When me moved in to our house 3 years ago, we had a month to decorate as many rooms as possible, before we moved in. Needless to say, the kitchen got a lick of paint and left. From there, once we where a little more settled other rooms started getting more work doe but the Kitchen just stayed as it was. I’ve always known once we buy the entire kitchen will be ripped out and started over. So I haven’t wanted to spend too much on it. Until two weeks ago, I just couldn’t cope with it any longer. I needed something quick, cheap and effective.
So here it was a few weeks ago.
Clean, functional – not so pretty.
First up, was sorting out those cupboard doors. I originally painted them in Anne sloane Antique white, which was lovely, the varnish however yellowed over the past year making them look little manky. So, rather than going out and spending £20 + on a tub of paint specifically for kitchen cabinets, I used what I already had in. Remember my front of house makeover a few weeks ago? well, during that I punched a small tub of exterior paint in a beautiful slate grey colour for the step and gas mains cupboard. It comes with a six year guarantee to protect from the elements, it was just the colour I wanted and I only used a little bit, so I had near a full tin left. There was really no harm in trying.
It took two light coats and dried the most beautiful colour!
Whilst I was in-between coats waiting for them to dry, I gave those handles a good spray with gold.
And once everything was completely dry (not just to touch, but really dry.) I popped those handles back on & voialla!
Next, I needed to tackle the end of side annoyance, I’ve always hated how the dryer is just stuck on the end of the kitchen. To sort this we bought a giant piece of 3/4″ thick MDF as a side panel and a piece of worktop the same thickness as the existing ones from Savoy timber. Sam used brackets to fix the worktop to the existing sides, the wall and the MDF. the entire thing was as sturdy as it could be.
I then filled the seam in-between the two sides with filler, left it over night to dry and gave it a good sand to smooth out.
Then came making over the kitchen worktops. I’ve debated this part of the project for a long time. and before starting I knew the risks – being I was about to spend a whole lot of time on something that could look like rubbish at the end, or get damaged so easily – so quickly and have to be ripped up anyway. But. If I didnt try, I’d never know. So, coating the sides with vinyl sheets.
First I had to take off those side metal case things. Then give it a real thorough scrub, there can’t be one single speck of dirt or grease on those sides or the vinyl won’t stick.
Then it was time for the hard bit. Laying the vinyl, I bought the DC-Fix vinyl in white marble from Wilkos (£5 per 2mt roll). To do this well, you’ll need two things to hand. A card of some sort – this is for smoothing out those bubbles. And a craft knife. You can try scissors to trim off the excess vinyl, but I wouldn’t recommend it for a super neat finish, you can pick up craft knives from hobby craft.
Laying it, isn’t actually difficult, laying it without getting it crinkled and bubbly, well thats a whole other ball game. The only thing I can advise is start from a corner, peeling back the paper and sticking to the surface. peel back a little more backing paper, smooth out on your surface, with your card, peel back and so on. working slowly and making sure its laying crinkle free. I would recommend leaving a couple of inches excess on every side. You can always trim if its too big, you can’t add on if its too small.
The hardest bit are those really long sides. After adding on the extra piece of worktop, the longest piece was over 2mt long. its tough trying to get a whole piece of vinyl stuck down in one piece, without it crinkling and sticking together. It took me two go’s until i was really happy with it.
So, once it was laid, then came finishing up those sides, first I trimmed any excess off, and then caulked down the wall/side joint. You don’t have to do this part, but I wanted to really secure those edges, especially around the sink area which would obviously be getting wet a lot.
Finally, I used a hair dryer, to quickly blast the bottom edges of the vinyl, smoothing it under with my card. The slight blast of heat made the vinyl mould perfectly around the curve of the workshop. giving a lovely finish.
Once finished with that, I could pop the metal plates back on and admire all that hard work.
A couple of thing that you need to know which this stuff – DONT place any hot pan/plate on the sides. They will melt the vinyl. – DONT cut food on your sides, you’ll slice the vinyl. You can counteract both of these by making sure you have a chopping board. I love my ikea one. Its huge and makes it no effort not to damage my sides.
Other than that, they are fine to use and scrub as normal. I absolutely wouldn’t use this as a long term kitchen solution, but over the next 2 years, our plans to buy this house should be finalised and the first thing that will be ripped out and re-done is the kitchen. For now, its the perfect solution.
Next up on the kitchen transformation, is the walls. Now if you follow me on insta you’ll know I’ve been popping tester pots up on the walls over the past few weeks, I’d narrowed it down to a couple of light and airy colours, but found actually after doing the worktops, I loved the colour that was already up. It was a little grubby in spots, so It definitely needed a touch up. The colour is Cosy grey – walks durable.
Then on my list, was replacing those blinds. I did actually love them, they where of course handmade out of old palettes. But they just didnt do much for the room. I replaced them with Dunelm mill linen roman blind in Natural.
Next, I bought a wall bracket for the microwave, giving us much more worktop room. I didnt want wires hanging directly across the wall, so I moved it to right next to the fridge, there’s a plug socket just behind. making it perfect. I also swapped the pan hanger to the other side of the room.
And finally, it was time to fancy up the room, make it a little more personalised and homely.
I chalked up a simple design on the chalk board using this method,
I created a print out for by the kettle (you can have the printable too, its FREE & its here.), I was bought this beautiful radio off Sam as a late birthday present.
I popped up some fairy light on the giant thing over the cooker. (I think its art, i’m not really sure. ha ha) And, I decided to have another go of growing herbs on the window ledge. (its only the 5000th time, i’ve tried not to kill them within a week.)
ALL of these little projects have made up my (semi) finished room.
And here’s he obligatory before & afters.
The different is amazing! It’s no longer the room I hate most in the house. Although it isn’t actually all finished, I’ll be starting phase two of the kitchen update next month. This part of the project will be sorting the Dining area side of it.
The little woman pretends.