Updating Our Kitchen

1995 is back, y’all! Unfortunately, in manifested itself in my kitchen! To paint or to completely start over? Let’s find out.

Moving into this house, the kitchen was the first room I wanted to update. Ugly oak cabinets with brassy fixtures and hardware, red counters (I repeat: RED COUNTERS), and cracked and stained linoleum floors were just the first things on my list of many, many updates required to turn this into a modern, clean, simple kitchen.

First step: cleaning!

This house was DIS. GUST. ING. when we moved in. This is not to blame the previous homeowner! He’s a single father of a young boy and spent so much time with his work that anyone in his position would have a house in this condition! No problem. Luckily I love to clean, especially when moving into a new home. The kitchen was easily the dirtiest room in this house (scratch that, maybe the bathrooms were a tad worse, but we’ll get to those later). Unfortunately we were faced with one of the worst things to find as new homeowners: pests! Lucky for Brandon, I have had mice before in previous house and I know how to rid the house of them. But the amount of, shall I say evidence, we found in this house was terrifying and extremely gross. I’m not skeeved out by a lot, but I wore a dust mask and gloves when cleaning this kitchen from all the droppings we found in the oven, under the drip pans on our stove, behind the dryer, and under the sink. Gross.

We lucky plowed our way through the mice problem and are happily pest free now! Need some tips? Comment below and I will happily provide some!

Next: the cabinets!

This dated oak finish appears everywhere in this house.

The easiest way to rid ourselves of this eyesore was to update that cabinetry. The cabinets in this kitchen are laid out perfectly for us, and we decided the easiest way to make a small difference here was just to simply paint over the percolated wood! We chose to use PPG brand from Home Depot (disclaimer, everything we used to update this house is from either Home Depot or Walmart. We’re on a budget, people!) The color we chose for our kitchen cabinets is a warm cream called Canyon Echo. Home Depot suggests using a high-gloss finish for cabinets, but in such a small home, we decided a semi-gloss would be easier on the eyes.

One more thing about the cabinets: whoever built this home had an obsession with brass hardware and finishes. A simple and easy way we updated our cabinets was to change the handles, knobs, and door brackets with simple pulls in a brushed nickel finish.

Next: the walls.

The original wall color in this kitchen was a glossy dark, warm tan.

It was almost a goldenrod yellow/ orange. Not our cup of tea! After we sorted through many contenders, we settled on Glidden Soft Sage in an eggshell finish (note: most of our walls are matte, but eggshell is slightly easier to clean, so it’s perfect for a kitchen!)

Green is not typically a kitchen color, but we love it! It’s light enough to brighten the room (we have a serious lack of natural light in the kitchen) but was dark enough to not look white-washed with the light cabinet color.

And finally: the counters!

If deep red linoleum counters are your thing, feel free to ignore the rest of this post. Unfortunately, not our favorite finish. Luckily, Rust-Oleum makes a countertop paint made specifically for covering up linoleum! The can costs about $25 (for a quart) and you bring it up to the paint counter to have them tint it for you. We chose Earth, because what else really goes with green and cream? Overall we’re very happy with how these counters turned out! Here is what I learned from this experience:

  1. Oil-based paints suck. Make sure you use brushes you don’t mind parting with! I personally used a combination of bristle brushes and foam brushes. But which ever you chose, you will just have to throw them out after (unless you have a good solution for me, and if so please let me know!)
  2. Definitely need tape for this project! I’m a free-hand girl myself, only using tape for edging or if absolutely necessary. However as this paint is oil-based, once dry its impossible to clean up! Even when wet all it does is smear! Cover your surfaces!

We have a handful of improvements yet to make in this kitchen (and I will post updates as soon as they’re finished!), so here are the ideas we have now:

Floors- We have a simple, old linoleum floor right now. B’s dad works at Home Depot and suggested their new flooring solutions: a click-lock waterproof laminate in a dark wood finish. It looks like hardwood, has a built-in underlay, and is a little higher on our price range but is made to last and super easy to install ourselves. Here is the Pergo brand floor we’re thinking about doing.

Here’s to a clean new kitchen! Before and after pictures below!

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