If you’re new here, welcome! For the past four years my goal has been to make our small 390 sq.ft. rental apartment feel like our own cozy little nest in the city. I’ve tackled most of our apartments décor already but one space that has remained original is our kitchen. That’s why I decided to participate in the One Room Challenge this spring to get the kitchen up to date. For eight weeks, there will be updates on my kitchen makeover progress both here on my blog as well as on my Instagram page. Make sure to follow along and also check out the other participants on the ORC blog page here.
This post is all about choosing paint and quite frankly I feel like that’s all my makeover project has been about. So, here’s my short guide on how to choose paint for kitchen surfaces. Read this if you want to avoid the paint mistakes I’ve been making plenty of lately.
Throughout this project I’ve had a few setbacks with my progress. What really slowed me down these past few weeks is the fact that I went back to my day job after two months of isolation (which is awesome but I’m exhausted).
However, the good news is I’ve finally made some real progress (hello fresh white walls!).
I feel like with any makeover project there’s always that moment of despair when I ask myself “why did I ever get myself into this mess..again!?”. But I’ve finished enough projects to know that at the end it’s always worth it.
The struggles I’ve had in the past few weeks were ALL about paint. I had a gallon of mistint paint that I had bought a while back. The tone seemed like it was a warm white which was exactly what I wanted for my kitchen. Well, turns out it was more of a grey than white. I had tested it on one of the kitchen walls before and it looked white but on another wall, it was definitely not looking white anymore. So, I had to make a change of plans while I was already fully set up for finishing the painting job.
How to make sure you choose the right paint colour for your kitchen surfaces
For you to avoid making the same mistake that I did I strongly encourage you to test out all of your chosen paint options on not only one wall but on ALL walls that you’re planning on using them for. And then look at the painted samples multiple times during different times of the day to make sure they work on all lighting conditions, with and without natural light.
PSA: Celadon is not the same as Silver Celadon.
Another paint mistake I made happened when I was picking the colour for re-painting my kitchen shelving unit. In my head, I had an image of the perfect green toned grey. According to my research Silver Celadon by Behr would have fit the description perfectly. Well, Home Depot disagreed with my decision as the associate at the paint department told me it’s not available to purchase. So, I went with Celadon instead of Silver Celadon thinking it can’t be too far off. BIG MISTAKE.
Don’t be silly like me and choose a paint colour that sounds similar to the paint colour you really want. In retrospect, I should’ve just gone back home with no new paint and started my research from scratch to find another suitable paint option.
The paint sheen that works best for kitchen surfaces
When it comes to the paint sheen choice for kitchen surfaces it’s best to steer away from flat and matte paints. Opt for satin or semi-gloss paint instead. The reason why glossier finishes are better for kitchens is simply because they are easier to wipe clean. They also tend to resist problems caused by moisture (i.e. mildew) better than matte finishes. Semi-gloss paint reflects more light than satin paint and is also a slightly more durable choice. It’s also good to remember that the sheen of the paint affects how the paint colour looks. If you’re not sure which sheen you want to use get samples of both sheens for the same paint so you can test them both.
The supplies to get before starting your painting project
Once you’re ready to get to work it’s time to get some supplies that make the painting job more efficient. If I’m being fully honest I tend to cut corners a bit with my painting prep but it does lead to more time spent cleaning up after the job is done. But the odd times I do a full prep these are the supplies I get:
- Good quality paint brush for cutting in (I use the angled Wooster brush)
- Good quality painters tape (i.e. Frogtape)
- Drop cloth to keep the floors clean
- Paint roller & extra paint roller heads
- Small paint bucket with a handle
- Paint can opener
- Stir sticks
- Paint tray
I used to buy the cheapest paint brushes and always got frustrated with how bad the results were. But spending $20 on a brush just felt like a huge splurge. That was until I tried it once and I’ll never go back to using $2 brushes. Never ever. Trust me when I say it is worth the money to buy one good one rather than ten bad ones. Cutting in is so much easier, faster and you can keep using the same quality brush over and over again.
Another item I’ll never paint walls without again is a small paint bucket with a handle
It’s just so much easier holding a small amount of paint up instead of holding the whole paint can. And the bonus is that you preserve the paint better when you don’t keep the lid open the whole time you’re painting the walls.
If you have a steady hand you can do the cutting in without taping the corners between surfaces (i.e. where the wall meets the ceiling). But if you want to be sure to get crisp lines then a good quality painters tape is also a must. The difference between using bad painters tape and good painters tape is huge. I can tell this from my own frustrating experience (once again, ha).
Can you believe we’re already at the finish line of this spring’s One Room Challenge? In fact, this is the last post before the final reveal NEXT WEEK!! Some of my original to do’s have changed due to various reasons but what really matters is there’s only three more things left. I could not be any more excited to wrap up this rental kitchen makeover project!
Rental Kitchen Makeover project steps:
Paint walls Paint under cabinet area (touch ups) Build wall shelf with rail & hooks Paint kitchen cart (base & top)
- Add wall sconces above the wall shelf
Add peel & stick tile as backsplash to wall behind stove Change ceiling light fixture
- Change cabinet hardware
Add peel & stick floor tile
- Accessorize & reveal
In case the One Room Challenge is new to you the ORC is a bi-annual home design and decorating event that anyone can participate in as a guest. The basic idea is that all participants are doing a makeover to one specific space in their homes over the span of 6-8 weeks and along the way share weekly updates on their progress. The guest participant reveals this spring will fall on Thursday June 25th. Don’t forget to add that date to your calendar for some great home décor inspiration coming your way from hundreds of ORC participants.
Disclaimer: Please make sure to confirm with your landlord before doing makeovers in your rental unit. Many landlords are strict with making permanent or semi-permanent changes to rented units. You might be required to return the unit to its original state before you move out (i.e. paint walls back to original color) even if your landlord approves the changes.