I love reader mail! I think of all the questions I've gotten, probably 85% of them have to do with the kitchen cabinet makeover we did last year. Here is an email I received today:
"I have been trying to figure out a way to makeover my drab kitchen cabinets without spending major big bucks. Your cabinets are exactly what I envisioned doing, even the color. Not sure I could handle doing all the molding myself but the beadboard may be doable and I know I can paint. Can you provide steps on technique you took from start to finish? I may be biting off more than I can chew as this will be my first real redesign project but I'm excited about doing it."
I thought I'd post the instructions taken from my FAQ page along with the repost of my cabinet makeover entry with the photos. I did update the entry to reflect the addition of the countertop and brick paver backsplash. Also, if you'd like to see how we added the beadboard, trim, and hid the undercabinet lighting, please see this entry. And don't forget to click on the "Cabinets" category to the right to see the many, many posts I wrote while tackling this big project. I think it's all I wrote about for six months!
So here goes!
Q: What color did you paint your cabinets?
A: The red color is from the Waverly line and it's called "Cherry"
in the satin finish. The off white interior and basecoat color is
called "Homestead Resort Parlor Taupe". I bought them
both at Lowes.
Q: What steps were involved in painting and "antiquing"
your kitchen cabinets?
A: The first step was to clean the cabinets thoroughly with a
spray on degreaser. I sprayed my cabinets and let sit for a
bit before wiping off and repeated this step a couple of times.
I was amazed at how much dirt and grease dripped from my
cabinetry! It's important that as much of this grime as
possible is removed so that the paint can stick well.
After cleaning, I sanded thoroughly and then wiped my
cabinetry down so that no sanding dust remained.
A note about painting:
All the paint that I used was Latex (water based).
I used a good quality brush for all
of my painting. If hand brushing isn't your thing, you may
want to look into a a good quality sprayer. I've never used
one and hear that some people love them and some hate
Also, it is very, very, VERY important that you let each coat of
paint dry and cure thoroughly between recoats. If you don't,
the fresh layer of paint could reactivate the last layer,
resulting in an awful, paint peeling and bubbling nightmare. I
painted my cabinets in the heat and humidity of summer and
sometimes had to let nearly a week pass between coats
because the paint was taking forever to dry and then cure. It
was well worth the wait time, though.
Next, a couple of coats of a good quality primer, inside and
out. You'll want to use a good "bonding" primer.
Then I added an off-white basecoat, inside and out.
(American Tradition: Homestead Resort Parlor Taupe, Satin
After the basecoat, I applied four or 5 coats of red (Waverly:
Cherry, satin finish) The interior was left off white, though
the shelves were painted red for interest.
I distressed the edges by sanding lightly down to the off
Next I brushed on a dark brown glaze ("Raw Umber"
translucent color glaze from Lowes) then wiped it off, allowing
the glaze to settle into crevices.
The next step was to very gently and sparingly drybrush on
a couple of colors here and there. I chose a bluish shade and
sage green. This gives a "layered paint" effect.
Note- the next step is NOT recommended and was
experimental on my part- proceed at your own risk:) The
result was fine but it was frustrating to try and achieve just
the right sheen - and with LOTS of elbow grease. I would
instead ask a professional about the right kind of protective
finish to use, if any. I do happen to know that the Minwax
brand clearcoat Satin finish produces a HIGH gloss shine, so
unless you are going for that look, avoid!
-Lastly, for added protection, I added a thin coat of Johnson's
wax paste, let it set, then buffed it all out leaving a soft
sheen. This step will need to be repeated every few months
A year later and the paint finish is holding up great! No
chipping or peeling to speak of!
I didn't think I'd ever see the day where I could officially say..."The cabinets are finished!". This cabinet makeover was a tedious, major project and I'm so glad that it's behind me now. (If you'd like to see photos of all the steps involved, please see this cabinet progress entry.) It feels great, though, knowing that you can take any ho hum item, be it cabinetry, furniture, or even a knick knack of sorts, and completely revamp it into something totally different and unique. Our cabinets were standard oak, early 1990's cabinets...nothing special about them. Now maybe they look as if they belong in the early 1890's:)
Here is what our kitchen cabinets looked like before the remodeling work began.
And now after the cabinet facelift...
I treated myself to new white dishes after completing this project! I'm so glad aI painted the inside of the cabinets, too:)
Here are some closeups of the "wallpaper for shelfpaper" I took before I installed the doors - a simple project with big impact!
I cut the wallpaper to fit the shelves, soaked it in water as I would if I were applying it to the walls, and then just applied it to the shelves. I made sure all the air bubbles were out and then let the paper dry for a couple of days before applying three coats of matte finish polyurethane. Here are the results: (Click photos to enlarge)
My favorite part...I bought these little scrolled carvings at Lowes and hubs nailed them on to the false drawer fronts:)
Now that the cabinets are completed, we'll be moving away from the whole cabinet area for a while and will work on putting beadboard halfway up around the kitchen and dining area. Then we'll put up our pine ceiling up! We'll come back to installing the new countertop and backsplash after all that:)
By the way, you can read more entries about our cabinet project here. Also, if you are contemplating painting your own cabinets, be sure to check out these helpful pointers courtesy of RemodelMySpace.com before you begin. Enjoy!
The countertop is in and the brick paver backsplash is installed and painted! I couldn't be happier with the results! What's next? We have to add the finishing trim to our new tung and groove ceiling, intall crown moulding, paint the ceiling a creamy white, install beadboard 4 feet high and paint it, and then install our hardwood flooring...so much yet to do but it's getting there!
And ANOTHER Update (January 2008)! Check out our nearly completed kitchen here!
(Edited to add: Check out the article featuring my kitchen at Cottage Magpie - written by our dear and very talented Angela... thank you so much, Angela!)
Also, I'll be updating my blog link list soon! I've found so many great cottage, decorating, and remodeling blogs as of late and would love to add them all to my list! If you would like to be added, please email me your blog link... thank you!
Well, I keep calling it the "RED" cottage kitchen, but I guess it's only the cabinets that are red! But I can tell that red will be running accent color in our cottage, so why not?!
In one of my last entries, I mentioned that I had changed my mind about having green walls in the kitchen. For the last couple of years, they have been primed green in expectation of a soft green sagey color. Instead, I decided to go with an even lighter and softer look. I searched high and low for just the right shade of warm, off-white and I think I found it in a shade called "Malted Milk" (eggshell finish) from Valspar paints (at Lowes). I wanted something that would compliment my bisque appliances while also looking great with the pure white trim and ceiling color. The trim and ceiling color is called "Anthem White" (semi-gloss finish), also from Valspar at Lowes. For those of you that may be interested, the cabinet color is called "Cherry" (satin finish)from the Waverly collection at Lowes. Someone emailed me and said that there are lots of "cherry something" paint shades from Waverly, but this one is just plain "Cherry". I'll try to find the paint color code and post it. If you have more questions about the cabinets and finish, you may want to take a look at my FAQ page - and of course, feel free to email me with your questions, too!
The lighting is from the House Beautiful collection from Kichler. I ordered the lights online a couple of years ago and unfortunately, I don't remember from which lighting site. I have checked all over to see if I can find this particular style again and I haven't been able to find it - I think it may be discontinued. BUT, you may be able to find it on Ebay...I have found my island light on EBAY for much less than what I paid for it. In fact, here is one on Ebay right now.
The undercabinet lights are little puck /disk lights that have been hardwired...we can turn them on and off by a switch. We used Xenon bulbs that have a nice warm glow to them.
The faucet is from the Kingston Brass "Restoration Collection" and the cabinet pulls are from the Adagio collection at Berenson Hardware. Thank you, Kelli for donating our cabinet pulls to us! I never mentioned that before because I wasn't sure if she wanted me, too, but I think she deserves a giant public THANK YOU for such a kind and unexpected act!
The countertops are laminate (from Lowes). I don't remember the name of this particular pattern, but it has a stone look to it with various shades of tan and brown with a little cream here and there. When we bought our countertops a couple of years ago, it was a standard pattern that they had available to buy right from the store without special ordering. We did have to order ours, though, because we needed a longer piece than what they had available. Something like soapstone would have been WONDERFUL, but we were, and ARE, on a very tight budget. If we ever sold our house, I don't know if we'd get a return on something higher end anyway because we live in a very modest neighborhood home prices are in the $120 - 160 (we live in TN). BUT, if it was ever in the budget, I'd probably go for it anyway!
The backsplash was created using brick pavers, also bought at Lowes. I painted them "Anthem White" but then aged and toned them down with a brown translucent glaze (burnt umber, I believe?). The sink is from American standard and is the color bisque. The appliances are all bisque as well.
The shelfpaper used inside the cabinets is actually wallpaper. I applied it the same as you would apply wallpaper, but then I applied 2-4 coats of clear polyeurothane for heavy duty protection. It's held up great so far! At some point, I'd like to add sweet little lace trimmings to the edge of the shelves. Wouldn't that be lovely?
The curtains in the dining room are actually queen sized sheets. I really need to hem them, but for a quick fix, I just folded the extra length over at the top and added clip on curtain rings. The curtains rings and rods are from Wal-Mart. The "curtains" above the sink are actually pillowcases I found at Goodwill! (If one really wanted to sleep in the kitchen, I suppose they really could with all the bedding I've put in there, ha!)
The flooring is actually just our subflooring painted white. If this was to be our permanent flooring choice, I would have done this project quite differently. Because we are ripping up and replacing all our subflooring this spring, I just chose to use a couple of coats of cheap semi-gloss paint. I needed a way to be able to sweep and mop our floor and have it look relatively clean until we replace it. (I'm so tired of remodeling grunge!) BUT, if I were going for a more long term flooring solution, I would have primed the subflooring a couple of times, then I would have used a good heavy duty floor paint that was scuff resistant. Additionally, I would have painted a brown diamond pattern over the white with mabybe a few coats of good polyeurothane for durability. Just so ya know:)
The ceiling is made up of individual 5 inch wide tongue and groove pine planks bought at Lumber Liquidators. I think it was about $1.60 a square foot - maybe even less than that. The beams are box beams (hollow inside):)
The flooring that we will be installing is solid oak hardwood from Bruce, in the Marsh finish. It's a color similar to our island top and table top.
Our dining table and kitchen island were made by Fuzzot Furniture. They make all their furniture using old house parts. Pretty nifty, huh?! They are out of GA, I believe, and also sell at a few flea markets in the southeastern part of the US.
The Twice Remembered sweets and treats under the glass dome were made by yours truly. Yes, someday I'll get my faux candy and treat business off the ground. I have to work a lot in the garage to make these sweets and I'm finding that this just isn't possible for me during the colder months. Also, I'm finding that when folks buy my candy, they like to buy several boxes at a time, which is GREAT! But my inventory disappears quickly and it's hard for me to stay stocked. I guess a nice problem to have, though! But I'm working on other crafts and items to sell until I can work in the garage again in the spring.
Most of the other accessories came from Goodwill, Ebay, or Old Time Pottery. I hardly ever by new, but when I do, I make sure it's not pricey!
Speaking of accessories, I'm looking forward to warming up the kitchen with other pieces as time goes by. We still have the flooring to put in, the beadboard (halfway up the wall) and doortrim to install, and after that point, I'll be able to better see what else I want to do. There are a couple of really blank walls that need attention, for sure! A work in progress! I know that after our doortrim is intalled, above the frenchdoors I want to install a long shelf supported by a couple of white wrought iron brackets. That door needs a little more presence, I believe.
Well, I hope this has answered a few questions! Let me know if you have more:) I wanted to also mention - and not for the purposes of bragging but for the sake of encouragement, that hubs and I did all the work so far ourselves with the exception of installing the brick pavers. I mention this because if we can do it, anyone can! We knew nothing of home renovation when we moved into our house 4 1/2 years ago and while it takes us forever to complete our projects (through lots of trial and error), it has saved us a ton of money. While it can be frustrating to have projects drag on so long, if that's the only choice you have besides not doing anything at all, then I say go for it! (Ok, that's what I say right now...yesterday I was saying something different, hehe!) But seriously, you can do it, little by little!
Now on to the photos! In no particluar order:
Kitchen BEFORE Photos (as it looked when we first moved in and shortly before our remodel began)
Kitchen AFTER (or almost After as we aren't finished yet!)
Dining area BEFORE
Dining area AFTER
Now for a several general AFTER Photos...
This is where the whole thing started...with the cabinets!
This sweet treat platter was made using a cheese board dome. The bottom part is just a round mirror covered with a vintage doily:)
This is hard to see, but it's a stencil relief that I put all the way around the entryways to and from the kitchen and living room. I created it using a large stencil and drywall mud.
The pears are fake and are from Wal-mart... .99 each!
Feel free to share with me more decorating ideas! Thanks for stopping by! And thanks to all of you who have stopped by my Rate My Space page at HGTV and have given me a few stars... I appreciate that so much!