For the walls, we chose Behr Premium Ultra paint from Home Depot. I'm thoroughly impressed with this stuff and find it well worth the extra cost. Not only does it cover well, but it's so thick that is sticks on brushes and rollers and doesn't drip all over the place, allowing you to paint without masking everything off if you're careful. We completed painting in about one and a half coats.
The newly painted walls, however, highlighted another flaw. For some reason, when Discovery Homes built the monkey cave, they really skimped on some of the details. While they peppered some upscale features within the very nice floor plan, a lot of the finishing bits needed help. The windows, in particular, had no casement trim of any kind, only simple sills plopped at the bottom of otherwise bare openings. I suppose some would consider this a perfectly acceptable modern look, but to me they looked painfully unfinished, especially for the upscale look we were going for.
To address this, I've steadily been trimming out the windows in the house, adding both flat trim to the inside surfaces of the opening and wide, simple casement moldings to the front face. I'd had to stop for awhile due to the failure of my Black and Decker nail gun (detailed in my last post), but with the purchase of my new Dewalt cordless nailer, I'm now back in business.
With the new gun, a little help, and a little time on the table and miter saws, the five windows came together in quick order. My "little help" below is shown applying some glue to the corner miters.
The final touch was some additional task lighting for the nook, island, and counter tops. Luckily, Home Depot is clearing out some lines of their Hampton Bay lighting collection at drastic discounts. We picked up three small lighting pendants for $7 each (normally $30), and a dangling large pendant for $10. I tied new fixture boxes into the existing overhead lights for a drastically improved look.
For the under-counter lighting, I scored two 16-foot reels of cuttable, stick-on strip lighting at LED Wholesalers. They were a steal at $12 each, and only needed a few 12V transformers, which I picked up on eBay, to complete the set.
For a budget remodel, I think we came up pretty well. Here are the numbers: