Friday, July 27, 2012

DIY White Washed Cabinets

I've gotten several emails asking how our DIY kitchen refinishing project is going. The cabinets are done!! I was beginning to think I would die of stripping fume inhalation and we'd never finish. Or I'd  be permanently pocked by chemical burns, but the burns have all healed. So here are the cabinets.

This is what they looked like before. Fifties blonde with peeling shellac. Pieces of wood missing. Really ugly. So bad we wondered if they were salvageable. But we decided to give it a shot.

 Here we are in the middle of the process. I'm stripping the inside of the cupboards, and my husband Calvin is stripping the drawers. The house is seventy years old, and I had to rip out six different types of adhesive shelf paper--one from every decade.

Finished product. (Yes, the light coming in the windows actually looks that way. It glows off the cabinets in a cool blue tone. In the late afternoon, the kitchen is bathed in a pink glow.) The garden window was our first foray into kitchen refurbishing. You couldn't even see through the window that was there before.

Another view. Notice the walls--yeah, they're in really bad shape too. I think I've talked Cal into painting them on his vacation. So, there will be another installment of photos from the DIY kitchen.

I don't know if you noticed the plant hanging over the window. It's a tropical pitcher plant, a carnivorous plant. The pitchers are full of watery goo that attracts and digests bugs. I take it outside every couple of days to it can capture dinner. (This plant was my anniversary present. Some women want jewels--I want weird plants. And my husband indulges me.)

Next summer, we hope to fix the floor. Under several layers of linoleum is the original wood floor made of a double layer of 1 x 6 planks! I can't wait to refinish it.


  1. Wow, your cabinets look hip and fresh!
    And that plant is way cool!

  2. Looks great! As someone facing multiple projects in both the near and far future--this is inspiring!

  3. Your refurbished cabinets look wonderful. With a home that old, you'll never run out of refurbishing projects, and it'll be worth the effort, because older homes are built sooooo much better than today's. LOVE that pitcher plant. I used to have a Venus fly-trap years ago. Raised it from seed, and kept it in a mini-greenhouse in my bedroom. It was so neat watching those delicate little traps develop. Fed it tiny bits of raw ground beef. Then I went away on vacation, and my mother, bless her heart, had a black thumb. When I returned ten days later, all my plants were belly-up. I've never quite had to heart to grow another one. (My cats probably wouldn't like it, anyway.)

  4. Your shelves look great but OMG! I WANT THAT PLANT!

  5. You're a busy lady! The cabinets look great!!

  6. I'm digging that plant and i LOVE the cabinets!

  7. The cabinets are great! And the way the light comes in through the window looks very nice.

    I love the pitcher plant. I've always wanted a carnivorous plant--they're so interesting.