The Kitchen Finale… Finally!

This Christmas break has given us a bunch of extra time to work on projects around the house.  It felt great to get moving on the house again since it’s been a while since we’ve done anything big!  We decided to tackle the kitchen and finish it up… if you remember, we left off after painting the brick and cabinets, but the rest of the walls were still dirty, stained, grungy “white”.  Or yellow, really.  We had actually already purchased the paint and everything, so this stage of the kitchen was almost free!

The majority of what we needed to do was finish painting the ceiling, walls, and trim.  I also finished the floor by stenciling on it, and I love the results!  I don’t know if I would have had the guts to do the floor stencil if this was our “forever” kitchen, but since this is a “live-with-it” stage until we can do a whole gut job, I went for it!  I’m so glad I did!  The floor was probably the most tedious part of the entire kitchen update.  It started with peeling old linoleum off of the plywood subfloor, which of course required very nasty chemicals to get all of the glue off.  Then it needed to be wood puttied, sanded down a bit, and finally primed and painted.  This part of the process has been done for a while, but we needed to wait until the rest was done to finish the painting and stenciling part.  I’m glad we waited – the floor got pretty scratched up moving things around, and it had more than a couple paint drips on it!

There are just a few minor details to still finish up, but here is our kitchen as it is right now!

We purchased our fridge from the Sears scratch and dent in Lawrenceville.  It’s a Whirlpool, and we really like it.  I love having the freezer drawer on the bottom!  We didn’t get a french door fridge because we were afraid the door handle would hit the wall on the right side.  We also didn’t want a water dispenser in the door so that we’d have more room on the inside.

The red letter “N” above is from an antique shop down the road in Tarentum.  You can also see above how we replaced the old cabinet and stove hood with a new microwave and a shelf to hold pretty fiestaware dishes.  We were able to find the microwave on craigslist, brand new.  Our oven and dishwasher are from a local store called Good Housekeeping, which I would highly recommend.  We purchased a Frigidaire Pro stove with induction and electric cook top, and convection or conventional oven.  Our dishwasher is also a Frigidaire Pro, and we’ve been extremely pleased with both of them.

In the few months since we decided to stencil the floor, I’ve been searching high and low for a stencil to use.  The only place I found that sells large scale stencils was extremely expensive.  So I decided to make my own :)  I used Adobe Illustrator to create the design, then I printed it out and transferred it on to plastic used by quilters for their templates.  I cut it out and voila – my own custom stencil!  I was very pleased with how it all worked out, and I saved a TON of money by doing it myself.  For the colors, I used gray on gray.  I actually just used the same floor paint (Valspar floor paint in gray) but mixed in a little of our white trim paint to get the lighter gray color.

You can also see the pot rack in the picture – it’s a Grundtal shelf from Ikea, with s-hooks allowing the pots to hang.  We desperately needed the storage – our kitchen is fairly small (which also makes it difficult to photograph).

The artwork above are two vintage pieces … one is the instruction manual for my mother’s old Sunbeam mixer, and the other is a cookbook found at a friend’s house which had been left by a previous owner.  I love that both of them worked perfectly with the color scheme!  You can also see the curtains in the room… I actually made them with a flat twin bed sheet from Walmart with red trim sewn on (from Jo-Ann’s).  The curtain hardware is from Ikea.  The wall color is Palm Springs, from ACE hardware.  It’s their Royal brand.

Above shows the detail on the red trim.  I actually just machine-sewed it on – it took no time at all!

Obviously the biggest impact in the kitchen was just paint, paint, and more paint.  I don’t think we left a single surface untouched!  We use Purdy paintbrushes for all of our painting, they are by far the best that we’ve used.  Typically when we paint, I cut in while Jared rolls.  I’ve found that Purdy’s angled brushes are perfect for this, my favorite being the Cub XL brush.  I’ve been using the same Cub XL brush for months now, and it’s still holding up great.  Purdy recently provided me with a set of paintbrushes to review, and I give them 2 thumbs up for great brushes that are long lasting and perfect for all of our needs!

So there it is… the kitchen is FINALLY done for now!!  There are always a few minor things we need to do, but I’m very pleased with how it all turned out.