A big hello to my readers (all three of you :-)!! It’s been quite awhile since my last post. But, I promise I haven’t been sitting around eating bon bons.
Over the past 20 months, we sold our home, packed up our life, our kids, and our dog, and moved back to California. We spent 9 months living in a manufactured home my folks owned, then bought a home so that they could move back into their place. Suffice it to say we have been crazy busy. But, when an upstairs toilet leak forced us into construction mode, I decided is was time to fix the two pet-peeves we have about our new house. First, let me say I love my kitchen – it’s big, it has double ovens and it has an island. But, our breakfast area was a pub table in the middle of everything, rather than being part of the island. And, while the rest of the house certainly worked with our taste, the builder’s special honey oak cabinets didn’t. I mean, they’re orange for heaven’s sake!
We have now embarked upon an adventure (not sure that’s the word my husband would use) that includes removal of the granite top on the current island, building an extension, having a new granite top installed to include a breakfast bar, and of course, painting all of the cabinets. I know what you’re thinking, “she’s completely crazy!” Well, yes. But, we try not to call names on this blog. Instead, I can justify this decision by telling you that I did get bids from three contractors to paint the cabinets, but $9,000 just isn’t in our budget. Besides, why would I want to pay someone else to have all the fun?
After a lot of reading and trolling the Internet for information, I decided to use General Finishes Milk Paint, which isn’t milk paint at all. As the name suggests, milk is a principal ingredient in the real milk paint, acting as a binder for pigments the same way polymers do in latex paints and oils do in oil-based paints. General Finishes Milk Paint is actually a water-based acrylic paint that dries with a finish and sheen that closely resembles milk paint. It’s a breeze to work with, dries fast, and is very forgiving. It also glazes and distresses beautifully. So, that’s it – we are off on this wild adventure.
Once the granite was removed from the island, I painted it Snow White and went to the garage to help my super handy (and hunky) hubby build the new breakfast bar extension. But, as often happens to me, I woke-up in the middle of the night with the realization that having every cabinet Snow White might make the kitchen seem too sterile, rather than warm and inviting. That’s when I decided to paint over the three coats of Snow White I’d already put on the island with Persian Blue. My sweet hubby just shook his head when I told him in the morning. He really is a good sport.
I got busy repainting the island in the General Finishes Persian Blue that I purchased from Amazon. This paint runs about $30/quart, but is super easy to work with, very forgiving, self-leveling, and goes a long way. I used about half a can to finish the island and extension.
I also decided to glaze the island in order to give the Persian Blue even more depth and character. I accomplished the look I was going for by painting on two coats of the Persian Blue, then one coat of General Finishes QTHS High-Performance Water Based Topcoat in Satin (first door pic above). The photos make it look more green than it really is; it’s a beautiful muted bluish aqua color. Let me stop here to explain two things: first, I would normally have used three coats of the paint color. But, in this case, I had already put on three coats of Snow White, so the Persian Blue covered very well and really only needed two coats. The second thing I want to explain is why I put topcoat on BEFORE glazing. This paint and glaze are water based, so they are very forgiving. General Finishes recommends glazing over a coat of finish in order to make the glaze even easier to work with. Once the glaze is put on, you can take off as much or as little as you want, even pulling it off completely with a damp cloth if you make a mistake. I really only wanted the glaze effect in the nooks and crannies. So, I put it on the entire door face with a foam brush, then wiped it back with a damp cloth, leaving more in the crevices and much less on the fronts. There are dozens of tutorials for General Finishes glazing techniques on YouTube.
So, that’s it for now. In my next installment, I will show you how we painted the rest of the kitchen, then pulled it all together. I hope you’ll stay with me. And, thanks for visiting.
Tips & Tricks Learned:
- Clean all cabinet doors and boxes thoroughly with a good degreaser and de-glosser and a ScotchBrite Pad. I used Krud Kutter, but anything will work. Not only does this clean the grease and grime off the cabinets, it also opens the wood grain so they accept the paint beautifully. Skip this step and risk grease bleed-through – Yuck!
- Number your doors, drawers, and hinges. I cannot stress enough how much time and effort this step will save you. I used painters tape to number the doors and drawers and a Sharpie to number the hinges so that when we re-hung the doors they didn’t all have to be adjusted.
- I used a total of three coats of the topcoat on each surface in order to ensure a really hard, durable surface. This is especially important in a kitchen where they get some rough use and you will certainly want to scrub them at some point.
- Don’t forget to clean your hinges while you have the opportunity. They get caked with grease and grime that rarely gets addressed.
Thanks For Reading