Open House

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. )

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.)

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Yes, that’s my cat sleeping up there. She likes the lights.

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.

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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.

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11 thoughts on “Open House

  1. I didn’t know my comments went public! You know I can say things to you that I’d never say to anyone else. Sorry about that.

    On Fri, May 24, 2013 at 8:22 AM, Ernest Mast wrote:

    > Yeah, I was also going to say that you did the perfect thing by getting > rid of shiny gold cabinet hardware. The dark looks way WAY better. > > > > On Fri, May 24, 2013 at 8:15 AM, Ernest Mast > wrote: > >> Oh my Jewel. I loved this post. Especially the pictures and I thought >> it was neat how you have both the sun and the moon in your kitchen. cool. >> I was astonished how you can stand on your cabinets or sit cross-legged >> on top of your fridge. You sure are a whole lot healthier in your joints >> than I am!! thank God. My cane will continue to serve as my knee >> replacement long after I’ve lost the weight. I only dream of standing on a >> ladder again. If I could, I’d be re-doing this entire house with wallpaper >> and paint. I really love the shelf above your kitchen window. That was >> perfect. I’d still vote to oust the green counter tops though. They >> just gotta go by-by with all your new colors. You really need to check >> into that countertop paint I told you about. So you DID sit and do all >> those pulls? I thought you were going to get new ones. That must have >> took you half of forever. I vote to hide your string lights behind your >> decorations so that you have light but no strings. If you need to, you >> could use strands of silk ivy or more “clutter”. What I would use is my >> “junky treasures” as I call my antiques. I’m not much of an ivy person but >> Veronica has ivy on top of her kitchen cabinets. I like it, but it tends >> to look messy with my antiques. And last of all, I simply LOVE the touch >> of red in your kitchen. It goes perfect with the gray and OH MY, your >> cabinets look like you upgraded in quality. I can’t believe how much >> classier they look being painted. That was a lot of work but I’ll bet you >> love your new kitchen! Hats off to my creative friend. You go, girl. >> >> >> >> On Fri, May 24, 2013 at 6:06 AM, Merciful Words <

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  2. Wow! You really went to a LOT of work and so much creativity! No wonder your girls are so “artsy”!! Very nice!

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  3. Yeah, I was also going to say that you did the perfect thing by getting rid of shiny gold cabinet hardware. The dark looks way WAY better.

    On Fri, May 24, 2013 at 8:15 AM, Ernest Mast wrote:

    > Oh my Jewel. I loved this post. Especially the pictures and I thought it > was neat how you have both the sun and the moon in your kitchen. cool. I > was astonished how you can stand on your cabinets or sit cross-legged on > top of your fridge. You sure are a whole lot healthier in your joints than > I am!! thank God. My cane will continue to serve as my knee replacement > long after I’ve lost the weight. I only dream of standing on a ladder > again. If I could, I’d be re-doing this entire house with wallpaper and > paint. I really love the shelf above your kitchen window. That was > perfect. I’d still vote to oust the green counter tops though. They > just gotta go by-by with all your new colors. You really need to check > into that countertop paint I told you about. So you DID sit and do all > those pulls? I thought you were going to get new ones. That must have > took you half of forever. I vote to hide your string lights behind your > decorations so that you have light but no strings. If you need to, you > could use strands of silk ivy or more “clutter”. What I would use is my > “junky treasures” as I call my antiques. I’m not much of an ivy person but > Veronica has ivy on top of her kitchen cabinets. I like it, but it tends > to look messy with my antiques. And last of all, I simply LOVE the touch > of red in your kitchen. It goes perfect with the gray and OH MY, your > cabinets look like you upgraded in quality. I can’t believe how much > classier they look being painted. That was a lot of work but I’ll bet you > love your new kitchen! Hats off to my creative friend. You go, girl. > > > > On Fri, May 24, 2013 at 6:06 AM, Merciful Words <

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    • Thank you LA! I love all your suggestions and perspective. You know, I has tried taping the pulls and it didnt go we’ll so I gave up until I prices new ones. Then I bought a good grade of painters tape and it took me only 1 hour from start to finish to tape the pearly sections and spray paint 32 pulls. Then the tape also came off without sticking to itself or the pulls. I’m thinking more and more when doing a large project like this to get quality tools and supplies. That goes for brushes and gloves and drop cloths and all; sandpaper, too. And of course, paint and primer. It not only pays in the long run but makes the job a lot easier.

      You know, about the countertop, I keep thinking about them and am leaning toward completely taking off what is there because some of the Formica is breaking off at the corners, and making wooden ones from slabs of cedar. What do you think of that idea? Or copper? I know someone in Idaho who made a countertop from copper sheeting and its gorgeous. And they said it cost less than Formica.

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      • Well, if I were re-doing our kitchen exactly the way I want it, I’d have wood counter tops. I had them once in my life and to this day that kitchen was my dream kitchen except it didn’t have a dishwasher and it also only had three drawers. I could have used a tad more than three 12 inch drawers. But it had an old cast iron sink, double bowl double drainboard porcelain sink. I just loved that sink AND the wood counter tops. Ernie used plain ol’ good quality grade plywood. Then he stained it the color I wanted and we gave it 7 coats of polyurethane. It worked beautifully. I would do that again in a heartbeat. The cedar? Would the red in that clash with the red wall? I’m thinking cedar would look more orange red. Same goes for copper. But if you wanted either of those, then why not re-paint the red wall to match the color of the counter tops. Do I “hear” you rolling your eyes at me? My preference, hands down, is wood. Also a lot of people think you have to have a back splash. I threw the back splash out the window at the old Walker house and never looked back. There is no need for a back splash on any counter top, really. If I were going to splatter cake batter on the back splash, it would also go on the wall so then everything gets wiped down. And a glass of spilled liquid will not run back in behind your cabinets if you have the counters sealed against the wall like they are suppose to be sealed. So “chust” keep ’em sealed with a good bead of clear caulk or whatever they seal them with. HAHA. You can tell I’m married to a carpenter because he does all that for me. I don’t even know if it’s caulk or something else but whatever it is, it works. And I still want to come see the kitchen in person. Gotta inspect that sun and moon and of course the red wall.

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  4. Oh my Jewel. I loved this post. Especially the pictures and I thought it was neat how you have both the sun and the moon in your kitchen. cool. I was astonished how you can stand on your cabinets or sit cross-legged on top of your fridge. You sure are a whole lot healthier in your joints than I am!! thank God. My cane will continue to serve as my knee replacement long after I’ve lost the weight. I only dream of standing on a ladder again. If I could, I’d be re-doing this entire house with wallpaper and paint. I really love the shelf above your kitchen window. That was perfect. I’d still vote to oust the green counter tops though. They just gotta go by-by with all your new colors. You really need to check into that countertop paint I told you about. So you DID sit and do all those pulls? I thought you were going to get new ones. That must have took you half of forever. I vote to hide your string lights behind your decorations so that you have light but no strings. If you need to, you could use strands of silk ivy or more “clutter”. What I would use is my “junky treasures” as I call my antiques. I’m not much of an ivy person but Veronica has ivy on top of her kitchen cabinets. I like it, but it tends to look messy with my antiques. And last of all, I simply LOVE the touch of red in your kitchen. It goes perfect with the gray and OH MY, your cabinets look like you upgraded in quality. I can’t believe how much classier they look being painted. That was a lot of work but I’ll bet you love your new kitchen! Hats off to my creative friend. You go, girl.

    Like

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