Hi there! My name is Jo, and my husband and I moved to New Orleans from Florida as newlyweds in 2008. In 2010, we moved to the Northshore with our first child. We were renting, but it didn’t take us long to decide that we wanted to put down roots in St. Tammany Parish. We began house hunting, and I fell in love with a ranch home straight out of the 1970s. The owners were a precious elderly couple who had built the house in 1976, and you could tell. Our house was a diamond in the rough for sure, but I saw so much potential. I love decorating and DIY projects, so I convinced my husband that we should make an offer, and the rest is history.

My husband was a hard sell on this house primarily because of the kitchen. As you can see, it was quite dated. Check out those appliances. I will say that it could have been worse, because as I started ripping out woodwork I found remnants of orange floral wallpaper. The countertops and backsplash had been replaced, as had a few appliances, although I wasn’t thrilled with many of the finishes chosen by the previous homeowners.

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Overall, the kitchen just felt dark, dated, and depressing. Our budget didn’t allow for us to come in and rip everything out, so for a few months we just lived with it. Finally I decided to go ahead and paint the cabinets instead of waiting for “someday” when we could replace all the appliances and countertops. And I’m so glad I did!

At this point, I had refinished several pieces of furniture, but only with latex paint and glaze. I heard about Annie Sloan chalk paint and decided to give it a shot for two main reasons: no sanding and no priming. For parents who don’t have unlimited hours to spend on projects, it’s great to be able to skip a tedious step or two. I love bright colors in my home, so I chose a gorgeous turquoise color called Provence and got to work.

As you can see, the first coat really soaks into the wood. I was pretty sure I’d screwed up my cabinets for good at this point, but I kept going.

An up close shot of the first coat of paint

An up close shot of the first coat of paint

 

The second coat was like magic – totally smooth without a brushstroke to be found! I was sold and have been an Annie Sloan junkie ever since. I then sealed the paint using Annie Sloan clear wax. It was super easy to use. I put an old sock over my hand, dipped it in a little wax, and then buffed it on the cabinet. It’s been almost two years since I painted these, and the wax has done a great job of protecting the paint job.

Finally, I added some glaze to add a weathered effect. Hardcore Annie Sloan enthusiasts use her dark wax to achieve this look, but I’ve been using glaze for years and chose to stick with what I know. You can buy glaze at any hardware store and mix it with a paint sample in the color of your choice. Apply it with a paint brush and wipe off a lot or a little with a cloth. I like to leave a lot of glaze on my pieces.

The door on the right has two coats of paint. The door on the left has been glazed.

The door on the right has two coats of paint and a little glaze in one area. The door on the left has been glazed all over.

A few tips – Before beginning this project, I was cautioned not to paint my cabinets turquoise for resale purposes. My philosophy when it comes to resale value is this: I’m the one living in this home and paying the mortgage, so I’m decorating for myself! Find what makes you happy in your own home, and go for it! Also, I painted our cabinets in sections so as to cut down on the chaos in the kitchen. While it did cut back on the mess inside the house, it extended the duration of the project for at least a few weeks. By the end of the project, I was sick of spending every naptime painting cabinet doors in the garage. If I had it to do over again, I’d take off all the doors at once and just eat a lot of takeout for a week or so. But in the end – it was worth every naptime and late night!

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I’m so happy with how they turned out. With just one project, I went from hating my kitchen to loving it! Almost two years and a new baby later, and we still haven’t gotten around to replacing our countertops or appliances. While I can’t wait to kick that awful range hood to the curb and get pretty butcher block counters, I have to say I’ve grown pretty attached to our retro oven!

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Annie Sloan chalk paint and waxes can be purchased on the Northshore at Melange by KP in Mandeville and Welcome Home and Garden in downtown Covington.

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