Kitchen Update continued

Hi all I know it’s been several months since I posted. During this time I completed painting the kitchen walls.  I chose a blue gray from Benjamin Moore called Little Falls.img_2675.  It’s a really pretty color that complements the gray cabinets.  I did it pretty quickly and I really love it.  Unfortunately it makes the cream counters look terrible.  Still to come in the kitchen I will be replacing the countertops, removing the vent and putting in an open shelf, replacing the metal pantry doors and getting a new stove and light fixture.

Bob the Builder will be back in a week to begin painting

the living room, dining room, sunroom and guest room and replacing  the carpet. I am also completely redoing the guest room and making some changes to the master bedroom. It’s going to be a complete house makeover.  I can’t wait to share it all with you. Stay tuned for more details..














Kitchen cabinet sneak peek!

Hi guys! I know it’s been a while since I posted but I have had a lot going on, and not just DIY related.  It’s been a whirlwind 6 weeks after giving my notice at my job.  Today is my last day and I start a new job in a week.   I’m very excited about taking on a new challenge.

I thought I would share with you a sneak peek of the painted cabinets. I am really loving them, however because they are so old when Bob the Builder hung them back up some of them aren’t closing firmly. In particular one of the lower cabinets under the sink and the pantry door.  This is a problem because Abby opened that cabinet and spilled the entire brand new bag of dog food all over the floor! At first I thought this was because I hadn’t closed it properly, but when it happened again I moved the dog food. 😀 Then one day I came home and all the Tupperware in the pantry on the second shelf had been pulled out.  She was trying to reach the third shelf where her dog treats are kept. Now that she is 14 fortunately she can’t jump that high any more.


first peek at the cabinets!


Once the cabinets were completed, as you can see,the gray made the mustard yellow walls look hideous.  They also look blue gray in one picture and a completely different shade of gray in the next.  You can also see where I started to patch the walls and also how yellow the gray makes the counters look.  Clearly, the next project will be painting the walls. Stay tuned!



Bob the Builder

I told you previously about my friend Patti, she  is one of those amazing women who is truly good at whatever she sets out to do and is always willing to help out her friends no matter how much it inconveniences herself. She came up with this elaborate template so that each hole would be in the exact same spot on each cabinet.  This process involved measuring from center, and marking lines and making holes in paper and drilling in sample holes.  It was exhausting just watching her.  I think it took us (really her) over an hour to come up with one template that she felt like was worthy of  actually putting drill to cabinet. I just kept watching her and agreeing when she explained something, but I really didn’t know what she was talking about. However, at the end she thought it looked like it was pretty straight.  I have never picked up a drill in my life, so she decided to let me borrow the drill and advised me to go get a piece of scrap wood from the hardware store and practice drilling.  By the time she left I was exhausted and had to take a nap.  I think we both thought this would be a pretty straightforward process and we could install and hang them in a couple of hours.

I came to the realization that I  was the only one responsible for drilling holes in these smooth, newly painted cabinets.   I am a lefty and I have always had trouble cutting a straight line, so why did I think I could drill 23 accurate sets of holes in perfectly smooth wood?  So I went to Home Advisor, one of those recommendation websites and found a small job handyman, and yes I swear, his name is Bob so of course we are going to call him Bob the Builder.

bob the builder

*This is not Bob the Builder but he does kind of look like this 🙂

Bob the Builder gave me a quote on installing the hardware and hanging the cabinets.  It was so reasonable I agreed at once,  the only catch was I had to put the hinges back on cabinets.  It actually wasn’t too hard as the holes from the hinges were still there so I could just drill them back in to the same spot.  I was very proud of how quickly I drilled those holes and put those hinges on.  There was something kind of stress relieving drilling through the wood.

3 Things Not to Forget when Painting your Kitchen Cabinets

I started painting again and it took me two coats on top of the two previous coats of the old color.  After the second coat I looked clearly at each cabinet and saw all the white spaces needing touch up.  So I touched up the corners and the other imperfections.  Instead of it looking smooth and fabulous, it looked uneven and worse than ever.  I used too much paint of course and so I had to go back and add yet another complete coat to the 4 existing coats. It was finally done and it looked pretty good.  I figured only I would notice the drips and other little imperfections.  If you are a friend and get to see the finished cabinets you are not to notice them either 🙂

Take a look up at the top of the blog and check out those cabinets again.  Do you recall one of the things I said made them so awful?  It was the lack of hardware and the fact that you had to open them using your fingers.  So the next step was to choose the hardware that I would add to the cabinet doors and drawers to update the look.  I picked out a more modern handle in a satin nickel finish that would blend with the stainless steel fridge.   I also had to spray paint all the brass hinges and nails.  I used a Rustoleum specialty metallic spray paint.  It’s hard to believe that all the parts and pieces are finally coming together. handles

My awesome friend Patti is also in the process of re-doing her kitchen, but where  she is McGyver-like in her DIY skills I am more like Inspector Gadget.  She agreed to come over with her drill (because of course she had one) and help me begin to install the hardware and hang the cabinets.  I had been so focused on the drawers and doors I forgot to put the second coat of paint on the frame and still had to spray paint a few more hinges, all of which I did a few hours before she came.  I felt terrible because the frame was still somewhat wet and we couldn’t hang the cabinets because they would stick.

So here are the top 3 things I learned about painting your kitchen cabinets:

  • Use caulk to fill in the gaps between the trim and cabinet.  I didn’t find this out until it was too late 😦
  • Don’t think all you have to do is use the deglosser and that will be all the prep you need.  If you have really old cabinets you will need to at least sand lightly, no matter what the experts tell you.
  • After all your focus on the cabinets and drawers, don’t forget to paint the frame.





ConfettiStyle to the Rescue!

I think there is a stereotype that interior designers are only hired by the wealthy, which I am definitely not!   I would like to introduce  you to interior designer Shelly Dozier-McKee.  Shelly also has a great blog called ConfettiStyle.  Shelly is an interior designer, design blogger, creative maker and style enthusiast.  Shelly came to my house and listened to what I wanted and made great suggestions and not just about the cabinet paint color.


Shelly Dozier-McKee from ConfettiStyle

This kitchen cabinet project is only one of the many DIY projects I want to do over the next year or two. I have been living in my condo for 13 years and its time to do some updates that weren’t necessitated by a flood!   I want to paint the kitchen walls and also paint the living room, dining room, sun room and hallway.  (Who am I kidding, remember me, I’m the girl who hates to paint.)  Shelly spent a lot of time listening to all my ideas and showed me some color samples.  She had a big box of those paint sample swatches like you get from the hardware store and she produced colors like a magician.

She left promising to send me an email with all the things we talked about and sure enough I received a great email with a design board that I will share in a later post.  I am such a dork, I was so excited to have my own design board! It was just like being on the professional blog sites.

Here are her suggestions:


*  Paint kitchen cabinets
*  Paint walls
*  Replace fluorescent ceiling light

Paint Colors:  All Benjamin Moore 

Kitchen Cabinets:  
1) Nimbus—1465 (classic lt. gray with clear undertones)
2) Gray Owl—OC-52 ( classic lt. gray—just a tad richer than Nimbus)
3) Coventry Gray HC-169 (darker than the other two colors—clean and crisp)
Kitchen Walls:  final decision will be made after the accent fabrics are picked for the living room.
So as you can see I have a lot to do.  I went to Benjamin Moore and got the three paint colors she suggested and chose Coventry Gray.  Below is an example of a fantastic  kitchen using Coventry Gray for cabinets so you can get somewhat of an idea of what the color will look like, because those gorgeous cabinets look nothing like mine!

Coventry Gray kitchen

I hope you will follow along as I paint these cabinets and see how they turn out!

Have a great day!




3 Signs You Should Invest in Choosing the Right Paint Color

So I hate the Sutton Place gray paint.  I mean I really HATE it.   It looks nothing like I thought it would.  At that point, I really didn’t know what to do.  I went back to the drawing board (pinterest) and looked at more colors.  I also went to Sherman Williams, Benjamin Moore, Ace Hardware and PPG.    I looked at Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware and Farrow and Ball color palettes.  My head was spinning and I was seeing gray spots in front of my eyes by the end of this process.  I found an article on a great design website  titled Pick-A-Paint Color: How to Quit Procrastinating on Color Choice.

It was very helpful in explaining the different tones in color and how there are warm and cool undertones to different colors.  After I read it I kind of felt like I failed Color 101 back in Kindergarten!

I decided that it was time to call in the big guns and seek professional help.  I remembered my friend Dawn talking about an interior designer she had hired to come over for a few hours and help her stage and decorate her apartment.  So I decided to call her and see what she had to say.

3 Signs You Should Invest in Choosing the Right Paint Color:     

1.  You have been to every hardware store and you have nowhere else to go.

2.  You can’t see the color gray without feeling nauseous.

3.   After hours of browsing you now hate pinterest.

The 911 Paint Consultation

I began prepping the cabinets and drawers by emptying and washing them down  and  then wiping them down with a liquid deglosser to remove the shine.  This was a great opportunity to clean out 13 years of spices in a top cabinet I never use and also lots of packaged food long past the expiration date.  I basically ended up with salt, pepper and garlic powder when the dust cleared.    I then took my teeny tiny  electric screwdriver ( it kind of looks like a glue gun) and laboriously removed every drawer and cabinet and numbered them with corresponding ziploc bags of the screws and hinges to go with each cabinet.  I even created a schematic on my whiteboard of the cabinet setup. I was so impressed with myself.  You would have thought this would insure I didn’t lose any screws or get them mixed up.  If you believe that you clearly don’t  know me well yet.

Once I got everything set up I began to paint.  I have a confession to make, for the  most part, I hate painting.  Several years ago I painted my living room, dining room, sun room and hallway.  It took a whole summer to complete.  I can still see the drips and  paint spots on the ceiling.  So as I set out to paint the cabinets, I forgot all about my love/hate relationship with painting.  I used a roller and brush and began to apply the paint.  The paint kept squishing over and it looked all drippy. No matter what I did it looked uneven and generally crappy, to use a technical term.   After an emergency phone conversation with my father, who is my DIY 911 consultant, I learned I was using too much paint on the roller.  So, i tried again, but i never seemed to get the hang of it with the first coat.  I vowed I would do better with the second coat.


Gratuitous pic of Abby

Once I painted one side, i put them down on sheets on the floor.  This was immediately a bad decision, because my dog Abby decided to step on one of the cabinets and I had to stop and remove the paint from her paw.   Abby is a 14 year old Jack Russell Terrier who owns the house.  She is the kind of dog who immediately lies down on top of freshly folded laundry, the outfit I just laid out to wear to work, the remote control or any papers that I might be working on at the time.

By the time I put the second coat on I had gotten the hang of going back over the drips and sort of smoothing it all out.  I came home after work one day and looked at the completed two coats.  I realized two things, first it needed a third coat and second I hated the color.  It was too beige and just looked blah.  The more I looked at it the more I hated it. Now what was I going to do?