Ahh, yes. Nothing like a great stay-at-home order to keep you busy and wanting for distractions like never before! COVID-19 has shown us how we can come together in ways that are beautiful and exemplary of what humanity is capable of. Today I want to share a really fun quarantine activity (and general one too!) with you. How to DIY an Open Kitchen Cabinet Quickly!
One thing I’ve found myself doing is going back to books and inspirations on paper to get my creative juices flowing. Recently, I picked up The New Bohemians Handbook by Justina Blakeney. I was hooked instantly. It’s such an easy read, the photography is gorgeous and the content is so relevant to me. Basically, it’s all about how to make your home a really happy place: spiritually balanced, full of good vibes and yet still functional. MY KIND OF BOOK. And that’s when it hit me. I needed to DIY something urgently! I don’t know why, but I was so drawn to opening up our kitchen in some new way which would bring me more joy as I’m in there so much.
We rent our apartment and when we moved into it years ago, everything was very minimally cared for, to be honest. The kitchen was a particular pet peeve of mine! It was awfully painted in this orange/brown and just left like that. Last year, I grew tired of it and decided to sand the all the exteriors and paint it white. That made a huge difference. I even got all new cabinet door knobs etc. But, this last weekend’s DIY spree was a step further and came with some unexpected positives. Please, don’t take this guide to be a hard and fast perfect how-to. It’s not. It’s the very decent how-to of a busy mama juggling work, toddler + family but that also wants a refresh in her life. Just a little my way to DIY an open kitchen cabinet quickly!
I took off the cabinet doors to where we keep our kitchenware, mugs, cups and the things we use the most. The sanding down was pretty quick with a compact hand-held sander (I have this one) and I definitely did not go the whole way with the sanding job. I just got the bare minimum layer off and even so, some remained.
I grabbed a paint roller, an old plastic painting pan and just went ham. Starting at the top, I painted my way down the interior with 3 separate coats of white, letting each dry well between coats (the other cabinet interiors remain awful orange, sorry, ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat). I just used the white paint left over from the painting of the exteriors from last year. The first coat went on iffy because, again, it wasn’t perfectly sanded. That’s fine. By the time I got to the third coat, it was totally covered over! I used a small paint brush to fill in any corners and crevices that the roller couldn’t reach and that seemed to do just fine.
Now, because I was aware that the sanding wasn’t totally perfect, I knew the paint could possibly chip away clean if I were to nick it with something since parts might not quite be properly adhered to the original sanded wood. So, I applied water based polyurethane sealing to the whole job once it was dried. At the very least, that creates a strong barrier between anything on the shelves and the paint beneath. I just used a paint brush for that (wash it off right after with warm soapy water). I let it dry down for a good two hours or more and decided to call it a day.
And there we go! I left the hinges on (painted white) and love the rustic feeling of this area now. A cute bunch of shells we got in Maui hang on one of the hinges and I finally got my favorite cookbooks into the kitchen where they belong. Pick up a hanging plant to bring texture in. I chose a String Of Hearts succulent and it lives up there, we’ll see how she does! I hung some sweet tea cups to give perspective, shape and interest of flow.
One of the most positive things that came from doing this DIY exercise, was minimizing our kitchenware. Do you know how many useless mugs, cups, ramekins, extra plates etc we had hiding in there? Too many to be putting on display, I’ll tell you that. I separated them ruthlessly into 3 categories:
1. Bye bye.. Chipped or broken? Trash time. Otherwise, straight into the donation bag.
2. Store elsewhere for hosting evenings but ONLY if I like it and will need/use it for a hosting situation when COVID-19 is over.
3. Display daily + uber proudly on the open shelving.
GUESS WHAT? All the things I have on the shelves spark so much joy and are FUNCTIONAL. I have a family, things have to be within easy reach and what I need. I can’t even tell you how much I never realized what so many years of collecting this and that and shoving it behind these cabinet doors was doing to erode my space + happiness. Simply put, I dreaded the idea of unloading the dishwasher and finding a space for each thing. Now I’m like, shoot, should I even put these in the dishwasher because we don’t have enough things to warrant a wash in here right now?
That’s how I simplified. That’s how to DIY an Open Kitchen Cabinet Quickly. I began on a Saturday morning and finished on a Sunday afternoon. I still managed to have a nice weekend with family time. Every year there’s something fun to do. Last year, it was new Spring accent decor for our home. What DIY projects are on your list? Have you done any yet? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you. Thanks for stopping in and see you for more adventures over on the ‘Gram.