A splash of paint can work wonders in the kitchen

A splash of paint can really work wonders in the kitchen
NOW AND THEN: Photos supplied by Avery Michaels of Holland Avenue Home.

NOW AND THEN: Photos supplied by Avery Michaels of Holland Avenue Home.

We often hear about how transformative paint can be to a house, but this kitchen makeover takes the cake.

The room only has one window - which doesn't provide much natural light - and the dark cupboards sucked any brightness out of the room.

The owners had just a small budget to bring the heart of their home back to life, so using paint to overhaul the dark 1980s timber cabinetry was a clever and economical approach. Luckily, they didn't need new appliances, fixtures or flooring, so instead read every article they could about painting kitchen cupboards and boldly decided to go for it.

They opted for Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint; two coats of a shade called Pure were used on the upper cabinets, and the same amount in the colour Duck Egg Blue was applied to the lower cupboards.

The owners have invaluable tips for those who decide to use paint for their kitchen makeover. "Degrease your cabinets thoroughly with a degreasing soap. If you leave just a tiny spot it will show through the paint.

"Approach your kitchen remodel with realistic expectations. When you get really, really close and examine the cabinets, they do have some imperfections, but whoever gets that close? We love our kitchen now. It's bright and colourful and full of light.

"If you're considering using Chalk Paint, but you're afraid of the results, just do it! It's the most affordable way to dramatically change the look and feel of your kitchen."

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Whip up a kitchen makeover

With DIY at the top of many people's recipe list, these steps show how simple it is to whip up a masterpiece.

  1. Start by giving your kitchen cabinets a clean with soapy water to remove any oil or grease.
  2. When dry, apply your first coat of chalk paint, using a flat brush for a smooth finish.
  3. Leave plenty of time to dry, before painting the second coat of Chalk Paint.
  4. Once dry, finish with at least two coats of a protective finishing sealant.

"With a partner and no interruptions, you could do your kitchen cabinets in a weekend," suggests Annie. "Or if the thought of a big job is overwhelming, break it down. Do your top cupboards one week and your bottom cupboards the next."

Create a colourful splashback

Without the need to sand or prep, Chalk Paint can not only elevate cabinetry, but also turn everyday tiles into a showstopping feature in your kitchen.

"Rectangular subway tiles can be bought anywhere, for next to nothing," says Annie. "Turn them on their side, paint each half in a complementary shade and you've got a gorgeously matte checkerboard tile that looks like you paid ten times the price. Pick a palette of four shades - two per tile - for a seriously chic look."

Just remember, patience is a tile painter's best friend. For a polished look, use thin coats and leave plenty of drying time. If you're a fan of the rustic aesthetic, leave a little more paint on the brush.

Layer up the texture of the surrounding wall by applying Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint onto a base of Wall Paint, using thick strips of cardboard. Drag, wipe and scrape the paint along the wall, building up layers of colour and tone, until blended to your liking.

Once dry, Annie suggests finishing the tiles with a thin layer of clear Chalk Paint lacquer, and the walls with Chalk Paint wax or lacquer to seal and protect.