I am an Interior Decorator & Designer who is passionate about creating inspiring spaces in our every day life, in our homes. A beautiful space to feel confident to face the day. A family room where people enjoy gathering with each other. Kitchens that inspire us to cook for the ones we love. From my home to yours, we can create a place that inspires YOU!
Today is the BIG KITCHEN REVEAL! Well, partly. We are not completely done with the kitchen at this point. We do plan to do the counter tops and back splash down the road. But it's a work in progress that directly correlates with our budget.
Our home was built in 1998 and the finishes in the house reflected that when we bought our home. There had not been any updates or upgrades done since the home was built. So when we purchased the home, let's just say it didn't really match the 'farmhouse kitchen' look I was going for.
Here are a few photos of our kitchen before we made any changes at all. I apologize for the quality of the photos, they were quick snapshots taken the night we made an offer on the house.
The cabinet wood is a hardwood maple, but the finished had done quite a bit of yellowing over time. The walls are difficult to see in these photos, but they are a peachy kind of orange. The counter tops are an almond 4" tile and the back splash has a forest green stripe around the room. The cabinet hardware is a shiny black round knobs and the pantry door is a typical 4 panel solid white door.
The first thing I did was paint the walls to match the rest of the home in a Pavillion Beige by Sherwin Williams. We had the majority of the interior painted this color before we moved in, but the kitchen wasn't included in that package.
I had this color saved to my Pinterest page for years....dreaming...planning. I like it because it's warm, but not too warm at the same time. It goes with both tans and greys. Here's a link to my pin if you want to check it out!
One life saver I learned a long time ago, is that you can take any company color swatch and bring it to any paint store and they will match it for you! Sherwin Williams is my absolute favorite paint, but sometimes for a quick job I can't get to a Sherwin Williams store. This saved my rear a few times.
I alsopainted that forest green stripe around the tile with the same paint to match the wall. I wanted it to just kind of disappear and not be anything that stands out. This definitely did the trick.
Then, for my birthday...my Hot Hubby surprised me with this old farmhouse clear glass door! I was beyond excited. I know, I'm a DIY nerd. Who gets excited about a new door? Especially an old one? I do!!!! He replaced the solid 4 panel door that was there with this one for me. I painted it to match my trim and then made a curtain to hide the mess with an old burlap coffee bag. I absolute LOVE how it turned out. One of those things where I would walk by, slowly...you know...to look again and again.
Next up, was changing the little things like the hardware on the cabinets, the kitchen faucet, and we switched to stainless steel appliances. This was all done in phases. It took place over several months. We chose Frigidaire appliances and have been more than happy with them.
And then.....the BIG project. Painting the cabinets! I don't love to paint, but I so love the results. It's kind of a love and hate thing I guess. And I keep coming back for more.
So... for painting the cabinets I had to do some research and figure some things out. I didn't want to have to sand all my cabinets down to make the paint durable. So, I was bound and determined to find a way around that. The popular paint to use without having to sand is chalk paint. I've used it time and time again on several projects as well as several brands and just don't love it for a kitchen. The durability of it even with the wax is just not the same as the quality of a cabinet and trim paint.
Well, I played around a bit and found a CHEAT! Shhhhhh...
We used chalk paint as the primer and cabinet paint on top!!! Yep! My secret is now officially out, because it worked wonderfully. The chalk paint adhered to the cabinets perfectly and then we painted over the top with a cabinet and trim paint. No sanding involved. Did I mention no sanding?
We used Amy Howard chalk paint because I had used it and knew it wouldn't react with TSP. I had planned to use the TSP to clean and strip the dirt and sheen off the cabinets first. Many chalk paints react to the chemicals in chalk paint, such as Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.
Here's a link to Amy Howard paint on Amazon if you are interested in checking it out.
Before you start painting though, it's SUPER important to clean your cabinets thoroughly. We used a rag and some TSP and carefully cleaned every nook and cranny. Don't skip this step, you will regret it. You can find TSP on the link below. It's super cheap and a little goes a long way. It is a chemical though, so I used gloves to save my hands.
After everything is clean and dry, we started taking off cabinet doors. It made sense to start the painting with the cabinet doors, and then move on to the cabinet bases. We also removed all the hardware from the cabinets including the hinges for a clean professional look.
If you have never worked with chalk paint, it's a little different than any other paint. It's a concentrated thick formula that needs to be thinned with water as you go. You can thin a lot or thin a little. For the purpose of using this as a primer, we just needed a thin coat on the cabinets. So we thinned a lot. In fact, one quart covered our entire kitchen! For this base coat, we just used a regular paint brush and didn't worry about brush strokes or anything. We knew we had a thicker and more substantial quality paint going on afterward.
Our kitchen was a mess every day for a couple WEEKS! AGGG! But it was so worth it!
After the base chalk paint coat, we started to put on the real paint. For the upper cabinets, we chose a white to match our trim in the house. It ended up just being a straight off the shelf white without a color name. We used a cabinet and trim paint for durability. For the lower cabinets, we went with a warm grey. It was actually my husband's idea! After he mentioned it I did some researching and really decided I loved the look too. We decided to go for it. He even came home with the color swatch that we ended up using!
The lower cabinet color is Dungeon Bronze by Dutch Boy.
We used a brush for the corners and edges.
For the rest of the cabinets, we used a 4" Foam Roller. The foam is so dense that you couldn't see any roller marks and it covered any brush marks. It was such a beautiful finish. Here are links for the foam roller and foam pads that we used.
And then here was my moment, when the switch happens in me and I want to see it done yesterday.
In this shot below, the lowers are done, and the uppers have just the primer coat on. Even though it wasn't done, I was excited because you could totally see what it was gonna look like!
Once it was all done and really dry, we reinstalled the cabinet hardware. Here are several 'finished for now' photos to show off the before and after.
Remember the before?
It's now been about a year since we finished up these cabinets, so i want to add a few notes about how they have held up. There was one area that started to wear after a few months. We keep our garbage can under the sink. That cabinet and around it started to show some wear and scratch marks. However, I skipped this cabinet when I was cleaning with TSP in the beginning. This is part of why I emphasize how important this step is. About 6 months ago, I re did this part of the cabinet with tsp, chalk paint primer and then the cabinet and trim paint. It has held up wonderfully without issue.
We aren't done yet! I have big plans for one wall, counter tops and the backs splash. It's a work in progress, but these changes have already made such a big impact that I wanted to share.
Do you have plans for your own kitchen? What do you think of the new look? I'd love to hear about YOUR kitchen adventures and tips and tricks as well!