In My House

Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Back before I was married I decided to paint the kitchen cabinets in the cute little house I owned at the time. It took forever. I removed all the cabinet doors, I removed and painted all the hardware. I stripped the cabinets, painting them many coats of white, and lacquered them. Then I put everything back together. Yuck.

Although I absolutely loved the results, I swore I would never again paint kitchen cabinets. It was too much work and way too exhausting. However, after nearly five years in our home and at least four years of fantasizing about white cabinets, I finally bit the bullet this past weekend and went hog-wild. I love the results.

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Having been traumatized by my first experience painting cabinets, and, now having two little kids in the house (that always makes doing household projects easier, right? NOT.) I spent a lot of time researching how to make this daunting task easier.

Guess what? Depending on what kind of cabinets you have, it is possible to paint them without removing them? I know, right! (I never say that, but I had to just this once.) My cabinets didn’t have hardware to begin with, and I like that minimalist look, so that eliminated one nightmare. The hinges are only somewhat exposed and the way the cabinets are built made attempting this feat seem reasonable.

And holy schnikes, it worked.

Before:

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After:

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I posted a few sneak peeks on Instagram and already had a few of you asking for pointers, so here are a few of mine.

First of all, I can’t say this enough: Find a hardware store associate who seems to know their stuff and follow each of their recommendations. Mine was my local hardware store owner, Bonnie, a super cool lady who did not lead me astray.

Bonnie recommended Kilz 2 Primer/Sealer/Stainblocker and Valspar Premium Latex Enamel. I purchased a quart of the primer and a gallon of the paint. This was more than enough for my small-to-medium-sized kitchen, including the large pantry at the end of the room that is not pictured here.

I would recommend having the paint tinted, even if the can says white and you want white. As crazy as this sounds, the straight-out-of-the-can white is too white. Plus, then you get to pick a white with a really fun name. I considered Wooly Lamb and Bridal Wreath, both by Valspar, but I selected Warm Oatmeal. It was the perfect shade with a comforting, kitchen-sounding name. While the image below looks quiet beige, the shade itself is definitely white.

 

My cabinets are wood. They are stained, but haven’t been touched up at all anytime recently so all I did was clean them really quickly with warm water the night before and then invested in a high-quality primer as well as the best roller Bonnie could recommend.

I had taken Friday afternoon off work so I jumped right in and got the whole kitchen primed. That only took two hours and so that evening, after the primer had dried at least three hours, I dove right in with the first coat of paint. You should definitely read the directions on whatever product you choose, but my primer dried quickly so I saved some major time.

On Saturday, bright and early (6 a.m.), I tackled the second coat, then I met my mom for an afternoon play. Early Sunday afternoon (also 6 a.m., thanks kids, for getting me up) I did a third coat only in the areas that really needed it as well as a few other touch-ups here and there.

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Full disclosure: If you are an absolute perfectionist this is not the job for you. There are going to be a few flaws here and there, but I kind of love that about DIY projects. Plus, at under $100 for the entire project, I can’t complain.

I bought several replacement heads for the roller, too, as it is best to replace them at least a few times throughout the project. They are never quite the same after being washed.

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I also bought one good small brush and a handful of cheap sponge brushes for a variety of touch-ups.

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I still need to touch up a few small spots here and there, but for now, as we go back to work for the week, I’m just going to sit back and admire my work for a while. I’ll tackle a few touch-ups next weekend. All-in-all, while I am a bit tired, I could not be more pleased with the results.

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This experience was much less traumatizing than my first cabinet-painting experience and, no joke, I’d maybe be willing to do it again someday, but we’re never moving because I just painted our cabinets! If you decide to tackle your own cabinets, let me know! I’d love to see the results.

In My House

DIY: Painting Laminate Counter Tops with Rust-Oleum

Houses with character, especially older ones, can be quirky and eclectic. Usually that’s a good thing. Sometimes, like in the case of my faux butcher board laminate counter tops, it is most certainly a BAD thing.

My house was built in the mid-1940s and, here and there, previous owners made little updates. I’m glad they kept most of the original charm, but somewhere along the lines, these counter tops entered the picture.

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My husband and I have been talking about replacing them, but before we spent a lot of money doing that, I thought I would give this a try.

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Rust-Oleum Countertop Coating can be tinted to 16 different colors. I selected cobblestone. This is available at most major hardware stores and even our small-town one.

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The whole project came in under $50. I splurged on a good brush, which I would recommend. Also, know that the brush will have to be discarded following the project because the counter coating cannot be fully washed out.

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Make sure to wear gloves when applying the product. It is much harder to remove from skin than regular paint is.

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The counter coating takes three full days to dry, which means you must find a safe home for all counter clutter for three days. And three days means three days. I decided to cheat and try putting a tray on the counter after only two days and ended up touching up that portion.

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I am happy with the finished product. The surface wipes up nicely and any water dripped on the counters just balls up and wipes off easily.

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The final look.

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The best part is, I saved so much money on this part of my kitchen update that I can splurge a little more when it comes to kitchen and dining room flooring, which we plan to order soon. That is one thing I will not be DIY-ing, but I will post photos.

This post was not sponsored by Rust-Oleum, I just like the product.

In My House

In My House: Repurposing a High Chair

When I say I “repurposed” something, 90 percent of the time that just means I sanded and spray-painted something. This 1980s high chair was given to us by a nice lady in town.

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Our daughter already has a high chair that works well for her, but I wasn’t about to turn down a free piece of furniture.

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I removed the straps because I intend to use this as an actual chair (without the tray) for my daughter. Until she is old enough to do that, we will use it as a stand in her room to hold books, extra blankets, or toys. I had trouble deciding what color to do. White seemed too obvious and boring. I surprised myself by actually considering pink. Yellow was also a front-runner.

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I stopped by the hardware store on my lunch break and made a quick decision when I saw this really fun light green called, simply, Apple Green. The brand is Premium Decor and I bought two cans at $3.75 each. The green will match in my daughter’s room but will also look decent in our deep red and dark brown dining room if we use it in there.

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I removed the plastic pieces on the arms since we won’t be utilizing the tray so I could reveal the wood. I kept all the pieces I removed in case we do ever want to use this as an actual, tray-and-all, high chair.

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I did a quick sanding of the entire chair with 180-grit sandpaper. Then it was time for the magic!

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I did one coat, waited two hours, and did another coat. Then I put the chair in the garage to dry overnight.

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I was pleased with the end result. For now, it will live in my daughter’s room and serve as a place to stash toys or the next day’s outfit.

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(I’m a big believer in laying out clothes the night before. That’s one of those gems of wisdom I will pass down to my girl.)

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When she is old enough to sit in it safely, we can put this in our dining room for a nice transition piece between the baby high chair and regular dining room chairs. Have a great weekend everyone!