About a week ago (after we painted our brick fireplace) our kitchen looked like this:
Then we removed the desk and upper cabinet (that will be in the way of our big future doorway to the dining room) and after one coat of not-covering-at-all primer it looked like this:
Then we finally got the primer thing right after dealing with maddening bleed-through issues thanks to two days of applying coat after coat and three different types of primer (more on that here):
And now it looks like this, although it reads a bit more yellow in these photos than in person (it’s a smidge greener in real life).
It’s definitely a warm golden green tone (aka: grellow). Sort of like the color of an artichoke heart.
There’s definitely a lot more to do in there, but we’re so glad to have the whole prime-and-paint-the-paneling thing checked off. Here’s a fun little video that encapsulates the entire process in three short minutes. Which is more than a little ironic because it took us just a wee bit longer in real life (you know, just a smidge). Just convert those minutes to days. See it below or here on YouTube.
As for the paint color, after a decent amount of debate (and some pretty thorough consideration of the adjoining rooms that will be seen along with the kitchen) we opted for our new favorite color, which turned out to be Sesame 381 by Benjamin Moore (color matched to Olympic No-VOC paint in semi-gloss).
We were inspired by this kitchen (found here via Pinterest) since our cabinets will eventually go white, possibly along with our backsplash.
We chose this warm yellow-green color because we want the kitchen to be bright and happy (there aren’t any windows to the outside world – just one that looks into our sunroom) and it was suuuuuuper dark before we painted that paneling. We also knew the room could take a decent amount of color because:
- it won’t have any big long walls remaining when we add the extra-wide doorway to the dining room across from the fireplace (just slivers of wall here or there will remain, so the color won’t be overwhelming)
- we’ll be painting the cabinets glossy white later in this phase of our little kitchen makeover along with un-busying the backsplash (which will further temper the color on the walls)
- we’ll be adding an island in the place of our too-small table someday (with a different countertop and most likely a non-white base color to keep things interesting and layered)
- this room is surrounded by the dining room, the hallway, and the living room, which all have soft gray walls (so we wanted this space in the middle of them all to have some cheerful color going on)
When it came to our swatch-selecting technique we just hung up a ton of them and looked at them at all times of day to see which one we preferred. As for why we chose this swatch specifically, we decided:
- this golden-green tone will tie into the chartreuse curtain tones in the dining room and the cheerful green tone in our shaggy living room rug without being too matchy-matchy across the board (we didn’t want the exact same tone of green everywhere for fear that it would look a bit too “orchestrated”)
- a warm yellow kitchen is always a classic choice, but this color feels modern and crisp with the green undertones (and it’s not completely terrible with the oak cabinetry, which will stay for a little while)
- this tone is in Sue the Napkin – albeit a bit darker (a sure sign it’ll work with our whole house palette really well)
- unlike some of the other softer greens and greeny-gold tones that we considered, it really makes the white trim pop (lighter swatches didn’t have the same crisp effect next to the fireplace or the trim)
Here’s how it looked with the first coat going up around the fireplace (thanks to all that primer prep– we had really awesome coverage). Again, it’s looking more yellow and less green than it does in person in these photos, but you can really see how the white pops and how it turned a dark and brown-everywhere space into a sunny and bright room in the middle of the house.
We also decided that it was high time we switched out all of the “bisque” colored vents, outlets, and light switches.
So we grabbed a bunch of crisp white ones from Lowe’s, turned off the power, removed the old ones, connected the new wires the same way they were connected to the previous switches, added the outer switchplates, and turned the power back on. The whole switch swap took about twenty minutes. So much better:
Some people opt to paint their vent covers so they blend in more, but for now we’re happy to leave ours crisp and new since we’re so used to old drippy painted-over covers (clean paint-free ones kind of feel like a luxury). Who knows if we’ll decide to add a few thin and not-drippy coats of paint to blend those vents in later though. We’ll keep you posted.
Oh and it’s really fun to go back and look at our fireplace, which originally looked like this:
Then we removed the old unused wood stove and painted the brick, and it looked like this:
It’s amazing how much painted paneling can freshen things up even more:
And we love how things like the white frames and the round mirror above the fireplace layer right in with the glossy white trim and beams:
Burger likey (he knows how to work that runway):
Oh yeah and see those pink hydrangeas? I wish I could say that we grew those, but they’re from the store. We figured to celebrate all that priming and painting we could spring for something soft and sweet, so these little pink snowball-looking-guys had me at hello (that’s an old vase from Target btw):
As for the opening to the dining room, here’s where it’ll be (it will line up exactly with the dining room window on the other side for balance):
We learned that we’ll need a permit to knock out so much of that load bearing wall, so it sadly won’t be anything we can do very quickly (and we’ll definitely be leaning on some pros for help). But we can’t wait to tackle it as soon as we can get through all the permit business and hunt down the right expert for the job.
Now for some before & after bid-ness. Just because that’s my favorite part. Here’s the kitchen as it looked on moving day about six months ago:
And here it is now (still can’t wait to add that island, paint those cabinets, and upgrade the floor & appliances someday though):
Moving day again (yes, one of those lights was out):
The crazy thing is that these photos were taken around the same time of day so it definitely demonstrates how much lighter and more cheerful the space feels now that the dark paneling is a thing of the past. Oh and here’s the budget breakdown:
- Olympic Premium No-VOC primer from Lowe’s: $12
- Behr 2-in-1 Primer + Paint (in semi-gloss white): already owned
- Kilz Clean Start No-VOC Primer from Home Depot: $20
- Olympic No-VOC paint (in Sesame by Benjamin Moore) from Lowe’s: $22
- New vent and outlet covers from Lowe’s: $43
- Brushes/rollers/tape/paint tray: already owned
- Total: $97
So there you have it. The kitchen madness has officially begun. As we mentioned here, we’re definitely going to do this in phases (gotta save our pennies and just take things on as we can afford them). But it should be a whole lot of fun. As in, more fun than a barrel of monkeys. And definitely more fun than priming that paneling five hundred times. Do any of you guys have long term kitchen plans like painting the cabinets or adding an island or upgrading the flooring or making some overhead lighting switches (we’re definitely in need of some of that too)? Oh the possibilities…
Psst- We announced this week’s giveaway winner. Click here to see if it’s you.
Abercrombie Wife says
OH.EM.GEE!!!! What an AMAZING transformation!!!! It’s like a brand new kitchen. I knew it would make a huge difference but oh man this just blew my mind! Can’t wait too see it after you paint the cabinets!
I’m sure you are super happy with the results.
Jane @ The Borrowed Abode says
Wow! That is an utterly fabulous transformation. Of course, it helps (in my opinion) that you used what may be my MOST FAVORITE COLOR EVER. :) Love it.
Sidenote: I can see why you want to open it up. Maybe the photos are making it worse than it is, but the room looks so closed in and dark to me. Architecturally speaking, that is.
Yes! It’s like a windowless cave in the center of our one-story house. Opening that wide doorway is going to change things so much! Can’t wait.
That is exactly what i was going to say! The paint definitely helped make it airier, but its still so closed in – especially when compared to the rest of the place. The doorway will make a HUGE difference.
Ashley @ DesignBuildLove.co says
sadly, we suffer the same fate of having a kitchen in the middle of our one-story house and while it is really open to the rest of the house, color has been essential in making sure it feels “bright”! John and Sherry did an amazing job with color selections of the green and crisp white!!!
Kristin @ Ogo's Love Nest says
I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! Great color choice. It’s a million times brighter, more open and just plain lovely. Have a great 4th of July weekend!
WOW!!!!!! It looks amazing! I think once those cabinents are glossy white it will be even better!
It looks great! I bet it feels awesome to have a pretty big project like that finished up!
Rebecca @ the lil house that could says
Looks awesome! The view from the cabinets looking out to the gallery wall is 100% different. So, how badly are you itching to paint those cabinets now? Once you do one thing, it’s hard to stop! Unless you’re totally sick of paint at the moment, which would be understandable :)
It’s true! Now I get all crazed and excited about all the other things on the roster. Our arms do need a bit of time to recover though. Haha.
Cait @ Hernando House says
I’m so glad I’m not the only one who doest that! I tell myself I’m just going to do one phase of something to “tide myself over” and then I just can’t stop! Sometimes it drives my husband crazy.
Jen F says
I was thinking the same thing, cause it will look so super amazing…but I was feeling for you guys when watching all the “over the head” painting that was happening!
Looks fantastic! So much brighter and open looking.
NIcole R. says
Looks great!! Are you eventually upgrading to stainless steel appliances?? I love that look from the inspirational picture!
Oh yes- that might be Phase 2 of the project since it gets pretty costly to replace a wall oven and a fridge. Someday for sure though!
Sherry, I love your realistic approach to everything! Thank you for keeping it real & reminding us that it’s okay to tackle one project at a time and do things as we can afford them. We don’t have to go into debt to get the home of our dreams, and things don’t have to change all at once to be better. This project made such a huge difference and looks great!
Debbie Summers says
Looks AMAZING! I grew up with that kind of paneling on the walls… Can’t believe how great it can look.
P.S. – Nothing works better than KILZ!
BEAUTIFUL!! What a difference it makes in your windowless kitchen! We have lots of windows, but lots of trees surrounding us = not such a bright kitchen, so your kitchen is now my inspiration…THANK YOU!!
LOVING IT! I so love color on the walls and yours is amazing and what a transformation. Great job!
Wow! Wowie! Wowza! This looks incredible batman!
I just painted a ceiling a similar color over the weekend and will be posting it later today. Mine reads a little more green on screen, just the opposite of what you’re saying.
I love it so much! I knew painting it would really brighten it up but it’s awesome to actually see it! Great job!
WHOA! and you took out the desk?!?!
Oh yeah- check out that post here: https://www.younghouselove.com/make-way-for-makeover/
Ashley J says
I love the color! So fresh and bright! It’s fun to get a rush of color! We’re working on our kitchen right now: new espresso wood floors, wainscotting on the walls (and in through the dining room), new butcher block counters and a fresh coat of white paint on the cabinets! Makes me exhausted just typing that! :)
Seriously? You guys are simply awesome and inspiring! Love, love, love it.
Wow!! It looks to fresh and crisp and clean. Soooo much better than paneling! Great job :)
I am always amazed by the difference that painting paneling makes….the room looks great! And I love the paint color you chose.
I knew you guys would get right to painting! Looks phenomenal! And once you break down that wall and get natural light in there = whoa baby!
I was just looking at the pictures again… it looks soooo different! Do you ever wonder what the old owners would think if they saw the changes that you’ve made? Do you ever wish they could come back & see them? I think about that sometimes when I make changes to my house :)
They actually read our blog! They say they check it before they even check email and love to see all the work (without having to break a sweat). Haha.
Think you’ll be able to get them to write a guest post about their impressions of all the changes?
That would be fun! We’ll have to see if they’re game. They’re a bit shy about commenting but sometimes they message us on Facebook. Haha.
wow, it looks amazing! What a big difference, and for under $100! Can’t wait to see what comes next.
Perfection! It looks so much bigger and brighter. Do you just sit in there and look around and smile:) I would! Congrats on a job well done. I hope you’ll both take a breather over the July 4th holiday–you’ve earned it BIG TIME!!
Oh yeah- there’s a lot of goofy wall-grinning going on.
It looks a millions times better already! And by the time you paint the cabinets (and the backsplash, I’m not sure what your plan is with that) it’ll look awesome. Are you planning on getting rid of the “eyeballs” as part of phase 1?
Oh yeah- those gotta go!
I keep looking for pictures of the current backsplash, but it’s pretty hard to see. Looks like simple tile, w/ maybe some random color/pattern tile sprinkled in?
Yup, it’s an off-white tile with some patterns on some of them (of birds, fruit, etc).
Jill Stigs says
LOVE LOVE LOVE the color! Oh, can’t wait for you guys to paint the cabs white and build your island!
Amy W says
I’m confused as to why you refer to the area with the table and fireplace as the kitchen? It seems more like an eating nook to me. Also I wonder how funtional an island will be all the way out there so far from where you will be actually cooking.
It’s all one room so we just call it “the kitchen” (we’ve seen other kitchens with an eating area and fireplace, but I guess we just refer to the whole room with one name). As for the island, the reason we’re going that route is because once we open the doorway to the dining room there’s a big round table in there (so another smaller table right next to seems redundant). We can pack it with storage on the side that faces the other cabinets and use the island top for workspace and casual dining and bring in some fun stools. So it’ll in effect be an eating area with some bonus storage for lesser used stuff (and plates and servingware since it’s right off the dining room). Can’t wait!
Devon @ Green House, Good Life says
We keep all of our small kitchen electrics (hand mixer, blender, Cuisinart, waffle iron, etc.) in our island, which also has an outlet on one end so we can use them right there. Everything is easy to find, and nothing clutters up the counters. (The only thing that isn’t in the island is the toaster, which we keep plugged in in the pantry so we can always respond quickly to any bagel emergency.) Whatever you guys end up putting in it, you’re going to love that big island.
Deborah G. says
Omigosh! Lovelovelovelovelove! I knew I would ‘cuz you guys rock! And awesome idea on knocking out the wall. Seriously, kudos! I wish you a very easy processing of the paperwork for the proper permitting – can’t wait to see it finished!
Congratulations! The hard work was definitely worth it :)
out of curiosity, why did you guys go with semi gloss? we did that in our bathroom (which is a much smaller room) and I kind of regret it. too shiny and it shows ALL the imperfections.
love the color though! :)
We have always done semi-gloss in every kitchen and bathroom (both in this house and the last house). It seems to be a pretty standard choice since it’s easy to wipe down and it doesn’t feel that shiny to us (maybe it has to do with the lighting in your bathroom?).
heather s. says
Satin is another great option for the bathroom and kitchen since it is really easy to wipe down. It has less sheen to it so it also hides imperfections better than semi-gloss. I’ve always used satin in those areas (as do many designers) so it is another option for you.
The paint looks great in general but I really dislike the color of the cabinets with it. Can’t wait until those babies are painted white!
LOVE IT. I can’t even believe the transformation!!! It looks like a totally different space.I have kitchen envy now – great work you guys!
It looks awesome! Love the video. It was really fun to watch the progress.
OMG…I absolutely LOVE it. I’d be running in there in the middle of the nite looking at it. What’s Ms. Clara think? Can’t wait for the cabinets to be painted ~ and that color will really POP!!!
Once again….great job Youngsters =)
Clara seems immune to the change. Haha. She loves the kitchen in general though, so she’s in there pretty often soaking up the new look quite regularly.
haha…By now, Clara probably just thinks that rooms are supposed to look different after naps and upon getting up in the mornings. Ahh…it’s the Petersik way of life. :-)
It looks STUNNING!!! So bright and cheery. That’s a kitchen I’d want to cook in and hang out in! Great job once again. Love it!
Gorgeous! It’s amazing what some paint can do!
As usual the after looks GREAT!
I love it! now your home is really beginning to look like ‘Sherry and John” haha ((:
It looks great, and it is a lot more cheerful than that downer dark paneling. Did you guys sleep in there because you couldn’t get enough of its coolness?
Haha- we did run in at the crack of dawn to grin like fools at the walls.
Absolutely love it! Great job, guys!
It looks really great, I love the color and it even makes the cabinets look prettier. You’re braver than I with all that priming.
It is gorgeous. I love love lurve that color!!!
Sherry, girlfriend–you need to get yourself a painter’s cup!! Eliminates up and down from the walls to the floor for paint! The kitchen looks wonderful!!
Oh yeah- I should get one of those. Although painting is one of my only workouts these days. Haha. It’s like my own version of the stair master.
Amazing color choice! I was a little worried when you said you were going for something bright in the kitchen, but once again you guys have proved me wrong. I can’t wait to see the cabinets go white!
Looks awesome! I loooove that color! I’m looking around my house, trying to find something I can paint that color :)
blog is the new black says
Our guest room is a similar color and we had the hardest tiem find a shade that is not too bright or neony. Love it! Looks awesome.
Holy moly! That looks awesome. And weird, it makes the cabinets look green. Although I guess that makes sense and is not so weird after all… Can’t wait to see the white cabinets! You guys are amazing. Oh and loved the time lapse video :)
Wow!!! This is amazing! It is beautiful! You have inspired me to redo our ktichen….and it is almost done!! :) I love your blog and all of your great ideas!!!
Wow! Looks Amazing! You guys have the Midas touch!
LOVE!!! How much brighter it looks – and not so scary anymore. Bet you are itching to get those cabinets painted now though, eh! Bravo! Happy Canada Day (tomorrow)!
There are no words!! It looks so awesome! You two have such vision!!!
It looks like night and day! Great job!
Wow, beautiful! I can’t wait to see the rest of the kitchen changes. What was the color called you used?
We used Sesame by Benjamin Moore color matched to Olympic No-VOC paint. Hope it helps!