Monday, October 12, 2009

Jamie's Condo: Welcome to 1985!

I have known my great friend Jamie since we were 12.  She is a single mom with an adorable 3 year old and a really ugly plain circa 1985 condo that is full of potential.  One night we were drinking two bottles a few glasses of wine when I blurted out the following:

Me - "We should totally paint your kitchen cabinets!" 

Jamie - "Oh my God!!  I've always wanted to do that since I moved in here four years ago!"

Me - "And we could totally paint all the 80's oak trim in your place white and make it look fresh and clean!"

Jamie - "Yes!!!  I already wanted to rip out all this flooring and get new dark laminate in the entire condo, too!"

Me - "We also have to paint your bathroom vanities, get new granite tops and faucets, lose the huge medicine cabinets, paint the walls in the whole condo, get rid of the vertical blinds on the sliders, buy new window treatments, lamps, rugs, accessories and furniture!!"

Jamie  - "Um...okay?!"

Me - "And I can document the whole thing on my blog! Yay!"  ( I think Jamie said 'Yay' too, but she may have been too busy thinking about the damage to her credit card that was sure to come)

And then we went to measure the bathroom vanities, which was hard with wine glasses in our hands.  And then we shopped, picked paint colors, shopped, and drank more wine over the course of the next few visits.  And we also took some blurry before pictures because we were drinking we took these at night without a flash.  Here are some befores of our first project, the kitchen:

Jamie is very sad about her 80s wood cabinets.  Not because the wine bottles behind her are half empty. 

Notice the shutters and flooring.  Please.  And no, we didn't clean up before we started painting.  Keeping it real, people!

Jeez, those wine bottles just jump into the frame when I'm not looking!  So how was I going to fix this space?  Jamie wanted to keep her almond appliances until she had the money to go stainless, so I knew we couldn't do bright white cabinets or the appliances would look dirty.  I also wanted the ivory countertop to stand out and I wanted to add some interest to the room.  So, the plan was to pick a dark brown paint for the lower cabs and a nice ivory paint for the uppers.  Here we are getting started with removing the doors and taping off:

The BIN was chilling out getting ready for 'prime time.' heh heh....and here it is in action:
The reason I love BIN is that it goes on thin, requires minimal sanding, sticks to laminate, covers dark spots, dries quickly and leaves a great smooth finish.  However, it is stinky and hard to work with because it is shellac-based.  It is also really hard to clean out your brushes since only denatured alcohol will clean up shellac.  It's worth it though, because we went from primed to painted in one night:

We chose Behr Polished Pearl Semi Gloss for the uppers, and Glidden Bark (color matched to Behr) for the lowers.  We love the colors!

One coat of paint was looking mighty nice, but we are still doing one more coat, and not just because I leaned against the wet bottom cabinets about three times.  The rest of the plan for this room includes:
New brushed nickle hardware for cabinets
New lighting fixture and pendants for pass-through area
Under cabinet lighting that is already started will be completed
Crown molding will be added to the top of the cabinets
Color on the walls
New flooring TBD

Next up, the dreaded sanding, priming and painting of the cabinet doors!

Look at her sanding with surgical precision!  Stay tuned....


  1. I love your design process ;). Those colors are looking great, I can't wait to see how the kitchen turns out!

  2. You are a wonderful friend. Love the two colours on the cabinets. Can't wait for the reveal.

  3. I love the post!! It's going to look amazing when it's all done!

  4. I love this post! Fantastic. And honestly, who DOESN'T diy without a few bottles - er, glasses :) - of wine? Diy while drinking is one thing...try blogging. I'll stay tuned - great job, guys!

  5. Hi there - thanks for visiting my blog today! Can't wait to see how the kitchen turns out! Wine is a must when diy'ing :)

  6. That's so great you're helping out your friend! I can't wait to see the finished room. Looking forward to it! :)


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