kitchen progress

I began here with our plans to give our little kitchen a makeover, and I can now say we’ve made some progress. First of all, we decided to make all of the updates in small (more affordable) increments instead of all at once, and the largest project of new countertops will be waiting until early next year. It sounds like it’s forever away, but I know how fast time flies.

Here is my inspiration for the kitchen re-do:

A few weekends ago when my parents were in town on vacation (a.k.a. spend time with the grand baby and help us with home projects), we painted our cabinets white. It didn’t sound like  a big deal at the onset (these things don’t usually), but it was a bear of a project!

Here is the before.

I’m so glad it’d done, and so glad I get to look at these crisp, clean cabinets every day. Here is the after.

white painted cabinets

Now for the nitty-gritty: the project was much larger than I imagined because I started having all of these ideas. I definitely live out the If You Give a Moose a Muffin concept with home improvement (to Tad’s chagrin). Once we got the doors off of the cabinets, this terrible beige was staring me in the face (the kitchen’s original color I think). And the ugly particle board joined in yelling, “Paint Me!”

So we did. We practically climbed inside the cabinets to paint the back walls grey and the insides of the cabinets white. It was not fun, but totally worth every back-breaking, neck-craning minute.

The look was so pleasing to me I thought, “Why not add shelf liner?!” We were still having a painting assembly line for all of the cabinet doors, which required two coats in between drying and sanding time. I found this lovely shelf liner at Amazon, which is always my go-to because of the Prime Membership’s free two-day shipping. Lucky for me, the two-day shipping was actually less than 24 hours (Amazon is awesome like that) because I had to order a second batch.

Every time I open a cabinet door I see this now:

We added drawer liners but didn’t paint the inside of them. What do you think, should we paint or leave them?

shelf liner

In the process there was the obligatory purging and re-organizing stage. It felt so good. And then I went shopping around my house to redecorate my “new” kitchen. I moved everything around and am still getting used to it.

We love our easily accessible coffee bar area:

Chopping, juicing, and baby dishes area.

I can’t tell you how excited I am for new countertops. The not-so white grout really stands out against the bright white cabinets.

For those DIY types, here are the details.

We went with a latex kitchen and bathroom paint (Valspar Ultra Low VOC). I had read that for heavily used surfaces an oil-based paint is best, and now I see why. Latex does scuff easier (we have some touch ups to do from putting the doors back on), but we were worried about the fumes and mess of oil-based paint. If we had a garage and an outdoor hose (to wash brushes) it would have been a different story. I love Young House Love, and they have a lot of very helpful tips, tutorials, and even videos here on painting their cabinets.

It was super hot outside, so we used a paint conditioner to minimize brush strokes, and I would totally recommend it: Floetrol.

We opted for the pricier Purdy Brushes, and I’m not sure if it was worthwhile. We still seemed to have a tough time with the brush strokes until using the conditioner. Next time I’ll try less expensive brushes to see if there is a big difference.

We gave our hinges an easy, inexpensive face lift with Oil Rubbed Bronze. They look amazing and we didn’t have to spend any money!

Still Left To Do

  1. Install hardware to doors and drawers
  2. New sink and faucet
  3. Lower the bar area to make one level counter
  4. New countertops
  5. Install tile backsplash
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