In January 2017, I painted my kitchen cabinets with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I started this blog to share the finished project, and I never expected for it to lead to where I am today. Fast forward two years, and this kitchen has been featured by Apartment Therapy, Country Living, The Today Show, Better Homes & Gardens, Annie Sloan The Colourist, Buzzfeed, Delish, and Popsugar (to name a few). It has been shared thousands of times on Facebook, and the blog post has been read 60,000 times in 143 different countries. It led to me being chosen as a 2018 Better Homes & Gardens Stylemaker and attending the Stylemaker Celebration in New York City last September. (That’s me winning a prize for the Instagram contest during the event!)
In my wildest dreams, I could not have anticipated how monumental the reaction to this project would be. I spent $150 and a week of my time painting some cabinets, and the internet exploded. The reaction was probably 97% positive, with 3% of commenters being OUTRAGED that I put a giant rug in the kitchen. We moved the rug to our guest room, but I did it once and I would do it again. (For all the rug haters, we never had a single spill or catastrophe, and it was not ruined from being in a kitchen. For the one specific rug hater whose comment will live in my heart and make me laugh forever- I never “dropped a lasaga on the pretty rug”, so you can go back to sleeping at night.)
Since the initial update in January 2017, I’ve added a subway tile backsplash and switched out the 9×12 rug for a 3×5 counterpart. Here are a few photos from the original 2017 Before & After, a feature from Annie Sloan bookazine after the subway tile, and a recent photo from last week (January 2019).
Here is my honest opinion of Annie Sloan Chalk Painted cabinets two years later…
THEY ARE STILL AMAZING.
The thing I don’t want you to miss about that sentence is that my ANNIE SLOAN Chalk painted cabinets are still in excellent condition two years later. If I had used an off brand chalk paint, I might not have the same results or opinions. I properly painted and sealed the cupboards with Annie Sloan Clear Wax, and they look just as incredible as the day I finished painting them. It feels silly to write a review because I have nothing bad to say about how they have held up. If we spill or splatter anything on them, I wipe it off with a wet rag and they look as good as new. I gave all of the cabinet fronts a thorough cleaning before Christmas, and they look great. My husband and I are relatively tidy and we don’t have kids, so they haven’t had to see any major wear and tear. But from the cleaning I have done, I’ve never once been concerned about the paint scratching.
If you are considering chalk painting your kitchen, RUN don’t walk to your nearest Annie Sloan distributor and just go for it! I am ridiculously happy with my decision to paint the cupboards, and I would do it again and again.
One funny thing that I’ve watched over the last two years is the rise of the colorful kitchen. When I painted mine in 2017, neutral kitchens were all the rage. Everything was white, grey, or black. I almost decided on one of these neutrals for the bottom, but my heart told me to go with my favorite color, Duck Egg Blue. I decided to do what I loved instead of what was trendy, and I am so happy with that decision. Since then, blue kitchens have popped up everywhere. (And surprisingly, so have rugs in kitchens!) It is fun to have a trendy kitchen, but that isn’t what makes me happy with my decision.
I’m happy with my blue kitchen because I will love it forever whether it is trendy or not. If I had focused on what was trendy instead of what I loved, I would be sitting here in 2019 with a neutral kitchen, jealous of everyone else’s blue kitchens. Of course, you can always repaint your cabinets. But why go to that trouble when you can be happy from the start?
If you’re considering painting your own kitchen, choose a color (or neutral) that brings a smile to your face. Ignore what the magazines tell you is “in” and listen to what you love.
I’ve received countless questions about the kitchen, so I will post the original questions and my answers here. If you have another question that is not answered on this list, send me a message and I’d love to answer!
Q:What type of chalk paint did you use and what color?
I used Annie Sloan chalk paint. It is the only brand of chalk paint I would recommend. It is more expensive per ounce of paint than latex or oil paint, but it goes so much further and has excellent coverage. You do not need to sand your cabinets or remove any doors before painting. I used 3 coats of Pure White on top and 2 coats of Duck Egg Blue on bottom. You can find a local Annie Sloan stockist through the Annie Sloan Website.
Q: Did you seal your cabinets with wax or poly?
I sealed my cabinets with three thin coats of Annie Sloan Clear Wax. You can use white or black wax for a rustic or distressed look. All of Annie Sloan’s waxes dry hard and should not feel tacky with proper application.
Q: Have you had to re wax?
I have not re-waxed anywhere, and it still feels and looks well sealed and strong.
Q: Did you paint the sides of your drawers or insides of doors?
I did not, but you totally can. I painted the insides of the two cabinets I took the doors off of, but you can if you want to!
Q: How hard/easy is it to get oil splatters off the wax?
Very easy. If I catch it right away, I wipe any spills off with a wet rag. Some spills have gone unnoticed for who knows how long, and those also come off easily with a wet rag.
Q: Seriously, how long did it take?
It took me almost a full week of working for a few hours every morning and afternoon, and a few evenings with my husband. (To paint and wax everything, including painting all of my walls and trim)
Q: What are the “I wish I would have…” things?
I have no regrets about the design decisions I made, and I am happy with the quality of my work! You can read more about my process in the post, $200 Kitchen Update: Sources and Process
Q: Did you paint the hinges?
I did. They don’t look great, but they were pretty rough before. I prefer for them to just blend in. If you have really nice hinges, I might recommend not painting them.
Q: Do you regret not doing or doing any steps?
No. I was very, very, very, very thorough with the cleaning step, which is the most important in my opinion. You need to degrease your cabinets with a degreasing soap. If you have grease spots (which you probably do without realizing it- especially if you have dark wood cabinets) they will show through the paint no matter how many coats you use to try to cover. If you miss a spot and don’t realize it until you’ve painted, sand it down and touch up the paint before waxing. I don’t have photos, but I missed one tiny spot on a bottom cabinet and it was an orange color showing through the blue paint. I sanded down and repainted, and you can’t tell at all.
Q: Were the cabinets previously painted?
No. They were wood cabinets from the 1980’s kitchen expansion.
Q: Did you roll or brush the paint?
I brushed. You cannot see any brush strokes on the Duck Egg Blue, but you can see some brush strokes on the Pure White. It doesn’t bother me, but if it bothered you, you could just do another coat of paint to conceal brush strokes. I used Annie Sloan’s wax brush to apply the wax.
Q: Is the Duck Egg Blue mixed with any Pure White, or is it full strength?
It is full strength.
Q: Where is your rug/towel/hardware/etc. from?
You can find all sources for the kitchen (and other rooms in our home!) on the Shop My Home page of this website.
The rug and hardware are linked (along with my other favorite Amazon household finds) on my Amazon Storefront. I make a small percent commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase anything through my storefront. Thanks for supporting Holland Avenue Home!
I think I answered all of the questions I’ve received in preparation for writing this post, but if you still have a question please send me a message! I really really reeeaallyy love this project, and I would encourage you to just go for it if you’re looking to make an affordable and high-impact change in your kitchen. You don’t need to rip it out and start from scratch to have your dream space. Just pick your favorite colors, buy a few quarts of paint, and see what happens! My guess is that you will be SHOCKED by how different your space will look after a fresh coat of paint and a little personality. You do not need to have any special skills to do this project! I would recommend it to anyone looking to make a drastic change without spending an arm and a leg on an actual renovation.
If you missed the original kitchen posts, you can find them below.
Finally, I would like to thank YOU for supporting Holland Avenue Home and allowing me to enjoy all of the opportunities that have come with writing this blog. I have big dreams for 2019, and I can’t wait to share them with you. Be sure to follow Holland Avenue Home on Instagram for daily snapshots of life and encouragement towards thoughtful homemaking. Want to join the Holland Avenue Home community? Sign up for my Newsletter, then hop over to Facebook and join the Thoughtful Homemakers group for project inspiration, an encouraging community, and behind the scenes of Holland Avenue!
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Want to see some more affordable transformations?
If you want to see more of the kitchen, check out my Low Budget Pantry Makeover with Leftover Paint and $20 of Organization Supplies, or How-to Repurpose an Antique Table as a Kitchen Island.