My 1962 Kitchen Update: Countertop, Faucet, Sink, Backsplash

As of Saturday afternoon, the kitchen project has been completed!

Our home was built in 1962, the people we purchased the home from lived in the house for 19 years. Let's just say, they were comfortable in the home. There were a handful of updates in the house, but the kitchen was seriously in need of some freshening up. Our last home was built in 1959, but had a completely redone kitchen. I can tell you, I've missed my old kitchen a lot.

Our goal is to do a major tear out of the kitchen within two years, which also means some walls coming down. The kitchen will have to be totally gutted. In the mean time, we've decided to make a small investment in updating what we saw as crucial needs in the kitchen. For now, we've torn out the old backsplash, countertop, and sink.

Here we go!

My old sink. Four tiles in the backsplash were hand painted by the former owner's children. This one, the most lovely and evil fairy/elf/troll was placed right over the sink. It haunted me when I did the dishes. As for the faucet, it was a thorn in my side. I had to empty any dishes that were in the sink to simply fill a pot for cooking or to wash fruits and vegetables. It brought me back to my childhood circa 1970's.

Here's a better photo of the sink, lovely isn't it? Where the brown countertop met the grey/brown tiled wall there was a huge gap that loved to suck up water. The previous owners covered it with a gorgeous yellowed plastic strip. I ripped it off months ago and was irritated every time it caught my attention, which was pretty much daily.

This was not the original formica countertop, the previous owners covered the white with sparkly gold fleck formica with this brown and black gem. I have to admit, we didn't buy the house because I fell in love with the kitchen.

Full perspective, with some of the tile removed. We went tile off, countertop up, then proceeded.

Tile demolition is FUN! There's even video footage.

That's my dad, leveling the cabinets that were stamped Aug 16, 1962. Believe it or not, the cabinets are still in decent shape, although I am toying with the idea of painting them.

Countertop and sink in. Walls where the tiled backsplash was removed was quickly coated with taping compound to even it out.

I would've loved to have tiled the entire wall from the countertop backsplash to bottom of the cabinets, but it was too expensive (remember complete gut in 2 years). We were able to get 3 linear feet out of one sheet of tile, making it more affordable. The mosaic tile of glass and natural stone is a great accent. We capped it with a natural stone which compliments the formica countertop.

I decided I wanted to do some paint that was unpredictable for me. I am very conservative when it comes to paint color. I do enjoy color, but typically in a very muted range. The color I chose is called Lily Pad by Martha Stewart, it's super happy and refreshing. I love it.

HERE IT IS!!! The tile grouted, paint done, appliances back. I love it. 

Just a detail shot. 

Now this is what I see when I do the dishes. No more elf/troll/fairy staring at me. No more water running into the wall or under the faucet. The faucet has a built in sprayer and my new sink is an inch deeper than the old one.

A huge thanks to my father for helping me with this project and nana for keeping the girls busy, when we were in the thick of it. I also had help from a family friend that put in new pipes under the sink. I learned a lot with this project and feel even more confident when it comes to tiling.

Overall, it feels like a huge success. I am loving it!


  1. Total awesomeness! The stand mixer inspired, huh?

  2. Looks great. And because I now watch all these design shows on TV, I even know what you are talking about, for example what a "backsplash" means. Enjoy your new fancy kitchen!

  3. Love it, and just in time for all the autumnal and holiday baking/cooking!

  4. OMG, the fairy/elf tile! I can see how people get comfortable. I think once we're done with the reno, there will still be a bit of tweaking and updating, but for major stuff, I hope not to change it out until we move--which isn't planned for a loooong time.

    Giving you a shout-out on my blog for this. Hooray for reno!

  5. Gorgeous and playful! I love it!

  6. Love the happy paint color! And it's amazing how an extra inch of sink space makes a world of difference.

  7. Dude, your Kitchenaid looks hawt with the new paint. Nice work. I can't wait to see it with my own eyes!

  8. You truly made your kitchen colorful and refreshing with the green Lily Pad wall. Also, it looks bigger and more spacious, even though the 60s feeling is still there. Overall, I must say that's a cool kitchen.


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