Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Updating the Kitchen - Painting Cabinets

When we moved into this house I knew immediately that I wanted to paint the kitchen white. And then I got cold feet. I worried that I would somehow ruin the kitchen and regret the changes I made. I worried that white kitchens were a trend that we would look back on with chagrin. And two-toned cabinets? We'll look back and laugh at our folly. This fear kept me away from the paintbrush for years. Until one day I realized. Hey! It's my house! What the heck. It's okay if I don't like it years later. I'll just change it again. And I went ahead.

I loved the style of my cabinets, and the fact that they went all the way to the ceiling - but the wood had turned orange and had little cracks in the sealant on it that made them look kinda old and crappy in real life. It wasn't awful. I just really wanted to brighten it up in there. 

I know there's a trend in open shelving. This picture is a pretty convincing argument against. :) I read up on a bunch of different tutorials online for how to paint your kitchen shelves with varying degrees of difficulty. I finally landed on taking the easy road.
1. Remove all the doors. Take off all the handles and hardware and patch up the holes if you're going to be making handle changes.
2. Sand the doors down briefly with an electric sander. This will make the paint adhere better.
3. Clean off all the surfaces with a damp cloth in one hand followed by a dry cloth in the other.

 4. Paint until you can paint no more. Keep going. Don't stop. Question every decision you've ever made. Reconsider home ownership altogether. Keep the kids out of the paint. For the love of all that's good, make sure the lid on that paint bucket is on good and tight before you shake it.

I decided to use Home Depot's Behr Marquee brand that boasts one coat coverage, hoping to skip the primer and repetitive painting steps. Did it work? Pretty well! I did one coat and then after that dried touched up the spots that needed it.

This step took foreeeevvvvveeeer. Not fun. After the paint dried I went over it with a satin finish sealant. Another really boring and necessary step.

Almost there! Thank you Russell for doing the dishes.

Days later and looking good! I finished the painting and got every door back where it needed to be. Next came the tile backsplash.

I opted for a marble subway tile and a dark gray grout. I watched a ton of tiling tutorials online. I decided to make things a little easier by using these giant sticker things to attach the tiles to the wall instead of the traditional mastic or thinset. I borrowed a tile cutter from my father-in-law and got to work.

It was tough! But fun! It took a lot of time and my perfectionist alarms were going off all over the place. But all the catastrophes that I encountered were solved one at a time. Next time I'll probably just use premixed mastic instead of the sticker things. It worked okay, but I had some trouble with the small pieces on the edges being able to stick on.

Gwen wanted to be my model for all the pictures.

 Messy messy progress.

I got a little worried when I did the grout. It looked kind of muddy and darker and not as shiny and pretty as before. But I'd read that when you clean it later it clears up, and it did!

The biggest mistake I made was not buying enough tile. So I finished up one wall - and then had to wait another few weeks for my new order to come in. And then I had a baby, which delayed the project about three more years (exaggeration). Then, finally, I finished it up!

I installed some under cabinet lighting from Ikea, cleaned up the kitchen, and we're done! Did I have any of the regret that I was afraid would follow such a big change? Heck no! I love it!!!! I really can't tell you how much I love it. It looks so modern and open. Now the kitchen fits in with the rest of our house that's filled with white and grays and blues. The paint has held up well. Would definitely do it again. 100% recommend. Maybe in 15 years wood cabinets will be all the rage and I can show you how to remove all that paint and tile. Muwahaha! The madness of interior design continues. Keep running on the hamster wheel of consumerism. Keeps you thin and crazy, the paragon of a modern woman.


Dean, Andrea, Tanner, Landon, & Braddock said...

Your kitchen looks UH-MAZING! Maybe this will help me get past the scared stage and pull the trigger on painting my cabinets!

Lauren Terry said...

I forgot what it looked like before you changed it. Holy moly! It makes me want to paint my kitchen cabinets, and I'm renting. Hey - it'd just increase the value of the home right? Maybe my landlord would let me...