Have you ever considered painting your kitchen cabinetry but felt intimated by the task? I've got a solution! Paint your island. No island to paint? Consider painting just one cabinet in your kitchen that stands alone. For example a mobile cabinet used as your pantry, or a built-in cabinet away from all the other cabinets in the room. I say a "cabinet that stands alone" because it might look a little strange to paint only one cabinet, in the center of a long row of cabinets! Get my drift?
After being in our house nearly five years, the mood struck to paint our kitchen island. Though I really like the cabinetry as it is, painting the island would add color, and require quite a bit less time than painting all the cabinets. For those two reasons, I decided to go for it.
Painting a permanent fixture like an island or cabinet can be scary, but, as I always say, paint is never permanent! And, painting only one cabinet, will help you decide whether you want to expand your painting efforts....or not!
Here is our kitchen island before I took a brush to it:
PREPARATION & PAINTING
I removed the doors on the front of the island, and cleaned the whole island with a damp cloth. Then, I hand-mixed a light aqua color, which ended up on the brighter side. Even though the paint was a little brighter than what I wanted, I continued to paint anyway, because I had gotten too far into the project to stop! The island has remained this color ever since that day. That was one year ago.
Priming? No! I used chalk paint. Sanding? Yes!
I did not prime the island, because I used chalk paint. You don't have to use chalk paint though. To see tips on non chalk-painted projects, click this link: www.novodecorco.com/blogposts/glossy. One of the most appealing things about chalk paint is that priming is not necessary. Priming is not needed because the grout granules in home-made chalk paint help the paint adhere to the surface being painted. Chalk paint also sands nicely, and this is good for distressed paint projects. A sanded chalk painted surface is very smooth. After the first sanding, decide if you want more paint coverage. If so, simply paint on more and sand again. Always end your chalk paint project with sanding to smooth out your surface! This gets rid of the rough finish, and prepares the surface for topcoat. To see a step-by-step guide for a chalk-painted piece of furniture, click this link: www.novodecorco.com/blogposts/distressed
Once your island (or cabinet) is painted and sanded to your satisfaction, you need to protect the surface. This is especially important for any painted surface in the kitchen due to water exposure and food particles. I had planned on using an ultra water proof/protective finish. But, I will admit that I have not applied topcoat to this island yet! I think that is because I was "testing" out the color; undecided whether to leave it or change it!
So, with a newly painted island, or any newly painted piece of wood, no topcoat means scratches and scuffs. Guaranteed. With 3 boys in our house, the island has taken somewhat of a beating. See below for the "damage" that occurs when a painted surface is not protected.....
Pay no attention to the crumbs in that photo. We are more interested in the paint chip! Here is the island after the paint job: (Do you see the Mine Craft world on the dishwasher? Stay tuned for a full step-by-step tutorial) I'm kidding!
You shouldn't have a problem looking past the blurriness of the photo above, BECAUSE THAT BLUE PAINT IS SO BRIGHT! While this isn't a bad blue, it's just not the right color for our island. Live and learn. Next on the to-do list...decide on a new color! But this time, I think I'll stick to neutral.
Painting is an ongoing learning experience. No matter what you paint, or what color you use, you may at some point be unhappy with the result. It's ok! Color experimentation is strongly encouraged. If it takes several months, or a year (like me!) to determine whether you love (or don't love) a color, then so be it! Waiting a year allowed me time to come to conclude that bright aqua isn't in the long-term plan for our kitchen island. And I feel good about moving on.
Have you ever painted something and weren't happy with the result? It can be frustrating, but, on the flip side, it gets you closer to figuring out what you love! And that's what it's all about!