I have finally hung the last of the cabinet doors in my newly decorated kitchen and decided to call this project finished. (My “before” pictures are on my other phone or I’d show them to you. )
I started this project one cold January day by taking everything out of the kitchen except what was inside the cupboards, and washing all of the walls and cabinets with a solution of soda and hydrogen peroxide mixed with water. That cut the grease scum like magic. (That was a trick I learned on Pinterest. ) Over the next few weeks I removed the doors (numbered them first) and removed all of the hardware. Then there were weeks of priming, then sanding, then painting, sanding, painting. I wanted black hardware so spray painted the brass colored hinges, taped over the pearl pulls, then spray painted the brass part of them. That saved me right at $100, which was what it would have cost to buy new hardware and pulls.
This is a mobile home, so painting laminated particle board cabinets was not something that I felt very confident about, but a cabinet builder advised me to paint them with a good quality oil-based primer and paint. So with a lot of elbow grease and paint and sandpaper and all sizes of brushes and plenty of rags and drop cloths and t.i.m.e. this massive (for me) project is finished. I still have the curtains to sew once I get back to the sewing machine. (They’re only pinned up now.)
The walls were printed (like wallpaper) wallboard, also very common in mobile homes. I primed them with latex primer until no more print showed through. That took several coats. Three of the walls are painted with gray-colored flat latex paint and the red wall is glossy, exterior latex, leftover from last year’s project when I painted our exterior doors red. Not only do I like that shade of red, but I knew it would hold up to the water and grease around the sink and stove a lot better than flat latex paint would.
The creative painting above the cabinets stemmed from my flamboyant, fruitcake-spirit that considers my world an empty canvas. Picture me standing on the kitchen countertops, or sitting cross-legged on top of the refrigerator, carefully drawing and painting with my art brushes and acrylic paints. The sun painting (behind my “Mississippi” lettering) I spray painted with a little paint mixed with just enough water to make it sprayable. That’s my new method of painting sky, suns and moons. It’s way faster. Of course, I spray painted the yellow and orange paints on the blank, white wall first, then taped a stencil (I used a Tupperware lid to a Fix-N-Mix bowl) over top of that and rolled on the gray latex wall paint. (Ok, yeah, it was messy.)
All of the decorative items in my kitchen are either gifts people have given me over the years, or thrift store treasures, or things I made myself. My son made the pizza peel, which is a real treasure! A few of the paintings on the walls were painted by my daughters, and those above the cabinets I painted myself (not recently.) The shelf above the window was made from lumber and shelf holders from the lumberyard. I fastened them together with skinny wood screws (I haven’t quite learned carpenters’ language yet,) shaved off the edges with my wood carving knives to age it, then painted it with the same white paint that I used for the trim. My husband helped me hang it then. Even though we women may feel like real carpenters and get things done one way or another, there is a natural gift that men have for these kinds of things that looks so easy for them. Nails act like they’re made from butter when I hit them (even with a good solid hammer,) but when my husband hammers, the nails stand up like they have iron backs and sink right into the wood – just like that. It’s amazing.
So here I am, giving myself a pat on my gray little “struvle-kupf,” paint- splattered head. And now I will modestly accept your applause and start making a mess in my kitchen by doing a little cooking for company that’s coming this weekend. LOL.