The Kitchen.

For reasons I  hope are obvious, I was very invested in changing the kitchen. And not just because I was worried that facing that yellow before I had any coffee in my system might induce some sort of color-related rage.  Also because the kitchen was really pretty grody. The cupboards and tile were sticky with grease, the sink worked on occasion, but not always, and the interiors of the cupboards had every square inch of horizontal space covered in contact paper. Even the undersides of the shelves.

So. My plan? Photoshop together what I had in mind, get Dave on board, and poof, new kitchen. HA.

For your amusement, here’s the Photoshopped kitchen, before and after:

kitchen3  Kitchen

It was a rough sketch. Obviously.

Happily, Sherwin Williams had a paint sale. So we went to the store with a guestimate (this was before we closed…) of  how much paint we’d need, and proceeded to buy 4 cans of paint. Then we took them back to our apartment. On the bus. The bus stop in front of our apartment was blocked off by road construction, so we ended up walking 2 and a half blocks with 4 cans of paint. Not recommended, in case anyone wondered.

Then we stuck the paint in our apartment and waited until August. Once we’d closed and done the stinky rooms, we decided it was time to start the kitchen. Should only take a few weeks, right? HA. Again.

We forged ahead. We had a Plan. The Plan was:

  1. Remove the doors/drawers/shelves
  2. Apply liquid sandpaper to everything
  3. Maybe do some sanding if needed
  4. Prime
  5. Paint
  6. Put it all together.
  7. Paint the walls and trim.
  8. Have the electrician install new fixtures
  9. Woot! Stage 1 Done!


Prep went well…


We even remembered to label all the drawers and cupboard doors so that we knew where they went.


First we realized that the cupboards were definitely not solid wood. They were veneered particle board except for the fronts of the bases. Doh. So we bought a hand sander and got the veneer good and roughed up. We also realized that the shelves were permanently adhered inside the cabinet bases. So we’ll be painting those in place, then.

The bases of some of the bottom cupboards did come out though, revealing that this is not the first time aqua and red would be used in this kitchen:


So we sanded. Outside. Spike “helped.”


Then we primed. And primed again. And primed all the scratches one more time. We bought a paint sprayer, since we figured with this much to cover, that would make our life easier. HA.

The paint sprayer was great at the interiors of the cabinets. Everything else, not so much… At one point we were using brushes to take paint off the doors.

But, after just 5 weeks, we had all the cupboards and drawers painted. The blue took 2 coats, the cream took about 4.

Meanwhile, we ordered lighting fixtures. We wanted to replace the very attractive industrial fluorescent light over the sink with pendants, and put 2 warehouse-style pendants in the center of the room. Then we got to thinking that that is a lot of pendants.

So we ordered these from Home Depot (thank you coworkers for the awesome gift card):


Brushed Nickel Warehouse Pendant light (image via

And then, we decided to do these on either side of the sink, between where the cupboards end and the windows begin:

I liked the milk glass globes, and Dave liked the vintage look. They’re technically bathroom fixtures, but I think they work just fine in the kitchen.

When we got the warehouse pendants, they were enormous. I was worried that two of them would look way out of scale in the kitchen, even though it’s a good-sized room. So we took them back and started searching for something similar, but smaller. We hit the jackpot on with these:

The wire grill thingy seemed to be removable without marring the fixture too much, and it was clearly adjustable as far as the height from ceiling went, so I ordered two. The grills weren’t even on the fixture for shipping, and there were no marks or holes where they were supposed to affix to the fixture – so we left them off. Next we went out and bought a whole bunch of red spray paint.

Then the electricians came… and put lots of holes in the walls. I did not take pictures of the holes. I probably should have, but at that point, I had lost my camera. Well. Not lost in the sense of gone forever, just lost in the sense of I packed it and forgot to label the box. To be fair, however, when I found it, it was inside a Rubbermaid storage tub (and I hadn’t put it in there… I think the movers had consolidated).

The plumber came. About 2 weeks after we moved in, we discovered a waterfall in the dining room, thanks to a leaky shower pipe. So when the plumber came, he fixed the pipe (which took no time at all, thanks to the exploratory holes we’d created in the wall of the office…. more on that one later), and had time to put in (with Dave’s help) the brand new faucet.

Dave worked for 2 weeks to get the holes left by the electrical work patched. It was pretty darned impressive. And once they were patched, we finally painted the walls, and pulled all the protective paper up. I spent a weekend in the garage with 6 cans of red spray paint. The result? This:


It’s not done yet – we still need to paint the trim, the ceiling and the doors; we’ll probably replace the tile sooner than we planned(unfortunately, it was damaged when they did the electrical work), I’d like to get some curtains in there, and we’ll start looking for a small table and chairs soon. But I think we’ve come a very long way from this, no?



2 thoughts on “The Kitchen.

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