Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Summer Projects: The Kitchen Countertops

I don't know a whole lot about the 1950s (I don't watch Mad Men) but I have picked up a few little snippets over the last 4+ years we've lived in this house. Number one on my list of interesting facts is that people in the 50s were definitely NOT afraid of color. Does anyone remember the pink bathroom

Schmoopsie took a trip over the holiday weekend to help pick up MJ from her Alaskan adventure, and I thought this would make for a perfect time to attack my kitchen. We had to go stay with my mom anyway since she was on over-night kid duty while I worked, so we wouldn't care that the kitchen was not functional for 3 days while the new finishes dried.

Long ago, I stayed home sick from work and painted my cabinets black. (No rule against painting when you're sniffley.) You can see that transformation here. This is basically what our kitchen has looked like over the last several years.

Along with painting the counters, I also painted the backsplash that pumpkin color. While I don't hate that color, it wasn't my first choice for the room, but I was significantly limited in my color selection because, as you'll see below, the countertops had a lovely orange cloud pattern on them.

So pretty.

I couldn't stray too far, then, from the color when painting the backsplash, but I had to do something. You see, the original backsplash color when we moved in was also orange, but in a different, horrible sort of way. Check it out.

Yes, that neon orange strip in the middle where the new paint scraped off was the original color. I'll tell you what, those pearl-wearing mid-century housewives were BOLD.

So anyway, when I was wandering around our local home improvement store several weeks ago, I noticed that a new product was available to paint over ugly laminate counters. It's super inexpensive ($20 for the quart, which was more than enough for the approximately 3 feet of countertop space I enjoy) and seemed like a safe bet to try. I mean, when you're starting with orange clouds, there's basically only one direction to go from there.

Now, I've done some crazy things to this house on a whim, most of which involved paint, and I've been lucky enough that they all turned out great. This was the very first project that left me thinking maybe I sort of hated it. It wasn't the product's fault. It was mostly easy enough to apply, and my only real complaint was it was super stinky. Since I was once again attempting major home improvements while alone with two kids, I had to banish the Bug to her bedroom so she wouldn't inhale all the fumes.

The thing that freaked me out (and, to be honest, still sort of does) was the color. The product only comes in very dark shades, and since the cabinets were already black, I was worried that a grey or charcoal would make the kitchen very dark. Hindsight is 20/20, of course, and I'm positive now that charcoal would've been fine, but that's water under the bridge.

Without further delay, this is the finished look:

Here is where I seek for your external validation. Do you like my red countertops? Are they awful?

Here's one final comparison for you. What do you think?


Jessica said...

I like it. However being a Ute may have influence over my decision. I think it works becuase you have dark cabinets and the grey on the wall. Give it a few weeks and see if it grows on you.

Liv said...

They're so shiny, I love them! I want to paint my counters now.

Seth has white cabinets, but a dark counter/backsplash. You might have made the right call. Although, with stainless appliances, a grey or charcoal counter top might have been alright. So, if you hate the red, then go for grey!

Samantha Kennicott said...

I think they look great! Love me some black and red, it always looks great together. Good for you for tackling projects like this on your own, especially while you're home with the kiddos. Your house is looking more and more fabulous! :)

K and T said...

Looking good! I'm always a fan of that color scheme!

The Button's said...

I know I'm several months late, but I LOVE the red black and gray! I hope you kept it! That splash of color is awesome! I think the gray would've probably looked good but very plain! You are super crafty/handy!!