20 May 2014

Voila! My DIY Kitchen-Dining Makeover

Finally after months of DIY, blistered fingers and paint-in-hair, my kitchen-dining makeover is complete.

I've been wanting to do this for years but somehow it never got beyond the dreaming stage, until I spotted this lovely buffet hutch (above) in Early Settler and realised it was the solution to all my storage issues (not to mention the inspiration for a fresh new look). So bit by bit over the last few months I've been busy turning our wooden-overload kitchen into something fresher, cleaner and prettier...

Part of the reason it took years to get round to doing this was I needed to convince hubby to paint all that wood; he loved the wood as it was and felt it might be sacrilege but the hutch changed his mind...

It was actually really easy to transform my kitchen and dining room once I found out how to do it properly - it just took some sweat, time and elbow grease. I began with the windowsills and one set of cupboards, painting them in-situ....

It's amazing what a difference white paint makes.
Actually the colour is Quarter Thorndon Cream, from Resene, a water-based enamel.
To make the paint stick to the wood and set nice and hard, I first gave each area a very rough sand then applied a coat of Resene's "smooth surface sealer" and allowed it to dry for at least four hours before applying the first coat of paint, followed by one final coat.

I worked in sections, finishing one area completely (while the kids were at school) before moving onto the next.

The colour I chose for the walls was "Quarter Beryl Green" (also from Resene) - a lovely soft vintage green which is very soothing, fresh and clean. It shows up differently in different lights and is quite neutral, allowing other colours to pop. (It's tricky to capture the colour on camera, especially with my dinky point-n-shoot).

[I am in love with my new Summerhill Buffet & Hutch from Early Settler]
The previous wall colour was a mucky pinky-cream; the walls were in terrible condition with dings and nail holes, so before painting I patched them up with some plaster and a sand - not perfect cos I'm no tradesman, but a darn-sight better than they were before.

[Table base imperfectly painted with one coat of Smooth Surface Sealer and one coat of water-based enamel]

I also gave the table a mini makeover, painting the base to match the cupboards. The chairs are from the Early Settler factory shop (out near the airport), bought for $50 each.

[Vintage-style canvases $5 each on sale at Typo]

I love my new hutch dresser. It has given me heaps of new storage space for plates and bowls, platters and serveware, which had previously crowded into our inadequate under-bench cupboards. Now there are drawers for my cake decorating bits, tablecloths and those endless school notices. For even more storage I added cuphooks to the bottom of the kitchen cupboards and invested in some cute new mugs...

[Mix'n'match Mugs $2 each from Look Sharp]

I'm a huge fan of mix'n'match, vintage and retro, so my tin sign collection is right at home in my new scheme. I plan to keep adding to it and extent it into a whole feature wall going up and over the pantry and along the narrow space dividing the kitchen and dining.

The pantry has been panted white too and moved to the wall where the china cabinet used to be (my lovely china cabinet is now gracing the lounge). Our old vintage light fitting has scrubbed up well and now looks perfect over the table.

I wish I had a better camera so I could show you properly how awesome it looks. My previously wooden-overload, cobbled-together storage-poor kitchen is now my pride and joy. Every time I walk into it I smile. It's prettiness is inspiring me to do the dishes, keep the floor swept, fold the washing instantly.
And the best bit is that I did it all myself. Picked the colours (and chose well), painted every wall, every drawer, every cupboard (and did it properly)... had a vision and saw it come together at last.
Yay, me.

So there you have it, my DIY kitchen-dining makeover. A fresh new kitchen for the cost of the paint and a wooden hutch dresser. Brilliant.


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