Saturday, December 11, 2010

DIY Kitchen: Before and After (do's and don'ts)

Since last Spring I've been on a major mission to lighten and brighten my surroundings. When we moved into this house over 7 years ago, I repainted almost every room, upstairs and down, but the kitchen I had pretty much left alone. A new Jenn Aire cooktop did wonders for the space, but I just couldn't get myself to be able to tackle the big job of painting the cabinets.

Each time I'd see one of you with a kitchen cabinet redo, I'd moan and groan and whine and sigh. I really wanted to do it, but I just didn't know where to start. My woodwork is white, my built in ovens are almond, my fridge is white, and my tiled backsplash (which I love) is antique white. Not to mention the sort of creamy white kitchen table, chairs, and cupboard. See what I mean? How would I get it all to blend?

Not only all the various color issues, my husband just isn't "inclined" for big house projects. He has a very demanding job and works way too many hours a week as it is. I don't like to hit him with extra things like this. But he was willing, so we tried to see how we could do it without it breaking the bank, and driving us into divorce court. (just kidding, but you know what I mean!)

First of all, I'm a "hands on" kind of gal, I'd rather do it myself than wait for a contractor, or workman if possible. I had an itch to have it done before Christmas, 'nough said.

I'm also not a perfectionist. Let me reiterate...
I am not a perfectionist.
Good thing, or I'd never have done this.

I had tons of comments on this post, and many many questions, so here goes on what I did: good or bad, and what I'd do differently if I were to do it again. (not here, not in this lifetime) LOL!!!

There are two sizes of drawer pulls and handles. We have the older size (3 inches). To be able to buy new pulls we would have had to cover up holes, re-drill, and then worry about the old holes showing through. I didn't want to spend a fortune on this, over 50 handles needed, yep, big kitchen (special orders needed). AND I wanted to spray paint the existing pulls brushed nickel since my faucet is nickel. This was the deciding factor on just removing all the handles but leaving the cabinets in place. Yes, that's right, we didn't remove the doors, or remove the cabinet contents. And because we didn't remove the doors that meant painting the hardware hinges white. Here's where it's obvious I'm not a perfectionist. There's just no way to make a painted hinge look fabulous. Opening and closing will wear off some of the paint. But since I like shabby, old, distressed things. Hey, it works for me.

Here's another biggie. We didn't sand either. Heaven forbid. Another huge ordeal.
Now, here's where I wish I would have done things differently. I used my wonderful Behr paint that has the primer included. I would not do this again. I would use a regular latex primer like Kilz or something else. There are lot's of them out there. The result was the same, but I had to do 3 coats as it was, and a primer first would have made it easier. The Behr paint is great, but it's a really heavy paint and I had to be super diligent and observant because of drips. Not just on the doors, but on the body of the cabinets.
So maybe another type of paint would have worked better for the cabinets.

I used a 1 1/2 inch trim brush to do the insets of the panels and a small 4 inch roller to do the rest. The roller gave it a smooth consistent finish which I am pretty happy with. I used an off white paint, called "Dove White" in interior Eggshell. I finished with a coat of Liquid Poly from Minwax in "satin". LOVE this product.

I used the Behr "two in one" paint for the walls in a custom color and I loved it, I only had to do one coat. Yea, a time saver on this front.

If you're not sanding you WILL have to make sure and wash down your cabinets thoroughly (made the husband do that yucky job!) I just used Ivory Liquid dish soap diluted. Make sure you remove all grunge or you will have a big problem. Paint won't stick to dried up, year old brownie batter.

So, I'm pretty happy with the results. I have a few not too noticeable drips, but I'm really so happy I did this. It's not perfection, but then I don't require it.

These following photos were taken in October, hence the Fall and Halloween decor.
I should have taken "before" shots but I was in a hurry.
(Story of my life)

I wish I would have done this years ago, the cabinets are 28 years old and the finish was less than great. It's so much lighter and brighter. I'm still just giddy when I walk in there. I've always loved painted white cabinets, so it was worth all the hard work! I'll make a link to this post on my sidebar for reference.

Now....back to Christmas!!!!
p.s. I'm linking up to Jennifer Rizzo, who was my inspiration to do this!

love ya,
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