New Apartment: Kitchen

Last Update: September 26, 2015.

V2-Kitchen-Before-&-After

The kitchen is probably the hardest thing to get right–so we began with it.

Kitchen beforeIMG_4676The walls are maybe an avocado green, and the melamine cabinets have what looks pink, but may be more on the “flesh” side. The original wood is painted white on the trim, and left natural on the cabinet faces. The laminate countertops are an off-white.

Just for the record, do green and pink go together? Actually, yes–it’s a mid-century modern staple, as seen in this image of the Samantha and Darren’s laundry room on Bewitched–notice the white trim on the “flesh” (or natural wood?) cabinet doors also.Bewitched-TV-show-laundry-room-off-kitchen-avocado-appliances

But, as I spent 99% of my time in the apartment since I both work and live here, I’d like it to feel brighter and more open. 

First, we filled the cracks (and in one case, a large hole behind the oven).

Wall crack
Wall crack

Next, we removed the cabinet doors to begin cleaning and degreasing them. We used Rustoleum’s degreaser, as well as ammonia, and soap and water. We vacuumed every surface, including on top of the cabinets, and removed all the window dressings. We’ve put stick-on film onto the windows for privacy. Here’s a before and after example of cleaning one of the cabinets:

Kitchen Cabinet Before/After
Kitchen Cabinet Before/After

Next, we began painting the cabinets white using the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations kit. It was on sale for less than half its usual cost.

Painted cabinet doors

We removed the window blinds and since we hadn’t figured out what the new blinds should look like, we covered the windows with privacy film that we leftover from our old apartment and that we nabbed from my parents. We painted the cabinet doors as well as the cabinet facing. We then began repainting the walls in Sherwin Williams “Requisite Gray” and painted the countertops with four coats of Rustoleum Universal Metallic Spray Paint in “Dark Steel”–which, while it looks black here, actually matches the color of the fridge and has a car paint sort of look to it. We then sprayed three layers of Polycrylic glaze as a topcoat to prevent flaking and chipping.

Countertop painted

Cabinet facing, painted
Cabinet facing, painted

Countertop painted

After finishing painting the walls, and then painting the trim with Sherwin Williams “Eider Gray”, the thing that really stood out as out of place was the floor.

Old floor
Old floor

After doing quite a bit of research, I decided that the only thing that would do would be a whitewashed pine floor. So…being flexible, how about Pergo? While we have a 4×4 foot section of Pergo in our apartment for the dog, I can’t imagine sawing it to fit the kitchen properly. So, peel and stick tiles seemed to be the way to go! We chose the only ones we could find that were a white-ish color and still looked natural (stone).

Vinyl tiles
Vinyl tiles

I gave up pretty fast, but Cindy kept going until we finished at 3am. I kept working on the cabinets–also till 3am. And then we ate a breakfast, watched a few episodes of Friends…and here’s what it looks like when it’s finished–also the painting is done. While the cabinets on the right look not white, that’s actually just the shadows–it’s white. Also, you can see that at this point, the old oven has been removed while we wait for the new one.

New kitchen
New kitchen

Lastly, we hung new blinds. We were hoping to find gray, but all the stores sell are in white or tan–so, white it was! You might notice that the same cabinet door is cracked open in both photos, like the kid on the soccer team whose mouth is always hanging open. So far, it’s proven impossible to get the magnets to hold the door shut particularly well. I’ll figure it out.

Blinds
Blinds

From there, we were fortunate enough to have a new oven/stove installed. How old was the last one? I don’t know, but I found a theatre program/playbill from 1984 underneath it. At first I thought it was broken, but actually it just took a while for the ignitors to work. The new one, we anticipated, would be in metallic gray and black, so we were hoping that the rest of the kitchen would match it. Behold!new oven

We’re pretty thrilled about how it’s turning out. exit view

Lastly, where are we going to put this giant microwave? We’re generally using all available countertop as we slice and dice our Blue Apron meals each night–three burners and the oven going, etc. etc. We put the current microwave into storage and bought a new one–the smallest one they sold at Target. We put together an “island” cart with a heavy granite top, and hung a pot rack on the wall above it.

Pot rack area

Where we’re at: the kitchen closet door, and the door between the kitchen and bedroom, we need to saw off the bottoms of them and re-hang them, because right now they’re not fitting over the new flooring, and also because the bedroom/kitchen door has a strong smell of poop…which makes sense to some extent, since it’s where the previous owner’s dog lived for three years. But in any case, we’re all ready to begin moving stuff from our old kitchen to our new one!

As you can see our new finished living room in the background, it’s time to take a look at how we did the living room.

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