Uninspiring Kitchen Transformed!

So we love this new house, but we hate the kitchen. It’s SUCH a let down after the gorgeous kitchen we’ve enjoyed in Brighton. From it’s small, challenging ‘L’ shape to it’s boring maple laminate cabinets and white tiles and unexciting basic white appliances, we’re not impressed.

It’s not all bad though, everything is fairly new and clean, the appliances work well, and the kitchen floods with light during the day. The best feature, by far, is the kitchen’s location. It sits at the back of the house, overlooking the huge garden. It’s in the perfect location for expanding and building a dream kitchen when budget allows. I can dream and plan out my fantasy kitchen…but for the moment we have to live with what’s here.

I’ve been slow to unpack and part of the reason is the lack of inspiration, no doubt. Sick of plastic forks, I made a desperate rummage through boxes this week looking for our silverware. I came across a box of my baking tins. A burst of inspiration hit, and I paused to go grab a hammer and hang some of them up.

Something in the color of the baking tins inspired me! I’m definintely going through a gun-metal phase. From the new land rover to the joy I felt when I hung a few tins on my green walls…I looked at those maple cabinets and the idea came to me. They were going gray.

I’m not a fan of maple anything. Well, except maple bars. But wood-wise, it’s not my taste. My house, my things, they are mainly in a cool palette, and maple is too warm for me. They especially clashed with this kitchen, as the floor reflects cool tones, as do the green walls. So fast forward 12 hours, one quick trip to Lowes, and some hap-hazard masking…and voila!

I spray painted my kitchen cabinets gun-metal gray. I sanded them down on the edges to show the maple through. I am so pleased! it’s still not my dream kitchen. But it’s soo much better…



Yes, I said spray paint. The color is by Rustolium. It’s called Anodized Bronze. I did the cutting in with a brush, as well as the ceiling white touch up, but the spray paint was an awesome way to go. It’s durable, goes on fast, and I only needed five cans. So effectively, I’ve changed the look of my kitchen [I think for the better!] for $25. How about them apples.

Here’s why this color choice works. The grout in the floor is the same color. The gray also contrasts well against the white tile. It’s a cool palette that blends rather than clashes with the rest of the colors in the room. And finally, the room is very bright during the day so it can handle a dark color without closing off the space.

I still don’t like the counter tops or the appliances though. So I am considering swapping the counters out for butcher block [it's only $10 sq installed and there really is very little counter space] and I’m going to list these appliances on Craig’s list and swap them for stainless steel ones. The fridge in particular is a miss; it should be counter depth but it’s not and it jets out into the room something awful. If there was a stainless steel counter depth fridge this kitchen would feel considerably larger. I’m also going to scour restaurant supply auctions to find a real stove.

The appliances will be transferable to the remodel once we do it, but why wait for them? I really don’t want to live with a ho-hum kitchen. I want to get baking/cooking/enjoying this space! For now though, my $25 investment has made all of the difference. Even if I stopped here [well, maybe I'll sew a curtain] the kitchen feels gobs better. I’m off to the fabric store to see if something inspires me! The Sunday paper has a 40% off coupon for JoAnn’s fabric so I’ll start there. I’ll keep you posted.


  1. Julia says:

    Wow what a transformation. You have done amazing and what a budget! I’m impressed again.

  2. Lilly Gould says:

    You are too clever. I love it!

  3. Alex says:

    I am tempted to do this too. I hate my kitchen. How did you keep the paint from going everywhere? What did you do with the insides? Will it scratch off? I am so in awe of your guts to just do that. I don’t think I know anyone who has ever just painted a kitchen with spray paint. It sounds like a disaster but you show that it isn’t.

    • Meg Stone says:

      I hope you do! Send photos. To answer your questions, I did not paint the insides. I left them maple. It works because I sanded down the edges to let a small bit of maple peek through. It does not scratch off. There’s something in rustoleum that gives it a hard coat edge, but only after 24 hours so don’t sand too early. Wait at least a day. Good luck!

  4. Kitty says:

    Nice job. What a good budget suggestion.

  5. Jules says:

    I like the fabric you ‘kvetch’ about. Go for it I want to see more photos.

  6. Annie says:

    I LOVE it!!! OMG I want to go paint mine now. You are so full of great ideas.

  7. Alison says:

    It looks chalky. Is it? That is a pretty neat effect. Is it from the sanding? The can you show says semi-gloss. Is that exactly what you used?

    • Meg Stone says:

      Yes, it sort of is chalky after you sand it. I really like that effect. The semi-gloss sands down to an almost-matt finish. The photos don’t really do it justice. It looks fab in person though. I recommend you go for it! And send me photos if you do…

  8. Susan says:

    Wonderful idea. It looks fabulous.

  9. Janet says:

    Meg, I have love seeing the photo’s you have been sharing. The house is darling. I too never would have thought about using spray paint on cupboards. Looks great! I might even give it a shot at my home as I have been thinking of updating my 29 year old kitchen. Ideas, ideas……..

    • Meg Stone says:

      Thanks! I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog! We just hit 6,000 subsribers today!! Isn’t that amazing? I do hope you spray paint your kitchen. It was so fast and easy. Just be sure to mask the areas that you don’t want paint because spray can carry pretty far. I used a lot of newspaper and masking tape!! A good face mask helps too. Send me photos if you do. All the best, Meg

  10. viv srebrenik says:

    Gorgeus! just love it! by the way… do you have any tips for the baking tins storage?

  11. david mckenna says:

    meg im really impressed with the progress you have made its looking great :D well done hope all goes well

  12. Rhonda says:

    Wow very cool Meg. I am impressed with your ideas again and again!

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