My Kitchen Island Oasis


So my quest to help my builder grade/cookie cutter abode find its true potential got one step closer to the goal.  The kitchen island got a lifestyle lift.  Remember when I painted the fireplace surround?  That orangey maple surround that only got more orange as the years went on?  Well my kitchen cabinets are also orange.

Word to the wise:  If you choose maple cabinetry take note – it will turn from a blond wood to that fruit color rather quickly.  Which I could possibly live with if it were not for the fact that the veneer sides never darkened up.  Yes folks the solid maple doors are orange and the sides of the cabinets are still blond.  OY!

I love the kitchens with the unique islands. You know the ones that look like they put them in after the fact? Different pulls and knobs almost like a piece of furniture instead of just another cabinet in the kitchen, and usually a completely different color.

After much research I found real world inspiration from Kim at Sand & Sisal I swear we have the same cabinetry and hardware so after reading what she did I was all set to add bead board and paint to my island.

As everyone in blog land knows chalk paint is all the rage and the very best part is the no prep part. So I went online to check out where I could get my hands on some Annie Sloan. It’s VERY expensive. I realize that a little bit goes a long way but holy moly. So thanks to dozens of other DIYers I sent Mr. Knight out for plaster of paris and I grabbed a sample size of Jungle Chameleon from Valspar. Do Not just mix the plaster of paris in to the paint. No no no. Put equal parts of the powder with warm to hot water and stir till there are no lumps. Now through a bit of trial and error I can say that you may want to thicken it up a bit more. If you research the chalk paint recipes out there you find that no two recipes are alike. Go with your gut on this and remember it’s easier to add more than to take it away.
After you have it smooth add the paint. You will find it to be thick and the color itself is lighter. But the real difference is the application and how fast it dries. It truly is called chalk paint for a reason. The coverage is remarkable and it really has that antique feel. But the best thing?…..I painted my kitchen island and did not sand or prime it!!!!!!!!!! It was scary.


What I did wrong:

1. I didn’t take photos until 1/2 way through

2. I didn’t buy enough bead board so I was only able to bead board 3/4 of it. (I fixed it the next day)

3. I remembered late in the process that I am who I am and that I would probably want to add and/or change this project at least two or three times before I will be satisfied.

4. I didn’t think about buying wax to seal the chalk paint…..ummm wax?!?

……Yeah ….so I am not rubbing this for hours with wax (I know it’s supposedly seals it)  just so that the boys can come through and ruin it the next day.  I am sticking with my polycrylic….


Yep the exact same container I have had for over a year and through 4 projects. Yeah!!!!!  Ok back to what I do wrong…

5. I thought adding white molding would make it look like furniture, unique, cool.  It may work for professionals or for your crown molding in your living room but on this it looked like I stuck molding on my cabinet.


I thought I would do “feet” – specifically what they call Ogee Feet:

and since I’m cheap I cut down some shelf brackets we had laying around and added them to the bottom (they are the bare wood things sorta sticking out from the soooo obvious corner moldings) BLAH I almost walked away and cried.

Then it hit me…why not just get rid of the kick plate altogether?!?  Get some molding cover the indented bottom area and paint it all one color……



Yeah boy!  I like it- I love it 🙂 I did not fail!!!

Hobby Lobby hardware BTW!!!!



another shot with poor lighting but shows my new light shades that I love….


One more…


Painting the Fireplace


I painted my orangey maple surround on my fireplace this weekend and it was simple and much faster than I thought.  Like all the cabinets in my builder grade home my surround has been turning more and more orange over the years and even Mr. Knight (aka husband) doesn’t like it.  You see Mr. Knight suffered through my obsessive compulsive disorder  he calls “working on things” back when we bought our first house which was 200 years old and in constant need of my love.  When we built this house I kept my need to re-do at a minimum until recently.  Anyway a few months ago he mentioned that it should probably be white ….. Wow my gut to paint it is spot on!!!

So this is my fireplace as built:


Again nothing wrong with it but it needed a lift.  So out came the fine-grit sandpaper and primer that I found in the basement!  I know I didn’t prime my entry table but I decided to for this project and I think it really makes it easier and you use less paint. Orange is hard to cover.

I decided on Dove White from Lowe’s.  When their buy one get one free 8oz Valspar thingy was going on two weeks ago I picked up that color too -I recommend everyone buy paint on sale even when you don’t have an immediate plan for it.

So for $2.59 I painted this….yeah!!!

If you don’t normally do this lets run down:

1. Lightly sand

2. Clean

3. Tape off carefully

4. Prime and allow to dry:


Priming is not pretty and it’s ok – every time I prime I have to remind myself that it looks cruddy.

5. Paint

6. Allow to dry

7. Paint again- if I can recommend anything make sure you apply your paint in thin coats when you are painting on a vertical so you don’t get drips.  I had some and had to re-sand it wipe it and re-paint…. 😦

Only a few hours later….drum roll please…..


See how it pops now?  I know that there are purists around the globe that would be horrified by the idea of painting real wood.  I think wood was meant to be painted!  Look how it made the fireplace stand out as a feature whereas before it just blended in.  What needs a pick-me-up in your house?