Frugal Friday--Kitchen Re-do (On a Budget)

3:30 PMHeather

I am way. over. oak.  Sorry, fans of oak.  But my last house had oak floors, oak cabinets, oak everything.  And to show my age, when we bought our first home, you matched your woods.  Or at least that was my interpretation of the home decor style.  You didn't mix and match oak with say, cherry wood.  I know, I know.  If you are young--like the newlyweds we teach--then that sounds crazy.  But, trust me on this one.

So, as much as I love what we call our "grown up" house that we bought three years ago, I didn't love the oak cabinets.  I tried painting the walls and adding my personal touches elsewhere.  But, as often happens with me, the longer I looked at them, the more unhappy I became because I could just picture something better.  Due to budget constraints, our best option seemed to be re-painting the cabinets ourselves.  Not for the faint of heart!  But with the encouragement of a sweet friend who had tackled this project more than once in the past, we dove in.   

Take in the "before"--

 The former owners of our house did a beautiful job putting in solid surface counters and a tile backsplash.  But trust me--those oak cabinets jeered at me with their orange-ish undertone.  

Our first stop was Lowe's, where we spent $200 for sandpaper, primer, paint, glaze, rollers, paintbrushes and hardware for the doors and drawers.  Not too bad, and quite a savings when we heard that the LEAST someone had spent having their cabinets professionally done was about $1000--and that did not include the antiquing process that I did.

The work process included hours with an electric sander, priming with a brush, a coat of paint with a brush, a second coat of paint with a roller, and then several hours with a teeny tiny brush to antique the cabinets.  The antiquing was tedious--brush on the glaze on 3 edges per door, wipe with a dry cotton cloth, then clean up and wipe with a wet paper towel.  Whew!  But, I think it was well worth it. 

What do you think?

I love how bright and crisp it looks.  Choosing the paint color was agonizing, but I ultimately decided to try to match our bright white trim and doors in the house.  Someday, we'll be putting in a darker floor.  The former owners did NOT have 3 small children when they chose off white floor tiles.  I think it'll be the perfect final touch.  

The best part of this project was the sense of accomplishment.  Chris and I have been gun shy about painting cabinets for years--we wanted to do this in our old house but never had the guts to go for it.  I'm really glad that we finally did.  As my mother-in-law said--it's just paint!  But, what a difference a little elbow grease and paint can make. 

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