’t gone to a chiropractor, but I think I should! Actually, if I am really good at exercising it gets better- especially the elliptical. I think I just aggravated it more when I was carrying Fiona on my hip too much

      • Sarah says

        I’m 37 weeks and had sciatica since 20 weeks. I went to the chiropractor after some particularly bad freezing up and it is sooooooo much better. In fact i feel like a new woman after 3 weeks. Do it! You won’t regret it. Try a chiropractor certified in the Webster technique. It’s specifically for pregnant women and feels so good.

  25. Nancy says

    Wow! That is a lot of work. It does seem that every time I was pregnant we tackled some crazy project. With the last one, the final painters walked out the front door with us as we left for the hospital. :) BUT IT WAS DONE. Hey, are you sure it is sciatica? It sounds kind of like what I had where your joints get all loose because they are preparing for childbirth. This obviously includes your hip joints. I thought I had sciatica but my brother-in-law, who is an awesome PT, told me it sounded like my hip had gotten out of alignment. It apparently happens a lot in pregnancy. He gave me some simple exercises to do and it went away. He told me sciatica wouldn’t go away, so it must have been my loose joints. I hope yours subsides! Especially with all those kitchen cabinets to redo.

    Love your blog!

    • says

      You know I am not sure of anything…I read a lot about sciatica and so far it sounds like that but Jeremy has been urging me to go to the doctor about it because according to him…it’s worse than when I was actually in labor with Will. I have no idea. I just know that it hurts!
      xo – kb

      • Nancy says

        Oh goodness. So sorry! It is so painful! When you said sometimes you kind of freeze up, that just reminded me of what would happen to me. You should definitely ask your doc or if you know a physical therapist, ask them. My b-i-l could tell me things like “I bet when you stand in front of the sink, you shift your weight to one side.” He was dead on. I had to train myself to always stand with my weight evenly distributed. And how you say you relieve the pain reminded me of one of the exercises. But, it could totally be your sciatica, too. Gosh.

        I really do feel for you. It is really excruciating! Hang in there. And try not to over-do it. Which is ridiculous for me to even say with a 2 year old running around and your sweet husband’s long commute. But try. :)

        • says

          I’ll definitely ask. I’m not anti-doctor or anything but I tend to adopt that mentality of just suffer-through-it…and then I forget to make the appointment because I’m busy with the suffering-through-it…I’ll definitely need a break after this kitchen is done!
          xo – kb

  26. says

    And I thought we had a lot of work to do when we took down 19 doors and 5 drawers in our kitchen to repaint earlier this month! We’re getting ready to move, so we needed to update the space. Everything went really well until we rehung the upper cabinet doors and now some doors overlap, and one has a gap that wasn’t there before. It wouldn’t be so much of a problem if we didn’t have ugly hardware that looks like this (and that’s after we got new handles and spray painted the hinges). We’re weren’t in the mood for a complete hardware overhaul, as we didn’t feel like drilling new holes for hinges and handles. I just hope my husband, BIL and FIL can fix it today so we can get this house listed.

    Cna’t wait to see how your kitchen turns out.

  27. Gwen says

    Ha! I love it! I can totally relate to this post. Nesting by way of major renovation is what drives my hubby crazy. Your kitchen is already awesome so anything you do is going to make it outstanding. We reno’d our kitchen with a newborn last summer. Boo! As for sciatica (which sucks more than peeps know!) I splurged on a physical therapist who specialized in “women’s issues”. Was cured THAT DAY! Then learned right exercises to maintain. I went at various times with different pregnancies (in third trimester and even postnatal). Had to share this nugget of info with you. Good luck! Love your blog!!

  28. Brooke says

    What color are you painting them? Did I miss that somewhere? Can’t wait to see them! I am having a guy come by next week to paint ours, but we have three kiddos ….I keep thinking we can do it! But the man just rolls his eyes at me! Ha ha . We were just saying to how you guys really scored on your house! We are so jealous! :):)

  29. Jamie says

    The picture of your boyfriend removing the cabinets is very nice…I’m amazed you get anything done with a view like that!

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