Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sayonara Floral Fruit

We have a lot going on here at the McEntire house. So much so that we haven't had the chance to write about all our changes. On the last post, we took you through our fun times painting cabinets. We were on a roll to get the rest of the kitchen done, so we moved our efforts to the walls.

The cabinets looked pretty but it was still hard to fully appreciate them with the glaring floral fruit wallpaper distracting our eyes. Before we tackled the wallpaper though, we had to paint the molding. It was decently easy, especially since we're now basically pros at the whole process. We used the same steps as the cabinets minus the sanding. First we deglossed, and then primed. We tested the primer on the molding to make sure it was adhering and covering well and lucky for us it was, so we knew we could skip the sanding.  After the primer was on, we started noticing all these new crevices and holes that were camouflaged by the dark wood molding before, so we had to go back and caulk all the edges and cracks. That was fun. Not. Caulking is decently easy once you get the hang of  the knowing how to stop the caulking gun from shooting all over your fingers/walls/floors/spouse. We simply held the gun up against the seam, squirted a nice even line of caulk and then ran our fingers across it to smooth it out. Caulking is not something either of us had ever messed with before but it wasn't all that intimidating. But after the caulk getting all over our fingers, we quickly realized neither of us loved it so we practically had to play rock-paper-scissors every time we stumbled across a new area that needed it. Once the caulk was dry, we simply had to apply 3 coats of paint, waiting 4 hours in between each coat to dry. Easy breezy (beautiful cover girl).

FINALLY it was time to start working on the walls. Our initial thought was to (obviously) remove the wallpaper. But after trying to peel back a few of the corners and realizing the wall paper was put on by a professional aka not going anywhere, we had to go to plan B of texturing over the wallpaper. We both love the look of flat walls, but the walls in every other non-wallpapered room in our house is textured, including the ceilings, so it only made sense to texture the walls in the kitchen also. We like consistency.

A family friend of ours suggested that we hold a wet sponge on a seam of the wallpaper to see how it reacts. If the sponge made the wallpaper peel up, we knew we'd have to go back to plan A and remove all the wallpaper. Yuck. If you texture over wallpaper that isn't adhered REALLY well, the wallpaper will start to bubble and peel the second you apply the texturing mud which just creates a bigger mess than anyone wants.

So needless to say, holding that sponge against the wallpaper was a really scary step for us. please don't peel. please don't peel. please don't peel.

Phew! Lucky for us, the sponge only made a tiny portion of the wallpaper peel off, so for the most part, the wallpaper wasn't going anywhere. Time to texture!

As it turns out, texturing is really easy. We bought a large bucket of mud at our good 'ole neighborhood Lowes.

All you do is mix a small amount of water to the top so that the mud is the right consistency. Maybe not as thick as peanut butter but thicker than pancake batter.

Anyway, you get a big glop on your trowel and head to town. The hardest part we found about texturing was making sure we didn't leave any big trowel lines on the walls. The key is to go in continuous rainbow circular movements and not push too hard on the walls. Kind of hard to explain unless you're seeing it in action but it takes a little practice to get the motion down. It's very easy to do though, really anyone can do it. Since we were texturing over wallpaper, it was also very important that we covered all the paper seams with mud so that they wouldn't show after we painted. With all that said, we textured the entire kitchen in only 2 hours.

We were told that it's best to wait around 24 hours for the texture to dry before painting so that's what we did. Next step: Painting! priming. Geeze Louise it takes a lot of steps before you get to see your pretty paint color on the walls but we just had to keep telling ourselves to be patient. Thats easier said than done.
Someone much smarter than us suggested that we prime  the walls before painting. We could have easily skipped this step, but the texture sucks up a LOT of paint. And paint is expensive. Primer however, is much more wallet friendly, so we put a nice thick coat of primer over the walls. This was also a good step to evaluate our texturing job and spot any areas that didn't look even or needed more. Priming didn't take long at all because it wasn't necessary to cut in or get close to the edges. All we had to do was roll.

After finally being done with the priming, we could paint. We chose a warm grey that Sherwin Williams custom made for us. We have some grey/taupe tones in our granite that we really wanted to match and we were careful not to pick greys that were too bluish. We found the perfect color family on a Sherwin Williams swatch but the dark shade was too dark and the light was too light. So we took the swatch in and had them mix up a medium shade in between those colors and give us a little sample bucket. We took it home and loved the color. Bingo!

We started taping off the molding in one section of the kitchen and immediately realized that was a horrible idea. The tape was ripping off little pieces of our newly painted molding. Take two steps forward and one step back, right? Neither of us had ever painted enough walls to learn how to 'cut-in' but I guess now was the time to learn. It seams pretty straight forward, but I was really nervous about making my straight brush lines look more like jagged chevron lines. Not exactly the look we're going for. Luckily there are a ton of youtube videos with some really great tips on cutting in for first timers like us. We edged the walls first and then went back with the roller. And that was it! We love how the color turned out against the crisp white cabinets.

This picture is kind of deceiving. We took this picture at night so without the natural sunlight coming in, the color looks darker than in person.

Here's a better shot with some sunlight to show what the color looks like.

And here is a closeup of our b-e-a-utiful texture (If we say so ourselves)

While we had the grey paint out, we also painted inside the glass-doored cabinets, on the back section. If we eventually want to add more of a pop of color, this would be a great place to add it, but for now we really love the grey. We have also thrown around the idea of adding in lights to these cabinets but that's another day.

It feels so good to finally be done (for the most part) with our kitchen. We still have more work in queue, such as hanging curtains, buying decorations, bleaching the grout, changing the light fixture and a few other things here and there, but the hardest part is behind us. Now on to the next project!