As I was packing in preparation for our move I was reminded how much we’ve updated this place along the way. I love seeing a place transform even though it never happens as fast as it does on HGTV. Even though I answer comments that keep coming in from our DIY Kitchen or Shaw Floors posts, I thought I’d give an official update as to how everything has been holding up!

Kitchen re-do at white cabinets with dark gray countertops

First up the kitchen. In here we lowered the bar, added new countertops, a subway tile backsplash, painted the cabinets, added hardware, a sink etc. This is my favorite room in the house. It has held up VERY well. There has been some talk about the primer we used not working with the paint but I’m not sure if it’s certain types or what. What we have is holding up beautifully to the crazy wear and tear my teens put on it.

Kitchen re-do at white cabinets with dark gray countertops

The only spot with issues is the cabinet that houses the trash can (I knew it would) because no one can be bothered to use the handle (in hindsight maybe should have went with a knob there?). This was showing some wear even before we painted so this isn’t a surprise. 3 years later and this is what it looks like in a quick phone picture (with another cabinet to compare) it needed about 15 minutes of touch up which after 3 years of heavy use is actually less than I was expecting and now looks brand new again.

Kitchen re-do at white cabinets with dark gray countertops

I was worried about the outside cabinet that is in a very high traffic walkway but it is literally in PERFECT condition. We are so happy with his paint for the cabinets that we are doing this all over again in the new house (but going with a different color for the cabinets). I still absolutely love the Dove White color for Benjamin Moore and would highly recommend it. In fact, I’m painting the walls in my great room this color when we move.

Kitchen re-do at white cabinets with dark gray countertops

The countertops are actually made by Samsung. They are called Staron and are a solid surface that is very reasonably priced. For this kitchen I wanted darker gray but not black so we went with Quarry Starred. The tops are holding up well. There are 2 scratches on it from one of the boys dragging the unpolished bottom of a heavy crock pot across it. You can see it if you bend down to look evenly across the countertop but not from the top. These can be buffed out but if we ever did that I’d just wait until there were more issues. The small scratches hardly need a full buffing! As for the color, I’d go lighter next time. The finish is beautiful on these but do show streaking so need to be cleaned with a streak free cleaner. We just got used to using 2 different cleaners, one to clean/degrease and one to take away the streaks.

Kitchen re-do at white cabinets with dark gray countertops

So, three years later I am extremely happy with the job we did on the kitchen and the extra work of painting the cabinets with the  Benjamin Moore Advance paint. The finish is smooth and beautiful with a nice feel. Read more about how we did the cabinets here.

As for the floors – I would HIGHLY recommend the Shaw Luxury Resilient Vinyl planks. They have maintained their look, have been completely waterproof and look pretty much the same exact way they did when they were installed. A lot of people have asked about separating. Our are perfect except in one spot where the floor moulding also aren’t level so it’s a house settling/level issue. One thing I would recommend if you are installing these is to NOT skip the step of leveling your floors. This (and proper installation) is what prevents the planks from separating.

We have these floors in our kitchen and both bathrooms with absolutely NO issues whatsoever. The dog’s water bowl also sits on the flooring and rarely gets cleaned up in a timely manner. There is zero issues with the flooring in this area either.

I hope they can improve a bit on the texture of the planks (these are smooth) and maybe make them a bit more matte (they are pretty matte but when the sun shines in from the back door they appear a bit shinier). If those things can be updated I can see this being one of the most used flooring choices in active homes. If you are looking for a flooring that can hold up to your pets, kids and big family. These are it. (Color and more info on this post).

I’m sad that we’re leaving but hope the next owners will love our updates as much as we did. Now, let’s start all over in the next house!


Allison Waken is the founder, writer, photographer, and content creator of All for the Memories and All for the Boys.

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