My kitchen had been featured on this blog and a couple of other publications a few times now already, but only because it was the most inexpensive built-in kitchen ever! I bought the kitchen 2nd hand online and then painted it, put on new counter tops and added pretty handles and hey presto! – new kitchen! But now, nearly 5 years later, it had started to look a bit worse for wear and I decided that it was time for a kitchen makeover. I have always been a devout fan of gray in all its hues, but the pale French gray in the kitchen was really getting a bit dull and dated. So here is my easy and inexpensive update, featuring the heroes in the today’s story: deep charcoal and crisp white paint.
A quick note on gray: even though you may think it is, gray is not necessarily a neutral colour. Most grays lean toward blue, red, pink and even yellow! So, when you choose a gray, always test it on a small area in the room first, and then live with it for a while so that you can see if the colour changes in different light and at different times of the day. I chose a deep charcoal gray that is specifically neutral and not leaning toward any other colour. These will usually be marked with an “N” in the code.
The doors were originally a very light beech laminate. We primed them with a laminate primer and painted them in a water-based emulsion the last time, so this time, no priming was necessary. I love water-based emulsions: it has all the washable and gloss properties of an enamel, without all the mess. These types of paints also usually have a slight sheen to them, making them really easy to clean as well.
A light sanding was all that was needed and then I started to paint the lovely deep charcoal on the lower cabinets, and a crisp white on the upper cabinets. The white required 2 coats with a light sanding in between, while the charcoal needed 3 coats with a bit of sanding between layers.
By sanding between coats, you get a really nice smooth finish that makes it look factory-finished.
Replacing kitchen cabinet hardware is another super easy way to quickly update the look of your kitchen. Handles come in standard sizes, but if you want something that is bigger or smaller than what you currently have, just make sure that you fill the old holes before you paint. These pretty little curved handles compliment the look of the kitchen beautifully. You can find similar ones from Knobs.co.
The charcoal really brings out the warmth of the butcher block counter tops while making the dishwasher less prominent – I didn’t expect that to happen, it was an added bonus!
Another advantage of having done this kitchen facelift was that I was forced to sort out my cabinets. Once the doors were off for a couple of days, I couldn’t stand the crazy mess inside the cupboards any longer and I started to sort out and throw out. My corner cabinet was probably the biggest challenge. There are fantastic hardware options, like the Lazy Susan, that will efficiently utilize the space. Because I also house the hob’s gas bottle in there though, it wasn’t an option. By simply putting all of the appliances that I don’t regularly use in there, I have now been able to maximize the space while not being confronted with the impractical shelving inside on a daily basis.
I completely love my new charcoal and white kitchen, and as I’ve said so many times on this blog, I am always amazed at how a kitchen can be transformed with a bit of paint and new hardware.
The paint for this post was sponsored by Prominent Paints.