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We’ve lived in this house for 8 years and we have never done anything to our kitchen. When we moved in, we were a family of four and our two girls were ages 1 and 3. Our apartment was half the size of this house so we didn’t have much to fill it up. We thought we’d save up and do upgrades along the way, but that day never came. We added two more kids to the family and a lot more clutter. Making the kitchen look nice and more functional got lost in the chaos of daily life and we just kept looking at the same old ugly walls and cupboards that came with the house.
Until one day, I drove to the paint store, picked out paint chips, researched wood stains, and started my makeover. And I just went for it and did it myself.
When we bought the house, everything was painted in a flat beige color. It was ugly and had no personality. I guess it was a blank slate for us to make it our own, but we never had the money to hire anyone. And now with three kids in school, it’s been much easier to get things done.
I used a lot of farmhouse kitchen inspiration for my own kitchen, but I wasn’t a fan of the all white or light gray. There’s no way my kids would ever keep that clean. I wanted a color that would pop and a color that Fernando would also like. I was thinking a medium gray and I know he likes blue so I went to Lowes and pulled all the paint chips with blue gray colors I liked and had him pick out his top four. Then I picked out my top from his choices. It’s a win-win for us that way.
I started out washing the dust off the walls and then painting one wall a day. I had to climb on counters to reach behind the cupboards, and move things away from walls. Ultimately it took about five days to paint the entire three walls of our kitchen. I had to patch a hole behind the stove before I could finish painting and some parts of our walls ( the ones mostly by the stove) were extra dirty and gunky.
Once that was done, I decided I was going to stain the cabinet doors a really dark brown. I decided to stain instead of paint because I still wanted the natural wood look, but darker. After some research, I found a lot of positive reviews on this gel stain from General Finishes. The stain is a really really dark brown, called Java. It comes in a quart can. It’s not like regular stain, its a very thick gel. The good thing about this gel stain is that it lasted my entire kitchen. A little bit goes a long way. I’ve included a tutorial on how to use it. I definitely recommend wearing gloves because it is HARD to get off your fingers and it WILL NOT come out of your clothes.
The one downside to this stain, and maybe it’s all stains, is it takes forever to dry. The instructions say about twelve hours, so I’d do a coat in the morning, a coat before I went to bed and then the next morning I’d put on a coat of polyurethane seal. It worked fine for except having a bunch of doors laid out on my kitchen floor and having a kid bump or touch one that was still wet. So I was only able to do a couple at a time to keep the floor clear and that took for-ev-er!!
But it was totally worth all the hard work and effort because look at my amazing new looking kitchen! I love how the dark cabinets offset the white counter tops and the blue and brown have a nice feel to it.
I bought a sign for my kitchen counter to go with my backyard chicken theme. Thank you Hobby Lobby!!
And look at this cute towel I found at Target! Perfect!
Overall, I’m very please with how it turned out. Having a fresh vibe in my new to me kitchen has made me want to keep everything clean and tidy. As soon as I looked at my finished kitchen, I took a deep breath and decided that I need to reorganize the cupboards. Seeing inside them when the doors were off made me realize I’m really not using my little space effectively. So stay tuned for my next blog post of kitchen makeover space organization! I’ve found some great ideas and products and I can’t wait to show you!
You can buy the Java stain here:General Finishes JQ Gel Stain, 1 quart, Java
Before and After!