A little aqua paint.

A little paint. | Clean.

Hello, dirty, old, worn out cupboard! I love you – even if you do look terrible these days.

This old cabinet and I go way back. When Pete and I got married we put every
penny of our wedding gift money (around $1000) toward the down payment on our first house. (The house that was a few blocks from the circus.)

lived there for only three years, but those three years were huge.


had just gotten married, we had moved away from the only community we
had really ever known, and a
couple of years later Sage was born within those walls.

This house was
where we spent that first hard year of parenting as we struggled to find
our groove
as a family of three.

Just after closing on the house in 2000, we found the original kitchen cabinets in our garage.

I fell
hopelessly in love with them, so Pete converted one larger base cabinet
in to an island, adding a salvaged butcher block top. We hauled that heavy cupboard back into the kitchen
where it was built, and I painted it my then favorite green – a perfect
fit for our cheerful yellow kitchen.

A little paint. | Clean.

we moved I couldn't bear to part with it, so we've hauled this cupboard
from home to home for the past ten years, parking it in back corners of various garages as it awaited a reason to be once more. (I can't think of anything else we've done that with. I'm pretty quick to let things go that seem to have no purpose.)

But when we moved to the farm this fall it was time to put it back into action as the centerpiece of our kitchen – worn out paint and all. (Or as we call our tattered belongings, "more shabby than chic".)

while the kids were playing with friends I set to work to wake up that
sleepy cabinet. An hour (and a half-quart of paint) later, it was a
whole new piece of furniture. I kept squealing every time I saw it for the rest of the day. Hello aqua cabinet!

A little paint. | Clean.

A little paint. | Clean.

Interestingly, as I cleaned up the cabinet
for painting I noticed that several layers of pant were chipped in a few
places. And the base coat from 100 years ago – hidden beneath my Martha Stewart green and lots and lots of white – is nearly identical to the color I chose.

I love that.

The hardware was already painted, so for now I've just repainted it. My intention is to pull off and strip all of the hardware some soon day.

A little paint. | Clean.

A little paint. | Clean.

A little paint. Yellow, aqua, gray. | Clean.

Kitchen color palette. | Clean.

And now this kitchen is starting to feel just right. Oh yes. Home.

My color palette for this tiny kitchen is above. Light gray walls, dark gray cabinets, light aqua ceiling, and yellow accents.

Oh what a difference a little paint can make.

And now, what to do with that other 1/2 quart of paint…

19 thoughts on “A little aqua paint.

  1. Amanda says:

    oh so soothing with bits of happy! I’ve recently moved and am dying to find some treasure pieces to reinvent. There’s nothing close by, so I’ll have to wait to find them. All in good time.

  2. kara decarlo says:

    That’s funny to me because I have my grandmother’s childhood dresser in my garage waiting for a makeover…and I think a coat of paint will do the trick.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Rachel Wolf says:

    Oh, yes! I’ve been considering painting my grandma’s china cabinet for some time. Currently it’s in use as our bathroom storage. That might be the place for the rest of this aqua paint. (Our grandmas wouldn’t mind, would they?)

  4. Pamela R says:

    Oh my. I remember that “island.” Wow. What a cute and functional peace. I’m glad it’s back in action.

  5. Darryl Margulies says:

    Great color combination! Although the cabinet doors seem to be too worn out, don’t you think? But if replacing your cabinets is out of your budget, touching up minor flaws would be best. Do so by rubbing deeper scratches or small dents gently with abrasive cleaning pad, and then, apply wood putty stick in matching finish color to fill the scratch or dent.

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