Oak Cabinets Transformed!

Two toned cabinet paint

Feel free to judge this kitchen just as I did every single time I walked by this early 2000s eyesore! From fading oak veneer to hideously cheap hunter green laminate countertops, this small galley kitchen was BEGGING for a makeover. You'd think this kitchen would be the first project I tackled upon moving into the home and you'd be correct, to a degree. Our first step was to replace all of the old white appliances with these stainless steel beauties. Southern Belle Borrower hack: check out your local "scratch and dent" appliance stores for some great deals! I paid less than $1000 for the stove, dishwasher and refrigerator. Yes, there are some slight imperfections to the refrigerator but I'm not bothered by those minor details if it leaves more money in my pocket! After installing all of the new appliances, the kitchen's cabinets fell by the wayside for several months. Painting seemed like such a tedious and daunting task so I shoved it off on the good ol' to-do list that never stops growing (surely y'all can relate).

If you've read every single blog or Pinterest post about painting cabinets, you'll know, in theory, how to paint cabinets. We heeded every recommendation including removing hardware and creating a diagram. We took the top cabinet doors outside and wiped each one with TSP (USE GLOVES WHEN PERFORMING THIS TASK). We applied Behr Specialty Alkyd cabinet paint on a sunny day. Then we committed our first rookie mistake-we left them outside to dry overnight without considering the humidity that comes with living right by the water. I woke the next morning and looked down at my cabinet doors in horror! They all had pooled water in them as if we had experienced a deluge of rain overnight (we had not). Most of my paint was wiped clean and there was a milky water-paint mixture sitting in each cabinet's grooves. Yay!

Weather-1, amateurs-0.

After letting the cabinets dry in the sun for the better part of the day, we decided to try rolling the paint on instead of using the brush again. This procedural change made the difference, y'all! The paint rolled on evenly without creating those brush stroke lines or excess paint drips that the paint brushes were leaving.

Fast forward to the bottom half of the cabinets. Being the rebels that we are, we decided to throw all caution to the wind and leave the doors on their hinges. Using our newfound knowledge, we applied the paint with rollers and later cleaned up the painted hardware with paint thinner. When it was all said and done, we had beautiful two toned kitchen cabinets with brand new pulls. Plans are in the works to add a simple wood planked backsplash and butcher block cabinets.


Behr Specialty Alkyd cabinet paint in Rising Smoke and Snow Dust.

TrueKnob stainless steel cabinet pulls

Silver cabinet round knobs

Unconventional Door Openings

After being offered a transfer within my company to Washington from Florida, I purchased my new home sight unseen! The incredible views and a favorable inspection report sealed the deal for me. This house is small-under 1300 square feet-and has an unconventional layout which probably turned many buyers off when they toured the home. Their loss, my gain! A previous owner had created a new opening in the den so now there are TWO door-less entries that abut at the corner.

Since space comes at a premium in this home, I needed to create a dual purpose for this room: guest quarters and a coffee/wine bar. Generally speaking, I like my visitors so I felt it prudent to give them some privacy. Pocket doors wouldn't work in this space and one wall of the room has faux wood planking eliminating some design options. I had a brilliant (if I do say so myself) idea to hang curtains I had purchased at Ross for under $20 from the ceiling and quickly searched Amazon for some sort of ceiling mount. This option was sleek, highly rated, and most importantly, cheap!

I feel like this is the perfect time to mention that I do not get paid for posting these links. Believe me, I've tried. They said I wasn't popular enough and I couldn't disagree. Anyway, I ordered the mounts via Prime and received them a couple of days later. Because the openings join in the corner, I didn't want two separate rods running perpendicular to each other. Let's be honest, I also didn't want to buy extra mounts. Instead, I decided it was best to use the two newly purchased mounts on the outsides of each door opening and I found an old curtain rod mount to use in the corner. After a quick search in my tool box, I found a picture hanging kit with flexible wire to string through my curtain openings. When the curtains aren't closed, they're tied together in the corner using inexpensive jute rope from Michael's. All in all, I spent less than $40 on this project!