Our Kitchen Cabinets: The Best Made Plans… Often Go Awry. Part II

19 Jul

Finally! I know we have left you hanging here and to be honest it was completely unintentional. We have been working so hard not only on the kitchen but also our day jobs as well. Enough with the excuses and on with the post!

Like I mentioned in a few other posts, our original plans for finishing the vintage Youngstown metal cabinets was to leave them metal with a nice glossy topcoat to prevent rust. I was dreaming of how nice the retro style would pair up with the modern stainless steel like finish. Alas, it was not to be. You see, polishing out those grinding swirls proved to be a major problem. Here’s a reminder of what they looked like before:




Wow… looking back at these makes me so excited to share our “After” post! Don’t worry. We will be finished by the end of this month! I blogged it so it must happen, by George!

Once we finally got the paint ground off them this is what we were left with:


Um… yeah… Not so much stainless steel as ‘OMGoodness that metal is all swirled up’ steel! No matter how much we polished using polishing pads and metal polish compound, the swirls weren’t going anywhere. My heart was broken. Kidding. So I looked at Brian, who had been skeptical about my metal plan to begin with, and said those three words that are the hardest for me. ‘I WAS WRONG. You were right. We should just paint them and be done with it.’

So then the search for the perfect paint color began. I knew I wanted them to be a color and not just plain white. I wanted something vintage inspired and something that we both agreed upon. I had picked up a brochure of all the Martha Stewart paint colors at Home Depot when I was searching for the best exterior color so I thought who knows vintage better than Martha? No one. So I opened it up and found a few I was instantly drawn too. The swatches in the brochure are small so we headed out to Home Depot to see them all in real life. I picked up about 10 different samples and we took them home to evaluate them in the light of our room. TIP: I strongly recommend doing this if you are paint color shopping. Take 15 or 20 samples home. Get your selection down to 2-4 and then go buy paint samples to paint onto your wall. Live with them a few days and see how they look in different light around the clock. It’s the easiest way to pick the perfect paint color.

We narrowed it down to Martha’s Beryl, a soft minty green, and Rainwater which is a bluish green. I headed off to Lowes and had them match the color in Olympic’s FastHide  Ultra Interior/Exterior Alkyd paint. I must have had a bit of a brain malfunction here because I got the quart size rather than just getting a sample. Really I think I did myself a favor because they don’t sell a sample in the FastHide Ultra line and we knew we wanted to use an oil finish to be sure the final product was smooth and would last another 50 years. Since they were matching the paint color, by getting the exact paint I wanted matched for my samples, I eliminated any differing color issues. I painted them on a poster board and put them up to the wall to see how they would look with the floors and walls.

CIMG3323 copy

I should mention that we selected Martha Stewart’s Heavy Goose for the wall color and I knew that both of these colors would go well with it because of her matching system. All the colors were notated with an * which means as long as all the colors in a room have the same symbol, they will all coordinate perfectly! It’s one of the things I LOVE about her paint colors. The other thing that makes them Rock my world is that each sample comes with a suggested ceiling and trim color on the back. If you want to see how it looks, you simply fold over along the dotted line and voila! Not all the suggested colors are my cuppa if you know what I mean but what a great tool if you want an instant designer room with out the price of a designer!

Back to the colors. I loved the way Beryl looked against the floors and to be honest, Rainwater was so close to the original color(the pictures are a little off from how they really look) that we had been stripping off so Rainwater was just not doing it for us.

Once we had our color picked, we needed to treat the clean metal to keep the rust from returning. We got some rust treatment at Lowes (I can’t find it on the site and will edit this post once I find it) and followed the directions on the bottle. Once we rinsed and dried the metal it looked a bit streaky.


We went over it with a bit of sandpaper and then proceeded to spray them with Rust Oleum Clean Metal Primer.

This oil based primer is perfect for clean metal and really allows the paint to get a grip. Here’s a few of the cabinets once we had them primed:

Yes, we turned the ‘Ballroom’ into a paint booth because we knew it was going to take a while to get these bad boys primed and painted. It really helps to have a clean area to paint and let them dry. How did we paint them you ask? With a nifty little inexpensive paint gun kit from Lowes. I’ll give you a review of the gun kit in a later post as well as the full painting process. For now, here’s the sneak peek of our almost complete new kitchen!


Sorry for the crazy iPhone photo. I really MUST get better at this whole picture taking bit. I did adjust the colors in Photoshop for you though (you’re welcome)! (We got thrifty and used a few of the rocks out of the tons we have to flatten out the left hand counter.)

We are working on the back splash and I can’t wait to share our DIY Pendant Lighting. Off to place the order for materials!


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