Kitchen Remodel Vacation

How does that sound to you?  Awesome, right?  You’d totally pay for the experience, wouldn’t you?  Like one of those vacations where you really just go and work for someone else–like on a farm or in a winery or what have you.  Who came up with that brilliant idea?  OH wait–maybe it was the farmers, winery owners, etc. looking for some free labor . . . duh.  Anyways, I was out of town last week for work and luckily I got to spend the long weekend at my sister’s house remodeling her kitchen (you had to see that coming, right?).

So I don’t want to steal her thunder since I’m sure she’ll do a more detailed post on her blog, but here’s just a little of what we accomplished for less than $200.  (And please forgive the minimal pics–again, not trying to usurp my big sis.)

Where we started (this is what the kitchen looked like over a year ago when they bought the house):

So I think my mom might be the only one to disagree, but aren’t those cabinets just hurting your eyes?  It’s hard to tell in those pictures, but trust me–they had some serious orange-shininess happening!  Straight from the 90s (or maybe just straight from Texas since apparently my sister said every house they saw had cabinets like that)?    Anyways, ever since I first visited, I have considered it my own personal mission to refinish those cabinets.  I’m not kidding–I had dreams nightmares about those things!  It was a good thing that my sister agreed that they were awful (although I was so determined that I’m not entirely sure her opinion would have really mattered).  So over Labor Day weekend we transformed them.

First step?  Sanding.  Ugh.  We thought we could avoid the whole sanding issue by using Rust-Oleum’s Cabinet Transformations, but after doing some research it was clear that Rust-Oleum’s kit was not going to give us the solid white/cream look we were going for.  Apparently, Rustoleum’s Cabinet Transformations are a stain-based product, so to get a solid finish (we didn’t want to use a glaze for that weathered look), it would have taken at least four coats and even then it was unlikely that the color would have been exactly right.  Good thing we did some research, huh?  

Here are the cabinet doors all sanded and awaiting a coat of primer:

There were a LOT of cabinet doors.  And this picture doesn’t even capture all the drawers!  I’m getting tired again just looking at this.

Oh, and I took care of doing all the sanding outside.  It’s basically a pretty messy process.  Which is probably an understatement.

Anyways, once everything was sanded, then we primed ’em up.  I’m pretty much a pro at priming now (remember that room of paneling in our new house?  Well, let’s just say it was a priming disaster, but more on that later).

Oh, and I forgot to take pics of all the steps, but here’s the primer we used.  It’s Zinsser’s Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Water-Base Primer.  The paint guy at Lowe’s said it was the best (are they paid to say stuff like that?).

Image from here.

Once we applied one thin and even coat of primer, then we started with the paint.

We originally went with Lowe’s Olympic No-VOC Semi-Gloss paint color-matched to Benjamin Moore’s Cloud White (the trim in my sister’s house isn’t pure white, but more of a cream, so we wanted to match it and Cloud White was the closest paint chip we could find).  So we painted the cabinet doors and the cabinets themselves.  Then we realized that the color was wrong.  It wasn’t color-matched perfectly, and so it was WAY TOO WHITE!  Ack.  So we stopped.  Breathed.  Had a snack.  And decided to pick a new color and send out my brother-in-law to Sherwin Williams.  New color?  Sherwin Williams’ Creamy.  Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?

Sorry about the small swatch, but that’s apparently as big as SW shows on their site.  Image from here.

And we just wanted the Harmony paint (Sherwin Williams’ no-VOC brand).  Image from here.

But since we weren’t the ones at the paint store, it ended up that Josh got up-sold.  To Sherwin Williams ProClassic in Semi Gloss–a paint specifically made for cabinets and trim.

Image from here.  It was actually a good decision–the paint levels to a really smooth finish, so it ended up looking great.  We didn’t have any brush strokes or anything!

So now that we had all the right paint, it was, well, back to painting.

And painting . . .

We were tired.  Very, very tired.

But don’t they look great?

My sister was totally pumped!  It was like she got a whole new kitchen.

Once we let everything dry for a while (probably not long enough, but I had a flight home to catch and I was getting impatient–I wanted to see what it all looked like put together), we put the cabinet doors back up.  And then we decided to add hardware to match the rest of my sister’s home (it’s all oil-rubbed bronze).  So off to Lowe’s again for the 825th time.  But the hardware really made a difference:

These pics were taken at night, so they read a little darker/creamier than in real life.

We weren’t able to get all the drawer pulls in before I left, so I don’t have any completed pics.  For that, you’ll just have to keep checking my sister’s blog for final reveal photos.

Overall, though, it was hard, but totally worth it!!!  We loved the result.  And who knows . . . maybe the Bunches’ kitchen will be next . . .



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