Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick is having a “show us your kitchen” linky party and I wanted to join the fun so I dug out our kitchen pictures from four years ago. Our kitchen is a prime example of what you can accomplish with just a can of paint and a screwdriver.
Before, our kitchen looked outdated with dark stained oak cabinets and crazy knobs. Our first update was the knobs, which didn’t make enough impact so I decided to bite the bullet and paint the cabinets. Our kitchen really had good bones - a good layout and real wood cabinets - so it didn’t make sense to do a complete overhaul.
Apparently, I didn’t clean up for the before pics and I was actually already in process. I painted the island first as a test run and you can see I started to fill some holes on those drawers.
The wood actually doesn’t look too bad in the pic below, but this kitchen needed to be awakened! Oh and look at that fluorescent light box. So glad to be rid of it!
These pictures were taken about three or four years ago. I can’t believe how little my kiddies are in this pic! Oh, there’s the famous clutter counter!! Ha-ha! Too funny.
I tossed around the idea of painting the cabinets black, but was a bit nervous until I saw this pic in the July/August 2007 issue of This Old House magazine. Seeing this pic and reading about how the homeowners transformed their space just by painting their oak cabinets inspired me to go for it.
This is really a project that could probably be completed in a week or less, but it probably took us about a year. It was actually kind of a joke after a while.
It’s been done for a few years now, so I don’t have step by step pics either. But the process we took was:
- Clean the cupboards with TSP
- Sand (I just sanded by hand, just enough scuffing. I didn’t go down to bare wood)
- Wipe with tack cloth
- Paint (two coats)
I used regular latex paint because I refuse to use oil-based paints even if it’s the more durable choice. I’ve recently come to find out from Centsational Girl & Isabella & Max Rooms that there are water-based paint choices that are a great choice for this type of thing. My regular old latex paint has actually held up just fine.
For budget purposes, we kept our solid surface Corian counters. Although I’d love Carrera marble in my fantasy world, these work well in contrast to the black.
Besides painting the cabinets and changing the hardware, we did a few things to customize it a bit. We took the doors off the cabinets above the microwave and refrigerator to add some openness.
We also added hooks on the island for towels and oven mitts – love this. So handy!
Added a Rev-Your-Shelf system (from Lowes) to a cabinet so I could have one of those nifty sliding garbage and recycling centers like new kitchens today. Love! (Actually my neighbor installed it for me – thanks, Red! She even helped paint some cabinet doors. She’s the DIY queen.)
We also removed the wooden scalloped valance above the sink to update it a bit.
I brought in pops of red as an accent color with things like the colander and binder above the microwave and the little rooster on the window sill. I wanted something red for my serving utensils, but couldn’t find what I wanted in the kitchen department, then I stumbled upon this planter at Home Depot and thought this was perfect!
I picked up wooden letters from Michael’s and painted them red for a little pop on the other side of the room. It’s a small wall, so the letters work perfectly there.
Every season I change out what goes in those little white vases I picked up from IKEA. And I love the J.R. Watkins hand and dish soap because it’s a green option and the packaging is cute enough to leave out!
Oh, and we made the side of the pantry a chalkboard. Very handy and fun for the kids.
So for just about $200, our kitchen was transformed with some paint and new knobs. I didn’t include the new appliances and the lighting because it truly did transform the kitchen even with the old appliances and fluorescent light box. We finally got the appliances last year and obviously that was a chunk of change. Yes, it’s even better now with the new appliances, but just wanted you to know you don’t have to spend a bunch for a big impact.
And soon, I get to share some more kitchen transformations! Three of my friends are redoing their kitchens. One is going my route and a step up by painting the cabinets and installing granite counters. The other is doing a massive gut job of their entire main floor and the other you saw a peek of over at my sister’s. I cannot wait to show you their before and afters.
This post is linked up to the following Linky Parties: