I repainted my kitchen cabinets and walls. My kitchen is transformed! Total cost: 12 bucks. Want to know how I did it? Read on to find out and learn how you can get similar results.

Let me set the stage. We moved to a new house about a year ago. The kitchen was in good shape but BADLY outdated, as in light blue laminate countertops and those wonderful, orange oak cabinets. Yuck! Those cabinets soon became the bane of my existence. I’ve painted a lot of cabinets in my life so this seemed easy. I decided on white…it’s classic, bright, clean, and would go with anything else in the house.

I painted the walls of the kitchen a charcoal gray for contrast and to pull in colors from the adjoining room. On the countertops, I used a hammered finish gun metal gray enamel paint. Yes, you can paint your countertops but you need to use an enamel, oil-based paint and then seal it with a couple of coats of poly. It won’t last a lifetime, but it’s a cheap fix until you can replace your countertops—but that’s another blog entirely..

Back to my cabinets… I sanded, primed and painted them. Looked fantastic until they dried and seemed to need another coat. Painted again. Dried again. Needed another coat. You can see where this is headed. I tried everything from paint with primer to semi-gloss paint to chalk paint. Nothing covered well. Fast forward a year and about six different coats of paint and methods: I’m in my kitchen in the harsh light of day and decided “I can’t take it anymore!” I may have even screamed that. Probably did.

The only option that came to mind was to go the dark side. So I slowly pulled a knife from the drawer and—errr, sorry, got carried away. I’ve been binge-watching too much Scandal lately. By dark side I mean paint color. The rest of my house is painted varying shades of gray and taupe and I wanted a contrast but something that tied in nicely with those earthy colors. I chose Valspar Weather Vane, a beautiful, deep gray-brown. I fell in love with it especially because…wait for it…it covered beautifully in just one coat with touchups! Ahhh.

If you’re like me, the project never ends at just painting your cabinets. With my now-dark cabinets, I decided to paint the kitchen walls white for contrast and light—who wants to cook in a cave? After two lengthy days painting, my kitchen looks brand new. It’s sleek and contemporary. I’m in love and, due to a paint sale and some existing paint I had on hand, my bank account barely noticed the difference.

Sometimes I think we get so married to an idea that we need to stop and “listen” to our house. Mine was clearly guiding me to the dark side. And even though it was the opposite of my original plan, I’m glad I took the trip.

Bottom line: don’t be afraid to change course and try something different if you’re not happy with what you have—even if it’s only been a year and you’ve painted your space several times. After all, what’s another coat of paint between friends? In this case, about 12 bucks.

Now, what will you do next to love where you live?

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