My Kitchen Renovations

Guess what I have been up to! I have not posted in a long time and there have been good reasons for that!  My son and husband went on their third camping trip of the season sometime last week.  I was speaking with my mother-in-law at her home on Sunday (the day they left).  She has been stir crazy suffering from cabin fever ever since her hysterectomy surgery 4 weeks prior.  I was discussing with her all the things I wanted to do this week.  She advised me to make a list and she will come out on Monday – because she needs to get out. She jokingly (but seriously) said she will come bright and early and hold me accountable to my list!

Sure enough bright and early – well for me! – on Monday afternoon she and my father-in-law came by.  They were surprised I actually wrote a list.  Even though my husband and I discussed redo-ing our entire house and need to do it soon, especially since my oven conked out on me, I had paint the cabinets on my to-do wish list. They were brown cabinets that were extremely depressing to look at. We had white floral wallpaper with wedgewood blue stripes going down on two walls in the kitchen.  We had replaced our picture window on one wall and I painted it a wedgewood blue to match the stripes from the wallpaper. We have blue indoor/outdoor carpeting and the other walls and ceiling needed a desperate paint job.  We decided to start this project!

My mother-in-law called her friend whose son is a painter and who just finished painting their cabinets.  He suggested the paints to use.  I went shopping and we got to work. Monday we primed the cabinets. It took 2-3 coats to hide the brown. We ended late. Tuesday we started late again – close to 5 PM!  I had a doctor’s appointment at noon, so I couldn’t have started earlier. We also need to wait for my brother-in-law to come move the china cabinet and refrigerator so that we can paint.  He decided to stay and help out.  I cut in and he rolled the paint.  We chose Grecian Green for the walls. That was Tuesday. Here is what the walls look like:

july-2006001.jpg                 Kitchen Revevotions 2

My refrigerator was cluttered with magnets and papers, it looks so great without it all!

On Wednesday, my daughter and I took a break and went to the beach. I felt like I had a clear head doing that, but once I was there, I was so relaxed.  I love the beach – absolutely love hearing the waves crashing against the shore and just looking at the beautiful scenery.  I am at home on the water! So it was a nice break from the tension and fumes of paint!  We stayed until 6 PM! I had to rush home for a 7PM meeting which by the way was canceled.  I didn’t get started on the kitchen until well after 8.  I went over the spots we missed.  I cut in nicely, but my brother-in-law hit the ceiling with the roller so I had to patch up some of the marks. I fixed my trim work as well. I cleaned my china cabinet with newspaper and glass cleaner and it looks great – streak free!  I cleaned the contents and arranged them by category!

 China Cabinet and TeaPot paraphenalia

Thursday, my in-laws are back to help.  I need to say that on Tuesday when I put the first stroke of paint on the walls, they thought I was going to have a melt down.  I wanted a subtle look but saw that it was darker than I expected. But after a while and realizing I am not turning back now nor am I wasting paint, I continued on.  Needless to say, I am now pleased with my decision.  I love the way my frames look against the walls.  You cannot tell much but the matte on the pictures are a perfect match for the walls.

So Thursday was paint the cabinets day! MY daughter helped all week long but this day she concentrated on her room, as her father was hoping he would come home to a spotless house – little did he know!  My first reaction to the cabinets was that they were not glossy enough.  But taking into consideration how dark they were and the material they were, the cabinets looked great.  We needed only one coat of paint. We were done! 

Friday, I spent the day shopping for accessories.  I bought mini-blinds and a new clock and some tablecloths. I went to Home Depot and bought new handles for my cabinets. I forgot to get some latches to put on my large cabinets to help them stay closed. My mother-in-law was the only one to come out on Friday so we met at a local pizzeria that serves the best food!  I treated as thanks.  We were so full, we ended up packing 1/2-2/3 of our food to go.  We got home around 5 and got to work.  It was a lot harder than I expected. I had no electric tools so I had to mount the blinds myself. It was tough! The handles didn’t go through some of the cabinets, so I had to go to the hardware store to get more (longer) screws. (even though my husband could open up his own store with the amt. he has! – he just didn’t have the ones I needed – naturally!)

I finally got the finishing touches done. Here is the results of that end of the kitchen:


White Cabinets!

I am very pleased with the outcome overall.

I still want to stencil some grapes on the wall on top of my cabinets. I was at a home show and saw these scratch-on art and I bought them. A part of me wants to wait until I do my kitchen permanently, but another part wants to do it now!

So what was my husbands reaction to my home improvement job?  He walked in while I was vacuuming and I was slightly disappointed because I wanted everything in order – but they arrived an hour ahead of schedule. I shut the vacuum off and I looked up. He had a grin from ear to ear and my son squinted and said how bright it was! (A complaint we always had was how dark the kitchen was!)

He was very pleased yet shocked that I did it myself – well that is without his help! I told him about everyone’s help especially his daughter’s and he was extremely proud. He said as long as I didn’t have another guy come in (as in pay someone) he didn’t mind what I did.  So I told him, the panelling in the hallway goes next! 🙂


16 Responses to “My Kitchen Renovations”

  1. Elaine Says:

    I also bought two baskets that go under my green server (was always green!) I was tired of having recyclables collecting at the garbage can. So one is for papers and the other is for plastics and metals.
    I bought a new garbage pail and a new clock too!
    When all was said and done it only cost about $300 to spruce up the kitchen!

  2. Aunt L Says:

    Wow, Elaine! When you put your mind to it, you can work wonders! It looks great. Boy, does my kitchen need a sprucing up – never mind the rest of the house. How can I light a similar fire under Uncle J’s butt?

  3. Elaine Says:

    Aunt L,
    I will give you my mother-in-law’s number so you could get in touch with her!
    Thanks for the compliment – I know it has been awhile, but I am sure you remember how dark and dreary it was!

  4. ~Kat #8 Says:

    Do you have any BEFORE pics? I remember what it looked like but would love to compare. Did you have to wash the cabinets down first or did you just prime them? My cabinets are really dark too and I want to paint them. Can I send my family to camp Elaine for a week so I can get my house in order?

  5. Elaine Says:

    Ok – here is the deal!

    It all happened so fast!

    I should have washed the cabinets down with Murphy’s Oil Soap or something to get the grease off – but we got some sandpaper instead and just started scraping a bit thinking the paint would just drip off if we didn’t make the surface rough. I guess it was ok, the cabinets were not really dirty, so just wiping it down was fine.

    I would suggest washing them though, but my mother in law was anxious and just got down to business!

    As far as pictures – again – we were so anxious to start – we thought about that when we were halfway through, but I said I have plenty of before pictures (when we took pics in kitchen for other reasons). But I limited those because I hated the kitchen so much! LOL. I can’t post the befores because my family is in them! I can try to cut them out! That might work. I will see what I can do – it would make a statement to see how different it looks!

    So – in a nutshell – I sanded a bit – because the sandpaper really didn’t sand but did take off grime, so that was good. I didn’t even wipe them down after the sanding – dumb but you can’t even tell either! So I just sanded – primed and painted – done!

    I suggest doing it – I used Impervex – no oil base – primer by Benjamin Moore (but I was told they are discontinuing that – don’t know why) I also used BM paint super-gloss white – but that comes in other colors as well.
    I say go for it – but camp is closed for the season! LOL

    How was the Bachelorette party??

  6. ~Kat #8 Says:

    The party was fun! I do have one complaint though. The mexican restaurant RAN OUT OF GUACOMOLE!!!!! WTF!!! Plenty of margaritas to go around but no guacomole after 2 orders! And it was so good…Still can’t believe they ran out! After dinner a couple of us went to a bar to have yet another drink! I was home (Aunt Fran’s home) by 11:30. And both my kids were still up! The guys got home not too long after that. Wish you were there. We could have used a couple more Masella’s! See you Saturday though. Any luck finding a dress? This will probably be the last of the weddings for our family. Treat yourself to a new dress. Who cares what size it is!

  7. Shirley Says:

    Elaine, your kitchen is beautiful. What a tremendous amount of very hard work you did in a relatively short time.

    I have a favor to ask. Please make your answer to me about the history of tomato sauce weekend, a full post. Please.:) I want to link to it, and am not sure how to do that with comments. It would make a wonderful post and wouldn’t take much time. You could just cut and paste. Any pictures?



  8. Elaine Says:

    Kat ~
    ~ HELP!
    I have nothing to wear to the wedding! I have to go out and buy – I have one good shopping day! What are you wearing? Long, short, gown-length? Black?
    All my dresses are out-dated! And others don’t fit! And then I have a lavendar gown – but I think that is overboard – HELP

  9. Elaine Says:


    I will post shortly about the tomato sauce weekend. I would love to post pictures – we are debating though whether there will be humans in them! LOL

    Everyone – I am still looking into posting before pics of my kitchen.
    I am glad you all think it looks nice – it is so much better than what it was before!

  10. ~Kat #8 Says:

    Go ahead and post the pics! I don’t mind.
    As for my dress, I went all out! I do have another wedding Sept. 3 so anytime you get to wear a dress twice is always worth the money! Anyway, it’s brown with gold beading around the halter top neckline and it’s full length. It actually has a little train! I wasn’t crazy about the train part dragging around but Alex and the sales lady went crazy when they saw me. It really fits nice. I actually asked the lady if she had the next size up! She’s was like what do you want a bigger size for? You look beautiful! I’m so used to wearing my clothes baggy! What are you doing after the wedding? I’m sharing a room with Michael & Tracy…Wish me luck! God, I hope they don’t get into a fight!
    Good Luck shopping! Remember to think positive! Don’t get disgusted about the sizes. Did you know Marilyn Monroe was a size 12 in her days? If she was alive today she would be a 16! Designers suck!

  11. Elaine Says:

    I forgot I have a gown already! I wore it to the Fashion Show I organized last year.

    It is lavendar – but it is poufy – so I will take it to the cleaners, have it dry-cleaned and see if she can take the krinlyn (sp) out. If it ruins the effect of the dress, I will keep it in.

    I also have a navy blue glittery dress – it goes on an angle, like one side is knee-length and the other is longer. I don’t have shoes for that one though!
    I look skinnier in the blue, but I love the color of the other!
    Blue is form fitting, lavendar is A-line.

    I will see which one Erick likes – you make me feel better when you say yours is long!

  12. Elaine Says:

    I can’t wait to see your dress – it sounds very nice!

    We are going home – no one really to watch the kids. So we are not staying over. Hopefully they don’t fight or “get along too well” LOL

  13. Big A #1 Says:

    Poufy? Define Poufy!

  14. Elaine Says:

    See definition 3 – it is the closest I can get!
    Think Belle in Beauty and the Beast! but not that outrageous!

  15. Elaine Says:

    I modeled my dresses for Erick – he says go with the blue one. The purple one looks like I am a bridemaid-wannabe!
    So I will go shopping to see if there is anything else otherwise it is blue glittery dress for me.
    Anyone remember me wearing that to an occasion already? LOL

  16. Elaine Says:

    Anyone notice that I need to reupholster the chairs?

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