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Kitchen Makeover - Phase 1

Hello all!

First off, let me say that I have a whole new respect for anyone who has survived lived through a kitchen remodel.  Having the contents of my kitchen strewn around my house is already stressing me out, and I suspect that any Trick or Treaters we had last night thought that we were hoarders if they caught a glimpse.  It was definitely the scariest house on the street.
I'm very excited that this project is finally getting off the ground, as it is one that I have wanted to do since we bought the house almost a year ago.  But man, do I loathe the prep work that is involved.  Have you ever tried taping the inside of a cabinet?  Unless you have a small child or a secret elf helper that can sit inside the cabinet and tape it off (and not request to come out), it's pretty much an impossible task.  Or at least impossible to do well.

And no, the dog didn't pee on the contractor paper - I think my daughter got a glass of water from the fridge dispenser and spilled it.  At least I hope that's what happened...

I have googled just about every combination of "taping off kitchen cabinets" that you can fathom, and have come up with zilch.  I found some pictures of cabinets that are taped off, but no good instructions on how to do it (well).  So, if you have any suggestions (or a small elf I could borrow), I'm all ears.

I did get to some of the fun stuff - painting - which was a much needed break from the tedios taping exercise.  The cabinets are primed on both sides and I got the first coat of paint on the back of the cabinets.  I was swooning over the color of the tinted primer and am even more thrilled with the paint.  It's a beautiful, creamy white that I had color matched to my cabinet sample piece.

Let me just say that I'm in love with my new HVLP conversion spray gun.  If you ever decide to do a project like this, I can't say enough about this thing.  You NEED one.  It has made fast work out of my 50+ cabinets and drawers, and at least makes the prep work worthwhile.  I kid you not.  I can knock out a door in 1-2 minutes with this puppy.

I set up a little "staging area" for spraying the doors.  Although my husband asked if it was an "alien abduction area" and my son asked if I had ET back there.  I used a folding table and put a piece of MDF on with with four nails to balance the door.  This way it's easier to pick up and put it back out in the "cabinet farm" to dry with the others.

See what I'm saying about how precise this thing is?  I can dial it down to spray a really fine line around the sides of the cabinets.

And then go on to spray the rest of the cabinet.  The finish is like buttah.

I have to tell you, all of this work has made me feel like an old mare.  My back - oh my aching back!

So, there you have it.  Phase 1 of I-don't-know-how-many phases in this project. :-)


Taking the Pain out of Painting

Hello all!

So, you know that I have newfound confidence in painting my kitchen cabinets since I finished with my Kitchen Island redo, right?  Well, I think I have The Tool that is going to be my new best friend as I tackle my remaining kitchen cabinets.  And it arrived on my doorstep yesterday.

Meet my new HVLP Conversion Paint Gun.  Helloooo Gorgeous.

HVLP = High Volume, Low Pressure, which means in the end that it will dramatically reduce overspray and also provides a great deal of control so I can spray in a very focused and controlled manner.  This will not only be perfect for spraying my cabinet doors and drawers, but also cabinet bases and frames.  No brushes!

The beauty of this tool is that I can hook it up to our air compressor vs. having to purchase a "turbine" that many of the HVLP guns use, thus reducing my cost.  The gun itself was only $129, and yes, I did order it from  I'm not getting paid by Gleem Paint or anything, just an fyi.

Soooo, I have been a busy bee researching paint colors, types and brands for my kitchen cabinet project, as that is the only thing keeping me from getting started.  I have been swooning over lots of beautiful kitchen eye candy in the process. 

Originally, I was planning on glazing my cabinets ever-so-slightly, but I'm finding that I'm really drawn to the simple, clean look of classic white kitchen cabinets.

I mean, what's not to love?

Source: via Jenny on Pinterest

Source: None via Jenny on Pinterest

Source: via Jenny on Pinterest

At the very least, I can start the paint prep process (which is really the pain of painting, isn't it?).  I'm really getting excited about this project! 

Remind me of this excitement when I'm knee deep in this mess, will you?


How to Paint a Kitchen Island - Part 1

I promised a tutorial on how I painted my kitchen island, and I'm finally making good on it.  It was a project I approached with great trepidation, but I am very pleased with the outcome. 

I am going to break this down into two parts, since the method I used on the drawers and doors was different from how I tackled the rest of the island.  Let's call this the Paint Sprayer Method.

I borrowed a paint sprayer from a friend of mine, since I have been contemplating painting ALL of my kitchen cabinets.  But using this tool was a good test for me.  I only wish I could have used it on the entire island!

First, I removed the doors and drawer fronts and cleaned them with TSP - Trisodium Phosphate.  It's a great cleaner to get rid of any dirt and grime that you may have on your cabinets.

Once I cleaned them and wiped them down, I pulled out my new best friend, my orbital sander.  How I have lived this long without this little darling, is beyond me. 

This really helped to get all of the gloss that was on the cabinets since I was totally paranoid that I would do something wrong in the prep that would send me up sh*t creek without a paddle jeopardize the whole project.   (I actually ended up sanding them even more than what is shown in these pictures.  I wanted to be sure there was no sign of any gloss remaining).

In selecting paint, I talked to a couple of my "local hardware men" about my cabinet painting project, and I think they both thought I was crazy to attempt this on my own, which really kind of annoyed me.  I was showing them my cabinet door samples and even brought my actual kitchen cabinet door into the store, and yet I got a comment, "Did you get this idea from HGTV?" 

Whatever.  I just wanted advice on paint, I didn't need a lecture on how much time and effort is involved in painting kitchen cabinets.  I am DIY Woman, hear me ROAR!

As for paint, I chose Benjamin Moore acrylic latex paint in a low lustre finish.  (In looking at my paint can again, I bought an exterior paint vs. interior.  Don't know why, BUT, I had a lengthy conversation with the hardware guys, about latex vs. oil, and they said latex paints have come a long way and this acrylic latex would work.  They also told me that I didn't need to prime my cabinets.  Yes, you read that correctly.  No priming.  More on that later. 

One of the Local Hardware Men did take my black cabinet sample and did a paint match for me, which was great.  I'm really pleased with the final color.

I think this is where I had a temporary memory lapse and didn't take any pictures.  I used the power sprayer to spray both the fronts and the backs of the cabinets.  It was a whole lot of "hurry up and wait", since the sprayer made quick work of the cabinet doors.  And like they instructed, I didn't prime the cabinet doors and drawer fronts.  (I was freakin').

But, since I sanded them really well, and was going to lightly distress them, the no priming method worked to my advantage.  They distressed nicely and I was pleased with how the doors looked.

There are a couple of spots that are more distressed than I'd like, but some brilliant readers suggested touching it up with a black stain.  Now why didn't I think of that?  So, I purchased some of that today and will be putting it to work for some of my trouble spots.

I finished it off with a coat of Minwax Clear Wipe-On Poly in a satin finish.

So, there you have it!  Or at least, part of it.  :-)  The rest of the island was a horse of a different color, but definitely rounded out my cabinet painting experience.  Part II will be coming soon...

Home Stories A2Z - Tutorials and Tips Link Party
Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesday
DIY by Design - Fall into Fall Party
Remodelaholic - Remodelaholic's Anonymous
Sawdust and Paperscraps - Trick or Tip Party


Painted Kitchen Island Reveal

Hey all!

I'm getting back to "normal" after travelling like a gypsy for 10 days straight.  I'm happy to be home and have been busy catching up on the blogs I read laundry.

I gave you a sneak peek at my painted kitchen island, but am here now to share the finished product.  Quite frankly, I was a bit nervous about tackling this project, as painting cabinets is something I would typically leave to the experts.  But, I figured painting my kitchen island would be a good testing ground for my skills (or lack thereof), and would help me determine whether I was crazy enough to attempt painting the rest of my kitchen cabinets.

I will do a follow up post/tutorial on the methods behind my madness, but let's get on with the pictures, shall we?

So, here we go with the Before and After:

I have to tell you, I got a bit of a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I sprayed my first bit of black paint on the cabinet doors, since there was technically nothing wrong with my island.  It's more of an evolution of style (alas, the inspiration behind the name of my blog) and the direction I want to go with my kitchen.  I would be lying if I said that the words "What have you done?" didn't rattle through my brain on more than one occasion.

Admittedly, it's more distressed in some places than I like, but I can fix that (and deal with it in the meantime).  And, I want to get different pulls for the cabinet doors and drawers.  Patience, my friends.

But, I will say that this project was a big confidence boost for me in terms of tackling intimidating projects.  Is it scary?  Yes.  Is it rewarding?  Definitely.

The best part was when I was looking at it with a critical eye, and my husband came in and said that it looked "really good" and "professional".  I'll take that. 

Linking up to:
Miss Mustard Seed - Furniture Friday
The Shabby Nest - Frugal Friday
Remodelaholic - Remodelaholic's Anonymous
Dittle Dattle - Amaze Me Monday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia - Tuesday Treasures
Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesdays
Fingerprints on the Fridge - Feature Yourself Friday
Between Naps on the Porch - Metamorphosis Monday
DIY by Design - Fall into Fall
Somewhat Simple - Strut Your Stuff
Just a Girl - Show and Share Day
Tatertots & Jello - Weekend Wrap-up Party
Thrifty Decor Chick - November Before & After


Painted Kitchen Island - A Sneak Peek

Hey all!

In my mad dash to get ready to leave for a work trip, I had my husband working like a busy bee to reattach the cabinet doors, drawers and pulls on my newly painted kitchen island.  And, given the crazy, OCD-esque person that I am, I took pictures before I rushed out of the house to catch my flight.  So, here is a little peek.

I am headed home at o'dark-thirty tomorrow morning, and can't wait to see The Fam.  Getting calls at 9:00 PM from my almost 6 year-old daughter asking me where the Oreos are, just makes me miss them even more. (I have to hide them in empty boxes of Fiber One or else I'll blow my cover). 

I will be turning around on Friday morning (again, in the wee hours) to go out of town again for a family wedding and my grandmother's 90th birthday.  Another long day of travelling, but you only turn get married and turn 90 once, right? 

If you're lucky, that is. :-)