The background and preparation of DIY’ing this kitchen
If you have been following me for a while you have most likely seen my pink kitchen. A project that was very near and dear to me, after we decided to hold off with a full blow kitchen reno, when I decided to start my own business (that girl s’gotta save some money). So here we were with a kitchen from the 80’s that was in need of some serious loving.
Little background about me: I love love love to bake and cook, and spent honestly so much time in there that I just needed to do something to get a really good vibe going.
After looking through Pinterest and Instagram for the good part of the year I had a huge collection of inspiration, but sadly all were for new builts. So the search started once again. This time around the search term involved as much as “DIY kitchen”, “Paint kitchen cabinets”, “Chalk paint in kitchens” – you get the idea. Eventually I came accros Rust Oleums (RO), which not only had good reviews but was also available at my local Paint shop – double win.
Since I have never worked with chalk paint before, I decided to head out and get some sample cans to test the colours, look and feel. Afterall, I was planning on doing a whole kitchen with it.
At the start I decided to test these three colours below: Dusty Pink, Sage and Ink Blue (from left to right). Let me say, I loved all three and would be more than happy to have a kitchen in either tone but it was actually the hubby who said that pink was the nicest, and I sure was not about to protest.
With the colour decide, it was now time to make a mood board (as I do with any bigger projected), to collect all ideas and aspirations. I wanted to mix fun elements (the pink) with natural wooden tones, black and white colour accents, to ground it and not make *too crazy.
*That obviously went out the window, want to know why? Keep on reading.
Let’s see the kitchen before to give an idea what I had to work with. As you can see it’s rather white and a bit outdated (this is kitchen is from the 80’s). The backsplash tiles and floor looks a bit samsey and that white laminated work top really isn’t that white anymore in high life, same goes for the cabinets. And since everything is glued and glued together (*insert a cry in here), I could only work with the givens.
My plan of action:
Paint all bottom cabinets in RO’s Dusty Pink + white goods (partly)
Remove top moldings (the wavy wooden bits you can see on the top – they have absolutely zero use and it’s just collecting dust up there, instead of using as storage area)
Paint backsplash tiles
Dusty Pink from RO for the cabinets
Graphite from RO + Becker’s Blackboard Paint for the counter top and later tiles (cont. readin to hear and see about that decision). I mixed those too to make the graphite more black and give it rougher texture look. It worked!
Clear Top Lack from RO to seal the cabinets, the countertop and even the backsplash tiles
Tile paint from Ronseal in white (I know, I know you can use chalk paint here too, but guys I cook so much, I needed something super strong and resistant + I even sealed that with another topcoat)
Wood filler for any holes/ dents in the cabinets, I used a ready available one from Cascol
Paint brushes & rollers
Masking tape & plastic to cover floors/ countertop & what not
The process of DIY’ing this kitchen
Whenever you look for DIY tips and hacks for any type of paint related topics, the first advises given are to removed the cabinet doors/ piece you want to paint and to roughen up/ sand the surface. Well I didn’t do any of that, because the beauty of chalk paint is that it adheres to almost any surface without a primer or sanding. Perfect for me, who is quite impatient and sometimes even a bit lazy. Like no one got time for that, right! Anyway, I left the doors where they were, and just really gave them a good clean, especially where I removed the hardware.
Since I wanted to have knobs instead of handles on my drawers, I had to prep the old holes with wood filler so that I could later paint over them, before drilling a new hole in the center. On closer look, those cabinets really were in a bad shape.
After the initial prep I went on to start painting! Let me tell you painting with chalk paint is so very much different than with anything else I have painted before. First of all it’s super water based, so any mistakes or paint in places you didn’t want to paint is super easily removed. Huge win if you for example let your kids help. The second awesome point is that it virtually has no smell. So you can paint happily indoor with the windows closed. The third, and probably my favorite part is that chalk paint dries super quickly, which let’s you move forward with your project in a great speed. No more waiting! And if the drying process is too quick for you, you can always add some water directly to painted spot, to “bring it back to life”.
When I first applied the paint I got a bit panicky how quick and streaky it seems to dry, but after adding a little bit more water and adding a 2nd coat it make super smooth. Well as smooth as chalk paint gets. It will always have a matt look in comparison to high gloss lack.
From there it went all pretty quick and even the new hardware had arrived, handles for the doors and an eclectic mix of knobs for the drawers. EDIT: Actually thinking of adding knobs to all the doors as well since I am so in love with the look of them.
The next step was to paint the countertop. Ideally I would have replaced it all together with a wooden one, because those are just perfect for kneading bread and cookie dough, but since it’s all glued together as mentioned above that was a no go. Rust Oleum actually sells countertop paint kits, but they were sadly not available to me here. So I diy’ed a mixture of RO Graphite paint with Blackboard paint and added the RO top lack for protection against water and other spillages.
It turned out quite good, the blackboard paint added a nice texture and top lack is doing it’s job of protecting it. But I am of course aware that I will need to do re-touches from time to time, because I am a bit silly and drop things a lot, like knives for example.
It’s coming together quite nicely, isn’t it?
Right next step! Getting those old back splash tiles white again! The tile paint I used was a first for me, but worked fairly easily. I just had to make to sure to cover my now black countertop to not add have any spillage. This paint unfortunately takes a good while to dry before you can apply the 2nd and later 3rd coat. Anyway! The old pattern and stains were gone and we now had a white backsplash. It made such a difference to the hole look and freshened it up immensely.
EDIT: I was asked how I painted the appliances as well. Basically like the cabinet doors, I just went for it. And as said in the beginning, the chalk paint sticks to almost any surface, and definitely does to metal.
But remember how I said above that I actually went a bit bananas on the tiles? After living with them white for a few weeks, I felt that it needs some sort of pattern. Since I didn’t want to cover my nice handywork up with tile sticker or decals, I opted for a stencil. Guys, there are so many stencils out there for you too choose! It’s a true DIY heaven. But me being as undecisive as always couldn’t quite make up my mind, until I threw all the conventional ideas over board and opted for a cheetah pattern. Yes you read correctly. Cheetah!
So here I went adding a Cheetah (what people would later refer to also Dalmatian look) pattern. I bought the stencil of Etsy from iDEAL STENCILS.
The process itself was also fairly straight forward, and even the stencil itself comes with a great description on “how-to”. The most important thing to remember is to make sure to not have too much paint on your roller or it will bleed over the stencil.
After adding the pattern with the same mixture I used for the countertop (it was at hand), I applied here also the top lack from RO, I used previously on cabinets and countertop.
My kitchen was finished & I (and the family) could not be any happier. My hubby said that he probably wouldn’t plan a kitchen like this, to have for 25 years (because that’s apparently how long one should have a kitchen) but for now it is super fun and unique. And you know what? I got to agree with him on that.
Let me know if you have any questions!
And if you want me to help to spice up your kitchen or home, make sure to say hello and have a look through my website & design offerings on how I could help you to get dream home.