Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover


In my last post I chatted about our kitchen counter tops and how I painted them to better fit the farmhouse style I'm striving to achieve for our home.  Today I thought I would share the current state of our kitchen even though I still have a few more projects to tackle before I can say it's completely done.  Then again, are we ever truly done with a space? Probably not.

My goal is to create a kitchen that is casual, comfortable, and inviting.  Nothing too stuffy just cheery, simple, and functional.  Finally after many months of working a little at time I feel like I am on my way to achieving that goal!

As you know I'm choosing very budget friendly options for fixing up our home.  Thankfully one of the projects that really changed this space was removing several bulky cabinets which didn't cost a dime! 

 These cabinets were just a disaster waiting to happen because they were the perfect height to hit your head on plus they blocked so much natural light.  Our kitchen instantly felt brighter and more open after we removed them.  For several months we lived here with no lights over the island so we could save up and find the ones I really wanted, but the wait was worth it!  The lights I chose are from Lowe's.  The wooden board was hung originally to hide the damage to the ceiling that was caused from removing the cabinets, but it turned out to be one of my favorite features of the room!  I love when that happens.  I think it adds so much warmth and character. I still need to add trim around the board but I'll get to that one of these days.

I also chose to remove the three small cabinets above the kitchen sink.  I replaced them with open shelves instead.  I love the look plus the wooden shelves add to the warmth of the space by breaking up all the white!

As for the actual cabinets I decided to paint them and update the hardware for a fresh look.  You can check out this post for more details on that project.  I chose white paint for the uppers because I just love love love a white kitchen.  I chose a darker gray for the lowers for the sake of cleaning, but also because I just love the look.  I painted the cabinets in our first home like this and loved it, so I did the same thing here!

  Our back splash was another eye sore in our kitchen that just had to be addressed, but while staying on budget of course.  My solution was a $20 roll of bead board wall paper, painted glossy white, and I couldn't be happier with it!

We had just bought a new dishwasher, stove, & range hood for our last house so when we decided to buy the farm I decided to bring them with me.  I waited so long to get them so there was no way I was leaving them behind!  The refrigerator here was just a regular white fridge, nothing fancy, but it was clean and it worked well so it only made sense to keep it.  To help tie it in with our space and add a little farmhouse feel I painted the front of it with chalkboard paint and glued on some trim for a nice clean look.  My children love it!  It has become the place where my daughter writes her weekly spelling words.  Since school is almost over and they no longer have weekly spelling words, she wrote this message instead.  I have laughed so much because I have no clue where this came from!  It was too cute so I had to leave it for the photos!

I wrote Be Still as a subtle reminder of one of my favorite Bible verses.  It's a gentle reminder that I truly need on a daily basis.  A reminder that God has a plan and we need not worry for He is so good!

The decor in our kitchen is very simple and timeless. I hung this bucket and towel on the side of our island for a little splash of texture.  The towel was a gift from my mom and it reads "Please pardon the mess, my children are making memories".  I love it and it couldn't be more true!  If you were to walk in my house on a normal day you would see how those words truly apply here!

This time of year I love to decorate with fresh picked flowers in vases all throughout my house.  My children love to pick them too so we have them everywhere!  

I keep this small plant on my sink for a nice splash of green! I have no clue what kind it is but I found it at Lowe's for $2 and potted it in this cute little pot from the Target dollar aisle. It's been thriving for months now!  I think that's a record for me.  It makes doing the dishes a little more fun. :)

Here's a glimpse into our dining area in our kitchen.  I'll do a separate more detailed post of this space some day soon, but for now here is how it looks.  Again, very simple and neutral.

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by!  I hope this makeover will be an inspiration to  anyone who wants to change up their space but they want to do so on a budget!  It IS possible!  

You can also find me on Instagram & Pinterest!

Have a BLESSED day!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

DIY Painted Kitchen Counters

Has it seriously been almost 2 months since my last post?! I apologize that I've been neglecting this blog for so long, and I'm especially sorry to each and every one of you who check in regularly and you keep seeing the same old post! I'm not making any promises, but I'm going to try my best to do better, at least weekly updates if nothing else.  Even though things have been quiet on the blog doesn't mean things have been quiet at the farmhouse. It's quite the opposite actually.  I've been working on so many projects that I don't leave enough time to blog about them and what fun is that?! I have some serious catching up to do, I know. I've become a big fan of Instagram lately and I tend to update pretty regularly there if you would like to follow along!  You can check out my Instagram feed on the sidebar of this blog. 

 Anyways, on to the project that I just can't wait to tell you about, our painted kitchen counter tops!  You guys already know that I've been choosing very budget friendly options for revamping our farmhouse.  We have big dreams of bigger renovations one of these days, but until then I wanted to spruce things up enough so our farmhouse would feel more like our home! I have to say now that we have been here nearly 8 months it totally feels like home and I couldn't imagine being anywhere else!

I completed this project right before we moved in and they are still holding up great! I had actually forgot what these counters looked like before until I started going through the photos for this post.  In case you forgot too here is a reminder!

The first thing I did was lightly sand over the counters with a sanding sponge. Next I cleaned them thoroughly with a damp cloth.  I didn't use any cleaner, only water.  After the counters were completely dry I applied the primer.
 I chose this Zinsser primer because of how well it has worked for other projects I've completed, plus I already had it on hand!  I simply used a regular paint brush and brushed on one thin coat, and let it dry.

The next step is to choose the base color.  I decided to use the same paint that I used for the lower cabinets.  The color is Valspar Java and it just happened to be in a semi-gloss finish since I used it for the cabinets too.  If you happen to have flat or satin instead, I'm sure that would work just fine as well.

After this coat was completely dry it was time to get to the fun part!  I chose 4 different shades of gray craft paint for my counters.

I poured the paint in a paper plate and used a sea sponge to gently and lightly sponge the craft paint onto the counters beginning with the lightest shade of gray.  As I went along I chose not to rinse out the sponge in between colors which created a more blended look.  I also used the same paper plate to pour all the different colors onto, allowing them to slightly mix with one another which created more variation in the overall result. Unfortunately I wasn't able to photograph this process because I wanted to get all the paint applied at once so all the colors could dry together.  This again contributed to more of a blended look. Below is a shot of what they looked like after the 2 lighter shades of gray were sponged on.

After the sponge painting was complete I lightly sanded over the counters to ensure there were no lumpy areas, and then I began to seal them.  I chose Miniwax Polycrylic in a gloss finish for this final step.  I really like this product because it's water based and it dries very quickly leaving no weird yellow residue behind. I used a paint brush to apply it, but it may be easier to use a foam roller, I'm not sure.  I didn't have one at the time so I just used a brush.  It takes about 4 coats or so to create a surface durable enough for regular kitchen wear and tear. 

I'm beyond thrilled with the results, especially when I take a look back at the before photos!  This was truly an easy and inexpensive project that changed the entire look and feel of our kitchen. Our counters are holding up really well after 8 months and believe me they get a lot of use!  

I've shared a few updated kitchen photos on Instagram so you can see how things looks today now that we are all settled in and living here.  I have a few more minor projects to finish up before I can share a full reveal, but hopefully soon.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  You can also find me on Instagram & Pinterest!

Have a BLESSED day!