Monday, April 20, 2009

Crafty Quick Fix: Kitchen Update

Last week along with the help of four young & talented cousins and one handy boyfriend, we updated this once washed out kitchen into a cozy, welcoming space. In under two days, we turned white, uninspired cabinets into masterpieces of antique charm. The simple procedure called for removing all doors and hardware before any painting could get started. Jason soaked and scrubbed the old, original hardware in chemical solvent to remove any old paint and buildup. The kids and I painted two coats of Macadamia Nut paint from Benjamin Moore over all of the doors and cabinet facing. After allowing that to dry overnight, we then applied an easy colorwashing technique to give the cabinets depth, contrast, and added color. This technique also hides any imperfections in old cabinets. I also found that kids (with proper supervision) are the perfect applicators for this technique, especially when you have more than one child to help! Randomness in strokes enhances the effect and what better way to achieve random than by enlisting a couple of unique individuals with unique styles to help?

See below photos for a step by step guide to colorwashing.

In the first image, you can see the drastic difference colorwashing made to the cabinets. The left hand door was only painted with the Macadamia Nut while the right-sided doors were given our glamorous colorwash treatment. And in the second picture: the end result - a beautifully simply update to brighten any one's day.


1 Gallon of Basecoat (More or less may be needed depending on the size of your kitchen)
1 Quart of Glaze (Found in the painting aisle of most fine hardware stores)
2 3 oz. Paint Samples (One a shade slightly darker than your basecoat and the other slightly lighter than your basecoat)
Paintbrushes (at least 3 - one for each paint color)
1 Softening Brush (like this one available at Lowe's or any inexpensive alternative with relatively firm bristles)

Day One

Step 1: Remove all doors, drawers, and hardware (hinges and handles)

Step 2: Apply basecoat(s) (and primer first if necessary) to all cabinet doors, drawers, and facing. A light shade like Macadamia Nut here works well, but a pastel blue, green, or yellow could also be used. Allow about 4 hours dry time between coats (more time if humid). Allow basecoat(s) to dry overnight before moving onto colorwashing.

Day Two
Step 3: In small containers, mix 4 parts glaze to 1 part paint for each of your sample colors. These samples are now available at almost any paint retailer and only costs about $4 each. You save money and you don't get stuck with lots of leftover paint. I recommend using plastic spoons for the 4 to 1 measuring and mixing only small quantities at a time. It's easier for the kids to handle smaller amounts and it easier to prevent heavy application on any one area of your cabinetry by overly eager Picassos.

Step 4: Create an assembly line of three people. Person A brushes on darker glaze. Person B brushes on light glaze. Person C uses softening brush to blend and give texture. I've found it helpful to demonstrate the process to each individual involved, so they know what important part their role is.

Step 5: Person A brushes on the darker glaze in random areas, using criss-crossing "X" motions. Only a small amount of glaze mixture is needed for each door/drawer. Only allow the person to use what paint is on the brush after one dip in the glaze. This too prevents overly eager Picassos. There's no need to cover every square inch of the cabinetry, as Person B will come in to help fill in spaces. Have Person A move down the assembly line, adding their glaze to each door/drawer.

Step 6: As soon as Person A finishes their first door/drawer, have Person B follow suit and use the exact same procedure only using the lighter glaze mixture instead. Fill in spaces Person A left free, but feel free to leave some of your basecoat color shine through too. Allow Person A to also glaze directly over some of the areas covered my Person A's fabulous criss-cross glaze work. Have Person B move down the assembly line like Person A.

Step 7: Person C will now come along and use a dry softening brush to blend the glazes and add texture and depth to the treatment. Like Persons A & B, Person C will use criss-crossing "X" motions all over the cabinetry, varying between long and short strokes. Random is key! Have Person C follow Persons A & B down the assembly line.

Step 8: Allow glazes to dry at least 4 hours. Assess your handiwork. Feel free to repeat Steps 5-7 if you desire a darker or more enhanced effect. Tip: Have kids trade rolls this time so that Person C gets the opportunity to apply glaze.

Step 9: After glazes have dried, reattach hardware and reinstall drawers and doors.

Step 10: Step back and admire your new space!

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