Sunday, October 30, 2016

Phase II of the Kitchen - COMPLETE!!!

Coming back from summer "hiatus". . .

If you have been following my kitchen makeover journey, you may know that I wanted to convert my kitchen from it's previous adobe look, to a more rustic farm kitchen. Phase I started with a new color of paint for the walls. I started the cabinet makeover in Phase II, in April, when the weather was still a bit chilly and definitely dreary. Once summer hit I could not justify spending time indoors while the sun was shining. I resorted to projects that could be one outside. Don't worry, I had plenty to do. I improved my front garden, and put in some flowerbeds in the backyard, with assorted perennials. I also worked on some furniture as I have a covered porch, including some chairs and a hall tree.

Well the weather officially turned last weekend and I couldn't delay the kitchen any longer. I finished this up last  to Saturday and Sunday but had to wait for some drawer pulls that I ordered on Amazon.

Here is the final result:

The bottom cupboards went very quickly but that might be because at this point, I'm almost a master at this. Between the kitchen cabinets and assorted smaller projects I have been using a lot of chalk paint. I do have some tips that might be helpful:

1. There are many recommended ways to clean or prepare the surface before you paint kitchen cabinets. For kitchen cabinets specifically, there is the issue of grease and other substances that do make their way on to the surface. I recommend using a cleaner like 409. I just sprayed it on and then wiped off and let them thoroughly dry before continuing.

Even the cat's stool got refinished!
2. I had pulls on all my doors and drawers. I decided that for the doors, a know would do. I just used regular Spackle or patch to fill the extra holes. A light sand was important to blend textures. I didn't overdo it as the chalk paint hides minor imperfections.

3. Three coats of paint is much better than two for the doors and drawer faces. While two coats was plenty for the frames, I found that for a deep color the faces just needed more paint.

4. Don't be alarmed if the color seems "off" while you are painting. . . I found that Empress Silk looked significantly different between coats (think really kind of pink first coat) and the colors really evolved into the  multi-dimensional effect that chalk paint is known for.

5. Wax not only protects the surfaces (especially important in a kitchen) but really adds to the look of the cabinets. I used both dark and clear soft waxes, getting the dark wax in all the nooks and crannies to add depth.

6. Hardware was just as important as the change in color. I tried to use the old existing hardware for the drawers but it just didn't work. I found some really nice birdcage pulls on Amazon that weren't too pricey. The pulls oiled bronze finish complimented the glass knobs well. 

This kitchen is finally coming together with the completion of Phase II.

There is a "Phase III" but it will have to wait a little bit. . . Phase 3 is replacing the counter-tops and the sink and that involves a little bit more technical skill than I have, especially with the way the sink is placed within the intersection of two counter-tops. I was originally thinking that we would go with a wood counter like a butcher block but I think a white granite type material (I don't care if it's synthetic) with green and gray veins might be a nice touch. I'm contemplating a copper sink rather than the white enamel I have because it's very difficult to keep clean but I might be dreaming in both these cases. I would really like a sink with an apron but I don't think it can work with this space unless we go much smaller.
I really can see how far we've come when I look back at a picture from the previous owner's listing. I forgot how this place looked when it had white appliances. That was an easy way to update rather quickly as we already owned black and stainless steel appliances that we moved right in. We also replaced that metal vent under the kitchen cupboard to the right (on the floor) with a wooden version that we were able to also refinish with the chalk paint.

Accessories really became important too. I have moved vintage martini shakers and old milk bottles up into the open spaces above the cupboards. Gone are the wine bottles and decorative olive oil container that had colorful peppers and spices.

Since I have to wait for Phase III I"m going to move on to some other room's walls and perhaps update our trim throughout the house. I'm also contemplating a glass tile project for the staircase.