How to Transform a Kitchen with Paint

Monday, August 18, 2014

I'm sure a lot of you have noticed that I've been seeking out various other projects now that our house is basically done on the interior.  I've been gardening like a maniac and much to my husband's chagrin I have been trolling Zillow like a maniac as well, hoping to find the next great house ripe for a revamp.  Of course, it's next to impossible to find something for the right price that is reno-worthy that also has our amazing proximity to town, trains, park etc.  But I have to keep looking so that opportunity doesn't pass me by!  In the meantime Zillow also has this amazing function Zillow Digs which is a great place to get and save design ideas for when that project does strike.  So when Jennifer from Zillow approached me about a guest post, the timing seemed perfect. Of course, kitchens are the best place to put money into a home from a value standpoint, and there is no better and cheaper way to transform a kitchen than with paint. Jennifer, take it away:

Kitchen remodels are expensive, often costing homeowners tens of thousands of dollars for complete overhauls. Some kitchens struggle cosmetically, but still have good structural integrity and layouts that don’t need rearranging. In these instances, dated cabinets, countertops, appliances and d├ęcor can be upgraded with one simple material: paint. 

Consider repainting the following four surfaces to freshen lackluster kitchens. 

Paint the Walls
Source: Greg Fischer
Select neutral shades, like off-white or light grey, to welcome natural light in the kitchen. Going too dark might make the space feel confined, and potentially deter real estate buyers in the future. Patch any wall divots or damages before priming. Using a high-quality applicator, apply smooth, even strokes of paint. Make sure to regularly dip rollers, otherwise the paint might dry out in bristles and cause fading.

Refinish Existing Cabinets
Source: Zillow.com
Rather than replace, reface cabinet doors and drawer fronts with paint. First, remove doors and wipe down the insides and fronts of cupboards. Cleaning is a crucial step in the process, since years of fingerprints and food splatters might compromise a smooth paint job. After thorough cleaning, prime the wood so the paint adheres correctly. For a high-gloss finish, use a sandable primer. Research paint types before selecting brand-specific colors. For instance, oil-based paints are best for long-term durability, but can be messy to handle. Latex paints specific for cabinetry emit fewer fumes, but don’t set as evenly as oil paints. Regardless of paint type, opt for a sprayer to ensure a smooth finish.
As long as they are in solid condition, keep cabinet boxes and frames. If doors and drawers have dated embellishments that can’t be sanded out, consider replacing them. Paint boxes and frames using the steps above to match or complement new, design-friendly doors.

Revamp Old Appliances
Source: Lexie Longstreet
Paint dirty or chipped appliances using specialty epoxy paint, one 6-inch foam roller, a foam brush and painter’s tape. First, wash appliances down with warm soap and water or an ammonia-based solution. Scrub nonmetal surfaces with steel wool to remove deep stains. Use the roller to apply paint and the brush to smooth out any air bubbles. Wait at least a few hours, preferably overnight, between two coats. This process can be applied to any dingy or dated fixtures, including refrigerators, range hoods, stoves, dishwashers and toasters. Match appliances for a polished, put-together look.

Create a Chalkboard Wall
Source: Martinkovic Milford Architects
Make to-do lists handy and messages visible with chalkboard walls. Choose locations close to the fridge or pantry door, so when items run out they can be easily noted. Leave important reminders about appointments and commitments for family and friends. Lightly sand shiny metal surfaces, like stainless steel, before applying chalkboard paint. Use painter’s tape to mark off the desired location, and allow curing for three days before use. Consider adding molding around chalkboard walls to conceal borders. “Season” the board by rubbing the entire surface with white chalk. Erase with a wet cloth or disposable towel.

According to the 2014 Cost vs Value report by Remodeling Magazine, major kitchen remodels cost an average of $109,935, with a resale value of $69,973 – meaning homeowners only get 63.6 percent of their investments recouped. Paint is extremely low-cost and especially beneficial for staging homes. Although basic, fresh paint modernizes culinary spaces temporarily to benefit existing residents and potential buyers alike.

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