The view as you're coming into the kitchen from the family room area...the new color on the cabinets is a MUCH softer transition now from room to room. Ahh....
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Why oh why didn't I do this YEARS AGO?
When we bought "this old house" 8 years ago, the first thing I knew I "had" to do was renovate the kitchen.
It's dark cherry cabinets and red brick floor were quaint, but sooo not the style I would have ever picked for myself.
I was just sure the kitchen would be one of the first projects we'd tackle - knocking out walls, enlarging, adding a huge island, etc...
Ahh, but the reality of owning a 118 year old home sets in and priorities can change faster than the weather....
Total roof replacement on the house and "carriage house" buildings, four complete new central A/C system replacements and many other various and sundry repairs later, the dark, not-so-efficient kitchen is pretty much as it was when we closed on the house.
Oh, I painted the brick floors several years ago, and I painted the walls (covering "country blue" paint with geese stenciled along the top of the walls), but other than that, we hadn't touched the kitchen. The one room I just knew would be the first to be gutted.
I've dreamed for years of at least painting the cabinets but had visions (nightmares) of what it would entail.
One time I even made some calls to get info on the job, but hearing painting contractors talking of taking the cabinets out, off-site to paint them then reinstalling them quickly squashed THAT idea!
Geesh, for that amount of work, why haul the old cabinets BACK in? Bring me NEW cabinets for that price! ;)
Anyhoo... Fast-forward to this summer when I determined that until we can really do the entire kitchen renovation, I wanted to at least "put some lipstick on that pig" and paint the cabinets.
How hard could it be?
NOT HARD AT ALL!
Ladies, if you have been hemming and hawing about painting your cabinets, no reason to
wait any longer!
Now mind you, I did NOT do the job the way a "pro" would have. But if you look through the pics, and if you're standing right there in the kitchen, you would be hard pressed to tell whether Joe Painter did them in his shop or not.
Knowing (hoping) that this is just a "temporary" fix until everything (including the cabinets) gets ripped out and pitched out, I did not do EVERY square inch of the cabinets and I did not go the "whole nine yards" like some might have.
But again, the proof is in the pictures and for the cost of a gallon of paint,
I ask you,
WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE?
I chose a mellow, calming grey-green and it's funny -- in some light the cabinets look grey (yes, that wonderful Swedish/French grey) and in other light the color is a dead ringer for Restoration Hardware's "Silver Sage". Chameleon paint - ever changing. :)
It's been a little unusual for me going from a pretty much textbook Pierre Deux French Country look, to this much cooler-toned, more "Swedish" look. But it does look much cleaner and brighter in the room and you can't go wrong with that!
The pantry just around the corner behind the fridge; I use a really big rattan clothes hamper (lined with a trash bag, of course) as a garbage can. Looks good and holds A LOT!
With the help and motivation of one of my sweet sisters (thank you, Min!!) and with my daughter, Olivia, pitching in as much as her college schedule would allow, we began and in NO TIME the job was done.
I also had some preliminary tips from sweet Elizabeth Maxon who "knows a thing or two" (THAT'S putting it mildly) about home renovation. Not only does Elizabeth have a column in Romantic Homes magazine, but earlier this year she had a whole feature in the magazine on her own kitchen re-do.
I garnered a lot of great advice and encouragement from Elizabeth and also from dear new friend, Donna Dreyne.
Here is the short list of the steps we took to do the project:
1.) Take the nobs/handles off (duh) and wipe the areas to be painted down with de-glosser. This can be purchased at any hardware/home improvement store and is basically (as far as I could tell) glorified mineral spirits. And yes -- IT STINKS! 99% of the windows in our house are painted/nailed shut (don't ask) so let your mind wander as to how it was in that kitchen the first day as we bathed the cabinets in that chemical! Let the fumes begin! :)
*NOTE* You can also clean the cabinets well if needed with a TSP solution (also at any hardware store) but we skipped this step. You can also see that NO SANDING was involved here. I opted to try the de-glosser instead, and so far, so good!
2.) I used Behr Premium Plus paint with a primer built into it. BEST PAINT ON THE PLANET! It was about $35/gallon and it covered so well, we only used 1/2 to maybe 2/3 of the gallon. It's got ridiculously great coverage. I chose the flat enamel. A first for me, since I typically use a satin -- maybe eggshell -- but never flat. I like the velvety finish this time, and I think it lends itself to the period look of the kitchen.
3.) You'll want to put some kind of protective finish over the paint, and we thought and thought about whether to go with a typical polyurethane finish (GREAT for durability) or a paste wax finish, which gives you a whole different look (think furniture-grade finish vs. sealed wood floors finish). After much thought, I chose to go with the paste wax finish (Minwax finishing paste). The one I bought is not tinted, but I know you can buy tinted waxes (Briwax, for instance). Once the paint is dry (for at least a day), you wipe the wax on, let it dry for about 15 minutes, then buff it out with a dry cloth. Just like when you wax your car.
Yeah... like I do that... ;)
Though we took off the nobs/pulls/handles, we DID NOT fool with taking the hinges/doors off. Yep -- I painted right over the hinges.
I was not about to take ALL those door off. No way. I figured, if the paint starts coming off the hinges over time, I'll either claim it's "distressed" or I'll touch them all up on afternoon. But this gal was in deep enough (time-wise, with my schedule) as it was just painting the cabinets, so I decided against that step.
And you know what? They look perfect! I don't see why you'd have to take them off at all -- unless you just don't want to paint the hinges and even if you don't, you can always tape off the hinges....
Another way I cut time off the job was to only paint the fronts of the drawers and did not paint the insides of the cabinets.
The doors WERE painted inside and out, but that was a breeze. So, big deal, when you pull a drawer out, you still see the natural wood and when you open up one of the doors, the inside walls and shelves are still natural. But, I'm over it already.
Honestly, (and I'm not just saying this...) I actually kind of like that look.
So there you have it. Done! Though our job could have been done in one day, it took about a day & a half for me. But I wasn't pushing it from morning til night, either.
Plenty o'talkin' and havin' fun with my sister and daughter during the job (those FUMES!) so we just made a fun time of it and maybe it took slightly longer that way, but hey, it was great!
IF (and IF is the key word here) I get brave, and IF we don't just go ahead and gut the room soon, my NEXT PROJECT will be to cover the countertops in either vintage or new embossed tin ceiling panels.
These I will either paint and seal, or leave natural silver.
This idea is one I've coveted and treasured since we've lived here and since I saw an article in Mary Engelbreit magazine (may it rest in peace) featuring Elizabeth Maxon's home.
She had done tin on her countertops in lieu of ripping them out and the results were FABULOUS!
So... that may be the next-up project -- STAY TUNED! :)
I had a dark wood-topped iron table that I painted, too.
Remembered to take a "before" picture only after I had already started applying the paint. :)
This table, with it's new look (see close-up below) will now be in our family room.
For that, I painted the iron base a super light grey then did a brown-ish glaze wash over that to mellow it and warm up the color.
The dark brown wooden top was painted light cream first then I used the same brown glaze on that to warm it up. It turned out looking quite a lot like an antique English pine top.
I had considered decoupaging vintage ledger sheets to it, but thought better of it.
I did, however, cover an old Laura Ashley lamp shade with some sheets of ledger paper. Then I clipped on a vintage french market price tag on it for fun.
I got the French sign from Tracie at My Petite Maison.
The newly painted table will be relocated OUT of the kitchen to the family room (more on THAT in another blog post). There was also the issue of whether to paint or pitch an armoire that had been part of Olivia's nursery suite that had been being used in the kitchen for storage/display.
"Pitch" won out and now there's a hustle to get a replacement piece(s) to house all that is currently spilling out onto countertops and floor in my laundry room that was once housed in the armoire.
But I have a solution for that:
The perfect table with a great vintage look made from recycled vintage pine.
Lidded baskets or metal bins on the bottom shelf will house all the "stuff" that was in drawers in the old armoire and on the top of the table will be my "pretty stuff" -- cloches, pedestals, topiaries, etc...
I'll be getting TWO of the tables and butting them up end to end and creating the look of one very long narrow table along the wall.
On the wall above the table is the lid from the keyboard of an old black piano...
yes... you read that right....
It's a salvaged lid that used to be the part of a piano that covers the keyboard.
Crazy. I know.
I love it though, and I got it for next to nothing!
And it's BLACK -- how can you go wrong with that??
More will be added on the wall, of course, but for now the long black piano lid is all by itself. :(
I'm sure there will have to be more posts to follow this one (part deux, tois, etc..) because this whole kitchen facelift has trickled down into the adjacent rooms -- family room, family room, etc.... always seems to happen this way. :)
I'll be moving couches, chairs, etc. from lots of different rooms and basically creating a fresh "facelift" for a couple of rooms next.
And it's ALL FREE!
Just moving things that I already have around to new places! Love it!
Since there were SO MANY pics, I did a slide show rather than try to upload them all directly onto the blog.
And if you ever toyed with the idea of painting your cabinets -- well, time to quit toying and start painting! I was a cake walk!
From one gal with NO SPARE TIME
to all you others in the same boat, have no fear --
CAN DO THIS!
CLICK HERE TO START THE SLIDE SHOW OF ALL THE PICS.