Hello friends! I am so excited to share with you today a project I’ve been working on all month. My friend Stephanie at Casa Watkins hosts a New Year New Room challenge each year, and this is my first year participating. Technically, we’re supposed to be sharing updates on the blog each week, but between working at J. Crew, prepping for Sweet Clover, chauffeuring kids around, and growing a baby, I just couldn’t make those updates happen. While the posts and updates didn’t happen, the work itself did, and I’ve given our kitchen a fresh new look that I am going to share with you today. My kitchen has been one of my favorite rooms in the house since we originally gave it a makeover four years ago, but I was feeling ready for a change and wanted to brighten it up a bit. With a little bit of elbow grease, and some inexpensive products, I was able to execute our budget kitchen mini makeover.
This post contains affiliate links. Also, please avert your eyes from the grout which is in terrible need of cleaning (my method here), but these days getting down to the floor to scrub it is not very appealing.
If you’ve been a reader for a long time, you will notice a difference right away! However, if you’re new here, let me show you what the kitchen looked like before with navy cabinets.
I have loved the navy cabinets for years, but I was in need of a lightening up, and I wanted to also update the hardware and hinges with something more modern. I am relatively certain that the choices I am making around my house these days are being influenced by baby boy.
Up first on the check list was deciding on a new color for the cabinets. Our backsplash is not neutral, as you can see, so I needed to choose something that would work with the blues and greens it features. Of course, I could have gone white, but I just didn’t want white; I truly love colored kitchen cabinets. Another thought I had was a deep jewel toned teal which would have been so fabulous with that backsplash, but it would not have given me the lightness I wanted. Seagull Gray was also in the running at some point; it’s a nice neutral light gray that my good friend used on her own kitchen here. However, I was afraid that with the flooring it might be too much gray for me. I ended up settling on General Finishes Persian Blue, which is a beautiful soft minty toned blue. (Actually softer than it appears on the swatch below. You can see it on a dresser I painted here as well.)
There was no doubt in my mind about what brand of paint I would use. General Finishes is what I originally used in their Coastal Blue for the navy cabinets. It held up well against the wear and tear of kids and dogs, and I knew it would once again stand the test of time.
Before I could paint and prep the cabinets for paint, I removed all of the doors and laid them on a drop cloth on my dining table.
As for the drawers, I simply removed them from the base and sat them on the counter. Don’t worry, the retro mushroom liner stayed. 😉
When I originally painted the cabinets in Coastal Blue, I did finish them with a wipe on poly by Minwax. (This stuff is awesome, but it is oil based so I only use on dark colors where it won’t yellow). Before I could paint, I had to remove that finish. Seeing as it was January and we’ve had a bitter cold month, sanding wasn’t really an option. Instead I used this liquid deglosser to remove the poly. Upon the recommendation of a local friend, I used a scrubby sponge and scrubbed the deglosser in circles on my surfaces. Once that was done, I went back to a couple areas where I could still see the finish and repeated the process.
Next, I painted one side of the cabinets and let it dry, testing it by scratching it. The paint adhered beautifully, as opposed to our door and door frame where Catcher has done a total number on it. Anxiety Dog to the rescue!
Before I go on, I want you to know that I did run into some issues in two spots where I apparently had not removed all of the finish. When I got to the next step of waxing, I discovered that the paint came right off of two drawers. To remedy this situation, I sanded them by hand, removing the new paint and getting down to the old paint. I then repainted them and they were fine. Was it a pain? Yes. But did I want the paint scratching off easily? No.
OK, let’s move on! Once the drawers were all painted, I used Black Bison wax in neutral to give it a nice hard non-toxic finish. I didn’t want anything too glossy, and the slight sheen this wax has when buffed was perfect.
After that, it was time to put the new chrome hinges on! I want to take a moment to thank D. Lawless Hardware for providing me with all of the new hardware for this project. Years ago I began using D. Lawless because of their great prices and free shipping on orders over $50, and now I am lucky enough to have a great partnership with them. However, they would have been exactly who I would have turned to for purchasing new hardware because of the quality, pricing, and customer service they provide.
When I previously painted the cabinets, I made use of the icky old hinges. They were pretty gross, to be honest, but they didn’t stand out against the navy so it just wasn’t a big deal to me. This time around, I wanted chrome and I knew it would show against the lighter color. I chose these inset/offset chrome hinges which are less than $2 for a pair. Once we put them on and added the doors again, they weren’t perfect, so I did have to call in help from my handy neighbor. He trimmed a couple of doors for me, and we were good to go. That’s what happens when you replace 40 year old worn out hinges! The new hinges are shiny and so pretty!
For the drawer pulls, I selected modern polished chrome bar pulls, which are less than $5 each. Emmy was especially swooning over these when she saw them. They’re just so pretty and streamlined.
To complement the chrome, but add a little something special, I chose these clear glass ball and polished nickel knobs. The polished nickel is on the base and looks close enough to chrome to work well in this space. I love the way they catch the light.
I have loved glass knobs for as long as I can remember but I especially love the more modern shape and style of these.
In addition to repainting the cabinets and changing the hardware, I also updated the open shelving in our kitchen and restyled them for the season.
In the past I’ve used plants on my shelves and love the life they bring to the space. I decided to bring in some of those plants, and add in a thrifted basket as well as a gorgeous basket my parents purchased in Arizona and gave me for Christmas.
It was exciting to finally see it all come together.
I also stayed pretty true to my blue-loving heart, yet still have a kitchen that I love.
Flow of the kitchen with the dining room was also really important to me in this makeover since they open to one another as you can see below.
At the moment I am questioning the green hutch in the dining room, but I added a collection of blue tinted glass to it to help bring the colors of the kitchen to it.
A little over a year ago we added a horse photo print from minted to our dining room. The photo was taken in Iceland and in the background the colors read aqua and mint, so I was sure that this photo would blend beautifully.
I restyled the shelves next to the photo as well to bring in some of the aqua in the form of a vintage swan planter.
After all of that work, I was satisfied, happy with the outcome, and a little tired…. as were the pups. It’s hard work sticking your nose in wet paint. For real.
Overall I am thrilled with the lighter look and so happy that Stephanie’s challenge motivated me to make this change I’ve been contemplating for a year. My only question now is, should the green hutch stay or should it go? Every time I finish a project, I see something else I just might need to change…. 😉
Thank you for checking out our budget kitchen mini makeover! Be sure to head over to Casa Watkins to see all of the other participants’ rooms!
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