Monday, May 7, 2012

The Year I Gave My Kitchen a Facelift

It's only been about (ahem) a year...but I'm finally, FINALLY getting around to posting about my kitchen cabinets.  Last summer, my good friend and I repainted them white.  Well I guess we started.  It was a bit of a process.  Let me see...

First, we took off all the doors and hardware and cleaned them (we had the foresight to label each hinge but forgot to label where each door went, which would have helped immensely).   Then we painted all of the surfaces with a bonding primer that I picked up at the hardware store.  It is pretty amazing stuff that is designed to stick to anything, including we didn't have to sand, de-gloss or anything.  We just got small, smooth door/trim rollers (very important for smooth doors) and painted a thin coat of the bonding primer to each side of every door and on the base cabinets.  We started out painting the doors in the garage... but in the dead of the summer, we soon realized that wasn't a good idea, as the paint was drying too fast, leaving us little time to maneuver the paint before it got sticky.  After that, we moved them inside in shifts.  Once the primer was dry, we painted them with a high gloss latex paint that is designed to dry extremely hard...making it an excellent choice for a kitchen.  My friend and her daughter painstakingly painted the dentil trim along the top of the cabinets with both primer and then paint, using teeny tiny craft paintbrushes.  We stayed up late a couple of nights watching movies, chatting and painting cabinet doors.  It was good times.

Once the paint was on, I let everything cure for a few days and then re-hung all the doors, which is tricky business.  I discovered that it makes it a TON easier if you attach the hinges before you attach the door back to the case you were wondering.  Then I bought new bumpers so we wouldn't scratch the new paint job.  Finally, I lightly sanded some of the edges to give the stark white cupboards some dimension. 

But there was still more to do.  I had to pick out knobs and pulls, which took me awhile to do because I couldn't decide (I am horrible at decisions) ...and then even more time for me to actually install all of them (which really wasn't that hard, it just takes a bit of accurate measuring and a nice drill).  And then I had to paint the island and actually decide on a color.  I finally chose a very classic gray and finished the whole thing.  And I really love it.  My husband too, because we may have spent 6ish months with no doors on the island (whoops).  I wanted a separate color for the island to make it a focal point/contrast and I didn't want white, as the kids sit there and swing their dirty feet and white doesn't stand up well to that kind of abuse.

I also took off one set of doors for open shelving and painted the inside.  I love it.  It is one of my favorite things.  It makes me so happy to look at.  I gathered up all of my grandma's crystal that was hidden away and never seen, and some of my favorite jars, cups and cake plates to display.  On the bottom shelf, I keep the plates and bowls that we use everyday and love that they are so accessible.  I guess I also repainted the walls Linen.  It is a very neutral gray/tan.  I wanted it very light and airy as it is slightly dark and dreary in the kitchen.

And here is a before shot.  We had granite installed before we moved in as the laminate was warped in some places.  We asked if  the gentleman installing the granite could cut a piece of the un-warped laminate to fit in the laundry room and now I have a counter for folding (or for stacking piles of clean clothes...depending on my laundry mood).  And we changed the appliances because we already had a stainless refrigerator and stove.  I did not like all of the tan when we bought the house.  Everything was tan... tan walls, tan counters, tan tile, tan cupboards.  It was so blah and TAN...and because it is a bit dark, I felt like I was in a giant tan cave, and so I wanted to make it light and bright and cheery. 

And I think it is.


  1. Wow! That IS a refreshing change! And where did you find yourself a friend that would do all of that painstaking painting for you?? GadZOOKS, Lou!

  2. Looks wonderful! Bright and cheery! Love the colors and especially the carafe :O)

  3. That is very nice!!! It feels so light. Straight out of a magazine. Great job. (Tatum)

  4. It looks beautiful! I love the open shelf, very pretty!

  5. Wow your friend is gorgeous, I mean your kitchen is gorgeous. Well worth the year E. good job!

  6. Wow your friend is gorgeous, I mean your kitchen is gorgeous. Well worth the year E. good job!

  7. Yes my friend IS gorgeous. And handy with a paintbrush!

  8. Hey, your kitchen is set up just like mine. I've been wanting to re-do my cabinets. Would you suggest it? Have they held up well? Looks great!


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