Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter cabinets!

So earlier this year, around summertime, I got the bug to paint our kitchen cabinets. Let's take a look at the 'before', and check out what our kitchen looked like with the outdated, light wood grain cabinetry the previous owners left:



Looking back at these before pictures, not only am I sooooo glad our cabinets don't look like this anymore, but I'm also appalled/embarrassed at the CLUTTER! Ugh, it's giving me hives just thinking about what a mess our kitchen was. Needless to say, nowadays I keep the kitchen a bit more streamlined - at least, I try to :)

But I have a pretty good excuse for why our kitchen was in such sad shape. These photos were taken last Fall, right after we moved in...right after we were married a week later...right after we got back from our honeymoon and were still unpacking/decorating/organizing/enjoying being newlyweds! Phew!  Kitchen tidyness just was not at the top of my list of things I was concerened about, haha.

I researched a lot of blog tutorials for tips and tricks to painting kitchen cabinets. I decided I wanted a light, bright kitchen -  our kitchen is small and hardly gets ANY natural light...I hate that :(  and so white was the color I wanted to go with to achieve that goal. But I hemmed and hawed over what color white to use - have you ever looked at how many different shades of white there are? There's seriously a gazllion! Ok, that's a slight exhaggeration...there's a bajillion! I didn't want a white with a blue, pink, green or purple undertone, I wanted an antique-looking white that wasn't too know, not too yellowy/tannish. So I held my breath and picked Creamy by Sherwin William's (when I told the gentleman helping me what color I needed mixed he said that's actually the color a lot of people choose to paint their cabinets - cool, I'm not alone!) and got it mixed in 3 quarts of oil-based, semi-gloss paint. From my research I learned that oil-based was the way to go for durability and long-term lasting quality. I also learned that I needed a good paint brush for a smooth-stroke finish, so I picked up my first Purdy brush:

I'm now a purdy-for-life painter! L-O-V-E these brushes. They're worth the few extra dollars you'll spend on them. Their quality is top-notch if you ask me. I bought an angled one like in the photo above, and made sure it was good to use with oil-based paint (actually, i think the brush I chose was suitable for all paint types).

Then, i got started on the project. I lightly sanded and cleaned the doors and surrounds, moulding, and anything else that was going to come in contact with paint (I also painted the trim around our window a semigloss bright white).  Here are a few 'during' photos after I had the doors off:

Whoa, I thought the before pictures were bad - these during photos are by far the worst. Don't worry, it gets better...I promise! :) 

I had 20 doors to paint (I left 3 off for some open cabinetry), 6 drawers, and all of the facing, sides, and moulding of the cabinets. The doors above are just the ones that didn't fit on my workspace outside. Oil-based paint is stinkier than latex, so painting outdoors is definitly preferable. BUT it was during the summer when it was absolutely wretched outside humidity-wise, so I looked forward to coming inside for this group of doors and enjoyed the cooler indoor temp - I didn't mind the odor a bit :)

I did a coat of primer, and two coats (some doors needed three coats) of paint and voila! Look how it started to come together!


*Sorry for some of my crooked/blurry/crazily lit photos. That's what happens when I use my camera phone :/
I spraypainted all of our door and drawer hardware a stainless finish and added them all back one once the paint was dry and I had everyithng reinstalled. Although, now I've gone with oil-rubbed bronze for the kitchen hardware so I re-sprayed them all that finish. I'll show you those updated photos in another post. And now, without further ado, here are a crap load of 'after' photos with everything painted and put back together:

ahhhhhhh, so nice :) I'm VERY happy with the outcome and SOOOOOO glad I took the plunge to paint - and do it myself. I don't know what it would've cost to hire someone to do this, but I do know that it most definitely would've been out of my budget. The finished product is actually a little brighter white than the sample color card, but it's no big deal. I did a little something else to give it that tad bit aged/distressed look I had in mind (more on that later, too!)

So how bout a few more quick snapshots of the before and afters from the same angles. I always enjoy those ;)





And Santa was EXTRA good to us this year - he delivered an early Christmas present last week: Stainless steel appliances! haha, YEAH!!! Thanks Santa - Merry Christmas to YOU! :) So I'll have to take a few more updated photos of those pretty little things to share with you too.

So that's our updated kitchen - what a difference some paint and elbow grease makes! So lemme hear what you have to say...anyone else considering doing something similar? Or have you completed a major project like this? I was crazy and did it while my husband was away - with two people though a task like this should be a breeze! :) If anyone out there reading this has any questions, feel free to leave me a comment below and I'll get back to ya!

Have a Merry Christmas, and here's wishing you and yours the very best in 2011!!

p.s. In addition to the hardware, distressing and appliances, there's ONE more thing that's been re-done: our island. So sounding like a broken record, more to come on that too!!! :)


Also linked up to:

Friday, December 10, 2010

2010 Christmas Card

Starlight Snowflakes Christmas Card
Shutterfly has classic, elegant Christmas invitations for your party.
View the entire collection of cards.
Here it is!! The 2010 Storm Christmas Card! I got 50 of them in the 5x7 stationary card, matte finish, and they come with envelopes too. I love the glitter reindeer ornament picture I took and how well it works with the  white snowflakes in the lcard's ayout. The red "Merry Christmas" font is exactly what I wanted, and I was able to add whatever text I wanted below that, so I decided to write:
"...and Happy New Year!
Mike and Amy Storm"
I can't WAIT to get the cards in the mail and send them on their merry way to our friends and family. What a great way to boost Christmas spirit!! :)
Does this inspire anyone else to sing Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer? :)   (Everyone now!) "...had a very shiny nose. And if you ever saw it, you would even say it glows!" haha

Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Spreading Christmas Cheer

Well everyone knows the best way to spread Christmas cheer, right? Singing loud for all to hear! Oh I just love the movie Elf.

It has officially been my number one favorite Christmas movie ever since it came out. Before then, it was National Lampoon's Christmas vacation, now a close second :)   

But since it's quite difficult to spread Christmas cheer by singing to friends and family who live out of state (I suppose you could do it over the phone, but come on, that's just not the same :) ), the next best thing is sending your near and dear some fun Christmas cards. This year I'm going to use to make my cards (did you know they'll mail them straight to your recipients, too?!), and I can't wait to play around with my photos, find the best ones and use them to create my card.

I'd like to incorporate these in my card this year. The photo of my husband and me is from our 1 year anniversary, and the glitter reindeer is an ornament on my silver and gold glitter music tree:

There are so many different options for layouts and themes that Shutterfly offers in every color of the rainbow. All their holiday card and stationary options are found here, and it's easy to get started. The hard part is deciding on your favorite one! haha! I'm leaning towards a red theme right now since the photos I'm considering using have a lot of green in them. Here are the styles I'm diggin: 

It's so tough to decide!!!! I don't know which one to pick - any ideas out there? What are your opinions for my pictures/color scheme/layout? Also, anyone else out there who's used or planning on using Shutterfly for their Christmas cards or other projects? They do SSOOOOO much more than just cards. They do wall calendars, birthday invites, and I've used them at least a half a dozen times already for prints, photobooks (our wedding and honeymoon albums and wedding album gifts for family), and online photo uploading which I then also used to create a site for sharing our wedding & honeymoon photos and videos with friends and family

It's an amazing Web site with speedy shipping and I've been satisfied with every single one of their products 100% of the time. I can't say enough good things about this company. Plus for all you bloggers out there, Shutterfly's giving bloggers 50 free holiday cards. Check it out here.

Okay, so now it's time to buckle down and pick a card - with your help it'll be a breeze. Comment please! *hey, i'm poet too! :)

Merry Christmas!!
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