So, the purge of the kitchen is done. I’ve recovered from the trauma and have it on good authority that the poor Waste Management folks who hauled away the garbage are recovering nicely from their hernias.

I’m starting to get used to my stuff being relocated, though I think I’ll be battling the muscle memory for a while yet. The reorganization HAS made my cooking much more zenlike. I love having my stuff within easy reach. (The problem with the stand mixer and food processor remains, but everything else has much improved.)

So now, it’s time to give the kitchen a facelift. Get out the paint brushes!

Beth swears by the expertise of the folks at DuraPaint, and she’s absolutely right to. We went in with one idea, and came out with different paint. I will admit to being a bit trepidatious about the wall color, but I got over it. The end result was and is fabulous – and once again, something I would NOT have gotten to on my own. Ah, the power of professionals. They’re worth their weight in gold!

So here’s the before, where the walls are blue and the cabinets are an oatmeal off white (and this is actually a really old picture – the bookcase was relocated to the hallway several months ago, because the spines of my cookbooks were getting sun bleached, thus making me sad):

One of the things Beth suggested that I would NEVER have thought of was painting the bottom cabinets a darker color than the top cabinets. Since my motto is, “It’s only paint!” I figured, what the heck. If I didn’t like it, I could change it, right? (My motto has now changed somewhat. It’s now only paint if someone else is doing the work! At least until the memory of the hugeness of this part of our redesign fades!)

So, the project begins. This involves taping stuff. Lots of taping stuff. And then removing doors. My painting tarps went mysteriously (and very inconveniently!) missing, something I didn’t discover until I was ready to start. So I improvised with trash bags.

People, learn from my pain. Find the tarps. Or go buy more. There. I have spoken. Ignore me at your own risk.

So the painting of the cabinets was the biggest pain. In the past, we removed the hinges on the cabinet doors. This time, I taped them off. Taping them off actually took longer, but it was much less problematic than trying to get the hinges back in the perfect position – particularly since I was doing all of this on my own. I would say that this, for me, was the biggest “issue”. I am NOT a patient person by any stretch, and taping the hinges requires both patience and a steady hand. The application of my iPod with a whole slew of Kim Harrison books did help this immensely. As did constant reminders of the arguments I got into with my husband the last time we did the cabinets and removed the hinges. 🙂

The bottom cabinets got a coat of primer and then two coats of paint. I probably didn’t NEED the second coat of paint, but I was SO not going to decide that I did after rehanging those cabinet doors. The top cabinets got two coats of paint. The walls got one coat of paint – mainly, I think, because the Benjamin Moore paint is SO good. I had anticipated needing two coats and was utterly delighted when it was quickly obvious that a second coat was unnecessary. This was my first experience with Benjamin Moore paint, and I’m pretty well a convert now. It’s not cheap compared to the stuff we were buying before at Home Depot or Lowe’s, but the quality is evident and worth the additional money. Particularly if, as I expect, the quality extends into durability.

By the time the cabinets were painted, I had decided that Beth is, in fact, a designing genius, and was trying to figure out exactly what sort of baked goods to offer up to her in thanks. I think I decided on chocolate truffles. She’s THAT good. The two toned cabinets looked spectacular. The wall color took a bit more time to grow on me, but by the time I was done painting, it had settled in and I loved it. My kitchen was starting to look like the island of zen I wanted it to be.

I was too “in the painting zone” to remember to take pictures of the wall painting part of the project. (Okay, really, I just wanted it done. And to not have to look at paint again for a long, long, LONG time.) For the cabinets, I used a paintbrush – and another bit o’advice here – suck it up and pay for the good paint brush. It really is worth it. If you take good care of it, you’ll have it around for years to come, and the difference in paint application is very noticeable. For the walls, I used rollers. Since I knew part of the project would involve painting the ceiling (which now makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry), I didn’t worry overmuch about the occasional paint splotch up there.

The whole painting project took 3 days of pretty solid work – again, it was only me doing this. It’s not that my husband wouldn’t have helped. It’s that I’m not patient enough to wait for him to not have paying clients and thus the time to help me. Even if it means more work and aggravation for me. Waiting is more vexing, in my world.

So, I’ll cease my yammering and show you the finished paint project. (Or so I thought. We’d have to get out the paint again – and that is a blog for another day!)