Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Impulsive Kitchen Mini-Makeover

So...what do you do when your hubs in on the verge of a great challenge, your kids are away at camp, and you have about a million things on your to-do list?
You decide to "quickly" paint your base kitchen cabinets.
'Cause, you know, it's only the bottom cabinets, and that really isn't a lot, and it'll only take you a day or so, right?
However, not-what-I-expected still turned out beautifully.
I love, love, love white cabinets, and lightening and brightening is always our first goal in any home redo.  We're the people that paint all our trim white and put in extra windows, and never hang curtains.
Reality check.
I love to cook.
My teens love to cook.
We are messy.
Cooks+mess+white=gross cabinets
After a few years of Spic-and-Span and magic eraser scrub-downs, I spotted the aforementioned inspiration photo:

 red kitchen cabinets
Dreamy, but what if the red made my house too dark?
So I let myself get distracted and chose a shade of green from the same family as the wall color.
Slightly deeper, with a glaze on top--sure to be gorgeous.
We painted a small spot on one door, declared our choice brilliant, and went to Lowe's.
Lesson #1 in cabinet painting: use the WHOLE sample jar.
"Slightly deeper" turned out to be "much, much brighter", and that was so not lovely.
(A good blogger would have documented all this, but remember, this was an impulsive project.)
It was Big Red who convinced me after one cabinet section to switch to, well, red.
Lesson #2: Color looks different in Lowe's than it does at home.  Pray hard.

After agonizing in the paint section for a loonngg time, I took a deep breath, chose the one red that didn't seem to turn purple or orange under the light box thingie, and brought it home.
Told you to pray.
Lesson #3: The rainiest, stormiest week of the summer is not a good painting week.

Lesson#4: Even if the Lowe's guy tells you not to buy primer, you need primer.  I learned this four coats later.
Lesson#5: Stress=deliberately distressing four coats of paint.

Lesson#6: Messy cook happiness= deliberately distressed cabinets topped with mocha glaze.
("It'll look like melted chocolate ice cream poured over your cabinets," warned the Lowe's man. 
"Oh, goody," thought I,"it'll match the other drips.")
Kind of like buying flooring the color of your dirt, which is my best-ever decorating advice.
Notice that I didn't crop the counter mess out of this photo.  We really are messy cooks.
 The color doesn't suck the light out of the room and doesn't overwhelm my house with red.  It just fits.
Of course, this project makes me want to put a fresh coat (one coat)on the top cabinets, create some open shelving somewhere, etc.  So far I'm resisting the impulse.
What's your best impulsive project?
Be blessed today,



  1. Thank you so much for sharing this. I am dying to paint my cabinets, and probably will reread your post once or twice.

  2. I love your red cabinets. I have been looking for another way to add red to my kitchen. We have red small appliances, dishes, towels and potholders but this would be GREAT! Just need to find the right red!

  3. Wonderful! thank you for this. I love your kitchen; a little insight into your natural habitat, my friend-across-the-sea! Well done on getting the project done with a minimum of fuss :-)
    My hubby and I once decided to paint a fiddly set of fitted wardrobes over a bank holiday weekend and finally refitted the doors two years later...
    Bless you. x

  4. I love it!!!! I'm so glad you posted more pictures. I'm pinning!

  5. I really like the color you chose, they look wonderful! Your kitchen is so charming.

  6. the red looks great! we (okay, my husband) painted our bottom kitchen cabinets get the right gray...because we (okay, i'm) crazy.