Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Kitchen Makeover (Or How Not to DIY Chalk Paint)

 **We interrupt your regularly scheduled sewing blog post to bring you a post about a DIY project!**

Hubs and I bought our house last May, and I've HATED the color of our kitchen ever since we moved in.  We also have not been huge fans of the 80s Oak cabinets, but remodeling a kitchen is a HUGE expense.  So we decided to paint!  First, here is a before picture.

ACK! I hate that stupid blue.
(and yes, our christmas tree was still up thankyouverymuch.)
I've had paint chips up on the cabinets basically since the day we moved in.  So I revisited those colors, did some googling, and found all new colors.  We knew we wanted a wine color somewhere, and we had agreed we liked black cabinets.  Do you know how hard it is to find the right wine color?!?!?!  Then so many shades of black ... it's insane!  We (I) finally narrowed it down to these two gorgeous colors:
Benjamin Moore Crushed Velvet (in Satin) and Toucan Black (in flat).  I chose Toucan Black because it is a more complex black with purple tones.  It's gorgeous.  I saw Crushed Velvet and fell in love instantly.  The two together create magic.  It only took a couple days to make the final decision to go with these, then we dove right into the project.

Even before we moved into the house I had been looking at Chalk Paint for the cabinets.  Chalk paint sticks to anything with no prep or sanding, and (is supposed) to have a really unique to touch finish.  So I sent Hubs to the store to pick up Plaster of Paris so we could mix up our own chalk paint. I gave him a tutorial from the blogosphere and he did all the mixing and most of the painting. 

Enter #craftfail.  Now, I can't completely say that it was a fail because we actually love the final result.  But we're not entirely sure that the Plaster of Paris actually did anything.  Since we started with a flat finish paint, it was hard to tell if we also had the chalk paint effect.  I've never seen chalk paint in person I had no base to go off of.  What we did know was that we would paint the whole day, then find all the Plaster of Paris sitting at the bottom of the bucket.  Hubs had used some of this gritty paint before we realized what had happened, and he ended up having to sand those pieces down because it was like we had painted rocks on our cabinets.  Yuck.

So, I think our cabinets are not really chalk painted.  But we both love the flat, matte finish.  I had googled up and down how to seal or finish the chalk paint, and we all know that chalk paint is typically finished with soft wax.  But apparently waxing is not only a pain in the ass (especially on an entire set of kitchen cabinets), but it also can change the finish.  On top of that, it's not super durable for kitchen use and has to be re-waxed kind of frequently.  We are low maintenance type people, so that didn't sound very appealing to me.  It's important that we can wipe off the cabinets because Hubs SOME of us tend to make a mess in the kitchen when they we cook.

Enter problem #2.  We liked the flat finish and polyurethane usually comes in various levels of shiny, completely canceling out our lovely (and intentional) finish.

Enter solution!

I googled matte poly and found that there ARE flat finish varnishes, but almost no reviews on them.  

Enter reckless Sylvie!

As you should know by now, my method is part tutorial following, part just go with it.  I found Varathane has a polyurethane in Matte, with a special "soft touch" finish.
So, I dove in and bought the stuff and we slathered every inch of our kitchen cabinets in it.


**The heavens open and angels sing**


Guys.  My kitchen looks amazeballs.  Wanna see?
Yeah!  Tell me that's not sexy!


We also took off all the yucky brassy handles and grabbed some trusty old Rustoleum Paint+Primer spray paint along with a cardboard box and took those bitches outside.
We used the Dark Steel color and I think they look pretty freaking awesome.
whatever, I was too lazy to take a picture of my own can.
We also decided to paint our kitchen step stool in it, which is currently drying so there is no picture yet.


Huge props to Hubs for doing SUCH an AMAZING job!  It's incredible what a little paint can do to completely transform a kitchen on a limited budget.


To sum it all up, if you've been considering painting your kitchen cabinets, DOOOO IIIIIIIT!  You will never look back!

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