Kitchen Makeover: See How One Couple Cooked Up a Stylish Family Space...On a Budget
A Kitchen Transformed
Amy and Peter Sharpless still blink when they walk into their kitchen. The room is now dressed head to toe in fresh greens and whites, with nickel-plated hardware sparkling at every turn.
A Communal Effort
With hard work and a clear vision, Amy and Peter built the kitchen of their dreams. Stylishly executed and smartly organized, it's well equipped for both work and play. The whole family pitched in; Amy painted the cabinets under the supervision of her daughters.
A Cleaner Kitchen
Amy loves soft, natural greens -- such as the hues of beach glass, ferns, and sea urchins -- and chose them as her color scheme. Pale-green cabinets and furniture; a creamy floor and walls; new white appliances and counters; and additional lighting brighten the kitchen, giving it a fresh, clean look.
A Sink at the Center
To make it a focal point, the sink got the big splurge: an old-style polished-nickel faucet and a vintage cup holder for soap. A shelf with antique plates helps frame the area.
Keeping track of the mail is easy now that each family member has a slot. Hooks beneath the bins hold keys.
New appliances and Corian counters make meal preparation much more pleasureable.
Organized in Style
Linen-covered bulletin boards are an attractive alternative to the refrigerator door for posting children's art, family photos, schedules, and important reminders.
An Important Distinction
French doors have a windowlike effect in a windowless room. They also divide the dining room and the kitchen, useful for entertaining.
Painting the Cabinets, a Step-by-Step!
Empty the cabinets and drawers and organize their contents in labeled plastic bins so you can easily find things while the kitchen is under construction.
Remove the doors and drawers. Use good screwdrivers to prevent stripping heads. If reusing the hardware, keep it in labeled plastic bags.
Label the drawers on the underside and the door on the inside where a hinge will be attached with masking tape; write the location on each strip of tape as you remove the pieces. Before you do any patching, priming, or painting, wash the surfaces.
Fill unwanted holes and crevices. Use a putty knife to fill each hole with wood or auto-body filler; let dry. Mound wood putty over the hole. Let dry; sand flat. If you replace the handles with knobs, fill in one of the two holes in each door.
Sand all surfaces, covering appliances, counters, and open doorways with plastic sheeting and lining the floor with kraft paper. Use a random orbital sander on flat surfaces, following the wood's grain; sand grooves and edges by hand with fine-grit sandpaper. Work on drawers and door in the garage or basement to keep dust out of the kitchen.
Wipe down all surfaces with a tack cloth, which is treated with a sticky varnish to remove dust and other particles.
Prime all surfaces to create a uniform base for the paint color. Start with the cabinet frames (the sooner they're done, the sooner you can use them again). Make long, steady brush strokes going with the wood's grain. Run a wide, dry brush over the wet surface to even out brush marks. For doors and drawers, prime grooves first, then flat surfaces. Finish with the edges (horizontals then verticals). Let dry, and prime the doors' backs.
Add molding to the cabinets for a finished look. Amy attached a cornice at the top and 1-by-2s and shelf-edge molding along the bottom. When all of the molding is in place and primed, the cabinet frames are ready for printing.
Design a built-in shelf to create additional storage or display space under the smaller cabinets typically found over the sink. Amy added a recessed shelf over her sink.
Paint the doors, drawers, and cabinet frames. Amy used an oil-based formula. It takes longer to dry than water-based paint, but it wears well and is easy to clean. Apply two coats, using the same technique that was described for priming in step 7.
Dry and touch up the doors, resting them top-down (on their least visible surface when reinstalled) on two strips of wood and leaning against a wall. Once the cabinets are painted, reinstall the doors and drawers with their new hardware. Empty your storage bins, putting everything back where it belongs.