When you move into a new house, you have to prioritize your changes based partly on difficulty and motivation. And over the year and a half we’ve lived here, the difficulty of the renovations we’ve made has been ramping up. But one room we’ve just been chipping away at is our kitchen. When we moved in we replaced the range with a gas version, replaced the leaking dishwasher, and gradually upgraded the lights, but that’s about it. Partly because it’s not that bad, so the motivation isn’t there. It’s not very attractive, but it’s got lots of storage, a good layout, and it’s really very usable. We’ve made lots of delicious food in it, despite its looks.
We’ve finally decided to take on a project that we’ve known we wanted to do ever since the first time we saw the house: painting the kitchen. Not just the walls, but the cabinets. In theory they wouldn’t be so bad, but someone did a terribly sloppy job staining them. The stain is blotchy and uneven, and there are drips, fingerprints, and even the hinges are stained on some doors. So while we didn’t quite know what color we wanted to use, we knew a paint job was in our future. Here are some before photos to give you an idea of what we’re starting with.
This photo shows our DIY pipe light fixture over the sink, though it’s hard to see here due to all that sunshine outside.
Another DIY below, the pipe paper towel holder I just made. Since I’m going to have to take it down for the painting, I’m thinking I’ll paint it black.
Aside from the dark brown blotchy cabinets, the kitchen has some other issues. It suffers from the same yellowish/off-white paint that a lot of the house had when we moved in, linoleum fake stone flooring, and instead of floor moulding, someone wrapped grey vinyl toe-kick around the whole room. We’re working on those issues, too.
But back to the paint. First we had to decide on a color. By scouring the internet for photos of kitchens I like, I realized that I’m drawn to bright white cabinets, so we’re going to paint everything with Benjamin Moore’s Cotton Balls, which matches the existing vintage trim and doors. Here are some kitchens I’m relying on for inspiration.
I’m really drawn to what I like to call a vintage rustic modern look. So along with the white cabinets, that means open shelving, touches of raw wood and stone, and vintage-style fixtures like bin-pulls and schoolhouse lighting. If I was doing this kitchen from scratch, it would have wood floors, white subway tile, and marble or soapstone countertops. But I have a feeling that the stone tile countertops and backsplash that we have will look a lot better once we get a coat of paint on everything. Only one way to find out!
That just leaves the open shelves. Instead of painting the upper cabinets across from the stove (the ones beneath the Dr. Pepper sign), we’re going to try to take them out and replace them with live-edge wood shelves.
I’ve got primer, paint, hardware, sandpaper, a spray gun, and a lot of work waiting for me. Wish me luck!
My name is Rachel and I live in wonderful Portland, OR. Transient Expression is about fashion, style, and DIY. I love to share craft projects, cute outfits, recipes, and inspiration for living a handmade life.
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