before and after: the kitchen transformation


before-after 2

It’s amazing what a few coats of paint can do, isn’t it? This is one of the most satisfying transformations I’ve been part of, it’s right up there with Kim & Jon’s staircase refinish last winter.

While David & Gina’s big renovation was under way, I started with refinishing / rebuilding their kitchen island, because it was the only thing that I could actually do at that point. The rest of the beautifying had to wait until after all the other stuff was getting done (i.e.: major construction, new flooring, new electrical, blah blah blah). Don’t get me wrong, the other stuff is totally necessary, way more important, and amazing. It’s just not as visually exciting to have electrical work done as it is to paint, you know?

So when it was finally, FINALLY time to refinish the kitchen cupboards and paint the backsplash (yep, we painted a tile backsplash), we were all excited. Excited, and I was slightly terrified… because you know, if I screwed it up they’d probably just want to get all brand new kitchen cabinets. And I’d want to crawl in a hole and never come out because I totally screwed up a major element of their newly renovated kitchen. Thankfully that isn’t what happened. In fact, if I may say so myself, amazingness happened.

Weekend number one: wash, prime and paint the cabinetry. All of the doors got repainted, inside and out. Gina & David were going away for the weekend, I cleared my schedule and got to painting. Kitchen renovations are a nightmare because everything gets displaced and you realize just how much you NEED your kitchen. So, after months of them living in a construction zone, I was happy to be able to get this done while they were away. The left on a Saturday morning and I arrived, put on some podcasts and got to work…


THAT IS ONLY A COAT OF PRIMER, PEOPLE! Can you see how much of a difference even JUST THAT made? Ugh, I love this stuff. I love it so much. Actually, if I’m totally honest, I kind of hate painting. But when you get this kind of result, it’s so totally worth it.

The cabinets turned out far better than I expected. You never really know how paint is going to settle over top of old finish. Especially flat surfaces like this where you can see if it isn’t smooth. Good quality paint is worth the extra cash for projects like this. Don’t skimp. It took a coat of primer and two coats of paint. One coat looked good, and the second coat finished it really nicely. I used a good quality brush and mini roller and it finished/flattened quite nicely. David & Gina had a Christmas party a couple weeks later and got compliments on their “new cabinets”. HA! Not new at all, just a few coats of paint people… that is it, that is all.

The backsplash was our next undertaking, and it was, admittedly, a bit of a gamble. We were all aware of this going in. I researched the crap out of painting tile before deciding we should just go for it. Eventually both the countertop and backsplash will be replaced, so this was our way of making the old backsplash work, for now, in the newly refinished space. Again, good (specific) primer and quality paint were key for this. Gina selected a mid-tone, warm grey that works nicely with the new wall colour (Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore) and the current countertop (which is a mix of brown and grey tones). This really  finished off the space, tying everything together nicely.

So, there you have it! Click through the gallery below for some more before and after pictures :)  Thank you Gina & David for inviting me to be part of re-designing your kitchen! It was such a blast.


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One Response to before and after: the kitchen transformation

  1. Gina says:

    Love it!!! We get so many compliments on our “new cupboards” and LOVE the final result!!!! We’re so grateful to have such a talented woman in our lives!

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