Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kitchen Before & After: Out With The Oak

I am so excited to show you these before and after pictures of my kitchen!  This is a project we tackled a while ago, so I had to search for some 'before' pictures.  I almost can't believe this was how my kitchen looked for so many years.  Our kitchen is like a busy Command Center.  Life in our house happens in the kitchen and I wanted to have a kitchen I loved.  However, the cabinets' strong oak grain was way too loud for me.  The laminate green counters looked great in the '90s, and I'll just leave it at that!

These are the BEFORE pictures of our kitchen:

I wanted to change it all, but major surgery wasn't in the budget...then a crazy thought entered our heads...

Mr. StyleBurb is a pretty handy guy, and I know my way around a can of paint and a paintbrush, so we decided to refresh the kitchen ourselves.  We knocked out the ceramic backsplash, added under-cabinet lighting, removed the old counters and sink, sanded, primed, and painted the back, front and sides of the cabinets, and installed a beadboard backsplash.  Our big splurges were the gorgeous granite counter top and new appliances.  I kept tally of the number of hours it took to prep and paint the cabinets and it totaled somewhere in the range of 40 hours.  I think it cost less than 200 dollars for paint and supplies- including the beadboard.  Amazing, right?
I am proud to present some AFTER pictures of our kitchen!  Ta-Da!!!!

 Here is how everything looks with the under-cabinet lights on:

You might notice that these pictures were taken at night.  That's because this is the only time we could manage to keep the kitchen clean long enough for a photo! 

I love my kitchen!  It really is hard to believe that this is the same kitchen! The cabinets are so peaceful to look at now!   I love the detail and coziness of the bead board and the shine and zip of the granite and stainless steal as well.  We are so happy we did this!

This type of  makeover worked well for us because the cupboards were in good shape, the layout of the kitchen was fine and there was just no way we were prepared to do a full-blown renovation of the kitchen, and really, it would have been unnecessary.

Here's a list of some tips/details that you might find interesting or helpful if you've thought of painting your own wood cabinets:

  • we used Benjamin Moore oil paint on the cabinets and beadboard in Ballet White.  It's been a couple of years and so far, it's holding up well.  The beadboard got 3 coats of paint to make the backsplash extra durable.
  • the beadboard and cabinets are painted the same color to visually add height.

  • use a tack cloth after sanding the doors and in between coats of paint to remove any dust so that you get a nice clean paint finish.

  • really pay attention to sanding the grooves and edges of the cabinet doors.  You want the paint to stick well in high use areas.

  • since there isn't a window over the sink, I hung a picture instead (it's a print of the location where we got married).

  • update your counter top accessories if you can.  I think a shiny kettle on the stove is like a piece of jewelry for your kitchen.