French Farm House Kitchen Progress: Paint and Light Fixtures

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The first room on my long list of rooms that needed painting at the French Farmhouse was the kitchen. When we took possession of the house, the walls of the kitchen and the adjacent hall which leads to the back door and basement were painted a very dark red which reminded me of tomato paste....dark red and a little shiny.

In addition to red walls and window treatments, the kitchen also had a really fun, old, built in corner cabinet that someone had tried to faux finish with an orange-tone glaze then added blue knobs. The kitchen also had dark green granite counter tops.

Yep, all of the primary colors (and a few of the secondary ones) were included in this tiny space.

I'd love to tell you that they all worked together beautifully....

                                                                                                                    but that would be a lie.

The room also has a silly little light.  As of today, the light is still there...mainly because I haven't found another one that I'm in love with ...and partly because my friend, Ann, might disown me if I replace it.

The red walls made the cabinets appear yellow and the glaze that is on them turned orange.  Needless to say, the red walls were the first thing to go. Oh wait...the window treatments were first...then the red walls.

Here's how my kitchen looks today...literally, at 8 am this morning. My new kitchen color: Restoration Hardware "Graphite"  which I had color matched in Benjamin Moore Regal Select Matte. Let me tell you, that paint is like butter to work with...I'm not kidding...and NO Benjamin Moore  did NOT sponsor this post or compensate me for saying that. It's just my opinion.

I chose the Matte finish because I really like flat finishes...even in the kitchen. However, I also want to be able to wipe up splatters and scuff marks. You know...dirty scuff those that may occur during the excavation of the crawl space next week when they carry the soil that they're excavating up the stairs and through my hallway in five gallon buckets to the dump truck which will be parked on the patio. (Just keeping it real here, folks.)

I had never used Regal Select before but let me just say, this paint magical...or at least it seemed that way when I was faced with covering tomato paste red semigloss paint with grey Matte. It covered in only two coats! I also painted the trim using Benjamin Moore white semi gloss.

When it came time to paint the built in corner cabinet in the kitchen (and the wainscot, trim and cabinets in the dining room and mudroom), I turned to the pros at my local J.C. Licht store in Hinsdale to help me choose a finish that could be applied over the existing shiny, orange-glazed finish.

I wanted a product that would go on smooth, make a non-pro painter like me look like a hero, and would be durable in high traffic areas.  I chose STIX primer which they tinted to match my paint and Benjamin Moore Advance for the finish coat.  I had the color matched to Restoration Hardware "Slate" and I've used it in several rooms. I love the finish and  the color.

The other major change is that I replaced the light fixtures. I sold the old ones to the men who came to clean the furnace ducts...yes, I did.  The chandelier above the kitchen table is the French bronze that used to hang in the foyer of our former home.  The fixtures over the island came from Lowes...on clearance!

Of course, I still have things to hang on the walls and temporary window treatments to make but I'm not going to do much more in this room because during Phase 2 of the renovation, this room will become the hearth room and the kitchen will be relocated to the space that is currently two of the bedrooms  Don't worry, I'll be re-using the cabinets and the fixtures in my new studio space!

Note: the lenses on these fixtures were originally "amber". I painted them with Citrisolv stripper to remove the amber color  because I wanted them to be "white" to allow more light through. It actually worked...took the amber coating right off and left behind plain frosted glass. Who knew?!

It's still hard  for me to believe that just a couple of gallons of paint and new light fixtures can make me feel so much different about this room. I love it now...well,....except for the appliances.  The ice maker and water on the refrigerator don't work and I still have yet to figure out why the electric oven cooks at 420 degrees when I have it set to 350.  But, other than that, this kitchen is serving me pretty well...until Thanksgiving.

                                                                                          Thanksgiving is another story.......

Have a wonderful weekend!