It’s a rare snowy day here in North Carolina. These days are few and far between and are always a fun, surprising day off. You have to be prepared to simmer a large pot of chili, or make some tomato soup and grilled cheese on these days. As I rummage through the fridge and look for my snow day meal, I am reminiscing on how far the kitchen has come. Most people would have walked out of this house upon first seeing the yellow cabinets and maroon marbled counter tops. I however, saw the charm that was beneath the dirt and terrible color choices.
Pretty isn’t it? I loved the character of it though. The little scallop over the window, and the corner shelves, are absolutely adorable. The first order of business was painting the cabinets white. And let me give you some advise on this, because I have actually painted them THREE times in the last 4 1/2 years. So guess you could say I am an expert cabinet painter. Here’s where you can learn from one my mistakes… Use the right kind of paint. For something that gets as much abuse as a kitchen cabinet, you need to use cabinet enamel, not semi-gloss paint. The cabinet enamel is oil based, and is much more durable, When I used the semi gloss, it actually wore off from cleaning. And with white cabinets, you’re always cleaning them!
I also needed to relocate the washer since it was randomly situated in the corner of the kitchen, while the dryer was out on the mud porch. Totally unacceptable! lol. And the fridge was awkwardly stuck in the corner, blocking access to the “pantry”. So, with the help of a plumber, I decided to convert the pantry into the laundry closet, and move the fridge to the opposite side. A few added cabinets, and the corner is now a functioning space!
You can see a sneak peak of the counters and the floors! I went with butcher block, and I absolutely LOVE them. However, here’s another lesson I learned. Butcher block counters really need to be sealed, not just oiled. The color was way too light and looked unfinished when I just oiled them. You really need to seal BOTH sides and all edges of the counter, or you could end up with warping. I had a serious case of warping after a very short time, and had to remove the counters and fix them and then reinstall. They are not light by any stretch of the imagination, so you’ll want to avoid that huge mistake. I sanded, stained and then sealed using Waterlox food safe sealer. That is really important. You need a lot of coats of it, and it needs to be food safe. And I will repeat, you need to do all the sides and edges.
Look how pretty they are! What a difference!
Just a reminder of the before:
And here’s the after!
I ripped up the ugly old vinyl and added VCT tiles in a herringbone pattern.
This kitchen was a dramatic transformation without losing the original character. It truly is the heart of this home and I love cooking in it! From the window, I see my gardens and the big farm table where we have our family meals. It’s the perfect kitchen.
What’s your next project?