The biggest job was painting. It was also the least expensive but took the most time and effort. It's easy to dismiss this job and take shortcuts but it is well worth the effort to do it right. A photo of a famous French Chef's kitchen was the inspiration to paint the inside cupboards blue and the walls a butter yellow with white trim.
- Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
Instructions ; things you'll need:
- a flexible plan
- degreaser, sponges
- vinegar, mesh scrubbers
- Stain Proof Primer like KILZ or BIN
- brushes, rollers, rags
- a bucket, ladder
- Habitat store
- a handy or strong friend :-)
An old kitchen first needs elbow grease. Remove everything you can, tables, chairs and cover appliances with old sheets. Stay green, use soap mixed with vinegar to cut through even stubborn grease.
With a large scrubbing sponge wet the surface with the soapy water, do one wall at a time. After allowing to soak, go back over wet wall with the scrubbing side of the sponge. Finally, rinse the wall 2-3 times with clean water. Don't try to make the walls look clean, feeling clean is what you need. Years of cooking leaves a thin layer of grease on everything -do this job correctly and the effort in prep will save you later, you do not want your paint peeling off.
Do You Know whether the finish is laquer, varnish, oil or latex? You can always remove the finish on the wood trim and cabinets but first you'll need to determine whether it is lacquer, varnish or shellac? Each finish requires a different remover and most are very noxious and dangerous to breathe. Or they are too expensive.
Or you can cover it up. Rather than removing the varnish from wood window trim and cabinets, apply a coat or two of very good primer. Two stand out: KILZ and BIN -they also stop stains from bleeding through your paint. While not cheap, a gallon will not go to waste, it will cover water stains on ceilings and other bleeding stains, every homeowner should have a gallon in the basement.
Prime Rather Than Strip
Paint everything, trim, doors, and walls with the primer. You do not want to go back over anything. It also adheres well to all surfaces and you do not have to worry about whether you are painting over oil or latex. Keep the windows open when you use the primer, it can give you a headache -if you are sensitive. I use a window fan to blow air out and turn on the stove top hood.
The kitchen walls were originally white, the trim and cupboards dark pine with a shellac finish. One coat of primer was enough for the walls but the wood trim needed three coats. The primer dries very fast and is very thin, the more coats of primer I use, the fewer coats of paint you'll need. When you see the price of paint, you'll see why, fewer coats are better, also fewer coats keep the wood crisper and any architectural features sharper.
- 3 . Choose Your Paint Quality: $$$, $$ or $?
You will find paint offered in three price tiers:
- Cheap is okay to freshen up the same color but even pale yellow over white will require several coats to look even. If you go with cheap you'll regret it. It would have been cheaper if you had bought either moderate or expensive paint.
- Medium priced paint is good, if you are not changing colors too much, you may still need several coats if you are going light over dark.
- The expensive paint is often your best option. It will often cover in one coat. This will save you in the amount of paint you will need and the amount of work painting, after prep and priming, you may not have the desire or energy to apply several coats of paint!
Gloss It Over!
For a kitchen, I recommend a gloss finish, or even semi-gloss paint. Never choose flat or eggshell finish paint. I love to cook and I have managed to splatter many substances on my walls: espresso disasters, batter explosions, tomato sauce torpedoes... and heaven forbid the loose blender top! Gloss paint will allow washing off any multitude of sins, fast and easy.
Start with Trim and Baseboards
Using a small brush, paint the crown molding, trim and baseboards. Since, we are painting white over white and the walls were white, you will be able to avoid masking the walls. Use a painter's masking tool to avoid getting paint on floor. Keep a wet rag handy as you paint to wipe up any stray spots and drips, while still wet. I dDo not bother masking the window glass when painting trim. Coming back later with a straight edge razor is much easier and leaves a sharp clean edge.
Cut In Walls First
Using a small brush or edger cut in the walls first. Cutting in means you paint the edges. Paint a good 4 inches along the ceiling, around windows and along baseboards. It is then a fast job to use a roller and paint the walls, slightly over lapping the painted edges.
Wash your brushes and rollers thoroughly. Remove as much paint in water as you can and then use soapy water. D o not pour paint down the storm drains, this is illegal in many areas. Recycle large food cans and allow the water to evaporate in a safe place, out of reach from children or pets. Then bring can with dried paint residue to the recycling center.
Spend the time to look over your work, repeat the exam the next day. Correct any errors, missed spots, touch ups. Do it now and errors won't drive you crazy
Replace Sink & Countertops:
Tear off the old countertop and formica backsplash. Your local Habitat Store or Rehab Store often has perfectly fine used counter tops and sinks! The blue formica went well with the blue interior in the cabinets. A dishwasher on sale and it was easy to install. Used a piece of bead board for the new backsplash and install new GSFC outlets.
Go to Goodwill and buy old bedspreads - they make great drop cloths and cheap too! You can reuse them over and over.
Stay green, use soap mixed with vinegar to cut through even stubborn grease.
Visit your local and nearby Habitat stores weekly, get to know the employees, let them know what items you need, mine called me about several things that they received.
Be careful whom you hire to help and handyman can be handy at taking your money, ours connect the water reversed!
Google each item you buy and each step, often you can save lots of money but sometimes cheap is as cheap does!