Friday, May 30, 2014

Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets Month

It’s true: May really was paint your kitchen cabinets month.  I hope you all got on that and are enjoying your “brand new” kitchens.

After several weeks of my girls asking when I was going to paint the cabinets, I finally got on that – with a little help from my new (and totally awesome!) paint sprayer!  I must admit, I was a little trepidatious about using, but my friend brought over a bunch of shelves and chairs that we could practice on and it was pretty darned amazing.  If you’re careful and put on fairly light coats, you get a fantastic finish – in way less time!

You may remember that the kitchen used to look like this:


It actually looks pretty good in this picture, but the cabinets were showing a bit of wear and I’m just a whiter cabinet kind-of girl, so I knew from before we moved in that painting them was going to be a high-priority project.

I nearly killed myself, pulling a couple of all-day paint sessions and got it done in just over a week and here’s what it looks like now:


I went back and forth on whether to use brushed nickel or oil-rubbed bronze pulls and knobs, but I’m SO glad I went with the ORB.  They’re dark to tie in with the counters and little bit of bronze you see on them works well with the gold flecks in the granite.

I’m also really pleased with the decision to leave the doors of those upper cabinets.  If you look carefully, you can see that those upper cabinets don’t actually line up with the cabinets below them.  We discussed not putting knobs on the upper doors to make it a little less obvious, but leaving them open for display is even better.  They were already pretty much unusable, so why not put something pretty up there?!

This is the view I used to see from my front door:


And here it is now, so much brighter (if a little blown out…):


Here, this is a bit better:


People have commented that it seems bigger now and I have to agree.  It also feels much more like home to me.


I happened to be looking back at my ToDo list for the kitchen and was pleased with how much I’ve actually accomplished:

  • Paint the cabinets white!
  • Change out knobs and pulls
  • Paint the walls
  • Cut missing shelf for one lower cabinet, so we can actually use it!
  • Build pull out drawers for cabinets
  • Get rid of the angled corners in the doorway
  • Beef up trim around doorways
  • Refinish wood floors in a darker color (actually, we’ve decided it’s easier and less expensive to just replace it all with new pre-finished flooring)

Not too shabby!  The floors are quickly moving up the list, since all of the flooring downstairs is in really sorry shape.  Just need to win the lottery and get myself psyched up to actually do the install myself.  Until then, I’ll just enjoy my new brighter kitchen.



Friday, May 9, 2014

Let There Be White!

It’s been almost three months since my last post, seems like I’m right on track for another update!

Sometime in March, I decided that, since the bathroom was starting to look better, I really needed to get the ugly window and door trim taken care of.  Whenever I sat on my bed (which looks directly into my bathroom), I’d feel so frustrated that just around the corner were some vast improvements in the look of the bathroom, but from my vantage point, I couldn’t see any of it.  All I could see was the ugly old brown trim that I hate so much.  This was, essentially, what I could see:


So, I decided to get on that.  Went to Lowe’s, bought a bunch of wood and got to work.  By this time, I’ve really figured out my process, so I was able to cut all of the wood in short order and get it hung in no time.  The part that takes the longest is the four coats of paint.  bleh.

I don’t have any in-process pictures, but I’m sure you’ve seen many pictures before of un-finished molding being hung and painted.  The important part is the after pictures:


Oh, and notice our new blinds!  Aren’t they fancy?  We can now stand in the shower without worrying about the display we’re providing to our neighbors.  They’re probably very disappointed.

Of course, once the bathroom windows and doors were finished, the bedroom trim was really a problem.  I could now look from the bedroom into the bathroom and see beautiful trim work, but right in the way was the ugly brown trim on the doorway into the bathroom.

I took a week or so off, but then headed back over to Lowe’s for some more wood.  Did a bunch of cutting, a bunch of painting, and hey!  now that looks much better.  Here’s my new view from the bed.  I love it so much:


I also did the back of the door in the bathroom, which really just make the new doors so beautiful.  This bathroom is really starting to look a lot different.  (Now if we could just figure out what to do about the floors!)



In early April, I sat on the bed yet again (seriously, I sit and stare at the trim a lot), now complaining about how much I hated the trim that I could see in the hallway (the area I lovingly call the “Hall of Doors”) and wondering when we’d have the time and budget to replace it.  My husband (who was probably just sick-to-death of hearing it) said, “Just do it! Today!”

He may have gotten whiplash from how quickly I ran out the door to Lowe’s, but I think he’s recovered now.

This was the only before picture I could find.  This is looking up into the hall from our foyer and really doesn’t give you a full sense of how dark it was.  Just imagine 6 doors in a 30 square foot area…all brown.


By this point, I’ve got this down to a science. I was able to cut all the wood for 7 door frames in about an hour and a half. We got it all hung in another hour and a half. (Not bad, considering the first room I did had two windows and a door and it took me four hours!)

Here’s what the “Hall of Doors” looks like now.  It’s SO much brighter and happier looking.


And don’t you just love my doors?  We were planning on doing something else with the two closet doors, so didn’t buy the 5-panels for them.  I think we may end up keeping them as doors, though, so we’ll eventually replace them too.  For now, just painting them is a huge improvement.


Here’s the view from the hall into my bedroom, with it’s new window trim:


Just looking at these pictures makes me feel so much calmer and happier.  With the exception of the baseboard, which is a project for July, I’ve officially replaced all the old brown trim in the house.  The upstairs is much lighter and brighter than it was 6 months ago.  Still so much to do to make this MY house, but we’re getting there.

May is “paint your kitchen cabinets” month.  Wish me luck!

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