My wife and I recently bought a new house. When I say new, I don't mean brand new, as in we built it, but it's new to us. In fact, the house is over one hundred years old and has seen its fair share of occupiers, each with their own decorating ideas and styles. We had a fairly large re-decorating task ahead of us to say the least. The previous owners had wall papered most of the rooms, including the kitchen. We prefer to paint the rooms in our house, because we find it gives us the freedom to change our mind if the colors go out of style. The obvious place for us to start was the kitchen. It isn't a very big kitchen and the fact that the previous owners had stained the kitchen cupboards with a very dark walnut stain gave off the impression that it was even smaller.
We started working on the kitchen cupboards. A friend of ours recommended that we go to a flea market and find some new doors, but since the kitchen cupboard doors were all in pretty good shape and we wanted to spare ourselves the expense of replacing them, we decided to paint them. This involved removing all the doors and taking them out to the garage where we lay them across saw horses in preparation for painting. We decided to use an off-white color for the kitchen cupboards, hoping that this would result in the kitchen feeling a bit roomier. The man at our local home improvement store gave us some handy tips on how to pre-treat the previously varnished surfaces, so that the paint would stick to the cupboard doors. He also recommended that we use a primer as this would reduce the coats of paint that we would have to do.
The whole repainting process went very smoothly thanks to the home improvement store's advice. I think he saved us a lot of time and frustration. The hardest part was stripping the wallpaper from the kitchen walls. The previous decorators had not sized the paper, so it was stuck to the sheet rock directly underneath. After removing the wallpaper we had to spot fill the areas where our scrapers had dug into the wall. We decided to use a sunny yellow color for the walls, this also helped to create the impression of more room in the kitchen and matched nicely with the color of the kitchen cupboards.
The last step was to modernize the kitchen cupboards a bit by adding new handles. These ended up costing a bit more than the paint, but the effect that this simple improvement has is really worth it. Some of our friends who have come to visit thought we'd replaced the entire cabinets! Overall this has been a very rewarding task and the kitchen was the right room to get started with. Now it's time to get going on the rest.