25 May 2009

I have a paint brush, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Last week my mother-in-law came out for a visit, the stated purpose of which was to help me paint my kitchen cabinets. I began painting them in a fit of inspiration after a MOPS speaker recommended Gliptex paint, from Porter Paints, as a great way to spruce up your kitchen. "It dries like an enamel" she said, and that sounded good to me. My mother had painted her cabinets (hired a friend of mine, actually) not too long before, but the paint she used was latex and already chipping. She wasn't super pleased, and I knew I needed to try something different.

I apologize for the scattered "before" pictures. I'm just hunting through my hard drive because I forgot to take one. This is from Autumn '06. I decided to tackle one cabinet at a time, thinking something along the lines of "how to eat a whale", I suppose. Off came the doors, and out came the primer. I made a basic mistake though, and one that I will spare you: Don't paint the insides of your cabinets. This way lies madness. It took me FOREVER to paint that one cabinet. I became completely discouraged. Also, it turns out that Gliptex, being an oil-based paint, is rather toxic and needs ventilation. I was pregnant at the time, and the very nice man at Porter Paints strongly encouraged me to only use it if ALL the windows were open. Even then, I could tell he didn't really think it was a good idea. Well, that was pretty far into the fall, and we didn't have any more days that year that were nice enough to open all the windows. So, there my solitary primed cabinet sat, doors off, waiting for inspiration to strike me again. You can see it behind my dad in this picture from December '07:

The Mad Scientist liked having the doors off for convenience sake, but it really didn't contribute to my visual peace. We were away from home all last summer (that's another post for another time) staying with my in-laws. Now, one thing that I love about my mother-in-law is, she has no fear when it comes to decorating. She's been very inspiring to me, and since this project clearly needed some help, I called in the expert. The woman is fearless with a paint brush!

We had just finished two weeks of my house being completely ripped up for a dining room remodel. (Look for a post about that soon, too!) I was stressed, and not dealing well with clutter. My MIL flew in on Friday, took all the cabinet doors off Sa
turday morning, and went to town. Now, I thought that I'd just paint the backsplash the same golden color as the rest of the walls, but she was very convinced that it needed something more. First we looked at aluminum roof flashing, which she had seen used on HGTV, but the Mad Scientist was very underwhelmed by the idea of having to come up with a way to attach the stuff to the walls. Then, of course, there was the color issue. See, I took a picture mid-project:

Yeah, pretty blah, isn't it? So, we decided to go with something very dark. I actually took that picture after we started painting the backdrop on the other side, because the difference was so dramatic, I thought y'all should see it. Charcoal, red, and deep tangerine were all in the running, but in the end we settled on this forest green/teal. It looked super teal when it went on, but deepened as it dried. It really sets the cabinets off, and even the countertop (which I really would love to replace at some point) looks better. We used a semi-gloss, for ease of washing. Here's the (almost) finished project:

I need to figure out what happened to my aloe, because it won't stay against the window since I screwed the bracket back to the cabinet. Also, be watching for some window mistreatments coming soon! And of course, there's just that bit of painting to finish over the cabinets. But that's a latex, so I should be able to manage. And the oil paint that has been my bothersome need-to-get-it-done for nearly two years? Looks great, doesn't it? I love my mother-in-law! (I also need to scrape all the splatters off my counter and stove, but I'm not complaining!)

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