Updated: May 6, 2021
A little paint and a little wallpaper may be just what you need to transform a room. Its also a project you can do yourself and thereby save some money. It can be done relatively quickly and is cost efficient. Certainly, if you are in over your head, call a professional. Today's blog I'll be focusing on my farmhouse kitchen.
Decorating for me is somewhat therapeutic. Once you start thinking creatively you can change the world around you and how you view it. I love to paint, it's a relaxing pastime for me. The thing about painting is, if you get tired of one color, just change it, no big deal. However, I'm not a big fan of wallpapering whole rooms for many reasons: (1) Doing it right is labor intensive (2) lt looks 'busy'. (3) It is hell to remove. (4) It looks shoddy over time. (5) Difficult to keep clean. However, using wallpaper sparingly, in certain areas, can add to the whole look and design.
Where to begin
"I can't even"
As far back as I can remember, the kitchen walls in this house was a pale yellow. There was a 40's style yellow countertop with a Youngstown double-drainboard farmhouse sink that I LOVED. Somewhere in the late 80's (I believe) the sink and countertop was replaced with something more modern which broke my heart. My number one goal this summer is to restore that sink and add a new countertop. In the meantime though, we'll work with what we've got. The original cabinets I won't touch for love nor money. They are gorgeous and very well built, they just don't make them like that anymore. There have been a couple of added cabinets that I won't hesitate in re-vamping. I will take care of them when I am ready to tackle the sink.
"What was he thinking?"
Now, thanks to my Dad's unusual, creative ingenuity, the walls are a grey color with bright green trim. uuuuugggghhhhh Truly painful to look at and that's being generous. The ceiling that used to be bright white has given way to the years and the excessive cigarette smoke. So my work is cut out for me. To each his own but when painting I favor keeping the color scheme to 2-3 colors. I'm not quite there yet, there's a few shades of brown, white, black, and blue. I'm on the right track though and that's what's important. I just need to keep moving forward and eventually I'll get there.
We'll need some supplies:
Paint (comes with a stir stick)
Paint can opener
It seems like a lot but I already had most of these items on hand from the vintage hut restore and other projects, so that helped. Prioritizing the tasks at hand, I knocked the quick and easy task of wallpaper out first saving the painting for last. I started with the wall section above the counter, behind the cabinets. First thing to do is measure the space and cut the paper to size. It is real easy to apply, you just work from one side to the other and peel off the backing as you go. Easy peasy. The main thing to keep in mind is applying it straight and rolling out the bubbles with your hands as you apply it. If you find a bubble, just lift the paper slightly and roll it back on smooth. I also applied paper to the back of an upper cabinet as you'll see further down.
While I was cleaning out some stuff, I found, what looked to be, an old splash guard. It was an ugly bright yellow. I started to toss it out but my mind went to work. I thought how perfect if I added some paper, I could use it to lay under my cat's food bowls. Buster seems to approve.
I had previously found these wooden food trays online with the idea of papering the bottom. They turned out really nice.
The last of my paper project involved my new dishwasher. This house didn't have a cabinet space to conveniently add a dishwasher. My Dad had one but the whole mess, and it was a mess, just needed to go. My cousin graciously helped me build a cabinet around it and with the help of an electrician, we got it done. I found a couple of side panels at Lowe's and scored some wood. It's sturdy and yet can be disassembled for access easily if necessary. I like the finished result (and no, that's not my box of bud).
Let's get to painting
The key here is to be neat and not to drip. Drop the cloths underneath your work space and also tape around the outer sides so as not to get paint on what you don't want to paint. *Remember that a little bit of paint goes a long way. If you are painting a cabinet, use a small roller or brush. Walls and ceilings, you will want a larger, long handled roller. Pour a little paint into the tray and dip your brush in or slide your roller over the tray, remove the access paint to minimize dripping. Apply the paint smoothly and evenly, up and down strokes. Add a couple of coats if necessary.
One cabinet in the upper corner above the stove didn't match the other cabinets. It was not one of the original cabinets of the house. I removed the doors and painted it white with wallpaper added to the back. Now it's a nice shelf space to keep pots and so forth. Looks so much better in my opinion. The cabinet itself isn't plum to the wall and ceiling, I can't help that. It seems this house has no pure right angles, being the older house that it is. Caulking it may help, I don't know, I'll have to look into it.
Now for the walls and ceiling
The walls didn't take long at all because it has wood paneling halfway down. It was the ceiling that was the most labor intensive. I also painted the door but the glass still needs to be replaced. I will wait to post a photo when I tackle that project. I'm kind of glad the trim was painted so I didn't have to fool with taping it off. White, white, and more white. Check out the before and after photos.
No, I didn't mess up and get a little paint on the cabinets. That was there from the gray paint job.
Not so bad
"Things are looking up"
The white really brightens up the room! With the painting done, I can now focus on the fun stuff like decorating. Adding little things that are cool and useful to tie it all in. At any rate, I hope you find this inspiring. Maybe you are in need of a change of environment. The simple task of re-vamping a room can lift your spirits and make you feel in better. It does for me anyway. What you might look at as impossible, becomes possible with a little imagination and elbow grease. All you need to do is begin, then before you know it, you are making progress.
Thanks for reading and have a delightful day!