Because it is Friday (Saturday by the time I finished this post but you won’t hold that against me…right). Because the sun is shining. Because the temperature reached 32 degrees above zero moments ago. We are going to celebrate and share with you one of our recent kitchen transformations.
One of the best parts of what we get to do here at Eco Chic is step into the homes of lovely clients and give new life to their home, most often we are working in the kitchen area of the home.
Kitchens are so very important. I love kitchens. In kitchens you find some of the most essential things in life. Coffee Pots. Lemon Bars. Ice Cream. Beer. Tate.
Now true, you can sometimes find beer in places like the refrigerator in the garage, or downstairs game rooms, but items such as lemon bars are rarely hidden in corners of the garage. And if they were, you would never expect to find them on a shelf below the Christmas decorations and next to the garden hose.
What kind of a person would hide Lemon Bars in the garage?
Really, Really, Smart People…that is who.
Outside of being able to locate the essentials of life in the kitchen. The kitchen seems to be the gathering place in most homes. I consider it the the heart of our home. Most evenings Tate and I gather in the kitchen when we arrive home at the end of the day and share the days events. We laugh and converse across the kitchen island.
It is very special.
Tate is very special.
Therefore I consider kitchens to be special.
Specials things deserve to be loved. So after years and years of use, most kitchens could use a little love. This is what we do best. We love to love on old furniture and kitchen cabinets.
So when one of our favorite customers Susie recently asked us to come in and paint her kitchen cabinets we jumped at the chance. We have an area of our business dedicated to custom painting, and kitchens, (although challenging) are one of the most rewarding places we get to paint.
It is so fun to watch the space come alive. It is even funner (yes funner is a word) to watch the customer’s face come alive when they see the kitchen after we paint it.
Here is our most recent kitchen transformation.
Wow! Amazeballs. Right?!
Isn’t it beautiful. I’m still shocked at what a difference changing colors can make, and I’ve been doing this for years.
We didn’t change the countertops, appliances, or the faucet but when you change the color of the cabinets it seems to make everything in the room look better. It’s like magic.
Not like David Copperfield magic (because he is awesome sauce ).. we didn’t make the Statue of Liberty disappear or anything, but we feel the transformation is magical. No offense David Copperfield, but I’m certain you could not hold a candle (or paintbrush) to our head painter Michelle. She could probably paint the Statue of Liberty better than you could make it disappear. She is THAT good.
Let’s take another look at this beautiful kitchen from another angle.
I could scroll back and forth between these two photos all day. I LOVE Before and Afters. Next to goats it is one of my favorite things.
Let me tell you a little about our process on this kitchen.
We first removed all the doors and hinges, being very careful to label each door and hinge so we put everything back in its original spot. Let me say that again. Each door and hinge needs to go back in the spot you removed it from.
Secondly, we cleaned the cabinets with TSP to remove years worth of dirt and grease.
Dirt and splatters happens in all kitchens. If you can make spaghetti without splattering you are some sort of magical wizard and I bow at your feet.
We also gave each door a light sanding with a 60 grit sanding block to smooth the existing service and give a little extra roughness for the paint to adhere to. Chalk Paint® will adhere without sanding the surface but we take all the extra measures to assure good adhesion when working on areas such as kitchens that will get lots of traffic.
Once the cleaning was done we rinsed each door with just water to remove any residue left from the TSP. Since this is also a chemical you want that off the surface before you paint.
Thirdly, we sealed all of the cabinets with Zinssers Shellac to stop the old stain from bleeding through the new white paint and making it yellow (or pinkish if painting mahogany). This happens often with older cabinets that have lost their hard outer finish. The old stain is reactivated when you put a wet paint on top of it. The shellac will create a hard barrier that the stain cannot seep through.
Now it was time to paint. The color chosen for this kitchen was a mix of 50/50 Pure White and Old White. Mixing is simple, especially when working with exact ratios. We dumped one quart of Old White Chalk Paint® with one quart of Pure White Chalk Paint® together and Wahlaa! You’ve got a nice middle blend of the two. Not to white, not to creamy…Just right.
I happen to love both Pure White and Old White but this particular kitchen design didn’t seem to lend itself towards either, but a mix of the two was perfect. We took into consideration the new countertops, flooring and wall color yet to come. The kitchen cabinets were just the first step in the transformation of this kitchen.
Then we were on to painting. Since we were working with a white color we did four coats on all the doors and bases to assure a solid coverage. The final steps was two coats of Annie Sloan Lacquer to seal the cabinets.
Why didn’t you wax the cabinets you ask? Great question.
While we tend to wax most kitchens, this one just felt like it would be better suited for lacquer. This is a very active kitchen with a range top and oven that is built into the cabinets. We wanted to make sure that the kitchen was protected from any and all grease splatters. We were also looking to lighten and brighten as much as we could given the kitchen is a galley kitchen. We wanted a little extra sheen to help bounce light and open up the space.
The final step was changing the color of the door pulls. (Ok Scroll back up…you missed that part didn’t you).
You knew something was different but couldn’t put your finger on it. We went from a light yellowish gold to a dark almost black handle. This will look amazing with the new dark granite countertops. It adds a pop of richness that is subtle yet powerful all at the same time.
We cleaned the pulls with TSP, rinsed them, primed them with Rustoleum Spray Paint Primer and then sprayed them with Espresso Rustoleum Spray Paint. The key to spray paint is a couple thin coats. We find that most often the existing pulls work just fine all they need is a good cleaning and a new color.
Feel like tackling your own kitchen? We say yes yes yes. You will love it. If you want some extra tips and tricks before jumping in, join us for a Cabinet Painting Workshop. We offer one or two each month at both Eco Chic stores.
Have you painted your kitchen? Share your experiences and photos below in the comments or on our Facebook page. Use the #PaintYourLifeLovely so we can see all the amazeball things you are painting.
Gotta run, there are lemon bars hiding in my garage calling my name.
Love you more than Chalk Paint,