Lipstick on a Pig

Some of you may remember that my husband enjoys taking extended motorcycle trips and in his absence I like to tackle a major project.
It’s kind of like that old television show “While You Were Out”.

picture 057

I do this for two reasons…
1.) My husband can NOT handle the chaos that accompanies any kind of home renovation, no matter how small, so it’s best to do things when he’s not around.
2.) When at least one person is gone from this house, I can get so much more done.  Dinners, clean up and bedtimes (mostly mine) are more relaxed.

This time ’round I decided to paint my kitchen cupboards.
Meet the “pig”

IMG_0722 IMG_0721

We’ve lived in this house for 18 years and the kitchen was supposed to be the first room to renovate.  Well, as you might expect, other; more pressing items made their way onto the home-repair list.
(darn roof, windows and furnace 😤)

I have hated the cupboards every day of those 18 years.
It’s a bit hard to see in the photos but, they are solid oak, custom made, 1970’s panelled cupboards.  Panelled, as in… someone made these cupboards by gluing together strips of wood to make each door.  There are grooves and ridges that are similar to trim moulding.  Kinda cool in 1970, kinda ugly in 2017.
Regardless, someone spent a lot of time and effort to make these cupboards,
so sturdy they are!  Pretty, they are not!
I’ve thought of replacing the doors with ready-to-go ones from Home Depot.  Nope, these are custom made… every door and drawer are a different size/shape…really.
I’ve thought of having the doors planed flat in a wood planer.  Nope, the finger hole has an extra ridge that sticks out… they’d likely shatter in the planer, so I’ve been told.
I’ve even thought of removing them and living with no doors at all, but let’s face it, I’m way too much of a slob to live like that!
(There’s a reason I crop my photos before I post them.) 
So, after years of protest from my husband,
(he hates the thought of painting wood)

I finally decided to surprise him with a kitchen facelift.

Now… the “lipstick”

First steps were to wash the grunge off with TSP, rinse and prime using STIX Primer.
I then painted two coats (letting each coat dry overnight) with Advance Interior Semi-Gloss paint (Oxford White CC-30) by Benjamin Moore.  I love this paint for doors, trim and now, cupboards!  After it cures, it’s almost like that melamine paint we used to be able to get.  Being latex, the clean up is so much better though!
The backsplash is tile so I treated it to all the same steps as the cupboards.
I used Kendall Charcoal – HC 166.
The walls were painted Revere Pewter HC-172 to freshen them up.

After the cupboards and walls were done, the floor looked disgusting!


I have very good quality, white linoleum on my kitchen floor.  I actually like the floor, it’s simple; it’s in great shape and it’s easy to keep clean.  These floors are washed every week and waxed every month or two but the buildup was getting nasty!
Some of the TSP dripped onto the floor while cleaning the cupboards so I noticed what the floor was supposed to look like…nice.  So, I spent a day stripping the waxy buildup using good ol’ TSP and a paint scraper.


Painstaking work, but in the end, it was so worth it!


I used an industrial floor wax (same stuff the schools use) to finish it and now they look brand new!  My floors look almost wet with the high gloss finish… the dogs had to sniff-test them before walking on them…LOL!

Hubby came home (literally as I finished moving the furniture back in place) and the verdict… “looks great”!  If any of you know my husband, the adverb “great” rarely makes an appearance in his vocabulary.

This was my anniversary gift to him (but mostly to myself).  We made it to the 20 year mark while he was away.  Now there’s a bottle of Proseco chilling in the fridge that we’ll enjoy tomorrow.  I’m also going to enjoy baking my son’s birthday cake in my “new” kitchen tomorrow!  It may not be a Better Homes and Gardens kitchen but there’s a lot of love that is shared in these four walls… just the way I like it.

Now that the kitchen is updated, I’ll be escaping the summer heat
and heading to my studio to get some of those quilty “makes” off of my “to do” list.

I’ll be happy to share them when I get them done.

Till next time…

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8 Responses to Lipstick on a Pig

  1. It looks more than great, it’s amazing! After all that, you deserve some studio time!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Omg, I wish I had your stamina, drive !! How do you stay motivated to finish such a big job? It looks fantastic Rita, great job. Yesterday I wandered around the house for 2 hours looking for something to inspire me. I so wanted to do something creative but couldn’t settle on anything. Thanks for the tips, I too want to paint my cupboards. What is this tsp you speak of ?

  3. Anonymous says:

    WOW, just WOW! You arr an amazing woman. Hope you now get to spend lots of time in your studio to relax.

  4. Ioleen says:

    Excellent work, Rita. The “lipstick” looks great.

  5. WOW!!!!! That’s AMAZING! Can I give you my address and the dates we’ll “be out”?

  6. Anne Simonot says:

    Looks amazing!! Great job. Love seeing people’s home makeover projects.

  7. northernsue says:

    Your kitchen looks amazing! Great job!

  8. Tri-Sodium Phosphate. You can find it in any hardware store.

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