• Lauren Hiller

To Paint or Not to Paint?

Updated: Jan 26, 2021

My husband and I have put a lot of effort into making this house of ours, our home. And with our baby girl on the way this Spring, we wanted to get the major things done while I was still able to help. The last big project we had in the house was to renovate the kitchen. Here's the thing, our kitchen wasn't that bad. Which is why it was the last thing on our list. Sure, it wasn't the color scheme I wanted and the flooring definitely has to go eventually, but I could live with some of the existing structure and features.


When we renovated our "kitchen nook", we had already set the vibe of the space to give a more modern farmhouse feel. And since we are also renovating on a budget, I had to make some decisions. I love how big our kitchen is. The layout isn't so bad either. I'm not a huge fan of our counter tops but there was nothing really WRONG with them. Our cabinets are also very nice and custom built. They are just a really dark stain and the hardware needed updating. So in efforts to save some cash, we decided to just give it a facelift and work with what we had.


We have SO MUCH counter space. Which is great. Until you start thinking about replacing it. I didn't want to spend the money on a new countertop. Especially since there was nothing wrong with it. No chips, scratches, etc. So we decided to keep the counters in efforts to save a dollar and not be wasteful. That being said, the countertop is a beige speckled granite. This is an important thing to consider because not all paint colors go with this. I didn't want the kitchen to look dated after all is said and done (after all, that's the whole point of doing any of this).


Now, I know the trend right now is to have WHITE AND BRIGHT cabinets. And trust me, I love that look too. However, it is a trend, everyone is doing it, it takes a lot to keep it looking clean, and I wanted my kitchen to be a little more of a statement. Also, keep in mind, the nook is PURE WHITE. So I felt doing white cabinets would be too much. I'm not really into the modern look in kitchens either. So a dark bold color wasn't the way to go for us. To keep with the farmhouse look, I chose to go with a more muted antique color. After much time deliberating, I had decided on a sage green color. I thought it would go nice with the granite counter tops and still brighten up the kitchen from the existing dark stain.


I did a lot of research. There are a lot of cabinet paints out there in the world. And they are NOT all created equal. I found the color I liked. It was made by a company called Nuvo. I found them online. It was a whole cabinet kit where all you had to do was clean the surface area and roll the paint. Sounds easy, right?


I had tried a few samples from different home improvement stores with different colors already. I hadn't liked anything. The issue with Nuvo is that I had to buy the whole kit to get the sample. For roughly $70, I was able to purchase a kit, which included 62 ounces of paint. To me, it was worth spending that to ensure I liked the color before buying more. The color I chose was Olde Sage. I was able to order the paint on Amazon. 2 days later and voilà! I loved the color. I tested it out on a door and couldn't get enough of it. However, because the doors were such a dark stain, it took many coats to cover the surface area. I knew it was going to take a lot more paint to cover the whole kitchen. That 62 ounces is supposed to cover 100 sq. ft. of space. The paint is very thick (and stinky! Make sure you wear a respirator).


Because I was impatient, (LEARN FROM ME) I decided to just go to Lowes (where they color match) and use their brand of cabinet paint in order to have it right away. They matched the color perfectly and the gallon of paint was only a few dollars more than that 62 ounces of paint from Nuvo. So, here I thought, I was winning. It took 3 gallons of paint to paint all of our cabinets, island, etc. We made a huge setup up outside with saw horses, paint sprayer, the whole 9 yards. It was fairly easy once I had a system. Note, I wore a full paint suit, goggles and respirator.


At this point, all is well. We had to move the doors inside immediately after spraying. Although it was a beautifully sunny day, we didn't think about the wind blowing ALL of those lovely little pine needles around and then landing in the new paint. Super fun...


Once the paint was all dry, we bought all new hardware. Now, I didn't go crazy on fancy hardware. Trust me...I wanted to. But I chose to go with Lowes' hardware that was perfectly fine and a little cheaper. We have so many doors and drawers, it was expensive enough just buying pulls and knobs from Lowes. For example, we needed 33 knobs, 12 pulls and 68 hinges. Just to give perspective, the pulls I liked from Restoration Hardware were $25 each. So I opted for the $3 a piece pulls from Lowes. And guess what, they look perfectly fine.


When all is said and done, I love my kitchen. We changed out the sink faucet and I'm still on the hunt for a better light fixture over the island. But I'm just so darn picky. We haven't done the flooring yet. Honestly, I couldn't mentally deal with it right now. We have enough going on nesting for the baby coming. But there is nothing wrong with the floor. I prefer a darker color eventually. However, we likely will hire someone to take that on. We've noticed that the floor has settled over the years and isn't exactly level. We figured it best to leave that to the professionals.


**Something to note. After finishing the entire kitchen with the Lowes brand paint, I saw the original door from Nuvo that I painted. The paint from Lowes has more of a shine to it. The Nuvo has a matte finish that I prefer. The cabinets still look lovely. However, if I could go back and do it all over again, I probably would have splurged on the Nuvo paint to have that matte look. When certain light hits the cabinets, it brings out the sheen more on the Lowes paint. Again, super minimal and it might not matter to you.


Final take away: I'm happy I kept our existing cabinets and chose to paint. I think it saved us a lot of money and I would have felt the same with brand new cabinets. I think the brand new floors will truly transform the space as well. All in all, we spent roughly $2000 for the paint, hardware, kitchen faucet and wood/supplies for the pantry. Typically, a modest kitchen remodel can cost anywhere between $12,000-$35,000. More lavish remodels can cost you upwards of $50,000. So I would say I definitely kept a good budget. But again, as a disclaimer, we did the work ourselves and anything we weren't sure about, we would certainly hire a professional. Good luck to all of you Joanna and Chips out there!


Check out the photos below of the updated kitchen. Because who doesn't love a good before and after shot? We also added a pantry a little later. I'll update you on that in a separate post.





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