My Kitchen Island Oasis

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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 http://sandandsisal.com/2011/02/kitchen-island-makeover.html. 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.

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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….

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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.

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

http://www.osbornewood.com/Ogee-Feet.cfm

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……

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

Hobby Lobby hardware BTW!!!!

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

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One more…

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Trash To Treasure

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So I am super excited to show you this dresser that a very nice couple with a superb view of Seneca Lake in beautiful Watkins Glen practically gave me.  It is huge and has a giant lattice mirror that I have other plans for – you will see that later.  Anyway here is the before:

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Look at the lattice work in the center!! So cool!  Thank goodness Mr. Knight has a truck cause this gem is long and super heavy.  I took the drawers out and since we had such oddly warm weather I was able to do all the work in our garage.

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I removed the hardware and sanded this baby taking extra care to smooth out some damage on the top.  The finish was eaten up by something and I smoothed it all out.  Now honestly I do not have the time or the patience to sand the entire piece.  I mean look at it and all its intricacies!  Ain’t nobody got time for that!  Anyway that is exactly why I bought this:

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So you should buy it too if you don’t want to sand that much detail either.  Put a coat or two on and wait overnight.

The hardest part of this project was the “jewelry” aka the knobs.  I love their shape but I have never seen brass knobs that color before.  They were so encased in grunge I had to soak them in Kaboom and then scrub them with a bristle brush till my hands killed me.  When I did get down to the brass they were not looking pretty so I sanded them slightly and wiped them clean.  Now, they are literally like drop earrings, so I was stumped concerning how to spray paint them.  I came up with this:

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I simply took a plastic container that mounting strips come in and popped a hole through the inside of the container with a nail and proceeded to insert the mounting screw through, screwed the knobs into their mounting screw and…..tah dah! Glossy black spray paint and walk away! No smudges or sticking to plastic while one side is drying!   I am sure there are even better solutions to this but this is what I came up with.

The second toughest part of this project was choosing the right blue.  I wanted a blue with a touch of grey and green.  I wanted it light but not too light and a cool blue (to compliment my cool red ) but not too cool.  So I did what I did when I decided to paint the living room purple in my first house (much to the dismay at the time of Mr. Knight) – I just mixed paints I had laying around at home.  I bought a Valspar greenish blue that I thought looked too green when I started to paint and it did not have enough grey, so I just added some blue and grey I already have.

So I carefully applied two coats (let each coat dry a few hours) and then one coat of ….

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Miniwax polycrylic -it is a must! Read the directions – you have to allow it to dry and then sand lightly.  You should apply one more coat and dry (at least 48 hours please)

Add your pretty knobs………. (Hee hee!!! I’m so pleased)

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It looks prettier in person actually….I love this blue and the pops of red.  Sigh – I will never buy new hard furniture again.  This has tons of storage and is so lovely I can’t stand it.  See what a Craigslist find and some paint can do?

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See the drop earrings?  Cool!  Oh and did you check out my owl…he set me back 7 bucks including the flowers at Michael’s last week…..isn’t he the cutest?

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Now when I watch television I stare at my dresser instead!