DIY Kitchen Makeover – Getting Started

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Moving into a new place always requires a lot of work and a lot of love. But if you really want your place to shine – and not be just another renter – it also requires a little extra elbow grease. I like to treat every place I live or work as if it’s my own. Therefore it receives the same love and care. The one really big thing I want to put some work into first is our new kitchen. It was freshly painted before Scott and I moved in, but in a flat paint and nothing more. Therefore the grease over the stove has bled through the paint and it can’t be cleaned. The cabinets are also a very dull, non-exciting white, and overall the kitchen feels very bland to me. It lacks any kind of personality. My son, Cody, and I decided to start on a few things to give it a cheery makeover until we have more money. First on our to do list was to make a space for notes and honey-do lists for Scott. We decided to apply chalkboard paint to the two outer kitchen cabinets for a little pop and to make it more fun.
Here are the cabinets over the sink before we started. That’s my son, Cody, at the ready with a cordless drill.
Cody took the doors off the cabinets from the actual door. At first we tried to do it the “right” way and remove the hinges from both the cabinet and door, but as it turned out the hinges are attached pretty well to the cabinets courtesy of many layers of paint.
We laid newspaper outside on the back porch and Cody went over each door several times with nice, even layers of Kryon Chalkboard Paint. This was the right cabinet door.

And this was the second cabinet door. He did go back and do the sides as well.

Once the doors dried completely, Cody re-hung them.

After letting them dry for a good 24 hours, we then brightened them up with some chalk.

In the meantime, I’ve also started looking at paint colors to cover the grease in the kitchen and to add a little color while still keeping the space neutral.

These are the colors I have my eye on. (Check out the real deal in Lowe’s stores to get a better idea of the colors. Computer screens I have found vary greatly and even my computer screen doesn’t accurately portray these colors.) I’m thinking the tea stain in a good paint with primer for the walls – it’s only slightly lighter than the colors on the walls now – and the Grandma’s linen for the cabinet structure and remaining cabinet doors. I believe they will tie together beautifully and give the kitchen a little pop without going overboard since we’re renting. We’ve already started on some of the preliminary work. Cody spent much of Saturday pulling nails and screws, tracks that attach to nothing, hooks, etc. left in the walls – of which there were many! So now there’s just hole filler, paint and brushes and rollers to buy and a lot of work ahead!

I’ve also looked all over for spice racks and when I couldn’t find any locally I started pricing them online. I’ve had a love affair for magnetic spice racks for some time, however, I have read multiple complaints about the tins not sealing tightly. In the end I’ve decided to simply buy earth magnets and E6000 glue to adhere to the back of my existing spice containers which I will then store on the side of the fridge in arms’ reach of the stove. (I bought my magnets and glue from CandyTiles on etsy.) As my spice jars run empty I can refill them with bulk, organic herbs I’m able to buy at a discount from Mountain Rose Herbs. And for fun, I’ll decoupage my own hand designed labels to cover the existing herb jar labels. Which reminds me, I need to buy mod podge! I’ll post photos once I get that task completed!

In the meantime, here are some photos what our kitchen looks like one week after moving in.

We’ll be replacing the valances once we have the money and decide on the final wall color. That’s the pantry door to the right.

Another view. You can see there’s no light over the sink. I’m wondering if there’s a battery version we might be able to install there. And then you can see our kitchen radiator under the window.

The stove area along the same wall as the sink. Unfortunately there’s no exhaust vent either and in the winter it can be a tad too cold to open the windows. Any suggestions for options there? As you can see the fridge is right behind the stove so I think the side of the fridge is perfect for putting spices. I also have all handmade magnets on the fridge. There are several fortune cookies pinned to it. My two favorites are: “Happy event will take place shortly in your home.” and “Get your mind set…Confidence will lead you on.”

We have a dishwasher, which is amazing in a house over a hundred years old that’s also a rental. The little alcove behind it is a washer/dryer hook up area.

Does any have other suggestions for improving my kitchen? Thanks so much for taking this little journey with me.

Aqua Kitchen Craft Projects

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I may receive compensation from links on this site. As an Amazon Associate I also earn from qualifying purchases. See my disclosure policy.

There’s just something about blue that I love. When I had my own house before the divorce, I made over every room in the place. The kitchen was probably the toughest. My ex-husband and I laid tile over the existing countertops, we painted all of the cabinets and gave them new hardware, we eventually had to replace all of the appliances and the sink, and my ex put down a laminate tile floor.
I also painted over the absolutely horrid wood paneling with a pale, pale lavender paint that was so light it almost looked white. The theme, however, was that retro 50s robin’s egg blue and a dark brown. I even painted the ceiling the same color as the pale blue kitchen cabinets. And I purchased retro 50s atomic dinner plates to go above the cabinet space.

While I no longer have my lovely kitchen, I haven’t lost my taste for retro shades of blue. One of those shades being aqua. So when I ran across this lovely aqua and red themed kitchen (above) featured on Kitchenisms, I was in heaven. (I highly encourage you to visit Kitchenisms in order to view photos of every inch of this marvelous kitchen.) But even the most perfect, colorful kitchen needs a few personal touches. So if you’re thinking of repainting your cooking space, consider the following craft projects to add a handmade touch. They’re not just pretty to look at, but functional too!

This bunting tea towel from A Scrappy Project adds just the perfect touch. Make several and keep them in daily use. It’s pretty enough to leave out for quick hand drying and clean ups and has beautiful aqua patterned fabrics for the bunting that make it a perfect match for an aqua themed kitchen!
Every kitchen needs a clock! I particularly love this diy clock from Landee see, Landee do. Not only is it painted aqua – of course you can make it any color you like – but it’s personalized with photos of family members. Since the kitchen is not traditionally a place you would see family photographs, I think this unique concept makes it extra special. Now, every time you glance at the clock to check the time, you’re reminded of those you love! (Or that you’re late picking up the kids from school. Wink.)
What about you? What are your favorite colors for kitchens and what color is your kitchen now?