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Merchant Kitty

Category: Home Renovation

DIY remodeling projects

Another challenge with this 1950 home is the paneling.  I hate panel (sorry wood lovers).  I mean, I hate it! But sometimes you are just stuck with it.  So I am going to do something else wood lovers disapprove of, I am going to paint it!  Whitewash it actually.  A thinned down, lightly applied coat of white so that you can still see the wood grain and a bit of brown peeping out is all you need.  Then to distress it I brushed black with a dry brush which I will also be doing to the cabinetry.  Here are the preliminary results!  I will add more pictures as I move along.


whitewashed panel
whitewash outdated panel for a fresh look
white wash outdated panel for a fresh look
white wash outdated panel for a fresh look

This panel had a particularly awful color, so my first attempt with a 1:1 ratio of paint and water wasn’t enough.  I used straight paint on this bad boy, I just pressed my brush in harder to make the paint spread farther.  I used a tiny brush to get in where the bricks are and the edges.

Nothing helps a kitchen as much as a cabinet makeover.  These cabinets I am redoing are plain plain plain.  After taking the ugly hardware off and stripping them, they actually are already a thousand times better.

Cabinet Makeover Step 1:  Stripping the Cabinets

There was only a coat of stain and varnish, which was not too difficult to remove.  I spent about 3 evenings doing 14 doors front and back and 9 drawer fronts.  I used this:

Klean Strip from Walmart $20

and a razor scraper (Dollar Tree 4 in a package) and some steel wool for the stubborn spots.  You also need latex gloves.  For this particular cabinet makeover, I only used a little over half the can.  Just apply, wait until you see blisters and scrape away.  You should scrape with the wood grain and try to avoid gouging the damp wood.

If you are removing paint, expect to use much thicker coats, longer waits, and harder elbow work. I strip cabinets because they get washed a lot and get heavy use and I DON’T want them to peel.  Peeling is ugly and then you HAVE to strip!  So just to be safe I strip it down so the paint will stick.  You can try just a light sanding if you are opposed to stripping.  I can’t say it doesn’t work, I just am too scared to go through all that work and take the chance.  I am one of those people who try to carry 20 grocery bags at once from the car  because I don’t want to make the second trip.

 Cabinet Makeover Step 2:  Getting the New Look with Trim

Now that my cabinets are stripped, I want to give them a more modern feel.  I found that people were just adding trim to transform their cabinetry.  Now, I don’t like to think too hard, so I am avoiding any angle cuts, but these quaker cabinets are just simple straight cuts.  Yippee!   I had a little bit of trouble finding the trim, but I finally found lattice wood at a local lumber store.  Lattice wood is about 1/2 in x 2 in.  I think mine was a little overpriced at 2.99 each, but still a cheap makeover.  You can see there are no fancy cuts to this trim, so it’s pretty easy.


cabinet makeover
Add trim to plain old cabinets for a fashionable look
Cabinet makeover
Plain old cabinet doors become fashionable with a little trim

I can’t be bothered with a measure tape, so I just laid the trim on top of the cabinet, drew a line and cut it to length.  This is the stage I am at now.  It is off to the store to pick up some new hardware!  (The fun part: shopping)

I will be sanding these edges, putting a little filler in where I didn’t make good cuts and painting!  Pictures to come!   I can’t wait!  Check out more home improvement inspirations at Merchant Kitty.

Whether you like lots of color or more vintage earth tone, we all wish we could get more of those yummy scrapbook papers. With this project you can see it everyday. My friend saw this idea in a salon and we tried it out.

patch work using scrapbook paper
patch work using scrapbook paper

First we simply covered the entire wall with papers, being sure to keep our patterns ungrouped. We were going for a random look. No need to Modge Podge both sides just yet, only the backsides. It does help to dilute your Modge Podge so it is more spreadable and dries more slowly (we were running from the kitchen to the bathroom with every piece of paper)

Applying full sized paper on the wall ensures that the entire wall will be covered.
Applying full sized paper on the wall ensures that the entire wall will be covered.
Don’t worry about small bubbles, they tend to disappear as the paper dries.

Then we tore the papers into assorted shapes, again making sure the layout seemed random and repeating papers every so often to make sure the patchwork had continuity. After the scraps are applied, its time to get your hands dirty and rub on the top coat. This allows the light to be spread out over several pieces giving it more of a wall paper look. I would love to try this again with a pearlized Modge Podge and vintage papers.

Pictures and vinyl stickers give a finished look.  Oops, need to put the outlet covers back on!
Pictures and vinyl stickers give a finished look. Oops, need to put the outlet covers back on!