Tuesday, November 30, 2010

$80 Kitchen makeover!

Most things will tell you that the biggest change you can make to a room is by painting it. That may be true, but... what color do you paint a kitchen with PINK counters? Yes, you read that right. P.I.N.K. (not the cute pajamas, either!).

We bought our house almost a year ago (LONG story behind that, I'm sure I'll come to it eventually), and the previous owner just ADORED the color pink. To the point that just months before they moved, they had the exterior painted Pink Stocking (yes, I live in a pink house...). I can deal with the pink exterior, but pink countertops in the kitchen?! I was mortified. Take a look for yourself!

To add salt to a wound... Every kitchen item I had was red... 

Then there's the "old lady" shelves above the cabinets... and the ugly ginger orange cabinets themselves. Okay, I hate everything about my kitchen... But it's all in good condition, so I couldn't convince my husband to renovate. What to do?!


I decided that I was going to paint the pink countertops (saw something on HGTV about it a few years ago, so i googled "how to paint laminate countertops" - apparently I was not the first!). So I got the confidence, and my husband pretty much lets me do whatever I want (as long as it's cheap)... and I went to buy primer!

(I'll get to why the doors and drawers are off in a few)


Doesn't it already look better?! Apparently, priming was the easy part. After I started this, I had a dream that my husband gave me a "get out of jail free" card, but related to painting the counters. Can't quite remember how it was phrased, but that shows how unpleasant it was.

I primed the counters a few times, took some paper towels dipped in acrylic paint (the kind you get from Michael's for $2) and dabbed the entire surface area of the counters. My initial plan was to do two coats, but I really liked how it looked after once-over.

Then I had my husband put on about 30 billion coats of poly (I chose poly because I wanted it to yellow - I was after a more green color. Verathane would work, too), waited a day and then put everything back.

Ta da!!!! No more pink countertops!!!!

But as for that ugly brown on the cabinets? Yeah, it had to go, too... So we took two cans of gel stain and stained the cabinets. That part took FOREVER. Mostly because I HATE painting (and that's essentially what it was). But here's an "almost" after of the kitchen, with a little under $80 spent.

Since that photo was taken, we've since put back the range hood, removed the last of the shelf and lost one of those pot holders behind the stove (i've been debating putting a shelf up there). If anyone knows what to put on top of cabinets OTHER than artificial plants, PLEASE SHARE! I'm so lost.

UPDATE: More recent photos of the kitchen

After 2 years, there are a few small scratches in the painted countertop, but they're only obvious to me, and I don't plan on "fixing" them any time soon (but read that sanding them down, re priming, repainting and resealing is how to do it, simple enough!).

This is approx the same angle as the first photo. Even without updating the appliances, the room feels so much more current. Well, it did until I picked out that "off" grellow, that took us back a few decades. Not to worry, I'm aware of it and plan on changing it. ;-)

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Cheapskate

Let me start this blog by saying that everything I post will have been done in the cheapest way known to me. The issues do not lie with me. No. I LOVE spending money! I would live on potatoes, buy toilet paper that you could almost see through, and have my kids wear the same clothes 'til the seams ripped if it meant that I could buy whatever furniture/accessories I wanted... without noting price!


(there's always one of those, huh?)

My husband does not quite see it the same way. Probably a good thing, but it calls for some creativity and a lot of work. So... no manicures.

So if you see something done in an unorthodox manner... well... I probably tried pitching the idea to my husband, and he said no... So i had to wing it.

And with that....

I need to go buy wood glue.