Red Licorice Kitchen – Part 1
One of the things about owning a store is that you barely have time to decorate your own home. Everyone assumes that you have this amazingly decorated house, which in reality there just isn’t any time or energy left to do such a thing. That was one of the many reasons that I decided to close the retail store and focus on commission work and to work on my own home.
The first task on my long list of “to do’s” was the kitchen cabinets, which looked like this….Really bad 1980’s faux wood laminate. This is actually the built-in china cabinet, I’m still working on the main cabinets. Since this is a farmhouse I wanted barn red cabinets, so I used Primer Red (note that this is a color, not an actual primer) a base color and then used a wash of Emperor’s Silk to make a deep, luminescent appearance. For the shelves and backboard of the cabinet, I used a progression of Florence that I mixed with Cream to get just the right western turquoise color.
Of course I used Chalk Paint™ Decorative Paints since I used to be a retailer for the line and have the a lot of training with this product. Even though I no longer carry the line, I still believe that there isn’t another product on the market that is more suitable for painting kitchen cabinets. I have done several kitchen jobs over the years, using everything from oil to latex and Chalk Paint out performs all the other, especially on laminate.
Step 1 – Remove all cabinet doors and drawers.
Step 2 – Remove all hardware.
Step 3- Clean each door and the actual cabinet itself. I used Clorox wipes to clean the laminate. I used brake cleaner to clean the hardware.
Step 4 -
Even though Chalk Paint™ is a no prep, no prime paint, this is laminate so I wanted to use every precaution possible. I used Zinsser Bulls Eye Water Based Primer which is tintable and I mixed it with the Chalk Paint™ colors that I wanted to use. The reason I wanted to tint the primer was so that if the paint was scratched it wouldn’t be stark white primer showing through.
Step 5 – A complete coat of Primer Red and the custom Florence color was applied straight out of the can, without thinning it with water. I wanted to add some texture to the paint since I was going to be using a lot of dark wax.
Step 6 – After the Primer Red had completely dried I created a wash of Emporer’s Silk by adding water to the paint. This coat needed to be very thin and almost transparent so the there would be a variation of color. This is what creates the depth and also once it is waxed the different colors will catch in the light.
Step 7 – I applied the 2 coats of clear wax, buffing between each coat.
Step 8 – As I like to say, this is when the magic happens…dark wax. This is the final and most crucial process in creating the variation and depth of color for this technique. I worked in small sections and very quickly practically scrubbing the wax into the paint. This is where the texture of the paint comes into play. That texture will “catch” the dark wax and make a variegated/antique look.
NOTE- in Part 2, I will address why, in my opinion, wax is the best option for a kitchen.
Step 9 – All of the original hardware was spray painted satin black and reinstalled. Let me tell you, paint works wonders on dated hardware and it saves a bunch of money when it comes to kitchens, which typically have 30 plus pulls. That could easily cost $200 in new pulls. I sprayed the hinges and even the screw heads so that everything looked shiny and new.
I am sorry for the poor picture quality, but these were taken with my iPhone. I haven’t located my good camera since the move.
Check back for Part 2, which will include more photos of the main wall of cabinets and the huge island. I will also give an idea of what this job would cost in time and money to DIY and what I would charge to do a job like this.
Until then…tootles. I’m hittin’ the beach.