Thursday, January 27, 2011

Kitchen Facelift Reveal

I always feel nervous, when I've been away from the blog for a while, to jump back in, but then I do and it's like a nice warm sweater and I get to feeling cozy again. I've been away for good reason, as you all know, I have been working non-stop on the reinvention of my small suburban kitchen. Thanks for staying around and if you're new here, thanks for joining me. It has taken me a little over three weeks to complete the facelift, but in reality, we have been paddling towards this goal for a while, and finally it's about 90% done and I couldn't be happier.

I haven't been bitten by the 'Spring' bug yet, so I've stayed with my green and white look, a time tested winner in my book. I hope to get some fabric ordered and as time goes on, more color will be added, but for now, I'm just happy to be done. I don't think I'm going to prime, paint, or sand anything for a while. I'm done.

I searched the photo archives and I couldn't have found a better before picture than when we first moved in, 6 years ago. Just a side note, I did not change the counter top in the facelift, so look closely at it here so you can see the change I did make to it.

When we moved in, we had the standard: Oak cabinets, laminate counter top, linoleum floors, and beige carpet in the eating area (whose idea was that?). Really, it is a decent space. Not too big, not too small, but of course my mind was spinning with the changes I wanted to make. Super speed, 6 years later, and I'm within close proximity to the beautiful kitchen that I always wanted to look at, I don't actually do the cooking. :) What we have done so far over the years making our way to now....that is saving up and buying, nothing bought on credit....replaced the carpeting and linoleum flooring throughout (6 years ago). New appliances (3 years ago), and new cabinet hardware (2 years ago), you'll see a close up of the pulls further down.



The eating area, look at the carpeting! Yikes!



If you like my hutch and would like to see the changes it underwent, click here.



I don't think you can go wrong with this look, it's my favorite, and at this time of year, it's just enough. Coffee mugs from Crate and Barrel, round tray from Walmart reinvented with spray paint, vintage milk glass and pitcher from Kolh's.

I just don't think you have to go to the poorhouse to achieve the look you want. I almost prefer something second-hand or thrifted to be reinvented and who doesn't love a chance to be creative? The botanical art is a tea towel I stretched, see how I did it here. That white pear jar was a thrifted find that I painted, that was a fun project, take a look at it here.

So on to what all I did in the facelift, obviously painting the cabinets have been the number one changing force in this whole transformation. I've been sharing the 'during' and finally here is the final result. I primed, painted, sanded between each coat. I was a good girl and did everything just right so this will last for years to come. As you know, we added height to the top of the cabinets, crown mold and corbels to the bottom. I painted the uppers in Tailor's Chalk from Martha Stewart and the bottoms in Silhouette from Martha.

As much as I wanted to get new counter tops, we just can't afford it right now, so I had to work with what we had. The laminate has one thing going for it, it's neutral and easy to work with, what it doesn't have going for it was the oak trim. Who came up with that idea? So the literal counters are laminate and then trimmed in oak, I painted the oak. I taped everything off, the wall and the laminate part and primed and painted it, just like I did for the cabinets. The funny thing is, I used the same color I have on the walls in the living room.... it was a perfect match, I couldn't believe it. I'm pacified for a while, and it looks great. I've got to buy an outlet cover for the phone jack that I ripped out, but I just can't bear to make another trip to the hardware store, maybe next week

Stainless steel appliances, like I said, we bought about 3 years ago. I love the microwave off of the counter especially. One thing that I regret, although I just wasn't aware of it, is counter depth refrigerators, I would have certainly wanted that, but I just didn't know any better at the time, but it's only six inches, not too bad.

We kept the original sink too, but we'll be getting one eventually. I want one of those goose neck faucets. Those are the three big things that is keeping us at 90%....counter tops, sink and faucet and back splash. Is that four things?

I wasn't sure how the white and black was going work, but it is working so well for our family already, and I just can't imagine it all white, or just all black...this is perfect and of course oakless.
I found these corbels at the Home Depot. I fell in love with the profile, some of them are too scrolly for me, but this is perfect and adds some much needed character.

I painted the door to the garage with chalkboard paint, Logan is breaking it in as we speak. It's going to be a lot of fun having it.

The Bedford Gray on the walls have just been such a great neutral color, love it.

After we added the height to the cabinets, the seem between the tops of the cabs and the 1X4's were driving me crazy (yes, I'm that anal), so Justin added some trim for me to cover it up, it turned out great. I just painted and it blended right in, like it's always been there

Here is a close up of the countertops deoaked. This has a major impact too in the overall look, I'm really happy with the results. For now. I still hear Quartz counters calling my name.

One other little thing that I learned, plan out the placement of the corbels. Outlets are a bear to work around and I had to knock a couple corbels down (that I had already glued) because it wasn't working all the way around the kitchen....I worked it out and again, love the added interest. P.S....because I will be adding a back splash eventually, I glued them to the underneath of the cabinets, not to the wall, so when the time comes, they will come down easy and then accommodate the tile and not damage the wall.

Love the black.

Another close up of the hardware, I found it at Lowe's a couple of years ago on sale. $1.48 each, the perfect blend of retro, yet mod, love it and looks great on the white and the black. If you've replaced your cabinet hardware, you know how hefty a price tag that is! $1.48 was a steal.

Don't tell anyone, but it occured to me, that I'm going to be able to fit a lot of dishes up there behind that height addition! That's four inches of space plus the crown that I can store dinnerware in! What plate addiction? Whatever do you mean?

Oh, and another tip that I did to save on money...I spray painted the hinges. They aren't a perfect match to the brushed nickel, but can you imagine putting the gold back up there? Yuck! It would have ruined it! I used metal primer and 'Brushed Nickel' spray paint from Krylon. I priced new hinges in nickel and I saved myself over 130.00 dollars, less 6.00 for the cost of the spray paint and primer.

A little vignette on top of the fridge....hey, there's the bonus at having a full size fridge, more foo-foo room. Seasonal dishes are stored in the small cabs behind, if you're wondering.

Thank you so much for stopping by. I appreciate all the comments and encouragement and tips that I've been getting on this project. Thank you for taking the time. I can't believe how it's come out and I'm so tickled! If you have any specific questions on things that I might not have mentioned, ask them and I'll do my best to answer.
Also, if you'd like to see an obscene amount of pictures of this facelift, check out my photostream, click here.

Here are some answers to questions from the comments so far:

Did you paint the countertops or is it new?
I painted the oak that trimmed the existing counters. I used a paint that closely matched the color of the laminate.

Did you sand and prime the door before painting it with Chalkboard paint?

I did prime the door, I didn't sand, but it still took three coats of the chalkboard paint. Luckily, it dries really fast and it was a quick project. I love it and so do the kiddies! Plus, just doing a door is a big enough surface if you don't have a whole wall or nervous about taking the chalkboard plunge.

What did you use to to hold the corbels in place while the glue set?
I was watching This Old House one time (I don't have cable) and they used a combo of liquid nails and hot glue to adhere some countertop (or something), so I thought to myself, Why wouldn't that work for the corbels? and it did! I did sit a couple of paint cans under them as well, just in case, I just pushed them up against the wall part, but the hot glue really did the trick.


Monday, January 17, 2011

More Kitchen Progress

So I'm coming in first place for taking the most time for kitchen projects, I know. It is taking longer than I expected, I mean this is not a large kitchen, what's my problem? While I sit here and try to think up some bogus excuses, I'll show you the progress so far and you have to promise not to be ultra critical. I'm baring a messy, unorganized, cluttered mess of a kitchen, so be gentle.
All oak cabinet lovers may want to step away from the blog, because they do not remain oak. Oak has left the building and gone back to 1994.
This is a good picture showing the cabinets in the 'before' stage as well as getting another look at the Bedford Gray wall color. Honestly, If I had done nothing else this was a great change and I really love it. If you are considering gray, Bedford Grey (Martha Stewart Paint) is my recommendation.

If you remember, this is just a kitchen facelift, not a whole reno, so I'm working with the existing cabs and footprint of the kitchen. They layout is fine and the cabs are in great condition so we are working with what we've got...although the arch panel doors are still annoying me, but I'll deal.
All doors are off, have been primed with two coats, and I've got the bottom cabinets painted and starting on the uppers tomorrow. My Mother-in-law gave up her whole weekend to help me paint and we got a lot accomplished, she was helping me stay out of the why-did-I-start-this state of mind, a big thanks to her for that. I slip into an "I'm overwhelmed" pool of pity more than I care to admit, she's great at throwing me a proverbial life preserver.

Drawers and doors everywhere, waiting for paint, the oak is all gone.
Do you remember when I mentioned adding height to the cabinets? It is such a simple element but has added SO much. Here is the progress on one cabinet so far, it's still in the primer state here, but you can see how it's going to look already. Justin did all the work for me, a carpenter I am not. I found some beautiful corbels at Home Depot that will be going underneath, I can't wait to get those up, oh and the doors (har, har)
We used 1X4's, very inexpensive.
Crown molding, still manageable cost with such a small kitchen
Up close, simple construction. Caulk and putty will handle any flaws. Anyway, like I said, everything is primed now, and I'll be sharing the painting progress later this week {hopefully!}.
The black on the lower cabinets is looking really good. I painted the back door black too and the door to the garage is going to be painted with chalkboard paint, I know Logan will love that.
Thanks so much for stopping by! We're getting closer!

Wanted to answer a couple of questions from the comments.

How did we attach the 1x4's?
I'll try to explain it, I hope you can get a mental image. I'll use the one cabinet on the left of the window for example. The cabinet is 12 inches wide so Justin cut 3 boards (2x4's) 11 inches long. 2 for the edge of the top and one for the middle of the cabinet. The boards are laying on the edge of the top to the wall. He used liquid nail to secure the 2x4 boards and then nailed the 'addition' into the boards. He used a little liquid nail too. Does that make sense? I hope it does, let me know if I need to explain it better.

Did you sand or strip the cabinets before priming?
I washed the cabinets down really well with an ammonia and water solution to get all the grease and dirt off-I was actually surprised at how well ammonia cleans. I did not sand. I used Zinsser 1-2-3 primer that is formulated for shiny/slick surfaces, I bought it at the Home Depot. It is really nice and thick and I did two coats. I did sand in between coats with 120 grit and used a tac cloth to keep everything clean. Honestly, I think that is the real trick, sanding between coats because with what I've done so far the finish is super smooth, without any little paint goobers.

Paint brushes or sprayers?
I am using foam rollers because I don't like brush marks, the 4" rollers are working great especially on the face of the cabs but I am using a small 1" paint brush to get in to the corners. I thought about renting sprayers, but decided the cost wasn't worth it and the because I've never used a sprayer, I didn't want to 'practice' on the kitchen cabinets! :)

What color and brand paint are you using?
I am using the Martha Stewart Paint found at Home Depot. Colors used: Bedford Gray MSL246 (wall color), Tailor's Chalk MSL001 (Trim and Upper Cabinets) Silhouette, Martha Stewart paint (Bottom Cabinets)

Keep the questions coming!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Kitchen Progress

Ugh. The first week of the new year went a little differently than expected. Between 3 doctors appointments last week and just not feeling good, the kitchen project gotten off to a slow start. It has started though, I know this for a fact because the house is a wreck and everything is in a state of clutter.
I decided to go ahead and paint the walls first. We are building up the height of the cabinetry and adding molding and Justin will work on that this weekend, so I started with the walls. The walls haven't been painted in five years, and if you've been with me for long, I am working my way away from the "gold" and getting cozy with a cooler color pallet. I started by painting the living room walls and now the kitchen is going Bedford Gray on the walls. The kitchen is small, so it didn't take me too long to get two coats up.

(Yesterday evening during wall prep, what a mess!)

Goodbye Gold, Hello
Bedford Gray

Even though the kitchen needs hardly any fabric, I went ahead ordered some fabric swatches from Tonic Living for potential valances and chair upholstery. I pulled a few things that I use in the kitchen, the Sweet William is a sophisticated floral, with a hint of vintage. I really am loving the green and teal with just a touch of brown.

The next fabric is Tempo and encompasses all my favorite colors, teal, green, orange, and even has some gray. I pulled more things that would look great. I ordered a great polka dot too, thinking of recovering chairs. So the final decision will be a hard one, I love both of them, the question will be if I want to stay tonal or really add some pop! Feel free to add in your two cents. :)

The next morning when the sun came streaming in, I was extremely pleased with the color and I am so happy to have the gold gone for good. With the walls going gray, the stainless appliances are just singing and the chandy looks great too. Will the hutch stay black? I don't know, we'll have to see.

After painting the walls, even the cabinets didn't look too bad. But they are still going to be painted. I am looking into getting some of the cabinet doors replace with glass fronts, but the budget is so tight, it might have to be down the road.

Upper cabinets are going to be Tailor's Chalk which is a nice cream, this virtual color chip doesn't quite look right. The lower cabinets are going black.

So this is the progress so far. I am trying to keep a steady pace but not over do it, I have another doctor's appointment on Thursday. Like I said, we will be adding height to the cabinets this weekend and I'll post some more progress pictures soon. Thanks for stopping by.