Kitchen Makeover Part 1

Kitchen Painted


When we initially bought our house the kitchen was much darker and old-fashioned:

Dark and Cramped Kitchen


The look was much too “colonial” for my liking:

Old kitchen


The cabinets were stained an orangish-brown color and the oven was amazingly still working after 2 decades of use:

1950s Oven

In fact, the base cabinet to the right of the oven didn’t even fully open:

Cabinet that doesn't even open

Saving for our wedding meant renovating the kitchen wasn’t an option. Painting the kitchen was something that we could afford do, though. We watched many YouTube videos and read many blog posts about how to paint kitchen cabinets, and decided to go ahead with it.

The first thing to do was to decide on a color scheme.  I wanted the room to be bright and airy, in complete contrast to the darkness that we currently lived with.  I picked out a lovely soft gray paint for the walls (Behr’s Natural Gray) and bought regular white semi-gloss paint straight off the shelf.  Additionally, we in invested in some good quality foam rollers (specifically for doors and cabinets) and a gallon of Kilz oil-based primer.  The primer would be key to achieving a paint that would last, as the previous stain on the doors would certainly bleed through the paint.

The whole process took about a week to complete. First, we took all the cabinet doors done and brought them down to our garage. We removed the hardware from them and those got spray painted using Rustoleum spray paint in Silver.

The cabinet doors and boxes were sanded down using a fine grit sandpaper and cleaned with warm soapy water. We primed every wooden surface in the kitchen (cabinet boxes as well as base boards and the trim around the window) as well as the cabinet doors.  Everything then received two coats of the semi-gloss white paint.

Paint cabinets

It’s very important that you let each coat of paint cure completely before you paint again.  We left 24 hours between each coat, and even at that they were still a bit tacky (it was June and quite humid already).

Walls painted gray and white cabinets

You’ll notice that the diswasher got a makeover too.  We couldn’t afford new stainless steel appliances, but managed a little update by covering the front panel with stainless steel effect contact paper.  I think it’s pretty convincing!  It cost $13.22 and is available here on Amazon.

Putting the contact paper on only took about 10 minutes. I simply cut it so that I had a piece slightly wider than the dishwasher, and roll it on, smoothing it with a credit card as I went.
Stainless effect contact paper on dishwasher


It has bubbled a few times since, but nothing that the credit card couldn’t quickly fix!

We also added a bar table and stools to the back wall:

Ikea table and stools

Both the table and stools are from Ikea.  The table is actually meant to be an island, from the Groland series. It was $199.99 and we installed it without the bottom piece and metal rods. The bar stools are Ingolf bar stools in white.

What do you guys think? Do you prefer the bright and clean look of the new kitchen, or is colonial charm more your style?

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  1. says

    This looks great! We have also inherited a house from an older generation and the kitchen is…well, wood and moldy with blue counters – horrendous! We also love your closet in the master bedroom and I think we’re going to try that this month!

  2. Stacey says

    I love it! It really looks so much brighter. I’m definitely more of a modern, clean lines kinda of girl…I don’t dig all the wood so much!


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