Kitchen Transformation Part 1

When I bought the house the kitchen looked like this:

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I liked the freshly painted yellow walls and decided my color scheme would be blue, green and yellow. The first things I did were to buy two vintage ceiling lights and some curtains. ⇓

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But now what was I to do with this drab dark brown vinyl-but-looks-like-wood floor? ⇓

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I’ll show you what I did! I bought a large outdoor rug!

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A little more cheery!

Someday, I will rebuild and rearrange the entire kitchen and at that point, I will have brand new flooring installed. I already picked it out:


Blue and green vinyl tile! I’ve had ceramic tile: things break when you drop them. Always. On vinyl, they only break sometimes.

I intended to just have a counter with stools for eating at since I have a beautiful dining room. But then one day I was scrolling through an online marketplace and discovered this table and three chairs. They are now mine, mine, mine!

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Another view below.2018-01-07 11.49.37

This wall cabinet was less than half an inch too wide to fit over the fridge. But I love it so! So I hung my beautiful 1950s birch wall cabinet over here!2018-01-07 14.54.52


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What now? Time to tackle the cabinets! The wall (upper) cabinets were the worst. They don’t match the better-quality lower cabinets. I removed the doors, threw them away and opened my Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformations kit, which I had bought months earlier. I’d read and seen good things about it on TV and online, the kit comes with almost everything you need and makes transforming cabinets really easy and the finish is a good one. I chose the shade they call “cottage blue”.

Here are your before…

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And after (the de-glossing, two coats of base paint and one coat of protective top finish) pics…2018-03-20 20.38.55

And here, in a different light, finished and filled…2018-03-21 19.41.27

I don’t intend to leave the cabinets open. After doing a lot of research, making a few phone calls, reaching out to all sorts of people, the final decision I made was to make my own new doors. I measured the openings, added one half inch to each measurement (or one quarter inch for each side) and had some birch plywood cut at my local home improvement store. That cost about $40 for the sheet of plywood. I also spent about $60 on a router.

The router scared me to death! The instructions were very badly laid out – hardly any pictures! Luckily a wonderful individual made a YouTube video about how to set up and start working with my very model of router! Otherwise, I probably would have open cabinets!

I practiced on a scrap until I got the depth just right:

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And here are my doors. Above you can see the routed edges in more detail, below the row of six new, birch cabinet doors.2018-03-21 14.53.382018-03-21 14.53.50

Next step: Lower cabinets. Again, I removed the doors, but didn’t throw them away.

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Here are the drawers…

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Workin’ on it…

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Drawer fronts, too.2018-03-23 09.55.55

Just like I wanted them to look! I get happy when I come downstairs in the morning to make coffee.2018-03-23 18.01.36

The doors, although not poorly made, did not appeal to me. I want smooth, slab 1950s-1960s-style doors! I have decided I will experiment by filling in the inlay with plastic wood filler (below). It might fail. It might end up looking terrible. If so, well, I know how to make doors and I have birch plywood left over. Wish me luck!2018-03-23 19.36.49

Now I need to go away for a few days. When I get back, I’ll finish these to match the cabinets and drawers and install them. I intend to lacquer the upper doors because I love the wood grain and I think it’ll look nice and bright. You’ll find out! (So will I!)

PS: This vintage wallpaper will go on the wall above the upper cabinets.

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