I’ve been staring at my kitchen so long, I didn’t realize how much I hated it. When we moved into our foreclosed century home, it was a bit rough. Luckily most of the issues were cosmetic and fresh paint and a thorough cleaning made a big enough difference.
Kitchen when we moved in:
I chose Benjamin Moore’s Buxom Blue for the walls and paired it with a creamy white trim and bead board. Of course the paint clashed with the hideous blue countertop, but we’d replace those soon! No worries! Right? Riiight. The countertop continued to clash with the walls for the next five years. The countertop itself was in good shape, it was just not our style.
I finally sold the Mr. on Rustoleum’s countertop coating (http://www.amazon.com/RUST-OLEUM-254853-Interior-Countertop-Coating/dp/B003NEM98Q). One quart of the coating costs a mere 20 bucks and can be tinted to a variety of colors. I picked a light gray and couldn’t wait to cover that bright blue that has been haunting me for yearsss.
For the price, this is a deal. But I would highly recommend covering with a coat of water-based polyurethane after the coating has cured. The coating take three days to cure, before you can touch it, before you can place anything on it. And trust me, don’t cheat. You will scratch the surface and it’s nearly impossible to touch up. The poly will take another few days to fully cure. So, if you decide to go this route, prepare not to use your countertop for a week. You’ll have mixers, coffee pots and containers in weird places. Cooking will be nearly impossible. The fumes will make your house reak for at least a couple days. But, in exchange for about $30 and a serious test of your patience, you can have what looks like a new countertop.
Oh! Did you notice the backsplash? What started as a $20 project got out of control, quick. As you can see in the “before” pictures, the previous owners had the brilliant idea of putting up faux stone WALLPAPER in lieu of a stone backsplash. And again, I looked at this for YEARS. The Mr. proposed replacing it and I was overjoyed. We headed straight to the tile aisle and loaded up the cart with some mortar, grout and we picked this light, brick mosaic. I was so anxious to get rid of the wallpaper, I ripped it before I took my before photo. Be GONE, ugly brick wallpaper!
Now, as I mentioned, this project snowballed a bit. We took out the sink to paint the countertop. Then we realized how dingy and old the sink looked. Annnnnd it was already out anyway, so we replaced it with a shiny new cast iron one.
Ah! So much better. But after that was done, I started examining the cabinets. I mentioned our home is almost 100 years old and to our knowledge, these cabinets are original. They’re nothing special. They’re oak. They’re faded. But, they are original. In almost 100 years, no one has painted these cabinets and I didn’t think I wanted to be the first. But we were really on a roll here. So I went for it.
I was introduced to Annie Sloan’s chalk paint and fell in love. All the colors are matte and just scream vintage. Rich, gorgeous, creamy colors perfect for revamping old furniture, floors, walls and even my ancient cabinets. You can use the paint on virtually any surface, wood, metal, glass, plastic, brick, etc. so it’s extremely versatile. Plus it requires NO prep work. No sanding, no priming, nothing. After your first project, you’ll want to paint #allthethings.
After you use chalk paint, you will need to cover the surface with a coat of clear wax. This sounds a lot more intimidating than it actually is, luckily. The wax is very soft and workable. So you put a dab on a piece of cheesecloth (my personal method, you can also buy and use an Annie Sloan wax brush, if you’re fancy) and rub it in the surface like you would rub lotion on your hands. For a more distressed look, you can apply the dark wax as well.
If you use the dark wax, always apply the clear first and use the dark very, very SPARINGLY. On my project, I painted the cabinets Old White, applied the clear wax, then brushed a mix of the dark and clear wax around the hardware, corners and just randomly. Although it wasn’t my original intention, I painted the hardware as well. I lightly sanded small portions of the doors to expose the oak beneath. Then I buffed the hardware with steel wool to expose the silver hardware. Then I covered with another light coat of the clear wax.
And ta da!
I’m really pleased with how everything turned out. I feel like the paint freshened everything up, while keeping with the vintage spirit of my old cabinets. And if I didn’t like how they turned out, I would lie to myself and say I did because it’s paint. I can’t remove paint. But I really do love them 🙂
The inside of the cabinet doors looked awful with the original oak. Instead of painting them with the chalk paint, I decided to use Rust-Oleum’s chalkboard paint for some contrast and fun. This stuff can also be tinted to a variety of colors. I picked Moonstone, which is a nice, dark gray. I wanted it to look obviously like a chalkboard without the harsh, black that reminds me of second grade.
I love it because it’s cutesy, but it’s actually practical as you can see from my handy chart I refer to so I don’t accidentally poison my family! Very practical.
We also did this the week of Daniel’s first birthday, which was held at our house. I would not recommend taking on these projects the week before an event. Especially ALL of these projects the week before. Highly discouraged. Many celebratory beers were consumed at completion of project and party.
He was obviously appreciative 😉