This summer I finally got my kitchen the way I always dreamed it would be… or pretty much. ( I always have something I still want to add or change it seems. )
From the beginning…
I found this grainy old picture of the kitchen from when I was probably still in school:
Typical shiny floor, glossy white walls & ceiling, oak cabinets, etc. of the 80s. I’m not saying this to run down my parents’ taste – they just used what people did back then. After we moved in we installed floating floor and I painted the walls a country green called “old hiedelburg.” I can honestly say I never was too fond of the color but put up with it for five years. I tried different stuff to make things go better with the green walls. I painted the oak trim ( which had turned orange ) a tan color. I got the wild idea to paint the blue/gray countertop black. It didn’t work out too bad, although I did have to touch up every now and then. I found this picture from a few years ago. It isn’t the sharpest picture since I had to scan it but you can kind of see how the black countertop looked.
Most major of all was the oak cabinets just weren’t wearing out. ( I am not a fan of stained oak. ) We ended up tearing out the pantry wall and setting in a big wood beam & post from an old barn. I thought maybe that would take my eyes off the cupboards. ( didn’t work ) Around that time I did paint some of the green walls surrounding the cabinets a crème color which I thought looked better than that green. I also made an island out of some plywood we had laying around. It did look a little better overall but still not exactly how I wanted it to look. ( anyone feel pity for John? ) So finally I decided to break the news to my mom. I said, “Sit down and breathe deeply - I have something to tell you.” ( I’m kidding ) I did casually say that I think I’m going to paint the kitchen cabinets someday. ( I meant tomorrow) A lot of people think you only paint something when it’s actually necessary but I guess I’d prepped mom on thinking differently over the years with all my painting everything because she really didn’t say too much. ( she loves them now as well as I do ) Jon was indifferent too, thankfully. I went to a cabinet shop and got special oil-based paint for cabinets and used my sprayer, which operates on air to paint. Of course, I didn’t use the sprayer in the house to paint the cabinet frames so I had to brush that on. The doors & drawers I took outside on the driveway to spray. Our kitchen was a total mess for a few days until I was finally finished.
Now… the after:
The cabinets I lightly sanded first, then sprayed a dark brown paint on them. Next came the tan which is called Indian canoe ( Behr’s color ). After that I distressed the wood. ( sanded edges and areas I thought would naturally get wear ) Last I sealed everything with a clear topcoat that I also sprayed on. I have been very pleased with the way it’s holding out. I can’t think of anywhere that the paint has come off. I would definitely advise anyone to paint cupboards if you don’t like the color – verses investing in new ones. I have since painted other peoples cabinets that I didn’t use the smelly, oil-based paint but sealed the water-based paint with a clear varnish and it works great.
Close-up cabinet pictures:
The beadboard behind counter I bought at a local lumber yard. It’s pine wood tongue &groove 3/8 inch thick. It’s easy to put in. I used liquid nails & small finishing nails to fasten and so far it’s held nicely.
Also made of that same beadboard that I love! Jon made the top for me. He glued together 2 by 6s and I painted it black using water-based paint and sealing it with a clear coat. The doors I used chicken wire to give it that old fashioned farmhouse look. The towel holder is made of pine wood & painted. I added a little hook for a hand towel and left an open space for a trash can. Sometimes I wonder how someone could work in the kitchen without an island! Definitely a great convenience.
Above the island hangs an old sawed off ladder that also comes in handy to hang pots & pans.
The countertop on the main cabinets is wood. We ordered it at a local cabinet shop. I wanted to distress it with a hammer & chisel but Jon said no! I’m not too careful with it though so it will look older sooner.
This post is getting to be too long so I’ll share the rest of my kitchen later…