My Kitchen Cabinet Makeover!

Some of you who are friends with me on facebook know that I've been hard at work this week, re-doing my kitchen cabinets. I can't wait to share them with you!!! :)

Okay, so this post is going to have around 1 million photos. Just sayin'.

My house was built in 1924. Because of that, there's a lot of little idiosyncrasies in the house. Most of them are charming, but some of them are annoying. Like the fact that our fridge is way too big for our kitchen, or the fact that the kitchen is laid out really weird.

Or that we have no dishwasher.

Another thing that was depressing to me when we first moved into the house, was just the general YICK colors in the kitchen. The floors. The walls. The cabinets.

I suspect that some of the cabinets were "updated" (perhaps with new hardware) in the '70s. Either way, they were very orange and very yicky looking to me.

I tried to spruce it up the best I could with decorations, like the hot glued window mistreatments below. (Which, by the way, have been hanging for a year and have held up just fine. Even the ruffles on them were hot glued.)

But it was time for a change. So I set off on my great adventure, with sidekicks in tow.

I bought this wood filler for around $2. We are on a budget, and I'm not so good with money. I'm trying to learn. This project was a challenge for me, trying to figure out how much stuff I could buy each week, in addition to our other household needs. I've been pretty proud of myself. Hence, why I'm mentioning the prices of things.

I took off the hardware and started filling in. I also went ahead and took off the upper cabinet doors. I couldn't take off the bottom ones until the night before the kids went to Mom's Day Out. This picture was on Sunday night, I believe, and the rest of the cabinet painting happened on Tuesday & Wednesday.

(You can see in the picture below the upper area of my cabinets. It doesn't look pretty left open, so I hot glued some fabric up there a while back, too. That'll be updated later on in the pictures!)

Priming is about to begin! I lined my paint tray with tin foil. I have no idea if that is "okay" to do or not, but it seemed to work for me, and was easy to clean up.

This is the primer I used. It was super important to me to not have to sand the cabinets, as I am lazy and didn't want dust everywhere in my kitchen with Ariana crawling around in it. I read this post from Centsational Girl about painting laminate furniture, and since my cabinets had a slick surface, I thought this primer would work well.

It worked really well, and dried pretty fast (within 2 hours). The only bad thing is that is smells. Bad. I ended up with a small migraine the next day.

Once I took off all the hardware, I poked all the screws inside of a piece of styrofoam and spray painted them silver. I know I could probably have bought new screws, but #1) I wanted to make sure they were the right size and #2) I was trying to be frugal and #3) I didn't really want another trip to Lowe's with the kids in tow. I got the styrofoam idea from my friend Michelle, who re-does furniture and makes it look super adorable.

I spray painted the hinges, too.

Then, we started painting! I used Valspar Interior Semi-Gloss paint for the bottom cabinets. I asked the Lowe's guy if I needed the expensive paint, but that I would be distressing my cabinets, and he said that I could use the cheaper paint (especially since I primed it). I got it tinted in Eddie Bauer Vintage Gray. I love love love love... LOVE this color. My sweet friend Michelle sacrificed a day of her time to help me paint these cabinets. We kept saying, "Oh, it's soooo pretty!"

(You can see in the photo above, I also painted the trim in the room with a crisp white paint. I decided that the door was driving me crazy the next day, so I painted that, too. You can see it further down!)

I did not get paint all over the window like that. It was already like that. I promise. :) The curtains hid it beforehand.

As I mentioned before- LOVE this gray. However, you guys know me. I can't leave well enough alone. And since our house is so old and has so much character, I felt like the cabinets needed some, too. I was going to stain them, but I tried it on a sample first (an old clipboard I painted with the same gray paint), and I'm so glad I did, because it didn't look right. On top of the gray, it just looked dirty.

I put my thinking cap on and came up with this:

I mixed together two craft paints, white with two drops of black, for a really light gray. Then I dabbed a paper towel in it...

...and rubbed it like this on the cabinets. (I had also sanded the edges just a little bit.)

Then, before it dried, I wiped it off with a wet washcloth. It left just hints of whitewashing on the cabinets, giving them a weathered, beachy look.

I finished painting the upper cabinets after the bottoms were done. Those were done with the same paint we used on the trim in the rest of the house, Glidden Hi Gloss White Latex Paint.

I cut up a tablecloth that I had, that had shrunk too small for my table. It had gray and greens in it. :) I hot glued it in the area above.

I then added on the new hardware! I still need to purchase drawer pulls (I'm getting these- they're more brushed silver looking in real life) and the hardware for the other cabinets. That'll be from next week's budget. :)

Here's my new curtains, made from the rest of the tablecloth, with some gray satin ribbon hot glued on.

This room is so hard to photograph because the colors of the walls & the floor reflect weird colors. You can see below where I painted the door.

My curtains. :)

Now I need to figure out what to paint this. I know some of you are going to say, "No, keep it, it has vintage charm!" but guys, it's dirty, stained, dingy, and gouged. It needs a fresh coat of something. I'm just not sure what. Shaun has asked me to make this room look "normal" (not sure what that says about the rest of my decorating, heheh) which means not crazy colors. We have a lot of color in the rest of the house, so I'm trying to keep this room really clean & serene looking.

Anyways, please feel free to ask questions. I'm not a pro. At all. This is the first time I've tackled a project like this on my own, and I'm so happy with the results. I wished I'd been brave enough to do it sooner!


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  1. I like it Virge! While I love our new house I will miss our old one. It was built in 1954 and had lots of character too. The color you used it nice. I might have to consider that or a similar color on our cabinets when I go painting our new kitchen. I might just do the island first though and go from there.

  2. Love it Virginia!! The "cooler" colors are so much better. Go "Martha"! :)

  3. How talented are you? Looks awesome. Can't wait to see it in person.

  4. I love what you did to the cabinets! :) I think Baskets would look cute where you have the fabric at the top of your cabinet. Maybe you could use that fabric to create liner for the baskets so it would all coordinate. Just my opinion. I still think it looks great!

  5. Looks GREAT!! I love how you painted gray on the bottom and white on top! Nice job :)

  6. Oh my Word! You're a stud! I love it all, especially the distressed look with the brushed silver knobs! WOW! What a huge change, and so classy!

  7. Oh--and as for color, what about a muted gray green like the leaves here on your blog background. I know it's not 'Your' green, but it's subtle, but neutral with a little color. ;)

  8. wow, what a beautiful colour !!! I love that grey !!!! well done I love the way you created the distressed finish XXX

  9. WOW!!!! You are soooo good!!! This looks great!

  10. Love it Virg, you could always paint the walls a really pale silvery/grey colour, a nice bright one. great job!

  11. You are so crafty, Virg! I'm so impressed.

  12. You have remake your kitchen very well. But I think that You need to do polish on the cabinets. But You have chose really very nice color. I like it.

  13. wow!! this is increbible Virg! i wish i was brave enough to paint my cabinets (or motivated to do it). they are that orange-y crap color too. LOVE how yours turned out! how is that headache??

  14. Wow!! LOVE how this turned out!! It looks sooooo good!! Good for you for sticking within your budget and doing all the hard work yourself! You should be so proud. :)

  15. Looks awesome, Virge! Wow . . . what a difference a little paint makes. I love the way it looks so fresh! Love the fabrics, too. Nice job!!

  16. I have never thought about painting cabinets gray! What a great idea... Im very inspired. Im about to remodel a home and wanted to update the drab cabinets and thought about white; now Im thinking about gray.

    Great idea!

  17. HI Virginia. Love the color chan ges. Just one suggestion (please don't be offended), take the material down from the space above the cainbet and use it to cover cardboard or chipboard pieces cut to fill those holes, then use the glue gun to stick them back up. The material will be smooth it'll give your kitchen a more finished designer look. Just sayin'.


I'm so glad you decided to leave me a comment today! Thanks for taking the time to stop by my little corner of the world. :)


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