Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Kitchen Details

I am still loving my new kitchen. I said in my last post that I would share more info about how I refinished the cabinets.
Remember our kitchen cabinets used to look like this:
They were really ok as they were. They were in good condition, but I just really wanted to lighten up the kitchen and I really wanted cream cabinets.
So, here's what I did:
I numbered each cabinet.
And I made a little diagram to remind myself where each numbered cabinet door belonged.
Then, I removed all the doors and began the grueling process of painting them!
I did not sand, but used a Zinser oil-based primer. I had planned to spray the doors, but my sprayer was acting up so I ended up using a brush.
I brushed on about 3 coats of semi-gloss cream paint.
Now, if you noticed, in the before pic, there is a wood bridge that connects the two sets of cabinets on either side of the sink. I HATED it! I desperately wanted to take that baby down and separate the cabinets. So, my awesome husband did!
He was able to cut the existing piece of trim and fit it around the two sets of cabinets.
We had planned to install a super stylish barn sconce (previously there had been a fluorescent light mounted under the wooden valance), but unfortunately, because of window framing- we were going to have to hire an electrician to install a light box.
So, instead, my aforementioned genius husband, reinstalled the fluorescent light and mounted it to the wall.
My valance covers it completely!
It really worked out perfectly, because if we had installed the sconce I had picked out, I wouldn't have had room for my valance!
And that, my friends, is my favorite part of the makeover!
I chose to replace all the doors before distressing them because I couldn't handle the chaos of my messy kitchen any more!
First, I sanded the edges of the doors.
Then, I used Watco Danish Oil (found at Lowe's) to bring out the distressed marks.
I simply brushed on the danish oil, let it sit for a minute or two and then rubbed it off with a rag.
Once the doors were dry, I replaced the knobs. I needed a total of 24 knobs, and I only had 21. I had some pulls leftover from our last home that ended up being the same finish, so I used those on two cabinets. I chose two bottom cabinets that didn't have drawers over them so that having a different pull would make sense.
Since all the doors previously had only a knob, I had to drill an additional hole to use the pulls. This can be tricky. I have totally messed this up before, so here are a few tips.
Make a template. Use a piece of cardstock. I taped on the cardstock being sure that it lined up EXACTLY with the edge of the cabinet door. I then used an awl and poked through the cardstock into the existing hole in the cabinet door. Then, I removed the cardstock, attached the pull to the cardstock through the hole with a screw. Make sure the pull is pushed up flush to the cardstock and then using the awl, again, poke through the cardstock into the bottom hole in the pull.
Now you have two holes! You have to make sure this part is right. If you have your holes marked wrong, the pull will not fit when you try to install it.
You can see that I have x-ed out one set of holes, because they were wrong!
Next, drill through your cardstock. I used a small drill bit first and then used the drill bit that matched the size of my pull screws. This worked perfectly. If you don't use the small one first, it is easier for the wood to split and just harder to drill all the way through.
Here's another great tip that I actually learned from Young House Love. Put a little piece of tape right below where you are drilling and it will catch your little shavings! Makes for much easier clean up!
Then, wa- la:
So, those are the details! Now, I need to go load the dishwasher!
*****Update: I am now blogging over at  Check it out!****


Cindy@Cinsarah said...

I LOVE your new kitchen!! You did an awesome Job!!
I have a question abut the valance? I have 3 small windows in my kitchen and I love your valance!! Where did u buy it? and how did you hang it? I had the old traditional valances on that ruffle but I like this straight one, where and what kind of hardware do I need? and what is that fabric? did you make it? lol sorry so many questions!!

Vanessa said...

Thanks, Cindy! I made the valances using this tutorial: I did it exactly like she said and it totally worked! I bought the fabric at Old Time Pottery. I hope this helps! Let me know if you make some! I'd love to see how they turn out! Also, email me if you have any other questions after checking out the tutorial!

Aubrey said...

Love it! Thanks for sharing. I absolutely cannot wait until I can attack our kitchen cabs. Knowing me, it will be next Spring. Immagonna blame it on the blessing of this new little one...who could come today and I would be happy. ;) Great job, Vanessa!

Cindy@Cinsarah said...

Thanks so much for the link!! I will have to try this! I will let you know how it turns out as soon as I find some pretty fabric and buy the supplies! :)
Thanks Again! :)

a. said...

Love your kitchen - saw you on LGN. Any chance you could share the gray paint color on your walls?

Vanessa said...

The wall color is Mushroom Taupe by Colorplace (Walmart). If your Walmart doesn"t carry the paint or you have trouble finding it, let me know and I will try to find the "recipe."

Robyn said...

I love your kitchen! You are giving me confidence to tackle our cabinets. They are craptastic and begging to be painted.

Andrea . Charcoal and crayons said...

Looks fantastic! I love the cabinets and the valence is gorgeous! Your towel rack/hook thingy below your sink is awesome... I'll have to be on the look out for one!

the cape on the corner said...

what a great looking kitchen! i can't believe you did that all yourselves. i have the same shaped arches, and we're not painting the dark cherry cabs, but i love how in yours, the arches disappear. great job!

Lala said...

I love the new color. I'm struggling with a similar color right now and this could be the inspiration we needed. Thanks for sharing!

Vanessa said...

Thanks, ladies! Be sure to check out my new blog at

kira2091 said...

can u share the cabinets color because you said cream I want to paint my cabinets but no sure what color!!!!! Thanks