ASCP Old White
House for sale, kitchens, Moving, Painting

I love how Chalk Paint transformed my kitchen!

Been a bit busy for the past few months. We have been wanting to sell our home and move west of the Mississippi for quite a number of years. FINALLY everything seemed to be coming together to allow us to take the leap and make the change.

But first, I had to sell my townhouse. Whoa. When you’ve owned a home for more than a dozen years, and that includes some years with renters living in it, sometimes you just accept things as they are. Until you put on the eyes of a new buyer. Get out the wallet! Money is going to disappear faster than you will believe.

We were fortunate to have gotten a tax refund and that was my budget. I didn’t want us to spend any additional money on sprucing things up…not only am I the Fix It Diva, I am the Frugal Diva as well. Our kitchen cabinets were the biggest concern: 1984 builder grade cabinets…blech…with the same year laminate countertops that were “supposed” to look like butcher block. Oh my!

I had a few contractors come in and not one of them gave me a quote for under $20,000…cough, choke, gag…are you kidding me? I had already upgraded my appliances to stainless steel – what in the WORLD would cost that much? Most of that cost was labor…and cost for upgrades needed to electrical panel. You see, in good ole Virginia, if a contractor touches your kitchen, then the electrical has to be upgraded…automatically. And that meant more breakers needed than what was in my panel already…and that meant heavy up and a subpanel box created. The electrical work alone was going to be $5,000.

Ok, so what if I do the work myself? I did lots of research and found some great cabinets at a great price. Check! Then I priced out countertops and new flooring (the floors were atrocious…so ugly it was sinful to look at them). Even with doing the work myself, it was way over my budget.

Grrrr. So instead of replacing the cabinets, I decided to paint them. Now let me state that I do NOT like painted cabinets. They are uber shiny and look so “fake”. Usually folks paint them white (I don’t like white cabinets – feel like I’m in a hospital). I did some pinterest searching and kept seeing people with pictures of their painted cabinets. Didn’t like most of what I found until I stumbled upon Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. The pictures of the cabinets (and other objects) painted with ASCP were amazing. Ok. This might work.

Next I went to good ole YouTube. Man I love technology. I watched dozens of videos of people painting their own items with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Could it really be that easy? I took the plunge…no not on my cabinets but on a salvaged nighstand my sister and I picked up at a local thrift store. I was able to buy locally some paint (Duck Egg blue) and within a few hours, this HIDEOUS nightstand transformed into an adorable nightstand! We picked out some white knobs and some red/white drawer liner paper (my sister has such good taste :). POP!! Wow!

I was hooked. I couldn’t wait to get started on the cabinets!

Because our kitchen was in use during the process (breakfast in the mornings and dinner in the evenings), it took me longer than expected – almost 4 weeks – to paint 22 doors and 16 cabinets. What a difference the paint made! The laminate countertop actually looked perfect for the cabinet color (Old White – which really isn’t white but more of a creamy pale manila folder color). We invested money in a new floor, new hardware, new faucet, new light fixture and our kitchen turned out adorable!

I wanted to paint more pieces of furniture but we had to pack and move quickly – our house sold within 48 hours of being on the market. I will begin painting again once we have fully settled into our new apartment…no piece of furniture is safe 🙂

If you are considering painting furniture or kitchen cabinets, please don’t hesitate to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. There’s a Facebook group you can join where folks, like me, post their work and ask questions. It’s a great worldwide community.

Happy painting!

paint can

Painting 101

So my daughter and her hubs have bought their first home. Lots of phone calls between us have taken place but the BEST call yet came today. “Mom, paint is mean.” Huh? I replied, “Paint does not have an emotion.” To which she responded, “No but it can be mean.” Okay then…so tell me more. She proceeded to tell me about the nature of paint – specifically how it changes color/hue depending upon lighting. Because of this, it is hard to tell what color will look good in what space. Ah, now I get her comment.

Here are some basic tips on painting any room in your home. These are my tips and I am not a professional painter, however, I have used a paintbrush since the age of 4 🙂

Tip 1:

The pigmentation in the paint will change its appearance based upon the amount of light it receives + the type of light + the disbursement of the light. Example, I painted my closet recently (see my post on the closet redesign I did). The closet is 5 foot x 5 foot – nice square closet with only a single bulb light fixture. Due to there being NO OTHER LIGHT source, and the closed nature of the space, the first color I picked, purchased and painted was way too dark for the space. There was no disbursement of color – just pure concentration of color. Ewww. Yuck. I went back to the paint store and purchased the same color family but two shades lighter. It worked much better in the space.

Tip 2:

PRIMER PRIMER PRIMER. Primer is the MOST OVERLOOKED step in any painting process. Why? I don’t know but maybe it has to do with time and money. Usually people don’t think about the additional cost and time of adding primer as the first step in painting. I recommend priming a wall (or surface if painting cabinets) for the following reasons: a) it will stick to any type of base paint that might exist. Example, if you don’t know what type of paint is on your walls, it could possibly be oil based paint and latex paint is water based – oil and water do not mix – the new paint will peel right off the walls; b) if your wall has semigloss paint on it, a flat or matte finish paint will not adhere well to the semigloss paint; c) it creates a great base to paint on (artists used primed canvases before painting).

Tip 3:

Use latex based paints. I am not a fan of oil based paints. Just not a fan. End of story.

Tip 4:

Use more expensive paint. I use only Benjamin Moore paint. Yes it is ghastly expensive. However, it holds up a long time and looks fresh. I have scrubbed my walls between tenants 5 times and after 10 years, some of the walls are now looking like they could use a fresh touchup. 10 years — 5 times scrubbing walls and marks from tenants — that’s worth it to me!

Tip 5:

Use the low fume paint that is available these days – I prefer the term “not smelly” because if you don’t use this paint, be prepared to be HIGH as a kite from all your painting fumes!

Tip 6:

Home Depot sells some great painting tools to make cutting in and corners a breeze. I use the Shur line of edging pads, along with their corner pad/brushes.

Tip 7:

If you have a lot of rooms to paint, invest in these tools and get additional pads. I have a paint supply of multiple roller handles, small roller handles, and extension handles so that there is less climbing up and down ladders. I keep a stock of the roller refills on hand as well.

Tip 8:

Buy the heavy duty drop clothes…fore go the plastic ones. Why? Because it’s so easy to trip on the plastic ones. They’re great for covering up furniture, however, since I had the experience of stepping INTO my paint tray and splashing the paint all over my legs and the wall and the drop cloth, I have never regretted the expense of the heavy duty clothes. I was the only casualty in that mess!

Tip 9:

Okay, so this is a weird tip, but its my own: paint barefoot. Why do I paint barefoot? I can FEEL paint if I step on it and can wipe my foot off easily. I am also better aware of whats underfoot. Maybe those shoes that look like feet might work? Don’t know. But I have never worn shoes while painting. Just my own thing.

Tip 10:

Back to paint colors: pick out your color by looking at swatches in two lights – natural outside light and light in the location where you are painting. You may realize that you need to change the inside lighting and you will also see how the light plays on the paint pigmentation (back to where I started with my daughter’s phone call).

Lastly, ENJOY! You can always repaint if you don’t like how it looks. I love painting…I hope you enjoy it as well 🙂