Saturday, March 12, 2016

Home: Kitchen Makeover Phase 1

Rustic Farm Kitchen 

Phase 1 - Wall Color

For years, I have had a Mexican cantina theme in my kitchen. Think adobe colored walls, fun and festive chilies, and a good dose of kitsch. Many of our kitchen elements came from our former home and because it still worked (largely because the walls of the new kitchen were a similar color) we continued the decor. I am a firm believer that there are some advantages in delaying painting until after you have moved into a new house because it takes a while to see what you may want to do. I know that if I had painted before we moved our own belongings in here, and made it our home, I would have regretted it. Blank canvasses don't speak to me and it wouldn't have had our personal touch until our objects made the move.

Now its two years later and I'm ready to tackle this kitchen. Say goodbye to hanging chili peppers and old bottles of decorative cooking oils. I want a completely new look. Inspiration? Sometimes Pinterest, combined with Facebook, provides that first spark. I recently came across this pin on a friend's Facebook page and it just resonated. Who knew I wanted a country kitchen? Really, I have decided I prefer "Rustic Farmhouse Kitchen" but there are a lot of the same elements.

My favorite boots.
If you knew me, you might be shocked that I want this kitchen. I'm not country in any way unless you count my love for overly decorated cowboy boots like these. It's funny but somehow, along the way, we have managed to collect a few chicken related items that have ended up in our kitchen, along with an old depression style glass butter dish with a cow. How did this happen? I'm not really sure but as I looked around my "before" kitchen I did notice that a lot of farm elements had crept in over the last two years. We have more than one vintage scale in our house, doubling as candelabras, as well as a metal basket that alternately holds bread and root vegetables, so I decided to embrace it. It is kind of ironic but when I saw the original posting of our house when it was listed, there was a huge rooster in the dead space behind the kitchen sink that I sort of made fun of. Now, since I'm embracing this whole new look, I have bought my own rooster to go in that same spot. Mine's cooler by the way, he even has red Christmas lights in him so he glows. Incidentally, because I have been toying around with this for a while, we have begun adding red accents in the kitchen already. . .

Now this kitchen makeover is going to be a big project with at least two more phases. The largest and scariest part of this is going to be painting the kitchen cabinets. This really is the catalyst to all of this. These cabinets are completely serviceable and overwhelmingly boring. My plan is to paint them much like the original pin, so that they are a dark bright red. I am unsure how those in the picture were painted but I know that I'm going to use chalk paint and it's going to be an adventure. One other funny thing to note, I was going to go out and get the magazine issue that was referred to in this pin but realized later that this was a magazine issue from 2010! It is not likely that I could find it. . .

Because we know we are going to be using chalk paint I decided to really strategize how to take on this project and I decided the walls would be our first step. That might seem counterintuitive but I thought the walls were equally important and I didn't want to put painter's tape on those cabinets once they are completed to mask them for the walls. Because of this I painted the walls first and will wait at least a month for them to completely cure before I tackle those cabinets.

As you can see from my "Before" and "Phase 1" photos, I decided to go for a bright color called "Pageant Green" by Behr in their Marquee line. I was going for a Robin's Egg Blue and this color really did it for me. I actually had painted the inner panel of a cupboard to test out chalk paint colors and took that with me when I went to look at paint swatches. Of course you won't be able to see my vision with the red cabinets until it's completely done (next phase) but you will have to trust me on this.

Now you may wonder why I didn't go with a buttery yellow wall with these planned red cupboards. . . After all that kitchen in the pin was pretty nice and those colors did look good together. Two reasons: 1. I just can't copy someone else's kitchen even if we have a lot of similarities. I couldn't do it. 2. My daughter commented that red with creamy yellow looked like McDonald's. While I don't think that is quite the McDonald's decor, I couldn't get that out of my mind.

I did want to add that the Behr Marquee paint was worth the extra money for this project. One coat of paint covered those adobe walls. I was able to do this whole kitchen with less than one gallon of paint because it had such good coverage. I chose an eggshell finish as a gloss would look a little out of place with the chalk paint shabby chic cupboards we have planned. I honestly think we spent more money on frog tape than we did on the paint (3 rolls!).

I do think that the kitchen looks better already. I like color and there's a little more of it without having adobe walls with wood cupboards.  Cupboards are definitely next and we have done a lot of research that I will share in our next post about this project. Stay tuned for Phase II that should be sometime this spring. It's going to involve a lot of chalk paint, tape and brushing!


  1. I have been thinking about painting my kitchen, but I never thought about adding a color to the walls. It is amazing, in your before and after pictures, how much brighter the kitchen looks with the blue. This was an eye-opener for me, and now I will definitely consider a paint color. If you think about it, the blue would be nice for a beach kitchen.

    1. Essie, I'm glad you found inspiration. The walls are regular paint but the cupboards are chalk paint. Check out the follow up posts for the entire kitchen so far. I might try an epoxy coating for the counters next. If you are looking for a beach theme that wall color would look great with a light gray or beige cabinet color. Good luck and make sure to share photos!

  2. I’ve been searching for some decent stuff on the subject and haven't had any luck up until this point, You just got a new biggest fan!..

    1. I'm so glad Kashif! I would love to see photos of your project too. Since the cabinets, I have moved on to a desk, table, and hall chair. I love the stuff!