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From Blah to Beautiful With Just Paint, Plaster, Stain and a Stencil

Even though this house was built in 2006, the kitchen still reminded me of the 1970's. Plain and drab with no real interested. Well, that was about to change!
Being a stencil designer, I find I need pattern and contrast, and in my own home, I need to feel I've put a bit of my own personality and vision in to the home in order to feel I'm a part of it.
Light is fine, but I personally like deep colors.
The look of dark cabinets has always attracted me. They look so elegant! So that's where I started. Minwax has a great product that combines stain with polyurethane which eliminates the step of varnishing the cabinets.
Next came the counter tops. I hated these light cream formica counter tops. They stained easily and you could see every teensie crumb. I was constantly wiping them down. So I gave them a faux (fake) granite finish.
After cleaning, a light sanding, then priming the counter tops, I began by sponging black acrylic paint over the entire surface with a paper towel. Light dabs are the key to making the finish look more like true granite.
After sponging dark brown "spots", I then blended the edges just slightly with a dry, natural bristle chip brush.
Creating streaks of brown paint to mimic deep veining breaks up the pattern and adds interest. I blended the edges slightly to create softly blended "streaks".
Larger spots of black paint were blended over the surface to create deep gray/black pockets here and there on the surface. 4 coats of polycrylic now creates that beautiful shine of polished granite and protects the paint surface.
The white linoleum floor had to go! No, I can't install the hard woods I ultimately want quite yet, so I gave it a much prettier look with Behr's Porch and Floor Paint instead!
I taped off a large rectangle on the floor and first painted it deep cream color and then sponged medium brown paint over the area.
On the outer border, I flipped the order. I painted that area medium brown and then sponged the cream color over the top. It's very interesting how the same paint colors can create a completely different look depending on the application order.
I designed a new stencil specifically for my kitchen and first used it with paint to border the floor.............
Then used the same stencil design with joint compound to create a lovely back splash panel above the counter tops.
Yes, I know, I need to replace the white appliances, and that will come in time. But now, my kitchen has taken on a much more elegant look with just paint, joint compound (plaster), stain, a stencil and varnish. So if you are sick of your outdated or blah kitchen, take a tip from me; Dig out those brushes and give it a new look!

To see more: http://www.victorialarsen.com

  • Barb Rosen
    Barb Rosen Wilmington, DE
    on Nov 3, 2014

    What a difference! With paint and lots of elbow grease you completely changed the look of your kitchen!

  • Miriam I
    Miriam I Bay Shore, NY
    on Nov 3, 2014

    WOW. This is absolutely incredible!

    • Victoria Larsen
      Victoria Larsen Los Lunas, NM
      on Nov 4, 2014

      @Miriam I Thank you Miriram! I'm quite proud of it and no longer skiddish to show people my kitchen.

  • Marion Nesbitt
    Marion Nesbitt Canada
    on Nov 4, 2014

    Great job! Was especially interested in your countertop. Have a corner sink with 2 seams and measurements that a full slab of granite, etc. would not meet. This would solve my problem.

  • Noeleen Gray
    Noeleen Gray Canada
    on Nov 4, 2014

    Absolutely beautiful!

  • Deborah Rose
    Deborah Rose Bowling Green, KY
    on Nov 5, 2014

    WOW, stunning makeover, Congrats !

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