Chalk Paint Kitchen Makeover + How to Paint Tile

My new year's resolution in 2015 was to update our kitchen. We had lived with dated oak cabinets and stained laminate counter tops for a few years and decided it was time for a facelift!

Our kitchen is small and lacking counter space and we were not prepared for a full blown renovation. The cabinets were in great shape and we liked the look of them, so we decided to paint and update the hardware. Given my love of chalk paint, it seemed like an easy choice. I spent a lot of time looking at tutorials on kitchen cabinets painted with chalk paint as it is a high traffic area that needs to be durable and easy to clean. I also looked up how to paint ceramic tile to update our backsplash –see ya later decorative tiles!!

Unfortunately, I don't have any 'BEFORE' shots before the doors and drawer fronts were removed. If you look past the lovely ladies in this photos you can get an idea what the cabinets looked like;

New Year's 2013!!

New Year's 2013!!

Here you can see the beautiful backsplash with burgundy flower tiles and the plain-jane laminate countertop.

Here you can see the beautiful backsplash with burgundy flower tiles and the plain-jane laminate countertop.

I wiped everything down well using a bit of TSP to remove any grease. Chalk paint essentially covers anything and everything therefore there is not much prep (hence why I love chalk paint!).  I chose Annie Sloan Plain White for the upper doors and French Linen for the drawers and lower doors. I painted the upper cabinets-without the doors first. I did not paint the interiors as they are already white-ish.

For the backsplash.  I used TSP to clean and degrease the tile. I let the tile and grout dry and applied Zinnser Bullseye Primer using a foam roller and paint brush for the grout.  Once the primer dried, I painted 2 coats of Behr Alkyd Semi Gloss Enamel Paint. Oil-base paint is recommended for tile and this paint has the durability of a traditional oil-base paint but the ease of a water-base + less odor. The decorative tiles are slightly raised in detail but once they were white, you barely noticed.

I am so happy with how bright and modern this looks. Almost like subway tile, right? :)

Next, I painted the cabinet doors and drawers. This was the most time consuming part of this project despite it being a small kitchen. I will admit, that after the first coat of French Linen, I was slightly horrified with how green it looked. I began to panic but felt better as it dried. 

It may not look green to you, but it did to me!!

It may not look green to you, but it did to me!!

 For the hardware I kept cost in mind, choosing a simple brushed nickel pull for all of the doors and a classic metal pull for the drawers.

Once all the doors and drawers were painted front and back, I started re-attaching the hinges and the new hardware. I was hosting my family that weekend and got a bit too excited to get everything re-hung. I decided to forgo sealing the cupboards right away, figuring I would get to it later.

Well, it took me a year to come back and complete it! A little advice-- DON'T SKIP THIS STEP!! I had to touch up most of the cabinets prior to sealing them because of my procrastination. I also sanded all of the surfaces lightly to remove any bumps and brush strokes before sealing.  I used a clear polyurethane meant for floors to seal the cabinets instead of clear wax as poly is much more durable and easier to wipe up any spills or scuffs.

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We waited a few weeks after painting before replacing the counter top (cost, time, laziness, etc). We measured the counter top and headed to Home Depot again. I love the look of Calcutta marble but knew I wasn’t going to pay for the higher end laminate because after all, it is laminate. After a few headaches with a sales associate, we ordered our custom counter top. We did not pay to have it installed as TK is very handy. When we picked it up, my heart sunk! The simple grey detail of the laminate appeared much more patterned than I was expecting and was screaming GREEN under the florescent light! What is it with the grey becoming green in this project?!? Once we got it home and next to the paint, I felt much better! Tk surprised me by recruiting some family and friends to help install it one weekend while I was working :) I think it complements the cupboards well and we couldn’t beat the price!

We kept our existing sink and replaced the faucet with one I found on sale at Lowe's. I made the roman blind for the window (will be posting a tutorial) and replaced the florescent light above the sink with a simple pendant.

We have held off on replacing the flooring as I continue to go back and forth between wanting to tile it or wait until we replace all of the upstairs flooring and do a laminate wood throughout. Have I mentioned to you that I am very indecisive? We also plan to update our appliances, I can't wait for an over-the-range microwave to free up some much needed counterpace!!

Most recently, I decided to get rid of the beige walls throughout the house and started with the kitchen. We used Behr Dolphin Fin which has a slight blue undertone to it in some lights, but overall I am happy with how it compliments the darker grey and bright white cabinets.

Before & After

Before & After

Pantry Before

Pantry Before

Pantry after

Pantry after

 I love finding ways to make changes within our budget and I stay busy day dreaming about my next projects :)

Jess xx